What a name?! What cult is this, and what a beautiful, “tricky” painting is that in front?! The Stevenson Ranch Davidians are releasing their third 9 track Amerikana LP on June 9th via Picture In My Year (https://pictureinmyearrecords.bandcamp.com/). It’s the first since 2009’s Life & Death LP, and the Californian songwriter/singer Dwayne Seagraves says that “I view the record and every song on it as a celebration of the human spirit as well as a condemnation of those who seek to destroy it”, and I find this as a true and brave statement!
The whole of the LP is a manifest, a celebration of life and the senses, on a pumping, groovy psychedelic folk rock eagle…in the garage, excactly! You’ll dance to it and smile, driven by the vocals’ melodies all along that stunning guitar craft. All arrangements show a very confident and “educated” band, obviously knowing how to manage their guitars, amps and all. What really amazes me is that they can easily put me in their shoes, without any superfluous phrases and never ending jams, just straight to the bone..or in the mind. The first two songs Wack Magic and Holy Life are quite instructive to the next and the rest of the trip, but I’d be boring if I tried to analyze every song, every turn. Hard Living though made me lay back and enjoy the glass of red wine by my side, an excellent down-tempo, melodic chapter of the LP, same as “Om g” where I enjoyed that folk psychedelia. Other suggested songs are PsyOp and The High Meadows for reasons I’ll let you discover yourselves, there’s a mystical scent in there that words cannot easily describe.
Davidians take me back to the celebrated heritage of mid-late 60’s, and they do it quite easy, not even a song in the Amerikana LP is odd or weary, every story they sing has a certain pace, the best music to fit in every tale with a perfect sense of duration and I guess that’s what makes the band interesting and attractive in their psyche-folk universe. And I reached the end…Pillow Sittin’ is a countrywise uplifting and very folksy tune, that reminded me some retro scenes from movies where families celebrated the good, flourishing life in the green nature. What a good last song for a release that actually made me replay it and being honest, I’ve used two of the songs in the radio. I feel that this is a good success for any band, any genre. So, if you are interested in a descent and pure psyche folk-rock music record, with much respect to you by the musicians, Amerikana will suit you the best!
Written by: Mike Dimitriou