San Francisco Bay Area’s Dame Satan graced Luxury Wafers with their exceedingly humble, easy-going presence and proceeded to blow us away in ever-widening shockwaves. Andrew Simmons sings a cozy wool blanket and makes his guitar speak like an intent canine. Michael Chopko patiently, sensitively rides the bass deep and harmonizes electricity. Brendan Sheehan strokes guitar, rocks tambourine and plays drums from sparse hollow strokes to an all out tympanic frenzy. Their psychedelic rock stretches time like a cannibus dream. Dame Satan expands the fabric of space, masterfully welcoming and befriending emptiness as the off-beat and the expanded absence of sound. Really a beautiful experience.
In Country Thief, minutes become years and the talking guitars toward the end set off explosions inside my head. Dawn and Delta yields spaced-out travel leading to throbbing, insistent bass that throws me back to a fond midday, summer Grateful Dead concert. Stoned and unhurried, the song ends up like cherry blossoms and high-flying birds in the sky. Oregon Trail paints an eerie portait of the historically arduous trek you may be most familiar with through the way-old-school computer game by the same name. Brendan goes nuts with the drums and percussion here, driving an awesome chill under a harsh storm swell of invading cicadas or crows that might want to peck your eyes out. The song not only revs my gratitude and awe of pioneers but also makes me darn glad to be living among the relatively domesticated.
Don’t mistake Dame Satan’s spaciousness and simplicity for anything less than adroit, artistic expertise. All recorded live in one shot, Dame Satan nails the timing, the harmonies, the vibe of the entire performance. When they left, our studio space was transformed, as though some unconscious shamanistic blessing had taken place. Dame Satan’s songs grab you by the root and ask you to tea and a dance.
As you would imagine, these guys – longtime buddies – are as fantastic and warm in person as in their music. Visit Dame Satan on Myspace or go to the graphically pleasing Dame Satan Website where you can listen to their latest album, Beaches and Bridges out on Ghost Mansion.
Listen to the Exclusive Live Tracks (option/click to download):