The 65’s meld raw vocals, a driving rhythm section and grinding guitar with easy to follow song structures and literary lyrics, forging a distinctive style that provides a captivating calling card. The band made up of Joe Pugsley (Guitar and Vocals), Ryan Struck (Bass and Vocals) and John Steele (Drums), formed in 2009 in Rutherford NJ. They released their first full length LP “Strike Hard!” in December 2011 via Dromedary Records. In 2013, they released “I Got You”, a 4 song EP through the newly formed Pyrrhic Victory Recordings record label/collective. In 2015, “New Fun Hell”, a digital 3 song release, found the band moving towards a more driving, punk inspired sound. Currently at work on their upcoming full-length album, The 65’s have dropped a brand new single entitled, “Wolves and Men”, which is backed by “As My Body Numbs”.
From the opening note played, in the first song, until the last note played in the latter song, this music grabs your attention and doesn’t let it go. It’s that good. Everything the band does well is distilled into one nearly perfect record. Joe’s guitar, John’s propulsive beats and Ryan’s severely underrated bass playing make for a record that sticks. “Wolves and Men” is one of the most pure things you will hear across all genres of music.
It comes out swinging like Mike Tyson and doesn’t let up. The playing is top notch and vicious and the lyrics are razor sharp. There are no tricks, the band probably sound exactly the same live. If someone told you about them and you’re thinking of buying something, start with this because it’s their best; you’ll be back soon enough.
Few modern alternative rock and punk bands, manage to produce a crossover sound even close to The 65’s. At times it is a sound packed with raw intensity, at other times it has mellower nuances with intricate melodies. A constant in all of their tracks is a sincere and genuine emotional edge in all of Joe Pugsley’s vocals.
This is the quality of The 65’s sound that other bands are unable to duplicate. The pinnacle of Pugsley’s emotional connection to the music can clearly be heard in “Wolves and Men”. Another strong point with The 65’s is that aside from the vocals, the musicians showcase their abilities as such. The songs are not just simple power chords and basic drum rhythms.
Occasionally there is a complex drum or guitar part and more often than not it goes well above the mediocre musicianship our Top 40 charts are filled with. “As My Body Numbs” is a good example of the instrumental work The 65’s are capable of. “Wolves and Men” is easily one of the primal gems of The 65’s impressive discography.