Metamorphosis of the bestial night
The Cape Town cats from Retro Dizzy released their latest album Creatures of the Black Desert, which is a compilation that makes you want to melt the album on a rusty spoon and directly inject it into your arm via a hypodermic needle. Songs like “Carlos The Jackal”, “Honey” and “Swing Swiftly” install a feeling of lunatic savage behaviour, which may lead to one ripping off their clothes and running naked into the desert metamorphosing into a creature of the night.
“Swing Swiftly” ushers us into Creatures of the Black Desert emitting a long drawn, almost dark, sound, which is slowly built up and then replaced by the just as dark bass and guitar. We are introduced to Richard Liefeldt with the opening lyrics of Follow me into the sun / Follow me with your gun / Judas kissed your lips / Jesus made you frown. Liefeld’ts voice throughout “Swing Swiftly” is light, yet contains a darkness which is prevalent throughout the track. Throughout the song, there is a feeling of anguish and needing produced by the use of Lifebelt’s voice and its romance with Stuart Dods’ bass, and Nicolaas Rossou on drums, it reaches a climax towards the end of the track when Liefeldt cries out; “I saw blood!”
“Honey” is introduced with the soft reverberations of the bass and then slowly allows the melancholic sound of vocals to emerge. With the lyrics, Oh girl / I’ve been thinking / About you / Too much, one thinks that “Honey” is a sad love song, however that illusion dissipates when the bass is met with guitar, and vocals turn from melancholic to that of hunger and a need for love. For a small duration of the track, the symbiosis between the bass, guitar and vocals produce a tone of happiness and general love; however, towards the middle of the track we see an instant descent back into the melancholic sound introduced at the start of the track.
“Carlos The Jackal” pertains to that of a purely instrumental psychedelic surfer track which is birthed into existence through the synergy of the bass, drums and guitar. The basis of “Carlos The Jackal” is the emotion and tone which is introduced without the use of vocals. The bass is the main facet which aids in achieving the dark sounds of the desert with a touch of Western. Without the bass it is needless to say that Retro Dizzy would not achieve the same sound which makes them so unique. The combination of the guitar which brings about an eerie lightness and causes a contrast to that of the bass, with that of the drums, enables each facet of the drums, bass and guitar to form a mutually symbiotic relationship. In “Carlos The Jackal” we see instrumental done right.
Retro Dizzy is a surf rock band laced with elements of psych, and is encased in an ever transmogrifying sound which ranges from grotesquely beautiful and haunting to classic rock. The band formed in 2014 in the small town of Hermanus, Western Cape and has been a part of the ever growing and evolving psych scene of Cape Town. The fact that these cats only formed in 2014 is crazy when considering they played alongside the Californian band Allah-Las during their 2015 tour, recently completed their own Joburg tour and played at Rocking The Daisies.
Creatures of the Black Desert was released earlier this year and pertains to a dark and eerie, yet whimsical, sound which is reinforced with Richard Liefeldt’s melodic voice, Stuart Dods’ haunting bass and the deep resonance of Nicolaas Rossou on drums. The combination of these three elements results in an album which tears you apart as it progresses with each lyric. ‘Creatures of the Black Desert’ can be considered one of the greatest albums to be released in the world of the South African psych scene.