During the 1980s, the mostly unheralded underground music scene in Phoenix, Arizona was an epicenter for creativity, musicianship, and a wide range of fantastic bands. Undertow was among the best of them. If you dig heavy, melodic music that adds a dash of The Church, a pinch of Gene Loves Jezebel, and a whole lot of beautifully layered guitars and vocals, Undertow is a band whose back catalog you will want to get to know.
Led by the smooth and confident voice of Mark Lauer and the nimble yet heavy and inventive guitar style of Harry McCaleb for the duration of their musical lifespan, Undertow also featured a cast of notable Arizona musicians during their most active years from 1984 to 1992. Gentleman After Dark’s Robin Johnson helped McCaleb found the band in 1984 and their list of bass players is equally impressive with local talents like Mark Cady, Tony Karaba (Rabid Rabbit), and G Brian Scott holding down half of the rhythm section while Rich Contadino and, for the first year of their career, Allen Willey, manned the drums.
Undertow was courted by several major labels during their career, but they ended up releasing their three stellar records on their own before joining the Fervor Records catalogue in 2021.