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Saturday, 30 May 2015
BIG MOUNTAIN COUNTY – BREAKING SOUND (Gas Vintage Records CD, D/L). GO!ZILLA – SINKING IN YOUR SEA (Black Candy Records LP, CD)
More strange things from the burgeoning Italian Garage/Psych scene…….. There must be something in the water (????), the amount of really great new bands that hail from Italy is astounding.
First up is a fantastic new record from Big Mountain County (BMC) who play wild and dirty psychedelic Rock n Roll and the bands debut album, Breaking Sound, is nine tracks of some of the best Psych Rock we have heard all year. BMC have assembled all their really cool influences on one record, while the title track is a very groovy slice of psychedelic Surf Rock much of this record has a 80s Paisley Underground vibe where the best 60s psychedelia was infused with a Post Punk sensibility……..’I'm Satisfied’, ‘About A Clown’, ‘What Do You Think?’ and the epic ‘Farewell’ all have the mood of the early Rain Parade/Dream Syndicate recordings. There is also a big late period Velvet Underground influence (when they were more of a straightforward Rock ‘n’ Roll band…..John Cale had left the band taking with him his avant-garde weirdness and Nico had moved on a few years earlier taking with her…..erm...weirdness) both ‘1945’ and ‘Make a Move’ have a Lou Reed feel about them. This is a truly great psychedelic record and we recommend you check it out……there is a lot to love here.
Breaking Sound is currently available as a download from either iTunes or the BMC Bandcamp page…..check it out here https://bmcbigmountaincounty1.bandcamp.com/album/breaking-sound. Check out the Gas Vintage Records online store for a copy of the CD.
Sinking In Your Sea is the second full length album from fuzzed up psychedelic Garage/Punk trio Go!Zilla, with a sound finely honed from a ton of touring over the last few years. Taking inspiration from the classic 60s “Nuggets” bands, late 70s Pop Punk and 90s Grunge bands, Go!Zilla are kindred spirits with bands like Thee Oh Sees, Night Beats, Apache Dropout and White Fence, playing the kind of explosive music that that would have come out of Seattle circa 1991 if powerful hellucigenics had been the drug of choice and not smack and cheap speed. Finely balanced between blistering guitar rock and mind bending psychedelia, Sinking In Your Sea has been described as “Grungedelic” and as stupid as a genre name this sounds it is actually weirdly correct……… there is nothing startlingly original going on here but it is a really good record nevertheless, think twisted Mudhoney but nowhere near as angsty. The two outstanding tracks here are a couple of the more subtle psychedelic tunes…… ‘Looking In The Mirror’ has a groovy Nuggets/Pebbles 60s feel to it and ‘Xilitla’ is a far out, bendy mind fuck that is no doubt one for the heads.
Sinking In Your Sea is out now on Black CandyRecords (Italy) and available from the Go!Zilla Bandcamp page on either vinyl or CD………Check it out here https://gozilla.bandcamp.com/album/sinking-in-your-sea. This record has also had a limited release in France on Beast Records, on Lolipop Records and GNAR Tapes in the USA and by Algo Records in Chile……..we suggest you check these labels websites or your local record emporium for availability.
Sunday, 17 May 2015
E GONE – ALL THE SUNS OF THE EARTH (Sunrise Ocean Bender Records LP, D/L / Deep Water Acres CD). E GONE – SMOKEDIVER EP (D/L).
We must admit that we have been slow on the uptake here……released towards the end of last year the excellent album All The Suns Of The Earth by E GONE (the solo project of Daniel Westerlund from the now disbanded Swedish psychedelic Folk Rock group The Goner) has only recently been bought to our attention by the good folk at Sunrise Ocean Bender records. We have been catching up on an eclectic record mixing psychedelic electric sitar headswirlers, Post Rock synth drones, far out Psych Rock and gentle Acid Folk……trying to tie Daniel Westerlund down to only one genre is somewhat akin to trying to herd cats, once you think you have got this record sussed it then goes hurtling off on another strange tangent. It’s a great record and well worth checking out.
