For a Florida punk band with a couple of short tours and a full-length album under its belt, you’d think that Orlando’s Go Rydell would also have at least one successful show at Gainesville’s legendary annual Fest in their history, as well. After all, the Fest is a massive affair, more like a family reunion for punks than a by-the-numbers festival. It’s a family that Go Rydell are certainly part of.
“We had originally planned to have the record” – The Golden Age, released in late July on the New Jersey-based Black Numbers label – “released in time for last year’s Fest,” laughs vocalist Chris Scaduto. “And we applied, but didn’t get on the main Fest lineup, so we drove up with all our gear, hoping to get on a house show or a warehouse show or something,” says bassist Sean Dolan.
“And we did,” continues Scaduto, “but the show got busted up because someone threw a brick through a cop’s car window.”
“The Shook Ones and Touché Amoré played inside of a little storage closet – I can’t even call it a storage shed it was so small – and there were people outside of it, people on top of it,” says guitarist Nick Noble. “We were supposed to play after them, but right before we were about to play, the cops showed up.”
“So,” Scaduto says, “we didn’t get to play the Fest.”
But they will be playing this year, the group insists. And just because Go Rydell didn’t secure a slot at Fest ’09, that’s no reason to assume that the band is lacking in Gainesville connections. In fact, The Golden Age was recorded by Less Than Jake bassist Roger Manganelli in his Gainesville studio, the Moat House.
“It was [intimidating] at first,” Dolan says, “and we were nervous, but he’s a super- nice dude.”
“Yeah, he’s a sweet, genuine dude,” Scaduto says. “He worked with me [on] my vocals and really pushed me more than anyone ever has. He’s awesome; any band should be so lucky to work with him.”
Manganelli is credited on The Golden Age as a producer, but since most of it was written before the band got into the studio, the album retains the rawness and aggression that Go Rydell bring to their amped-up, anthemic take on hardcore. There’s no mistaking the record for a Less Than Jake disc. This, according to the band, was exactly as planned.
“[Manganelli] definitely helped shape this one,” Noble says. “I think it’s really hard to capture the live sound of a punk-rock band in the studio, and Roger did a good job of doing just that. When I listen to it, I think about us playing live, I don’t think about us sitting in a studio.”
Between Manganelli’s production work and the mixing and mastering done by another punk icon (Stephen Egerton of the Descendents and All), The Golden Age captures a young band in their early prime, eager to take on the world.
“I feel like we all want to do this for as long as we can. At least,” laughs Noble, “until our hips break.”
“It’s not like we can do anything else,” says Dolan.
First appeared Sept. 16, 2010 in Orlando Weekly.