South Sound’s Argonaut reunited after a four-year hiatus in 2010. And since then, fans must have wondered when the popular sludge-metal outfit would get around to a proper follow up to its “The Good Times and the Bad Times” EP, which was actually recorded five years before its 2009 release, shopped and then unceremoniously shelved after the band’s breakup in ’06.
Now they have an answer: Argonaut – lead vocalist and bassist Matt Sader, drummer Brandon Boote and guitarists Dave Takata and Chad Baker – will celebrate the release of a new, four-track mini album called “What’s Your Perfect Day?” on Jan. 19 at the Comet Tavern, 922 E. Pike St., Seattle.
The new disc came together over a weekend at Sader’s home in Auburn, low-key sessions that were meant to yield nothing more than a demo.
“We holed up in my house, set up a control room in the living room, put the drums in the dining room, put the guitar amps in the living room,” Sader explained.
“It was just us, no producer,” he said. “We didn't even really tell anybody about it. We kept it to ourselves. It was awesome. It was the best, most fun...and most productive recording session that I've been part of. And the sounds that we got are comparable to any studio recording I've heard.”
Baker recorded and mixed the new songs, having previously engineered “Above the New Frontier,” the debut album that fellow Tacoma rockers Mahnhammer released in 2010. He wanted to make a record that would keep core fans happy while allowing his band to branch off in new directions.
“One of the things that’s kind of bugged me recently is when you listen to some bands' albums there’s very little in the way of variation from song to song,” Baker said. “But when you go back and listen to a Van Halen record...there’s a ‘Happy Trails,’ and then there’s some really sizzling kind of punkish number and then some hard rocker. It’s kind of all over the place.”
Baker felt some material rekindles the aggro aesthetics of Argonaut's 2003 debut album “Shoot the Moon.” But the disc goes in unexpected places, culminating in the foreboding build up and release of disc closer “If Canada Is So Great, Then Why Do Feet Keep Washing Up There?”
“This EP has one sort of old (school) song,” Baker said. “The next song is a really heavy, sludgy tune. And then the next song is like a KARP kind of thing, and then the last song has a more Neurosis kind of feel.
“I don’t think we’re intending to do one style from here on out. The idea is we’re going to play the kinds of songs that we like, whatever those happen to be, and not really worry about having super consistent records.”
Portland's Gaytheist and Seattle bands Princess and Transient will add support on the 19th. Sader said Princess front man Andrew Chapman will likely join his band for “Canada” - he provides backing vocals on the EP - and a special cover tune: raise your devil horns and think Ronnie James Dio.
There will be an $8 cover charge and you must be 21 and older to go. Find further details at http://www.comettavern.com or by calling (206) 322-9272.