If there's one guitar tone I love, it's the Rickenbacker. To succinctly describe the sound: if you hear a record that makes you think of the 1960s, or if a song makes you think of the Byrds or bands of that sort, chances are you're hearing a Rickenbacker. Roger McGuinn made it famous with his band of Byrds, and, really, its rustic sound made many psych-rock bands sound even more down-home.
Two fellows who have an expert mastery of the Rickenbacker guitar are brothers Dominic and Robert Campanella, the masterminds behind the excellent The Quarter After. These two fellows are veterans of the modern folk-rock scene, and, unsurprisingly, their musical roots lead through and reveal members to have been in Brian Jonestown Massacre, as well as having worked with Brian Wilson, Beachwood Sparks and the Tyde. But that doesn't matter because The Quarter After's sound is clearly their own; heck, if you're a long-time reader, you'll remember that I sang their praises for their first album--and I still stand by my loving words!
Their new album, Changes Near, is a beautiful slab of harmony-soaked, weed-sceneted mellow psych-rock that can best be described as primo shit. Musically, their styling never really varies; their music is inspired by the good ol' days, but, really, their sound is much more modern. When they throw down those classic harmonies on "Sanctuary" and "She Revolves," my little heart swoons and my little soul is transported into a very beautiful, heady place. When they kick it mellow, like on "Nothing Out of Something" or "Winter Song," your cares and stresses of the day, they simply float away.
But what makes them great is how they utilize a sound that might seem trite and cliched and make it sound fresh. In a weird way, a song like "Early Morning Rider" or "See How Good It Feels" starts off with a riff that might make you think Dinosaur Jr, but with a quick rock shift, they go into Tom Petty territory, and then they turn around mix both styles together in a beautiful way that will leave you say, "Amazing!" I mean, I dig stuff like this; really, I love stuff like this! I can't really verbalize it and intellectualize it; I simply enjoy this. A treasure worth seeking out and ingesting.
Listen To: "Making Nothing out of Something"
Changes Near is available now on The Committee to Keep Music Evil
Labels: reviews q, The Committee to Keep Music Evil, The Quarter After