Deviant Amps is a psychedelic rock juggernaut from England that was founded in 1982 by guitarist and vocalist Paul Woodwright. While the band itself is an independent festival mainstay, Woodwright is also one of the organizers of Kozfest, which takes place just after midsummer each year and features some of the finest talent the world of space rock has to offer. Deviant Amps' current trio of Woodwright on vocals, guitar, glissando guitar, and synth; Subassa playing bass and Japanese plum bottleneck glissando; and Keith Chenery playing drums has been together since September 2015.
The most recent outing by this band is Strange Voodoo from Electric Salad Studio: Volume 1, a solid album of straight ahead rock and roll with a mid-sixties feel augmented by feedback and falling synths wailing to the universe. Opening with the sound of nature and the chirping of birds, while at times the tone seems foreboding, the glissando guitar work of Woodright and Subassa brings a sense of inner peace. Subassa and Chenery lay the rhythm down in the pocket, working off of each other in conversation, with Chenery riffing and soloing fluidly on the drums. Woodwright's guitar work isn't 'flashy,' it rages as he creates layers of sound.
The track "Can't Reach The Floor" gives the impression of a spiritual journey with the lyrics, "Stepping out into the air, touching the ground, it disappears...step through the haze, a perfect flight." On "Holding A Dream," the soulful, flowing groove feels as ancient as the seas and mountains, while on "In The Here And Now," the music becomes chaotic and explosive. "There Goes Your Soul" is slow and haunting, the spoken word vocals laden with delay and reverb as Woodwright laments, "There's only one way out, you have to let go." In his guitar work he progressively builds a wall of sound that dissipates, echoing and fading into a thunder storm after the rhythm stops. The message here is deep and transcendent: having dreams while staying grounded in what is real. When the final track, "And When You Arrive At The End You Are At The Beginning," fades out, the album finishes where it startedwith rain and the chirping of birds.
Rising Up; Here Come The Change; No One Knows; Can’t Reach The Floor; Pushing
It Too Hard; Holding A Dream; In The Here And Now (AKA An Adventure In
Japanese Plum Bottleneck Glissando); There Goes Your Soul; And When You Arrive
At The End You Are At The Beginning
Paul Woodwright: vocals/guitar/glissando guitar/synth; Subassa: bass/Japanese
plum bottleneck glissando; Keith Chenery: drums