Two months ago, a new band from Brooklyn called Geese dropped their debut single “Disco,” a six-minute avalanche of loopy post-punk and biting prog-rock — imagine if The Strokes made a Yes record — that left many indie fans wondering: What the hell is this … and where can I get more?
The song jabs and grooves, traversing a half-dozen distinct passages as it mirrors the jagged rise and fall of a dysfunctional relationship. “You’re not scared of my anger anymore, so I don’t think it’s gonna be able to work itself out,” frontman Cameron Winter sings with heavy affectation, channeling The Fall’s Mark E. Smith and Mick Jagger.
Above all, “Disco” feels urgent, a song that insists to be heard from its first sharp strum — as does the rest of the band’s upcoming debut LP, a swirling and deliriously confident nine-track effort called Projector, which drops Oct. 29, they announced on Tuesday.
That immediacy, especially with “Disco,” was not manufactured.
“We didn’t have time to practice the song so we were just like, ‘Well, if we can play it without mistakes, that’ll be the tape,’” Winter tells SPIN. “Because we literally didn’t have time to do anything else.”
So, the version of “Disco” everyone’s buzzing about was the song’s first and only good take?
Yes, and that’s insane.
But such is life when you’re five teenagers in the city, cramming in as much after-school recording time as possible, before the neighbors tell you to shut the fuck up.
Geese is Winter (vocals, keyboard); Gus Green (guitar); Foster Hudson (guitar); Dom DiGesu (bass guitar) and Max Bassin (drums). All five members are 18 and 19, New York natives (Hudson spent some time in New Jersey) and recently graduated from city high schools.
The band’s brief history is refreshingly organic; no TikTok superstardom or YouTube virality. They all mostly went to school together, formed the band as young teens, wrote songs, decided to record an album in Bassin’s basement — sneakers as mic stands, blankets draped over the amps — and shopped it to labels, which quickly descended on Geese.
In spring 2020, as the members finished their pandemic-plagued senior years from home, they met with several indie favorites — Sub Pop and Fat Possum among them —before eventually signing with Partisan Records (IDLES, Chubby and the Gang).
“[Label founder Tim Putnam] gave us everything we asked for and he just very much expressed that he believed in the music,” Winter says, from Geese’s new Brooklyn headquarters, a cluttered practice space they call The Nest.
“He seemed really ambitious,” adds Green.
Ambition comes up several times talking to the band, all five of them huddled around the Zoom call, cracking inside jokes, finishing each other’s thoughts — clearly a unit. Ambition is why they chose “Disco” as their grand introduction.
“We wanted the first statement to be as big as possible,” Winter says. “[‘Disco’] has a lot of different parts, some of them are really noisy and some are really melodic and that sums up the contrast of the album nicely.”
The new record’s kaleidoscopic sound is a testament to the members’ wide span of influences: Winter loves Debussy and Jeff Buckley, Hudson has studied Jimmy Page, Green goes for Wilco’s Nels Cline and Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien (“I love pedals,” they say), DiGesu is a McCartney bassline guy and Bassin was huge into Nirvana and Soundgarden.
A funky second single called “Low Era,” released Tuesday with the album announcement, drips with the swag of a band without boundaries.
When asked what, if anything, pulls the record together, Winter laughs: “Just angst, I don’t know.”
Geese has played just two shows since “Disco” dropped and were thrilled to see some people knew the single.
But by virtue of their youth and ambition (there it is again) to grow as musicians, they’re already writing the next record, which may sound completely different than their coming debut.
“We’re really changing all the time because we get bored very easily with certain sounds,” Winter says.
So, before anyone has even heard Projector, they’re already onto Geese 2.0?
All the guys nod.
“Yeah, pretty much,” Winter says.