An upbeat hook, multi-vocal chorus, weighted low-end groove and classically swaggering riff permeate the charge in Million Dollar Fix‘s “Hoptical Illusions.” Whether or not the Calgary, Alberta, four-piece were aware that Blue Point Brewing of Patchogue, New York, actually makes an IPA called “Hoptical Illusion” (the singular as opposed to the song’s plural), I don’t know, but if it’s a penchant for wordplay, it extends to the title of the band’s new EP, Psychedelephant, as well. The four-song self-release is due March 11, and follows Million Dollar Fix‘s 2012 full-length debut, Billygoat, with a buy-us-drinks-ready 22-minute set that takes riffy cues from classic metal and adds a shuffle born of ’70s heavy but given an edge and sense of freshness that can only come from a new generation’s interpretation.
Guitarist/vocalist Logan Derby and lead guitarist Brad Weidlich are front and center. The structure of “Hoptical Illusions” — and indeed its compatriot tracks, the driving “Never Fight Her Flow,” stompingly poppy “The Crow,” and brashly stoner-fuzzed “Kill the Banker” — is straightforward, and bassist/vocalist Keegan Costella and drummer Jeff Shibby Smith do well pushing through with hairpin turns between verses, choruses and sundry bridges and solo parts, the whole EP ending up with an unabashed accessibility and listener-friendly take. My gawd, is it actually possible they’re enjoying themselves? And inviting others to take part in that enjoyment? In some kind of ephemeral celebration of existence that, while acknowledges its fleeting nature, nonetheless emphasizes the preciousness of the moment in which it and we exist? Like a gig? With beer? And loud amps?
It’s once again snowing here in the wintry hellscape of the Northeastern US, so while such ideas as positivity, creative energy and sharing in meaningful experiences with others seem utterly foreign and and if I’m honest a little terrifying to my perception, the vigor in “Hoptical Illusions” serves to remind that, yes, these things exist, however old and out of place the notions might make me feel. Million Dollar Fix, whose hometown release show is set for March 14 at the Palomino Smokehouse in Calgary, prove themselves to be more than capable songwriters on Psychedelephant, and showcase the malleability of heavy rock to demonstrate more than just the usual round of blues-derived misanthropy. In short, they’ve come to party. They’d like to party with you.
Get a taste of “Hoptical Illusions” on the player below, and please enjoy.
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Million Dollar Fix will release their Psychedelephant EP on March 11. More info and preorders at the links.Alberta, Calgary, Canada, Million Dollar Fix, Million Dollar Fix Psychedelephant, Psychedelephant, Unsigned bands