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Standout Track: No. 5, “Witchcraft,” a piece of self-affirmation via white magic that sprawls out over 10 minutes. While a strange brew of cymbals and field recordings rumble in the background, Erin McCarley and Beck Levy sing, “I turn to witchcraft when I struggle/When I am ill or ill at ease.” It’s as if The Gun Club got around to making a kiddie record.
Musical Motivation: Child-rearing. Both Levy and McCarley did time in loud, heavy bands (Turboslut and Problems, respectively), which relied on a more aggressive vocal delivery. But in the last couple of years, McCarley has become a mother of two. “I’ve spent the last two years singing lullabies,” she says, explaining why Hand Grenade Job’s vocals are mostly dialed down to a volume that’s rocking-chair appropriate.
Escape Artists: According to Levy, “Witchcraft” is all about getting away from the real world. “It’s a way to physically manifest the world of your own delusion,” she says. But while the song’s chorus, “Sometimes I use the magic of attack/Sometimes I use the magic of escape,” might call to mind a fervent table-top gaming session, don’t get the wrong idea. Levy has never played D&D. But she admits to having some slight problems with people. “I don’t think I was sociable enough as a teenager.”
Hand Grenade Job plays with Garland of Hours and Grass Widow at Comet Ping Pong on Nov. 11. See the Facebook invitation for more information.