“It was only by chance that two years ago I was given an old Tascam mixer by an acquaintance who did not need it anymore, and we used it ever since, collecting as much vintage gear as we could”
Eric Strand of Swedish band The Orange Revival recalls. [via Fuzz Club]. After a few years of almost constant touring, including slots with The Warlocks and Spectrum, their second LP Futurecent has proven that this coincidental gift and habit of equipment hunting have served the Austin Psych Fest alumni well. I had a chance to ask Eric a few questions about the new album, and I discovered the band’s love of shrimp tacos and their encounter with the spirit of Andy Warhol.
You may note that the trippy banana on the album artwork is very pleasing to the eye. “The photo was taken during a late and colorful night in Joshua Tree last winter by our friend Beau Balek”, he explained. “It just looked so good right then and I told him I wanted to use it for the record artwork. He thought I was joking, but we did use it, just changed the colors bit….I liked the look of the half eaten futuristic banana. When we got the records, I realized that if you turn it upside down you can see a face that is very similar to Andy Warhol’s… maybe he wanted some credit for it, and he got it.” Need proof?
“The title is mix of future and recent, FutuRecent, it just felt like a good title since time is moving so fast sometimes, you look forward to things that are gonna happen, and then in the blink of an eye it just passed you”, he explained. Through touring together, they were acquainted with Pete Kember aka Sonic Boom (of Spacemen 3, E.A.R. and Spectrum), who “did a locked groove” for the sophomore effort.
It seems that the trip to the desert combined with grinding drones à la The Brian Jonestown Massacre, and notes of garage/punk have contributed to the themes that evolved out of The Orange Revival’s debut Black Smoke Rising. Futurecent opens with “Saturation”, a tale of a girl who was pressured to forgo her aspirations. “People told her how to fear/What they never told her was to dream on”. The howling guitars, spacey synths, and chugging drums/bass make for a strong start. “You should hold on
to your dreams and don’t listen to what some people say. Do what you wanna do! If you wanna listen to a fuzz pedal the rest of your life instead of the boss at work, then just do it!” Eric elaborates.
“If you wanna listen to a fuzz pedal the rest of your life instead of the boss at work, then just do it!”
The release has a general atmosphere of sun-bleached Mojave journeys, like on “Lying in the Sand” where Eric sings “Rode to the desert with her heart in her hand” over a very full sounding drum beat. There are also moments spent toying with shadows and the seemingly mutable dimensions of time. As far as experimentation on the new release, Eric informs me, “We did use more synthesizers and some drum machines. But we just recorded what felt good at the moment. Black Smoke Rising feels like a long time ago, our sound has changed a bit along the way.” “Speed” is a track with a sometimes dizzying, full-throttle intensity, yet “Carolyn” induces a tranquilizer-laced daydream. To the psychedelic wanderer, time seems both relevant and irrelevant, ever accelerating yet sometimes beckoning us toward yesterday’s sunset.
“Time starts changing even more when you hear the future call/It’s getting closer and closer to you”, he warns on The Stooges style “1999”. Finishing up Futurecent is “All I Need”, a nearly ten minute escapade leaning toward the darker end of the psych spectrum with humming synths and distorted episodes, drenched in a bit of stoner-rock headiness comparative to “To the Center” era Nebula. “All I need is peace of mind”….the front-man’s request dissolves into delectable repetitious grooves that cast you into the burning sand.
Time pushes the Swedish natives forward this fall, as they embark on a West Coast tour and work on new material. “We have just started to record our next album, so we will keep working on that. And then do some touring in Europe this spring.” After being asked about what culinary comforts from home the band misses while on the road, Eric replies “Right now I just wanna eat shrimp tacos ! We will probably go get some when we [are finished]! Things we miss are good strong coffee , a nice Swedish breakfast, and some classic dishes like Kroppkakor for example. Try to get some Kroppkakor if you ever go to Sweden, they are amazing.”
Futurescent is available for purchase on Fuzz Club Records, and if you’re on the West Coast keep an eye out for select tour dates! And make sure to bring the Kroppkakor.