RELEASE: The Rolling , Driftless North
RELEASE DATE: 27th January 2017
RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned
'Vansire' are a Minnesota based lo-fi/dream pop duo who create sonic compositions that flow effortlessly through clouds of jangling reverberation that is underscored at times by periods of cinematic like atmosphere coupled with streaks of subtle psychedelic flair. 'The Rolling, Driftless North' is the bands first full outing since the release of their debut album 'Reflections And Reveries' back in August 2016 and it was written and recorded over a month-long period between the end of 2016 and beginning of 2017 by Josh Augustin and Sam Winemiller with Isaac Winemiller (Sam's younger brother) occasionally filling in on bass. It's available right now to buy/download from vansire.bandcamp.com
The Rolling, Driftless North by Vansire
The EP opens up swimming in a sea of cinematic atmosphere as it's intro 'Reflection No. 2 - A Treatise On Being' enters into earshot. It's not long before a jangling guitar progression and an instantly recognisable vocal courtesy of Josh Augustin arrives draped deliciously in a cloud of glorious reverb. 'Vansire' show their psychedelic tendencies here too as a warbling repetitive synth drone takes over and leads us brilliantly into the serine tones of track two - 'Eleven Weeks'. Rocking gently on a bed of percussion, beautifully intense guitars and underscored by the constant hum of organ and synth swells, 'Eleven Weeks' swirls gracefully around melancholically induced vocalisations and sequenced electronic theatrics. Deftly executed and blissfuly serine 'Eleven Weeks' evokes warm fires in winter and lazy, snowy days.
Up next, 'Pale Blue' injects tempo into proceedings as it's charging lead lines align themselves brilliantly to a driving percussive swagger and subtle bass frequencies. The addition of sublime vocals and swathes of impressive reverberation coupled with the occasional synth swell bolsters the overall sound from a lo-fi bedroom composition to that of a full on modern day dream pop standard. The EP's penultimate tack entitled 'Driftless' floats into earshot spinning repetitively in a cloud of tremulous guitars, cascading bass frequencies and sparse percussion as the almost ethereal like vocalisations of Josh Augustin pulse through wave after wave of stunning sonic production. This track is probably my favourite on the entire release if I'm honest as I love the way it breaks down half way through into simple instrumental progressions that are deftly enveloped by the all encompassing vocalisations. Simply breathtaking.
The EP's closing piece is beautifully written. 'Four Portraits' hangs on a jangling guitar line, a slow ambling percussion track and another excellent vocal as it meanders through sonic peaks and troughs, occasionally joined by a simple guitar strum, a haunting organ swell or the plink/plonk of a keyboard stab. This track keeps you transfixed on it's waves of metronomic reverb before completely throwing you off course during the break, twisting things up until it sounds like two separate tracks only to eventually return to its chosen trajectory just to lead you into it's serine finale. A fitting end to a rather interesting EP.
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
RELEASE DATE: 23 July 2016
RECORD COMPANY: Spirit Goth Records
Originally released back in the middle of 2016, CASTLEBEAT's self-titled full length release slipped though our every expanding sonic net and only really came to our attention two weeks ago via the good folks at 'Spirit Goth Records' over in Los Angeles. CASTLEBEAT is a lo-fi bedroom producer who oozes everything that is great about this modern DIY shoegaze/dreampop/lo-fi scene today. He writes, records & produces lusciously dreamy lo-fi shoegaze soundscapes in his garage that skip and whirr through sonic highs and lows with blistering aplomb. His ten track self-titled album was released back on the 23rd July 2016 via 'Spirit Goth Records' and you can buy/download it right now from: spiritgothrecords.bandcamp.com
CASTLEBEAT by CASTLEBEAT
The album opens with the brilliant ‘Dreamgaze’. This track swirls into audible range oscillating on a wave of jangling guitars and shuddering repetitive drum patterns, both deliciously melded together on ripples of blissful reverberation. It’s vocals cut effortlessly through proceedings buoyed up on melodious effected whirls and hazy production. Up next, ‘Rope’ drives a modern day post-punk styled furrow through the hazy shoegaze inspired instrumentation as ‘Castlebeat’ injects sequenced electronics into cascading guitar patterns, throbbing bass frequencies and swirling vocalisations. ‘Goon Pop’ is centred around a meticulous guitar progression and melody fuelled vocal lines underscored by subtle synth swells and the constant thump of sequenced percussion whilst ‘Falling Forward’ rumbles through swirling guitars and soaring synth lines that are intertwined with blissed out vocals and immense swathes of intense melody.
