Welcome to another edition of 'First, Last, and Favorite,' our column where we ask artists to share three big records: a FIRST that set them on their course, the LAST jam they've been rocking, and a contender for all-time FAVORITE. This go-around we've got Sandrider!
The Seattle power-trio have been gracing us with their brand of bruising power-rock for just about a decade now, and they've been doing it their way. Armada, due this Friday the 20th, is only their third full-length and it's just as fierce as ever. These guys really do an honor to the classic NW tradition in sludgy, straight-forward, loud as hell rock right at that flannel-clad edge of punk and metal. Just give a listen to this track off the new record:
Jon (guitar/vocals) and Jesse (bass/vocals) were both game enough to give us three album picks that might help explain how Sandrider became Sandrider. From high-school acid revelations to records that might remind you of Mozart at the mall, here we go:
JON: MINOR THREAT DISCOGRAPHY
As a young dork discovering punk rock I'll never forget the first time I heard Minor Threat. Up to that point it had been stuff like Germs, Misfits, Sex Pistols, Rancid, stuff that comparatively was pretty tame. Minor Threat was fast, relentless, impactful, and holy shit the guy is screaming the whole time. At the time, Nat (drummer for Sandrider) and I were playing in our first ever punk band together. We learned the entire discography on our instruments and would play it together front to back in his mom's living room, just guitar and drums.
JESSE: Steel Pole Bathtub Butterfly Love
One of my friends in high school asked me if I wanted to try acid. It seemed like a good idea at the time. He played this record for me while we smoked a whole pack of cigarettes, blowing smoke rings by the light of Akira playing with the sound off. I had never heard such a beautiful, heaving mess!
JON: Master Boot Record Interrupt Request
I had a friend recommend this to me out of the blue. He said "You might hate this, but I think you'll like this." I got half way through this album before I bought every single one of his releases on band camp. It's 100% synthesized chiptune music influenced by heavy metal and classical symphonic works. At times it reminds me of playing Nintendo, or watching a John Carpenter movie, or skate boarding inside a computer, or that scene in Bill & Ted when Mozart goes ham on the keyboards at Sears, or if Mega Man was a lethal military agent. If any of that sounds good, then I say to you: You might hate this, but I think you'll like this.
JESSE: Danava Hemisphere Of Shadows
Watching them live is like a three ring rock’n’roll circus act! I saw them again recently and had to pick this up as I had never heard it on vinyl. They’ve been on heavy rotation at work for many years now because they rip. One of Portland’s finest exports!
JON: Nomeansno Wrong
I have a few hundred "favorite albums" so I picked the one that has been the most influential and inspiring to me over the course of my life. Arguably the best album from arguably one of the best bands. Every time I listen to this record it gives me new ideas for songs. It has been a well of inspiration for me. I've actually used it as a tool to get out of song-writing blocks or to help build connective parts in a song that isn't quite coming together. Something about the album lights up my brain and gets the juices dripping. I wish I could thank the band in person!
JESSE: 13th Floor Elevators Easter Everywhere
It’s hard to pick a favorite but there’s rarely a time when this doesn’t fit my mood. I can’t say that about too many other records. Haunting and timeless.
Photo credit: Kelly O