|First Communion Afterparty — Earth Heat Sound (2013)|
First Communion Afterparty — Earth Heat Sound
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Album release: November 14, 2013
01 Awakenings 2:43
02 Jesus Told You 4:11
03 Balloons 4:48
04 Sleep Away 5:58
05 Shone Brightly 4:28
06 Field of flowers / Spring rite 9:18
07 Color of My Mind 5:03
08 Skinwalker 3:20
09 Featherhead 4:12
10 21AAA 14:49
• Liam Watkins
• Marie DeBris
• Carin Barno
• Joe Werner
• Nic Grafstrom
• Aaron James
• Jeanne Oss
Θ> First Communion Afterparty is a group of kindred souls who came together to satisfy the need to create modern psychedelic rock. A combination of sheer ambition, youth, and an undeniable passion for a musical revolution, FCAP have evolved their sound into multi-instrumental psychedelia.
Θ> In 2008, First Communion Afterparty released their debut album, ‘Sorry for All the Mondays and To Those That Can’t Sing’ on MPLS LTD label. They also released a live album that year, called, ‘Ever Last Sting Live’. (MPLS LTD) 2010 saw the release of an EP, ‘Skyline Starlight’ also on theMPLS LTD label. They played tons of shows, including trips to SXSW from 2007 to 2010. Then after about 5 years, the band took a bit of a hiatus. Today’s lineup consists of seven members, of which only some of the original members remain. Carin Barno-Iverson, Liam Watkins, Marie Debris, Nic Grafstrom, Joe Werner, Aaron James and Jeanne Oss now make up the lineup.
Θ> But now, FCAP is back, and are coming at you with a brand new album Earth Heat Sound. It’s an astonishingly great album, showing the growth we would have expected after Sorry For All The Mondays revealed them to be the single greatest buncha hippies at work in our savage land. “Jesus Told You,” which gets things going, captures what’s so special about this band. Layers of drums and tambourine undergird Joe Werner’s sitar-treated lead guitar, as Liam Watkins strums and sings along with Carin Barno in some Haight-Ashbury choir. Watkins’ voice always has a punk rock weariness, but when bassist Sarah Rose and keyboard player Marie DeBris wrap their angelic tongues around Carin’s purty warbles, there’s a Mamas’n’Papas sweetness to the overall psyche effect. Θ> That’s the band in miniature: melodic songwriting, ’60s guitar, a deep-bottomed, energetic rhythm section, and a chorus of voices singing around a campfire in Golden Gate Park during The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. Sparks fly, timelessness rules.
Θ> “Balloons” is a reminder that underneath the dreamy vocals and the layers of guitars and keyboards, this is a band powered by Nic Grafstrom, a drummer of the Aynsley Dunbar/Bev Bevan school o’ tricks. ”Featherhead,” emanates from the Skyline, Starlight EP, but in this fresh context shows how much growth the band made between that first studio album and this. ”Field of Flowers/Spring Rites” and “Shone Brightly” are two of the songs that, via YouTube, always promised that when Earth Heat Sound was released, it would be a killer. Included here, our more than three-year vigil for the album was time well spent.
Θ> The antecedent that constantly comes most to mind when listening to FCAP, exemplified by a song like “Sleep Away,” is the Jefferson Airplane, which prior to 1970 not only made great records, they were a fantastic live band. “Featherhead” is that rare song here that shows a contemporary influence, in this case My Bloody Valentine. It’s the exception that proves the rule: First Communion Afterparty were/are sui generis, a band that harkens to the greatest sounds of the Summer o’ Love, while being utterly contemporary. Admittedly, ending the album with “21AAA”, a 14-minute song, is a bit of a throwback, and yeah, we’ll listen to it about as often as we listen to Ummagumma, but still.
Θ> First Communion Afterparty’s music belongs to a distinct family: psychedelic rock. It’s true: there is no other honest way to describe it. Their sound is built on psychedelic bands you’ve heard and some you haven’t. There is nothing unfamiliar but there’s a fresh personality behind it. Each song is an artful balance of dual guitars, bass, keyboard, tambourines, drums, floor tom and vocals from all over.
Θ> A sprawling commune of a band, these prophets of new psychedelia combine the percussive shake of a den of rattlesnakes with waves of guitar that warp and shimmer like heat coming off a stretch of desert blacktop. FCAP’s loose-limbed bohemian jangle and drugged-out drawl are a seductive invitation to get on the bus and head west.
Θ> Take six kids with disaffected stares, add droning guitars and keyboards, toss in some superfluous percussion and top it all off with a vaguely sacrilegious name, and you’ve got First Communion Afterparty, a band that’s already inspiring friends and enemies with equal amounts of passion.
Θ> So, even if First Communion Afterparty are weirdo cult figures visiting us from hazy hey days of the past, let’s embrace them. Their music (cleverly cultivated for decades and scientifically delivered to us in the present) is some of the best we have in the Twin Cities.
Of all the bands in the town that tread in the psychedelic milieu, and there are and have been plenty, FCAP are perhaps the closest to the whole Brian Jonestown Massacre shambolic-psych darkrock thing, that “holy shit I’m having a bad trip” skulls and blood and weird shit thing that I find utterly fascinating. Their communal, guitar-drenched vibe is nothing but amazing, and I anticipate their new album, Earth Heat Sound, will be their usual fantastic stuff. Plus, live — when they all show up and everything’s working like clockwork — they are magnificent, and they wield tons of talent. (Oh, and openers the Goondas are pretty fucking great, too.) — Jon Hunt
|First Communion Afterparty — Earth Heat Sound (2013)|