‘Pool Side’ is absolutely wonderful. It pulses into earshot on waves of triumphant instrumentation deftly layered with busy drum patterns, revolving synth lines, another impressive vocal performance and driving bass frequencies. It’s catchy guitar hook’s harass and badger the entire piece, constantly billowing and whirring through layers of impressive reverberation. Up next, ‘Face On The Wall’ is a fuzzy ball of guitar laden dream pop supplemented with flashes of shoegaze and jingling C86 flair whilst ‘Downstairs’ is wholly reminiscent of seminal US based experimental post-punk outfit ‘For Against’ with it’s driving up tempo, almost metronomic sonic refrain underlined by exceptional production. ‘Phases’ saunters into the ether on a tidal wave of fuzzy frequencies and off beat percussion as ‘Castlebeat’ unleash a soaring modern day shoegaze standard filled with blissful vocals and stunning instrumentation leading us into the albums penultimate piece.
‘Hesitate’ builds from the off, swirling intently through wave after wave of layered reverberation and hauntingly good vocals. It’s guitar lines are slow moving and serine, floating effortlessly through swirling synth lines and sparse percussion, all the while spiralling gracefully around gloriously hazy vocalisations. ‘Hesitate’ is probably my favourite track on the entire release and a serious recommendation from me. Pop on some headphones to experience it’s full sonic majesty ..... you will not be disappointed! The albums closing piece is jam packed full of pensive melancholy. ‘Change Your Mind’ evokes feelings of lost love and good times gone by. Repetitive synth stabs echo and spin as tremulous guitars racked by the constant thud of a bass drum collectively announce the arrival of soaring vocalisations and throbbing bass frequencies. This track loops and arc’s through sonic peaks and throughs, dragging swathes of reverb with it as it tumbles through the ether to blistering aplomb. A fitting ending to a brilliant album.
RELEASE: Things I Don't Know
RELEASE DATE: 28th January 2016
‘Tuath’ exploded onto the Irish underground scene back in March 2015 with their intensely addictive & deeply experimental debut EP ‘An Taobh Tuath(Ail)’ closely followed by their immense spaced out single ‘Amhairc Thart Ort Fein’ in September of the same year. Last year the band returned with a blistering four track EP entitled ‘Existence Is Futile’ packed full of experimental dreamscapes that skipped from serine psych-rock into blissfully dreamy shoegaze and on into expressive jazz fusion coupled with swirling hypnotically progressive rhythms and sullen space rock hues. Now the band have created what is probably their most interesting release to date. 'Things I Don't Know' pulses through four tracks of soaring reverb laced progressions, deeply filled with haunting vocalisations that are collectively underpinned by heavier grunge filled moments, swirling instrumentation and massive swathes of melody.
Things I don't know by Tuath
The opening track, 'Stoically, I Ran Through The Rubble' jangles into earshot on wavy guitars and floating atmospherics. Melodious vocals hold court here and when allowed to roam in the over all mix have a knack of drawing you into them even when all around them is waging a sonic war of attrition. Up next, ‘Seacht Seachtaine’ revolves effortlessly around an addictive guitar progression as Rob Mulhern’s darkly melodic vocals churn through wave after wave of diminishing reverb and pulsing sequenced swirls. The back story surrounding this track is harrowing. It deals with the loss of Mulhern's close friend who committed suicide back in 2016 and the events incorporating the seven weeks between hearing he was dead and the coast guard having found the body. It's written as a narrative in Ireland's native tongue and it ignites into an agitating psychedelic behemoth with punishing percussion that drags droning guitars and boiling saxophone lines into the mix thus melding perfectly with haunting vocalisations, twisting and arcing into one massive wave of utterly addictive turbulent noise. Possibly my favourite track on this entire release ‘Seacht Seachtaine’ is a serious recommendation from me.
The penultimate piece on this release 'Things I Dont Know' swirls into the ether on waves of shimmering synth & reverberating guitars, occasionally broken up by the incoherent ramblings of Tuath’s lead man Rob Mulhern and the welcomed sampled vocalisations of Carl Sagan. Just as we’re about to float away into the ether however, explosive percussion shatters hypnotically charged sonic incantations by driving a flirtatious break beat into proceedings that leads us on merry dance through stellar production theatrics and on into the tracks atmospheric finale. The EP's closing act entitled 'Superhighway To Ignorance' drones into the audible range held fast in tempestuous swirling synth line before exploding into a raging torrent of noise that meanders through so many different musical genres it’s difficult to pin one down at any given time. 'Superhighway To Ignorance' is a whirring ball of sonic turbulence supplemented at times by wailing incoherent vocalisations and driving instrumentation. It has repetitiously overdriven guitars that ride a tempestuous beat whilst it's lead lines lick and harass the piece to within an inch of it’s life. It’s important to stress here that traditionally ‘Tuath’ are masters of experimenting with sound so newer fans of their work might be asking themselves ‘What The Fuck?’. Don’t panic, go with it & pop on some headphones to check out what is actually going on under the latent noise. This track will be an absolute monster when played live and it's a fitting ending to what is a massive step up for a band who we have covered intensely here at Primal Music from their very first release. Bravo Tuath!
RELEASE DATE: 13th February 2017
RECORD COMPANY: Cardinal Fuzz / Sunrise Ocean Bender Records
Two of the more interesting of independent record labels that are firmly established in this modern day psych rock/kraut rock firmament have joined forces to release an immensely bruising two track self-titled monolith by magnificent Gothenburg based psychedelic explorers ‘Lamagaia’. The initial seed for this release was sown by UK based ‘Cardinal Fuzz Records’ after the release of the bands ingenious ‘Lamagius’ LP and is wasn’t long before U.S based ‘Sunrise Ocean Bender Records’ jumped on board with the collective aim to get this release out to as many ears as was feasibly possible. The ‘Lamagaia’ LP has it’s official launch 13th February 2017 on standard black vinyl with full coloured printed inners (sleeve and inner sleeve designed by Rommel Valgart) and you can pre-order it right now from both www.sunriseoceanbender.com & www.cardinalfuzz.bigcartel.com respectively.
‘Aurora’ billows into the ether and immediately sets up a kind of gravitational holding pattern, held fast within a vicious feedback laden whirlwind. Coming in at a whopping 16 minutes plus, it was quickly evident that I was in this turbulent behemoth for the long haul. Growling overdriven guitars creep in close proximity with metronomic percussive patterns as throbbing bass frequencies feed effortlessly into the sonic mayhem. ‘Aurora’ surges through sonic peaks and deep atmospheric troughs fed solely on repetitious progressions, mantra like vocalisations and menacingly good instrumentation as the band inject reverberating electronics, explosive percussive breaks and self flagellating lead licks into to the already revolving cauldron of noise. This track is hypnotically intense, absolutely all consuming and saturated by mescaline fuelled sound waves purposefully positioned to bring you on a glorious hallucinogenic trip.
Up next, ‘Paronama Vju’ swirls into earshot building gracefully on luscious waves of shimmering synth, impressive bass frequencies and sporadic drum patterns. Gyrating drones meld effortlessly with fret board theatrics collectively immersed in swathes of diminishing reverb until we’re led into astonishing passages of entrancing ambient abandonment. ‘Lamagaia’ unleash their experimental side as ‘Paronama Vju’ unfurls itself into a repetitious monster, fastened brilliantly to free form instrumental progressions, cascading bass lines and screaming saxophone whirls, all fixed to a bedrock of an almost Jazz like percussive swagger. I can honestly say that this track is eighteen minutes plus of pure sonic enjoyment that I will return to again and again. Absolutely magnificent.
ARTIST: The Gentle Cycle
RELEASE: The Gentle Cycle
RELEASE DATE: 24th January 2017
Swirling San Jose based psych aficionados 'The Gentle Cycle' have just unleashed their debut self-titled full album to the masses. The band are made up of Derek See - guitar/vocals, Maxwell Borkenhagen - guitar/mellotron, Todd Flanagan - bass and Craig Heitkam - drums and they have a unique talent of creating infectiously addictive psychedelic soundscapes by utilising vintage gear and bygone recording methods to birth a swirling, grooving style of rock 'n' roll that's both timeless and relevant. The overall outcome is mesmerising! 'The Gentle Cycle' is available to buy/download on various formats right now from thegentlecycle.bandcamp.com
The Gentle Cycle by The Gentle Cycle
The album begins with the jangling opening salvo’s of ‘Follow Light’, a swirling tremulous affair, filled with blistering 60’s psych connotations massively underscored by thunderous drums and impressive instrumentation. Vocally sublime, ‘Follow Light’ is a well received opening assault on the senses. Up next, ‘Shells And Spells’ meanders gracefully on an undulating wave of fuzzy reverberation and skittish percussion whilst it’s 60’s garage orientated vocal lines shimmer in and out of cascading guitar lines and snaking bass progressions with glorious aplomb. Track three, ‘You Line’, explodes into earshot held fast within a flurry of shimmering hi-hat & cymbal vibrations whilst the off kilter drum pattern keeps a skittish metronomic beat. It’s woozy guitar progressions deftly envelope another impressive vocal performance while that ever present and deeply menacing organ line adds some seriously dark atmospherics.
‘Love Is The Plan’ slows proceedings down a tad but it’s catchy guitar riff’s and steadying drum pattern’s keep this listener interested whilst ‘Way To Decay’ adds a very welcoming (and highly infectious) psych/folk acoustic swagger to the album thus tapping into another brilliant and previously unknown sonic variation that The Gentle Cycle can swerve into when needed. The album starts to grow on me a bit more as we move into the opening drones of ‘Memory Day’, which soon unfurls into trembling guitar squall and on into the tracks subtle prog-rock leanings. Thunderous percussion, throbbing bass lines and wailing guitars circumnavigate that reverb hued vocal line as the track opens up into an explosive wah-wah fuelled lead break and on into it’s grand finale. A pretty impressive track by my reckoning.
