The new D.C.-area band Numbers Station make music that doesn't fit neatly into any easy category. I suppose that shouldn't be a surprise given that bassist Michael Honch was in post-rock -- for lack of a better term -- Dischord band Alarms And Controls, while bassist Mike Markarian was in Oswego, and drummer Stefan Bauschmid was in Garland Of Hours. And, if you were paying attention, the line-up here is 2 bass players and 1 drummer. So, yeah, no kidding that this music doesn't fit neatly into any one category.
Numbers Station have just dropped a fine new EP that was recorded with J. Robbins (Jawbox, Office Of Future Plans, Channels) and it's an invigorating quartet of tunes that rewards careful listening. Opener "Windows For Submarines" marries a dual Tony Levin-like attack on the bass instrument with some very precise drumming from Bauschmid, while the wonderfully-titled "We Need To Talk About Some Basics Before You Get Fancy With Oil Paints" sees the trio work out some slowly undulating bass lines against Stefan's hard rimshots. The cut has a coiled tension that signifies some seriousness here but the brevity of the tune indicates that the players are not trying to be too heavy as a band. Elsewhere, the longer "Sheets, Kitchen Knife, Underwear" unfurls with a kind of Mick Karn-like sensibility to the bass lines which serve as wildly melodic things as the drums and cymbals add splashes of color around them. Closer "Don't Warn The Tadpoles" made me think of The Durutti Column, oddly. A decidedly punkier Durutti Column, but you get my meaning. The bass-lines are spry even as the drum hits are deadly.
The 4-Song EP from Numbers Station is out now via the link below. Hopefully the band is working on more new music to follow the release of this 4-track release. And I'm sure they are lining up some gigs in this area too. More details on the band via their official Facebook page.
[Photo: Uncredited Facebook photo]