It's that time of the year again. International garage punks are passing through Atlanta on their way to SXSW, leading to bills like Tuesday's show at the Earl, co-headlined by Acid Baby Jesus and Hellshovel.
Acid Baby Jesus hails from Greece and has been on the fuzzed-out punk radar since Slovenly dropped the group's first LP in October 2011; the label describes the band as "a Mediterranean concoction of two of our favorite 'Black' bands (Sabbath/Lips)."
Fellow Slovenly band HellShovel is the psychedelic brainchild of former Demon's Claws frontman Jeff Clarke. While Demon's Claws sometimes sprinkled folk and country influences in with sped-up garage rock, HellShovel plays slower psych-rock jams. The band began in 2009 as a recording project for Clarke, but has since evolved into a touring act with members from all over Europe.
Both acts are no strangers to the road, or each other, after collaborating on the Voyager 8 10-inch in 2010 and pairing up a year later for a U.S. tour, including a Sept. 17, 2011 show at the Earl. This time, both bands will be sharing a van for a jaunt across the country that began Feb. 22 in New York and ends April 6 at Lookout Weekend II in Milwaukee. "We're close friends, so we like touring together," Acid Baby Jesus' singer and guitarist Noda says. "If you're going to spend a month and a half in a van with somebody, it'd better be someone you like."
According to Noda, more fans have been coming out to shows on this tour than he saw on previous trips to the States. The crowd at the most recent Acid Baby Jesus show in Atlanta will be hard to top, though, since their last stop here was the opening night of the 2012 Mess-Around, headlined by the Zero Boys.
Clarke went on to say that he is always excited about playing Atlanta because it gives him a chance to reconnect with friends like former Demon's Claws tour mates the Coathangers.
Acid Baby Jesus, HellShovel, Dasher, and Psych Army DJs play the Earl on Tues., March 5.
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