Follow The People's Temple

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The People's Temple, <i>Sons of Stone</i>

The last twenty years haven't been kind to psychedelic music. You had the golden age in the 60s, then the 70s started out good, but gave way to big stadium fuzz like Zepplin and The Who by Numbers. While there's nothing necessarily wrong with those classic rock touchstones, taking acid to make music gave way to making music to keep up your cocaine habit and buying first class tickets for your guitar to fly to an ampitheatre show in the Midwest. And then sometime in the early 80s, bands got tired of the same three-chord punk concotions and you got neo-psychedelic stuff on labels like Bomp!, bands like Spacemen 3, and of course, Julian Cope. Then the 90s happened, and everybody forgot about psychedelic stuff until the later end of the decade when a renewed interest in Nuggets, Back From the Grave, and other brilliant compliations started getting everybody and their mother to start garage bands that would turn into post-punk bands, that would turn into disco punk bands, and then would make babies that would start chillwave. (Please note that I'm not trying to establish any lineage between 00s garage rock and chillwave, just trying to point out that people are trend hoppers.)

It's gotten better since then. Bands seem to have gotten over the fact that just because you have a paisley shirt and the same Rickenbacker that Roger McGuinn played, that doesn't make you “psychedelic.” There have been very few examples of truly great psych rock that carry on in the spirit of their 60s forebears, but The People's Temple is the best example I've heard in a really long time. Their new LP on HoZac, Sons of Stone, is one of the realest deal 13th Floor Elevators/Arthur Lee tributes to come out this side of Y2K. These Michigan loners seem to get that psych music doesn't necessarly mean peace and love posturing. It's bored kids making loud music just like other luminaries from their state, The Stooges, MC5, and The Gories.

The People's Temple, “Sons of Stone”