People soon began flocking to their shows. After radio stations began airing "Listen to the Charms," an EP made on the fly last year, the band picked up fans faster than it could book shows. On the disc, the group sings about such weighty fare as partying, getting ready for the weekend, and crashing the boys room. [Ellie Vee]'s sassy, bubblegum snap of a voice, [Joe Wizda]'s wickedly delicious lead guitar, keyboardist Kat Kina's swirling Farfisa organ fills, and the solid-but-swinging rhythm section of Dennis Burke (drums) and Pete Stone (bass) suit the material perfectly.
It's not every dad who digs going to Ramones concerts with his kid. But as far back as Suspect Device singer-guitarist Jason Bennett can remember, rock `n' roll was as much a staple in the Bennett household as food and water. "I grew up with the Stones and the Who and old blues records being played constantly," Bennett remembers. "I knew how to work a record player before a television. I'd be 5 years old and my babysitters wouldn't let me touch the records and [my parents] would say `no, it's OK - he knows how to do that.' " When punk exploded onto the music scene during the 1970s, Bennett was immediately hooked. "I thought `this is sort of like the Stones, the Who, the Yardbirds and the Kinks, but the bands are faster and angrier - and they swear!"/ Bennett was particularly impressed with the political lyrics of punk groups like the Clash and the Dead Kennedys who fused scathing social commentary to a furious sonic onslaught. It's an approach that Bennett wanted to emulate when, after years of being a sideman, he decided to stake out his own punk outfit with lead guitarist Matt Walsh, bassist Chris Figueiredo, and drummer Josh Bloomer.
"That's something that we talked about," says Bennett, who wrote the songs that make up the band's blazing debut album, "Boston Massacre." "I want people to come see us and have fun, but I want them to be able to take [the CD] home and read the lyrics and go, `Wow, they're talking about something here.' " The album, originally released on the Medford-based PigPile Music label, is now back in the hands of Suspect Device (the CD is available through the band's Web site and at www.cdbaby.com). Bennett says several labels outside of Boston have already expressed interest in re-releasing the record and signing the band for its next album. No wonder people are taking notice. The dozen tracks on "Boston Massacre" - many with self-explanatory titles such as "Gangland," "Empty Slogans," and "Small Rebellions" - all speak to classic punk themes: cycles of violence, fear, apathy, political hypocrisy, shrinking opportunities, and diminishing returns. "I have a microphone plugged into my face and I have a roomful of people in front of me," explains Bennett. "I can either say something that makes them think and maybe gives them some hope and gets them to get off their ass and do something, or I can say nothing. Presented with the opportunity, I would rather say something." Contact them at: suspectdevice.homestead.com