After playing at Tachevah and Coachella, local band Alchemy has continued riding its wave of success by releasing a five-song EP.
The release was celebrated at a show at The Date Shed in Indio on Saturday, June 6, which also featured CIVX, a local band to whom Alchemy has grown close in recent months, as the bands have shared the stage at several recent local shows. There’s been one consistency throughout all the Alchemy shows I’ve seen: The band has a loyal, supportive fan base that always turns out, and such was the case at The Date Shed show. Unfortunately, even though Alchemy put on an enjoyable performance, the band’s fans defied requests by The Date Shed security to stop moshing and crowd-surfing. As a result, the venue closed the curtain on the band and turned on the house lights during what were supposed to be the final minutes of the show.
As for the EP, it contains five songs: “Through the Night,” “Solar Analog,” “The End of the Sidewalk,” “Witchcraft” and “Fading.”
“Through the Night” has a catchy guitar melody, courtesy of guitarist Danny Gonzalez, who told me when I interviewed the band earlier this year that he does not like to use a lot of distortion in his sound. On this song, it’s obvious that he chooses to highlight his playing with other effects that make his sound seem more natural.
“Solar Analog,” a song with a faster tempo, has a unique bass rhythm, provided by Eric Lopez, that sounds like rumbling. The fast-paced track helps lead vocalist Andrew Gonzalez’s lyrics feel haunting. While there’s not much to the song, it fits in well to Alchemy’s live sets—and on the EP as well.
“The End of the Sidewalk,” on the other hand, showcases the great potential Alchemy has when it comes to songwriting songs. This is the one track on the EP where the presence of keyboardist Roger Chavez is really felt; he plays like an acid jazz/progressive-rock keyboardist straight out of the ‘70s. This is Alchemy’s best song—and it needed to be included on the EP. Bravo.
“Witchcraft” and “Fading” are also popular live songs for Alchemy. Date Shed management, take note: It’s when the band plays “Witchcraft” that a small group of fans usually begins to form a mosh pit, given its faster tempo similar to that of “Solar Analog.”
Alchemy is a local band that doesn’t sound like any of the others—and seemingly nothing can derail its members. For example, Chavez’s keyboard setup once didn’t come through due to technical difficulties—so he successfully improvised the whole show on the other half. During one recent show at The Hood, Andrew Gonzalez suffered a medical emergency right before the show. No problem: The rest of the band turned in a killer instrumental set.
Here’s hoping the band has another music release coming soon. Alchemy is one of the Coachella Valley’s greatest up-and-coming local bands.