In the not-altogether successful but still compelling documentary Marfa Mystery Lights, erstwhile Secret Machines drummer Josh Garza refers to music as a form of “personal revolution.” This is a guy who, it seems to me, comes at it from a truly deep place. He definitely plays from one.
Which is why I’m not at all surprised at how hard Garza’s latest project, EFG (formerly Electric Flower Group), is hitting me.
EFG debuted three years ago with a pair of EPs but have only just made it onto my radar despite my Secret Machines super-fandom. Those six tracks are the product of a duo: Garza and vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Imad Wasif (who’s also a sideman of some note, having provided live augmentation for Yeah Yeah Yeahs among others).
On the horizon is a 7-inch (‘Outlier’ b/w ‘Suzanne’) featuring a third member, Tom Biller. Those tracks are still being fine-tuned, but The Revue’s been given a sneak preview and, well, damn; things are sounding good.
The name likely has you thinking ‘psychedelic’ and, while that stuff’s surely in the mix here, EFG’s not so easily reduced to one word. With almost an LP’s worth of material now available to assess, I can say there’s a real vision at work. Dark, brooding epics like ‘The Electrician’ (and bonus points for their appropriation of the crazypants Japanese horror movie Hausu for the video clip) are a reminder that quality head music is as much about bad trips as good. You’ll find the yin to that yang in the more concise and sunny stuff like ‘Eclipsed’. These guys have serious range; the forthcoming b-side, for one, leans post-punk, albeit bent to very original ends. Wasif’s guitars roar and clang; he understands how to wield dissonance musically. His vocals are tastefully expressive.
As of this writing, there’s been no word of live dates or a full-length recording, but that just means more to anticipate. And anticipate you should.
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