‘Far Beyond’ drives effortlessly through a wave of impulsively melodious instrumentation, filled with luscious breaks, duel lead guitar lines, angry cyclonic drones and undulating reverberation. The albums penultimate track however, entitled ‘She Came This Way’, leans brilliantly into 60’s psych/blues with its woozy bass progressions, melancholic vocal lines, busy drum patterns and punchy guitar stabs. It explodes into a fuzzy maelstrom of immense frequential noise as the lead guitar soars into the ether, looping and arcing through an angry reverb induced sky before eventually coming to an abrupt stop. ‘She Came This Way’ is my favourite track on this entire album and a recommendation from me. Do yourselves a solid and pop on some headphones for this one! You will thank me for it. The albums closing piece is a fitting book end to this collection of tracks. ‘New Day’ brings an air of serenity to proceedings as we float on acoustic atmospherics draped beautifully with harmonious instrumental swells and gloriously addictive vocal tones. A fitting end to a marvellous album.
ARTIST: Buried Feather
RELEASE: Mind Of The Swarm
RELEASE DATE: 10th February 2017
RECORD COMPANY: Cobra Snake Necktie / Kozmik Artifactz
With a sound that draws regular comparisons to Dead Meadow & Spacemen 3, Melbourne based experimental psych aficionados 'Buried Feather' have a lot to live up to. Since exploding onto the underground scene back in 2012 the band have unleashed two mesmerising singles and a debut full length filled to the brim with modern experimental psych flourishes and driving kraut rock tendencies all underscored by magnificently addictive mantra like instrumentation. 'Buried Feather' are now set to unleash their full length sophomore follow up to their 2013 self-titled 8 track monolith. 'Mind Of The Swarm' gets it's full official release on February 10th 2017 via Melbourne based indie label Cobra Snake Necktie Records as well as the German based stoner rock imprint label Kozmik Artifactz. It will be released digitally and on limited edition 180g vinyl.
Dust by Buried Feather
The album explodes into earshot swirling deftly on a wave of growling guitars, powerful percussion and those hypnotically charged organ lines that collectively circumnavigate around the woozy vocalisations. ‘I Would Miss You’ trembles on repetitious bass frequencies as it effortlessly meanders through sonic peaks and troughs, all the while surging on entrancing psychedelic vibrations and waves of fuzzy reverberation. Up next, the albums lead single buzzes into earshot on a revolving wave of colourful droning frequencies. ‘Dust’ spirals repetitively, held fast in a sonic whirlwind filled with throbbing bass lines, whirring organ swells and screaming wah wah filled lead lines as it’s metronomic drum pattern conjures up hallucinogenic incantations with great aplomb. Probably my favourite track on this entire release, ‘Dust’ is a thing of sonic beauty.
‘The Stranger’ undulates into the ether on repetitive guitars and pulsating drum patterns as menacingly hypnotic vocal lines intertwine with churning instrumentation and top notch production to produce a flood of psych induced compressions and rarefactions whilst up next, the burgeoning tones of ‘Mind Of The Swarm’ fills the senses with a slow repetitive chord progression, underscored by menacingly good reverberating drones and rhythmic organ fills. The vocals swoon on waves of delayed reverb, leading the listener on a trance like procession through walls of throbbing bass frequencies and punishing lead guitar. The opening bars of ‘Sunshine’ lean favourably into garage/psych territory with it’s pounding drums and effected fret board theatrics until the instrumentation gathers pace and injects a hit of swirling hypnotics. The track builds into a raging cacophony of noise as before filtering out into a droning synth laden whirr. Up next, 'Endless C' is slice of sunshine in a revolving cauldron of infectious sound waves. It’s deliberate swagger entices the listener in and you quickly float away on it’s addictive chord sequences, warbling vocalisations, motorik drum patterns and those mind numbing organ swells.
‘Regular Creep’ is a heavy sonic beast. The repetitious thump of percussion echoes with almost military precision as the angry growl of guitars melds fluidly with unrepentant drum cadence. It’s snaking organ lines meander in and out of another impressive vocal take as we’re led from static verses through to noisy chorus runs, explosive breaks and on into the tracks turbulent finale. The albums penultimate piece however, has futuristically themed experimental stylings as it’s hazy synth lines ride tempestuous sequenced drum patterns, deftly enveloping that addictive vocal line. ‘Screen Dreamer’ glides on noisy guitars, electronic atmospherics and the continuous hum of bass frequencies, building as it undulates into a grand exit filled with unwavering production skills. The albums closing piece shudders into life on a bedrock of off kilter drum patterns, tumbling bass lines and the rise & fall of massive swathes of fuzzy instrumentation. ‘Well Wishes’ tumbles through the ether held fast in a swirling maelstrom of heavenly noise. A fitting ending to a brilliant sophomore release.
