What They're Saying About


ROOTED (Austin, TX) - In the world of pop-punk rock of the 1990s, names like Kim Shattuck (the Muffs) and Kim Deal (the Amps, ex-Pixies/Breeders) reign atop a stack of bands that still explore what's truly alternative about rock music. Shattuck's Ramones-ala-Beach Boys influences give way to the Muffs' sticky, bittersweet sound. Deal, while playing bass/vocals for alt-rock pioneers the Pixies and her phenomenal work on the Breeders' Last Splash album, revolutionized women's roll in rock: the roll of a band's sexpot to a master producer and musician. To say that punk music (in general) has not grown in the last five years would be a huge understatement. The ladies are revolutionizing rock with change. It's sorry to say guy-bands like Face To Face and NOFX, although putting out a terrific amount music, have changed little since their rise through the ranks of modern college radio market. Now it seems rock 'n roll is for us old-timers, the twenty-somethings (and soon to be thirty-somethings) of America. Let Ohio's Real Lulu help you cast away your walker and Geritol.
Ohio's Big Beef Records gave listeners a breed of surf-instro rock with the first full-length album of The Mulchmen in '97. Now the label returns with We Love Nick, the debut album from Real Lulu. The Dayton, Ohio "supergroup" formed in 1993 as a creative project of guitarist Katie Dougherty and bassist Sharon Gavlick. Dougherty, vocalist for another local band The Pure Plastic Tree, and Gavlick met up with Mulchmen drummer Gregg Spence (Spence's full-time obligation to Cage and The Mulchmen gave way to a handful of Dayton-area drummers sitting in.) for which the Real Lulu foundation was laid. In 1994, the band won top honors in the Dayton Band Playoffs.
Since that time, Real Lulu has been climbing up the ladder of success in the underground world of punk music. The band recorded the track "Hell" with production from fellow Daytonian Kim Deal. "Hell" first appeared as a 7-inch single on Simple Solutions Records (and is included on We Love Nick). The high-octane, guitar drag race of "Hell" flows into poppy vocals that spiral around the coarse rhythm. Real Lulu's knack lays in their ability to get blistering guitar riffs and fuse it to energetic vocals. Don't be fooled. The sound is about as non-mainstream as it gets.
We Love Nick starts off with the monotone rambling of "Let Me" and "You". But it's not until the third song that things get really interesting. "Pushed" and "Smoking You Away" are led by a medium-speed, Zeppelin-tinged swagger. Soon into the song Dougherty and Gavlick vocals take the spotlight. On "Throwing God Out With the Bathwater/Nightly," Gavlick's thick melodic bass leads the group in a pseudo-surf rampage for two minutes then changes over into drawling vocals and distortion. Sometimes it's the lyrics that mark the weak points of the album. A few songs on We Love Nick get repetitive. On "Little Leaver" Real Lulu seem to get stuck in the girls-with-guitars cliche of bands like L7, Bikini Kill, or even Seven Year Bitch.
But it's evident that Real Lulu have a style all their own. This is great in a time when people are complaining that today's rock offers nothing new. I see a lot of growth potential in Real Lulu. We Love Nick is by no means a groundbreaking album, but on the other hand, Real Lulu has come out with more meaningful, "new" music. - Brian Parrish

MUZIKMAN - When is the last time you got in the car, threw in a punk-rock cd and blared it all the way to work? I just did it this morning. What a wake up call. Two gals with a lot of spunk and one dude that can wail the skins. Welcome to the real deal, Real Lulu. Yeah it's a real lulu, that's right. It's refreshing to hear the angst and screaming guitars of punk-rock ringing in my ears.
Kattie Dougherty (guitars, vocals), Sharon Gavlick (Bass guitar, vocals), Gregg Spence (drums) bring it on home with all the attitude and brashness that you would expect from a punk-rock-alternative group. You have to add the alternative tag in this day and age because punk-rock is considered an alternative and alternative is actually punk-rock based music with a different name? Whatever. It rocks and that's all I need. Kattie Dougherty's voice is much better than it is given room for. She does well within the scope of the group's sound. I can see Dougherty moving on in time and developing into something much more. That however doesn't apply here, it's simply a compliment to her talents. Powerful, driven and grinding rock and roll that will keep your head in perpetual motion. Good stuff.

