“Ever wonder what a traditional saloon singer would sound like backed up by a punk band? The Smoking Popes take that concept one step further: They’ve created a unique kind of music that some listeners are describing as ‘hyperkinetic tear-jerkers’.” Los Angeles Times
SideOneDummy owner and Complete Control Radio host Joe Sib has rounded the troops and put together an awesome live recording series. Much like the Peel Sessions from the early years of punk rock, The COMPLETE CONTROL SESSIONS features live recordings from all the best bands out there. The SMOKING POPES are one of the most influential bands on the scene, influencing giants like Alkaline Trio and Green Day, while giving younger bands a touchstone for melodic punk. Since reforming in 2005 after a seven-year hiatus, they remain one of the most vibrant live bands around. Metromix described their energy best, saying, “…the Popes’ guitars-to-11, speedball of a set felt like it was single-handedly saving all that is good and true in rock ‘n’ roll. By the time the band finished with a sardonic celebration of life in a punk band, I was ready to go home and trade in my old DJ gear for a Gibson SG.”
The SMOKING POPES are celebrating what will become more of a long term relationship with SideOneDummy by recording the way they sound best, live. They offer two brand new songs “Lets Call It Love” and “Hey Renée”, two classic songs “Writing A Letter” and “Grab Your Heart and Run” and a show-stopping cover of “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables. “We started covering ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ right after Susan Boyle did her version of it. We were inspired by her story, so we did it as a kind of homage to Susan. Our version starts out nice and mellow, but then the band kicks in and it becomes a Popes-style epic rocker.” Explained singer/songwriter/guitarist Josh Caterer.
Sib and company were there to capture the magic and hang out with the band. Joe also gets a chance to interview the bands for his show, which is a two hour specialty show that plays punk rock music from all eras. The show is syndicated in 10 markets including 98.7 FM in Los Angeles.
The COMPLETE CONTROL SESSIONS are released on SideOneDummy Records and are available on a limited pressing of vinyl and digitally. All of the artwork for the series is done by our friend El Jefe from El Jefe Designs. The artwork has the same aesthetic throughout the series. For all the vinyl collectors of the world: the album will be pressed on 3 colors. 1,400 black, 300 Black with Gold Splatter and 300 Gold with Black splatter. The colored versions will be sold through SideOneDummy Records’ webstore.
SMOKING POPES “Complete Control Sessions” will be available May 1, 2012. You can get more info at www.sideonedummy.com and www.smokingpopes.net .
1 Let’s Call It Love
2 Hey Renée
3 Grab Your Heart and Run
4 Writing A Letter
5 I Dreamed a Dream