By Kieran Webber
Described as a “true one-man rock ‘n’ roll machine,” South African-born Garett van der Spek knew from an early age where his heart was set. Brought up on a diet of Beatles, Bowie, Hendrix and Sabbath – as well as African music – the Durban native later moved to Seattle on a University exchange program and quickly fell in love with the place, he spent most of his time darting between Seattle and LA building a repertoire for Prism Tats.
This hard work has paid off and landed him his debut release through ANTI records which plays host to prestigious artists such as Tom Waits. Van Der Spek (Prism Tats) teamed up with the notorious noise merchant Chris Woodhouse (Ty Segall, Wild Flag) who produced the self titled LP who added a pinch of raw magic.
Opening with the reverb laden ‘Pacifist Masochist’ a song dripping in irony, followed by the explosive ‘Creep out\\Freak out’ a garage rock number that boasts Van Der Speks vocal range. But it isn’t all about his vocals, although it is one of his strong points he knows when it is acceptable for it to take a back seat this is particularly felt in the semi-instrumental ‘Make The Most Of The Weekend’ a looped track that builds on layers of repetitive instrumentals.
The album takes many welcomed twists and turns delving into a variety of genres from the surf rock ‘Weird Guilt’ to the laid back vibe of ‘Midnight Mountain’, Garett appears to sound completely comfortable in this mish mash of genres.
As debut albums go this has to be one of the strongest released in the past decade, it does exactly what you expect by providing killer riffs and melancholy lyrics dripped in reverb goodness. An exceptional first release that has us very excited for Prism Tats future.