Chicago’s Free Times is further proof that rock is evolving into a boundless, chimeric beast.

Free Times is made up of Garrett Luczak (guitar and vocals) and Eric Scholin (guitar and synthesizer), Mark Jacob (bass), Bill Myers (keys), Steve Howe (drums) and Adam Szmelter (sax). Get to know these names, as I’m sure they’ll soon become regulars here and on other similar platforms. You might even remember the band’s previous incarnation, Free Moontime Band, from a RCU review we posted a few years back. While the name might have shrunken down some, the band’s strength certainly hasn’t.

Released in time for 4/20, naturally, Jug Bug is an expansive four-track EP that covers everything from refried cosmic boogies to charging hallucinatory jams and juggernaut space rock.

The pure electricity of excitement flows throughout every song on this tape. You can just hear the band’s confidence and joy as they explore their way between the boundaries of rock, jazz and kosmische musik. Within this short EP, you’ll be treated to hypnotic motorik beats, flaming Hendrixian wah-wah guitars and fierce acidic solos that rip through foggy astral mists.

With the progressive and hard-driving psychedelic approach to jamming, it’s difficult not to be reminded of the genre-bending choogle of Garcia Peoples. The way Szmelter’s sax races off in the jams might even recall GP’s trippy epic, “One Step Behind”. Yet, this similarity is just notable when it comes to approach. Now, stylistically, the Chicago-based group has their own unique thing going on. They take the stoned improv looseness of bands like Pacific Range, but then uniquely applies it to the heavy modern acid garage sound of artists like Night Beats or Ty Segall.

However you may slice it, Free Times is a band that all the heads will enjoy. Click here to get your copy of Jug Bug today.



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