There are a lot of things happening this Friday and you will definitely need some bright shining light to guide through the dark times heralded ahead and that bright shining sonic light is Van Goat’s EP release this Friday, January 20th, at the Uptown in Oakland. They are teaming up with other local legends BATTLEHOOCH, Wicked Man, and Johnny Soultrain to provide y’all with a rockin’ good time.
I have known Van Goat for over a year now and have never seen them play a show that didn’t make the room want to get up and dance. Their music has the sophistication of big band swing music thrown in a blender with a surf punk rhythm section spun on high for 30 seconds. Their new EP So Far No Good is a short but sweet introduction to their surfier side. It still surprises me with how much the packed into this EP with 3 full songs (Drone, So, and Don’t Need It) and 2 instrumental interludes that truly bridge the gaps between the punchy singles. The music combines perfectly with their sense of humor, as evident by their band name, and the picture they use for the cover.
The picture is a perfect send-off for the launching of their new moniker and while the sound hasn’t changed, it has become more refined as the band has found their stride.
BATTLEHOOCH has been a stalwart of the San Francisco music scene for quite some time and they never disappoint with their psychedelia-influenced sound. I first caught them performing on an UnderCover Presents show where they covered Radiohead’s In Limbo. They truly made it their own and got me into their original stuff. A journey that I have never regretted nor do I think anyone that is a fan of the psychedelic revival in San Francisco will either.
Wicked Man is the only band I haven’t seen live yet but if their sound is a combination of smooth vocals, folk melodies, and some electronic ambiance. They are sure to woo you with their such sound and sweep you off your feet.
I first saw Johnny Soultrain back at the first show Van Goat played under their new moniker at The Starline Social Club in Oakland. They had the feel of the old school soul/ funk band with a huge line up taking over the stage and filling the room with a massive sound. They fit perfectly in a lineup meant to get you up and dancing and having a good time. You can tell they truly have been studying up on the greats of the era they are taking inspiration from.
As with much music coming out of the Bay Area, these bands are reinterpreting classic American genres with unique twists to bring them into our modern music scene. It will be shows and line ups like this that truly showcase this revival. You won’t want to miss a minute of this show, so get there early, grab your drink and hold on tight because this will be one rockin’ night!
Check out the early stream of Van Goat’s EP So Far No Good and get your very own copy from the band