For the past 40 years, Kiss and AC/DC have largely been churning out the same general sound with minor tweaks and filling arenas and stadiums in the process. That’s a fairly impressive feat, but it pales in comparison to the dedication and passion of The Fleshtones, who have followed a similar blueprint for nearly as long with little more than a cult following and small club tours to support their scuzzy and infinitely entertaining Garage Rock explorations.
The Fleshtones made their debut at CBGB’s in spring 1976, ultimately becoming regulars at the iconic club, as well as Max’s Kansas City and Club 57. After their 1979 “American Beat” single came the Up-Front EP, the band’s first for Miles Copeland’s I.R.S. label, which was followed by four brilliant albums. After I.R.S. folded, The Fleshtones recorded for various labels, touring constantly with no monetary support.
Yep Roc signed The Fleshtones in 2003 for their triumphant return, Do You Swing? Punctuated with fuzzy guitar blasts, waves of Farfisa organ, wailing harmonica and classic ‘60s backing vocals, The Fleshtones have remained with Yep Roc ever since
But the band’s most recent release — and the reason for their current tour dates — is the three-way split Halloween album, Mondo Zombie Boogaloo, which also features spooky tunes from Southern Culture on the Skids and Los Straitjackets. Southern Culture won’t join the tour until Tuesday, but The Fleshtones and instrumental Surf monsters Los Straitjackets are more than enough to provide the Southgate audience with a frighteningly good time.
THE FLESHTONES play Saturday, Oct. 19 with Los Straitjackets at Southgate House Revival in Newport. Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here.