New Jersey Stage
New Jersey Stage on social media


BIG NEWS! Here's the latest Issue of NJ Stage Magazine -- Click here

#13 The Gay Blades: Ghosts

By Gary Wien

originally published: 01/26/2012

#13 The Gay Blades: Ghosts

If there’s a list of the most creative bands to ever come out of New Jersey chances are The Gay Blades would be among the names chosen.  The band features James Dean Wells on guitar and Quinn English on drums, with both sharing vocal duties.  And that’s it.  Just two guys who happen to make loud, boisterous rock and roll, which they call “trash-pop.”  It’s a mixture of gritty guitars and dirty drums that shatters the myth that it takes three to have a power trio.  The Gay Blades are that and more.

Originally from the New Brunswick music scene from bands like Clever Hans and Hello Lovely, the duo, who both attended Rutgers University, moved to the Jersey City area and created the persona for The Gay Blades.  This includes their alternate identities (Wells is known as Clark Westfield and English as Puppy Mills); never giving straight interview answers; and inventing some of the craziest song titles you’ll ever see.

All it takes is one spin to realize the two have got something special going on.  People generally either love it or hate it, which is probably how the band likes it.  The Gay Blades are a bit like hipster indie rock; if you don’t get it, they’d rather have your seat at the bar taken by someone else.  But if you get it, you’ll absolutely love it and rave about it to your friends, as so many people did when the band played multiple shows at SXSW.

Musically, the closest comparison is something like the David Bowie of the ‘70s joining the White Stripes for a set.  Songs are often like sonic nightmares, but in a good way.  And just when you think you’ve got the band figured out, they bring out an amazingly slow, dreamy number like “Dog Day Afternoon” and continue to surprise. 

Highlights include “O Shot,” “Hey She Say,” “Bob Dylan’s 115th Nightmare,” “Dog Day Afternoon,” “NHDN,” and “Robots Can F**k Your S**t Up.”

Photo by Lucia Holm


From the book Are You Listening? The Top 100 Albums of 2001-2010 by New Jersey Artists by Gary Wien


Gary Wien has been covering the arts since 2001 and has had work published with Jersey Arts, Elmore Magazine, Princeton Magazine, Backstreets and other publications. He is a three-time winner of the Asbury Music Award for Top Music Journalist and the author of Beyond the Palace (the first book on the history of rock and roll in Asbury Park) and Are You Listening? The Top 100 Albums of 2001-2010 by New Jersey Artists. In addition, he runs New Jersey Stage and the online radio station Asbury Music. He can be contacted at gary@newjerseystage.com.

 






For more by this author, click here




More Articles You Might Like

The Black Keys Tour To Hit NY and Philly
The Black Keys Tour To Hit NY and Philly
Phil Collins to Perform at MSG
Phil Collins to Perform at MSG
NJPAC Presents Alice’s Restaurant Back By Popular Demand Tour On September 29
NJPAC Presents Alice’s Restaurant Back By Popular Demand Tour On September 29
Newton Theatre Presents The Jayhawks
Newton Theatre Presents The Jayhawks
Celine Dion To Perform At Prudential Center On March 7, 2020
Celine Dion To Perform At Prudential Center On March 7, 2020
Sara Bareilles Announces Shows in NYC & Philly
Sara Bareilles Announces Shows in NYC & Philly






Event calendar
Monday, Sep 16, 2019


MUSIC

WRINKLES @ The Saint, Asbury Park - 7:30pm


COMEDY

GREG HAHN @ Howie Mandels Comedy Club at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City, Atlantic City - 8:00pm

View all events











 
























New Jersey Stage © 2019 by Wine Time Media, LLC | PO Box 140, Spring Lake, NJ 07762 | info@newjerseystage.com

Images used on this site have been sent to us from publicists, artists, and PR firms.
If there is a problem with the rights to any image, please contact us and we will look into the matter.