Sunday, 15 July 2018

HANTERHIR - THE SAVING OF CADAN (Easy Action Records 3 x LP, 2 x CD).

There’s epic, and there’s EPIC!!!!…………..sprawling over five sides of vinyl, The Saving Of Cadan, the latest release by Cornish Prog/Psych/Freak Rock band Hanterhir spins a tale rooted in Cornish myth and folklore that’s unashamedly vast in its scope and ambition. Conceived and recorded deep in the countryside around the town of Redruth, a world away from the mainstream music scene, The Saving Of Cadan brings together traditional songcraft with trippy Acid Folk and Psych Rock squall outs to create possibly the first ever concept album that has a collection of songs with lyrics alternating between English and Cornish, telling the story about a boy, Cadan, who tries to drown himself in a lake on Carn Marth but gets saved by a wicked spirit  (The Lady of the Lake or Morwenna) who has herself been cursed to the lake. With echoes of 70s Folk/Prog with its expansive soundscape that includes saxophone, fiddle and flute added to more standard Rock instruments, a hint of bands such as Horslips where traditional influences are bulked up with loud guitars and a modern Psychedelic Rock sheen, Hanterhir have forged their own idiosyncratic path in splendid isolation away from any current “scene” where The Saving Of Cadan is undoubtedly “Made In Cornwall” but with a universal appeal. Having already found a loyal ProgHead following across Southwest England, Hanterhir are now turning their eyes toward the wider UK audience.

With a running time of around the 100 minute mark, The Saving Of Cadan really needs to listened to in one sitting be fully appreciated, twisting and turning through several contrasting moods and textures as the record ebbs and flows through gentle Folk influenced reveries to barely controlled fuzzed up guitar wig outs. It’s a journey that takes the listener from reverb soaked ethereal tracks such as ‘Cadan’, Cornish folklore being channeled through songs such as ‘Darallow’, ‘Arloedhes An Lydn’ and ‘Dygoweth’, Acid Folk infused cuts like ‘Alone Again’ and ‘The Light’ to the free form Psych Rock freak outs of ‘Hello Sunshine’, ‘The Dream’, ‘The Sun Came Up Again’ and ‘Morwenna And The Lamb’. Fans of “classic” BritProg will really love this record……..yes it’s a 70s influenced Prog Rock album at heart but scratch the surface it is so much more, firmly grounded in a twilight world of the imagination where Prog Rock, Psychedelia, Folk and Jazz co-exist The Saving Of Cadan follows a linear path through the years snatching inspiration from the 70s through every decade that follows.

Due for release 27 July 2018 by Easy Action Records on limited edition 3 x LP and 2 x CD, The Saving Of Cadan is available to pre-order from all the usual on line retailers or can be pre-ordered directly from the Easy Action store.

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

THE 16 EYES - LOOK (Area Pirata Records LP, D/L). KILLER KLOWN - CRAPPY CIRCUS (Area Pirata Records LP, D/L). GHIBLIS - SURFINIA (Area Pirata Records CD, D/L). LUPE VELEZ - WEIRD TALES (Area Pirata Records CD, D/L).

Check this People………..new(ish) from Area Pirata Records (the home of Italian Garage Rock don’tcha know) four very similar, but also very very different Garage/Punk/Psych records that highlight how diverse the scene is. From surfer wig outs to more straight ahead Rock influences and everything in between, these records have it all.

Outta Phoenix but forged in the Garage /Punk/ Psych/ Mod scenes of New York, Philadelphia, Seattle and Cincinnati , The 16 Eyes are new group comprised of Garage Rock veterans whose musical CV includes bands such as The Outta Place, The Optic Nerve, The Primeval Unknown, The Automatic Erasers, Odds & Sods, The Lone Wolves, The Tickets, Labor Party, Battered Suitcases, Jeff Dahl Band, 8Five Kalidocolor, Doc & The Pods, The Cybermen, The Freaks of Nature, The Primate 5, Sinister Six and The Glory Holes. Released on Area Pirata Records, the band’s debut record, Look, gathers together 13 sharp originals along with their frantic version of the much covered Eddie Holland song ‘Leaving Here’ and it’s a nuclear blast of British Beat/R&B influences that channels the amphetamine charged sound of The Who, The Kinks and The Yardbirds rippin’ it up down in the Soho clubs during the mid 60s. We know there are hundreds of bands that have tapped into the sound of the post-Mod, pre-Psychedelic Freakbeat era of British music, but The 16 Eyes just seem to do it better than most. Short and sweet sounds abound with most of the 14 tracks clocking in around the two minute mark, standard time for a Freakbeat classic, as The 16 Eyes strip their songs down to a pure 60s essence. For fans of the genre this record well worth your time, check it out here…………….

Killer Klown are an absolute riot. Jacked up on the maximum Garage/Punk Rock ‘n’ Roll sleaze of The Cramps and The Stooges, they have been tearing it up since the mid 90’s, mixing classic 60s Garage Rock influences with a snarling Punk attitude. Back with their first album in seven years following a line up change, Crappy Circus is a karnival of swirling 60s keys, manic Punk Rock riffing and crashing drums, neatly picking up where the last left off. There is nothing faintly fancy about this record………..timeless Rock ‘n’ Roll played as if Killer Klown’s lives depended on it. Essential listening if you like your Garage/Punk hard, fast and stupid. Available now on vinyl and D/L, check it out here………….

Channelling the great Surf bands from the early 60s, The Ghiblis play a strange blend of “Surf Exotica” that takes the primitive and obscure instrumental surf music of the 60s and mixes in the vibe of compilations such as Frolic Diners and Las Vegas Grind……….. add fezzes or wrestler masks, black tuxedos and a splash of Bloody Mary then shake all the ingredients and there you go………The Ventures playing all night sleazy strip joints circa 1963. Out now, their first release on Area Pirata Records is the knowingly kitsch Surfinia mini album that includes 4 original tracks and 2 covers. It’s the sound of early Southern Californian teen rebellion mixed with 60s Exotica all lovingly recreated by four guys from Italy………….Surf’s not quite up just yet. Check it out here………..

Veterans of dozens of Italian bands, Lupe Vélez collect together their wide range of influences on their new album Weird Tales. With a solid core of Garage/Punk kinetic energy running through the record, Lupe Vélez mix it up to keep it fresh with more straight ahead anthemic Hard Rock influences than most Garage rockers. Inspired on the whole more by British and Australian bands than by American Post Psychedelia, Weird Tales is a mixed bag of styles as Lupe Vélez attempt to find their own definitive voice. Although flirting with a more traditional Heavy Rock sound, there is some good stuff here……..the opening track ‘It Seems So Real’ features some tasty bottleneck playing in an cascade of tumbling drums while previous single cut ‘Mystic Man’ takes its cues from a more Post Punk/Ragga Rock hybrid than the rest of the record. Far too heavy for our delicate Psychedelic sensibilities and not really made for the discerning PsychHead but if you dig deep you will find some cool shit on Weird Tales. Check it out here………..