Aluk Todolo’s Occult Rock is not going to be for everyone. According to their bio, the band are an instrumental trio that play, “Occult Rock, a methodical exploration of the powers of musical trance.” Got that? Now, when I read that I immediately thought that the sound was going to be old-style black metal a la Darkthrone’s Transylvanian Hunger or even early Darkrthrone. And true enough opening song “Occult Rock I” (all of the songs are called “Occult Rock”, followed by a number) is a trance-inducing black metal song through and through – minus any shrieks of course. Most of the rest of the songs however, sound like heavy metal with the occasional dose of black metal.

“Shoegaze” bands today are a dime a dozen, but finding a psych band that produces jams with truly infectious grooves is far more rare. San Francisco based group Sleepy Sun is at the forefront of an emerging scene of flowery, trance-y, hypnotic rock that needs no label to be set apart from the crowd. Check out what singer Bret Constantino and guitarist Matt Holliman had to say, and buy their latest album Spine Hits, out now.