The Inside Track: Blast Cells - 'Guard Dog, No Bite'

Words by Casey Dickson

Lee and I started playing music together in 2016 when I joined The Convictions on 2nd guitar. I enjoy Lee as a bandmate and friend, and throughout the pandemic we discussed forming another band where I would sing. Initially with Blast Cells I both played guitar and sang, quickly realizing that in doing both I could not do either well. I put down the guitar to take on the microphone for the first time. When Jon’s old band Mercy Ties did an At The Drive-In cover set, Lee filled in for another member on guitar, and afterward they made a half-hearted attempt to start a band that didn’t go anywhere. Meanwhile, Jeffrey had talked about starting a band with both Jon and Lee separately throughout the course of each of their friendships. It worked out as perfectly as it could have. Each of us have similar tastes in music with a good idea of the others’ temperament and sense of humor, which allowed all of us to become fast friends and gel quickly as musicians.

Collectively, many of our influences are abrasive, angular and arty hardcore punk bands from the ‘90s. One band in particular that we all love would definitely be Unwound. In our early rehearsals we wrote “Guard Dog, No Teeth”, and Unwound is a clear reference point in that song… the melodic, mathy and almost dub-like intro, the straightforward rock song structure, and the big epic ending that goes on and on. The chord structure and bassline for the ending was actually something Lee wrote for his band in high school, but never had a chance to use. Lyrically, I am writing about isolation, self destruction and uncertainty; with a giant middle finger to the bootstrap mentality. 

Our three song EP, “You’re Next”, was recorded in July, 2021 with Detto at Sentinel Studio, live and straight to tape. We also recorded a cover for the upcoming His Hero Is Gone tribute album on Satanik Royalty Records during that session. Currently we’re focused on writing for a full length. 

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