The Bobby Lees are a modern embodiment of old-school Punk rock. Their new album, Bellevue, is the breath of fresh disdain-filled air that reminds us of the world’s shortcomings with its toe-tapping, funky ferocity. Serving up a big ol’ bowl of ‘fuck you!,’ the up-tempo percussion and potent basslines will immediately have you bobbing your head and salivating as you “SHUT UP AND DANCE!”
An aggressive concept album in one gloriously sleazy package, perfect for kicking off a Friday night rager! Crack some cold ones, smoke a bowl and piss off your neighbors as you bask in the bad-ass beats.
The 4 piece band, hailing from Woodstock NY, consists of Sam Quartin [vocals, guitar], Macky Bowman [drums], Nick Casa [guitar], and Kendall Wind [bass]. They have some punk legends spouting their praise including Debbie Harry and Iggy Pop, and it’s clear why. Their honest and unruly formula resonated with the mighty Henry Rollins so much so that he brought them to Ipecac Recordings where Mike Patton and Greg Weckerman chose to sign the prodigious quartet. Produced live in studio by the masterful Vance Powell at Sputnik Sound in Nashville, the finished product is going to echo in the halls of Rock for decades to come.
Sam had this to say about her musical inclinations:
“I felt like something was eating me alive inside, and I had to get it out in a creative way or die. I guess the pain of NOT doing it became greater than the fear of doing it, so I had no choice but to try.”
The freak flags fly high with these cats and when you take to heart what Sam had to say about the album’s conception, the penny finally drops:
“I used to live by Bellevue Mental Hospital in New York before I moved to Woodstock and met the band,” Sam recalls. “When I was living there, I was drinking a lot and my mental health got pretty out of control. I was hallucinating without taking any drugs, feeling like I was possessed, and hearing things that weren’t ‘there.’ I sometimes thought I was communicating telepathically with the people in Bellevue, maybe I was.…it got pretty intense and my mom was going to send me away to a long term mental hospital, but I got sober instead and I’m really grateful most of that stuff that was too much to handle, went away on its own.”
The album encapsulates that reckless sense of distorted mania in each track but rather than wallow in nihilism, it ignites a spark of hope with each slamming riff. A trip down memory lane, I found it a fun dose of insanity that reminded me of the good times as well as the harsh realities we ignore when we embrace the chaos.
The album explodes onto the scene 7 October 2022 via Ipecac Recordings. Unhinged and unfettered by modern musical standards and popular opinion, it’s bound to be one of the best releases of 2022.
Check out the tracklist for Bellvue below:
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