Dipping into Royal Baths further proves that San Francisco’s nouveau garage rock scene is becoming its own genre.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Royal Baths is making waves within the San Francisco psychedelic garage rock scene, a scene that has been booming for the past few years with bands like The Fresh & Onlys, Thee Oh Sees and Ty Segall leading the charge.
“I think San Francisco is a great incubator for writing music,” says Royal Baths singer/guitarist Jeremy Cox. “A lot of great bands come here because of that and I think we’ve been able to play what we are playing because the bands are very welcoming.”
The trio – which recently became a quartet with the addition of a bassist – manipulates lo-fi noise and fuzzy guitars into inviting melodies that have an undeniable influence from Velvet Underground.
It’s that formula that recently attracted Woodsist, an up-and-coming independent label, to sign the band last year.
“We had put out a tape on a local label called Wizard Mountain. Our friends from The Fresh & Onlys asked [Woodsist] if they’d be interested in putting it out and they were,” Cox says. “That’s definitely helped us gain recognition.”
Woodsist released Royal Baths’ full-length debut Litanies last fall; since then, it’s received a fairly good reception from outlets like Pitchfork and S.F. Weekly.
One of the album’s standouts, “Nikki Don’t,” is a dark, muddy heroin trip to space and back that sounds like it belongs on one of the Nuggets psychedelic compilations.
Royal Baths’ current tour – which includes a show at the Alternative Café on Saturday – will conclude in New York City, where the band is moving to be closer to its record label and spread its San Francisco goodness along the East Coast.
Bruce SynthStein – who says he “demonstrates various methods of analog synthesis designed to uplift the psyche” – opens the show.
ROYAL BATHS play 8pm Saturday, Aug. 13, at the Alternative Cafe, 1230 Fremont Blvd., Seaside. $10. 583-0913.