Posted on March 1st, 2023
Coming up in the NYC scene of the 2010s, the two-piece Washer have long been a beloved and consistent presence in East Coast DIY circles for most of the last decade. Sharing stages with people like Pile, Ovlov, Water From Your Eyes, Mannequin Pussy and Melkbelly, and even being name dropped in the lyrics to fellow NYC band Patio's track "Boy Scout", Washer have stayed remarkably active despite their relatively sparse recorded output. Today, 6 years after the release of their sophomore LP, the duo of Mike Quigley (vocals, guitars, bass) and Kieran McShane (drums) have returned to announce a new album entitled Improved Means To Deteriorated Ends (due out April 28th on longtime label home Exploding In Sound), and share a new single, "King Insignificant".
While the six-year delay between albums may suggest a stalled creative process, that couldn’t be further from the case, as the band had more than a full length ready to record at the start of 2020. When the pandemic stalled those plans, the band decided to commit themselves to making the record even better. Living in two different cities, Quigley and McShane would alternate taking a trip to either Brooklyn or Philadelphia, where they’d practice, write, and dig deeper into what they wanted the third Washer album to become. Of the 15 songs that populate Improved Means to Deteriorated Ends, only four were from that initial batch, and the result is an album that sees Washer retaining all the loose, ramshackle charms that have always been a core element of their sound, but finding a new level as songwriters.
This is exemplified by album opener “King Insignificant,” which lays out the album’s thematic arc, but also serves as an impassioned update on the classic Washer approach. The song builds slowly, feeling like it could unspool at any second, only to explode into a cathartic ending.
“We chose 'King Insignificant' as the opener because it features a few of the vibes found elsewhere on the record, and serves as a sort of overview thematically," Quigley explains. "It's this balancing act between acknowledging the many kindnesses that have been extended to me by people in my life, and this nagging, unshakable self-contempt partly in reaction to that good fortune. It's a sort of bristling at interdependence. Greased by vice and rolling forward."
Improved Means To Deteriorated Ends is due out April 28th on Exploding In Sound. It is available for preorder here.