Circulatory System

Alright, time to rep some psychedelic rock!

Its not the 60’s anymore.  Psychedelic rock just ain’t what it used to be.  Bands like The Flaming Lips and Animal Collective are really the only main bands still going with that style.  Don’t get me wrong, they’re awesome awesome bands, but they are in the mainstream, and sometimes they lose the psychedelic drive behind the pop.  There’s also a lot of stoner rock out there, which is at many times good, but isn’t really psychedelic roots based.  Alright enough babbling, my point is, you sometimes have to dig deep to find psychedelic roots bands, and one of my favorite discoveries in my excavations is Circulatory System.

Circulatory System

The band formed after the collapse of the Elephant Six Recording Company.  This company featured artists such as Of Montreal, Neutral Milk Hotel, and The Olivia Tremor Control, which were all premier psychedelic bands at the time.  Members from The Olivia Tremor Control left to form Circulatory System once the company ended.  Circulatory System is an eight piece band, with a whole range of instruments such as guitar, bass, clarinet, cello, organ, keyboards, and drums.  The band is led by singer Will Cullen Hart.

They just released a new album, which I haven’t given a listen to, but they’re real treasure is their self-titled album from 2001.  This album has 22 tracks, which seems long, but they are all very short, usually ranging from 2-3 minutes each.  The album has a great flow, and when listening through, almost seems like one long song.  This does not mean it gets tedious, it makes for a great listen.  Hart is the main vocalist, but they employ a choral style of singing with several vocalist.  This along with the variety of instruments creates for a very dense sound, which I love for psychedelic bands.  Their entire style seems to be an homage to the psychedelic bands of the 60’s.  Today, psych rock is usually fairly intense, but this harkens back to the upbeat melodies, dense texture, and a general calming and spacey air that bands such as The Byrds or Jefferson Airplane had.  This is definitely an album that HAS to be listened to straight through.  There are a few songs that can be played on their own, but you won’t get the full effect.  This is one of my favorite albums ever, and definitely needs to be checked out.

-Max

Try this if you like bands such as Of Montreal, Neutral Milk Hotel, Menomena, Destroyer, The Olivia Tremor Control

Circulatory System - Circulatory System

Check out the self-titled album

Local Natives…redundant

I may be biased in this review, ’cause lately, nothing gets my goat like some good multiple vocalist harmonization.  I heard this Silver Lake, CA band first as an opener to Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros in Seattle, and quickly bought the homemade ep’s they were selling.  That short 5 song album instantly gave me the feeling that I was listening to a seasoned band.  They have an odd combination of sounds, but it all seems natural.  They have a great start, and I can’t wait to see them mature.

Live, they were amazing.  They had the entire room in an skinny-jean frenzy for their entire set.  Although I love Edward Sharpe, there were still moments during their set where I felt a bit bored.  Not so for Local Natives, I was captivated the entire time.  They have one of the best live sounds of any Indie band I’ve seen in a while.  The best part was that I had no idea who they were, and had zero expectations.  How could they not be a great indie band, look at this awesome indie pose! (And how about that indie mustache, I’m talking to you number 4!)

Local Natives

About a month after this show they happened to release their first full length album, Gorilla Manor.  This album is very high energy.  This is a good thing, and a bad thing.  Good thing because an energy like this is hard to come by, but bad because it makes it hard to get through the entire album in one go.  But really, this is only a minor issue, because songs like Sun Hands (you had me at a cappella breakdown) and Airplanes, I could listen to over and over.  They even do a Talking Heads cover, and its badass to boot.  It won’t be marked down as an album of the year, but so what.  Peppy drums, awesome harmonies, good energy, tight jeans and a mustache.   Check it out.

-Max


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