Night Beats: Sonic Bloom 

The union of blues and psychedelic music is a long and storied one, extending back at least to the 1960s British Invasion and through countless revivals of the garage-rock sound. This Seattle-based band honors that tradition on its second album, bringing its contemporary spin to the proceedings.

Lead guitarist and singer Danny Lee Blackwell runs his fuzzy guitar growl through oodles of reverb and employs judicious doses of feedback; you can feel his tone quiver through your head like a bare electric wire snapping snakelike in your lysergic dreams. Or maybe we're just hearing the sound of Jeff Beck's broken speaker cone in Blow-Up.

Like consummate musicologists, Night Beats allow other inspirations to seep into their tunes. "Catch a Ride to Sonic Bloom" opens with what sounds like a harmonium, imparting an atmosphere that is vaguely raga but definitely trippy, especially when combined with the dizzying combination of chimes and electronic oscillations. And, wait, is that a dulcimer?

The eight-minute closer "The New World" grinds along in minimalist VU-meets-Suicide fashion, and "Rat King" evinces a punk-rock tendency. While "The Seven Poison Wonders" percolates with a modest R&B beat, "At the Gates," is the sort of full-on, soul-drenched rave-up you might in hear at a late-night basement party.

More by Gene Armstrong

  • Primer

    Tony Furtado
    • May 29, 2014
  • Wills Meets Reinhardt

    L.A.'s Cow Bop blends bebop and Western swing into a superbly danceable combo
    • May 22, 2014
  • Finding (the Eighth) Mr. Right

    Superb performances drive the '60s satire of Live Theatre Workshop's Loot
    • May 15, 2014
  • More »


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Latest in Rhythm & Views

  • Rhythm & Views

    American Monoxide “In Flight Mode” (People In A Position To Know)
    • Dec 18, 2014
  • Rhythm & Views

    Wight Lhite “Beyond the Satellites” (Paisley Shirt Records)
    • Dec 11, 2014
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Vintage Vinyl

    "As far as I'm concerned, we were the best band in Tucson," said Gerorge "Taco" Miraval, bassist of the Five of Us.
    • Nov 9, 2017
  • Vintage Vinyl

    Don Hinson and the Rigamorticians
    • Oct 26, 2017
  • More »

Facebook Activity

© 2017 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation