Descender was formed in 2009 when singer/ guitarist Casey Hess started recording the songs that would later become “Army Of Elephants”. Hess (Doosu, Burden Brothers) had the chance to finally work with old friend and former Mousetrap drummer Duncan Black, back in Dallas after an 8-year stint in the Los Angeles music scene. Soon after, Burden Brothers alum Zack Busby [bass] and Slowburners guitarist Jeff Gruber expanded the project into a thick, cohesive sound. Largely self-produced, and recorded in the band’s rehearsal space and Hess’ living room, the record, combined with their intense and dynamic live shows, earned the band critical praise from fans, local press, and fellow musicians alike. The turning point in the studio came from platinum record and award winning producer David Castell [Blue October, Toadies] and his contributions to “Army”, bringing the sound to it’s fullest potential. “Army of Elephants” was later named in Quick magazine’s “Top Ten albums of 2010″.
The year following the release found the band honing their live show with slots supporting such acts as the Toadies, The Reverend Horton Heat, and Helmet. In addition, the band recorded new material for the 2011 release “Dark Water” [available March 2011]. While “Army Of Elephants” showcased some of the more fundamental aspects of the band’s stylistic range, “Dark Water” is more thematic, darker in both sound and lyrical content. The album also showcases a more cohesive band, not only dynamically and stylistically, but as a songwriting unit.
On the band’s 3rd release, ‘Slow and Gold’ (a split effort w Dallas’ own Here Holy Spain), the group rises from the murk of “Dark Water,” and fiercely rips a jagged hole through the sky with the intro track “Silver Lightning.” Standard song structure takes a back seat to a loping, frenetic riff made solid by Gruber and Hess with their distinctive twin Les Paul assault. Artillery shell bombast drumming by Duncan Black, Zack Busby’s sinewy fuzz bass, and Hess’ slithering high to wary romantic low give the track a lupine propulsion. Recorded at Modern Electric Sound Recorders by Jeffrey Saenz, “Slow and Gold” marks Descender’s first studio release without the band’s trademark DIY approach to recording… and with very few layers, the 5 songs gave Derek Taylor plenty of space to mix and master a raw, cohesive sonic wall of 4 guys in a room banging the hell out of their instruments. “Slow and Gold” now available on vinyl and digital. Look for it on Idol Records.
- Duncan Black-Drums
- Casey Hess-Vocals,Guitar
- Jeff Gruber-Guitar,Vocals
- Zack Busby-Bass