Evolfo
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Evolfo

Brooklyn, NY | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | INDIE

Brooklyn, NY | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2011
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Evolfo‘s sound has evolved since their early 2011 days in Boston, MA. The 7 piece’s lyrics have gotten heavy with the weight of the world, soulful inspiration oozing from every line. Relatively well known for their upbeat performance style in the Brooklyn borough, it’s a wonder that seven guys with this much talent haven’t caused more of a ruckus in the music industry. Their unique sound – distinctly characterized by a multi-person horn section – is fun, despite its often melancholy subject matters. The guys will be celebrating the release of their upcoming Last of the Acid Cowboys EP with a show at Sunnyvale in Bushwick on September 15, the day before their September 16 release. We’ve got the exclusive premiere of their latest single, “Moon Eclipsed The Sun” right here. Right now.


The song is definitely inspired by vintage psychedelic rock, starting off with chords you’d almost expect from a dance sequence on a Scooby Doo cartoon, among other – way more relevant – things. (Yes, we went there.) The vocals are so layered with angst and genuine emotion that you fall into the depths of the lyrics within seconds. It’s a very vibey song, something you can shake your hips to under a bed of stars on a hot summer night.

Evolfo expanded on the track for us. “We describe Moon Eclipsed the Sun as a psychedelic murder ballad. It hints at a distinct narrative but leaves plenty to be interpreted. The setting is like an acid western movie…At points it can be a really pretty song, but then there’s also fuzz guitar, organ stabs, and blown out drums that go ripping through the scenery. While we were writing this one there was an instance where we decided we didn’t want to box it in by labeling it with a specific genre since all these different things sound great together. Sometimes songs get bogged down when you try to cram all your favorite sounds and textures into them, but to us this one came out feeling really natural and well balanced.” - MEREDITH SCHNEIDER / Impose


Brooklyn based soul/punk/groove band Evolfo has grown wildly since their formation in 2011 with their old school charm showing new life on Last Of The Acid Cowboys. They’re not retro for the simple sake of sounding retro though; they come by their sound honestly. Though they admittedly steer into the curve with layers of distortion and of a bygone era production techniques, their sound is simply a by-product of their shared influences and their goal of making music that they, themselves enjoy.



Distorted and purposefully aged, “Moon Eclipsed The Sun” shows a decidedly 60’s organ heavy soul power that shows Evolfo reveling in their influences. You can practically feel the band’s shared smile as a skiffle beat and a riff straight out of 1965 blends with a wildly distorted guitar and equally fuzzed out vocal lead to a hazy but amazing effect. When the horns come in to counter-point the wild frontier sounds of the spacey guitar solo/freak-out the obvious joy felt making this music can not be denied.

Following the twisty space groove of the opener with a heater the aggression factor kicks up a notch with the band skewing closer to road house rock with “Bloody Bloody Knife,” with a guitar line as sharp and dangerous as it’s namesake. Angry rock that encroaches on punk territory, Evolfo peels away everything but the raw sound of their instruments and let themselves be swept along by drummer Angelo Spampinato’s irresistible manic intensity.

“Rat City” builds on the energy of the previous track with an impressive mix of punk sensibilities and horn peals elicit thoughts of ska while a driving organ lead keeps all the spaces filled and the tune humming ever forward. Bluesy, liquefied guitars ebb and flow from big band swagger to a steady holding pattern that evoke some of the sparser alt-country and twang rock sounds give “Don’t Give Up Your Mind” a sense of perpetual motion and inevitability, like the movement of the tides.

Saving the title track for last, “Last Of The Acid Cowboys” is the longest track of the bunch, a mock crime drama giving the band a chance to try on their story teller suits as they weave a tale of ne’er do wells on the prowl for anything heavy while laying down a crunchy, punchy blast of high end garage rock worthy of a spot on any Quentin Tarantino sound track.

What Evolfo has done on Last Of The Acid Cowboys is impressive for a variety of reasons. They manage to show a wide variety of facets to their sound, giving each a distinct music identity while never forgetting the most important part, to create a song worth hearing. Without any allusions or pretension they still present a challenging album of songs that manage to honor the past while looking to the future with a assured zeal that is out and out charming. - Rex Thomson / Live for Live Music


Psychedelic garage rock band Evolfo brought out a mixed bag full of surprises for the release show celebrating their new album, Last of the Acid Cowboys, at Sunnyvale Brooklyn on Thursday night.

Sunnyvale is an off the beaten path kind of venue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn’s darker, less trendy warehouse area of the neighborhood. Perfect for the kind of personalities that make up Evolfo. Their set was divided into two distinct sounds, starting out like more of an indie ska project for the first half with the very funky sounding “You Light Me Up,” and “Wild Man,” before going into their more late 60s psychedelic sound for the second half with some of the newer material in “Moon Eclipsed the Sun” and “Last of the Acid Cowboys.” The group’s mix of soul and garage ska with their assortment of horns to go with their darker undertones coming from the keyboard and intense lyrical content make for an interesting but enjoyably fresh mix.

