SONG PREMIERE: Memphis’ Impala Raise a Glass to the Late Night Crowd With Latin-tinged Surf Rocker “The Insomniac”

Impala was formed in Memphis, TN in the early 1990s. Their first long player, El Rancho Reverbo, was co-produced by the legendary Roland Janes (Jerry Lee Lewis’ guitar player and session player at Sun Records) at Sam Phillips Recording Service. After receiving rave reviews and gaining exposure playing one-niters across the South East, Impala was picked up by West Coast label, Estrus Records. The band’s first release on Estrus was Kings of the Strip, recorded at famed Easley Studio in Memphis. Following the release of this album, Impala toured relentlessly, appearing at Garage festivals such as Garage Shock, Sleezefest, Crap Out and Dixie Fried and appearing on shows with guitar legends Dick Dale and Davie Allen and the Arrows. Over the past decade numerous films and television shows have featured the band’s music. Most notable  is Impala’s arrangement of Henry Mancini’s “Experiment in Terror” in the George Clooney’s, Chuck Barris biopic, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.

After years of grinding away, the band was put on ice in 2006. Yet their muse pursued them like a siren’s call. Unable to resist, Impala reformed in 2017, and after woodshedding with a series of local gigs, returned to the recording studio to create this brand-new album, aptly titled In the Late Hours. Recorded at Bomar’s Electraphonic Studios in downtown Memphis, In the Late Hours (out on August 24) features ten intoxicating guitar- and sax-driven R&B songs, born out of that golden era of Memphis music when rockabilly, rhythm and blues, jazz, garage and soul music collided. These songs channel potent ghosts—namely, Packy Axton, Willie Mitchell and Ike Turner, all pioneers of Memphis’ instrumental scene—but they’re hardly derivative. They bristle with urgency and make your heart beat fast. They’ll make you wish for a time long past—when men wore hats in the street and women wore silk stockings fastened with a sexy garter belt. It’s music that is a remedy for hard times. Put it on, and let your mind wander. Take refuge in those darker places. Pour yourself another drink. And make sure the door’s locked—it’s later than you think.

Today Glide is excited to premiere “The Insomniac”, a song that perfectly fits the album’s title. True to the band’s style, the song feels apt for a late night in a dive bar or the kind of dance club one might encounter in a Quentin Tarantino film. The band never misses a beat as they lay into a track that, while clearly propelled by surf rock guitar and drums, also features gloriously sleazy saxophone and a Latin tinge brought to life by the presence of a trumpet. For lovers of groovy instrumental tracks, “The Insomniac” has plenty to savor. Mainly, it shows that after so much time apart, these cats have not lost their chemistry when it comes to crafting Memphis-influenced surf rock. 

Band member Scott Bomar has this to say about the song:

“Impala guitarist, John Stivers, was the main writer on this song. Since the band had not made a new record in years, he had quite a lot of songs saved up. When we were going through material to record for the record, this one really stood out, it had elements of surf, latin and 50s/60s rock. It really went to another place when Justin Thompson and Marc Franklin put the horns on it.”

LISTEN:

In the Late Hours is out on August 24. The band is currently crowdfunding the album here

Photo credit: Dan Ball

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