“I was so stoked not to have band practices and shows for a few months,” former Da Bears front man Ryan Solomon says in his Normal Heights garage. “But I still had to record.”
The ursine pop-rockers dismantled last June after six years in various incarnations. While still home-recording under glitchy mash-up alias Nature’s Kid, Ryan is releasing a new set of lo-fi “neo-chill-psych-goth-wave” tracks as DUDES. D/Wolves’ Joel Williams (microKorg) and fellow ex-Bears E.J. Binns (gtr/bass) and Mike Murdock (drums) complete the live lineup.
Detuning the guitar to C# (the tuning used by Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi), DUDES find an aesthetic ranging from dark psychedelic ’60s groups like Aphrodite’s Child and Uriel/Arzachel to a more ’verby vox and beat sound in the vein of Memory Cassette or Wavves (incidentally, fronted by Joel’s older brother Nathan).
The tentatively titled Narcissists Anonymous EP is set to surface in the next few months. Until then, DUDES have three videos (homemade by E.J.) on YouTube, though you’ll have to navigate through Canadian indie rockers the Dudes and a few Big Lebowski compilations to find them.
“The only way to hear our songs is through YouTube,” Ryan says. “That’s where I go if I want to hear a song. I’ve been getting into bands through YouTube channels.”
DUDES plan eventually to distribute their music on the blogosphere, which Ryan describes as a pyramid with Pitchfork, Filter, and other “household” blogs that often make or break new releases at the top. High-traffic but lesser-known blogs make up the middle tier. At the bottom are small-time local music blogs and the millions of kids writing reviews on Tumblr and Blogspot accounts.
“Everyone reads each other,” E.J. explains, “so if you get a review in a third-tier blog, you might get picked up by a second-tier blog, and then a first-tier blog.”
DUDES debut on New Year’s Eve at the Tin Can Ale House with Lights On, D/Wolves, and the New Kinetics.