Sometimes playing in one band just isn’t enough to get your juices out. To that end, it’s not uncommon for musicians to get high (statement of the year right there) and swap instruments to try on a new perspective. But those situations don’t usually blossom into anything more than just that – stoned goofs. Every once in a while however, this very literal game of musical chairs can produce something magical.
Following a similar instrument-swap flowchart as the legendary Ty Segall band and their perhaps even more noteworthy side band Fuzz, members of Portland garage psych outfit Talkative have struck floral space punk gold with their project Ah God. Borrowing the talented Marc Christiansen of Grandparents to play bass, Talkative’s frontman Cody Berger takes to the skins (which he is surprisingly great at), allowing wildcard guitarist Chad Davis to step up to the mic and flex his songwriting muscles.
2013 saw Ah God self release an impressive 17 tracks on Ah Fuck, and in 2014 the boys put out a few more unmastered singles. Just last month Ah God just released their sophomore album, a self-titled cassette out on Seattle based DIY label HalfShell Records. Ah God showcases a similar lo-fi aesthetic as previous releases, but drastically tightened songwriting. Self proclaimed as “heavy fuzzed-out art grunge,” their sound channels something of a spectacular menage love child between early Wavves, early Black Lips and Ween.
Album opener “Acid Genes” evokes imagery of Jim Henson’s Muppets and their pre-teen friends tripping on psychedelics while banging on trash cans and cardboard guitars while all singing and laughing together on a fun summers day. A mastered version of their 2014 single “Total Dose” is a definite highlight of the album, awash in reverb with a hard driving rhythm and infectious vocal harmonies. “Dead Stern” features warbling synth tones, a playfully bass line and a beautiful echoing guitar melody while Davis croons around in the lower end of his typically falsetto vocal range.
Stream Ah God in full above or below, and catch them live in Portland September 13 at Killingsworth Dynasty with the homies Fog Father.