More than 20 years after Chilliwack-formed band Mystery Machine first began jamming-and after a self-imposed 14-year hiatus-the quartet are back home to rock the Echo Room Saturday night.
The show is a homecoming party as well as a launch of the band's new album, Western Magnetics on Sonic Unyon.
"Although we've all been living in Vancouver since the early '90s, we still feel a really strong connection with Chilliwack and the formative years we spent there," Rogalsky told the Times via email.
"Hopefully this will be a bit of a unique event for all involved."
Rogalsky said the show Dec. 8 features opening acts that should please a Chilliwack crowd.
The first band, Clarence, is led by Cary Britton who used to play keyboards with Mystery Machine and whose family has a long history of music in Chilliwack.
The second band, Trout, is led by Dean Young, who also grew up with the guys in Chilliwack and even played third guitar for them at one point.
The music on Mystery Machine's new album isn't what you might call easy listening, nor is it particularly radio-friendly.
But their songs aren't so feedback heavy as to make J. Mascis blush nor are they as wall-of-sound-like as Sonic Youth or Seba-doh. Fans of those bands and other influences such as NoMeansNo, Husker Du and The Pixies will find something to latch on to with Mystery Machine to be sure.
The band was formed in 1991 by Sardis secondary grads Luke Rogalsky and Shane Ward, and Chilliwack secondary grads Chris Switzer and Jordan Pratt.
By 1993, Mystery Machine won CITR's Shindig battle of the bands, were signed to Nettwerk Records, released their first album Glazed and received accolades from Ker-rang! and Sassy magazines.
And they were still teenagers. They went on to release Ten Speed in 1995, which received critical and fan acclaim. This led to tour dates with some of their favourite bands: Polvo, Sebadoh, Sloan and Brian Jonestown Massacre. They also made some appearances with some more unusual matches, such as Pearl Jam, Ozzy Osbourne, Moby and Korn.
The lead up to their third album Headfirst Into Everything in 1998 was difficult as the label wanted a more commercial sound. With Nettwerk in complete control, the resulting slick production alienated some fan base and led to a break with the label.
Their last significant road trip was to San Francisco to play three shows with the Tragically Hip at the invite of Gord Downie.
Then, disillusioned and broke, the four guys basically walked away from writing, recording or playing live.
Years later they reunited without Pratt but joined by fellow Chilliwack secondary grad Mario Nieva on the drums, and were off and rolling again in 2010.
Two years later and the result is Western Magnetics.
"Western Magnetics could mean a number of things," Rogalsky said of the album title. "Certainly it refers to our attachment to the west coast where we live, but primarily it is a reference to elements in life that are drawn together organically after everything falls apart. This is very much reflective of our experience over the last decade, and of our friendships and creative partnership rising above some of the disillusionment we experienced as a young band."
The band describes the songs as a return to their musical roots: walls of layered guitars, treated melodies, spaced-out vocals, and absolutely no regard for what might make a conventional "single."
? Tickets to the Dec. 8 show at the Echo Room are $10 at the door.
This is a 19-plus event and doors open at 9 p.m.
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