Mr. Elevator – formed in Southern California in 2012 by Thomas Dolas and Justin Martinez (and their mutual love of Donovan) – eschews guitars for vintage synthesizers, organs, and electric pianos, distinguishing themselves within the fuzzy, distorted contemporary Psych-Pop scene.
Under the original name Mr. Elevator and the Brain Hotel, the band began playing shows as a three-piece with bassist Wyatt Blair, and a short-while later, in 2013, relocated to Los Angeles where they released their first album, ‘Nico & her Psychedelic Subconscious,’ with Burger Records. After a few years of live shows, perfecting their sound alongside acts like Thee Oh Sees, The Fresh & Onlys, The Black Lips, Allah-Las, and more, Mr. Elevator recently completed their second album, ‘When the Morning Greets You’.
On ‘When the Morning Greets You,’ the bands’ love for vintage keyboard sounds, concept albums, and 70s pop remains intact, furnishing an album that entrances listeners and evolves over the course of its run-time into an array of bright, complex patterns and shapes. The upbeat, colorful pop feel of Side A, for example, is slowly engulfed in the lush, synth-heavy soundscape of Side B (pointing in at least two distinct directions in regards to the sound of the next album).
With the addition of a fourth member to the performing band, Mr. Elevator will be supporting the release of ‘When the Morning Greets You’ with national and international live dates.
West Coast screamers Frankie and the Witch Fingers trade on a tradition built up
from the very fabric of psychedelic soul. Shot through with the same melted juke
jitters that sent Doug Sahm, The 13 th Floor Elevators and The Pretty Things
scratching through the record needles of every child indebted to the vibrational
cathedral, the L.A. crew comes barreling into 2017 with their own brand of
heatstroke mojo. The band’s latest, Brain Telephone, is an acid bath for the soul
delivered in pulsating waves via fuzz guitar. It’s an electric jolt to the endocrine
system, shaking the last dregs of reluctance out of your system and inducing bouts
of dance euphoria.
The band, C. Dylan Sizemore (vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter), Glenn Brigman
(drums, organ), Alex Bulli (bass), and Josh Menashe (lead guitar and backing vocals),
has spent the past few years crawling around the heat-swamped corners of L.A.’s
sweatbox circuit, honing the gospel across 2013’s Sidewalk, 2015’s eponymous
album, and pumping straight motor oil through the veins of last year’s neon
meltdown, Heavy Roller. They took the circus on the road, pounding every last inch
of varnish from their weary husks from the heartland to the Bay. They’re
thrumming on a new vibration that’s found it’s way to them on a light beam ripped
into their deepest subconscious. They’re hooked up to the Brain Telephone that’s
opened through the switchboard in their soul and they’re dropping you the digits to
They’ve tapped into something primal and it’s beating quick and frothy in the veins,
combining the levitation-laced vibrations of Spacemen 3 with a scarred guitar growl
straight out of the Motor City’s storied rock lineage. Brain Telephone is bent through
the prism of shake n’ shimmy – a sweat-drenched dance party that’s equal parts
Northern Soul all-nighter, Monterey Pop implosion, and modern warehouse wall-
dripper all in one. That’s not to say they don’t know how to get tender, though. For
all their eight-piston pummel, they can bring it down to a spine-tingling simmer
when the time comes. At its heart, Brain Telephone is Frankie and The Witch Fingers
at their most visceral – primed, polished, and funneling the fragrant heat of rock
through your cranked speakers.
– Andy French
The beat hammers like the pulse of a pair of lovers on the run from a gang of racist thugs –
the sound is manic, but from it speaks a seemingly insurmountable inner strength. This arch
of tension is home to Camera.
The Berlin band is rightly compared with icons of seventies Krautrock such as Neu! and La
Düsseldorf, with a tight and driving sound, yet they are still somehow unpredictable. Hardly
any other band understands how to mutate tiny musical nuances into volcanic eruptions like
they do. Camera is a motor running at full throttle, where an explosion could occur at any
second. Once you have embarked on this crazy journey, you will be fascinated by the
alternating current somewhere between a flash flood and roller coaster running off the rails.
The cascades of sound convey a blurry image of a boundless desire to revolt, with each blink
of an eye threatening to end in purgatory, yet it is damned near indestructible.
Michael Drummer is the ethereal Indian paleface who pummels his drums at every show as if
we’re in the midst of a 17th Century incarnational ritual. In Steffen Kahles, who hails from the
world of film music, he has found the musical partner he needed to enrich the tribal kraut beat
with diverse motifs and bold sounds. On the third Camera album “Phantom of Liberty”, we
hear the clever use of playful sounds such as synths that beam us back into the Commodore
64 computer games of 1984; or slightly cranky keyboard pads, as if created by deliberately
manipulating the speed of an old tape machine. With “Phantom of Liberty” Camera show that
they have become more mature and complex without losing any of their tremendous energy.