Guides – “Pictures on Pictures” (audio) (premiere)

The LA trio tinker with post-punk to the brink of goth on their new track.

Touching on the darker side of post-punk to the point where it brushes the icy shoulder of goth, Guides‘ music strikes an impressive balance between taut energy, murky atmospherics, and ostentatious bursts of catharsis. Tightly performed but allowing enough room for abstract blasts of atonal drones, it’s the kind of combination of tension and release that had critics hurling hyperbolic praise to Viet Cong this year. If Guides continue in the direction that new song “Pictures on Pictures” heads, then such acclaim won’t be far off at all.

“The song is about that intangible place that we all get sucked into when you’re with someone,” says singer/guitarist Chris Cogswell. “There’s this sensation that you’re outside of time. You get that fishbowl tunnel vision. Air gets thin. Someone else is talking. It sounds like your voice. But it’s someone else.”

“The band (along with collaborator Luke Ehret) went into the studio live room and just started rolling 2″ tape one night,” adds bassist Be Hussey. “What came out was a stream-of-consciousness, unfiltered song. It was direction-setting, as it helped focus our energy on capturing the band live, rather than editing or studio constructions. We just had to finish the lyrics and tighten it all up. But, of course, as bands go, we had to over-think it a few times before coming back to our original thoughts.”

Guides’ Abstract Mind EP will be released 25 September.