ARTIST: Sherpa The Tiger
RELEASE: Great Vowel Shift
RELEASE DATE: 18th May 2018
RECORD COMPANY: Fuzz Club Records
Hailing from Lviv, Ukraine, 'Sherpa The Tiger' deploy a serious arsenal of seventies leaning cosmic sounds on their debut five track entitled 'Great Vowel Shift' courtesy of erratic rhythms, Soviet era synthesisers and 1980's Vermona Formation 2 organs built in East Germany. From influential 60's/70's sounding krautrock underpinned with a bedrock of off kilter drum patterns to swirling 80's themed ambient hued soundscapes filled with twinkling synths and heady atmospherics 'Sherpa The Tiger' introduce a whole new layer of sounds to this burgeoning underground kraut/psych scene that flickers between danceable funk-ridden rhythms and vast electronic experimentation. 'Great Vowel Shift' gets it's official release via Fuzz Club Records on the 18th May 2018 and is available to pre-order right now on various formats via fuzzclub.com & fuzzclub.bandcamp.com respectively.
Great Vowel Shift by Sherpa The Tiger
‘Peninsula’ begins buffering in a haze of pulsing electronics closely monitored by it’s orbiting bass line. The arrival of driving metronomic percussion, a woozy accompaniment of guitar and whirring bleeps add brilliant atmosphere as they dive headlong in and out of swirling swells of simmering synth. There’s a kind of hypnotic repetitiveness here that is very very addictive and when interwoven with those intricate guitar progressions, cascading lines of various keyboard sounds and those understated sequenced electronics the collective sound transforms into something otherworldly. Up next, ‘Periscope’ shimmies into audible range trapped in a layered sonic patch filled to the brim with repetitive breakbeats, fuzzy sequential samples and luscious streamlined reverberations. Addictive bass progressions dance and hug swirling drones as the percussion track builds cyclically into a funked out psychedelic trip. There are definite 60’s/70’s krautrock tendencies here but they've been brilliantly dissected into an array of ambient sounds, injected with subtle indiscriminate psych-pop flourishes, deftly reimagined and washed with a shimmering sonic edge almost akin to modern dance music. ‘Periscope’ is sublime and quite possibly my favourite track on this entire release.
‘Golden Ratio’ gyrates endlessly on glossy dream laced swells of synth that build in intensity with each swirling circumference adding a mind-blowing 70’s sci-fi twist to proceedings whilst ‘Contre-Jour’ has a woozy groove laden undercurrent albeit accompanied by swirling drones and a monstrous synth line. A metronomic backbeat keeps the tempo solid while those swirling sequenced electronics and the funked out bass line cause havoc until we’re led into a magnificent break half-way through and catapulted out the back end into it’s glorious tripped out finale. ‘Contre-Jour’ is another highlight for me. The album closes out glistening in a neon tinged synth laden sheen as ‘Cavalcade’ swirls into audible range. It’s dreamy ambient strewn beginnings are quickly overpowered by a groove -laden bass progression, sequenced samples and that hypnotic percussive swagger. Swirling progressions of guitar and synth join the fray and we’re quickly swept away on melodic instrumental waves filled with repetitive hypnotic reverberations. It's a magnificent finale to a wonderful debut album.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Del Chaney has spent the last five years dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the unsigned or small independent label based shoegaze, ethereal dream-pop, postpunk & 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 genres 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.
ARTIST: Nest Egg
RELEASE: Nothingness Is Not A Curse
RELEASE DATE: 13th April 2018
Back in 2015, after releasing a handful of tapes and singles, North Carolina-based minimalistic kosmische/psych trio 'Nest Egg' unleashed their mind-expanding debut album 'Respectable' to the masses. With a repetitious but controlled sonic assault filled to the brim with swirling analogue sounds, cavernous guitars, droning synths and metronomic percussion, reminiscent at times to the sonic conjuring's of Moon Duo, Föllakzoid or Throw Down Bones, the band have returned with their sophomore release, the brilliantly titled - 'Nothingness Is Not A Curse'. Officially released back on the 13th April 2018 via the good folks over at Fuzz Club Records this hypnotic collection of tracks is a heaving, sweaty pulse of instantaneously addictive, swirling repetitious noise. 'Nothingness Is Not A Curse' is available to buy/download right now on various formats from either fuzz club.com or fuzzclub.bandcamp.com respectively.
Nothingness Is Not A Curse by Nest Egg
The album opens up swirling menacingly in an atmospheric haze filled with majestic synth, droning organ, shimmering tambourine and the metronomic pulse of percussion. At first ‘DMTIV’ presents itself like some kind of garage-psych behemoth but instinctively drives a sonic furrow into the ether as it’s krautrock like tendencies are brought to bear thus beginning it’s brilliant sonic circumnavigation of a repetitive beat adding various instrumental fancies into the melee with each repetitious turn. The chug of fret noise joins a hail of screeching guitar stabs, both attacking the senses at different stages as those malicious shakers join in and quickly pull haunting vocalisations into the mix to ride the turbulent waves into a rather distinctive post-punk hued lead break. ‘DMTIV’ is a triumph, a blistering opening salvo and wonderful jumping off point for this album. Up next, ‘Print-Process-Repeat’ jangles into earshot riding a swirling organ drone accompanied by the strum from a glistening guitar progression. Thunderous drums rock back and forth on waves of throbbing bass frequencies as that sullen vocal arrives, meandering in and out of woozy lines of lead as the ever constant swirl of organ rises and falls just below the mix.
