Austin, Texas indie psych-rock outfit Gamma Dog recently dropped a new single, called “Wa,” the follow-up to “Hear Them Coming.” Recorded at Test Tube Audio in Austin, the track was engineered and produced by Kevin Butler, who also handled the mixing, whereas Greg Calbi mastered the track.
Made up of Matt Blackwell (vocals, guitar), Trey McKinley (bass), Kevin Garcia (lead guitar), Kyle Garcia (keyboards), and Matt Reynolds (drums), the band formed in 2009, and was initially known as Empire Machines, later changing their name to Gamma Dog.
Near the end of 2011, they dropped their self-titled EP, followed by another EP, Animal Skin, in 2015. At the present time, the band is performing in and around Austin, while laying down tracks for their full-length album.
“Wa” opens on gleaming new wave surf rock colors riding a tight punchy rhythm composed of crisp taut percussion and a rolling bassline. Bright synth hues invest the tune with glistening textures, as Blackwell’s tasty vocals glide overhead, intense yet rich. It’s a voice reminiscent of The Beatles, conjuring up visions of John Lennon with its inflected nasal surface timbres. In fact, extensive filaments of Brit-pop flow through the new wave harmonics.
An organ-filled breakdown shifts the song’s flow from surging energy to soft emerging aromas, followed by washes of iridescent psychedelic pigments, as the harmonics rocket horizontally, full of potent sonic oomph. I love the way the song ends, traveling on stuttering guitar riffs supported by Reynold’s skintight drums.
“What did the others make? / What have the others done? / You’re out in a further place healing / Seeding a different one / And you gotta love it all / Cause who wants a half-assed head? / You got your warning signs / Yeah you got your second life / Ah, ah, ah.”
With “Wa,” Gamma Dog blends delicious new wave, surf rock and Brit-pop elements into a luscious potion of ‘90s dynamics alongside thick blushes of streaming sonic tints. “Wa” is an excellent track, akin to John Lennon fronting The Cure, with Vince Cuneo of Movie Club on guitar.