Exclusive Album Stream: Powerhouse Garage Duo HUGElarge

HUGElarge 3

2 dapper gents + 1 cocktail drum + 1 Teisco guitar plugged into a 12 watt amplifier = a great self-titled debut album.

By Blurt Staff

Call it truth-in-titling: that would be HUGElarge by Sonoma county duo HUGElarge, and it is indeed a pretty massive sound the garage/punk outfit constructs. Guitarist/vocalist Robert Malta (Pawpawblowtorch…) and drummer Matt Norelli (American Music Club…) unveil the album this week via HWY 61 Records, and our lucky BLURT readership gets to hear the complete stream of it right here:

HUGElarge features underground classics by the Sonics, Stooges, Johnny Thunders & the Heartbreakers, and Standells among others. 15 raucous raveups rendered in the band’s blistering “two-man power trio” style, as Malta himself puts it, adding, “Hugelarge is as much a social thing as a music thing.  We get together and play music to entertain ourselves and have lots of laughs.  These songs are some of the songs we’ve been playing at live shows and represent some of ours and our fan’s favorites.”

Amen to that, brutha. The album was cut at Bayview and Jackalope studios in northern Cali, engineered and mixed by Karl Derfler (Tom Waits, Roky Erickson) and is available in digital, CD and collector’s vinyl editions.

By way of backstory: When Malta was barely in his teens, he began singing in a band with older musicians, lying about his age to perform at now-legendary venues like Pandora’s Box, The Galaxie, and Bido Lidos on the Sunset Strip during the first garage wave. He shared bills with Love, The Music Machine, The Seeds, The Standells among others.  Eventually, Malta moved to San Francisco playing bass with a series of groups: The Dummy Heads (w/Penn & Teller), The SF Mau Maus, Pawpawblowtorch (with Norelli) and Bermuda Triangle Service. Meanwhile, Norelli’s history starts in the 80’s drumming for the San Francisco “skinny tie” band The Ironics. He went on to provide percussion for alt-funksters The Farmers and then playing suitcase for the lo-fi outfit The Cubists. He would become a founding member of American Music Club performing on their first two albums and touring extensively with them. At this point, he took an extended hiatus from music until he joined Pawpawblowtorch, met Malta—and the groundwork for HUGElarge was established.

Since then, the pair set out to make having fun and making a righteous racket their prime imperative, doing mostly covers along with a handful of originals, and pledging to not play outside their home turf and “always play as openers.” Needless to say, an enthusiastic following has developed since HUGElarge first commenced operations in 2005. Worth noting: the local Russian River Brewing Company created a special beer in their honor called HUGElarge Sound Czech Pilsner.

Pass me a pint, mates. Drink up, folks! And if you are digging the album stream, you might also enjoy their official video for Kinks classic “Who’ll Be the Next In Line,” below…


On the web: http://www.hugelarge.com



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