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Rocking a revved-up headlining set this weekend at the sold-out Shady Grove Music Fest, it was clear Grace Vonderkuhn is very ready for the return of live music. Not just in the tightness of the band — drummer Dave McGrory yelping into the mic and stripping down to biker shorts mid-set, bassist Brian Bartling holding down his composure and the low end while frontperson Grace Koon shredded at stage left — but in the stellar new music they had on display.

Grace Vonderkuhn’s new album, Pleasure Pain, is out on August 13th via Sheer Luck Records, and after debuting with the formidable lead single “Put It On Me” last month, the band is back today with an even better song: “Rock & Roll Gary.”

The driving pace and lyrics of the song feel like a tip of the hat to The Modern Lovers’ classic “Roadrunner,” embellished with soaring solos by Koon and a slamming breakdown (those fervent McGrory yelps we mentioned earlier). In a press release, Koon describes it as something of a song for the unsung — a celebration of “a friend who often felt overworked and worn out, never realizing how they were inspiring people around them.” Which, if we’re talking about auxiliary support folks in music and the arts, is sadly not an uncommon story. Would that they all could have such a banger dedicated to them!

Listen to “Rock & Roll Gary” below, and keep an eye on Sheer Luck’s website for more about Pleasure Pain. Grace Vonderkuhn plays Underground Arts on album release day, August 13th, as part of a stacked 4333 Collective show with They Are Gutting A Body of Water, Total Rubbish, Godcaster and Catherine Moan; more information on that show here. They’ll also play Jackson Inn in their hometown of Wilmington on August 14th, and PhilaMOCA on September 4th with Grocer. Details on those shows and more at the XPN Concert Calendar.

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