Dude York

Dude York's Sincerely opens with a blast—the massive opening chords of "Black Jack," a squealing track that blends the swagger of glam with the heavy riffing and ringing hooks of arena rock. The Seattle-based trio—Peter Richards on guitar and vocals, Claire England on bass and vocals, and Andrew Hall on drums—is announcing itself with an album that couches its themes of anxiety and eroding mental health in rock tracks that amp up the sweetly melodic crunch of powerpop with massive distortion and bashed-to-heck drums. Sincerely is a loud, sweaty rebuke to those moments in life when it seems like nothing's working, a testament to the power of friendship, staring problems directly in the face, and finding solace in art.

Richards, England, and Hall have been through a lot during their four years of playing together, and tracks like the speedy, dark "Paralyzed," the Creedence-echoing "Twin Moons," and the frustrated yet ebullient "Something in The Way" combines lyrics that play on the trio's travails with jumpy, riff-heavy distorto-pop. England handles lead vocal duties on the zinging kiss-off "Tonight" and the slowly grinding "Love Is," the first time she's done so on a Dude York record. "Times Not on My Side," an intimate farewell note sung atop jangling acoustic, caps the album.

A first pass at a home-recorded version of Sincerely led to the band being told that there was "drywall in every piece of [the record]," says Hall, and they had to go back to the drawing board. Longtime Sleater-Kinney and Bikini Kill producer John Goodmanson and JR Slayer (aka The Blood Brothers’ Cody Votolato) helped Dude York craft a record that captured the energy of their live show while finding new ways to expand upon its ideas.

The band’s thoughtful approach to putting together Sincerely's songs echoes the album's overarching themes of almost-punishing inward focus.

"I feel like it's about losing perspective—a spiraling-inward perspective despite what may be ready support networks around you," adds Richards. "It's like, 'I don't need anybody's help. I should be able to do this myself, because it's just, like, living.'"

Bringing England's straightforward drawl into the mix underscores that idea, and its contrast to Richards' excited yelp heightens the tension on Sincerely, a chaotic, yet ultimately triumphant album that's a vital tonic for these increasingly confused times.

"Your back's against the wall," says Richards, "so all you can do is fight."

Origins unknown, four brooding brunettes came together via craigslist personals to create driving garage rock tunes with a touch of surf. In their few short years together, the girl gang has released demos and EPs with the help of Converse, Manimal, and their own DIY prowess. They are currently recording their first full length album.

QWAM is a band from Brooklyn, NY. They play “anthemic anthems about next-to-nothing (PopOcculture)" that feel like “the rush you get when you do poppers on the dance floor (Alt Citizen).” They "seem to come from a different dimension where New Wave was never derailed by grunge and the mall is still the center of culture (PunkNews).” Their first full-length record came out this Spring. QWAM is Felicia Lobo, Matt Keim, Rachel Zisette, and Eddie Kuspiel.

$12 - $15

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