‘Denied Doctrine’ charges into the ether strapped to a turbulent instrumental drone and that metronomic beat. The chug of guitars sways malevolently on a driving bass progression as the vocals arrive and are lashed to within an inch of their lives by stinging lead lines and breathtaking layers of reverberation. There’s a hypnotic tinge to this track that is instantly addictive right up until it absolutely loses it mind and explodes into a massive wave of surging noise and meanders on into it’s fantastic finale. ‘Denied Doctrine’ is sublime and another definite highlight for me on this release. Up next, ‘Long Night Outside’ drives into earshot on a repetitive bass signature and those charging drums. Abrasive guitars join in at sporadic intervals as it’s vocal lines arrive steeped in darkly atmospheric reverberation and add to to the overall feel of the track. There’s modern psych at the core of proceedings here but it’s mingled with post-punk and riotous rock & roll to create a heady sonic brew.
The albums penultimate piece entitled ‘Cognitive Dissonance’ is a burgeoning sonic monster filled with swirling synth, pounding percussion and humming lines of bass. Reverb tinged vocalisations ride the tremulous sonic wave as collectively, the instrumentation explodes into something more akin to punk-rock. ‘Cognitive Dissonance’ is absolutely captivating, utterly absorbing and a bloody marvellous track to behold. The album closes out with it’s self titled track. ‘Nothingness Is A Curse’ tumbles into the sonic arena on a repetitive percussive assault as atmospheric drones and electronic theatrics steeped in reverb conjure up ghostly sonic reflections and those noisy bass frequencies add intense menace. Explosive chord changes accompany sullen vocalisations into the breech as soaring lines of lead guitar oscillate and glide in and out of simmering synth and noisy delay laden progressions. There is an almost cinematic ending to this track that is worth your time all by itself and it closes out what is another stomping Fuzz Club Records release.
Del Chaney has spent the last five years dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the unsigned or small independent label based shoegaze, ethereal dream-pop, postpunk & 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 genres 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.
ARTIST: Soft Wounds
RELEASE: The Last EP
RELEASE DATE: 9th March 2018
RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned
'Soft Wounds' are a Toronto-based shoegaze/alt-rock duo who base their influence's off 90's era shoegaze and dream-pop; creating noise/filtered textures and filters that lay softly over the structure of linear alt-rock tracks. 'The Last EP' captures a colourful mixture of downtrodden and emotive alt-rock tunes which generally centre around a style of vocalization that sounds almost as if it is floating. Accompanying this are catchy guitar riffs and a melodic rhythm section that precisely captures the emotive state of the sounds at the forefront of the music. The band are made up of Charlie Berger and Matt Rimon. 'The Last EP' was officially released back on March 9th 2018 and is available to buy/download right now via softwounds.bandcamp.com
The Last EP by Soft Wounds
‘Story’ opens up proceedings on the EP, wherein the bands texturing is put on full display as the noise-laden backing to the music is covered by reverb soaked guitars and the rhythmic backdrop of drums. The guitars also feature the kind of heavy FX and audio manipulation found on some of the most seminal shoegaze releases of the past. If one were to pair back the guitar FX and un-dampen some of the background sounds, the song would present a more classic post-punk feeling; structurally it also echoes this frame. ‘Her Ghost’ takes the emotive soundscapes further, and slows down the tempo for an almost ballad like setting. Much like on ‘Story’ the riffs that weave in and around the rest of the instrumentation become the catchy centrepiece for the sound to float around upon. Of special note is the second half of the track and the soft sounds of the pre-outro where the tweaking pick of the guitar melds beautifully with the rhythm section. ‘Wide Open’ may be the best song on the EP: the riffs and layering of the sound offers a great line in the sand between all out FX guitar driven washdown and restrained and a more conservative guitar practice. The band gel together on ‘Wide Open’ perhaps most strongly than on any other song; somehow making the song sound strongly rehearsed but also slightly jam-oriented at the same time?
‘On The Fence’ sounds closer t0 a kind of dark dream-pop than it does to shoegaze or heavy alt-rock, however, its instrumentation remains the same as on previous track. In the context of the EP, as well as the strength of the previous songs, ‘On the Fence’ would potentially be the least interesting and engaging track on the EP. Why? It seems like elements of previous songs are re-used, which is fine, but they are disused in a uninteresting and unoriginal way, making it sound as though its features the weakest elements of the EP. Interestingly enough, ‘Watch You’, which follows on is one of the EP's greatest triumphs, introducing dynamic musical elements as well as the shimmering guitar sounds we all associate with shoegaze. ‘Finally’ is in some senses, Soft Wounds culmination of previously explored musical elements into one lengthy practice. The inclusion of beautiful background humming synths in the intros truly capture the beauty that seems to flow from the song.
