Taxidermists - KO EP
$5.00 - $7.00

  • Taxidermists - KO EP
  • Taxidermists - KO EP

Taxidermists - KO EP
$5.00 - $7.00

Massachusetts-based rockers Taxidermists—the duo of singer/guitarist Cooper B. Handy (LUCY) and drummer Salvadore McNamara—take complete creative control on their infectious new KO EP. The organic sound of two childhood best friends sequestered in a garage with tape reels, KO EP diverts from previous Taxidermists output. While slowcore bands like Slint, Codeine, and Low used to be solid touchstones for their sound, here the duo instead channel a lineage of riff-driven 60’s garage rock that has more in common with The Kinks. “I think a major factor with this release is that we’re recording with an analog medium—there are limitations. And we write songs that are designed for two people to play,” McNamara says. And for the most part, they intend to keep it that way. “I think staying streamlined and being in charge of most of it ourselves is important to us,” Handy adds.

KO EP was recorded over 5 months of late-night jams in McNamara’s makeshift studio at The Asbestos Farm in Hadley, Massachusetts. Many of the sessions started at 6pm and didn’t end until sunrise. You can hear the duo’s obsessive approach in the zaniness of these recordings—tightly wrought sections patched into sprawling arrangements. “I don’t think there’s anybody else around who’s doing this much analog,” Handy notes. “Sal’s studio is kind of the spot with the real tape machines out here.”

McNamara was raised on Martha’s Vineyard, and Handy grew up on Cape Cod. They met on Myspace. “From the start, it felt pretty fuckin’ easy playing together,” McNamara remembers. They started making music together in 2007 when they were just 13 and 14, and formed Taxidermists in 2010. Once a week, Handy would sling a guitar on his back and catch the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard. Even as kids, they found a welcoming community of musicians. “The scene over there was really encouraging,” Handy says. “It made it easier for us to take the project seriously and not just think of it as a childish kind of thing.” They played in basements, VFWs, stores, pubs, teen centers—anywhere that would let them set their gear up and bash it out. “We got X’d up for years, being underage and playing all these bars,” Handy recalls. For out-of-town gigs, they’d squeeze all their equipment into Handy’s Toyota Corolla, and by 2011, they were enmeshed in a DIY touring circuit spanning New England and its neighboring states. Their sludgy, 90s-influenced sound won the admiration of fellow musicians—you can still spot bands like Show Me the Body and Horse Jumper of Love rocking vintage Taxidermists merch. Years later, the music continues to pour out of them. “There’s no shortage of songs,” Handy says. “And we can make all these songs exactly how we want them to be.”

KO EP features ten minutes of disjointed and borderline-experimental garage rock. The first track is an ambient tape-recording experiment with McNamara’s ringtone. The rest of the songs are frenzied and driving, with winding melodies underpinned by brutish power chords. The lyrics cut stream-of-consciousness word association together with scenes of real-life relationships in disarray, spinning wisdom out of nonsense and conjuring a looming sense of social paranoia: “Keep in the back of your mind / They only want that shipwrecked.” When asked about their influences, Taxidermists mainly talk about the environment they live in. “The music definitely sounds like it’s from Massachusetts,” Handy says. “It’s seasonal…you can hear the New England environment changing behind it. It wouldn’t make sense if it came from somewhere else.” McNamara agrees enthusiastically: “Cooper spends a lot of time outside, and I spend a lot of time on the water. There are scenic things that happen here that we interact with directly before or after making music. They are distinctly Massachusetts experiences that are very tied into this band.”

Raised on artists like Television, The Slits, and The Raincoats, the duo still sees those inspirations impacting their work. They say KO EP pulls from jazz (specifically Bill Evans’ piano records), but you’ll have a hard time figuring out how exactly. With such an in sync bond and extensive history playing together, Taxidermists are often their own greatest influence. “LUCY is big for me,” McNamara says, referencing Handy’s solo project, which has earned a cult following and critical acclaim. “Sometimes, we’ll literally listen to an old Taxidermists record before playing.” As the years pass, Taxidermists hone the way they want to work together, and the kind of music they want to make. One of the keys to their success has been giving each other creative space. “We learned how to not be a band while being a band,” Handy explains. “There were times when we weren’t that active, but it usually just comes back feeling even more comfortable. Maybe it's because we’re older and there’s less to be distracted by, but at this point, working together feels more natural than ever.”

Track Listing

  1. Tax Song
  2. Halo
  3. Shipwrecked
  4. Stay Gone
  5. KO

Pressing Information

-Clear cassette shell with white ink imprint
-Limited to 100

**All orders include a digital download of the album**

**Please note that all items bundled with a pre-order will be shipped together. If you wish to bundle another item in our store with a pre-order and want to receive it before the release date, please perform a separate transaction. Thank you and we apologize for the inconvenience.**

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