NEW YORK (www.FiveEight.com) - Rave Reviews Coming In For Self-Titled Album; Featured On VH1's 'Hear Music
First' And NPR's 'All Songs Considered'; Atlanta's 99x Set To Add Second Single To Rotation
They have gone through what would destroy most bands a hundred times - major label deals gone south, a manager's death, divorce, drugs, depression, band member departures and more - but when faced with the worst, three-piece Athens, GA-based rock outfit FIVE EIGHT has always managed to survive. Now, with their new self-titled album, set for nationwide release on August 24, 2004, FIVE EIGHT proves they have not only survived but have managed to thrive like never before.
Mixed by the masterful John Agnello (Dinosaur Jr, The Breeders, Jay Farrar) and co-produced by FIVE EIGHT and Geoff Melkonian (of the Josh Joplin Group), the 12-song recording is the band's sixth album release and first since 2000's The Good Nurse (Deep Elm), which climbed to No 16 on CMJ's Top 200 chart. For band members MIKE MANTIONE (guitar, vocals, lyrics), DAN HOROWITZ (bass), and MIKE RIZZI though, this is the first real FIVE EIGHT album ever.
"This record is much more a band record than anything we've done," shares Mantione. "No extra instruments that weren't played by us. No guitar over dubs. Everything recorded live in one room. Four years after the release of The Good Nurse it just feels like the first Five Eight album ever."
Released first locally this past May in the band's home turf of Athens and Atlanta, Ga., the album has received considerable praise and attention months ahead of its national debut. Rock radio heavy 99X first added the album's single, "Square Peg," to heavy rotation (a rarity for an unsigned act these days), and The Atlanta Journal Constitution quickly declared, "Five Eight has made one of its best albums and perhaps the most consistent and satisfying rock record of the year." (Nick Marino, May 4, 2004). VH1 then picked FIVE EIGHT as its featured "Hear Music First" artist in May, while NPR prominently highlighted FIVE EIGHT on its "All Songs Considered" program.
On the road, the band championed by fans and critics as one of America's best live rock 'n' roll acts showed they have not missed a step, and in fact, have never been better on stage. Performances at Atlanta's massive Music Midtown Festival and 99X's Upstart Festival with Polyphonic Spree and Melissa Auf Der Maur have helped fuel the demand for FIVE EIGHT as their album landed and remained on the best selling chart at Awarestore.com and more stations began to add "Square Peg."
Now, 99X is set to add the band's single "I'm Still Around" to regular rotation in conjunction with the album's release to stores.
"This is a great time to be in the band Five Eight," admits Mantione. "Anyone who has been following mine and Dan's career over the last two decades would realize rather quickly that this is the first time in our career that we are not in any way in charge of what we are doing on the business side of things but artistically, we are in complete and absolute control - probably to a flaw."
Earning the band's name unlike any other FIVE EIGHT release to date, the band's self-titled album is one moment relentless, another stark and beautiful, and altogether a volcanic amalgam of manic infused melodic rock that flows and explodes as the band delves into the darker depths of life, death, regrets and relationships.
On tracks such as "I'm Still Around" and "I Don't Give a Damn," FIVE EIGHT matches defiance and disappointment with deft melodies that harken back to the definitive Athens sound, standing firmly on the great side of pop music.
"A Man Is A Pent Up Thing" and "Square Peg," on the other hand, hit with insistent punk rhythms that pace angular guitar textures while "Bad Juices" and "Bad For Us" take a more melancholy approach, yet strike with intensity through impassioned deliveries, smart harmonies and escalating conclusions.
The album's opener, "Criminal," perhaps best sums up the journey taken on Five Eight. Tackling a person's paralyzing guilt for causing the death of a friend, "Criminal" charges ahead with a propulsive punk rhythmic vibe, and then twists and turns through evocative pop territory as it allures with distinctive countermelodies and builds to a climactic end, with Mantione declaring, "I'm so gone." But just as the next song begins, he affirms, "I'm still around." It's a segue that provides a glimpse to an underlying theme throughout the album, a question Mantione poses as, "What if your world changes so drastically that the pain overwhelms you? What do you do?"
Mantione's answer: "I play in this band." And thankfully he does.