The Garden is a constantly evolving, conceptual punk band based in Orange County, California. Established in in 2011 by twin brothers Wyatt and Fletcher Shears, the band consistently defies categorization and continues to break ground in their self inflicted ‘Vada Vada’ genre*. They are the auditory invaders of the new world; borderless, informed and decentralized, slick sound released from constraint and old ideologies.
*Vada Vada: An idea that represents pure creative expression, that disregards all previously made genres and ideals.-Wyatt Shears 2015
The twins draw inspiration from a background in punk classicism but remain unfettered and unselfconscious enough to infuse elements of 90s hip hop and big beat electronica. The Garden is the intellectual refute to critics of the post modern, pantheistic generation of music listener with an equal dose of punk irreverence and undistilled fury.
Their two-piece bass and drums essence is dirty, raw and very immediate but equally nuanced with echoes of the hive mind of the Vadaverse, the ephemeral architecture that exists both inside and outside of the duo that the listener enters and never quite escapes. Together the twins are an acidic concoction; unstable, sexy and probably toxic.
The Garden’s shows are experiential, as powerful and philosophically confounding as they are glib and tricksy. There never is any time for explanations, only a sense of urgency and a rapid spiral into their parallel world. To be seduced and ensnared by mirror-image raconteurs, operating an addictive carnival ride of sound and movement that stops as abruptly as it starts, is a close approximation of The Garden experience.
“…the album is quick: they tear through sixteen tracks in about eighteen minutes. Driven by just Wyatt’s bass and Fletcher’s drums, each track is sparse, haunting, aggressive, and seems to be written from a perspective only understood by the brothers. – MTV’s The Hive
Wyatt as both bass and vocals forms the flesh of The Garden’s sound. Atypically of the punk genre, Wyatt’s vocals are refined and inflected, with careful attention paid to timbre and articulation. Bass lines in The Garden run the gamut of the fret board and are laced with effects that propel what is traditionally a component of the rhythm section into the primary melody, one that is predominately dark and sinister but at turns humorous and cheeky. In performance Wyatt is brooding and intense, a dark cloud that blasts the crowd with philosophical lightning bolts from The Garden’s parallel world, the Vadaverse.
When not touring or recording with The Garden Wyatt works on his side project ENJOY.
“Fletcher Shears stands atop his drum throne, staring down the crowd of young Orange County punks, while his twin Wyatt savagely strums his pale yellow bass guitar, and immediately the kids in Santa Ana’s Unit B Studio sense what they’ve gotten themselves into – a live experience from buzz-worthy punk act the Garden.” – Orange County Register
Fletcher’s drumming is the protruding backbone of The Garden. Cymbal heavy, nimble and rhythmically compelling, his gothic and snarly rhythms are menacing and dance invoking. In a genre not known for restraint in the percussion section, Fletcher provides a refreshing contrast to typical punk drumming and shows an unerring sense for when to pull back and provide respite and space for his lyrical twin before attacking anew. Fletcher’s performative style conjures images of a grinning skeleton pounding a pile of assorted bones, nightmarish yet oddly attractive.
Outside of The Garden, Fletcher’s side project PUZZLE is sweetly wistful electronica that barely masks macabre sarcasm.