Texas’ musical history is one of big-brimmed cowboy ballads and twangy dust-kicking jam outs. But when psych rock crossed the ocean and washed up in San Francisco, it eventually bled down south and got baked under the Lone Star sun. It’s that legacy of acts like 13th Floor Elevators and Red Krayola that has been picked up by Night Beats, though the trio doesn’t call Texas home any more. Formed when childhood friends Danny Lee Blackwell and James Traeger left Dallas for the strange lands of Seattle, the band became a trio during a gig in Austin where they picked up bassist Jakob Bowden.
Though Seattle may be where their heads lie, their music still beats with the psychedelic rhythm and blues of their home state. They’ll demonstrate this once more with the impending release of their third full-length album, Who Sold My Generation. As a new listen to the LP, Night Beats have shared their latest single, “No Cops”.
Right away, Traeger’s fever dream drumming and Bowden’s thumping bass line call back to distinctly Texas take on tripped out blues. Blackwell’s guitar sounds like a peyote vision feels like, all layered swirls and fuzzed out reverb. Vocally, he brings to mind the pinched style of The Cave Singers’, only with a more breathless vibrato. It straddles the line between rollicking fun and frustrated disenfranchisement as Blackwell sings, “Got nothing better then find a stash or two/ Even the cops gonna give me a hard time/ Ain’t gonna lose my cool, I just gotta find a good line.”
Take a listen below.