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Bassist of the Month: Robin Moulder

I like bassists. Really, I do, but that doesn’t change the fact that I usually notice a guitarist before I notice a bassist, and I usually like guitarists better than bassists. Even though Flea does excellent work in the Red Hot Chili Peppers, I still like him and John Frusciante about the same, and we’re talking about a phenomenal bassist here.

I like Robin “Agent” Moulder, bassist of Jack Off Jill, better than any of the band’s guitarists, though. Granted, the band had five different guitarists over its eight-year run, while Moulder stuck it out for the whole ride. (Five different drummers served in the lineup as well; Moulder and Jessicka, the vocalist, were the only constants in the band.) That doesn’t change the fact that when I listened to their album Sexless Demons and Scars for the first time, the opening track “American Made” made me think, “Wow, this is cool bass. I like it better than the guitar, actually.” Jack Off Jill is also one of the few bands where I can usually hear the bass well, even on my crappy computer speakers. (I love Mindless Self Indulgence, but I can almost never hear the bass in their songs. That’s probably less of LynZ’s fault and more of the mixer’s, though.) But just being able to hear the bass isn’t a compliment. Agent Moulder is the kind of bassist I’d like to emulate if I played the instrument myself. Her confident playing drives the band’s sound forward.

Unfortunately, Jack Off Jill broke up after releasing only two albums filled with their weird goth/alt rock sound, and they remain fairly obscure and underground. They deserve more popularity. However, their former bassist still works as a musician, having created somewhat similar music with TCR. A band Moulder founded with vocalist TC Smith, TCR’s album The Chrome Recordings received rave reviews. TC’s dark, deep vocals and Moulder’s booming bass combined with screaming guitar and electronic beats programmed by Moulder creates wonderful gothic rock. (The entire album has been posted on YouTube; the track listing is listed here. The album can also be purchased from that link.) TCR’s Myspace describes the band’s music as, “A fusion of metal, industrial, rock, and goth, with a dose of punk aggression.” Information about Moulder’s current activities doesn’t seem to be readily available; hopefully we’ll hear about any new projects soon. As a bassist, keyboardist, and programmer, she certainly has a lot of talent to work with.


The song “Priscilla” by TCR.

Albums to listen to: Jack Off Jill’s Sexless Demons and Scars and Clear Hearts, Grey Flowers, and TCR’s The Chrome Recordings.