Edmonton stoner outfit unleashes Speed of Tent. Finally.
Blazing through the airwaves with a potent blend of heavy riffs Chakra-expanding psych grooves and mangled electronics Krang leaves listeners red-eyed goofy-smiling and craving Doritos. Though these Edmontonians might take the “stoner rock” tag a touch too literally at times members of this shaggy quartet maintain an emphasis on melodies amongst the smudged freak-outs of 10-minute-plus tunes.
Following the five-song CD EP They Came From Planet D — streaming at http://krangalang.bandcamp.com/ — this month sees the band’s long-awaited vinyl debut with the Speed of Tent 7-inch. Recorded in the shadowy crevices of Lethbridge’s Mammoth Cave studios it rips into buzzing blues with the title track on side A. However it’s the B-side “Spirit Animal” that’s the true standout: It’s a slow-moving acoustic-accented campfire drifter complete with eerie wolf howls and vocals echoing from your turntable to the next life.
“That session took place in the spring and I remember the drive down really well” says drummer and founding member Jared Majeski. “We played a show in Calgary with Endangered Ape then followed them back to Lethbridge at 2 a.m. Those guys always drive home the nights of their shows so you don’t arrive until three or four. We recorded all day the next day then played another show in Lethbridge that night. It was the start of a beautiful relationship and definitely opened my eyes to the great music in that city.”
Prior to the four-piece formation of Krang circa 2011 the project transmogrified via several earlier incarnations. First came the duo of Majeski and bassist Jordan Foster originally dubbed as the Tesla-nodding Two Man Electrical Band. Next came the addition of third member Parker Thiessen on auxiliary electronics homemade noise devices and the occasional clarinet. He was followed by guitarist Dean “The Ram” Watson (sharing a nickname with Mickey Rourke’s character from The Wrestler ). Finally Owen Strasky has taken Foster’s slot on bass and vocals. We have liftoff.
“I actually remember the very first jam” Thiessen recalls. “I had a guitar and they were trying to show me how the songs were based around different chords. I just said ‘Yeah I don’t know how to do any of that.’ (Laughs.) For a little while I switched between instruments before finally settling on the pure sonic assault. It alters the dynamic quite a lot but the sound is still super bass-heavy which I like.”
“When Dean joined in our worlds really changed” he continues. “The interesting thing is that the first time I saw the Two Man Electrical Band play live I was in another group with Dean called Rapeseed. That’s the formation of Krang really: A collision of two bands.”
Majeski adds: “Parker had broken his ankle splitting up a fight or something and I can remember watching him play guitar with his cane that night. That was the moment I knew I needed him in every sense of the word.”
As for the long-awaited nature of the band’s 7-inch its original release date slated for summer 2010 has now been delayed by a year. The cause? An accidental pressing at 45 speed instead of the intended 33.
“Shit happens” says Majeski with a shrug. “So they pressed it at the wrong speed and it got delayed — no big deal. What it is and what it will be is still what it was nine months ago when we recorded it. Our attitudes haven’t changed and when it comes out it comes out. Hopefully people dig it.”
“I really just want to get my hands on one of the records pressed at the wrong speed” Thiessen pipes in. “I bet it sounds crazy.”
“Think Alvin and the Chipmunks on acid!” Majeski concludes. Take note eBay fiends: The Krang “wrong speed” 7-inch is sure to be a collector’s item in 10 years.