Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s featured selection, chosen by Afternoon Show host Kevin Cole, is “Plain” by Ribbons from their 2008 album Surprise Attacks on Electric Lights Music.
Jenny Logan and Sam Roudman, a duo of New Yorkers, are the melodically thrashy group Ribbons. Signed early last year solely on the basis of their propulsive demo tapes and the strong buzz behind their highly energetic live show, Ribbons are rock and roll in the vein of Joy Division. Logan’s voice is a monotone bullet, atonal at times, but still managing to barrel above the light layer of fuzz and Roudman’s electic rhythms. With a background in metal, there’s no wonder that Roudman’s drums often break off in to artistic variations of double-bass before jumping back to the more angular breaks of bands like Josef K. On songs like “Plain,” Roudman’s drums nearly steal the show, a barrage of percussion creating a thundering backdrop for Logan’s almost Ian Curtis-like delivery. The two distinct sounds, pounding drums and flattened harmonics, mix beautifully though, creating a rock and roll sound that still, well, rocks, but doesn’t sacrifice intelligent composition or lyrical prowess in the process.
Ribbons are performing tomorrow night, February 10, at Europa in Brooklyn and then on the 19th at Maxwells. Check their MySpace page for more updates. Although the quality’s not great here, this is one of a few videos recorded from the band’s performance at the Delancy in NYC in October, to help you catch the mood of their live shows: