Asterhouse, The Pro-nouns, Crystal Desert, and Actionesse
Album Review: Four Corners EP

Four Corners ArtWith the release of the Four Corners EP, four Seattle bands are helping themselves to your eardrums in a brilliant way. The idea behind the EP was to get a group of different bands together, make holistic project, and mutually benefit off the experience and some matching live shows. Mixed by Ahren Lanfor, it makes for an interesting listening experience given each band’s unique sensibilities. Each band has similarities and differences that make for an interesting listening experience.

Asterhouse’s opening track “Singing on a Soap Box” kicks off the split with an explosion of guitars that vibrate between punk force and 80’s hair metal, with John Thornburg’s passionate vocals a strong selling point. But it’s their second track that really shines. This is big, well-constructed rock, with moments of spacey vibed-out room to breathe. And then they pretty much kick your ass. The guitars are driving, the beats consistent, the choruses big.

Actionesse, comes in with a surf-ska-punk vibe and yelping vocals on “Hellbama.” It’s like if Wavves rolled back to the late 90s and were suddenly a ska band, if that makes any sense. There’s definitely a horn section here and a managed chaos that somehow works. I imagine they’re a great live band, as the energy comes through in leaps and bounds.

Crystal Desert sounds like a twisted version of The Killers, a little bit of neon-signage post-punk, with straightforward, marching guitars. There are weird psych-rock turns on their second track, and atmospheric tweaks like shoe-gaze in a dungeon. Their punkish sound is wavy and textured, and their two tracks are very clearly running the same veins.

The Pro-nouns are more 80’s-glam-rock. Or Franz Ferdinand. Their second track, “Light Speed Dimension,” is eleven minutes long. Eleven minutes. It’s twinkly, with waves of electronic glitch. The first minute and a half is like an EDM sleep-machine. And then there’s this island vibe happening, and big classic rock. The kind my dad used to listen to. And “everything is nothing next to you” is pretty much the thematic lyric. It’s eleven totally worth-it minutes.

But really, we all win. Because what we have here is an excellent DIY split, an EP that shows off some local bands to look out for, all working together, supporting each other, and putting out damn good music for our ears.

The EP releases June 10, but you can also pre-order it here.

Track Listing
1) Asterhouse: Singing on a Soap Box
2) Actionesse: Hellbama
3) Crystal Desert: Sick of Living
4) The Pro-nouns: Electric Lady
5) Actionesse: Who’s Gonna Wear This
6) Asterhouse: Sweet Fragile World
7) Crystal Desert: Hide Your Eyes From Shroud
8) The Pro-nouns: Light Speed Dimension

And then find them all at one of these upcoming live shows:

June 10 – Bellingham, WA @ Make.Shift
June 11 – Olympia, WA @ Obsidian
June 17 – Bremerton, WA @ The Manette
June 25 – Seattle, WA @ High Dive – $10 advance, $12 doors

Review by Stephanie Dore