KIND BEAST 10-song debut album You Know I Used to Dance?
(LP/Digital) available December 17th from DOWN PENINSULA AUDIO
RELEASE SHOW: December 17th @ UFO Factory w/ Art of Conversation and Decliner
Following a debut 12” EP, Endless Virtue (2020), KIND BEAST made the kind of crucial personnel adjustments that often occur during a band’s nascency. “We wanted a bassist who could play dirty and funky, someone who knew Fugazi but also Curtis Mayfield, and I was racking my brain until I realized that my old pal from high school, Sean Bondareff, might be available,” says Hoen. Bondareff had played for over a decade in Mitch Ryder’s Detroit Wheels. “I mean, you talk about rock n’ roll, well, you’re not gonna get too much closer to the source than a guy who’s toured with The Wheels for years on end.” The issue of second guitarist was solved when twenty-six-year old Martin Rodgers—a jazz-trained, chart-reading composer—entered the picture. “I’m a punk rock caveman and Martin has a consummate technique, so it’s a great merger of energies because we connect emotionally and he gets this music on an intuitive level.”
Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the group wrote over two albums worth of music. The first set, You Know I Used to Dance?, is a dense, layered ten-song LP that brings to mind sounds as disparate as Fugazi and INXS, Black Sabbath and Joy Division. Reviews have drawn comparisons to other dark-rock sophisticates like latter-day Arctic Monkeys and Queens of the Stone Age, yet KIND BEAST’s music most resembles a culmination of the members’ own discographies as twenty-year veterans of North American indie rock. “When people refer to Queens or something, I’m kind of confused,” says Hoen, “but then I realize that I probably grew up on musical diet similar to a guy like Josh Homme. I was an SST kid who also loved Zeppelin and then found Gang of Four and Krautrock or whatever. But I also love The Cure. I love Neil Young and I love Shellac and I love James Brown. I love guitar music and I’ve made a lot of it and this is just what comes out when these four people play together.”
Drawing on inspiration from long-term sobriety, ancient Zen philosopher Dogen, Trump-loving uncles and remembrances of a sordid past, the songs on You Know I Used To Dance? seem ready-made for late-night drives and hazy, twilight encounters. “We let the songs on this album sprawl,” say Hoen. “The next one has the tighter tracks, but these… there’s some density to the arrangements; it’s designed for repeated listens.” Regarding lyrical themes, Hoen says, “The cool thing about no one paying attention to your band is that you do whatever you want, so I’m just writing whatever comes through me. A song like ‘Stations|Your Cross’ is probably incomprehensible the first few listens but might eventually start to make some impressionistic sense while ‘Who Paid You?’ is about as direct as anything I’ve ever written. It’s a non-partisan gripe about corporate-owned politicians that tries to make the darkness of it all a little sadistic, maybe even sexy, if that’s possible.” The album’s lead single, “Feeling Strange,” features the line “We still like to party/But now we do it straight” and is, according to Hoen, “an ode to my sober brother and sisters, especially those who still need to get wild in unusual ways.”
Having only played a handful of shows prior to quarantine, 2022 will see KIND BEAST performing regionally and releasing a second LP, Dirty Realism, by the end of the year. You Know I Used To Dance? releases December 17th on vinyl and streaming and will be preceded by the single “Feeling Strange.”
—Jim Vaye Watkon, Eureka, CA 2021
There are deeper motivations for passing you this advance copy of their 10 song album—those motivations being that the band is hoping you’ll consider it for inclusion in your illustrious endeavor. The band desires the help, assistance, support of a sympathetic entity. But just giving it a listen means a lot (or maybe three listens because there’s all kind of melody and subliminal context tucked in there).
Let the BEAST know what you think. It can hardly wait to be set loose in the world, kindly.
Signed, Upper Management
Dan Jaquint: Drums
Sean Madigan Hoen: Vocals, Guitar
Martin Rodgers: Guitar
Sean Bondareff: Bass
We still like to party
But now we do it straight
In the best of ways