Every now and then, one encounters a live band that is less an ensemble of players as it is a sweeping and singular gust of sound. Dowager has leveled house shows and DIY venues throughout the Pacific Northwest and California for the better part of a year with guitar lines that dance around in a ballet of time signatures while cymbals churn upon themselves until the whole room is saturated to the point that it nearly suffocates each desperate holler. Title Track, the group’s second EP, is five cuts of shifting post-hardcore shot with a brooding and gothic dreaminess that undercuts and humanizes the fuzzy, spastic danger of opposing poles that first blew apart those early shows with all of the promise of the nation’s New Punk frontiers. You can check out the a full stream of the EP now.
How did they imagine these songs? How could they possibly even play them? What inspired such intensity? Turning around to glimpse the crowd, the basement is a sea of faces frozen in manic wonder. Dowager first began with Portland friends and scene vets Benardo Relampagos (guitar, vocals) and Ben Scott (drums, vocals), who have previously been involved in lauded pop-punk projects such as Our First Brains and Sioux Falls. They have since filled out to include bassist Kevin Thrakulchavee and guitarist Travis King to add a further snarl to the proceedings.
Title Track was recorded at Atomic Garden studio with Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, Happy Diving) in East Palo Alto, California. Portland’s Standard Brickhouse Records will release the collection on vinyl and cassette on November 25th.