Spring is in the air, and for music fans that can mean only one thing: festival season approaches.
Of course, not everybody likes to dish out hundreds of bucks to stand in the hot sun all day and see four songs from dozens of bands you’re barely heard of before. For some, nothing beats the intimacy of local bar shows; others thrive off the mellow sounds of their home stereo recordings.
Musicians, however, love to make their own music. And for some, it’s impossible to listen to records without wanting to replicate those same exact tones inside their garages. Depending on the number of music blogs you read — and if you’re sane, you’ll limit it to one or two, tops — you might already be aware of the hottest new releases on tap for spring 2014. But if you’re not, we’ve compiled this handy list for you to groove on, complete with the kinds of guitar multi effects pedals you’re likely to hear on each record. That means you can get a head start on learning all the solos to your soon-to-be favorite tracks. Enjoy!
The Hold Steady, Teeth Dreams
What You’ll Hear: Guitar distortion, echo effects, overdrive
Why It’s Worth Hearing: When it comes to sound equipment, The Hold Steady has never been a band to blow huge chunks of change on fancy pedalboards. For guitarist Tad Kubler, it’s all about building legendary leads, fills and solos — and the best way to do that is through the meatiest, fuzziest stomp boxes around. If you’re a fan of ’70s bar-band rock and classic ax men like Slash and Jimmy Page, give Teeth Dreams a spin before you plug in.
The War on Drugs, Lost in the Dream
What You’ll Hear: Flange pedals, delay, tremolo, synthesized effects
Why It’s Worth Hearing: The War on Drugs is led by Adam Granduciel, a guitar master with a penchant for building up sonic depths and textures. He’s not a flashy fretboard king or a spotlight stealing; instead, he relies on chiming atmosphere to carry his melodies. That’s why he relies on spacey effects like flanges and synth noises to round out his already spaced-out sound.
The Men, Tomorrow’s Hits
What You’ll Hear: Guitar distortion, reverb, chorus, multi effects
Why It’s Worth Hearing: If you’ve ever seen vintage musical instruments for sale on the web, they’re bought by the kinds of people that made this record. The Men are a Brooklyn-based band of guitar-happy 20-somethings who love to pack on that old-school scuzz. Songs tackle the tones of forebears like Neil Young, The Rolling Stones and Bob Seger all in the classic rock vein, making Tomorrow’s Hits a must-listen for lovers of Boomer stadium jams.
As you can tell, spring is here and it’s bringing with it the power of guitar distortion. For more info on finding your specific tone, pop into a guitar shop and start trying out some instruments, amps and pedals. Good refereneces.