Quarterbacks (usually written in all caps) is a punk-twee trio from New Paltz, New York. That’s the same small town that’s also home to twee band Diet Cig, whose incredible debut EP Over Easy is set to be released in two weeks.
Dean Engle started the Quarterbacks project some years ago as a bare-bones duo. He had a guitar, and some guy had a snare drum. They played short, fast, punky love songs in the vein of Tiger Trap and Boyracer. Songs about heartache. Songs about unrequited love. Songs that are usually about 90 seconds in length. Lo-fi as hell and proud of it. You get the drift.
Things went pear-shaped with the duo, and after a period of inactivity, Engel recruited two guys to help give rebirth to Quarterbacks in 2012. Since then, they’ve been playing a bunch of basement shows and fine-tuning their songs. They also landed themselves with their hometown label Team Love Records.
The self-titled debut record has 19 songs and is just 22 minutes in length. It was recorded right there in New Paltz at the Tin Roof Sessions Studio by a guy who has also recorded albums for those adorable Crutchfield twins Allison (Swearin’) and Katie (Waxahatchee). In true punk rock fashion, the album was recorded in less than 12 hours.
For a few months, I’ve been getting stuff in the mailbag about Quarterbacks, and since the album was finally released yesterday, I figured it was finally time to write about them.
This is one of my favorite songs from the album:
“Never Go” by Quarterbacks
It’s got two changes of pace. It’s got jangly guitar played fast and hard. It’s got some really over-the-top notions of romantic worship. Here are the lyrics:
I can’t remember what it felt like
To not be in love with you
Because all my memories
have you in them too.
This absence of past
isn’t hard to understand
Because my life began
when you first held my hand.
I’ll never go anywhere without you
The words and music definitely remind me of Tiger Trap, who made frequent reference to hand holding and to eternal love. Anytime is a good time to listen to the wonderful 1993 self-titled Tiger Trap record, so you may as well dust off your copy now.
You can download Quarterbacks by naming your own price via the bandcamp page here.