Time as a band breeds experience, yielding commitment to a cause and cementing a career path. This is something Plague Vendor has learned. The foursome, who emerged from a practice space in Whittier, CA in 2009, started by playing endless live shows around Southern California, filling everywhere from backyard parties to clubs to festivals with their raucous, formidable music. At the heart of every show, no matter the venue, was sincere energy and spirit, always resulting in a snarling, frenetic performance. The shows stacked up, accumulating every year, and eventually birthed Plague Vendor’s 2014 debut album Free To Eat, a dark, thrashing collection that clocked in at less than twenty minutes.
But the album, brash and aptly terse, was just an appetizer to the main course. The band’s sophomore effort, BLOODSWEAT, vastly expands on the sonic territory explored in their debut. Recorded over the course of two weeks in April of 2015 with producer and engineer Stuart Sikes (The Walkmen, Cat Power, Modest Mouse), the album takes a natural approach to Plague Vendor’s music. The musicians aimed to capture each track in as few takes as possible, avoiding many overdubs and embracing the same minimal production they bring to their live performances. Nearly all of the eleven songs on BLOODSWEAT were heavily road-tested, imagined and re-imagined live before ever making it into the studio.
Plague Vendor’s live show has shifted as they’ve developed new songs, too. They’ve swapped out shock value for raw vulnerability onstage and the four musicians aim to create the most sound and the most intensity with the least possible utility and equipment. Palpable tension comes from the sense that anything could happen, but mostly Plague Vendor is interested in simplicity and the sort of expressive nakedness that can come from stripping everything away. It’s clear the band has sacrificed their formative don’t-give-a-fuck punk attitude for sincerity and gratitude, acknowledging the fans who’ve helped them arrive here now.
Plague Vendor has truly come into their own and with their third album to be released this coming year, they will be the rock ‘n’ roll band to watch out for in 2019.
Plague Vendor is:
Brandon Blaine – Vocals
Luke Perine – Drums
Michael Perez – Bass
Jay Rogers – Guitar
Born from the ashes of CT mainstays Heavy Breath and Warm in the autumn of 2016, Videodome spent a year working hard on their debut EP, "Nocturnal Omissions." In five blistering tracks, Videodome consolidate their post-hardcore, classic rock, sludge and noise rock influences into a unique mixture, featuring lyrics exploring what it means to be queer, drunk and depressed in the boring dystopia we call 2018.
"Nocturnal Omissions" is now available on cassette from Envelope Productions.
Songs about motorcycle gangs, splits with reality, and people left behind. Witch Hair is more cult than band, adding droning, bass heavy psychedelia to their slanted noise pop offerings. Ashley Kenney is the band’s core, laying down heavy garage rock bass and delivering mystical lyrics in her natural rasp. Guitar noise crashes into surf rock bends and then zones out into a repetitive mantra- courtesy of guitarist Joe Russo. The newest addition to the band, Tom Connolly, has re-energized the band to do more sonic damage. His rhythms are always urgent but never rushed, powerful and certainly the focal point of the band.
Witch Hair formed in the heady days of 2015. Joe (Spectral Fangs) met Ashley (ex- Loom) at a local show, and mutually decided that there was far less chaos and rock n’ roll in the scene than there ought to be. And that is to say nothing of the absence of songs about bikers. So Ashley and Joe started Witch Hair to address these issues, and to occasionally throw their guitars at shows and stomp on them- like a proper rock band. After several excellent shows with bands such as Mothers and R. Ring (ft. Kelly Deal) and more scene oriented local shows, Joe and Ashley met recent Philly transplant Tom through mutual friends and the circle was complete.
Witch Hair will be releasing new music in spring ‘17