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Artist of the Month
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July 2015
Ecstatic Vision
"Sonic Praise
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Heavy-psych three-piece Ecstatic Vision conjures cosmic soundscapes with their debut LP Sonic Praise (Relapse Records). Self-ordained as “primal,” the group’s orchestration is undeniably gripping and visceral, altering the embodied state of its listener at an instant. Pressing past the tropes of genre, Sonic Praise is a hypnotic example of the outfit’s versatility. The release of Ecstatic Vision’s tripped-out LP is hopefully the first of many.
 
Beginning with the well-titled “Journey,” Sonic Praise’s opening track unfolds like a swirling chant that gradually builds to bawdy, passionate dirge filled with buzzing riffs and drums. The song’s lyricism is straightforward yet amplified by the unrelenting progression of its instrumentation. The declaration of “Journey” is unapologetic. It’s not a conversation; it’s an invitation. At its climax, the resonance of the recording brings to mind similarly transcendent tracks like Moon Duo’s “Free The Skull” or Ty Segall’s “I Wear Black.”
 
“Astral Plane” is a tentative tip of the hat to the iconic Sun Ra’s masterpiece Space Is the Place, unfolding with driving riffs and drumbeats that elicit the sensation of being transported into the ether. By the two-minute mark, “Astral Plane” is in full swing, impressive guitar work resounding as the track’s earlier established foundation persists. Each component of the song’s structure expands as frontman Doug Sabolick’s vocals urge listeners to “Look in the mirror and tell yourself/this is the place to be.” Undoubtedly indicative of the cosmos (metaphorically or literally), “Astral Plane” is trancelike, with its instrumentation possessing the power to cast a psychedelic spell that lingers well past the song’s end. Nearly thirty seconds shy of thirteen minutes of length, the temporal duration of the recording is as well warranted as it is executed. “Don’t Kill The Vibe” is equally shamanistic, with riffage that feels psychotropic. The LP’s title track, “Sonic Praise,” begins with primeval distortion comprised of oscillating tempos and forlorn chants. The effect of its prelude is mesmerizing, dark, and strangely beautiful. Thematically cult like, “Sonic Praise” is satisfyingly otherworldly, seducing its listener to give in to Ecstatic Vision’s melodic ethos without hesitation. 
 
Sonic Praise’s final anthem “Cross the Divide” extends the mysticism of the album’s narrative, ending Ecstatic Vision’s debut on a plane similar to where it began - one of enlightenment and pure rock 'n' roll. - Dianca London Potts

 

 

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Free Energy

New Track: "Dream City" (Bim Marx Remix) - Free Energy

It’s always interesting to hear a familiar song from an unfamiliar angle. Yesterday, DFA Records shared this previously unreleased Bim Marx (Duane Harriott & Jorge Velez) remix of Free Energy’s  “Dream City” off their 2010 LP Stuck on Nothing.
 

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Free Download: "Somebody's Baby" (Jackson Browne Cover) - Free Energy

Free Energy is doing a residency this month at The Echo in LA. To celebrate the occasion, the band will be recording covers of some of their favorite songs. Here is the first by Jackson Brown called "Somebody's Baby," which originally appeared on the Fast Times at Ridgemont High soundtrack in 1982. You can listen to and download the track for free below.

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Free Energy Hosting Deap Vally at North Star Bar May 4

The aptly named Free Energy is bringing their guitar-driven power pop to the North Star Bar tonight. With upbeat rock that makes you want to groove, the band has toured with the likes of Mates of State and Weezer, now in support their latest LP Love Sign, which was released earlier this year via the group’s own label. There’s something about Free Energy’s carefree lyrics and punchy guitar riffs that make the music so much fun and perfect for this gorgeous weather. It doesn’t hurt that they know the cure for rock ‘n’ roll fever is more cowbell. Also featured is the LA-based duo Deap Vally, who Free Energy have been roaming the landscape of America with. These two ladies have their own energy to share with their grungy, blues rock ensuring the night to be a rollicking good time. Also ready to help the crowd freak out will be locals Prowler. North Star Bar, 2369 Poplar St., 9pm, $12, 21+ - Shaylin O’Connell

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New Track: "Love Sign" - Free Energy

Below is a previously unreleased B-side from Free Energy called "Love Sign." The band is beginning their tour this evening in Chicago, and will be joining The Darkness and Deap Vally later on down the road. They'll be performing next in Philly on Saturday, May 4 at the North Star Bar.

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New Track: "Wild Life" - Free Energy

Below is a previously unreleased track from Free Energy called "Wild Life." It appears on the B-side of the band's upcoming Record Store Day 7" single for "Girls Want Rock," which will only have 500 copies available. Free Energy will also be heading on tour with Deap Vally, and they'll be making a stop in Philly on Saturday, May 4 at the North Star Bar.

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