MIDDLE AGES, THE- S/T 12"
In 2018, after completing his Bay Area coursework via the always-awesome TROPICAL SLEEP, RAZZ and THE PETS, rocker dreamboat Dan Wood returned to his native Seattle with fresh air and family as his focus. This primo doggie couldn’t rest for long though, hence THE MIDDLE AGES --- a new combo formed with Cris Wood (here sharing the astute performing/songwriting talents she’s honed in countless punk, 60s soul and even samba combos!) and long-time dapper bud Donny Hilstad (go-to drummer from THE STATICS, THE DUTCHESS AND THE DUKE and all sorta other one-off mod-minded outfits). Sure, middle-aged Middle Ages --- you get it --- BUT there’s a lot more to it than that. The Middle Ages chase those hard-to-reach spaces: tiny cracks where pop and rock, punk and garage, boom and boogie all get equal footing.
The most massively effective aspect of The Middle Ages is the co-mingled songwriting and vocals of Cris and Dan --- a shared approach in each tune rather than rigid his/her trade-off --- inducing an infectiousness not dissimilar to THE RATS or even X. The shagginess of Dan’s guitar work is thankfully retained, lending itself to real bounce without trading in any crunch. Is it 60s fuzz or 70s punk or even large-scale 80s power-pop? YES, to all of that and then some. It’s the sneakiest and most compelling component at play here, this unspeakably secret weapon that somehow infiltrates even the hardest hearts. There’s zero consideration of micro-genre restrictions with The Middle Ages as well. All aspects of the performance: pounding rhythm, guitar noize, sweet shake, whatever it takes --- it only serves the songs, which all uniformly (really) rock.
Knowing a good thing early on, Hilstad & The Woods formed Ripe Records to self-release their inaugural batch of records, DIY family-style. These 10 tunes are the first you’ve heard from The Middle Ages, but they most certainly won’t be the last. Recommend to all big beat devotees!