Preening Discography 2016–2020 cassette

A discography-sweeping release, this tape combines almost forty tracks of saxophone-crunching no wave goodness. It’s angular, lo-fi, everything you want out of this genre. Fans of MARS, DNA, and JAMES CHANCE will absolutely adore what this tape has to offer. The only complaint I have is there are just too many songs to keep track of here, but if you’re happy to skip through to the cream of the crop then you have nothing to fear.

Preening Dragged Through the Garden 12″

PREENING didn’t invent any of the sounds, or combinations of sounds, you hear on this nine-song EP, but at this point they have fully slapped their own stamp on things, and they were decently distinctive before. The snaky saxophone and juddery bass calls back to early ’80s UK post-punk’s jazzier cats—frequently thinking BLURT, sometimes the POP GROUP—and it’s notable that Max Nordile, on the former listed instrument, plays like an actual jazzer as opposed to a punk who realised the sax’s din-making potential. (Check the slow’n’low “Red Red Lava” for evidence, or for that matter some of Max’s truly wild solo tapes.) His spluttering vox, frequently twinned with the slightly more insouciant tones of bassist Alejandra Alcala, lend a noisier, more abrasive angle to the band, not light years away from TRUMAN’S WATER or someone. Andy Human, PREENING compadre from their weird-punk Bay Area scene and Alejandra’s NAKED ROOMMATE bandmate, pops up at the end of Dragged Through the Garden with a creepy dub remix of “Extortion,” although if there is an original version it appears to be unreleased at present.

Preening Gang Laughter LP

Sputtering muscular no wave sax/drums/bass trio—No New York fans take note! This has that downtown New York sleaze funk jazz fuck urge down. But maybe with the politics of the CAMBERWELL NOW?! If GANG OF FOUR was free jazz? Mostly because of that bass sound. An Oakland abstract anti-gentrification-art-against-work sound. Alejandra’s vocals rule; she should definitely be the singer of all bands! No joke! Max’s wild wail interspersed with her vocals is some sort of wild planet where D BOON sings back ups for CASTRATION SQUAD, but it’s free jazz. This sorta sound could be punishing, but instead it’s a pleasure. Why not?!

Articles / Interviews

Preening Interview

Preening presently thrives as this wonderfully terse and honking punk act from Oakland, California. The band members—Alejandra Alcala (bass/vox), Sam Lefebvre (drums) and Max Nordile (sax/vox)—are all fixtures in various local punk and punk-adjacent communities, each playing in multiple bands, making art and actively assessing and reshaping things from the inside.

Read full "Preening Interview" interview