THE CYNICS

Formed in 1983 by Get Hip Recordings owner Gregg Kostelich, The CYNICS are a Garage-Punk institution.

Guitarist/producer/record company head Gregg Kostelich is the frenetic force behind THE CYNICS. He managed to keep the band afloat in the wake of constant personnel changes, he recorded some of the finest garage tracks ever, and also launched one of the best independent record labels of the 1980s. THE CYNICS’ style has been clear since their 1983 inception: fuzzed ultra-distorted guitar, screaming, moaning vocals, with a straight-ahead no frills rhythm section. The influences are extreme ‘60s Punk, R&B, and other loud, frantic trash. Gregg has occasionally steered the band into flirtations with folk-rock and little pop, but it’s the grunged-out punkers that have created THE CYNICS’ reputation. Their first two 45s were released by the Californian Dionysus label, but soon after Gregg had established his own Pittsburgh-based GET HIP RECORDINGS who would release all of  THE CYNICS albums and singles, as well as those by countless great garage, punk-rock and power-pop releases by other bands from around the globe.

Though Gregg’s guitar is the backbone of the band, vocalist Michael Kastelic’s contribution to THE CYNICS sound cannot be underestimated. In concert (and on record) he screeches, wails, and moans with great abandon, while his frail, thin body shakes throughout the room. Michael is a truly possessed frontman.

Since the 2007 recording in Spain of the band’s 7th full-length album, Here We are, The CYNICS have been graced with a fantastic and powerful rhythm section of two talented musicians from Asturias (Spain): Angel Kaplan and Pablo Gonzalez. They have been touring relentlessly with the band since and also joined Gregg and Michael in Detroit for the recording of their latest album, SPINNING WHEEL MOTEL (2012) under the masterful direction of Jim Diamond .

In an interview on March 21, 1986, Gregg Kostelich said “I was maybe 4 or 5 when I started collecting Garage records, and I’ve been listening to that type of music ever since. And I was lucky enough to see a couple of shows I was a little kid…my parents would bring to see bands like THE SONICS and THE BLUE MAGOOS and THE WHO, when I was about 7 or 8! I didn’t know what was going on really, but it was really exciting. I was kinda embarrassed in a way because I was with my parents.” When I mentioned that this early exposure to garage music explained THE CYNICS style, Gregg responded “Yeah, maybe I got brain damage from all the noise!”

THE CYNICS
Michael Kastelic Vocals
Gregg Kostelich Guitar
Angel Kaplan Bass
Pablo Gonzalez Drums

ALBUMS:

Blue Train Station – LP/CD (GET HIP RECORDINGS, 1986)

12 Flights Up – LP/CD (GET HIP RECORDINGS, 1988)

Rock N Roll – LP/CD (GET HIP RECORDINGS, 1989)

VPRO Radio Broadcast (GET HIP RECORDINGS – Fanclub 12” EP)

Stranded in Madrid – Live Recording from Spain 1990 – LP/CD (Impossible, Spain)

Cynicism – Best Of  – CD (1+2 Records, Japan, 1990)

No Siesta Tonite – Live In Madrid 1990 – LP/CD (GET HIP RECORDINGS, 1990)

Get Our Way – LP/CD (GET HIP RECORDINGS, 1994)

Living Is The Best Revenge – LP/CD (GET HIP RECORDINGS, 2002)

Here We Are – LP/CD (GET HIP RECORDINGS, 2007)

Spinning Wheel Motel – LP/CD (GET HIP RECORDINGS, 2011)

 

 

SINGLES:

Painted My Heart b/w Sweet Young Thing (Dionysus)

No Place to Hide b/w Hard Times (Dionysus)

69 b/w Friday Night (GET HIP –FAN CLUB #1)

Lying All The Time b/w Summer’s Gone (FULL SAIL)

No Way b/w Dancin’ on the Wall (GET HIP RECORDINGS)

I’m in Pittsburgh and It’s Raining b/w Smoke Rings (GET HIP RECORDINGS FANCLUB #2)

Get My Way b/w Goin’ Away (GET HIP RECORDINGS)

Way it’s Gonna Be b/w Roadrunner (Live) (GET HIP RECORDINGS FANCLUB #3)

Baby What’s Gonna Be Wrong b/w Cry, Cry, Cry/Love Me Then, Go Away (Live) (In Yer Ear Magazine, Canada)

I Don’t Need You b/w Girl You’re On My Mind (GET HIP RECORDINGS)

Buick Mackane b/w Born to Lose (Sympathy For The Record Industry)

Right Here With You b/w Learn To Lose (GET HIP RECORDINGS)

I Want It All b/w Brother the Man (Screaming Apple, Germany)

I Got You Babe b/w Bang Bang – Split with Frampton Brothers (GET HIP)

Two Rooms b/w Jealous Man (Weed Records, France)

Dirty Trick/Lose Your Mind (Mind Cure, Pittsburgh, PA.)

