Jacco Gardner just put out the second single called, ‘Hypnophobia’, off his upcoming album which will be released May 5th. I think it could be his trippiest song yet. The song slowly builds momentum with layers upon layers of trippy sound effects fading in. The tension builds as the rhythmic tom drums build and then breaks suddenly for Jacco Gardner to define hypnophobia, “The riddles of your dreams at night/are answered by holy light/memories and moments fade away/forget the things you see before you wake”. Jacco then directs the song into a full blown psychedelic jam that lasts for almost the entire remainder of the song. Queue more psychedelics! Unleash the synthesizers! Hypnotize with pulsating drum and bass! And then stop, remind the listener what Hypnophobia is.
Tame Impala never ceases to amaze me. Depending on how far you let yourself go into the internet wormhole, you’ll find half a dozen or more bands (ex: Pond) and side projects associated to the group. The members of Tame Impala have music oozing out of their souls. So much so that they can’t stop putting out amazing music. It’s massively inspiring to listen to all of their material because it’s evidence that each member is in love with music and their craft. They’re not doing it for the fortune or fame, although, they’re on their way to it, and deservedly so. They’re doing it because they have to.
Today’s feature is GUM, which is Jay Watson’s (former drummer, current keyboardist/guitarist) solo project. It sounds like you’ve been transported into Jay’s brain and are floating along in his rock n roll dreamscapes. But don’t get too used to GUM’s current sound. In a recent interview, Jay Watson said his second album will sound a lot different, less retro rock, with more original sounding electronic and dance music.
Listen to ‘Growin’ Up’…
Listen to the full album, 2014’s Delorean Highway…
Naomi Punk are, in the most general terms, a hard rock trio from Olympia, Washington, that don’t quite sound like anyone else. The interplay between guitarists, Neil Gregorson and Travis Coster, backed by the jagged and angular drumming by Nick Luempert create a sound unique to Naomi Punk. But, depending on the site, you’ll see them compared to Nirvana, The Wipers, Beat Happenings and Sonic Youth. And while it’s generally not a bad thing to be compared or influenced by great bands like the ones above, I’m not sure it’s a fair comparison. The only thing they really have in common is their geographic location (Sonic Youth excluded).
Jackson Scott released the third single, ‘Ripe for Love’, off his upcoming album, Sunshine Redux, which will be released April 28th. It could be the best song he’s put out to date. It’s exciting to watch and listen to young, up and coming, artists, like Jackson, grow and evolve into better and better songwriters. ‘Ripe for Love’ elevates Jackson Scott to the next level and if the remaining tracks off his new album are anything like the first three he’s put out then it will solidify his spot amongst the elite in the DIY, independent, music scene.
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard released the second single and animated video for ’The River’, off their upcoming album, Quarters. It’s a ten minute long psychedelic jazzy jam session that continues the mellow vibe that the first single, ‘God Is In The Rhythm’, started us out with.
METZ put out the second single off their upcoming album called ‘Spit You Out’. It continues down the deliberately brutal and pulverizing path that they’ve laid for themselves and grows the anticipation for their follow up to their brilliant first album. Their sophomore album is expected to be released on May 5th, so mark your calendars!
The Third Bardo would only record five songs in their brief time together, but only two would be released in 1967, single ‘I’m Five Years Ahead Of My Time’, and B-side ‘Rainbow Life’. ‘Five Years Ahead Of My Time’ would get a little play on east coast radio, but would be pulled due to perceived drug references that singer Jeff Monn would deny. Thirty three years would pass until the remaining three tracks and alternate recording of ‘Rainbow Life’ would be released. It’s a shame the group wasn’t able to put out more material because the five songs they did record are near perfect psychedelic garage rock songs.