All The Suns Of The Earth is still available in a limited number of white vinyl pressings from the Sunrise Ocean Bender online store…….the digital download is also available from their Bandcamp page. You can get the CD version from the Deep Water Acres website
While we wait for a new full album from E GONE there is some new music available…….The 3 track Smokediver EP has just been released and is available from the E GONE Bandcamp page. The first track ‘Decapitating A Friend In Varanasi’ is a total psychedelic headswirler full of Eastern promise…….it’s a tune direct from a 60s spy caper movie, where the cool superspy rocks up at a groovy party held at the villains psychedelic ice palace in the Himalayas. The next two tracks are ‘Decapitating A Friend In Varanasi’ reimagined and twisted into strange forms, ‘Smokediver I’ is a modern psychedelia deconstruction of the tune….. Daniel Westerlund unleashes his secret Shaman, the strange magic of hypnotic loops and drones induce a trance like state where Nirvana is just a touch away. The most interesting track is ‘Smokediver II’ which takes the tune in a more Ambient Dub direction……….mixing an Indian vibe and dialogue samples with a dub sensibility and driven by pulsing synths and drums this has a feel of the kind of tunes that Nation Records used to put out in the early 90s (Loop Guru and Transglobal Underground particularly come to mind)…….This is Whirled Music at its best.
This is a great little EP and is available as a “name your price” download from the E GONE Bandcamp page….check it out here https://egone.bandcamp.com/ .
Wednesday, 13 May 2015
YOU – PHASE (CD, D/L). ALL THEM WITCHES – A SWEET RELEASE EP (D/L). THE WAVES – DRIFTING (D/L). LOS LUCID – MONTAGE OF PSYLOSIBIN (D/L). MINDFLOWERS - ///3 (D/L). THE CALIFORNIA DEATH – CALIFORNIA DEATH (D/L)
We have been having another mooch around Bandcamp and here is a quick round up of some of the goodies/oddities we have found that you can download for free.
First up we have YOU, a bunch of stoners from New Mexico…….when they are not working at the Albuquerque Mind-Research Lab (which we think is in the drummers basement) they moonlight as a four piece(?) heavy Psych band. Phase is their second album and it was recorded in only two days……it sounds like they have gone into the studio and blasted through their live set with a minimum of fuss…….it’s a little bit rough round the edges but that is not such a bad thing. There is some great stuff here, particularly the epic 20 minute Prog/Psych ‘Alpha Channel’ and the sinuous ‘Dream Castor’……. It’s the kind of record that makes you want to skin up and dissolve into your sofa.
You can check out Phase at the YOU Bandcamp page http://youband.bandcamp.com/ where it is available as a “name your price” download and also available to buy on CD.
Seeing that Nashville is the place that everyone associates with MOR Country music it surprisingly has a thriving Psych scene with great bands like The Paperhead and The Sufis hailing from there. All Them Witches are another fantastic Nashville band who have already released two well received albums with a third due later this year……..while we wait for the new album there is a new EP, A Sweet Release, available to download from their Bandcamp page. There is a sand blasted, desert blues vibe about this band that has similarities with bands like Sleepy Sun and bluesy, loose-limbed stoner jams is All Them Witches thing exemplified by the sublime ‘El Paso Sleep On It’ and the opening track….the three part, 24 minute live recording ‘It Moved We Moved/Almost There/A Spider’s Gift’. The standout track is no doubt ‘Interstate Beach Party’ that has a massive groove with big drums and heavy bass locking together while guitar and Fender Rhodes piano bounce off each other. In total there is around an hours’ worth of music here and we suggest that you check it out.
A Sweet Release is a “name your price” download and you can find it here https://allthemwitches.bandcamp.com/album/a-sweet-release-ep
This is absolutely fantastic……..The Waves are effectively the solo project of Austin Garner (although there is a drummer for live gigs) and from the sound of this single he is completely immersed in all things psychedelic. ‘Drifting’ is a totally blissed out song for balmy summer daze and ‘(I Can’t Seem to Get) Away From You’ is a Wondermints/Jellyfish style Psych Pop piano ballad with gorgeous multi-tracked harmonies……….download this and wait for the album. Available as a “name your price” download from http://thewaveslouisville.com/album/drifting-away-from-you plus there is a very cool pic of Nico on the cover.
What we have always loved about Bandcamp is that it is the ideal outlet for fruitcakes with guitars……we have often wondered about it being very groovy/a nightmare scenario if Charles Manson had an internet connection back in 69 (he would probably have been trolling Roman Polanski). Montage of Psylosibin by Los Lucid has obviously been recorded blasted on hallucinogenics and boy is it fucked up……….they have dosed up on mushrooms and left the tapes rolling. Nominally this could be described as Psychedelic Blues but it is far weirder than that. And here’s the argument. This is no doubt the most psychedelic album here as Los Lucid have fully committed themselves to the “psychedelic experience”, so does that mean that everybody else are fakers?? Montage of Psylosibin is either a work of absolute genius or total chaos…….we will let you decide which. Available as “name your price” download from http://loslucidpsychedelia.bandcamp.com/album/montage-of-psylosibin , however don’t give them any money as they will only use it to get wasted.
