Hayley and the Crushers “Alleyways”
band sitting against the outside of a building drinking

Hayley and the Crushers “Alleyways”


“Everyone remembers their favorite teenage hangout spot; the alleyway is where my friends and I felt the most free,” says frontwoman/guitarist Hayley Cain of the melodic punk band Hayley and the Crushers about “Alleyways,” a sing-along pop punk anthem from their upcoming EP, Unsubscribe from the Underground (out September 10, 2024, via Kitten Robot Records). “‘Alleyways’ is a bittersweet, nostalgic trip back to my teen years in the early 2000s, running wild in the streets of the Los Angeles area,” she adds. “I’m now far enough removed from that time to get a clearer picture. These days, there is a desire to look back a little too often with rose-tinted glasses. We can’t live in the past, but it’s good to remember and cherish those days for what they were.”

Following the EP’s zippy and vigorous first single/video, “Unsubscribe” (about creative expression and the pitfalls of underground music scenes), “Alleyways” is an onion of teenage Y2K era memories. Peeling back the layers, Hayley says it all started at Redondo Union High School, where she formed the all-girl band called Ballroom Burlesque with her good friends. The band’s first show was at the Redondo Union Teen Center, where 16-year-old Hayley was so nervous she blacked out from excitement: “It was my first taste of performing live music. I played guitar very quickly, very loudly and very badly,” she says. “I was entranced by the ferocity and energy of these early DIY backyard punk rock shows. It was a free-for-all! No money, no glory… just pure unadulterated all-ages fun. It was all about crappy borrowed gear, someone sleeping on the couch, an older brother running ‘security,’ and the odd police helicopter flying overhead to keep things exciting. You never knew what kind of night you were going to have, but we always ended up unscathed, for the most part. Now, all grown up, our scars are something we wear proudly.”

Obsessed with street punk and iconic British punk bands, Hayley and her friends ritualized their trips to Hollywood shows, getting decked out in fishnets, bondage belts and hairspray. She recalls hanging out in the alleyway near the Knitting Factory as being more memorable than many of the concerts themselves. “This was where our social circle came together to share the news of the day, who liked who, and what the latest drama was. Hanging out at Headline Records and checking out the imports or saving up our cash to buy boots at Posers [formerly called Poseurs] on Melrose, all we cared about was punk rock!” She says there was an unspoken sense that although her crew had missed the first and second wave of punk, they could still catch the ball and carry it forward.

The “Alleyways” single artwork features her friend Kerry Cain (no relation), who sang in her first band, and Lindsay Shaver aka “Skulls,” who played bass in the group and remains one of her close confidants. She adds that the video aims at capturing the feeling of “the alleyway” (i.e., “hanging with your buds and comparing notes after the show!”).

Comprised of married team Hayley Crusher Cain and bass player Dr. Cain ESQ, the band wrote and produced their Unsubscribe from the Underground EP during their transition from California (vocals recorded at Josie Cotton’s LA Kitten Robot studio) to Detroit (instruments tracked in their lead guitarist’s basement). It follows the band’s 2022 album, Modern Adult Kicks, and features an edgier sound than the band’s trademark upbeat and airy punk rock.

Hayley and the Crushers’ new single/video “Alleyways” now. Their upcoming EP, Unsubscribe from the Underground, will be available on all platforms via Kitten Robot Records on September 10, 2024.

-Official bio

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