New self-titled album out now on Howl Records at http://www.howlrecords.com. This third full-length LP finds SSM further exploring the boundaries of sound and composition. This is perhaps they're most ambitious work to date.
SSM likes to flirt. Break Your Arm For Evolution, the follow-up to their acclaimed 2006 self-titled debut, finds Szymanski (voice, keyboards), Shettler (drums, programming), and Morris (voice, guitar) further expanding their sonic horizons and fearlessly morphing genres. Recorded in record time straight to seven-track tape, the Detroit post-punk trio once again defies conventional wisdom and blazes its own trail. Break Your Arm for Evolution is not merely a title but an earnest philosophy: the psychedelic kraut rock 'n' roll of "Regenerate Your Face" transforms itself into the synth pop of "Let's Make a Baby", which metamorphoses into the indie alternative dance "Start Dancing" and quickly burst into the punk rock "Emotional Tourist", all the while challenging the traditional conventions of pop songwriting. The result leaves one with little time to catch their breath but ultimately flirts with genius.
Rock Cantankerousness And Other Moods
The kind of distortion that edges the vocals and most of the instruments on the album "Break Your Arm for Evolution" (Alive) tags SSM as garage-rock or psychedelia, and most of the songs would go nicely with a liquid-blob light show. But this three-man band - John Szymanski boards, Dave Shettler on drums and Marty Morris on guitar - doesn't stay within any particular school or era. SSM also toys with electro, progressive rock and punk-funk. What the songs share is a cantankerous rock spirit and, behind it, musings on life and death, from "Let's Make a Baby" to thoughts like "Before long you're gone, so prolong the inevitable" - which is tucked into a song called "Start Dancing."- The New York Times
Opener SSM [surprised] the crowd with an unusual and delightfully schizoid take on Motor City rock. Psychedelia mingled with kraut-rock as the avant-pop trio shifted gears with synth freakouts and odd time signatures that managed to be both experimental and accessible at the same time.- The Boston Herald
Since SSM is a Detroit garage-rock band composed of three Detroit garage-rock veterans, it's fitting that the group's second album opens with a song titled "Deja Vu." Yet not everything on "Break Your Arm for Evolution" has been heard before -- at least not quite this way.
Named for the musicians's initials, SSM can power a bluesy stomp just as heartily as the former bands of keyboardist John Szymanski (the Hentchmen), drummer Dave Shettler (the Sights) and guitarist Marty Morris (the Cyril Lords). But the trio also ventures into funk, synth-pop, glam-rock and psychedelia.
"Start Dancing" is representative of SSM's style. The song opens with pure synthetics: pings and coos arrayed against a tinny pulse. The accompaniment remains all electronic after the vocals enter, but the guitar and drums gradually take their usual place, and the tune becomes a rocker -- though the track isn't the album's most traditional one. (That would be the punky "Emotional Tourist.") "Break Your Arm for Evolution" certainly isn't technocratic enough for electro purists, but SSM can show garage-rock buffs that there's more than one way to start dancing.- The Washinton Post
Using keyboards, vocals, guitar, drums and sweet, sweet programming, SSM is out to prove that they aren't afraid to go against the grain. Chances are, they'd be more afraid to follow it.- URB Magazine’s “Next 1000”
A romp in Iggy-esque, slowed down, Hentch rock 'n' roll, the band’s overall sound is something that is catchy, groovy and danceable, all while maintaining the basic rock esthetic. Tracks like “Déjà Vu,” “Regenerate Your Face” and “Now We’re Six” are trance-inducing psychedelic jams that meet Fun House-type grooves and would be perfect for your next drug session. - Real Detroit Weekly
SSM deviate from the classic Detroit rock band mold. They have mixed garage rock with psychedelia, electric dance sounds and prog rock and come out with a unique sound…The new album sounds like Daft Punk-meet-Electric Six-meet-The Seeds, with a couple emotional ballads thrown in as well as some pop-dance tracks.- The Aquarian Weekly
SSM, play a riveting combination of electronic and psychedelic garage rock—physical proof of which can be found on the trio’s latest, Break Your Arm for Evolution.- Time Out New York
…their second album for Alive Records, John Szymanski, Dave Shettler, and Marty Morris have updated a steadfastly rigid genre with a synthetic, robot groove that bridges the divide between Detroit's storied histories of techno and garage.- I Rock Cleveland
SSM released a new album, Break Your Arm For Evolution, on Alive Records January 29, 2008.
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SSM Déjà Vu
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Déjà Vu produced by SSM, from the album Break Your Arm For Evolution on Alive Records. Directed by James R. Petix and filmed by James R. Petix, Adam Kandulski, and SSM.
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A promo clip for the limited-edition LP-1 version of Sick, produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys. Directed by Nick Hill and Rich Hansen.