HOOPS IS NO LONGER ON THE BILL FOR THIS SHOW. A MESSAGE FROM HOOPS:
“Hey y’all – we’re sorry to say that due to unforeseen circumstances all of our upcoming shows, including our dates with Forth Wanderers, are canceled. Thanks to all of u for the love and support.”
Forth Wanderers employ a tin-can-telephone style of composition which they use even when living in the same area code. Since first collaborating in 2013 as Montclair, New Jersey high schoolers, guitarist and songwriter Ben Guterl and vocalist Ava Trilling have passed songs back and forth like pen pals. Guterl will devise an instrumental skeleton before sending it to vocalist Ava Trilling who pens the lyrics based off the melody. The duo then gather alongside guitarist Duke Greene, bassist Noah Schifrin, and drummer Zach Lorelli to expand upon the demo. It’s a patient and practiced writing system that has carried the quintet through two EPs (2013’s Mahogany and 2016’s Slop) and one LP (2014’s Tough Love). Forth Wanderers, the group’s sophomore record and Sub Pop debut, is the groups’ most comprehensive and assured statement yet.
Now living in Ohio and New York respectively, Guterl and Trilling have evolved their separate but collaborative writing process. “The only way I can really write is by myself in my room with a notebook, listening to the song over and over again,” Trilling says. “I’ve never sat down to write a story, I write the song as it unfolds.” Since her lyrics are often embedded with intimate truths from her life, the private writing experience often leads to intense self-reflection.
On Forth Wanderers these introspections include meditations on relationships, discovery, and finding oneself adrift. Despite the inherent heaviness of those themes, Forth Wanderers feels joyous, a rock record bursting with heart. Take “Not for Me,” a romping track about “the ambivalence of love.” Trilling’s confession of “I can’t feel the earth beneath my feet/Flowers bloom but not for me” resists feeling like a dreary, pitying complaint; instead, as her bandmates bolster her melancholy with interlocking harmonic intricacies, she soars with self-actualization. Opener “Nevermine,” is a surge of confidence inspired by an ex-lover who is still captivated by her image. “I don’t think I know who you are anymore/ and I don’t think I knew I was before” she jabs with relish. On “Ages Ago” Trilling paints the image of a constantly-shifting enigmatic lover. “I wasn’t sure who they were, they changed constantly (hence the metaphor describing the “grey coat” and cutting their hair just to “stay afloat”),” she says. “I wasn’t going to wait any longer to find out.”
Recorded over five days by friend and audio engineer Cameron Konner at his Philadelphia home studio, Forth Wanderers amplifies the heartfelt sentiments of the band’s earlier works into massive anthems. Guterl and Greene’s guitars have never sounded so sharp, Schifrin and Lorelli’s terse rhythm section is restless, and Trilling seems more self-assured than ever. “We have embraced our roles in the collaboration process,” says Guterl. “Everyone’s gotten better at their instruments and we trust each other more because we know how the machine works.” This spirit soars through Forth Wanderers, resulting in exuberant, profound songs driven by tightly bound melodies and a loving attention to detail.
In July of 2015, they played their first show opening for hometown heroes, RDGLDGRN. Less than two weeks later, Ruse de Guerre played their first ever headlining show at Jammin’ Java and sold out the venue. Since then, the band has headlined some of the area’s most well-known venues such as Black Cat, DC9, and the Rock & Roll Hotel, and have embarked on two East Coast tours.
Their debut EP, “Empire”, was recorded entirely analog at the historic Inner Ear Studio with legendary producer Don Zientara (Bad Brains, Minor Threat, Fugazi, Foo Fighters, John Frusciante). It is now available on all digital music platforms everywhere & physical CD. In 2017, the band began working on their first full length project at WrightWay Studios in Baltimore with studio engineer, Drew Lamond (Jay-Z, Slipknot, Mos Def, MIA, Avril Lavigne). It is currently scheduled for release in Summer 2018.