Shael Riley and the Double Ice Backfire release Ultimate Songs from the Pit

It feels like yesterday that I had the pleasure of meeting Shael Riley and Ty Guenley, the masterminds behind the 8-bit indie rock band Shael Riley and the Double Ice Backfire and their newly-released album Ultimate Songs from the Pit. They had been visiting NYC to get the album mastered a year ago, thus bringing Shael and Ty in proximity to me and each other. This came not long after the Backfire’s success in funding the mastering through a Kickstarter, which gained nearly twice as much monetary pledges as the initial goal. The cash certainly didn’t go to waste: even songs from the band’s previous EP Songs from the Pit feel refreshed and immediate due to Drew Lavyne’s mastering and Ty’s mixing.

Although the process of finalizing and mass-duplicating the CD was long, Shael and Ty were hardly at rest in their music making. As incentive for the Kickstarter, the band recorded cover versions of songs commissioned by those who made large pledges; one such cover, a remake of Shael’s Castlevania homage “Juese Belmont” was posted at OverClocked ReMix. The Double Ice Backfire also contributed to albums that covered “Weird Al” Yankovic and They Might Be Giants. My favorite song from Ultimate Songs from the Pit, “Hobby Model” almost seems like a cover itself, with its refrain resembling that of Roy Orbison’s “Oh, Pretty Woman”.

Genius loves company, and so the album has a fair number of guests. Fellow chip rocker Brian Mazzaferri of I Fight Dragons shares lead vocal duties on “Bootstraps” while Schaffer the Darklord drops lines into “Publishing Rights”. Additional rhyme-spitting comes courtesy of Mega Ran on “Area Dolls” and Billy the Fridge in “Rarest of Elements”. Ricky Henry, the ‘third-ice’ in the band’s live shows, was responsible for the album artwork. Ultimate Songs from the Pit is available now at Bandcamp for streaming and as a paid download, with the lead track “How to Fire a Gun” as a free single.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baChMg0Ceuw&version=3&hl=en_US&hd=1]

Shael Riley and The Double Ice Backfire - Songs from the Pit cassette tape release


That's an unusually shaped album cover...wait! It's because Shael Riley has released his latest effort on a cassette tape! Shael Riley and The Double Ice Backfire (comprised of Shael Riley, Ricky Henry, Ty Guenly with appearances by Shaffer the Darklord and Jon Titterington) have released Songs from the Pit, and for now it is exclusively available via cassette tape (available via bitpopshop). The album is a rock oriented album covering everything from being a small time musician to an outcast nerd to a Chinese ninja warrior. With catchy hooks, heartfelt lyrics and a heavy dose of rocking live instruments this album takes a strong step back into something more reminiscent of 90s rock. A small loss of $4 will get you 1 of 100 numbered limited edition cassette tapes. I have gotten an advance copy of the album and will say that it is definitely worth the price of admission. Just get your old boombox or walkman out and crank that dial, the volume dial, and enjoy!

I will be having a full review of the album soon for those on the fence about purchasing this highly catchy and enjoyable album, so keep an eye out for that as well! Also word on the interstreets has it that some of the songs available on the cassette tape will not be available once the album is available for download or pressed to CD. so keep that one in mind when considering your purchase!