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: The Sights lyrics
Eddie Baranek founded The Sights, playing with high school classmates and friends Mike Trombley (drums) and Mark Leahey (bass/vocals) who shared his infatuation with '60s pop, Motown and garage records. Their first gig as the Sights happened in July of 1998 and the band was quickly taken under the wing of the local scene, performing with more seasoned vets of the Detroit music resurgence. Baranek and Leahey were still under the age of 18 at the time, and were not old enough to remember first-hand the bands that seem to have had the biggest influence on them, including edgy late-'70s punk/new wave acts like the Buzzcocks or early Jam, and certainly not those bands' influences: British mods like the early Who or the Creation.
In late 1999, drummer Eugene Strobe came aboard, adding a raucously wild Keith Moon-like quality to their live performances. The youthful trio recorded songs for a debut album, Are You Green?, at Jim Diamond's Ghetto Recorders that same year. Are You Green? was initially released by Detroit's short-lived Spectator Records in 1999 (when Baranek was only 18) and re-released in 2000 by Los Angeles-based independent Fall of Rome Records.
After recording two singles for Fall of Rome in the summer of 2001, Dave Shettler started playing drums with the group. Shettler was the latest of a rotating cast of drummers and joined in on recording and songwriting duties for the band's sophomore full-length, Got What We Want, which was recorded in December 2001. With this, the band’s freakishly precocious ability to blend frenetic garage rock, Motown and 60’s pop into something equal parts classic and catchy got them noticed. Got What We Want was released in the U.K. a year later, garnering them nice words from both the British press ("Got What We Want is a revelation - a treasure trove of sparky and wildly immediate songwriting." --NME) and the not-so British press ("At last - a new Detroit-garage band that comes in colors." --Rolling Stone). The Sights hit the road for a year of touring both countries, including a 10-week stint sleeping inside the group’s 1991 Ford Econoline van. Every note of Got What We Want displays the band's catholic attention to the last 40 years classic pop and rock, reminiscent of The Zombies and Big Star, The Band and The Rolling Stones to mention only a few. Nate Cavalieri joined the band on organ and piano in the early part of 2002. Matt Hatch started playing bass in the band that same year.
In the spring of 2004, The Sights - now including relative newbie organist Bobby Emmett and drummer Keith Fox - caught the ear of ex-Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha, who signed them to his own Scratchie Records. And with that, the band headed back to Ghetto Recorders and recorded their self-titled third LP, The Sights (released in April, 2005). No small feat, the album combines the unobtrusive honesty of The Band with slivers of influence from The Sights’ own personal record collections: Ike & Tina, Solomon Burke, Everly Brothers, Bob Seger, Tim Hardin and all manner of raucous songwriting. The end result is an album that’s classic, not derivative—filled with swagger and deference—and ridiculously catchy. Really.
The end of 2009 harkens the next stage in the evolution of The Sights. Baranek is joined now by Dave Lawson (bass/vocals), Gordon Smith (guitar, keyboards and vocals) and Skip Denomme (drums). Early reviews of the new line-up have brought rave reviews. And the fruits of three months in the studio is the Sight’s fourth LP, Most of What Follows Is True.
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