Melodic Array of Change
While the rest of the country pays little attention to the rumblings coming from the Grand Canyon State, Arizona is building a strong base of amazingly talented and original bands. In the midst of the indie, hardcore, punk and blues scenes that often interact with each other is a band called The Necronauts, the most original and eclectic band that the state has to offer. Often thought of as a desert in the middle of the southwestern part of the United States, Arizona has only produced a few bands who have reached some degree of commercial success in the national market. As mentioned in Esquire magazine, The Necronauts are 'solid, no-nonsense rock band' from a state known for 'hot asphalt, cacti and straight-talkin' John McCain.' Sometimes referred to as a mix of The Cardigans and Led Zeppelin or Henry Rollins beating the shit out of Pavement, The Necronauts have crafted their own sound that has strong rock roots and branches of funk, punk, metal, country, pop and virtually every other style of music that exists. Their success on the Arizona music scene has garnered rave critical reviews in every major local entertainment magazine, landed them shows opening up for national acts such as Built to Spill, Frank Black & the Catholics, Mike Watt & the Secondmen and Hank Williams III and helped them earn nominations for 'Best Indie Band' at the 2004 Phoenix New Times Music Showcase, 'Most Cutting Edge Band' and 'Best Kept Secret' at the 2003 Arizona Independent Music Awards. The Necronauts were originally a three-piece comprised of guitarist William Jee, drummer Dale Goodman and bassist Andrew Pangus. After playing shows all over the state and recording demos on a Tascam four track recorder, The Necronauts recorded and released their first full-length album Melodic Array of Change in 2002 on their own High School Football Records. For an independently produced debut album, Melodic Array of Change was a major success for The Necronauts and included songs that have almost achieved recognition as cult classics in the Arizona music scene. Songs like 'Texas' and 'Objectified' immediately captured fans with their catchy mix earsplitting riffs and quirky lyricism. Along with the instant classics, Melodic Array of Change included songs of youthful anger at the world like 'Half-time', 'A Divorce' and 'Cool Kids.' The mixture of the heavy and unusual was a hit with valley audiences. The popularity of The Necronauts first album and reputation for outstanding live shows helped them find a way to record their second full-length album Aire Fresco in 2003. Recorded in one day at the local independent music hot spot Modified Arts in Phoenix, Aire Fresco was a step toward finding another voice to compliment their, by this time, signature style. Made up of 15 original songs that were written before and during the success of their first album, Aire Fresco received praise as a 'breath of fresh air,' 'a spectacular driving album' and the unearthing of 'a gem.' With their latest release in 2004, the self-titled eight-song EP, The Necronauts have shown that they are ready to take their music to the next step. After spending time fine tuning the new songs the band was ready to get to work on what would be their best effort to date. They started off by adding a second guitarist, Carlito Demasio who has made their sound fuller and given them more range to experiment with the sound, dynamics and atmosphere created by their music.The new EP has captured the amazing live sound that The Necronauts have perfected. From start to finish, the EP is a flawless addition of hit singles to the band's already impressive catalogue of original material. At their release party for the new EP, The Necronauts arguably put together the most amazing local show in 2004. Opening up for the group were some of the most talented and eclectic local bands. By the time The Necronauts took the stage, the art space was packed with fans who screamed every single word of their songs, moved their bodies as one whole being, raised deafening rounds of applause and even came onstage to sing along with the band as they played. The group was in top form with every member of the band thrashing around with every note of every song and interacting with the loving audience for over an hour and a half straight. Before the release of their EP the band was involved in a freak car accident that nearly killed Dale Goodman, but not even a fan blade traveling through a windshield and into the chest of their drummer at over 100 miles per hour could stop The Necronauts. With their list of accomplishments, a strong following in their home state, fans up and down the west coast and a catalogue of amazing songs that would astound most musicians, fans and critics, The Necronauts are on their way to being a band that is beloved and will live on for decades. Chris Fanning -- East Valley Tribune / Tempe College Times -- 11.22.04.