10 Bands Worth Seeing at Austin Psych Fest 2014

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7. Liars

From neo-post-punkers to indie darlings, then synth-rockers and now full-on dance, Liars are not ones to sit still. The sharp turn reflected in new release Mess, and foreshadowed by previous outing WIXIW, is an odd but welcome shift that adds depth to Liars' art-rock formula. After the band's 2007 coming-out party, the trio has flown, comparatively, under the radar, only seeming to get better as a consequence. For a band whose only constant is consistently admirable ambition, Liars are a sure bet for big things on Psych Fest weekend.

6. The Zombies

Guilty of producing one of rock's greatest artifacts (Odessey and Oracle), The Zombies are one of the last bastions of psych's golden era. Classic British psychedelia at its finest -- florid structures, shades of reverb, sublime harmonies -- The Zombies marry tranquility with heady immediacy: a warm middle between The Kinks and Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd. Subtlety is the staple of their arrangements, with their organ haunts and trailing echoes always buoyed by ironclad melodies and reels of hooks. To see the Zombies is to witness a frozen groove in time, a rare chance to see history unfold before your eyes.

5. Loop

These legendary and recently reformed space-rockers are essential to the nth degree. Their debut Heaven's End remains a shoegaze rosetta stone of sorts, distending the dissonant wails of Jesus and Mary Chain to a trancy endpoint -- think Spacemen 3 meet Phil Spector's "Wall of Sound." Given that frontman Robert Hampson is an audiophile and sound technician of the highest order (see Main, and his solo electro-acoustic work), you can expect only the very best from Loop's set.

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Jonathan Patrick