New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
With the COVID 19 pandemic swelling America's ranks of the unemployed and millions of low-level workers being faced with the dismal prospect of a more or less forced return to work in less than safe and optimal conditions it seems like the time is right to revisit the work of Austin, Texas
band The Service Industry.
The Service Industry
is fronted by Kansas City transplant Mike McCoy (Cher U.K) on lead vocals with Julie
Lowery on occasional lead vocals, backing vocals and percussion. Andy Thomas
shares guitar duties with Robbie Araiza (The Wayouts), and Lowery's significant Hunter Darby (Wannabes, Diamond Smugglers, Shoulders, Hickoids) plays bass alongside Travis
Garaffa on drums to hold down the rhythm section. This bunch of lifers coalesced at their shared workplace, Austin's now defunct Dog & Duck Pub, where they were employed variously at one point or another as bartenders, cooks or handymen in the ongoing effort to support their rock'n'roll habits while making a living. What began as the routine sniping and comedic bitching associated with restaurant work took on a life of its own in the form of the band and a message that transcends their own experience.
The band recorded four full-length albums with producer James Stevens
in a little under five years 'Ranch is the New French' (2006 Build Gut/Sauspop), 'Limited Coverage' (2007 Sauspop), 'Keep The Babies Warm' (2008 Sauspop) and 'Calm Down' (2010 Sauspop). Though inactive for most of the past decade outside of a few reunion shows, they released a new single 'I'm on My Way' b/w 'Winter is a Submarine' on Austin's Flak Records at the end of 2019.
Current events show the band's work to be especially prescient. While there is plenty of inside joke snark there is also ample thoughtful and informed vitriolic lyricism dealing with income inequality, immigrant labor, the general lack of respect shown common workers, corporate greed and the devolution of America
cast against a varied musical backdrop encompassing Heartland
Power-Pop, rootsy ballads, sleek-ish indie pop rock and obtuse punk tinged with psychedelia. It seems like the right time to revisit their catalog with this digital-only retrospective. They deserve a first, second and third listen.
'Entry Level Positions' is available now via Bandcamp (along with the rest of their back catalog) and rollout on all major streaming platforms to follow.