Monday, May 21, 2012
The Escatones on Artificial Head Records
Artificial Head the label (without a web site) that put out the Art Institute single is also responsible for this Escatones single that came in the other day. The Escatones are a three piece out of Galveston, TX who are working in a classic surf-psych style...and I know...what does TX know about surf? Well these guys actually have boards and go hit the waves in the gulf...so there.
"In Hiding" on the A-Side gets started with a definite swirling surf combo sound...played with amps made after 1967 they would have you know, a phaser-y chorus guitar and clear electric picking. Connor Purcell has a nasal style almost Michael Stipe vocal that plays right alongside this melody. They don't get total surf, it' more like they're acknowledging this style but updating it into a leaner country rock composite. Definitely sounding a lot like the west, cactus country in a kind of laid back cowboy sound? It's recorded clear as anything, they may be leaning into garage surf, but they certainly got it down to reel to reel with some professionals. They mention on the reverse of the sleeve that there's a version of this track with Greg Ginn soloing all over it? And it was too long for the 7"???!!! I think they're pulling my leg... but it's just plausible enough to hope they actually put that on their full length.
"Down the Drain" on the B-Side was actually written by bassist JT's dad, and passed around to a bunch of different bands before ending up 40 years later on this single, pretty nuts. This time their getting that wet reverb sound on the guitar for the main melody almost sounding a bit like Deadbolt, the greatest Tiki-surf band ever, and The Escatones keeps veering through surf sounds and getting a swirly psych and then back through garage again. Sludging it's way through a dark country sound this time, again I'm just hearing the desert here instead of the ocean. It even goes slightly Painted Black at one point, so tack on 'rock' into this varied mix of '60s sounds (that by now is a 2010's sound let's face it). They keep teasing this hyptnotic melody around and solo it out at the end, real nice.
I appreciate all these liner notes on the back and the insert listing as many drummers as Spinal Tap. I guess that really is a thing. I know they can be hard to find in NY, but everywhere?
This Ed Roth style tiki, hot rod cover in black and white is really the perfect match for this country-surf from Doug MacDonald, who is desinging the new dokken cover!!!
On pristine white heavy vinyl, 300 copies, get it from Art Institute. Message in the gutter.
Check out their tracks via bandcamp: