Vada Vada! Wait, Vada Vada? Not only is “The Vada Vada” a dance (a Kabuki-like flailing of self provoking either the wrath or admiration from the now anachronistic form of sweaty, middle aged flesh) – and developed by twin brothers Wyatt and Fletcher Shears of the Southern California band The Garden – it’s also the band’s calling card. It’s a genre. It’s a song off their new record, The Life and Times of a Paperclip, out July 23rd on Burger Records. It’s an all-encompassing philosophy of radical self-identity through hyperactivity, music, and monster movies. It’s a way of life.
Twin brothers from Orange, California, Wyatt and Fletcher were born into the crashing wave of OC hardcore and, from the get-go, were instantly ahead of their time. The obligatory “scum punk” phase that most have in the later years of high school came and went for the brothers as fourth graders. And while the rest of their peers were first discovering The Dead Kennedys and Black Flag, the brothers Shears preferred the hostile and art damaged rhythms of Saccharine Trust, The Minutemen, and Killing Joke.
A result of two years of unbridled energy, The Garden present their new album, The Life and Times of a Paperclip: sixteen songs about inanimate objects, made up words, and declarations of inconsequence that leave you scratching your head and tapping your foot. It’s a punk record. It’s brooding and humorous, abstract and dense. Though, refreshingly, it’s completely un-self aware. There’s no wallowing in sad, reflective, wide-eyed introspection. The Garden don’t have time for that. After all, the band’s only working with a bass guitar and drum set here – their chosen tools of destruction are limiting in the best way, leaving room for only the stuff that hits the hardest and matters most.
From day one, the Shears brothers set out to make a great LP, and they succeeded. The Life and Times of a Paperclip is an invitation into their universe. It’s a challenge. And it’s one we should all accept.