Tuesday, 31 March 2015


Strange things are certainly happening in Italy, it’s a very good time for psychedelic music at the moment with some really cool bands making some tremendous records. Amongst the current crop of great releases is Don’t Look At The Moon, the debut from Plastic Man who are a 60s psychedelia, fuzzed out Nuggets style Garage Rock and punky Power Pop influenced trio from Florence. Label mates of Thee Psychedelicatessen favourites The Vickers, Plastic Man are cut from the same cloth mixing classic influences and modern styles producing songs with a Neo-Psychedelic flavour.
Don’t Look At The Moon is a wonderfully exciting Psych-Pop album and although there are many 60s influences here, this is modern psychedelia. This immediately accessible album is a mix of both vintage retro sounds and more modern snappy Psych-Pop/Garage Rock influences producing a record that blends swirling neo-psychedelia with a tempered, needle sharp pop sensibility. It is tight and very economical; there is no bloated indulgence here with none the songs being much more than 3 minutes long. There are some fantastic songs on Don’t Look At The Moon……….Driven by a monster bass line, ‘North Polar Land’ is 2 minutes 45 seconds of Psych-Pop bliss with guitars drenched in reverb and a massive chorus while ‘Rolling Machine’ is a high energy Garage Rock wig out with some really epic drumming. The albums stand out track must be the acid scorched ‘Needle Point’…… pastoral mellotron sounds and fuzzed out guitars crash together, this is where the 60s collide with now, falling somewhere between the foggy psychedelic haze of early Pink Floyd/Syd Barrett and an energetic up-to-date Garage Psych sound of bands like the Black Angels.
Now available on Black Candy Records, you can check out Don’t Look At The Moon either at the Plastic Man Bandcamp page http://plasticmanband.bandcamp.com/album/dont-look-at-the-moon where you can purchase the download or buy the CD via the Audioglobe website.


Monday, 30 March 2015


Author, antiquarian, musicologist, cultural commentator and champion of the underground music scene, you just gotta love Julian Cope. Thee Psychedelicatessen are massive fans ……we have been digging Copey since the acid madness of the Teardrops and his early records, through his more commercial St Julian and his “two car garage band” phase in the mid-eighties, onto his artistic peak with the peerless Peggy Suicide and Jahovahkill albums and since breaking free from the shackles of music industry just before the turn of the millennium, his more idiosyncratic solo work and collaborations…………..and what a long, strange trip it has been. Over the years JC has kinda evolved into a folk singer of sorts (admittedly a very, very weird one that dresses like a stormtrooper), a psychedelic troubadour and agitator singing songs of reverence and revolution, exploring the themes that first emerged on the Jahovahkill album……..the Neolithic Revolution and Pagan beliefs, a shaman/seer railing against organised religion and society’s “greedheads” while advocating a psychedelic revolution.
We love Julian Cope dearly but we think that he has not made a truly great record for quite a while. Although he is fizzing with ideas and enthusiasm his records can be a little bit hit and miss, we have often thought that if you could cherry pick the best moments from 1999 – 2014 what a brilliant album that would be………well guess what kidz, that’s only what’s gone and happened. Trip Advizer brings together the best 16 tracks from Julian Cope’s recent solo recordings released on his own Head Heritage label, taking in tracks from his 2005 album Citizen Cain’d through to Revolutionary Suicide from 2013 (plus a couple of none album/previously unreleased tracks)….there is none of his more experimental/ krautrock or “Pagan Stooges” hard rock outings included here. This is a collection of the more melodic side of the Archdrude and fair few of the songs here (‘I'm Living In The Room They Found Saddam In’, ‘They Were On Hard Drugs’, ‘Psychedelic Revolution’ and ‘Cromwell In Ireland’) have been regular concert favourites. The album includes the previously unreleased track, ‘Julian In The Underworld’, which is an account the psychic fallout from Copey taking a massive dose of the hallucinogen Salvia for getting his head in the right space for writing his One Three One novel, which he claims reduced him to a “salad with attitude” for several months. This really is an impressive set of tunes…..all killer, no filler…..which JC has selected for this compilation and although there is really nothing much here for the hardcore fan, if you have been wondering what the man has been up to since the Interceptor album this is a fantastic way of catching up.
Available on CD from the Head Heritage Merch Store and very groovy record shops, Trip Advizer is a must buy not only for any lapsed JC fans who have not been closely following his recent activities below the radar…….it’s time to reconnect People…….but this is a great introduction for anyone who has maybe read his books but not listened to his music or is simply unaware of this nation's finest psychedelic polymath (then get yerself down to your local record store/Amazon/whatever and get hold of a copy of the Archdrude’s magnum opus Jahovahkill………you won’t be disappointed).


