Surf-drone dementia from Bill Doss and merry pranksters...
Bill Doss smiles to himself and hits another high note. And so he should. Somewhere in the deep recesses of his brain lurks the reason why there seem to be two distinct groups playing at the same time tonight.
One seems to have escaped from a 1967 timewarp, with beat group harmonies and an authentic syncopated surf sound. The other is very contemporary, a drone-rock outfit who dispense with rhythm altogether, but retain a sense of distorted melody. Don’t worry. You aren’t hallucinating. Both groups are in fact Olivia Tremor Control, who are either schizophrenic or so accomplished they can be several different things within the space of a song.
It’s probably the latter. Athens, Georgia, was once known as the home of REM. Then it became feted as a centre for numerous REM-inspired groups. Now there’s Bill Doss and his merry pranksters – a collective who, if the prototype ‘New Day’ is anything to go by, have at least as much respect for The Beach Boys as they do for cult Texan nutcase Roky Erickson.
Audible lyrics veer between slacker ennui and a kind of post-adolescent moral certitude (“[I]What do you do when the magic’s gone?/There’s an ideal and I gotta try[/I]”) And yet the distinct impression is that a great deal of work has gone into this. Enough, certainly, to ensure that their popularity is about to mushroom.