Blistering lead guitar burns in the forefront while a determined rhythm section bang out a bracing wind of high octane, hard driving, muscular rock. – Bill Copeland Music News review of The Self-Proclaimed Rockstars‘ latest album Postcards from Purgatory
“The Self-Proclaimed Rockstars recently released this high energy rocker CD Postcards From Purgatory. A Wakefield, Massachusetts-based power rock quintet have come up with nine hefty, uptempo, turbo charged tunes. The band members are Johnny Malone – vocals and Synth; Mick Greenwood – guitar and vocals; Ryan Savary – guitar and bass; James Hogg- bass and guitar; and Stephen DeBenedictis – drums and bare feet.
Self-Proclaimed Rockstars bring rock and roll back to its era of explosive energy and serious drive. Opening with “Suburban Kingpin,” these boys waste no time unleashing their edgy guitar rock sound. Blistering lead guitar burns in the forefront while a determined rhythm section bang out a bracing wind of high octane, hard driving, muscular rock. Lead singer Johnny Malone has a cool, drawling vocal and he belts it out with gusto.
“Haymaker” takes its time paying out a hard rock groove. The guitar skims the surface of the rhythm so lightly to give off a distorted undercurrent. This keeps the intensity boiling just below the surface and that makes it more dynamic. As vocalist, Malone shows his smoother side and he graces the lyrics with a hip, modern croon.
“My Crazy” gets its muscle from its skittish guitar rhythms and its definition from its penetrating lead. It is amazing the dissonance these guys get from briskly rubbing those guitars up against each other. The lead guitar often has the nervous tension of a high wire act. The sound keeps you on the edge of your seat wondering where they’re going as their song races forward.
“Whisky” is pure, driving power rock. Malone adeptly handles verses that wrap tightly around a bumpy groove. Playing in such a locked in rhythm, Self-Proclaim Rockstars knock this one out of the ballpark with a ride everybody will want to go along with. “No Faith” is another of these pure energy, driving rock tunes. The bass and drums bump things a bit more and that gives the tune more a distinguished lift.
Malone and the boys get down and funky on the irresistible, beat driven “Pretty Baby, Dirty Momma,” a tune crafted to make people want to follow the hip twists and turns in the lyrics and groove. It is amazing how much mileage these guys can get out of a head bobbing rhythm.
“No Purple Hearts For Self-inflicted Wounds” may be an unusual song title, but the song rocks right out. The dual guitar approach of this band is in full-throttle and on fire. There are guitar spikes inside the guitar rhythm that already has the song layered with pure dynamite.
“Fallout: Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love Purgatory” may be another lengthy, eccentric title, but it’s also another kick ass song. Drummer Stephen DeBenedictis hammers out a persistent aggression here, and he moves the song forward with a variety of rolls, fills, and cymbal work. The lead guitar phrase is incisive as a laser beam and you can almost picture the guitarist disintegrating people science fiction with his high frequencies.
Malone mellows out enough on “A Cold Sleep” to show how much character he has in his vocal approach. He has something that goes way beyond just his tone and timbre. It’s in how he uses his self-restraint to march the band up several notches in intensity.
A hidden bonus track features Malone changing his expressions to a low down drawl while the players behind him put their sophisticated stamp on modern rock idioms. Eerie synthesizer melody fills the backdrop with goofy fun, showing the Self-Proclaimed Rockstars can play with excellence without taking the whole thing too seriously.”