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New Bands on the Block
While SLC is rich with up-and-coming artists, these are three new bands who are doing their thing flawlessly—and need to be seen to be believed.
By Erin Moore
Often the mark of a good musician is their ability to work in different ways, with different sounds. Such is the case for all three members of Corner Case, who have all put in their time experimenting before settling into the playful post-punk perfection that is this fairly new band.
In the back on the drum kit is Cathy Foy, a spot she occupies easily as one of SLC's best and most well-known drummers. She fronted the now-defunct band Strong Words, who dealt in easy-listening indie rock made comfortable and earnest space under the care of Foy's plain-spoken lyrics and compelling rhythms. She was joined by Landon Young in that band who, besides synth-smithing as the solo act Pet Lib, also spent some time with Foy in the short-lived post-punk trio Browser. Now working with bassist Paula Bravo—who started out in the lo-fi indie project Peach Dream—they have built their own approach to post-punk that's unsurprisingly solid given their combined experience.
Young is a front person who is hard to tire of, with their soft yet impish vocals that are strangely yet perfectly suited for the spare-yet-tension-filled songs that make up their late 2019 debut album Haunted House. A lot like early Wire with a sweeter sheen, the album is cleanly produced but best heard live, where Young, in particular, proves even more what a charming front person they are, and where their vocals are thankfully cranked up a bit.
- Max Taylor
- Michael Marinos of Dad Bod
No one can say that SLC doesn't have its thumb on the pulse of the indie music world these days. That much is proven by the presence of acts like Dad Bod, who, since their beginnings in 2018, have been digging into the glimmery, lo-fi sounds set up as the standard by the likes of Mac DeMarco, Homeshake and Connan Mockasin as far back as 2014. Glazed with (rather than soaked in) reverb, their take on the sound and dedication to it demonstrates that maybe it wasn't all just a fad, but that maybe vibey, guitar-based chill-wave is here to stay.
Dad Bod's 2019 album After Thought seems to be just a hint of where they might be able to go with some time and dedication, but is still a well-produced piece of work that could be coming out of anywhere—but it's coming out of here. The quality of this release, and the singles they dropped in the year and a half before it, is also worth noting when compared with a name they share with another artist, who—not surprisingly—is also a lo-fi act in line with the likes of Snail Mail or Soccer Mommy. What initially seemed like an ironic, shrugged naming habit popular among youthful bands now feels more like a tactic for immediately throwing the listener off—who knew a band with such an awkward name would sound so clean and pure? Catch them opening for James Supercave at the end of this month.
Listen to After Thought on Spotify, and follow Dad Bod on Instagram @officialdadbod and on facebook.com/officialdadbod
Idi et Amin
It's usually offense-seeking punk bands that choose names with a controversial weight, but in the case of this new SLC band, it's the moniker for soft-as-velvet shoegaze, and it's good enough to side-step the name. The primary songwriters—Rocky Maldonado (frontman of the swinging punk and psych rock outfit The Nods) and Catalina Gallegos—have collaborated before on projects like The Eleventh Door. Here, they've managed to craft perfect shoegaze—which is a little ironic considering that Maldonado once expressed some critical views of the genre during a City Weekly interview with The Nods.
But it's this critical ear that seems to have gotten Idi et Amin where they are now. In a statement on Instagram, the band explains: "If you are in a shoegaze band, you use an octave shimmer reverb and chorus pedals in conjunction with distortion to create a wall of sound—but IEA? We use no reverb, which creates a reverbless, chorus-less, phaserless, virtatoless 'wall of colon.'" This last part refers to a scientific illustration of a, well, colon.
Regardless of this weird image, their approach yielded the fantastic debut Texas Rose, which was released on Maldonado and Gallego's own label Akashic Records, with tape pressings through West Valley's Por Que No Records and a vinyl issue due out on the Australian label Library Group Records. The album opens up with the track "Echoed Sleepily," played at their stunning debut show, where they performed live with drummer Jeremy Divine and bassist Johnny Cassidy. The whole album, but in particular "Echoed Sleepily," is shot right out of the 1990s peak of shoegaze, in line with the likes of Galaxie 500 or Swirlies. Featuring a guitar part that wails like a shooting star, it snags you by the collar and drags you along with it, filling the air with a kind of romance that only shoegaze gets at—and they're doing it better than most modern shoegaze acts in SLC and beyond.
Find Texas Rose on Youtube or at porquenorecordz.bandcamp.com and follow Idi et Amin on Instagram @idi_et_amin.