Transcending the heaping piles of garage bands around the world desperately aping the styles of their outmoded heroes, Mystic Braves emerge as a beacon of rock and roll authenticity, their disheveled, freewheeling look and devil-may-care attitude a genuine product of personality and experience rather than revivalist marketing. From the first organ drone, chiming guitar chord and hazy psychedelic warble, the Los Angeles band’s new LP, The Great Unknown (out Aug. 17 on Lolipop Records), is a brash proclamation that rock and roll continues to thrive outside the spotlight, stripped of its once-fashionable pretension and driven by an urgency for expression.
As the band’s fourth LP, The Great Unknown follows in the wake of their 2012 self-titled debut, 2014’s Desert Island and 2015’s Days of Yesteryear, which garnered praise from Rolling Stone, Consequence of Sound, Brooklyn Vegan, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal and many more. For the new record, the band enlisted the help of veteran record producer Kyle Mullarky (The Growlers, Allah-Lahs), spending a week at his studio in Topanga Canyon, Calif., cutting demos and exploring new sounds.
After recording between 30 and 40 demos at Mullarky’s studio, the group returned to Los Angeles and holed up at Lolipop Records’ new office/studio/living compound in Boyle Heights to record the final versions of the 12 tracks that would become The Great Unknown. Mystic Braves’ adventurousness in the studio yielded some impressive results. The Great Unknown stands as the group’s most fully realized project yet—an arresting collection of ethereal psych-pop that channels artists like The Seeds, The Zombies and The Kinks while maintaining an earnest and unique sense of individuality.
As they approach the release of The Great Unknown, Mystic Braves find themselves staring at the horizon, the stresses of lost love vanishing in a 12-track catharsis, channeling the electricity of the rock & roll pioneers that came before them. The group is now gearing up for a European tour in August, followed by a U.S. tour to round out the year. They’ve even got a few new songs already in the works and, above all, a renewed sense of camaraderie. The energy is palpable in their songs and live performances, as prevalent and natural as the effortless swagger that permeates their every move. Mystic Braves are ready to move on, band against world, and they don’t give a damn what anyone thinks.
Today Glide is excited to premiere “Shades of Grey”, one of the album’s standout tracks, which investigates the struggle of still being in love with someone after the relationship falls apart. Jangly and bouncy, the tune has a paisley pop meets garage rock sound that would be easy to write off as a throwback to 60s psych were it not executed so flawlessly. Though the band’s sound is completely their own – especially in the realm of modern psych rock – their use of guitars, organs and harmonies is at times reminiscent of legendary acts like the Kinks and The Zombies as well as contemporaries like Woods and the Smith Westerns.
The Great Unknown is out on August 17. Check out all of the band’s tour dates below and visit them on Facebook for more info.
August 2 – Euroyeye – Gijon, Spain
August 4 – Point Ephemere – Paris, France
August 6 – Molotow – Hamburg, Germany
August 7 – Bestpol – Dresden, Germany
August 9 – Paradiso – Amsterdam, Netherlands
August 10 – Borderline – London, UK
August 11 – Bodega – Nottingham, UK
August 12 – Buddha Blood – Brighton, UK
August 17 – Teragram Ballroom – Los Angeles, CA
August 18 – Velvet Jones – Santa Barbara, CA
August 22 – Casbah – San Diego, CA
August 23 – Wayfarer – Costa Mesa, CA
August 25 – Pappy & Harriets – Pioneertown, CA
August 29 – Harlow’s – Sacramento, CA
August 31 – The Chapel – San Francisco, CA
September 1 – The Loving Cup – Reno, NV
September 7 – High Noon Saloon – Madison, WI
September 8 – The Empty Bottle – Chicago, IL
September 13 – BSP – Kingston, NY
September 15 – Rough Trade – Brooklyn, NY
September 17 – Cafe Nine – New Haven, CT
September 21 – Johnny Brenda’s – Philadelphia, PA
September 22 – DC9 – Washington D.C.
September 26 – White Oak Music Hall – Houston, TX
September 27 – Dada Dallas – Dallas, TX
September 28 – Mohawk – Austin, TX
September 29 – Paper Tiger – San Antonio, TX
September 30 – Ethos Live – Laredo, TX
October 3 – Lowbrow Palace – El Paso, TX
October 4 – Cans – Tucson, AZ
October 5 – Taos Mesa Brewing – Taos, NM
October 6 – Hi Dive – Denver, CO
October 7 – Surfside 7 – Fort Collins, CO
October 9 – Urban Lounge – Salt Lake City, UT
October 10 – Neurolux – Boise, ID
October 12 – Mississippi Studios – Portland, OR
October 13 – Astoria – Vancouver, Canada
October 14 – Sunset Tavern – Seattle, WA