The members of Gardens like to talk about living a sustainable lifestyle, community involvement and the virtues of frugality, but don't get the idea that they're hippies -- this Detroit-based combo plays tough, wiry guitar-centered garage rock with a strong R&B influence, an undertow of art-damaged psychedelia, and a dash of pop melodicism. Gardens were formed in 2007 by guitarist and vocalist Jeffrey Thomas and bassist Vincent Mazzola, who first met when they teenagers going to the same YMCA on Detroit's East Side. Thomas was a member of the two-piece experimental group Genders, while Mazzola (whose uncle Joey Mazzola was a member of Sponge and the Detroit Cobras) and drummer Julian Spradlin (who signed on in 2008) were fixtures on the Detroit music scene. Guitarist Matt Mueller joined Gardens in 2009, but only lasted a few months in the lineup before parting ways. Playing frequent local shows and launching low-budget tours on their own, Gardens began making a name for themselves in and out of Detroit, and released a single on the small but prestigious Italy Records label in 2009, following a self-released cassette. Another single for Just for the Hell of It Records followed in 2010, and the band attracted the attention of Bomp!-distributed Alive Records, who signed the band. Gardens went into the studio with Warren Defever of His Name Is Alive serving as producer, and their first full-length album, simply titled Gardens, was released in May 2011. One of the songs on the album, "Matt Time," was recorded during Matt Mueller's tenure with Gardens, and he rejoined the group as a full-time member in 2010. ~ Mark Deming, RoviPortions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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