Industry Insiders: Chris Santos, Stanton Street Star

Chris Santos of the Stanton Social on his love of dives, Apothéke owner Heather Tierney, and why thinking too much detracts from dining.

Where do you go out? Well, I’m kind of a dive bar kinda guy both in drinking and for eating. I mean, I obviously enjoy a good Jean Georges or Per Se as much as the next guy, but I like sort of the hole in the wall-y kind of places. One I really love a lot is in Brooklyn. It’s called Franny’s. It’s on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn. A really simple rustic Italian, you know, wood-coal pizza and great appetizers and a beautiful garden in the back. On the outskirts of Park Slope basically, near the Manhattan Bridge. I’m a big fan of Back Forty, which is a small little bistro on 12th Street and Avenue B that does just a really outrageous burger and great roast chicken, and you know, simple crispy nuggets and simple, simple rustic comfort food. I’m a sucker for Strip House on 12th and University. It’s like my favorite steakhouse in the city. There’s a lot of crushed red velvet, bordello-y kind of vibe. And they’ve got great wine, and their steaks are, bam! They do a great job with their steak sauce. I go there monthly.

What do you do at Stanton Social? My title is executive chef and owner. My day-to-day life is hectic right now … in addition to this we are trying to get another restaurant together. I am working on the Stanton Social Cookbook. I am consulting for a restaurant group that’s going national. They’re rolling out 50 restaurants nationwide, and I am rewriting all their menus for them. I was in Las Vegas all summer helping my partner open the restaurant in club Lavo. I have two partners: Peter Kane, who in addition to this he owns Happy Ending bar, and he was the guy who opened Double Happiness, which closed just recently. And my other partner is Richard Wolf, who owns Tao, Tao Las Vegas, Lavo, Rue 57.

You rave about the vibe and loyalty in your kitchen at Stanton Social. Where have you worked that had a stressful vibe? I opened Rue 57, which is a French rotisserie on 57th Street. I was the sous chef, and Sam Hazem was the chef. He was the head chef at Tao for a really long time, and now he’s working to partner with Todd English. But that was just constant stress and drama, and you know it was a really teeny tiny kitchen, putting out enormous numbers.

It seems like if you’re doing more like the low-key, under the radar places; how come your restaurant’s high profile? I’m just lucky I guess. It’s really just upscale versions of street food and comfort foods. We’re not doing anything esoteric here. We’re not really challenging diners. I mean, I like to be challenged, but mostly I don’t. I want to go somewhere and be taken care of, and I want to be able to look at the menu and just kind of understand everything.

Name two people that you particularly admire in the industry. Would it be corny to say my partners? I really admire Josh Capon, who’s the chef at Lure Fishbar. He’s kind of an under-the-radar guy. And that’s kind of an under-the-radar place. He’s a fantastic cook. He was born to be the guy coming out of the kitchen in the white coat, just charming a table. I have a lot of admiration for Heather Tierney. She used to be a food writer at Time Out. She now owns a cocktail bar — Apothéke. She owns Burger Shoppe down on Wall Street, which is like a burger restaurant. She has her own dining concierge service where you’re basically a member, and she gets you reservations in hard to get places. She’s really young — she’s in her twenties, and she’s really passionate about food — and we’ll go out to dinner and just talk about, “Have you been here, have you been there?” We’ll talk about the industry. She’s just super motivated.

Name one positive trend or aspect you see in the restaurant industry. Affordable dining. I see a lot of restaurants opening (in Brooklyn especially) a lot of neighborhood restaurants that are serving really quality food. There’s this place called Buttermilk Channel in Carroll Gardens that just opened. That’s really amazing. Frankies. When I went to Europe — which was like ten years ago — I came back with the feeling that the big restaurants, the name restaurants, the three-star restaurants, Michelin-rated restaurants … I felt they were no better than anything that you could find in New York City. In other words, the top New York City restaurants were better than the top restaurants that I could find in Europe. But I also thought that where they had it on us, all over the place, was the little, tiny neighborhood restaurants and pubs. The food there was so awesome, and you didn’t have that in New York. That is a positive trend. You go down any little street in the Village now and walk into a 40- or 50-seat little Italian trattoria where the food is solid.

