Friday Five: The Vicissitones, Saga, History History, Brawny Lad, Idle Ray


Cover art for the albums and singles featured in the Friday Five.

Friday Five highlights music by Washtenaw County-associated artists and labels.

This week features surf rock by The Vicissitones, metallic garage by Saga, atmospheric noise rock by History History, that high-lonesome sound by Brawny Lad, and a distorted folk-raver by Idle Ray.


The Vicissitones, Melody, Rhythm, and Reverb
Ann Arbor's The Vicissitones play instrumental surf/spy/hot-rod rock with the sort of passion and precision that can only come from hours and hours of listening to Dick Dale and Duane Eddy. Guitarist Brent Truex and bassist Jerry Hancock played in the lounge-surf band Tsars, and guitarist Dylan Strzynski has provided the twang in numerous Washtenaw County bands (Diesel MarineUtica, Cautious Hearts). They're joined by drummer Mark Gardner and saxophonist Evan Pratt for Melody, Rhythm, and Reverb, the band's super-fun debut album. You can hear these songs live on Main and Washington streets at 6 pm on Friday, October 6, and at The Blind Pig at 8 pm on Sunday, October 29.


Saga, In the Past of Our Future
Ypsi trio Saga straddle Hawkwind-style hypnotic jams, High on Fire-esque stoner rock, and early Touch and Go Records-type eff-you energy on the band's debut five-song EP.


History History, Slow Motion Revolution
Ypsi's Jason Bombach describes his one-man project as an "accidental band of quiet noise, silver screen sounds, and left wing propaganda." His second album, Slow Motion Revolution, conjures Pink Floyd and Swans playing garage rock, gothic folk, and stoner metal. The record mixes atmospherics and aggro energy, with lots of slower songs that pile on the menace.


Brawny Lad, "I Did Not Win" b/w "Leo"
Tom McCartan (bass, vocals), Davey Jones (banjo, voice), and Tom Green (pedal steel) do not create a beefy sound like their band name might imply. This Ypsi trio plays stripped-down and haunting music informed by the high-lonesome sound of classic country and bluegrass. The two tunes on the band's debut single—both slow and atmospheric—are gorgeous.


Idle Ray, "Localism Hours"
Ypsi's Idle Ray contributed this noisy, folky tune to this compilation on the Vancouver, British Columbia-based We Are Time label.

Christopher Porter is a library technician and the editor of Pulp.