Tag: The Sonics

New Video: Watch Acclaimed Indie Rock Act Night Beats Take on The Sonics

Deriving its name from Sam Cooke’s Night Beat album, the Seattle, WA-based psych rock/garage rock act Night Beats was formed by its Dallas, TX-born, Seattle, WA-based founding member and creative mastermind Danny “Lee Blackwell” Rajan Billingsley back in 2009 when Billingsley relocated to Seattle to study comparative religion at the University of Washington. That same year, Billingsley self-recorded the Night Beats debut EP, Street (Atomic), which was released through Holy Twist Records. 

After trying out a couple of different lineups, Billingsley recruited his high school friend and former B.B. Mercy drummer James Traeger to join the band. Traeger relocated from Austin, TX, where he was studying at the time to join Billingsley. The band played for a while as a duo before recruiting Tacoma, WA-born Tarek Wegner (bass), who once played with The Drug Purse and Paris Spleen to join the band. Early in their history, the band toured across North America extensively — and within weeks of releasing the H-Bomb EP the band was signed by Chicago-based label Trouble in Mind Records, who re-released the album in the fall of 2010. The re-released EP wound up topping several college radio while helping the band develop a reputation for a sound that incorporates elements of early R&B, psych rock, blues rock, funk and soul. (Unsurprisingly, the band has toured with the likes of The Black Angels, Roky Erickson, The Zombies, The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Strange Boys, Black Lips, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and The Growlers.) 

The following year, the band released a split EP with The UFO Club through Austin-based label The Reverberation Appreciation Society, which they followed up with their self-titled debut album. They also released a 2012 split single with TRMRS, which was released through Volcom Vinyl Club. 2013 saw the release of their sophomore album Sonic Bloom through The Reverberation Appreciation Society. The band supported the album with touring across North America, Europe, Israel, South Africa and Australia. 

2014 saw the band go through the first of a series of lineup changes. Tarek Wegner left the band and eventually released an EP What Colors Last, as well as a full-length effort Soul Fuckers, which was supported by a West Coast tour with Tomorrow’s Tulips. Meanwhile, Night Beats signed to London-based label Heavenly Recordings, who released the band’s acclaimed Robert Levon Been co-produced third album Who Sold My Generation in 2016. The album also featured Been, who’s best known for his work with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club contributing bass. Jakob Bowden was recruited to tour in support of the album. 

The last half of 2016 saw the band go on an UK and European Union tour without James Traeger. Throughout 2017, Evan Synder toured with the band. During a 2018 US tour opening for Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Jonah Swilley sat in on drums with the band. Last May saw the band touring Spain with Evan Synder playing drums. Bowden wasn’t with the band either. 

This year has been a rather busy year for Billingsley. Night Beats’ Dan Auerbach-produced Myth Of A Man was released in January — and the album found the band’s founder playing with a backing band of session musicians, who had worked with the likes of Elvis Presley and Aretha Franklin. Perhaps as a way of explaining Traeger’s and Bowden’s absence from the album, the official press release simply said that the album was “written during a particularly destructive period of the band.” Additionally, Billingsley along with an all-star backing cast featuring The Mystery Lights’ Mike Brandon, Black Lips’ Cole Alexander and Warbly Jets’ Julien O’neil recorded and released a Record Store Day album, Night Beats Perform The Sonics’ Boom, an exact track-by-track over of The Sonics classic (and beloved) 1966 album Boom. 

Night Beats Perform The Sonics’ Boom finds Billingsley and an indie rock All-Star backing band treading a line between faithful cover meant to keep the legacy of The Sonics’ classic album alive for contemporary listeners while imbuing the material with a fuzzy  and soulful take. Album single “Let The Good Times Roll” manages to sound almost like it were released sometime between 1966-1968 but with a gritty, mod rock vibe reminiscent of The Who Sings My Generation-era The Who. 

Directed, shot, and edited by James Oswald on what looks like grainy Super 8mm film, the recently released video follows Billingsley and his backing band on tour, split between the yellow and white lines of endless blacktop, the band playing sweaty and passionate  shows in front of rapturous fans, and intimate backstage footage featuring the band getting themselves together before playing. As someone, who has covered and seen thousands of shows, the video captures the spirit and soul of a show in a way that feels warmly familiar. 

