Natural Facts by Garcia PeoplesRelease date: March 29, 2019
Label: Beyond Beyond is Beyond
Given that Garcia Peoples only released their debut album Cosmic Cash halfway through 2018, you could perhaps forgive them for having a little rest on their laurels and appreciating the critical reception that they got. Garcia Peoples aren’t your normal, run of the mill band though, and alongside a continued touring schedule, they have also found time for their second album, Natural Facts. Intriguingly, whilst they tend to emulate their idols when playing live and drift off on numerous jams (and if you want to hear these wonders, they are freely available online, much like the Grateful Dead archive is), Natural Facts is kind of the opposite. It’s an album of short, sharp songs, imbued with that wonderful 60’s haze they pull off so well, and whilst you can note the moments where they leave themselves open to possible jamming sequences, on the whole they keep it tight.
Much has been made of the bands devotion to Jerry and the guys but the truth is, that aside from a respectful spirit, the songs on this album are much more raucous affairs. Steeped in the three minute single ethic, each song bursts out of the stables in a blaze of rolling guitars, carried on melodies which are simply sublime. Like their peers One Eleven Heavy, they carry the nostalgic sound but bring it bang up to date with a production which simply bursts out of the speakers. It’s vital, urgent and downright exciting.
Highlights are many, with ‘Spiraling’ being the first future classic. ‘Feel So Great’ is a heavier affair with the wonderful line “we are coming for your children” carrying more threat than the butterfly headline about the Rolling Stones ever did. Later on you get the gloriously sun-kissed ‘Rolling Tides’ which begs for the lighting of a doob and a laid-back drive with the canopy open. At first the songs simply fly by and you wonder about substance, but those repeated listens pay off big time as the nuances and particularly, the flow, hit a nerve not felt for a long time (well ok, since the last Garcia Peoples album…hey, we’re big fans here!).
Where all the kudos seem to be aimed at another young band who are reliving the past, there is no sense of imitation here. Instead, where a song such as ‘High Noon Violence’ could be accused of taking inspiration from The Byrds, it simply nods in that direction before Garcia Peoples embody it in full. They may have not changed by any leaps and bounds musically from their debut, but there is definitely a sound of wild confidence here no doubt gained from their live shows.
Garcia Peoples are an absolute breath of fresh hair in today’s psych scene and Natural Facts is proof that they were no one album wonders. It builds on their excellent debut to provide a suite of songs which now can form a template for future exploits. Let’s hope the rest of the world catch on as we could really do with some of these peace and love vibes being spread. Deadheads will rejoice, psychonauts will grin, everyone else will dance.