Del Chaney has spent the last four years dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the unsigned or small independent label based shoegaze, ethereal dream pop, post punk, post rock & modern psych rock from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog - The Primal Music Blog. He is also a contributing writer for the now on hiatus Sound Of Confusion music blog. 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: Holy Monitor
RELEASE: Holy Monitor
RELEASE DATE: 17th February 2017
RECORD COMPANY: Primitive Music Records / Blackspin Records
Stunning Athens based experimental psych/kraut rock collective 'Holy Monitor' have announced their debut self-titled full length release filled to the brim with luscious soundscapes that skip through a multiple of different sonic disciplines with blistering aplomb. Not content to have wowed us with last years 'Ongakubaka Records' release 'Golden Light/Aeolus', a compilation containing both of the bands previously released (only digital & in a ltd edition cassette) EP's, 'Holy Monitor' have returned with a ten track monolith that will literally blow your mind. Released via 'Primitive Music Records' in collaboration with 'Blackspin Records' the album is available to pre-order digitally right now from holymonitor.bandcamp.com
Physical copies are available to pre-order in two limited editions of high quality clear-copper & blue-white marbled vinyl, 200 copies each:
Holy Monitor by Holy Monitor
Swirling into the ether on a repetitious instrumental drone we jump off into the unknown just as 'Halcyon' powers up it's atmospheric core and washes us in subtle fret noises, serine lead lines and reverberating swells of sonic delight. 'Nemesis' arrives just as we're getting comfortable and we're soon dragged with it as it's motorik percussive swagger spews forth cascading organ lines, throbbing bass frequencies and the delicious whip of lead guitars. Otherworldly vocalisations arrive, riding a wave of screaming guitars and malicious synth swells as the sonic tension builds into a raging tremulous beast. Up next, 'Holy Monitor' unleash a full on psych behemoth in the form of the albums lead track, the mind altering, mescaline charged 'Bed Of The Earth'. Hypnotic lead guitars gently caress whirring organ swells as steadying drums and a humming baselines carry another impressive vocal performance. 'Bed Of The Earth' meanders deftly through sonic peaks and troughs until eventually exploding into a mesmerising lead break filled with electronic trickery, explosive percussion and the constant swirl of the organ all collectively awash with swathes of reverb. It's haunting vocals swirl and soar, peppered at times by delectable backing lines that seem to morph into one big throbbing behemoth tumbling gracefully through the ether like some new gravitational sonic phenomenon.
'The Vine' undulates and spirals as it floats into earshot circumnavigating itself in a peaceful haze of chandiramani percussion & shimmering tambourines before the hypnotic tendrils of it's utterly addictive guitar progressions take over, whirring above melodious baselines, the cascading plink of brilliantly constructed organ progressions and hauntingly good vocalisations. Before we can float away in a melancholic bliss however, the opening bars of 'Golden Light' (appearing here again and originally released back on 2015's 'Golden Light' EP) grace our ears and we're soon awash with it's eastern esoteric influences, menacing organ swells and stunning reverberations that loop and arc throughout, painting sonic pictures and instilling a blast of shimmering atmosphere. Up next, 'Αφροδίτη' gyrates into audible range trapped in a swirling synth drone before pounding drums and incessant organ stabs metronomically lead the charge accompanied by throbbing bass frequencies and constant barrage of lead guitars that leaps in and out of those blissful vocalisations with aplomb. Electronic theatric's announce the arrival of 'Bend The Tree's' (appearing here again and originally released on 2015's 'Aeolus' EP) and it gracefully glides on a droning synth progression and a highly addictive guitar line. This track bathes in swathes of stunning reverb as its hushed vocalisations take centre stage continuously urging the instrumentation to keep up with the pace.
'Icarus' builds rapidly, trapped in a turbulent instrumental drone, haunted by atmospheric guitar squall, reverberating fret noises, subtle sonic swells and the constant thump of the incessant bass drum. This track glides and arc's through a dark and malicious psych induced world filled with howling vocalisations that twist and morph into many different frequencies at will. Up next, the albums penultimate piece swings deliciously on a bedrock of driving kraut/motorik percussion and repetitious instrumentation. 'Ice Giants' conjures up hypnotic hallucinations of 70's sci-fi b-movie aliens aligned with a modern day sonic twist. The albums closing piece (appearing here again and originally released on 2015's 'Golden Light' EP) charges into ear shot on a bedrock of pounding drums, swirling guitars and soaring synth swells that are constantly building in tempestuous fashion and continuously circumnavigating that fragile vocal track. 'Cacti' builds from the off adding layer after layer of stunning instrumentation as it deftly skips along its chosen sonic path. A fitting ending to wonderfully creative album. Apart from the noticeable & previously released track inclusions, 'Holy Monitor' have put together a serious collection of impressive soundscapes that are sure to attract both new and old listeners alike. My favourite track on this album however has to be the highly addictive 'Bed Of The Earth' and it's driving cacophony of delectable psychedelic sounds.
Del Chaney has spent the last four years dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the unsigned or small independent label based shoegaze, ethereal dream pop, post punk, post rock & modern psych rock from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog - The Primal Music Blog. He is also a contributing writer for (the now on hiatus) The Sound Of Confusion. His other arm - Primal Radio - has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has helped him in actively promoting a genre of music that he is passionate about. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, he is a keen Vinyl Collector, Tattoo Fan & all round good guy! He is a self confessed music freak & is never far away from a studio console or a turntable.
