Press release for Garnet
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Instrumental rock trio Watch Husky Burn (previously Husky) releases third album, “Garnet.” Available October 25 digitally and on compact disc; November 16 on limited edition garnet-colored vinyl
“Garnet” release show set for Tremont Music Hall, Saturday November 16
Five years, five kids, a band name change. The band previously known in stoner rock circles as Husky has had plenty of time to evolve, hence “Garnet” - the new album from the Charlotte, NC instrumental rock trio now known as Watch Husky Burn.
“Garnet” consists of seven cinematic tracks that take the listener from futuristic city to old west. The album as a whole serves as a tribute to two of the tools that were used to create it - Garnet Amplifiers and Tremont Music Hall. Guitarist Phil Strickland and bassist Mark Hadden began collecting the Canadian-made tube amps over a decade ago. With “Garnet” they decided to devote an entire album to the amplifiers that Winnipeg’s Thomas “Gar” Gillies began designing in the `60s. While the Garnet name isn’t as well-known as say Marshall, they're prized by folks like Neil Young, Lenny Kravitz, and Randy Bachman. The company closed in 1989 and its founder died in 2006. Watch Husky Burn recorded all bass and guitar tracks through Garnets and some drum and keyboard tracks were re-amped through the amplifiers. A Garnet BTO graces the album’s cover.
The bulk of the album was recorded at Charlotte’s nearly 20-year-old Tremont Music Hall, where all three band members once worked. It was at Tremont in the late `90s that Strickland and Hadden met drummer Nate Wilkinson, who counts Husky as his first band (he now plays with Musket King and Hulk). They set up their equipment in the large concert hall that’s hosted artists like Iggy Pop, Gregg Allman, and Green Day and recorded in two day-long sessions.
While Strickland was mixing the record, he was contacted by an Australian band named Husky about sharing the name. After further research he discovered a world of Huskys. One in Mexico, a Polish electronic duo, a hip-hop producer, the Australians - all using the Husky name. At last check there were 8. Instead of adopting a completely new name Husky chose a reference to as well as a stake in its original band name.
Given the band’s move away from the blues-based stoner rock of its first album “Circle the Wagons” and its follow-up “The Sea King” toward something more experimental, layered, and lush, maybe it was time for a change. Watch Husky Burn isn’t exactly the same band it was when it formed in Strickland’s basement 13 years ago. There’s still a psychedelic blues-base, but “Garnet” delves deeper into delicate Explosions in the Sky-like instrumental-based storytelling on tracks like “Icewater Mansions” and more deeply into the methodical kraut-rock that its long drawn comparisons to on songs like “Malamute.” Tracks range from the live staple “Song for Jerry,” which was written in honor of Maserati drummer Jerry Fuchs who died in 2009, to the still very old school Husky “In a Vacuum,” which was improvised in one take. The rhythm section provides a steady, driving backbeat while Strickland, as “Creative Loafing’s” Jeff Hahne says, “paints the picture in a fuzzy haze of chords and riffs.”
Strickland’s pallet has widened with “Garnet,” which utilizes synthesizers, samples, acoustic guitar, and other elements. He’ll debut an unusual foot-operated, sample-triggering board that he built to recreate the layered musical elements of the record live in November.
“Garnet” will be available on cd and download October 25. Limited edition garnet-colored vinyl will be available November 16 when the group celebrates the album’s long-awaited release at Tremont Music Hall with fellow Charlotteans M4 Messenger and Sidewalks (four out of five former members of the Lights, Fluorescent), who makes its live debut.
Watch Husky Burn is Phil Strickland, Mark Hadden, and Nate Wilkinson.