Four bands play a benefit for Madison's Rape Crisis Center. Info
This show raises money for the Rape Crisis Center, an organization founded in 1973 that provides services to survivors of sexual violence across Dane County, including at its satellite offices on the UW-Madison, Madison College, and Edgewood College campuses. (If you're interested in supporting the RCC but can't make it to this, you can also donate online.) Headlining is Wash, a youngish band that built up a strong local following before releasing its debut EP, Ritual, in December. The four-piece has an ear for both murky distortion and yearning melody. The EP's title track bridges shoegaze with darker, grittier territory, creating suspense through singer/guitarist Alexandria Ortgiesen's at once quivering and cutting vocal performance and guitarist Indigo Smith-Oles' slow-building hook. But the two guitarists, along with drummer Alex Kaiser and Adam Flottmeyer, also know when to pull back, creating passages that feel more detailed and textured than your typical loud-quiet-loud dynamic.
On "Alien," Wash takes more of a frantic noise-rock approach, but still keeps a lot of sonic nuances in the mix, from its blasted-out bass tone to a guitar solo that indulges in a bit of grungey grandeur. The EP's third and final track, "All Animal," is also its darkest, evoking anxiety and frailty in the spare guitar lines and almost tentative singing of the verses, then tumbling into a chorus that sharply plays one of Ortgiesen's most raw and powerful vocals against Flottmeyer's nimble bass hook. The band plans to take a break after this show to focus on working on new tracks for either an album or an EP to follow Ritual. —Scott Gordon