ARTIST: Moaning Cities
RELEASE DATE: 23rd September 2016
RECORD COMPANY: Exag Records
Psych/kraut/prog aficionados 'Moaning Cities' formed in Brussels back in late 2011 with the aim of creating ballsy blues edged rock underscored with soaring psychedelia & eastern esoteric flair. Newly signed to the Belgium based independent record label 'EXAG Records', the band released their latest album entitled 'D'Klein' to the masses back on the 23rd September 2016 to rapturous applause and well deserved praise. 'D.Klein' is available to buy on various formats via exagrecords.bigcartel.com or via the usual online digital outlets of iTunes, Spotify, Deezer, etc!
The final death throws of harmonious vocalisations make way for throbbing bass frequencies and snaking lead guitar lines as the opening salvos of ‘Expected’ enter the sonic arena circumnavigated by swirling repetitious drones and shuffling drum patterns. Glorious duel vocals arrive and usher in explosive guitar squall and the full sonic might of 'Moaning Cities' is unleashed. ‘Expected’ traverses the lofty heights of old-school psychedelic rock as it deftly loops and arc’s through ink blotted skies and thunderously good reverberations to bring us a monumental opening track. Up next, ‘Insomnia’ pulses effortlessly in a glorious union of progressive drum patterns and noisy melodious bass lines as those undulating guitars hug impressive vocal lines with apparent ease. ‘Insomnia’ weaves a magical sonic spell as it meanders deftly through musical peaks and troughs, dipping in & out of bluesy lead licks, droning organ swells and woozy psychedelic impressions with ease.
‘Born Again’ swerves into earshot on a wave of brilliant instrumentation accompanied by those almost mantra like vocalisations. This track builds into a raging maelstrom of explosive noise as we’re treated to some absolutely fantastic spells of driving psychedelia mixed with turbulent rock connotations. The creeping ‘Sex Sells’ swirls menacingly around a highly addictive core that hangs on the throb of the bass frequencies and a lazy drum pattern as those undulating guitars wail and snake in and out of the hauntingly good vocal lines and those explosive passages of impressive prog rock. After a reprise of the instrumental ‘Oggy Trev’, we move into another sonic behemoth in the guise of ‘Vertigo Rising’. A turbulent wall of noise swirls & builds effortlessly around another impressive melody driven bass line as the duel vocal attack pounds the senses into submission, joined in the sonic assault by screeching guitars and repetitious percussion. Up next, ‘Yell-O-Bahn’ has 60’s esoteric psych connotations whilst the origins of ‘Drag’ enter the fray held fast within a brilliantly executed driving guitar line and a highly infectious vocal before the track builds into a sonic whirlwind of epic proportions.
The albums penultimate piece echoes on a magnificent organ line before unfurling its sonic tendrils accompanied by a steadying drum pattern and the hypnotic throb of the bass line. ‘Solitary Hawk’ meanders deftly, adorned with another impressive vocal performance, building effortlessly and culminating in that impressive organ filled ending. The albums closing piece drones into earshot accompanied by the hum of bass frequencies, slide guitar as those impressive lead guitar lines intertwined with another tremendously atmospheric vocal take. ‘Dagger’ closes out what is a rather interesting album.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Del Chaney has spent the last four years not only fronting popular experimental Irish based electronic duo Analogue Wave but also dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the unsigned or small independent label based shoegaze, ethereal dream pop, post punk, post rock & modern psych rock from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog - The Primal Music Blog. He is also a contributing writer for The Sound Of Confusion. His other arm - Primal Radio - has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has helped him in actively promoting a genre of music that he is passionate about. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, he is a keen Vinyl Collector, Tattoo Fan & all round good guy! He is a self confessed music freak & is never far away from a studio console or a turntable.
by Primal Music
ARTIST: Has A Shadow
RELEASE: Sorrow Tomorrow
RELEASE DATE: 18th January 2017
RECORD COMPANY: Fuzz Club Records
Mexico natives 'Has A Shadow' release their sophomore album (their first via Fuzz Club Records) entitled 'Sorrow Tomorrow' on January 18th 2017. The band create a brand of dark and ritualistic modern day psych gaze that heaves and undulates through swathes of unabashed reverberation and driving instrumentation tinged with menacing gothic tones. This new album follows a run of EU dates that included an appearance at Liverpool Psych Fest and shows with LSD & The Search for God, TAU and The Jabberwocky Band. You can pre-order 'Sorrow Tomorrow' ahead of it's January release, on various formats over at www.fuzzclub.com
In a hail of fragmented frequencies and the sampled barking of dogs the opening salvo’s of ‘Sorrow’ squeal into audible range riding rough shot on shuddering synth swells and the metronomic sway of percussion. Tormented vocalisations swirl repetitiously as the track builds and surges into a raging sonic tornado allowing it’s wailing guitar progressions to pulse wave after wave of intense reverberation out into the ether. Up next, ‘Lord Of Flies’ saunters into the musical arena with a distinctly edgy swagger. It’s creeping drum pattern swings hypnotically dragging with it those dark organ progressions, snaking guitars and the menacing throb of bass frequencies. Vocally ‘Lord Of The Flies’ is steeped in gothic flair and unrepentant reverberation as we exquisitely meander through waves of intense dark frequential matter and swirling atmospherics making this a brilliantly executed track. Track three, 'The Flesh' pulsates and swirls on undulating waves of dark instrumentation that includes throbbing bass lines, reverb laced organ swells, repetitive percussion, fuzz -laden guitars and hauntingly good vocalisations.