   

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New Video: The Mischievous Silent Film-Inspired Visuals for Barrence Whitfield and The Savages’ “Let’s Go to Mars”

Formed by founding members Barrance Whitfield, Peter Greenberg, who has also played with Lyres and DMZ and Phil Lenker in the mid 80s, the Boston-based blues and soul act Barrence Whitfield and The Savages quickly developed a reputation for crafting primal and soulful blues, centered around Whitfield’s full-throttle soul screaming (in the spirit of Little Richard, Solomon Burke, and others), and for sweaty, dance party-like live shows. With their original lineup, the band released several attention grabbing records through Rounder Records, and as a result they toured with Bo Diddley, Tina Turner and George Thorogood, were a favorite of BBC DJ Andy Kershaw and won seven Boston Music Awards. The band reunited in 2011 with a new lineup that features Whitfield, along with Andy Jody (drums) and Tom Quartulli (sax), which has released three albums Savage Kings, Dig Thy Savage Soul and Under the Savage Sky and building upon their long held reputation, the band has toured with The Sonics, played at SXSW and have played on the BBC’s Later . . . with Jools Holland. 

Released earlier this year, Soul Flowers of Titan is Barrence Whitfield and The Savages fourth full-length album since reforming after a 25 year hiatus, and the album, which derives its name from the largest moon of Saturn, a planet which astrologically symbolizes pain and struggle was recorded in Ultrasuede Studio in Cincinnati, a town that was home to a number of classic and somewhat unknown independent labels, including King Records and Federal Records that were best known for a fostering a frayed and raucous sound during the 50s and 60s. Of course, knowing that history, the band couldn’t resist the urge to celebrate and expand on that legacy — with the album finding the band sonically meshing blues, punk, rock, garage rock and soul while thematically, the album’s material focuses on people shooting guns, separating, coming home (someday), falling in love, running around, leaving earth in search of someplace better, going crazy, drinking way too much coffee and thinking about the legendary Sun Ra. As a result, the material features a much heavier sound, B3 and Rheem organ playing from the band’s newest member Brian Olive and a live-in-the-studio urgency. 

Soul Flowers of Titan’s latest single “Let’s Go To Mars” is centered around a boozy, and shuffling power chord riff that brings Howlin’ Wolf and George Thorogood to mind but paired with lyrics inspired by an early 70s documentary on Sun Ra that its songwriters Peter Greenberg and Phil Lenker saw multiple times, and as a result there’s a mischievous yet plaintive ache to go off someplace that may be better than Earth — or least someplace, where you can live freely and not be bothered by the cruelty and viciousness of humanity. Directed by Eric Baconstrip, the recently released, animated video further emphasizes the song’s mischievous vibes while nodding at classic, silent films. 

New Video: The Cinematic, B Movie Inspired Visuals for L.A. Witch’s “Drive Your Car”

Over the past couple of years, I’ve written a bit about the Los Angeles, CA-based indie rock/garage rock trio L.A. Witch, comprised of Sade Sanchez (lead vocals, guitar), Irita Pai (bass, backing vocals) and Ellie English (drums). And as you may recall, the trio have developed a reputation for crafting a grungy, garage rock sound that draws from late 50s-early 60s rock,  The Pleasure Seekers, The Sonics, The Black Angels, The Brian Jonestown Massacre and others — all while bearing a resemblance to JOVM mainstay artists The Coathangers, Sharkmuffin and Death Valley Girls.
The band’s self-titled, full-length debut was released last year through Suicide Squeeze Records, the label home of The Coathangers and others, and the album’s first single “Drive Your Car,” (which was also released as a 7 inch single back in 2016), is a grungy and gritty track featuring a propulsive rhythm section, chugging power chords fed through reverb and delay pedal paired with Sanchez’s sneering vocals — and while clearly resembling The Coathangers, the song manages to possess a malicious and murderous intent, along with some roaring hooks.

Directed and edited by Allie Lane, the incredibly cinematic video features a collection of badass ladies, including the members of L.A. Witch driving sweet cars through the desert, cut with footage of the band playing the song. Certainly, if you’re a photographer, you envy how rich the blues, browns and blacks came out under seemingly endless skies.

