ALBUM REVIEW | Holy Monitor - Holy Monitor

ARTIST: Holy Monitor

RELEASE: Holy Monitor 

RELEASE DATE: 17th February 2017

RECORD COMPANY: Primitive Music RecordsBlackspin Records

Stunning Athens based experimental psych/kraut rock collective 'Holy Monitor' have announced their debut self-titled full length release filled to the brim with luscious soundscapes that skip through a multiple of different sonic disciplines with blistering aplomb. Not content to have wowed us with last years 'Ongakubaka Records' release 'Golden Light​/​Aeolus', a compilation containing both of the bands previously released (only digital & in a ltd edition cassette) EP's, 'Holy Monitor' have returned with a ten track monolith that will literally blow your mind. Released via 'Primitive Music Records' in collaboration with 'Blackspin Records' the album is available to pre-order digitally right now from holymonitor.bandcamp.com

Physical copies are available to pre-order in two limited editions of high quality clear-copper & blue-white marbled vinyl, 200 copies each:

- www.blackspin.gr/lp/3428-holy-monitor-s-t-ltd-clear-copper-marbled.html
- www.blackspin.gr/lp/3427-holy-monitor-s-t-ltd-col-blue-white-marbled.html

Swirling into the ether on a repetitious instrumental drone we jump off into the unknown just as 'Halcyon' powers up it's atmospheric core and washes us in subtle fret noises, serine lead lines and reverberating swells of sonic delight. 'Nemesis' arrives just as we're getting comfortable and we're soon dragged with it as it's motorik percussive swagger spews forth cascading organ lines, throbbing bass frequencies and the delicious whip of lead guitars. Otherworldly vocalisations arrive, riding a wave of screaming guitars and malicious synth swells as the sonic tension builds into a raging tremulous beast. Up next, 'Holy Monitor' unleash a full on psych behemoth in the form of the albums lead track, the mind altering, mescaline charged 'Bed Of The Earth'. Hypnotic lead guitars gently caress whirring organ swells as steadying drums and a humming baselines carry another impressive vocal performance. 'Bed Of The Earth' meanders deftly through sonic peaks and troughs until eventually exploding into a mesmerising lead break filled with electronic trickery, explosive percussion and the constant swirl of the organ all collectively awash with swathes of reverb. It's haunting vocals swirl and soar, peppered at times by delectable backing lines that seem to morph into one big throbbing behemoth tumbling gracefully through the ether like some new gravitational sonic phenomenon.

'The Vine' undulates and spirals as it floats into earshot circumnavigating itself in a peaceful haze of chandiramani percussion & shimmering tambourines before the hypnotic tendrils of it's utterly addictive guitar progressions take over, whirring above melodious baselines, the cascading plink of brilliantly constructed organ progressions and hauntingly good vocalisations. Before we can float away in a melancholic bliss however, the opening bars of 'Golden Light' (appearing here again and originally released back on 2015's 'Golden Light' EP) grace our ears and we're soon awash with it's eastern esoteric influences, menacing organ swells and stunning reverberations that loop and arc throughout, painting sonic pictures and instilling a blast of shimmering atmosphere. Up next, 'Αφροδίτη' gyrates into audible range trapped in a swirling synth drone before pounding drums and incessant organ stabs metronomically lead the charge accompanied by throbbing bass frequencies and constant barrage of lead guitars that leaps in and out of those blissful vocalisations with aplomb. Electronic theatric's announce the arrival of 'Bend The Tree's' (appearing here again and originally released on 2015's 'Aeolus' EP) and it gracefully glides on a droning synth progression and a highly addictive guitar line. This track bathes in swathes of stunning reverb as its hushed vocalisations take centre stage continuously urging the instrumentation to keep up with the pace.

'Icarus' builds rapidly, trapped in a turbulent instrumental drone, haunted by atmospheric guitar squall, reverberating fret noises, subtle sonic swells and the constant thump of the incessant bass drum. This track glides and arc's through a dark and malicious psych induced world filled with howling vocalisations that twist and morph into many different frequencies at will. Up next, the albums penultimate piece swings deliciously on a bedrock of driving kraut/motorik percussion and repetitious instrumentation. 'Ice Giants' conjures up hypnotic hallucinations of 70's sci-fi b-movie aliens aligned with a modern day sonic twist. The albums closing piece (appearing here again and originally released on 2015's 'Golden Light' EP) charges into ear shot on a bedrock of pounding drums, swirling guitars and soaring synth swells that are constantly building in tempestuous fashion and continuously circumnavigating that fragile vocal track. 'Cacti' builds from the off adding layer after layer of stunning instrumentation as it deftly skips along its chosen sonic path. A fitting ending to wonderfully creative album. Apart from the noticeable & previously released track inclusions, 'Holy Monitor' have put together a serious collection of impressive soundscapes that are sure to attract both new and old listeners alike. My favourite track on this album however has to be the highly addictive 'Bed Of The Earth' and it's driving cacophony of delectable psychedelic sounds.

