Quasi Return

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Beloved Portland indie rockers Quasi are set to return on February 23 with American Gong. Recorded at Jackpot Studios by Kendra Lynn and mixed by Steve Fisk (Unwound, Sleater-Kinney, Shoplifting), this is Quasi’s first studio album since 2006’s When The Going Gets Dark, and their first for the label Kill Rock Stars. Listen to the first single, “Repulsion,” here. The band will hit the road in support of American Gong in March.

You know your cool when Carrie Brownstein writes your bio. Check it out below:

Quasi flings words and notes relentlessly, hurling music across the stage like grenades. It is explosive and electrifying. Coomes devours his instruments, whether it is keyboard or guitar, fusing melody and mayhem. His voice can go from deadpan to caterwauling, from a lovely lilt to a sardonic sting. Weiss is the avalanche (earthquake? tsunami? volcano?) of drummers. Really, just step aside and make a soft landing for your jaw, because it’s very likely to drop. Plus, Weiss can sing, which means that Quasi has harmonies; they hint at sweetness, settling into the halcyon moment for a while, before you realize that the words conjure a creeping sense of unease.

Quasi’s songs teeter between optimism and despair, fantastical journeys and harsh realism; this is a pop band for people who like their pop throttled. Coomes, Weiss and Bolme are consummate players who let go of the reins to let the wildness accumulate; who space out and make the music disintegrate, blur and tumble before it falls back into the groove. Their playing is proficiently, seamlessly ragged.

Quasi’s new album, American Gong, is still ringing in my ears. And by ringing, I mean that it’s obliterated and unstuffed the cushiony music that’s been singing me to sleep for the past few years. Personally, I’m well rested and ready to move on. American Gong signals that the musical group hug we’ve been stuck in for a while is over. Gong lurches and veers; it reels, resets, crawls and moans. But the album also professes beauty; it surfaces from the murkiness and soars. In the midst of this awesome sonic storm are expertly crafted compositions and arrangements, gravel and grime-coated rock, psych and pop tunes that never lose their shine.

Listen to “Repulsion,” listen to “Little White Horse,” listen to “Bye Bye Blackbird.” Wait! Listen to the whole thing. “Black Dogs And Bubbles.” Yes! Yeah! Yay! Words just seem silly compared to the feeling of wanting to jump around.

Here’s something that resembles a cheat sheet: there’s a lot of guitar playing on this album.

Let me end by saying that Quasi is a stellar and inventive band. On American Gong they sound inspired, happy to be playing, even joyful. I think kids will discover Quasi for the first time on American Gong. And long-time fans will wonder where all the time has gone and be thankful that Quasi is still around to provide the unofficial soundtrack to our hopelessly hopeful lives. Rise up!

– Carrie Brownstein

American Gong Track List

01. Repulsion

02. Little White Horse

03. Everything And Nothing At All

04. Bye Bye Blackbird

05. The Jig Is Up

06. Black Dogs and Bubbles

07. Death Is Not The End

08. Rockabilly Party

09. Now What

10. Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler

11. Howler

QUASI TOUR DATES

12.31 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge (Fir Ball 2010 – Quasi Performs As The Who)

03.09 – Arcata, CA @ The Depot at Humboldt State

03.10 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent

03.11 – Visalia, CA @ The Cellar Door

03.12 – Los Angeles, CA @ Spaceland

03.13 – Costa Mesa, CA @ The Detroit Bar

03.14 – San Diego, CA @ The Casbah

03.15 – Tucson, AZ @ Plush

03.21 – Norman, OK @ The Opolis

03.22 – Kansas City, MO @ Record Bar

03.23 – Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge

03.25 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge

03.26 – Boise, ID @ Neurolux

More dates to be announced.

3 Comments

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  1. More like “You know you’re cool when you’re Sam Coomes, Janet Weiss, and Joanna Bolme.” Not that I don’t love Ms. Brownstein, but Quasi totally speaks for themselves, endorsed by Carrie or otherwise. I absolutely can’t wait for this album. It’s going to be fantastic!

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