Posts Tagged ‘Surf Rock’

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Los Angeles based 60’s Garage Band: “Live for FUZZ, Strive for Authenticity”

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Melbourne’s most popular (and prolific) psychedelic exports are back with their sixth studio album, “Quarters!”

First up, a quick look at the track listing intriguingly shows that all 4 songs are exactly 10:10 minutes each… and similar to “I’m in Your Mind Fuzz”, which charged along with song after song that bled from one to the other, it appears that King Gizzard have come up with another concept album.

“The River” Is a bit of a casual waltz accompanied by some light washy drums that tap along throughout, and while it does go for a lengthy amount of time it never once becomes tedious. A funk-like strum from a bright guitar sets the pace, and also gives the song a slightly syncopated rhythm. But it’s the singer’s vocals which roll along in harmony to playful little guitar trills, that also remind me a little of folk inspired prog rock artists like Jethro Tull or early Genesis: with a voice that gently raises in accentuation as the chorus tumbles out in playful iambic pentameter.

This opening track briskly moves forward with purpose and never falls into the trap that many psych epics often do, which usually involves overindulging in unnecessary long solos drowned in pedal effects. Or in the case of some prog rock bands: stumbling upon a newly discovered rhythm and then fixating on it to the point where it sounds like they’re just teasing out all the various combinations, through the process of elimination. In that sense, “The River” doesn’t feel like the band have just recorded a jam session in the short space between albums. Instead it sounds to me like they’ve gone into this one with a vision and then meticulously pieced it all together. Even though it still retains the usual feeling of spontaneity (to be expected from the unpredictable King Gizzard), it’s the little touches like a gentle bongo roll, or the howl of a harmonica that really give the songs depth and hint that it’s all been thoughtfully planned out.

Come track two and King Gizzard return to a familiar spacey-sitar sound reminiscent of the song “Float Along – Fill your Lungs”, as well as a lazy little guitar twang straight from “Eyes like the Sky”. As soon as the song begins the listener is slowly lifted up by the rising of a Shepard’s tone, and then sprinkled throughout the rest of the track lay little sound effects such as the ringing of a cash register, the crying of a baby, or neighing of a horse. These little inserts could have easily smothered the song by giving it the appearance of being too ‘busy’, but each is tucked so neatly and carefully, one after the other, that it never gets to the point where it overwhelms, instead working well by adding more character to the song.

Consistent throughout the album is the soft gentle volume at which it is presented. This almost feels like it has been done to lift the singer’s intentionally strained voice which whispers indifferent ramblings of cryptic verse. In “God is in the Rhythm” the breakdowns really calm the mood in the style of a 50’s slow dance, whereby each instrument is gradually stripped down one at a time to the point t,where he song feels like it’s going to fade out and disappear, before the strum of the guitar sweeps back in, and the song returns in full swing.

After having made your way through most of the album and to the last track, King Gizzard finishes “Quarters!” with an audible trip of the psychedelic fare most have come to know them for. Overall this song exudes a Doors like vibe, but it’s the guitar effects that remind me very much of Vincent Bell’s – Soundtronic with that “watery sound” he managed to squeeze out with his custom-made line of electric sitars, and it just goes to show King Gizzard have an an almost inexhaustible bag of new tricks always at the ready.

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard's photo.

In just over a year King Gizzard have now released four full length albums including this one, and it’s just now that I’ve come to realise that each has been a spontaneous attempt to bravely let loose their collective creativity, without feeling the need to cater to any specific sound. The fact that seven members have managed to co-ordinate themselves to produce four totally different and unique albums in such a short space of time is a feat in itself, but to do so, and still come up with something vibrant, yet coherent is even more amazing.

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For me the exciting thing about a new King Gizzard album is knowing that another completely different one is likely just a few more months away, since I get the impression that the band is incapable of settling on any one ‘sound’. Although this album appears to be quite subdued, it is by no means lacking in any respect. In fact, I think King Gizzard are showing a little bit more maturity and direction with “Quarters!” So if you’re after a high energy album, then it’s probably best you give this one a miss for now and check out “I’m in Your Mind Fuzz” instead. But if you’re looking for something a bit more low key, yet also more involved than your average ambient background music, then “Quarters!” has enough playfulness to keep you interested for a while yet.

