Matthew Tillwick and guitarist Noah Kohll hailed from Omaha, Nebraska before landing in Brooklyn, New York, where they formed Navy Gangs with Wilson Keithline on bass, and Eric Carey on drums. This year, the four-piece are set to release their debut full-length, ‘Poach’, on Modern Sky USA. Mixed and mastered by Delicate Steve, an early champion of the band, the band’s first offering exists in the in-between spaces and places that make up your life.
“Don’t you wanna know / what it feels like inside / it’s just a diorama,” sings Tillwick. As ‘Poach’ progresses, you begin to thread together pieces of a sketched out landscape. Sometimes the best way to cope with reality is to construct a world outside of it, make sure you have places to escape to, people to escape with. Making music with good friends, finding a comfortable circle within everyday chaos. Slowing things down, having a beer after a show, getting out of your head and out of town. A nervous energy balancing by the tightening of grooves. Things unravel and come together. The familiarity of a guitar and fuzzed out refrains taking you back, then propelling you forward. The way the band plays together suggests an in-sync, unspoken language replete with insider jokes.
On the new record, Navy Gangs deal with these contradictions and make peace. Happiness, Kohll says, is the most overrated virtue, and with the fourteen tracks on the band’s new record, you begin to understand that their perspective is perhaps just making the best of it. “Someday you’ll die / and that’s alright” Tillwick sings midway through the album on “Carrot Tops”, and the practically joyous, definitely infectious instrumentals that swirl around the vocals suggest against all odds the band has managed to capture, as well as embrace, a beauty within all this darkness.