Pylon Reenactment Society formed from the ashes of Pylon, regarded by many as one of the most influential bands at the outset of what became known as the ‘Athens, GA music scene’, along with other frontrunners The B-52’s and R.E.M. Now, Pylon Reenactment Society are releasing their new 6-song ‘Part Time Punks Session’ EP on Chunklet Industries, a hip Athens-based tastemaker record label founded by Henry Owings, today we have the premiere airing listen above. It’s a record full of twitching post-punk rhythms laced with invigorating keys and sprinkled with the unmistakably stridently spiky vocals of front woman Vanessa Briscoe Hay. They’re reminiscent Bikini Kill screech and X-ray Spex attitude, but coated in a clever southern sardonic slant.
Pylon Reenactment Society was founded in 2014, five years after Pylon’s celebrated history came to a sudden end in 2009 with the death of guitarist Randy Bewley. It is fronted by Vanessa Briscoe (now Briscoe Hay), whose inimitable vocal textures and phrasing defined the band’s sound for most listeners. Pylon was, and always will be comprised of Hay, Bewley, Michael Lachowski, and Curtis Crowe.
The ‘Part Time Punks Session’ EP was recorded in December 2016 just hours before the band played the Part Time Punks series at Los Angeles’ Echoplex. In the spirit of renowned DJ John Peel, Part Time Punks DJ and organizer Michael Stock invited the band to visit Josiah Mazzaschi’s studio The Cave in order to record exclusive tracks for his ‘Part Time Punks’ radio show, a show on KXLU that has earned a cult following since 2006.
“I was struck by the energy of the performances and the quality of the recording. It reminded me somewhat of Pylon’s recording of ‘Gyrate’. That record had also been done very quickly with the band playing together and a minimum of overdubs,” says Pylon Reenactment Society front woman Vanessa Briscoe Hay. “This way of recording can lend a dynamic live feeling if done properly and if you have a good performance. An elusive goal had been achieved and not really noticed for what it was: something really good.”
Pylon Reenactment Society happened when Athens’ artist Jason NeSmith, head of the music committee for the first annual Art Rocks Athens, was organizing an event exploring the 1975-1985 Athens art and music scene. He asked Hay to perform a short set of Pylon songs. Since NeSmith’s band Casper & The Cookies had previously recorded and performed with Hay as Supercluster, it was natural for them to back her at this event. The response was very positive with the group then opening for Fred Schneider (The B-52s), touring with indie darlings Dressy Bessy, and performing shows in conjunction with the release of the ‘Pylon Live’ album.