Generating high-attitude indie-style noise that's smart without seeming pretentious and aggressive but never small-minded, the Gotobeds are a raucous quartet from Pittsburgh. The group's angular tunes and buzzy guitar-fueled attack took the sound and vision of vintage post-punk and indie rock and put the nervy snarl of punk back into the formula. Making their recording debut with a self-released cassette in 2012, the Gotobeds sounded lean and straightforward on their first full-length album, 2014's Poor People Are Revolting, and they managed to sound both tighter and more chaotic on 2016's Blood//Sugar//Secs//Traffic. An even more ambitious, anything-goes production style informed their third long-player, 2019's Debt Begins at 30. The Gotobeds began casually in 2009 when guitarist Eli Kasan and drummer Cary Belback began playing together at a local rehearsal space. At the time, Kasan was still attached to hardcore outfit Kim Phuc, but the two friends were keen on starting a new band from the ground up. After trying out a number of other players, they eventually convinced Kasan's friend Gavin Jensen to move from Chicago and join them on bass. Fellow Kim Phuc member Tom Payne eventually joined on guitar, completing the lineup. They spent a few years slowly working out their sound and approach, making sure they were keeping it fun and artistically honest. The result was a mix of high-energy post-punk and indie in the vein of the Fall, Mission of Burma, early Pavement, and Wire (the latter band's drummer, Robert Gotobed, inspired their name). Their slightly ramshackle, raw approach on-stage resembled the early Replacements, though with a much edgier melodic sense, and they had soon racked up a regional following based on a handful of short-form releases and their reputation as a fierce, exciting live band. Following a performance on New Jersey's WFMU-FM, the Gotobeds were approached by Matador honcho Gerard Cosloy, who signed them to his 12XU imprint. In keeping with their live aesthetic, they recorded their debut album, 2014's Poor People Are Revolting, in a single day. In April 2015, the Gotobeds jumped ship to Sub Pop. Their first album for the label, Blood//Sugar//Secs//Traffic, was released in June 2016. The album included guest appearances from Tim Midyett of Silkworm and Bottomless Pit, and Joe Casey of Protomartyr. In 2017, the Gotobeds paid tribute to an unlikely influence with Definitely Not a Redd Kross EP, a limited-edition six-song 7" in which they covered all six tracks from Redd Kross' 1980 debut EP. Tim Midyett and Joe Casey once again pitched in for the sessions that produced 2019's Debt Begins at 30, the Gotobeds' second Sub Pop album. Other guests on the LP included Bob Weston (Shellac), Victoria Ruiz (Downtown Boys), Bob Nastanovich (Silver Jews and Pavement), and Tracy Wilson (Dahlia Seed and Positive No). ~ Timothy Monger
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