The Upshot: Vancouver upstarts’ latest slab of psychedelic rock that engages from the opening drone to the final stab of guitar.
BY JONATHAN LEVITT
Once and a while a hidden gem comes round’ and ends up on my desk. Hailing from Vancouver, the Intelligence Service Band, on their latest Maladies EP take the Moon Duo’s approach to minimalist psychedelia that rotates on a singular groove.
Opener “Distraction” is a really cool number that is revolves around some muscular drumming and an addictive retro organ line. Alex P’s spoken word vocals are almost a dead ringer for Low’s Alan Sparhawk. The song is 14 minutes long and at the midway point seems to repeat itself, but upon a closer listen the second half of the song includes some really killer hallucinatory guitar that left me hoping the song wouldn’t end. “Driving to my Sun” reminds me of the post Spacemen 3 band The Darkside; cue up the Darkside’s “She Don’t Come” from the album All That Noise. “Driving to my Sun” is a 3-minute song that shows the band can compact a cool idea in the space of a sentence instead of a paragraph. “School Me” is a vehicle for Alex P. and Heather Campbell’s back and forth banter.
Alex P. has a really distinct sounding voice. I also really enjoyed how Heather’s voice seemed to provide soothing relief tempering Alex’s weirdness. The interplay of male and female vocals worked really well and shows a smart use of each band members talents. In the future I would say this the band should stick to what’s been presented on this EP of having a healthy mix of shorter songs and ones where they just let things evolve.
All in all, what’s been presented on this EP has whetted my appetite for their forthcoming record Transgressors due out soon and produced by Chris Woodhouse of Ty Segall and Fuzz fame.
DOWNLOAD: “Distraction (Here Comes Dror)” “Driving to my Sun” “School Me”