Bedroom Rehab releases new EP, ‘Fortunate Some’
There are airplane cockpit systems smaller and less technically complex than Adam Wujtewicz’s pedal board — and don’t touch it!
The 18 effects boxes calibrated in the unit are all essential to the sound Wujtewicz claws from his Gibson Firebird bass — which reminds one of a diseased bear roaring in hell.
But that monstrous tone and the subsequent, bone-in riffage are just part of the alchemy of the sonic bass/drums duo called Bedroom Rehab Corporation. Wujtewicz, who doubles as the band’s anguish-toned vocalist, is joined by drummer Meghan Killimade, and her relentless percussive onslaught summons visions of plow horses kicking in Bill Ward’s skull.
Since they formed in 2010, the New London-based BRC has served as proud acolytes of metal/doom/sludge rock. They’ve carefully grown a New England-wide following and shared bills with national titans such as Weedeater, Clamfight, Ancient Wisdom and Riddle of Steel. In 2013, their debut album, “Red Over Red,” earned BRC numerous Whalie music award nominations and trophies.
But, while their sound obviously echoes the legacy of the genre’s past, Killimade and Wujtewicz are not content to simply plod along and follow established trails. The band’s sound has evolved and incorporated the weighty atmospheric-feedback possibilities of acts like Chapterhouse or My Bloody Valentine.
This experimentation is particularly evident on “Fortunate Some,” a new four-song EP being released today and celebrated this evening with a listening and performance party at New London’s 33 Golden Street. At 7 p.m., the club sound system will air the recording while folks from Cranston’s Revival Brewing Company offer samples. Live music follows with sets from Faces of Bayon, Blackwolfgoat and Nightbitch — before Bedroom Rehab Corporation takes the stage for a headlining performance.
The show and the new recording should resolutely indicate one thing: that BRC is committed to moving the genre into the future. “Fortunate Some” is magnificent in its power, and the quartet of tunes — expansive in their structural blueprints and averaging about seven minutes in length — are as relentless and menacing as a lava flow through a cemetery.
“I’ve always tried to create as much sound as I can,” Wujtewicz says. “We’re a heavy band and I love a big riff ... (but) we never want the songs to be completely linear. We’ve started to use extended intros and outros and bridge sections. I enjoy the way music can take you places — and not just necessarily through the lyrics. I do think the songs should have choruses, though, and, doom and gloom or not, I appreciate having something to have people sing along with.”
Wait! Did Wutjewicz just allude to melody and hooks?
Why, yes! And, if they’re not exactly like Squeeze or Elliot Smith, the refrains in “Riddles of Wind and Time” and “When All You’ve Got is a Hammer” will absolutely burrow into your brain and hang around awhile in the grand fashion of Alice in Chains’ “Would” or Ozzy wailing “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath.”
“Trying to blend the melody and cacophony of shoegaze with the riffing and ferocity of sludge has started to become a priority for me,” Wujtewicz says. “I think that, if the vocals are more melodic, it helps to accentuate the mood of the song. Heavy music has a tendency to skip over the vocal hooks or melody and it kills a lot of the emotion that’s present in the music.”
Part of this new emphasis comes from the fact that Killimade and Wujtewicz have become so effortlessly empathetic. No matter what fog of sound or gut-slawing bass figures Wujtewicz churns out, it’s perfectly anchored by Killimade’s rhythmic patterns — and check out the EP-closing “The Serpent, The Smiler” for a stunning example of their umbilical connection.
“We’d just become more comfortable writing the music, which left more time for me to focus on the vocals. Continually blasting people with screamed or growled vocals only expresses anger and that’s not what this record’s about,” Wujtewicz says. “Vocals, in general, are the only human sound on a rock record. I think that makes it the first thing non-musicians gravitate towards, so putting more work into that aspect seems a good way to hook more people in.”
As with “Red Over Red,” Bedroom Rehab recorded “Fortunate Some” at Sonelab in Easthampton with engineer/producer Justin Pizzoferrato. The process involved four 10-hour sessions that encompassed basic tracking, ambient effects overdubs and experimentation, vocals, then mixing.
“We had such a good time recording with Justin for ‘Red Over Red’ and we were so happy with the results that we thought the only logical thing to do was go back and explore the relationship further.” Wujtewicz says.
The whole experience was so efficient and successful, he adds, that the three of them spent a lot of time talking about records they’d been listening to and the whiskey they’d been trying.
“Justin has really become a good friend and getting to work with him and hang out for a week was a privilege,” Wujtewicz says.
Now that “Fortunate Some” will be unleashed to the public, Bedroom Rehab Corporation will do the best they can to build their audience through any means necessary. In addition to touring, they’ve released an evocative and brooding promotional video for “When All You’ve Got is a Hammer.”
“You have to expand your reach as much as you’re able,” Wujtewicz says. “There is so much to learn from other places and bands and fans.” He points to the courtesy of bands from other areas that welcome BRC when they visit new towns — and says, in turn, that BRC always try to return the courtesy when they book a hometown show. “There’s a very large community of independent musicians out there doing very similar things to what we’re doing. We want to make sure we get back to places that have already supported and embraced us, but we want to make sure we go tell people who have never heard of us the good news of BRC, as well.”
IF YOU GO
Who: Bedroom Rehab Corporation
What: Release party for their new EP, "Fortunate Some"
When: Saturday, with 7 p.m. listening party and 10 p.m. live performances
Where: 33 Golden Street, 33 Golden St., New London
Wait! There's more: In addition to copies of the EP being available, Cranston's Revival Brewery will be featuring beer samples. Also, before BRC performs live, Faces of Bayon, Blackwolfgoat and Nightbitch will offer support sets.
How much: Free until 10 p.m.; $5 after
Information: (860) 447-3929, bedroomrehabcorp.com
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