You know those people you always see around town - the ones you never talk to but have seen so many times you give each other a friendly nod anyway? And then one day, some mutual friend introduces you and the two of you vibe out, realizing the nod was a prelude to a deeper bond?
Well, that's how I feel about the band Argonaut. I've seen their name on fliers for years, been at shows they've played but been too drunk to remember, and seen friends of mine have "liked" them on Facebook. But I've never really gotten to know them.
The time has come for that nod of recognition to come full circle. A thorough listen to Argonaut's music - which includes Brandon Boote on drums, Matt Sader on bass and vocals, Dave Takata and Chad Baker on guitar - and an insight to the band's workings through an interview with Sader have made a fan out of me.
It also makes me excited for the release (anticipated to be out by the end of the year) of their new EP on Van Connor of Screaming Trees fame record label Strange Earth Records. The band's history holds two EPs under their belt, as well as rotation of band members and a break up period from 2005 to 2009, where they played a friend's wedding, followed by an official reunion in 2011.
"Van approached us within four months of getting back together," Sader says. "He wanted to do a single like old Sub-Pop singles club, but we did more - we left on an EP and we're coming back on an EP."
And perhaps this couldn't have been a better time. With a successful run of shows with other heavy-hitters like Men of Porn, High on Fire, Yob and many others - plus steady rotation on KEXP and a long hiatus from playing music - Argonaut was ripe for a new release.
"I think this EP is our best work yet," Sader says. "We kinda get to a deeper side - we open up sounding like us, and then halfway through the mood changes - it's more abrasive, more angry. We're all going though life issues."
There is something about how Agronaut and its stoner/punk rock way penetrates a little deeper than other music. The vocals are more gruff and screamy, but harmonic, and the lyrics tend to lay on the side of weird and dark. But those combined forces along with killer guitar licks, deep bass and a backbone of thunderous drums - keeps me coming back for more.
Argonaut encompasses all the key characteristics of good rock, and keeps a common thread of slow ticklers of drifty, minimal sounds into a crescendo of layered, heavy, hard, head-banging music.
Hopefully, the band's new EP will prove to be another testament to its reputable sound and gives listeners the fix only good rock can cure, yet displays its new sound in an honest, relatable and horn-throwing way.
For a sneak peek, the band will be playing its new EP live Oct. 25 at New Frontier.