White Lodge take more than their name from the playbook of David Lynch. The Twin Peaks reference is magnified by the equal levels of surrealism and violence in their sound, finding a balance between disturbed and innovative garage rock. Their psych and surf-centred fuzz is channelled from the 70’s and inspirations new and past, and dumped straight onto their latest EP Technicolour Visions.
Trip out on some White Lodge as their latest EP channels a surfy, psychedelic rock vibe.
Given the personality of their brand of rock – as we introduced you to back in October – perhaps the Black Lodge would have been a more apt label, if not for an already established industrial/goth band taking the name. The Gold Coast four-piece formed barely a year ago from the remains of a few local punk bands, including hardcore outfit Shields, and wasted no time in forging a new sound.
They released their first EP Holy Void at the end of August last year; recording the six track psych-driven monster at Out Loud Studios in Brisbane before shipping it off to Portland for mastering. Their next release was a split 7” with Taiwanese band Forests in September 2013, which led to their first overseas tour taking place in Taipei. After a coveted slot supporting Californian beach-goths The Growlers, White Lodge’s tumultuous first year was capped off with the release of their second EP Technicolour Visions earlier in August through the same production avenue.
First track Trippin on the Vanilla Trail opens the EP with pure sonic chaos which quickly descends into garage rocks chords. The vocals echo the quirkiness of Talking Heads David Byrne, and a searing guitar solo shines as it leads to a more ballad-like breakdown, displaying an operatic quality that becomes increasingly evident across the album.
Chirping crickets are disrupted by psychedelic guitars on Laguna Negra, infused with western-tinged strumming and percussion. Displaying WU LYF level of lo-fi qualities in the vocals and instrumentation, the tune turns to torment with verbal and guitar screams before returning to the eerie silence of crickets.
New Mornin’ Sun appropriately introduces surfer-rock vibes; the distortion is lessened and the overall density released, giving way to a less quirky, poppier composition. This is momentary though, with what seems like the end of the song morphing into searing, speedy guitars and gravelly vocals.The raspy singing continues on Sands of Graveyard Atoll, whilst the guitars inherit a twang throughout the verses that are segmented by screamed and scorching choruses.
The intro to Hotel Temperamental is the slowest and sweetest part of the record, before the pace quickly escalates. It also incorporates the most melodic chorus, with surfy crooning accompaniment.Closing epic Switchblade Blues depicts the story of an outlaw in most operatic fashion, with a slow intro meeting peaks and valleys of emotion, and guitar solos with varying effects.
White Lodge have managed to maintain the unruliness they’ve become renowned for, whilst delivering a churning mix of catchy, psych-inspired hooks, manic garage rock and dark pop. Wearing proudly their influences from the older school Black Lips to Bleeding Knees Club, they feed on such irreverence whilst not taking themselves too seriously. With plans of a full length album later in the year, here’s hoping White Lodge will continue to “have fun, make the most of anything and keep some sort of spontaneity”.
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