GREX: ELECTRIC GHOST PARADE (2018)
Electric Ghost Parade is Oakland art rock band Grex's magnum opus—an exhilarating, incendiary, and unpredictable paean to the epic psychedelic albums of the 1960s, traversing the cutting edge of modern indie rock, noise, and free jazz.
Tiny Mix Tapes writes, "Grex are taking the rarer path of off-kilter rock as an evolutionary step from creative improvisation. The musicianship exhibited by the core duo is staggering." The bands says that "Electric Ghost Parade is the record that Grex has always wanted to make. It is both a big, blistering collection of songs straight out of the heyday of psychedelic rock and an uncompromising slice of 21st century abstraction. Even though our music could be characterized as esoteric, we’re always careful to make sure that it is still accessible."
The album title commemorates lost loved ones and gives a nod to both Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland and a line from a well-loved Bob Dylan song. The band's influences include '60s psychedelic rock, classic free jazz, raging '80s post-punk, and Bay Area noise rock—acknowledging the inescapable pieces of the past while blazing a trail into the future.
Grex is Karl A.D. Evangelista on guitar, vocals, percussion and Rei Scampavia on keyboards, vocals, percussion and electronics. The record is the band's sixth release, produced by Karl A.D. Evangelista, recorded at El Studio in San Francisco by Phil Manley (Trans Am, Golden, The Fucking Champs), and mastered by Myles Boisen (engineer for Tzadik, Black Saint, New Albion, Inakt, and others). Drummer Robert Lopez (Naytronix) features on the album, and additional studio personnel includes Tim DeCillis on percussion, Rob Ewing on trombone, Jordan Glenn on percussion, Lewis Jordan on alto saxophone, Theo Padouvas on trumpet, Shanna Sordahl on cello, Cory Wright on saxophones, and Wicka Wicka and Jim Kaiser on cage/electronics.
The thirteen tracks on Electric Ghost Parade are 1. "Quicksilver," 2. "TM26," 3. "Martha," 4. "Mal & Luma," 5. "Feelin’ Squiddy," 6. "Husk," 7. "Round Trip," 8. "Saints," 9. "Quincy," 10. "Transpiration," 11. ”Bad Cop," 12. "Mango Mango," and 13. "Old Dogs." The band has crafted a collection of all-original compositions that shine through a mix of careening male/female vocals, Evangelista’s explosive, innovative guitar work, and Scampavia’s rock solid keyboards.
This album is recommended to fans of art rock, experimental, psychedelic rock, and artists like Jimi Hendrix, the Pixies, Deerhoof, Jack Bruce, Skeleton Crew, Nels Cline Singers, Sonny Sharrock, Cream, Traffic, the Kinks, the Beatles, Jefferson Airplane, and Sonic Youth.
"Grex strikes an interesting balance between the exploratory tendencies of psychedelic rock and free jazz with a more modern indie-pop sensibility." - The Los Angeles Beat (Ted Kane)
"a wide-ranging and excitingly unpredictable sound" - The Bay Bridged (Ben Van Houten)
"I haven't heard such varying psych sounds in more recent times since The Fiery Furnaces went their separate ways some nine years ago. An excellent release." - Echoes and Dust (Ljubinko Zivkovic)
"Evangelista wields a swell grouchy guitar tone, Scampavia's pipes are sweet, and when they freak out, they freak out good." - The Vinyl District (Joseph Neff)
"...as far as quirky, avant-garde original music goes, I give them loads of credit for putting together something this far out... Go in with an open mind and see what you think." - Sea of Tranquility (Pete Pardo)
"Coming from a free-jazz, improvisational background, creating spontaneous art was Evangelista's general methodology with Grex... The resulting songs are dynamic and at times quirky and jubilant, like something Bay Area avant-pop band Deerhoof might play." - East Bay Express (Aaron Carnes)
"these Bay Area brainiacs trip out on a chilled-out yet complex attack of math-rock heroics, free-improvisational freak-outs, and psych-rock weirdness as they channel Henry Kaiser and Hendrix." - The Brooklyn Rail (Brad Cohan)
"It's a sardonically noisy psychedelic rock record with a little free jazz thrown in to keep you guessing. And it's an awful lot of fun." - New York Music Daily (Alan Young)
Karl talking to the great Mike Watt (of Minutemen) on the Watt from Pedro Show: HERE
Grex on Radio Free Brooklyn-a special "acoustic" set + interview: HERE
Grex on The Bay Bridged's Experimental Music Mixtape, via KQED: HERE