Artist: Leopold and His Fiction Album: Ain’t No Surprise File Under: Vintage Rock Recommended if You Like: The Doors, The Black Keys, White Stripes Featured Track: “Broke”
I could sit you down right now, play this entire album and tell you it was a long lost 70s re-issue from some obscure San Francisco rock band and I bet you wouldn’t bat an eye. The San Francisco trio’s sophomore release, Ain’t No Surprise, takes their love of classic rock and all things vintage and spins it into a thoroughly enjoyable album from start to finish. An amalgamation of 70s rock influences, the band concocts a stripped down, bluesy, southern-fried psych rock sound reminiscent of some of the great bands of that era – from The Doors to the Allman Brothers and Bob Dylan.
Listening to the album, it’s hard not to compare lead singer Daniel James’ gritty vocals to Jim Morrison. I swear he’s channeling Mr. Mojo Risin’ himself on “Hawk Eyes”. And with the carnival-like organ swirling through“Broke” it’s hard not to draw a comparison to The Doors. While the influences are everywhere, the band never imitates. Their sound is definitely that of a bygone era. But in this day and age of 80s synth pop revival, it’s a refreshing one.
Don’t miss Leopold and His Fiction play Bottom of the Hill March 10! To get a taste of what’s to come, check out this video of their recent performance at Sundance this year.
One of my favorite groups from last year, The Early Years, just released a single in the UK on vinyl this week. Apparently, the band has just finished recording their second album, but this is their first new material in a good while.
The two new tracks, ‘Like a Suicide’ and ‘Computer Voice‘, are available for streaming on the band’s website. I was so thrown off after sampling the tracks, I had to check three times to make sure I was on the right MySpace page. Their self-titled debut album fell squarely into the category of psych rock for me, and I loved the way David Malkinson’s voice echoed David Gilmour at times. These new tracks sound more like krautrock – not that it’s a bad thing…just different.
The A side, ‘Like A Suicide‘, is an electro, experimental number that moves into more familiar Early Years’ guitar-based territory as it progresses. ‘The Computer Voice’, is krautrock meets Jim Morrison with loud guitar, drums and vocal loops that will send your head into psychedelic dreams – definitely my favorite of the two.
I still eagerly await their second album, but until then, you should check The Early Years debut album. It’s a good one. Featured here is the video for a single they released last year, ‘So Far Gone.‘
Caution:Contact high may occur while listening to this album, especially under the influence of black lights.
Okay, this Austin-based psyche rock band definitely fits nicely into my dark and moody ‘black’ band category.The band, whose mantra is ‘Turn on, Tune in, Drone out’, has a very soul-satisfying stoner rock sound that draws references to groups like Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Doors.Lead singer Alex Maas’ vocals have an eerie resemblance to Jim Morrison, in particular.
I adore their debut album, Passover, that was released in 2006.Their new album, Directions to See a Ghost, released this a couple of months ago is a solid effort but not quite as good as their debut, in my opinion.Definitely a band worth a listen regardless. Check out this track, You on the Run, from their latest album.