Brand new California band Loose Ends have honed a power pop-punk sound that they refer to as “grown-ass pop-punk.” The band just released their debut single ahead of an intriguing sounding debut EP, which is built around a concept of the experience of leaving the body after death and confronting higher powers.
The quartet of Ben Wesson, Kyle Durst, Matt Lang, and Andy Rodesney come from across the U.S., with Andy in Long Beach, California, Matt in Orlando and Kyle and Ben in Texas. Some band members played in bands together before Loose Ends, including Andy and Ben playing in an easycore band called Kid Liberty.
But the band first came together in 2015 when Matt and Andy lived together. They demoed a song called Wolves, which Ben wrote and tracked vocals for and put it on Soundcloud with the intention of developing it into a project. But Matt soon took on the production of a debut EP for Crooked Teeth. That, and other events, put the Loose Ends project on the back burner until the pandemic began early last year.
As Andy tells us: “I had written these songs to some degree instrumentally or had the basic premise and was sending ideas back and forth to Kyle in Texas. I went to Houston last summer to handle family matters and made time every night to record these songs with Kyle, spending hours reworking or refining them into what you hear now. We reached out to Ben, who is a phenomenal songwriter – both instrumentally and lyrically and asked him to be a part of this.
“We wanted a slightly unique approach in terms of the Pop-Punk genre and looking for a certain maturity in vocal tone. Plus, his writing is impeccable. Ben writes/sings with real conviction, emotion, and his contributions reflect just that. Matt has since moved to Orlando and is a mad scientist when it comes to production. I flew out to work with him on bass tracks there. He has several albums under his belt with some great artists, and his approach to tracking bass for this project was everything we were looking for to fill out these songs. Since he was there in the very beginning, we knew what we were looking to accomplish sonically speaking.”
Our first taste of this is the band’s debut single Love In Heartache, which was released in May. It begins with building guitars and a stabbing riff that grow into a lively guitar-led intro. Ben’s engaging vocals take over as rolling drums kick into a laid-back opening verse. Drawn-out vocals “Now I’m wondering what we’re doing here” build up to a big catchy chorus of “She wants my pain, Yeah, her life could always use a bit more heartache, And in the sun she’s so bright, Though I know she only looks up when it rains.”
Edgier vocals set up a second verse, which builds into another singalong chorus supported by lively instrumentals. That drops into a light guitar line that continues under rolling drums, before enggaing, faster-paced vocals “Can you feel my heartbeat faster? Beating faster when I’m with you? I can feel both hands grip tighter, Grip them tight, it’s almost over, I can feel your heartbeat faster, Beating faster when you’re with me, Both your hands around my neck and I’m just glad it’s almost over” bring the track to an energetic ending.
On the track, Andy told us: “It felt incredible to finally release this single, and the music video followed shortly after. We worked with Cody Pilkington who was so clutch and made it happen in a pinch! The response has been awesome considering we don’t have marketing dollars or anything behind this and it’s ALL DIY.
“New listeners should expect impact and energy. The single was intended to capture a lot as the song is pretty well paced for the first half. A lot of layering to build up to the bridge, which then leads into this very anthemic finale with a lot of driving guitar and bass work, powerful drum tones, and vocals that command emotion. This is something you can feel, especially with the music video.” Check it out in the video here:
The single comes from the band’s intriguing sounding upcoming debut EP Tell God You Were Framed, which should be released sometime this summer. On what to expect from the EP, Andy says: “Same thing as the single – Energy. A lot of thought and intention went into recording this. Everything we did was meticulous and calculated. We structured this as a concept record, and one to be sonically experienced. We wanted it to hit in the chest and make you wonder a little.
“Up front, this is NOT a religious record in any way. But the concept stems from a sort of philosophical and spiritual dilemma in free will. That I, we, somehow are on the hook to an omniscient being or creator that knows everything from beginning to end. No one asked to be here. We just arrived and somehow we still have to answer for our actions to what, if anything, created us? The human experience is a complex one full of joy and pain, success and failure. It seems more torturous than anything that having gone through a life and all that comes with it to then have to ask for forgiveness or answer for surviving.
“The instrumental aspects are a representation of a ‘God’ as anyone wants to understand it. Music is the universal language and the general concept of a creator or ‘God’ is pretty universal in and of itself, whether one believes in it or not. So, Ben’s lyrics and vocals are more of a contrast in dialogue between the created and the creator. The record starts off as if you are ascending. It builds into this sort of chaos swelling with melodies and ambience and then the snare pops. The ascent is over. It’s as if to say, ‘Not so fast. We need to talk.’ And you enter the experience from there.”
The Loose Ends sound has been influenced by a range of bands and genres with the band members listening to everything from punk rock, hardcore and metal to hip-hop, classic rock, blues, country and jazz. But they name their key influences as Deftones, The Swellers, No Use For A Name, Yellowcard, Will Yip, Sam Pura, Terry Date, Jerry Finn, The Story So Far, Seer Believer, anything Fat Wreck or Epitaph.
While on what inspires them to write music, Andy tells us: “Cliche as it may be and in a word, life. It’s the only thing that can be considered beautiful and ugly in its entirety. There’s no ‘normal’ or perfect. We’ve been through a lot of loss in recent years, successes, failures, trials and tribulations, etc…
“We’re not out to write the next big pop hit based on shallow lyrical content laid over a predictably formulated song, but to create with intention and connect with people through our medium (music) and remind them they aren’t alone.”
There’s plenty more to come from Loose Ends with another music video likely to come before the release of the debut EP. They’re also seeking management and looking to play gigs and tours where possible.