‘Attack Of The Junkie’ effortlessly drones into earshot, building repetitiously as the drag of the organ swell brings with it those thunderous drums and echoing vocalisations. This track is a driving psych induced behemoth that takes no prisoners as it’s tremulous guitars & throbbing bass progressions wage a war of sonic attrition, bending unsuspecting frequencies at will until eventually turning them into a colossal wall of magnificent noise. ‘Attack Of The Junkie’ is a triumphant track, possibly my favourite on the entire album. It is inherently filled with hard hitting sonic aggression and worthy of your ears. ‘Cul De Sac’ pulses on a sequenced synth line as ‘Has A Shadow’ unleash a noisy post-punk sheen on proceedings. The melodious bass line weaves a jittering sonic web as it works through it’s predesignated course, all the while being harassed by swirling reverberation, intense vocalisations and dark menacing instrumentation. Guitars explode into a cacophony of noise as those hypnotically charged organ lines takes hold, dragging the listener with them on an undulating white knuckle thrill ride.
Up next, the albums latest single jangles into earshot steeped heavily in an air of atmospheric trepidation. ‘Vampire Kiss’ has brash and scuzzy guitars that swirl deep within a dark haze of reverb. You really have to check yourself as those throbbing bass frequencies & thunderous drums dance and swing a hypnotically charged jig, effortlessly circumnavigated by those hauntingly good organ lines and the foreboding vocal tones of Daniel Garcino. ‘Horror Will Grow’ swirls into the ether on a another repetitious drone as it’s menacing organ lines snake and move held fast within a turbulent cloud of dark reverberation accompanied by brilliantly executed guitar lines and shuffling percussive hits. This slow burning psychedelic beast stalks the outer limits of the subconscious as those swirling vocalisations of Garcino slowly pick their way through the many layers of the human psyche and burrow themselves where they can be instantly recognisable for future reference.
The albums penultimate track explodes in a torrent of thunderous drums and driving guitars. ‘Not Even Human’ shatters the slow burgeoning drag of the previous track by spewing forth a cacophony of fuzzy atmospheric instrumentation & jittering repetitious noise. Somewhere deep within the sonic maelstrom, however, Daniel Garcino vocals meticulously hold court and strenuously keep everything together magnificently. The albums final onslaught comes in the form of ‘World Sensation’, a swirling salacious beast riding a growling guitar progression and a sparse wave of percussion. The organ arrives on cue as the track explodes into a colourful array of reverberating frequencies orbiting another impressive vocal display, before we’re all swallowed up by glorious surf/psych sounds until the tracks finale! A belter of a track to finish off one hell of a sonic thrill ride.
ARTIST: Strata Florida
RELEASE: Falling From Grace
RELEASE DATE: 25th November 2016
RECORD COMPANY: Cherry Red Songs
Wales based dream-gazers Strata Florida released their beautiful sophomore album to the masses back on the 25th November 2016. 'Falling From Grace' is the highly anticipated follow up to the brilliant 'Made of Stars'(Saint Marie Records) and although it peels away much of the distortion that we had previously heard on the aforementioned album it takes absolutely nothing away from the songwriting prowess of both Louise Trehy & Peter Pavli. Louise returned to music after a 20 year hibernation having previously graced the underground music scene as a member of 4AD darlings 'Swallow'. She joined forces with Peter Pavli (High Tide, Robert Calvert, Third Ear Band, Annette Peacock) to form Strata Florida and they continue to release immense sonic soundscapes. 'Falling From Grace' is available to buy/download right now from strataflorida.bandcamp.com
Falling from Grace by Strata Florida
In a blissful array of stunning instrumentation the opening bars of ‘Caroline’ breathe shimmering frequencies out into the musical ether with delicious aplomb. Louise Trehy’s ethereal vocalisations float effortlessly on a wave of dreamy reverberation as the swirling guitar track and the repetitious sequenced percussion collectively instil a surreal kind of calmness to proceedings. Up next, ‘Vital Signs’ pulses into audible range on sequenced synth swells and tremulous guitar squall. Again, the haunting tones of Trehy are ever present as they swirl and meld into a cascading chorus break, deftly underscored by some fascinating layered guitar work, the bleeps & whirr’s of electronic atmospherics and sparse percussive hits. ‘Emily Bronte’ fizzes into earshot on an post-punk inspired bass line & luscious synth swells. The metronomic drum track takes up a kind of holding pattern, like a musical anchor, as all around it soars into the ether on wave after wave of beautifully golden sonic frequencies that are drenched in blissful reverb. A stunningly refreshing track indeed.
