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Falling somewhere between the noise-pop of bands like Wavves and Woods and the blissed-out psychedelia of the Beach Boys, Sacramento, CA’s Ganglians features Ryan Grubbs, Kyle Hoover, Alex Sowles, and Adrian Comenzind. Grubbs met Sowles when he moved from Portland, OR to Sacramento, and met Comenzind, who introduced him to Hoover. They began trading tracks they had recorded at home, and when Grubbs was asked to play a show, Hoover, Comenzind, and Sowles became his backing band. The band’s name came from a cross of the words “gang” and “aliens,” not the term referring to an external bundle of nerves. The band spent much of 2008 recording, and their debut single, a limited-edition split 7" with Eat Skull, appeared in January 2009 on Dulc-i-Tone Records. The band’s tours and releases came quickly after that, with an appearance at that year’s South by Southwest festival that March and a self-titled EP and a full-length album, Monster Head Room, arriving within weeks of each in May on the hip lo-fi label Woodsist. Where Ganglians was abrasive and self-recorded, Monster Head Room found the band working with an engineer friend who helped them get a cleaner sound that was innocent and trippy at the same time. The band spent the summer playing shows, including a set at the Smmr Bmmr festival in Portland, and closed out the year with a 7" on Captured Tracks in October. Soon after, Ganglians signed with Lefse Records, and in 2011, they recruited Dirty Projectors’ producer Robby Moncrieff for their second studio release, Still Living.
© Heather Phares /TiVo
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