Published on March 20th, 2022

Tonnstartsbandht by Andy White

If the finest purveyors of experimental psychedelic rock spend the bulk of their lifetimes creating a catalogue of work that guarantees their place in history … how do we even begin the conversation about the über-prolific White brothers?

Formed in Orlando in 2008 by guitarist Andy White and drummer Edwin White, Tonstartssbandht — a moniker created by Edwin while collaging — hit the ground running and never stopped. A slew of studio and live recordings, most of them full-length, span the duo’s decade-plus of relentless output and far-flung touring. Where most band experimentation precedes a release, the brothers explained their approach to an Australian publication as follows: “We just record wherever and as best as we can. Even a shitty recording can possibly be salvaged or used in a different way … Just hit that button and don’t worry about it.”

Their latest, 2021’s “Petunia,” is a little more planned — “created in a sustained manner and in a consistent environment, written and recorded in a single place over a focused period of time,” to quote their Bandcamp.

Time off the road helped shape it, in contrast to previous albums made with the brothers often separated by school and work. “Petunia” takes their usual stripped guitar-and-drum sound and overlays hypnotic vocal melodies. The result is thoroughly enjoyable rock ’n’ roll that breathes pure air, never gets cloyingly sweet and recalls the better instances of ‘70s productions and atmospheric cinematics.

Opener “Pass Away” comes equipped with a c&w twang that surreptitiously covers the entire album with an infectious positivity. You can’t sit through these seven tracks – five of which clock in at over six minutes – and not feel good. In “What Has Happened” they hit a great balance of tropicalia with the hymnal qualities of Simon & Garfunkel at their eeriest. By the time the album closes with “Smilehenge” and Andy’s vocals teeter on breaking, you’ll be disappointed that it has come to an end but glad you get to flip and start all over again.

Tonstartssbandht perform 8pm Friday, April 8 at Gramps in Miami, $15. ~ Abel Folgar