Gangland Buries Its Own
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Gangland Buries Its Own

Arlington, Virginia, United States | INDIE

Arlington, Virginia, United States | INDIE
Band Alternative Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos






But first, in the spirit of DIY, I want to play you a little music.

This is a band called "Gangland Buries its Own" and that song is called, "Destroyer."

Um, what exactly does this have to do with Do it Yourself?

Well, basically everything. GBIO, as they're also called, played this past summer at the Ft. Reno concert series. Now, that's a showcase for mostly young and up-and-coming local musicians who share the punk ethos. This means writing your own music and finding ways to be heard beyond the established venues. These days, the woman booking the series is Amanda Mackaye.

Amanda Mackaye, oh, my gosh, that name sounds super familiar. How do I know that name?

Well, maybe you know Amanda's brother, Ian Mackaye, from the legendary D.C. punk band, "Fugazi".

Oh, yeah...

And he's also co-founder of Dischord Records. Now, I caught up with Amanda this week at her home in Falls Church, Va. where she told me what the Ft. Reno concert series is all about. - WAMU NPR Radio

"Gangland Buries Its Own “The city loves you to death” (2010)"

Translated from Spanish:

The city loves you to death.

Your death , of course. The city gets under your skin and move your bones like a puppeteer. The city will open their eyes until the outbreak of retina. A city lined with angular riffs and rhythms, restless and sweaty. A city explained amid cries of pain and bittersweet melodies. Terms such as Post -Hardcore, Indie-Rock Noise-Rock or not enough for me to talk about this urban portrait made music. Although, of course, references such as Drive Like Jehu , Sonic Youth, Jawbox , Archers Of Loaf, Unwound or lead us in that direction. Yes, this is Rock nineties, with the guitars to the front so full of distortion and of ideas, as intricate as visceral and spontaneous beating with the rhythm section in spasms of release and abandonment, with the voices ( one female and one male) telling the absurdity of our times through tunes that squeeze the heart to make it stronger.
Zoey Rawlins (the girl ) in particular leaves the soul without losing his composure, his voice devilishly attractive rescuing the pioneering spirit of post-hardcore and Fire Party or Mary Timony but adding its own identity charged with a bitter, mean sensitivity between melodic instinct and a final. Ben Reese (the guy,both are responsible for the six strings ) accompanied by outbursts quite visceral and, when the two coincide in one passage, the intensity becomes so sharp it hurts. That's what this album debut, physical energy and mobilizing expressed with high shares of musical depth and intelligence. Portraits of the city drawn on the skin with guitars, music embodies and becomes part of oneself, emotional labyrinths represent much more than just scribbles on a staff. A master class from Rock in forty- eight minutes.

La ciudad te ama hasta la muerte. Tu muerte, claro. La ciudad se mete debajo de tu piel y mueve tus huesos como un titiritero. La ciudad te abre los ojos hasta que estalle la retina. Una ciudad delineada con riffs angulares y ritmos inquietos y sudorosos. Una ciudad explicada entre gritos de dolor y melodías agridulces. Términos como Post-Hardcore, Indie-Rock o Noise-Rock no me bastan para hablar de este retrato urbano hecho música. Aunque, claro, referencias como Drive Like Jehu, Sonic Youth, Jawbox, Unwound o Archers Of Loaf nos lleven en esa dirección. Sí, esto es Rock noventoso, con las guitarras al frente tan cargadas de distorsión como de ideas, tan intrincadas como viscerales y espontáneas, con la base rítmica latiendo en espasmos de liberación y abandono, con las voces (una femenina y una masculina) relatando lo absurdo de nuestros días a través de melodías que estrujan el corazón para hacerlo más fuerte. Zoey Rawlins (la chica) en particular deja el alma sin por ello perder la compostura, con un tono endiabladamente atractivo, rescatando el espíritu de pioneras del Post-Hardcore como Fire Party o Mary Timony pero aportando su propia identidad cargada de una sensibilidad entre amargada y maliciosa y un instinto melódico inapelable. Ben Reese (el chico, ambos se encargan de las seis cuerdas) acompaña con desplantes absolutamente viscerales y, cuando los dos coinciden en algún pasaje, la intensidad se torna tan punzante que lastima. De eso se trata este disco debut, energía física y movilizadora expresada con altas cuotas de profundidad musical e inteligencia. Retratos de la ciudad dibujados con guitarras sobre la piel, música que se corporiza y se transforma en parte de uno mismo, laberintos emocionales que representan mucho más que meros garabatos sobre un pentagrama. Una clase magistral de Rock en cuarenta y ocho minutos. - Zann's Music

"If gang wars were this fun….."

Fort Reno has started it’s summer time showcase and this past Thursday was the perfect day to go check out some local talent. After the last couple weeks of constant humidity and general discomfort, the 1st of July was the quintessential summer evening. There was a clear sky and a cool breeze blowing through the new renovated park and I for one had a smile from start to finish. That smile only got bigger as “Gangland Buries Its Own” (GBIO) took stage.

At first glance I found the accessibility of bands such as “Cursive.” They had a strong prog-punk glimmer that briefly winked at the alternative sound of the 90’s. However after the first two songs I saw the real substance of this band and that was pure melodic-hardcore. I am well aware of the district’s history of hardcore music and I am not going so far as to say that these guys are bringing it back, because let’s face it the time for that type of inventiveness has past. What GBIO does, and does so well, is revitalize the form in modern terms. Without claiming a strict formula they allow themselves to venture into ground that might not be new, but is still captivating and promising.

