unnamed

Displaying Displaying The word “psychedelic”‘s two parts are one way to map out the genre: psyche-, describing the kind of cerebral, thought or dream-like tendencies, and -delic (to make clear or visible) maybe describing the kind of euphoric, revelatory tendencies of the genre. Cellar Doors play a fast, anxiety-ridden brand of rock that scraps the airy, billowing wonder of psychedelia and favors a nervous fervor. The San Francisco band released the Frost/Prism 7″ last week on Santa Cruz label Spiritual Pajamas.

“Frost” and “Prism” drive smooth in their strobe-like bass lines — a real determined strut, with the sort of temperament you look for in seven-minute disco songs. It’s not the kind of thing I picture when I think of psychedelic music — this kind of straight-ahead unbreakability — but the way the songs hammer away feel decidedly psychological. Cellar Doors seem less interested in fostering epiphanic states, and more tuned in to the feeling of unravelling thoughts, an imagination with the spins. These two songs feel like songs under stress, unable to talk about their stress, only able to show it through the sort of quickness you’d expect in someone running late to something serious, hurrying to meet the person they grow increasingly nervous to see.

Check out this live performance of “Frost,” and listen to both singles here. The San Francisco band is performing at Levitation this Spring.