On this EP 'Soft Wounds' truly hone their craft and capture, utilize and present their own sound for the listener. Their own sound, it should be noted, is in a sense a collective channel of influential bands in and around the genres of shoegaze, dream-pop, alt-rock and more. Where many bands utilize this influence, it is generally abused in a derivate sense more so than a transformation from something done into something original. My main criticism of the EP is by far the vocals. Whether it’s the production or mixing, or whether it’s the vocals themselves I’m not entirely sure; all there is to say is that they become overly whingy and at points present themselves so holy angelic and clean sounding that it is almost a distraction from the music itself. Also on some points the mixing makes things, specifically sounds in the background and the drums, murky and damp to the listener. Beyond that the EP is engaging and strong; most specifically through production and 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 Baeble Music and Culture (USA), Sounds and Colours Magazine (Latin America, London), Easterndaze (Latvia) and the Australian-based heavy music blog, I Probably Hate Your Band.
by Primal Music
ARTIST: Moon Loves Honey
RELEASE: You Drift Away From Me
RELEASE DATE: 17th April 2018
Danish based dream-gazers ‘Moon Loves Honey’ have just self-released their debut nine track long player entitled 'You Drift Away From Me', the follow up to their stunning 2016 self-released debut EP 'Apart'. Their collective sound comprises of a hazy mix of melodic dream-pop deftly underscored with intricate indie-pop sensibilities, subtle C86 influences and blissfully layered shoegaze. Initially the brainchild of solo multi-instrumentalist Jeppe Dengsø, 'Moon Loves Honey' functions in the studio primarily as a one man band with various players and friends helping out on live duties when required. Jeppe Dengsø played most of the instruments on this album himself except; drums on tracks 1, 6, 7, 8 and 9 by Ludvig Kastberg & backing vocals on tracks 7 and 8 by Stine Drejer. 'You Drift Away From Me' was officially released back on the 17th April 2018 and is available to buy/download right now on various formats including lovely limited availability 12" vinyl via moonloveshoney.bandcamp.com
You Drift Away From Me by Moon Loves Honey
Beautifully translucent progressions announce the arrival of ‘To Be Without You’, the opening piece on this magnificent selection of tracks. Frequencies shimmer and flow through layers of stunning reverberation and the twinkle of synth as it’s melodic vocalisations arrive and instantaneously wash this listener in a wave of blissed out dream-pop interspersed by a glorious C86 haze. The constant pulse of synth, that slow & repetitive bedrock of percussion and those catchy chord structures are lusciously addictive whilst the bubble of cascading bass frequencies are also joy to hear. It’s a very strong opening salvo indeed. Up next, ‘Lonely Day’ fizzes into life straddling a lo-fi percussive swagger as swirling synth and jangling guitars take centre stage, both tumbling gracefully through the pitter patter of reverb and those catchy percussive fills. Instant melody fills the senses as lines of vocal arrive meandering in and out of catchy lines of keyboard with ease allowing the track to breathe. ‘Lonely Day’ leans a little bit into indie-pop territory although there are brilliant passages of dreaminess that simmer just below the mix.
‘You Drift Away From Me’ begins with some lo-fi percussive trickery before opening up into a wall of blissed out instrumentation absolutely drenched in swathes of sticky reverb. It swerves into the ether rocking brilliantly on a repetitive drum pattern as soaring lines of synth ride bouncing bass frequencies and hazy progressions of guitar. It’s verse parts are captivating as the collective instrumentation within envelops another impressive vocal performance and carefully guides us into that massive chord change and on out into the huge verses. ‘You Drift Away From Me’ is endearingly sublime and a definite highlight for me on this release. Up next, ‘Im Falling Out Of Love With You Baby’ swoons gracefully on shimmering lines of synth as ‘Moon Loves Honey’ dive headlong into a dreamy indie-pop haze once more. Riding a catchy drum sequence, this track has some fantastic highs but leans a bit too much into pop for me to comment on. Although those gorgeous chorus changes do introduce us to some fantastic vocal harmonies. The instrumentally aligned and ambient leaning ‘Blâ’ is simply captivating. It inspires images of frost laden landscapes and huge star filled skies whilst ‘Is It Just A Dream’ connects effortlessly as surging synths and pounding percussion unleashes the bands shoegaze side. Soaring guitars ride tempestuous layers of reverb as they accompany stunning lines of vocal out into the sonic ether. Those cascading bass lines are brilliant and they merge meandering lead lines, intricate melodies and some fantastic production. ‘Is It Just A Dream’ is a triumph and possibly my favourite track on this entire release.
