Cool Ghouls

Heavily influenced by pop, psych, surf, and folk-rock of the sixties, Cool Ghouls sound a lot like what I imagine the Byrds would sound like if they always cranked it to 11. They write catchy melodies, but their tight harmonies sung at the top of their lungs are highlights for me. Throw in a little lo-fi production, and you have some material that is meant to be played loud with a smile on your face.

-Russell Jelinek, The Bay Bridged

From the mystical, unGoogleable beyond comes PYYRAMIDS, a new collaboration by OK Go's Tim Nordwind and singer Drea Smith. Living in the dark, atmospheric grotto midway between the dance floor and the mopey teenage bedroom of the mind, PYYRAMIDS' six-song debut will be available on October 31st from Paracadute, the full-service 21st century record label OK Go founded on their 2010 parting from Capitol. Befitting the band's cross of banging beats with underground pop, PYYRAMIDS arrives on that most idiosyncratic of formats, 10-inch vinyl.

PYYRAMIDS comes as a reinvention for both players and steps into new, wild territory. For Nordwind, the guy with the bass, beard, and glasses in OK Go, PYYRAMIDS' expansive textures find him far from the bright indie pop and all-inclusive videos that have made OK Go one of the most recognizable - not to mention most-watched - acts of the digital age. (Though that doesn't mean PYYRAMIDS won't try their hand at videos.) For Smith, formerly the saucy half of the electro-pop duo He Say She Say - and a stint with Lupe Fiasco - it brings her songwriting into a place of bold new maturity without sacrificing the force of her singular presence. For both, it is an unlikely partnership entirely befitting of the new age.

Connected by a mutual friend in Chicago two years ago, the pair struck up an email correspondence that, by the magic of the internet, soon transformed into a small torrent of music. Bonding first over dark British pop from the early '80s like The Smiths and Joy Division, and stranger more modern fare like Micachu and the Shapes, Nordwind and Smith were natural collaborators. An inveterate home recorder with piles of songs, beats, and sketches leftover from OK Go writing work, his People project, and a fairly unceasing productivity, Nordwind first passed along beats that Smith layered vocals over in GarageBand. Only meeting in person for the first time months later, the cyber collaboration transformed when Smith visited Nordwind in Los Angeles, where they polished off a half-dozen tracks working face-to-face, and where Smith was soon to relocate to work on PYYRAMIDS and other projects.

In addition to the four-song vinyl, Human Beings comes in digital form, too, featuring a remix of "Human Beings" by Nordwind's OK Go bandmate Dan Konopka (as DMK.) Between the alt-rock tensions of "That Ain't Right" and heavy riffage and cooing chorus of "Animal," PYYRAMIDS' beyond is an inviting one indeed, a long-promised map back to the buried valley of the dance-rock hook.

Hindu Pirates

Hindu Pirates, out of Huntington Beach, includes five young dudes (all 18 to 21), who are fusing garage rock and blues...definitely in a similar vein as Fidlar, Allah-Las, The Soft Pack and Surfer Blood. They have all been friends since high school ( which was only about 3 years ago for most of them), where they also launched the band as well. The band has received great support from Hurley (4-son
g EP + performing at the upcoming US Open of Surfing with Grouplove and White Arrows). Recently, the guys opened for Delta Spirit and Tijuana Panthers at The Observatory, and have also performed with Allah-Las, Har Mar Superstar, JJMAZ, Gantez Warrior and many other local standouts at well-known venues in OC and LA

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Cool Ghouls with Pyyramids, Hindu Pirates

Tuesday, May 7 · Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM at Brick & Mortar Music Hall