The Space Agency - The Celestial Sounds of The Space Agency

The Space Agency - The Celestial Sounds of The Space Agency

Though they've been dropping a few nice singles here and there, it's been 15 years since we've had an LP from the Space Agency, and they remain as special as ever. Somewhere underneath layers of fuzz and pedals is a pretty trad surf group with great dead-simple melodies that honestly could sound more 1962 than many groups if they felt like it. Give a listen to the least dressed song on this record "Alpaca Boogie" to catch a glimpse. What sets them apart is a dense collage of fuzz, tremolo, flange, reverb, echo, etc that puts them somewhere at the crossroads of California Surf, Eleki, Davie Allan and 13th Floor Elevators.

What I find particularly lovely about this group is despite the dense psychedelic sound, it's a very vintage psychedelia. I listen to a lot of modern psych groups, which take big cues from prog rock, post-rock, post-punk, etc., and those influences are cut out from this sound. While it would certainly blow the minds of somebody in, say, 1967, it could believably be from that era (there's a compilation "Everything you wanted to know about 60's mind expansive punkadelic garage rock instrumentals but were afraid to ask" that serves as a great reference point here).

There's a wide range on here, from the eleki inspired "Teringo", the straight Cycle-Delic fuzz of "Silver Haze", but also some eastern attempt on "Bombay Potatoes" (which was previously released as a single). And for those that want to hear them go wild with it, there's "The Munchies".

Percussion is so simple that you wouldn't think it would be worth mentioning -- half of these songs are pretty straight surf beat -- but the music swings with it in such a way that it's hypnotically perfect.

So happy to hear from this group again, hopefully it won't be another 15 years for another LP.

Speaking of LP, this is on vinyl. You can order from Bandcamp.

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