by Dan Murphy (@danmurphy3220)
The aptly named Here Comes Washer plays on the thoughts of fans following the Brooklyn pop-punk duo comprised of Mike Quigley on guitar/bass/vocals and Kieran McShane on drums for the last year and a half. Since their March 2014 debut, Bighead EP, we’ve only gotten promising tastes of what Washer was capable of in the form of two split 7”’s with Exploding in Sound label mates Big Ups and Flagland. Needless to say, this LP has been a long time coming, and thankfully, does not disappoint.
One of the more notable things about this record is that you almost immediately forget the band is only comprised of two people. Any sonic gaps are filled in by Quigley’s full, sometimes-fuzzy guitar tone and McShane’s fast-paced, complex drum beats. Washer finds a happy medium between the pop sensibilities you may find in the late ‘90s—early 2000’s punk scene and the fuzzy, slightly-math-rock influenced work of their EIS peers. Most songs on the record are singalong friendly, while some contain a part or two that induces finger-counting, or an ending seemingly unrelated to the rest of the track (see “Beansy” and “Safe Place”). Quigley really impresses vocally when he reaches the proverbial top-of-his-lungs range, most notably when screaming “I don’t wanna die,” on “Figure Me Out,” or as the sun tells the narrator to give himself a break on “Got Drunk and Ate the Sun."
While we’re on the topic of lyrics, Washer is really covering a lot of ground on this record—perhaps enabled by smushing fourteen songs into a mere 29 minutes. Many of the topics covered reflect a lot of the feelings commonly associated with younger members of this generation, be it an exploration of nostalgia as the narrator reminisces on his “cardboard spaceship” from childhood on “Hallmark”; a request to let people have their own beliefs on “Pet Rock vs Healing Crystal,” citing, “It’s not like we’ve got our shit together”; or a dissatisfaction with one’s historical surroundings as seen on “This Land”. On that particular track, Quigley laments, “This land is righteous and ashamed,” before pronouncing, “It’s no wonder we’re all stoned/ restless in our homes.”
With this record, Washer manages to bring together several exciting elements that can regularly elude bands of the indie rock genre today. Their music is catchy, yet challenging and engaging, and their lyrics are easily relatable, while maintaining an aspect of observational commentary. Accomplishing this is far more difficult than I can describe here, and downright commendable—not to mention this is their debut record. If this is Washer arriving, I’m praying they stay for a long, long time.