The viewer is lured in by the serene scene of a glorious sunset…perhaps piqued by the mysterious renegades looking toward the orange and purple horizon. Then BOOM – cue the surf/garage punk-rock-a-go-go. It’s got the dance and tumble psyched-out film stock vibe of your favorite ’60s exploitation film, the edge of civilization, only Russ Myer’s gotta sit this one out. Sorry, pal. No mercy from the unleashed beasts of the Bombay Beach brigade.
It’s a cool lo-fi badass video Sheverb released this month for “Rattle Can Thrash,” one of ten desert-fueled surf-psych instrumental treasures from Once Upon a Time in Bombay Beach, a conceptual piece literally inspired by tuning in and dropping out.
Cut to pre-pandemic February 2020: The band leaves behind the bustle of Austin, heads out to the “semi-abandoned” Southern Californian resort town the LP is named for, and completely immerse themselves in the songwriting process, including building a makeshift recording studio in a barn and crashing out in bunk beds in communal living spaces. Totally a family affair.
“We wanted to write an album that had elements of Southern California 1950’s/1960’s surf culture, psychedelics, real rock ‘n’ roll, Texas honky-tonk Western vibes, and of course, our kind of signature desert rock sound,” says Sheverb co-founder and guitarist Betty Benedeadly. “The Bombay Beach really embodied all of those elements, and we thought, what better place to go live for a month together?”
The experiment proved to be an eye-opening, magical time for the womxn-led collective, capped off with a finale performance at local dive Ski Inn, followed by their “Rattle Can Thrash” video shoot extravaganza in – where else? – a graffiti-covered abandoned house. True, most folks might skip a visit to Bombay Beach, but the remote, dystopian setting was perfect for Sheverb’s latest adventure. The entire journey was, in their own words, a dream come true.
– Laurie Gallardo