RELEASE: Starwheel EP
RELEASE DATE: December 16th 2017
RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned
Derby based quartet 'Starwheel' embrace and meld sounds and genres effortlessly. From subtle shoegaze to jangling psych pop, indie to alternative rock this band instil a surreal calmness to their their overall collective sound that is highly addictive and deeply hypnotic. The band released their debut double A-side single 'Drip Feed/Broken Glass' to the masses back in April 2016 and followed it up in 2017 with their stunning second single 'Sit Down/Through My window (Parts 1 & 2)'. Now the band have returned with their stunning self-titled debut four track EP and they do not disappoint. The EP was released back on the 16th December 2017 and it is available to buy/download right now via starwheel.bandcamp.com
Starwheel EP by Starwheel
Swirling organ sounds announce the arrival of track one 'Replica' and it's accompanied by bounding percussion, jangling guitar and the rambling of bass frequencies. Stunning vocals meander in and out of accomplished instrumentation permeated at times with subtle flourishes of catchy lead guitar, luscious reverberations and lines of slight backing vocals. Up next, the instrumental 'Radio Love' slows things down a tad as shimmering slide guitar draped in oodles of reverb and laid back guitar progressions wash over this listener. Slow methodical percussion dances underneath ferrying deep melodic bass lines with ease and allowing jangling lead lines to intertwine with fantastically hypnotic psychedelic frequencies.
The EP's penultimate piece entitled 'Veins' is filled to the brim with intense melody. The swirl of organ melds effortlessly with cascading bass lines and the gentle jangling strum of guitar. Steady percussion rattles below as the vocal track weaves a magical spell as it dances and moves in ands out of the collective instrumentation. It has catchy hook laden breaks that catch you off guard allowing you to soar skywards, if only for a short time, before you get pulled back into the mesmerising mix of dazzling sonic frequencies. 'Veins' is a triumph and quite possibly my favourite track on the entire EP. 'Safari' closes proceedings with a sweet little psych-pop gem. Boundless bass lines rush beneath sporadic percussive hits and rambling lead guitars run and meander in and out of breathless vocalisations. It's a wonderful little track and a brilliant ending to a marvellous EP.
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, 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.
by Primal Music
ARTIST: Shoe Shine Six
RELEASE DATE: January 5th 2018
Noisy alt-shoegaze quartet 'Shoe Shine Six' inject a melodic edge to their sound that is very hard to shake off. Beneath the sullen post-punk hued vocalisations are layers of instrumentation that collectively meld into a highly addictive blissed out melee of shimmering sonic noise. The band hail from Yekaterinburg, Russia and consist of Katarina Voronina - vocals, Paul Alimpiev - guitar, Mike Tulubaev - bass & Serge Markoff - drums. Their debut four track EP entitled 'Sunday' had it's official release on the 5th January 2018 and is available to buy/download right now via shoeshinesix.bandcamp.com
Sunday by Shoe Shine Six
'Sunday' unfurls it's fuzzy tendrils with 'Rainfall', it's opening salvo. It rocks brilliantly on a busy percussive assault whilst swirling melody driven guitars breach layers of reverb as they weave and dance on top of throbbing bass frequencies. Katarina Voronina's melodic vocals are instantly enjoyable, adding dark-wave inspired layer over proceedings and cutting a wedge through the noise thus adding sublime clarity to the overall track. It's a fantastic opening track. Up next, 'Daze' begins in quiet refrain, building slowly through it's opening verse before exploding into a cacophony of fuzzed out noise and explosive drum patterns. Catchy chorus changes and soaring lead lines help to lift this track skywards as laid back verse progressions ebb and flow with relative ease allowing the vocal track space to breathe.
'Ocean', the EP's penultimate piece is deeply melancholic as the band lean heavily into their shoegaze side injecting melody and swathes of reverb into the piece whilst steady percussion rumbles and bass lines throb in unison allowing layer after layer of guitars to soar into the ether enveloping what I believe is the best vocal performance on the release. 'Ocean' is absolutely breathtaking and probably my favourite track on the entire EP. 'Green' closes proceedings out delving more into alt-rock than the previous three tracks. There are, at times, subtle hazy moments courtesy of layered reverberations but for the most part this track rattles through a well worn alt-rock path. 'Shoe Shine Six' are definitely ones to watch throughout 2018 and it'll be interesting to hear what comes next.
