Category: Psych Rock

New Audio: Los Angeles’ Numb.er Returns with a Lysergic-Tinged Visuals and Sounds of “A Memory Stained”

Earlier this year, I wrote about Numb.er, the brainchild of Los Angeles, CA-based mastermind and primary songwriter, photographer and visual artist Jeff Fribourg, who’s probably best known as a founding member of psych rock/kraut rock band Froth. Now, as you may recall, Fribourg can trace the origins of his love affair with synthesizers to when he was leading Froth, and with his latest project, Fribourg fully explores both his deep love of synthesizers and his wildly eclectic influences and inclinations; in fact with Numb.er Fribourg’s work meshes elements of punk rock, post-punk, noise rock and shoegaze.

Goodbye, Fribourg’s latest Numb.er album was released earlier this year through renowned post punk label Felte Records, and the album’s first single “Numerical Depression” featured elements of 77-era punk, post-punk and noise punk in a way that sonically brought the likes of Wire, Nirvana, The Clash, Bauhaus, without resorting to mimicry and cliches. Interestingly, Goodbye’s latest single finds Fribourg seamlessly meshing 60s psych pop with synth-led New Wave and four-on-the-four drumming in a way that brings British psych rockers TOY to mind, but murkier and more foreboding while retaining Fribourg’s uncanny ability to craft an infectious hook. 

Directed by Matt Creed and edited by Chris Rice, the recently released video for “A Memory Stained” employs the use of creepy yet trippy found footage that emphasizes the lysergic quality of the song and its foreboding vibes.

 

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Best known as a former member of dream punk bands So Many Wizards and Tomemitsu, the Los Angeles, CA-born and -based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Devin Ratliff’s solo recording project Dev Ray received attention last year with the release of his debut single, a moody, synth-based take on The Pointer Sisters‘ 1982 smash hit “I’m So Excited.” Interestingly, Ratliff’s latest single “Can’t Hide” was released earlier this summer through Dangerbird Records as part of their ongoing Microdose series, a monthly single release and live event series celebrating and promoting new music from up-and-coming Los Angeles-based artists — and beyond.  The single is centered around a dreamy and swooning psych pop arrangement that features shimmering and arpeggiated synths, gently padded yet propulsive drumming, shimmering guitar lines, ethereal vocals and a soaring hook — and interestingly enough, Ratliff does so in a way that recalls 60s psych pop, bubblegum pop and DIY lo-fi indie rock, complete with a placid and unhurried air.

Currently comprised of the band’s founding duo Julian Ducatenzeiler (vocals, guitar) and Tony Malacara (bass), along with newest members  Shane Stotsenberg (guitar), Cameron Gartung (drums) and Ignacio Gonzalez (organs), the Los Angeles-based garage rock/psych rock act Mystic Braves can trace their origins to when Ducantenzeiler and Malacara formed the band in San Diego in 2011. Since then the band has gone through a series of lineup changes but their current lineup was solidified in 2013 when Ducantenzeiler and Malacara relocated to Los Angeles, where they recruited Stotsenberg and Gartung. As a quartet featuring Ducatenzeiler, Malacara, Stotsenberg and Gartung, the band had begun writing material and touring while searching for a full-time organist  when they found Gonzalez.

Mystic Braves’ fourth album, The Great Unknown is slated for an August 17, 2018 release through Lolipop Records, and the soon-to-be released album found the band recruiting Kyle Mullarky, who has worked with The Growlers and The Allah-Las. The band spent a week at Mullarky’s Topanga Canyon, CA studio exploring new sounds and approaches and cutting demos, and as the band’s Julian Ducatenzelier says in press notes, “We just wanted to work with him to help shape the songs creatively, but he ended up being so great to work with that we just stuck with him.”

After recording somewhere between 30-40 demos at Mullarky’s studio, the band returned to their hometown, holing up in Lolipop Records‘ new office/studio/living quarters in the Boyle Heights section to record the final versions of the songs that would comprise The Great Escape. “We spent three days a week at Lolipop for about a month and a half, all living together, writing, recording, grilling, drinking too much tequila and coffee,” Ducatenzelier recalls. “We decided to get a little experimental—some of the songs came out sort of country and some were super funky, almost like James Brown.”

Sonically, the material channels The Seeds, The Zombies, The Kinks and others — but while earnestly maintaining a unique sense of individuality, which Ducatenzelier attributes to the album’s deeply personal nature. “A lot of this record comes from a breakup,” he explains. “It deals with the end of past relationships, with knowing that things should end, and figuring out how to cope with the loss.”

The album’s latest single “Under Control” is a shimmering bit of lysergic-tinged bubblegum pop centered around some timeless rock ‘n’ roll tropes: the inevitable end of a romantic relationship, the desperate attempt to move forward as time passes by, the acknowledgement that many things in life are unresolved and unfulfilled — and of life’s fleeting nature. Of course, the song naturally has the band balancing between a swaggering and hook-laden arrangement reminiscent of The CastawaysLiar Liar” with an earnest and familiar heartache.

