Following a tough couple of years in the Brooklyn DIY scene, lo-fi indie-rock duo Washer have been pushing themselves to write their most personal and reflective release to date. What emerged was ‘All Aboard’, a sophomore LP that builds upon the minimalistic sound of previous releases, while being anchored with emotional weight.
Right from the off, ‘All Aboard’ displays its emotional bite with ‘Forget Everything’, a sub-two minute opener that entwines the pair’s usual, bass-heavy musicianship with an ominous guitar lead and lyrics showing a desire to move on. Change seems to be a big theme across the record, as singer Mike Quigley shows his introspective side. A key track in this regard is ‘Bass 2’, in which Quigley states that he’s witnessed an “inability to enact real change” around him. It’s a fairly common motif to employ, but with Washer, its complimentary to their development as a band.
While most of the songs are fairly simple in their sound and structure, there are a couple of exceptions. Side A closes out with ‘Afraid to Care’, a four-minute ballad (if the band’s minimal sound can be described as such) with an almost Jimmy Eat World-esque midsection, turning to some picking and melody, which ends on a distinctly punk outro. Follow-up song ‘Your Guess Is As Bad As Mine’ again slows things down, and adds a dash of early 90’s grunge into the mix.
There’s definitely a lot more space to be explored within this sound, but they never seem to do so fully. Instead the duo opt to stick to a linear path that, ultimately, sounds like it could just be one ongoing song. Tracks only feel separated by their lyrical content. Despite this, the foundations are certainly in place and, provided they do begin to build upon their sound, Washer have the potential for a bright career.
‘All Aboard’ by Washer is out now on Exploding in Sound Records.
Words by Ben Mills (@BenMills28)