The Dropzines

Be the first to rate
Dropzines’ frontman/songwriter/guitarist, Shawn Stabley, has been composing and performing melody-intensive music since he was a teenager. From 1988 to 1991, Shawn wrote, sang and played bass for the NYC alternative rock group, Dutch Provos. Late in ‘91, Shawn, along with fellow Dutch Provos’ guitarist, Tim Archer, founded The Most Sordid Pies. Rivaling a sound that’s not easily pegged, falling somewhere between such artists as Afghan Whigs, Apples In Stereo and The Pixies, The Pies, as they became referred to by fans, recorded their debut album, “Grit & Sunshine,” along side producers John Siket (Sonic Youth, Phish, Yo La Tengo) and Kramer (Shimmy Disc Records), utilizing legendary rock recording facilities, Bearsville and Power Station Studios. The gritty, yet euphonious acuity of “Grit & Sunshine” would, without a doubt, have gotten The Pies their ”just dessert” had its release not been suddenly halted by the bankruptcy of its label’s parent company, Power Station Records. Sadly, The Pies would not recover from the harsh turn of events, and “Grit & Sunshine” would never see its release date, as they disbanded shortly afterward in 1995.Later that same year, Shawn changed from composing and performing songs on the 4-string bass to a 6-string rhythm guitar, heading up such ensembles as Apartmentland, The VanAstorbilts, and The Café Racers, all of which featured his love and perfection of heavy harmony- and melody-laden pop. However, it wasn’t until 2000 that he founded his true vehicle for showcasing his music compositions. Dubbing his latest trio The Dropzines, Shawn initially invited brother, Brad Stabley, to play on drums, as well as engaged friend-of-the-family, Michael Brenneman, to fill in on bass. Shawn used the next year to compose and refine a majority of the songs that would eventually become The Dropzines’ debut, “Between Sheets and Walls.” Shortly before recording the album, Brad offered up his seat in the band to make room for drummer/harmony extraordinaire, Jason Kline, while Michael, relinquished his spot and made way for bassist Tony Romanell (formally of the punk band The Jilts).Shawn’s unabashed, heart-felt lyricism is reminiscent at times of the Replacements, Marcy Playground, and Buffalo Tom, with the Brit-style pop and melodious momentum of Cosmic Rough Riders, the Chevelles, the Thrills (westcoast), and the Posies, but with their own unique amalgam of edginess and raw underground, yet well-mixed, grungy power pop. Accompanied by the mellifluous vocal harmonies and adroit percussion of Jason Kline and the pithy, eccentric bass guitar style of Tony Romanell, The Dropzines bring you their LP “Between Sheets and Walls,” a multifarious work of rhythmic harmonies laid atop beguiling ballads of angst, loss, solitude, and enigmatic indifference …that throughout excavate and probe emotionally. The independent feature film, “29 Reasons to Run,” directed by Damon O’Steen and written and produced by Gary Weeks, is due to premiere in late 2005 or early 2006 and will feature two of The Dropzines’ songs: “At the Party” and “I’ll Take You Downtowne.” Additionally, The Dropzines recently filmed music videos for the songs “Creature Comfort” and “Endless Driveway.” The “Endless Driveway” video was shot entirely at CBGB’s in the Bowery of Manhattan on May 11th, 2005. Looking as though CBGB’s was likely to close its doors forever by the end of the summer, it seemed befitting to compile a music video from what was likely the Dropzines’ final appearance at the legendary rock-n-roll establishment (though CBGB’s is fighting to stay alive). As of October 2005, the band has gone back into the studio and begun recording songs for their second album.--Marcus van der Heyden