“Violet Woods is a Byrdsian/Spector affair, it is beautifully produced and full of well crafted pop songs. An impressive debut from Violet Woods and on the strength of this album, a band I hope I am able to check out live soon.

Violet Woods was formed in Cambridge in 2011, stemming from the desire to explore sounds of 60s London psychedelia and Nuggets style compilations. By juxtaposing the 12 string jangle of the Byrds with surf basslines and rolling beats, they impart their own take on this period while bringing it into the present with Stereolab / Broadcast flavoured retro synth vibes and ghostly vocals.

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 The New Highway Hymnal turned a number of new heads with their closing set at the Allston DIY Fest, a quintessential event for the young Boston music community. By now, the band has released one album 2012’s “Whispers,” and one EP, evolving from basement psych to trying their hand at more shoegazey realms, and will continued their summer festival tradition at the helm of Fuzzstival 2014. The band released a new single, “Television,” once again going for a new spin on their signature reverby sound. The tune is a positive reflection of the addition of new guitarist Charlie Northern (also of TeleVibes). Not only does it gain another full-bodied dimension, pushing the gazy aesthetic even further, but the band sounds more vibrant than ever, adding a more melodic, almost surfy feel, and allowing its calamitous sound to be tamed by oohs and whistles. It’s a promising sign of what is to come for NHH.

Allah-Las is an American Psychedelic Rock band from Los Angeles, California, United States, formed in 2008. The band consists of Matthew Correia (percussion), Spencer Dunham (bass), Miles Michaud (vocals, guitar), and Pedrum Siadatian (lead guitar).[1] When the band got together, three of them – Correia, Dunham and Siadatian – were working at Amoeba Music.Record Store.

 

 

thefelines

The Felines are a Doo-Wop Surf Pop Rock band From Copenhagen, Denmark, formed in 2010 they Sound Like The Cramps doing a Beach Boys tribute with an extra aloof Francoise Hardy on vocals.
Recent and deserving inductees to the Copenhagen chapter of the League of Extraordinarily Cool Girl Bands, the Felines are like a fully fueled hair flip. Seriously, don’t let the doo-wop descriptor so many blogs and magazines are using fool you. More often than not, the trio dials it down to an eerie, bare-bones saunter — before suddenly amping up and layering in for a thicker sound before they smoothly fade out. If the long buildups weren’t so nonchalantly catchy, the quickness of those great heights would seem pretty tragic.

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Four years and two EPs in, bassist Asta Louisa Bjerre, guitarist Ditte Melgaard and drummer Mei Long Bao have finally wrapped up their first proper full-length release “Want”, released through German imprint Soundflat Records, same as its predecessors. This debut LP, however, is also being issued on tape through the US of A’s Burger Records basically, considering that imprint’s current representation and prestige, they’re about to be everyone’s new favorite band.
Even if that’s a bit presumptuous, it’s probable that even rock ‘n’ rollers who aren’t part of the Burger cult will succumb to the allure of The Felines’ spooky, coyly snarling vibe. The blasé badass feel is totally unrelenting throughout the album’s entirety. the band transforms familiar surf and ’60s girl group motifs into a sound that’s fresh, yet magnificently rotten. The lethargic pace and withdrawn sounding vocals make a near mockery of the easy melodies. It’s like that standoffish and mean but undeniably cool acquaintance you should hate, but you just can’t. They’re just too damn cool.

http://cabana kidsThe-Birds-_-The-Bees-Jacket_(Web)

The Cabana Kids are a New York six piece band, their new tantalising EP “The Birds and the Bees” is a five song Indie Pop Surf Rock group, the band have been stirring up a buzz locally, plus the recent acclaimed debut single “Just Let Me know” on Small Plates Records, with swirling organs acoustic guitars and gentle beats and a delicious retro feel with surf balladry, though early days this band have the potential to make a big statement.

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so far the Black Tambourines have released a few EP’s and a couple of singles and they just keep getting better superb garage rock, they describe themselves as a band that rocks and blows minds and they certainly do I only expect better things for this band,

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the second album available on The Reverberation Appreciation Society label see the band HOLY WAVE sacred surf sounding songs and garage rock with droning riffs and vocals that haunt and harmonize Fuzzy guitars and an awesome live experience