Satellite Records, a music store and performance venue, hosted heavy Psych artists Forget the Times, Imperial Sun Crusher, and LA Hell Gang on Oct. 18.
According to Michael Castellanos, K’18, the trio was “overall a unique experience which [he] was more than happy to get familiarized with.”
The show opened with Kalamazoo’s very own Forget the Times, one of whose band members is the co-owner of Satellite Records. The experimental sound-vibe rockers aren’t afraid to play with their instruments, even if they don’t behave. Nearly all of their songs seemed to be improvised and violated both time signature and structure. Heavy feedback, wailing harmonica, and arresting symbols mesmerized the audience, creating a sense of dissonance that somehow felt so OK. Forget the Times was followed by Grand Rapids’ Imperial Sun Crusher, here to bring the 1960s back to Kalamazoo.
Even Imperial Sun Crusher’s attire fit the psychedelic era: paisley prints, heavy furs, and plenty of wild hair. Lead vocalist Lydia Renfield donned a girlish blue nightgown reminiscent of Wendy’s character from Peter Pan. Her vocals were thick and bluesy and played an interesting contrast to her dress. Throughout the performance, Renfield collapsed to the floor, punched her fists into the air, and faced her back to the audience, admiring the other members of the band.
They were led by funky blues bass and heavy psychedelic guitar solos, which, according to bassist Hyde DeSoto, draws from a lot of “early heavy seventies bands.” At the same time, the singer’s loud and piercing vocals seemed to step outside the typical psychedelic frame. Their sound was dirty and deliberate: 60s rockers with a modern twist.
DeSoto hopes to leave his audience feeling “spaced out and pummeled.” At the end of their set, members of the audience shouted “Thank you!”
Of all the bands, “Imperial Sun Crusher was definitely my favorite,” said Castellanos. “They came in with such strong energy and their songs were very well structured.”
Finally, hailing all the way from Santiago, Chile, was LA Hell Gang, yet another group of Psychedelic rock artists. The bassist and drummer held down the beat while the guitarist carried on with what felt like an extended solo. Songs sped up in tempo and created a static tension that begged the musicians for more. The guitarist relied heavily on the wah-wah pedal to extend and reverberate each note, leaving the audience in state of cosmic time warp.