Review: Straytones ‘Magic Green River Swimmin’ & Stunning Tarzanka Experience’

When I think of rock bands from Ukraine a couple of excellent bands loom large in the Dani Bandolier stoner-doom-psychrawk universe. Stoned Jesus. Somali Yacht Club … and now my favourite, Straytones. This August 27th, 2021 in the Year of Our Lord, Ukraine psychedelic rock outfit Straytones will release their fourth album entitled Magic Green River Swimmin’ & Stunning Tarzanka Experience via label Robustfellow. This batch of boogie fingers garage rock, psychedelia and surf rock but you gotta listen now and hear it later – they got something goin’ on in their invocation of classic roots rawk that you can’t quit, baby.

Straytones ‘Magic Green River Swimmin' & Stunning Tarzanka Experience’

Fire–Fire! tips out of the gate with Vova Putchkov’s bucking bronc bass line while yelping coyote backing vocals sound off and the band gets down to business, yea mon … this is one infectious groove that surely do bring the fi-yah. I gotta wonder why the band put this rave-up first on the disc. For any normal band this rocker would have shot the creative sauce completely but the awesome Straytones – Pixies goo is only starting, a musical hummus that dips into my musical comfort zone, me being a huge Frank Black-Pixies fan.

Broken Club sets the groove train securely on the wrought iron rhythm rails of drummer Marina Hannotska’s driving loco-emotive percussion. Her work on this release is transformative, and I don’t make that statement lightly. She converses with Artem Dudko’s transmorphic guitar playing in a communion of the spirit that maintains this music moving hither and yon.

Oh Sweet Seeds lays us down into a hammock on sunny fall day in the Haight-Ashbury waiting for the Jefferson Airplane and the orange sunshine to peak while the song’s he-her vocals whirl around psychedelic spaghetti guitar noodling that would make Brian Jones take notice and put off his mid-nite swim. Ah, Brian Jones …. Night Bird makes landfall on a QOTSA sonic roost then crows ‘Surf’s Up’ perched upon melodic astral dunes … I dig it.

he-her vocals whirl around psychedelic spaghetti guitar…

The Key has that Western Australia – Tame Impala vibe going on – when Kevin Parker wants to rock – cross pollinated with King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard and Psychedelic Porn Crumpets buttered melting brains on toasted peyote guitar flavoured crisps. Delusion brings the shoegaze Verve dirge peppered by down-tuned pitch shifted arpeggios and wandering vocals – Good Golly Miss Molly, these cats cover some ground with their music stylings. Magical River grooves on out in the last three plus minutes of this release and backwashes the Brian Jonestown Massacre trawled in the rear-view of a wake-board boat waving untouched sheets of windowpane rides whilst we somersault the tasty butter, all in our wee heads.

I don’t hear anything that smacks of straight or classic garage rock on Magic Green River Swimmin’ & Stunning Tarzanka Experience other than a few nuances in tonal pallets; Straytones music is much more evolved and squared away, leaving the looseness of a Do-It-Yerself band hailing the Fender Twin din on the garage floor. When I looked back to 2017s self-titled Straytones album, I hear still more psychedelia and hard rock influences that have a whole lotta Zeppelin meets the Pixies overtones whilst three miles high on the Jefferson Airplane – yea that’s right mates. There is also a robust portion of roots rock in these grooves à la The Black Keys propelled by Marina’s explosive gait. Straytones are on fire and I hope to see them live doing their music, and soon … so it is my Brothers and Sisters.

Label: Robustfellow
Band Links: Facebook | Bandcamp | Instagram

Scribed by: Dani Bandolier