No Release Sign to Universal/Republic
Less than 12 months ago, No Release co-manager Joel Christensen called to tell me what No Release had “goin’ on,” meaning the band had label interest beyond the ubiquitous “X Records wants us to stay in touch,” or “X Records likes what they hear and wants to hear more.” I was skeptical until I heard NR’s expertly woven, albeit utterly mainstream, rock tunes. No Release weren’t simply the next Utah rocker wannabes (you know who you are and you know you suck) and now they’ve got the deal to prove it. On March 12, the band signed a two-album deal (with an option for four more) with Universal/Republic Records (home of Three Doors Down, Flaw, Shades Apart and Bob Schneider).
Recording will commence in the mountains of Weed, California with überproducer Sylvia Massy—she who shaped discs from Tool (Opiate, Undertow), Machines of Loving Grace (Gilt), System of a Down (self-titled debut, and the Sugar EP), Powerman 5000 (Tonight the Stars Revolt) and Green Jello/Jelly. Says guitarist Brian Christensen: “The record should be out this fall, followed by a tour. The people at Universal have been extremely cool and we’re absolutely thrilled to be recording with Sylvia. This is going to be a fun ride.”
The band is currently on a label-ordered gig hiatus, but expects to play Salt Lake City again in the late summer/early fall.
Used Change Name, Change Name Again, Land Spot on 2002 Warped Tour
While recording their Warner Bros. debut in L.A. and London with Goldfinger frontman John Feldmann, Utah County’s Used discovered a moniker conflict with another band, forcing a change to Something to Burn. STB lasted only a week, until the band saw a magic loophole: you may now refer to them at The Used. Drummer Branden Steineckert reports the band has finished tracking and “We’re all excited about how it’s turned out.” He reveals The Used will issue a free three-song appetizer featuring “A Box Full of Sharp Objects,” “Buried Myself Alive” and “Pieces Mended.” No word on an exact date—it was delayed due to the name issue—but Steineckert says it should be available within a few weeks and will be enhanced with video footage. Let’s hope for some puke shots from singer Burt McCracken. Move over, Gene Simmons—there’s something chunkier! The Used will hit the road this month beginning with a few dates supporting Fenix TX (first date: March 27 in San Francisco), before joining Pressure 4-5 and Earshot to cover California, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. According to Pollstar.com (read: very unconfirmed), the band will also appear on the entire 2002 Vans Warped Tour along with Bad Religion, NOFX, Alkaline Trio, Ultimate Fakebook, Flogging Molly and New Found Glory. See where a record deal gets ya?
Choice of Reign Change Name, Sound; Sign With Redline Entertainment
Choice of Reign, as many already know, is now Silvercrush. The band inked with Redline Entertainment (home of Prince and Sprung Monkey—what a combo!) last year and will release a full-length disc this spring. A three-song advance sampler, featuring “Tired,” “So Bad” and an acoustic version of “Who is Me” reveals a sound streamlined to diminish previous jammy tendencies and emphasize Steele Croswhite’s songwriting acumen and deep vox without totally dumbing-down their chops. Consider them pop-stocked and accessible. One has to wonder why they weren’t doing this two years ago, as it’s several times an improvement over C of R.