You wouldn’t expect that a band with a combined age of just 31 years to prefer garage rock over the types of music favoured by most of their peers. But with a sound that draws heavily from diverse musical influences ranging from jazz organ greats like Jimmy Smith, and Richard ‘Groove’ Holmes, to punk icons Dead Boys (they opened for original member Cheetah Chrome earlier this year), The Stooges, The Screamers, The Damned, and more, these home-schooled siblings have obviously been receiving an education that is far less limited than that of kids who attend the local high school.
Archie and the Bunkers is Emmett on (drums/vocals) and Cullen (organ/vocals), from Cleveland, Ohio. They began recording music in their basement, and then going out into the wider world in 2013 with their two self-produced EPs and playing live shows in which they reportedly attack their songs with a frenetic energy that whips the audience into a frenzy.
The unique growl of Fourteen-year-old Cullen’s whirring, overdriven organ and the driving beat of Emmett’s four-piece drum kit leave gig-goers in shock at the sonic assault levied by a group made up of just two boys. As a local reviewer wrote, the boys ‘sometimes draw initial attention from a crowd because of their tender years. But their ages belie the talent and powerhouse show they put on every time they hit a stage.
Having played a number of high profile gigs in recent months, including support to The Sonics at the Beachland Ballroom in their home town this summer, these kids are scorching hot and ready to break out, not just out of Cleveland, but internationally.
‘The novelty of their ages drops away the minute they begin to play,’ says Matt Fields, manager at the Beachland. ‘These guys are frickin’ stars, man. They are total pros. The first time I saw them my jaw hit the floor. Every time they play, within two songs everybody at the bar has left their seats to go stand in front of the stage to watch and listen to them. I haven’t felt this strongly about a new band in a long time. They have no pretension, no inhibition. They are just having so much fun with the music. They are mind-blowing players. And such nice kids.’
Seventeen-year-old Emmett describes their sound as, ‘rock’n’roll that’s been peeled back to its raw foundation’. But the moniker that seems to be sticking, and the music genre that will be talked about everywhere this coming autumn, is ‘Hi-Fi Organ Punk’.
The twelve songs on their debut album, out now on Dirty Water Records were recorded at the famed Ghetto Recorders in Detroit, with legendary producer and engineer Jim Diamond capturing that unique Archie sound.
The Dirty Water Club started in October 1996 in the Tufnell Park neighbourhood of north London, at a venue called The Boston. The club's name is derived from The Standells' 1966 hit 'Dirty Water' which glorifies the US city of Boston, Massachusetts.
Past performers have included The White Stripes (voted by Q Magazine as one of the top 10 gigs of all time, Mojo one of the top 30 and Kerrang one of the top 100!), The Gories, NOBUNNY, Kid Congo Powers (from the Cramps), The Fleshtones, Billy Childish, Radio Birdman, The Dirtbombs, Thee Michelle Gun Elephant, The 22.214.171.124's, The Horrors and The Brian Jonestown Massacre to name just a few. The club has also seen some original '60s performers, such as The Monks, ? and the Mysterians, Kim Fowley, Sky Saxon, GONN, Michael Davis of the MC5 and more grace its stage.
Their in-house record label, Dirty Water Records, is one of the leading garage/beat/(real) R&B labels in the world.