It’s hard to take a wrong turn when New Noise comes to town, but those who followed their ear to Velvet Jones last Saturday for Entrance Band, Allah Las, and Naked Walrus were privy to a night of salacious psyche-rock that may have taken the cake for this year’s festival.
First, Naked Walrus offered up a lively set of four-piece garage rock in celebration of the release of their eponymous debut album. Riddled with guitar solos and staggering rhythms, the S.B. natives conjured up a sound heavy enough to rival Portugal. the Man circa the Church Mouth era.
Next up, Allah Las dimmed the lights and turned up the reverb with their steady, ’60s-inspired psychedelia. With tambourine-toting rhythms, perfectly dialed-in Fender tones, and harmony-heavy vocals, these L.A. natives play the cool kind of tunes that make you want to shake yourself dry, like you just got out of the ocean. Twist-worthy tracks like “Long Journey” and “Don’t Wanna Hear No More” had the floor filled with gyrating bodies; but just as defenses came down, a different sort of band made their entrance to escalate the trip to a whole new dimension.
To be sure, The Entrance Band is, or should be pronounced, The Entrance Band, because they exude precisely the kind of amp-climbing, brain-rattling, death-obsessed energy that will make you forget about your immediate surroundings. Born from the mind of guitarist and vocalist Guy Blakeslee in 2003, their touring lineup enlists the help of drummer Derek James and former A Perfect Circle member Paz Lenchantin on bass. Together, they form a power trio heavy enough to rival The Mars Volta in skill and Sonic Youth in sheer noisy goodness. With thick, driving bass lines, effects-slathered guitar tones, and sparse-yet-satisfying vocal cries, The Entrance Band add up to a sound greater than the sum of its parts. Indeed, even when the house lights came back on and the trio had died down to a distant yet controlled roar, aided in part by Lenchantin plucking her bass strings with a microphone, the trance remained unbroken. The crowd refused to budge until only true silence was achieved, capping off a night that may have been the best New Noise, and perhaps even Velvet Jones, has ever seen.