Souls Extolled is a blast of proto-metal and ska punk from Austin, Texas. Fusing generations of influences from indie rock to grunge, punk, and reggae, 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 trio looks the part of a possessed street gang from an earlier time with crazy contacts complementing dark wardrobes, hoods, flannels, bandannas, and a host of occult jewelry. 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, 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, including the rock rap group Bad Rituals, Black recruited local veteran bassist JP Ortiz, and the drummer of Fair City Fire, Joe Valadez, to accompany him for several of his “solo project” gigs in downtown Austin. Across a few months of gigging together the trio discovered their genuine musical chemistry and mutual love for high-energy rock music. When Zach spontaneously brought his blacked-out Strat and modded Fender Bassman to a rehearsal in February 2019, they jammed some of his rock ideas and 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 2019. 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. Finally after releasing their third single "The Restless Kind" at Swan Dive in the Red River Cultural District, and hosting their first annual “Restless Kind Boat Party” on Lake Travis, on Thursday, September 12th they dropped their inaugural record "Follow the Ghosts" at Empire Control Room, followed by a tour and radio appearances throughout Texas. Check out the record and see Souls Extolled live at one of many upcoming performances 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