Distant Populations

Live Review: Quicksand at The Troubadour

Quicksand in West Hollywood at Troubadour

A couple weeks back I made a very bold statement that, “2021 is the year of Quicksand” and last night cemented that for me. I’ve long wanted to see Quicksand live since I first heard Slip way back when and now, that wish came true. Seeing Walter Schreifels, Sergio Vega, Alan Cage rock out was superb and the icing on the cake of them having Cave In/Mutoid Man/etc guitarist/vocalist Stephen Brodsky as their second guitarist just made it all something spectacular.

The moment the lights went down and the projections on the backdrop started, the frenzy of the crowd began to rev up and the second the first note of “Inversion” from their new and absolutely killer album, Distant Populations started, everyone knew, it was ON!!!. Plowing down the audience with the four songs off their new album immediately was tremendous. Just when you thought they were going to play the whole album (which they did) they burst into “Fazer” and there was no looking back. The setlist for the night was so good. Playing all of Distant Populations along with choice cuts from Slip, Manic Compression and Interiors, Quicksand could do no wrong. They even did a wonderful job covering My Bloody Valentine’s “Don’t Ask Why” and now I want to just listen to their version from now on. Hearing songs like the ones above along with “Colossus,” “Thorn In My Side,” “Dine Alone,” “Brown Gargantuan,” “Phase 90,” “Unfulfilled” and so many more was like being on cloud 9. There was no chance I could stand still. It’s a good thing I haven’t cut my hair in a while so I could head bang along like a crazy person. Watching Quicksand live is something everyone in a band should do. They had so much energy emitting from the stage it was contagious. You could tell these guys really enjoy playing. The chemistry of the four guys on stage was astounding. You can tell that Walter, Sergio and Alan are a tight unit. They play off each other so well. Adding Stephen Brodsky to the touring lineup was a perfect idea. His playing style and abilities really fit great in Quicksand. His mannerisms on stage too are so good. I really wish he could be a permanent member of Quicksand. I can only imagine how awesome the next album would be if he were a part of it.

Also playing this evening was Narrow Head and Creeps. Both bands had a very 90’s driven style with the latter sounding a bit more like Brand New. Both bands had solidly good sets and brought a lot of energy. The audience showed up early and that seemed to have a feeling that harked back to the days when people would show up to support all the bands on the bill. It’s always a nice thing to see bands like Quicksand bring out younger/up and coming bands on tour. It’s great to give them the opportunity to get their music out to as many people as possible.

Quicksand is the type of band that influences and inspires anyone that listens. Personally, I couldn’t even wind down when I got home from the show. That’s how good it was. Quicksand is a band that is essential listening and should be in your collection. I can’t wait for the next time Quicksand comes through Los Angeles. What a great show.

Quicksand Set List:

01) Inversion
02) Lightning Field
03) Colossus
04) Missle Command
05) Fazer
06) Thorn In My Side
07) Phase 90
08) Head To Wall
09) Don’t Ask Why (My Bloody Valentine Cover)
10) Under The Screw
11) Unfulfilled
12) Too Official
13) Illuminant
14) Warm And Low
15) The Philosopher
16) Compacted Infinity
17) Rodan
18) Omission
19) Brown Gargantuan
20) Katakana
21) Delusional
22) Dine Alone
23) Brushed

Review By: Brian Lacy

Quicksand- Distant Populations:

Album Review: Quicksand- Distant Populations

Quicksand - Distant Populations | Epitaph Records

Quicksand have been one of the most underrated bands out there for so many years. Their 90’s output of the albums Slip and Manic Compression have become staples for bands and their inspiration/influences. The sound and style that Quicksand created has been often copied as well. A couple years back, Quicksand released their first new album in many years with Interiors. That album was an interesting look into where the band was at that point after being away for some time. Now though, Quicksand is roaring back with their new album, Distant Populations. This might very well be the best Quicksand has ever sounded too.

The moment the album starts you are totally pulled in. There isn’t a song on this album that feels out of place. The flow of the songs on the album is perfect. The moment the album ends, you immediately want to start it over. That’s how good this is. There isn’t a song on here that you will skip. Songs like “Inversion,” “Colossus,” “Phase 90,” “Missle Command,” and “The Philosopher” have been my favorite tracks so far. This album packs some of the best songs Quicksand have ever written. Sonically, dynamically, lyrically, Distant Populations is a beast of an album. This album is 11 songs of unrelenting pounding rock music. The production by Will Yip (Nothing, Circa Survive) is top notch. He really nailed the classic tones and gives it enough of an added oomph to really bring these new songs to life. The mix by Josh Wilbur absolutely bangs! This album too, I have to say, is the follow up to Manic Compression we’ve been waiting for.

Like a fine wine or scotch, Quicksand only gets better with age. The songs from their past are gems and the songs they have released now are just as good. There is also a maturity to this album that shines bright. The songs on this, like the others are deeply introspective and current. The lyrics on the album as explained by frontman Walter Schreifels said, “Everyone is, on the one hand, so connected with each other, and on the other hand, is so far apart. We’re checking out each other’s social media and we know what everybody’s doing. But when we’re sitting in the same room together, we’re looking at our phones.” The societal impact of how we live our lives topped off with the pandemic sure made for some great material. Quicksand have made an impact over the years but, with Distant Populations, they have truly cemented their place!

Overall Rating: A


Quicksand- Distant Populations:

Anticipated Albums: Quicksand- Distant Populations

The mighty Quicksand are back with a new album and first since 2017’s Interiors. Distant Populations is the title of the upcoming album and it’s definitely shaping up to be one of the best of 2021. The album will be out digitally August 13 and on vinyl September 24 via Epitaph Records. Distant Populations was produced and engineered by Will Yip (The Menzingers, Code Orange, Nothing), and mixed by Josh Wilbur (Lamb of God, Megadeth, Trivium). Speaking on the album, “Everyone is on the one hand so connected with each other, and on the other hand, is so far apart.” says frontman Walter Schreifels.“We’re checking out each other’s social media and we know what everybody’s doing. But when we’re sitting in the same room together, we’re looking at our phones,” he adds point out the sad irony of it all. Throughout the album’s 11 tracks, Quicksand explores the duality of our simultaneous existence in individual relationships and as part of a mass society, while also examining the alienation and loneliness of it all. Pretty fitting for the times we are living in if you ask me. Today, the band shares “Missile Command,” a song that emerged from a Quicksand rehearsal jam, recalls Schreifels, “It really kind of focuses on Sergio’s (Vega) whole motif in a very simple way. He and Alan (Cage) just have this really kind of trademark groove, and I think that really sings on this one to me. I just felt like it’s a kind of song that is very us, but we hadn’t written it yet.”  Based on “Missile Command” and “Inversion” there is without a doubt the classic sound we’ve all loved since Slip all the while, a bit of a modern flair.


Quicksand- Missile Command:

Quicksand- Inversion: