Arena Venus | Plucked

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United States - Wisconsin

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Rock: Retro-Rock Pop: Power Pop Moods: Solo Female Artist
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Plucked

by Arena Venus

Melodic power pop with infectious guitars, a wall of sound rhythm section, and sultry, streetwise female vocals - reminiscent of Blondie, the Pretenders, and early Cheap Trick.
Genre: Rock: Retro-Rock
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. Poster Boy
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3:32 $0.99
2. Red Violet
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3:53 $0.99
3. Caught Up
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3:15 $0.99
4. To Tell A Lie
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3:17 $0.99
5. Need A Reaction
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3:10 $0.99
6. Ripe
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3:42 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
After colliding at a favorite neighborhood watering hole in Madison, Wisconsin one summer evening, guitarist Dan Hicks and vocalist Courtney Collins instantly bonded over their mutual love of old-school power pop. They closed the evening with a pact to start a band that would pay homage to the bands that inspired them during their formative years, and then set about finding the rhythm section that would complement their music, which they dub "arena pop." Drummer Dave Ross entered the scene and wholeheartedly agreed to join the expedition. The lineup was completed with the addition of bassist Andrew Yonda.

Hicks' roaring power chords and classic arrangements are augmented by Yonda's melodic bass lines. Ross's precise but big beat provides the foundation for the playground that is Arena Venus. Collins ties it together with her bright melodies, contralto vocals, and multi-entendre lyrics which are usually delivered with tongue planted firmly in cheek.

The band's debut EP, "Plucked," was released in July 2003. "Plucked" has been reviewed as a "smart, catchy disc," with "gritty guitars" and "sultry, dreamy legato" vocals. Over the summer of 2004, Arena Venus took a temporary departure from power pop to record a Christmas CD. "Yuletide Swank" combines lounge, rockabilly, and traditional stylings - upright bass, vibraphone, Christmas bells, rocking guitar, organ, and smooth female vocals that make the recording both retro and fresh.

To purchase WELCOME TO CHRISTMASTOWN by Courtney Collins and Jeremy Ylviskaker, go to: http://cdbaby.com/all/arenavenus

To purchase other ARENA VENUS CDs go to: http://cdbaby.com/all/arenavenus

To purchase COURTNEY COLLINS'S solo CD, Violet Night, go to: http://cdbaby.com/all/arenavenus

And also visit www.CourtneyCollins.com and www.theBack40s.com for more music from members of Arena Venus.

"Local band Arena Venus has a secret weapon in singer Courtney Collins, whose sultry and expressive voice would sound great singing just about anything. Fortunately, she's chosen to pair it up with charging power-pop, and the resulting album Plucked radiates sheer joy." - The Onion

"Guitarist Dan Hicks throws down guitar riffs you'd expect to find on a Cheap Trick album (maybe not on the debut album... but maybe on Heaven Tonight), while vocalist Courtney Collins has that throaty, sultry Debbie Harry thang goin' on. It's a cool mix that‚s awfully appropriate considering the geography involved (Hey, Rick Nielsen's house is only, what, an hour away in Rockford?)." - DJ Hostility, Actionman Magazine

"Arena Venus could likely succeed in any genre, the elements from each of the individual players are that in tune and that cohesive." - Christine Holm, The Badger Herald

"The've got well-written, powerful guitar parts, solid drumming, durable bass lines, and a singer who has an amazing, sultry voice. The music rocks." - Saara Myrene Raappana, Actionman Magazine

"The material nods to the past but is rich in modern influence. With an almost painful grit, 'Plucked' leaves the listener feeling delightfully sleazy." - Mike Huberty, Maximum Ink

"Hicks' guitar playing is meaty and tasty, and the lyrics are smart." Rick Tvedt, Rick's Café

"One of the most exciting new bands is Arena Venus, who play gritty rock reminiscent of early Pretenders." - Kenneth Burns, Isthmus


Reviews


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CHRIS MULDOWNEY

I RECOMMEND THIS CD, AND CHECK OUT THE GUITAR WORK
HEARD THESE GUYS IN SOUTH BELOIT BY CHANCE AND THEY WERE GREAT. I RECOMMEND THIS CD, AND CHECK OUT THE GUITAR WORK. THE TRACKS ARE MELODIC BUT NOT OVER-PRODUCED. THIS IS A RARE FIND, AND THE TYPE OF BAND I HAD BEEN WAITING FOR.

The Onion

Charging power-pop!
Local band Arena Venus has a secret weapon in singer Courtney Collins, whose sultry and expressive voice would sound great singing just about anything. Fortunately, she's chosen to pair it up with charging power-pop, and the resulting album Plucked radiates sheer joy.

action man magazine

savvy radio-ready pop songwriters
The six tracks on Plucked, the CD by Madison power-popsters Arena Venus, vary in length from a lean, stripped-down 3:15 to a bloated 3:43. Such a variance (or, okay, lack thereof—stupid text media and its lack of obvious sarcasm!) in song length would seem to imply one of two things: either this band in stuck in a formulaic rut, or they just happen to be savvy radio-ready pop songwriters. In this case, fortunately, the latter is true.

Arena Venus are a songwriting duo that are rooted deep in the power-pop of the late 70s and early 80s: Guitarist Dan Hicks throws down guitar riffs you’d expect to find on a Cheap Trick album (maybe not on the debut album...but maybe on Heaven Tonight), while vocalist Courtney Collins has that throaty, sultry Debbie Harry thang goin’ on. It’s a cool mix that’s awfully appropriate considering the geography involved (Hey, Rick Nielsen’s house is only, what, an hour away in Rockford?).

The rest of what I’m guessing is a backing band (I was tipped off by the credit “additional musicians”) does their job capably. I don’t know how often the “additional musicians” play with Arena Venus, but the lack of a steady lineup may be what’s behind the only real problem I have with the recording: the songs sound a little too studio and a little less live than I’d normally like. Pop songs like this really need to be attacked by rockers you can picture leaping off their amps and powered up by a few six-packs of Sparks™ brand alcoholic energy drink. The six songs on Plucked, however, come off as a little restrained, almost to the point where you can see the individual band members in the recording studio by themselves, laying down tracks with no one to play off of. A little more chemistry between the players, and these songs could really explode out of your stereo speakers?

Still, the catchiness of these tunes can’t be denied. Arena Venus aren’t necessarily breaking any new ground, but that really doesn’t matter one bit. The tunes are fun, to the point and free of filler, which is what you should expect from good quality power-pop records. I can only expect their future releases to steadily improve from the pretty darn solid foundation right here in my car stereo (well, not right here — what, you think I’m dictating to someone in the passenger seat?).

satan165 aka bigbossman

vintage 80s rock, female version of morrissey
this band kicks ass. its great to see them live and close your eyes for a moment and listen to each layer of sound seperately.

this cd contains material previously available on the net, along with a few more. the production and engineering is flawless. this is truly a quality act