Episode 190: Double Naught Spy Car
Air date: 9.6.2017
Musicians make music for all manner of reasons, and Los Angeles’ Double Naught Spy Car is what happens when four ace players get together to make music for themselves. To hear them doing their thing, one might think that the band has an identity crisis. Disparate styles crash against one another like an iceberg and an ocean liner - and the delicious challenge is watching the whole thing stay afloat. Begging a mixed metaphor or two, it’s a musical high wire act that is a thrill to experience or perhaps a perfectly noir-twisted soundtrack to a Charles Bukowski acid trip. At a cursory listen, Double Naught Spy Car sounds like an instrumental surf band with a Zappa jones. Multi-instrumentalist Paul Lacques’ lefty lap steel provides both dreamy “Sleepwalk”-esque melodies and ethereal atmospheric shades. Marcus Watkins’ space invaders analog delay screeches, ripping solos and gusty chording complements Lacques’ unique and individual approach. Bassist Marc Doten provides a solid foundation from which to improvise as well as taking some flights of his own, and drummer Joe Berardi keeps the tempos moving with a push and pull that helps the whole ensemble cook. But if you go deeper, it’s all there: rock and roll, jazz, funk, blues, and whatever else suits the ensemble’s collective fancy - sometimes all within the same song. Their new sixth album, Moof, exhibits their stature in the Los Angeles music scene with their ability to invite other legendary players to contribute; among them: Nels Cline, Mike Watt, Joe Baiza, Danny McGough, Sara Adrizzoni, and a host of others. All in all, Moof - and the ethos of Double Naught Spy car - is an ode to how great music can be when an ensemble has the courage to jump together into the ether, and in doing so, take their audience on a wondrous ride.