DECAYCAST Premieres: Watergate Sandals’ Releases “Presidential Bootleg” via Under The Counter Tapes
Here we have a genre we haven’t really covered before on Decaycast and what better way to bridge this gap then with a fantastic new release from underground mainstays Under The Counter Tapes. For their newest release, they present “Presidential Bootleg” from Watergate Sandals. W/S excavate their twanged, fuzzed out, up beat, four to the floor garage rock sound to it’s fullest extend on “Ukrainian March” which you can listen to for the first time below. The track combines thick distorted guitars, driving basses, and cavernous drums accented with vocals oscillating between a fed up, accentuated yell and blown out howls which perfectly complement the sound and vibe of this upbeat, but heavy track, perhaps the standout on the album. Ukrainian March is like an old beat up machine inching down the road toward uncertainty , exhaling billows of smoke behind it’s rusty, decaying exterior, but it keeps going and going and going until the job is done. in a seemingly oversaturated genre, Watergate Sandals offers a unique and refreshing take on garage rock / power pop, not something we have covered much here in the past, although this offering is both uniquely refreshing and captures a sound well those familiar with the genre can appreciate and understand.
“Light” offers a more upbeat, slower and more controlled take on expanded garage rock / blues with more out front vocal harmonies gelling with the guitars and drums perfectly. Light still has a garage rock feel but defiantly oscillates into some straight classic rock territories as well. The cassette ends with “Chilly” the perfect combination of up beat guitars and vocals while acting as a crescendo for the album. This was explained to us more as a compilation, but the flow to beginning to end and consistent recording style lends itself as more of a complete album, energetic and fun listen, also check out the beautiful J card art below. Order this today!
Presidential Bootleg pulls together all 20 of Watergate Sandals’ recorded songs, from the 8 featured on Pick Apart the Jewels and Gems, the 5 featured on their final digital-only EP, 4 newly mastered former demo recordings, and 3 never before heard recordings to form the ultimate document of the Santa Cruz band’s history. Watergate Sandals notably went through a few distinct shifts during their run, starting as a noisy punk blues band, then moving towards more power pop oriented garage rock and then finally landing on psych rock influenced by the Paisley Underground. As such, none of their previous works quite captured a true picture of the band in isolation. Presidential Bootleg is arranged not as a chronological compilation, but its own album released (and not released) in bits and pieces over the years, flashing back and forth between the eras in a way that feels as though it were always meant to be and lending immense range and dynamism to the 70 minute runtime. Shockingly seamless transitions from the destructive force of the newly mastered “Landlord” into the soft, floating “Ways Away” paint a perfect picture of the band’s uncommon deftness and versatility.
Thanks to the efforts of Jesse Nestler (Watergate Sandals bassist) and Kevin Percy Linn (owner of Paisley Shirt Records and genius behind Sad Eyed Beatniks), we’ve been able to put together an incredible package honoring the band in celebration of the 4th anniversary of their previously only physical release, Pick Apart the Jewels and Gems. Featuring a stunning double-sided 7-panel j-card collage including archival photography, old gig flyers, and satirical American and presidential iconography, Presidential Bootleg is not only musically comprehensive, but visually as well.
UTC is absolutely thrilled to bring this incredible band’s catalog to true fruition in the form of Presidential Bootleg.
Presidential Bootleg releases April 26 digitally and on limited edition cassette bundle. Bundles are limited to 50 worldwide and include a chrome cassette tape with a double-sided 7-panel j-card, and 3 release specific collector’s pins. A portion of sales through UTC will go to Planned Parenthood.