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Sunday, 27 January 2019
Not content to rest on his laurels as a 60s Psychedelelic legend, having played with Tomorrow, The Pretty Things, The Pink Fairies and Syd Barrett’s short lived Stars, there has been a lot of brand new Twink related activity at the moment…………hot on the heels of the announcement of a host of live dates and single on Gare du Nord Records, Area Pirata Records are releasing Twink’s third album with Italian Neo-Psych band The Technicolour Dream. The two previous collaborations with The Technicolour Dream produced the critically acclaimed 2013 album You Reached For The Stars that revisited the sound of the late 60s/early 70s London freak scene and 2015’s Think Pink II which featured significant contributions from former Pretty Thing Jon Povey. Again featuring Povey on a few tracks, Sympathy For The Beast sees Twink and The Technicolour Dream setting the texts of Aleister Crowley to swirling Psychedelic Rock………..let’s be honest, when you’ve got Crowley doing lyrics for you then the likes of Bernie Taupin can properly fuck off. It’s a record that can be seen as a companion piece to the concept album Crowley and Me, recorded by Povey with his band Star Sponge Vision that had Twink behind the drum kit, which was released by the good folk at Mega Dodo Records last year.
Sympathy For The Beast brings Crowley’s imaginative poetical works to life within the context of a trippy Psychedelic Rock setting, with Twink and The Technicolour Dream conjuring up a maelstrom of psychedelic guitar, keyboards and throbbing percussion providing the perfect platform for his provocative imagery. Blending together full tilt Rock ‘n’ Roll that echoes the classic Pink Fairies guitar, bass and 2 x drum kit line up with more atmospheric pieces that have spoken text over guitar and lush synth washes, it’s a fantastic Psychedelic record full of magic and mystery. In essence, Twink and the band have reimagined Crowley’s writing not as a gothic tribute to “The Great Beast” but as something ancient and organically psychedelic in the true spirit of the texts. Although not the first to fuse Crowley’s writing with loud guitars, they have taken a much more subtle approach with songs tinged with an otherworldly strangeness and beauty amongst heady Psychedelic Rock………..one of the most absorbing tracks on the record being ‘The Poet’ that features a recording of Crowley mixed with a tripped out guitar and percussion improvisation. Also packed full of squalling swirling Acid Rock guitar and polyrhythmic percussion workouts Sympathy For The Beast is a quality Psych LP that has one foot firmly planted in the late 60s acid underground but still sounds very modern………..stand out tracks such as ‘One Star In Sight’, ‘Fragment From “The Ship”’ and ‘Hymn To Pan’ would sound great in any era. The album also includes two previously unpublished until recently Crowley works, ‘Your Grave Grey Eyes’ and ‘Cinnamon Curls’, that as well as the fuzzed up and freaked out Psych Rock remakes the original piano and soprano versions with singer Vita Pugliese are also included.
Due for release on vinyl by Area Pirata Records very soon as a limited edition run of 300 copies so keep ‘em peeled for an official release date.
Saturday, 19 January 2019
Back with a new record after an extended break following their critically acclaimed album Disorientation, released by the London Dreampop/Post-Rock/Shoegaze indie Club AC30 in 2011, Deep Cut have seamlessly picked up where they left off with an album brimming with kaleidoscopic guitar hooks, driving motorik beats and hazy Shoegaze comedowns. Different Planet is a stunning blend of 60s influenced Psych Pop, early 90s Indie Rock jangle, drone, Krautrock, Trip Hop and subtle Electronica (the kind of eclectic but cohesive sounds you would expect from a band featuring former members of Richard Fearless’ sprawling Psychedelic Rock, minimal Techno, Krautrock, Dub and Industrial Noise collective Death In Vegas) which references The Byrds, Velvet Underground, the early 90s Shoegaze “Holy Trinity” of MBV, JAMC and Slowdive, James Lavelle’s UNKLE records, Primal Scream (the late 90s Sun Ra meets The Stooges in a pool of reverb version and not their lazy Stones preset) and Krautrock legends CAN/Neu!/Kraftwerk through ten excellent tracks. With the dreamy vocals of singer Emma Bailey adding a silky Indie Pop sensibility to Deep Cut’s Psych Rock shimmer, Different Planet has a sonic footprint not a million miles away from recent releases by Jane Weaver and Josefin Öhrn.
Different Planet is a distillation of a whole host of different sounds and influences skillfully woven into a sonic tapestry way more than the sum of its parts. Although essentially rooted in the classic guitar driven Shoegaze and Dreampop sound of Creation Records circa 1991, Deep Cut mix it up with elements of Byrdsian Neo-Psychedelic jangle (‘Washed Up’), pulsing Krautrock (‘Alarm Button’), spacey Dub grooves (‘Spiralling’) and mellow Trip Hop breaks (‘Different Planet’) to create an off kilter Psych/Pop record full of light and shade that sounds new and vibrant. There is so much to love here and with ten really great songs it’s difficult to pick out any single stand out track, however ‘Alarm Button’ is an absolute killer tune with it’s motorik groove and seductive synth pulse straight out the DIV song book. For fans of early 90s Shoegaze and modern melodic Psychedelia, Different Planet is the first essential album of 2019. You can check out/stream selected tracks here……………
Due for release on CD/Digital via Gare du Nord Records on 25/01/19, Different Planet will be available from all the best record shops with pre-orders available from Deep Cut’s Bandcamp page.
Saturday, 12 January 2019
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 Watchband, The Doors, The Beatles, The Byrds, Strawberry 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
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.