Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Ecstatic Vision - Under The Influence (EP Review)


Release date: May 11th 2018. Label: Heavy Psych Sounds. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Under The Influence – Tracklisting

1. Troublemaker
2. The Bad Will Die
3. History Of Man
4. Born To Go
5. Master Of The Universe
6. Come Together

Members

Doug Sabolik
Michael Field Connor
Kevin Nickles
Ricky Kulp

Review

Greetings All,

Philadelphia’s Ecstatic Vision have given unto us a killer 6 song covers EP entitle Under the Influence that will send the listener hurling a wild trip back to the 70’s. Those familiar with Ecstatic Vision and their gritty, heavy take on garage psych will go bonkers over this EP. The record is half ZamRock covers and half 60’s/70’s psych rock covers. I won’t lie to you, I had no idea what ZamRock was until I started researching it for this record. ZamRock is a mostly psych rock sound that emanated from Zambia in the 1970’s.

The first three tracks on the record are from these ZamRock artists. The last 3 tracks are an homage to two of the early purveyors of psych rock, the MC5 and Hawkwind. This EP rips it up from beginning to end. I personally have always been a fan of the EP format, it leaves the listener wanting more, and Ecstatic Vision have nailed it here. The record is concise and rocking from the first to the final note.

The record has a very gritty, distorted almost lo-fi sound that truly suits all of the songs presented on Under the Influence. Ecstatic Vision sound is a mix of effects heavy psychedelic rock with 70’s rock crunch and from time to time some distorted saxophone that is a mighty tool and a killer piece of the puzzle.

Troublemaker by Chrissy Zebby Tembo kicks the record off with a heavy chug and some of the most gravel filled, distorted vocals around. This song, as with all on this EP, is heavy on the rhythm and guitar with plenty of spaced out distortion to spare.

The Bad Will Die by Keith Mlevhu is up next. This almost fully instrumental track is a guitar-centric spaced out trip back to the early 70’s.

History of Man follows. It is by Amanaz and is groovy and again is overloaded with fuzzed out, wah heavy guitars and a killer groove that is accentuated by some righteous vocals and lyrics.

Squalling feedback opens Born to Go by Hawkwind which fully embraces the 70’s psych sound with a killer beat and heavy, heavy usage of phasers and effects.

The band then grabs another Hawkwind track, Master of the Universe. This monster track is the perfect stage for the bands use of distorted saxophone to close out the song.

The album closes with Come Together by the MC5 (not the Beatles tune which would have been an interesting choice). In listening to this ripper of a closer, you can feel the admiration for the Detroit rock group coming through in the song. EV and the MC5 are kindred spirits.

Under the Influence is a righteous addition to Ecstatic Vision already stellar catalogue. If you haven’t checked out their first two records, do yourself a favor and grab them along with this ripper. You owe it to yourself to take a long strange trip to the 70’s with the Vision. Highly Recommended!

- Todd S

Instagram @alltheghoststhathauntyou

Words by Todd Stealey

Thanks to Claire at Purple Sage PR for the promo. Under The Influence will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Heavy Psych Sounds from May 11th 2018.

Links:

Facebook | BandCamp

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