October 20, 2010

Bonus Modcast: Partying with The Parties

One of my favorite bands over the past couple years has been The Parties out of San Francisco. Their sound is rooted in sixties pop music and incorporates heavily from the mod/freakbeat part of that catalog. The Parties latest album Coast Garde is no departure, but rather like a jetliner on a standard rate of incline, ever since taking off the band just keeps climbing higher and higher.
So, I got a chance to interview the band while they were putting the final touches on the album and that has lead to this special bonus modcast. You'll hear from all the band about the album, about their journey to this pioint and where they're headed from here, as well as their thoughts on what mod means today, what the state of music is like and what they're listening to for inspiration.
The band has a sort of sweetness to their sound, something I previously described as "a nice warm, beach like feeling," which maybe is a reflection of their California locale. This time around the music is richer, more lush, more perfectly honed to accent the lyrics.

On first listen I thought maybe there was an intentional theme here, but lead singer Jeremy Powers says that is just a happy coincidence. No matter, the songs are all about girls, and there seems to me to be an arc from the swaggering opening tracks about new love, to the middle tracks about deep love, to the final more sober tracks where love's mountain top high disappears.
The album's single, "Lets Call It Love" opens with an easy, breezy feeling, and a soft psychadelic undercurrent that gives it a bit of an ephemeral quality that nicely compliments the lyrics. It's an excellent mix of jangly guitars, tight rythyms, and more harmonies than you can shake a tambourine at. Along with the second track, "Can't Seem To Get My Mind Off Of You", it gets the album off to a pretty upbeat start.
The sound and the songs mature with the swirly, psychadelic "Twenty-Four", a song that could have come right out of the Pretty Things sessions in the late sixties as easily as it could have stood alongside Rain Parade's paisly underground tracks in the eighties. By the time you get to the last couple of tracks, "When The Weekend's Over", the love is lost and the sobering lonliness is all that's left. At last there's only the catchy vocal harmonies of You Ruined Me, a shorty, jaunty tune that has an infectious rhthym and melody and is fast becoming one of my favorites.
The band's love affair with sixties bands like The Who and The Creation are clear, especially in the guitar driven bridges of "Let's Call It Love" and "Twenty-Four". There's also a real sense of melody throught not unlike that of The Zombies and The Kinks.

For all that Coast Garde is a big step forward for The Parties, it also finds the band firmly, and comfortably, settled into the sound of the sixties. Which, at least for me, is a great place to be.
  • Let's Call It Love (2010)
  • Interview Pt. I
  • She's Gone Away (2009)
  • Cold Life (2008)
  • Interview Pt. II
  • You Ruined Me (2010)
  • Download

I want to thank The Parties for taking the time talk with me, I think you'll enjoy the itnerview. Their new album, Coast Garde is due out on November 2nd on the Rainbow Quartz label. More info and purchase here.