Gil Mantera's Party DreamView in iTunes
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Taking the shiny textures of 1980s electronic pop and scuffing them up with a dash of garage rock attitude, plenty of "party down!" antics, and an inarguably remarkable retro fashion sense, Gil Mantera's Party Dream is the brainchild of two brothers from Youngstown, OH, Gil Mantera and Ultimate Donny. The band first came together in Youngstown on New Year's Eve 1999; a friend had booked a show with several out-of-towners at a local rock club, but a snowstorm sidelined the lineup, and scrambling for performers, he asked the brothers if they could come up with something. With help from a friend, they threw together a joke band called Party Talk, playing retro '80s-style dance music and (according to Donny) "pretty much making jackasses of ourselves." The show went over big, and a few months later Party Talk returned to play a CD release show at the club, despite the fact they had no CD in the works. With the departure of the third member of the group, Party Talk evolved into Gil Mantera's Party Dream, and while the duo gained a powerful reputation for their anything-goes live shows (which included leaping on trampolines, occasional costume changes, destroying furniture on-stage, and invading the audience), their music also grew and changed, with the vocoder-fueled electro-beats betraying an admirable sense for pop hooks. The group released their first album, Once Triangular, in 2004, and the following year the brothers were signed to Audio Eagle Records -- run by members of the punk blues combo the Black Keys and distributed by Fat Possum. Bloodsongs hit record stores in the spring of 2006. ~ Mark Deming