Eating Club is the latest musical project by songwriter/multi-instrumentalist, Alex Bortnichak. The self-titled album is a brilliant showcase of his skills, with Alex carrying the vocals, guitar, bass, drums, harmonica, and keys for the bulk of the tracks. His playing is also complemented by a talented array of guests including Rosa Bonilla on vocals, Daniel Castro on lead guitar, and both Diego Sue and Rafael Palomino on bass.
Alex first got his start as the drummer of the noise/indie rock duo, The Sparta Philharmonic. Over two full length albums, Alex and his brother Greg Bortnichak (of the band Teach Me Equals) honed a distinct and captivating sound that fused Greg’s exquisitely gnarled cello and guitar lines with the thunderous presence and animalistic drive of Alex’s drumming.
From there, Alex went on to tour Europe as the drummer of the band, Peasant. Eventually life lead him to Peru, where he started a company that teaches English. In his spare time, he began writing and recording the original music that would ultimately become his 2014 solo album, See You At The Surf. The album was a great debut with a reverb-soaked, California pop sound, incredibly memorable hooks, and refreshingly sincere shades of melancholy and vulnerability.
With his latest album, Eating Club, Bortnichak continues the sonic trajectory set by his solo album while taking it to bold and exciting new places. The guitars are daring and gritty, Alex’s vocals are more confident and commanding, and the drumming has a raw immediacy that propels the tracks. The title track, “Eating Club” and the song “Captionless Porcelain” snarl with attitude and drive reminiscent of Sonic Youth, while the anthemic “Coming Around New” is incredibly infectious and a perfect show closer. The standout gem of the album, however, is the song “Grand Junction”. The piece begins as a beautifully tender acoustic ballad that feels very much a kindred spirit to the softer moments of Smashing Pumpkins. This mood is contrasted by an upbeat pop/rock chorus, which is a bit puzzling on first appearance, but later proves itself as the perfect energizing vehicle to set up a joyously cathartic and sun-drenched coda. From composition, to performance, to production, it is a brilliantly crafted song that is full of surprises. In all, Eating Club is a great synthesis of Bortnichak’s prior work, combining the reverberant soundscapes and memorable writing of his solo album with the gritty distortion and raw vitality of his work in The Sparta Philharmonic. If this album is any indication, Bortnichak’s new project, Eating Club, will be experimenting and expanding for years to come.
Recorded at: La Caldera del Simio – Santiago de Surco, Lima, Perú (Drums, electric guitars, bass and most vocals and acoustic guitars), vocals and acoustic guitars were also recorded between 4 different apartments in Lima that I have lived in over the past 2 years or so.
Engineer: Alex Bortnichak
Recording Assistant: Israel Bonilla
Mastered by: Joel Nanos Element Recording & Mastering Studios
Cover Artist: Montoya
- Alex Bortnichak: Vocals, Guitars, Drums, Bass, Harmonica, Keys
- Rosa Bonilla: Vocals (Eating Club)
- Diego Sue: Bass (Grand Junction)
- Daniel Castro: Lead Guitar (Captionless Porcelain, Grand Junction)
- Rafael Palomino: Bass (Captionless Porcelain)