Local “snotty punk” band Søaker has been playing around town for about a year. After dropping singles on Bandcamp here and there, the band is finally ready to release its first tape with the help of friends at Cult Love Sound Tapes, the Tulsa label known for its limited release cassettes. Søaker will celebrate the release of their tape with a free all-ages show Feb. 8 at Josey Records, 1020 S. Rockford Ave., with support from Natty Gray, Without Empathy and Celebrity Sex Tape.
Søaker formed in the basement of Barkingham Palace — an all-ages house venue operated by Yjess Rondi — in January 2018 when drummer Willy Young moved from Milwaukee to Tulsa to live in the punk palace. Young was hell-bent on starting a band and decided his then-coworker, Covey Tims would be a perfect fit after hearing his energetic guitar style in Tims’ old band The Riot Waves.
“I asked if he wanted to play guitar in something snotty and raw sounding,” Young says.
The two-piece linked up with friend and bass player Tip Toasty who was more than ready to join. “I hadn’t played music for something like six years, but when I did a couple of one-off shows I knew I wanted to play again,” Toasty says.
Søaker’s tape will be its first release on a physical medium and will include familiar songs re-vamped and a few new tracks, too.
“I think we’ve been working on this tape since the beginning of the band,” Toasty says. “We’ve taken a long time to get the songs where we want them. We started recording last summer and spent a lot of time fine tuning. I also think some re-recording and mixing made a couple of previous tracks way better.”
The tape took so long to create because members of the band work full time, and since Tims just welcomed his second child in December, finding the time to practice can be difficult.
“I think we all can get stretched thin at times,” Young says. “At the end of the day we all agree that Søaker is vital for all of us to release our frustrations and anxieties we experience. We live for this.”
The support of a loving family helps Tims make time to focus on the band. “My wife, Julia, is nothing but supportive of my musical endeavors, so that helps out a ton. She really understands how much playing music means to me,” Tims says.
Each member of Søaker is passionate about producing music that spans multiple genres. The band is squarely punk, but that doesn’t mean every song sounds the same. The band transitions seamlessly from cow-punk, to fast-paced snotty punk, psychobilly, dirty rock ‘n’ roll and more.
“We don’t really limit ourselves with a genre. Although we always like to keep it fast and
energetic since we all grew up with punk,” Tims says.
The band set out to have a varied lineup for its tape release show to complement its own genre-bending music. Natty Gray, one-third of the Cult Love Sound Tapes team, will kick off the event with harsh noise, Without Empathy will deliver power-violence and Celebrity Sex Tape rounds out the night with “reject rock.”
It was a requirement to every member of Søaker that the release show be open to all ages, since going to all-ages shows as young people is how they developed their passion for music.
“It was important to us to have it at a place that is accessible and enjoyable for as many people as possible,” Toasty says. “The Tulsa music scene is great when you’re over 21, but the non-bar crowd can get left out sometimes. Places like Josey Records, Barkingham Palace and Whitty Books provide places for people under 21 to see and play music. Without places to play, young bands will not make it.”