Rock democracy: Mattapoisett musician's band releases third album
On a frigid night in Mattapoisett, the three men of the rock group Huxster are warming up their vocal cords in preparation for the release concert of their third full-length album.
Composed of Mattapoisett resident and G. H. Dunn Insurance Agency President David Dunn on bass, Joe Patten of Carver on drums and Paul Amenta of Wellesley on guitar, the group started out as a studio project in 2007.
“It wasn’t until we were actually finished that we actually tried to play the songs live,” said Amenta.
Live music, however, is where Huxster really thrives, and the band tested out the songs for their new self-titled album on fans before laying down any tracks.
“We played them out a lot live, which is the best way to work on material,” said Dunn.
Patten considers the band one of the best to hear live.
“We’re on when there’s a crowd,” he said. “We want to make sure it’s memorable – that the average listener walks away humming the tune.”
After working the songs out on stage, the band spent a year recording the album, much of it done from their “super secret bunker” in Mattapoisett.
“This record sounds like a guy playing guitar, a guy playing bass, a guy playing drums, and two singers in a really big room, and it sounds awesome,” said Dunn.
The band prefers to be labeled as a rock group, pure and simple.
“People say we have a power pop sound,” said Amenta. "I don’t think that is our sound at all, but some people use that term.”
The musicians say influences such as Weezer, Cheap Trick, Van Halen, Tom Petty and the Beach Boys show up in their songs.
“Great hooks and great melody, we can’t help but write a song with that mindset,” Amenta said.
Huxster’s last full-length album, “Side Two,” met with some success. It was played on 150 college and AAA radio stations in the U.S., Canada, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The band hopes the new album will get even more airplay. Paul David Hager, a music producer who has worked with the Goo Goo Dolls, Van Halen and most recently Miley Cyrus, mixed the songs.
Besides having Hager's touch on the music, Patten says Huxster’s sound and latest album are a direct result of the unity found in the band.
“We’re a democracy. We’re a band and we’re friends,” he said. “We can actually tolerate each other and hang out.”
Dunn believes this is the band’s best album yet.
“The sonic quality of this one is far superior to the last one, and the last one was good,” said Dunn.
CDs are still forthcoming, but the release concert is Saturday at New World Tavern in Plymouth. The band hopes to have book more concerts in Worcester, Boston and New York City soon. The album will also be available on iTunes beginning Saturday.
For more information, check out Huxster’s website, huxsterband.com.