Friday, September 16, 2016

The Rousers at Parkside Lounge

Guitarists/vocalists Bill Dickson and Tom Milmore played together in high school bands while living in Weston, Connecticut. Dickson relocated to New York City for art school of Visual Arts, while Milmore drove a van for a living, took audio engineering classes, and played bass in a band. Reunited later on, they formed the Rousers, a garage band with a touch of rockabilly, in New York City in 1977. The band played the local punk circuit. Also in 1977, the band was asked to appear in a low budget exploitation film, Punk, shot on location at CBGBs; the film was never completed, but the band got studio time and recorded its first song. "Twanged If I Do, Twanged If I Don't." The Rousers split in 1982, but reunited briefly from time to time in various formations, and recorded an album in 2002, Playing The Rock and Roll For You. The band presently consists of Dickson, Milmore, bassist Brett Wilder, and drummer Sal "King" Capazucca.

The Rousers have returned to the local circuit, and tonight performed at Krebs' Endless Party monthly series at the Parkside Lounge. While Brooklyn majored in turning out radical indie bands, the lesser-magnified Manhattan club scene gravitated to a no-frills brand of garage-guitar rock and roll, and the nearly 40-year-old Rousers were already there. Recalling mid-1960s low-fi bands, the Rousers played an uncluttered formula which capitalized on 4/4 rhythms leading to harmony-driven choruses and/or husky lead guitar leads. Safe and simple, this almost retro-sounding music went back to the foolproof basics, and did  it well.

Visit the Rousers at