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Satan's Pilgrims

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Biography

Taking their name from the 1960s B-movie Satan's Sadists, Portland, Oregon's Satan's Pilgrims' spirited blend of retro-surf and foot-stomping garage rock evokes the raw power and instrumental prowess of the Ventures, the Sonics, the Wailers, and the Kingsmen -- it also draws from horror movies, Joe Meek productions, and the British Invasion. Like contemporaries and labelmates the Fathoms and Space Cossacks, the band caught the resurgent early-'90s surf rock wave brought forth by the arrival of Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction, which reintroduced the world to Dick Dale's "Misirlou," and rode it to nominal commercial success via essential outings like Around the World with Satan's Pilgrims (1997) and their eponymous fifth studio long-player (1999). The group disbanded in 2000, but reconvened for a series of shows in 2005, and in 2017 they released their first new collection of original surf rock material in nearly a decade, Siniestro. Founded in 1992 by Dave (guitar/keyboards), Bobby (guitar), John (bass), Scott (guitar), and Ted (drums), all of whom go by the "Pilgrim" surname, Ramones style, the group started as a house party band. By 1994 they were enjoying some regional success via their energetic live shows and ghoulish attire (matching vampire capes), and in 1995 Empty Records debuted the quintet's first full-length, At Home with Satan's Pilgrims. Soul Pilgrim arrived that same year, followed in 1997 by Around the World with Satan's Pilgrims, the latter of which would be their last outing for Empty. Creature Feature was released in 1998 via Washington-based surf/garage indie Estrus, and 1999's eponymous Satan's Pilgrims saw the group moving to Los Angeles independent label Musick Recordings. Throughout this period the band maintained a hectic tour schedule, both at home and abroad, but by 2000 they had elected to call it quits. In 2004 Musick issued a compilation called Plymouth Rock: The Best of Satan's Pilgrims, sparking renewed interest in the group. A 2005 reunion show led to a series of additional reunion appearances in 2006, and by 2009 the band was operating at full capacity again, and released a collection of new psych-rock instrumentals, the aptly named Psychsploitation. Recorded in an abandoned Masonic Lodge, 2017's Siniestro marked Satan's Pilgrims' return to the reverb-drenched surf emissions of their earliest days. ~ James Christopher Monger
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