‘Before I Crash’ begins with a single atmospherically repetitive synth line that quickly builds into a melee of beautifully layered sonic frequencies. This track explodes with melody as it’s soaring guitars, driving percussion and cascading lines of synth loop and arc throughout, deftly circumnavigating those blissfully ethereal, light and airy vocalisations. The albums penultimate piece comes in the form of ‘Should Have Waited’. A beautifully entrancing keyboard line pulses on a wave of reverb and it instils a kind of calmness over proceedings before this track explodes into a cloud of kaleidoscopic sonic waves and washes over the listener completely. Dual vocalisations filled with pockets of harmony swirl and ebb alongside shimmering guitars and busy percussion as the throb of addictive bass frequencies glide alongside glorious lines of lead guitar and the constant twinkle of synth. The instrumentation on this track is excellent and it crashes against layers of glistening reverberation with ease allowing those vocals to breathe gracefully. ‘Should Have Waited’ is another album highlight for me. The album closes out with the ambient stylings of ‘Replaced’. Coming in at a whopping ten minutes long this track falls headlong into a pool of swirling reverb as Jeppe Dengsø injects different layers filled with the beautiful melodics of C86, dream-pop, the subtle haziness of shoegaze and lashings of alternative atmospherics. There are highs, lows and some little psychedelic flourishes here also that bubble up from time to time and I can’t help but feel that this track was written to highlight a relationship breaking down or some lost love or other. Either way, it’s an absolutely magnificent ending to a wonderful debut album.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
RELEASE: East / West
RELEASE DATE: March 15th 2018
RECORD COMPANY: Buh Records / Recoop
Hailing from Ecuador, 'Sexores' have been major players on the underground music scene for quite some time. With various releases spanning over eight years the band have continuously evolved and continuously shed their sonic exo-skeleton to bring us some of the most incredible selections of music to ever have graced todays independent music scene. Their influences are wide ranging and span a multitude of music genres with relative ease. From electronic dream-pop to dark atmospheric shoegaze, modern psych rock to new wave and synth-pop to retro-wave, 'Sexores' continue to amaze with each evolving release. Now the band have returned with a massive double album entitled 'East / West', a collection of tracks that touches on many of the afore mentioned music genres whilst continuing to remain a standalone beacon of hope in this muggy and overly diluted modern underground scene. Split into two parts, 'East / West' opens with eight unabashed cuts of what are primarily synth-pop tunes touched with undercurrents of dream-pop, subtle atmospheric shoegaze and bubbling new wave whilst part two is a journey into sonic experimentalism that touches on dark psychedelics, menacing electronics and synth driven sonic futurism. 'East / West' is carefully balanced on knife edge and takes several listens before the listener finally realises just what 'Sexores' are trying to achieve. It's an album of evolutionary change by a band who are in a constant flux with music. 'East / West' was produced by Daniel Pasquel & co-produced by Sexores. It was officially released back on March 15th 2018 via 'Buh Records' & 'Recoop Records' respectively and is available to buy/download on various formats right now via sexores.bandcamp.com
East / West by Sexores
The albums a-side opens up swirling into luscious synth-pop territory as ‘Bluish Lovers’ shimmers and dances through bounding electronic percussion and the constant whoosh of synth. Twinkling layers of reverb stick to fizzing electronics and balance precariously on top of those deep penetrating bass frequencies as wonderfully blissful vocalisations are pulled along with the collective instrumentation. It’s a marvellous opening salvo. Up next, ‘The City That Sorrow Built’ pulses into audible range lurching on a massive metronomic themed percussive assault as tumbling progressions of synth carefully cushion another beautiful vocal performance. Catchy lines of cascading synth meld brilliantly with tricky electronic sequences to highlight changes in progression thus allowing the vocals to soar skywards whilst ‘When I’m In Your Eyes’ is the clearest sign thus far that ‘Sexores’ have evolving their sound. It’s sequenced percussion and swirling electronics are at times nauseating but it has definite plus points too as it’s subtle undercurrents of dark-wave and those brilliantly executed vocal lines help to raise it’s profile immensely.
‘Tropical Nest’ is a blissed out slice of endearing electronic dream-pop filled to the brim with shimmering instrumentation and magically overpowering chord changes that both captivate and mesmerise all at once whilst the opening bars of ‘Underneath’ are steeped in melancholy before those wonderfully deep piano stabs give way to bouncing 80’s themed dreamy electronica and those catchy chorus changes soar skywards strapped to twinkling lines of repetitive synth. ‘Evil Drivers’ delivers another slice of synth-pop as big bass heavy frequencies meld with soaring lines of synth and the repetitive tap of sequenced percussion to deliver that absolutely immense vocal line whilst ‘Berlin’ leans into a more industrial feel with it’s pulsing bass frequencies, floating lines of synth and the metronomic tap of percussion. There’s an in your face rawness to the accompanying vocal line that helps it to sit perfectly in amongst the repetitiveness of the instrumentation here and that helps to keep things very interesting indeed. ‘Rigel’ is absolutely huge in scope. It’s massive lines of instrumentation pummel the senses as those dreamy vocal lines intertwine with sequenced electronics and the ever constant pitter patter of reverb hued synth. It’s a wonderful track and a definite highlight for me on this release.
‘The Great Blue Hole’ erupts into a swirling instrumental cloud of synth and reverb as subtle twinkles of electronics bubble to the surface and meld with hushed vocalisations. Massive chord changes usher in a dark kind of atmosphere as we tumble through layers of hazy production drenched in swathes of sticky reverberation and we float effortlessly through clouds of frequency laced brilliance. The next two tracks are utterly mesmerising. The opening salvos of ‘Dazed’ are big and brash sounding. Droning synths and brilliant production values hog the limelight here as Sexores turn their sound on it’s head once again and inject some dark experimental psych into proceedings whilst ‘#nsfk’ is totally atmospheric in it’s approach. Dark penetrating drones twist and morph into something altogether menacing as subtle samples and fizzing electronics whip and arc through layers of deep black reverberations.