Meanwhile, back at the psychedelic basement we have been digging the MindFlowers for a couple of years now and really liked the first couple of records of swirly Pop Psych they put out, now after a bit of a hiatus they are back with their third release called……er……///3. This album is more of the same gentle psychedelia and there are some really cool tunes here…….the standout track has to be ‘Heat Wavve’ but ‘Youth’ and ‘Blue Sky‘ are also really groovy. It’s a record for a hot summer day, check it out. Available as a “name your price” download at https://mindflowers1.bandcamp.com/
We also found this cool little EP from The California Death that was posted on Bandcamp as a “name your price” download back in March……….it has a late Eighties Sarah Records jangle pop vibe with just a touch of the poppier side of Shoegaze and Surfer Rock…….we are going to go out on a limb here and call it “Surfgaze”. You can download this EP here http://californiadeath.bandcamp.com/album/california-death where you will also find a couple of more recent tracks.
Tuesday, 12 May 2015
EVENING FIRES – WHERE I’VE BEEN IS PLACES AND WHAT I’VE SEEN IS THINGS (Sunrise Ocean Bender Records LP, D/L). EVENING FIRES – INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES (Deep Water Acres CD).
Have you ever wondered what it would sound like if a bunch of Pennsylvanian backwoodsmen stumbled across an abandoned truck in the woods full of modern musical equipment plus several months’ supply of mescaline and proceeded to get their freak on? We doubt if you have ever really pondered this, but we reckon that it would sound something like Where I’ve Been Is Places And What I’ve Seen Is Things the new release on Sunrise Ocean Bender Records from Evening Fires. From their secret den in a northern Appalachian forest, Evening Fires brew up a rich blend of wide-spectrum psychedelia, with ingredients ranging from earthy folk sounds to cosmic drones and to full-on rock freakouts.
Evening Fires folksy, rural psychedelia comes from deep in the dark woods revealing the true spirit of “the psychedelic”, absorbing vibrations from nature and the stars. Where I’ve Been Is Places And What I’ve Seen Is Things is an album of freeform twisting instrumentals informed by a mix of the traditional roots music from the region where they live, Acid Rock and the Kosmische sounds of bands like Guru Guru, Bröselmaschine and Amon Düül. Slow burning lysergic jams gently ebb and flow drawing you deeper into their eerie soundscapes, ‘We Cast Our Lots With The Waves’ is like a Kosmische Folk reimagining of Terry Riley while weird little bits of violin drone emerge out of the guitar noise of ‘Too Many Ravens, Not Enough Corpses’ pulling you further in. The two parts of ‘Staring Down The Gullet Of The Great Beyond’ and ‘Space Mountain’ are what can only best be described as “Appalachian Space Rock”…..these tracks are full on Acid Rock improvised/experimental freakouts which bring to mind 60s sonic adventurers The Red Crayola that with judicious editing have been cut down to around the 5 minute mark. Although Where I’ve Been Is Places And What I've Seen Is Things is not the most easily accessible album ever (it takes a few listens) but given time it becomes a beautifully absorbing record and is well worth checking out.
Released in tandem with Where I’ve Been Is Places And What I've Seen Is Things is Incredible Adventures on Evening Fires own Deep Water Acres imprint……..featuring longer tracks from the same sessions that didn’t quite fit on the album, this excellent EP can be considered as a companion piece to the album but is strong enough to work as a standalone 4 track EP on its own merits. It’s another plunge into the great beyond as begun on Where I've Been Is Places And What I've Seen Is Things and needs a few listens to tune into Evening Fires strange frequency however this is possibly a little more accessible, with a folksy strum-along (‘Big Farmer, Big Jesus’), ambient soundscaping (‘There Is No Going Without Returning’) and a couple of great Kosmische/Acid Rock epics……… ‘Unaussprechlichen Kulten’ (a fictional work of arcane literature that first appeared in Robert E. Howard's short stories and later mentioned in several stories by H. P. Lovecraft trivia fans) is a dark, brooding track falling somewhere between Popol Vue and Sunn O))) while ‘Staring Down The Gullet Of The Great Beyond Part Three’ is more mind expanding “Appalachian Space Rock” but this time given more time to stretch out and explore.
