T.S.O.L. has today released their new album ‘A-Side Graffiti’ via Kitten Robot Records. Anyone under 65 and over 18 will recognize the name T.S.O.L., yet have completely different music in their minds when that name is brought forth. From everything to punk to hardcore, horror, hair, and everything else involving a guitar, except maybe jazz, T.S.O.L. have been around the block for a while now. With ‘A-Side Graffiti’, that block is now a block party with a mix, mash, and mosh of everything that will put a tear in your eye and a ringing in your ears.

With ‘A-Side Graffiti’, T.S.O.L. bring 12 songs from that sick heart and soul just to let you know music is alive and well and doing what it was always meant to do.

About ‘A-Side Graffiti’

Always a band to subvert expectations and preconceived notions, T.S.O.L. remains true to their punk roots by weaving symphonic tracks like a loose cover of Louis Armstrong’s “Wonderful World” and a campy and faithful cover of Rocky Horror’s “Sweet Transvestite,” which features Keith Morris of Circle Jerks/Off fame in the role of “Brad.” Elsewhere on the album, their interpretation of David Bowie’s “Can You Hear Me?” features some of their musical friends including Frank Agnew from the Adolescents, Chip Hannah of the Trigger Complex, and Murphy from Sugar Ray. “Look, it might be a little too smooth for some of you, but maybe when you feel like being romantic, you can put this on and use it as a backdrop to some adult fun,” laughs vocalist Jack Grisham about the track.

Probably most surprising is their cover of R&B chanteuse Amerie’s “1 Thing” (the original reached #1 on Billboard’s and UK’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop charts). “Ah, the Amerie track,” he says smiling. “I love R&B, soul music, and go-go beats and this one has it all. I was sitting at home, digging the track, singing along—basic ‘boy fucks over girl’ lyrics, and then I thought. ‘Hold up. Maybe it’s not a song about a boy. Maybe she’s singing to a system of government and they been lying and fucking her over for years. Maybe the boots she puts on are laced up Doctor M’s and she’s gonna kick their fucking asses. This ain’t a love song… It’s a protest track.’ It was an easy sell to my band, and I think we did it justice.”

About T.S.O.L.

Starting in the Huntington Beach/Long Beach, CA scene in the late ‘70s, T.S.O.L. (short for “True Sounds of Liberty”) is revered in the punk community which celebrates their iconic band logo as well as the band’s wealth of punk anthems. Four decades later, the band soldiers on with no less passion or fury. “I’ve done my share of wiggling to the oldies, but shit, it can get boring,” concludes Jack. “Maybe we were supposed to do the fair circuit, that when we first got together in 1980, we were only perfect, or at our best for a few days or months, that those players with their styles were never meant to be more than that in that configuration…shit, oh well, back to the present.” Looking at his new record, he concludes, “Here’s this… a few covers, a few requests, a couple what ifs, and a why not. I hope you enjoy it.”

Featured image by John Gilhooley.