It’s only been a few weeks since Rum Bar Records gave out the excellent ‘XOXOXO, Volume One’ sampler showcasing some of their current roster and upcoming releases, but the label is already giving away yet more music to satisfy your underground rock and pop needs.
‘Rocktober II’ features a few current bits and pieces, but in a brilliant contrast to ‘XOXOXO’, it digs much further back into the label’s history, providing a superb recap for those who’ve only just discovered Rum Bar and their family of musicians.
Following the release of their digital EP ‘All Done With Rock N Roll’ in 2017, the members of Watts took a little time out to work on other projects. Over the following two years, drummer John Lynch recorded a new LP with garage rock legends The Neighbourhoods; both he and guitarist John Blout (along with Neighborhoods man David Minehan) contributed to a great solo release from The Dirty Truckers’ Tom Baker, and vocalist Dan Kopko eventually surfaced as a member of a member of The Shang Hi-Los, a brilliant power pop band also featuring The Deadbeat 5’s Jen D’Angora. You could never accuse the band of being lazy but, on top of all of that, several Watts singles appeared digitally via Bandcamp over the course of the period. By giving fans a new track every few months, it really helped to keep the Watts legacy alive during the relative downtime.
In January 2021, The Shang Hi-Los released their debut EP ‘Kick It Like A Wicked Bad Habit’. Its five tracks showcased a great band, often showing a massive potential via the combination of Watts man Dan Kopko and The Downbeat 5’s Jen D’Angora.
The Shang Hi Los is a band that brings together the talents of various musical stalwarts of the Boston music scene. Formed in 2019 by Dan Kopko from Watts and Jen D’Angora (The Downbeat 5) to expressly record poppier material, they later enlisted Lee Harrington from The Neighborhoods on bass and Lost Cowboys drummer Chuck Ferreira. With the ultimate team of friends in place, the quartet set about raising the bar for good old fashioned power pop.