The first time I heard Brooklyn trio Bezoar‘s debut album, Wyt Deth, it was abundantly clear the doom/psych/freakout unit were working with a wide variety of influences. Upon seeing them live back in June, the impression was no less vivid. From creepy, subdued soundscapes built on minimal bass/vocals and guitar from Sara and Tyler Villard (respectively) to percussive crash led by drummer Justin Sherrell, the three-piece were as hard to define as they were exciting to watch. Still formative, still feeling out where they wanted to be musically, but clearly relishing a sense of musical freedom.
Wyt Deth, which was released earlier this year on CD and vinyl, is no different than was the show in terms of its mission. The album (available for streaming/purchasing on Bezoar‘s Bandcamp page) is rife with troubling atmospheres and unexpected turns. Likely one could sit for a week an analyze and pick out the varied influences that went into making it. Hell, that might be fun. But frankly, I thought it would be more fun to go to the source and ask the band themselves about their points of inspiration, and fortunately Sara Villard was more than accommodating.
Ms. Villard curated the list of tracks you’ll find on the player below, and it’s plain to see genre holds no bounds. From Yes to YOB and Absu to Roky Erickson, it’s the kind of breadth one might expect from listening to Bezoar‘s output. She was kind enough as well to give a track-by-track explanation of her inclusions, which appears directly after the player itself, so please enjoy while you listen:
Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!
Track-by-Track by Sara Villard
1. The Stranglers, “Golden Brown”
This song is one of our favs from The Stranglers. Very simple format, superbly executed.
2. Yes, “Heart of the Sunrise”
Pre-Rick Wakemen icecapades, Yes at their finest prog epicness. I think I have all of their records on vinyl believe it or not. “The Heart of the Sunrise” displays all of their best qualities.
3. YOB, “Ball of Molten Lead”
We first saw YOB on the Illusion of Motion tour. Absolutely crushing, seriously.
4. Far Out, “Too Many People”
Found this LP in a bin on Saint Marks (New York City). The band name was a Japanese translation. Think Japanese western movie music on DMT.
5. ZZ Top, “Master of Sparks”
No matter where our musical tastes differ, we can all agree on ZZ Top. Billy Gibbons can make one note sound like the grooviest jam ever heard. This band is all swagger.
6. Death in June, “Rose Clouds of Holocaust”
I’m not sure that Justin (Bezoar drummer) is into this type of shit, but I am a goth at heart. Douglas P. is an incredible songwriter. Any version you see of this song is heartbreaking. It’s so awesome to see a performer who can bring a particular feeling to an audience every time.
7. Hawkwind, “You’d Better Believe It”
What if Lemmy was never left at that truck stop? Sigh.
8. Absu, “Nunbarshegunu”
Texas black metal full of lightning changes, color and precise performance. This band raises the bar. We had a night on our last tour in D.C. blasting Absu driving around the capitol. Creepy shit. In a good way, of course.
9. PIL, “Pop Tones”
I have to put PIL on the list. The first time I heard this song I played it straight for hours after and just lied on the floor mesmerized. I’m really into the bass player, Jah Wobble. He never slips up and just has this amazing circular way of writing bass parts. And Keith Levene has to be one of the first to play guitar like this. I’ve always been into his noisy sound. This band could be in a basement playing a noise show in current times and I would still be impressed, they stand the test of time.
10. The Residents, “Easter Woman”
I could have picked a number of different songs off The Residents’ Commercial Album, but this is one I am constantly putting on mixes. Oh yeah, remember when Thrones covered this song too?! That was a great version. The lyrics are so weird and perfect.
11. Roky Erickson, “Cold Night for Alligators”
Roky Erickson just rocks. Whether it’s with 13th Floor Elevators or The Aliens, he’s got it. I don’t know how he does the vocals on this one so well. How many trills can be in one word?? Also, the imagery of alligators and dogs really makes me happy. A good song to sing loudly to on your sixth hour of driving when you just need a pick-me-up. We just got home from a short tour of the South promoting Wyt Deth. I always like to hear Roky on the way home. Also, if I’m feeling like I don’t want to be back, I throw on a little Ramones to make me feel excited about the New York groove again.
12. Solid Space, “Please Don’t Fade Away”
This is a band that my friend introduced me to. They never released a full record. They just had this one tape floating around. My friend was talking about re-releasing it on vinyl, but the project never saw the light. You can download it on sites now from the tape recording and I think the whole record is brilliant. This song jumps out at me in particular because it is dark, moody, and beautiful. When I put this song on I feel like I’m floating in space. A great recording.
Tags: Bezoar, Brooklyn, New York