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The Star Spangles

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Not exactly like their fashionably cool post-grunge counterparts, The Star Spangles are equally appealing when it comes to presentation--musically and personally--for these New York hood rats give enough guff and swagger a plenty with their own garage-rock sound. The Star Spangles, which is comprised of vocalist Ian Wilson, guitarist Tommy Volume, bass player Nick Price, and drummer Joey Valentine, initially came together when Wilson and Volume met in the ninth grade. The upstate small-town of Brewster was beyond boredom for the two friends and grunge had already had its way, so they decided to do something about it. They moved to Manhattan and basically starved while writing songs. They frequently borrowed amps and other instruments, for Wilson and Volume didn't own any equipment, but as luck would have it they made their debut appearance at the Gershwin Hotel in 1998. Three years later and a little fatter, The Star Spangles welcomed the Czech-born Valentine and Price, a kid from New Hampshire. On a strict diet of pizza, beer and The Ramones, The Star Spangles got their stuff together to record a single. "I Can't Be With You" was issued on the Spanish label, Muenster and shortly thereafter, the rowdy foursome impressed the majors. Capitol inked them a deal in summer 2002 and after three U.K. tours, The Star Spangles headed into the studio to work with Ramones producer Daniel Rey. The end result was the sweltering, rough-edged debut Bazooka!!!, which appeared in August 2003. ~ MacKenzie Wilson