Who: * Guy Blakeslee - guitar, vocals * Paz Lenchantin - bass * Derek James - drums
Chicago based Guy Blakeslee's solo guitar freakout experiment called Entrance yeilded the LP Prayer of Death in 2006. Now by adding ex-Perfect Circle/ZWAN multi-instrumentalist Paz Lenchantin on bass and Derek W. James on skins as permanent members, THE ENTRANCE BAND has grown into a true 21st century power psychedelic jam trio. Signed to Thurston Moore's label Ecstatic Peace, their self-titled "sorta-debut" LP mixes blues-based jam-band riffing with psychedelic acid rock.
Vibes: "(The Entrance Band) moans echo-caked utopian incantations, hustles some groovy conspiracy theories, spins a stolen Dylan melody into a elegiac space jam and ponders the nature of "circular time." But there's as much Sonic Youth doom in his band's guitar explorations as there is folky grooviness." - Rolling Stone
"Blakeslee’s newest release steers far away from recognizable patterns of old (2006's solo Entrance release Prayer of Death) and unearths a more echoed and full-bodied stab at a wild conglomeration of blues, pop, and arena rock. This shifts away from darker ouevres recognizable in past output, and regardless of initial impression, this is not entirely a bad thing for Blakeslee. Still present are plenty of shifting arrangements, soaring, screeching bluesy guitar riffs, and heaps of gutty grime. In this mode, Blakeslee keeps one foot in his past and, at times, it works beautifully. The throwback grit of mid-sixties psychedelia is the backdrop for most tracks and this serves as a launching point for some of Blakeslee’s singularity and lofty guitar work." - citizenweenie.org
"Welcome to the debut album by The Entrance Band, an incendiary, ten-song journey into the creative group-mind of three talented and inspired musicians; guitarist and vocalist Guy Blakeslee, drummer Derek W. James and bassist Paz Lenchantin. The three players have committed to the full realization of the power trio, the primal impact of guitar, bass and drums throbbing together in electrified unity. "We are all based in Los Angeles, California" says Baltimore native Blakeslee, "but our origins are in Chicago." The critically acclaimed LP Prayer of Death (2006) was recorded in Chicago under the name Entrance (a vehicle for mostly solo output by Blakeslee), with collaborative input from Lenchantin and James. All three players contributed to the recording process, but it was not until after the completion of that album that the band played live together as a trio for the first time. "This is the beginning," confirms Guy. "We've been together for three years, but this will be our first presentation to the world as a trio." Now truly a band, they decided to name this, their first unified effort, The Entrance Band. The songs on The Entrance Band feel and sound like a group realizing their own vision, freed from past constraints. The end result is ten powerful songs, working as a whole to create an ethereal yet driving melodic concoction--heavy without being plodding, psychedelic without being whimsical. Blakeslee sings with unbridled emotion and plays left-handed on an upside-down guitar, scraping and bending the strings in search of new sonic adventures. James' kinetic rhythms conjure dances both ancient and futuristic. Rounded out and locked together by Lenchantin's primal and pulsating bass lines, the music transcends any retro stylings and brings their sound into the present day and beyond." - amazon.com
Discography: * 2006 - Prayer of Death (as Entrance) * 2009 - The Entrance Band
Sounds Like Genre: freak rock, psychedelic, acid, jam Similar Artists: Think Mars Volta meets Cream, add a dash of Portugal.The Man, a pinch of T-Rex glam, a sprinkle of retro acid and jam. My buddy says they sound like Yeasayer with guitar distortion and feedback.
Suggested Listening Grim Reaper Blues (live)
Lookout! (first video from album)
MLK (live at Troubadour)
Live Show Not sure what to expect, but I bet it will be a mind freeing experience with a crazy mix of aural and visual stimulation.
Interesting Facts The band was recorded essentially live in the studio to preserve the spontaneous interaction they had become known for in performance. While the band has built a reputation for their ability to improvise, on the album, "the songs are pretty structured," says Paz. "We worked it all out by playing it all live, and then took the knife to it," notes Blakeslee.
Personal Notes I was looking for some freakout experimental guitar based jam for 2010, and this looks like it fits the bill. Just like Mars Volta, this is understandably not for everyone. But I grew up on Pink Floyd, Rush, Cream, Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane, etc and love the Volta, Mastodon, Tool, Portugal.The Man and the like so this band is a definite must see for me, especially with a Thursday night slot.
Another band in the same vein (unfortunately not at Bonnaroo this year) is Explosions in the Sky. They may be a little more ambient than Entrance Band, but many of their songs build to the psychadelic freak-out.
A Thieve's Parade 2/24 Conspirator 2/26 Kevin Smith 3/11 Keller 3/17 Papadosio 3/18 JJ Grey 3/25 Bela Fleck/Edgar Meyer 3/26 Toubab Krewe 3/27 O'Death 4/11 Budos Band 4/22 EOTO 4/28 Summer Camp 5/6-29 All Good