Expert Alterations
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Expert Alterations

Baltimore, Maryland, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | INDIE

Baltimore, Maryland, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Alternative Indie




""The Past and You" (Single Premiere)"

Lord Tennyson suggested a century and a half ago that, “‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” But judging by their romance-eschewing single, “The Past And You,” Baltimore indie-pop players Expert Alterations still haven’t taken those lines to heart yet. On the contrary, it sounds like the trio would instead opt to take the Eternal Sunshine route and Lacuna all memories of what used to be.

Appealingly, their jangling tambourines and bouncy guitar riffs serve as a pleasant distractor from the track’s pained lyrics (“Your insults now rhyme, they twirl and they chime / And they take their time / And I’ll watch them destroy / The past and you”) — an instrumental technique that puts them in good company (the Smiths, the Cure, insert another heart-on-sleeve alterna-pop staple here).

Listen below, check out Expert Alterations’ upcoming August tour dates with Literature, and look for their debut LP, You Can’t Always Be Liked, on October 30 via Kanine Records. - SPIN

""Midnight Garden" (Single Premiere)"

The emotional landscape of a relationship is filled with potential for devastation and heartbreak. It’s been artistically rendered time and again as an Arcadia of sorts; a mystical and lush if not unsettling place of escape. Expert Alterations’ new single, “Midnight Garden,” is a brief foray into this metaphoric, lascivious landscape; a dark pop song about the consuming aspects of a relationship. “We’re just the prisoners/ Polishing our own chains/ And ask not a question/ And we’ll beg our own pardon/ Just throwing the dirt in our midnight garden.” Though the trio hails from Baltimore, their muted brand of pop would easily fit on a bill alongside UK-based indie projects of the mid-to-late ’80s such as the Vaselines or the Wedding Present. Expert Alterations will release their self-titled debut EP next month; listen to “Midnight Garden” below. - STEREOGUM

"Expert Alterations - Say Hello"

Indie-pop aficionados Expert Alterations go deep. They have ideas, opinions, their own way of doing things, and have just released an eponymous debut EP on Slumberland AND Kanine Records. The Baltimore band streamlines the hard straightforward rhythm of a group like Bauhaus, fuses in some deadpan vocals, and through small and unwavering chord changes à la The Strokes, utilize guitars that do a lot of important melodic leg work. All of this results in an ominously jovial sort of indie-pop that can be comfortably juxtaposed with almost any band falling on the relatively diverse (sonic) spectrum, but a kind that can’t be so easily put into a box. They’re the band that dispels notions of indie-pop-one-trick-pony-dom by playing multidimensional indie-pop. Expert Alterations chatted with us for a little bit about Baltimore Popfest, where they came from, existing inside of a revived political climate, and running a show house.
[Interview to follow] - IMPOSE MAGAZINE

"Expert Alterations are leading the Baltimore pop pack"

Expert Alterations are from Baltimore but listening to “A Bell”, a track taken from their debut cassette, you could be mistaken for thinking that the trio hailed from Dunedin, Christchurch or Liverpool rather than Charm City.

A UK and NZ indie pop sound hangs heavy over the tape which is now into it’s third pressing and will soon be getting a proper release through Slumberland records.

Beginning with a slowly strummed jangle, "A Bell" fires up to a buzzy jig and mid way through even drops a bass solo which will have mop tops from Maryland to Merseyside bobbing their heads.

Drummer Paul Krolian answered some questions about the band and the release.

Noisey: It's obvious that you are fans of UK and NZ pop. You just supported the Buzzcocks but of all the bands past and present who would you like to support the most?
Paul Krolian: We would really like to support The Fall. Not open for them per se, but being future ex-Fall members has always been a dream of ours. But yes, we do love UK and NZ pop, we were lucky enough to be asked to support The Clean during their US tour last year. The Clean are the best band, hands down.

What do you think of the current state of UK pop?
Great things are always coming out of the UK. We’re all very excited about what Sean at Fortuna Pop has been putting out over the past couple of years. He’s released fantastic records by a handful of bands featuring some really strong ladies that we’re all really into like Flowers, Joanna Gruesome, and Evans The Death. We’re also all fans of James Hoare’s bands like Veronica Falls, Ultimate Painting and The Proper Ornaments. We’re hoping to make it over there soon enough.

Your cassette is now into it's third pressing. Have you been surprised by the response?
Quite surprised. We gave a friend 100 dollars to record five songs on his tape machine, not expecting it would amount to much more than a self-released cassette. We all definitely stand behind the songs and are thrilled Slumberland is on board to give it a proper release in June. We’re all massive fans of Slumberland Record’s past and present.

