Week in Pop: Promise Keeper, Saudade Sisters, Younger Lovers

Sjimon Gompers

The Younger Lovers win the week with a brand new album (from left), Rich Guttierrez, Brontez Purnell & Ezra Rabin; photographed by Fabian Echevarria.

Lord Loud

Introducing the lords of loud—Lord Loud; photographed by Jon Shoer.

Introducing the lords of loud—Lord Loud; photographed by Jon Shoer.

Our friends from Mock Records introduced us to King Volume Records co-founder Chris Allison who in turn clued us into his super heavy group Lord Loud that lives up to every letter, syllable & ounce of their appointed title. With news that their fledgling imprint King Volume Records is releasing Lord Loud’s debut album, Passé Paranoia on vinyl April 18 (King Volume Records stateside and Kozmic Artifactz in Europe). It’s groups like this that reaffirm our love & belief in the illustrious & eclectic artists of Los Angeles who continue to move in practically every stylistic direction, while playing it extremely loud.

Presenting the world premiere for “The Givers”, Lord Loud rolls out the real heavy hitting chords & percussion schemes amid a whole host of noise. Amps & effects pedals buzz, pop, growl, hiss, & whirl around amid some mean riffs that offers a generous giving of some seriously lead-weighted deliveries. Dissonance & appetites for constructive destruction are the order of the day, as the Lords administer a bonfire of beautifully executed celestial fuzz. The giving spirit is presented as a torch to storm each & every tower of tyranny out there in the world, until you find whatever semblances of truth(s) you may be seeking.

Also offering up a helping hand with “The Hand”; Lord Loud sounds right at home as if they were part of Ty Segall & Mikal Cronin’s world class wrecking crew. One could talk about contemporary influences, but that only gets in the way of the super sweet skunk of the skronk at work here. Lord Loud is not here to distribute party favors, nor to be the people pleasers but rather to be the party and please themselves. And as a result of this sort of unruly & unrestrained (yet orchestrated with hellish precision) audacious audio behaviors—Lord Loud rule on high as the new incorrigible blokes on the block with a thunderous decree of sky-swirling sounds. Read our round table interview session with group’s Chris Allison & Michael Feld.

What’s rad & shaking right now in Van Nuys?

Chris: Unfortunately, we’re not in Van Nuys anymore.

Michael: It was mainly weird strip clubs, a bunch of Little Caesars and a K-Mart.

Chris: There were some good places tho. Like Marble Slab World.

Michael: Okay, Salsa and Beer was a good restaurant.

Chris: I was renting a house in Van Nuys that had a garage that we converted into a studio. Van Nuys is a great place because nobody calls the cops and we could get loud.

Local acts that you all have recently been introduced to that are blowing your minds?

Chris: I’m really into Mind Meld recently. I met Bert at a Dead Meadow show years ago, and it’s been inspiring watching him crank out Mind Meld material alongside his solo stuff, another band he’s in, Jesus Sons, and the record label Mock Records he runs. He’s just doing it, so I thought don’t I just do it too? Also a benefit of living in Los Angeles is seeing free, secret shows of righteous bands like Wand, Meatbodies, Ty Segall and all his merry troupe, etc.

Describe the process of making the debut record Passé Paranoia and what sorts of paranoid and/or passé behaviors were involved?

Michael: We work a little backwards when we write music. Usually we have riffs that we jam out, then we’ll demo out the riffs/vocals and record drums. We structure songs as we record them. The luxury of having a garage studio is that you can listen back and when things don’t feel right, you can go back and insert an extra bar here or there for a drum fills or a lead.

Chris: It was almost a big studio experience because we definitely had the luxury of time. We didn’t have everything demo’d out and could find happy accidents or things that we didn’t plan for, without spending all the money you would on studio time. Everything was DIY. We bought a 50 foot cable snake to run mics from the garage into the house for isolation. We bought 48 shipping blankets that we draped around the walls/ceiling to treat the room. We used any mics we could find. It was an inspiring creative challenge to make as big of a sound as we could with just two people and the other limitations we had.

Michael: Granted with big studio experiences, there are probably less cardboard boxes with spider nests.

A tip of the hat to Simon & Garfunkel's classic Bookends cover, courtesy of Chris & Michael from Lord Loud.

A tip of the hat to Simon & Garfunkel’s classic Bookends cover, courtesy of Chris & Michael from Lord Loud.

How do you two commit that live, blazing sound to tape that still retains the ferocity of a live gig?

Chris: Flattery will get you everywhere, Sjimon.

Michael: I think our music lends itself well to be played live because it’s riff oriented. We’ve found places where we can get a lot out of our sound using very little. We kinda have a swing to things, with big crashing cymbals and big chords. Strip away the fat, but push everything that’s there in your face.

Chris: I’m splitting my guitar signal in two: one side going to a octave down pedal into a bass amp, and the other into my guitar rig. Combine Feld’s relentless approach to the drums with catchy riffs, and our sound morphs into a unified ball. That’s how we wanted everything mixed too, to kinda blend into one powerful music fist.

What are you two listening to obsessively?

Michael: I wonder if I should be honest about this. I’ve found M.I.A again and been listening to that. The last three years of my life has been dedicated to this band, as well as Huey Lewis and The News, Limp Bizkit, and Kid Rock because I’m always working on music documentaries. Oh, and Phish. I’ve been following them for years. I listen to all sorts of stuff. I’ve had Nirvana Unplugged Live in New York, Supertramp and Stars of the Lid are great to work to.

Chris: I’ve co-founded a label, King Volume Records, so I’ve been scouring for new good heavy psych. There are so many people putting a creative twist on heavy stuff right now: Steinsopp (Norway), Sonic Death (Russia), Lord Mountain (Santa Rosa, CA), Dead Things (NYC), Mesmer (Oakland). I’ve also been listening to a tape of Staples Singers Uncloudy Day nonstop, my buddies Levitation Room‘s new album Ethos, Mild High Club, Doug Tuttle, and that new Cory Hanson solo album. It’s a crazy good time for righteous music right now.

Spring & summer plans?

Chris: We are just about to drop our first run of vinyl for this album, and we’re already writing/recording for our next album. We gotta figure out how we’re gonna track our drums now that we don’t have the blanket cave. Maybe we’ll release an EP or try to find a band to do a split with.

Michael: I’m always working on my next music documentary. This spring, I’m going on the Kid Rock cruise.

Other folks you want to give shout outs to?

Chris: One of my best friends, Todd, said he wanted to start a label just so we could put out Lord Loud material. King Volume Records has grown largely due his individual efforts. I just show up to share the credit with him. He’s a big reason why we did a vinyl run of this new record.

Michael: And Chris King, who mixed our record, and helped us get a really huge sound. He also hooked us up with Robert Cifuentes who mastered our album. And Geoff Halliday, who mixed/mastered our EP, taught us a lot about engineering, and provided some organ and pocket piano on a song on our record.

Michael: We’ve had so much help. My buddies Jon Shoer and Rob Edgecomb have captured some great pictures of us. One of our friends Timothy Ciancio did a music video for a song “Tune In” that he shot in just two days:

Chris: And our buddy Nader Islam has been helping us a lot with prepping for marketing our album and a bunch of business end stuff. It takes a small village to make a record.

Lord Loud’s Passé Paranoia will be available April 18 via King Volume Records stateside and Kozmic Artifactz in the EU.

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