New Video: Surreal and Cinematic Visuals for The Horrors “Something to Remember Me By” Feature Hilarious Commentary on Fame and Consumerism

Over the past five or six years of this site’s history, I’ve written quite a bit about the London, UK-based indie rock quintet and JOVM mainstays The Horrors. And as you may recall, the British blogosphere darlings comprised of of Faris Badwan (vocals), Joshua Hayward (guitar), Tom Cowan (aka Tom Furse) (keys and synths), Rhys Webb (bass) and Joe Spurgeon (drums, percussion), can trace their origins back to the early 00s, and to a shared interest in obscure vinyl collecting, DJ’ing, and a mutual love of 60s garage rock, and 70s and 80s New Wave and post-punk — in particular, The Birthday Party and Bauhaus. In fact, as the story goes, the band’s founding trio met during repeated trips back and forth between their hometown from their hometown Southend-on-Sea and London.

By 2005, the British indie rock band’s founding trio recruited Haywood and Spurgeon to complete the band’s lineup and began rehearsing, and reportedly their first rehearsal together featured two covers — The Sonics’ “The Witch” and Screaming Lord Sutch’s “Jack the Ripper,” interpreted in the tradition of previous garage rock covers such as those by The Fuzztones, The Gruesomes and others. Unsurprisingly, their 2007 debut, Strange House featured their garage rock take on “Jack the Ripper” as its opening track; however, it was the album’s first two official singles “Sheena Is a Parasite” and “Death at the Chapel” that caught the attention of music journalists, music critics and fans. And since then, each of the band’s albums — their aforementioned 2007 debut, 2009’s Primary Colours, 2011’s Skying and 2014’s Luminous — have garnered both critical praise and commercial success, as they have all charted within the UK Top 40. Along with that, Skying and Luminous received international attention, including attention from this site.

V, The Horrors’ aptly titled fifth studio album was released last week through Wolftone Records/Caroline Records and while being the band’s first batch of material in three years, the Paul Epworth-produced album finds the band experimenting and expanding with the sound that’s won them national and international attention over the past two albums; in fact, the album’s first official single “Machine” seems to have the British indie rockers incorporating elements of the Manchester sound — in particular, Evil Heat-era Primal Scream, the abrasive, industrial electronica of Nine Inch Nails and Earthling-era David Bowie while retaining the band’s rousing and anthemic hooks; but by far, the song may be among the most swaggering and assertive songs of their growing catalog.

“Something to Remember Me By,” V’s second and is a propulsive, dance floor-friendly track that features a sinuous bass line paired with shimmering and cascading layers of synths, four-on-the floor drumming and a soaring hook — and to my ears, the track seems to have the band drawing influence from late period New Order — i.e., Get Ready and Music Complete — with an underlying, swooning Romanticism, making it arguably their most instantly memorable song they’ve released to date.

Directed by Max Weiland, the recently released video for V’s second single is a cinematic and weird video that directly comments society’s obsession with celebrity and the music industry’s attempt to take advantage of that, as Weiland explains in press notes. In the video, a strange and menacing mega-conglomerate uses the bandmembers’ desire for fame to harder their blood, sweat, tears, semen and more to make ridiculous consumer products for mass consumption — with the most hilarious one being The Horrors brand dildo. 

New Audio: JOVM Mainstays The Horrors Return With Their Most Dance Floor-Friendly and Trance-Inducing Song to Date

Over the past five or six years of this site’s history, I’ve written quite a bit about the London, UK-based indie rock quintet and JOVM mainstays The Horrors. And as you may recall, the British blogosphere darlings comprised of of Faris Badwan (vocals), Joshua Hayward (guitar), Tom Cowan (aka Tom Furse) (keys and synths), Rhys Webb (bass) and Joe Spurgeon (drums, percussion), can trace their origins back to the early 00s, and to a shared interest in obscure vinyl collecting, DJ’ing, and a mutual love of 60s garage rock, and 70s and 80s New Wave and post-punk — in particular, The Birthday Party and Bauhaus. In fact, as the story goes, the band’s founding trio met during repeated trips back and forth between their hometown from their hometown Southend-on-Sea and London.

