Los Greys, ‘Angel Lust’

Posted by on June 20, 2017

losgreys

Night-People Records, 2.15.17

Angel Lust, the second full-length from Boston psychedelic pop band Los Greys, is drenched in gentle, hook-oriented beauty. The band, comprised of Nick Rocco and Jeff Coyne, began as an ambient collage project indebted to the school of tape manipulation and sampling. Their first release, Family Acid Baptism (a “tour tape,” currently streaming on their SoundCloud), aligned better with classic experimental music, but on Angel Lust, Coyne and Rocco eschew the past, favoring the sun-soaked sound of 60s psychedelia.

That’s not to say that Angel Lust is a stolen play from the Nuggets book of songwriting — for one, there’s no garage rock in view. This isn’t simple 60s psych worship, but something more robust and weird. From the meditative opening tones of “Australia,” it’s clear that Los Greys are out for big game, and that’s even before the track’s expansive chorus hits. Combining the best of baroque songwriting and orchestration with a willingness to experiment — a darting noise break on “Warmer Days,” for instance, or a passage of tape modulation at the end of “Dead Ringer” — makes for a pleasant listen, but also a surprising one. At a minimum, Angel Lust is catchy, featuring choruses that will stay lodged in your head for hours — like if Ariel Pink made a record sans sophomoric filler material, concentrating, instead, on crafting banger after banger. No offense, Mr. Pink.

Angel Lust’s instrumental choices are special, too. “Hive Mind,” one of the shortest songs on the release, featuring a sitar-wielding Jada Willard, makes sense in the context of what’s gone before and what’s come after; buffeted by “Golden Jerry,” a lush track featuring a choir of guest appearances that makes a case for being the album’s centerpiece; and “Way to the Top,” a song that explores the loud-soft-loud dynamic while maintaining its hold on the tenably strange and dynamic. But, as we all know, although it may be excellent adornment, orchestration alone can’t make for a great song. If you don’t have a skeleton or a central nervous system, a smattering of muscle isn’t going to be much use. On Angel Lust, however, the framework — the backbone — is there. These songs would still be excellent without the added decoration, which is what makes the release a joy to hear again and again.