Golden Animals
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Golden Animals

Los Angeles, CA | Established. Jan 01, 2007 | INDIE

Los Angeles, CA | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2007
Band Rock Psychedelic

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"Free Your Mind and Win a Pony"

California's Golden Animals make retro Cali rock, embracing their inner Doors while skirting many of the pitfalls inherent in such an undertaking.

The state of California is too large and diverse to have a defining sound. But say that something sounds like California rock circa the 1960s or early 70s, and people have a pretty good idea what you're talking about. The Golden State band Golden Animals mine that particular epoch of mild psych and blues rock-- especially the middle part, when 60s idealism gave way to the dope-daze haze of the 70s-- for all it's worth on Free Your Mind and Win a Pony, the duo's solid enough debut. What possessed guitarist Tommy Eisner (originally from Baltimore) and drummer Linda Beecroft (from Sweden) to specifically aim for the Doors above all else could well be a mix of laziness and audacity. Yet the music here is really-- to paraphrase Robert Christgau tackling the Cult aping Led Zeppelin-- the Doors simplified, with the band hitting all the major beats but falling short of anything cosmic.

Whether this is by design or default is up for debate, but it does allow the group to skirt some of the many pitfalls that felled the Doors. In 2009, several of Jim Morrison's most glaring pretensions have been diffused by decades of parody (and this heaped upon his own tragic tendency toward self-parody); his moan remains a sort of shorthand for the milieu that countless bands-- cool and lame alike-- have mimicked or mocked. Where Eisner falls on the sincerity scale is anyone's guess, but certainly a few times over the course of the disc's brisk runtime you can almost sense the glint of a slight grin, as if he realizes the band is essentially a big goof and he's relishing the retread experience.

You can't turn back time, but songs such as "I Want You to Come" and "Queen Mary (The Flop)" are so fully of another age that the approximation is just as fun as it is uncanny. You can thank producer Chris Coady for that, or just as likely Thom Monahan for his retro mix assist. Heck, you could even credit hippie-cult author Gordon Kennedy, whose Salton Sea home Eisner and Beecroft supposedly house-sat during the making of this record, a home apparently packed with Aquarian Age artifacts and LPs. But most of all you can thank Eisner and Beecroft for recognizing that to do this kind of thing right, you have to dive in wholeheartedly.

It also helps that Eisner and Beecroft pilfer 60s signifiers but avoid borrowing some of the time's hoarier freak-out clichés. Indeed, if the Doors are reference no. 1, no. 2 are any number of blues-rock bands who knew that the power of a good searing lead or slide guitar trumps wacky hallucinogenic gimmicks any day. The mojo the pair capture on even a short track like "Alice" is impressive, and even if it doesn't sound like enough to sustain much more than a single album's worth of rearview mirror novelty, it's more than enough to sustain these 30 minutes of entertaining nostalgia.

by Joshua Klein
JANUARY 21 2009 - Pitchfork


"Golden Animals: Into The Desert"

Blending '60s psychedelic- and surf-rock with bluesy folk, Golden Animals formed when Tommy Eisner (vocals, guitar) and Linda Beercroft (vocals, percussion) met on a sidewalk in Brooklyn. After recording the Do the Roar! EP, the duo relocated out west to house-sit for cult figure Gordon Kennedy, author of Children of the Sun.

True to the band's biggest influence, The Doors' Jim Morrison, the new desert environs inspired a wealth of music. The result is Free Your Mind and Win a Pony, which was produced by Chris Coady (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, TV on the Radio, Blonde Redhead). - NPR


"Golden Animals Ride On The Storm"

Blending '60s-style psychedelic- and surf-rock with bluesy folk, Golden Animals formed when Tommy Eisner (vocals, guitar) and Linda Beercroft (vocals, percussion) met on a sidewalk in Brooklyn. After recording the Do the Roar! EP, the duo relocated out west to house-sit for cult figure Gordon Kennedy, author of Children of the Sun.

True to the band's biggest influence, The Doors' Jim Morrison, the new desert environs inspired a wealth of music. The result is Free Your Mind and Win a Pony, which was produced by Chris Coady (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, TV on the Radio, Blonde Redhead). - NPR


"Stream desert psych-rockers Golden Animals’ new album, Hear Eye Go"

Heavy guitar-drums duos aren’t exactly a rarity these days; from The Black Keys to Japandroids to Shovels & Rope, cacophonous couples play every genre from every spot on the map. Golden Animals, on the other hand, remain unique with regards to how their geographical diversity impacts their 60s-infused blues-rock sound. Guitarist/singer Tommy Eisner originally hails from Baltimore, and drummer/backup vocalist Linda Beecroft was born in Sweden. Since forming in 2006, however, the band has split time between Brooklyn and the California desert, and those locations have paved the road for Golden Animals’ aesthetic journey.

Working on the long-overdue followup to their 2008 debut, Free Your Mind and Win A Pony, Eisner and Beecroft hunkered down in a California cabin and canned an entire album. Though the location was a fitting well-spring for their Doorsian desert-psych, they were unsatisfied with what felt like a handicap of their songs’ potential. So they set off for Brooklyn – Williamsburg, precisely – and Vacation Island Records. There, engineer Matt Boynton (MGMT, Kurt Vile) added a sense of New York energy to their Mojave contemplation. The end result of this cross-country effort is Hear Eye Go, due out September 24th via Austin Psych Fest’s Reverberation Appreciation Society label.

More than the sum of the band’s physical, emotional, and crowd-funded drive, Hear Eye Go is most impressive because Eisner’s guitar and Beecroft’s kit are the only instruments heard. Sure, there’s a harmonica deep in the mix on opener “All Your Life” (courtesy of Oak Munson), but that’s it. The aforementioned track sounds like a Danger Mouse-produced Black Keys cut, equal in compulsion even as it’s the lesser in personnel. “The Letter” trips about in familiar psych waves, while “You Don’t Hear Me Now” ambles through the peaks and valleys of a spaghetti western. Elsewhere, “Tender Hearts” twangs on smokey club blues and “Save Your Love” stomps in a murky city corner.

With little more than their own prowess and resolve, Golden Animals capture all their musical and locational influences in succinct bursts of haunting psych-rock. Stream below.


Pre-orders for Hear Eye Go are available now. - Consequence Of Sound


"Roky Erickson and Black Angels touring together (dates); openers Golden Animals share new video Read More: Roky Erickson and Black Angels touring together (dates); openers Golden Animals share new video"

Brooklyn’s Golden Animals last year put out the underheard Hear Eye Go on Austin Psych Fest’s label, Reverberation Appreciation Society. You can remedy that easy enough, the album can be streamed in full in this post. We’ve also got the premiere for the groovy black-and-white video for its “Most My Time” which you can watch below.
The band will be hitting the road soon, opening on the upcoming tour of two pillars of Austin psych — Roky Erickson and Black Angels. Unfortunately there’s currently no NYC date (Black Angels played here last in April) but they do play Philly’s Union Transfer on 2/18. All dates are listed below.
Speaking of Austin Psych Fest, the 2014 edition goes down May 2 -4. All Roky/Black Angels/Golden Animals tour dates are listed, along with the Golden Animals video and LP streams, below…


Read More: Roky Erickson and Black Angels touring together (dates); openers Golden Animals share new video | http://www.brooklynvegan.com/roky-erickson-a-2/?trackback=tsmclip - Brooklyn Vegan


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy