Video Premiere: Formula 400, “Light My Way” from Heathens

Posted in Bootleg Theater on March 24th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

formula 400

San Diego’s Formula 400 released their debut album, Heathens, in October 2020 through Glory or Death Records, and the video premiering below for the leadoff track “Light My Way” could hardly be more representative of what’s on offer throughout the record. In it, we see four dudes, showing up in a room, kicking ass until the ass is kicked, and then being done. There are few frills and zero time wasted, and the material is presented without trickery or any pretense whatsoever. At no point in Heathens‘ 31-minute run — from “Light My Way” through the acoustic instrumental closer “The Long Road Home” after the six-minute “Sun Destroyer” as built up and shredded out and stretched itself across what seemed to be the album’s greatest reaches — are Formula 400 attempting to be anything they’re not. They’re cracking a beer and playing some tunes. What more would you ask?

If you missed it above, Heathens is short for an LP, seeming to embody a ‘keep ’em wanting more’ ethic that works fairly enough even with the epilogue they present. Between the gruff formula 400 heathensdelivery of the tracks and the riffs set to turn heads for fans of Wo Fat, Freedom Hawk and the like, they ride grooves like “Messenger” with its grungier hook and the bikerly-fuzzed “Ridin’ Easy” — you know that’s the name of a label, right guys? — smoothly ahead of “Spector,” which is about the now-dead producer/wall-of-sound-innovator/convicted-murderer named in its title. Plainly centered around their riffs, Formula 400‘s offer classic-style shifts in tempo and purpose, steering clear of the heavy psychedelic boogie for which their hometown has become known in recent years in favor of a more straightforward direction, begging no indulgences on their way to a sound that wouldn’t have been out of place on Small Stone Records some 20 years ago. Amazing how time flies. Or rides, as it were.

“Illusion” and “Sun Destroyer” have their hooks in place as well, as guitarist/vocalists Ian Holloway and Dan Frick work smoothly together, bassist Kip Page and drummer Ted Karol righteously refusing to relinquish the groove until the songs are done. The album would make a killer live set, maybe minus the outro for practicality’s sake, and one imagines that’s what Formula 400 had in mind. Until then, they seem glad enough to be making a toast and hitting it for “Light My Way,” and that works too from where I sit.

Nothin’ too fancy, but proof it doesn’t need to be when you do it right.

Enjoy:

Formula 400, “Light My Way” official video premiere

Ian Holloway on “Light My Way”:

“Light My Way” is the first song on our debut album, “Heathens.” It is a song written mostly about dealing with friends who have betrayed you and stabbed you in the back. You gotta burn those bridges down to the ground!

This video was recorded with no budget on a friend’s digital Canon Rebel and some various GoPro cams set up in our rehearsal space. It’s a video of us doing what we do best, rocking out! As with everything else in this band, we do it all ourselves. Enjoy, cheers.

Formula 400 are:
Dan Frick: Guitar and Vox
Kip Page: Bass
Ian Holloway: Guitar and Vox
Ted Karol: Drums

Formula 400, Heathens (2020)

Formula 400 on Thee Facebooks

Formula 400 on Instagram

Formula 400 on Bandcamp

Formula 400 website

Glory or Death Records on Thee Facebooks

Glory or Death Records on Instagram

Glory or Death Records on Bandcamp

Glory or Death Records webstore

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