What’s changed as far as the restaurant industry goes in New York in the past year? How it’s affecting me directly? You know, we’ve had very ambitious plans to run a restaurant that’s twice the size of this. And we have this space, and we have a lease, and a year ago when were ready to pull the trigger, it would have been a couple of phone calls and a couple of dinners to raise all the money that we needed because you know our track record, not just at Stanton Social, but with my other partners as well. Basically everything any of us have ever done is successful, and everyone’s gotten their money back, and everybody’s making money. You know the investors here are doing very well, and we got the space back in record time. The difference is people now are hesitant to part with the money they have in the bank, with everything that’s been going on. Even though we have a great location, and we have a great track record, and when we open the next place it’s going to do very well. There are people that are so shell-shocked about what’s happened on Wall Street that they just aren’t necessarily willing to keep investing, so that’s something I think that’s really changed. I think you’re going to see the growth of the industry and openings and whatnot coming to a halt.

Do you think people are going to stop going out to dinner? People are going to stop going out to dinner Tuesdays and Wednesdays. I think you’ll still get your Thursday, Friday, Saturday night diners. You’ll still get your Sunday bruncher. And Monday night you’ll get your after-work crowd.

New York Sample Sale Roundup

● Lauren Merkin Holiday Sample Sale. Downright naughty prices on bags, clutches, and cosmetics cases — nice! Tuesday, December 9 to Thursday, December 11, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. 231 West 29th Street (7th and 8th avenue), Suite 201. (212) 239-2459. Accepting Cash, AmEx, Visa, MasterCard, and Discover. See also Bergdorf Goodman or Lauren Merkin. ● Alexander Wang. Stay hot while staying warm in $80 oversized cashmere sweaters and $240 velvet dresses. Pre-Fall and Fall ’08 samples up to 80% off. Thursday, December 11, 3 to 7p.m.; Friday, December 12 to Saturday, December 13, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. 386 Broadway (Walker and White streets), 6th Floor. Credit cards accepted for purchases over $200. See also Barneys or Alexander Wang. ● Mike & Chris Sample Sale (take 2). Elusive up-and-comers finally reschedule their first sample sale. Good things come to those who wait. Thursday, December 11 to Saturday, December 13, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.. 80 West 40th Street, Suite 53. See also Mike & Chris.

● Alice + Olivia Sample Sale. Socialite/designer Stacy Bendet and company (literally) may still be too cool to have a website, but with beaded party dresses for $189 and boyfriend blazers for $159 — we forgive them. Monday, December 7, and Wednesday, December 9, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Tuesday, December 8, and Thursday, December 10, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. 261 West 36th Street (7th and 8th avenues), 2nd floor. See also Alice + Olivia. ● Diane von Furstenberg Sample Sale. It’ll be hard to focus on gift wrap with wrap dresses for $200. Tuesday, December 9, 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Wednesday, December 10, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Thursday, December 11, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday, December 12, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Saturday, December 13, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.. 260 5th Avenue (28th and 29th streets). See also Diane von Furstenberg. ● Furla Handbags Sample Sale. Half price on 1,500 bags big enough to carry your holiday shopping list all over town — and look good doing it. Wednesday, December 10to Friday, December 12, 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. 552 7th Avenue (39th and 40th streets), 5th gloor. See also Furla. ● Proenza Schouler Sample Sale. Massive amounts of samples and unsold stock marked down to $85 and up? Sounds like a very nice — albeit hard to pronounce — holiday miracle. Thursday, December 11 to Friday, December 12, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. 120 Walker (Centre and Baxter streets), 6th floor. See also Saks Fifth Avenue or Proenza Schouler.

● Giuliana Teso. Furs, leather, shearling, ready-to-wear, accessories, all 75% off. Thursday, December 11, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Metropolitan Pavilion, 123 West 18th Street, 5th floor. (917) 657-2267. See also Giuliana Teso.

New York Sample Sale Roundup

● Thread Social Holiday Sample Sale. Forget wearing white — 85% off bridesmaid’s dresses that are actually cute will have even the nuttiest Bridezilla jealous of you. Wednesday, December 3 to Friday, December 5, 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.. 26 West 17th Street, suite 301. See also Thread. ● Helmut Lang and Rag & Bone Sample Sale. Double the deals on not one but two of the sharpest labels in town is twice as nice . Tuesday, December 2, and Thursday, December 4, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Wednesday, December 3, and Friday, December 5, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 261 W. 36th Street (7th and 8th avenues), 2nd floor. See also Rag & Bone and Helmut Lang.

