Twin brothers Wyatt and Fletcher Shears are a little weird, and that's something they embrace. The fashion models and musicians just prefer to do things their own way, including independently releasing albums with titles such as Horseshit on Route 66, their latest output, under the moniker The Garden.
After carving a unique path and releasing three albums on Epitaph over the last decade, the Shears returned to their roots with Horseshit on Route 66, releasing the record themselves.
“We tried working with a bigger label for a few years, something we hadn’t done at that point. It ran its course, and we are no longer interested. We like to keep an open mind about things. Can’t form a real opinion on something till you try it,” Fletcher says.
A fast-paced blend of bass and drums, the Garden’s music is also weird, a bit irreverent, and catchy as hell. Many people have described the duo as an experimental rock band, with heavy emphasis on the experimental side. But the brothers don’t adhere to genres, though they admit to drawing inspiration to Orange County hardcore, U.K. punk and hip-hop. Horseshit on Route 66 is the latest example of that.
“I don't think we set out to achieve anything specific. We just try to create things we personally love. We both personally love this album, so I think we achieved that,” Fletcher says.
Wyatt adds, “Ideally, I pictured this album having a strong dose of melody and a healthy dose of heavy, heavy bass. I think that’s what came of it.”
See how it translates live when the Garden plays Summit Music Hall on Monday, November 21, with Machine Girl.
The Shears shrug at the suggestion that they’re “punk rock” or “pop punk” or anything else, for that matter. The band's name refers to the idea of an ever-evolving sound that branches into whatever aural areas it wishes. Fletcher explains that the brothers just refer to their unique, resulting sound as “vada vada."
“‘Vada vada’ is a term used to open things up. It represents doing what comes most natural to you, whatever that may be — bad or good. Just being genuine in what you do or what you decide to create. Boundary-less,” he says. “We don’t really view the music as dabbling in different genres or exploration as much as it’s more of just an urge to go in a direction that feels right, with no master plan. As long as we stay true to ourselves and it feels genuine to who we are and what we want to convey, then that, as they say, will just be that.”
Songs such as “Orange County Punk Rock Legend” and “Chainsaw the Door” actually sound more electronic and poppy than anything. But then there are “Squished Face Slick Pig Living in a Smokey City” and “Puerta de Limosina” — bass-heavy bangers that lean more toward the Primus end of funk rock.
“Musically, I have no idea what’s next, and that’s a good thing to me," Wyatt says. "I don’t want to think about it too far ahead. Definitely want to tinker with more melody, but that’s all I can say right now."
And if you’re in the audience, it’s best not to think too much about it either.
“It’s all subjective, and that’s great. Have fun or don’t — either way, it’s okay. Not everyone has to like it,” Fletcher says.
Wyatt adds, “Every night is different, in a way. It’ll be loud, I can guarantee that.”
The Garden, 7 p.m. Monday, November 21, Summit Music Hall, 1902 Blake Street. Tickets are $55.