Shelby Kanouse (vocals/drums) and Josh Taylor (vocals/guitar) are First Names. The duo have been playing since sixth grade with other players coming and going. I actually don’t know their current age but they seem to be in their early twenties. At any rate, I have to admit I sort of love this just because I’ve had a similar experience. There was a drummer I met in high school and we have been playing for over twenty years now while other people have come and gone.
The band’s album The Living Room is fuzzy garage but definitely plays into its own frequency. Their music sort of reminded me of No Age in some ways. The music is fun and catchy but the way they approach it has this artistic quality to it.
Take for instance the opener “Psychobabble” which is beyond fuzzy. Those big bass drops are brilliant as the guitar melody. The most notable aspect however is the vocal melodies which are infectious. I was pretty much on board with the band once I got to the explosive chorus.
The organ on “City Buses” brought to mind the band Clinic. It’s a dynamic song with a classic start and stop thrust that you hear in garage but the way the band approaches it with inventive guitar work feels fresh and new. The band continues to impress on “Graveyard Shift.” This is a little more emotionally resonant and has some of the more notable vocal performances. It’s still a very jangly song with a lot of energy.
The band is just getting started. The Pavement-esque “Up the Stairs” and the reverb laced “Talking Loud” were a couple of highlights. I would also make sure not to miss “Teeth” and the uplifting, bright and sort of Flaming Lips-esque “Allocation of Emotions no. 1.” “The Living Room” closes the album and out of all the songs is one of the more straightforward garage rock influenced.
This type of music was made for lo-fi. On that note I wanted just a little more fidelity. I think Ty Segall level aesthetics would be perfect.
I loved this album and the spirit in which it was made. I’m excited to hear more from them.
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