My SF garage band feature continues to trickle out online at Blurt. This week: Sic Alps, whose self-titled album is, I think, their best ever and certainly the easiest to love.
ROCK ‘N’ BAND AND THE SAN FRAN BRAND Sic Alps
Oct 02, 2012
With a new album in stores and a North American tour underway, the Bay Area garage monsters are aiming to up their game in more ways than one.
BY JENNIFER KELLY
Sic Alps has long buried catchy songs under a blanket of fuzz, the SF band's lo-fi approach sometimes obscuring melody and songcraft. "When we started in 2004 or so, it was just a line-up of Matt Hartmann and me," says co-founder Mike Donovan. "He's a seriously frugal personality, and that carries over to music. So that's why we were recording with no microphones and with the same equipment that we had for 20 years. We stuck with that for a long time. For both aesthetic and financial reasons."
But not this time, says Donovan, when asked about the band's fifth and most accessible full-length, an album titled Sic Alps (Drag City).
"This time the credo was: Let's challenge ourselves, not the listener," says Donovan. "The idea was to make it easy. There are ways to make songs enjoyable that we have never pandered to. But at some point, you want to try it that way, too. "