[sic] Magazine

Axis: Sova – Early Surf

It’s funny how no-one makes “prog” anymore despite there being many progressive artists out there. Maybe they’re too “out there”? In any case, mutating nomenclature of course plays a part in how sounds are classified at any given time and prog very much belonged to a specific time as well as sound. For this same reason we often make a distinction between 60s psyche and contemporary psyche-rock. Somewhere along these many indistinct axes is Brett Sova’s Early Surf and it’s a weird and wild ride.

The Burroughs-esque press release further clouds the issue, jabbering on freestyle about getting stoned, melted geometry and murky basements. Cue meta data! Chicago native Sova has previously toured with Ty Segall and the nine-track Early Surf is his second LP and first on Segall’s own God? label. This all gives us some very valid pointers. Take garage-rock fuzz as your conceptual launch pad and run with it … which is coincidentally Sova’s own manifesto too as, with terminally muffled, bedroom production throughout, Early Surf is all groove no compromise.

Two seven-minute jams dominate the running order, “Ask Me About My Smell” marrying bubbling organ tones with Stoogian bass riffs, Sova barking through the repeato-fuzz indecipherably. In turn, “Fractal Ancestry” swells the b-side with blown-amp riffing, kraut propulsion and deep-space solos. Around these monoliths Sova weaves hot streams of drum-machine funk, Sun Araw dub, knob-twiddling sci-fi synth, distorted biker-rock, aborted melodies and sun-warped proto-punk overdubbed with scuzzy psychedelia. Did we say weird and wild ride? Early Surf is definitely a trip.

Best track: “Afflicted Taste”

~Early Surf is released 16th February 2015 on God? (distributed by Drag City).~