Thursday, November 11, 2010

Looming Clouds

There have been at least three classic releases on the garage revival scene this year, and they're all by bands I haven't previously been familiar with.

First, and probably the the most criminally overlooked by me, is San Diego's The Loons. One look at the Vox and Rickenbacker wielding musicians on the cover could tell you that. And it gets worse when you find out they're a veritable super-group led by Mike Stax of The Tell-Tale Hearts (and the equally great Crawdaddy's and The Hoods, as well as being the editor of Ugly Things magazine since 1983!). In fact all the members streamed together from previous obligations in other bands around 1995. Having been on the scene for 15 years, this is still only their third effort. If all three bands in this post have to be pinned down to the sound of one year, these guys definitely have the '66 sound of Love and The Pretty Things nailed. All the songs are solid garage-psych, and in fact Glen Ross Campbell of The Misunderstood plays on a couple. I don't really have to divulge any more since the whole album is available on Spotify, unless you want to buy it from Bomp! of course. Oh,and if you like it you definitely have to listen to The Higher States' two LPs.

The strangely named Frowning Clouds however, are a bunch of fresh-faced kids from Australia. With two fantastic eps behind them, they now have a longplayer out on classic Aussie garage label Off the Hip. Listen Closelier sounds as authentically '65 as anything recorded at Toe Rag. Going straight for the r'n'b sound of The Rolling Stones and early garage groups like The Eyes, they manage to sound completely derivative yet somehow still magically exciting.

The Magnificent Brotherhood out of Berlin, are definitely the most psychedelic of this lot. Building on the reputation of 2008's acclaimed self-titled debut and a live lp, the release party for new album Dope Idiots was held only a few weeks ago. It sounds like they've found The Music Machine's fuzz pedal and a Vox Continental organ that The Doors scrapped in 1967, and the results are anything but mediocre. The album is self-released on green vinyl and can be picked up from their shop.

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