I watched The Garden perform at last year’s You Are Going To Hate This Fest 2, and it was the most bizarre live set of my entire life. And I’ve seen John Maus live. For the first few songs, instead of actually playing their instruments, the band members just sang into their microphones behind backing tracks while doing cartwheels, summersaults, and stage-diving into the throng of screaming teens. They did eventually pick up their instruments and physically play, but the whole show felt like some sort of weirdo karaoke performance art. And myself and all the kids in the audience ate up every second of it.
The Orange County duo is a difficult act to classify, but sonically their minimal bass and drum set-up has a distinct garage vibe. Of course, there’s a lot more going on in their music: wonky psychedelic textures, frenetic post-punk rhythms, and frequent drum & bass EDM beats–all under the guise of pop-punk. It’s a scatter-brained but potent combination of styles. Also notable is the dark, silly and macabre attitude that band members (twin brothers Wyatt and Fletcher Shears) exude beyond their recorded work.
The group’s new album Mirror Might Steal Your Charm is due on March 30 via Epitaph, and this week they’ve released the crazy video for lead single “Stallion.” In it, the twins– dressed as a businessman and a devil–run around tormenting each other while carrying a briefcase full of money, which they eventually set on fire. The song is hard and pummeling and full of quirky, stabbing guitar riffs and piercing punk noise. The video is appropriately colorful and twisted.
The Garden will be performing at SOMA with Tijuana Panthers and Cowgirl Clue on March 29, the day before their album drops. Tickets for that show can be purchased HERE. Watch the video for “Stallion” below: