AGENDA Magazine, Fall 2007 If you like not too hard-edged punk with a little bit of rock, you'll enjoy Liza & the WonderWheels' CD, Meet the Animal. This is a group of musicians that know their craft. The songwriting is great and the vocals are good. Liza Garelik has a decent voice and the instrumentals are tight and somewhat complex—they are interesting on their own with vocals reminding me of Blondie from the early 80s. This being their second CD, Meet the Animal demonstrates that a good rock band can sound just as good live as they do on a recording. Ian Roure plays lead guitar and handles those psychedelic lines well, Andy Mattina really stands out on the bass, and Joe Filosa's handling of the drums is expert. This is a tight band that can hold its own. My favorite track is the third track, "Hush Now Sweet Pea," a lullaby—it has a surprising sound where it starts off as a lullaby but surprisingly morphs into a hard rock-edge with a fold style. The lyrics here are good. I also liked the fourth track, "What I Do for Payday?" This song has an infectious beat and nice lyrics. This has some good songwriting behind it, and the melody makes you want to sing along. The fifth and sixth tracks lean toward classic "protest" rock of the late 60s and early 70s. "Clergy Man" definitely stands out as folk rock and has a message worth listening to. What I like about Liza & the WonderWheels are good song writing, tight instrumentals, and lyrics that are neither too literal nor too abstract.” - Lisa Trimarchi

Agenda Magazine Liza & the WonderWheels – We Are the Media “I think it’s funny; this guy looks so serious. Yet sincerity like that cannot be faked. He just thanked Jesus Christ and private enterprise for winning a business prize.” This is fantastic. Lyrics from an editorial viewpoint. You’d never guess by reading these interesting thoughts that music could be perfectly applied. But, I assure you, my ears are licking their lips over the music – these extremely interesting lyrics are simply gravy (or whipped cream if you prefer it) on a scrumptious meal. “I’ve got the story that none of this is innocent, and all the money is kept at the bank. Can you lie when talking to a client? I mean, not too much, but isn’t it inherent?” It gets deeper yet – picture yourself as a songwriter, lyricist, musician, artist, or heck, any job I can picture right now – and read this: “I make it up and you call me enterprising. You need me to sell your advertising.” Even working behind the counter at a fast food joint is a commercial nowadays. Thanks, Liza, for the philosophical essay disguised as a fun pop song!”

Eartaste Liza & The Wonderwheels – Eddie Come Down “Wash the buggie wugs down the drain.” In my reviews I mention the fun of a margarita or beer with dancing, and of course, lots of carbs – I know because some of you write me about them. This very cool song is perfect to remind all of us that moderation is important. From what I can understand, Eddie overindulges in either alcohol, or drugs, or both. So, I feel the need to mention moderation in all things is best for a long and healthy life. That said, this wonderful confection of a song is great fun to listen to with tempo changes and vocal gymnastics to thrill the best ears. The guitar player, who shines on all the cuts, continues his great work here. “Watch a ball of string unwind.” A shout-out for the great cover of a song I’ve loved forever, Machine Gun Smith. The key is a few pitches higher here, and I love the way country has it’s final syllable mysteriously missing when Liza sings it, but Machine Gun Smith is just as pertinent today as it was when it first appeared. Smith is the terrorist, and as much as Americans hate to admit it, old Smith (notice the name is NOT Arabic) is terrorizing little countries, much as white people are still in the process of terrorizing citizens in smaller countries throughout the world. And the beat goes on – the truth never changes, even after 20 plus years.”

Eartaste Liza & the WonderWheels sometimes sounds almost exactly like the Swimming Pool Q's on Meet the Animal. Granted, few remember that 80s act. But they earned a spot opening for the great Lou Reed back in the day and should have received far more recognition. WonderWheels cover Katrina and the Waves “Machine Gun Smith” on this disc. But this is where its association with that carefree act, which gave the world “Walking On Sunshine,” ends. Similar to the Swimming Pool Q's, this group is a quirky, smart act that challenges listeners to stop and listen hard. When vocalist Liza Garelik states, “Bend the bars and look inside” during “Meet the Animal,” she’s not just describing a fun filled day at the zoo. She is, instead, asking humans to come face to face with the way they treat wildlife. She might also be asking mankind to look at its not quite so evolved self. Whatever her motives, there is a philosophical angle involved. Aurally, there is an overriding angular element to this music. But as an exception, when Garelik sings the sadly sweet lullaby “Hush Now Sweet Pea” over a soulful guitar groove, she sounds like Blondie’s Debbie Harry at bedside with the grandkids. (A strange mental picture, I know). This consistently inventive music, with its sometimes confrontational lyrics, is good -- if sometimes hard to swallow -- stuff. When you meet this particular musical animal, it’s like no beast you’ve been introduced to before.” - Dan MacIntosh Working in New York town - Liza and the Wonderwheels It's Liza Garelik, Ian Roure, Joe Filosa and Andy Mattina. Together they are Liza and the WonderWheels. The band is named after an old roller coaster on Coney Island. And what they do is make great music for the people of New York. Liza contacted me a few weeks back and I was very happy with the music she sent me. The band is the cross between traditional folk and melody, scratch punk and gritty rock and roll. No matter the label, the band makes good. Liza and The WonderWheels are recording their third album right now at Wombat Studios on Dean Street in Brooklyn. Its a small studio for what promises to be big results. As you may recall, we've been working in the studio the last few weeks getting started on the third full-length Liza & the WonderWheels record. I have a vision for this album of working quickly and fluidly - and it jives with the title which Yes we have, and No I don't like to tell until closer to release. We're taking advantage of the precision and obsession a modern pro tools studio allows, but mostly trying to catch the lightening with energetic takes and a lot of fun in the sessions." Track 7 "Loops" reminds me a lot of Yo La Tengo. Quite a compliment! Visit the band. Get on the mail list. Pick up some music! The band website offers its own haiku: Glamorous freaks We play into the night Until rock means something new” - Ryan

Ryan's Smashing Life (Sweden) Liza Garelik and her band have been together while. Their second album is rich on great tunes and energy. Song about a Pidgeon" is a mid-paced rocker with a great lyric. Garelik clearly has a special voice and guitarist Ian Roure is very gifted. What I do for Payday" details the chores of working life. It's also a catchy Pretenders-like tune that shows off the bands talents. Machine Gun Smith" was originally done by Katrina and the Waves and it's a good choice of a cover. Clergy Man" is almost reggae in a Blondie kinda way. This is a brilliant album and the band should be a treat live.” - Anna Maria Stjarnell

Collected Sounds