● Mulberry. You can’t steal their charming accents, but at 75% off cashmere scarves and fur-lined gloves, at least steal some of the UK’s best winter accessories. Thursday, December 4 to Friday, December 5, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Metropolitan Pavilion, 123 W. 18th Street (6th & 7th avenues), 5th floor. Call (888) 685-6856 for more details. See also Mulberry. ● Denise Williamson Men’s and Women’s Sample Sale. Crazy-low prices on blublood, FORM, Guilded Age, Oliver Spencer, Nobody Denim, and more. Friday, December 5, 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m.; Saturday, December 6, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. 119 Mercer Street, Suite 2S. See also Oliver Spencer and Rag & Bone. ● Catherine Holstein Holiday Sale. Pay 90% below retail on Fall Fashion Week’s It-Girl coats, dresses, and cardigans (at $75 a pop, Leighton Meester will be greener than what’s left in your wallet). Saturday, December 6, 10 a.m. 6 p.m.; Sunday, December 7, noon to 6 p.m. 213 West 35th Street, 7th Floor. ● Showroom Seven. Monday, December 8 to Friday, December 19, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (closed Sunday). 263 11th Ave (27th & 28th streets), 3rd Floor. Accepting cash, Visa, MasterCard, AmEx. (212) 643-4810. See also Bergdorf Goodman and Seven.

New York Sample Sale Roundup

● Hard Tail Sample Sale. Because baby, it’s cold outside, so why not load up on comfy hoodies and tanks for indoor lounging? Warning: cash only! Every business day, Monday to Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 231 West 39th Street, Suite #1107. See also Bloomingdale’s.

● Dwell Studio. Two floors of overstock and discontinued home pieces and accessories, 80% off retail. Classing up your bedroom digs makes it even harder to crawl out of bed and face the cold. Sunday, November 28 to Wednesday, December 24, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. 54 Greene Street (at Broome). (212) 219-9393. See also Dwell website.

● Loomstate. Last season’s overstock and samples, 75% off. Organic clothing makes for (almost) guilt-free splurges — and finally a way to go green without cutting back on Poland Spring. Saturday, November 29 to Sunday, December 7, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. 91 Franklin Street (Broadway and Church streets). See also Loomstate website.

● Hanky Panky Sample Sale. Thongs and boyshorts $10, plus PJs, sexy slips, and cami’s up to 75% off retail. Just because you’re bundled up on the outside doesn’t mean you can’t sex it up underneath. Tuesday, December 2 to Thursday, December 4, 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday, December 5, 9 a.m. 1 p.m. 260 5th Avenue (28th and 29th streets). (212) 725-4996. See also Hanky Panky website.

● James Jeans Winter Sample Sale. Welcome winter by replacing your shorts drawer with celeb-friendly dry-aged denim; accepting Visa and MasterCard. Tuesday, December 2 to Thursday, December 4, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday, December 5, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 500 Greenwich Street, Suite 202. (212) 221-4603. See also James Jeans website.

New York: Sample Sale Roundup

● Theory Men’s Sample Sale. Get holiday shopping for your (slightly metro) man checked off way early. Friends and Family: Wednesday, November 19, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Public Sale: Thursday, November 20 to Friday, November 21, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, November 22 to Monday, November 24, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 39 5th Avenue (between 20th and 21st streets), 2nd Floor. (212) 398-2777. See also Theory shop.

● Gucci Group Watches. Clock your turkey and yams with a timepiece a little sexier than mom’s egg timer. 90% off Gucci watches and accessories, 70% off Bedat & Co. Thursday, November 20 to Friday, November 21, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. 125 West 18th Street (between 6th and 7th avenues), 5th Floor. See also Gucci shop.

● La Perla. Cash in on Blair Waldorf’s fave lace scanties — on a Humphrey family budget. Monday, November 24 to Wednesday, November 28: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday, November 27, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Friday, November 28, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. 260 5th Avenue (between 28th & 29th streets). (212) 725-5400. See also La Perla website.

