For the longest time we had to contend with music being called the wrong thing. When psych rock was ruling the world about five years ago, most of it was either garage rock or surf music, all of which are far from psych. While that’s its own thing, the rise of solid garage rock bands is occurring again, and one of the better ones we’ve heard in recent years is Austin’s The Zoltars. Taking steps to not sound like everyone else while still resonating, the band’s new album Telling Stories due this Friday, is an exercise in what happens when bands get to make a record without bounds.
The opener “Maybe I’m Crazy” has a very raw tone to it, almost like you’re in the room with it as it gets recorded. The backing vocals make for a nice touch while the band saws their way through distorted notes and a driving sound. The perfect opener for the album, the song gets backed up with more garage rock tones throughout. With the hook filled sounds of “I’m Stressed” the band offers a sunny disposition that reminds your ears of Hector’s Pets or The Beach Boys if they dropped acid rather than wore matching outfits.
The fevered pace of “Downtown” makes the band sound like they’ve been around for years while “John White” keeps the energy high. In fact the bulk of the release is punchy and full of notes that hit perfectly and blend together to hone in on a garage sound that you haven’t heard in years. One of our favorites comes with “Turn Around,” one of the slower tracks on the album. It in many ways, showcases the strong suits of the band. Vocals that have enough weight to hold your ears while the song is arranged in a way that’s respectful but not heady. The way the band mixes backing vocals and a pure garage rock vibe touches on all points without sounding antiquated. Telling Stories might be the best new representation of garage we’ve heard in a while, and it should definitely grow the fan base for The Zoltars.
Telling Stories can be streamed as much as you’d like above and it can be preordered on multiple formats directly from Austin Town Hall. The Zoltars will be on tour beginning tomorrow at Hotel Vegas in Austin, TX until November 10 at Minicine in Shreveport, LA. The band’s entire tour schedule can be accessed here.
Image Credits: Photo Courtesy of Artist.