The above image is not that of a secretive paramilitary terrorist cell but of a rock 'n' roll band. They are called S.B.F. and they are from the land of Southern California. The one who goes by Cruz Somers plays in bands like Socialites and solo projects UV-B and Beneath My Blood. The guy in the other black mask calls himself Raymond Schmidt. Ray has played in Shrink Ray and Race Car. One thing these musical projects have in common is that they are loud punk and that they are all pretty good.
Armed with two guitars and a drum machine, as S.B.F., the duo create a noise that Internet punk rock Svengali, Jimmy Smith describes as "a delightfully-eccentric halfway point between Cruz's UV-B and Raymond's Race Car, with the two sharing a similar light-hearted sense of melodiousness and techy-influence when it comes to the blatant drum machine usage, while doing without some of the gloomier aspects of UV-B's musicianship."
We think it sounds like a sped up 2017 version of classic 70s LA punk duo VOM. Recorded over two weeks in August, the songs have been released on cassette by Californian label Abnormal Broadcasting, and UK label Drunken Sailor is taking care of the vinyl. Take a listen below and read a brief chat we had with Cruz and Raymond.
Noisey: Do you burn both ends?
Cruz: That's intended to be a lot less literal than you might think. So I'd check the "no" box on that one.
Ray: I have been eating Carolina Reapers once a week for solid month or two.
How did you meet?
Ray: I moved to LA from Missouri almost three years ago with pretty much zero contact. I found out pretty quick that LA's too tough and too cool man. I hit that craigslist button on the internet and stumbled upon Mr. Somers in the m4m "totally rocking" search query.
Cruz: Yeah, we met through a smutty want-ads column. We were both searching for companions to brave the swamp with. I guess we just got lucky. "Applicants must spit blood".
Out of all the acts the two of you are in which is the best?
Cruz: I guess it's whichever pulls the most capital. That's the only reason people make music, right?
Ray: I'm not really in the business of putting my children down, but one is bound to be a total stinker.
Jimmy says that S.B.F. seems like a halfway point between UV-B and Race Car. Would you agree?
Ray: He is the only dog on the internet I talk to so, I trust his judgement. I just hope he thinks I'm funny, because he still won't pick up my face time calls.
Cruz: To save time, I'll say just buy into whatever he's selling. The guy probably knows our music better than we do. And did I mention he's a sweetie?
In 2017 how easy is it to go from recording in a bedroom to having some Italian or UK label release your stuff?
Cruz: Hmm.. I bet most aspects of recording are trial and error wherever it's done. I wouldn't say it's a walk in the park by any means, because there's definitely a fair share of obstacles in self-recording. That's just part of the fun.
Ray: You are talking to two idiots. Obviously it's pretty easy. It's a tiny world.