Towards the end of last year, I was approached by musician Tom Underwood, asking if I’d be interested in doing the liner notes for a new CD (expanded single) that his band has scheduled for release around Spring of next year. Without hesitation, my answer was; “Yes”. I have been exposed to the band and knew their music for some time. When going into more detail about this writing assignment, Tom added that I would be limited to about five hundred words, give or take. This made it more a personal challenge. For a lot of what I author on a semi-daily basis, easily exceeds that word allotment. The reason for the limitation Tom explained was due to what was planned as far as the printing of the actual CD booklet that would come with the physical CD. The band wanted a single page fold, so when you opened the CD single, one could pull out the cover insert and open it up to reveal a page in which the liner notes would be. After saying OK, I said I’d start to work on it soon, after bouncing some ideas around as to what I was going to say. Tom thanked me, smiled, and it was a done deal. I thanked him as well for considering me for the job. A couple weeks later on a beautiful Houston Saturday afternoon, we got together at his home. While eating a delicious meal along with Tom’s wife/bandmate Kathie Muncy-Underwood, we further discussed the plans for the up and coming five-song EP.
Photo: Generation:landslide! in concert at the Last Concert Cafe in Houston Texas. Pictures left to right: Tom Underwood_Kathie Muncy-Underwood_Charles Zittle on drums_Sellers Thomas.
Weeks later, I submitted my over six hundred words to Kathie. All was fine. We went from Fall of 2015, to the start of Spring in 2016. Then one chilly day in the great State of Pennsylvania, I receive a padded envelope containing the newest Generation:landslide! release, entitled: Carousel. A just under thirty minute CD EP, containing 5 new songs, with the last track being an instrumental, called; One Dead Rose. A group composition, while the other four tracks, all written by Tom and Kathie.
Generation:landslide!, a five piece band out of Houston Texas. Mister Underwood is a guitarist and does lead vocals, while his wife Kathie plays bass and does lead vocals as well. A two guitarist band, Tom is joined by Sellers Thomas, who makes his debut here on lead vocals, with the song; Watch The World Die.
On drums, Mr. Charles Zittle. One of a kind. As I say in the liner notes, his style of drumming I find akin to Alice Cooper’s; Neal Smith. That’s “Uncle G” high praise there. The Generation:landslide! catalog is filled with amazing drums beats. I witnessed Charles play on several occasions. The man’s a natural behind the drum kit. As with Neal Smith, if the name is new to you, or perhaps you have only seen it misspelled in a syndicated PR story, the man is a rock n’ roll legend. For the record, from here on out, the correct spelling of his name: NEAL Smith. I, Gary “Uncle G” Brown can be quoted as saying it’s cool to buy any song/album with Neal Smith’s name on it. Plays different styles, while never forgetting he’s a professional rock n’ roll drummer. Always plenty of bang for your buck! And directed to the newbies, check out the Alice Cooper song, Billion Dollar Babies. Focus on the drumming. Your only thoughts should be after hearing that song, played very loud, but not distorted, is that was fu*king incredible, and that Neal Smith pounding the skins, RULES! After that, feel free to dig into the rest of his work (drummer_guitarist_singer_songwriter), and you’ll find out quickly, I’m NOT wrong.
And then there is the keyboardist, Mr. Alan Cunningham. For those unaware, Generation:landslide! didn’t always have a keys player. My first time seeing Alan perform with the group was when they played the House Of Blues (Houston) on my birthday, back in 2014. No secret I’m a fan of piano/keyboard playing. For myself, I think the additional added layer(s) of sound, opens more doors than a rock band like Generation:landslide! can go through. In my opinion, they found the right person in Alan, to do just that with.
Sneak Peek: Here’s the first paragraph of what I came up with, used as liner notes on Generation:landslide! NEWEST studio release, the EP; Carousel. For the rest of what I said, please support the band, and buy the actual CD, so you can read the liner notes for yourself. As for those who rather not and is more interested in downloading, the MP3 version is cool as well. Either or helps pay the bills, in which I’m sure the band is very appreciative.GenerationLlandslide! – Carousel (2016)
“Generation:landslide! A band that co-founder Tom Underwood explained to me one fine Saturday afternoon as being akin to something that should be locked up at a top secret military facility like Area 51. A remote detachment of Edwards Air Force Base, within the Nevada Test and Training Range, and studied thoroughly. Then the both of us shared another bowl, laughed and decided that being dissected was a bad idea because not only might it hurt some, but then only a selected small group of people in white coats, would then know about the Houston Texas (USA) based band, inside and out. How fair is that we pondered. What about the rest of the world?”
Uncle G’s Closing Remarks
It’s almost the last paragraph (that you have to purchase the physical disc to find out) where I describe Generation:landslide! as; “…a Houston based psychedelic, garage power-pop group…” In the above paragraph I just quoted from the liner notes, three words in particular, jump right out at me; “…shared another bowl…”. If I was the reader, and not the author, I would assume that was referring to, a bowl of marijuana. Saying someone is 420 friendly in 2016, isn’t as bad as outing others and yourself, as being pot smokers, forty years prior. Word got around to the wrong person back then, and here comes Sargent Stadanko and the boys. May I safely assure everyone, that it isn’t like that. And so there is no misunderstandings, let me explain exactly what I was referring to when I typed, those three words. It was, a big bowl of … peanuts. Charles like peanuts as well. Ends up we shared many a bowls on many occasions. I can’t say Kathie and Sellers do. Last I heard, Alan was said to be allergic, and could not be anywhere near peanuts. Oh well. Sorry Alan. More for those who can indulge! And if you haven’t already, pick up Generation:Landslide! – Carousel. I thank you, as does the band. And keep an eye out, for whenever there is Generation:landslide! news to report, ClassicRockRadio.co.uk / yours truly will be right there with the details. Nevermind the fact if I had too much … peanuts … or not!
Important Generation:landslide! Web*Links
Generation:landslide! Carousel EP produced by Steve Bundrick & Generation:landslide! – Recorded at Bundrick and Sons Studio in Houston, Texas, USA.