Over the past 15-16 months or so, I’ve written about the Brooklyn-based JOVM mainstays, Russian Baths. And with the release of their debut single “Ambulance,” the act comprised of Luke Koz, Jess Ress, Evan Gill Smith and Jeff Widner quickly received attention locally and elsewhere for a sound that the band has described as nodding at Big Black, 70s space rock, Big Muff and British post punk among others. The band released their debut EP Penance last year through Good Eye Records and from EP singles “What’s In Your Basement,” “Slenderman” and “Poolhouse,” the Brooklyn-based JOVM mainstays established themselves for brooding 90s alt rock 120 Minutes-era MTV-like sound.
Building upon a growing profile, the band will be releasing their full-length debut later this year, and the album’s first, official single “Parasite” may arguably be the one of the most muscular and grunge-like songs of their growing catalog, as the song is centered around distortion pedal-drenched power chords, thundering drumming, a mosh pit friendly hook and male-female harmonizing within a tried-and-true, alt rock, alternating quiet, loud, quiet song structure. And while bringing Nirvana and others to mind, the song has a deeply unsettling and violent air, capturing someone on the verge of destroying themselves.
“Have you ever had an insect burrow into your brain and force you to drown yourself? Cured a headache with a hand grenade?” queries Koz, aptly reconstructing the same violent energy converted to guitar-driven noise rock on the single. “This song is about these legitimate questions.”