Now, if you had been frequenting this site over the past month or so, you may have come across a post on the up-and-coming Los Angeles, CA-based post-punk trio Second Still. Comprised of founding members Ryan Walker (guitar) and Alex Hartman (bass), and newest member Suki San (vocals), the trio can actually trace their origins to when its founding duo met in Los Angeles, back in 2007. By the time Walker and Hartman had relocated to New York in 2011, they had recored over 100 instrumental demos, which were largely influenced by French coldwave and No Wave. And as the story goes, the band’s founding duo had spent their time in New York searching high and low for a vocalist that they felt could match their intensity and output — until they met Suki San, with whom they felt an instant simpatico.
The trio’s first show was a party and the now-condemned McKibbin Street Lofts — and it was famously shut down by NYPD during the second song of their set. Building upon the buzz of that incident, the trio recorded their debut EP Early Forms, which was released last year as a limited edition cassette that quickly sold out. But interestingly enough, taking advantage of the time they spent in Brooklyn, the band wrote and recorded the material, which would eventually comprise their soon-to-be released Hilary Johnson-produced, self, titled, full-length debut — and the material on the album thematically focuses on deeply post-modern subjects: depression, frustration, anxiety and alienation.
With the release of “Walls” and “Recover,” the now Los Angeles-based band revealed a decided sonic departure from their previously released EP; in fact, “Recover” finds the band nodding at 80s post-punk, in particular Sixousie and the Banshees as San’s gorgeous vocals, which to my ears bear an uncanny resemblance to Sixousie Sioux’s are paired with angular and shimmering guitar chords played through reverb and delay pedal, a propulsive bass line and stark, industrial-leaning drum programming. And as a result, the song simultaneously possesses a brooding chilliness and a motorik groove. “Strangers,” the album’s latest single sonically continues on a similar vein as its preceding single while being darkly seductive, complete with a slashing and fiery guitar solo. Unsurprisingly, the song reminds me a bit of Siousxie and the Banshees’ “Happy House” and “Israel” but with a clean, modern production sheen.
The band will be touring up and down the Pacific Coast around the time of the album’s official release. Check out tour dates below.
03.30 – The Acerogami – Pomona, CA
03.31 – Venue TBD – La Puente, CA
04.01 – Venue TBD – San Diego, CA
04.04 – The Knockout – San Francisco, CA
04.05 – Starlight Lounge – Sacramento, CA
04.06 – Venue TBD – Oakland, CA
04.07 – Out From The Shadows Festival – Portland, OR
04.08 – The Black Lodge – Seattle, WA
04.16 – Part Time Punks @ The Echo – Los Angeles, CA