Seven-Piece Philly Rock Band SOUTHWORK To Release Debut Album ARISE On December 11

Releasing On Band’s Writtenhouse Records, Album Will Also Be Available On Blue Vinyl

Hometown Record Release Show Scheduled For December 13

Southwork’s Music Accompanies Slasher Flick ALPHA GIRLS Which Features Cameos By Schooly D And Ron Jeremy

Just when the hallowed Rock world thought it had it all figured out, along comes a fresh detonation of color from the South side of the spectrum.

Fancy palpitating rock with a boogie beat? A bustling Ska-infused epiphany? Blistering freeform guitar solos? Psychedelic layered harmonies? Jazzy percussive flourishes? Heart-wrenching melancholy piano? Kazoos in a cage-match against mellotrons? Transitional music therapy? Exploratory sonic immersion?

Imagine if Buddy Holly met with The Beatles and The Zombies to make a Cake with Blind Melon and Mustard Plug to serenade a Streetlight Manifesto on a Vampire Weekend? Ready to mix and match a palatial palette of the 50s, the 60s, the 90s and the 22nd century?

Welcome to planet Southwork!

Eclectic and expansive, Southwork are a seven-piece band of multi-instrumentalists from Philadelphia. Anchored by the songwriting acumen of vocalist/guitarist Mike Vivas, his compositions are rhythmically propelled by Mike Vogel (Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Kazoo), Nick Anastasi (Bass) and Joe Smith (Drums, Backing Vocals) and transported to another dimension by the hellacious horn trifecta of Al Smith (Baritone Sax, Backing Vocals, Percussion), Tony Trov (Tenor Sax, Percussion, Ukulele) and Erich Miller (Trumpet, Percussion).

Formed in July 2010, Southwork is the amalgamation of two previous groups. Vivas, Trov and Anastasi were in a band called Fat City Reprise while Vogel and brothers Al and Joe Smith (who are cousins with Vivas) played together in Distant Orange. Miller became lucky number seven after being plucked from a third band and the brazen framework of Southwork was solidified.

Their sound is heft personified. It’s deft dignified. It’s the musical version of π. Strap yourself in and get ready to fly.

From the scorching jam that rockets “Nice To Meet You” to the trippy Beatles-esque “Take A Breath” to the brass-colored parade marching through the promised land of “665” to the cotton-candy melody of “We Don’t Know” to the sublime orchestral beauty of “Only You,” the eleven tracks on ARISE rise within one another from song to song to song creating a continuous metamorphosis of music and mood.

It’s an intergalactic joy ride that Philly-based radio station WXPN, a world-renowned tastemaker, says “feels like something out of Hair, (the ground-breaking rock musical from the 60s), with definite notes of 13th Floor Elevators and The Who.”

Available December 11 on CD, as a digital download and on limited-edition blue vinyl on their very own Writtenhouse Records (a nod to Rittenhouse Square in downtown Philly), the band is currently taking pre-orders for ARISE at Additionally, they are providing an early taste test with the recent music video premiere of the first single “My Demise,” which fans can download for free at

Aside from ARISE, Southwork are also promoting the use of their music in the full-length feature film Alpha Girls, which was co-directed by band saxophonist Tony Trov and his South Fellini film and graphic novel production studio partner Johnny Zito, best known for his serialized comic Moon Girl.

Starring Falon Joslyn, Nicole Cinaglia, Nikki Bell and Julie Chen with cameos by Philly gangsta rapper Schooly D and porn-legend Ron Jeremy as a priest, Alpha Girls is a classic slasher flick that includes two unreleased Southwork originals, “Higher” and “Love Her ‘Til The End,” and a bodacious cover of “Amazing Grace/House of The Rising Sun”. Separately, the band shot a video for Love Her at Eastern State Penitentiary, a former prison now preserved as a National Historic Landmark.

Much like firsthand immersion within a historic landmark, Southwork are best inhaled in the flesh. With their booming three-piece horn section and exquisite four-part harmonies embracing an old-school song craft, the septet has slayed crowds in Philadelphia, New York, Washington DC over the past eighteen months and are prepping for a special hometown record release show at Johnny Brenda’s on December 13.

From there, they’ll spiritually and metaphysically fuel up their magic school bus for a slew of shows across the U.S. in 2013. Featuring a pinwheel of pretty lights, fluorescent bubbles, and cascading confetti, childlike joy envelops a whirling wave of communal elation that’s a recommended daily supplement on planet Southwork.

Take a swig. Take a gulp. And welcome back my friends to the show that never ends!

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply