Release Date: Mar 10, 2015
Record label: Dine Alone Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
When a musician’s work is littered with guest appearances by members of Modest Mouse and Fleet Foxes, you can assume he’s either well connected or exceedingly talented. In the case of Nate Mendel, bassist of Foo Fighters and Sunny Day Real Estate, and frontman of the freshly minted project Lieutenant, he’s both. While Mendel has played a supporting role in two influential rock bands, If I Kill This Thing We’re All Going to Eat for a Week marks the first time he trades in his bass to showcase his hidden songwriting talents.
For sensitive souls of a certain vintage, Nate Mendel is a hero simply for playing bass on the first two albums by Sunny Day Real Estate, the band that helped elevate emo from mere "emotional hardcore" shorthand to a national security threat. Since 1995, however, Mendel has served as bassist for Foo Fighters, trading underground renown for stadium stardom. But while Mendel has been Dave Grohl’s longest-serving foot soldier, he’s also the most unassuming one—he’s neither as iconic as Pat Smear, as flamboyant as Taylor Hawkins, nor as tattooed as Chris Shiflett.
Foo Fighters bassist Nate Mendel becomes a guitar-wielding frontman on Lieutenant’s “If I Kill This Thing We’re All Going to Eat for a Week,” too modest to argue that there’s another blazing all-in-one talent hiding in Dave Grohl’s mighty shadow. Modesty might be the point: Recalling the Alan Parsons Project not just in Mendel’s soft vocals but also in the prog-pop airiness, there’s little of his main band’s clarity or power, replaced with a casualness that sounds like Mendel won’t, or can’t, let loose. “Some Remove” is so casual that it seems to float from the listener’s grasp, while the crisp, melodically inventive “Prepared Remarks” remains stubbornly laid-back.