[Double Double Whammy, 2014]
For New Weird Utah nostalgists, upstaters, the tape label kids, people with guts: QUARTERBOY. No record of the last few years has made me feel more like I'm leaned into a corner of the shed at Kilby Court, arms tucked tight against my coat on a neck-snappingly cold winter night in 2006 or 2007. You can see everybody's breath in the house. High-school kids shivering cross-legged on the cement floor in front of the stage. The quietest you've ever heard an audience at a show. Singing right into your young and hungry hearts.
QUARTERBOY is a solo outing from Dean Engle, whose QUARTERBACKS is usually a punky three-piece. It's offered on tape from Double Double Whammy, the Purchase, NY-based label currently staging a full-fledged political takeover of the Eastern Seabord – stacked with bands, shilling Olympian DIY communitarianism, proprietors of David Blaine's The Steakhouse. Get in on the ground floor.
A cursory glance at the credits, liners and thanks of the DDW catalogue sees Engle's name popping up left and right, and you get the sense that QUARTERBACKS is at the core of a swelling movement up and down the Hudson Valley like so many scenes before it. The music is honest and brave and true.
Long live K Records, long live Marriage. Long live Sarah, long live SST. Long live Shrimper, long live A. Star. As long as there's kids there'll be kids doing this, and it'll never stop feeling this good. QUARTERBOY has the distinct emotional affect of one Thanksgiving song that I sometimes listened to more than 60 times in a row on late late nights in college. Or the Navigator CD-R I seem to play every single time I find myself, wistful, on a flight back from my grown-up life to stay in my childhood bedroom, an untouched time-capsule in the basement of my parents' home in Centerville, Utah. Certain songs, they get so scratched into our souls.
1. It is perhaps worth noting that this guy looks exactly like McKay Felt, who played up and down the Wasatch Front as The See Through Boy in those beloved mid-aughts years, and whom, full disclosure or at least bringing it all back home, I once played bass for.
2. When you need more, the following DDW releases are especially recommended:
Free Cake for Every Creature - "pretty good"
Frankie Cosmos - Zentropy
SPOOK HOUSES - Trying
Krill / LVL UP / Ovlov / Radiator Hospital - Split 7"