Within the past ten years or so, psychedelic rock has been sort of this generation’s punk rock movement. While the particular style of dark droning grooves and reverb heavy vocals hasn’t exactly went away since the likes of The Doors or Jefferson Airplane, but it hasn’t really broke into the mainstream enough for the market to be over-saturated. Most bands in the style find themselves leaning into heavier styles such as Wooden Shjips, or the prettier side of psychedelia in the most recent shoegaze revival. The only band who comes to mind that’s reached some sort of commercial success in the market would probably be The Black Angels. As much as I enjoy them, even they’ve cleaned up their act to appeal to a wider audience.
Then we have the Atlanta Georgia based band Reverends. Instead of focusing on a certain scene of skinny jean, fur hat wearing hipsters, who pretend no other band has ever played a distorted guitar before them, they remain focused on creating legitimate psychedelic rock n roll that’s heavy on artistic value and light on attention seeking media.
On their latest, double A-sided single Dark Demon / Witch City, the band has not only delivered one of the better records of the sub-genre released in the past decade, but maybe a simple release that sums up what I like about psychedelia style music as a whole.
“Dark Demon” kicks things off with a punchy seventh chord that begins a bit more jangley than you would come to expect from the genre, but by the time the fuzzy groove sets in, preconceptions all but vanish. It’s dark and sinister where it needs to be but never doom-and-gloom. The flip side, “Witch City” pays homage to both Jesus and Mary Chain as well as early Velvet Underground. Both tracks are not exactly night and day in terms of tone or style, but it’s clear the band isn’t a one trick pony capitalizing on a scene. There has to be this perfect blend of mystery, malevolence, seduction and uncertainty in order for this particular style to work, and it’s not easy to achieve. With just two songs, Reverends have delivered on all accounts across the board.
Dark Demon / Witch City is available exclusively on vinyl through Fat Elvis Records in three different variants. Red/Orange/Pink splatter (which is probably already sold out at the time of this article) as well as one in pink, and the other in transparent orange. The release sounds nothing short of amazing on the variants that I have and makes me excited for what else this band (and label) have in store for us in the future, regardless of how brooding, fuzzy and droning it may be.
For news and info, visit Reverends on Facebook
Purchase the vinyl EP exclusively at Fat Elvis Records
Check out the 50thirdand3rd “Meet Reverends” interview HERE