Download Sisters’ Dissonant, ’90s-Checking “Highway Scratch”


Yes In My Backyard is a semiweekly column showcasing new and emerging MP3s from local talent.

Brooklyn noise-punk duo Sisters spray sunny rays into those long, lonely voids when Lightning Bolt or No Age or Matt & Kim aren’t running through town. They’re a spazzy, scuzzy, cuddly art-pop band that’s filled to the brim with bear hugs. The fact that their hyper-distorted sizzle-‘n’-bash flirts with every colorful texture this side of the shoegaze rainbow is no happy accident: vocalist/guitarist Aaron Pfannebecker is an amp-hording volume junkie and drummer Matt Conboy is one half of the Death By Audio pedal-designing crew that also includes Oliver Ackermann from A Place To Bury Strangers. Their debut album Ghost Fits (due September 28 on Narnack) is the flip side to APTBS — equal footing in pop and noise, but way more likely to act out on its feral impulses. Lead MP3 “Highway Scratch” uses a little bit of Reatarded lo-fi strum to slowly work its way onto an expressway to blown-out classic ’90s dissonance.

Q&A: Sisters:

What is “Highway Scratch” about?

Aaron Pfannebecker: “Highway Scratch” is about memories and how memories sometimes aren’t exactly what really happened anyways — so that makes memories easier to remember, which can make them kind of haunted sometimes. It is basically flipping through a flip-book of looking backwards. The song I think I wrote while watching bad TV and thinking about how Jeff Mangum strums his guitars. Though it doesn’t really sound anything like one of his songs. Then I made up the words kind of on the spot and most of them stuck.

Would you describe your music as “optimistic?” Is this something you intend?

Pfannebecker: Sure. Something has to be. I think we used to be a lot darker, but something happened. I think it helps to think or focus on something better to get to even if you aren’t there yet so you start to feel what you want to be feeling.

What album has your favorite guitar tone of all time and why?

Pfannebecker: Probably My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless. I mean, you can’t beat a record with that many beautiful guitar textures. Nothing new about that. That record is just perfect.

Tell me about some amazing failed or unreleased DBA pedals.

Matt Conboy, drums: We have a bunch of failed/unreleased pedals. I use a pedal that’s an analogue drum synth we’d like to come out with that some day maybe. There’s also a really awesome spring reverb pedal that Oli designed that sounds amazing. We used it on a bunch of songs on our record. Hopefully those will come out soon.

What is a Ghost Fit?

Pfannebecker: Ghost Fits came to mind when I was thinking of how to describe someone I know who has epileptic fits. The state they were in.

You met while pursuing creative writing degrees from the New School. Have you ever used your degrees?

Pfannebecker: No. College was a waste of money that doesn’t even exist yet.

What’s your favorite place to eat in Brooklyn?

Pfannebecker: I don’t know. Cafe Cubana is really good.

Sisters play the Cake Shop on August 27.