The Fresh & Onlys are one of the San Francisco music scene’s best-kept secrets. A psychedelic-garage pop band, the Fresh & Onlys were founded by frontman/guitarist Tim Cohen and bassist Shayde Sartin. The two were co-workers at Amoeba records when Cohen passed a demo he was working on to Sartin. Sartin was impressed by what he heard and called off work to join Cohen in recording a collection of songs that later formed a significant portion of the Fresh & Onlys current catalog. They are joined by guitarist Wymond Miles, drummer Kyle Gibson, and backup vocalist Heidi Alexander. Their most recent release, today’s Local Pairing, Grey-Eyed Girls was released by Woodsist in September of last year. Notably, the prolific group’s debut was released in April of last year by Castle Face Records and their third full-length is scheduled for release this summer on In The Red.
On Grey-Eyed Girls the Fresh & Onlys effectively channel the energy and sounds of 60’s garage rock and psychedelia a la the 13th Floor Elevators and the Chocolate Watchband. They blend eerie melodies with jangly hallucinogenic guitar rifts and paranoid, off-center lyrics. The album opens with the cut “Black Coffin,” which features a strutting guitar rhythm and Cohen’s dark lyrics: “You don’t have to pray for beautiful skin / when you live in a black coffin / you don’t ever to dwell on the debt you are in / when you live in a black coffin.” The creeping “Invisible Forces” rolls forward like the soundtrack to a convertible cruising down a deserted highway at night in a Tarantino film. The catchy guitar licks on “Dude’s Got a Tender Heart” bounces and weaves in a enjoyably drunken lo-fi pop feast. If you like garage rock and/or psychedelia, you’ll love this album. Buy it at Insound.
Head back to eating/sf to read Kasey’s review for Uva Enoteca in the Lower Haight district in San Francisco.