● Free People Sample Sale. Good loose-fitting casual-wear that will keep your fam guessing who stole that last piece of pecan pie. Thursday, November 20 to Sunday, November 23, 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. 75 9th Avenue, inside Chelsea Market. See also Free People website.

● Vera Wang Ready-to-Wear Sample Sale. Loading up for your cousin’s wedding bells won’t interfere with your sleigh bells. $100 shows, $150 cashmere knits and boots, $200 dresses, $300 coats. Wednesday, November 19, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.; Thursday, November 20 to Friday, November 21, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 225 West 39th Street, 9th Floor. (917) 438-4812, {encode=”” title=””}. See also Bergdorf Goodman store.

● Isabella Fiore Sample Sale. New bags flashy enough to distract from your post-Turkey-day bloated belly. Wednesday, November 19 to Thursday, November 20, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 80 West 40th Street, 8th Floor, (212) 947-90001. See also Isabella Fiore website.

New York: Sample Sale Roundup

● Chloe Friends and Family Sale. The bag you couldn’t afford in August? You can now almost, kinda afford at 80% off (but be warned — there’s a two-bag-per-person-limit). Everything 50-80% off; credit cards only . Fall and Winter 2008 by Chloe and Chloe Ready-to-Wear, bags, accessories. Thursday, November 13 to Saturday, November 15. Flatotel, 52nd Street (6th & 7th avenues), Conference Room, 5th Floor.

● Qi Cashmere Private Sale. Just because times are rough doesn’t mean your sweaters have to be. Wednesday, November 12 to Friday, November 21, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. 260 W.39th Street, Suite 200, (8th Avenue). (212) 239-8880 ● Vivienne Westwood Private Sample Sale. Because you’re still jealous Viv gave Carrie that wedding dress. Wednesday, November 12 to Friday, November 14, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., by appointment only. RSVP required for address: (212) 571-2166.

● Valentino Private Sale. You need something to wear to all those job interviews. Thursday, November 13 to Saturday, November 15, 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Sunday, November 16, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Soiffer Haskin, 317 West 33rd Street.

● Mike & Chris First Sample Sale Ever. With leathers starting at $200 and fleeces and tops at $20, earth tones never looked so bright. Thursday, November 13 to Friday, November 14,. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, November 15, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 447 West 36th Street, 5th floor. ● Catherine Holstein Sample Sale. Holstein’s Square Pegs-inspired nerd-chic glasses and 80s brights reminds us of the good old days of Regan Era guilt-free spending, when “Bear” came before “Sterns”, not “Market.” 75% off Parson co-ed-turned-It-Girl’s Fall 2008 debut line. Saturday, November 15,: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, November 16, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. 213 West 35th Street, 7th floor (7th & 8th avenues).

● LAFCO Warehouse Sale. With all those lux soaps and candles, at least you can smell like a million bucks. Fridays (!), 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 161 6th Avenue, Mezzanine (Spring& Vandam). (212) 925-0001.

Opening: Charles, New York

A lot of restaurants these days are trying all sorts of zany stuff to lure cash-strapped New Yorkers into their not-so-packed rooms — but not Charles. The press-shy new joint in the former Les Deux Gamins space on Charles and West 4th Street doesn’t want your stinkin’ money. Unless, of course, you’re down with the owners or their people. The boarded-up windows facing the street are but a clever ruse — our carnivorous spies have already devoured cast-iron New York strip steak in the nouveau American eatery. Or maybe the elitist, hyper-exclusive approach is their counter-intuitive way of luring us inside. Either way, it’s making us hungry.

Industry Insiders: Seth Greenberg, Mogul Multitasker

Capitale’s Seth Greenberg on the origins of bottle service, taking over Boston, why Parisians bite New York style, and who really invented bottle service.

Point of Origin: The Paradise Club and Stitches [were my first properties, both in Boston]. Both needed pre-function, so we moved Stitches to an independent location. Then we expanded Paradise by opening M-80 in the old Stitches site. So we moved Stitches to a new location, about a mile away, so now Stitches had a big space. A comedy club in the back, and a little restaurant bar/lounge up front. And now M-80 was connected to the Paradise Club. After about a year, we expanded, then eventually gutted the entire facility so M-80 had both buildings. Then we expanded M-80 to New York, opened Conscience Point in Southampton, and created M-80 in the summer.

