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Alternative & Indie - Released May 31, 2019 | Sub Pop Records

Having talented friends is very rarely a drawback, and while the Gotobeds don't need much help in order to make a good album, that doesn't mean it's not good to have some likeminded pals drop by. The Gotobeds' third album, 2019's Debt Begins at 30, has a broader and more diverse sound than their previous LPs, and at least in part, that has to do with the many guests who stopped by for these sessions, including Joe Casey and Greg Ahee of Protomartyr, Tim Midyett of Silkworm and Bottomless Pit, Victoria Ruiz of Downtown Boys, Bob Weston of Shellac, and Tracy Wilson of Dahlia Seed, among others. Some bands lose focus when too many other musicians join them in the studio, but on Debt Begins at 30, the Gotobeds sound as strong and defiant as ever, as the guests reinforce what they do rather than distract from it. On their first two albums, the band sounded like an inspired amalgam of the Fall, Pavement, and early Sonic Youth filtered through the perspective of a smart but utterly unpretentious garage band, and here they've added a few more ambitious angles without spoiling the formula or losing sight of their strengths. Eli Kasan and Tom Payne are still a strapping guitar team, sharp and complementary whether there's a third player on deck or not, and bassist Gavin Jensen and drummer Cary Belback hit hard but generate a groove rather than just clamor. Debt Begins at 30 is a beautifully corrosive exercise in ominous rumble, bracing noise, switchblade guitars, and lyrics whose wit never dilutes their rancor, while the production (strong recordings full of echo and reverb mixed with an eye toward disorienting stereo placement) doesn't file down the edges but keeps them sharp enough to do the job. Apparently bad karma loves company, and the extra help in the studio has only made the Gotobeds' vision tougher and snarkier than before, and on Debt Begins at 30, that's clearly a good thing. ~ Mark Deming
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Alternative & Indie - Released May 31, 2019 | Sub Pop Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 19, 2018 | Sub Pop Records

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What if the greasy tough dudes at your high school were really smart? What if they blasted the Fall, Death of Samantha, Mission of Burma, and early Sonic Youth in their muscle cars instead of hair metal? What if they read a lot of William S. Burroughs, Jim Thompson, and Richard Price when they weren't smoking Luckies and slurping cheap beer? What if they could hurl a sharp, witty insult as fast as their fists? Don't look now, but those guys bought some cheap guitars and drums and they've formed a band. The Gotobeds' second album, 2016's Blood//Sugar//Secs//Traffic, is a lean and mean slice of jagged rock & roll, straight from the garage but without any fuzztone affectations, and with enough attitude to strip the paint off your car. There's nothing aimless or meandering about the Gotobeds' approach, and even when they get a bit sloppy, they home in on their aural targets with an impressive precision. Guitarists Eli Kasan and Tom Payne lay out riffs that cut like broken glass and snap together like Lincoln Logs, while bassist Gavin Jensen and drummer Cary Belback push the songs forward with muscle and flow. Melodically, the songs are elemental, but they have for-real melodies fueled by equal parts bile and swagger, and the Gotobeds are clever enough to made these songs go somewhere rather than letting their tunes wander in circles. The bandmembers know dynamics, and their attack is adventurous enough to sound artful even as they're coasting over speed bumps at 62 mph. Bottom line, this music is powerfully intelligent without sounding the tiniest bit pretentious, and imaginative without losing a bit of downtown grit. Blood//Sugar//Secs//Traffic is a blazing cool rock & roll assault, and a record that confirms greasy thugs can have a future after all. ~ Mark Deming

Alternative & Indie - Released September 19, 2018 | Sub Pop Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released March 24, 2016 | Sub Pop Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 10, 2016 | Sub Pop Records