The Chocolate Watchband releasing first album in 19 years (stream 3 songs)
West Coast psych/garage legends The Chocolate Watchband were around for just three albums in the late '60s (No Way Out, The Inner Mystique, and One Step Beyond), producing such singles as "Are You Gonna Be There (At the Love-In)" and "Sweet Young Thing," as well as No Way Out opener "Let's Talk About Girls," which was included on the iconic, first Nuggets compilation. You can still feel their influence today reverberating in the music of acts like Ty Segall and King Gizzard, and actually The Chocolate Watchband themselves have a new album on the way, their first since their 2000 reunion album Get Away.
The band's lineup has changed a lot over the years, but they've still got longtime lead vocalist David Aguilar, as well as '60s-era members Tim Abbott (guitar) and Gary Andrijasevich (drums). Rounding out the current lineup are two other psych lifers, Derek See and Alec Paleo, both of whom also joined Paisley Underground vets Rain Parade for their recent reunion (among many other things). The new album is called This Is My Voice and due February 22 via Dirty Water Records. Going by the three lead singles, the album seems legitimately promising. They stay true to the raw, trippy sounds of their classics, and even if you're not already familiar with the band, it should be pretty easy for these songs to resonate with fans of current garage/psych too. And while the music may sound like it could be 50 years old, lyrically they take on modern themes like the internet and fake news. David Aguilar tells Louder Than War:
I am a very liberal futurist. To me conservatism is an attempt to preserve a world that never really existed and stop it from changing into something that’s different. The world they feel most comfortable in progresses very slowly. I have been a fan of futurism ever since I was a kid and read Orwell’s 1984 or started watching sci-fi movies. As an astronomer, planets, stars, galaxies, the Big Bang, the expanding universe are all connected together to this very special planet called Earth by one disruptive species that has existed for a mere 20,000 years. Its call to fame? It possesses the ability for better or worse to change living conditions on their home planet.
Earth is 4.5 billion years old. Humans have cosmologically just arrived but we are remodelling our world as never before with rapidly growing numbers of people to support – heading to 10 billion soon – dwindling natural resources, climate change, politicians owned by large corporations who do their bidding, the web for spreading massive amounts of disinformation, and Lil Xan is worth $3million for that mumbling Youtube act! I feel our songs rightfully reflect the world as it is today. Isn’t that what rock groups are supposed to do?
The album will also include covers of songs by Bob Dylan (who the Watchband covered back in the day) and fellow Nuggets bands The Seeds and The Music Machine. Meanwhile, listen to the three new songs below. The band recently wrapped up some live shows last month, and they're promising to tour in 2019 too. Stay tuned.
1. Secret Rendezvous
2. Judgement Day
3. This Is My Voice
4. Trouble Everyday
5. Take A Ride
6. Talk Talk
8. Bombay Pipeline
9. Desolation Row
10. I Can't Seem To Make You Mine
11. Till The Daylight Comes