The Danbees – Down at the Bar


The Danbees introduce listeners to their upcoming EP release The Veggie Tapes in memorable fashion with its first single “Down at the Bar”. The New York City based four piece has sacrificed none of the momentum generated by the success of their full length debut Fishnets Anonymous and this new single promises the remainder of the EP will share equal billing. Led by front man and songwriter Mark Slotoroff, the band has played their way out of the Ithaca, New York area and now lays claim to the status of being one of the hottest and most respected rock bands hailing from the New York City club scene. The band’s travels, however, are taking them further the Big Apple’s confines with well-received dates in Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and Atlantic City, among others. “Down at the Bar” lacks even a whiff of self indulgence and, instead, grabs you from the first and never lets go.

It’s the sort of rock music we need in 2018. Keep a modern sound and sensibility, turn back the clock, and latch onto the streamlined fundamentals that help the best rock music stick in the mind like glue. It’s what “Down at the Bar” is all about and even if it doesn’t say it outright, this is live fast, die young, and leave a beautiful corpse rock swagger of the best variety. The key opening every door is Mark Slotoroff’s elastic and often shattering rock power as a vocalist, but it wouldn’t reach the heights it does without a first rate band to play off. He proves to be an effective partner and foil for guitarist Shane Matthews and the rhythm section backs them up with the equivalent of a flying brick wall.


That part of the song is anchored by drummer Wade McManus. Let’s not devalue bassist Sam Enright’s contributions in anyway, he’s a steady and inventive musical partner for McManus, but the drumming has every bit of the signature quality we hear in Slotoroff’s singing. McManus shapes his performance close to the song’s needs, but he isn’t adverse to laying some highly charged fills throughout the performance and the single’s sound puts him out front in a memorable way without ever favoring the drums too much in the mix. McManus’ drumming also punctuates the percussive quality we hear from much of Slototoff’s lyrical content.

The Danbees’ “Down at the Bar” promises that the forthcoming EP The Veggie Tapes is likely going to be one of 2018’s most important indie rock releases, but the indie scene isn’t going to hold these guys for long. This is the sound of a rock band on the way up, countering all the naysayers who say the genre is an artistic and commercial dead end with songs and a sound a silent majority of music fans are, in my opinion, clamoring to hear from a young rock band. The Danbees are ready to pick up the baton and run with it right now.


Sebastian Cole