By Gia Vescovi-Chiordi
A bevy of psyche soaked revivalist bands have been making the rounds in Los Angeles for quite some time – The Allah-Lahs, Dead Ghosts, Night Beats, etc – so what makes the Mystic Braves stick out? In addition to always donning a king’s ransom of silk shirts bathed in paisley, Mystic Braves [Julian Ducatenzeiler (guitar/vocals), Tony Malacara (bass/vocals), Shane Stotsenberg (guitar/vocals), Cameron Gartung (drums), Ignacio Gonzalez (organ/tambourine)] attend to every aspect of being a time traveling ensemble with a deeper polish and more immediate vigor than their peers. They exude the decades of yore as porously as possible, and this attention and commitment encapsulates what a huge tribute they truly are to the bands and the time they emulate.
Mystic Braves’ brand of repro-rock is elevated with some serious farfisa organ grinding, flourishes of flute and vocals steeped in less reverb than their ‘Nam draft dodging counterparts. Where Night Beats can fall into the grunge pool, Dead Ghosts get garage and The Allah-Lahs slant surfy – Mystic Braves sound like they would blend right in on any 60’s Psyche Nugget compilation. And while they’re not exactly subtle about the parallels between their sound and those of years past (see Beatles’ soaked tracks ‘Spanish Rain’ and ‘Down on You’, among others), it’s obvious these guys are playing music they love, and they do it true and well. I’m glad this is what people are putting out – it’s much more gratifying than top 40 and it’s a powerful return to the actual, honest to god organic band. Where Braves’ initial self titled album was unadulterated, fast paced lo-fi psyche followed by a sophomore effort rife with trippy desert themes and potent ear worms (the aptly titled Desert Island), Days of Yesteryear seems to channel Carnaby Street in ’66 with scrolling, swirling, polished sixties pop. Dripping with nuances that are nearly impossible to pick up on the first listen, Days of Yesteryear bears repeating. Each track is it’s own microcosm – a swirling universe steeped in a particular style but with the unmistakable touch of devotion from modern musicians – plus it doesn’t hurt that Mystic Braves can craft a melody like nobody’s business.
A tightly packed 10-track record that is a must for any psyche revivalist enthusiasts, Days of Yesteryear is the third installment of the Mystic Braves- magical-mystery-time-traveling-electric-kool-aid-acid-test.
Stand out tracks: ‘Corazon’, ‘Now That You’re Gone’, ‘Born to Get to You’