Music is unique to our species. Its innate ability to stir the memory of the unconscious-consciousness notwithstanding, it kicks up what some would call nostalgia, perhaps even déjà-vu; what others of us still call the mystery of eternity in our hearts.
It just so happens that ROCHESTER, NY is a mysterious and BEAUTIFUL CITY…and we just so happen to have BEAUTIFUL HEARTS here that make BEAUTIFUL MUSIC.
So along those lines, the Rochester, NY outfit Pleistocene is invariably the musical work of Katie Preston. Taking title appropriately from the Pleistocene Epoch of our long past geological record (which happened to have helped mold the 585, btw), the name somehow feels right at home.
Released in Feb. 2014, Pleistocene’s ONTARIO GIRLS conjures a fast-playing, audio time-lapse of glacial melting as though it were the soundtrack for some kind of frenetic, earth-gasmic burlesque show. A tantalizing unveiling of layered sounds and styles both contrasting and complimentary – tight, compact and dripping with sugar.
When listening to anything in Preston’s catalogue, one is hit by warm extremes of both the sweet and sour – Chill, hazy, lush, enticingly painful waves of nostalgic bliss rapid-fire longingly in tandem alongside the promise of certain future discovery.
Says Preston, “Pleistocene came to be about a year ago, and within that time it’s gone through several reincarnations. I consider all involved to have had distinct influences on the band’s sound, especially Erick Perrine, Pleistocene’s one and only lead guitarist.”
As with 2013’s GONERS (co-written with Perrine), Ontario Girls (O.G.) gushes a welcome like an “O.G.” team of bad-ass hippie chicks greeting you from the shoreline across the Lake.
‘Big Bangs’ sets it off ex-nihilo style – “Once there was nothing, then there was me” – nice play on words, what with evoking cute bangs, universal theory and over all youthfulness (kudos).
Next up, and screaming like Pixie’s out of hell (spraying sweet nerve gas while pouring out cans of wake up juice onto the Pavement), is a dose of ‘Cream and Citrus.’ It’s “Return of The Rentals” mashed with a Moreno-esque vocal treatment, and distilled down into the transcendent flavor of an audible creamsickle. I’d recommend eating one while listening to this album, actually, and to dance all the while… “because it’s got a carousel vibe.” – Perrine.
Utterly unnerving brilliance displayed in short, controlled blasts, from the driving synth-glazed shoe gaze off ‘Secular’ to collisions in the asteroid belt on ‘Career Suicide.’ Leaving no room for the over-glorification of its individual elements, Ontario Girls’ (O.G.’s) sound-scaped vibe digests well, all whilst weaving a tapestry of sky-scraping, beautifully strewn surf music; ear-food for astronauts, table d’hôte.
“For me, the fuzzed out guitars, the distorted vocals and the sometimes personal lyrics are a representation of what living feels like to me, in a weird way. I take influence from many unconscious places, but when I’m writing I make a conscious effort to create unlikely combinations of chords and unpredictable vocal melodies.” – Preston
Erick muses on the dreamy state of one of his favorites from O.G., “I like ‘Talk to me’, and it’s like an intense Pink Floyd song.” Indeed, a short-wave “surf’s up” to Wilson Land (circa late 60s early 70s), ‘Talk to Me’ gets the Beach Boys-cum-Radiohead salute….moving right along…”Two by two by two the future moves itself in a line” so grab a buddy and march to ‘Hit the Books’; plenty of gold to be mined as it’s cave marching reverberations encourage you to dig through some nice electronic keys in the foreground, and on into a two-plus minute cosmic solitude of galactic residual heat haze. What can be said of ‘Butter’ other than, well, it’s like Butter.
On ‘Finer Things’, screechy guitars and a solid groove pile up, drop, level off and power up for a nice warm finishing Kool-Aid splash in the face. Says Perrine, “It has a nice “seasick groove,” and it’s one of the meatier showcases on the record (if you can call 3:30 meat). Here you can do just that, considering the average length of each ingeniously tight-knit sweater of a song. Its fun to muse on the finer things, of far off days, ages both long-gone in history and times yet still in the distance; the blurred lines of myth. We break our lives, histories, and memories into years and seasons by way of our collective generational messages and experiences.
“Don’t you remember hearing about 9/11?” “I bet you remember just where you were and what you were doing when you and I did such and blah.” Or, “What’s your favorite album of all time, brah?” Or how about, “What SONG did you FIRST make LOVE to, DUDE?”
Pleistocene’s recent finishes off gorgeously with the bittersweet ‘The Band’ about which all I will say is, “CHECK THIS ONE OUT” (Pleistocene that is)
Want to hear more?
Preston and Co. head out for a tight three-week tour starting Feb 15th.
“I’m bringing Ontario Girls with me, which is about to be released by Casual Punks, a Rochester label. There are plans in the works for a tape release show in Rochester after I get back. It will feature all of the members of the Ontario Girls’ recording in a live performance.”
Whether covering ‘I’ve Got You Babe’ on Groundhog Day and fucking up ‘Do You Wanna Dance’ while someone says they were “way fuzzy,” Pleistocene is a safe bet for a good ole time. I’ll put my money on them, for sure. Hell, maybe I’ll even “get lucky,” I’m up all night anyways, hah!
Still not enough?
Visit http://pleistoceneband.bandcamp.com/ and give it a thorough listen already, before the glaciers come back….Jesus.
A big thanks to those responsible for this recording! I am still rocking out to it!