Washer – Rot (Stream)
by Steven Spoerl
Exploding in Sound has been earning a lot of words here lately and that’s not a huge coincidence; they specialize in the exact intersection that this place was built to support. DIY aesthetics, basement pop, basement punk, off-kilter weirdness, impressive compositions, and (largely immediate) music that warrants both intellectual and visceral responses. Nearly everything the label’s put out in the past few months could justifiably earn year-end consideration. It’s a jaw-dropping tun of releases that seems set to continue with the upcoming split 7″ between site favorites Big Ups and wiry New York post-punks Washer.
Bigs Ups already unleashed the pulverizing “Rash“, a song that was aggressive even by their standards, proving the world its first glimpse at the split. Now, Washer is allowing a preview of their side with “Rot”, a characteristically jittery piece of gnashed-teeth post-punk. Fierce drumming combines with a guitar line that’s almost entirely clean to create an arresting sonic palette while the vocal melody ensures multiple returns. It’s bold, it’s weird, and it hits an elusive sweet spot in feeling familiar without sounding much like anything else out there (Even Hand and Bent Shapes were the first two bands to come to mind- and that’s a fairly diverse selection). Striking a perfect balance between being uncompromisingly ragged and relentlessly precise, it’s another strong example of Exploding in Sound’s penchant for bands that aren’t afraid to challenge themselves or their listeners- and that’s something worth celebrating.
Listen to “Rot” below and pre-order the split from Exploding in Sound here.