"How's this for a concept? Fuse '50s and early '60s 'doo-wop and girl-group harmonies with stripped down 70s-era punk.' Well, that's not a concept, that's the highly accurate self-description of the Late Fees, and it works wonderfully. I only wish the great majority of the clever tunes from this debut disc (released April 30, 2007) weren't obscenity-laced so that I could broadcast more of their music." - Charlie Martin, KOOP Radio, Austin, TX
The Late Fees are more of a street gang than just a band. If, instead of becoming a mad hermit and gun nut, Phil Spector continued making great records, he might have cooked up something like The Late Fees.
Fusing doo-wop and girl-group harmonies with stripped-down 70s-era punk, The Late Fees offer up short, hooky songs about first erections, car crashes, perscription drug use, and -- their favorite topic -- rock and roll itself.
Led by songwriters and guitarists/vocalists Zimmy T. and Fingers McKnuckles, The Late Fees began as a side project for two former folkies who became fed up with the coffee-house scene. Soon, the band took over all attention, and the acoustic guitars were packed away. The Fees also include the thunderous rhythm section of Hunt Stillborn III on bass/vocals and Wylie Peyote on drums, but their secret weapon is the girl vocal team of Lefty Grooves and Pammycakes. Separately, all of the Fees have made names for themselves in the music scene of their Austin, TX home base. Together, they form one giant, throbbing, musical id that both confounds and delights.
Their self-titled debut record was produced by Phil Sphinctor (Knuckles & Zimmy), along with the rest of the group at madhouse! records studio in Austin. Inspired by Spector, it was mixed in "near-mono," with only slight speaker separation. It was mastered by Jason Richards of the great Austin band, The Addictions. Guest appearances include honorary Fees Elzie Sweetcheeks, H.P., Roz Mandola, Mr. Brown, and Moxie Sillen.
** UPDATE (from madhouse! records): The Late Fees disbanded in early 2008. The original duo of Zim & Knux began recording new music under the "Zim & Knux" name in late 2009. Check out: http://zimandknux.bandcamp.com/ for updates and music by the duo behind The Late Fees.