Music News

Sic Alps

It's visualization time, folks. So go ahead, close your eyes, and imagine an endless stretch of cliffs overlooking a slate-gray ocean, with cold waves crashing like reverberating feedback. A thick, moist fog clings to everything save a constellation of volcanoes dotting the landscape; each one sporadically shoots clouds of television static into the sky, the sound of which just sears the eardrums. On top of a nearby mound, you spot two ragged indie dudes jamming with just guitar, voice, and drums. You can barely hear 'em (remember the feedback and static), but they come off as total amateurs zapped on Robitussin, bashing out a primal fusion of '60s garage rock and deliriously distorted psychedelia (think early Spacemen 3/Sonic Youth). Of course, the tunes never go very far: Just a minute or two after introducing each song ("I Know Where Madness Goes," "I Am Grass," "Reconnectionland," stuff like that), these two stoners descend into a formless dissonance that drips like electric molasses — which, believe it or not, jells perfectly with all the environmental sounds surrounding you. Now, maintain this visualization for the next, say, 30 minutes and that's exactly what you're in for if you decide to crank Pleasures and Treasures, the debut from California's Sic Alps.

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Justin Farrar