Standout Track: No. 1, “A Traitor in My Mind,” a clamorous anthem of jacked-up mope rock, in which guitarist and singer Nate Frey waxes despondent about an incident of infidelity and its aftermath. “Now I wander the streets of the District alone/Drunk in the rain and the freezing cold,” he sings in a harrowed baritone. “My hard heart hanging heavy as a stone/But for you it’s just what you were told.”
Musical Motivation: “Traitor” may be emotionally fraught, but it’s not personal. “There was no specific incident that particularly inspired it,” says Frey, who also plays guitar in the dance-y pop-punk band Detox Retox. Rather, Frey says, he was reading the 1948 Graham Greene novel The Heart Of The Matter—whose protagonist is a doomed, adulterous police inspector—when he conjured up the song’s rationalizing narrator. So, no real-life experience with the subject, then? “Nooo,” Frey says.
Sound Opinions: “Most of our drums don’t sound like shoegaze. They sound like John Bonham,” says bassist Rob Miller, 25, of Last Tide’s frequent comparison to bands like A.C. Temple and Slowdive. Frey, meanwhile, acknowledges the influence of shoegazing bands but says that equally loud, punkier acts like Hüsker Dü and Dinosaur Jr. are as essential to the band’s musical DNA. As for “A Traitor in My Mind,” which was engineered by Washington City Paper contributor Justin Moyer and features the sound of a Metro train zipping by, the song wasn’t born noisy. “When I went to write it,” Frey says, “it was going to have a country feel.”
Last Tide performs at the Black Cat on Monday, Oct. 26