ARTIST: Alien Mustangs
RELEASE DATE: May 15th 2018
RECORD COMPANY: Sound Effects Records
Thessaloniki natives ‘Alien Mustangs’ are something of a modern day enigma. Through their highly energetic and psychedelically infectious live shows coupled with a DIY release ethos and their anti-social media stance they have managed to thrive exponentially and create a debut album worth shouting about without the need for massive PR campaigns or an online presence. Their collective sound is the result of an inherent need to not follow the sonic norms and instead focus on breaking boundaries or pushing new sonic frontiers. Their brand of modern psych/space rock is deeply rooted in sixties garage whist pulling into the mix some modern influences such as Spacemen 3, Loop and The 13th Floor Elevators. ‘Alien Mustangs’ back catalogue consists of the ‘Pause/Red Tambourine’ 7 inch released in March 2013, the ‘River’ 10 inch EP released in May 2014 and ‘The Tape Sessions’ two-track, released exclusively on cassette in November 2015. This long overdue full length release brilliantly titled ‘Alienation’ was officially unleashed back on the 15th May 2018 via Sound Effect Records and is available to buy/download right now from alienmustangs.bandcamp.com
The album opens up swirling inside an undulating drone as ‘Holy Motors’ unboxes it’s malevolent side, pulling slow moving percussion, fuzzed out guitars and cascading bass into the mix collectively suffocated in glorious reverberations. Haunting vocalisations float into view tumbling through luscious lines of lead guitar, twisting and intertwining with that hypnotic psychedelic swing. ‘Holy Motors’ is totally infectious and a mesmerising opening salvo. Up next, ‘Going Nowhere’ slides into the sonic ether swirling around a calming neo-psych vibe. Acoustic frequencies meld with a simple percussive assault and deep booming lines of bass as subtle swells of addictive organ vie for space just below the mix. The vocals arrive riding undulating waves of reverb as they sit perfectively on top the collective instrumentation instantly catapulting this listener into a world of colourful transcendental hypnotics. The blissful opening bars of ‘Forest’ are sublime. Acoustic guitars merge with woozy lines of organ catch your ear as those 60’s tinged vocalisations ebb and flow in unison. Theres a definite 60’s psych vibe swirling around this track reminiscent of 13th Floor Elevators, Ogden’s era ‘Faces’ or early ‘Pink Floyd’. It’s a beautiful track filled with passages of lysergic abandonment and definite album highlight for me.
‘Follow Me’ has a subtle garage feel to it’s opening bars as it’s guitars keep that repetitive chord structure buzzing just below the mix and the swirl of organ catches the ear. Slow moving percussion again keeps a metronomic tempo as backing vocals rise and fall and the pull of bass is overpowering. Melodically brilliant, ‘Follow Me’ builds and builds with each sonic revolution, bringing sporadic squalls of feedback in and out of the mix until eventually the overdrive arrives, the tempo quickens and it explodes into a righteous colour of reverberating frequencies. It’s another triumph on an album that continues to amaze me. Up next, the albums penultimate piece arrives drenched in a kind of ‘Velvet Underground’ hued cloud. ‘Sleep’ crawls ever so slowly, tumbling around a beautiful guitar progression, twinkling tambourine shakes and those punchy tom tom hits as it’s immense vocalisations ride the repetitive sonic wave. The album closes out with ‘Lsd’, an angry 60’s garage banger that rocks magnificently on lines of tumbling bass, charging percussion and wailing lines of lead guitar. Swirling vocalisations intertwine with reverb, delay and production theatrics to bring this album to a thunderous finale. It’s a fitting end to a marvellous debut long player.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Del Chaney has spent the last five years dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the unsigned or small independent label based shoegaze, ethereal dream pop, postpunk & modern psych rock from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog – The Primal Music Blog. He is also a contributing writer for The Sound Of Confusion (Now On Hiatus). His other arm – Primal Radio – has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has helped him in actively promoting genres of music that he is passionate about. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, he is a keen Vinyl Collector, Tattoo Fan & all round good guy! He is a self confessed music freak & is never far away from a studio console or a turntable.