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Standout Track:

No. 2, “Her Eyes Are a Blue Million Miles,” a Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band cover drawn from their 1972 album Clear Spot. Shortstack guitarists Burleigh Seaver and Adrian Carroll play dueling Zoot Horn Rollo riffs as the song bluesily swaggers toward its howling, falsetto-driven outro.

Musical Motivation:

To avoid having to get pompadour haircuts. “We started to feel like we were being perceived as a country or rockabilly band, but we’ve always been interested in a lot of other things,” says Carroll. “We all liked Beefheart. The words are really simple and beautiful—there was a circular pattern to them.” The song also motivated Shortstack to rock out a little harder than before. “Previously our drummer [Scott Gursky] played with brushes. He pretty much exclusively plays with sticks now. It made the band louder—that’s what attracted us to it.”

Retro Opens Doors:

Shortstack’s feelings about greaser-rock are a little complicated. “With the rockabilly stuff, we like some of the older music, but stuff like Reverend Horton Heat we really found kind of stupid,” says Carroll, who lives in Columbia Heights. “We were talking to this guy in California who works in a biker tattoo parlor/hair salon and joking about the retro-crazed-rockabilly fans. He was saying it’s like a disease, a mental illness—that you go into someone’s house and they have a vintage stove, vintage fridge. But they come to our shows and they respond to our music.”

Shortstack plays Friday, Feb. 1, at the Black Cat.