Detailed interviews, record reviews and live show recaps on Astoria, Queens NY based pop-rockers GIFTSHOP has been chronicled here on this site numerous times over the last few years. Now they are back with a brand new song and video for their latest track “Stylish Junkie.” With each member recording their part remotely (as these current trying times advise), modern technology (a positive product of our current age) delivers a slick and professional sounding track. Taking equal care to shoot the songs accompanying video, an homage to pink and pastel 80's era MTV video lore is playfully represented.
The vocals are impeccably delivered, recorded and mixed, with double-harmony enhancements at just the right moments – like on the final introductory “stylish” before the first verse. As for that verse, Damian's lyrics juxtapose fashion sense and drug-fueled decadence, with lines like “where do you find the clothes you wear?” and “Tiny Monkey, has you passing out on the 5 – how do you even stay alive?” Again, the vocals are doubled and harmonized on key hook “Stay Alive!” which also benefits from crunchy guitar chord placement.
DaveCromwell Writes: Late 2020 Reviews
STYLISH JUNKIE 3:350:00/3:35
New York City's Lower East Side of Manhattan and the borough of Queens share a unique historical place in the annals of punk rock's evolution ever since The Ramones burst on the scene in the mid 1970's. That same gritty, blue collar toughness can be found in today's like-minded and similarly situated rockers GIFTSHOP. Their latest EP “Big In Astoria” (set for a February 16th digital release) delivers five searing tracks of updated power-punk with pop styling that would make Joey, Johnny, DeeDee and Tommy proud. DaveCromwellWrites - January 16, 2019
If you miss the glory days of CBGB punk rock mixed with some pop punk elements, then GIFTSHOP will definitely fill that void with “Biginastoria”. Madness To Creation gives this a 9 out of 10 stars, only because we wish it were longer!
Madness to Creation - March 3, 2019
... as track three of the EP, Stacked, says, the “chips are stacked” in favour of GIFTSHOP. The five tracks on show on this EP are an eclectic bunch showing off GIFTSHOP’s multitudinous talents. Neil Hodge, The Ginger Quiff - February 22, 2019
Truly cyclical, the hypnotic looping of Giftshop’s “We Want You” puts the listener into a delirious trance. Exposed Vocals - February 11, 2019
BLUE MONSTER Singles: Back to Tarbeach and GIFTSHOP who released my single of the year, a double A sided blue vinyl single featuring two different but equally stunning tracks. The in your face 2 fingers romp that is “Despicable” and the more restrained almost 50’s rockabilly crooner “Doncha Know”. Neil Hodge, The Gingerquiff.
As you listen to the song, the melody and the style of the vocal performance have a fairly nostalgic feel to them. However, everything else about the song is far from vintage. There’s a colourful freshness to the experience that makes it really stand out. You’re almost certain to recognise this again after hearing it just once, and this would be from a distance, even just quietly in the background. It’s a brilliant song and it grows on you more and more as it moves along. Rebecca Cullen on DONCHA KNOW from Blue Monster.
Meghan Taylor fronts the band that specializes in CBGB's style punk mixed with 21st century pop hooks. Musolist Morning Commute calls the Astoria scene-makers "One of my favorite NYC bands." BLUE MONSTER is GIFTSHOP's 3rd EP. The previously released two singles offer a raucous original anthem in "Cill the Choreographer" and a bull's-eye ballad cover of The Motels "Only the Lonely."
THE BLUE MONSTER SINGLES
What the critics are saying:
“Despicable” with its driving guitars and plaintive vocals is a straightforward fuck you to an asshole who thinks he does “the things that make him likeable”, but is really just ”despicable”. A fantastic 3 and a half minute romp. “Dontcha Know” shows a softer side to the band – more ballad like and with a real 50’s feel to it. Definitely not aimed at the subject of “Despicable”. Brilliant. - Thegingerquiff.com
Doncha Know by GIFTSHOP
As you listen to the song, the melody and the style of the vocal performance have a fairly nostalgic feel to them. However, everything else about the song is far from vintage. There’s a colourful freshness to the experience that makes it really stand out. You’re almost certain to recognise this again after hearing it just once, and this would be from a distance, even just quietly in the background. It’s a brilliant song and it grows on you more and more as it moves along. - Rebecca Cullen
"The sweet and vicious vocals of Meghan Taylor and her powerful band Giftshop bring a Punk Rock/Alternative CBGB's sensibility into the 21st Century. If you buy one re-issue EP this year get 800 Million!" -Tuneskene Oct. 2012
Hailing from New York City, Giftshop originated in the summer of 2007 as a collaboration between Meghan Taylor (lead vocalist for the Rochester-based band, Bee-Eater) and the former members of The Hi-Scores Matt Santoro (guitar), Damian Eckstein (bass) and Joel Basciani (drums). Their hybrid of indie and punk with pop hooks bring to mind powerful female fronted groups such as Joan Jett, Pat Benetar, Be Your Own Pet, The Devotchkas, and The Lunachicks. The foursome landed in Warren Street Studios with producer Ivan Evangelista who has produced tracks for artists such as Trent Reznor and Cyndi Lauper. They recorded Peach Girl, Purchase, Boomer and 800 Million.
Soon after the release of their record Giftshop was hailed as "Spunky pop" by The New York Times.
The 800 Million EP has been out of print since 2010...due to demand it has now been re-issued online with a track from their next EP, the fan favorite chant-a-long, "Me Not You"!