The story of this album is a story of love and lust - it's a love letter to rock music. Your first love being the first time you held that instrument or lover that would propel you into the next chapter. Your first heartbreak. Your first fear. Your first fuck. There's a constant need to feed the first because all of that unfinished business fuels the second. But the truth about the first is that it was there all along. These songs were out there years ago, playing out their melodies to a closeted, jealous, angry Iowa City gay boy trying to find his way towards freedom. Decades later, No. 2 grabs those songs down and punches the idea of a first all open. First Love reintroduces No. 2 to us all, driven by the propulsive lyrics of Neil Gust along with the incomparable Gilly Hanner on bass and the unparalleled Paul Pulvirenti on drums.
Produced by Joanna Bolme (Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks) and mixed by Gary Jarman (The Cribs) and Tony Lash (Heatmiser). The album was recorded over 3 years in studios and basements across Portland, OR and finished in a boathouse in Connecticut during Covid. Special guest Rebecca Cole (The Minders, Wild Flag) shows up on keyboards here and there.
Racing through queer anthems, noir grooves, and more under and over ground rock references than a Quentin Tarantino movie, First Love bursts with all the infectious chemistry that made the band so much fun in the first place.