Thursday, 26 March 2015


We are going to do an occasional trawl around Bandcamp to see what cool stuff we can find as there is loads of great music out there that we think deserves a listen………this is the first batch of albums/EPs that we want to bring to your attention.

First up is a fantastic EP from Love, Hippies & Gangsters, a Psychedelic Rock band from Dalston, formed by bedroom psychonaut Yiğit Bülbül in 2014. Love, Hippies & Gangsters second EP, Sun Over Babaluma, is certainly a pick and mix selection of psychedelic sweeties, influenced by 60s psychedelia/garage, 70s experimental music, 80s/90s guitar drones and all sorts of other weird, obscure music……the EP title alone is no doubt a nod in the direction of the mighty CAN. The wonky psychedelia of opening track ‘This Is What We Want’ has a genuine Anton Newcombe vibe and its irresistible jangle making it the most immediate of the four tracks on the EP. The other three tracks are a mixed bag of psychedelic influences ranging from top quality Psych Rock/Space Rock all the way through to bouncy krautrock with 80s style squelchy synths. The psychedelic cornucopia of Sun Over Babaluma brings to mind the Sterling Roswell solo albums, which is not a bad thing……..you can check it out at  http://lovehippiesandgangsters.bandcamp.com/album/sun-over-babaluma where it is available as a “name your price” download.

You really would not consider hung-up Russia to be one of the frontiers of Psychedelic Rock, but strange things are happening……….Polska Radio One are already firm favourites of Thee Psychedelicatessen and we can now add Cosmic Letdown to our list of fantastic new Russian Neo-Psychedelic Rock bands. We can’t help noticing what a massive influence that Spaceman 3 and early Spiritualized have had all around world and Cosmic Letdown’s hazy Psych Rock is coming from the same narcotic netherworld. After releasing a couple of singles Venera is the band’s first full album and it hits the spot straight away. It is truly a great record with the standout tracks being ‘Mary’ which was originally released as a single and the six minute thirty stoned immaculate ‘Venera-6’. Named after the Soviet space probe, Venera is a trip to the stars…..a mini masterpiece of great fuzzed out riffs and awesome grooves which you will dig if you are into bands like The Warlocks, Black Angels and Asteroid #4. Available as a free download from the Cosmic Letdown Bandcamp page (https://cosmicletdownband.bandcamp.com/)……there were limited edition Cassettes and CDs available on the band’s own Opium Eyes Records imprint but unless they intend to press any more they appear to have sold out.

Also worth checking out is Dronecaine by Cosmic Letdown’s totally far out side project, Opium Eyes Of Nico. Dronecaine is a ten track collection of Indian and Eastern European influenced experimental music and includes an interesting take on Tomorrow Never Knows (TKN must be one of the few songs it is almost impossible to fuck up…..get the bass and drums right you are most of the way there). Again this is available as a free download and you can find it at http://opiumeyesofnico.bandcamp.com/  

