Please check out Verity Credit Union, our great partner in the 100 Bands in 100 Days local music showcase.
Music fans of the Pacific Northwest, get ready for our fourth annual year-end daily local music showcase, 100 Bands in 100 Days, where every day until December 31st, we’re showcasing a new band or artist you have to know about, presented by Verity Credit Union. Make sure you are checking the #100Bands100Days hashtag at Twitter on the daily to stay on top of all the bands featured and make sure to follow Verity on Twitter and NW_Music_Scene as well. Some days the featured act could be an established and locally-adored northwest-based musician and other times they could be a band with a small following that just hasn’t had their deserved time in the sun yet. Either way, we’re fairly confident you can come away from this daily segment with plenty of new favorites. Today’s featured artist is The Gods Themselves out of Seattle.
Earlier this year we reviewed the latest album from Seattle’s The Gods Themselves, who blend a shopping cart full of different genres to come up with the unique sounds they are known for. One minute you might hear a surf-rock flavored guitar, followed by a punk beat before diving into electronica but it doesn’t stop there and they always keep the listener guessing.
Here’s some of what we said in the review:
Be My Animal (recorded at The Kill Room Studios by Ben Jenkins and mixed by Chris Barns) is a record that manages to be both extremely catchy and challengingly interesting. It drips with irony without descending in to snottiness (well sometimes it’s snotty but it’s funny). The brash 80’s cover art immediately signals TGT’s fondness for pastiche. In the title track (and opener), vocalist Astra Elane begins with an overwrought spoken word piece breathily saying “I’ll never be a high school queen/The boys laugh, the girls are mean.” The song then breaks into a wide open synthscape exploring the morays of teenage love in a manner that is both humorously florid and sympathetically kind. The “ingénue” protagonist, taken straight from The Breakfast Club, is caught up in a love that will finally rescue her from her banal existence as a young girl so far beyond her years surrounded by people who don’t understand her. They sing “of Trojans and cloves”; inclinations toward the tamer spectrums of rebellion, lost in the animalistic impulses previously so mysterious and strange.
“Tech Boys” is one of the catchiest songs on the album and far and away the most vicious. It’s also probably the funniest. It starts of with a bass line reminiscent of the darker moments of Depeche Mode and then breaks out into a driving party jam alight with jangling surf tone guitar. Real estate agents, Pottery Barn, craft breweries, and (recently) Blink-182 are certainly benefiting from the massive influx of programming pilgrims brought in by Amazon and Microsoft. Local artists aren’t reaping many of the general economic benefits from the fields of new condos cropping up all over the city. More people doesn’t necessarily mean more records sold. Just listen to it on Spotify for FREE baby! “Titillation/We got an app for that/Masturbation/ We got an app for that/Desperation/We got an app for that/Gentrification/We got an app for that” is the refrain revealing the very real frustration of being a native (term used broadly) pushed out by a deluge of more economically successful people. History shows that this is the way things are. It doesn’t make it suck any less though. Of course every artist in this city has a transplant friend most likely connected to one of the bigger Northwest companies but grant us our “Tech Boys”–a therapeutic, poignant piece of petty revenge.
Be My Animal is as front loaded as a blunderbuss. Not to say the later songs on the record aren’t great (they are), but there is such a delicious amount of humor in the first three songs I can’t help but be effusive on the opening half. “So Hot” is reminiscent of Tacocat’s song fantastic song, “Hey Girl” but opts for a bit more subtlety in its execution.“So Hot” is embarrassingly catchy (hmmm maybe this one is the catchiest, you’ll find yourself asking that) and while you’re listening to it out loud you really hope other people catch the depth within its bubblegum exterior instead of looking at you like you’re the kind of person who listens to Spice Girls. The chorus is about as narcissistic as it gets: “I am I am I am I am so hot” and belies some of the song’s darker currents. “Where did you get that mojo from/You’re like a brand new stick of bubblegum/So pristine if you know what I mean/Ready or not I gotta get what you got” has some rather rapacious undertones. Sham self-esteem is poor recompense for objectification but sometimes that’s all one can recuperate. The song goes on to describe the main character getting “all banged up in a cat fight…fuss and fury in the parking lot” culminating in a list to the “Doctor” because “he did it again.” After some sort of epiphanic moment, she has found some genuine value within herself. The song is bookended with another cat call “what are the odds you stay with me tonight?” To which she replies, “nuh-uh. What does it look like dummy?/I am I am I am I am so hot.” Turning the phrase from a rather suspect badge of insecurity to an anthem of self confidence and power. Brilliant.
Ultimately, Be My Animal explores notions of identity in a world where we are constantly invited or coerced into opening the floodgates to the outside and living facsimiles of other, better lives. In “Love,” Dustin Patterson hearkens back to the title track singing the line “I wanna be on the guest list/I’m here for the french kiss/I want the love like the love I see.” In the Facebook era more than ever, we are subject to our urge to mimic the distilled experiences of others constantly plastered across our screens. Difficult personal and societal subjects are buried in shallow graves all over Be My Animal, all the while couched in bouncy guitars and drums that make you want to dance your head off. That’s an effect most people could use in 2017.
(You can listen to Be My Animal below via Bandcamp, and get more info about The Gods Themselves at their website HERE. The album is also available for purchase HERE. Also, check out the new video from TGT that we are premiering right now)
Submissions for 100 Bands in 100 Days are still open to any Pacific Northwest band interested in submitting. If you would like to submit for a chance to be featured in this segment, consult this link for more information on how you can do so.
A huge shoutout to Verity Credit Union for doing so much for the music community and for being such a great partner.