Now Dig This
Name: Free Deserters
Where They’re From: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Genre: Psych Rock
Most Similar: Brian Jonestown Massacre, Spacemen 3, Tribes
When They Started: 2006
Sounds Like: a ’60s-themed beach party in the ’90s
Malaysian psych rockers Free Deserters take things back to the days in the 1990s when the kids dreamed about the 1960s and proceeded to make music that was right on time, if only for a moment. Listening to joints like their new single “Out of Reach,” you can fairly smell the incense, weed and freshly brewed cappuccino.
But this quartet is grabbing ears in the present. With a first full-length out soon, they’re rising quickly in the ranks of South East Asia’s indie scene with a combination of no-BS rock sensibilities, alt-pop songwriting acumen, and utterly convincing execution. That last part is key. You can’t just go rifling through a college radio station’s discard bin and call it a band. You gotta do it with feeling.
These guys have a talent for sincere alt-rock tunecraft in the manner of UK’s Tribes and they roll out their creations with conviction and roguish attitude, which is exactly how it’s done. It’s the insouciance that makes their taste in bouncy Brit-pop bass lines, space rock guitar noise and meaty garage riffs seem very clever indeed.
Launching themselves from Kuala Lumpur, the ambitious crew has already gone on well-received tears through London and Amsterdam and they’ll be headed back out soon to support their upcoming release. If you see them headed your way, grab those round sunglasses, tie on some floral print Doc Martens and just go with it.