The members of Mystic Braves are currently touring across Europe to support their new album, which they’ll follow up with al lengthy US tour throughout the fall that includes a September 15, 2018 stop at Rough Trade. Check out the tour dates below.

 

Tour Dates 
August 6 – Molotow – Hamburg, Germany
August 7 – Bestpol – Dresden, Germany
August 9 – Paradiso – Amsterdam, Netherlands
August 10 – Borderline – London, UK
August 11 – Bodega – Nottingham, UK
August 12 – Buddha Blood – Brighton, UK
August 17 – Teragram Ballroom – Los Angeles, CA
August 18 – Velvet Jones – Santa Barbara, CA
August 22 – Casbah – San Diego, CA
August 23 – Wayfarer – Costa Mesa, CA
August 25 – Pappy & Harriets – Pioneertown, CA
August 29 – Harlow’s – Sacramento, CA
August 31 – The Chapel – San Francisco, CA
September 1 – The Loving Cup – Reno, NV
September 7 – High Noon Saloon – Madison, WI
September 8 – The Empty Bottle – Chicago, IL
September 13 – BSP – Kingston, NY
September 15 – Rough Trade – Brooklyn, NY
September 17 – Cafe Nine – New Haven, CT
September 21 – Johnny Brenda’s – Philadelphia, PA
September 22 – DC9 – Washington D.C.
September 26 – White Oak Music Hall – Houston, TX
September 27 – Dada Dallas – Dallas, TX
September 28 – Mohawk – Austin, TX
September 29 – Paper Tiger – San Antonio, TX
September 30 – Ethos Live – Laredo, TX
October 3 – Lowbrow Palace – El Paso, TX
October 4 – Cans – Tucson, AZ
October 5 – Taos Mesa Brewing – Taos, NM
October 6 – Hi Dive – Denver, CO
October 7 – Surfside 7 – Fort Collins, CO
October 9 – Urban Lounge – Salt Lake City, UT
October 10 – Neurolux – Boise, ID
October 12 – Mississippi Studios – Portland, OR
October 13 – Astoria – Vancouver, Canada
October 14 – Sunset Tavern – Seattle, WA

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Release Lysergic and Summery Visuals for Cosmic Album Single “Light At The Edge Of The World”

Over the course of this site’s eight year history, I’ve written quite a bit about the  Liverpool-based shoegaze quintet and JOVM mainstays The Vryll Society, and as you may recall, the band, which is comprised of Michael Ellis, Ryan Ellis, Lewis McGuinness, Lloyd Shearer, and Benjamin Robinson received attention from across the blogosphere with the release of an early collection of singles that drew from a diverse array of influences, including Funkadelic, Aphrodite’s Child, krautrock and classic shoegaze.

The Liverpool-based shoegazers’ long-awaited full-length debut Course Of The Satellite is slated for an August 10, 2018 and the album’s first single “Andrei Rublev,” which was inspired by  Andre Tarkovsky’s 1996  historical, arthouse film Andrei Rublev was a slow-burning and meditative song that found the band’s sound simultaneously nodding at shoegaze and 70s AM rock. Course of the Satellite‘s second and latest single “Light At The Edge Of The World” possesses a shimmering cosmic glow familiar to space rock and shoegaze with subtle prog rock leanings while centered around enormous hooks and some swirling and towering guitar work. Interestingly enough, the band mentions in press notes that the album’s latest single finds them combining the influences of Tame Impala and Stereolab.

The recently released video for “Light At The Edge Of The World” continues the band’s ongoing collaboration with director Peter Fearon. “For the video, we wanted the idea of a girl listening to the track and falling into a dream,” the JOVM mainstays say in press notes. “The majority of it is shot in a country garden where Peter really enhanced the colours to give it a dreamy summery vibe. The girl seems to be looking for something throughout the video and we’ve left it up to the viewer to decide what that is.” And much like the visuals for “Andrei Rublev,” the visuals make a visceral connection between the earthly and the cosmic, with the clear idea that music can take you into a completely different (and perhaps enhanced) plane of existence.

New Audio: Los Angeles-based Quintet Ancestors Release a Slow-buring Shoegazer Take on Doom Metal

Currently comprised of founding duo Justin Maranga (guitar, vocals) and Nick Long (bass, vocals) along with Jason Watkins (organ, piano, electric piano, mellotron, vocals), Matt Barks (modular synthesizer, Moog synthesizer, guitar, vocals) and Daniel Pouliot (drums), the Los Angeles-based metal/doom metal/psych rock/stoner rock quintet Ancestors can trace their origins back to 2006 when Maranga, Long, and Brandon Pierce began the band as a trio; Englishman Chico Foley, who had met Pierce shortly after relocating to Los Angeles joined the band. Jason Watkins joined to complete the band’s initial line up. Their full-length debut was released in 2008 through North Atlantic Sound Records in Europe and Tee Pee Records in the States — and the album featured artwork by Arik Roper, who has done artwork of the likes of Sleep, High on Fire, and Earth. Their 2009 sophomore Of Sound Mind was produced by the band and Pete Lyman and featured collaborations with Melvins’, Unwound and Slug’s David Scott Stone, Black Math Horseman’s Sera Timms and cellist Ramiro Zapata.

