How German is it, an indie rock outfit from Brooklyn, NY, is hoping you’ll like The Seasonal, their newly released first record. While the band is indebted to low fidelity trailblazers like the eels, Guided by Voices, and Sebadoh, the songs on their debut veer from acoustic laments that recall Frightened Rabbit and Jonathan Richman (“I Will Be Famous for You”) to Latin-inflected chamber music (“I Believe in Me”) to harder rock informed by the riffs of bands like Future of the Left and The Hot Snakes (“Ugly Quickly”).
The Seasonal is a claustrophobic, schizophrenic album thematically connected by the seasons and the city it was recorded in (the album artwork consists of pictures taken the day after a freak tornado ravaged parts of Brooklyn). “Giving Up the Ghost,” the first track on the album, starts with a minimalist folk riff and culminates in a noisy, chaotic climax. Its first single, “Flags & Kings,” is Stephen Malkmus-inspired pop muted by ethereal chorus harmonies and lyrics provoked by a loved one’s losing battle with cancer.
How German is it’s debut record features a number of local luminaries from NYC bands past and present. Singer/songwriter Patrick S. is best known for his work in Flux Feely (which produced the minor college radio hit “Transmissions”), a band that also featured HGii bassist JJ Starside. JJ went on to write and record much of Goodnight Noises Everywhere, the first album by indie sleep-pop darlings The Starside Eight. Craig Mercado spent time in Henry Krinkle and Naming Rights. Dr. Roland Rhythm, studio drum machine, has graciously stepped away from the kit to allow Nate Mulliken (formerly of the Tie-Reds and Imaginary Icons) to take over for live performances. Members come and go freely and contribute whatever and whenever they can.
The album was recorded in Brooklyn’s Studio Apartment Studios (which doubles as Patrick’s apartment) on equipment from the members’ childhoods, including a Casio SK-1 keyboard, a Tascam Porta07 4-track recorder (used as a mixing board), a Dr. Rhythm drum machine and JJ’s practice accordion.
s Pavement, the eels, Neutral Milk Hotel, Sebadoh, Adam & the Ants, Jape, Big Star, Tripping Daisy, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Camper Van Beethoven, Frightened Rabbit, Guided by Voices, Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers, The Pixies (yes, we're the one band influenced by these obscure indie rockers), Art Brut, Possum Dixon, Ra Ra Riot, Black Mountain, Of Montreal, Sonic Youth, Silkworm, Future of the Left, The Replacements, Apples in Stereo, Dressy Bessy, Yo La Tengo, Wolf Parade, Neil Young, The Liars, Ruth Ruth, The Hot Snakes, your band