The growing psych rock scene in Austin is largely attributable to the popularity of the Black Angels and the efforts of the Reverberation Appreciation Society (Austin Psych Fest) who produced the Psychic Ills at Red 7 last Thursday. The show featured local, psych rock outfits Deep Space and Holy Wave along with Ringo Deathstarr. The requisite, acid-influenced visuals were beamed onto the stage from projectors positioned in the rear of the venue, but it was the music that drew a few hundred music fans to the event.
Deep Space kicked off the performance with a distortion heavy performance featuring some impressive guitar licks from frontman, Robbie D. Love. Love was entertaining to watch on stage, crouching his angular frame near the edge of the stage to show off his solo skills. The band's set-up is fairly standard for a psych rock act, guitar, bass, keyboard, drums and a second percussionist banging on a tom much like Black Angels. Indeed, you can hear the Angels' influence in their music. Love employs heavy reverb on his vocal mic that compliments his adventurous guitar solos over tribal drum beats.
Next up was Holy Wave a psych-rock act leans towards the classic surf-pyschedelia sound pioneered by legends like Dick Dale who you may recall was featured on Tarantino's, "Pulp Fiction" soundtrack. Holy Wave takes the sound a step further, employing shoegaze elements which mean fuzzy guitar and some adventurous keyboards. Since moving to Austin from El Paso, the band has gained popularity among Austin music fans.
The Reverberation Appreciation Society is behind Holy Wave’s “Evil Hits” which compiles 5 tracks from the band’s 2011 LP “Knife Hits” and all 5 tracks off their 2012 EP “The Evil Has Landed”. "Evil Hits" will precede their upcoming LP to be released in April of this year. Have a listen to "Knife Hits" here.
Holy Wave hits the road for a national tour March 7 in Denton, returning for a single date April 28 at Austin Psych Fest before heading back on tour.
Ringo Deathstarr was a welcome late addition to the lineup after Christian Bland and the Revelators had to bow out. While not a psych-rock act, Ringo Deathstarr has gained a strong following in Japan playing a hybrid of shoegaze and alternative rock. They return to Japan again in April after a 101X Homegrown Live show at Holy Mountain on March 1 followed by an appearance on March 15 in Austin during SXSW.
The three-piece act is fun to watch with bassist, Alex Gehring and guitarist, Elliot Frazier trading duties on vocals while drummer Daniel Coburn energetically keeping a driving rhythm. Stream some of their music from their bandpage on Facebook. Notable tracks include "Rip" and "So High".
See national and local psych rock acts at this year's Austin Psych Fest, April 26-28. The lineup this year is impressive with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Black Angels, Ravonettes, Deerhunter and Warpaint already announced.
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