2010 saw the first of several lineup changes as Chico Foley left the band and was replaced by Matt Barks and with a new lineup, they went into the studio to write and record the Kenny Woods-produced Invisible White EP.  And despite, a series of lineup changes, the band’s sound generally draws from prog rock, psych rock, stoner rock and doom metal — but they’ve also at points increasingly incorporated elements of experimental rock and musique concrete among others.  The Los Angeles-based rock quintet’s forthcoming album Suspended In Reflections is slated for an August 24, 2018 release through Pelagic Records, and from the album’s latest single “Gone,” the new single and the album itself reportedly reflects a different take on their sound and approach as the single is a slow-burning dirge that manages to bridge shoegaze and doom metal as it features enormous power chords, played through tons of effects pedals, soaring and ethereal synths within an expansive yet moody song structure that nods a bit at prog rock.

Last year, the Northern Italian psych punk act Bee Bee Sea released their sophomore full-length album Sonic Boomerang to praise from NPRClash Magazine and others for a high-energy, fuzzy power chord sound with elements of garage rock and psych rock that’s generally been compared to Thee Oh Sees and King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard among others, earning the band attention and praise from outside of their small, industrial hometown. And once you’ll hear the furious and frenetic album single and title track “Sonic Boomerang,” it’ll no longer be a surprise as to why they’ve so quickly gained the attention of both European and American press —  fuzzy power chords, some explosive guitar pyrotechnics,  a forceful and motorik-like groove, shouted vocals and a rousing mosh-pit friendly hook.

The Italian psych rockers are in the middle of their first North American tour to support their critically applauded sophomore album. Check out the rest of the tour dates below.

Tour Dates 

7/23 – Atlanta, GA – The EARL

7/24 – Memphis, TN – Hi Tone

7/26 – Phoenix, AZ – Crescent Ballroom

7/27 – Costa Mesa, CA – The Wayfarer

7/28 – Los Angeles, CA – Zebulon Café Concert

7/31 – San Francisco, CA – Elbo Room ( with DJ Sid Presley)

8/02 – Seattle, WA – Funhouse Seattle

8/03, 04, 05 – Happy Valley, OR – Pickathon

 

 

 

 

 

Over the past three years or so, I’ve written quite a bit about the Tucson, AZ-based quintet The Myrrors, and as you may recall the band, which is currently comprised of Nik Rayne, Grant Beyschau, Casey Hadland, Kellen Fortier, and Miguel Urbina have developed and maintained a reputation for crafting ominous and expansive psych rock centered around trance-like grooves. Interestingly, the JOVM mainstays forthcoming album Borderlands which is slated for an August 17, 2018 release through Beyond Beyond Is Beyond Records nominally references the collective, self-made boundaries we draw, while offering a soundtrack for setting forth strategies that either ignore or erases them.

As the band explains, the album’s latest single “The Blood That Runs the Border,” “is actually an old live standard that for whatever reason never translated into a recording until now, a time which the issues of manufactured frontiers and the human cost of xenophobic immigration controls are perhaps more immediate than ever before. Destroy all borders, tear down all walls and the governments that build them! In a sense the track actually sowed the seeds for the entire record, from its subject matter to our conscious effort to more accurately capture the sound of The Myrrors in its current live incarnation.”  Thematically it may overtly political song they’ve ever written, the expansive song is centered by a propulsive, trance-inducing groove over which shimmering, mind-bending guitar work and reverb-drenched covers ethereally float over; but as a result, it has a deeper and heavier emotional heft — crestfallen and exhausted, resolute and determined. And while still evoking a dusty, desert vista, the song evokes our murky and uncertain world in a frightening fashion.

 

 

 

New Video: The Debaucherous and Absurd Visuals for Tempesst’s “A Little Bit of Trouble”

Initially based around Queensland, Australia-born, founding members and twin siblings Toma Banjamin (vocals, guitar) and Andy Banjamin (drums), the up-and-coming psych rock/psych pop quintet Tempesst completed their lineup when the Benjamin Brothers relocated to London, where they eventually recruited Eric Weber (guitar), Kane Reynolds (keys) and Blake Misipeka (bass) to fill out the band’s lineup.  The Australian/British quintet’s 2017 debut EP, Adult Wonderland was released to critical praise in the UK — and as result of the growing buzz surrounding them, they wound up opening of the likes of The Veils, Temper Trap, GUM, and Albert Hammond, Jr., and they played showcases at The Great Escape, the NME Awards and Live at Leeds, as well as sets at Bushstock, Southsea Fest, and Hackney Wonderland.

