They like effects pedals and atmospherics. They like sludge and fuzz. And they really like My Bloody Valentine. Indian Jewelry, yet another one of the new wave of psychedelic noise acts to reinterpret shoegaze, resurfaces after two years from the sonic swamp with their second LP, Free Gold!.
Comprising members of the rotating Texas collective Swarm of Angels, Indian Jewelry is not a band, mind you, but a self-proclaimed songwriting and performance team. The somewhat shifting lineup revolves around the dirty core of Brandon Davis, Tex Kerschen, Rodney Rodriguez, and the lovely and aptly named Erika Thrasher. The new record is awash with swinging drone rock (it’s not a paradox; just listen) and, like their contemporaries the Warlocks, they cobble together big noisy songs by kneading fuzz like the Jesus and Mary Chain in with sweet ’60s girl pop, and adding a bit of Royal Truxian squalling for texture.
“Nonetheless,” with Thrahser’s layered vocals in the foreground, is Lesley “You Don’t Own Me” Gore steeped in acid, a bit of Mazzy Star knocking about with New Order and stumbling into Wish-era Cure. Buried in the middle of heavier, more psychedelic studies in noise, the song shows Indian Jewelry to be purveyors of light when they want to. “Temprorary Famine Ship” owes a bit to Front 242’s “Headhunter,” adding some industrial-flavored rhythm that makes the song not just your average wall of drone rock. “Pompeii” reinforces that they’re not just into serving up sludgy guitars, but also tripping us up with a melodic riff. The band brings some disparate sounds together to create an album that works really well as a whole, twisting and turning and even cavorting on a spacey trip to nowhere and everywhere.