What do you do when your band and your city meet their end? Start a new band and sing about it all.
Well, that’s exactly what Ryan Massey did when his band, Fat Wreck Chords/Lookout! mainstays American Steel, met its dissolution and the tech boom of San Francisco forced him to move out of the house he called home for ten years. The energy and anger this double-whammy instilled in Massey led him to start up a new project: The Sunset Shipwrecks
The new band features elements of their timeline both old and new. Massey brought back American Steel drummer Scott Healy and recruited fixtures of the SF scene Brian Miu and Sean Reilly to complete the lineup. The product of Massey’s anger-propelled rage is the LP Community, which he is releasing on his imprint Lugosi Records and was engineered by Kevin Army of early Lookout! Records fame, who was apparently “coaxed” out of retirement to do the job. Right now, you can hear the pangs of this emotion on “Vengeance Will Be Mine.”
Clocking in at around five minutes, the song takes a slow-burning pace that lets things unfold at a steady simmer. Massey’s wry vocals that American Steel fans know and love are at their most vulnerable here, telling his story over dusty guitar riffs and rock energy. At times, his vocals build to rage-infused yelps that manage to keep an amazing level of restraint. And crazy enough, this vocal control conveys his specific batch of feelings to a T.
The Sunset Shipwrecks join an amazing throng of local bands, like FASIV and The Tet Holiday, taking on gentrification and the changing San Francisco scene, and we can’t wait to see what’s in store for them.
‘Community’ is out May 27 on Lugosi Records