[Listen free at https://4shadows.bandcamp.com]

Paradise IS a parking lot. Who ARE these 4Shadows and why are there 6 of them? Seattle musicians with day jobs mix rock, jazz, psych, punk, metal, and folk influences in off-kilter but nuanced spontaneous compositions. Since 2008, 4Shadows have met once a week to improvise songs drawing on their various tastes and experience. Heavy metal guitarist jazz drummer old timey murder balladeer funk bassist disco keyboardist punk singer and that’s just one lineup as instruments and roles are rotated around the room over the course of several hours. Everything is recorded to a simple one-track digital device and the best bits are ensconced as limited edition CDRs, cassettes, and/or set free to roam the internet. Except for rare live shows, nothing is ever revisited or repeated. “No brakes, no map, no going back.”

Current players are Will Kitchen (Knome), Rich Lehl, Jesse Paul Miller (Factums), Robert Millis (Climax Golden Twins, AFCGT), Matt Wainwright (Evilsmith), and Robert Zverina. Four of the members are fine art painters and the other two work in various visual and sonic media. All are skeptical of art world pretension and music as industry. Their improvised lyrics mix gleeful absurdity with pointed social critique in the tradition of The Fugs, Sun City Girls, and Dead Kennedys. Musically, they lurch from virtuoso noodling to brute naivete–often combining the two extremes in a single song. Music as ritual gives their lives meaning and there is no aspiration beyond playing together for as long as they’re able.