It is really great to welcome back Satan's Pilgrims after a ten year break. An inventive surf-based outfit with a great 60's sound, they were always able to sprinkle that little bit of fairy dust over their recordings. Here they move on to the 1967 era of psych-influenced rock instrumentals with a set that sparkles with tasty guitar and organ sounds, think of the Super Psychedelics album by the Ventures only with all-original material and a touch of In Space and Guitar Freakout thrown in for good measure.
Opening with shimmering guitar effects, haunting organ chords and a catchy guitar riff, Dilation sets the scene nicely. There's a touch of electric sitar behind the strident melodic lead and punchy rhythm of In The Past. Chestnut Trees And Bumblebees takes us into Strawberry Alarm Clock territory with organ and guitar taking the melody lines and providing a moody feel over a steady beat that continues on into Tomorrow Night's Mourning. In the style of The Ventures' own original album tracks there's a lively interlude on Wylde Tymes before a spacey organ takes us carefully through the Kaleidoscope into the irridescent out-of-this-(guitar)-world of Tracers (Of Love).
Wake up, it's the Night Of The Face and time to freak out to the pumpng sounds and psychedelic light show before settling down again to reflect on the hypnotic Colours Of Your Mind. The uptempo Psycle Pswami has fuzz guitar and a Davie Allan-style theme while Rainy Day Green Stop Sign has a strong rhythm guitar behind its electric sitar lead for its exotic trip. Then you can Cool Jerk to the pumping riffs of Psych-A-Go-Go before this engaging excursion into the swirling, colourful times of the mid-60's ends with the haunting jangle and surge of 10,000 Mirrors.
Lights off, lay down, and enjoy.
Pipeline Magazine 81, Autumn 2009
Orange County Examiner
Satan's Pilgrims is a five-piece band from Portland. Formed in 1991, the band is still plugging away with its distinct retro sound. After hearing this band on Radio Free Bakersfield* and the GaragePunk Surfcast, I was sufficiently intrigued to contact the band about its most recent album Psychsploitation.
It doesn't take long to figure out what Satan's Pilgrims is all about. Psychsploitation opens with the song "Dilation." This is a song that is all about the psychedelic sound. If you heard the song without knowing who recorded it, you'd probably guess that it was recorded at least 40 years ago.
And that's just the beginning. The band adeptly manages to keep one foot firmly in the world of psychedelia and surf. "Wylde Times" is a song that leans more toward surf while "Kaleidoscope," "Colours of Your Mind" (and several others) are exclusively in the realm of psychedelia. You'll hear a lot of organ, a lot of reverb, and almost no lyrics. And then there is "Psych-A-Go-Go (Psych Out!)" If you're not wearing go-go boots, or some kind of dancing shoes when this comes on, you'll want to put them on and get moving. The album closes with "10,000 Mirrors," a fuzzadelic masterpiece. You don't so much listen to this song as let it surround you. The sound seems to come from everywhere. Sit back and let the goodness engulf you.
The cover of the album promises "mind-expanding sounds." I'm not going to disagree with that. This is not a band whose members repeatedly play the same three chords as loud as they can in an attempt to fool people into thinking that they are good. This is not a band that employs the standard verse-chorus-verse format. It is quite simply a band of five very talented musicians who play a brand of music that you won't hear very frequently. If you're looking for something different to add to your collection, start wtih Psychsploitation, available on the band's website and CDBaby. -Gary Schwind
Orange County Examiner 11/13/09
Portal Rockpress (Brazil) *Translated from Portuguese...
These ten years of silence since the release of the eponymous red disc. Yes, my friends, Satan's Pilgrims are back and this time invite us to a breathtaking rhythmical journey, spilling a mixture of surf music and original acid sixties psychedelia with the best quality.
Talent to reinvent itself is not for any band, in which case the pilgrims are one step ahead of most bands of surf rock instrumental - go beyond the reverberations and create with the touch of a master sound that takes us back to the past, but with a Current invigorating freshness. Dispense old formulas, using zither and twelve-string guitars in chilling and surprising arrangements.
By 2004, I gave painting that they wished to return to the band, stationed since the friendly departure of drummer Ted Pilgrim and guitarist-creator Bob Pilgrim - who had been absent on the last disc, 1999. Invited by MuSick Records released a compilation Plymouth Rock, a fine overview of music combined with previously released singles and B-sides, including a wonderful version of the theme from the movie Godfather.
In Psychsploitation the band shows more interlocking than ever, the return of Bob and Ted was instrumental in cutting the diamond with the old friends John, Scott and Dave Pilgrim, thirteen songs are striking, permeated by distorted colors and delirious dreams. The production left buried under the battery, but what seems to be a mistake if fabulous shows during the trip - everything fits nicely, the fuzz and harp, the pandeirolas bodies and gloomy, everything works fine.
In "Night of the Face," "Psych-A-Go-Go" and "Dilation" which would have the Ventures and Astronauts if they were under the influence of hallucinogens heavy - striking guitar riffs, supported interventions in perfect sound effects of distant planets. Even in quieter moments such as "Rainy Day Green Stop Sign" - with a beautiful introduction - "Colors of your Mind" and "Tracers of Love", the adrenaline is still on high and the party seems endless.
The Satan's Pilgrims seem to have created his masterpiece, and certainly will be marked as pioneers, unafraid to take risks, crew of a spaceship to eternity.
- Rusty James
Portal Rockpress Brazil 10/24/09