By 2005, the British indie rock band’s founding trio recruited Haywood and Spurgeon to complete the band’s lineup and began rehearsing, and reportedly their first rehearsal together featured two covers — The Sonics’ “The Witch” and Screaming Lord Sutch’s “Jack the Ripper,” interpreted in the tradition of previous garage rock covers such as those by The Fuzztones, The Gruesomes and others. Unsurprisingly, their 2007 debut, Strange House featured their garage rock take on “Jack the Ripper” as its opening track; however, it was the album’s first two official singles “Sheena Is a Parasite” and “Death at the Chapel” that caught the attention of music journalists, music critics and fans. And since then, each of the band’s albums — their aforementioned 2007 debut, 2009’s Primary Colours, 2011’s Skying and 2014’s Luminous — have garnered both critical praise and commercial success, as they have all charted within the UK Top 40. Along with that, Skying and Luminous received international attention, including attention from this site. 

V, The Horrors’ aptly titled fifth studio album is slated for a September 22, 2017 release through  Wolftone Records/Caroline Records and while being the band’s first batch of material in three years, the Paul Epworth-produced album finds the band experimenting and expanding with the sound that’s won them national and international attention over the past two albums; in fact, the album’s first official single “Machine” seems to have the British indie rockers incorporating elements of the Manchester sound — in particular, Evil Heat-era Primal Scream, the abrasive, industrial electronica of Nine Inch Nails and Earthling-era David Bowie while retaining the band’s rousing and anthemic hooks; but by far, the song may be among the most swaggering and assertive songs of their growing catalog. 

“Something to Remember Me By,” V’s second and latest single is a propulsive  and trance-inducing, dance floor-friendly track that features a sinuous bass line paired with shimmering and cascading layers of synths, four-on-the floor drumming and a soaring hook — and to my ears, the latest track seems to have the band drawing influence from late period New Order — i.e., Get Ready and Music Complete — with an underlying, swooning Romanticism, making it arguably their most instantly memorable song they’ve released to date. 

New Video: The Surreal Hieronymus Bosch Inspired Computer Simulated Visuals for The Horrors’ “Machine”

If you’ve been frequenting this site for the past few years, you’ve likely been made very familiar with London, UK-based indie rock quintet and JOVM mainstays The Horrors. Comprised of Faris Badwan (vocals), Joshua Hayward (guitar), Tom Cowan (aka Tom Furse) (keys and synths), Rhys Webb (bass) and Joe Spurgeon (drums, percussion), the British indie rock quintet can trace their origins back to the early 00s and shared interest in obscure vinyl and DJing; in fact as the story goes, Webb met Badwan, who was a member of The Rotters and Cowan met during repeated trips back and forth from their hometown Southend-on-Sea and London, and the band’s founding trio bonded over a mutual appreciation of 60s garage rock, new wave and post-punk — in particular, The Birthday Party and Bauhaus.

By 2005, Badwan, Cowan and Webb recruited Hayward and Spurgeon to fill out the band’s lineup, and reportedly their first rehearsal together featured two covers — The Sonics‘ “The Witch” and Screaming Lord Sutch’s “Jack the Ripper,” interpreted in the tradition of previous garage rock covers such as those by The Fuzztones, The Gruesomes and others. Interestingly enough, their 2007 debut effort, Strange House featured the garage rock take on “Jack the Ripper” as its opening track; however, it was the band’s first two singles “Sheena Is a Parasite” and “Death at the Chapel” that caught the attention of both the national press and fans. Since then the band’s each of the band’s first four albums — their aforementioned debut, 2009’s Primary Colours, 2011’s Skying and 2014’s Luminous have all charted within the UK Top 40 — with Primary Colours, Skying and Luminous receiving international attention.

V, the London-based indie rock quintet’s fifth full-length album is slated for a September 22. 2017 release through Wolftone Records/Caroline Records and while being the band’s first batch of material in three years, the Paul Epworth-produced album finds the band experimenting and expanding upon the sound that won them attention both nationally and internationally. And as you’ll hear on the album’s first official single “Machine,” the band incorporates elements of the Manchester sound — in particular, Evil Heat-era Primal Scream, the industrial electronica of Nine Inch Nails and Earthling-era David Bowie while retaining the band’s rousing and anthemic hooks; but by far, the song may be among the most swaggering and assertive songs of their growing catalog, as well as a bold and decidedly different direction for the band.