ARTIST: The Underground Youth
RELEASE: What kind Of Dystopian Hellhole Is This?
RELEASE DATE: 15th February 2017
RECORD COMPANY: Fuzz Club Records
Fuzz Club Records mainstays and Berlin (via Manchester) based dark psych/post-punk outfit The Underground Youth have announced their highly anticipated eight studio album brilliantly titled 'What Kind Of Dystopian Hellhole Is This?'. The album is penned in for a February 15th 2017 release date with various formats officially up for pre-order via the ever reliable www.fuzzclub.com
In a melancholic haze of tattered guitar frequencies and growling atmospherics the opening chord sequence of ‘Half Poison, Half God’ drags itself into the ether and proceeds to wraps itself around infectious vocalisations before swaying awkwardly on the sudden injection of a sparse percussive pattern. ‘Half Poison, Half God’ splashes into a swirling pool of reverb laden noise as repetitive guitar progressions cut through barking bass frequencies to collectively hold time with the metronomic swoosh of echoing tambourine hits. Up next, ‘Alice’ surges effortlessly with dark sullen energy as it’s melodiously fuzzy bass frequencies weave & bob in and out of hypnotic lead guitar lines. Subdued percussion and hauntingly good synth swells add tons of atmosphere as Craig Dyer’s vocal holds court, keeping you transfixed on it’s impressive gothic tone.
The heavy repetitive thump of plodding drum rudiments coupled with the engrossing twang of atmospheric guitars heralds the arrival of ‘You Made It Baby’ and we’re instantly thrown into a world of desolate landscapes, isolation and wild frontier towns. Swirling desert like reverberations envelope everything as subtle instrumental drones echo behind Dyer’s tendril like vocals and aid in the undulating sway of it’s sonic proceedings. The track eventually pulses into a turbulent mass of fuzzy noise before dissipating back into the repetitive plonk of fret noise and salubrious percussion. ‘Beast (Anti War Song)’ does exactly as it says on the tin as it strides into earshot like some plucky teenager on a first date. Driving bass lines ride a steadying drum pattern as soaring lead licks whip noisy frequencies up into a sonic frenzy, building exponentially through the angry verse parts only to then soar effortlessly through those impressive instrumental chorus progressions before fizzing out into nothingness.
Jangling atmospherics underscored by droning organ swells swirl gracefully around the vocals as the constant tap of subtle percussive hits keep a kind of rag tag timing rattling repetitively in the background. ‘A Dirty Piece Of Love For Us To Share’ tip toes magically through glorious guitar progressions and brilliant production to bring a sullen acoustic swerve to proceedings. Up next, ‘Amerika’ drones into earshot accompanied by twinkling instrumentation, whirring feedback and the hollow thrum of sequenced percussion. It stalks and skulks in a densely oppressive sonic fog as it’s vocals swirl menacingly in the musical ether whilst next, ’The Outsider’ instrumentally builds from the off echoing in harmony with the effected vibrato of the vocals and the swirling underscore of synth drone. ‘Persistent Stable Hell’ howls into existence on squally instrumental feedback and the pulsing vibrations of a repetitive kick drum. The vocals arrive held fast within a hazy swirl of reverb as throbbing bass frequencies hum and undulate underneath screaming lead guitar licks and dark reverberation. The addition of female vocals add hauntingly good atmosphere here as all around them pulses and moves in a cacophony of blissful noise.
The albums penultimate piece heaves and breathes on a bedrock of sequenced synth lines, sporadic drum patterns and fuzzy bass frequencies. ‘Your Sweet Love’ swirls in a spiralling sonic whirlwind filled with noise, shuddering reverb and sullen gothic flair. It's vocalisations are trance like as they hypnotically revolve and billow in the heady psych induced stew, modulating wildly until they become one with the instrumentation and eventually throb in a series of sonic pulses. The albums closing piece strums acoustically into the ether as the plink of a piano line echoes & melds brilliantly underneath, constantly harassed by subtly aggressive lead guitar lines. ‘Incapable Of Love’ is laced with darkness as Dyer’s speaking parts venomously spit out a dystopian narrative steeped in atmosphere whilst languishing brilliantly in a bourgeoning musical juggernaut. This is a marvellous ending to a magnificent album.
Del Chaney has spent the last four years dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the unsigned or small independent label based shoegaze, ethereal dream pop, post punk, post rock & modern psych rock from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog - The Primal Music Blog. He is also a contributing writer for (Now On Hiatus) The Sound Of Confusion. His other arm - Primal Radio - has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has helped him in actively promoting a genre of music that he is passionate about. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, he is a keen Vinyl Collector, Tattoo Fan & all round good guy! He is a self confessed music freak & is never far away from a studio console or a turntable.
