Over the past few months, I’ve written a bit about the Brooklyn-based indie rock quartet Russian Baths, and as you may recall, with the release of their debut single “Ambulance,” the band comprised of Luke Koz, Jess Ress, Evan Gill Smith and Jeff Widner, quickly received attention for a sound that the band has said nods at Big Black, 70s space rock, Big Muff and British post punk among others; however, “Slenderman,” the first single off Penance, which was released earlier this year, nodded at brooding, 120 Minutes-era MTV alternative rock, as the song featured the familiar alternating quiet, loud, quiet song structure and rousingly anthemic hooks while “What’s In Your Basement” was an mosh-pit worthy song that nodded at Bleach and In Utero-era Nirvana and Finelines-era My Vitriol.
Interestingly, “Poolhouse,” Penance‘s latest single is an expansive, shoegazer rock-like song that manages to bring Sonic Youth to mind, as the band employs the use of jangling dissonance to create a an eerily gorgeous song that feels immense and downright oceanic. As the members of the band explain, “‘Poolhouse’ is about an existential crisis. It’s about feeling so overwhelmed that you can’t see the way out. It’s about moments of clam and hope being submerged in waves of pressure. It’s about losing your breath because of fear.”
Shot in an uncomfortably intimate close up that features the band’s frontwoman Jess Ress as she’s doused in continuous steams of water, the recently released video for “Poolhouse” evokes of submersion that the song focuses in, with the video’s protagonist struggling to keep calm.