Ramonda Hammer is a Los Angeles-based grunge band whose name comes from a lady featured on the early 2000s reality television show Cheaters. The show is funny and sad, kind of how frontwoman and band founder Devin Davis writes her songs. "Davis is the queen of grunge,” says KSPC. In 2017, the band caught Rolling Stone's attention, with writer Maura Johnston naming their "Destroyers" EP an editors' pick and writing "Devin Davis' knotty, unguarded wail and Justin Geter's distortion-heavy, brutally melodic riffs on tracks like the churning 'Bender' and the breakneck 'Care to Slam?' are like an alternate Nineties where L7 was the biggest band in the world." The band's rhythm section – bassist Andy Hengl and drummer Mark Edwards – turn Davis' songs into fully formed anthems: "crunchy, grungey, no-B.S. ’90s-style alt-rock” as Buzzbands.LA described it. They've shared stages with likeminded bands like Slothrust, Palehound, Priests, Potty Mouth, Colleen Green, Dude York, Pile, and were named one of L.A.'s hardest working bands by Oh My Rockness last year. In 2018, the band will reissue the "Destroyers" EP on vinyl, release an album on the New Professor label, and tour the U.S. extensively in support.
FACIAL makes the noise that cuts like a chainsaw through the thick buildup of residue in your mind, left behind by years of dealing with the dull banality of life.
They take the dead parts of your brain killed by mundane repetition and blasts it away with a pressure hose, while the low end rattles all the barnacles off your body and pounds you the way you are always afraid to ask for. Sweet melodies interchange with primal screaming as you fluctuate between comfort and discomfort, horror and jubilation, familiarity and utter confusion.
FACIAL aren’t always making sense. In fact, they have been known to not make sense at all. It makes perfect sense considering the difficulty of true communication. This is due to the subjective nature of reality, lack of attention due to mass distraction, and the fact that anything anybody does can be taken out of context and framed to be perceived in any which way you want! These are just a few factors, so imagine trying to boil down a live, complex organism, such as a band, to a concise couple of paragraphs, using words! what a difficult task!
Who wants to read anyways! What could somebody read about a band that would even peak their interest? A cute story? Their musical references and antecedents? Perhaps some affiliation with a more well-known artist? Maybe we are completely bored with words now and they have lost all actual meaning, and only the right combination of emojis will titillate interest anymore?
If FACIAL were to be represented only by emojis, it would probably be: The guy with sunglasses on, Upside-down smiley guy, and The guy with x’s for eyes. bored to death.
“What genre would you put yourself in?”
It’s a question that Magic Bronson seems to get asked often. The usual response is to throw out words like synth pop, indie, alternative, electronic but more times then not the final answer seems to be, “We aren’t really sure?” To be quite honest that’s the way Magic Bronson likes it. One things for certain. The band comprised of Michael Nicastro and Matthew Lieberman will never write the same song twice. Drawing from a large well of influences but never latching onto one sound or style the two spend a large majority of their time locked away in their studio. The band is non traditional in the sense that they don’t jam to write songs. Each member has their own recording set up and it works in a variety of ways. Often times Nicastro will have a beat he’s working on and Lieberman will come play bass and add some lyrics or Lieberman will bring in a beat with lyrics and Nicastro will strip it down and build it back up into something even better. Its a constantly evolving process that allows the duo a chance to have unique and different sounding songs while still keeping it Magic Bronson.
It’s been nearly 2 years since the release of Magic Bronson’s debut full length “Wildlife” which spent 7 weeks on the CMJ Top 200 and has racked up over 800,000 plays on Spotify. The album also saw a steady steam of TV/Film placements with songs featured in “Graceland” (USA Network), “You’re The Worst (FX), DICE (Showtime) and in the feature film “Certain Women” (starring Kristen Stewart & Michelle Williams) which premiered at Sundance Film Festival in January 16’
Magic Bronson spent 2015 writing and recording eventually ending up with around 20 demos. After bringing those demos to producer Mike Malchicoff they ended up with 5 brand new tracks that became the Magic Bronson EP released April 2016. KCRW named “Hell With A Water Pistol” their track of the day and Kevin Bronson of BuzzbandsLA gave high praise calling the EP "five bass-propelled songs with rave-ready production, surprising twists and clever lyricism.” 2016 also saw the band expanding to a 3 piece with drummer Michael Brown which helped land them the coveted Monday night residency at The Satellite in Silverlake as well as a spot at the Echo Park Rising Festival. The band finished up 2016 by releasing the single “What a Week” which was featured in the Kendall & Kylie Jenner Holiday Ad for PacSun and had their song “Rider Rider” in the Spotify 2016 Holiday Ad that was featured in 24 different languages worldwide. Their new single “Nervous” premiered on Billboard.com and the band is currently in the studio with producer / mixer Will Brierre (Xylo, American Authors, Walk The Moon) working on a new full length record.
DOWN TO FUN AND CAN'T SLOW DOWN
You could say the last few years have been a bit interesting for Easyfriend frontman Eric Brown. After realizing his dead end job was killing his creative energy, Brown decided to change things up a bit. In September 2013 the singer / songwriter turned in his drudging day job for a 100 sqft Lazy Daze RV, shifting his complete focus to creating and sharing his art.
Over the next two years, Brown blazed trails from coast to coast, playing over a hundred shows and building solid touring routes through the Southeast and Texas. All of Easyfriend’s tour support came from daily street performing. His unique model of living and touring, allowed Brown to become a full time artist and focus on building a connected fan base through real and creative engagement. In January of 2016, Brown wrapped up his 2 year adventure with a series of shows in Los Angeles.
Back in LA for only a few weeks, Brown was viciously attacked while street performing in a Hollywood subway station. He escaped the scuffle with a black eye and a bruised ego, but his vintage Martin guitar wasn’t so lucky. One of the 3 attackers had smashed Brown’s prized possession during the altercation. He had clearly reached the culmination of this part of his journey, and now something needed to change. The last two years had been whimsical and inspiring, but lacked an infrastructure to move the project forward. With his head down he cascaded through a rush of inspiration, where all of his journey found its way through pen to paper. The result was 10 completed original songs in under 2 weeks.
Shortly after this burst of creativity, Eric was introduced to engineer/producer Matthew Faulkner. There could not have been a better match. With only a few days between meeting and starting the recording process, 16 days later the album was complete. The rest of 2016 was spent developing the live show and diving deep into the bustling music scene in East Los Angeles.
Easyfriend has since played sold out shows at all major East Los Angeles venues including, The Satellite, The Echo, The Hi Hat and Resident. Brown and Faulkner have also thrown a handful of secret destination shows, providing transportation, meals, visual art, workshops and live music for their patrons.
Easyfriend’s debut album “Gaunt” is slated for release Fall 2017 via BETAWAVE Records. The record release is set to be a very intimate and cinematic experience. All 10 songs on the album will have an accompanying music video in which the viewer will travel alongside Eric as he blazed those original trails three years ago.
Ingenuity and creativity have kept the Easyfriend journey moving since its inception. Brown has no thoughts of changing that sentiment now. Whether through relentless touring or floods of quality creative content, 2017 will be an exciting year for Easyfriend.
DJ Kenny G (of Goon)