Night Beats

Sonic Bloom

Written by: BV on 24/09/2013 10:11:06

When Night Beats, a Seattle-based trio, released their debut album in 2011 the general response to it seemed positive. Some hailed the band as spearheads of a new generation of garage-psych, whilst others took satisfaction in sharing their delight over the apparent ‘Texas-psych’ influence that seemed ever-so-abundant. On their newest album, “Sonic Bloom”, it has not only become evident that the band is consistent in the deliverance of sweet garage-psych tunes – it has also become abundantly clear that they’re getting better at it.

As the tremolo guitar of the title track rumbles its way through my speakers, my mind instantly wanders towards the cocky attitude of the, to me, legendary Link Wray and his track “The Rumble”. The similarities are notable in the tremolo-laden and simplistic riff, but also in the sheer attitude it conveys. Night Beats are clearly not in this game to be musical virtuosos – rather they’re in it to revitalize the gritty feeling one gets when one is exposed to attitude-laden, pure and raw garage rock with a psychedelic twist.

With “Real Change” the vibe is noticeably more relaxed than what I’ve come to expect of Night Beats. It’s not a bad thing at all really, as this change of pace conveys a sort of California-esque sense of sunshine psych-pop to an otherwise brooding garage soundscape. The utterly insane amount of reverberation and the cool riff of the verse instantly sends my thoughts towards Allah-Las and their chilled out sunshine-psych – that is, until the deliciously fuzzy guitar solo kicks in and sends me right back to the promised land of garage. Strangely enough, this infusion of chilled-out California vibes seems to be one of the greater aspects of the album as the track “Satisfy Your Mind” continues in these familiar psych-pop veins that should appeal rather widely – if not for anything else, then for the incredibly catchy vocal melody.

However, Night Beats fare far less successfully on the wild and untamed “Rat King” which makes a grand entry covered in howling feedback and dissonant screeches. The garage-vibe gets a bit superfluous here and it comes off as strangely forced – an odd feat from a band that otherwise shows a great deal of authenticity and, lest we forget, consistency. In spite of this, there are still a great deal of well executed tracks on the album; like “The Hidden Circle” which seemingly melds the classic Texas-psych sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators with an updated, slightly fuzzed-up version of The Zombies.

In conclusion I would have to say that Night Beats are back, possibly greater than before. There are still a few areas in need of improvement but the overall impression of this album is one of a much more focused and, to be a bit corny, mature band that has evolved from an initially interesting formula, to one that has also manifested its relevance in between the overly abundant surfacing of 60’s and 70’s revivalist outfits.


Download: Sonic Bloom, Real Change, The Hidden Circle, Satisfy Your Mind
For The Fans Of: The UFO Club, 13th Floor Elevators, The Zombies, Acid Baby Jesus
Listen: Facebook

Release date 24.09.2013
The Reverberation Appreciation Society

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