Tuesday, March 27, 2012
The Single Life - 7" of Fun- Featuring Dinosaur Eyelids and American Sun
Do you remember the feeling that snuck up on you the first time you got high? You know – “what the fuck is happening?” quickly followed by, “Where is my mind going?” and the ever popular, but unstoppable, “Why am I so damn hungry all of a sudden?”. Yah, that feeling. Only, this time it’s called déjà “VU’s”. Reach for the Doritos mate. Welcome to Dinosaur Eyelids.
I love it when a new song leaps off the player and slaps my eardrums silly. These Joisee natives got it goin’ on (what the hell is in the water in the garden state anyway?!) with their Dick Dale surf roots sensibility embedded firmly in their upbeat desert sound and arrangements. Much respect for actually doing their homework and not getting caught up in that seductive, commercial riptide trying to surf/coat tail ride a current bullshit pop metal trend (just mentioning the notion gives me the willies).
"21 Gram Salute" emerges from the frothy tide with a very laid back, “not-in-a-rush-to-impress”, cool, trippy vibe. As the DE boys begin to set up camp, your earholes are tantalized by delectable lo-fi fuzzed out guitar tones that would make Josh Homme jealous. They gently slide in like James Dean on a first date with the prom queen in the back of her Daddy’s Buick. The impish boyish brash vocal hallmarks of Evan Staats offer up more than a hint of shit disturbing mischievousness. Lyrically, they paint message driven, but mind expansive scenes of epic psychedelic political proportions. Not willing to sit comfortably in one place (gadzooks!... how “unstonerlike”) the lads pull back to a cresting vocal run over a constantly evolving way cool headspace. Then out of nowhere… BOOM! The band smartly pulls back and blows their collective sonic load all over their Orange amps and Big Muff/Cry baby stuffed pedal boards and respond with a PUNISHING chorus! Suddenly, they switch gears again and slip into a ska/reggae-like tripped out vibe that chills comfortably right in the middle of the track, augmented by some vintage keys. Odd, I know. But does it work? You bet chur sweet bibby it does. To their credit, it fits perfectly with the overall feel of the song. They execute another seamless transition and then WHAMO!.. the trademark blowtorch riff comes roaring back matched by just as equally urgent vox. Sweet guitar/pedal combo work flourishes throughout this kick ass little ditty. The song eventually hits (remember, they’re in no rush) the final rich head rush reprieve and ends with a big finish, like they’re headlining some DesertStonerBongFest to 10,000 peaked hukkaheads.
If you love all things desert stoner with a hint of alt college garage grunge tint and a dollop of surf you’re in the right place. Despite the unpredictable, devious attitude that lingers in their sound, Dinosaur Eyelids demonstrates a maturity and focus in their song craft when it comes to knowing themselves, their sound and where they want to roll (so to speak) with it. Their bio reads “their sound is like the Replacements being molested by Soundgarden”. More like Weezer getting schooled by Nirvana.
Dinosaur Eyelids is singer Evan Staats, guitarist Patrick McKnight, bassist Scott Staats and drummer Dan Fishtein.
Don't know why, but the thought of an all-female heavy psych band just sounds cool to me. Sure, all-female bands aren't that much of a rarity anymore, but most of them ply a garage-y punk or pop vein. There's been a few in the metal mind (like Girl School) and there's been women in doom (Undersmile) and stoner (Sahara Surfers amongst other) but Stoner/heavy psych/doom is such a male dominated field. It just sounded cool.
So when the band contacted me and asked if I'd be interested in checking out their new 3-track 7", I jumped at the chance quicker than a pyromaniac being asked to attend a fireworks convention. And I'm damn glad I did.
Based in Brooklyn, American Sun originally formed in October of 2010 by Holly Overton, Jess Poplawski, and Diana Potakh. They cite influences like T-Rex, CCR, She, Cock Sparrer, Motorhead, Christian Death and The Kinks. And that's pretty much what we're talking about here. Not heavy in the doom sense, this is still a 3-track golden nugget of fuzzed out psychedelia, played perfectly and doused in the heavy acrid smoke of multiple bongs being hit at the same time. I'd probably toss a few other names onto that list like The Runaways, Baby Woodrose, and some garage noise like Dead Moon. Let's even toss Siouxsie and the Banshees in there, at least as a vocal influence and you'll get the picture.
Guitars chime or fuzz or buzz over looping basslines and steady beats. No song really tears it up as the Motorhead reference may imply, but still each moves along in it's own haze of fuzzy bliss. Christian Death is there in the mood and tone, which never rises above a darkened horizon. Which is a really cool contradiction to some of the rather sweet harmonizing the ladies do. There's something familiar in this whole set, yet not derivative. "American Sun" "Poor Girl" and "Indian Morning" all take their place comfortably next to your stack of Lorenzo Woodrose discs, with "Poor Girl" being the heaviest with that mutated bass.
Classy garage fuzzed psych pop. But don't let me tell you about it, check it out below. And download for free at Bandcamp