Welcome to the debut album by The Entrance Band, an incendiary, ten-song journey into the creative group-mind of three talented and inspired musicians; guitarist and vocalist Guy Blakeslee, drummer Derek W. James and bassist Paz Lenchantin. The three players have committed to the full realization of the power trio, the raw impact of guitar, bass and drums throbbing together in electrified unity.
"We are all based in Los Angeles, California" says Baltimore native Blakeslee, "but our origins are in Chicago." The critically acclaimed LP Prayer of Death (2006) was recorded in Chicago under the name Entrance (a vehicle for mostly solo output by Blakeslee), with collaborative input from Lenchantin and James. All three players contributed to the recording process, but it was not until after the completion of that album that the band played live together as a trio for the first time.
Now truly a band, they decided to name this, their first unified effort, The Entrance Band. "This is the beginning," confirms Guy. "We’ve been together for three years, but this will be our first presentation to the world as a trio."
The songs on The Entrance Band feel and sound like a group realizing their own vision, freed from past constraints. The end result is ten powerful songs, working as a whole to create an ethereal yet driving melodic concoction—heavy without being plodding, psychedelic without being whimsical. Blakeslee sings with unbridled emotion and plays left-handed on an upside-down guitar, scraping and bending the strings in search of new sonic adventures. James' kinetic rhythms conjure dances both ancient and futuristic. Rounded out and locked together by Lenchantin's primal and pulsating bass lines, the music transcends any retro stylings and brings their sound into the present day and beyond.
Co-founder of Ecstatic Peace Records, Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore, says, "The Entrance Band's new music is the most alluring and, yes, entrancing vibe I've yet to experience in this new age. A soundtrack for the new groove."
The album was recorded in East L.A. at Infrasonic Studio, with producer Nadav Eisenman (RTX). The band was recorded essentially live in the studio to preserve the spontaneous interaction they had become known for in performance. While the band has built a reputation for their ability to improvise, on the album, "the songs are pretty structured," says Paz. "We worked it all out by playing it all live, and then took the knife to it," notes Blakeslee.
"We want our music to reach as many people as it can," enthuses Blakeslee. "We know Ecstatic Peace! is a good way to do that, with the guiding hand of someone who has an ethos that’s similar to ours in terms of punk rock. Thurston’s been able to bring a lot of underground stuff to the mainstream without the music or the people getting diluted in any way. We don’t want to compromise, we just want what we do to be broadcast further."
World, have a listen to The Entrance Band.
(photo by Brian Pescador)