Gardens ‘Gardens’ – album review

Gardens ”˜Gardens’ (Alive Naturalsound)
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Debut and long overdue album from this Detroit four piece, the band have crafted an infectious psychedelic tinged garage sound ”“ there are all the familiar elements from each genre but it’s subtly mixed together to create something new and fresh. Now don’t be picking fault ”“ they might number three on the sleeve ”“ Mathew Mueller joined after the album was recorded, and clearly a re-shoot for the sleeve was deemed unnecessary, though I’m sure it makes Mathew feel a valued member of the band.

Raised on a diet of Terrence McKenna, The Beatles, Syd Barrett, Nirvana, and Turkish psychedelic music (!), Gardens is part of a new sound coming out of Detroit.

Formed by Jeffrey Thomas (vocals/guitar), Julian Spradlin (drums) and Vincent Mazzola (vocals / bass); they have already released a couple of singles and cassette, and toured their homeland, sharing the stage with the likes of Brimstone Howl, Thee Oh Sees, Detroit Cobras, and Akron Family to name just a few.

Album opener ”˜Teachers’ sets tone; strident guitar riffs, throbbing bass and sneering vocals delivered in frenetic style, ”˜Idea’s To Use’ see’s a reduction in pace and the organ to the fore, ”˜Staring At A Line’ opens and builds around a bass early Joy Division would have been proud of ”“ each track whilst remaining ”˜in genre’ differs from the other ”“ invention is clearly the motivation for Gardens who as the album progresses across its ten tracks bring more psychedelic elements to the table; listening to this will have (those of you old enough to remember) reaching for your battered copies of those treasured Pebbles compilations. ”˜River Perspective’ brings electric piano to the fore, before going all dreamy just as the backdrop begins to swirl around your head.

”˜Alive In 5D’ firmly returns you to garage land and is arguably the strongest and most instant track on offer, Thomas virtually spits the vocals forth, the song delivered with a raw uncompromising swagger, full of thrashed dirty bass ”“ glorious!

Gardens have crafted an album that defies preconceived expectations, it would have been too easy to recreate the sounds of 60’s garage, credit to them for introducing other possibilities – if this is an indication of what’s currently going down in Detroit, then its time for a closer look.

Track Listing:

1. Teachers
2. Maze Time
3. Morning Refresher
4. Starting At A Line Is Not Always Fine
5. Ideas To Use
6. Sale Effect
7. River Perspective
8. Alive In 5D
9. Poems
10. Living American


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3 comments on “Gardens ‘Gardens’ – album review”

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  1. This is exactly why I love this site! A band I’d not heard of before is introduced and after reading the review and listening to the youtube link, that’s it, I’m hooked! The LP (on vinyl of course) has just been ordered!

  2. I live in Detroit and can’t count the numbers I’ve seen them play, and it’s always a good time, great energy, lots of fucked up kids in the audience totally sucked into the music. Love these guys.

  3. I have mixed Gardens live dozens of times, always a high energy, rocking show. Don’t miss out.

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