Rx Bandits

Rx Bandits is a progressive indie rock band from Long Beach, CA. Gemini, Her Majesty is their sixth studio album; simply put, it is their best album to date. A mosaic of modern composition, Gemini, Her Majesty not only spans the construct of time, but is sure to be timeless, serving as the portrait of a band defined.

The album’s narrative is multi-faceted, traveling along layers of parallel time and parallel struggle. Feeling the tremendous weight of loss from two childhood friends whose journey ended in too-soon tragedy, vocalist Matthew Embree was affected by both recurring dreams of a young girl, and the band’s real-time struggle of watching one of their own- bassist Joe Troy- fall captive to the same drug dependency that had taken the lives of the aforementioned friends two years earlier. The dreams inhabited an ambiguous space for Embree, and he began the initial songwriting process using lyrics to probe the possibilities of who she was and why she was. Six songs in it became clear: the yet-to-be-titled album was emerging to be at once the eulogy of lost friends, and serve as an exploration of the delicate nature of the band’s existence. After all, Rx Bandits had recently been on an indefinite hiatus, affected by that which comes with age: the magnified responsibilities of fatherhood and family, the balance of art and life, the wear and tear of the road, and the polar nature of an unforgiving industry.

Writing each song as if it were their last, Rx Bandits carved out an emotional masterwork, illustrating fragility through the juxtaposition of precision and raw energy (“Ruby Cumulous”, “Will You Be Tomorrow”, “Wide Open”), and thoughtful songwriting and improvisation (“Stargazer”, “Fire To The Ocean”, “Future, Buddy”). With less than half the album written upon entering Prairie Sun Recording Studio in Cotati, CA, cohesion was critical, yet animosity and tension- derivatives of Troy’s drug dependency- still pulled heavy on hearts and minds. As Troy moved in and out of rehab, the steady hand of drummer Chris Tsagakis, multi-instrumentalist and fellow songwriter Steve Choi, producer Jason Cupp, and a determined Embree continued to push through the process with a new understanding of balance, both in their lives and in their songs. The layers of the narrative, however, continued to grow in density.

The title “Gemini, Her Majesty” came to Embree in one of the recurring dreams connected to the girl who he had identified as the friend he lost two years prior, and one subject of the eulogy. Her loss had only compounded another; both friends had died within the spatial construct of Gemini; one male and one female; both were conflicted by drugs and both waxed and waned with this conflict in the same way the band was having to witness one of their own struggle in real time. Meanwhile, somewhere in Nevada, GSL-pioneer-turned-iconic-artist Sonny Kay was drafting the cover art with no context to work from. What he produced would ultimately leave Chris, Joe, Matthew, and Steve beside themselves: a female form that was the spitting image of the young woman that had taken her own life, the young woman who now lived in dreams, levitating along the graceful crest of stars and sky.

With this friend now timeless, painted amongst the stars, and Joe Troy emerging from rehab to once again complete the unified front of a band weathered-yet-determined to reach self-actualization, the album of their collective lifetimes has been created. The parallels of the dream state, the past, real-time struggle, and the posterity that this work embodies, coalesced to become one. With all of their pieces aligned, Rx Bandits look to the future with fervor, armed with a forward-thinking opus showcasing cunning lyricism that is as pointed as it is poignant, and a musical tenacity that has more in common with Shudder To Think and The Mars Volta than the Bad Brains of earlier milestones.

Aim your gaze towards the stars and share a reverence for those unseen intricacies that shaped this timeless portrait of a band defined.

Northern Faces

it all started after a few too many drinks and an exchange of words
that should have never happened.
but thank god it did.

$20.00 - $25.00

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Rx Bandits with Northern Faces

Thursday, August 1 · 7:30 PM at The Glass House