Kill West
Smoke Beach [CS; Dismal Niche]

Psychedelic music always seems born outside its place and time. Even in its 60’s heyday, it felt remote and removed from what was bubbling around it. It’s limited run in the hearts and minds of the populace (save for the rare band) only sealed it as music of a revolution that was never self-sustaining. It had its brushes again with near-mainstream acclaim (The Grateful Dead’s brush with Billboard in the late 80’s, bands such as Mazzy Star, Kula Shaker and even Black Rebel Motorcycle Club sneaking onto MTV and radio in the 90’s and early 00’s) but it’s always found itself nothing more than a niche movement enveloped by more faddish trends. So Kill West have no shot at winning the collective hearts and minds of bubblegum pre-teens and 20 year-olds looking for good time music. But there are always fervent fans of psychedelia in its many reverted forms and that’s where Smoke Beach will hit its mark. It feels like a release made for cassette, with its heavy reverb and charred rock and roll. It unravels as slowly as the tape within the plastic casing. The music bends to the quality of the tape player, with each device and play-through adding a different layer to the hanging notes and technicolor riffs. It’s not quite the first Stone Roses album, but it isn’t some hap-dashed Noel Gallagher solo that is attempting to tap into a make-believe psychedelia. However, it is born out of place and time and that’s why it is so alluring. It’s an angel with a dirty face; a dark soul (but at least it possesses soul). The band’s named is scratched out, like a bathroom stall ambassador. Only a few have the guts to make that call, so pick up the phone and do it already. Going down this rabbit hole and asking for a 10 feet tall Alice is worth the risk.


Cerberus seeks to document the spate of home recorders and backyard labels pressing limited-run LPs, 7-inches, cassettes, and objet d’art with unique packaging and unknown sound. We love everything about the overlooked or unappreciated. If you feel you fit such a category, email us here.

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