Reverberation Psych Festival at The Grand Social Day Two – Review & Photos
Dublin’s newly established Reverberation Psych Festival continues after what can only be described as an onslaught of noise and up and coming talent from day one. After notable performances by the likes of Otherkin, Elastic Sleep and The Urges to name a few, the bar for the remainder of the festival is set considerably high.
Ruadhan O Meara’s Magic Pockets are first up, who start things off with an unexpected electronic solo set with the psychotropic visuals to match. The set runs smoothly together for the most part, and feels more like a dynamic journey than anything else. Live loops and synthesised melodies carry the thumping bass frequencies and drum machine samples perfectly for the opening act of day two.
We have our first band of the night in the form of the Lo-fi group, Autumns. With rough vocals, huge bass riffs and a lot of droning guitar, we get our first taste of psych. Interestingly, the band use a drum machine instead of a live drummer, which is a bit of a double edged sword. It gives the music that quintessential Lo-fi aesthetic, yet almost sounds like the drum tracks were taken from an A-ha song. Check out ‘Cold War’ for a taste of the gritty goodness.
Belfast space rockers Documenta take things up significantly with their unique strain of drone pop. Featuring four, yes FOUR guitarists, the group create an amazing atmosphere of layered melodies and counter melodies for the guts of their set. You haven’t heard space pop until you’ve heard four guitarists and two singers lull you into a state of utter transience like this. ‘Idle Hands’ is the standout track, with a trip hop beat and an almost Arctic Monkeys sounding riff delivered under a haze of reverb soaked vocals. We’re not sure why they decided to recruit so many members, but the results make us glad they did.
Just when you think you have the line-up sussed out, the next act is always a surprise. This is an understatement for Dublin duo Twinkranes. Describing their music as ‘Repetitive drumming, repetitive synthesisers’, they provide just that. Accompanied by more stunning visuals on the backdrop, forty minutes of straight up EDM is exactly the thing no one expected to need, but ended up loving. Perhaps drawing the biggest crowd of the night, tracks like ‘Double Negative’ explore buzz saw synths, syncopated drum beats, and some ruddy mysterious vocals from drummer Anto Patterson. Fans of drone music or krautock, check these out.
Taking things down a few thousand decibels, Cian Nugent & The Cosmos re-establish the chilled vibes with their soulful, bluesy blend of gentle psychedelic tunes. Slow guitar driven numbers are delivered with passion, and serve as a pleasant comedown from the unadulterated blitzkrieg we just enjoyed. Longer tracks like ‘The Houses of Parliament’ are musical escapades to say the least, and are composed with utmost attention to detail, yet they seem to go to waste here. The laid back atmosphere and quiet sections of songs prove to me too much for some, who leave or start loudly talking amongst themselves. Check Cian out on Bandcamp, and maybe in a more civil environment if possible.
Closing the festival are UK outfit Dead Rabbits. Sounding like a mixture of early Horrors and The Jesus and Mary Chain, their songs are driven by powerful bass riffs and fuzzy guitar drones. Frontman Thomas Hayes croons his way through the very post punk sounding set and proves a competent melody writer as well as guitarist. The band’s 2014 single, ‘Here She Comes’, goes down a treat, featuring low lying drums and one hell of a catchy chorus. Any fans of 80s gothic sounding guitar pop should have a look.
With that, the Psych festival is over. Having only one stage and roughly twelve bands in total would normally fail to do it for any festival, but somehow this is the exception. The psychedelic niche is one that is often looked over, yet after a weekend as diverse and high gain as this, we have a feeling this new found gem might be one for the calendar for years to come.