Years active: 1990-95, 1997-99, 2012-present
Sounds like: Hardcore at the dawn of the alternative era, when the production got bigger, the riffs beefier and the melodies hookier.
Original members: All four: Walter Schreifels (vocals, guitar); Tom Capone (guitar); Alan Cage (drums); Sergio Vega (bass).
Who’s stoked: Lapsed straightedge bros; dudes who used to set their VCRs to record 120 Minutes every week; early Warped Tour attendees; fans of new metal before it became nu metal.
Why the rest of you care: Because it’s as good a time as any to reskim the sludgier end of the ’90s alt-rock gene pool. Not that Quicksand is a particularly sterling example: In its rather inauspicious career, the New York band put out two major-label albums of tunefully angsty, monochromatic grind-and-groove—think a sanitized Jesus Lizard—before falling apart, rendering it an also-ran to the similarly styled, more mainstream-successful Helmet. Having formed out of the East Coast hardcore scene (Schreifels played in cult legends Gorilla Biscuits and Youth of Today), the demographic that really carries the torch for the group is aging punks who, tiring of getting dog-piled and eating boot-first stage dives at every show, were shepherded out of the scene by a band that, while still loud and aggressive, was a lot easier to enjoy from the back of the club.
Will it last? Hard to say. An aborted reunion in the late ’90s collapsed because of unresolved tensions within the band, leaving a third album half recorded—which means these guys obviously have trouble getting along, but the nagging pull of unfinished business might just keep them going.
SEE IT: Quicksand plays Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell St., with Title Fight, on Saturday, Jan. 19. 8 pm. $25 advance, $28 day of show. 21+.