It’s hot. I mean, I’m sweating profusely, and on top of that, I wrapped myself in a towel, because I really didn’t want to get any more burned than I already was. My feet aren’t covered, and I can still feel the sun hitting my toes. I dig my feet in the sand to remind myself where I am. At this point I’m so mellow I can’t even think until I hear “girl, your nipple is popping out.” I open my eyes to her laughing at me. I laugh too; I mean, if anyone’s going see your nipple pop out at the beach, it might as well be one of your best friends. My mind refocuses as I adjust my bikini top. “Within you without you” by The Beatles begins to play in the background, and everything in the world feels right. A minute or two into the song my friend looks at me and says, “I can feel this song healing.” At the moment I didn’t fully feel the impact of her words; I just always played music according to my mood, and I never gave much thought to how it affected me internally. Isn’t it crazy, though? Some songs just heal, and for a few moments they make everything right; that’s exactly what “Hot Knifer” by Peach Pit is.
This song gives me such a sense of calmness; its been a go to song for me this week when my emotions have felt chaotic. Each instrument is played in such a melodic and soothing way. The lead guitar specifically stands out to me in this song. It just spews out emotion with such simplicity. I mean, when the song starts, and I hear the rhythm guitar’s chord progression I can only close my eyes in total bliss. Then at 2:01 the lead guitar enters, sounding like it’s telling its own story of heartbreak in such a beautiful way, and I promise you every time I hear that guitar part I think “How lucky am I to be hearing this right now?!”
I would also like to point out that at 2:01 every instrument in the band is playing, causing an overflow of sublime sounds: the bass line perfectly matches to the rhythm and lead guitar, the drum’s appearance adds momentum to the song with its slow and pulsing groove, the rhythm guitar’s chord progression hails from the heavens, and so does Neil Smith’s voice. I’m so happy I, by chance, came across this amazing band, and I feel so lucky to know music that heals.
PS: If you’re looking for some new tunes to check out, please check out Peach Pit’s latest album Being So Normal.
I first heard this song through the Smashing Pumpkins. They did a cover of it in Pisces Iscariot, and I fell in love as soon as I heard the bass line. It’s very rare for me to hear a song and immediately like it, but this was just one of those songs that grabbed you. I was lured in by its psychedelic bass line and curious about the song title and lyrics. “Was it about a fleeting romance?” “Who is this mysterious girl?” “Who the fuck names their kid Sandoz?” A lot of questions were going through my head, and lo and behold, I find out the song is about LSD.
This song is HEAVY with a bass line that is so impactful; it has hypnotic qualities that are almost trance like, which makes sense considering the origins of the song. "Sandoz Laboratories" was the name of the drug company that first commercially introduced LSD in 1947; thus, “A Girl Named Sandoz” was birthed in 1966 by the Animals in their fifth studio album titled “Animalism”. The song is said to be about lead singer Eric Burdon’s experience with the drug, personifying LSD with simple lyrics that paint a user’s journey with a life changing hallucinogen.
I used to think that I liked the Smashing Pumpkins version a lot more. It still has the original bass line, but it is has a more intricate guitar solo and heavy usage of pedals, a signature of the Smashing Pumpkins. It is much more complex at times, specifically after the bridge of the song; the drums and lead guitar take off, mimicking each other’s syncopation with the trance inducing bass steadily playing in the background. The Animals version is a lot simpler, keeping the drum beat and melodic guitar pretty much the same even after the bridge of the song, but simple and heavy are synonymous to me; I’d take the heavier of the two, making the Animals the winners in my eyes. This song is masterful, deserving much more attention. The heaviness of this song was ahead of its time, and its blues inspiration cuts through so strongly. I’ve never taken LSD before, but man, thank you Eric Burdon for taking me there.