Have you ever gotten that feeling when you think back on a memory — maybe something nostalgic and bittersweet — where your gut gets tense and everything locks up tight? It’s not quite regret or dread, not exactly relief or acceptance, but some weird entangling of all of them into an impregnable knot of raw emotion? This is the feeling I get whenever I listen to scooterbabe’s first full length, The Sorrow You’ve Been Toting Around, out this Friday. The autumnal vibe is inescapable, and every song swims in those anxious waters in-between youth and adulthood where self-identity is either built or borrowed. This is especially true of “Our Last Game of Chess,” a brooding but energetic cut that helps launch the second half of the album and serves as the emotional apex of the record.
“‘Our Last Game of Chess’ is a song about an impactful relationship, gas station candy, computer chess epiphanies and Scrabble,” explains vocalist/guitarist JJ Posway. “It’s the climax in the arc of our upcoming debut.”
Using upbeat jangle punk and moody emo as a foundation, the track cuts a dynamic path that alternates between fist-pumping euphoria and quiet moments of reverie. With such a taut cord of tension running through it, I’d hesitate to label the track as “fun,” but there’s no denying the band’s enthusiasm burns bright here, even as Posway is handing out lyrical haymakers. “If I can stay in here, I can stay in anywhere / We never finished our last game of chess / I love you more than you can guess / That’s why it’s over” he concedes as guitars detonate all around him and the promises of the past lay in a thousand exploded fragments.
The Sorrow You’ve Been Toting Around was recorded with a new core lineup that includes Brooklyn multi-instrumentalist Evan Tyor (who also recorded the album) and drummer Jesse Lafian (ex-Porches and Summer People) along with founding scooterbabe members Posway and bassist Michael Buice. Like most songs on the album, “Our Last Game of Chess” features vocal contributions from fellow Athenian Jianna Justice.
The Sorrow You’ve Been Toting Around is out November 4 via Jigsaw Records and Perfect Attendance Records.
In support of the record, scooterbabe is heading out for a quick run of shows including a performance Thursday night at Mammal Gallery and a record release celebration on Friday at Caledonia Lounge. Check out the full list of dates below.
scooterbabe Tour Dates
Nov 03 – Atlanta, GA – Mammal Gallery w/ Fake Flowers, WF Addams
Nov 04 – Athens, GA – Caledonia Lounge w/ Dead Neighbors, Pansy
Nov 05 – Savannah, GA – QuoLab w/ Nihilist Cheerleader
Nov 06 – Charleston, SC – Tin Roof w/ Yr Lad
Nov 07 – Asheville, NC – Deaver Dome w/ Nihilist Cheerleader, The Power
Nov 17 – Boston, MA – Lilypad w/ Bedbug + Tuxis Giant
scooterbabe will celebrate the release of The Sorrow You’ve Been Toting Around on Friday, November 4 at Caledonia Lounge. Dead Neighbors and Pansy play in support. Doors open at 9 p.m. Admission is $5. 18+ to enter.