Movie Club is an instrumental duo from Venice Beach, California. That in itself tells you a couple things. It tells you that this duo isn’t interested in traditional band structure or in the typical rock-song structure. They recorded two EPs Kraken and Hammerhead in collaboration with producer Matt Wignall and Lettuce bassist Erick “Jesus” Coomes.
With Black Flamingo, the band has branched out into a full-length album with 13 songs while continuing to experiment with an instrumental style.
It’s always something of a challenge to write about an instrumental album just because you don’t have any demarcation within the songs that comes from having a verse, chorus, and bridge. Like Datura4, this is a band that blends psychedelic sounds with guitar-heavy 70s rock. Jessamyn Violet provides a beat that will get your fist pumping while Vince Cuneo plays some swirling, psychedelic guitar. While the sound is similar to Datura4, Cuneo is actually more aggressive in his guitar sound in a lot of the songs.
Movie Club is a fitting name for this band because some of the songs have a cinematic feel. The title track, for instance, features some strings and sounds like it could be used in the closing credits of a gritty gangster film. The contrast in styles lends to the cinematic feel of the album. “Thunder” is a song that is pretty close to metal and would fit pretty well in an action movie. Immediately after that is “Sun Dragon”, which is slower in tempo and goes heavier on the psychedelic guitar.
If Movie Club wanted to create an album that isn’t easy to classify, then it’s fair to say that mission was accomplished. It’s heavy, psychedelic stoner rock that just happens to be instrumental. Granted that’s a bit of a mouthful, but this isn’t a band that can be succinctly summarized. To put it another way, it’s the perfect soundtrack for a trip to the desert in a slightly rusty muscle car.
Whether or not you have a rusty muscle car for a trip to the desert, this is an enjoyable album. It’s hard to imagine that a duo can create as much sound as you’ll hear on this album.