Of course what’s a true rock show without some theatrics? Led by the blast of energy that is Matthew Gibbs, the band’s mustached guitarist/vocalist channeled his inner Iggy Pop halfway through the show, opting for what barely justified as a speedo to finish the second half of their set. To add to pretty crowded venue’s enthusiasm as well the overblown fog machine working on overdrive, they were joined on stage by the city’s unofficial mascot, the rat, to join them for their wild performance of one of the new singles from the album, “Rat City.”

Gibbs isn’t the only member who helps the band’s songs come alive in their own unique way. Ronnie Lanzilotta showcased his own musical abilities with impressive funk-filled bass lines that carry “You Light Me Up.” He’s joined in part by Rafferty Swink’s eerily sounding organ and keyboard, which gives the band an aged, but signature tone to help drive home their freak-like rock sound.

Set List:
Science
Bloody Bloody Knife
Vision of Sin
You Light Me Up
Wild Man
Let’s Carry On
Mechanicals
Rat City
Love Like a Freak
Moon Eclipsed the Sun
Last of the Acid Cowboys
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Don’t Give up Your Mind - Tom Shackleford / AXS


The night was dirty, loud, revolutionary, beer-soaked and pleasantly dark. I’m not only describing the inside of indie Brooklyn’s sacred sanctuary, Shea Stadium, but also the band behind the interior madness, Evolfo. As the band entered the stage, their UFO style of music was introduced to the crowd with a thunderous instrumental intro highlighting everything from the keyboard and bass to the drums and horn section.



One of their newer installments, “Bloody, Bloody Knife,” had a familiar, almost White Stripes meets 60’s punk sound and included a guitar solo by Matt Gibbs. During the solo, his hair completely covered his face while he melted our faces. The crowd favorite, “Mechanicals,” created an infectious dance party with a late night lounge feel. The whirling keyboard effect used by Rafferty Swink sounded like something Dr. Dre may steal for his next album while Matt Gibbs’ creative lyrics were politely screamed in a Shakespearean manner. As soon as it feels like the song couldn’t get anymore genre blending, the bursting horns march their way into the room like an impromptu parade down Bourbon Street. Gibbs gave the crowd a minute to catch our breath as he highlighted how ecstatic the group was to play in such an iconic, underground sonic space.

After boogieing through “Love Like a Freak,” Evolfo kept the most recent songs coming with “Rat City.” Imagine David Bowie’s “Suffragette City” played with a faster tempo by a psychedelic garage band like The 13th Floor Elevators, but with just the perfect amount of brass to shackle it to the ground. Next up was “Let’s Carry On” which saw bass player Ronnie Lanzilotta stomping back and forth like an air guitarist on Red Bull. His energy was so intense he cosmically summoned one of the members from the opening act, Mobile Steam Unit, to jump on stage and rage with him equally as hard. The momentum spread like the Zika virus and before you knew the entire crowd was infected; one of the highlights of the hour long set.


Judging by the “Herbie and the Headhunters” t-shirt worn by their bearded saxophonist, Jared Yee, this gnarly crew were no strangers to the realm of funk. They have no shame in fronting as a “funk band” even though they consider themselves “garage-soul.” One of the best tunes that display their thrilling, chilling funk talent is “Wild Man” which Evolfo played with delightfully terrifying precision. I had a moment to speak about the visually freaky yet addicting music video for “Wild Man” with Gibbs before the set, inquiring about the first music video regarding any correlation to the imagery in the video compared to what he thinks about while on stage. He replied:

“Well some things in the video do quite literally have a place in our show. Some of the outfits and the demon mask and other small things have made their way onto the stage over the years. And then, of course, I hope that we portray some of that raw animal magnetism. I would love for real life to be as crazy as “Wild Man.” If we’re in the zone and we’re getting the energy from the audience I believe we can really live up to that fun with reckless abandon. As far as what’s on my mind while I play, I pretty much always wish I could pour some ambrosia on the audience and make them turn into animals. That would be ideal.”

tkenna_evolfo_shea_18After the “Wild Man” lit up the room with aerobic weirdness, they were ready to give us what we wanted, the title track to the newly announced EP, Last of the Acid Cowboys. The lyrics are coming from a place of pure spacey madness. Swink’s keyboard is projecting a surfin’ synthesizer sound while he sings in an eerily familiar Jim Morrison tone. If this song doesn’t wind up on the next Quentin Tarantino soundtrack, someone isn’t doing enough research. - BEN BOIVIN AND THOMAS MCKENNA / NYS Music


Discography

Last of the Acid Cowboys EP

Photos

Bio

What began in 2011 as a basement-party band in the pits of Allston, MA exists today as the Brooklyn garage-soul group Evolfo. This energetic group emerged from a bubbling mixture of garage rock, psychadelia, soul, and a touch of spaghetti-western drama. Characterized by a three-piece horn section and a connection that only old friends can share on stage, Evolfo is reputed for their live show. And yet, even with all the glitter and upbeat energy of their performance, there is darkness -- an almost imperceptible stain -- in the collective soul of Evolfo. Like Robert Johnson or Faust, their past dealings remain shady at times; the status of their eternal soul is debatable. They write from the other side of a vision quest, armed with unsayable truths they work to define through song. Evolfo’s music is not nostalgic, but one could say that they are not afraid to dig into the past for textures that suit the tales they have to tell.

Band Members