Originally hailing from Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, Gay Neighbors is a four piece psych rock band that now calls Chicago their home. Encountering them for the first time at Reverberation Records (their official venue in Bloomington), I was instantly seduced by their pleasantly dizzying sound, a successful mixture of grunge, psychedelic rock, and shoegaze. As I was rocking back and forth alongside an eager crowd of fans and passers-by, I found myself lost and happily absorbing their music, a place where nostalgia meets the future. Utilizing old genres and song structures, Gay Neighbors crafts a whole new set of sounds, making grungy psychedelic noise strangely accessible to those not acquainted with it. As I got closer to the band, I saw that they had a projector shooting colors of light over the stage, swimming over the four members as they showed off a playing chemistry elusive to most performers. Their show ended with a 10 minute jam that sealed the deal for me, and I went home that night searching online for more music, listening to whatever I could get my hands on.
Gay Neighbors’ newest work, the 6-track album Primordial, is a beautiful mix of everything they do best. From the high-pace rock of opening track “Twenty-Nine” to the dreamy jam of their 14-minute closer, Primordial does a perfect job of showing off the true versatility of the band and their obvious grasp of their own sound. Pumping fuzzy guitar lines and hazy vocals forefront a multitude of their tracks, with washed out drums and round bass lines that drive each song into faded liquid jams and eerie rock anthems. The album is a pinnacle for the band, and a fun listen for anyone searching for a way to satiate their love for old psychedelic rock, music that, against all odds, still seems alive and well in bands like Gay Neighbors.