Josh and Adam Netsky have been mainstays on the Rochester music scene for the past decade at least. Older brother Josh was writing songs beyond his years, while Adam brought the songs to life both on stage, playing drums, and on screen, crafting accompanying videos. Their creative teamwork reached a new high in 2012 with a song-cycle and experimental documentary about the ghost town of Centralia, PA.
Part of being a great bandleader is crafting the songs. The other part is putting together the right parts to bring your visions to life. The Netsky’s pulled off a bit of a coup, scoring arguably the two best and most versatile guitarists in Rochester: Sam Snyder (Overhand Sam, Anamon) and Kurt Johnson (Moho Collective, Wallboards). Together they became Maybird, providing a more consistent outlet for their output. The band flourished on the Rochester scene and in 2016 they signed to Danger Mouse’s 30th Century Records, on which they’ve released two EPs, Turning Into Water and Unravelling.
On Things I Remember From Earth, their debut LP for 30th Century, releasing Friday, the band’s sound takes a huge leap forward. With major label backing and national tours with acts like Portugal. The Man under their belt, the Netsky’s creative visions are finally reaching their full potential.
The title, “Things I Remember From Earth,” was taken from Kurt Vonnegut’s “The Sirens of Titan,” as were the themes of many of the songs. “Human purpose, holding on to memories, and losing control of your mind/memory are all themes in the book that found a place on the album.” Josh Netsky explains.
No longer encumbered by the what-ifs of a shoestring budget, colorful sounds explode from the record like tubes of paint being smashed with a hammer. The opening track “In Technicolor (for the first time),” sets it all up perfectly: “If you mix the colors in your eyes / darkened tears will fall / into vivid seas and multiply.”
From the driving march of “To You,” to the slinky grooving “Gonna Lose Your Mind,” to the 80’s style bright pop of “Montreal,” track after track, colors are added and the vision becomes more complete and more impressive.
The band might consist three guitarists and a drummer, but they pushed the studio to the limit, layering sounds upon sounds for a complete sonic scrub that leaves no stone unturned: A perfectly placed horn track, catchy backing vocals, an eerie whistle, a burst of piano, a humming organ, alien bubbles and wails from outer space, not to mention, all of that glorious guitar. A bevy of beautiful and unique choices color the edges of the psychedelic pop songs throughout. Don’t fret about the how’s and who’s, close your eyes and let the grooves wash over you.
“When you feel it / for the first time / in spectacular color.”
How will it sound from the stage? Find out at their record release show this Friday, May 3 at Radio Social where they’ll be playing the album front to back. It’s a free show and Maybird will share the stage with Mikaela Davis, Cammy Enaharo and August West.
Key tracks: Gonna Lose Your Mind, Don’t Keep Me Around, When I Find My Out of the Circle