The difference between Jock Gang’s live performances and their recorded material is as stark as the metallic tones of their new single “Paint on the Highway.” The art rock band explores sumptuous harmonies during their shows, allowing the listener to bask in each layer of Jonathan Merenivitch’s insistent lead guitar and Kimberly Collins’ bass lines. In the studio, the band strips away the more gorgeous elements of their aesthetic in favor of dry, kinetic energy. Despite the difference in sound, there is a meticulousness to their tracks which connects the band’s two forms. Such fastidious songwriting was no doubt one of the elements which attracted Bradford Cox to the band, eventually resulting in the group touring with Deerhunter last year.
Jock Gang has always relied on the percussive energy of Adrian Benedykt Świtoń, but “Paint on the Highway” takes his mechanical power to new heights. According to guitarist Jared Collins, the direct intensity of the new track is purposeful and reflective of the band’s upcoming album. He explains, “The feedback overlay makes it sound really trashy but the quality is a conscious choice. The album sort of flows between trashy and silky.” The song was recorded in Collins’ home studio, but the lo-fi screeches and pulses never engulf the momentum of the track, thanks partially to its brevity. Though “Paint on the Highway” may seem like a jarring prelude to Jock Gang’s upcoming album due out this spring, the careful listener will perceive it as a striking return to form for the band.
Jock Gang plays the Georgia Theatre tomorrow night, January 10, in support of Palm and Deerhunter. Doors open at 8 p.m. Admission is $20. 18+ to enter.