Experimental Sunday Evening At Bremen
A variety pack of experimental artists took Bremen’s stage Sunday night including noisy alt rock band Tacoma Washington Weekday Club and Milwaukee chiptune pioneers Awkward Terrible. Kenosha post-hardcore band After the Message and Chicago indie pop fixture The Weekend Run Club also came up the shore to join the bill.
TWWC is trio of vocalist/guitarist Logan Pravett, bassist Noah Turks, and drummer Josh Hill. Their 2018 EP “The Torrent//The Fountain” is described as metaphoric for Pravett’s childhood experience in having home as a safety net when danger is sensed from the outside world.
“It’s centered around this one moment I had as a kid at my grandma’s house where I was looking out her porch window and could see this big storm coming in, but I felt safe being in the house,” Pravett recalled.
People-watching, unwillingly growing up into an adult, and observing how the world shifts around oneself are additional recurring themes on the EP. Radio static and Emergency Alert System tests are among samples used to create an anxiety-inducing, agoraphobic demeanor.
Turks adds that many of the lyrics were written while he was working a day job at Menards.
“These little notecards you were supposed to write work stuff on were just filled with lyrics,” Turks laughed.
TWWC’s upcoming fifteen-track May album “THISISHOWITFEELSTOALMOSTDIE” they define as an invented genre known as “tranquil stadium,” and incorporates ambient synths and large strings sections. Prevatt credits Hill, whose background is in jazz, with pushing them to their utmost creative potential and creating a more intentional work ethic. Influences the band have looked to include Brand New, Mac DeMarco, and Mitski.
“It’s a lot more gaudy. There’s gonna be more screaming,” Pravett remarked. “It’s a lot about learning who you are within yourself and going through a hard period in your life and trying to understand why you had to.”
TWWC have plans for a summer tour in their namesake state, Washington.
Awkward Terrible are Chris Kowall (“Chris Crimson”) and Sam Sieger (“Sam Decimus”). They are a “chiptune-punk” duo, meaning their sound is produced through 8-bit sound chips typically used in vintage arcade machines and video game consoles. The chips are programmed with assigned notes and used as a sequencer. Awkward Terrible combine that with guitar, drums and vigor to achieve punk-ness in a unique and synergistic way.
“It’s almost like guitar playing where as you play you get more technical and recognize when something is above your level and when something is below,” Kowall said.
“The GameBoy is one of the more accessible ways to write chiptune if you’re using hardware,” Sieger added. “A lot of people write chiptune music using simulators on a laptop.”
Originally formed as a conventional punk band, the boys dropped their debut album “I Feel Asleep” in 2011 and an EP “Badlands” four years later.
“To be experimental you don’t have to use a GameBoy like we do,” Kowall said. “It can be something as simple as being more melodic or playing harmonies with two guitars, and I feel a lot of bands in Milwaukee are doing that kind of stuff.”
Awkward Terrible played new songs Sunday evening, which they hope to get into the studio to record soon.