Grabass CharlestonsView in iTunes
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To paraphrase the old jelly manufacturer's slogan, with a name like the Grabass Charlestons, it has to be good...or, at the very least, entertainingly silly. This goofy pop-punk trio from Gainesville, FL, is every bit as cheerfully vulgar and unapologetically giggly as their name, backed up with a solid line in the sort of straightforward pop-punk that made Lookout! Records famous. Formed in the northern Florida college town of Gainesville in 1999, the Grabass Charlestons consist of singer and bassist Dave Drobach, guitarist PJ Fancher (pronounced "peej," not as in Ms. Harvey), and singer and drummer Will Thomas. The Grabass Charlestons signed to Gainesville's pre-eminent pop-punk label, No Idea Records, in 2003. The band's first release was a split CD with another Gainesville punk band, Billy Reese Peters, that also features Fancher on guitar and Thomas on drums. Although released in early 2004, the recordings on this split CD were already several years old, dating from 1999 through 2001. It was followed almost immediately by the Grabass Charlestons' proper debut album, The Greatest Story Ever Hula'd, which was recorded in 2002 and 2003 and features a rocked-up cover of Tom Waits' "Cold Cold Ground" amid the originals. The Grabass Charlestons' second album, Ask Mark Twain, was released by No Idea in the summer of 2005. ~ Stewart Mason