The Reverberation Appreciation Society has put Austin on the map for contemporary psychedelic rock by serving as a creative hub and incubator. In addition to their global Levitation music festival franchise (QRO recap), their record label roster of psych rock bands, such as Holy Wave, continues to mature. The first of three shows in Texas, Holy Wave’s tour kick off on Wednesday, March 1st, was an opportunity for the band to get their sea legs on new material before shipping off to Mexico and Argentina.
The first date of Holy Wave’s tour began inauspiciously with the last-minute cancellation of label mate and opener Ringo Deathstarr (QRO spotlight on), due to lead man Elliott Frazier becoming severely ill prior to the start of the show. Scrambling to fill the slot, concert organizers tapped the Brazilian psych-rock band Boogarins to pinch hit for the shoegazing group.
Arriving early from Brazil for five showcases at South by Southwest later this month, the Boogarins performed an atmospheric and sexy style of psych. Their short set began with charismatic lead singer Dinho Almeida softly chanting over a flourish of guitar feedback with a big toothy grin before shuffling into their opening song “Tempo” which characterized their set – a mesmerizing swirl of dreamy tropicalia psych.
Holy Wave’s set began with bespectacled multi-instrumentalist Kyle Hagar addressing the crowd with, “We’re going to be playing some new songs tonight, I hope you guys like ‘em,” before kicking things off with “3s”, a fresh new number with a fuzzy synth melody intro layered with a thick serving of guitar reverb. On the third piece, the band moved into more familiar territory with “She Put a Seed in My Ear” from 2016’s Freaks of Nature, a dreamy and jangly tune that had guitarist Ryan Fuson bouncing to the beat. But just as they started settling into the middle of their set, the band’s concern with their sound sadly disrupted their momentum and flow.
As the band rounded out the end of their hour-long performance, the quintet regained their vibe and confidence by pushing the gas pedal down on new material “No Love” and “Buddhist Pete,” a motorcycle tune with a driving rhythm and melancholic spaced-out synths reminiscent of the 1980s. All in all, the sympathetic crowd of locals was happy to get a first listen to Holy Wave’s new songs and bid the group a farewell as their trip takes them south of the equator.
A “Buddhist Pete” recording from Futureappletree Studio in February 2017, a Daytrotter Session, can be found at this link: https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2017/02/holy-wave-buddhist-pete.html.