RECLINER: The little band that could                                        

Recliner is a San Francisco band with a sound that's not always easy to pin down. It depends where you drop the needle, so to speak. What started out as a sound described as big guitars with driving beats and sweet vocal harmonies has morphed over the years into something, well, more nuanced at times. But don't worry, not all the time.  


Formed in 2001 by four friends (John Benson, George Carney, Ward Evans and Kevin Seidel). Each had played in various bands and decided it was time for something new. 
So they ditched their primary instruments, picked up new ones, threw them up in the air, and hit record.

Instant Success – Make a Friend (2004)

We’d like to tell you the band was an instant success, their shows attracting a who's who of indie hepcats and tastemakers. But that would be lying. Regardless, that one drunk guy, and those two drunk girls at the first show can say they were there in the beginning. If only they could remember.

However, the band’s first self-titled EP in 2003, and full-length release, Make a Friend, soon began to make waves. The band found themselves touring far off lands­–places like Davis, California and Tokyo, Japan. Soon they were getting airplay across the U.S., and as far away as Chile.

Tranquilizer (2006) – After the Fog (2008)

Recliner's third and fourth releases found the band honing its songwriting chops, drawing from a broader palette (Moog, grand piano, bassoon, trumpet) and recording to analog tape. Tranquilizer mixed devil-horned rockers with punk-rock blasts, and twelve-string janglers. After the Fog took a more exploratory approach to the music, drawing on post-rock and less traditional song structures. All the while, sounding like Recliner.

Swimming Pools ­– Movie Stars

Then things began to pick up steam. The band found themselves in the company of sports stars and other best-selling bands in a series of video games (ESPN MLB 2k5, ESPN NFL 2k5, 2KSports NHL 2007 and NHL 2009). Its music also found its way onto commercials and TV shows, including MTV’s Made, Meet the Barkers, and Trailer Fabulous. They appeared as featured artist on millions of digital jukeboxes across the country. And three self-produced videos could be seen on Fuse TV, Rhapsody.com, and Rollingstone.com and were nominated for a Bammy (remember those?). The proverbial DIY ball was rolling. 

Phase Two

Following the sad, yet amicable departure of founding members Ward Evans and John Benson for a promising directing career, George and Kevin considered wiping the slate clean and starting anew. Europop, perhaps? They recruited guitarist Joe Bettencourt and drummer Gareth Finucane and the new entity was soon writing. To their surprise, the songs had an unmistakable “Recliner” sound and spirit. It was clearly the next step for a band whose sound had progressed with every album. Recliner would live to see another day.

Fake Love Songs (2011)

Fake Love Songs built on the band's signature sound, exploring a number of song structures and feels, including hard-driving rockers, upbeat lullabies, and headphone worthy psychedelia. It’s also the band’s first “conceptual” record, explains singer Kevin Seidel. “This record picks up where Ex-Girlfriend Collection (off Tranquilizer) left off. I saw a lot of relationships dissolving around me and started writing lyrics from that perspectives.”

Unfinished Conversations (2015)

With new member Keviano Azevedo behind the skins this time around, the band ventured to into some new territory. Recording with J.J. Wiesler (Jonathan Richman, Matt Nathanson, Kelley Stoltz, Girls) at his Decibelle Recording studio, and Scott McDowell at Panoramic House studios, the band made (arguably) it's best record to date. Filled with sonic flourishes like timpani, xylophone, tape manipulation and various vintage synths, it's a record that finds Recliner stretching its sound into new territories. It also marks the bands first recording produced on audiophile vinyl.

Weightless EP & The Wait LP (2019)

With the next two releases (the LP  was also released on vinyl) the band further expanded its sound into what can best be described as the band at the top of its game. The mix of rock, dreamy pop, and even punk tunes pushed the band into some new experimental territories, while keeping its foot grounded in a sound that fans have come to love. 
And there you have it—the story of Recliner, so far. A hazy memory of that one drunk guy and his two girlfriends, and a good deal of DIY success along the way. Now pour yourself a nice sipping tequila, grab yourself some headphones, and push play on the old record player (or yes, we know, Spotify, or Apple Music, etc.)--or better yet, come on out for a live show, and experience Recliner for yourself.

A SMATTERING OF APPLAUSE (and a few quotes)

"...Their catchy, pounding, defiant, neurotic performance will make you want to shake your ass--believe me, take it from this ass."

--Jet, KUSF 90.3 FM

"The band's popularity was built on its high-energy shows, musical tightness, and the fact that Kevin Seidel is one of the best rock vocalists I've heard in a long time. Recliner very well could be 'The Next Big Thing' out of San Francisco."

--The Davis Enterprise Newspaper

"The surprising thing is that they haven't broken out, bearing in mind this is the sort of Pop Rock that should appeal to many...The Wait is an astonishingly good album. It will make you wonder why you haven't heard of Recliner earlier. " 

"Recliner play a contagious, danceable rock ala the Pixies, Cheap Trick and Social Distortion."


"I can't stand people who cry that music is dead in San Francisco...I always KNOW a great scene is just around the corner. Recliner proves me right again."

--Nadine Condon (famous SF booker, founder Nadine's Wild Weekend)

Recliner’s music can be found at cdbaby.com, amazon.com and digitally at iTunes and Bandcamp.