Desert Culture
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Desert Culture

Austin, TX | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

Austin, TX | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Rock Garage Rock

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"Desert Culture’s Silver Age is a Wonderful Distraction of an Album"

Despite a few stumbles, Desert Culture’s debut Silver Age sizzles with passion and promise, serving up sounds from the salad days of rock ‘n roll. Birthed by Daniel Vega and midwifed by Brett Thorne (both formerly of the post-hardcore dance punk outfit Zlam Dunk and atmospheric post rock band Tactics) Silver Age covers all new territory for the duo, eschewing the tight, technical compositions we’ve come to know them for and diving headlong into a bygone era of classic rock.

Silver Age wears its heart on its sleeve and its influences without shame, Vega claiming that he “wanted to recreate music from a lot of influences from the ’60’s and old garages and old movies and all of those things filtered through my mind.” The resulting songs would easily be at home on the airwaves of the early 60’s, emulating the pre-distortion, post-big band guitar-based sound of the time with a subtle layer of surf and a tinge of Pet Sounds era Beach Boys. As an intro to this selection of seven songs, “Salton Sea” says all you need to hear. Through the reverb of jangly guitars and the bright clatter of drums we’re transported to the coast where I half expect to see the cast of Beach Blanket Bingo cavorting on the sand below.

The following six songs unfold in a similar style, crisply produced, but maintaining that ’60’s garage patina whilst relating tales of love, lust, good times, and missed opportunities. It’s perhaps the universality of these themes that ground Silver Age in the present even though so much of the sound is a throwback to the past. While listening to it the sheen of classic rock emulation is definitely always present, but the sincerity of Desert Culture’s execution never allows Silver Age to veer into the realm of camp or irony. The only detractor amidst the polish and stability of the instrumentation, would be the vocals, which sometimes come off sounding a bit shaky or unrehearsed. Considering the whole package however it wasn’t enough to deter my enjoyment.

From the soulfully terse “Elgin Park” to the edginess of “Prodigal Son”’s hip slapping outro, Desert Culture has two feet firmly planted across a span of decades in a way that seems perfectly natural. Overall, Silver Age is a pleasant distraction of an album and a wonderful set of songs to start the summer to and having seen what Daniel and Brett have been capable of in the past I have no misgivings that given time and refinement, they’ll smooth out the few rough edges. - OVRLD.com


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Desert Culture is a band founded by Daniel Vega in 2013 as a vehicle for songs and ideas he had. A mixture of garage and surf rock, Desert Culture released Silver Age in 2014 and are planning on releasing They're Not Gone in 2017. When Daniel was asked about the new record he had this to say;

"While writing this record, I was inspired by several stories from both my family's history and strange events that happened in the 1940's and 50's. Stories usually involving death, but also what happens after death, and how the living continue on. The music that would accompany these stories came from new geography I wanted to explore; what if the reverb-soaked sounds of surf rock from California was to meet up with Fender twang of country in Texas with some Latin percussion from South of the border. I wanted to write what would be in my mind a very Texas sounding record. 

In Elva I ask, "What happened to my Uncle John?" John Vega was my father's oldest brother who drowned in Lake Medina, west of San Antonio. This tragic event naturally caused a strain on my grandmother Elva Vega, and lead to my father moving to Monterrey, Mexico, where he would eventually meet my mother. Events are never isolated; they are ups or downs on a continuous wave. The question, "where do they go when they're not gone" acknowledges that wave." 

Band Members