Fell From The Sun is the debut release from a new Los Angeles based
quartet led by Kendra Smith and David Roback. The four songs EP,
produced by David Roback features the original songwriting and diverse talents of the individual
members of the group. Lead singer Kendra Smith's vocals have been described as haunting and
honest. The material on the EP moves gracefully from
ballads to more exotic and hypnotic pieces. The creative guitar and organ playing of David
Roback combines effectively with the unusual drumming and percussion of Keith Mitchell. The
overall effect is a gripping full band sound that while certainly unusual in its style, still
manages to find a place in the raw and rebellious ranks of much of contemporary rock music.
Kendra Smith, age 23, first came to public attention as the co-founder and bass player of the Dream Syndicate. After several national tours and critically acclaimed records, Kendra decided to shed the constraints of the Dream Syndicate to pursue her own singing and songwriting. It was at this time in early 1983 that Kendra met and became interested in collaborating with David Roback. David, age 25, was the founder and a singer/songwriter in the Rain Parade. Kendra and David's first collaborations from this period appeared on the highly praised folk compilation album "Rainy Day". Shortly thereafter, after touring with and producing the Rain Parade's well received debut album, David decided to leave the band to pursue a band whose orientation focused more on live performing rather than studio technique.
Kendra and David decided at this point to form their own group. They began working with Keith Mitchell whose drumming with the underground band Monitor had always appealed to them. The combination was perfect and along with other local musicians they began recording the songs that appear on
Fell From The Sun. The group initially adopted the pseudonym Clay Allison
and released a limited pressing of the single
Fell From The Sun/All Souls in the British
magazine "Bucketfull of Brains". After touring the U.S. in
the spring of 1984 the band decided to no longer use a pseudonym, opting instead to use their
own names in the interest of clarity.
It would be difficult to pigeonhole this original quartet into any of the narrow and self-limiting genres of contemporary rock music. It seems clear that the group has been inspired by both the rich traditions of American and English folk and rock music, and the liberating lyricism of free form jazz and oriental music.
Fell From The Sun is a collection of the earliest
recordings by this group who will undoubtedly be hearing more from in the future.
a few excerpts from reviews:
"truly original, unorthodox music." - Bucketfull of Brains (UK)
"Brace yourself for (reveals Kendra) baroque acoustic dirges and rock & roll, influenced by everyone from the Rolling Stones to Tim Buckley to Hot Tuna." - BAM Magazine
"Kendra Smith, a young woman of simple radiant beauty." - Melody Maker
"embraces everything from folkieism to the crackling dunt of hefty metal, and they are hands-down this year's band to watch. All kinds of musical ether emerged from their set - this minute Keith was playing the floor toms with his hands while David spooled Cipollina-like frills far up into the atmosphere, then next they were crashing through a Zeppelinesque instrumental So don't be a dick. Get the record." - Byron Coley, L.A. Weekly
"Raw Power from a hot California combination fronted by Kendra Smith, ex-Dream Syndicate, and David Roback, once of the awesome Rain Parade Throw them on your turntable." - Edwin Pouncey, Sounds (UK)
Holocaust (Rainy Day) features a stellar vocal from Kendra Smith
which will chill your soul." - Music (UK)
A stunningly emotive reworking of an Alex Chilton
slice of genius. A sad, lonely sound, with a girl plaintively crying and dying over a sparse
piano background. So beautiful that it sends chills up my spine just thinking about it." -
Tibet, Sounds (UK)
"Singer/guitarist David Roback was the frazzled mastermind behind Rainy Day. His gifts are equally evident here " - Trouser Press
"And if we were sitting here talking to Joe Zawinul," explains Roback, band's (Rain Parade) principal singer and songwriter, "I would tell him what an influence he's had on our band. There's Miles Davis and Bach, that very classical thing. And there's something about those Oriental scales--it's as if you're on a wave and it captures you, it keeps you going with the drone. And that's not just psychedelic. It's honest music from another place entirely." - Musician
Fell From The Sun/All Souls. Yeah, I've heard enough snickering
from all those who think these two together--David Roback and Kendra Smith--represent the deep
end of the paisley flood, to make me hesitate about putting this on. But it's good. The A-side
is plaintive, kind of plodding and weary-sounding, but a pick me up nonetheless, propelled by
buzzing, strangled guitar that kind of pulls you up while dragging you along, like Neil Young.
The B-side is more of the wispy ethereal stuff you'd expected after hearing Rainy Day, haunting
and yes, Big Star-y. And believe it or not, it ends too soon." - Matter Magazine
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