The Spyrals are a Los Angeles-based psychedelic rock band that was formed sometime in the mid-to-late 2000s. There’s not a whole lot of information that I can easily find about the band, even on the group’s Bandcamp page. It seems their first recording they released was an EP in 2009, with their first full-length album, The Spyrals (2012), which is the album I’ll be listening to tonight, having been released in June of 2012. I’ve looked at some of the reviews and comments that folks have made on the group’s Bandcamp page, which suggest they have a sort of psychedelic garage rock sound from around the late 1960s in California, which is getting me pretty excited to give this album a listen. Plus, their most recent release, Same Old Line (2020), has an album cover that reminds me a bit of The Doors, which is one of my favorite groups of all time. With that said, I’m going to jump on into the music.
“Lonely Eyes” starts with some inviting guitar that has a sort of garage rock/pop sound reminiscent of California in the 1960s, with a bit of a surf rock sound in the reverb of the track. I’m really digging this groove that the band is getting into. Oh wow, I really dig the mellow reverb in the vocals. I’m kind of reminded of The Asteroid No. 4 so far with the drums, bass guitar, and vocals. The electric guitar almost has a bit of a jangly garage pop sound with the brightness of the notes and chords. Oh wow, the band keeps on grooving with some super sweet psychedelic flavors. I’m almost reminded of The Black Angels with a sort of garage pop/rock sound from the 1960s. Great tune, and I’m excited to hear more.
Oh wow, “Disguise” starts out with some super flavorful twangy guitar that make me think of the original rock and roll guitarists like Duane Eddy. Oh wow, the bass line is super smooth and brings some really nice connective tissue to the dynamic beat of the track. Holy smokes, the band breaks through another movement that really reminds me of the sort of strange, almost dark nature of the psychedelic rock scene from Los Angeles in the 1960s. Oh wow, the lead guitar plays a really interesting raga-esque line to finish out the song. Great track.
“Trying To Please” starts out with some interesting guitar that creates a sort of brooding presence in the track, as though the band is building up something. Holy smokes, I’m really digging this track so far. So far, the song seems like a combination of modern psychedelic rock groups like Kingdom of the Holy Sun with The Doors, and I’m really digging the sound. Oh wow, I really dig the super distant, echoey sounds of the fuzzed-out guitar solo on one side, while the drums and bass continue leading the song along from the other side of the soundscape. I really dig the percussive accentuations from the shakers in this track, which give a simple and super sweet psychedelic addition to the soundscape. Great track.
“Calling Out Your Name” gets grooving with a combination of echoes and reverberation in some fuzzed-out guitars, one of which has a bit more of twangy sound that seems to bridge the gap between 1960s psychedelic garage rock and the more modern takes on psychedelic garage rock. The drums and bass have a really groovy flow to them that reminds me again of The Black Angels. Oh wow, I’m really digging the vocals in this track. Holy smokes, there’s some super groovy guitar work as the song comes to a close. Great track.
Oh wow, “Long Road Out” has a sort of loose, super twangy feel with the guitar and percussion that reminds me a lot of Liverpool Five’s “Do You Believe”. Oh wow, there’s some super sweet acoustic guitar in this track that adds a really groovy earthy jangliness to the sort of loose twang produced by the percussion and the electric guitar. Oh wow, I’m just noticing the bass guitar in this track, which almost gives the soundscape a sort of flowing platform that keeps the track super dynamic as the song continues. Holy smokes, there are some really interesting psychedelic effects that seem to gradually swell in, almost like you’re hearing someone play a harmonica inside of a tin room that’s two floors beneath you. Holy smokes, this jam keeps on flowing and growing more and more, and has pulled me continually closer to my speakers. Wow, awesome track.
Oh wow, “Radiator” has a loose, twangy, jangly gallop that almost makes it sound like you’re some sort of psychedelic cowboy headed towards the California coast from across the Mojave Desert. Oh wow, I really dig the vocals and the tremolo’d guitar in this track, both of which seem to have a certain distortion that amplifies the psychedelia of the soundscape. Oh wow, the vocals drone on behind the guitar for a moment and evoke a sort of raga sound. Holy smokes, the track changes up to a new movement that has some reversed instrumentation and some incredibly sweet distorted psychedelic guitar. I really dig the accentuations from the acoustic guitar and what sound to be an organ in this movement. Wow, great track.
“Save Yourself” begins with a big, distorted guitar note that leads into some feedback, and then the band gets into a super groovy movement that feels like a medley of bluesy jams from psychedelic garage rock bands of the 1960s with modern, heavily reverberated psychedelic rock bands like Kingdom of the Holy Sun. Oh wow, I really dig the tremolo on the guitar in the build up to the chorus. The drums and bass again have a sort of flowing quality that reminds me The Black Angels. Wow, great track.
“The Rain” gets started right away with some weighty and reverberated garage rock sounds that I really dig. Holy smokes, a harmonica comes in for a moment and almost has a sort of modern take on the harmonica from a song like “Bleecker and McDougal” by Fred Neil. I really dig the accentuations of the shakers in the track, which add a repetitive, almost soothing psychedelic element as the flowing reverb in the bluesy psychedelic garage rock rains in around the soundscape in a super groovy way. Holy smokes, the guitar lines and the harmonica keep dialing up the flavor of the song as the jams continue while the drums and bass keep the tune grooving along nicely. Great track.
Holy smokes, “Evil Kind” starts out with some sort of in-your-face tremolo’d and distorted guitar that I’m really digging, while the drums and bass almost have a sort of bouncing quality to them that changes things up quite a bit from most of the rest of the songs on the album, as though the album is making one last turn inward to wrap together the album. Oh wow, there are some super groovy drum fills in this track. Holy smokes, there’s some super sweet psychedelic organs that seem to gently chirp in from the right side of the soundscape while the jams intensify from the rest of the instrumentation. There’s almost a bit more grit in the distortion of the guitar and the vocals of the track compared to the rest of the album. Oh wow, the drums and bass gradually seem to get back into more of a flowing movement as the track nears the end, though with an intensity that matches the rest of the instrumentation in this track. Super sweet tune, and a groovy way to finish the album.
Wow, I’m pretty stoked that I checked out this album tonight. I was reminded a bit of psychedelic rock and garage rock artists from the late 1960s a few times throughout like The Doors, Liverpool Five, or even Fred Neil with the rawness of the instrumentation and the particular style of the melodies, as well as modern psychedelic acts like Kingdom of the Holy Sun, The Asteroid No. 4, as well as The Black Angels with the flowing quality of the rhythms and the use of reverb in the soundscapes that I’ve noticed in more modern psychedelic rock bands. If you’re a fan of psychedelic garage rock from the 1960s and are looking for a modern take on that sort of sound, and/or you enjoy modern psychedelic rock acts like The Black Angels, then you might want to consider checking out this album. If you do decide to give this album a listen, I sincerely do hope that you enjoy the listening experience at least as much as I did.