Listen to ‘I’m Five Years Ahead Of My Time’…
Listen to the EP released in 2000 with the entire catalog of songs recorded…
The Electric Prunes were a psychedelic garage rock band from Los Angeles that formed in 1965 and disbanded before the decade would end. The original lineup would only be fully involved for their first two albums. The first is one of the best named psychedelic records ever, I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night), but only featured two songs written by the group. The second, Underground, allowed for about half of the album’s tracks to be penned by the band. It’s always interesting when researching bands from the past. You never know how much of the material was written for the band to perform and how much was written by the band themselves. It’s also interesting when you find out that a prominent songwriter and rock n roller from the past several decades, Joe Walsh, wrote a few songs for a band like the Electric Prunes.
The songs written by the band on 1967’s Underground were good ones and it’s a shame the original lineup wasn’t able to continue evolving their sound and songwriting ability. One of the best examples is the classic ‘Wind-Up Toys’.
Tame Impala just released their second single of their upcoming album called ‘Cause I’m a Man’. It’s a slower, sexy, baby making tune that is completely different from the first single and dance romper they released called ‘Let it Happen’. It’s making it hard to get a sense of what to expect from the upcoming record. It feels like it’ll be very different from anything Kevin Parker has put out to date, which makes me super excited to hear it.
Captain Beyond established themselves in 1972 with former members of legendary rock bands, Deep Purple, Iron Butterfly and Johnny Winter. The group consisted of singer Rod Evans, Bobby Caldwell on drums, guitarist Larry Rheinhart and Lee Dorman on Bass. In 1972, Captain Beyond released their self titled debut of progressive, hard, space rock. Fans of the aforementioned groups above will have a sense of what to expect listening to the album. While the album has it’s ups and downs, listening to it with the right attitude can be very rewarding. The album features next level musicianship that only a few bands today are able to match.
Listen to ‘Dancing Madly Backwards (On a Sea of Air)’…
The Pretty Things were formed by Dick Taylor and Phil May in 1963. Dick Taylor had been playing with Mick Jagger in a band called Little Boy Blue and the Blue Boys and later played bass in The Rolling Stones with Mick, Keith Richards, Brian Jones and Ian Stewart. Dick Taylor left the Rolling Stones after a short period of time because he was tired of playing bass and wanted to focus on art. Dick Taylor met Phil May while attending art school and formed The Pretty Things. Fast forward a few years and The Pretty Things release S.F. Sorrow, a quintessential psychedelic rock record that features some of the best sounding fuzz guitar that the psychedelic rock revival groups of today would kill to recapture.
Frank Maston is a multi-instrumentalist from Southern California who writes, records, produces and releases music under his last name, Maston. In 2013, Maston put out an album called Shadows that will transport your mind to a psychedelic dreamworld full of wonder and color, and where things are just a little bit fucked up. In addition to putting out his own music, Frank Maston tours with Jacco Gardner, another staple of psychedelic music.
March was an awesome month for music. Tame Impala, Thee Oh Sees, JEFF The Brotherhood, Mikal Cronin and King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard released killer new singles. Mini Mansions released a near perfect album with The Great Pretenders and Wand came out of no where with one of the best, face melting, albums (Golem) I’ve heard in a long time. Last but not least, Helvetia released the fantastic and previously lost recordings for A Dot Running For The Dust.
Stream the mixtape of what was good in March below…
1. Wand – Self Hypnosis in 3 Days
2. Thee Oh Sees – Maze Fancier
3. Hawkwind – Silver Machine
4. Lumerians – Black Tusk
5. JEFF the Brotherhood – In My Dreams
6. Tame Impala – Let It Happen
7. Mini Mansions – Vertigo
8. Makeout Videotape – FUTURE BOY
9. David Vandervelde – Nothin’ No
10. Nic Armstrong & The Thieves – It’s a Still Life
11. Doug Tuttle – Better Days (Wool’s Grown Lighter)
12. Margo Guryan – Sun
13. Mikal Cronin – The Way Things Go
14. Diane Coffee – Green
15. Helvetia – We are the Vegetables
16. Alex Calder – Strange Dreams
17. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Stressin’
Doug Tuttle is a former member of the psychedelic rock band MMOSS, which he founded with, then girlfriend, Rachel Neveu. Sadly, the relationship wasn’t meant to be and the band was broken up. Heartbroken, Doug retreated to a former woodshop and started writing and recording songs by himself on a Tascam 388. After he had twenty songs under his belt he narrowed it down to the eleven tracks on the album. Doug Tuttle’s self titled debut was released on Trouble in Mind records in January 2014. Which, alongside label mates Jacco Gardner and Morgan Delt, is an excellent collection of psychedelic rock songs.
