by Jonah Evans (@jonahinthesnow)
Quicksand hasn't made a record in 22 years, and this new record, Interiors, bridges the gap very well. It feels like stepping into extended, but worthy of being, title tracks off their debut album, Slip. Unlike their second album, Manic Compression — a good, raw, mostly fast paced, punk-ish, grungily produced album— Interiors begs to slip (no pun intended) back into the trenches somewhere close (but not the same) to Slip.
Interiors starts off with a bang. The first song “Illuminant” opens with a guitar, bass, and drums stabbing the down beat on top of a teaser groove, while the lead guitar plays some kind of fuzzy meandering wah wah sounding lick. The chorus comes in all at once in melodic droning tempo that drags your ears into to the song (and the sound is so familiar). “Illuminant” is like a Quicksand ballad. The second half of the song has an extended bridge with slow moving, quiet drums, while the bass leads and trots at a smooth pace. Walter Schreifels’ vocals tie down the bridge: “And when it's gone, it's gone for you like all of us / Want to belong, belong here / And when it's gone, it's gone for you like anyone / Wants to belong, belong here.” He sings them slow and methodically; that small rasp and that slight shallow voice highlights the dark tone of Quicksand. Just when you think you are done with that punch to the gut, the second track, “Under The Screw,” digs deep and hits with hard aggressive drums and guitars choking back the relief. Then, the sweet, sweet rhythm of “Warm And Low” is a reminder that this band is not going anywhere anytime soon.
It is so hard to make a good record, one that is true to the spirit of your band, especially after more than five or even ten years. It makes you wonder what kind of conversation they had before they made Interiors. The title track is a well tempoed song that shows the growth of the band as people, and grounds them to what sound they have been acquainted with, and what sound may come next from them. I don’t want to say matured, but, maybe, a well-aged, evolution of sound within a band. The intensity and commitment to their sound is forthright and true to the roots of who they are, and this shows in “Interiors.”
Interestingly enough, Quicksand added two instrumental tracks to this album. They have never done interlude instrumentals and it makes you wonder if it is a part of their evolution moving forward in time as a band. Track four is named “>” and track ten is “>>.” “>” wanders a bit with clear-ish guitars, while “>>” is a minute and a half of distorted and fuzzy quiet guitars finding their way towards something, with some form of uncertainty. “>>” transitions into the second to last track “Sick Mind” and the groove is pretty sick. “Sick Mind” cleans up all the dirt off the floor of a sweaty, bloody show. It’s just plain dirty, and just plain good. It ends with this whining distorted guitar sounding like it’s lost in the song and it can’t find its way to anywhere, while adding a sense of desperation — and it’s catchy.
Should Quicksand keep this commitment to making music that is true to their sound, accepting of their past, present, and future, I will be nothing but excited for what comes next.