Album Premiere: Dumb Waiter – ‘Tsk’

Richmond, Virginia instrumental noise/experimental/math rock freakies Dumb Waiter are no stranger to the weird. But on their fourth album, Tsk, the band has only dived deeper into the strange, and they’ve done so by playing things a bit more straight. I mean, if that’s confusing, sure, welcome to the world of Dumb Waiter.

Today, we’re debuting the entire album, which is being released on Friday, May 15 on JUJU Records. Tsk was recorded by Kevin Bernsten (Full of Hell, Noisem, Weekend Nachos, Magrudergrind) and mastered by James Plotkin and is being released digitally and on limited-edition cassette and vinyl (250 copies on solid mint with black splatter).

Dumb Waiter are about to release their new album (photo by Adrienne Shurte)

“We’d spent the better part of the last month prior to recording locked in a dilapidated old gym surrounded by space heaters and archaic, pre-COVIDian exercise equipment,” says saxophonist Tristan Brennis. “With 80 percent of the album written and no more time to practice, we found ourselves traveling up to Baltimore to record with Developing Nations studio, excited to get out of our Richmond comfort zone and create something raw and new. The recording process had a beautiful balance of relaxed efficiency. The friendliest of dogs roamed the kitchen and listening room, demanding pats and occasionally breaking out into intense Tasmanian-devil-level roughhousing, an energy that I can only imagine made its way onto the album in some form. Our engineer Kevin Bernsten was a damn wizard on the console, and by doing a lot of leveling on the fly, we were able to streamline the mixing process and get it over to mastering in record time. Can’t recommend Developing Nations enough to any heavier east coast bands looking for experienced hands in which to hone their sound. I anticipate another trip up to Baltimore once it’s safe to do so. Tsk is our heaviest, most minimal, least ostentatious album yet.”

Head here to pre-order Tsk, and head below to listen to the entire album now.