Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Dream Punk

Already a fan of his long-running Rocket Science blog, I was pleased to read curator Dave G’s involvement in the promotion of local record label Killing Horse Records. Himself the once-owner of a DIY indie label defunct for nearly two decades, Killing Horse launched in 2010 and focused primarily on northern NJ bands (half of which the guys were friends with). One of the earliest records Dave G reviewed was 2012’s self-titled debut by NJ’s Wreaths, a refreshing genre-spanning album which quickly brought to mind flashes of Ween and the Flaming Lips. At a time when Ween had just broken up (and, to be honest, I never found La Cucaracha terribly satisfying) this was exactly what the doctor had ordered. Clear Quebec influences aside (shit, half the songs have a weird "Chocolate Town" groove to 'em), Wreaths exudes a wonderfully trippy vibe that gives the record an almost ethereal quality (and makes you want to instantly drink/smoke yourself into a stupor just to immerse yourself in it). The opener, "Coke Straw" would make the Boognish proud, a cosmic pounder that is probably my favorite track, although nearly every song stands out on its own. Heavy use of the reverb pedal here folks, nearly every rhythm chord is stretched for maximum sustain - a space rock sludgey-ness which really sounds cool. The latter half of the record is more akin to an alien instrumental space dirge spanning one track to the other - "Love Me, Dark Wizard" reminds me of something the Black Keys have done and is a fitting close to the LP, a looping feedback overdub spanning the stereo channels to wrap up the 50-minute acid rock trip. The band has a few other releases floating around out there, your best start is with Discogs, Soundcloud and their Facebook (oh, and buy the record here). Good stuff for sure. Enjoy.

In case you’re interested (or an incredibly esoteric vinyl collector), info on Dave G’s circa-90’s Rocket Science Records can be found here. Killing Horse Records is still actively releasing records and you can check out their bandcamp page here. Lastly (for those who are not tired of links), while Dave G’s blog isn’t really updated anymore you can still noodle around the pretty cool archives here.

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