One thing you can say about Quasi is that they’ve done their time. Formed way back in 1993 they're veterans of the US scene having ridden the wave of riot grrl, grunge and nu-metal without comprising their irreverent take on rock music.
Their CV reads like a lesson in how to be a great indie band - albums have been released on stellar labels Kill Rock Stars, Domino and Touch & Go whilst Janet Weiss also doubles up as drummer for the awesome Sleater-Kinney and Sam Coombes once played alongside the late Elliott Smith in Heatmiser. One more thing to note is that Sam and Janet used to be married. That didn’t last but the band did and they’re in Hoxton to promote latest album American Gong.
The band have a tight and uncomplicated sound. Yet the quirky melodies and great two part harmonies between the ex-spouses are proof of accomplished song writing. Underneath the fuzzy, distortion-laden guitars the bass lines are fluid and Sam's vocal register high enough to carry the sardonic lyrics. Opener Repulsion channels the spirit of Sonic Youth with real ferocity aided by Janet’s killer drumming. Sam switches to piano to give more ramshackle songs Alice the Goon and Poverty Sucks a different edge. New single Bye Bye Blackbird seems more than a nod to the Beatles song of the same name - not just in its childlike melodies but the way in which the band grin at each other as they play. They clearly enjoy gigging and even take requests during the encore.
Maybe being in a band with your ex isn’t so bad.