If you have ever been of the ages 13 through 16 then you are most likely well acquainted with the feeling of discovering new music only to find out the band has been around for several years, if not decades. See: your fourteen year old self discovering Led Zeppelin for the first time.
Well I’ve been hit by, nay struck by, that same sensation, but this time it is met with much less awkward angst and much more appreciate for a new avenue of discovery; thankfully they come in the form of a two disc release.
Los Angeles legends The Black Watch recently released The End Of When which, to get an idea of their success, puts them closer to twenty total releases than it does ten. The psychedelic pop of their latest record settles somewhere between the warm abstract boundaries of Sonic Youth and San Francisco’s independent sensation Tidelands, but pulls together an eye-opening eleven songs via cunning use of trippy licks and borderline punk swagger. From graceful harmonies to spinning guitar solo, John Andrew Fredrick and crew embodies the sound that makes teens wear shirts with their logo and explain to those who don’t know that they just don’t understand. The only exception is that this is not a sound for one specific group of people. It is an undercurrent of rock that has seen its way through decades of pioneers and posers, made for everyone but has not sacrificed its morals.
It took no time at all for me to want even more. The End Of When captivated me and although I’m several runs through the album and still not sick of it, my inner teenage wanted to hear more.
Enter: Disc Two; essentially a “Best Of.”
The second disc holds an incredible amount of foresight for any band, much less an underground sensation like this. I’m sure big record companies would have loved to come up with such a great idea. It is sixteen songs spanning the decades of work The Black Watch has compiled. It is as if they boxed it just for your inner audiophile. It is a genius move for such an independent band. Thank you kind sirs!
The collective twenty-seven tracks that continue for two CDs will have you mesmerized instantly. Whether it be the strangely familiar foundation of The Black Watch’s sound or the bold sounds that thrust themselves into your ears, there is something here for you; just let it happen. I did and I can, without a doubt, say I am as excited as a 13 year old.
…but not in a weird way.