Personnel: Danny Lee Blackwell (vocals, guitar, piano, percussion); Michael Ni (alto saxophone); Mike Armstrong (baritone saxophone); James Traeger (drums); Robert Levon Been (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Nic Jodoin.
Photographer: Moni Haworth.
Seattle garage trio Night Beats make their Heavenly Records debut with their brazen third LP, Who Sold My Generation. Fronted by guitar slinger Danny Lee Blackwell, Night Beats have amassed a fairly substantial catalog in their six years together, issuing a variety of different singles and compilation tracks alongside their two previous albums. With regard to their overall sound, not a great deal has changed since they first dropped their debut single, "H-Bomb," in 2010. Their talent for brash, riffy psych-rock with plenty of attitude remains their greatest strength, and their marriage of Nuggets-era sounds with the contemporary lo-fi aesthetic of 21st century garage revivalists puts them in league with other prominent West Coast acts like Thee Oh Sees and Ty Segall. As on 2013's Sonic Bloom, reverb is king and Night Beats' swagger is captured here in a thick cacophony of the stuff as Blackwell's ace guitar work bounces wildly around the room on standouts like the free-ranging "Sunday Mourning" and the hooky single "No Cops." With its radio static, vintage broadcast samples, and spoken incantations, experimental opener "Celebration #1" sets a freewheeling, almost anarchistic tone and Night Beats do manage to maintain that energy, if not the mischievous intent, throughout the album. Like a lot of bands playing in this ultimately familiar style, there's a feeling that they probably slay it on-stage, harnessing the energy of a wild bar crowd and working their vintage rock magic. On record, they do retain some of that magnetism, but much of their songwriting seems to simply serve their musical style without making that much of an impact. There are exceptions, of course, especially with album closer "Egypt Berry," which is easily this album's strongest track. Who Sold My Generation certainly has all the right moves and is probably Night Beats' best album to date, but to get the full effect, look for them on tour. ~ Timothy Monger
Clash (magazine) - "Texan trio Night Beats are one of the most exciting bands to come out of America since the heady days of grunge."