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Get Ready To Drink The Kool-Aid With Tempest City

New York City Rockers Emerge As A Force To Be Reckoned With

Tempest City’s story is not unlike many other successful bands that came before them like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, or even MC5. With their humble beginnings in 2013, perhaps in a cluttered garage or dusty basement in Brooklyn, New York, a group of musicians got together and wanted to make real, down to earth, in your face rock and roll. This group became a band named Tempest City and for five years they worked the club scene in the New York City area tirelessly, making a name for themselves with their raucous live show and becoming one of the preeminent hard rock bands in the city.

Change, however, was just around the corner and like many things, in order to build something bigger and better, you must first destroy what was there. To grow as musicians and master their craft, artists need to be in a perpetual state of change and evolution. In 2018, the band lineup would undergo a series of changes with the departure of guitarist Vincent Degretzia and drummer Ilan Harel. Tempest City became a four piece with brothers Walter Ramin on guitar and Eric Ramin on bass along with lead singer Alfredo Venuto leading the charge. The band then recruited Chicago native Evan Walker on drums, a move that would benefit the band’s new tighter, heavier sound. In a bold move, they discarded most of their catalog to focus on new music and the future of Tempest City.

The band graciously shared their new and unreleased, single “Kool-Aid”m with the team here at Shutter 16 and it is one of the best things I have heard in quite some time. Starting out with a hard charging, distorted riff and a bit of a punk meets metal vibe, “Kool-Aid” is off and running at hyper speed. The thundering drums of Evan Walker kick in and drive the pace for Eric Ramin’s groove heavy bass lines as frontman Venuto gets in the first of many growls. His vocals are crisp and clear but also raw and unfiltered with plenty of snarls thrown in as well,  reminding me a bit of a heavier George Thorogood. Along with an infectious beat, the song also has a contagious chorus as Venuto shouts “I drank the Kool-Aid, I made my bed, I put my shoes on,” and then the whole band chimes in for a militaristic, onslaught screaming “Left, right, left!.” Guitarist Walter Ramin not only provides the crunching riff but a fiery solo as well, just enough to enhance the song and not distract the listener too much, followed by some classic wah pedal effects. What a vibe and what a song! It makes you want to stand up and get moving, taking out your aggression on whatever is in your way.  

If “Kool-Aid” is any indication of what we can expect from Tempest City, I say bring it on. Their new sound is raw and gritty with a wicked, slinking groove that will knock the listener right out of their seats. Be sure to check them out when the gale force of Tempest City makes landfall near you.  If you’re in the New York City area, you can check them out at local clubs like the Hideout in Brooklyn or the Bowery Ballroom and the Mercury Lounge in NYC. The rest of us will have to wait, patiently, for what could very well be the next big thing in rock.

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