Walter Schreifels

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:

Cover Song: Quicksand (The Smiths)- How Soon Is Now

Quicksand | Epitaph Records

I’m designating 2021 the year of Quicksand. They have released one of the best albums of the year with Distant Populations. I seriously can’t stop listening to it. The moment the album stops I’m so compelled to listen again! It’s so damn good!!! Anyways I’ve been on one hell of a Quicksand kick. Going back through different live shows and bsides. One of the covers that I love that they’ve done is “How Soon Is Now?” by The Smiths. This cover dates back to their album Slip (which is one hell of a great album as well). The Quicksand version is exceptional. A totally different and rocking take on it.

Quicksand- How Soon Is Now?:

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:

New Release: Quicksand- Inversion

The legendary Quicksand are back with their first taste of new music since 2017’s Interiors. Speaking on the new single “Inversion” singer/guitarist Walter Schreifels had this to say “The music to ‘Inversion’ was very squatter punk at first.” “To get something going vocally I started singing in an English Niel Nausea kind of vibe (Nausea are a peace/squatter punk band from the Lower East Side of Manhattan). The lyrics reflect the push and pull of being very connected through technology while at the same time being the most emotionally isolated group of humans to ever walk the planet and fun stuff like that.” After listening to the track a few times already today, I can tell you that this one packs a lot of energy and sounds like something you might find on their classic albums Slip and Manic Compression.


Quicksand- Inversion:

Album Debate: Quicksand- Slip vs Manic Compression

Quicksand Returns With First Album In 22 Years, Shares 'Illuminant ...

Quicksand is one of those bands that has been a huge influence on a slew of bands whether you know it or not. Their first two albums, Slip and Manic Compression are quintessential albums that any rock or heavy music fan should listen to and have in their collection. Quicksand is one of the best bands to come out with the now described as “post-hardcore” sound. Recently, I went back through the Quicksand catalog and came to the realization that I can’t figure out what album I like best between Slip and Manic Compression. So, naturally, I thought why not bring it here and let you all help deceide what is the best album. So here we go.

Slip, the bands debut full length came out in 1993. This album features songs like “Fazer,” “Dine Alone,” “Lie and Wait,” “Omission,” “Transparent” and so many other great tracks. This album is what many bands often refer back to as one of those that really influenced and inspired them. The tones on this album along with the songwriting is absolutely astonishing. It’s no wonder that this album left a mark on so many people.

Manic Compression, is the second full length and came out in 1995. This would be the bands last album until 2017’s Interiors. This record features songs such as “Thorn In My Side,” (which was featured in Empire Records), “Delusional,” “Landmine Spring,” “East 3rd Street,” and “Supergenius.” To some, this album is the more influential album. I can see why as the production on this is quite better thanks to Wharton Tiers, who worked with Helmet, Sonic Youth and many others.

It’s a pretty difficult decision to pick one or the other but, If I really had to I’d probably go with Slip but, only by a smidge. Slip to me just has this more organic and raw approach that still has bits and pieces of where the members of the band came from before with their respective bands. Also, the songs just hit me harder than the ones on Manic. Perhaps too it’s because it was the first album I heard from them. I still remember seeing the videos back on MTV (oh how I miss when MTV played videos). Both are stunningly great albums and it all comes down to a matter of preference.

What album do you think is their best?

Slip:

 

Manic Compression:

Album Review: Vanishing Life- Surveillance

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When I first heard about Vanishing Life, I already knew, without hearing a song, that this band was going to be something I’m going to enjoy. Having one of my all time favorite drummers in Jaime Miller from Snot behind the kit and Walter Schreifels of Quicksand singing, this was sure to be something special. Joining them on guitar and bass, are Zach Blair of Rise Against and Autry Fulbright of And You Will Know us by the Trail of Dead. The first 7″ they put out was two songs of pure energy and unrelenting aggression. Now on their first full length album Surveillance, Vanishing Life has put together a record that harks back to the days when music had something very important to say.

From the urgency of the first song “Realist,” you can tell that you are in for quite a ride. “Outlier,” has a really cool melodic tinge to it without losing the “vibe” of what the band is. “Painter” is the type of song you’d expect from Walter, which has a sort of Rival Schools feel to it. “Pretty Ruined” has a post-hardcore vibe. “Exile” is a great punk rock track. “Image” is a pretty poignant song lyrically. “Vanishing Life” is full of the energy you’d want from a band in this style. “Thinking Weightless” is a really cool song that has great dynamics. “People Running” was featured on their first 7″ and the first song I heard from Vanishing Life, and this song is raw and full of punk ferociousness. Closing song “Big Other” has an epic vibe to it. I could almost see this as a pre-cursor to what the band might evolve into.

There is something beautiful about the simplicity of these songs. These guys are all great musicians and can play the hell out of their instruments, but they understand the need to play according to the song. Everyone in Vanishing Life lives in different areas but, I really hope that doesn’t cause this to be a one off project. This debut album really shows promise of what the four of them can do together and I’d love to hear more.

Overall Rating= B

Vanishing Life- Surveillance:

Band Of The Week: Vanishing Life

Vanishing-Life-608x422The term “Supergroup” is so over used these days, but in this case it really is quite spectacular. I present to you Vanishing Life. This band is made of of Walter Schreifels of Quicksand/Rival Schools, Rise Against guitarist Zach Blair, bassist Autry Fulbright of …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, and drummer Jaime Miller also of Trail Of Dead but also Snot, and The Start. So far they have only released a 7″ with two songs, but those songs are badass. This band has the right amount of raw energy that made all their other bands who they were but the combination of all these guys together makes something that is exploding with melody and breathes in new life to rock music that is desperately needed. The band has already played this past years SXSW festival. Hopefully they have a full length out soon, because this band is awesome!

Vanishing Life- People Running:

Vanishing Life- Expression (Live):

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Vanishing-Life

twitter: @vanishinglives

By: Brian Lacy

Quicksand- Slip Turns 21!!!

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The 90’s really had a huge impact on my musical taste. There are so many great bands and albums from that time, that deserve to be acknowledged. Quicksand is one of those bands that really deserve attention. Their sound is now considered by many as the pre-cursor to what “post-hardcore” is. Released in 1993  Slip, their debut studio album, is widely considered to be one of the classic records of that genre. The powerful riffs and rhythms drive the collection of songs. Vocally, Walter Schreifels, has a deep raspy voice that really reverberates throughout the songs evoking raw energy. The guitar riffs between Schreifels and Tom Capone are loud, crunchy yet very clear to hear the notes. Alan Cage plays the drums in a subtle heavy way. His knack for hitting harder when necessary is very noticeable. Sergio Vega’s bass playing is thunderous and compliments the rhythm masterfully. Songs like “Fazer,” “Dine Alone,” “Lie and Wait,” and “Transparent” sum up this great album. Take a listen and revel in it!

 

By: Brian Lacy