Podcast: Dick The Bruiser comes out of hibernation

The Madison post-punk duo discuss their in-the-works new EP and April 23 show at The Frequency.


Dick The Bruiser are Tony Sellers (left) and Kevin Wade.

Dick The Bruiser are Tony Sellers (left) and Kevin Wade.

Madison duo Dick The Bruiser have always sounded more like a bizarro funk outfit than a couple of guys who came up playing in post-punk bands. Drummer Tony Sellers and bassist-vocalist Kevin Wade have played together for almost 30 years, including in the instrumental band P’elvis, which was certainly distinctive but also not shy about its debt to noise-rock outfits like The Jesus Lizard.

Dick The Bruiser, formed in 2008, still has that aggressive underpinning, but there’s a playfulness tied in with the menace. Wade shouts chopped-up, absurdist wordplay over his fuzz-bass riffs, and Sellers’ drumming lands hard but also swings, drawing on jazz and R&B feels as much as it does on Touch & Go brutality. Wade also occasionally waves the head of his bass over a theremin, adding a layer of swoopy, goofy noise. On “Kissy Fit,” from 2012’s Purgatory Stories And Severe Songs, Sellers channels a bit of Clyde Stubblefield while Wade lays down a hyper-referential kinda-rap: “You’re not Kim Gordon / or Geddy Lee / or David Bowie with Bing.”

The duo have been laying low for the last year, but recently tracked six songs for a forthcoming, as-yet-untitled EP, and will play April 23 at The Frequency with Cave Curse and Transformer Lootbag. I’ve been listening to rough mixes of a few of the new tracks, and while they’re not ready to share, they actually show a bit more of DTB’s noise-rock DNA, with more harsh and pounding rhythms and Wade’s vocals verging over into screams. Wade and Sellers joined me this week at WORT to catch up. Give our conversation a listen below.

Don’t forget to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and catch WORT-FM’s weeknight news show In Our Backyard, which partners with us to produce these. Thanks to Dylan Brogan for producing this interview.

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