We’re happy to be hosting Seattle quintet Service Animal this Thursday to celebrate the release and debut of their third full-length All The Wrong Defenses. To picture the groups sound, think a synth heavy approach to turn-of-the-century style indie sounds. The songs are densely arranged with a visceral drive. You can preview their last record, 2016’s Cone Of Shame, over here. The all-ages performance Thursday kicks off at 7:30pm! In preparation we had the group play a little game we call First Last & Favorite where they let us in on some of their favorite records, specifically a first formative listen, the last thing they’ve been jamming, and an all-time fave. Andrew Bailey (guitar, vocals), Justin Joyce (guitar), Emma Staake (keys, vocals), and Gregg Anderson (drums) were all game enough to contribute. In their own words:
Andrew Radiohead OK Computer
I'll never forget when my friend's older brother came home from college and gave this CD to me. It was 1997, I was 13 and had been listening to the warmed-over remnants of grunge. The second Airbag came on, everything turned upside-down and suddenly I knew what I loved. It's the zeitgeist of the last 20+ years and I'm not sure you could make a better record.
Emma Sleater-Kinney The Woods & The Shins Wincing the Night Away
The Woods: ‘Entertain’ cuffed me to rock aspirations and gave me hope for the future. It still does. It gives me the best kind of chills. I just listened to it again and could feel weight lifting from my chest. Albums like this are life changers.
WTNA: Was into the Shins with their more mellow acoustic tunes. Then this album came out. No longer in my mind was indie rock music an acoustic endeavor, I wanted s y n t h s . . .
Gregg Rush 2112
When I was 9, my older 16 year old brother dragged me and my other brother into his room to listen to this “incredible new album” he had just brought home. It was 2112 by Rush. Up to that point, I’m not sure if I really paid that much attention to music, let alone the drumming. But this album just blew me away. I HAD to play the drums after hearing Rush’s seminal masterpiece. That week I convinced my parents to sign me up for drum lessons and…. Well, here we are today.
Justin The Cardigans First Band on the Moon
This is one of the first albums I can remember buying for myself when I started getting into music, and I have yet to become bored with it. There is not a single bad track on the thing.
Andrew IDLES Joy As an Act of Resistance
Can I just nominate IDLES' entire live set? It's a rare thing to take an established genre to the next level. It's even more rare to express such deep pain and fury in such an embracing, positive way. Just find out where they are playing their next show and get your ass there.
Emma Post Malone Hollywood is Bleeding
Why? I work in retail. I have to blame Tom at American Music for this one. He put it on rotation in the store or rentals warehouse, I’ve probably heard it 15-20 times at this point so this is categorically the most honest response to “last” — but I started liking the songs. I liked hearing Take What You Want and Saint-Tropez. For a week. Until I got them stuck in my head and they were suddenly played out for me. That’s a thing that I dislike about most popular music. I can’t underestimate pop though, for teaching us how we are seeking to escape. It showcases vices and pitfalls. It shows what kinds of experiences people reach for when they are low, for temporary satisfaction. It exposes a sweet tooth. Pop satires how consumerist, fast lifestyles break down.
Gregg The Joy Formidable Aaarth
The little Welsh band that could! Aaarth finds TJF reconnecting with the sound and songcraft that put them on the map back in 2011. It’s incredible to believe so many layers and such a massive sound can come out of a 3 piece. This is an album I like to crank up as loud as I can. Like their music, it deserves to be pushed. It’s big, bombastic, and just rocks. Rity Bryan’s vocals once again do not let down and nor does her thick, upfront, and distinctive guitar playing.
Justin Merzbow Noise Mass
I sometimes have a hard time getting to sleep at night, but I put this stuff on and it helps so much. Thank you Merzbow.
Andrew Modest Mouse The Moon and Antarctica
Moon is a mesmerizing blend of off-kilter instrumentation, intimate bizzaro vocals and lush soundscapes. It feels like a life's worth of manic highs, serene moments, and the non-sequiturs bouncing around in your brain compressed into an hour. It's probably not in everyone's record collection but it should be.
Emma New Pornographers Challengers
My top tracks: Myriad Harbour (!!) and Go Places. This took about 11 years to grow on me, but listening to this album feels like home. I like the mixing. Not overly shiny, but it’s dramatic and cinematic. Were any of the tracks used in films? They should be. Lyrically rich, maturely emotional... And the songwriting goes go all over the map in style. I love it. Some of the songs are corny and I love them too. Challengers is a true diverse indie rock showcase.
Gregg Shudder to Think Pony Express Record
Weird, loud, brash, unconventional, and massively divisive. These are the adjectives that readily come to mind for those who have listened to this incredible piece of work by Washington DC’s Shudder to Think. There’s nothing conventional about this album and it’s easy to see why this wasn’t a commercial success. There is no formula or pattern. The melodies are odd, jarring, brutal at times, but still manage to stick in you head like bubble gum pop. The highlight of the record is “X-French T-shirt. The 2nd half of the song is a hypnotic and repetitive chorus that build on the bizarre vocas gymnastics of Craig Wedren: “HoldbacktheroadthatgoesSothattheothersmaydoThatyouletmeinjusttoPourmedowntheirmouths”. This album is a love or hate affair and I definitely fall in the former category…
Justin David Bowie Blackstar
I love so many of his albums, but this one stand apart. Listening to it is a powerful experience and leaves me an emotional wreck. But in a good way. Art with a capital A.