INK 19 - This debut CD from the Dayton, Ohio trio Real Lulu is immensely likable female-vocal punky rock. Or rocky punk. Either way, it's great. Straightforward stuff, guitar-bass-drums, with gals on the stringed instruments and on the lead and backing vocals. Some may hear a similarity to one of the Deal sisters' various bands (Kim actually produced a track, which they put out as a single while working on the CD), or maybe a rougher-edged Veruca Salt (what with the dual female vocals). Whatever, it's good, find it, buy it. - Brian Kruge

CINCINNATI CITYBEAT - The debut full-length from Dayton's Real Lulu is in stores now. On "We Love Nick", [they] are in vibrant form, pulsating a certain sonic bounce and glee that's more of a cynical smirk than giddy spouting. For geographical reasons - and because Kim Deal produced the band's single "Hell", which appears here - the group is certain to remind one of The Breeders. But, as they show all over "We Love Nick", Real Lulu isn't just another Veruca Salt wannabe band. "We Love Nick" shows a band with a solid identity - unlike so many of it's peers.
Singers Kattie Dougherty and Sharon Gavlick have a natural, like-a-glove rapport with each others's voices, and their melodies ricochet off of each other with a sensuality that's as impressive as the harmony work of the underrated Scrawl. With Dayton's music scene so alive and watched, Real Lulu's unpretentious talent could easily give them the next call-up to the national leagues. - Mike Breen

ALL-MUSIC GUIDE - We Love Nick earned Real Lulu comparisons to the Breeders (whose Kim Deal produced the track "Hell") and Veruca Salt, and in truth they lie closer to the latter, since their song structures are more straightforward and pop-oriented. Still, there are plenty of rough edges to their sound, giving the record an infectious immediacy. - Steve Huey

COLLEGE RADIO MUSIC REVIEW - Real Lulu is a Dayton power trio girl group with male drummers, with five changes of drummers during the recording of this album (at three different studios). Innovative, honest raw sound. "Hell" sounds like the best of the GoGo's but with more intensity, integrity, and intelligence. I also felt a hint of the Waitresses ("We Know What Boys Like"). "Time" is reminiscent of Lita Fordís hard-rocking energy... I love the angry pottymouth lyrics of "Dangle." There's a lot of material deserving of airplay, but begin with the above-referenced tracks. - Brian Boyer

MUTANT RENEGADE - Real Lulu is in my opinion one of the best bands to ever come out of Dayton. This CD has six different drummers on it. No, they aren't Spinal Tap, even with the death's of both Ben and Timmy. Kattie and Sharon are just two really great people who have been involved in the scene for quite awhile and everybody wanted to help out. The drummers have been in a number of local bands and most play different instruments in other bands. These include Jim Macpherson (The Breeders, Raging Mantras/Killjoys, Guided By Voices, The Amps and current Real Lulu drummer), Gregg Spence (The Mulchmen, Cage, The Underdogs), Steve Johnson (The Pure Plastic Tree), Ben Schelker (The Oxymorons, Candyass, The Underdogs), Tim Taylor (Brainiac, The Wizbangs) and Matt Espy (Cage, Mink, Walaroo South). Kim Deal even got into the act by helping produce the song "Hell".
Now if all of that isn't enough to get you to buy this disc maybe I should describe the sound. They play really infectious rock that draws on a variety of influences from the sixties through the nineties. I think of so many different bands when I listen to Real Lulu, but I can't say they sound like any one of them. The songs are full of hooks and they are great to see live. Buy the CD already!

