The Cush ‘Transcendental Heat Wave’ Review: Forth Worth psych-rockers take listeners on a trippy voyage to 90’s shoegaze and beyond.
The Cush may hail from the Lone Star State, but their sonic pedigree hearkens to the best elements of British alt-rock of the 90’s.That sound is front and center on their stellar new album Transcendental Heat Wave.
Opener Heavy Psych is a delicious slab of My Bloody Valentine Dreampop, where the vocals of husband and wife duo Burette and Gabrielle Douglas (formerly of 90’s DFW notables Buck Jones) coalesce into a spectral shimmer atop fog-bank guitars.
The rest of the album plays with alternative sub-genres faster and looser: One Shot Love has a funky groove mixed with ethereal guitar wails and Orange Like Water revisits Krautrock with its motorik groove and languid washes of keyboards.
Produced by veteran Dallas producer David Castell (Toadies, Course of Empire), the album sonics are solid and immersive, but the group never coasts on its wall of sound: it has clear grooves and hooks that rise above the noisy din. Take Droids, which melds a robotic beat with cooed vocals and 50/50 split of guitars and icy synths. It’s an instant earworm.
The band dips their toes into power pop with Big Star heartache on album closer Distant Light.
The most engaging aspects of the album is The Cush’s ability to blend all the aforementioned sub-genres into unexpected shapes, sounding both retro-cool and fresh and current all at once. Color Your Eyes is a prime example, where the group melds 90’s loud-soft dynamics, dance grooves, sci-fi theremin wails and 60’s California psych all in one song.
Fuzz-rock aficionados will find Transcendental Heat Wave a blissful blast on the eardrums.