Portland, Oregon’s Bothers have recently released their sophomore LP “II” (out now on Dirt Cult Records). Whereas the band’s self-titled debut album was a concise and raging lesson in relentless punk 'n' roll, with tips of the hat to bands like Motörhead, and Hot Snakes, ‘II’ marks a new era for the band. Heavier and more expansive, the album ventures into the realm of metalic hardcore with fiercesome riffing and dynamic tempo changes. The melodic intensity of their first release remains, resulting in an album that calls to mind influences like Tragedy, Laughing Hyenas, Jesus lizard, Neurosis and Born Against. Speaking of influences, we caught up with Matt Farrell and John Massel to find out more about some of the songs that helped shape Bothers' sound.
Wipers - Up Front
Matt: One of the greatest Portland bands. The songwriting, guitar riffs, disconnected, pissed off. Still catchy and complex.
Ramones – Rockaway Beach
John: I love the Ramones. I was lucky to see them on their last tour when they played the State Theater in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
This is by far my favorite of their tunes. I’ve told a few people I want this song played at my funeral. An absolute classic.
Dead Kennedys - Moon over Marin
Matt: East Bay Ray just rips it open on this one. That lead just sings. Great moody sounding song. One of the first punk bands I listened to, there was a point where I fell out of love with this band and then it came surging back.
The Jesus Lizard – Gladiator
John: Seeing the Jesus Lizard live, especially during their prime in the 90s, was always a treat.
David Yow is one of the best frontmen ever to do it; the rhythm section of McNeilly and Sims is also one of the best to do it, and let’s not forget the incredible guitar work of Mr. Denison.
To say the Jesus Lizard influenced me would be a gross understatement. The Jesus Lizard blew my world apart.
Hot Snakes - 10th Planet
Matt: One of my favorite bands. This song though, when I caught it live for the first time, some 18 years ago or more, floored me. When the riff opens up, it cuts through you with Ricks shrapnel loaded vocals that are catchy as hell and John Reis guitar riffs always.
Nation of Ulysses – Spectra Sonic Sound
John: I never got the chance to see the band as they had broken up when I heard them in 1995, but their unhinged records and aesthetic made me an instant fan.
Plays Pretty For Baby might be my favorite record, but this song from the LP, 13-Point Program to Destroy America, was the first song I’d heard by them, so I had to include it on the list.
Absolutely essential band for anyone that is a fan of aggressive music.
Thin Lizzy - Got to Give it up
Matt: This band is the best. This opening riff is so powerful as well as the whole song. It’s a great emotional confession of a musical great gone too soon. Darkly beautiful.
Nirvana – Lounge Act
John: This was the band that started it all for me, as it was for most folks my age and a little older.
Every song on Nevermind is great, but this is the one for me. The bass line is killer, the drumming is rock solid, and the vocal melody is perfect.
To me, this is the highlight of an album filled with highlights.
Born Against - Test Pattern
Matt: Brutal song with great dissonant guitar leads. Just always liked how pretty and ugly this song is. Whole record is great, really.
Fuel – Remains to Be Seen
John: Every single band that Sarah Kirsch (RIP) was a part of profoundly impacted me. This band was my introduction to her world.
If you’re not familiar with her work, do yourself a favor, google her, and then buy every record she made. Essential.