We float into the albums distinctly atmospheric b-side with the brilliantly cinematic ‘Neon Hearts’. Sounding like it belongs on a 70’s sci-fi soundtrack, ‘Neon Hearts’ swirls and flows with ease alongside soaring layers of synth and majestically executed lines of twinkling keyboard and those huge chord sequences reminiscent at times to those early electronic pioneers like Vangelis or Jean-Michel Jarre whilst ‘6th Floor’ is a mass of pulsing synths, frequential sequences and pre-destined electronics. ‘Tibidabo’ is beautifully atmospheric in it’s approach. Surging lines of synth accompany cascading electronics and subtle vocal samples into a melee of reverberation and catchy production until we’re introduced to the albums penultimate piece. Swirling electronic drones buffer and fizz as ‘Luna’ unfurls its sonic tendrils and reaches out to engulf the listener in a haze of glitchy synth and dark atmospherics. This menacing track builds like a steam train, is absolutely sublime and definitely worthy of your ears. ‘East/West’ closes out with ‘This Is Not My Way Home’, a punishing slice of sonic experimentation. Menacing electronic drones meld with dark sonic manifestations to bring us something altogether animalistic in stature and closes out an exceptional album of deep sonic experimentalism. ‘East/West’ is most definitely an album of two opposing sonic halves but totally captivating none the less.
ARTIST: the Autumn Sighs
RELEASE DATE: 10th February 2018
RECORD COMPANY: Dreams Never End Records
Immense German-based trio 'The Autumn Sighs' have returned with a stunning brand new five track release entitled 'Green' the follow up to their mesmerising 2016 released EP 'Branches'. With a sound that meanders gracefully through melodious and dreamy swathes of blissful dream-pop infused shoegaze coupled with soaring chorus progressions, thunderous drum patterns and addictively hazy instrumentation, 'The Autumn Sighs' have released what is quite possibly one of our favourite EP's of 2018 so far. The band are made up of Katha - guitars/vocals, Ulrik - guitars/effects/ebow, Denis - drums and Florian Malicke appearing on bass for this release. The 'Green' EP was officially released back on February 10th 2018 via 'Dreams Never End Records' and is available to buy/download on various formats including lovely 12' vinyl right now from both dreamsneverend.bandcamp.com & theautumnsighs.bandcamp.com respectively.
green by The Autumn Sighs
In a swirling haze of instrumental drones, hushed progressions and layered reverberations the dreamy opening tones of ‘Intro’ wash shimmering frequencies out into the sonic ether. This wall of blissful noise accommodates haunting vocalisations that swoop and arc throughout as repetitive progressions of guitar billow and swirl at will. Up next, ‘Green’ twinkles and purrs as it’s jangling guitars pull beautifully entrancing progressions out into audible range. ‘The Autumn Sighs’ channel their inner Slowdive here as those immense vocal lines ride the waves of pulsing reverb and that instantaneous injection of noisier guitars. Rumbling percussion bubbles up from below the mix as the throb of enticing bass frequencies lull you into a blissfully hazy dream state and you guided into that huge wall of beautiful noise. ‘Green’ is absolutely entrancing and probably one of the best tracks that I think I’ve heard so far this year. It’s a monumental highlight for me on this entire release.
There’s a subtle air of post punk emanating from the opening bars of ‘She’s His’ that is instantly addictive. The hypnotic pull of the intricate guitar structures accompanied by dancing lines of lead and the throb of cascading bass progressions are collectively fantastic. Haunting lines of vocal meander and tease us as they float in and out of catchy chord structures, leading us gracefully by the hand until we eventually fall headlong into massive swathes of noisy reverberations only get dumped out the back end into tremulous layers of golden sonic frequencies. Up next, the EP’s penultimate piece floats into the ether held fast in a sullen kind of atmosphere. ‘Adorable’ sways gently on a slow moving metronomic tap as the jangle of guitars echo and swirl through heady clouds of reverb. Resonating frequencies wrap themselves around that beautiful vocal and cling to it as it tumbles into shimmering pools of exquisite production. We’re guided effortlessly through a melancholic sonic haze as if watching someone’s dreams get played out in front of us until eventually we drop into an angry sonic attack and the whole feel of the track changes. Distorted guitars soar skywards, that addictive bass line rises and falls just below a noisy percussive assault and we’re dragged into a raging sonic behemoth, churned around it’s insides until eventually we’re pulled into the tracks gentler finale. ‘Adorable’ is a stunning melding of sounds reminiscent at times to Slowdive & The Cranes or the downright rebellious nature of JAMC all wrapped up into one almighty sonic monolith. Its a triumph and a definite highlight on this release.
The EP closes out as it began. Swooning gracefully on beautiful instrumentation and the guiding reverberations of that immense guitar sound. Slow moving hi-hats tremble as jangling guitar strums usher in waves of instrumental drones and another impressive vocal performance. ‘Three’ is absolutely gorgeous and it welcomes you into it’s inner core with open arms and tells you a story. It makes you sit and listen to every single hushed word, makes you feel every twist and whirl of that soaring drone and lifts you up with it as you glide through the sonic ether and pulse through layers of ethereal joy. It's a brilliant book end to a completely entrancing EP.
