Formed in 2016 by four friends with minimal experience as musicians, Bacchae make music with no assumptions about what a punk band should sound like. Underneath a careful balance of attitude and ambivalence, the quartet embraces heavy guitar riffs alongside bouncy pop melodies and rage-filled exclamations. Vocalist/keyboardist Katie McD, drummer Eileen O'Grady and guitarist Andrew Breiner began playing music together when they were enlisted as the backing band for a friend's experimental rock musical. Around the same time, Andrew met bassist Rena Hagins when they played together in a one-time band as part of Hat Band DC, a fundraiser for Girls Rock! DC. Together, they formed a new band called Bacchae.
The band released a home-mixed demo in 2016, a self-released cassette, “Down the Drain,” in 2017, and a 2018 self-titled EP released on Get Better Records. Their latest LP, “Pleasure Vision”, was released through Get Better Records in March 2020.
Bacchae has found a home in the DC punk community, even as their music mixes styles and jumps between genres when the mood suits them. On their LP, “Pleasure Vision”, brooding synth-driven pop sits alongside prickly, fast-paced punk and spooky post-punk sounds. Sometimes you get all of that in a single song.But whether the band is exploring the pain of a doomed relationship or the push and pull of disgust and desire while shopping online, what carries through it all is a sense of uncertainty, dissolution and dread.
Pleasure Vision is a way of looking at the world that ignores everything but how you can twist it to your own purposes. It’s a vision that’s well-suited to a time when everything and everyone is supposed to be for sale. As the inkblots on the cover imply, this is an album about what you project onto what you see, not the things themselves. It’s about the distance between what you say, what you think you want, and what you actually want.