RELEASE: Venn EP
RELEASE DATE: 22nd February 2017
RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned
Washington based noisy shoegaze quartet 'Venn' have unleashed their debut four track self-titled EP to the masses via their bandcamp page. Its taken the band almost two years to perfect a sound that fits into what they love about shoegaze & dream pop and it's not hard to hear their many influences streaming through their core ascetic. The band are made up of Jon Fetahaj, Gabe Earle, Julian Earle & Holden Cihelka and you can buy/download their debut EP right now via: venn-dc.bandcamp.com
Venn EP by Venn
The EP opens up with it's lead single, the brilliantly executed 'Surreal'. This Track is mesmerisingly explosive, full on and it takes no prisoners as it soars into the ether on wings of sublime reverberation and punchy instrumentation. It's fragile vocals swirl and undulate on a bedrock of humming bass frequencies and shimmering guitar lines as it's percussive swagger explodes into glorious sonic shards. Up next 'Weekday' trembles into earshot on a thunderous drum pattern, shuddering baseline and soaring guitars as the track loops and arcs all over the sonic canvass dragging with it those sublime vocalisations. Collectively the bands sound on this track tumbles into the ether draped in shimmering swathes of reverberation and fuzzy guitar squall leaving sonic trails of dreamy fuzzed out bliss in it's wake. The EP's penultimate track entitled 'Maybe I'm A Liar' enters earshot swirling in a kind of semi ambient haze that is supplemented with metronomic percussive theatrics and brilliant production before a massive guitar line wakes up this sleeping sonic giant, drags it by the scruff of the neck and dumps it into a massive pool of silver hued reverb. It is jammed full of absent minded melancholy that comes across superbly in its sublime vocalisations that seem to slot into the instrumental maelstrom with relative ease. 'Maybe I'm A Liar' is a beautiful slice of modern day dream pop deftly infused with layer after layer of hazy shoegaze and it's probably my favourite track on this entire release.
If there was ever a modern track out there today that harks back brilliantly to those early nineties shoegaze pioneers it has to be the closing piece on this EP. 'Someone Else' bounds into the sonic arena on a huge pulsating drum pattern guided by soaring lead guitars and intense production. It's throbbing bass frequencies hold court diligently keeping everything together and acting like a kind of sonic glue. The track meanders through huge walls of layered sound only falling back on itself as the verse vocals arrive instilling a serine calmness in the process. It then builds menacingly into a raging torrent of glorious noise, twisting and turning through clouds of pulsating reverberation before fading out into finality leaving this listener in no doubt whatsoever that 'Venn' are the real deal .... and this is blissful music!
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 Sound Of Confusion (Now On Hiatus). 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
Our Luck by Todavía
Los Angeles based dream pop aficionado Todavía aka self-releasing multi instrumentalist Rhyan Riesgo has returned with a stunning new track entitled 'Our Luck'. This latest track follows on from Januarys single release 'Fix Myself' and its lifted off the forthcoming full length album 'Shyness', penned in for release later this year. Todavía's sound is distinctly dreamy, with hushed synth swells, sequenced percussion, swirling guitars and shimmering reverberation that all circumnavigates that almost ethereal vocal tone. 'Our Luck' is available to buy/download right now from todaviamusic.bandcamp.com
'Our Luck' swirls into the ether on shimmering waves of tremulous guitar and soaring ethereally tinged synth swells. Impressive sequenced percussion adds a metronomic pace to the piece as we're introduced to the stunning vocalisations of Rhyan Riesgo, scooped up and gracefully taken on a blissful ride through layer after layer of impressive dream pop laden sound waves.
Pale White Sun by The Age of Colored Lizards
Norwegian based psychedelic explorers 'The Age Of Coloured Lizards' have released the latest track entitled 'Pale White Sun', to be lifted from their highly anticipated forthcoming EP 'Another Day', penned in for release later this year via the lovely folks over at Sotron Records. With a sound that permeates a multiple of different layers in the music genre spectrum, taking in dreamy shoegaze, psych, noise rock & fuzzy alt-rock 'The Age Of Coloured Lizards' do not disappoint. 'Pale White Sun' is available to buy/download right now from: theageofcoloredlizards.bandcamp.com
'Pale White Sun' swirls into the ether in a deliciously hazy psych pop vibe reminiscent of those early sonic pioneers The Birds. Its evident from the outset that these guys are well versed in music production as they inject fuzz and reverberation into the mix circumnavigating those impressive vocalisations with ease as they tip toe along on a steady bedrock of impressive percussion. Definitely ones to watch in 2017. We can't wait to hear the full EP.
ARTIST: Alex Chilltown
RELEASE: Eaten Up By Nothing
RELEASE DATE: 24th February 2017
RECORD COMPANY: Witchgirl Recordings
'Eaten up By Nothing' is the new EP by the chilled out post-punk/shoegaze styled 'Alex Chilltown' aka London-based Josh Esaw. It’s a dense, heavy and burningly unhurried meditation of slowcore and thick, murky, gothic sounds that tend to be like some sort of swamp that you might get dragged down in for a while, before it spits you back out of its depths. Although the tracks themselves avoid ‘epic’ and lengthy portions, it’s the crux and interior of the sounds that bellow into trenches of the sort of downtrodden sound you would expect. Accompanying these sounds, however, is the full on wall of sound-style mixing reminiscent of shoegaze music; where one strum of a chord with the right FX and pedals can flood the room with an absolute cacophony of sound. Together these elements make an interesting mix of things.
'Eaten up By Nothing' opens with ‘Untitled’ which establishes the fantastic quality of performance that appears all over the EP. A brilliant and subtle synth sits at the back of most of the songs which adds even more weight to the music. This element, along with the intricate sound of a weaving guitar, makes the instrumentation brilliant and almost always engaging. The 80’s play a deep influence upon the band, which at times sounds like it perhaps should have been basement dwelling in Eastern Europe in the peak of cold-wave. ‘Hollow’ introduces a more fleshed out sound that’s a tad more influenced by shoegaze. The drums slow and minimalistic beat acts as a kind of backbone to the rest of the instrumentation… The vocals sit awkwardly above a kind of ethereal wave guitar pop sound that sounds like the least loud instrument of them all; interesting.
‘Glaze’ comes across as a much more whimsical exercise in the bands sonic explorations. For the most part it’s not as engaging as the opening tracks on the EP; and altogether it’s a weird kind of mediocre that kind of plays and plays without reaching any great heights. That is until the outro: a fantastic and involving passage of music that uses all the bands strengths to conjure up an emotive and dreamy reverberate. The melding of guitars, drums and the ethereal synths do wonders for the texture of the track. But, easily the most engaging and greatest track on the EP is the six minute plus ‘Diamond Sea’; which touches more upon a contemplative kind of dream pop/shoegaze noise than the bands previous endeavours into a more dark and gothic sound. ‘Diamond Sea’ is the only song on the EP that truly showcases an interesting and somewhat reputable vocal track. It’s not too loud, it’s not too quiet and the lyrics fit in with the instrumentation. The drums and bass showcase the aforementioned influence of slowcore and musical exploration. It’s a brilliant and original song, with moments that connect both the light and the dark somewhere in the middle.
After a few listens to the EP, one must admit that the sounds explored on 'Eaten Up by Nothing' are well travelled pieces of terrain; and far from original. With this in mind, sometime after a few listens you’ll notice how a few of the tracks sound similar in style and in tone. Also, the lyrics are awkward attempts at poetically gothic statements; like an outpouring or confession that feels as forced as it does tongue in cheek. Accompanying these lyrics are the sometimes-cumbersome vocal performance and mixing, which leaves you asking: is it too quiet, or is it too loud? These elements appear to be prevalent upon a few listens, but although there are flaws, there are also great strengths and highlights. For one, the instrumentation and music performances stay solid, fluid and engaging for the whole EP. The production is brilliant and is used to show the acme of the bands musical texturing throughout Eaten Up by Nothing, and altogether, the sounds produced through FX and tweaking are impressive in their own right. The band use their talents to create an EP that may not be the most original piece of music ever, but is clearly a release that shows their strengths, achieved primarily through production and the melding of sound.