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard can’t seem to stop putting out awesome psychedelic music. In fact, they’re putting out another record in May called Quarters, only 6 months after the epic, I’m in Your Mind Fuzz. The first song they’ve released so far is ‘God Is In The Rhythm’, which has been edited down from 10+ minutes to a cool 3:45 minutes. It reminds me of the track ‘Stressin’ off of the album, Oddments, which was released only 8 months before I’m in Your Mind Fuzz. I can’t wait to hear the rest of Quarters, especially after having my face melted so hard by I’m in Your Mind Fuzz.
David Vandervelde is a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer from West Michigan and he’s been putting out solo records since 2007. David recorded his first full length, The Moonstation House Band, almost entirely by himself in Jay Bennett’s, formerly of Wilco, studio. As such, he was able to use a lot of the same gear that Wilco used while recording Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and Being There. The Moonstation House Band sounds as if Marc Bolan, David Bowie and Gene Clark melted together and became one, as David Vandervelde, to record a perfectly crafted rock n roll album. Oh and did I mention that he was only 19 years old when he recorded this album?
Mini Mansions released their fantastic sophomore album called, The Great Pretenders, today. This is what pop music should aspire to be. Extremely catchy, insanely creative, an obvious attention to detail and a little on the dark side. It’ll be interesting to see how much air play Mini Mansions will get from this album. It’s definitely more accessible and radio-friendly than their self titled debut, which is not a bad thing. Especially ‘Vertigo’, a sexy dance number, which features Alex Turn from the Arctic Monkeys. And for those of you who like beautiful topless women you’ll want to check out the video for ‘Vertigo’. Mini Mansions also enlisted the Brian Wilson to lay down vocals on ‘Any Emotion’, which fits this record perfectly. As you listen you’ll be sure to hear elements of David Bowie, T. Rex, the Beach Boys and of course a little Queens of the Stone Age, of which, Michael Shuman plays bass in.
I’m trying to put the pieces of my mind back together after listening to the new Wand album. It is so unbelievably good. This is the type of album that will be the only one in your rotation for the first few days or weeks after your first listen. Something that’s rare in today’s mp3, mixtape, internet, culture. Golem will melt your face off with a masterful blend of heavy fuzzed out riffs, screaming guitar solos, psychedelic effects, and Cory Thomas Hanson’s effected vocals. Right now, you can stream the whole album on YouTube, but not sure how long that will last. There doesn’t seem to be another way to stream at the moment so get in there as soon as you can.
Alex Calder is from the same country as Bob and Doug McKenzie, where they make Strange Brews and Wayne Gretzkys. A few years ago Alex played drums in Makeout Videotape with Mac DeMarco. After Makeout Videotape’s brief history, Alex began writing and recording his own songs and in January of this year Captured Tracks put out his first full length album. It’s called, Strange Dreams, and I don’t think there are two words that could more perfectly describe what this album sounds like and that’s what makes me like it the most. My favorite song off the album, and probably one of the most accessible, is ‘Strange Dreams’. It’s catchy as hell.
Gringo Star hail from Atlanta, Georgia and practice their own brand of psychedelic garage pop music. If held to the fire and forced to draw comparisons, and excluding age, one could say that Gringo Star sound like King Khan, Black Lips and The Growlers got together, made sweet passionate love on top of a couple of spaghetti western records and popped out Gringo Star. In all seriousness, they write great songs that will put you in a great mood and will have you singing your precious little hearts out. In 2013, they released Floating Out To See and one of my favorite tracks is ‘Look For More’.