When I graduated from college, I was 21; by the time I was 30, I owned 10 nightclubs in Boston, and from there I decided that I really needed a restaurant in Boston, a Euro-themed restaurant; so 12 and a half years ago, I opened a restaurant called Mistral, which is probably still one of the highest grossing restaurant in the city. And about 9 years ago, I assisted my partner in Mistral with the development of XV Beacon. I came to New York about six years ago looking for a project, and I was presented with the [Capitale space] through a friend. The gentleman who had optioned this building was planning to turn it into a nightclub, and I said, before you do that, why don’t you consider doing something a little more high-end than a nightclub. So he came up to Boston with me, stayed at the hotel, had dinner at Mistral, went to one of my clubs, and we made a deal.

We realized that the best business model for this property [Capitale] is to just operate strictly as catering and events. I sold my last club in 2005 in Boston, and have since been focused on high-end hospitality. We opened another event space in New York on 42nd between 11th and 12th avenues in the beginning of this year called Espace. And about a year and a half ago, I bought a building in Boston called the Ames with my friend Richard Kilstock, and we did a deal where Normandy Realty and the Morgans Group, where Morgans is going to manage the hotel, and I’m going to still operate the food and beverage myself. And that’s slated to open next summer.

Occupations: I consider myself more of a hospitality executive now, focused on food and beverage. Currently my venues are Espace, Mistral, the Ames, and Capitale.

Side Hustle: I advised Jason Binn [of Niche Media] on the launch of Boston Common.

What got you interested in magazines? I was a promoter in college, and I had approached Jason and said it would be a great idea to launch an Ocean Drive in Boston. But first he became a part of Hamptons, then he did a deal with Gotham, and over the years he always said, “One day when I come to Boston, we’ll do it together.” At this point he has such an enormous infrastructure, he just needed someone local to help facilitate the magazine. He opened Boston Common and Capitol File at the same time. We set up Mistral and XV Beacon as a kind of ground zero for the magazine, hosting lunches and dinners with clients, and then we did a pre-opening party. We host five cover launch parties a year.

It seems like you’ve been involved in pretty much every facet of the nightlife industry. Which is your favorite? When I was younger, I was out so much. I just loved it. I just wanted to be out all the time. I always said I was good at what I did because I was out. My clients were my guests and my friends. But now, my lifestyle has changed; I don’t want to be out every night, I don’t drink. I just want to stay healthy, I want to stay fit, stay focused. I want to focus on developing more real estate, and hopefully putting my own hospitality projects in that real estate. And that’s my focus for the next ten years. I don’t want to go backwards.

I still love the marketing side, I still love hosting parties, but now it’s just different. A Boston Common party starts at 8 p.m., and it’s over at 11.

Favorite Hangs: In New York I love going to Rose Bar, I love going to dinner. I’ve been going to Gemma a bit in the Bowery, I love Craftsteak in the Meatpacking. I like Tao, Nobu. And if I go clubbing, I go to Marquee. Noah Tepperberg is one of my best friends, I have to support Noah. In the Hamptons, I love going to Sunset Beach. Saturday nights I never go to restaurants; five or six friends will invite each other over for different brunches or dinners. On a Friday I like Savanna’s every once and a while. I try to go to different spots.

Industry Icons: Andre Balazs and Ian Schrager. Ian came from the nightlife side, but really the operations side, and he really created some amazing spaces. Ian’s hotel company is now owned by Morgans Hotel Group; I think their projects are timely and beautiful. Same with Andre, he’s done some great work. I think the Mercer is beautiful, I think the Gramercy Park Hotel is beautiful. They’ve both had some projects I’ve been really impressed with.

Known Associates: Noah [Tepperberg] and Jason [Strauss of Strategic Group] are two of my dear friends. I’m good friends with Jeffrey Jah, I like Jeffrey a lot. I’m friends with Danny A, Richie Akiva and Scottie [Sartiano of 1Oak], and Mike Satsky [of Stereo].

Jeffrey Jah claims to have invented bottle service. What do you think of that? That’s really ridiculous. I was doing bottle service way before anyone knew what it was.

