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The Albert Square’s New Album

In Music
Total Squares: The San Jose-based trio are celebrating the release of 'I (Assume I) Know What I'm Doing' with house show.

Total Squares: The San Jose-based trio are celebrating the release of 'I (Assume I) Know What I'm Doing' with house show.

Sim Castro, leader of San Jose band The Albert Square, says in some ways his group’s new album, I (Assume I) Know What I’m Doing, is “a record about fear.”

Over the course of its 13 tracks, Castro ponders, among other things, “fear of growing up and not having your shit together; fear of being perceived as not having your shit together; fear of being perceived that you DO have your shit together when, in fact, you can’t tell which end is up; fear of mortality; the fear of being alone; the fear of wasting your youth; and, probably most of all, just being paralyzed by the fear of making poor life decisions.”
The trick to facing those fears, he says, “seems to be acknowledging them and learning how to move forward, accepting the good along with the bad, and making better choices or more informed choices the next time around.”

As the frontman, singer and guitarist of The Albert Square, Castro has been the one constant in the group, which has seen several personnel changes since its inception in 2007. The current lineup includes Castro’s longtime collaborator Spencer Taplin on drums and James Baker on bass.

The album features former bassist Chris Hopkins on many tracks and was recorded by Jack Shirley at The Atomic Garden in East Palo Alto. The songs, with their sometimes frantic drums and often fuzzed-out guitars, are reminiscent of Neutral Milk Hotel. Some are slow burning (“One Seventh of the Week”); some verge into more straightforward indie-pop territory, such as “Galesburg, IL.” Track nine, the exhilarating “Agnes (I Assume I Know What I’m Doing)” is a catchy, Pixies-esque standout that was previously released on an EP and is referenced in the album’s title.

Castro finds the San Jose music scene, including punk band Hard Girls and the socially conscious community involved with the Think and Die Thinking festival, inspiring. “I strive to just keep up with my peers and all the amazing things they do,” he says.

The band will celebrate the release of I (Assume I) Know What I’m Doing with a house concert in San Jose on Jan. 22. Check facebook.com/thealbertsquare for details.

The Albert Square
Jan. 22, 7pm
1010 Ruff Dr., San Jose

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