I was going to do this a week or so ago, but I must admit to constantly being sidetracked every time I try to do the thing that I tend to call “research”, but which in all honesty actually equates to “going on the internet for a bit”. During that extended period, the main thing I have researched is that There Are A Lot Of Bands Called Argonaut. Which leads me to hope that, in the description of the band that follows below, I am talking about the right one. If I do have the right one however, it’s a rather lovely story of how this EP kind of came together. If I haven’t, then it’s a lovely story anyway.
Pacific Northwesteners Argonaut previously existed between 1999 and 2003, but broke up. As their bio states, “Drama, it happens”. In 2009, a fan asked guitarist Dave Takata to reform the band for his wedding reception, which rather romantically (and presumably, going off this release, rather noisily) happened. An EP was pressed for the occasion that eventually found its way into the hands of Seattle DJ Hannah Levin, who convinced the current lineup to get together a bit more permanently. So, they did. And this new EP is the result of that mix of doing something incredibly nice for someone, and someone else’s determined persistence. More records need to be made this way, quite frankly.
The EP’s four tracks are certainly a notch louder and heavier than Strange Earth’s usual roster (even Valis in full flow), although the riffs herein do contain the label’s characteristic laid-back feel underneath all the volume, having filtered their fairly bluesy groove foundations through Nirvana’s Bleach and Kyuss’ desert-based tone (with a vocal nod to early, Animosity-era Corrosion Of Conformity), creating something that the listener can both nod gently to or throw around with abandon depending on how the mood takes them, although the latter is probably the most desired effect. It’s also home to 2013’s best (and possibly lengthiest) song title in the form of If Canada Is So Great The Why Do Severed Feet Keep Washing Up There?, along with the equally baffling (and much shorter) Unicorns And Hatchets. My own favourite track is the opener Deluxe People In A Deluxe Setting, a rather Sabbathy track with a sense of fun and effortless switch to an aggressive final third that showcases the band’s outlook in the bluntest and most agreeable terms.