With another jaw dropping line up slated and anticipation growing, Getintothis’ Matthew Wood and Mark Rowley pick out 10 acts you’d be daft to miss at the greatest festival of psychedelia in the world.
Another year is upon us, there’s only a few days left until lift off and we’re as pumped as anyone to revel in the sights and sounds of one of the spectacles of the year, Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia.
With some mammoth headliners including Timbuktu’s Songhoy Blues and kings of desert rock, Black Angels with a very rare UK performance; it’s no secret who most of us will be watching as we edge closer to the early hours.
Here, however, we turn our attention to those acts you may have skimmed over on the lineup without second thought, as we all do when reviewing our festival picks, those who we think deserve a mention and frankly you’d have to be on drugs to miss out on…
Of course we were spoilt for choice in our pickings with such a wealth of talent to choose from, but we’ve whittled it down to a select 10 for you to pencil in on your schedules.
Enjoy, stay safe, and try not to fall into a worm hole…
DUDS: CAMP, September 22
DUDS are a super-tight confluence of intelligent art-rockers. Based in Manchester but shot out of the 70’s underground scene in New York, it’s all angular guitars, skittish beats, topped off with a downtrodden baritone narrative on the human condition.
Receiving praise for their no-wave tendencies from iconic act, Wire, Duds are a formidable unit of rhythmic power and tenacity. Charged up for two-minute bursts of intense guitar strikes and quick fire drum patterns; get your Friday off to a flyer with these majorly talented lads.
L.A. Witch: DISTRICT, September 22
Desert rock trio from, you’ve guessed it, Los Angeles, L.A. Witch ooze effortless cool and channel grunge, 60’s girl bands and a whole lot of reverb for a sound that’s not unlike monster headliners, The Black Angels.
Signed to Suicide Squeeze, home to prolific, legendary rocker, Ty Segall and The Coathangers, the girls are in great company. As they brew another dark and menacing set-list in their expansive cauldron of influence, expect layers of moody psychedelia and tripped-out surf to fill the magnificent District.
WEIRDS: DISTRICT, September 23
Formerly crafters of a Foals-esque blend of math-rock under the name Swim into Scarlet, Weirds have gathered momentum slowly but surely, garnering attention through their ferocious sound and energetic live sets.
Taking up residence in Leeds and changing their band name, Weirds sought to pioneer a scene of alt-rock and flesh out their sound. Their vocals became more raspy, their compositions more complex, and their beats more ballsy.
Experimental quintet hailing from Brighton, ZOFFF tap into mesmeric kraut and deep, almost spiritual instrumentation for a unique trip built around a modular synth and organ.
Allowing each member to add their own facet to the trip, the quintet operate on a largely improvisational basis, taking turn to bend the mind a little further though space-age flourishes, fizzling stabs of ferocious guitar and frantic jazz-fusion outbursts.
Approach with patience and allow their unique exploration to take you somewhere else (if the drugs haven’t already).
Novella: Blade Factory, September 22
At the ‘lighter end’ of the psych-rock continuum, Novella creates an enchanting and endearing noise that sweeps and stirs, as it rains from above. The London 4-piece has toured heavily both at home and abroad since their first album, Land came out in 2015.
The band’s latest offering, Change of State, released last year, reflects heavily on the changing social and political landscape of the times we are in. For example, they ask Does the Island Know? (Answer: seemingly not)! Count on harmonic beauty and smooth splendor combining to form an exquisite and contagiously sublime, celestial sound that guarantees to throw you a sucker punch.
OMNI: District, September 22
From Atlanta, Georgia (a current centre of hip-hop and past one of country music), DIY art-punk, alt-rockers, OMNI are set to take PZYK 2017 by storm. Championed by Marc Riley of Radio 6, and with a second album entitled Multi-task due for release on the day of their festival appearance, expect this trio to hypnotize you into full submission.
With established songs like Afterlife, Wire and Earrings, and tunes from their new recording such as Equestrian and Southbound Station, expect lolloping bass lines, Postcard Records-style guitar twangs with myriad unpredictable vocal twists and musical turns; to keep you on your toes for the entirety of their not to be missed show.
FUSS: Blade Factory, September 22
All the way from Aigburth, Liverpool, come intergalactic, mind-bending space-hoppers, FUSS. With their irresistible brand of brightly-saturated, cosmic dream-pop, imagine waves of warm sounds permeating dark surrounds, as Dave Baddeley and his crew transport you to a parallel plain of trippy places with smiley faces.
Check out the band’s debut FUSS-EP, released last month, for a sample of what awaits your outer being and inner consciousness; especially tracks, Human Music, Life Forming and Coma, with their celestial vocals, floating guitar hooks and layered synth textures, over lush rhythms and mellow beats, all combining to produce an ethereal sound of wondrous dimensions.
Is Bliss: Furnace, September 22
Hampshire psych-shoegaze trio, Is Bliss mix swirling, effects-laden guitar with a rock solid, heart-thumping pulse to create sonic vibes that invariably build up to frenetically–frenzied, climatic crescendos.
Check out tracks, Morning Sun and Into A Dream for samplers of what to expect. The former featuring an unashamedly baggy vocal-style reminiscent of Manchester’s finest (The Stone Roses); whilst the latter spotlights Jimmy Stuart finger-plucking a sitar with all the virtuosity and nonchalance of a veritable satanic majesty. Don’t be surprised to feel your foot tapping and head nodding; with a strong urge to bang that cranium, as the amorphous ambience takes a hefty turn.
A Place To Bury Strangers: Furnace, September 23
With four studio albums and numerous EPs and singles, along with a live album recorded in 2012, Brooklyn-based New York wall-of-noise rockers, A Place To Bury Strangers will set their shovels and spades to work at PZYK 2017, digging their distinct space-psych groove on unfamiliar bodies this side of the pond!
Currently on a short UK tour with festival headliners The Black Angels, frontman and guitarist Oliver Ackermann, will be ably backed by bassist Dion Lunadon and recently-appointed drummer, Lia Simone Braswell to revive spirits with transfixiations and gratuitous guitar worship.