Where I've Been Is Places And What I've Seen Is Things is out now and is available on either limited edition shiny gold vinyl or purist friendly black vinyl from the Sunrise Ocean Bender online store in the USA. Cardinal Fuzz in the UK have limited quantity of black vinyl for sale in their store. For Europe and elsewhere the album is available from Clear Spot mail order. Also a digital download is available from the Sunrise Ocean Bender Bandcamp page. Incredible Adventures is available as a CD only direct from the Deep Water Acres website.
Saturday, 2 May 2015
DEMIAN CASTELLANOS - THE KYVU TAPES Vol.1 (1990-1998) (Hands In The Dark/Cardinal Fuzz LP/CD). CATHODE RAY EYES – EYES IN THE MELANCHOLY PALM (Cardinal Fuzz/Captcha Records LP/CD)
The raison d’être of many a small record label is to release esoteric musical artefacts into the big wide world that have no mainstream commercial value whatsoever simply for the joy of making a statement……..”We like this and we think it is something you should hear”. There are a couple of new releases from CardinalFuzz that fit this model perfectly, a collection of early home recorded guitar experiments from Demian Castellanos, the man behind the London Psych Rock outfit The Oscillation and an idiosyncratic solo project from The Cult Of Dom Keller guitarist Ryan Delgaudio.
As a rule we are not massive fans of teenage bedroom tapes. We are all for people experimenting with all the sonic possibilities available but we would prefer they kept them to themselves until they had really got their shit together and we would rather hear the finished article than some lo-fi voyage of discovery recorded on a crappy tape machine……… however there is always an exception to this rule. Main man of the totally awesome The Oscillation, Demian Castellanos, has put together The Kyvu Tapes Vol.1 (1990-1998), the fruit of his 90's decade-long obsession for the infinite possibilities offered by the electric guitar……. playing it with forks, knives, bits of paper, manipulating volume controls and making the most of the effects pedals he had……..it was countless hours of experimentation and sonic explorations mixed down on to a 4-track Tascam Porta 3. This is an excellent collection of drones, ambient soundscapes and experimental guitar pieces, largely influenced by the new sound of the British Psych/Shoegaze scene of that time, which is both soothing and disturbing at the same time. For its age and taking into account of the limitations of the technology this record sounds great……at the time the Tascam Porta 3 was one of the better home studio machines available. The Kyvu Tapes touches base with early German pioneers like Michael Rother and Manuel Göttsching, the early ambient work of Brian Eno and influences taken from late 80s/early 90s sonic alchemists like Loop, Spaceman 3 and MBV. This is a beautiful, timeless record and is even more relevant now there is a Shoegaze “revival”……….. Tracks from this album would not be out of place on records by loveliescrushing, Stargazer Lilies, Fauns or The Cult Of Dom Keller. Now if all bedroom tapes were like this.
This album is a co-release between Hands In TheDark Records and Cardinal Fuzz and is available now on limited edition vinyl only from the Hands In The Dark online store or on limited edition vinyl and CD from the Cardinal Fuzz store.
The debut long player from Ryan Delgaudio’s “other band” Cathode Ray Eyes, Eyes In The Melancholy Palm', is a collection of lo-fi recordings that dig deep into the corners of the psyche……..this is a dark, brooding record that lurches from cinematic instrumentals like 'And The Burial Had Several Different Endings' to the fuzzed out deranged Noise Pop of 'Harry Houdini', while other tracks such as 'The Unsuccessful Resurrection Of James Dean' and 'Will You Catch Me When I Fall From On High' evoke a shadowy gothic psych ambience that is eerie, otherworldly and sometimes bizarre. This is a collection of twisted sonic sketches that showcase Ryan’s varied influences from the atmospheric early 4AD albums, Morricone soundtracks to early 90s Shoegaze/Noise Pop which in turn feeds back into his work with The Cult Of Dom Keller. There are interesting ideas on this LP but it’s not essential listening, however it’s out there if you want to hear it…….and that’s the thing.
Released on the 1st June but pre-orders are now being taken, Eyes In The Melancholy Palm will available on limited edition, hipster friendly white vinyl or on CD for the terminally uncool from the Cardinal Fuzz online store or from Captcha Records in the U.S.A.