Slated for release later this month, the band’s Doomsday EP is slated for a July 27, 2018 release and the effort, which was tracked over the course of a breakneck 4 days earlier this year reportedly finds the band expanding upon both their songwriting and sound,  adding instruments and layers to the proverbial sonic palette.  While maintaining elements of the 60s and 70s sound that won them attention across the UK, the Australian/British outfit manages to subtly modernize it, with subtle nods to contemporary psych rock and psych pop, as well as folk and indie rock. Interestingly, the EP thematically finds the up-and-coming band dealing with an increasing awareness of their own mortality. As the band’s Toma Banjamin says in press notes, “I have been caught in a ‘meaning of life’ spiral, which I guess is pretty normal in your 20s. It’s the first time that I’ve felt so aware of my mortality and it probably doesn’t help that the Facebook and Netflix algorithms keep feeding me documentaries on the topic.” In some way, that sense of mortality shouldn’t be surprising in a world that seems to be inching towards annihilation.

The EP’s latest single “A Little Bit of Trouble” is a decidedly 70s AM rock-inspired song centered around a jangling and shimmering guitar line, a stunningly gorgeous string line that emphasizes a soaring hook, and an easy going yet shuffling groove, but underneath the breezy vibes is a song that’s deeply rooted in a sense of regret and shame. There’s the sense that the song’s narrator repeatedly finds himself in similar, ridiculous situations — and that he has the awareness that he’s only doing it to himself. And as a result, he’s resolved to clean up his life, stop the foolishness and grow up.  Interestingly, the song as the band’s Toma Banjamin explains was inspired by a real life incident, “The week we started writing the instrumentals for the track we had a bit of an incident at a pub in East London. Some guys were giving Andy a hard time about his jacket or hat or something and everyone was pretty drunk. The song was written to capture the memory for eternity.”

The recently released video follows a male exotic dancer as he confidently struts to the strip club, like John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever but as the video progresses, it’s clear that the dancer’s confidence is a superficial facade, as he performs in front of a drunk and generally listless crowd, who are daring him to impress them — with something other than what he’s actually doing. Yes, it’s tongue in cheek but it manages to point out a larger absurdity that any performer should immediately recognize.

Live Footage: Up-and-Coming Danish Act Collider Performs “Glockster” at Tapetown Studio

With the release of “Bruno” last year, the Danish psych rock act Collider, comprised of Mikkel Fink, Marie Nyhus, Johan S. Polder, and Troels Damgaard-C quickly emerged into the national scene. Building upon a rapidly growing profile, the members of the Danish psych rock act have been playing showcases across the European Union and the States without much of an internet presence — until recently. But despite that, from what I’ve been told the band has received some attention from the likes of Rolling Stone and other internationally recognized outlets.

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past 15-18 months or so, you would have come across a couple of live sessions shot in the Aarhus, Denmark-based recording studio Tapetown Studio, and as you may recall the studio along with Sound of Aarhus started a live video series in which they invite national, regional and even internationally recognized touring bands to come into their studio. The newest installment features the aforementioned Collider, who played their latest single, the trippy and chaotic track that nods at krautrock, psych rock and space rock simultaneously while being centered around anthemic, grunge rock-like hooks.

Last year, I wrote quite a bit about The Babe Rainbow, and as you may recall, the act which is currently comprised of the Bryon Bay, Australia-born and -based founding members Angus Dowling and Jack Laughlan Crowther and newest members Lucas Mariani and Jessi Dunbar can trace its origins to when its founding duo met while in school, bonding over a mutual love of The Incredible String Band and Swing Mademoiselles among others. The band’s early singles caught the attention of Flightless Records, who went on to release their breakout single “Secret Enchanted Broccoli Forest.” Eventually, the band then caught the attention of internationally renowned producer Danger Mouse, who signed the band to his 30th Century Records.

Their self-titled debut was produced by King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard’s Stu Mackenzie, and album singles “Johny Stays Cool,” and “Monkey Disco,” revealed a band that specialized in an especially quirky, off-kilter approach centered around decidedly lo-fi vibes. Now, as you’ll hear on “Supermoon,” the first single off the Australian band’s forthcoming sophomore album Double Rainbow, the band will cement their growing reputation for crafting an anachronistic, lo-fi sound, but unlike their previous album, the single finds the band going further back in time — to the 60s; in fact, the lysergic single sounds indebted to Yellow Submarine and Sgt. Pepper-era Beatles and Creedence Clearwater Revival, thanks in part to a steady yet ethereal groove.