Strangers from the Far East was one of our most-anticipated records of 2019. And it delivers on its promise.
Fitting comfortably within the discography of the Guruguru Brain label, which is also home to Kikagaku Moyo and Sundays & Cybele, Khana Bierbood’s debut fits neatly within the label’s milieu of Asian psychedelic rock delicacies.
But describing Khana Bierbood merely as a Thai psych band would sell them short. Their sound fluidly blends ’60s surf, ’70s garage rock, and a fuzzed-out angle on traditional Thai morlam music. Between the lo-fi ocean wave background and distinctly Eastern-tinged surf guitar, I find my mind wandering to a lounge chair on a beach in Thailand with a cool drink in my hand.
The band covers a lot of ground on the seven-song offering. Fans of Guantanamo Baywatch will enjoy the fuzzy surf-psych tones the band captures, as on “Jeanmaryn.” Listeners who enjoy Os Noctàmbulos will dig the ’70s garage-rock jangle of “Plankton Bloom.” And fans of Kikagaku Moyo might enjoy the psychedelic shredding on “Bangseen Lady.” Or, if you enjoy all of the aforementioned, then this record will sound as if it was made specially for your ears.