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 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.
ARTIST: The Kepler Mission
RELEASE: End Of An Era
RELEASE DATE: November 21st 2017
Riffs, riffs, riffs… Come and get your riffs! 'End of an Era' is the debut full length release from L.A. based progressive rock outfit 'The Kepler Mission'. From the storming chugs of melodic prog-rock/metal to the small but sweet passages of texturing, 'End of an Era' is the kind of album that sounds as thought it could have been the backing to a mammoth rock opera or theatrical production. The riffs are tight and heavy, the music is pulled together by a sense of momentum and the whole thing delivers imagery straight to the listeners mind. It was released back on November 21st 2017 and is available to buy/download right now via music.thekeplermission.com
End of an Era by The Kepler Mission
‘Totem’ opens the album with a neat crunching riff, before dipping into something quitter and more restrained. The vocals than enter are clean and on pitch, singing lyrics that you would expect to find in a post-rock/prog song. The closing instrumentation is the tracks ultimate highlight… The lowlight however, is the cringe-worthy lyrics at the end of the song, as well as the somewhat generic realms the song touches on. ‘Night Walker’ is much more interesting, the time-signature and suitable voice paints an enjoyable picture for the listener. A beautiful section just around the two minute mark that leads into the chorus captures a great texturing that when utilized by the band, highlights the greatest aspects of their music: their ability on their instruments, and their talent to sequence instrumental passages together. ‘Epona’ opens with chugging guitar and a clever synth and guitar passage that meshes its way over the top, the vocals again sound suitable for the tracks, the lyrics, however, seem to seep back into the cliched tone of ‘Totem’. Around the four minute mark, a reverse breakdown of sorts leads into a chilled out guitar performance, backed carefully by the well written drum backing and the ambience that backs the song up. ‘UFO’ follows a similar trail, the slow burn of the verse, the somewhat moan-y tone of the vocals, the loud and heavier parts.
‘Running Away’ is by far the most interesting track on the second half the release, opening with a massively loud, downtrodden guitar strum and cymbal bash. Followed by a slower more melodic section, the track builds up again and showcases the clean and crisp production of 'End of an Era'. The inclusion of what I believe to be acoustic guitar also makes a noteworthy addition, as does the string-instrument-sounding guitar that dances around in the background of some sections of the song. The lyrics are also much more strong, hinting at a narrative but maintaing the same type of mystic poetic language from previous tracks. The outro, with the high notes of the lead singers pipes meshing well with the crescendo-type mingling of the instruments creates the most awe-inspiring moment of the whole album. ‘As You Wish’ is also a truly enjoyable track, offering a kind of contemplative breath of fresh air: the instruments, light and playful, mix well with the softly powerful vocals. The track also summarises perhaps the strongest characteristic of the album: the performances.
There are certainly elements of 'End of an Era' that somewhat taint its aspirations and thus flattens the heights that the band reach for. Such elements are mainly the lyrical content, the over-produced super clean production, and the same re-used dynamics that mostly occur through the middle of the album. But to say these things tarnish the album would just not be true. For the most part, 'The Kepler Mission' play to their strengths: tight and brilliant performances, well textured songs and a good relationship between the vocals and the other instruments. I’m sure it will appeal to many; its entertaining, its tight and it’s a nice 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 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: Pretty Lightning
RELEASE: The Rhythm Of Ooze
RELEASE DATE: 1oth November 2017
RECORD COMPANY: Fuzz Club Records
From Saarbrucken in Germany comes the loud and wild crunch of Pretty Lightning: a band whose influences include drone rock, krautrock, stoner rock, blues, alternative rock and most importantly psychedelia. Here they present their third album 'The Rhythm of Ooze', drenched in the structure of hard-stompin’ blues but with the alternative sound of thick psychedelia. Songs are epic journeys of steady rhythm, percussive backings and rolling guitar and bass sections, all amounting to something that steps well above the rest in terms of genre and contemporaries. 'The Rhythm Of Ooze' had it's official release back on the 10th November 2017 via those ever reliable folks over at 'Fuzz Club Records' with digital copies available through bandcamp and vinyl copies through fuzzclub.com
The Rhythm Of Ooze by Pretty Lightning
‘Thunder Mountain Return’ opens the showcase with its percussively sequenced opening of bangs and clattering, following by the slow introduction of other instruments. Over the seven minute long opener Pretty Lightning carve a neat mental picture of rolling through the desert: the greatest addition to the track is the winding organ and guitar combo that keeps the sound primarily focused on the a kind of neon blues music. The drums back everything up tightly and intricately: an engaging opener. ‘Willow Valley Blues’ features the first vocal performance of the album, which is drowned out beneath a kind of fuzz-centric tone, reminiscent of other contemporaries (most notably any band Dan Auerbach features within). The instrumentation is fun and almost borderline pop-infused, while simultaneously featuring a kind of krautrock, motorway rhythm. ‘Tangerine Stream’ turns things down to a more mellow level, still featuring the same vocal FX, but conjures up something interesting for the listener in relation to song writing. Guitars churn, the rhythm section cooley follows, and altogether a catchy melody is established between the players. ‘Loops’ features some interesting timing, hisses and noises, buzzes. The vocals, which come in after the second part of the song suit the tempo and sound; making it one of the most straightforward yet rewarding vocal contributions on the album.
The title track is an album highlight: the psychedelic tempo and beats of the drums along with the less drowned out vocals and the fuzz-induced bass line make for a great mixture and texturing. A similar feel follows on the straightforward rock of ‘This Machine is Running’, which captures the bands more rock-tinged practices. A drum break in the middle of the song also adds a twist of something different as well. One of the most enjoyable tracks on the albums second half is ‘Rainbow Fantasies’ which melds around a laidback guitar riff and some very pleasant humming. The drum kit is absent, in its place is a collection of bells and a tambourine, making the song even more low down and humble in its appearance. The best song on the whole album is ‘Pale Yellow’ a slow burn, spaghetti western shootout soundtrack that features jangling guitar and brilliantly hazy vocals and lyrics. The track rolls along, the percussion loosely jiggering behind the brilliant fuzz and rays of guitar noise vibrating from the instrument. ‘Born to Snooze’, another seven minute feature, doesn’t add up to the rewards of the equal length opener ‘Thunder Mountain Return’, instead become background music that one would happily classify as generic psych rock music.
Thanks to their influences and a true knack of song writing, Pretty Lightning climb well above the generic, average pysch bands that seem to have begun sweltering around the current music climate. My only true criticism would be for the Black Keys style vocal FX, that for the most part sound copied, bland and actually quite irritating. Besides that, the production and song writing is truly strong and as mentioned before, Pretty Lightning successfully rise above the wave of mediocrity that has formed around their chosen genre: a rewarding journey through imaginative sound.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
RELEASE DATE: 8th December 2017
RECORD COMPANY: Fuzz Club Records
Glasgow based experimental psych outfit 'Helicon' have announced their highly anticipated self-titled debut album to the masses. With eight EP's under their belts, 'Helicon' have taken the live scene by storm, touring Europe and sharing the stage with some serious heavy hitters including Wooden Shjips, The Warlocks and Dead Skeletons. Helicon's sound is addictive, engagingly dynamic and at times all consuming or otherworldly with melodic eastern tinged psych, swirling drones, mantra like vocalisations and intricately intense guitar work that collectively merges into one almighty sonic attack. 'Helicon' get's it's full release on December 8th 2017 via the ever reliable 'Fuzz Club Records' with pre-orders available on deluxe edition vinyl (limited to 100 copies) and standard vinyl (limited to 400 copies) over on fuzz club.com and digitally from fuzzclub.bandcamp.com
Helicon by Helicon
A pulsating motorik wave of driving sonic abandonment announces the arrival of ‘Devil On Your Tongue’, the opening salvo on this sublime collection of tracks. It’s rhythmic progressions envelope the senses as they swirl menacingly through layers of fizzing synth, throbbing bass and driving guitars created primarily to carry those mantra like vocalisations into and out of crawling cavernous breaks that are filled to the brim with heady clouds of resonating sounds and atmospheric reverberations. ‘Valmiki’ swirls into ether tumbling gracefully through the shimmering sounds of luscious sitar underpinned by a steady drum pattern, the plink of fragile synth and rolling guitars. The pace soon quickens introducing droning instrumentation to the mix, echoing brilliantly as sonic frequencies stack on top of one another, gaining momentum with each tempestuous turn, sucking the listener into a broiling mass of stunning sonic sound waves. ‘Valmiki’ is a masterful track, highly infectious and deeply entrancing. Up next, ‘Seraph’ the albums lead single, drones into life meandering on the sweet sounds of melodic sitar and metronomic percussion. Shimmering guitars accompanied by deep throbbing bass frequencies permeate the mix, adding a heady atmosphere before dragging those stunning vocalisations into audible range whilst undulating brilliantly through layers of sticky reverberation.
‘Drinking Of You’ fizzes into life riding a sequenced synth line accompanied by hum of bass, subtle guitar and rolling percussion. A dark and oppressive atmosphere starts to build, and it seeps into every single fibre of the track, erupting in stages into a heaving mass of angry instrumentation that undulates into periods of calm and at times can slip into deep dark trenches filled with raging frequencies and tinged with a kind of lysergic sonic energy. It’s a bloody impressive track that can both scare and amaze all at once. ‘The Bold Yin’ momentarily drones into life pulling blissed out synths and shaking percussion with it as it tumbles through the ether. Heavenly vocals float atop shimmering sounds topped up with swirling organ swells and resonating acoustic guitar as catchy chord changes drenched in reverb pull searing lines of lead guitar into close orbit allowing them to lick and whip the piece into shape. ‘The Bold Yin’ morphs into a very different animal half way though as ‘Helicon’ move up through the gears and inject an acid tinged hue on proceedings. Driving instrumentation swirls and dances alongside senses pummelling percussion, collectively building into an unstoppable sonic behemoth. Up next, my favourite track on the entire release is let loose to fuck with peoples minds. ’Teenage Murder’ is an immensely addictive, crawling, metronomic beast drenched in dark and oppressive psych induced atmospherics. A processional drum beat holds court here forming a bedrock of sound waves capable enough to carry surging synth swells, bubbling electronics, howling guitars and throbbing bass frequencies, drenched in sullen reverberation and deftly enveloping that absolutely immense vocal performance. Resonating synths intertwine with spine tingling tambourine hits and wrap themselves around huge sprawling chord changes as this track is dragged through walls of stunning effects and intense production with relative ease. ‘Teenage Murder’ is infectious and will have you replaying it for days.
The albums penultimate piece entitled ‘French As Fuck’ unfurls it’s sonic tendrils floating through hazy walls of esoteric psych. Luscious sitar lines loop and arc through pulses of organ and fizzing synth as subtle guitars rumble and move alongside cascading bass frequencies and steady percussion. Melodic vocal lines hover atop repetitive progressions and work through shimmering verse patterns with ease as chorus parts explode into a vivid kaleidoscope of colour. ‘French As Fuck’ is a wonderful blissed out psychedelic excursion into the sonic ether. The album closes out with ‘Ring The Albanian’. It’s opening salvo’s shake and shudder into audible range bellowing violently on a layer of growling guitars, shimmering sitar and senses pummelling percussion. A throbbing bass line meanders underfoot as howling guitars take centre stage building maliciously into a blisteringly explosive cacophony of noise accompanied by soaring synth and huge percussive breaks. It's a marvellous end to an absolutely immense album.
ARTIST: The Veldt
RELEASE: Thanks To The Moth And Areanna Rose
RELEASE DATE: 3rd November 2017
RECORD COMPANY: sonaBLAST! Records
Of the past while in modern music, I can think of no other band like 'The Veldt'. They are (as they like to say) virtually unclassifiable and against the practice of being pigeon holed or tied to a particular scene; against conformity and against rules and regulations. They are also (in my humble opinion) possibly the most underrated band in past memory of alternative music in America. Their songs are beautiful yet nostalgic, comforting yet retrospective; simple yet genius. They originated years ago, their history forming around the musicality of twin brothers Daniel and Danny Chavis who single handedly punched through the burgeoning dream pop scene of Chapel Hill in the 90's and presented themselves as one of the most original bands to come from the underground scene in the USA. Over the years they were dropped and picked up by a succession of labels, toured internationally with some of the biggest names in the world and released a string of amazingly beautiful albums, one of which, 'Afrodesiac', I personally regard as one of the greatest albums of the 90's. Here then, years after a stint under the Apollo Heights moniker and following up last years dreamy-trap influenced The Drake Equation, is a new EP by 'The Veldt' entitled 'Thanks to the Moth and Areanna Rose': a collection of older tracks reanimated and re-recorded from the bands past catalogue. And while generally a re-visit to the past can lead to awkward and somewhat ‘has-been’ attitudes, 'Thanks to the Moth and Areanna Rose' is the exact opposite. It stands as a dreamy reminder of how important the band has and continues to be. The EP had it's full release back on the 3rd November 2017 and is available to buy/download right now via theveldtmusic.bandcamp.com
Thanks to the Moth and Areanna Rose by The Veldt
The EP opens with one of the greatest songs the band have ever written in their entire career: ‘The Colour of Love is Blue’. If you ever get the opportunity to listen to 1994's 'Afrodesiac' you will notice a deep and immersive theme of nostalgia running through the music, a friend of mine coined the term (when listening to their magnum opus ‘Heather’) ‘downtown 90’s New York dreaming music’; this theme continues strongly on ‘The Colour of Love is Blue’. Rehashed, the song now features a slower and steadier drum beat, coloured and contextualised neatly with hummingly shoegaze-echoed guitar tones and an even higher vocal performance by Daniel Chavis. This restrung version maintains the same magic of the original, while also utilizing a different mood via the technical wizardry of programmer/bass player Hayato Nakao… The breathy, emotive pipes of Chavis proclaiming the words ‘we’ll be happy in the end’ is enough to send chills down your spine. ‘Black and Blue’ follows with a much noiser and alt-rock base: the song reflects a claustrophobic yet mediative mood that echoes on its brilliant chorus. The guitar rises to the top of the mix, presenting impressive playing and musical texture by Danny Chavis, backed by the somewhat simple but effective thump of the drums.
‘Fit to be Tied’ harkens back to a similar mood that could be found on some of the Apollo Heights releases: atmospheric and the slow build of the instrumentation paint a beautifully dream-pop cencric picture. This track most predominately captures the bands new found practice of mixing technological-based production with the more traditional method of musical texturing. Often ignored in the music of both The Veldt and Apollo Heights are the lyrics, which when studied on ‘Fit to be Tied’ make one wonder why this is the case… The chorus, which Chavis declares with an original mix of power and contemplation, adds another level of depth to the music again. ‘Camus’ turns down the lights even more so, sounding like its original inception dipped in neon lighting: the trap-beats that ran rampart on The Drake Equation dance around in a pan-motion at the back of the music. Where the other tracks on this EP could be labelled somewhere between soul, shoegaze and dream pop, ‘Camus’ stands almost as a down tempo funk song, melding elements of R’n’B with ethereal wave-sounding guitars. If anything, ‘Camus’ perfectly captures a band in the midst of wearing their influecnes (positively) on their sleeve. ‘Dakini’ dives deep into the bands interest in hip-hop, the backing drums and programming bounce boomstatically like the backing to an East Coast hip hop mixtape. The vocals, which dance around in the backing of the instrumentation, mix playfully with the wizzes and the bangs of the various sample, keyboard, feedback sounds through the mix. ‘I Like the Way You Talk’ is a skeletal yet bouncily dreamy take that revisits the bands noisegaze aesthetics with a wall-of-sound approach to the backing of the music. The breathy and somewhat relaxing vocals and drum balance that snakes through the verse is also a refreshing contrast to the aforementioned noise and feedback. A bizarre and off-kilter remix of ‘Dakini’ appears to mix things up, which sounds somewhat out of place with the other songs on the EP…. But it remains all the while enjoyable.
Back in the day, a key player in the foundational structure of 'The Veldt' both musically and stylistically was one of their heroes and generally critically acclaimed producer and musician Robin Guthrie (Cocteau Twins)… Here on this EP his production on the opening couple of tracks are noticeably excellent and should be praised. The other tracks also retain a fantastic open air feeling of soaring, thanks to production from 'The Veldt' themselves. Although an EP of past tracks rediscovered could have come together in an awkward fashion, the EP is instead a happy and rewarding revisit into the past. I personally am thankful that songs like ‘The Colour of Love’ and ‘Camus’, which are extremely difficult to find (even in the YouTube age), have been reanimated, re-recorded and re-released to showcase how genius they truly are. Altogether I can comfortably say that 'Thanks to the Moth and Areanna Rose' is a gratifying and refreshing reminder; its true appeal is in the fact that it combines the past with The Veldt's new and re-stylised approach to writing music. It is a sign that one of the worlds most interesting and most engaging bands is still at it, and that the music they continue to create is as rewarding as ever. All I can hope for now is that the rest of the world turns their head and hears this band, hears their beauty, hears their creativity and most importantly, hears their terrifically brilliant sound.
Schism by On The Wane
Ukraine based 'On The Wane' create some serious noise that skips nonchalantly through various music genres comprising of shoegaze, new wave, dark wave and noise rock. The band have just announced a brand new ten track album entitled 'Schism' (the follow up to 2015's 'Sick') penned in for release on the 20th November 2017 and it's lead single, the absolutely mesmerising 'Human Race'. The band were formed back in 2014 and believe in everything 80’s & 90’s alternative, post-punk, shoegazing, new-wave, no-wave & noise-rock. They are made up of Anna Lyashok - drums/vocals, Daria Maksimova - bass/vocals, Eugene Voitov - guitars/synth & Eli Demyanenko - guitar and the ten track 'Schism' is available to pre-order right now via onthewane.bandcamp.com
'Human Race' jangles into earshot swirling through layers of deep atmospheric reverberation wrapped around a blistering guitar progression. Sequenced percussion holds a motorik beat underfoot as undulating instrumental drones bellow and move atop throbbing bass frequencies. There are echoes of hard hitting post-punk meandering through these new wave vibes that envelope intense vocalisations with stunning effect. It's explosive chorus passages inject subtle moments of noisy shoegaze making 'Human Race' an utterly addictive listen.
RELEASE DATE: 27th October 2017
Chilean outfit Vuelveteloca began life over a decade ago and have previously released four full studio albums on various independent labels. They are renowned for their incredible live shows and have shared the stage with some immense noise manipulators such as 'A Place To Bury Strangers, Dead Meadows, Spiritualized and Pond'. Their collective sound echoes through a rhythmic sonic concoction of driving psych, motorik krautrock and splattering's of space rock drenched in dark, heady and sometimes atmospheric stoner rock. To put it in layman's terms Vuelveteloca have that rare ability in today's scene to change it up by becoming sonic chameleons when needed. The band are made up of Tomas Olivos, Marcos De Iruarrizaga, Juan Gili and Mauricio Lacrampette and their fifth album entitled 'Sonora' gets it's full release on the 27th October 2017 via those ever reliable London based purveyors of all things lysergic 'Fuzz Club Records'. The album is available to pre-order right now on lovely deluxe or standard vinyl over at fuzz club.com
The heaving pull of reverberation stuck fast to a motorik percussive attack announces the arrival of ‘La Niebla’, the albums opening salvo. It’s throbbing bass frequencies arrive at break neck speed trapped in a haze of fuzz that bounces underfoot with the sway of lead guitar and those swirling vocalisations. This track meanders brilliantly as it builds through explosive chorus changes and passages of driving heavy psych laced with the repetitiveness of krautrock and alluring addictiveness of space rock. Up next, ‘Alta Montana’ bounds into the ether tumbling menacingly on a wave of pounding drums and deep resonating bass frequencies. Surging guitars add to the melee pulling an intriguing vocal line into the mix intertwining brilliantly with stinging lead lines and heavy atmosphere. The impressive instrumentation eventually morphs into a singular sonic behemoth, pulsing morse code like sound waves out into the ether. The repetitive thud of ‘Ataque Masivo’ tweaks this listeners attention as it pulsates through fuzzy bass frequencies and the throb of busy percussion. It builds ever so slowly with the arrival of those hazy vocal lines and subtle stabs of synth before exploding into a cacophony of sound that loops and arcs throughout, dragging a continuous chug of guitars with it as it brings us all on it’s magnificent lysergic hued sonic journey.
‘Carnaval’ gyrates and undulates into audible range stuck fast to a menacing but repetitive drum pattern accompanied by lines of blues orientated guitars, throbbing bass lines and addictive vocalisations. It pulsates and drives brilliantly as it carves out a sonic trough, morphing and manipulating sound with relative ease into one animalistic wave of angry spaced out noise whilst ‘L.A’ slows things down for a while to a crawling acid blotched psychedelic wave that washes shimmering frequencies over this listener as it envelopes golden tinged sounds, repetitive beats and reverberating fret noise. It pulls you in before exploding into an angry sonic behemoth that soars skywards wrapped in punishing lead lines and thunderous percussion. ‘Vuelveteloca’ merge the throbbing reverberations of ‘L.A’ with the spaced out vibes of ‘El Lado Frio’, extenuating the lysergic trip in the process by injecting some righteous space rock into proceedings. This track is as menacing as it is brilliant with fuzzy driving guitars, ear splitting reverb and the constant thud of immense percussion collectively circumnavigating those impressive vocal lines. There’s a subtle edge of garage psych underlining the opening bars of ‘Tormento’ that is utterly captivating. Explosive guitars, pounding percussion and the throb of overdriven bass acts as a kind of sonic conduit for those intriguing vocals that are permeated at times by piercing lead lines and intense atmosphere.
The album’s stunning penultimate piece arrives swirling in a high pitched instrumental drone. ‘Vuelveteloca’ unleash what is the best track on this album as far as I’m concerned as ‘Chepical’ unveils it’s kraut like credentials and streams into earshot riding a motorik percussive pattern, an totally addictive vocal line and unwavering guitar signatures. Soaring synths pulse in waves alongside catchy chord structures as a seemingly unmovable bass line orbits in close proximity to those explosive passages of percussion and chittering reverberation. ‘Chepical’ is one of those tracks that catches you off guard, spins you around the room and deposits you somewhere out the back end leaving you wondering what the fuck had just happened. Marvellous stuff indeed. The album closes out with it’s lead single. ‘Cientologia & Altiplano’ is a modern psych gem that builds and builds continuously in unison with a pounding drum track and driving instrumentation. Raging guitars swirl around humming bass lines that collectively stick to that motorik percussive pattern. It’s vocal lines arrive in a golden haze, strapped to a massive sonic surge. They rise and fall through sonic peaks and troughs before dropping into deep reverb filled caverns and soaring lysergic hued cloud structures with relatives ease. It’s a fitting end to a bloody marvellous album.
Shutting Down by Tombstones In Their Eyes
L.A based sound manipulators 'Tombstones In Their Eyes' have returned with an immense new double A-Side single entitled 'Shutting Down' b/w 'Take Me Home' which follows on from their August 2017 release, the widely acclaimed five track 'Fear' EP. Stoner rock, neo-psych, subtle flavours of shoegaze and rolling slowcore melded with fluttering dark frequencies, intense melody and those totally addictive vocalisations of John Treanor make up the bands collective sonic melting pot and if you ask us, this latest double A-Sided single is their best release to date! It gets its full unleashing on November 17th 2017 and is available to pre-order right now via tombstonesintheireyes.bandcamp.com
'Shutting Down' floats and flutters on a heady wave of fuzzy guitars and throbbing bass frequencies that swirl effortlessly through tripped out psychedelic moments and unsurpassed melody with relative ease. It's a mellower accompaniment to the absolutely stunning 'Take Me Home' which explodes skywards from it's very first notes bleeding reverberation into the atmosphere as it stream across the sonic ether on a steady percussive pattern. Treanor's vocals are totally addictive and they ride a tempestuous wave of guitars and bass supplemented with oodles of reverb to stunning aplomb. This as far as we're concerned is a massive step forward from a band who are making serious waves in the underground scene right now!
ARTIST: Deer Park Ranger
RELEASE DATE: 17th august 2017
RECORD COMPANY: Fluttery Records
'Moderation' is the second EP by Oakland based post-rock/ambient project 'Deer Park Ranger'. It’s a neat little release that puts aside assumption and pretentious musicology while still being as interesting as a full length album. It's a warm and fuzzy six track that’s as enjoyable as it is simple, smart as it is showy. Across the track listing 'Deer Park Ranger' mixes a Radiohead-esque approach to electronic instrumentation and programming, while underpinning the sound with post-rock progressions that flesh the whole thing out in an audibly enjoyable way. While some may pertain it to be ‘slight’ or simply background music, I feel a comfort in 'Moderation' that seems to be somewhat absent from much music that comes around under the banner of post-rock… and it is both refreshing and absorbing for just those reasons. The album was officially released back on August 17th 2017 via the good people over at Fluttery Records and it is available to buy/download right now from both fluttery records.com and deer-park-ranger.bandcamp.com respectively.
Moderation by Deer Park Ranger
'Moderation' begins with ‘Shipwreck’ and a bellowing, rumbling wall-of-sound style strum that slowly introduces background guitar melding. Where many of the other songs on Moderation project a happier, more enjoyable and perhaps bright-minimalist sound, ‘Shipwreck’ opens things in a much more downtrodden way. Beautiful piano guides the song into its second half, while the beat of a drum and what sounds to be a synth play calmly in the background. This is melodic ambient music at its best. ‘Another World, Another Time’ delves more cinematically, albeit with the same stripped back sounds of ‘Shipwreck’. The inclusion of what sounds to be a layer of brass instrumentation also adds a deeper dimension to the sound and song as a whole: an EP highlight. Even the small interlude ‘Old City’ is an impressively simplistic track in terms of the EP, and functions as a well rounded song despite its length and standing on the EP.
‘Time And Distance’ is perhaps the most post-rock that Deer Park Ranger goes: the opening threads picking lines of guitar together to make fantastic soundscapes and ambient textures. The eventual guitar-based tricks that Deer Park Ranger use to build and conjure mood also come across beautifully, especially when contrasted with the backing piano. A shorter song (around the same length as ‘Old City’) utilizes a post-punk drum beat, skeletal but well layered guitars and piano to create another fantastic track that builds up before pandering off slowly and carefully. In terms of beauty: through texturing, colour and layers, there is no greater track on 'Moderation' than ‘Seeing All The Shelves’: it’s a crescendo of instruments and soundscapes into a mesmerizingly mini-epic sound. Again, the greatest element of this sound is the tinkering piano that guides along the other instruments with power and subtletly that makes it less of a slog than you’re average prog-rock song.
Usually when somebody releases a post-rock or progressive rock album, we all spend our time listening and then stepping back, having had enough of one giant slog through sound as it was. Funnily enough, I feel like when I finished listening to 'Moderation' that I only wanted more. Its been a while since I’ve listened to something so soothing yet simple, so smart yet so stripped back, and so comforting while being slightly challenging. The production, much like the mixing, is of a top quality standard and it a brilliant and relaxing accompaniment to the flow of the sound.