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, featured on the Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “38 Souls” by Bottomless Pit from the 2010 album Blood Under The Bridge on Comedy Minus One.
It’s been three years since their last release, which for many current bands is an eternity of time, even a life cycle for some, but for Tim Midgett and Andy Cohen it’s like the beat of a fly’s wings. Their trajectory from Missoula’s Ein Heit in the mid-80s, through Silkworm in late 80s to early 2000’s — from Montana to Seattle to Chicago — and finally to Bottomless Pit today encompasses a frame wider than most bands can conceive of. But that’s not to say they haven’t been prolific over the years — Silkworm spun nine records before drummer Michael Dahlquist was killed in a car accident. These days, though, Tim and Andy work more precisely, with Seam’s Chris Manfrin on drums and Brian Orchard on bass, releasing only two albums in five years, but the results are more than worth the wait. While Hammer of the Gods (1997) was a ringing call that Bottomless Pit would carry on the very intentional post-rock sound that made Chicagoans embrace Silkworm more enthusiastically than Seattle’s metal-posturing grunge crowds ever did, the new album is decidedly more practiced and at times more pensive. Yet Blood Under The Bridge isn’t the sound of a band maturing — they did that long ago! It’s equally as dark as its predecessor, just less of a pounding rally cry. You’ll certainly hear the slowcore influence of their pals Matt and Bubba Kadane (The New Year). That being said, today’s Song of the Day selection, “38 Souls,” is an accelerated rabbit punch to the ribs. It’s hard and fast and cathartic — the closest they’re likely to get to a fist-pumping anthem, yet still hardly a standout track on this masterful album.
The band doesn’t really travel much outside of the Chicago-to-New York circuit (last time we caught them was in their adopted home town), so you probably shouldn’t hold your breath for a West Coast tour. Still, you never know what the future will bring, so keep checking their MySpace page for possible updates. And just to give you sense of their glacial sense of time, this session was recorded for KEXP in 2007 yet the second song only appears now as the new album’s opening track, “Winterwind”: