Pleasures

Published on January 14th, 2018

PLEASURES

Katherine Kelly, Morgan Soltes and Roger Lanfranchi may have transcended their physical selves. Jointly known as PLEASURES, they now take the collective form of a psych-heavy, stoner-rock A.I., routed and scattered through the electrical synapses of high-speed data transference, and borne along the southwesterly blowing winds of Florida’s Gulf Coast (their earthly home).

Their gift is their ability to absorb stimuli and process it into something all their own.

The “bands we like” section of their Facebook page sprawls from Hiatus Kaiyote to Radiohead. Kelly told The Reader that her favorite album is Fugazi’s13 Songs

This is no mashup, no fusion, no “post-” anything. Their recorded work since 2015 charts an evolution of something that first crawled out of a uniquely Floridian primordial soup. There is electronica, there is noise, there is shoegaze, there is dark wave, there is classical and psychedelic. It’s all in there, almost like a Borgesian aleph. But it’s never mud — no; it’s clean and antiseptic like long white hallways in sci-fi movies.

Kelly, formerly of Sarasota’s Sons of Hippies, is the vocal presence that ties it all together. Her weirdly, but appropriately, undulated and inflected singing recalls Acid King’s Lori S.

Their 2016 album, “Fucked Up Dreams Come True,” is a slicker imagining of work first offered on a pair of demos. PLEASURES would also be perfect and wholly at home scoring space operas or experimental reels. You could picture them tackling a foundational silent, like Air did with Georges Méliès’A Trip to the Moon.” They made one of their own, in fact: “You’re Gonna Get It,” a 10-minute, black-and-white horror film that they screened on tour in 2016 while performing its score live.

That experiment preceded a lineup shuffle that saw the exit of keyboard player (and “You’re Gonna Get It” filmmaker) Greg Ferris, and a more permanent role for Lanfranchi, who had first signed on as a touring musician. In any iteration, the techno-surrealist pleasure of PLEASURES is devoid of conspiracy and is a willfully accepted invitation into a new flesh. May it devour us all.

PLEASURES,with Glass Body and Timothy Eerie, performs on January 19 at Voltaire in West Palm Beach.  ~ Abel Folgar

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