Meet the Bands of MusicfestNW Presents Project Pabst 2017: Lithics

Portland's reigning Best New Band sounds like the soundtrack to a twisted '70s spy film.

IMAGE: Thomas Teal.

We're only a few months away from MusicfestNW presents Project Pabst! Each week leading up to the festival, we'll be introducing you to one of the 18 acts on the lineup, beginning with the winners of this year's Willamette Week Best New Band poll.

WHO: Aubrey Hornor (guitar, vocals), Bob Desaulniers (bass), Wiley Hickson (drums), Mason Crumley (guitar).
SOUNDS LIKE: The soundtrack to a twisted art-school spy film set in the ’70s. 
LATEST RELEASE: Borrowed Floors, the quartet’s ear-bending post-punk LP debut that helped launch the act to the top of WW’s Best New Band of 2017 poll, dropped last year.
FOR FANS OF: Devo, Siousxie and the Banshees, Cate Le Bon, Women.

WHY YOU CARE: Nothing if not abrasive, Lithics’ brand of pop is made up of angular guitar work, surfy dissonance and the jittery pulse of punk rock. Singer Aubrey Hornor’s straight-faced vocals offer a strange life raft amid the choppy, ticking time bomb feel of Lithics’ sound. The obscure call-and-response among electric guitars is combustible, and often ends in cacophonous mayhem. There’s palpable post-punk experimentalism throughout, in the form of eerie repetition, bulging bass lines and an utter disregard for familiarity. Part of Lithics’ appeal is that it’s purposefully and painstakingly distorted—the musical equivalent of a Ralph Steadman painting. Hornor and company’s sonic impressionism reminds of art-rock greats Women, while its lo-fi nature parallels the modernist pop of Cate Le Bon, albeit harsher. Art ought to challenge the beholder, and Lithics has embraced the task with guitars blazing. 

Related: "Lithics' Harsh Post-Punk Grooves Are the Shock to the System Portland Needs Right Now."

SEE IT: Lithics plays MusicfestNW presents Project Pabst at Tom McCall Waterfront Park on Sunday, Aug. 27.

MusicfestNW presents Project Pabst is Aug. 26-27 at Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Get tickets here.

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