The four of them are trying to articulate something that’s difficult to squish into words: how their band functions.
For now, the Bounty Hunter Brothers settle on a physics analogy.
“The nucleus is music, and we’re all protons and neutrons,” singer-bassist-guitarist Shannon Haffa offers behind black frame glasses and a pierced nose.
“Well, then you’ve got to ask, ‘Who’s the proton? The neutron?’ Then you’ve got to put in quarks,” bassist-guitarist-singer William Davenport counters. “It just gets messy.”
It always gets messy with this bunch, in routinely thrilling ways: All four play multiple instruments, three of them share lead vocal duties and none of them approach the band the same way.
“If there’s one thing that I don’t think any of us really agree on, it’s music,” guitarist-singer Bobby Pesti says, only half jokingly.
But what makes the band work is that while all four travel divergent paths, musically speaking, it’s with the same destination in mind.
This translates to a unique, spontaneous energy, which powers the Bounty Hunter Brothers’ kinetic, awesomely untidy new record, “They Are Always With Us,” which they’ll officially release Saturday with a show at Backstage Bar &Billiards.
It’s an album of emotional turbulence harnessed into songs in which pretty melodies, often sung by Haffa, are scruffed up by J. Mascis-worthy guitar acrobatics. There’s disaffection and hooks in equal proportion (“Get Off”), scream-along ragers with coruscating guitars (“Garage”), shambolic noise pop (“Descent”) and too many creative left turns to count.
Portions of the album were recorded in the room in which they sit on a recent Wednesday night at the band’s rehearsal house. It’s a shrine to the San Diego Chargers with walls painted in blue, yellow and white stripes and team drapes, pillows and action figures — a family member is a big fan, apparently.
Here, the Bounty Hunter Brothers explain how they came to be.
“Me and Bobby, we came from a bunch of bands where we were told, ‘You do this, you do that, I don’t like this, I don’t like that, change this to that, practice,’ ” explains Davenport, a clean-cut dude in an Iron Maiden T-shirt. “We were kind of like, ‘How about we have a band where we don’t tell anyone to do anything?’ ”
After a pair of more straightforward, garage rock-oriented EPs with a different lineup, Haffa and drummer Joshua Douridas recruited to widen the goal posts on the band’s sound and further contribute to the democratic ideal that Davenport and Pesti had when they started the band.
“No matter how crazy the idea, we try it out,” Douridas says. “No one’s in charge.”
True to form, Davenport puts it another way, his way — they all do, in song and conversation alike.
“We’re a big old messed-up Venn Diagram,” he says. “That’s for sure.”
Contact reporter Jason Bracelin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0476. Follow on Twitter @JasonBracelin.