KATHODE RAY MUSIC - Real Lulu is an two-woman, one-man, high-energy rock band based in Ohio. "We Love Nick" is their 14-song debut album and shows the group's ability to seemingly mix catchy, melodic vocal hooks with emotional vocal delivery and strong musicianship. The disc is highlighted by the Kim Deal produced "Hell" (also available on 7" b/w a non-CD track) and "You," an extremely catchy tribute to an anonymous personage, but the disc is full of great songs that won't make you want to skip to the next track.

OUTSIGHT - This post-punk riff-rock band consists of is visited by such all-stars as drummers Jim Macpherson (The Breeders/The Amps), Steve Johnson (The Pure Plastic Tree), Matt Espy (Cage/Mink), and Tim Taylor (Brainiac)... They got hooks and Kim Deal noticed them enough to produce their debut single, "Hell" (present and accounted for here). The real face of the music, though, is the shared vocal duties of songwriters Kattie Doughtery (guitar) and Sharon Gavlick (bass). The music is bouncy and fun, reminding me of the female-voiced Avengers ( "Has the Feeling Got to You Yet" ), and mostly about those capricious men.

COSMIK DEBRIS - Real Lulu is Kattie Dougherty (guitar, vocals), Sharon Gavlick (bass, vocals) and Gregg Spence (drums), though Spence only appears on seven of the fourteen cuts on this CD, with five other drummers mounting the throne for a cut or two apiece. There's also reference to yet another drummer who has done live work with the band. I can only assume that Dayton, Ohio is in the running for drum capitol of the known universe.
Dougherty is the principal songwriter, though Gavlick contributes 4 & 1/2 tunes to the mix ("Hell" is co-written by the pair, and produced by Kim Deal, the only departure from the self production - with Andy Valeri -of the remaining cuts).
Maybe Kattie and Sharon use so many drummers because they just flat wear them out. They produce some pretty serious two piece thrash between them and use a big drum sound to round it out. The most distinctive features of the sound are their vocal harmonies, which can approach actual harmonized screaming in spots, balanced with a poppy, well, almost sweetness in other places. They're also capable of delivering some tasty instro, though, as demonstrated in the first half of Gavlick's "Throwing God Out With The Bathwater/Nightly."
Overall, this is a juicy slab of Midwestern madness, with a fittingly big sound for the Big Beef label. If you happen to be near Dayton, or have reason to pass through, I encourage you to keep an eye open for Real Lulu - they sound like a hell of a club band. - Shaun Dale

SAN FRANCISCO BAY GUARDIAN - This outfit from Dayton, Ohio boasts a big ol' boomy sound, perfectly hummable choruses, and three whip-smart members... I'll also hazard that they're about the best pop band I've heard since the last best pop I'd heard since etc. Just the right balance of growl and glimmer: "Pushed" is a perfect punk cant; "Smoking You Away" gnashes along as a not-so-heavy-metal-meets-Sonic Youth anti-love anthem. Tempos vary from mid- to full-throttle, vocals from soft to atonal. I love 'em while they're on; I might even miss 'em when they're gone. - Neva Chonin

INDIE STREET - Following the fabulous punch-pop single "Hell", Dayton's Real Lulu have released their debut full-length. With fourteen tracks, Real Lulu have the opportunity to venture into different emotions and styles, which they do. From the opening track of "Let Me" (The Breeders meet Joan Jett), they get things started on the right foot. Of course, there's punchy good times on cuts like "You", "Mary's Cry" and "Dangle", but other album tracks make this more than just another punk-pop album. The hillbilly beat (mixed with fuzz guitar jabs) of "I Mind" is good ol' silly fun. "Smoking You Away" has some great power rock swirls. Keeping with the fuzz, a bit of drone adds to "Coal Black Hair". For something even darker (but with an upbeat punch), "Time" grooves. The six-minute epic dirge "Throwing God Out With The Bathwater/Nightly" is way cool. For a debut album, Real Lulu pull all the right punches. Definately worth a listen.

