San Francisco’s Philistines will release their debut album Therewolves!on October 16. Filter Magazine is running an MP3 premiere of “Complications” from Therewolves! and said it is a “well-executed, beautifully harmonized rock anthem.” Head to the Filter site to download and share the track. Additionally the band just announced a San Francisco record release show for November 17 at the Hemlock Tavern.
Philistines were born of frustration. On the eve of recording a new record, Colin Daly’s band mate and friend flew the coop for the East Coast, never to be heard from again. Around the anger stage of the grieving process, he called up his twin brother to vent. Chris tossed out an idea: Could he try his hand at writing leads over the skeletal songs? They decided then and there to exchange iPhone Memos and, in dispatches that travelled from Chicago to San Francisco and back again, new versions of old songs evolved. These versions would be set to tape at Tiny Telephone — the same studio where many of their favorite bands recorded.
This would be a far cry from the twins laying down Depeche Mode covers on the Tascam 4-track they received for their 16th birthday. In the 20 years since, Chris had travelled the globe in the workhorse band, Sweep the Leg Johnny, and Colin had found modest success in the power pop of Ex-Boyfriends. They also serendipitously chanced upon a consummate rhythm section in the guise of Vinnie Reeder and Conor Thompson, whose previous band, Vitamin Party, wouldn’t sound out of place on the Lookout! roster.
The end result was mangled pop. The drums melodic and just outside of the pocket. The bass, propulsive and charging at one moment, could go quiet and claustrophobic the next. Chris’ spiraling guitar leads transformed Colin’s basic pop songs into gnarled ditties that zigged when they wanted to zag. There is a push and pull between major and minor present in every song, between the need to resolve and the choice to let the sour note linger, until that note no longer sounds sour at all. Even the catchiest song belies dark lyrics; never has the cynical refrain, “it’s all been done,” sounded so inspiring.
Above all, Philistines are the sum of its parts. “No other four people could have created these songs,” Colin muses. “I guess somebody could write something similar, but they wouldn’t sound like they’d been to hell and back.”
San Francisco Record Release Show:
Saturday, November 17th @ the Hemlock Tavern
Therewolves! Track List
1. Woo Hoo Hoo (MP3)
2. Anyone Will Do
3. Complications (MP3)
4. Sadly Temporary
5. We Know
6. Keep It Simple
7. Battle Stations
8. Red Alert
9. Whatcha Say
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