Almost four years ago, I picked up on a band from the Boston area (Somerville, MA, to be precise) who were producing a hypnotic and doom-laden brand of psych music. I say ‘band’ but at that time THE OCULAR AUDIO EXPERIMENT was really just Alex Pollock experimenting with the sound. In his bedroom.
That year, 2012 was a prolific year for Alex, with the release of ‘The Witch’s Whispering Tomes,‘ (parts 1 & 2 of the ‘double album,’ were released about a month apart) followed at the year end by another album, ‘Ghoul. ‘
By now, Alex had a performing band around him and live shows followed, which resulted in some excellent feedback. (That’s verbal feedback. Not the guitar.)
And then, just when it looked like some momentum had been built – nothing. All went quiet.
Alex takes up the story:
“I’ve kept myself busy since the band’s multi-release year of 2012. It’s been a bit long coming, but the results are starting to bubble up; “Alive” is the band’s first single off the new LP, Laughing Dreams, which was self-released in late February, 2016.In keeping with the DIY approach, it was produced, performed, recorded, mixed and mastered by myself, in three bedrooms and a closet.”
” I’d describe Laughing Dreams as a nine song love-letter experiment to conventional psychedelic rock, folk, doom and pop. It draws upon and aspires towards the blending of influences such as The Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Velvet Underground, High On Fire, Black Angels, Spacemen 3, Mercury Rev, BRMC, Cave In, The Warlocks, Echo & The Bunnymen and a long roster of others. Those are all groups and individuals who have, for whatever reason, inspired me to try and give the best of myself toward what I like about music. I just wanted to pay tribute to that spirit and try to do something great without being anybody special or extraordinary.”
Alex seems keen to play it all down, which is a rather refreshing trait in the music business. Sure, this type of music is ‘niche,’ and won’t appeal to everyone. But ‘Laughing Dreams,’ is in my opinion, the band’s most accessible release to date. I hear a bit more ‘folk’ influences drifting in and out these tracks, and less of the ‘doom.’ It’s definitely lighter overall than previous recordings.
If you’re into psych or drone music, or just like ‘underground’ or ‘outsider’ music in general …. then spread the word.
Good to have you back, Alex!