When life gives you acid, make music. That’s the motto New York surf band High Waisted embraced while recording their latest album, Acid Tapes Vol. 2.
“We recently took some acid, bunkered down in a dimly lit basement, threw up a room mic and recorded the results,” drummer Jonathon Bernstein tells Impose over email. “This is the second release in our series, The Acid Tapes…Both volumes were recorded in unusual settings, in one take, while under the influence of acid.”
The approach may sound like a recipe for disaster, but the set, which is mostly composed of covers, is more than just a gimmick and even the most experienced acid eaters would think it was done straight. Between goofy audio snippets of ripping bongs and “this is your brain on drugs” warnings, the band covers a series of songs ranging from surf rock staples like “Misirlou” and “Wipeout” to Otis Redding and “Monster Mash” with a drug-inspired twist.
Bernstein says the songs chosen were tunes High Waisted enjoys jamming or warming up with and that it was an organic selection process. Album standout is the group’s cover of Swinging Blue Jeans’ “Don’t Make Me Over”, wherein singer Jessica Louise Dye lets the chorus’ crescendo carry her soulful voice to new heights.
“We tracked everything in a day, doing single takes of each tune. We just made [a] fun time out of it,” Bernstein recalls. “The soundscapes and mixing were more of a smoke-a-joint-and-get-weird-on-a-Friday-night kind of deal. We have a pretty cool stock pile of strange sound bites and noises. We wanted the listener to feel like they were on an acid trip. Each track and transition should enhance that sensation. It’s a mix tape and auditorial collage of the bizarre.”
Stream Acid Tapes Vol. 2 below.