So you invented bottle service? I didn’t invent bottle service; it was being done in Europe for years. When I was 29 years old, I was in the south of France, and you’d go to a table at Saint-Tropez and Cannes, that was the European way. You get a table with a group of friends, you get a bottle, and they bring you mixers, and a bucket of ice, and that was normal for twenty years. So maybe [Jeffrey] was one of the first people to bring it to New York, but we were doing it in the Hamptons, certainly, 13 years ago. At M-80 in Boston, we had bottle service, back around 1990. I grew up in Miami Beach, and when I was high school and used to go to the Cricket Club, which had bottle service.

Do you think New York nightlife is dead? I think there’s a symbiotic relationship between nightlife and fashion and celebrity. And it’s shifted over the years from bars to dance clubs to restaurants to lounges. It’s continually cyclical. And what’s predominant in New York right now is hip-hop, which is affecting the way people dance and what’s more comfortable for nightlife. Certainly lounges are more appealing than big nightclubs today, and maybe a lot of it has to do with the music. There’s a fashion that goes with it [hip-hop culture] too. New York was the first city where you started playing hip-hop and people started wearing sneakers. The look of New York sort of changed. The New Yorkers would show up at Fashion Week in Paris wearing jeans and sneakers and everyone would look at them saying how déclassé they were, that they didn’t know how to dress properly. And now you see that as a fashion trend in Europe as well. So I think New York has always been ahead of the curve.

Projections: Right now the hotel in Boston, The Ames by Morgans, is slated to open next summer. I’m co-developing a property in Chelsea, yet to be named, similar to the deal I have in Boston where I’ll end up operating the food and beverage, and we’ll have a big management company involved. XV Beacon is 61 rooms, and I learned how to develop a hotel properly by observing and assisting my partner in Mistral. The Ames is 115 rooms; the hotel in Chelsea is closer to 500 rooms. So I’m moving up in the world.

Do you have any overseas expansions/projects lined up? I’ve been approached by some different groups to get involved in some projects in the Middle East, but until things are signed, there’s really not much to talk about. But I’m looking pretty closely at Dubai. But we want to grow our infrastructure first. In Europe, nothing in the immediate future.

What are you doing tonight? Tonight I am training Muay Thai, and then I am going to a friend’s rehearsal dinner. And then I’m meeting Michael Bolton. I’ve been training martial arts for at least twenty years.

Sounds like you’re pretty good at scouting trends before anyone else. I guess so.

Photo: Gerry Lerner

Reckless Sons Wreak Havoc Across Pond

The Beatles, The Office, Kiera Knightley. Imperialism. The British have long produced brilliant material we can’t wait to get our grubby American mitts on. So it’s refreshing in these dollar-weak times when we’re able to send some US flavor to our tea-sippin’ cousins across the Atlantic, like shit-stirring youngsters Reckless Sons. The Lower East Side outfit is presently tearing through their six-week UK tour, leaving the Brits in quite the tizzy with their distinctly American brand of the rock.

“Sweaty, sexy, American rock and roll,” to be precise (according to the Brit music blog The Sons are already being compared to US rockers of yore like Bon Jovi, Guns & Roses, and Def Leppard. Currently on tour with Franz Ferdinand-esque UK band the Splendours, Reckless Sons’ “Animal” was ranked #2 under MGMT’s “Weekend Warrior” on the same UK chart. Up next, the boys play the main stage at the Brighton Festival. They haven’t even released an album yet.

With his grainy voice and dirty hair, frontman Matt Butler is more Pete Doherty than Pete Wentz, and the band’s stripped-down sound makes for a good time (even if they’ve yet to knock up a Simpson). Despite their tender age (Butler is only 21, though his haunting voice and stage swagger suggest slightly more grizzling), the Sons have been rocking downtown joints like Arlene’s Grocery, Lit, and even CBGB for a while, as well as festivals like Quadruple Bypass (SXSW’s hard tough little sister).

Reckless Sons is slated to return stateside for the mid-October launch of their album, Don’t You Dare. Their single “Hate to Love You Again” hits the UK in two weeks. After that, a US single drops, along with the band’s saucy, sapphic “Blood” video, featuring bloodsucking Penthouse Pets and a brief yet touching cameo by our own BlackBook editor Fernando Gil (a shrewd bit of PR if ever there was one).