Walter Schreifels had cemented his legend status before he formed Quicksand in 1990. As a teenager in the ’80s, Schreifels played in hugely important hardcore bands like Gorilla Biscuits and Youth Of Today. But then Schreifels got into shoegaze and alt-rock, and he started writing slower, more melodic music, first with his short-lived Moondawg project and then, finally, with Quicksand. Quicksand were right up there with Fugazi as one of the best, most influential post-hardcore bands of the ’90s, and their two ’90s albums, both released as part of the most-Nirvana major-label boom, are classics of the form.
Quicksand fell apart slowly in the late ’90s. Schreifels went on to found Rival Schools and a bunch of other bands, and bassist Sergio Vega eventually joined the Deftones, a band with a definite Quicksand influence. In 2012, Quicksand got back together as a part-time thing, playing a bunch of shows. In 2017, they released a really good reunion album called Interiors. Today, they’ve dropped another one.
Quicksand made the new album Distant Populations as a trio; former guitarist Tom Capone evidently had some personal issues and had to drop out. They made the album with producer Will Yip, and it builds on the band’s classic sound while pushing them in grand, majestic new directions. Some parts of Distant Populations sound like Catherine Wheel-style dream-pop. Other parts sound like blissed-out doom metal. This doesn’t sound like a legacy project; it sounds like a band that’s still excited to push itself. We’ve already heard the early tracks “Inversion,” “Missile Command,” and “Brushed,” and now you can stream the whole album below.
Distant Populations is out now on Epitaph.