Produced by Jon Emmony, the recently released visuals for “Machine” feature some surreal and nightmarish-looking creatures moving to the song, and as he explains in a lengthy statement, the video is actually “based around the concept of computer simulation. The creatures formed from sections of cut and twisted from insets, crustaceans and bone are arranged in sculptural compositions inspired by artists such as Hieronymus Bosch; finding the surreal within mixed forms and scales. The movement for the creatures is powered through generated simulations — randomised numbers and splines are generated and the position of each creature along these splines are calculated; seemingly without reason but born from the choices of software. 

“If left, taken away from an edit, the creatures would continue to exist and their movements would evolve. Simulated hair adapts to changing wind speeds and directions, again manipulated by randomised mathematics. For me this was an exciting way to create digital imagery as having an element of control removed and then decided by a computer seemed fitting with the track. Machines inside machines.” 

Now, if you’ve been following this site over the past couple of years of its seven year history, you’ve come across a handful of posts featuring the Los Angeles, CA-based indie rock/garage rock trio L.A. Witch. Comprised of Sade Sanchez (lead vocals, guitar), Irita Pai (bass, backing vocals) and Ellie English (drums), the trio have developed a reputation for crafting a grungy, garage rock sound that draws from late 50s-early 60s rock,  The Pleasure Seekers, The Sonics, The Black Angels, The Brian Jonestown Massacre and others — all while bearing a resemblance to JOVM mainstay artists The Coathangers, Sharkmuffin and Death Valley Girls

Suicide Squeeze Records, the label home of The Coathangers and several others will be releasing the band’s self-titled debut on September 8, 2017, and the album’s latest single “Kill My Baby Tonight” is a sultry and swaggering murder ballad full of chugging and jangling guitar chords played through copious reverb and delay pedal. Sanchez’s sneering, venomous vocals slash through a propulsive and stormy rhythm section; but unlike any of their previously released singles, the Southern Californian trio’s latest single reveals both a steely self-assuredness and some of their most ambitious songwriting to date.

 

 

 

 

New Audio: The Horrors Return with a Decidedly Industrial Take on Their Sound

Comprised of Faris Badwan (vocals), Joshua Hayward (guitar), Tom Cowan (aka Tom Furse) (keys and synths), Rhys Webb (bass) and Joe Spurgeon (drums, percussion) the London, UK-based indie rock quintet The Horrors can trace their origins back to the early 00s and shared interests in obscure vinyl and DJing; in fact, as the story goes, Web met Badwan, who was then a member of The Rotters and Cowan met during repeated trips back and forth from their hometown Southend-on-Sea and London and bounded over mutual appreciation of 60s garage rock, new wave and post-punk — in particular, The Birthday Party and Bauhaus.

By 2005, Badwan, Cowan and Webb recruited Hayward and Spurgeon to fill out the band’s lineup, and reportedly their first rehearsal together featured two covers — The Sonics’ “The Witch” and Screaming Lord Sutch’s “Jack the Ripper,” interpreted in the tradition of previous garage rock covers such as those by The Fuzztones, The Gruesomes and others. Interestingly enough, their 2007 debut effort, Strange House featured the garage rock take on “Jack the Ripper” as its opening track; however, it was the band’s first two singles “Sheena Is a Parasite” and “Death at the Chapel” that caught the attention of both the national press and fans. Since then the band’s four full-length albums 2007’s Strange House, 2009’s Primary Colours, 2011’s Skying and 2014’s Luminous have all charted within the UK Top 40 — with Primary Colours, Skying and Luminous receiving international attention.

V, the London-based indie rock quintet’s fifth full-length album is slated for a September 22. 2017 release through Wolftone Records/Caroline Records and while being the band’s first batch of material in three years, the Paul Epworth-produced album finds the band experimenting and expanding upon the sound that won them attention both nationally and internationally. And as you’ll hear on the album’s first official single “Machine,” the band incorporates elements of the Manchester sound — in particular, Evil Heat-era Primal Scream, the industrial electronica of Nine Inch Nails and Earthling-era David Bowie while retaining the band’s rousing and anthemic hooks; but by far, the song may be among the most swaggering and assertive songs of their growing catalog, as well as a bold and decidedly different direction for the band.