Cam Phillips is a writer and above all, a music lover, who seeks to gain experience through writing and listening. He is also an avid film viewer and art and literature junkie who enjoys creative writing. His most recent published work was featured on the Australian heavy music blog, I Probably Hate Your Band.
ARTIST: No Mightier Creatures
RELEASE: No Mightier Creatures
RELEASE DATE: 10th February 2017
'No Mightier Creatures' is the debut seven track self-titled release from Peru based alt-psych/garage aficionado's 'No Mightier Creatures'. The band consists of Renato - vocals/guitars/words, Dolmo - guitars, Felix - bass & Arturo - drums and what they collectively create is a mesmerising politically charged cacophony of swirling psych rock thats underscored with hints of alt-blues indentations melded with surging swathes of driving garage psych. 'No Mightier Creatures' is available to download as 'Pay As You Like' over on bandcamp but I recommend that you pay these guys a few dollars to help them get this album out on vinyl nomightiercreatures.bandcamp.com
No Mightier Creatures by No Mightier Creatures
The album open up with an angry melodious growl as 'Yet We Divide' enters earshot and sets off a repetitious sonic chain reaction as guitars swirl and sway held fast to a metronomic percussive beat. Vocals arrive and ride the turbulent beast to finality. Highly infectious and surprisingly addictive 'Yet We Divide' is a brilliant opening salvo. Up next, 'Multiply' jangles through waves of reverberation as 'No Mightier Creatures' unleash some sullen rockabilly psych on us, swerving through pulsating drum patterns and hypnotically charged lead lines that gyrate around those impressive vocal lines. 'Springfield' heaves around a central spine of driving instrumentation, throbbing bass progressions, repetitive drum patterns and sporadic noisy guitars thats collectively led by those politically charged spoken word vocalisations. We shatter the repetitiveness of the previous tracks with tumbling bass frequencies and chugging guitars as my favourite piece on the entire release enters the sonic arena. 'No Light' is an anti-establishment call to arms nestled in the welcoming arms of driving instrumentation and pulsating production.
Musically, 'Corporate Dream' acts as a sort of sonic conduit for the spoken word of the bands lead vocalist Renato who spits relevant rhetoric for today's self appreciating society whilst the albums penultimate track growls and wails as it swerves into the ether. 'To Cross' meanders deftly through dark menacing bass patterns and an explosive percussive attack. Its raging guitars wage a sonic war of attrition, whipping up a frenzy of pulsating sound waves in the process that lick and harass another impressive vocal performance. 'To Cross' pushes wave after wave of psych induced passionate spoken word out into the world accompanied by a raging torrent of frequential noise. Thoroughly enjoyable and another highlight on this brilliant release. The albums closing piece opens in a beautiful haze of tremulous guitars and cascading bass lines. 'Take It Easy' is accompanied by sparse percussion and haunting vocalisations. It builds and builds nonchalantly into a brilliantly melancholic tidal wave that crashes multiple sound waves onto an empty windswept beach. A fitting ending to a marvellous album.
ARTIST: By Night With Spear
RELEASE: Seeing In The Dark
RELEASE DATE: 13th January 2017
Just as its cover art, the musical contents of 'Seeing In The Dark' by New York based shoegaze/dream pop band 'By Night With Spear' is vividly beautiful and colorful in a contemplative and distant style. Spread over the course of an album, 'By Night With Spear' explore every corner of dream pop and shoegaze music; generally guided by the beautiful and talented vocal performances and singing that adds another dimension to the sound in context with the genre. In a weird way its almost a light version of blackgaze; where guitars and drums remain steadfast in creating wall of sounds for the vocals to hover over. However, in this case, the guitars are less heavy and the drums never break into a blast beat; but the music remains strong and full frontal, creating a wall of sound of melody and musical colors that deserve both praise and recognition.
