Whistlejacket make a hypnotic, play-it-again sound that falls somewhere in between shoegaze and psychedelic-rock. Next week they’re set to release an EP ‘Oh Brother’ that, if the lead single of the same name’s scuzzy riffs and dream-like vocals are anything to go by, is set to be a must-listen.
Ahead of a show at The Lexington on 19th September and the imminent release, vocalist & guitarist George Matheou shares some of the new EP’s influences.
The Beatles – Helter Skelter
Like a few of the others on this list it’s an obvious choice from an obvious band. But there are reasons that The Beatles, Sabbath and Led Zep are classics that turn, so often, into cliche. ‘Helter Skelter’ was a choice on a long list of Beatles songs that could’ve been included here; they pioneered psychedelic music and heavy rock. ‘Helter Skelter’ is a great Paul song. His voice sounds great, but what I love about it is the harmonies and musicianship, those beefy guitars and the simply mammoth-like drums. Just a great song from a great band.
Black Sabbath – War Pigs
A great song for similar reasons. On the last EP, I spent a lot of time not being as direct about the music. Sometimes I felt it lacked a bit of direction, perhaps. With this one I wanted to be immediate but not necessarily simple for simple’s sake. I wanted to just enjoy playing the guitar again. I enjoy playing the first EP live but I wanted songs that translated well into recordings. ‘War Pigs’ is a great example of songs that are fun to play, seemingly simple. It’s not a pop song though; it’s over 7 minutes long but it sticks in your head just as much as any two minute “pop song”. It’s never boring.
Ty Segall – The Faker
Ty Segall is such a prolific musician. I love Fuzz, I love his Ty Rex stuff, I love The Emotional Muggers. I think he’s one of the best musicians around at the moment. I also love that all his projects are made up of friends. Danny described The Emotional Muggers as a supergroup. That may be an exaggeration but it’s not far from the truth. Ty’s great at writing simple songs, he writes 60s songs that sound so modern. Garage music is so often repetitive and that’s probably its one downfall. Ty is never repetitive.
The Brogues – I Ain’t No Miracle Worker
A friend recently told me about Artyfacts, a compilation of psychedelic and garage songs, that was put together by Jac Holzman, who founded Elektra Records and Lenny Kaye, who played for The Patti Smith Group. There are so many awesome songs on there. This is just one of them, I love the thin fuzzy guitars.
T-Rex – New York City
How can you make glam seem so sinister? Marc Bolan was sex in flares. He had a vast input, not all of it was great but this is Bolan at his best – seedy, sultry and glam. His voice warbles like Buddy Holly over those wonderful falsetto backing vocals that are so quintessentially T Rex.
Led Zeppelin – Dazed & Confused
I don’t know what I can say about this song. Sometimes songs are just great and trying to think of why is difficult. That’s been a problem with all of these songs really, trying to find 10 ways to just say “because it’s a fucking great song”. Led Zep are Led Zep, 4 musicians, the ultimate in each of their respective instruments and an untameable force when joined together. Like with ‘Helter Skelter’, I could’ve chosen any song but this is the one i chose – because it’s a fucking great song!
Thee Oh Sees – Penetrating Eye
Me and Danny chose to skip LCD Soundsystem at Primavera this year. Instead we chose to see Thee Oh Sees with about 70 other people. Best decision ever. They were so good. I had little knowledge of much of their music but it was such a relentlessly energetic performance, you couldn’t help but fall in love.
Nirvana – School
Bleach is often overlooked as a truly great album, overshadowed by Nevermind and In Utero. But it has its own moments of brilliance, this is undoubtedly one of them.
Dinosaur Jr – Keep The Glove
Primavera forced me to decide between seeing all of Radiohead and missing Dinosaur Jr or watch the beginning of Dinosaur Jr and catching the end of Radiohead. Seeing Dinosaur Jr was one of the best decisions I’ve ever been mocked for. The rest of the band and my girlfriend all left me behind to go and see Radiohead. Mascis and co smashed it. They were so loud, it was one of the highlights of the year. This was one of their first songs that I loved. His ability to moan throughout the chorus in a catchy pop song and cover it in those wailing guitars is amazing!
Tame Impala – Half Full Glass of Wine
What can you say about Tame Impala? They started as a great band and they’re just growing and growing with everything they put out. The version they did of this on Live Versions is incredible. They’re a great band on record and an even better live act. This song is still one of my favourites.