The Gotobeds prep guest-filled new LP ‘Debt Begins at 30′ (listen to “Calquer the Hound”)
Pittsburgh punk smartasses The Gotobeds are back with Debt Begins at 30, their second album for Sub Pop that will be out May 31. (Preorders are up.) The band made a lot of the record at Steve Albini’s famed Electrical Audio studios in Chicago, and it features guest appearances on all 11 songs, including Pavement’s Bob Nastanovich (who wrote their bio for this album, you can read it below), Protomartyr’s Joe Casey and Greg Ahee, Silkworm guitarist Tim Midyett, Victoria Ruiz of Downtown Boys, Matador / 12XU label domo Gerard Cosloy, Bob Weston (Shellac/Mission of Burma), Tracy Wilson (Dahlia Seed, Positive NO!), and more.
The first single is “Calquer the Hound” which features frontman Eli Kasan’s sometimes Kim Phuc bandmate Rob Henry, and is the kind of angsty, amped-up, hooky slasher that The Gotobeds excel at. “I love when writers employ slight-of-hand—when the lyrics at face value seem about one thing but are really about another. (My all-time favorite song, ‘Outdoor Miner,’ comes to mind),” Eli tells us. “I wanted this song to sound as if it were aimed at a lover, but it’s really the narrator addressing him or herself. They imagine that they’ve given into impulse and over to drink, finding “a crack in time” at the end of each verse (signified by the space echo vocals). From outside of their own body, they watch themself — as if a different self from a different time with no agency over the other. The current/future narrators are played by me and my old buddy/bandmate Rob Henry from Kim Phuc, and at the end these two halves of the narrator meet. I wrote the lyrics in one go, laying in bed.”
As for the somewhat obscurist title, Eli says, “We joked this song was a pastiche of some buddies of ours (who won’t be named but are soon reissuing their first LP), and ‘Calquer’ is a French word meaning “to trace, or to copy,” which, like an onion, had some layers not just for the narrative, but for cribbing those drum rimshots.” That’s a lot to take in but “Calquer the Hounds” is good for just rocking out to as well. The song premieres in this post and you can stream it below.
Currently The Gotobeds only have local Pittsburgh shows coming up: a record release show on May 25 at Babyland, and they’ll open for Mudhoney on October 17 at Mr. Smalls. More dates soon to come. Check out Debt Begins at 30‘s artwork and tracklist (including guests), and the Bob Nastanovich-penned bio, below.
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The Gotobeds – Debt Begins at 30 tracklist:
1. Calquer the Hound (with Evan Richards of The City Buses and Rob Henry of Kim Phuc)
2. Twin Cities (with Tracy Wilson of Positive No)
3. Slang Words (with Joe Casey of Protomartyr)
4. 2:15 (with Matt Barnhart of Tre Orsi/Mint Mile)
5. Poor People Are Revolting (with Pittsburgh poet Jason Baldinger and Gerard Cosloy of Air Traffic Controllers/Homestead Records/12XU Records)
6 .Debt Begins at 30 (with Mike Seamans of Mind Cure Records) and Bob Weston of Shellac/Mission of Burma)
7. On Loan (with Greg Ahee of Protomartyr)
8. Dross (with Bob Nastanovich of Pavement/Silver Jews)
9. Parallel (with Tim Midyett of Mint Mile/Silkworm)
10. Bleached Midnight (with Pittsburgh poet Scott MacIntyre)
11. Debt Begins at 30 (Alt version) (with Victoria Ruiz of Downtown Boys)
About The Gotobeds Debt Begins at 30:
Give me a minute or three to extol the virtues of The Gotobeds, the modern rock-and-roll sensation that has always sounded like they love to play. Never maligned by having the world’s weight on their backs, The Gotobeds – Cary, TFP, Eli and Gavin – return to the fray with their third full lengther, Debt Begins at 30. The esprit de corps and anxiety-free joy that permeates their other LPs and EPs remains intact. The octane is high-test, the engine still has knocks and pings and the battery is overcharged. The Gotobeds – as Pittsburgh as it gets, the folk music of the Steel City – have more tar for us to swallow. Debt Begins at 30 is an old-fashioned blast furnace and the liquid iron flows. Debt Begins at 30 is not “pub sop” in any way or shape.
Though I never considered The Gotobeds a band that needed assistance from their peers, Debt Begins at 30 features outside contributors on every track. The album’s first single, “Calquer the Hound,” includes local buddy Evan Richards, and Rob Henry of Kim Phuc. “Calquer the Hound” has euphony, a sly bridge, plenty of trademark bash, and a spacey outro. It’s a sanguine album opener, more Al Oliver than Starling Marte.
On “Twin Cities,” the lads tap Tracy Wilson, formerly of Dahlia Seed and currently of Positive NO!, to share the vox, and the result is an exuberant pop song proving The Gotobeds benefit from women ruling the scene. “Twin Cities” is more Dakota Staton than Don Caballero. “Debt Begins at 30,” the title trackular, includes the wizardry of Mike Seamans and legend Bob Weston. It’s a brooding romp with tribal beats and slash-and-burn guitar, more Rocky Bleier than Le’Veon Bell.
Unsurprisingly, The Gotobeds called partners-in-rock-crime Protomartyr a coupla times, with Joe Casey bolstering “Slang Words” and hook-fiend Greg Ahee shredding on “On Loan.” “Slang Words” is a savory wrecking ball with a crunching bite, more of a soft shell crab sandwich from Wholey’s Market than a 4am slop feast at Primanti Brothers. “On Loan” is an anthemic jangle-fest with high-arcing fret work, more Karl Hendricks (rest his soul) than “Weird Paul” Petroskey.
Silkworm guitarist Tim Midyett is tapped on “Parallel,” a grand song that enters a world of whimsy, melodic and uncomplicated, more Jaromir Jagr than Sidney Crosby. The likes of 12XU label boss Gerard Cosloy, Tre Orsi’s Matt Barnhart, the wonderful Victoria Ruiz of Downtown Boys, Pittsburgh wordsmiths Jason Baldinger and Scott MacIntyre, and yours truly strut stuff on other tracks. In my case, I just scream “dross” on “Dross” several times. Good judgment on the part of The Gotobeds to know that’s the best I can do, more Max Moroff than Andrew McCutchen.
Anyways, The Gotobeds have quickly reached the veteran stage, but, based upon Debt Begins at 30, their best days are ahead of them. It’s a pleasure to be associated with such an excellent band.
—Bob Nastanovich, 1/13/2019, Des Moines