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Sonic Bloom
Night Beats Samuel A Smith , October 9th, 2013 01:19

The blessed soils of Seattle are vibrating with filthy fuzz and good psych love, my friends. Raising zombie flower children from pushing up mushrooms in shallow graves, Night Beats return with their second LP Sonic Bloom, unshackled on Austin Psych Fest's Reverberation Appreciation Society.

Still looking and sounding like the bastard sons of a maniac cowboy and native American princess conceived on moonshine and peyote, they epitomise the seedier, more demonic side of psychedelia, often creeping hollow-eyed in to the shadowy cobwebbed crevices of garage. The echoing incantations of Danny Lee Blackwell squealed something like the self-transforming machine elves who often greeted Terence McKenna in his inter-dimensional DMT odysseys, this will surely make your little legs twist and shake and skinny arms flail like Ol'Cedric Bixler-Zavala in the throes of a manic episode... if you are that way inclined.

Rumours alluded to a change in their creative navigation on this second offering, though I can't help pretty much hearing more of the same sounds last encountered on 2011's self-titled debut. I refrain from disappointment and so should you. Slightly less frenzied, slightly more polished sonic fuckfest, still drenched in sweat and reverb, with the occasional, slightly more soulful pillow talk between the more sensitive members of the orgy. No matter. The erotic ethos remains.

Currently the relative offspring of an ever erupting psych scene orchestrated by the likes of tour mates and collaborators The Black Angels (See UFO Club - Christian Bland and Blackwell), and saviour labels like Trouble in Mind, Burger Records, and Sacred Bones, Night Beats remain on steady ascent, careering through purple and pinkish hued skies on a screeching piece of molten rock, waving happily at their lame and land bound inferiors.

Honestly, they had me at the first tremolo, and Tarek Wegner's inebriated heartbeat bass-lines on the title track induced visions of a swaying silhouette of some fallen deity under cheap red light, come to tear my heart from my chest and go to bed with my bestest friend.

They come across as a grittier version of 60s Texans, 13th Floor Elevators and the great Sky Saxon, while a fondness for Sam Cooke can be heard on tracks like 'Real Change'. The tempered shoegaze of 'Catch a Ride to Sonic Bloom' feels strangely more nostalgic than most, complete with Eastern drones and twinkles that would make Anton Newcombe weep with pride. On 'At The Gates' you may even hear some jazz...

"I've seen the future, I've seen the past" are the first words howled on this record. I've heard both and I'm glad.