Hippies running wild with far away glazed eyes, flowers being handed out on every street corner and a sniff of revolution in the air, if that’s what San Francisco psychedelia used to conjure up, then Cellar Doors are here to give it a bit of a kick up the arse. This Californian trio have created a debut album that’s full of modern psych melodies, coupled with a dose of gothic tinged swagger. Opener ‘City Girls’ is quite frankly one of the best guitar tunes I’ve heard all year, with its hugely melodic chorus rippling around  your head for days, and reminds me of early Flaming Lips mingled with Ride. It’s a tale of unrequited love with guitarist and vocalist Sean Fitzsimmons singing “City girl you look so lost wandering the streets you cross”.  ‘Silhouette’ has more of an 80’s dark electro feel with synth layers joining in the swirling guitars, and is a bit like the brilliant NY band Secret Machines, with its dreamy and ethereal qualities, wrapped in a lush fuzzed up shell.  Then there’s the hypnotising rhythms of ‘Prism’, and full on trippiness of ‘Hollow’ with its Doors meets Black Rebel Motorcyle Club other worldly guitar tones. Cellar Doors songs vary between fuzzed up swirling psych rock with huge melodic undertones, to more darker tinges, yet they all fit together like some messed up melodic jigsaw. There’s elements of The Horrors and Toy in the sublime ‘Frost’ whereas ‘Heroine’ is like the Jesus And Mary Chain at their darkly melodic best. Possessing a modern day twist on psych rock mixed with an amazing ear for melodies make Cellar Doors an exciting listen, with enough of a darker edge to raise them above the glut of bands doing this kind of thing at the moment. A brilliant and understated debut from a band who I knew absolutely naff all about a few weeks ago, and now they’re one of the album highlights of the year so far.

Cellar Doors-Cellar Doors out now (Spiritual Pyjamas)

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From the early days of creating handmade zines, in a DIY paper and glue style, interviewing bands around town, then pestering Piccadilly Records to sell them, to writing for various independent mags such as Chimp and Ablaze, writing about the music I love is still a great passion. After testing the music industry waters in London with stints at various labels, being back in my hometown again, writing about this city’s vibrant music scene is as exciting as ever. All time favourite bands include Sonic Youth, Nick Cave, Patti Smith although anything from electro to folk via blues and pysch rock will also do nicely too. A great album, is simply a great album, regardless of whatever musical cage you put it in.