If this annoying coronavirus pandemic has been good for anything, it’s at least getting me listening to some new music. Over the last few days, I’ve been spending a lot of time listening to lots of different genres (my musical taste is pretty widespread from Frank Sinatra to Freddie Gibbs to Radiohead to Green Day), but I’ve spent a particularly large amount of time listening to a French trio called...
Growing up in Richmond, Virginia, which is honestly one of the more underrated music cities on the east coast, I’ve always been pretty surrounded by a deep pop punk/indie/metal scene. Lamb of God, Gwar, Strike Anywhere and Down to Nothing are all some of the bigger acts to come out of RVA, and a lot of my friends (when they were younger) would head downtown to see shows at these super intimate venues on a pretty regular basis.
Thanks to their influence, I eventually developed a taste for the underground music scene. But instead of frequenting the hardcore shows, I eventually got really into lo-fi garage rock. Think along the lines of Bass Drum of Death, The Traditional Fools, Cheap Time and, of course, SLIFT — and thank God for the latter.
I stumbled upon SLIFT not long ago when YouTube recommended that I watch their performance on KEXP, and I’ve been hooked ever since. They’re a lot like Oh Sees (one of my favorite bands on the planet) — the perfect blend of lo-fi, psychedelic, experimental garage rock. Many of their songs run over six or seven minutes, though each of their longer tracks feel like they’re only three or four minutes long. Great music, regardless of whether you’re trying to get amped up or just need some background noise while you work on an academic paper.
SLIFT isn’t for everyone. In fact, most people would probably think their music is a little weird. But to each their own, right? I have no idea when these dudes will be touring North America, but you better believe I’ll be at one of those shows — if not more.
One of the best surf rock bands of the modern era. Quentin Tarantino circa 1994 probably would’ve been itching to use this band’s music in Pulp Fiction. It’s a near perfect fit. The late Dick Dale is certainly smiling down on these beauties.
These guys are so much fun! Their self-titled record is one of the most energetic garage punk albums I’ve heard in years. I basically fell in love with them instantly. They’re no songwriting geniuses or anything like that, but they’re a really, really fun listen.
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard
If you like bands that change their sound with every album, here you go! These guys released two albums in 2019 — one was a psychedelic blues record and its successor was a thrash metal revival record (which includes this gem). Their next album could be a bluegrass record for all I know. King Gizzard have an insane palette of sounds at their disposal, and they never let any of their experiments go to waste.
Ty Segall, along with John Dwyer, is one of the modern kings of garage rock. He is legitimately one of the best songwriters in the genre. The guy’s in an inordinate amount of musical projects (Fuzz and GØGGS being two of the more well-known ones), and it’s hard to imagine he has much time for basically anything — other than making really cool music, of course.
Didn’t really listen to Tame Impala much until just recently. Then I heard their new album and it sent me into another dimension. It’s pretty safe to say that I’ll be listening to lots of Tame Impala during this temporary period of inactivity.