The members of the Type offer no apology for sounding like a throwback to 1990s grunge and riot grrrl bands. "We kind of play to what our influences have been," says guitarist and songwriter Jeri Casper. What's influenced them is rock music with a dark edge, a punk ethic and an urgent feel that's high on angst. On Sept. 30, the Type celebrate the release of their second CD, Sirens and Storms, with a show at the Inferno.
The quartet are fueled by two female songwriters, Casper and Aly Niemiec. Tim Spinler's drums and Josh Welch's bass provide the rhythm section. It's been five years since the Type formed in Madison - originally as a trio, without Niemiec. "We met through MySpace and Craigslist," says Casper.
Most of the group is old enough to remember when Nirvana released Nevermind, and the Pacific Northwest's 1990s sound is all over the new record. Songs like "Can't Just Say" rely on pop hooks that recall early Foo Fighters and the loud-quiet-loud song structures that Kurt Cobain made famous. Casper and Niemiec's vocal harmonies shine on "A Stranger's Curiosity." The song is thick with a melodic bass line, a wailing electric guitar solo and a steady rhythm progression.
At times, the Type's wall of sound is pierced by vocals that are surprisingly good-natured and optimistic. "We'll Never Be" starts like a love song with the opening lines "We can't tell what is permanent/With you I know what can be/I'm losing myself in this." The chorus continues, "Forget who we are, let's talk about who we want to be."
At other times, the Type take a word-salad approach to writing lyrics, as with the evocatively titled "Same Sex Attraction." Spinler says listeners shouldn't read too much into the words: "They're just nonsense lyrics, but it works."