Mystic Braves revives classic rock at the Lowbrow


Jake Deven

Mystic Braves frontman Shane Stots and bassist Tony Malacara

Jake Deven, Entertainment Editor

Rising rock upstarts Mystic Braves hit The Lowbrow Palace on Wednesday night, and their show was notable for a few reasons—not the least of which was the Los Angeles band’s ability to compose a free-flowing, energetic hybrid of blues and rock that’s missing in today’s mainstream music.

Local rock group Fallex and Los Angeles-based psychedelic rock group The Creation Factory were the night’s openers, each band setting the tone for the night with their own distinctive classic rock sound.

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  • Frontman Shane Stots

  • Mystic Braves frontman Shane Stots and bassist Tony Malacara

  • Mystic Braves frontman Shane Stots and bassist Tony Malacara

  • The Creation Factory frontman Julian Ducatenzieler

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What makes Mystic Braves stand out from other contemporary rock artists are the punchy guitar solos, deafening drum beats and complex bass riffs along with progressive vocals that make for a classic sound for a modern band.

The group uses authentic 1960s gear (and an era-appropriate look) to create blues-infected rock designed to get a crowd’s feet moving. The band drew on their four EPs for the bulk of the set, in addition to playing new songs for good measure.

This retreat to the basics is what makes Mystic Braves an essential rock band. They are able to take elements of classic rock and incorporate them in their own original work. Mystic Braves is the classic rock band that hard rock fans need in an age surrounded with progressive genres.

In an interview with the Phoenix New Times, the publication dubbed the band the “Mexican Beatles”. This may ring true for some, but, for me, elements of The Zombies and The Doors are extremely apparent within the band.

What also makes bands like Mystic Braves outliers in today’s music industry is the sporadic range of ages found at their shows. Many of the attendees at the show on Wednesday night were much older than the band members themselves and could be heard reminiscing about classic rock bands they saw decades before. That age “barrier” was juxtaposed with teens and younger adults who were also attending the rock show.

The music isn’t the only thing about these guys celebrating the bygone era of the psychedelic 60s, the colorful vintage threads they wear make you feel as if you’re actually witnessing a band from the 60s perform right before your eyes. Mystic Braves is unique in the sense that they look and act the part. Although cliche, they would have fit in well at Woodstock.

Though the band’s songs are fairly simple—uncomplicated rock jams that get stretched out in the live setting to five, six, seven or more minutes with the help of welcomed solos—the result is a first-rate rock sound that is at once a blatant homage to their predecessors while still being modern and decidedly original. By the end of the evening the group proved that it didn’t really matter, they were clearly built to carry to the torch.