East River Caviar’s debut slab of rural psychedelia, How Asphalt Ages, is as serene and stoic as the first magenta moments of an early winter sunrise.
Hailing from Connecticut, ERC is made up of two guitarists, Sam Boston and Brendan Casey, who weave together tight fuzzed-up fantasias with nothing but their electric axes, bass and a drum machine.
This album’s twelve sweeping instrumentations range from electrified American Primitive dirges, like the still “In The Garden,” to cosmic experimental soundscapes, such as the drifting “Bad Timing >.” Shades of Wet Tuna appear throughout, especially on the beautifully dreamy “Concrete Cowboy,” while the DNA of Jerry Garcia’s Zabriskie Point sessions can be felt in the tracks like the exploratory “Plastic Bag Tumbleweed.”
Yet what ERC uniquely brings to the table is a quiet and reserved approach to this rather heady style of music. While their intertwining guitar lines wander with a psychedelic openness, often glowing incandescently with reverb and distortion, they typically refrain from breaking away from a hushed, almost pastoral mood and pace. Unlike the projects of Matt Valentine, they don’t really build to moments of feedback-filled shredding (“Two Deer Candlelight” does come close, though). So instead, nearly the entire record is just one calm, spacey listening experience that borders on the melancholic.
The next time you have to drive through a bucolic landscape in the early light of dawn, be sure to have East River Caviar’s How Asphalt Ages playing in your car. It will unquestionably be a moving experience. Get your copy here today.