The band—made up of singer/bassist Shaun Durkan, guitarist Kevin Johnson and drummer Abe Pedroza—came out with their debut album, Sports, in November of last year, and its charging, atmospheric grit was met enthusiastically by press and audiences alike. Maybe Larry Fitzmaurice of Pitchfork put the balance of fresh and referenced post-punk best in visual terms: "Think of Sports, then, as a freshly taken Polaroid with a lit cigarette stuck straight in the middle of it— a burning hole bridging the distance between then and right now." Or, maybe it was our own Lauren Beck when she wrote, "No one's done noise-pop quite like this in recent memory. For a genre that has birthed so many strains over the last 40 years, it's surprising it took this long for a band to tie them all together."
The new EP is a departure from the sometimes indistinguishable, swallowed vocals and epic walls of sound on Sports. Red, then, takes a solid step in the direction of melodic pop, but it retains all the dynamism and angst the band has to offer. We caught up with the noise-pop auteurs before their soundcheck two weeks ago at Glasslands in Williamsburg to discuss the new EP, the moral sinkholes of suburbia, and the origins of the band, beginning with guitarist Kevin Johnson meeting bassist/vocalist Shaun Durkan in the sixth grade and learning he could play Green Day on the bass. Check out the video interview below, and be sure to catch them at this year's CMJ.