While “psych-rock” has become a rather saturated genre, The No. 44 refuse to be confined to such a narrow bracket. Complete with a driving rhythm section, lush synthesizers, and vocal harmonies that even your grandmother who sings at Sunday mass would approve of, their newest single, “Atmost” shows that they aren’t afraid of pushing boundaries. Although it will officially be released alongside another single, “All My Friends,” through secret soup records on March 15th, OC Weekly readers can exclusively stream “Atmost” below for a whole week before the official release date. Strap on your helmet because this track is about to send you to another planet.
The No. 44 officially formed on April 4 (get it?), 2016, after playing at least half a dozen gigs under different names. “We knew we wanted to start an actual band together and we had already started writing music with each other, but we hadn’t decided on a name yet,” remembers drummer, Evan Achen. “So everyone would come up with a name, we’d put them all in a hat and pull one out before each show.”
However, despite this initial indecisiveness about their name, the band has been resolute about their music from the start. “Being in a band is pretty stupid. It’s like, a really dumb career move. But I don’t know, I don’t see myself doing anything else,” says frontman Dan Gee. “I just really like writing music. So I decided to go full-force with it.” The band’s lineup was rounded out with Evan Lomnitzer on guitar and fuzz-master Dustin Fernandez on bass. Since then, The No. 44 has been playing expansively across the greater Southern California music scene.
Admittedly, The No. 44’s live shows are bonafide psychedelic. This is especially true when they enlist the help of longtime visual collaborator Stranger Liquids, who project liquid light shows onto the band and their backdrop. Combined with their atmospheric, effects-laden sound, this makes for a complete sensory experience, not unlike that time you ate some acid, “figured your life out,” and found yourself in a Norm’s parking lot at 5 a.m. Oh wait…
While their 2017 release, Venus Eye Trap, was closer to a more straightforward “psych-rock” sound, the band has been working on expanding their sound. The result is their upcoming album, Reflexive // Repeater, which is set to be released in September. While they’ve been playing some of this material live for some time, it came to fruition during their unique 30-day recording session. “We recorded most everything up in a cabin in Running Springs. We rented it on Airbnb from some guy named Jonathan. We gotta send him the record when it’s done,” Gee says, “He was super into the concept so we brought our engineer, a couple tape machines, and couple analog boards.”
“We took over the whole spot,” recalls Achen. This proved to be the perfect recording situation for the band, as some members could make the commute around their work schedules while others stayed for the entire month. By the end of their stay, they had recorded 16 songs to be mixed and mastered for the album.
This Spring, The No. 44 is embarking on a Southwestern tour to support their two latest singles. They’ll be making stops in Colorado, Texas, and Louisiana to name a few, so be sure to check them out while they’re in a city near you.