The Savage Blush is a psych-rock band based out of Denver, making tunes that harken back to psychedelia’s First Wave in the late Sixties. You can expect reverb-washed atmospheres, phaser-modulated melodies, catchy rock rhythms, and slightly distorted vocals calling from the ether.
They recently released their second full-length LP, Ether Dome, in March 2023, which has drawn comparisons to a modern-day version of classic bands like The Doors, The Animals, and Jefferson Airplane. Savage Blush was in the midst of recording Ehter Dome at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, but we suppose the frantic lockdowns of those days put a damper on things.
The band had a partially written album and a few songs tracked onto tape. They pressed on, managing to finish the album, and they say it became more meaningful to them due to its “unconventional evolution.”
The members of The Savage Blush describe the album this way: “Ether Dome embodies the feeling of spaces, both physical and non-physical, wherein we contain ourselves in our own bodies and minds—a hazy delirium. We are full of fear, of happiness. We are in hate, in love. It is those things we either self-imposed or allow to exist through the elements outside of ourselves. It’s Savage. Sweet. Dichotomy.”
What does Ether Dome mean, the album’s title? They say it’s inspired by the first public demonstration of the effects of ether as an inhaled surgical anesthetic. This occurred in 1846 in a medical teaching amphitheater at Massachusetts General that was, after that, nicknamed “The Ether Dome.”
The name is fitting for the album. I’m unsure about The Ether Dome of 1846, but ether is an excellent word to describe the music. Ethereal could be another useful adjective. In physics, ether is defined as “a very rarefied and highly elastic substance formerly believed to permeate all space.”
Many of the songs on Ether Dome have that quality. Shapeshifter is my favorite track, featuring hazy vocals, psyched-out guitar effects, and a slow, rolling beat that lazily drags on in a fever-dream-like quality.
Most of the tracks on Ether Dome are of the shorter variety – the longest is 10-12-46, which is a little over four minutes. This song has one of the album’s hardest-rocking riffs and most sinister-sounding vocal performances, reminding me of something from The Black Angels. Another band that comes to mind in relation to Ether Dome is The Murlocs from Australia, which is also a psych-rock act that owes much of its sound to the late Sixties.
Rolling Thunder is another solid track on Ether Dome with a rad, distorted guitar riff and a driving drum rhythm. As the title implies, the song rolls through the speakers like a thunderstorm and has an overall ominous feel.
The Savage Blush has crafted a record of mostly tightly composed psych jams that most modern psychedelic and neo-psychedelia fans should enjoy. At a run time of about 30 minutes, the listening will go by quickly, but that just means you may want to restart it and jump back in from the beginning.
Support The Savage Blush by finding them on Bandcamp, checking out their official website, or hitting them up on social media (Facebook, Instagram).
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