Yes In My Backyard is a semiweekly column showcasing MP3s from new and emerging local talent.
Brooklyn feedback abusers Woman have a sound as bleak as the day is long–the muddy pigfuck lurch of their friends and YIMBY alumni Pop. 1280 mixed with the baroque chamber-punk mischief of Golden Triangle. Compounding the misery is the sad, misanthropic gargle of Brett W. Schultz, who can sing a line like “there’s a jail in my heart” and make it sound abused and gnashing rather than, say, emo and forlorn. (It goes without saying that “Woman” are definitely more for grown-ups than indie fare like “Girls”). “When The Wheel’s Red” is the first song of their just-released self-titled debut, unleashed on an unsuspecting public by Spanish dirt-rock label Bang! Records. The track is a swampy, three-minute barf party: the fountains of gibberish from Hairway To Steven-era Butthole Surfers, a Fun House-style animal sax solo, the unhinged gnarl of their heroes Dead Moon and the pots-and-pans clatter-blort of post-punk scuzzmos (and labelmates!) the Scientists. It’s noise-rock for sure, but with enough hooks and lovelorn energy to keep its feet right here on the dirty, dirty ground.
What is this song about?
Kristian Brenchley, guitarist/vocalist: It’s about gambling in Atlantic City, Monte Carlo and Las Vegas. All the big tables, all the high stakes…
Brett Schultz, vocalist/guitarist: That’s a song about losing.
Tell me about your decision to pick such a stark, unGooglable name?
Brenchly: To us, “Woman” is a strong, all-encompassing word, it just hangs there. It’s not ironic or anything.
How does the grit of New York–past and present–influence your music?
Skeleton Boy, bassist: Yeah, Travis Bickle is producing our next album. He’s a really big fan.
Schultz: I think that grit is something one still kind of internalizes living in New York. At a surface level, the city’s cleaned up a lot in certain areas, but it still feels like a pretty desperate place, especially when you’re broke. It can really drag you down and fuck you up. I live down in Mexico City now, which is a far filthier and grimier city, but for whatever reason it doesn’t really inspire that same kind of sentiment in me.
Brenchly: The pressure is on, unlike Australia where I’m from, where everything is safe and beautiful. Over here it’s insane and beautiful.
Skeleton Boy: There’s always going to be a vein of grit and grime running through this city no matter how much the environment changes. It’s just a matter of whether you choose to tap into it or not. Lyrics to a long-lost Woman track entitled “They Won’t Let Me Cut Myself” were taken from a rather interesting conversation overheard one evening on the subway.
What’s your most memorable New York show?
Skeleton Boy: Probably our opening slot for the Chrome Cranks. We managed to make it through a grand total of four songs before imploding and mutinying mid-set. It ended in a storm of smashed equipment with the four of us yelling at each other onstage. That’s entertainment. Been trying to forget that one ever since.
What’s your favorite place to eat in New York?
Brenchly: Anywhere where I can get a salad roll or white vinegar without an explanation.
Download: Woman, “When the Wheel’s Red”
Woman play 171 Lombardy tomorrow, December 16, with the Big Disappointments, Degreaser and Chicken Snake.