Wednesday, 17 June 2009


The unearthly rumbling of a didgeridoo demands your attention then gives way to the rhythmical soothing hiss of waves lapping the shore. The atmospheric acoustic intro of ‘Valiant Brave’ from Ganglians’ new album ‘Monster head room’, builds into a rousing ballad of jangling guitars and layers of wailing vocals that sound like whales and pixies shouting their sorrowful woes to the ocean. The echoes of saxophone and carefully constructed vocal harmonies provide a multi-textured unpredictable aspect to the psychedelic noise pop sound.

Ganglians of Sacramento, California are said to defy genre definition. Each song twists and turns in unexpected directions having a separate identity to the next. This year they have churned out a string of haunting lo-fi surf pop records. ‘Monster head room’, limited to only 500 copies on red vinyl, follows the recently released self titled 12" and the split 7" with their mates Eat Skull. “We wanted to make an honest pop album.” Explains bearded guitarist/vocalist Ryan Grubbs on the subject of the new record. “It’s acid-takers music, but without all the obvious droning psych trappings.” The record is packed with strange ‘60s style psychedelic pop tracks, drowned in reverb, conjuring an atmosphere that simultaneously brings to mind the care free headiness of youth in summer and the eerie otherness of an acid induced nightmare.

Grubbs is a self confessed space cadet, who dabbles with mind expanding substances such as ayuhuasca. “Monster Head Room was an attempt to replicate the angelic tones that drift just above our heads.” Grubbs explains, “I know what they sound like. I’ve been bathed in white light and have heard them.” The hairy hippy continues, going on to explain the unusual production techniques of the record. “It’s our version of a ‘60s studio album with no actual studio experience or knowledge of studio techniques.” He admits remorselessly. “We even dispersed little things that got recorded accidentally throughout the record, like Kyle’s stupid giddy laugh or the cat running around the house in heat. These idiosyncrasies form the foundations for many of the songs.” If you’re quick you can get a copy of the their self titled 12" or the newly released ‘Monster Head room’ from Woodsist

published: Dazed and Confused Vol II #76 August 2009

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