Simulators is the latest project from Bryon Parker and Brian Polk. Parker had a long tenure as the guitarist and frontman of noisy post-punk outfit Accordion Crimes, which fizzled out in summer 2016. Polk still drums in the punk band Joy Subtraction. When putting Simulators together in summer 2016, Parker wanted to depart from Accordion Crimes’ sound, setting aside his signature aluminum guitar.
“No guitar pedals and no screaming,” says Parker. “It was a threshold to keep myself off of what I've done. I want to make recordings that are cleaner sounding.”
Instead of the aluminum guitar, Parker sought out something with more of a low end to match the low end of the drums he envisioned for the project. The solution? A cheap Fender Squire baritone guitar, which his back will thank him for later in life.
“Having had very heavy, expensive instruments, I'm kind of enjoying light instruments,” Parker says. “With a wood neck, if I had to replace it, it wouldn't be difficult. An aluminum guitar is a beautiful instrument, but it's hard to want to take that on tour in the middle of winter, because it gets cold and doesn't stay in tune.”
Parker found a perfect partner in Polk, whose drum style veers punk but is versatile and imaginative enough to steer outside of the genre’s standard rhythms.
Parker comes from a world where standard time signatures and sounds are abnormal. Even when he was a member of indie-rock band Raleigh nearly a decade ago, Parker's musical instincts were decidedly left-field.
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Together, Parker and Polk have a similar musical vocabulary that makes it easy to write simpler but impactful songs.
“When you position yourself for so long outside the box, you put yourself in another box,” Parker explains. “If you give yourself all these rules on another project, you end up just doing that, and it ends up being your thing no one else is doing. Going back to straightforward is very refreshing in its delivery. I just want to focus on playing the song front to back.”
Simulators is playing its debut show at Rhinoceropolis, 3553 Brighton Boulevard, on Wednesday, December 7, where it will also release its debut EP, Teeth . Recorded by Lucas Johannes of Hot Congress and produced by SPELLS guitarist and Snappy Little Numbers head Chuck Coffee, it's full of wiry energy and cleverly pointed lyrics.