Reigning Sound

Reigning Sound

Reigning Sound

(Memphis, USA // Merge Records)

The band’s principal songwriter/member is Greg Cartwright, who’s been leading the shifting cast of characters since 2001. You may be familiar with some of the band’s work, as this album is preceded by five studio efforts as well as numerous EPs and live records.

Or perhaps some of Greg’s other projects have been on your musical radar: The Oblivians, Parting Gifts, Compulsive Gamblers, 68 Comeback, Deadly Snakes, Detroit Cobras.

Regardless, as far as Reigning Sound is concerned, this is as good a place to start as any because through many line-up changes and mood swings, the central, constant feature is the way Greg writes songs.

This particular embodiment of the band includes longtime keyboardist Dave Amels, who joined the band twelve years ago when Reigning Sound recorded an album, consisting mostly of Cartwright’s songs, with former Shangri-Las lead singer Mary Weiss.

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Acid Dad

Acid Dad

Acid Dad

(New York, USA // Greenway Records, The Reverberation Appreciation Society (Levitation))

Acid Dad is an American alternative-rock band composed of singer-guitarists, Vaughn Hunt and Sean Fahey, and drummer, Trevor Mustoe. Vaughn first started recording the band in his Bushwick, NY basement releasing singles “Brain Body” and their first EP “Let’s Plan a Robbery.” Appearing live in the New York City rock scene in 2016, Acid Dad quickly moved to a world stage with their self-titled debut album, released by Greenway Records in 2018.

During 2020, the band spent their time building a new studio space in Queens, NY, while continuing to independently produce all their own music, art and even building their own guitars. With a new space and vision, the band produced their second LP, “Take It From The Dead,” set to be co-released in June 2021 by Brooklyn’s Greenway Records and psych powerhouse LEVITATION’s label, The Reverberation Appreciation Society.

“Take It From The Dead” features an array of different influences ranging from 90’s neo-psych, modern post-punk and 70’s rock-n-roll. Acid Dad has crafted a record that sounds new, yet feels nostalgic. In contrast to their earlier work, they make use of slower tempos and expand their sound to include songs that are both more intricate and more hypnotic. To accompany the new record, the band spent the last year collaborating with video artist Webb Hunt, producing psych and glitch art videos that form a visual counterpart to the dreamy distortions of their sound.

Acid Dad is Vaughn Hunt (guitars and vocals), Sean Fahey (guitars and vocals) and Trevor Mustoe (drums).

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Pachyman

Pachyman

Pachyman

(Los Angeles, USA // ATO Records )

Welcome to newest signing Pachyman, the LA-based one-man dub band of multi-instrumentalist Pachy García, who will release his new album The Return of Pachyman on August 13. García hails from San Juan, Puerto Rico, where he grew up immersed in the music of local reggae heroes Cultura Profética and classic Jamaican dub records from King Tubby and Scientist. After relocating to Los Angeles, he fell in with the weekly Echo Park reggae night Dub Club and began creating his own dub music, influenced by the Caribbean sounds of his youth, and recording guitar, bass, drums, and piano in his basement studio. García began to organically build an enthused following among the reggae community and was recently given the 2021 Discovery Award at this year’s Latin Alternative Music Conference (LAMC)

Today Pachyman shares the album’s first summery single “Big Energy” accompanied by a video showing him at work in his home studio. García started posting home performance videos at the beginning of the pandemic and got so many responses from people saying the clips cheered them up that he started seeing the goal of the project to radiate good energy and give his audience something to disconnect from the negativity of the world. García describes “Big Energy” as “Minimalism and repetition. A small moment to reflect about the space between music and listener while the rhythm instruments sparsely introduce themselves. The perfect send off track to the beginning of an adventure. A palette cleanser if you will. An ode to Scientist and Roots Radics, the perfect combination.”

 

Silver Synthetic

Silver Synthetic

Silver Synthetic

(New Orleans, USA // Third Man Records)

In the midst of the thick New Orleans summer of 2017, Chris Lyons of garage punks Bottomfeeders found himself sitting on a small batch of songs that didn’t quite fit the fuzzed-out pileups of that band. The new songs were more chiming, driving but relaxed, full of little corners begging to be filled with classic pop harmonies and wayward country licks. He called in his trusted confidants: Bottomfeeders drummer and longtime musical partner Lucas Bogner—the two started playing music together at the tender age of 15—plus bassist Pete Campanelli, and Kunal Prakash (Jeff the Brotherhood) dug the songs and signed on, and the quartet started playing in earnest, hunkering down in the practice space.

By the time the band played its first gig in late 2018 at the opening of Nola’s ManRay Records, the songs had multiplied and the members of the newly christened Silver Synthetic had become genuine rock & roll craftsmen. In a world that doesn’t seem capable of swaying, Silver Synthetic’s self-titled debut shakes and boogies.

It makes sense that the band’s first gig was in a record shop ‘cause folks, this is record nerd-core in a major way, evocative of the LP’s first golden era, as the late sixties oozed into the strange 1970s, with the requisite T-Rex stomps, Britfolk twists and turns, and dueling Verlaine/Lloyd guitars. It’s about warmth, and you can practically smell the gently glowing amp tubes on “In the Beginning,” which wafts along on a gust borrowed from Lou Reed’s beatific Coney Island Baby breeziness. With “Chasm Killer,” the boys lean into jammy heartland rock, almost approaching Silver Bullet Band territory at one point! Even when the band kicks into charging lean rock-n-roller, like on the Kinksy “Around the Bend,” there’s a laid-backness that allows more room for the spirit. You could call Silver Synthetic rock & roll formalists, but the truth is they’re more like minimalists, stripping away tired clutter and unnecessary bloat and just zooming in on the essential.

 

Grave Flowers Bongo Band

Grave Flowers Bongo Band

Grave Flowers Bongo Band

(Los Angeles, USA // Castle Face Records)

“With a darkish, distorted sound, Grave Flowers Bongo Band blends the scuzzy psychedelia of the late 60s with the uncooked energy of the scene that birthed the primary punks, then washing it within the sun-kissed leather-based sheen of contemporary L.A.” Castle Face Records

Los Angeles’ Grave Flowers Bongo Band’s sophomore LP “Strength of Spring” is an inverted pyramid balanced on the headstock of an acoustic guitar, a rainbow painted in campfire smoke, an endless staircase circling into the clouds. That acoustic guitar, perfectly captured here by Ty Segall’s excellently sere and close mic’d production, plays skeleton to these conjurors woolly grooves, and singer Gabe Flores’ thousand-yard moan keeps us guessing as to exactly where this wildebeest is headed. He pinions these far out tunes, which burst generously with shit-hot guitar leads, Stoogeseque sax squalls, and a gaggle of great eight-armed drum fills, with a flinty wrist-flicking heartbeat as the band turns from whimsy to nimble riffery on a dime, following that pied-piper six string jangling down many lovely rabbit-holes of melody and exploration. It’s obvious these guys play together a lot (the lineup shares two members with acclaimed space rockers Hoover III to boot) and the telepathy on display here is synapse-snappy. Coursing throughout is that note-pad filling, lighter raising, undefinable black magic that feels so rare these days….we dig it mightily and we think you will too, it’s out on Castle Face Records April 30th.

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