“The mainstream is the real disease” David Mitchell sings on “Bleed the Disease,” the lead single from Couches newly released record, Motivational Speaker. It’s an apt statement, and a manifesto of sorts, given this self-proclaimed slacker happens to be one of the hardest working DIY musicians around. Mitchell has been releasing loud, fuzzed-out indie rock for years on 20-Sided Records, a collective he founded and where he continues to support dozens of bands from the Bay Area and beyond.
While rhythm sections have been somewhat of a revolving door from the beginning, Mitchell landed on Chris Griley and Andy Roundy to record Motivational Speaker at the Animal House (Roundy’s grandparents’ mansion in the Oakland Hills) in 2016. Completely self-recorded, the sessions opened up Couches to create a bigger, tighter sound with Mitchell’s guitar and vocals sounded more self-assured than ever. You could call it Soft Grunge, and that’s OK considering track 7 bears that name.
The three-piece power trio was always Mitchell’s thing, having fronted Slow Trucks and the Suggies before landing on the heavy, melodic super-fuzz of Couches a few years ago. However, this Spring saw Couches with a new lineup (naturally) and expanded to a four-piece with Charlie Zaillian (Chung Antique, Seattle), Aaron Soria (Fuuls, Missoula) and Walter Shih. The three newly christened members joined Mitchell on a Spring tour which led them from California to the Pacific Northwest, all the way to Montana and back again. With considerably more live horsepower now and the band’s most accomplished record to date in hand, Couches are at the top of their game.
An American rock band and musical project founded in 2007 by Mark Williams. The band currently resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
“Treemotel evokes the sounds of throwback garage-y psych and punk music with Dead Milkmen-esque vocal work and certain subtle nuances that recall lesser-known bands like Asian Man Records’ Ee and/or Korea Girl. There are even slight touches to these phenomenal songs that would be familiar and aurally pleasurable to fans of indie titans Modest Mouse, artsy new-wavers B52s or the endlessly catchy work on Beck’s Modern Guilt. Treemotel is, in a word, incredible, and even the sour-faced old folks manage to crack a smile or tap their toes from their fold-out chairs.” – Alex De Vore, Santa Fe Reporter