Thursday, August 14, 2008

Yuppie Pricks prove you don’t have to be poor to be punk...

“The Yuppie Pricks could very well be the most punk band on earth.” – The Houston Press

“Finally a band that Fox News Channel anchor Bill O’Reilly can believe in. Austin’s Yuppie Pricks are passionate about capitalism, the NRA, bombing Iraq and helping local punk rockers lead more meanigful lives.” – Austin Chronicle

Formed in 1999 by self-styled pharmaceutical business magnate Trevor Middleton (who boasts a net worth of $30.5 million) and “third-generation divorce lawyer” Deuce Hollingsworth, the Yuppie Pricks is a different sort of punk band, eschewing the woe-is-we traditional working-class punk clichés in favor of a decadent, over-the-top image and sound.

Best described as a “reverse-psychology” punk band, the Yuppie Pricks has much in common with the Buzzcocks and The Sex Pistols. Their backgrounds, bank accounts and fashion sense however, do not. Like Middleton and Hollingsworth, guitarist Preston Hetherington III is a multimillionaire stockbroker who lists among his hobbies “hunting endangered species.” The group’s third album, Balls, out now on Chicken Ranch Records further ups the ante of PC-baiting on both sides of the fence, especially in this heated election year.

As one might expect, the songs the Yuppie Pricks write range far from the usual anarchic, spleen-venting rants of the old-school punks. Instead, they remake The Sex Pistols’ “Anarchy In The UK” as “Prosperity In The USA,” complete with lines like “I am the next Bill Gates / I buy and sell real estate.” As for the group’s live performances, from McEnroe-esque gleaming tennis whites, to naked sushi-girls, to silver champagne buckets, the Yuppie Pricks surround themselves with the kind of on-stage accoutrements that reflect the highly-evolved sense of style and class that permeates everything they do. And, in so doing, the Yuppie Pricks bestow upon the common people a brief reprieve from their mundane, middle-class existence -- providing a tantalizing taste of the high-life they could never begin to afford. the Yuppie Pricks’ casually caustic chic has been featured in the pages of GQ Magazine, Austin Chronicle, Punk Planet, Maximum Rock’n’Roll, Houston Press and many more.

The original line-up also featured multimedia designer/photographer Darin Murano on drums and Hetherington on bass. The band recorded its self-produced, self-released debut, Initial Public Offering in 1999. Following numerous local gigs and an appearance at SXSW in 2003, Murano exited the band, due to a case of aggravated tendonitis. He was temporarily replaced by Ken Dannelley (ex-Stretford, Hamicks) – but it wasn’t until British expatriate Nigel Smythen-Wesson arrived that a permanent replacement was found later that year.

A return performance at SXSW 2004 followed, during which the band was courted by former Dead Kennedys frontman, Jello Biafra, and subsequently signed on with his Alternative Tentacles imprint, releasing 2005’s Broker’s Banquet. Recorded at Bubble Studios by Chris ‘Frenchie’ Smith (ex-Sixteen Deluxe, Young Heart Attack), and mixed by Mark Hutchins (Rockland Eagles), Broker’s Banquet featured a considerable upgrade in the Pricks trademark ‘posh-punk’ sound, owing to a more hard-edged rock influence, combined with the tongue-in-cheek lyrics and punk-fueled aggression of the first album.

Along with the more aggressive sound came a transition from a four-piece to a five-piece line-up, with Hetherington switching over to second guitar, and the band recruiting Ricky The Intern from the Zero Skills Employment Agency (according to his bio) on bass. With last-minute addition Trey Robles (ex-Hard Feelings) on drums, the band toured the East Coast in Spring of ‘05, hitting renowned punk-rock enclave, CBGB in New York City, as well as recording a live broadcast for XM Satellite Radio, at the invitation of Lou Brutus of the station’s Fungus 53 channel. Fungus 53 later named Broker’s Banquet one of the top 25 punk albums of 2005.

Taking an “extended vacation” in July of 2006 following a final performance in Las Vegas, NV at Rollercon ‘06, the band reunited in March 2006 and 2007 for performances at SXSW, and most recently have released an album of new material, Balls, on Chicken Ranch Records.

Quotes From The Press:
“Raucous, straight-ahead punk that says, ‘f**k you’ with the snotty arrogance that we all love to hate.” – Alt.Culture.Guide

“The Yuppie Pricks have delivered the first classic punk album of the 21st century, pure and simple.” – Ear Candy Mag

“Perhaps the coolest punk rock CD I have played in quite a while.” – Caustic Truths

“The Yuppie Pricks hold a schtick so ridiculously over-the-top, so laughably bizarre, so comically absurd that you can’t really help but take notice.” –

“Irrefutably great, catchy punk.” – Skratch

“No one is safe from the Pricks unbridled fury.” – Razorcake

“Once in awhile a big surprise comes along... this gem of a disc will get heavy rotation this summer.” – Punk Planet

“It is refreshing to know that at least one band has succeeded in making punk rock fun to listen to again.” – Rank and Revue

Balls Tracklisting:

Stream The Album HERE
Release Date: Out Now
01. Collars Up (MP3)
02. Greed Is Good
03. Donkey Show
04. Frat Cars
05. Fraternity Days
06. Fuck You, I’m Rich
07. Male Model
08. G.O.P.
09. Loser
10. Prick4life

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