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Aural Pleasure

Saturday Night Satellites: 'Drop City' EP

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This local trio explores similar territory as Austin’s Black Angels, mining sweltering neo-psych with raw garage presence. Drenched in reverb and distortion, their music’s palpable as the haze rising offthe summer asphalt. Self-billed as surf-gaze, their approach isn’t that different than shoegaze progenitors the Jesus & Mary Chain, only lacking Beach Boys-inspired vocal melodies. Indeed, three of the tracks on this five-song EP are instrumentals. It’s a lost opportunity. Their catchiest tune rides a pretty chiming melody (abetted by keyboards), but opener “Oort Cloud Eleki” could’ve made more noise (so to speak) with accompanying vocals. Even when frontman Phillip does sing, his sleepy, laconic delivery’s lost in the thick mix. That said, their songwriting skills are solid, and each track has its own distinct style, from the rhythmically punchy “Nugaze Twist” to rockabilly-tinged rave-up “The Lowtide” and the expansive six-minute freakout “Wounded Knee.” SNS feel rough and not truly fully-formed, but they play and write well enough to seed some anticipation. Catch them live February 24 at The Thirsty Camel (5307 McCullough) with Vicious Echo, The MusikBox, and JoyHaus.

★★★ (out of 5 stars)

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