Del Chaney has spent the last five years dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the unsigned or small independent label based shoegaze, ethereal dream pop, post punk & 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 genres 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.
RELEASE: Medistation EP
RELEASE DATE: April 20th 2018
RECORD COMPANY: Fuzz Club Records
Eric Strand is no stranger to Stockholm's burgeoning underground psych scene. Having already established himself in The Orange Revival (hands down one of the best neo-psych outfits out there today) Eric has just announced the self-titled debut EP release for one of his other musical projects, the mesmerising 'Medistation'. Hailing from Stockholm, Sweden, 'Medistation' create a visceral sonic palate filled with fizzing, alternative led, noise-pop drenched in swathes of shuddering reverb and swirling feedback. It collectively spotlights that truly epic early 1990's melodic neo-psychedelic sound, a sound that can sometimes get lost within this modern underground scene. The EP is a collaborative effort, with guest vocals from Jake Garcia (The Black Angels), percussion from Cobian Modeste (The Buttertones) and grand piano from Max Groundstroem (Samling/Valp). It gets it's official release on April 20th 2018 via those London-based purveyors of all things meaningful 'Fuzz Club Records' with pre-orders now available on various formats via fuzz club.com
Medistation by Medistation
The EP opens up trapped in an air of fizzing atmospherics as that fuzzy guitar progression pulls throbbing bass frequencies, hypnotic stabs of melodic lead and swirling electronics into the mix collectively enveloping an always impressive vocal courtesy of Jake Garcia (The Black Angels). 'Pool Of Blood' is absolutely sublime and is at times reminiscent of Ian Astbury's stint with UK-based 'UNKLE'. A marvellous opening salvo indeed. Up next, 'I Never Knew' undulates into earshot strapped to a slowly moving blues-fed guitar line underpinned with deeply hypnotic acoustic frequencies. Meticulous percussion shimmers just below the mix as humming bass frequencies meander and pulse through melodic vocal lines before we float away on swirling waves of resonating lead & slide guitar allowing the sickly sweet tinge of reverberation to evoke musical reminiscences such as Spiritualized, JAMC and the ever brilliant Lupine Howl.
'The World Is Weeping' explodes into the ether on a screeching feedback laden wave that quickly melds with repetitive guitars and addictive shakers. Lead lines whip and cajole the piece to within an inch of it's life as a throbbing bass line bounces alongside a giddy percussive assault, enveloping a brilliantly executed vocal line and those distinctly addictive neo-psych sounds loop and arc throughout. The EP's penultimate piece entitled 'Anything For You' floats effortlessly on a cloud of repetitive guitars and the soft pulse of bass. Twinkling synth and beautifully entrancing electronics dance and flutter alongside another impressive vocal performance as it's woozy effects disappear in amongst golden hued acoustics and that ever present injection of fuzz. 'Anything For You' is beautiful and a definite highlight for me on this release. 'Medistation' closes out with 'The End'. Steeped in reverb, the hypnotic pull of strings and that repetitive guitar signature melds brilliantly with swirling electronics, melodic synth and the strengthening air of atmosphere. Slide guitar meanders in and out of those pulsing frequencies as this brilliant instrumental builds into a melody strewn finale. A fantastic end to a rather interesting EP.
Del Chaney has spent the last five years dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the unsigned or small independent label based shoegaze, ethereal dream pop, post punk & modern psych rock from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog - The Primal Music Blog. He was 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 genres 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.
ARTIST: Wild Meadows
RELEASE: Wild Meadows
RELEASE DATE: 2nd March 2018
Wild Meadows are a Melbourne-based shoegaze/garage/alt-rock outfit whose self-titled eight track debut album sounds like a mix between 90’s neo-psychedlica in the vein of bands like Ride, and something a bit heavier and rock based, more in the taste of post-2000s alt-rock. Over the course of the album, the neat vocals of singer Jessica Lawrence sometimes soar, sometimes drown, over the tight rhythm section, guitar riffage and cloudy yet atmospheric synth lines… A worthy listen. The band are made up of Jessica Lawrence - vocals, James Ross - guitar/vocals/synth, Dylan Bird - guitar, Donovan Pill - bass & Simon Gemmill - drums/percussion. 'Wild Meadows' was officially released on March 2nd 2018 and is available to buy/download on various formats right now via wildmeadows.bandcamp.com
Wild Meadows album by Wild Meadows
Despite what it goes on to achieve, 'Wild Meadows' actually opens with the albums worst and most cliched track ‘First Exit’. The bass and drum performances are admirable, and the vocals are certainly in a suitable place, but altogether the song reaches no great convincing heights of either originality or enjoyment; it comes off sounding slightly ‘by the books’ alt-rock. Nevertheless, after the subjective false start, ‘Feel the Noise’ is one of the albums best tracks: a great blend between the softness of Lawrence’s vocals and the fantastic instrumentation which evokes the aforementioned 90’s neo-psych/shoegaze mix. The guitar tones and intricate bass performance join together to create a truly memorable and catchy chorus; the culmination of the track comes around the two-minute mark, where after a great bass riff, the band break into a free form instrumental passage: leading into the music atmospherically soaring. The follower, less dense ‘These Days’ is just as brilliant: it's strummed background guitar and steady drum pattern are good backups to the vocals, which this time are much clearer. Thanks to this very fact, the lyrics are more audible and could be judged as some of the best on the album. Altogether the song carries over the careful creation of an almost alt-pop sound that was heard on ‘Feel the Noise’, with catchy instrumentation and soothingly tended to production.
‘Fever’, with its backing vocals and rolling drums is a good example of how a band such as Wild Meadows can turn things slightly anthemic. The band again present a tight performance, with special note going to the drums, which at several points in the song descend into drill like fills as the rest of the band continue to craft a background soundscape that tends more to the alt-rock side of things. ‘Stay for a While’ is a post-punk sounding entry on the album, the hi-hat tap combines with the bass to create something 80’s inspired sounding. Later, the fantastic guitar tones and the hum of what sounds like a synth adds an almost dream-pop to the mix, resulting in one of the albums most simple yet most totally enjoyable tracks. The follower ‘Evergreen’ reiterates this form of simplicity and playfulness: ‘Evergreen’ features a great acoustic strumming pattern in the background. Notably, also, the song features male lead vocals, which adds a whole other dimension to the bands sound. The laid-back shoegaze/dream-pop undertones of the second half of the song are truly pleasant pieces of music.
‘Sunshine’ is a continuation of the laid-back alt-rock sound that band seeps into on the second half of Wild Meadows, featuring a more introspective instrumental backing. The vocals hazily sing of catching trains and the entire mood of song is heightened on the songs chorus where the players seem to crescendo into a more powerful and denser layering of their various instrumental compositions to the track. Somehow the bands save one of their greatest treasures for the second half of the release in the form of ‘Uzi’ which combines neo-psych with the tender and approachable sound of alternative rock. The vocals brilliantly hush down at the end of the lines meld with the brilliant guitar playing and a tight yet bright rhythm section… A worthy listen indeed.
Wild Meadows don’t do anything particularly original if we are looking at the scope of modern music: they’ve used a blueprint that was forged somewhere in the late 80’s, honed through the 90’s and established as a style in itself in the 2000s. But the way they use this blue print is of particular note. Things start dense, heavy, somewhat less lighter, and transition sonically into a comforting, laid back rock adventure, meaning that after you’ve listened to it all, it feels like the band have actually ventured somewhere. The production is very good, as is the mixing which balances the denser instrumentation brilliantly. Look, you’d better go listen to it yourself, that way you don’t have to read about it; you can actually enjoy the textures, the performances, the 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 Baeble Music and Culture (USA), Sounds and Colours Magazine (Latin America, London), Easterndaze (Latvia) and the Australian based heavy music blog, I Probably Hate Your Band.
ARTIST: Amusement Parks On Fire
RELEASE: All The New Ends
RECORD COMPANY: Saint Marie Records
Last year (2017) seminal UK-based noise merchants 'Amusement Parks On Fire' unleashed a brand new two-track 7' single entitled 'Our Goal To Realise', their first sonic outing in over eight years. With a wide ranging and sometimes experimental sonic palate, way over fourteen years of experience and incredible song writing abilities the band stabled themselves with the good folks over at 'Saint Marie Records' and 'Our Goal To Realise' was officially released. Now the band have returned with 'All The New Ends', a captivating three track release filled with the same yearning soundscapes that swirled within 'Our Goal To Realise', soundscapes that skip nonchalantly through accomplished layers of experimental alternative sounds such as shoegaze, psych, dreampop, indie & art-rock. 'All The New Ends' get's it's official release on April 13th 2018 and is available to pre-order right now on various formats via saintmarierecords.bandcamp.com
'Amusement Parks On Fire' are pencilled in to tour Europe throughout April with details available via twitter.com/APOF
In a haze of reverberation and the rumble of distorted guitars the opening bars of ‘All The New Ends’ resonates on top of repetitive drum patterns and the hum of deep bass frequencies. Catchy chord structures pull intricate lines of lead guitar and 90’s sounding vocalisations into the mix melding shoegaze, melodic alt-rock and swirling noise into one massive sonic conglomerate. Up next, the instrumentally attuned ‘Temporal Rinse’ musters up it’s inner MBV as turbulent instrumental drones whip up a frenzy of noise permeated by twinkling tones steeped in brilliant production techniques. Intensely melodic frequencies sporadically bubble to the surface, looping and arcing throughout the sonic ether, creating magical sonic permutations that pulse with each passing circumference, intertwining at times with swells of feedback and the deafening roar of reverberation. ‘Temporal Rinse’ is a triumph and a highlight for me on this entire release.
The EP closes out with the immense twelve minute behemoth ‘Infernal Flame’. Noisy guitars accompany stunning vocal lines out into the ether as melodic chord structures echo through layers of addictive reverberation. A pounding percussive assault pulses from far below the mix before rising and erupting into an all out sonic assault on the senses as those throbbing bass lines follow tremulous instrumental progressions, carefully hugging those explosive drum patterns and soaring lead lines as they tumble throughout the piece. It’s a marvellous ending to another impressive release from ‘Amusement Parks On Fire’.