How do you differentiate between Expert Alterations and Alan's other band Wildhoney?
Expert Alterations is minimalist whereas Wildhoney is maximalist. They are both indie pop bands. - NOISEY

"Expert Alterations ready self-titled EP for Slumberland (listen), playing 3 NYC shows this weekend, NCY Popfest in May"

Baltimore trio Expert Alterations make classic, C-86 style indiepop with scratchy, jangly guitars, lead-like basslines and a sleepy vocal style. They look the part too -- dig those Pastels-style anoraks (and haircuts) in the picture above. They bring a lot of energy to it and the band's self-titled EP, out via Slumberland on June 1, is quite good. You can stream "A Bell" from it below.

As mentioned, Expert Alternations will play NYC Popfest on May 30 at Knitting Factory with The Darling Buds, The Spook School, Veronica Lake, Brideshead, and Wallflower. Tickets are still available.

You can catch Expert Alterations in NYC before that, though, as they'll be here this weekend for three shows: Friday (4/24) at Threes Brewing in Gowanus with Tall Juan and Green Pages (featuring members of The Beets, German Measles, and Sapphire Mansions); then Saturday (4/25) at Pet Rescue with My Teenage Stride, Summer Saints and The Bad New Ones; and Sunday (4/26) at Alphaville with Pale Lights, Cheap Sneakers, and Green Pages again.

All dates are listed, along with the new song stream, below. - BROOKLYN VEGAN

"Expert Alterations EP Review"

It's clear from the start of this record that the Baltimore trio Expert Alterations have done their homework. Their debut EP is steeped in the jangliest, scrappiest indie pop, the kind that started off in the early '80s in New Zealand, bloomed in the mid-'80s in the U.K., and really never went away. The five songs here jitter and slash, guitars cutting across the jumpy rhythm section while the vocals yelp and croon in sympathy. It's nothing that anyone who's followed the history of this sound hasn't heard before, but the group play with such fiery energy and tuneful devotion (especially on the EP-ending gem "Three Signs") that it's hard to dismiss them as mere followers or pretenders. Instead, look at this EP as the beginning steps from a band with some serious potential for better things in the future, if they can keep the energy levels high and the sound as kicky as it is here. - ALL MUSIC


You Can't Always Be Liked  - LP (October 30, 2015) - Kanine

Dear Thomas  - 7" split with Literature) - (August 2015)

Expert Alterations  - EP (June 2, 2015) - Slumberland/Kanine



On their stellar debut album, Expert Alterations proves to be keen observers of pop music both past and present.  You Can't Always Be Liked, slated to be released on October 30th, 2015 via New York based Kanine Records, is a triumph for Baltimore's premier indiepop trio.  After capturing the attention of the indie faithful with their self-titled 12” EP on Slumberland Records, Expert Alterations is poised to become the new standard-bearers of whipsmart pop tunes. Expert Alterations consults the detailed map of their predecessors -- groups like The Shop Assistants, The Pastels and Television Personalities -- and uses it to chart a course to a musical utopia where sonic hooks are paramount and wry lyrics celebrated.

Alan (bass guitar), Patrick (vocals and guitar) and Paul (drums) formed the band in 2013 soon after they met at a pop show during Maryland Deathfest - simply because they were the only three people in attendance. Paul complimented Patrick’s Spacemen 3 shirt, and they immediately drank the bar dry of cider. In the following days they started fleshing out some songs Patrick had been recording in his bedroom, and immediately it was clear that there was a shared ideal: simplicity. The trio bonded over their affinity for labels like Sarah Records and Creation, operations that developed and spawned their own scenes, seeing their impact as much more than just a means of record production.

Recorded with Miles Waltuck and Dan Frome at the historic Copycat building, the band settled in during a bleak February snowstorm to tackle their debut album. Having already been written and arranged before entering the studio, they limited themselves to one or two takes per song with the aim of capturing the energy of their live show. The album was recorded in just three days but truly took shape at the mixing desk of indiepop stalwart Archie Moore (Velocity Girl, Black Tambourine) over the following months.

You Can't Always Be Liked features a sound that evokes Expert Alterations’ shared passions, while also giving tantalizing hints about what might be in store for their future as a band. The album is, in large part, about the transitional years between the late teens and early twenties, and most of the lyrics are rooted in the anxieties and experiences of those difficult times.  Driving, melodic bass lines, jangly guitars and relentless drumming maintain a sense of ever-present energy throughout the record.  Added instrumentation and vocals and the measured tension between pleasant, lively chords ad moody lyrics combine to form a rich and dynamic pop masterpiece.  The songs work upwards towards relief, however, and words of cautious encouragement -- “You can’t always be liked” -- become a comforting mantra.

Band Members