Just about the only mysterious thing about the Indianapolis-based group Archie"s Address is its name.
That"s because the group is one of the most straight-ahead rock groups in the city. There"s no bullshit, no pretension with Archie"s Address, just good old rock and roll.
Take equal parts Seattle grunge, the lyricism of Live and Zeppelin-esque metal and you have Archie"s Address, a band which, after several years spent fighting for recognition, is finally getting its name known.
On Oct. 11, the group will perform on Fox 59 A.M. In November, they"ll play the IndianapolisMusic.net showcase.
Combine that with their CD release show Saturday at Birdy"s, and Archie"s Address is a band on the rise.
That may be because of their crowd-pleasing rock sound. "We"re not too heavy and not too light," says drummer Raymond Guajardo. "We"re just rock and roll. Straight-ahead rock bands will always have consistent work because that"s what people like. It never goes out of style. Other music has its fads but rock will never fade away."
"It"s got kind of a commercial edge to it, but we"re not too fancy," says bassist Josh Sprague.
"People are starting to dig rock and roll again," Guajardo says.
They may not be fancy, but they"re certainly powerful. In concert, singer Ron Baughman grasps his mic like a life preserver and howls. Guajardo, a veteran of beloved local group Sludge Factory, keeps a fierce beat and Sprague lays down a growling low end.
Baughman describes his music as "spiritual, sensual and sexual." They somehow manage to sound both rough and polished at the same time, a testament to their skills as musicians and their songwriting ability.
After four years of stops and starts, they finally finished recording their debut CD this summer. According to the band, they "tried to record it on the cheap," and ended up getting ripped off by unscrupulous studios.
The show Saturday is a benefit for Riley"s Children"s Hospital. Not only will a percentage of the door receipts go to Riley, they"ve lined up businesses to contribute $1 to Riley for each person in attendance.
"Almost all of us have kids," says Sprague, "so when it came time to choose a charity, we immediately thought of Riley."
While they may be altruistic, they"re not squeaky-clean rockers by any means. One of their trademark souvenir items are G-strings with the band"s logo on them. They"re proud of the fact that at least one local stripper wears Archie"s Address gear while onstage.
"When you think about rock and roll, you think about girls," Sprague says, "and what better compliment can you get than a stripper endorsing your band and dancing to your music onstage?"
Several of the songs on the CD are worthy of striptease status. "Face Down," one of the first songs the band wrote, is a Rolling Stones-style romp. Other songs, such as "Sweet Apologies," "Punish" and "Breech" mix heavy guitar and shrieking vocals into a Nirvana-meets-Nugent grind.
Long active in the music scene, Archie"s Address helped organize and play at the annual Two-Ring Circus music showcases. They like to support other local bands and are in awe of some of them.
"The Slurs are one of my favorite bands," Baughman says. "People call them punk rock but to me they"re just a raw, high-energy rock and roll band. Rock and roll on overdrive. The Mumble are not only great guys, but a great band as well. We"re proud to be an Indianapolis band. There"s so much going on now that it"s exciting. It"s an honor to be among those bands."
Oh, yeah. The band"s name.
It came after one of the members watched the famous Sammy Davis Jr. episode of All in the Family. The next day at work, he drove himself crazy trying to remember the street on which Archie Bunker lived.
He called a friend and asked, "What is Archie"s address?" The phrase stuck in their heads and when it came time to name their band, it was the only name they considered.
The actual location of the Bunker home is such an obscure piece of trivia that they"ve offered to give a prize to the first person who e-mails their Web site (www.archiesaddress.com) with the correct answer.
The group"s short-term goal is to travel around the Midwest playing gigs. "We"re just going to play as many cities as we can and see where it takes us," Baughman says. "Hopefully, it can take us far. There may be better bands than us, but there aren"t many who want success more and are willing to work as hard as we will for it."