Eddie Garcia never set out to be a guitar hero, but once he turned thirteen and figured out how to record riffs onto the family VCR, his destiny as a forward-thinking musician was essentially set. After earning a degree in audio engineering from a local community college, the North Carolina native joined WFDD, an NPR affiliate based in Winston-Salem, in 2007. Garcia's insatiable thirst for new sounds and styles—which was only amplified further by college radio's limitless, steadily expansive oeuvre—led his WFDD coworkers to label him "The Productionator." Lately, though, Garcia's gone by a different name, semantically and stylistically, with 1970s Film Stock, his guitar-driven, "psychedelic-cinematic exploration of chaos and beauty." His first two releases under the moniker (2015's Hand Painted and last year's Palace Number 3) were essentially avant-garde reflections on youth, Garcia's youthful experiments ripped into fragments slowly and sinisterly, in stunning HD.
With the arrival of 1970s Film Stock's newest album, Birds, Garcia now ventures deeper down the jam-band k-hole: stoned, stoic, and wholly unsubtle. Once again, texture and tone reign supreme here. "Slack" and "Sing For Skeletons" are carried aloft not by melody but by fretwork-enabled frisson, a mangled junction of ear-pleasing plunks and pops. Of course, as expected for any "productionator," Garcia is just as comfortable playing to the flip side of the dynamic spectrum, on "We're Not Going Anywhere" and "Walk Away," two extended forays into low-country folk—and then upturning it entirely for the aptly-titled finale, "Victory Repeating." For a seven-track effort, the sweeping scale of Birds proves stunning, but we'd expect nothing less from Garcia's latest musical migration.