Long gone are the days when "psychedelic" is used to describe Bay Area music in the vein of the Grateful Dead's exhaustive jams or Jefferson Airplane's freak-out, proto-grunge rock. Instead, the term "psychedelic" seems to broadly describe any indie rock focused more on atmosphere than accessibility, substance rather than style. So when you hear SF-based outfit Split Screens labeled as "psychedelic," you can bet the band sounds more like contemporaries Lord Huron and Volcano Choir rather than echoes from the Summer of Love.
The band's soon-to-be released single, "The Sinner", drives with a solid rhythmic energy and is awash in melodic guitar lines, powerful organs and carefully placed vocal harmonies. It's an ethereal soundscape, at once haunting and oddly upbeat, an inexpressible sense of loss permeating the words and chord changes. B-side "Meeker Hollow" is, admittedly, a bit of a trip with its minor chords, creeping beat and eerie opening sample of a 1950s housewife narrating her experience on acid. Far out man.
"The Sinner" is the second single to be released in anticipation of a full-length scheduled to drop in June. The single itself will be coming out as a 7" vinyl on March 18th on independent Bay Area label Name Drop Swamp, and the official release show is scheduled for a few days later at Bottom of the Hill.
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DonCat, Split Screens, Scary Little Friends
Bottom of the Hill
March 22, 2014
8:30pm, $10 (21+)