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Album Review: Interiors by Quicksand

Post-hardcore luminaries Quicksand will release their first album in 22 years, Interiors on 10th November via Epitaph. Featuring the band’s original (and only) lineup of drummer Alan Cage, frontman/guitarist Walter Schreifels, and bassist Sergio Vega, Interiors  was recorded at Studio 4 Recording in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, and produced and engineered by Will Yip (The Menzingers, Title Fight, Pianos Become the Teeth). While the album finds Quicksand embracing the cathartic, guitar-driven dynamic of their earlier work, Interiors also takes on a wider spectrum of sound.

“It was all just about being ourselves and who we were as well as who we are,” says Schreifels of the making of Interiors. “We did it for us completely.”

Formed in 1990, Quicksand made their full-length debut with Slip—a 1993 release recently praised by The A.V. Club as “a nearly flawless record that combines the irony and heaviness of Helmet with Fugazi’s penchant to dismantle sound in the most energetic ways.” Arriving in 1995, their sophomore album Manic Compression appeared at #1 on the Top Five Best Post-Hardcore Records list from LA Weekly (who noted that “if there were any justice in the world, Quicksand would have been the biggest underground band of the ’90s”).

“We were very influenced by Fugazi and Jane’s Addiction,” says Schreifels of the band’s beginnings. “But we were doing it in a certain context with an energy that was just special and unique and kind of shined through.”

For any fan of post-hardcore this is an essential release. This album illustrates where post-hardcore came from, its present and its future. Opener and lead single ‘Illuminant’ is a classic slab of post-hardcore with the crunching riffs, driving rhythms and emotionally intense lyrics providing the basis of the album. Throughout the album it’s plain to see how vast Quicksand’s influence on post-hardcore and indie-rock bands over the last two decades has been. There’s hints and slivers of the sounds of other, more contemporary, bands throughout – but it all began here and without Quicksand you’d be without numerous accessible rock bands of today.

‘Under the Screw’ showcases the band’s quieter more gradual sound before ‘Warm and Low’ lays on the emotion – two solid tracks, yet you’ll have to wait until the double header of ‘Cosmonauts’ and ‘Interiors’ for something really special. The former is a throbbing, bubbling alt rock track with a bassline straight out of the top drawer, while the latter perfects post-hardcore in a blur of riffs, passion and angst. The guitar work at 2 minutes 40 swells and blossoms in wave after wave of emotion.

‘Hyperion’ is steeped in the 1990s before the urgent riffs of ‘Fire This Time’ give the track an insatiable energy. There’s a Stone Temple Pilots feel to ‘Feels Like A Weight Has Been Lifted’ and again the bassline comes to the fore in ‘Sick Mind’ before ‘Normal Love’ closes the album and somehow manages to show both the roots and the future of post-hardcore.

AD Rating 8/10

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