Seeing in the Dark by By Night With Spear
‘Starlight’ opens with the surge of light, fluffy, dream pop inspired guitars and the slow rattle and roll of the drumming. The vocals slowly seep into the mix; high and wavering in a pitch a kin to musical warmth and brightness. It displays a beautiful, well-written chorus that’s an album highlight. ‘Starlight’ follows into 'Twenty Nights’ that slows things down slightly and introduces more shoegaze elements into the bands sound with feedback inspired guitar backings and heavier/pounding drums in the back of the mix. The outro section, where the vocals rise even higher, adds more emphasis on the musical blending that occurs through the production. ‘Blue Rider’ is another slow, sensual and emotive piece of music making. Perhaps more so than previous tracks, it showcases By Night With Spear’s ability to create music of pure beauty and adoration. Between the rolling drums that set the scene, to the blue-sky feel of the guitars, the song captures a moment of complete bliss and categorizers the band as one whose music conjures images of beaches, of the cool, colorful sand and water as the sun dips to the horizon; it’s something only truly fantastic dream pop bands can do. Impressive.
‘Moving Projections’ turns the mood post-punk with double tap snare and a heavier atmosphere. The guitars take a step deeper and the whole song turns somewhat darker than the previous tracks. Meanwhile, the vocals remain at their great heights; creating a mesmerizing and interesting counterpoint to the tone of the music and instrumentation of the song. The album highlight, in my opinion, is ‘Martyr’, which builds upon the aforementioned powers and elements of ‘Blue Rider’ to create a visionary piece of dreamy shoegaze music that attends to all the essential things that dream pop music should make you feel: contemplative, wandering and a deep sense of yearning for the past. ‘Given’ combines the elements of alternative dream pop music with the darker touch of ‘Moving Projections’ style post-punk, and rounds it off with a flavor akin to indie pop music. The drums bounce around, while the guitars play in accompaniment to the once-again beautiful vocals. The instrument and vocal performances are outstanding, especially the vocals, as is the production and the overall mixing.
Dream pop is a difficult genre to get right in the modern age of the Internet and connectivity. In it’s humble origins of the 80’s, many bands were praised for their unique musical style and techniques within the genre. With the emergence of the Internet and a worldwide musical grand interest in dream pop music, so many bands try hard to create something unique or interesting to step out from the crowd of mediocrity. By Night With Spear, much like the fantastically reflective guitar tones of Pastel Coast, succeed in this leap from the crowd; creating a kind of dream pop album that utilizes beauty and reminiscence in place of fancy FX and wild production techniques that amount to boredom and self-indulgence. But simultaneously, 'Seeing In The Dark' is far from being over-intellectualized or avant-garde in the contextual elements of its genre, and it could easily be an introduction to dream pop and a more refined shoegaze for a listener who hasn’t been listening to it all the while. It’s an engaging listen, primarily created through the grand avenues of performance, mixing, production and sound.
ARTIST: Electric Floor
RELEASE DATE: 6th March 2017
RECORD COMPANY: Vipchoyo Sound Factory Records
Cosenza based new wave/synth-gaze trio 'Electric Floor' have announced their highly anticipated new EP 'Fader' released via the ever prolific Italian based independent record label 'Vipchoyo Sound Factory'. With a sound that echoes the experimental side of post-punk melded together with the darker side of new wave and underpinned by a modern electronic edge 'Electric Floor' have the ability to push the sonic envelope with their music. The band were formed in 2009 and are made up of Emanuele Chiarelli - vocals/guitar, Simone Costantino De Luca - programming/keys & Fabio Cosentino - bass. 'Fader' gets its full release on the 6th March 2017 and is available to pre-order on various formats right now from vipchoyo-sound-factory.bandcamp.com
Electric Floor -FADER- by electric floor
The EP opens up with it's lead single 'Bluedive'. It charges into the sonic ether on a bedrock of driving bass frequencies and sequenced percussion as the bleep and whirr of synth squall echoes deep within a bubble of reverberation. It's vocals are placed meticulously to the fore as all around them swirl in a kind of sonic gravitational pull, looping and arcing through waves of shimmering synth swells and subliminal guitar lines. 'Bluedive' is a feast of melodious frequencies that are guaranteed to thrill. Up next, 'Sullen Dress' shimmers and swirls in a haze of jittering synth draped with a modern dream pop twist. Beautiful guitar lines dance and shimmy along sequenced percussion deftly cushioning that impressive vocal line, underscored at times by duel backing vocals and soaring instrumentation. 'Borderline' pulses and fizzes along turbulent synth swells, the throbbing hum of bass frequencies and undulating sequenced percussion. It builds in momentum, swinging into massive swathes of reverberation and dragging distinctly passionate piano stabs and another brilliantly executed vocal with it as it jumps off into the ether. Stunning production underscores some impressive instrumentation here as it weaves and bobs along its predestined melancholic course, skimmed at times by soaring guitar lines.
Up next, the EP unleashes it's penultimate piece and probably my favourite track on the entire release. 'M31' surges into audible range on cascading baselines, sequenced bleeps and whirrs and steadying percussion. It's vocal lines sweep in, catching this listeners attention before scooping him off his feet only to then soar into the ether accompanied by soaring waves of instrumental laced reverb and raging guitars. 'Electric Floor' have a unique ability to squeeze so many different genres into one complete sound and it is really evident on 'M31'.There are hints new wave, dream pop, subtle layers shoegaze and driving post-punk coursing through this tracks inner core that make it the stand out track for me. The EP then closes out with 'Nosedive'. It's probably the most modern sounding electronic track on the EP if I'm honest but it does have some incredible bass lines running through its central spine and it finishes in spectacular fashion, as all of it's separate components amalgamate into one driving sonic maelstrom. A decent ending to a rather interesting EP.
ARTIST: E GONE
RELEASE: The Third Is A Mountain Which Holds A Dagger
RELEASE DATE: 13th February 2017
Swedish based experimental psych/folk aficionado 'E GONE' aka Daniel Westerlund has unleashed a surprise seven track album entitled 'The Third Is A Mountain Which Holds A Dagger'. 'E GONE' melds together various musical stylings including electronica, psych, post rock, oriental, dub, raga, ambient and psych folk to create a stunning cacophony of mesmerising soundscapes. This latest album follows on from the recently re-released 'Advice To Hill Walkers' and is available to by/download right now from egone.bandcamp.com
The Third Is A Mountain Which Holds A Dagger by E GONE
The album opens up with 'No Audience, No Metronome', a deeply serine instrumental piece centred around a wonderful progression held in a blissful cloud of sampled rain fall and reverberating fret noise. Up next, my favourite track on the entire album swirls into earshot on beautifully translucent acoustic waves peppered with swathes of driving banjo progressions and a brilliantly executed vocal track. 'A Decoy For the Hunt' draws you in on strings of atmospheric vibrations, metronomic percussion and intense cinematic flair. A sublime track and one that you listen to via headphones. You will thank me for it in the end. 'E GONE' is the master of atmospheric intent and as 'The Tellurian Omega' undulates on repetitive instrumental drones and the twang of stringed instruments I can't help feel slightly uneasy as the track winds its way through dark cloudy reverberations and the atmospheric plink of repetitious bells. Shimmering frequencies ride a turbulent drone as a peaceful hue descends on this listener and we're led into the opening bars of 'Rogue Diplomat', an eastern esoteric themed thrill ride through busy percussion and swirling instrumentation that evokes visions of those 1970's middle eastern based spy movies. A thoroughly enjoyable piece steeped with brilliantly psychedelic vibrations.
Up next, 'E GONE' melds a stunning banjo progression with intense synth swells as 'Habit Hides You' works through its sonic repetitions before the albums penultimate track spins into earshot. A massive wall of vocals erupts into the ether accompanied by the twang of banjo and underscored with sullen synth swells. 'I Have Been Given Much' is deeply melancholic and filled with heart felt connotations and the ever present hue of sonic experimentation that I've come to enjoy whilst listening to E GONE's impressive soundscapes. The albums closing piece however is seven minutes plus of swirling instrumentation riding a subtle instrumental drone and interspersed at times by soaring lead guitar theatrics and massive walls of intense atmosphere. 'Give' is a magnificent ending to a wonderfully unique collection of songs.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Munchausen by Tall Pines
Brisbane based grungy shoegaze trio 'Tall Pines' have unleashed a brand new single entitled 'Munchausen', the follow up to their very impressive 2016 debut single release 'The Day Is Gone'. The bands sound skips gracefully between quiet melodic passages & dark heavy swathes of reverberating doom dragging a plethora of music genres with it as it meanders through sonic peaks and troughs at will! 'Munchausen' is available to buy/download right now with two b-sides from: tallpines1.bandcamp.com
'Munchausen' opens up swirling deftly in a flurry of dream pop inspired vocal tones and sequenced percussive patterns as it's noisy guitars are toned back to a sullen hook laden growl. The track floats effortlessly along its predestined route but there's an undercurrent of dark malice lingering around those beautiful vocal tones that interests me the most! It's not long before the track shakes loose it's dream pop hue and explodes into a maelstrom of thunderous drums, throbbing bass frequencies and angry reverberating guitar noise thus underling just how good 'Tall Pines' actually are.