Enough with my scene deconstruction… the final point is that these guys rocked the hell out of Fort Reno. Zoey Rawlins has a voice that is just awesome, her lyrics are amazingly personal and give you more to chew on than most bands. Melding the coyness of Astrud Gilberto and the brash wisdom of Kim Gordon she could sing on one note the whole song then bust into a melodic whisper that was both haunting and memorable. One song I found particularly engaging was “Get the F Outta Reno.” The lyrics were about addiction and wasting away in the desert mirage for which Reno has become famous. I honestly felt like I was hearing an episode of the A&E show Breaking Bad.

A solid front woman is a key element of the band’s successful formula, but the band would not be much with out the skills of the rest of the band’s members. Ben Reese’s guitar work is solid and has just the right amount of shimmer. One thing that has always bothered me about some hardcore bands is the over use of distortion. I mean really what’s the point if you can’t hear the chords. Ben must share this same opinion because he balanced the natural sound of his killer SG with just the right amount of crunch. Being as this show was outside it was even more evident that he has a masterful grip on tone and this talent made the dynamics of the songs perfectly pitched.

Then there’s that rhythm section. At one point in the show Zoey commented that their drummer Matt Heden had arms like a gorilla in response to an impromptu drum kit break. He certainly had a forceful style of playing. Some drummers break sticks others break drum heads. I would venture to say that Matt would fit into both categories. Every strike was made with purpose and perfectly in time. Matt could strike just as well as he could finesse. The softer parts of the songs would never have worked if his strength were not accompanied by a great amount of restraint and thoughtfulness.

And then we come to Chris Verdak. I am guessing he grew up with bass strings instead of rattles because he is a master of the thick stringed instrument. Bassist’s often do not get enough credit, but Chris damn near stole the show with his phrasing and awesome stage presence. The highlight of the show for me was the song “Destroyer” in which Chris’s bass lines dance with Ben’s guitar to create a most engaging and surprisingly danceable tune.

So if you have gotten to this point in the review and you haven’t searched for them yet, here is the link. I recommend seeing them soon and make sure you get one of their stickers. It just might be the best piece of Star Wars art I have seen yet.

Read more:
- District of Sound

"Sleeper Agent!, Gangland Buries Its Own @ Fort Reno, 7/1/10"

In this unusually ugly and hot summer, we have had occasional gemlike days in the 70s. One of these happened to be Thursday, July 1. I had dinner plans with some relatives, but things happened to work out that I was done in time to head to Fort Reno. It was such a nice night that I biked up from downtown, met up with a friend under a tree, and watched the bands. I didn’t really know anything about them in advance, though I had glanced at the info on their respective myspace pages.

First up was a young group called Gangland Buries Its Own — they were actually playing when I got there, but I would guess that I saw most of their set. Good band, I liked them. Sort of an artsy post-hardcore sound, not really anything I haven’t heard before, but with screaming female vocals. Typing this up, I am tempted to download their album but it seems sort of expensive, $10 at CDBaby. They need to get on the bandcamp bandwagon, I would buy it for like 4 or 5. I’ll think about it. - District Lies

"Gangland Buries its Own – The City Loves You to Death"

Every so often I’ll skim through the CD Baby new arrivals for items that intrigue me and every so often I’ll run across one or two albums that come up worth hearing. And most of the time it’s relatively cheap, so it’s almost always a win. This past month I came across Gangland Buries its Own and their recently released full-length The City Loves You to Death. The samples led me to believe that it would be a nice blast to the past dosage of post-hardcore, DC style. You’d think people would grow tired of it, but when done right it’s still mighty effective and Gangland Buries its Own are definitely riding the high points of the genre. They succeed in avoiding the trappings of falling into a stale retread sound that so many bands often do, and this is even with a handful of songs that extend into five minute territory and never once FEEL like they are five minutes. They’ve put some time in putting together these songs and it shows. The alternating male/female vocals are a nice touch as well, giving the record a bit more variety than it normally would. It probably won’t shock anyone that this was recorded by J. Robbins of Jawbox/Burning Airlines/Channels fame. To say there are similarities to Jawbox here is pretty much stating the obvious, but as I’m sure many remember, Jawbox were mighty good. Gangland Buries its Own aren’t up to that level, but what they are doing is pretty damn good and if anything there is promise for bigger and better things. In a year where I’ve heard very little music of this style that is of worth, this album comes as pleasant surprise. Definitely give the track below a listen…

Gangland Buries its Own – Dark Corner [MP3]

For those interested in picking up The City Loves You to Death, then head on over to CD Baby where they have it available on CD or digital download. Good stuff, definitely throw down some cash if you like what you hear. Enjoy! - Built On A Weak Spot


The City Loves You to Death (2010)
Recorded with J. Robbins at Magpie Cage, Baltimore, MD



DC inde-rockers Gangland Buries Its Own rekindles the better parts of the early 90's scene, with Marshall-rich layering, ambitious vocals and full-throttle drums. Equal parts Jehu, Jawbox and Sonic Youth, the songs are moody and powerful, melodic and abrasive. This four piece is a mash up of previous bands Schervo and Clarks' Ditch / Fieldmachine, with husband and wife team Ben Reese and Zoey Rawlins on guitars pairing up with rhythm section Matt Haden and Chris Verdak.

Their debut album, The City Loves You to Death, recorded with 90's legend J. Robbins, reveals a statement under all those guitars, as well a penchant for long names. “I want our songs to rock, sure, but unless you're Weezer you can't exist on empty calories. There needs to be some substance,” comments Rawlins. “I like songs that have depth and reveal themselves over time. We throw a lot of spaghetti on the wall to see what sticks then re-write and iterate all the way to the day of recording. It's not uncommon for me to rewrite lyrics in the studio.” Perfection never achieved, but they get as close as they can.

Members of GBIO have toured the East Coast as well as been a DC staple playing with local scenesters Burning Airlines, Q & Not U, Dismemberment Plan, Faraquet, The Oxxes and The Points among others.