By Dave Pehling
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Rising local psychedelic-rock outfit the Spiral Electric play songs from their latest double album when they headline SF dance club the Great Northern Thursday.
The roots of the band date back to when singer/guitarist/keyboard player Clay Andrews and lead guitarist Nicolas Percey first met while attending a concert at the Fillmore featuring Primal Scream and the Brian Jonestown Massacre in 2009. The new friends struck up a creative partnership, writing songs that mixed modern and classic psychedelia with Britpop hooks, shoegaze drone and propulsive surf guitars. The pair teamed with a rhythm section and traveled to Los Angeles to record their first EPs — 2015’s Upon Your Shore — that showcased the band’s expansive sound.
The group would follow up with a second EP late in 2016 entitled Ask the Sky that further refined the Spiral Electric’s approach to creating neo-psych anthems in the studio. The band built on it’s local following, touring and sharing Bay Area stages with like-minded artists from here and abroad including Dead Meadow, Spindrift, the Kills, Swervedriver, Black Mountain, Lumerians, the Dandy Warhols, Cat Power, Jjuu-Jjuu and Turn Me On Dead Man.
Starting in 2018, the band (now filled out by bassist Michael Summers and drummer Mathias Dragos) worked on compiling and recording the material that would make up its first proper full-length album. Released last spring, the sprawling, hour-plus effort spotlights a heavier guitar attack without sacrificing the band’s knack for crafting swirling, psychedelic ear candy. Recorded with Dead Meadow bassist Steve Kile and mastered by noted engineer Howie Weinberg (Nirvana, the Mars Volta, ), the new album marks a significant leap forward in the Spiral Electric’s sound.
Last year, the band broke in new bass player Cedar Wingate with appearances at several California music festivals including Desert Stars (Joshua Tree), SubZero Festival (San Jose) and Oakland’s Holiday on the Moon that Andrews helped organize. While the venue for the band’s Thursday show (it’s first San Francisco appearance in a year) is better known as a weekend dance club, the Great Northern is branching out and hosting live music during the week. This show with the Spiral Electric on Thursday night will also feature area acts silent pictures and Twin Dimensions.
The Spiral Electric
Thursday, Jan. 30, 8 p.m. $10
The Great Northern