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The first release from the Charlotte, North Carolina based band Hardcore Lounge, “Dance of My Life” is now available from Possumwalk Records. The twelve songs on this release represent different chapters in the lives of brothers, Chris and Wes Johnson. In early 2001, Chris and Wes started collaborating on songs that would eventually become part of the repertoire of the yet to be named Hardcore Lounge.
The brothers had been fixtures on the local music scene for years. Chris works in television broadcasting and played in the local band Cyclone Mack. Wes, works in film and television production, and had been documenting local performing artists in Charlotte since the late 1980’s. Their father, Kenneth, had been part of early broadcasting and recording history with The Johnson Family Singers, performing songs from sacred to secular. The family recorded on Columbia and RCA and had their own CBS network radio show that originated from then radio broadcasting powerhouse WBT. A second career as a minister had the boys singing in church choirs as soon as they could hold hymnals.
Chris and Wes Johnson have appeared with various versions of Hardcore Lounge since their first show in December 2001. When the time came for their first public appearance, they didn't have a name for the group. They hosted a Full Moon Party at a small coffeehouse in Charlotte called Cafe Bisous. That night they called themselves "The Full Moon Ensemble". At the end of the night when Debbie, the owner of the place, was asked what she thought of the band, she said " I thought it was hardcore lounge". So that is how they got their name.
They aren't really hardcore, and they aren't really lounge, but the name seems to fitOn their EP “Bali”, the six piece band Hardcore Lounge from Charlotte, NC serves up songs inspired from travels abroad in Asia to the ghosts of Queen City music clubs. Hardcore Lounge travels into sonic territory from the genres on which collaborators Chris and Wes Johnson were reared. Third generation performers raised in the church, the siblings gravitated to the sounds of 70’s and 80’s jazz rock, punk, new wave, and disco.
Hardcore Lounge’s sound defies neat categorization.
Courtney DeVores describes the music and “neither hardcore nor lounge (though closer to the latter), it’s easy to hear 80’s reference points such as the Talking Heads, the B-52’s, and REM.” Clean production melds southern jazz –fusion with danceable energetic rock in this follow up to the debut album, Dance of My Life.