With the glut of great garage rock bands in San Francisco, Cool Ghouls have their work cut out for them. Luckily for us, the young lads have tunes and energy for days, pouring out of their recently released self-titled debut in the form of country-rock licks, hippie harmonies and an infectious, sunny attitude. These aren’t poseurs trying to seem laid-back; songs like “Ballin’” are packed with little whiskey-soaked riffs and suddenly harmonic choruses, while “Natural Life” features subtle horns that give its summertime vibes added depth. Recorded by The Fresh & Onlys’ Tim Cohen, it’s a more-than-worthy entry into the S.F. psych-rock/garage rock canon. The band comes to L.A.’s The Smell Saturday June 8, with L.A. faves Dirt Dress, Santoros and Them Howling Bones. Additionally, they'll be at Phono Del Sol in S.F. July 13 and San Francisco Psych Fest Aug. 3. I quickly caught up with the band, made up of Pat Thomas (bass), Ryan Wong (guitar), Pat McDonald (singer/guitar) and Alex Fleshman (drums), all between the ages of 21 and 24, as they gathered around the phone in their Oakland home.
PST: Let’s start with the name. Was it a joke, is there a specific meaning?