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011: ИO///sé

Every once in a while, four people come together to create something truly great. Sometimes that creation captures the world by storm, and other times it sits bubbling underneath the surface of a corroded artistic wasteland. Such is the case with multi-city band ИO///sé. Members Brian Villa, Eric Ruvalcaba, and Josh Hayes reside in a house together in Oakland, CA, while guitar/vocalist Mike Carter lives in Portland, OR. This would make it difficult not only to maintain friendships—let alone a band—with the short time they have in a room together. ИO///sé not only make this geographical separation work, but they make it work to their advantage by creating some of the most desperate and immediate music I have heard in years.

ИO///sé released one of the top LPs of 2012 with their self-titled debut, and the band is gearing up to release its follow up full-length Lower Berth this year. I have known members Josh Hayes and Mike Carter through their previous band, Glass & Ashes, and was very excited to see what the boys had been coming up with since that band’s demise.

The ИO///sé self-titled LP contains everything a punk rock record should contain—great guitar riffs, great vocals, a solid-as-a-rock rhythm section, and absolutely no filler. There is no fucking around with ИO///sé; they aim right for the jugular and hit their mark every time. When I listen to their self-titled LP, I hear bits of Television, The Voidoids, Rudimentary Peni, The Milkshakes, The Wipers, Hot Snakes, the Ramones, and every other style of punk rock these gents have soaked up in their time on this planet. ИO///sé is the punk rock band that other punk rock bands wish they could be. -John Massel