4/5

LINKS:

facebook.com/holymonitor

holymonitor.bandcamp.com

primitivemusic.gr

blackspin.gr

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Del Chaney has spent the last four years 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 now on hiatus) 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.


ALBUM REVIEW | The Underground Youth - What Kind Of Dystopian Hellhole Is This? (Fuzz Club Records)

 ARTIST: The Underground Youth

RELEASE: What kind Of Dystopian Hellhole Is This? 

RELEASE DATE: 15th February 2017

RECORD COMPANY: Fuzz Club Records

Fuzz Club Records mainstays and Berlin (via Manchester) based dark psych/post-punk outfit The Underground Youth have announced their highly anticipated eight studio album brilliantly titled 'What Kind Of Dystopian Hellhole Is This?'. The album is penned in for a February 15th 2017 release date with various formats officially up for pre-order via the ever reliable www.fuzzclub.com

In a melancholic haze of tattered guitar frequencies and growling atmospherics the opening chord sequence of ‘Half Poison, Half God’ drags itself into the ether and proceeds to wraps itself around infectious vocalisations before swaying awkwardly on the sudden injection of a sparse percussive pattern. ‘Half Poison, Half God’ splashes into a swirling pool of reverb laden noise as repetitive guitar progressions cut through barking bass frequencies to collectively hold time with the metronomic swoosh of echoing tambourine hits. Up next, ‘Alice’ surges effortlessly with dark sullen energy as it’s melodiously fuzzy bass frequencies weave & bob in and out of hypnotic lead guitar lines. Subdued percussion and hauntingly good synth swells add tons of atmosphere as Craig Dyer’s vocal holds court, keeping you transfixed on it’s impressive gothic tone.

The heavy repetitive thump of plodding drum rudiments coupled with the engrossing twang of atmospheric guitars heralds the arrival of ‘You Made It Baby’ and we’re instantly thrown into a world of desolate landscapes, isolation and wild frontier towns. Swirling desert like reverberations envelope everything as subtle instrumental drones echo behind Dyer’s tendril like vocals and aid in the undulating sway of it’s sonic proceedings. The track eventually pulses into a turbulent mass of fuzzy noise before dissipating back into the repetitive plonk of fret noise and salubrious percussion. ‘Beast (Anti War Song)’ does exactly as it says on the tin as it strides into earshot like some plucky teenager on a first date. Driving bass lines ride a steadying drum pattern as soaring lead licks whip noisy frequencies up into a sonic frenzy, building exponentially through the angry verse parts only to then soar effortlessly through those impressive instrumental chorus progressions before fizzing out into nothingness.

Jangling atmospherics underscored by droning organ swells swirl gracefully around the vocals as the constant tap of subtle percussive hits keep a kind of rag tag timing rattling repetitively in the background. ‘A Dirty Piece Of Love For Us To Share’ tip toes magically through glorious guitar progressions and brilliant production to bring a sullen acoustic swerve to proceedings. Up next, ‘Amerika’ drones into earshot accompanied by twinkling instrumentation, whirring feedback and the hollow thrum of sequenced percussion. It stalks and skulks in a densely oppressive sonic fog as it’s vocals swirl menacingly in the musical ether whilst next, ’The Outsider’ instrumentally builds from the off echoing in harmony with the effected vibrato of the vocals and the swirling underscore of synth drone. ‘Persistent Stable Hell’ howls into existence on squally instrumental feedback and the pulsing vibrations of a repetitive kick drum. The vocals arrive held fast within a hazy swirl of reverb as throbbing bass frequencies hum and undulate underneath screaming lead guitar licks and dark reverberation. The addition of female vocals add hauntingly good atmosphere here as all around them pulses and moves in a cacophony of blissful noise.

The albums penultimate piece heaves and breathes on a bedrock of sequenced synth lines, sporadic drum patterns and fuzzy bass frequencies. ‘Your Sweet Love’ swirls in a spiralling sonic whirlwind filled with noise, shuddering reverb and sullen gothic flair. It's vocalisations are trance like as they hypnotically revolve and billow in the heady psych induced stew, modulating wildly until they become one with the instrumentation and eventually throb in a series of sonic pulses. The albums closing piece strums acoustically into the ether as the plink of a piano line echoes & melds brilliantly underneath, constantly harassed by subtly aggressive lead guitar lines. ‘Incapable Of Love’ is laced with darkness as Dyer’s speaking parts venomously spit out a dystopian narrative steeped in atmosphere whilst languishing brilliantly in a bourgeoning musical juggernaut. This is a marvellous ending to a magnificent album.

4/5

LINKS:

fuzzclub.com

facebook.com/TheUndergroundYouth

theundergroundyouth.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Del Chaney has spent the last four years 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 (Now On Hiatus) 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.