Rhythm & Views 


There are plenty of great alt-guitar bands out there today--Interpol, Modest Mouse and Trail of Dead among them--but not a lot of notable alt-guitar heroes in the tradition of, say, J Mascis. You know, the kind of six-stringer who plays with such unique intensity that you instantly recognize his trademark sound. Well, Imaad Wasif, singer/guitarist for alaska! might be the next Hammer of the Gods, with a style I can only characterize as a deadly mix of Robert Quine, The Edge and Mark Kozelek.

The rhythm section of Wasif's band alaska! provides a solid, fluid backdrop. Yet drummer Lesley Ishino (ex-Red Aunts) and bassist Russ Pollard (ex-Sebadoh) are less a metronome and more an epic canvas against which Wasif plays a sonic Pollack. Rescue Through Tomahawk is not an "experimental" album, however (though the last four minutes of the 10-minute "The Light" will bathe you in white noise). Instead, this is a passionate rock album that articulates a profound hunger for love, spiritual and physical. It's completely devoid of irony; every song aims for the human heart.

And the hooks! When Wasif digs into the sweeping outro of "Surrender," it's like discovering a big, fat gift on Christmas morning. And he's unafraid to wax poetic: I've no idea what "Follow the ragged star / The one that dies, leaves no mark" means, but it sounds beautiful and sad all at once--a hallmark of terrific music, I think.

More by Jarret Keene

  • Death on Two Rails

    Salvadoran journalist rides the deadly migrant trail
    • Jan 16, 2014
  • Daft Punk and Beyond

    Some of our critics' favorite albums of the year, part one
    • Dec 26, 2013
  • Thighs Like Us

    Ron Terpening's Cloud Cover reveals a sexy supporting character
    • Dec 19, 2013
  • More »


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

The Range

The Weekly List: 23 Things To Do In Tucson This Week

Laughing Stock: Laff’s and Tears, Plus New Mics

More »

Latest in Rhythm & Views

  • Rhythm & Views

    American Monoxide “In Flight Mode” (People In A Position To Know)
    • Dec 18, 2014
  • Rhythm & Views

    Wight Lhite “Beyond the Satellites” (Paisley Shirt Records)
    • Dec 11, 2014
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Their Way

    The Trashcan Sinatras have traveled each and every highway for more than three decades
    • May 10, 2018
  • XOXO...

    What's coming down the music pipeline in the next week.
    • May 10, 2018
  • More »

Facebook Activity

© 2018 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation