Tropic Bombs drops ‘Nuclear Honeymoon’Written by Mike Bauman | | firstname.lastname@example.org
For the last decade, Tropic Bombs vocalist Ryan Wayton and his band mates have immersed themselves in the local music scene. With former bands Promise of Tomorrow and The Devil and The Executive, Wayton and Co. made music, played shows, released songs and developed new fans and friends, including the guys in OnceOver.
Despite all those positives, however, Promise of Tomorrow and The Devil and The Executive never released full-length albums. Whether it was a singer having to leave the group or an unforeseen circumstance arising, something always got in the way of making that happen until now.
Three years after starting Tropic Bombs as a studio project with close friend and band mate Jon Hammond in his home studio, putting out an album became a reality for Wayton on July 10 with the release of Tropic Bombs’ full-length debut, “Nuclear Honeymoon.”
“I would’ve loved to release stuff in the other bands, but man, this is just the pinnacle,” Wayton said. “At this point, like I said, we couldn’t be happier with what we’re doing right now. I’m so proud of this. We worked really hard, obviously put a lot of time into it. I’m proud that this is my first official real release.”
Composed of Wayton (vocals), Hammond (guitar/vocals), Justin Crumley (guitar), Ben Snyder (guitar) and OnceOver’s Nick Archer (bass/vocals) and Steve Dwyer (drums), Tropic Bombs will headline Frankie’s July 28 for its CD release party and second annual “Midsummer Meltdown” show.
Having made five albums with OnceOver in addition to producing numerous artists over the years, Dwyer expressed his excitement to help make this happen and be part of Tropic Bombs.
“I think I’m super proud of this one because it’s just so authentic to what it’s supposed to be,” said Dwyer, who first met Wayton at Toledo Music Fest in 2003. “Just knowing Ryan through the years, I’m glad that this is his first record because I think it’s special.”
When friend and former Tropic Bombs drummer Jason Goss informed the band in August that he’d be moving to California at the beginning of 2012, the guys decided to start recording in October in order to complete the album by the summer.
After bringing Dwyer back on board and successfully raising $1,280 through Kickstarter, Tropic Bombs was able to get 1,000 hard copies of “Nuclear Honeymoon” pressed for physical distribution this month in addition to making it available digitally.
“It’s like cooking a meal,” Dwyer said of recording. “Cooking is fun to a certain extent, but once you start getting bombarded with s—t and you’re just like, ‘F—k this! I should’ve went out!’ [But at the end], you get to eat an amazing meal.”
Recorded at Wayton’s home studio and mastered at Dwyer’s home studio, “Nuclear Honeymoon” is definitely a meal with lots of variety.
Fusing elements of reggae, rock, funk and hip hop, Tropic Bombs navigates listeners on a 10-song journey that features everything from hard-hitters like “Bomber Bay” and “I’ll See Your Ass at High Noon” to the more personal “Chrysanthemums” and “Light the Way.” An aspiring English teacher, Wayton’s lyrical creativity also shines on more abstract tracks like “The Art of Cloud-Cutting” and “The Assassins of Abboneau.”
“I don’t always want to tell people what to think or what to feel,” Wayton said. “I want them to come up with their own interpretations of what the song means, what it means to them.”
The band’s music has already left a lasting impression on fans, too. Some have decided to get Tropic Bombs tattoos, including a close friend of the group who lost his grandfather.
“The only tattoo he has is on his back and it’s for his grandpa because he said his grandpa was always there for him, always had his back,” Wayton said. “And he just told me that he’s getting the chorus of ‘Light the Way’ tattooed on his other shoulder blade, and he actually asked me to help him design it. It’s really, like, giving me chills because it’s just so cool, you know?”
With a versatile debut in “Nuclear Honeymoon” and a collective bond that spans a decade, Tropic Bombs is having fun and promises the same to anyone who comes out to a show, whether there are two people or 2,000 people in the room.
“We’ll never not feel it because that’s what we care about the most is just playing really, really, really, really good music,” Dwyer said. “And then the icing is being able to do it with people that just love it, too.”
- On July 28, Tropic Bombs, OnceOver, Garrett Warren and Kisses for Charity will perform at Frankie’s, 308 Main St. Tickets are $5 for those 21 and older and $7 for those younger. Doors open at 9 p.m., and all ages are welcome. Concert attendees are encouraged to wear tropical gear. Tropic Bombs’ debut in “Nuclear Honeymoon” is available through the band, as well as at local record stores and online retailers cdbaby.net and itunes.com. For more information, visit frankiesinnercity.com or facebook.com/TropicBombs.