Ladies They Mean Us

The fact that Rob Crow (Pinback, Thingy, Heavy Vegetable, Goblin Cock) and Zach Hill (Hella, Nervous Cop) have collaborated on a musical project is by no means a surprise. The fact that their first recording together was as Team Sleep — a band assembled by Deftones front-man Chino Moreno and signed to Madonna’s Maverick label — though is pretty damn surprising. While that record failed to impress many fans of Crow and Hill, their second go, this time alone as a two-piece called the Ladies, produces exactly what you’d want/expect from this pairing. They Mean Us is the sum of Crow’s innovative bursts of melodic rock textures combined with Hill’s pounding, off-time beats and scattered rhythms. Upon first listen, the results can be a little disorientating, as the amalgamation feels like Hill’s avant-garde ideas have just been layered over top of Crow’s more straightforward rock template. However, the more attention you give to this album, the more you receive from it. "Vacation, Asphyxia, Vacation” may begin with some perplexing time-keeping by the avid skinsman, but as the guitars come in and become more apparent, as with the vocals, everything falls into place accordingly. This formula is realised to its fullest potential on the upbeat "Nice Chaps, Buddy,” which unites the two elements exquisitely, resulting in a piece of work resembling much of Crow’s best work from the past. They Mean Us is quite simply an indie rock marriage made in heaven. (Temporary Residence)