Friday, May 29, 2020

Whiskerman's stirring opus "Kingdom Illusion" is full of darkness with heavenly light shining through

"did you forget about me, I didn't forget about you"

The title track from Whiskerman's amazing and ambitious "Kingdom Illusion" albumreleased on March 6th (2020), is a stirring ballad full of dark reflections and admonishments with bright heavenly light shining through. Front man Graham Patzner sings like a broken man, maybe at a church revival show, or a dusty old bar lounge in a shiny white tux with rips and dirt stains.

"Telling all the kids to conform...  Begging them to take your arm
Leading them through the rapture with your poor old roving jewel"

His vocal aesthetic is absolutely goose bumps inducing as he seems to be singing about personal loves (maybe lost) and personal demons (maybe fond), of false hope or fake deities or faith lost.

"Did you forget about me, I didn't forget about you
I'm out here with the rest of them and we're trying to hold up the seat of the Kingdom Illusion
Where they feed us their poison"

Whiskerman is in high form here. I have listened to this track often and thought about the dark broken honky tonk piano lines, the beautiful guitar lines that flow into the orchestration. The slow, absolutely heartbroken waltz of the drum beat. The plaintive bending sliding guitar notes, the choir of angels and Graham Patzner as maybe the one who has lost his wings. It is a stunning piece of work. I would pray that Whiskerman with a bevy of string players and a full choir could perform this on a huge stage on TV for the whole world to see and become huge (of course, if they want to be huge) because they have a soul and popular music has collectively lost that, a soul (that is) but then I don't believe in God. I can still hope though. Yeah, I am still a dreamer, a broken one but a dreamer nonetheless.

-Robb Donker Curtius


Whiskerman is a rock-and-roll overture to the great unraveling. Over the last 7 years the Oakland band has developed an underground reputation for tackling the sublime with their ambitious songwriting, thunderous stage show, and acute lyricism. They have since emerged as an engine of the Bay Area’s revitalized psychedelic and festival scenes. Frontman Graham Patzner, who will crow like a medicine show preacher and then coo you into the arms of his lovesick eternity, might be a spitfire protege of the underworld himself, though, through and through he will remind you that there is no rapture without artistry. On the surface this is splendid rock-and-roll, rooted in the classic, psych and glam rock tradition, but the pageantry and chaos of Whiskerman’s performances will leave you describing an experience more than a sound.

Whiskerman recently released their fourth studio album, Kingdom Illusion—a rock and roll vision quest that ushers the band’s elegiac psychedelia toward a louder, pushier, more colorful sound. Their past albums have been described as “ecstatic psychedelia, sturdily constructed pop-rock, pick-and-grin folk all together as a single picture.” (Flood Magazine)

Whiskerman's hallucinatory art psyche rock illusion "Be Real" dances between purgatory and heaven (Official Video)

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