8 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Sacramento, California’s Ganglians fused gangs with aliens to forge their moniker much in the same way that they braid psychedelic surf music with lo-fi indie rock to conceive something that sounds born in the wake of John Dwyer’s utopia (the San Francisco Mission District art-rock scene). The quartet’s eponymous 2009 EP opens with “Hair,” a soaring and melodic college-radio mini-opus fueled by driving rhythms, heavily reverberated wave-riding guitar leads, and contagiously catchy singing. Slivers of punk-rock abandon come crashing down like overhead waves on “Rats Man,” a dirty but danceable nouveau surf-punk creation that sounds like the entire song was filtered through a walkie-talkie and recorded on recycled analog tape reels found while Dumpster-diving. While “Radically Inept Candy Girl” initially sounds like nothing more than four-track tomfoolery with a child’s toy keyboard, the novelty unravels to reveal a song on par with anything off Beck’s 1994 album One Foot In the Grave. Equally the strongest and weirdest track, “Snake Eyes” could be a futuristic field recording where Alan Lomax’s great, great grandson captured the folk songs of intergalactic surfers.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Sacramento, California’s Ganglians fused gangs with aliens to forge their moniker much in the same way that they braid psychedelic surf music with lo-fi indie rock to conceive something that sounds born in the wake of John Dwyer’s utopia (the San Francisco Mission District art-rock scene). The quartet’s eponymous 2009 EP opens with “Hair,” a soaring and melodic college-radio mini-opus fueled by driving rhythms, heavily reverberated wave-riding guitar leads, and contagiously catchy singing. Slivers of punk-rock abandon come crashing down like overhead waves on “Rats Man,” a dirty but danceable nouveau surf-punk creation that sounds like the entire song was filtered through a walkie-talkie and recorded on recycled analog tape reels found while Dumpster-diving. While “Radically Inept Candy Girl” initially sounds like nothing more than four-track tomfoolery with a child’s toy keyboard, the novelty unravels to reveal a song on par with anything off Beck’s 1994 album One Foot In the Grave. Equally the strongest and weirdest track, “Snake Eyes” could be a futuristic field recording where Alan Lomax’s great, great grandson captured the folk songs of intergalactic surfers.

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2:45
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3:34
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4:06

About Ganglians

Falling somewhere between the noise-pop of bands like Wavves and Woods and the blissed-out psychedelia of the Beach Boys, Sacramento, CA’s Ganglians features Ryan Grubbs, Kyle Hoover, Alex Sowles, and Adrian Comenzind. Grubbs met Sowles when he moved from Portland, OR to Sacramento, and met Comenzind, who introduced him to Hoover. They began trading tracks they had recorded at home, and when Grubbs was asked to play a show, Hoover, Comenzind, and Sowles became his backing band. The band’s name came from a cross of the words “gang” and “aliens,” not the term referring to an external bundle of nerves. The band spent much of 2008 recording, and their debut single, a limited-edition split 7" with Eat Skull, appeared in January 2009 on Dulc-i-Tone Records. The band’s tours and releases came quickly after that, with an appearance at that year’s South by Southwest festival that March and a self-titled EP and a full-length album, Monster Head Room, arriving within weeks of each in May on the hip lo-fi label Woodsist. Where Ganglians was abrasive and self-recorded, Monster Head Room found the band working with an engineer friend who helped them get a cleaner sound that was innocent and trippy at the same time. The band spent the summer playing shows, including a set at the Smmr Bmmr festival in Portland, and closed out the year with a 7" on Captured Tracks in October. Soon after, Ganglians signed with Lefse Records, and in 2011, they recruited Dirty Projectors’ producer Robby Moncrieff for their second studio release, Still Living. ~ Heather Phares

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