The Laissez Fairs “Marigold”

Las Vegas Psych mods The LAISSEZ FAIRS are back with this 16 song album (double album?) on Rum Bar Records. Opening song “Long Grow The Marigolds” brings you back to 60s psychedelism before “Phantom Stranger” will make you space dance! “My Thursday” Girl” has a bit of an early BOWIE vibe, “Mister Wryly” and “We’ll Get There Someday” have a bit of BAUHAUS in them and “Redundant Beach” is a good modern psych glam song. While the whole album definitely has its roots deep in the past, there’s also a modern approach to it in the songwriting and in the arrangements and that’s a big part of the band’s identity. The shadow of the VELVET UNDERGROUND also appears at times (“Dirty Alice Jones”, “Remember Her”) and the garage influences can mostly be heard in “Follow The Money” or in “Lillie May”, but rather than describing and comparing, just take a trip with The LAISSEZ FAIRS! /Laurent C.

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The Laissez Fairs “Empire Of Mars”

The LAISSEZ FAIRS are not a British band from the 60s. They are actually from Las Vegas, NV and have just released a new album. While the mod influence is visible at first glance, you can also hear a strong psych one in the band’s music as soon as “High Horse” starts, reminding the hindu era of The BEATLES in the arrangements. When you listen to “Like Mrs Peel In Leather”, you immediately think that, despite the OASIS touches in it, the way the song is mixed bring us back to the 60s. “Wanna Make You Mine”, “Again Again Again”, and “Empire of Mars” are darker in a DOORS way, while “Almost Got You Made”, “A Girl Insane”, and “Silhouette Suzy” bring the pop side of the band out. The ROLLING STONES and The WHO are never too far when you listen to a song like “Higher Than You’d Meant To Go”, and you can even hear some PINK FLOYD in “Moving To Slow.”
This album also sometimes reminded me a bit of Matt Cameron’s  HATER  for some reason, which is not a bad thing to me. Rather than being just a revival album, this is a timeless one. /Laurent C.
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Shanda & The Howlers “Trouble”

When you listen to this album, it’s hard to imagine that you’re listening to a band that only started playing together two years ago! First, because they sound as if they’ve been haunting dark smokey clubs for years, and then because they almost sound as an original rhythm & blues band!
Leas singer Shanda’s voice is soulful and powerful, and the guitar/bass/drums and sax sound very natural, as if they were playing just right next to you. Songs like “Born With a Broken Heart”, or “She Don’t Want a Man” will please OTIS REDDING, SAM COOKE and Motown fans while those of you who enjoyed AMY WHINEHOUSE will probably love “Don’t Need Your Love” and “Trouble’s Out To Play.”
In 2017, The ROLLING STONES are getting back to their bluesy roots, and you’ll feel the same vibe here in “Don’t Wait Up” and “Mind Made Up.”
This album deserves a vinyl release, but for now, it is available in CD, on Rum Bar Records. /Laurent C.
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