Glitter Wizard, Strangers Family Band

Glitter Wizard

Strangers Family Band

Strangers Family Band offers a fine pastiche of the various splinter genres of flower power much like The Brian Jonestown Massacre’s finer catalog. However, also like the BJM, Strangers Family Band do not amalgamate old sounds with new. They are unquestionably channeling the various strata of late ’60s mindbending west coast pop art experimental jangle – light garage rock timbre, pinch of British blues a la John Mayall, and homage to Ravi Shankar that became nothing but en vogue in the post-druggy Beatles summer of love. With that said, they take full advantage of recording technology today to really sharpen the feel and sound of classic true-blue psychedelia to cultivate a truly polyphonic headtrip. Nowhere is that more apparent than the seven minute “Transmission,” bolstered by crisp Twin Reverb distortion, lots of sitar (real sitar, not effect-created), and dark, thick Rhodes organ, punchy tablas – all of which almost play second fiddle to the distant, dark, saturated vocals.

Once and Future Band

Announcing CF-083 Once and Future Band

In the vapor trail of “How Does It Make You Feel” you can smell the burnt ozone of a seventies-full-orchestra-nebula-pop-odyssey, the flakes floating down and landing on you like snow and giving you the grave-chills…the ash of a masterpiece pop song. Once and Future Band: this incredibly accomplished cabal of total prog wizards has circled the earth, but then, these are the accomplished gentlemen of many former pursuits (the formidable Drunk Horse among them) and all of them comets themselves. The very mid 70s vibe at work here surpasses pastiche, and crests that lovely anachronistic conceptual peak: a fully realized and meticulously arranged psych record, meant to be listened to from top to bottom, with the lights down low and in a comfy chair perhaps, or while gazing out the window of your life pod. A Dark Side of the Moon feel, with shades of early Yes’s technicality, a dash of Steely Dan’s vocal prowess and effortless sheen, and some seriously outsized hooks that call to mind the mighty ELO, Le Orme and yes, even the unsinkable Queen powered on Brian May’s tape echo jet fuel and sequined power cells…this is a head record in the classic sense but we swear to The Dark One that you will be trapped and infected by the pop-parasite. That it is largely self-produced (with tracking/engineering on three of the songs by Phil Manley at El Studio) makes it all the more jaw dropping. We didn’t realize how much we needed Once and Future Band in our life, but now that they’re here we can’t get them out of our brains or off of our stereo. Making prog cool again, again, and then slightly more complicatedly, again.

$12

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