Comrade Question
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Comrade Question

Columbus, Ohio, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF

Columbus, Ohio, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Rock Garage Rock


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"Class of 2014: Comrade Question"

Very few, if any, Columbus musicians set out to start a “surf band.”
It’s difficult to name just one group from the past who have blazed in the trails of The Ventures or Dick Dale. Though that mutual love was the initial spark that brought Katie Baillie and Lee Mason together to form Comrade Question, it was soon apparent they had aspirations beyond such a narrow genre.

Comrade Question’s debut for Superdreamer Records, Pepe Polo, is an ephemeral haze of fuzzy guitars, yes, but somewhere along the line, the duo chose to mellow out, channel country and perhaps some front-porch blues, and add those elements to the reverberations, the invisible fringe, rather than their actual sonic DNA. Teeming with folk-pop lullabies about rotten relationships and searing psychedelic barbs thanks to Patrick Koch’s unwieldy leads, live they tend to tune-in and drop-out from any terrestrial stage from which they play. The reveling is usually gilded in the spectral wash of Baillie and Mason’s unique harmonies, a quality that also conjures a sensual tension in the music. The band writes obvious nods to the Velvet Underground and the Jesus and Mary Chain, and the aforementioned “surf” sound, but rarely is it a copy of a copy. Where Pepe Polo is the band slowly inhaling their influences, the follow-up, which is currently being recorded, is according to Mason, “more aggressive,” promising an even thicker cloud of smoke in its exhale. - 614 Magazine

"Sensory Overload: Comrade Question"

On record, Comrade Question songs tend to come on as relics from another era. Time and again on the recently released Pepe Polo (Superdreamer), the band locks in to a melodic guitar jangle that suggests the musicians are auditioning tracks for the next volume of the Nuggets garage-rock series.

In concert, however, the four players — Lee Mason (guitar/vocals), Katie Baillie (guitar/vocals), Patrick Koch (guitar) and Matt Whitslar (drums) — attack the material with teeth-baring ferocity, crafting a reverb-laden wall of guitar noise that sounds very much of the now. So it went on a recent Thursday at 4th St. Bar & Grill, where the band blasted through more than a dozen tracks during its taught, tough 45-minute set.

With three of the musicians (Mason/Koch/Whitslar) donning knit caps and two (Mason/Koch) sporting impressive beards, Comrade Question could have passed for a gang of Alaskan fishermen on shore leave. Fittingly, the crew packed an array of guitar-driven hooks into its songs, which tended to be both brief and punchy — with a handful of exceptions. On the slinky, sultry “Winds,” for one, Baillie channeled her inner-Nancy Sinatra, crooning about shadowy forces in a voice as icy as the mid-February sidewalks.

Admittedly, these mellower moments were rare, and generally the group ripped into songs like “The Way That You Are” and the punkish “Stop Dying So Much” with life-affirming verve. Indeed, the intensity was such that the performance gradually took a toll on Mason’s voice, and by set’s end the frontman sounded as though his windpipe were somehow caked in barnacles.

This did nothing to slow the crew. “Bastard” opened amid shuffling drums and Mason’s proclamations of invincibility (“This heart you can’t break”), gradually giving way to a conflagration of guitar. The punch-drunk “Wine,” in contrast, allowed some cracks to show, Mason and Baillie singing of some lingering emotional crises (“Each time I think I have it together I break down and cry,” they harmonized) while attempting to numb the hurt with booze.

Even so, it appeared nothing could keep the players down long, and life’s various dust-ups and heartaches were generally shrugged off. “Knew what would happen,” Mason sang dismissively on the rowdy “Song About a Woman.” Best to just keep your head down and let the guitars wash away any and all of the outside noise. - Columbus Alive


Still working on that hot first release.



Formed in Columbus, Ohio, in 2011, Comrade Question began as a duo, writing and recording dreamy, surfy, bedroom pop.  Time passed, new members joined, and the sound grew.  As demonstrated on their new LP 'Pepe Polo' (Superdreamer Records) the band delivers fuzzed-out garage rock while maintaining great pop hooks and a surfy vibe.

Band Members