ARTIST: Glass Horses
RELEASE: Glass Horses
London based alt/shoegaze quartet 'Glass Horses' have unleashed a veritable feast for the ears with the debut four track self-titled EP. Their overall sound is distinctly modern with slight nod of respect to the originators of the genre with influences such as Ride, Novella, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Froth, and L.A Witch being bandied about. Personally speaking, I can hear Cranes, Secret Shine & Boston based noise junkies The Swirlies surging through their sound with a slight doff of the cap instrumentally to the repetitiveness of the modern day psych scene. The band are made up of Noga Shatz - vocals, Terry Hale - guitar/keyboards, Pat Paxton - bass, James Walker - drums and the 'Glass Horses' EP is available to listen to in full over on the bands Soundcloud page. You can also pick up a copy of the lead single 'Little Tricks' for a small fee over at: glasshorsesband.bandcamp.com
Little Tricks by Glass Horses
Swirling melodious guitar noise and sparse percussion heralds the arrival of 'Little Tracks' and I'm instantly transfixed on gorgeous vocalisations of Noga Shatz. Instrumentally this track is faultless as droning guitars and the constant throb of cascading bass frequencies meld effortlessly with those repetitive synth lines. The entire track seems to envelope the vocals perfectly. Up next, I'm sort of led into a false sense of security as 'Low' creeps into audible range. It starts slow and builds into a psychedelically charged monster as those almost post-punk sounding bass lines meander in and out of explosive percussion and charging reverberation. The sneaking lead guitar lines mimic those impressive duel vocal's as the track drags itself through explosive chorus progressions with relative ease. A pretty cool track and possibly my favourite on the entire release.
The EP's penultimate piece wouldn't look out of place on a modern day psych rock compilation. 'Honey' is a brooding, atmospheric brute with 60's sounding psych connotations and swirling instrumentation all circumnavigating a melody driven bass line and those addictive vocalisations courtesy of Noga Shatz. The production on this track is brilliant and I know the band self produced this EP so credit where credit is due! The closing piece on this release is absolutely stunning. 'Blue Lights' screams UK noisy experimental shoegaze outfit 'Cranes', with its pulsating rhythmic patterns, quiet verse progressions followed by explosive instrumentation and those hypnotically sounding synth swells. There's a subtle 80's post-punk edge to this track to that is completely addictive and worthy of your ears. All in all this is a pretty special collection of tracks.
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. 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: Shoegazer Sanctuary Records
RELEASE: Gazing Into Andromeda Volume II
RELEASE DATE: 7th January 2016
RECORD COMPANY: Shoegazer Sanctuary Records
I'm not really one for reviewing compilations. I've always found that they're either full of the same old, same old bands & featured artists or it's just another blog, webzine or net label trying their luck by forcing me into another click bait exercise. It's all a very disappointing & mundane exercise to be honest. But I sat back and watched as the Connecticut based net label 'Shoegazer Sanctuary Records' release their debut compilation 'Gazing Into Andromeda Volume I' in July of last year and I was mesmerised at how they selected the list of artists for the release. They didn't add the usual heavy hitters from the underground psych/gaze/ethereal/ambient scene just to get Facebook likes or numbers across a blog. They didn't annoyingly force the release into my inbox either by harassing or tagging me in their social media posts. They purposefully & honestly decided on each artist by their sonic individuality (and not by their social standing) and that's the reason why I'm reviewing this compilation release today. 'Gazing Into Andromeda Volume II' features 20 artists from the world wide space rock, shoegaze, psych-gaze & ambient electronica scene that you may or may not have ever heard of before, and that really shouldn't matter. What you can bet your bottom dollar on is that every single track on this release will blow your socks off. As usual the label have put this out as a 'Name Your Price' tariff up on their bandcamp page: shoegazersanctuaryrecords.bandcamp.com
Gazing Into Andromeda Volume II by Shoegazer Sanctuary Records
This massive compendium of sound opens up with Italian giants 'Clustersun' and a track taken from their amazing 2014 release 'Out Of Your Ego'. The chosen track is 'Clustersun' and it shimmers in a beautifully translucent psych-gaze haze filled with melodic drones and fizzy sonic sequences. Up next, Melbourne natives 'Fire To The Stars' bring magical synth swells, swirling vocalisations and droning reverberation to the fore as 'Keep You Safe' taken from their 2016 release 'Made Of Fire' is brought to bare. Connecticut based 'Omega Vague' unleashes a huge sonic behemoth next, in the form of 'From The Outside', lifted off last years triumphant full release 'Obsolescent' whilst Canadian based 'Slowly' ushers in tremulous instrumentation and gloriously addictive shimmering tones as the melancholically atmospheric 'Melt' does exactly as it says on the tin. Utterly delectable and a beautifully crafted piece of music.