Finally we have a really fantastic collection of new Shoegaze bands from the Welsh label Ear To Ear Records who have compiled a 30 track album called Revolution - The Shoegaze Revival. Even though Shoegaze influenced bands have been hiding in plain sight for the last twenty years, it can be argued that the “revival” started when the Shoegaze Holy Trinity of MBV, Slowdive and the Jesus & Mary Chain resurfaced after being dormant for many years. This in turn brought the genre to the attention of a new generation and although in some cases a few of the bands here are not strictly shoegazers in the classic sense, the common thread is that the influences here are indie guitar bands from the late 80s/early 90s…..the golden age of great, innovative guitar bands before Oasis fucked the gene pool and spawned a raft of Luddite post Brit Pop shite (check your local charity shop as that’s where these bands have gone to die). It appears that the joy of a stamping on a distortion pedal has spread far and wide and Ear To Ear have searched the world for the best new music for this compilation, unearthing bands from many an exotic location including Brazil, Hong Kong, Pakistan, Indonesia, Japan and ……er…..Scotland. Italy currently has a really big Psych/Shoegaze scene and Revolution includes 4 excellent tracks from the Italian bands Stella Diana, Clustersun, Rev Rev Rev and Weird. Possibly the best known band here is the superb Canadian psychedelicists Ummagma, who have already caught the attention of Robin Guthrie, with the pick of the other bands on this album being the MBV influenced Trementina from Chile, Peruvian shoegazers Puna, producer/engineer Marc Joy’s studio project Lights That Change, German noiseniks Jaguwar and dream poppers Slow Motion Picture. This really is an essential collection of “second wave” Shoegaze bands and we recommend that you check this out. This album is available as a ‘name your price’ download from the Ear To Ear Records store via Bandcamp and can be found here http://eartoearrecords.co.uk/album/revolution-the-shoegaze-revival


Wednesday, 25 March 2015


After gaining a reputation as one of Birmingham’s finest live bands from steady gigging, Velvet Texas Cannonball have now transferred their ballsy, no nonsense swagger on to record. With a classic sound propelled by a snarling Hammond Organ and a ferocious rhythm section, VTC have roots in vintage 60s/70s Blues Rock but have a much more expansive collection of influences which take this band way beyond your average retro, “Classic Rock” influenced outfit……their new 5 track EP, Last Orders, more than demonstrates this. All the tracks have been recorded live in the studio so what you hear is as close as you can get to the Velvet Texas Cannonball live experience.    

Last Orders is an excellent EP and a snapshot of where the band are at during this moment in time. Coming from a place somewhere between Birmingham, West Midlands and Birmingham, Alabama, the Last Orders EP taps not only into the tradition of Brum having been the birthplace of some great Psychedelic/Blues Rock bands but also into the southern fried, lysergic blues of the U.S.A……..kinda like Primal Scream when they subconsciously slip back into their Stones preset when they forget they want to be a cross between CAN, Sun Ra and the MC5. Kicking off with the filthy raunch of ‘I Got Time’, VTC channel the pomp of Sticky Fingers period Stones and the infectious energy of classic early Faces with more than enough ass shaking seismic force to take down several small buildings. However there is more to this band than just Stonesy swagger, there are shades of early Deep Purple in the Hammond driven ‘The King And The Conjuror’. The track has the jazzy feel of the Brit Psych/Prog bands that Island Records used to sign around 1969, the kind stuff that now turns up on mad psychedelic obscurities compilation albums. Both ‘Country Soul’ and ‘Jenny’ have the timeless sound of the American Deep South…….The gospel tinged ‘Country Soul’ has a Memphis soul vibe while ‘Jenny’ is akin to the dark swamp blues of The Bad Seeds. The ridiculously good ‘Feel So Bad’ is a high octane epic boogie tune that Canned Heat would be proud of. There is lots to love here for both fans of 60s Psych/Blues and early 70s classic rawk, VTC are gonna be your favourite new band........ you just don’t know it yet.

Available on CD only……. contact Velvet Texas Cannonball via their Facebook page (www.facebook.com/pages/velvet-texas-cannonball/95804734453) for details about getting hold of a copy. Listen to ‘I Got Time’ here.