Ghost Box Orchestra
: Fuzzy, indie psychedelia is a genre for deep thinkers and dancers alike -- sway, close your eyes, and drink in the sounds of Ghost Box Orchestra. With a penchant for moody melodies, cosmic layers, and building songs to triumphant heights before taking them back down again, this San Francisco band is tailor made for an afternoon of drug hazed park hangouts or as background to one of those deep conversations people are really into having nowadays. Think Hawkwind meets Jesus and Mary Chain done by mellow, music loving kids who don't hate each other. Their rhythms are solid -- and a little garage inspired -- and seem to have sprung forth from a fun jam session between good friends. Chanting choral noise lends some vocal melody over the mostly instrumental tunes. Ghost Box Orchestra combines the best that shoegaze and surf garage have to offer -- which makes for a truly enjoyable listening experience to bliss out too. I'm not sure how a Boston band got their music to sound like a road trip through a California desert, but I'm glad they did. Live, the five piece, ideally complemented by ever changing lights, completely immerse themselves in playing, and drown the audience in an intense wave of hazy rock. Be ready to stomp, glide, and sway through a pounding set of complex rhythms, undulating bass, stomp-worthy drums, and fresh psych sounds, courtesy of Ghost Box Orchestra.
: Once the Dead Gurus start wielding their psych rock, they don't stop. Making relentless, driving rhythms that speak to that ultra hyper part of your soul that just wants to keep on moving in a trance like state, this Minneapolis band is a force to be reckoned with. Seriously, this is trance inducing rock and roll, and that's exactly what Dead Gurus want -- gurus as a rule are made for following, and the band is aptly named because you won't be able to break away. It's heavy but fluid rock and roll, the songs can still move and slither despite the weight of the fuzz and the mind altering music. Featuring members of Is/Is and Magic Castle, the foursome produces wave after wave of droning hums and epic crashes on stage, building frenetically. You can see each Guru pulsing with the rhythm of their own music -- concentrating on only producing the psychedelic shoegaze. Nearly spoken vocals are layered atop whining, fuzzed out guitars, and blurred instrumentals. All eyes are focused only on the Dead Gurus. It's an intense experience for everyone involved -- but that's what you want from a guru, right?
The Spiral Electric
: Want a major fix of psychedelic rock? Look no further than the Spiral Electric, who takes major inspiration from the best of the dark flower power rock and rollers. With perfectly sung vocals, catchy breakdowns, and a classic take on psych rock, this band is super appealing both live and with a joint in hand and a good pair of headphones on. Live, the intensity and technicality of the band cannot be overlooked as they deliver elaborate melodies, speculative lyrics, and smartly composed and well-executed psych tunes. Some hints of MA
's "Suicide Is Painless," an underappreciated gem, bubble to surface upon listening. The band pays homage (and does it very well) to the psych history of their hometown, San Francisco. Spin out on their groovy rhythms -- I'm pretty sure there will be at least one neo-hippie getting his or her groove on right in front of the stage -- and just go with the flow. All fans of the Brian Jonestown Massacre will rejoice, as the Spiral Electric is channeling some of the more put together BJM eras: jammy guitar, psychedelic synths, first-rate vocals, and outstanding harmonizing. Also of note, this show is the last one for the band's drummer.