Death Records

For those who think the San Francisco music scene is quickly evaporating in the wake of migrating garage rockers, one local label would say you’re dead wrong. Brand new SF imprint Death Records was recently founded by Brian Wakefield of Melted Toys/EMOTIONAL to represent the “misfits of this city” who have been left behind to fend for themselves. The label will celebrate its inagural tape release show on June 16 at The Knockout. Smiles and Fleece, who are each releasing their self-titled debut cassette tapes on Death Records this summer, will be performing with SF four-piece Air Surgeon. DJs Frian Bakefield, and E-Z-E (Blood Sister) will keep the vibe going between sets.

Smiles is the SF-via-Santa Cruz/Seattle band consisting of Manny on guitar and vocals, with Peter Lightning on bass. Wakefield explained that the duo met less than a year ago and recorded their debut EP with Nick Greene on drums, and “are a huge reason why Death Records is happening now.” You can sample Smile’s fuzzy, shoegaze-inspired guitar style on their new single “Rose Garden”, currently streaming on SoundCloud.

On the heavier side of things, Death Records introduces Fleece. The SF trio shares vocal duties between Syam Z (guitar) and Jon O’Hagen (bass). Fixating on the grittier, more stressful aspects of living in the city, Fleece kicks up the tempo by putting a contemporary twist on their classic punk rocker energy. Their self-titled cassette tape will be the second official release from Death Records.

You can order both tapes from the Death Records website, along with a cool Fan Zine. Death Records is determined to keep the local music scene alive, and is definitely one to keep an eye on.

Smiles, Fleece, Air Surgeon
The Knockout
June 16, 2014
9pm, $5