Release Date: Nov 10, 2017
Record label: Epitaph
There is a substantial body of evidence that suggests Quicksand frontman Walter Schreifels is keenly adept at compartmentalization. It was only a few months ago when Dead Heavens - his acid blues rock outlet with Nathan Aguilar of Cults and former members of Youth of Today and White Zombie - released their debut album, Whatever Witch You Are. Schreifels' CV is a restless, multi-layered timeline with staggered starts and stops, with missing blocks of time in any one project accounted for in the conception of one or two others.
Following a live reunion tour in 2013, post-hardcore heroes Quicksand return with their first new material in 22 years. Late-'90s false restarts and abandoned recording sessions ensured the band's two long-players, Slip and Manic Compression, remained enshrined and unsullied by potential later career nosedives. While the prospect of a new record was an exciting one for fans of the band, with it they risked their legacy of all-killer, no-filler.
Quicksand has emerged over the years as one of the more enduring and influential bands of the ’90s alternative rock boom, which is saying something considering how relatively brief their stay was. Formed after the breakup of first wave New York hardcore heroes Gorilla Biscuits, the band delivered two crunchy-but-cerebral post hardcore gems with Slip (1993) and Manic Compression (1995). And while an attempt at a third record failed, Quicksand left things on such a high note with Manic Compression that even years after its release, it was hard not to think that there was more to be done.
"Behind every tough guy is a little Smiths fan," mused Walter Schreifels, Quicksand co-founder and post-hardcore pioneer, in a recent interview. Few would consider his observation controversial in 2017. If anything, it's obvious--meatheads need their melodies too, you know. The 48-year-old Schreifels, on the other hand, came up amid New York City's hardcore boom in the late 1980s: a time when punk relied more heavily on radical politics and performative masculinity than sonic risk-taking, when most tough guys would be too embarrassed to admit that they'd listened to the Smiths, much less considered themselves fans.
Quicksand was always one of the bands I'd hear my high school friends crappin' on. Basically, they said they couldn't cut it, which I guess came down to the simple fact they were all Deftones fans and crazy about Sergio Vega on the bass. It didn't help how quickly Quicksand folded too. Anyways, it took me years before I could really chime into this debate, or even appreciate both bands and honestly, I can now say that either one I'll listen to...