Futurebirds & Diarrhea Planet present SF with layered southern psych-rock


Futurebirds are one of the best bands to emerge out of the Athens, Georgia music scene in a while, and anyone present July 18 at The Independent in SF can attest to this notion. Guitar instrumentation was the theme of the night as featured act and conversation starter Diarrhea Planet perfectly mirrored the night’s headliners through layered Southern psych-rock.

With a name that dares you to say it out loud in front of other people, Diarrhea Planet put forth a killer set. Balancing between heavy metal and punk, yet centering around accessible hooks, the Planet would rage hard then let intricate instrumentation create a floaty atmosphere.


The Nashville based group was there to party and make a scene, something Diarrhea Planet accomplished by reinforcing their music with four guitarists and a variety of stage antics. Guitarist Emmett Miller led the way with the shenanigans, climbing speaker banks to jump from and by performing on the floor of the Independent general admission area to end the set. They had fun and left a good impression in line with the Diarrhea Planet motto, “Shred till you’re dead, or go to hell.”

As the stage was being prepared for Futurebirds, Kurt Vile and Tame Impala tunes rang through the venue. This choice of pre-game music was highly appropriate — psychedelic guitar layering proved to be the hallmark sound of Futurebirds. The group features two electric guitarists, one acoustic and the all important steel petal guitarist.

The stoic steel pedal guitarist added haunting accents to songs, even though he was the only performer on stage that seemed kind of bored. Futurebird’s music is rooted in alternative country, but every song transformed half way through at The Independent, morphing with a pleasant sound-shift into psych-rock territory. For example, “Death Awaits” is a wavy, country ballad until layered electric guitar stomps into the third part of the song, adding Syd Barrett-like wails. The steel pedal ended up bringing “Death Awaits” together for the guitar-harmonized, blended outro.

Touring on their 2013 LP Baba Yaga, almost every song payed off by transforming into a Neil Young-like slow burning jam, picking up the pace through layered Southern aural goodness.

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