Up next, ‘Frozen’ is filled with boundless energy, allowing it’s woozy guitars to hold court and to gracefully shimmer as sparse sequenced percussive hits and throbbing bass frequencies act like bedrock to support those refreshing vocalisations. ‘Lost In Space’ trembles as it’s guitars jangle and shake on a steadying drum pattern that collectively builds with each progression until eventually breaking down into it’s cascading synth filled finale whilst the brilliant ‘Honey’ unfurls it’s sonic tendrils and transforms itself into a musical mash up between The Cure & Cocteau Twins. ‘Honey’ is a stunning track, deliciously filled with soaring instrumentation and blissfully translucent vocal lines.
The albums penultimate track is by far the heaviest on the entire release. Tremulous guitars and melodious bass lines sit atop a steadying drum pattern as Louise’s otherworldly vocalisations pulse from a different sonic plane than ours. Like a ghostly apparition the brilliant ‘Falling’ instils a surreal calmness as it works through it’s sonic repetitions and on into its grand finale. The albums closing piece is a brilliant slice of modern day post-punk. ‘Don’t Give Up On Me’ shudders on a driving bass line as swirling vocals and snaking lead guitar licks circumnavigate that repetitious percussive pattern. Underscored with electronic atmospherics and subtle synth swells ‘Don’t Give Up On Me’ is an absolute triumph and quite possibly my favourite track on this entire release.
There's an air of invincibility surrounding Strata Florida's music that is both enthralling and addictive all at once. Louise Trehy draws her listeners into every single track with her distinctive ethereal vocal style whilst instrumentally the band create well though out, layered soundscapes that act as a sonic conduit to deliver dreamy shoegaze & post-punk inspired sound.
ARTIST: Telstar Sound Drone
RELEASE: Magical Solutions To Everyday Struggles
RELEASE DATE: 18th March 2016
RECORD COMPANY: Bad Afro Records
Copenhagen-based droning psych-gazers Telstar Sound Drone are not here to create pop songs. They have no interest in writing chorus progressions or intermittent 'Love Me Do' soundscapes either. What they collectively create is a swirling maelstrom of golden psychedelic sound that wraps itself around your senses and takes you with it as it loops and arcs through sonic peaks and troughs with relative ease. They released their sophomore album 'Magical Solutions to Everyday Struggles' back on the 18th March 2016 via Bad Afro Records.
Magical Solutions To Everyday Struggles by Telstar Sound Drone
The album opens up with the pulsating 'Drugs Help' and we're treated to a droning swirl of controlled mayhem. Hypnotic vocal progressions weave their way through the wall of sound as that shuffling drum pattern embeds itself deep within your psyche. This is the jump-off point as we dive into the world of Telstar Sound Drone. Track two, 'Something I Can't Place', shatters the sound barriers and crawls into a dark, uncomfortable space, funnelling itself into into a continuous swirling drone that leads us into track three, the aptly-named 'Dark Kashmir'. 'Your Fingers Stir The Liquid Moon' uses its electronically-charged drum sequence to mechanically distribute that swirling reverb-drenched vocal that's swathed in those impressive synth swells, whilst track five, 'Closer Again', swims in some kind of psych-induced industrial soup, as we're treated to another stunningly hypnotic vocal track held within a sonic ball of intensely vivid sound waves. Up next, 'Strange Apples' explodes onto the sonic ether, spewing forth with it that charging drum pattern and a swirling vocal track. The droning, layered guitars add a brilliant punch to proceedings. 'Mad Seeds' is reminiscent of California-based The Warlocks with its noisy, reverberating guitar lines and its impressive call to arms-like lyrical content, whilst the immensely hypnotic opening salvos of 'Deep Spaces' unleash a monolithic track that fills the entire sonic spectrum with aplomb.
The album's closer, 'Lean Down On White', is simply stunning with its massive open spaces and reverb-induced sustained droning. The haunting vocal swims in delays and reverbs as it circumnavigates the the addictive guitar line. A brilliant ending to a brilliant album.