It's off to Malaysia next as we're graced with beautiful waves of reverb laden guitars and ethereal vocalisations courtesy of the track 'Past', lifted off SOFT's majestic 2013 release 'A Warm Romanticism In A Coldwave Room'. Sit back as this track explodes into the ether, swirling into beautiful, cascading frequencies as it burns out. Up next is the California based Ryan Fields aka 'Project Skywards' and a track called 'No More Lies' originally released back in 2006 on his immense 4 track EP entitled 'Sirius'. 'Project Skywards' blend ambient electronica and experimental space rock with magnificent results. Definitely worthy of your ears. The next five track blend seamlessly. The hazily hypnotic space rock sounds of 'The Quality Of Mercury' swirl into the ether as 'Her Eyes Are The Stars' explodes into earshot whilst Sweden's own shoegaze wonders 'Zeit' bring the noise with their 2013 release 'Silvery Nights'. Then it's up to Atlanta based 'Absence Of Ocean' to bring their majestic blend of experimental post-gaze into the mix as 'We Don't Sleep' spins into earshot on a cloud of swirling reverb & quivering atmospherics. Up next, impressive Californian doom gazers 'Sleep White Winter' bring a heavy darkness to proceedings with two tracks. Firstly 'Philo Sophia' gets a spin, lifted off their latest six track release 'Degeneracy of Nostalgia' followed by 2014's 'A Succession of Unrecognizable Emotions' lifted off their self titled full length album.
Half way through and the immense tracks keep coming. One of our favourite UK based bands of the past few years 'The Virgance' aka Nathan Smith injects his fuzzy brand of experimental psych into proceedings with the incredibly intense 'Saturnine', lifted off his immense 2015 release 'Paradigm 3' whilst up next we're whisked off into a dreamlike electro-gaze state as Vitaly Bogachev aka 'Talhayme' unleashes 'Real Me' lifted off his 2016 release 'Telesanctuar'. Up next are a band who tweaked my attention back in 2014. Melbourne based 'The Lost Jackets' released a five track EP back then entitled 'The Airports Of The World All Look The Same' and I instantly fell in love with it. Here they are represented by the brooding track 'Sirens', lifted off their 2016 release 'Don't Turn Your Back On The Sea'. Well worth your time! Argentina based 'Ison Spectra' swirls effortlessly into earshot with their experimental space-gaze release 'Oceano' whilst Brazilian based Roberta Artiolli and Bruno Romani aka 'S.E.T.I' reinvigorate the senses with the beautifully dreamy synth laden 'Sinta-se, Perca-se', taken from their latest full length album 'Extase' released back in 2015. Santiago, Chile is our next port of call as delicious dream gazers 'Perfectos Extraños' float into earshot on a swirling frequential drone and instrumental atmospherics. The track represented here, entitled 'Shanghái' is filled with warm, summery eastern flair.
Québec based 'The City Gates' have been wowing the underground fraternity over the past year or so with their brand of no nonsense gaze induced soundscapes. The brilliant 'Maddening Ride' is taken from their highly anticipated forthcoming sophomore release penned in for sometime in 2017. Recommended listening if you ask me. Up next, Berlin based shoegazers 'Downhill Willows' unleash the brilliant track 'Machines', lifted off their self titled debut album, released back in 2016. Special mention here has to go to the immense vocalisations of Kenneth Estrada. Check them out. The spiralling dark-wave sounds peppered with subtle psych-gaze highlights of North Carolina based 'Spirit System' (another band that we've reviewed here at Primal) effortlessly swerve into audible range with their track 'Nest' lifted off their immense album 'Nightfalling' whilst the brilliant London based 'Doldrums' have added their epic track 'Dreamcatcher' to the list, bringing with it a touch of impressive neo-psychedelia. I'm please to see another one of my favourite bands make an appearance on this compilation as Michigan based 'Great Black Night' bring their fuzzy brand of melodiously dreamy psych-pop to the sonic table. 'Spit You Out' is lifted from the bands latest six track release 'Lift Those Hands', a serious recommendation from me! 'The Dead Lucid' released their debut six track self titled EP to the masses back in October 2016. This is an immense slice of impressive psych rock and it's well represented here with 'If You Don't Mind', a serious throw back to that delicious 60's psych sound.
Self classed as 'Soundgaze', Rome based Massimiliano Nardulli and Gabriele Saffioti aka 'Pipes Not Dead' create a heady mix of shoegaze & electronica with outstanding results. 'The Place Where Time Stood Still' plinks into existence on sequenced theatrics and electronic percussion before scooping you up on a journey of sonic discovery. Up next are the experimental indie rock/shoegaze stylistics of L.A based 'PurePleaser' who's track 'The Grateful 4' at first confuses me before exploding into a electro-gaze masterpiece. The penultimate track on this epic 20 track compilation comes courtesy of 'The Infinite Seas', an LA based electronica duo comprised of Infinite Creativity Group Founder and Producer Dino Bose and Vocalist/Dancer Yanna Fabian who create dark and broody electronica. 'Dark Lightning' is reminiscent at times to the brilliant 'Spc Eco', with it's huge production and ear catching vocalisations. The final piece of this immense worldwide sonic puzzle goes to Maryland based 'Soñder' and their specially commissioned 'Sanctuary Remix' of 'STRAÑGE'. A fitting book end to one of the more interesting music compilations out there today. Go get it!