Keeping it Cali. I have to say even though many consider Brooklyn the most active area for up and coming indie bands, there have been a plethora of great acts coming out of the Golden State in the last few years that aren’t just riding the buzz you can catch by merely residing in the hipster capitol of the world. Long Beach garage rockers Crystal Antlers are like many of their West Coast contemporaries in that the swirling psychedelia of the mid-late 60′s heavily informs their aesthetic. For many the direct origins of what your hearing in this young band would be the 13th Floor Elevators, but Crystal Antlers have expanded on that style and give a nod to another seminal 60′s proto-punk band, The Velvet Underground. The droning and walls of noise they produce are much grander in scale, as is the natural progression of any style. I mean where can you go after Sonic Youth? It obviously has to be slightly louder, slightly noisier, slightly more abrasive.
Listen to “A Thousand Eyes” off their 2008 self-titled EP, Crystal Antlers.
If you live in the Southwest make sure to catch the band as they join Sleepy Sun for six of the shows on their tour. The dates are below:
- 03/08 Los Angeles, CA—Echo
- 03/10 Scottsdale – AZ – The Rogue Bar
- 03/11 Santa Fe, NM – VFW Hall
- 03/12 El Paso,TX – Low Brow Palace
- 03/13 San Antonio, TX – The Korvoa Basement
- 03/18 Dallas, TX – Club Dada – BRO FEST
So from melody driven bands carrying the essence of psychedelia and the spirit of California, we will shift gears to bands whose psychedelia is more overt, heavier and darker. The first time I posted about Sleepy Sun, the song was one of their lighter, more acoustic based tunes, that definitely draws from the same vibe as Devendra Banhart’s freak-folk. Unlike Banhart, who primarily stays in that zone, Sleepy Sun leans more on rock, yet it differs from Howlin’ Rain, Blitzen Trapper and The Mother Hips as it’s ties to blues and other roots styles is much less direct. The sound is obscured by more stylistic use of effects and darker tones.
Below is a trailer that shows the band hard at work in a studio in the iconic desert near Joshua Tree. They are gearing up to release their third studio album, Spine Hits, on Tuesday, April 10th. I heard about this first from the nice folks over at Relix. From what we hear in this brief clip, it sounds as if the band is pushing their sound in slightly different direction. It will be really interesting to see if it retains enough of their core, while incorporating enough new ground to be a success.
The band will be touring the country in anticipation and support of the new album. Here are some dates in the Northeast:
- Apr 08 : Bowery Ballroom – New York, NY
- Apr 09 : Glasslands Gallery – Brooklyn, NY
- Apr 10 : Mercury Lounge – New York, NY
- Apr 11 : North Star Bar – Philadelphia, PA
- Apr 12 : Church of Boston – Boston, MA
- Apr 13 : Monkey House – Burlington, VT
The complete tour list can be found here.