Saturday, 12 January 2019

THE MARSHMALLOW OVERCOAT - SONGS FROM ALL YOU NEED IS FUZZ (Area Pirata Records CD).

American Garage/Psych band The Marshmallow Overcoat, straight outta Tucson, Arizona, were founded by singer/Garage Rock obsessive Timothy Gassen back in 1986 and although maybe not the best known of the 80s Neo-Psychedelic bands, they had a career that spanned the best part of 30 years of tuning in, turning on and tripping out, playing shows across America and Europe and releasing nine full length LPs along the way. The band’s amazing three-decade crusade, made on a perpetual shoestring budget, cemented The Marshmallow Overcoat as one of the longest-running Garage bands in the history of Rock and Roll. Their first recording deal was with Dionysus Records in Los Angeles who released their first LP, The Inner Groove, in 1987……….The Marshmallow Overcoat couldda bin contenders around the turn of the 90s after the release of critically well received albums on Skyclad/Get Hip Records and exposure on MTV but like many great Psychedelic bands from that era never really got the breaks. Their long strange trip has now been documented in a feature length film, All You Need Is Fuzz : 30 Years In A Garage Band, directed by Gassen. His documentary gives a rare and intimate insider’s glimpse into how a no-budget rock band rehearses, makes records, climbs in a van to take their show on the road and then survives decades of changing musical trends, commercial resistance………….and each other. The songs featured in the film have been released by the very groovy Italian Garage/Psych/Punk label Area Pirata Records as a 25 track CD titled………erm……..Songs From All You Need Is Fuzz that also conveniently works as a “Best Of” compilation of the music of this remarkable band.

The Marshmallow Overcoat exploded on the scene in a kaleidoscopic swirl of Vox keyboards and Amps, Rickenbacker guitars, Ludwig drums, Fender basses, paisley shirts, Beatle boots and everything else that screamed cool 1966/67 with a sound inspired by classic 60s bands such as The Chocolate WatchbandThe DoorsThe BeatlesThe ByrdsStrawberry Alarm Clock and The Electric Prunes. Although their early songs were somewhat raw, by the time their excellent 1990 LP, Beverly Pepper, had landed The Marshmallow Overcoat had developed a shimmering Psychedelic sheen, honing their signature sound with Farfisa organ and 12-string Rickenbacker to the fore. Songs From All You Need Is Fuzz is a treasure chest brimming with Psych Pop gems with the pastoral ‘The Beyond’, ‘The Knights Of Fuzz’, the groovy ‘Kiss The Tears’, the jangling ‘Beverly Pepper’ along with the swirling ‘13 Ghosts’ being real highlights. For existing fans of The Marshmallow Overcoat who have followed the band on their long journey this is a real treat with three new songs, including the sublime Paisley Pop single Wait For Her’, and seven songs on CD for the first time. The disc also includes a detailed 56-page pdf book, chronicling the 30-year discography and recording history of the band. For those of you new to the band, Songs From All You Need Is Fuzz is the perfect introduction to one of the more obscure bands from the Neo-Psychedelic 80s and for fans of the “classic” Nuggets bands this is well worth your time. You can check it out/stream it here……..

Songs From All You Need Is Fuzz is out NOW on CD via Area Pirata Records (the home of Italian Garage Rock) and available from their online store or from the usual groovy internet record stores.

Friday, 11 January 2019

THE EGO RITUAL - THE EGO RITUAL (Kool Kat Musik CD).

Kicking in the doors of perception into 2019 is the first release from former Popdog and B-Leaguer Jim Styring’s new band The Ego Ritual. Spiked with a fizzing Power Pop sensibility, the self titled EP by The Ego Ritual is a Neo-Psychedelic gem loaded with layers of rolling and tumbling guitars that evokes the best of the early records from L.A’s Paisley Underground and the 90s Psych Pop quirk of bands such as Orgone Box, Green Pajamas and Hindu Rodeo. Driven by guitarist William James Ward’s subtle blend of fuzzy tones and Eastern flavours with the supple drumming of Gaz Wilde holding the bottom end together, The Ego Ritual EP is a 4 track trip into a swirling psychedelic vortex.

The opening track is a trip back 50 years to 1969 where the acid whimsy of 1967/68 had evolved into a much harder sound that had by the early 70s fully mutated into post-psychedelic heavy rock. Echoing the psychedelia infused heavy riffing of late 60s/early 70s bands such as The Open Mind and Stray, ‘Chakra Maraka’ rocks like a proper bastard with a pounding backbeat and squalling guitars crashing together in a Psych Rock tour de force with the second track, ‘Ten Points For The Red Star’, very much in the same vein. The rest of the EP is much more acid soaked filtered through a kaleidoscopic lens with a twisted Power Pop meets the Paisley Underground sound spiraling skywards leaving a vapour trail of guitars in its wake. The whole record is a total turn on for any fan of Psychedelic guitar driven rock and packed with catchy melodies and terrific songwriting, the first EP from The Ego Ritual is a quality calling card promising great things in the future for a band still doing interesting things with a genre that goes back half a century…………….recommend!!!

Due for release 18/01/2019 on CD via the New Jersey Power Pop label Kool Kat Musik with copies also available from The Ego Ritual’s Bandcamp site, so keep ‘em peeled kidz.