THE DAYTON DAILY NEWS - Make no mistake, Real Lulu's beginnings may have been somewhat casual, but the Dayton-based alternative trio has always been serious when it comes to making music.And now, with the release of the band's debut CD, "We Love Nick", Real Lulu's fate is sealed - it's a real band with a real album that's real good.
The surprise winner of Canal Street Tavern's annual Dayton Band Playoffs in 1994, the group parlayed the positive attention to record a well-received single "Hell", which was produced by Kim Deal and released in April 1995. That cut, along with 13 other original songs, appears on "We Love Nick", put out on Big Beef Records, the Dayton-based label responsible for last year's release from the no-longer-performing local acoustic quintet The Pure Plastic Tree.
Real Lulu's guitarist Kattie Dougherty was an original member of the Tree before pairing up with Sharon Gavlick, who plays bass. Gregg Spence, guitarist and bass player with Cage and drummer with The Mulchmen, joined the two singer-songwriters on drums and the rest, as they say, is history.
With Dougherty and Gavlick performing the vocals, the trio sounds something like a mixing of the Shangri-Las of the 1960's, the Slits of the '70's and X of the '80's, all served in a '90's-style big-gulp tumbler with the blender left on full whir.
"We Love Nick" - the title of which honors all-around-neat guy Nick Kizirnis, the guitarist for Cage and The Mulchmen who has managed both Cage and Real Lulu - features five drummers besides Spence, who took a short sabbatical from the band because of other musical commitments.
In addition to Spence, in the order of their CD appearance, are such local luminaries as: Tim Taylor, frontman for Brainiac; Steve Johnson of The Pure Plastic Tree; Jim Macpherson of The Breeders and The Amps; Ben Schelker, formerly of The Oxymorons; and Matt Espy, the drummer for Cage.

GAJOOB - Combining influences ranging from X, B-52's, Go-Go's, Hole, Runaways, the Real Lulu sound is a raw, garage-powered quasi-retro slap with a come-tither smile. - Bryan Baker

LUNA MUSIC NEWSLETTER - The band is Real Lulu and they rock! Our friends from Day-town, along with a host of luminaries; Jim Macpherson (Amps, Breeders), Timmy Taylor (Brainiac), Matt Espy (Lisa Loeb's roadie), have put together the record Veruca Salt wishes they had recorded! This is a must have.

THE DAYTON VOICE - "We Love Nick" is the debut release from Real Lulu on Dayton's own Big Beef Records. The 14-song CD is a heady garage rock blend with great girl group vocal interplay between guitarist Kattie Dougherty and bassist Sharon Gavlick, driving rhythms, biting guitar and piercing screams.
The album title is a tribute to Nick Kizirnis who has been extremely influential in local music circles for well over a decade, performing in bands like The Mulchmen, Cage, The Raging Mantras and The Obvious, as well as various guest spots. Even though the album title is "We Love Nick" don't think the CD is full of cheery love songs to local rock stars. Nothing could be further from the truth. Although the music is upbeat, lyrically the songs are much darker, often directed toward former lovers who have left their fair share of emotional scars.
...Although it was recorded at three different studios around town over the course of a year with a string of drummers, "We Love Nick" still holds together as a coherent piece; that is a testament to Kattie and Sharon's vision. Any number of these songs could be summer radio hits given half the chance. But why take chances? Call [the stations] up and request your favorite Real Lulu song. - Don Thrasher

SCREED - Kattie Dougherty has plugged her guitar in, and cranked up the volume knob all the way to eleven... I am a sucker for their tried and true grrrl rocker style that was born in the late '70's in London and NYC... Nice mix and production by the band and Big Beef Record honcho Andy Valeri make this a release that I am very happy to recommend. - Terry Burke

ROCKTOBER - Made me feel mighty real!

*Read More About Real Lulu In MOO Magazine
Including More Reviews On "We Love Nick"*

For Info On Their Single "Hell"/"Motorhead"
Back To The Recordings Page
Back To The Real Lulu Home Page