Self professed reverb-drenched Gold Coast four piece White Lodge have delivered a darkly melodic and highly impressive six song outing in the form of their newest EP Technicolour Visions. The spooky artwork adorning the front cover provides a hint of the music contained within, a haunted hootenanny of garage laced, psych inflected doom-pop that more than delivers on the promise displayed on their Holy Void EP from last year.
While contemporary influences such as elements of Californian beach-goth heroes The Growlers may be an immediate touch point, the ghosts of shadowy luminaries past, such as Murder City Devils and mid period TSOL, also haunt these grooves, and this is a fine thing…
Having scored a release for Technicolour Visions on Burger Records subsidiary Wiener Records (kudos to the lads for that!), the band set about establishing their manifesto straight up on opening number Trippin’ On The Vanilla Trail, which immediately delivers a dose of the band’s somewhat signature woozy and stinging lead guitar work, a sound that is repeated to great effect throughout the course of the EP via chief axe-slingers Jonny Ranger and vocalist Hudson Tesoriero.
One of the most impressive aspects of Technicolour Visions is the variety of textures and ideas inherent within the music. While the heart may pump to a punk rock beat the body of the beast flails with technicolour complexity. Songs build and release and tempos and structures morph and reappear, but not in a jarring or wankily-prog way. Many of the tracks unfold organically over their journey, creating a diverse sonic palette which sets the band apart from others operating within a similar musical framework.
The impressive Laguna Negra is a rollicking chugger with a darkly catchy chorus, delivering a mid song tempo change before departing on an eerily howling guitar solo…garage-goth done good. On Sands of Graveyard Atoll the band ride in on a spaghetti-garage trip, bringing a vaguely mariachi, south of the border type feel to proceedings. New Mornin’ Sun heads off into the sunset on a garage-psych trip, while Hotel Temperamental delivers a relatively straight ahead moment of melodic, garage-pop nous. As ever though the band’s dark undercurrent is never too far below the surface…
And on final track Switchblade Blues the band go out with a bang, bringing all the best elements of their sound together into a darkly satisfying conclusion. A creepily brooding, slo-mo intro gives way to a careering rocker which ebbs and flows over the course of its five minute duration, vocalist Hudson Tesoriero in turns crooning, rasping and howling before the song seeps away into the ether as moodily as it began.
Technicolour Visions is available now in digital format via the band’s bandcamp page, as well as in translucent old school cassette tape format. This black magic wooze-ride is a trip well worth taking, so jump onboard!