Gods or Spacemen

Pyrrhic debuts after seven years in the making

Broc Seigneurie

It’s often said that the creative process is something that can’t be rushed.

That theory has been put to the test by regional rock group Gods or Spacemen with their debut release, Pyrrhic. The result is a bluesy indie-rock passion project which was started seven years ago by a handful of UW-Eau Claire alumni and is now available to the masses.

Gods or Spacemen have their roots in the Eau Claire punk and metal scene. Born from the ashes of hard-rock band Passing Shadows, the three founding members – Jeremy Jackan, Rob Hanson, and Zach Grewe – began writing music in 2012 that would eventually become Pyrrhic.

Once the three graduated, however, they all went their separate ways in search of employment, and the project was put on hold. Jackan, the group’s vocalist and lead guitarist, kept coming back to the songs and eventually gave the band the push they needed to complete the album.

Distance and time were not the only factors behind the long pause. After weighing options for recording, the musicians decided to record the album themselves, with Jackan taking on the engineering duties.

“It was a trial and error situation,” the guitarist said. “Watching a lot of YouTube videos and asking other people for advice. It’s not just throwing some mics up in the room and hitting ‘record.’ ”

The ensemble eventually recruited Nick Grewe, bassist Zach Grewe’s cousin, to take on drumming responsibilities. Last January, the band locked themselves in Rob Hanson’s cabin and proceeded to put the finishing touches on the tracks.

Hanson, who wrote and performed on the album, sat back and took more of a producer-like role.

“Those guys are definitely the talent in this group and did most of the heavy lifting,” Hanson said. “I just kind of helped rein them in a bit, add some sparkle in the mixing process and guide this thing to the finish line.”

The outcome is a mix of alternative-indie rock backed by heavy grooves that make it hard to categorize Pyrrhic into a specific genre. The seven tracks offered are an atmospheric journey loaded with rhythm and soothing vocal melodies. Before the first track is over, listeners will find themselves nodding along with the beat and getting lost in the mood.

The overall theme of the record is loosely based on pushing through obstacles put in your way to achieve goals in your life. The sentiment is best epitomized in the album’s title, Pyrrhic, meaning a victory that has come at a high cost to the victor.

“While (the songs are) not always bright and happy, they aren't on the depressing side of that spectrum, either,” Jackan said. “I'd like to think they are rooted in a reality that most can relate to.”

While the quartet is spread between Minneapolis and Madison, they still plan on growing Gods or Spacemen to see where it goes. There are plans to record another release this summer and the group has hinted at possible live dates on the horizon.

“We played our first show two weeks ago,” Jackan said. “While I love performing, that’s not the primary focus of the band. It’s more of a recording project.”

Pyrrhic is now available to stream and download now on major streaming services, such as Bandcamp, Spotify, and Amazon Music.