Acid Kicks is a 4 piece psych-punk band from Philly, and they're fucking great. You might not know it upon first listen, but three of the members play bass. That's right, three basses and one set o' drums. One of the bass players sent me a link to their 7", so here it is in all its glory. The vibe I get from Acid Kicks is similar to that of the Psychic Paramout [see my list for the end of 2011] -- punked-out psych rock on a tight, driving rhythm, with lots of room for noise. However, while that band is almost industrial in their rhythmic precision, this band is more melodic in their approach.
The first song, 'Life Dreams,' starts out sounding a little like that Pink Floyd song 'One of These Days,' but faster (this is punk rock!), with the basses vibing together and colliding in their shiny metallic way. Then the octave-pedal'd bass kicks in with the drums, and suddenly you're flying on a shoegaze air column. The vocals sway in and out like clouds, and with the same cold intensity.
Probably my favorite development in underground music in the last 20 years has been the constant mixing of punk with noisy psychedelic music, often producing new and exciting results. Acid Kicks call their particular concoction 'dream punk,' and they put it like this in a recent article/interview:
There are no limits in dreams. The dreamer can realize her full potential. No obstacles hold her back. “If you’re a lucid dreamer you can figure out how to fly… you can do whatever you want, and there are no consequences,” claims Kavanaugh. The punk, meanwhile, is an always-active, politically charged character who wants the world and wants it now. Merging these two paradigms, the dream-punk is some sort of heroic ideal–an uberhuman capable of doing anything and going anywhere.
Maybe it's an attempt to shake off the apathy, to turn the nihilists into dreamers with active motivation. Maybe it's an escape from the shite reality we've got, to bring the dream information over into this world and create our own reality. Maybe those are or aren't mutually exclusive, but as always, it's up to you to decide.
You can buy the 7" (or a FLAC copy) from the Acid Kicks bandcamp below (orders come with a hand-made dream catcher for a few extra bucks), as well as download two live sets for free (+pay what you want). The more recent one was reviewed over at Spacerockmountain, so click yer way over to that.
Listen to / buy a copy of Life Dreams
I am the valleys