Usually a band’s self-chosen genre label is more a sign of what they wish they sounded like, rather than what they actually sound like. But Portland’s bed. seem to have struck the nail fairly squarely with “Slow-Fi.” Basically it’s their way of saying they love the fuck out of Sonic Youth, so whatever you would call Sonic Youth is what they would want you to call them. So… slow-fi – sure, I dig it. It gives a false impression of their standard tempos, but it paints the picture pretty clearly. Shoegaze, reverb, garages, intentionally sludgy guitar chords – you know… slow-fi. And I know what you’re thinking – another three-letter, un-capitalized band name that ends in a period? Yeah, I’m not sure what to say about that one. But I suppose moe. are a jamband, and fun. are pop-rock, so it was time for somebody in the indie-rock scene to utilize the formula.
For a band that only left California a year and a half ago, bed. have a rather auspicious sound for Portland – this is good “fuck it’s raining again” music. And that means they have tunes that range from being ideal for the bong-hit isolation of your living room couch to being the perfect soundtrack for kick-ass bike rides in a downpour. When this kind of music is made by a bunch of bros who don’t eat meat because Morrissey told them not to, it usually tends to come off as pompous and self-indulgent, but when it’s made by a married couple, as is the case here with Alex and Sierra Haager, there’s an earnest resonance that shines through. Give it up to the power of mutual love for transcending the drudgery of a droning guitar line. Their overlapping vocal lines are what will tug at your heart strings the hardest, and call to mind my favorite cuts from Low - aka the ones that didn’t used to put me to sleep. At other times, they can sound like Karen O singing with Yuck, but the pre-departure of Daniel Blumberg Yuck, not the Blumberg-less version. And if that comment resonates with you in any recognizable fashion, then go ahead and give yourself +3 music nerd points. Check out both ends of bed.’s spectrum below.