In the early days of The Bay Bridged, few bands captured our affection like the now-departed local indie rock darlings The Herms. The group was led by the clever and charming Matt Lutz, who sure knew his way around a winning pop song. To hear that the band’s lost recordings are now being released on LP — by the can’t-fail Castle Face Records, no less — is both exciting, and, admittedly, more than a little unexpected. In any event, the band’s demos collection, Drop Out Vol. 1, out September 24th, will hopefully prompt some well-deserved reconsideration of these weird-pop greats.
After the jump, read an appreciation of The Herms written by Castle Face’s John Dwyer.
No one sounds like The Herms.
No one sounds like Matthew Lutz.
The Herms are a smudged window into a neighboring dimension to ours, Berkeley. Even though it’s right next door to Oakland and San Francisco, it may as well be a million musical-miles away. Back when they were playing around town, it felt to me like not too many in my scene “got” this band. I thought people should have been going crazy for these guys. The local rag gave them accolades (a curse perhaps?), and even a cursory listen to this collection should clue you in to how great they were. This may be one of the few times that I have to concur with a music writer – this band is amazing. They are sun, heartbreak, pop and fried-static all in one master package, evolving from song to song, and I think they’re fantastic.
The Herms did have a proper release years ago, but on CD only (gasp!) and frankly I’ve always been in love with these earlier, rawer 8 track Tascam demos. They sound like the band did when you were standing in front of them. I love The Herms and have been waiting a looooong time to do a proper release for them. Sorry it took exhuming their songs from the grave before I was ready. Please listen loudly with the windows open, so maybe that music writer may pass by, hear it and think, “Finally! I told you so, you assholes”.
John Dwyer 7-10-13