Souls Extolled is a blast of groovy psych rock and ska fusing generations of influences from Black Sabbath and The Doors, to Nirvana, Sublime, and The Strokes. The dirty blend of the self-described “degenerate rock band” is provocative yet familiar. Accents of ska and psychedelia revolve around a hard rock core, with gritty and debaucherous lyrics. The three-piece band looks the part of a possessed street gang from an earlier time, with whited-out contact lenses complementing predominately black wardrobes, hoods, buttoned up flannels, and bandannas. Often clouded in smoke and accompanied by a mysterious masked figure, their songs are dripping with existential angst and vulgarity. With their intense vibe nostalgic of the classic rock icons they evoke, they're an explosive exhibition of modern rock music!
Honolulu-grown singer-songwriter and guitarist Zach Black conceived the idea for Souls Extolled in 2014 while attending The University of Texas at Austin. His vision for an intense rock band with reggae, ska, psychedelic, and rap accents, as well as existential and spiritual themes, was partially fulfilled as the original lineup broke into the Austin music scene Fall of that year. But in mid-2015 among disagreements, drug and alcohol issues, and various other problems with the band, Black put the project on hold to focus on other endeavors. But as time went on he grew evermore fond of the idea for Souls Extolled, and slowly added to its song catalog as he day-dreamed its eventual return. Then in late-2018, after several years of playing lead guitar for various projects, Black recruited local veteran bassist JP Ortiz, and the drummer of Fair City Fire, Joe Valadez, to accompany him for several of his “solo” acoustic-pop gigs in downtown Austin. Across a few months of gigging together the trio discovered they had genuine musical chemistry as well as a mutual love for high-energy rock music. When Zach spontaneously brought his blacked-out strat to a rehearsal in February 2019 and they jammed some of his rock ideas, the revamped Souls Extolled was born. Only days later the new lineup made their debut at a house party and began burning through Austin's live music scene.
After crashing into the Austin music world with appearances all over the city and a full unofficial SXSW schedule, the band dropped their first single "Release" at the Townsend in May. Then, along with a vivid psychedelic music video featuring drone shots, snakes, and colorfully painted naked women in the Austin greenbelt, the band dropped their second single "Garden of Eden" on the 4th of July at the Historic Scoot Inn. Last month the band dropped their third single "The Restless Kind" at Swan Dive in the Red River Cultural District and hosted their first annual “Restless Kind Boat Party” on Lake Travis. Finally on September 12th the band dropped their long awaited first album "Follow the Ghosts" to a packed house at Empire Control Room. Check out the record and see Souls Extolled live at one of many performances in the central Texas area in 2020.
“When they see Souls Extolled, I don’t want them to say we were the tightest or the most talented. I want them to say we would have burned the fucking stage down if we could have.”
- Zach Black