A hard-working punk band from Wilmington, CA, Left Alone were formed by leader Elvis Cortez (guitar/vocals) and played their first keg party in 1996. Combining his love of punk, ska, the Clash, Rancid, and Elvis Costello, Cortez was loyal to the D.I.Y. attitude from the very beginning and formed his own label, Smelvis, to release his band's music. Numerous EPs and singles were issued, and while the band's following slowly grew, a rotating lineup stalled their momentum. In 2003, things started falling into place. Smelvis rounded up the band's hard to find recordings for the Left Alone: 1996-2000 compilation, while Cortez hit the road with the influential Vans Warped Tour as a roadie. His backpack was filled with Left Alone CDs, which were handed out to anyone and everyone. A year later the band was invited on the tour as "the BBQ Band," a band that got to play a set in exchange for the honor of cooking and feeding the other bands on the tour. They played the same role in 2005, but this time they ran into Tim Armstrong of Rancid. Armstrong signed the band to his Hellcat imprint and issued the full-length Lonely Starts & Broken Hearts that same year. By now the lineup had settled with Rick Cruz on bass, Ramrod Briseno on drums, and longtime fan Noe Guzman joining on sax. This crew appeared on the 2006 album Dead American Radio, which featured a guest appearance from Tim Armstrong along with Patricia Day from the Danish psychobilly sextet HorrorPops. ~ David Jeffries
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