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Wednesday, July 21,2010

The families that play together

People’s Temple keeps refining its sound

by Sean Bradley

 

After three 7-inch singles released by three out-of-state indie labels in the past two years, Lansing band The People’s Temple is keeping busy with a fourth single and a debut full-length LP on the way.

The band’s latest release, “Make You Understand,” from trend-setting HoZac Records (Chicago), was called “a mindnumbing, gut-churning slab of psych-punk wax” by The Los Angeles Times.


The band, which plays Friday at Mac’s Bar, has a fourth 7-inch vinyl in the works, set to be issued by Goodbye Boozy Records, an Italian label that’s released records by both King Khan and Mark “BBQ” Sultan.


The band consists of two sets of brothers, Alex (guitar) and George Szegedy (drums) and William (guitar/vocals) and Spencer Young (bass/vocals), all of whom share songwriting duties.


William Young said being family helps more than it hurts.


“I think it only helps the band because we’re always around each other, it’s easy to practice," he said. "George and Alex are in one house and Spencer and I are in the other house. It’s easy just to intermingle your schedules to practice, record and play shows.”


However, he said, things can also get tense.


“There have been times on stage — not so much anymore, (but) when we were first playing shows — it would be a little heated," Young said. "We were just brothers doing brother stuff.”


Sometimes this tension adds to the band’s outrageous stage shows. Alex Szegedy confirmed, “The audiences think we’re crazy, usually. But it makes for a more dynamic stage show.”


While the early records revolved heavily around psychedelic sounds, Szegedy said the album will be built around ‘60s pop and early Rolling Stones-style hooks.


Young said the band prides itself on experimenting in the studio with equipment and song structures.


Though the influence of 1960s garage rock is evident, Young said their influences vary from science fiction and spaghetti westerns to Spacemen 3 records.


“We’re taking all these facets from different genres and making them into our own thing, and lots of people think that resembles a ‘60s sound, but I’m never not inspired by music I hear," Young said. "It’s not just ’60s music, but that’s just what it comes out as. We’re never really sure if that’s going to be the same sound from one record to the next.”


The People’s Temple


9 p.m. Friday, July 23 Mac’s Bar 2700 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing $5; 18 and up (517) 484-6795 www.macsbar.com

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