In 2001, the four members of Aberdeen City met while smoking outside of a lecture series about unfulfilled childhood potential entitled “Young Hopes, Dead Dreams”. They quickly learned how much they had in common. Each was lauded as a "boy genius" in his youth. But, due to 4 parallel twists of fate, no member was able to achieve any real degree of individual success. The music of Aberdeen City is their attempt to make sense of a world that gives no second chances.
Christopher McLaughlin (guitar, vocals) was predicted to be "the world's next great physicist". At the age of 9, he succeeded in creating, for the briefest of moments, a new element by bombarding volatile helium atoms with ionized photons in his parents' bathtub. But this marvelous event was shrouded in tragedy as Christopher's beloved golden retriever, mistaking the experiment for his weekly bath, leapt into the tub and combusted. Despite the pleas of scientists and scholars, the inconsolable Christopher gave up science completely. He took up sonic experimentation, saying, "at least nobody can get killed".
From a very young age, J. Ryan Heller (guitar) was groomed to takeover his family's snack food empire. He showed his family great promise when he developed a ketchup-flavored potato chip for his fourth grade science fair. On the eve of the fair, however, family rival Andrew McCormack sabotaged the test batch with lemon-pepper. This resulted in a repulsive taste test and a lowly participation ribbon for the much-anticipated “Ket-Chip”. Never fully able to recover from the embarrassment this caused, Ryan found himself unfit for the cutthroat business world and took up the guitar.
Always a popular boy, Rob McCaffrey (drums) was convinced by his friends to help their lackluster middle school production of "The Pirates of Penzance" by playing the role of Frederic. Despite having no formal training, Rob stole the show and was bombarded with offers from local talent agents. Sadly, he was unable to disconnect himself from the role that had brought him local fame. He was expelled from school when found roaming the schoolyard with a sword. Still drawn to the stage, Robert became a drummer, keeping a short distance from the spotlight he craves. He occasionally still wears his pantaloons.
And finally there is Brad Parker (lead vocals, bass). At one time thought by a select few to be the world's next great spiritualist, Brad became fixated upon the meaning of life at a very young age. In the junior high, he built a sensory deprivation chamber in his parents' attic. After spending a week inside, Bradley emerged filled with incredible insights. Unfortunately, because his thoughts were no longer conceptual, he was unable to effectively communicate his new ideas on self to anyone. Filled with frustration, Brad retreated into youth hockey.
Soon after their initial encounter, the band rented a small house with a basement in Boston 's Russian neighborhood. Creativity ran high as they explored their newfound focus on the group; a pleasant change from the lofty expectations on the individual that characterized their childhoods. The band's songwriting was informed by their propensity for experimenting as well as their love of pop music. They found that swirling guitars, driving beats and moody vocals could be quite memorable if used in just the right combination. Comparisons were made from U2 and Echo and the Bunnymen to Sonic Youth and Radiohead. Bradley's vocals took cues equally from crooners like Scott Walker and Neil Hannon and rock legends like David Bowie and Bono.
In 2003, Aberdeen City independently released their self-produced "We Learned By Watching" [EP]. Reviews were favorable. The band's debut LP, "The Freezing Atlantic", was released on October 25, 2005 on Dovecote Records.
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