B&E: Letter Kills, Origene
Breaking & Entering: A look at acts breaking at radio and retail and entering Billboard charts.Profiling acts breaking at radio and/or retail and entering Billboard's charts.
GOING POSTAL: It took a few tries for the songwriters of Letter Kills to mesh, but the 1970s punk, classic rock and metal-inspired quintet shows off a nicely-realized harmony with debut album "The Bridge."
All principle songwriters in previous bands, Matt Shelton (lead vocals), Timothy Cordova (guitars), Dustin Lovelis (guitars), Kyle Duckworth (bass) and Paul Redmund (drums) formed in 2002 in Southern California and toured with emo groups like Thrice before releasing their first turn on Island Records.
The set bows at No. 4 on Billboard's Top Heatseekers chart and No. 130 on The Billboard 200 this week after selling 10,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The original tracks range from the melodic guitar of "Hold My Heart" to the dizzying, sweat-slinging vocals of "Lights Out."
The band -- all members of which are practicing Christians -- chose the ironically titled "Don't Believe" as its first single, which also appears on its March 2003 debut EP. The EP's remaining tracks -- "Radio Up" and "Clock is Down" -- also show up on the full-length.
Letter Kills enlisted Rolling Stones and Blink-182 producer Tom Lord-Alge for the Santa Monica, Calif., recording sessions, which lasted eight weeks.
Following the group's stint on the Warped Tour, it will join Story of the Year, My Chemical Romance and Lostprophets for a five-week U.S. tour that kicks of Sept. 17 in Tucson, Ariz.
Artist site: letterkills.com
Label site: islandrecords.com
AN AUSSIE ORIGINAL: Melbourne act Origene re-enters Billboard's Hot Dance Radio Airplay chart this week at No. 24 with its U.S. debut single "Sanctuary." The trance-like pop track debuted on the chart in June at No. 18 and peaked at No. 13.
Core members Ben Grayson and Brian Canham introduced themselves to Australian audiences with the single "Suddenly, Silently," which earned them extensive airplay in their homeland and a U.S. record deal with Ministry of Sound. For their U.S. introduction, the duo enlists the haunting, silky vocals of Matilda White, who also appears on "Suddenly."
As former frontman of the Australian multi-platinum dance/pop quartet Pseudo Echo, Canham is no stranger to the charts. In 1987, the group went to No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 with "Funky Town." After its disbandment, Canham began producing and writing for local acts throughout the '90s.
Origene will tour small clubs in New York this month.
Artist site: origene.com.au
Label site: ministryofsound.com