Hailing from New Orleans, Pleasure Club is James Hall (vocals, guitar), Grant Curry (bass), Marc Hutner (guitar), and Michael Jerome (drums); their sophomore release “The Fugitive Kind” will restore your faith in Rock Music.
From soaring energy to reflective melodies, Pleasure Club’s music builds on the roots of old school rock and roll ranging from Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust to the Rolling Stones “Exile on Main Street.” Recorded in the Louisiana bayou with producer Ethan Allen (Tricky, Throwing Muses), the twelve sonically rich, tightly wound tracks on “The Fugitive Kind” soar and rumble, but it is heart and enduring hope that make up its core.
With well-earned critical acclaim for their sensational live shows, Pleasure Club is a band that you will tell all your rock loving friends that you discovered.
“Shame on you my sweet, dear music industry. Why have you not embraced Pleasure Club yet? Put your Halo 2 game on pause for a few hours and check out one of the greatest live bands on the planet. The volume and magnificently controlled chaos was nearly overwhelming, causing eardrums to rupture and souls to be shaken. This band is the real fucking deal.”
100 Bands You Need To Know In 2003 :: “A band with equal parts soul, sleaze and psychosis. [Their music] burns with grooves, spiky guitar clang and Apollo Theater-style soul.”
– AP (Alternative Press)
Join the Club :: To make an utterly urban album, the Pleasure Club convened in the country. In January, the Club’s four members — vocalist James Hall, bassist Grant Curry, guitarist Marc Hutner and drummer Michael Jerome — holed up in Curry’s north shore studio workshop for two weeks. Tucked into a remote Acadian-style cabin along the pine-studded banks of a brown river, the studio occupies a small second-floor space. Extra electrical outlets for amplifiers hide in a bathroom cabinet. The ceiling of the closet-sized vocal booth slants with the roof’s pitch. The cozy control room is sound-proofed with 10,000 pounds of lead sheeting. “I don’t want to bug the neighbors,” Curry said. “This is paradise out here.” The musicians sequestered themselves away from friends, family and city life. As they adjusted to communal country living, Curry orchestrated family-style dinners. The band warded off cabin fever with bouts of Rock ‘n’ Roll Jeopardy; “Styx” was a popular response. But mostly, they channeled their pent-up energy and camaraderie into music. With the guiding hand of co-producer Ethan Allen, an alumnus of Daniel Lanois’ Kingsway Studio now based in Los Angeles, they focused on sculpting their new “The Fugitive Kind.” Released on Tuesday, “The Fugitive Kind” is a worthy successor to “Here Comes the Trick,” the Pleasure Club’s 2002 declaration of independence, resolve and renewed purpose. They’ll celebrate with a CD release party Saturday at the Howlin’ Wolf. “Along with the disadvantages (of recording and living together in the country), there are greater advantages,” Jerome said. “Focus is No. 1, knowing that it’s put up or shut up. We can second-guess stuff we’ve had in our hearts for years to come, or we can just get in, put it down, take that photograph of it right then and there, and let it be what it is.” “The Fugitive Kind” is the second scene in Hall’s second act. In the mid-’90s, he released an independent album for Indigo Girl Amy Ray’s Daemon Records, followed by an album for major label Geffen. Geffen proved to be a bad fit, and Hall found himself pressured into a bad case of writer’s block. His band splintered, and he and Geffen parted ways. Time passed, emotional wounds healed, and Hall and Curry, the only holdover from the original band, renewed their creative partnership. The two New Orleanians built a new alliance with Hutner and Jerome. This time, it would be a band effort under the Pleasure Club moniker, inspired by the project’s New Orleans pedigree and the decadent sheen that swirls around the music. The quartet’s debut, “Here Comes the Trick,” was the best New Orleans rock album in years. The band backed it with extensive touring, establishing their new identity with blistering performances of barely contained chaos, including a memorable set at the 2003 South By Southwest Music Conference in Austin. “The Fugitive Kind” picks up where its predecessor left off, opening with “Hey! Hey! Hey!” a blast of coiled energy dispatched with precision. The Pleasure Club can muster the same rawness as the Strokes and Jet, but with more diverse and sophisticated references. Bits of AC/DC, the Cure, Echo & the Bunnymen, Depeche Mode, the Psychedelic Furs and David Bowie flash by. If Jet is OzzFest, then the Pleasure Club is Lollapalooza. “On earlier records, I don’t think I had the ability to do as much gear-shifting,” Hall said. “We’re blending a lot of influences on this record. You take the flat-out rock of ‘Hey! Hey! Hey!’ which sounds like a band barreling down an interstate just about to fall apart, and feed that into the cosmic funk of ‘High Five Hit Me.’ Then move on to the glitter aspect of ‘Streetwalkers Anthem’ and on into the almost Latin-flavored glam of ‘On Holy Land.’ The scope is more realized than earlier attempts.” Listening to “Here Comes the Trick” alongside a Sly & the Family Stone album at a party contributed to the new album’s fatter groove. “I wished that ‘Here Comes the Trick’ had the pulse that Sly Stone’s albums had,” Hall said. “One of the brilliant things about Sly’s albums is that they work just as well as background party music as they do one-on-one, sitting in a car and listening to it. That’s something that I was hoping for on ‘The Fugitive Kind.’ ” “The Fugitive Kind” takes its title from a Tennessee Williams play turned into a movie starring Marlon Brando. The seamy underside of glamour is again a favorite Hall lyrical theme, coupled with superficiality and desperation. Characters are underdogs on the run, haunted by a specter they cannot shake. The musicians discussed conjuring a “darktown strutters’ vibe” on what would be a “dark party record with a pulse to it,” Hall said. “(Lyrics) tend to focus on themes of addiction, insanity, shallowness, people looking for the next quick fix, the loser who’s always reaching for the sky just to surrender. I’ve said before and I’ll say again: As much as I don’t want that happening in my life, I find it an excellent source of subject matter.” The release of “The Fugitive Kind” is a joint venture between the band’s own Purified Records and Atlanta-based Brash Music, a new venture by Mike McQuary,the co-founder of Internet service provider MindSpring. Brash reissued “Here Comes the Trick” in 2003, bound together with a concert recording from the Howlin’ Wolf dubbed “Live: Out of the Pulpit.” The Pleasure Club has plotted an ambitious campaign to promote “The Fugitive Kind.” A Southeastern tour kicked off this week and will continue after Saturday’s homecoming show. This summer, the band visits the Northeast, the Midwest and the West Coast. “We’re going to put ourselves to work,” Curry said. “It’s all hanging by a thread, but that thread is proving to be fairly strong.”