I Live Alone b/w Hand in Hand (GET HIP RECORDINGS)

Private Suicide b/w All These Streets (GET HIP RECORDINGS)

I’ll Wait b/w 13 O’ Clock (Instrumental) (Munster, Spain)

When I’m Down b/w Baby What’s Wrong Live (Impossible, Spain)

Doin Me In/Last Day (GET HIP RECORDINGS)

Turn Me Loose/Never Had It Better (GET HIP RECORDINGS)

 

COMPILATION TRACKS:

No Place To Hide – Available on the Declaration of Fuzz (Glitterhouse)

Waste of Time and Let Me Know – Available on Beasts From the East (Voxx)

Get Away Girl – Available on the Sounds of Now (Dionysus)

Little Girl – Available on Mr.Garager’s Neighborhood (Og)

Be True to Your School – Available on Smiles, Vibes and Harmony – A Tribute To Brian Wilson (De Milo)

Shut Down – Available on Here ain’t The Sonics (Estrus/Popllama)

Girl You’re On My Mind – Available on 1991 WDVE (DVE/ILBT)

I Got You Babe – Available on Tribute to Sonny Bono (Bogus)

Let Me Know – Available on Battle of the Garages Part 1 (Voxx)

 

VIDEOS:

Girl You’re On My Mind – Available on Frozen Ghosts (Skyclad)

I Got You Babe

OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEOS

“I Need More” from Spinning Wheel Motel (2011)

“Girl, You’re on My Mind” from Rock’N’Roll (1989)

“I Got You Babe” from the “I Got You Babe” / “Bang Bang” 7″ (1991)

LIVE PERFORMANCES

Live at Gambeat Fest in Barcelona, Spain (Sept. 2012)

Live at Mardi Gras in A Coruña, Spain plus interview with Gregg (Sept. 2012)

Live on “Rockpalast” (German TV) (Oct. 2007)

Spinning Wheel Motel (2011)

“When it comes to consistently making great records and sheer endurance, the Cynics have few equals in Pittsburgh, or anywhere. They don’t sound like too much else out there right now. But their sound is instantly recognizable — evidence that raw, impassioned wildman rock ‘n’ roll isn’t really dead.”
Michael Machosky | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

 “Though the ‘garage rock’ tag continues to dog the Pittsburgh quartet, the band has progressed well beyond any easy tags by simply writing excellent, catchy songs and performing them with energy and power.”
Michael Toland | The Big Takeover

“The music side of SXSW ended for me, fittingly enough, with a totally over the top performance by legendary Pittsburgh garage rockers The Cynics, who would have torn the roof off the joint if it had a roof. All 50 year old teenagers should be so great. ”
Carl Hanni | Tuscon Weekly

“The Cynics not only redefine but also reassert themselves and retain the factors that made them great in the first place: gritty honesty and a level of cool that hasn’t faded in years of history. Well-composed sounds provide the perfect platform on which to drop a soapbox for the ideas contained in the lyrics. ”
Jason Neubauer

“The Cynics’ old-fashioned influences work really as canvas and paints… what’s important is what the band does with its materials. It’s retro but not a copy of anything. ”
Jennifer Kelly | PopMatters

“Though they initially seemed like another Beatle boots-wearing addition to the mid-’80s neo-’60s garage scene, the Cynics added a slightly rugged, steel-town vibe—they’re from Pittsburgh, y’know.”
Eric Davidson

“Pittsburgh’s Cynics have matured a great deal, musically speaking, in the decades they have been around, and it’s a tribute to guitarist Gregg Kostelich and singer Michael Kastelic that the group’s ’60s garage/punk/folk/psychedelic visions of tender love and hard breakups has endured.”
Phantastic Plastic

“This album is a fresh kick in the boo-boo.”
Babysue

Interviews & features

Feature: “Quarter-Century Band: The Cynics at 25” | Aaron Jentzen | Pittsburgh City Paper | 10.08.2009
“The Cynics started. It’s cliché to say that everything changed, but that’s exactly what happened.” (Full article)