Elder statesmen of the often fractured, but secretly burgeoning Phoenix music scene, the Father Figures sound “melds urgency with intelligence, catchiness with dissonance, and sophistication with blunt force.”* Featuring Michael Cornelius on guitar, Tom Reardon on bass and vocals, and Bobby Lerma on drums they create what they laughingly call post-skate-punk, although defining their own sound is not a matter that they take lightly.
Beneath the surface, these men work feverishly to configure some of the most intricate and deftly played music coming out of the Valley of the Sun. Their first CD, Lesson Number One, debuted in February 2011 on AZPX Records to glowing reviews:
“This is…post-punk less interested in loping dub bass influences than creative restructuring of the “loud and angry” template. It melds urgency with intelligence, catchiness with dissonance, and sophistication with blunt force.” (Razorcake);
“(Considering the band’s history), it’s no surprise that the members of The Father Figures can write songs. But the album is no nostalgia trip. This is vital, urgent post-punk, with melody, heart, and, most important, soul.” (Phoenix New Times- #6 local album of 2011);
“In past outfits, these guys made names for themselves by blasting away in skate punk and hardcore bands, but as Father Figures, they’ve chosen chisels over dynamite to get to the core of post-punk, tapping angular second-wave progenitors like The Wipers and Mission of Burma as well as ’90s acts such as Fugazi, Shellac, and Tar. Favoring precision over raw power in their playing, The Father Figures employ a brainier, but no less muscular, approach to the music whose local scene they helped birth and raise.” (Phoenix New Times).
Michael was first to bust onto the early Phoenix punk scene as a member of Jr. Chemists in 1978 and went on to found Jodi Foster’s Army (affectionately known and still rocking as JFA) and Housequake. Bobby began drumming for Kluged in the early 80’s and also pounded the skins for the Voice and Jeff Dahl. Tom started playing live in the late 80’s as the vocalist for Religious Skid and went on to form Hillbilly Devilspeak, and played in the North Side Kings.
With all three members contributing significantly to the songwriting process, the Father Figures have no intentions of going “one and done.” They continue to write better and better songs and that’s good news for the lucky that are paying notice. So listen up, because your Father Figures deserve your attention.