ARTIST: Stupid Cosmonaut
RELEASE DATE: March 2017
RECORD COMPANY: Drone Rock Records
UK based sound manipulators ‘Stupid Cosmonaut’ release the next chapter in their impressive sonic catalogue this coming March via Drone Rock Records in the form of their deliciously entrancing four track monolith 'Algol'. Their sound permeates the outer reaches of ambient psych-rock whilst it’s inner core is full of dark, atmospheric synth swells, beautifully produced percussion and swathes of minimalistic drones that collectively create music to immerse your entire being into until you float away on sonic ripples of shimmering ambience. The band are made up of Steve McNamara – synths/bass, Sam Read – synths,/guitar, Andy Hunt – drums & Mark Hawnt - synths. The album is available to pre-order right now on lovely vinyl (colour Side A / Side B effect in black and grey/limited to 250 copies) via dronerockrecords.com
'Algol' unfurls it's sonic wings and swirls into earshot on a wave of hushed voices, haunting bass frequencies and repetitive fret board theatrics. 'Solitary Stasis' floats through the ether on clouds of sweeping synth swells and ambient reverberation coupled with intense atmosphere and the constant chattering of samples vocalisations that seem to come and go in and out of earshot at will. A stunning opening track indeed. Up next, 'The Demon Star Pilot' announces itself on indignant guitar tones and swirling synth swells. coming in at a whopping sixteen minutes plus I quickly realise that I have to strap myself in for the long haul. Senses pummelling frequencies underscored by dark swathes of unrelenting synth lines quiver and wail in a visible mass of atmospheric reverberation as we're swept up and advanced into what I now firmly believe deep space actually feels like. Alone and frightened the arrival of a metronomic percussive thrill and something solid sonically to focus on is a welcome reprise. That's not to say this isn't enjoyable, I'm simply referring to the brilliance of 'Stupid Cosmonaut' and their use of dark atmospherics to stimulate the senses. 'The Demon Star Pilot' rumbles on through massive walls of shimmering synth and soaring lead guitar lines as the ever present cadence of drums, addictive bass thrills and droning instrumentation loops and arcs all over the entire track, helping the listener to experience the full on sonic arsenal that this band can unleash at will. Let's not be fooled here, this track is absolutely immense! You need to listen to it via headphones to experience total sonic immersion.
The album moves on with frightening pace as the albums penultimate piece 'Passing Between Dancing Giants' enters into audible range spiralling menacingly in seething synth lines, echoing reverberation and the constant thump of repetitive drum progressions. 'Passing Between Dancing Giants' is so good it belongs on a sci-fi movie soundtrack. It is huge in scale and moves like a monstrous tidal wave through the ether pulsing instrumental drones, sound waves and frequential noise through swathes of dark reverberation, deploying expansive deluges of sound into every single facet of being. Its a triumphant piece and one that I will keep coming back to again and again. The album closes out in a flurry of psych induced guitar progressions, surging synthetic drones and turbulent glitchy sound waves. 'Barus' is absolutely immense! Swirling atmosphere builds rapidly from behind the dark oppressive instrumentation as hauntingly good production holds court dragging this behemoth into the ether, pulling with it sparse percussion and the dark throb of bass frequencies. Synth swells bob and weave a steady path, intertwining with the twang of guitars but dodging the explosive drum patterns as 'Stupid Cosmonaut' unleash the heaviest track on the entire release. Gone are the ambient stylings of previous tracks to be replaces by a monolithic modern day space rock anthem! 'Barus' is a fitting end to a bloody marvellous album!
Bravo 'Stupid Cosmonaut' ..... we've just pre-ordered this one on vinyl!