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Saturday, 21 May 2016

THE GOLDEN GRASS/KILLER BOOGIE/WILD EYES/BANQUET – HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS 4-WAY SPLIT Vol.2 (Heavy Psych Sounds 2xLP, CD, D/L).

From the heavier end of Psychedelic Rock comes another 4-way split double vinyl/CD from Italian Stoner Rock, Heavy Psych and retro hard Rock label Heavy Psych Sounds (there really is no ambiguity about the label’s output here). After spacing out fiercely on the first volume, which brought together the trippy psychedelic groove of Naam, White Hills, Black Rainbows and The Flying Eyes, this new collection gives an earthier take on Psych Rock while continuing to feature some of the underground’s best up and coming acts. Showcasing four new bands heavily influenced by early 70s Psych infused heavy Rock with three tracks on one side of vinyl each, Heavy Psych Sounds 4 Way Split Vol.2 gives space to free-wheelin’ New York boogie band The Golden Grass, Italian Blue Cheer/Stooges influenced riff merchants Killer Boogie, the female fronted Californian dirty blooze band Wild Eyes and another band of SF retro rockers Banquet in an wild ride of classic retro hard Rock sounds fuelled by whisky and cheap speed.

Taking up side one of the album is free-wheelin, good-time rock and roll band The Golden Grass. They play a soulful mix of heavy-country-funk-boogie and progressive-psychedelic-freakbeat straight outta 1970…………their three tracks here include the full throttle boogie ‘Livin’ A’int Easy’ and the feel-good country-funk stomp ‘Flashing Out Of Sight’ complete with Allman Brothers-esque bottleneck slide. The standout track from their trio of tracks is an excellent cover of the 1969 hit US single from Texan Psychedelicists Bubble Puppy, ‘Hot Smoke & Sasafrass’, which shows that there is much more to this band than heads down, no nonsense boogie…….although based in New York, Golden Grass fit perfectly into the classic linage of good ole’ Southern boogie bands who used to tear the roof offa th’ mutha in Texan biker bars.
Naming your debut album “Detroit” is a bit of a giveaway to where your influences lie. Rome RiffHeads Killer Boogie take the classic late 60s/early 70s sounds of the Detroit proto Heavy Rock/Punk Rock bands The Stooges and the MC5 (along with their SF brothers in relentless volume Blue Cheer) and play it louder and faster. Their contributions to this record are three tracks of amped up nasty Retro ’n’ Roll, mixing bluesy frequencies into an extremely fuzzy sound, with psychedelic shades to add colour to the relentless sonic assault. Out of the four bands on this record, Killer Boogie are no doubt heaviest and most brutal…….a regular 3 man Altamont!!!

WILD EYES
Fronted by a soulful siren, singer Janiece Gonzalez, Wild Eyes have been described as “Blue Cheer kidnaps Tina Turner and ties her to the tracks of the Grand Funk Railroad”. From San Francisco, this amazing heavy Psychedelic Blues band, very much in the mould of bands such as Blues Pills, mix up a thunderous rhythm section with whirling guitar riffs and searing, psychedelic solos topped off with a Blues holler dripping with raw Soul……think a late 60s biker gang version of the Detroit Cobras, from the wrecking yard. All three tracks from this band are killer tunes……..the sultry ‘Long Time No See’ is from the same bluesy swampland as the Alabama Shakes but far more psychedelic and tripped out with squalling wah-wah guitar and ‘Gator Shaker’ is a high octane heavy blues where the band show off their musical chops. Making up their three tracks is a cool cover of Shocking Blue’s ‘Hot Sand’ which first appeared as the B-Side of ‘Venus’…..a killer fuzz guitar-propelled track that is probably catchier, more compact and even sexier than ‘Venus’, which Wild Eyes strip off the psychedelic embellishment and toughen it up till it is as hard as tempered steel. Above Becomes Below, Wild Eyes second album is still available from Heavy Psych Sounds and is well worth checking out.
Banquet are another fuzzed out 70's Retro Rock Psych band from San Francisco. Playing tons of shows in California and opening for bands such as Hot Lunch, Radio Moscow, Wild Eyes, Sleepy Sun, Dirty Fences, The Shrine, plus an appearance at the 2015 Psycho California Fest, they have steadily built up a solid live reputation. Banquet contribute three Heavy Psych tracks that lean more to 70s hard Rock than full blown psychedelia with the swirling ‘Starmaker’ being the standout song here.
For fans of 70s Retro Rock, what’s not to love here? Four great “Classic Rock” influenced bands over four sides of vinyl……………….Check it out RiffHeads and don’t forget to boogie!!!

Heavy Psych Sounds 4-Way Split Vol.2 is out now and is available on double vinyl, CD or as a digital download. The vinyl version comes as either a limited edition pressing on green vinyl or yer standard black vinyl and along with the CD version is available from the Heavy Psych Sounds web store…………………the digital download can be purchased from the Heavy Psych Sounds Bandcamp page at https://heavypsychsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com/album/4-way-split-2-golden-grass-killer-boogie-wild-eyes-banquet.


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