As reported by the Calgary Herald
, Chris Reimer, guitarist for Women
, died Tuesday in his sleep. He was 26.
Calgary, Canada’s Women are as known for their guitar playing as anything else. At a time when guitar playing increasingly is eschewed in favor of electronics, or merely used as a filler instrument in a lot of indie rock, Women thrilled by putting guitar playing that was SKILLED, INNOVATIVE and most of all EXCITING at the forefront.
Along with bands such as Deerhoof
and Abe Vigoda
, Women are a guitarists’ band. Like many indie rock fans, I fell hard for their first self-titled album
and its standout track, the Beach Boys-ish “Black Rice,” when it came out in 2008. But it was 2010’s Public Strain
that made it clear Women were a force with which to be reckoned. You could see it in the fire they put into songs like the spindly “Heat Distraction,” with its agitated time signature, or the washes of feedback they layered over songs which, at their core, were well-written guitar pop songs in the vein of the aforementioned Beach Boys, The Beatles and the Phil Spector bunch, such as the beautiful “Narrow With the Hall.”
Few bands are able to command as much power — and seem so head-spinningly new using familiar components — as Women. For a band such as theirs which has seemed to see its fair share of hardship and not as much due paid as less-deserving bands, they’ve given fans a lot already, and I hope they are able to continue on. In the time being, our thoughts go to the family and the band.