ARTIST: Alien Lizard
RELEASE: Pure Kafka
RELEASE DATE: 23rd February 2018
Gdansk-based psychedelic explorers 'Alien Lizard' create no-nonsense psychedelic incantations filled to the brim with squally lysergic tinged reverberations, fizzing electronics and droning instrumentation all teetering brilliantly on top of shaking percussion and deep penetrative bass progressions. Their immense debut album entitled 'Pure Kafka' was officially released back on February 23rd 2018 and is available to buy/download right now via alienlizard.bandcamp.com
Pure Kafka by Alien Lizard
Menacing vocal samples courtesy of the legendary Charles Bukowski underpinned with swirling reverberations announces the arrival of ‘Swan’, the albums opening track. It’s sonic tendrils instantly reach out and pull a bedrock of repetitive percussion, the throb of deep bass frequencies and jangling strums of guitar into the mix allowing them to merge and dance as one huge pulsating organism until we’re greeted by those haunting vocalisations. ‘Alien Lizard’ lead their listeners patiently through deeply addictive verse passages that undulate hypnotically through melodious layers of music before throwing them headlong into those beautifully hellish sonic breaks filled with turbulent instrumentation and mind blowing production. As opening tracks go this is bloody mesmerising. Up next, the eastern tinged neo-psych sounds of ‘Pure Kafka’ waft their way into the musical ether. Twinkling tambourine melds with the rumble of drums as synth swells swirl effortlessly within cascading bass frequencies and those soaring guitar progressions envelope another impressive vocal performance. This track bounces along brilliantly, and it shimmers in amongst the resonating lo-fi hued production and the attractive pull of reverb.
‘A Brave New Ad’ is a repetitious beast with slow moving percussion that crawls across a lysergic tinged sonic wasteland filled with sequenced electronics, glitchy feedback and those ever constant reverberating vocalisations. This track is like an atmospheric dream sequence lifted from some weird 1970’s sci-fi movie soundtrack that’s been overdubbed by Aldous Huxley. A twisted ‘War of the Worlds’ drenched in acid blotched hallucinogenic’s. Mesmerising stuff. Up next, ‘Parallel Parks’ swirls into earshot trapped in a cloud of jangling acoustic vibes propped up by swirling clouds of synth and sporadic percussion. Brilliantly executed vocal lines simmer and float atop layers of reverberation giving off an almost 60’s psych-pop hue as we bob and weave in and out of very modern sounding atmospheric electronics. This track works really well. It’s gloriously stripped back and a welcome refrain from the previous (although brilliant) ‘Art-Psych’ leaning compositions. ‘Heaven Takes The Moon’ delightfully simmers in a heady sonic brew of melodically hypnotic instrumentation, steeped generously in glorious reverberation. Wispy vocalisations meander and move in and out of cascading bass progressions and the repetitive pull of tambourine as subtle swells of synth merge effortlessly with swirling drones and beautifully effervescent sound-waves to create something magical.
‘Forest Hunter’ is steeped in 60’s psychedelia. It’s pounding drum track marches repetitiously in metronomic time as a repetitive bass progression meanders and intertwines with the pull of guitar and that smoky vocal line. Sullen swells of synth bubble up from below the mix leading us into that hallucinogenic break before we’re pulled back out and guided back into the track as it quickly builds into a resonating sonic behemoth and tumbles into it’s finale whilst up next, ‘Welcome To Duat’ rattles on a sequenced breakbeat as it’s soaring feedback laden guitars rage just under the mix and that hypnotic bass line circumnavigates the entire piece like wild animal on the hunt. Again we’re lured into another magical lysergic-tinged break, filled to the brim with sparse percussion and electronic themed 70’s sci-fi soundtrack chic and then it’s on into that brilliant ear shattering, krautrock leaning middle section before expertly finishing up comfortably, somewhere in between neo-psych and eastern esoteric psych. ‘Welcome To Duat’ is a total sonic trip.
The albums penultimate piece buzzes into orbit sounding more like an Australian wind instrument than a vocal sample. ‘Another Camel For Camus’ is steeped in hypnotic neo-psychedelia. It’s meandering bass line is infectious and mixed with rolling percussion and the pull of wah-wah fuelled guitar is deeply spiritual ....... up to a point! It’s then that all hell breaks loose and we’re fired skywards into heady atmospheric prog-leaning fog. The drum track rocks slowly on it’s axis, building in tempo with each repetitive swirl as swells of menacing guitar pulse through layer after layer of reverb and the constant thrum of bass resonates throughout. This track builds momentum and levels of noise every couple of seconds as the addition of synth and distortion is almost to much to bear. And just when you think that it’s time to skip to the next track we’re brought back down to earth with a bang and cushioned in a blanket of shimmering sound-waves. ‘Another Camel For Camus’ is a white knuckle sonic thrill ride of epic proportions and a definite highlight for me on this entire release.
The album closes out with ‘Goodbye to the Holy Mountain’. Cymbals crash and instrumental drones bellow as we undulate hypnotically into slow moving percussion and haunting lines of hushed vocal, interspersed with heady reverberations, subtle swells of synth and luscious bass frequencies. Lead lines of guitar whip and cajole the piece to within an inch of it’s life as we gently sway in time with the percussive swagger of the piece and we’re led into it’s gloriously infectious finale. It’s a mind blowing ending to a thoroughly enjoyable album.