Artist Special – Lieutenant

Okay, so we suffered a pretty brutal derailing in the past five days.  That’s alright.  I think that a daily blog, run by one dude, is going to get messed up once in a while.

I said I would be ready by Monday, and, well, I wasn’t.  That’s true, and I’m sorry about that.  Blogging on a daily basis is a challenge, and a lot of times, it’s a fight with yourself to build up the motivation to shit something out.  There are a lot of times, particularly towards the beginning, where I considered just throwing in the towel.  “The views are low,” “Does anyone care what I think about this shitty music anyway?” “How will this help my resumé?”

But I kept at it, because, at the end of the day, I wanted to do this.  I wanted to challenge myself to maintain this blog, and my new year’s resolution was to have this blog still running in some form or another on January 1, 2016.  Graduating and facing the prospect of a real job is an obstacle there, but I think I can do it.

When you’ve worked something into your daily routine by sheer force of will, it can become incredibly easy to lose it if you miss more than one day.  I’ll admit, on Sunday, even though I did really feel like garbage, I considered the possibility that that would be the end of things.  Blog’s over, blog’s over.  But that would be quitting, wouldn’t it?  We haven’t even hit the D albums yet.  (Hit the D, heh.)  So I put out a reprint and told myself that I would regroup.  And it took a day extra, yeah, but here I am, and I’m finally, finally ready to get back on track.

By covering a band whose debut album isn’t out yet.  Rad.


Lieutenant popped up with little fanfare, and a lot of mystery.  Foo Fighters bassist Nate Mendel mentioned the band in an interview and said nothing more, and a couple of songs trickled out.  The vague nature of the announcements and releases brought up many questions about Mendel’s place in the band – he mentioned being the driving force, but what did he do?

The answer came in two shows in California on January 6 and 7, where Mendel emerged with a guitar and stepped up to the mic, revealing himself to be the band’s frontman, in a manner not altogether different from Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl twenty years prior, finding himself at the front of a new band after being in the back of his last one.  Mendel is engaging in the same role-shifting, taking full control of this new project and becoming the center of its attention.

Anyone expecting this to sound like Foo Fighters, or Mendel’s previous band Sunny Day Real Estate, should adjust their thinking right now.  Lieutenant is not loud, Lieutenant is not heavy.  Mendel is engaging in a softer, less aggressive form of rock, evoking the feel of the summer months in his bright, dreamy music.  Mendel’s voice is soft and airy, though there is power in it; he is backed up by a wide smattering of instruments, electronics and odd percussion mixed in with the usual rock band fare.  Lieutenant feels like The National, or maybe She & Him; there’s a lot of potential here, and I think Mendel will do well for himself in this new project, so long as he establishes himself properly.

So that’s that.  Because this is a brand new project, I’m going to do a bit more shilling than usual.  Antiquiet has a write-up and track previews, and you can pre-order the album, If I Kill This Thing We’re Going to Eat for a Week, digitally on iTunes and physically from Dine Alone Records.


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