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Portland rockers theWorst share tales of forthcoming LP ‘Yes Regrets’

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theWorst: (left to right) Will Bradford (bass), Brooke Binion (guitar/vocals), Craig Sala (drums). Portland-based rockers theWorst have released the title track for their forthcoming sophomore LP "Yes Regrets." Leader Brooke Binion says the album, due later this year, is a deeply personal record sequenced in the order she wrote the songs. theWorst: (left to right) Will Bradford (bass), Brooke Binion (guitar/vocals), Craig Sala (drums). Portland-based rockers theWorst have released the title track for their forthcoming sophomore LP "Yes Regrets." Leader Brooke Binion says the album, due later this year, is a deeply personal record sequenced in the order she wrote the songs. (photo courtesy of the artist)

PORTLAND – Much has occurred in the lives of Portland-based alt-punk-grunge rockers theWorst since they formed and embarked on their first nationwide tour five years ago. The band’s celebrated 2017 debut “Jane Doe Embryo” was an aggressive and authentic “How do you do?” but according to lead singer and guitarist Brooke Binion, the best is yet to come.

As this story goes to print, Binion, bassist Will Bradford (SeepeopleS) and drummer Craig Sala (Paranoid Social Club) are wrapping sessions for their sophomore LP “Yes Regrets” at Chillhouse Studios in Boston with producer Will Holland. No second album syndrome for this band, Binion says, adding she isn’t worried about heightened expectations. “I think I’ll be more worried about topping this one to be honest,” she said. “It’s different, but it’s a lot more mature and I’m really proud of it.”

When Binion first moved to Portland from Asheville, North Carolina, she didn’t know what to expect. She says she envisioned a quaint seaside town and hoped it had something resembling the bustling music scene she’d left behind.

Before launching theWorst, Binion, an experienced audio engineer, landed a job running sound at Geno’s Rock Club on Congress St.

“The first local band came up and just blew me away,” she said. “I couldn’t believe the caliber of local bands in Portland. I’m amazed at the saturation of killer talent in this city.”

She soon stepped from the mixing board to the stage to become part of that scene with theWorst. The band’s first tour took them out west to play from Los Angeles to Seattle “and all the weird places in between,” Binion said. The weirdest of all being Oregon.

“It’s just a strange, spooky place,” she said, pausing to choose her words. “So many weird things happened in places like Bend and Eugene. It now makes sense to know that a lot of serial killers come from the Pacific Northwest.”

As theWorst expanded their territory, so did their audience, she said, adding she can’t wait to bring her band’s new material to some (hopefully) non-weird places soon.

Binion’s journey to “Yes Regrets,” she said, will be laid out in the lyrics of the album’s 11 songs, sequenced chronologically to reflect the tumultuous two years she spent writing them.

The arresting title track for “Yes Regrets” was released as a single in late November 2020. It’s a powerful chunk of confessional rock with a vintage grunge vibe augmented with baritone sax from Portland native Dana Colley of the band Morphine.

“It was surreal to have Dana there with us when we did a bunch of live takes for the video,” Binion recalled. “He’d originally done his parts remotely, but we were all together for the video. He’s a really cool guy.”

The video for “Yes Regrets” is a black and white punk-noir affair filmed and directed by multimedia artist Sparxsea, showcasing theWorst attacking the song in the studio with Colley.

“It’s been yes regrets and psychic messes, torn up dresses, no contrition, just a couple of mental conditions. Did I fail to say I’m sorry?” Binion sings on her upcoming album’s title track. It’s a taste of her deeply personal story of addiction and recovery - one she didn’t set out to share.

“I had a drug and alcohol problem, so it was personal for me, but also for Will and Craig because they were there,” Binion said. “I went away for five months of treatment after becoming addicted to opiates and then alcohol.”

Binion says she started using alcohol in an attempt to curb withdrawal symptoms from coming off opiates, adding that she didn’t intend to write a recovery record but felt it was important to stay honest.

A year ago, Binion was eager to embark on a heavy year of touring, her first as a sober musician and singer, and then Covid struck.

“When you’re a young band, you can go far in a year, so it’s hard to know where we’d be right now if Covid hadn’t hit,” Binion said. “I’m glad that I became sober before it happened because who knows how I would have handled it?”

Will listeners be able to tell where you are today by the end of the record, I asked? “I hope so, yeah,” she said. “That’s the feel I get from it although it isn’t super-literal. You won’t know the whole story from listening but it’s all there.”

Binion says the band will announce a release date for the full-length “Yes Regrets” LP once they can tour to support it. In the meantime, they’ve just released the non-LP “Lifer” on the non-profit label CommunityZ RecordZ with all proceeds earmarked for Maine Trans Net, an organization that supports transgender people and the challenges they face. It’s available at

“It’s about feeling like you don’t belong and not being able to function in the daily world,” Binion said of “Lifer.”

Binion feels that theWorst’s new music is even more impactful now that she’s fully in control, adding that her band can’t take the stage soon enough.

“When I came through everything, and the songs were still good, I was happy that I could still do it,” she said. “The songs are probably more powerful. People ask if it was cathartic to write these songs as I was going through the experience. It’s just me doing the only thing I know how to do. I think it will be more cathartic to play them live.”

Last modified on Wednesday, 27 January 2021 08:21


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