feature: check out the raw timeless garage rock of the dark tides. #soundcheck

June 20, 2014

Let’s face it, so much of that early 2000’s garage revival was in semi-ironic finger quotes. Over the last few years, a real revival of dirty, soulful garage rock has exploded, and I couldn’t be happier. The key to this re-revival is that it never feels less than sincere and urgent. It’s a genuine celebration of rawness and individuality, rather than a mere ode to the ultra-cool garage of days past. London’s The Dark Tides are the latest band to distort everything, and play it fast and loose and from the heart. Over their first set of demos, The Dark Tides prove themselves a band to watch.

Words by Nathan Leigh, AFROPUNK Contributor

“The Bars” kicks off with a psychedelic feedback wail worthy of Hendrix before launching into a grimy blues stomp. Frontman Michael Jablonka sings with a rasp and a snarl, but on the vintage soul ballad “Sittin’ By Your Side,” he proves that he’s got a surprising range as a singer. When “Sittin’ By Your Side” drops into an explosive guitar solo that re-imagines J Mascis as a soul axeman, the band shows what makes their sound work so well. Unlike so many garage acts who worship at the altar of the Velvet Underground or early Kinks or [insert super-cool band you’ve never heard of, but Julian Casablancas has], The Dark Tides draw from a wide range of influences. Vintage tone aside, the trio’s more timeless than revival act.

The rhythm section of Chriss Webb (bass) and Scott Parrish (drums) lock in with that rare fluid precision that’s simultaneously tight and loose. Or maybe they’re just loose, but in sync. On the sludgy “Unnecessary Enemy,” the trio jumps between uptempo jump and stoner rock gloom like it’s nothing. Whatever they do next, it’s bound to get some notice.