ARTIST: Manon Meurt
RELEASE: Manon Meurt EP
RELEASE DATE: 16/02/14
RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned
I love new discoveries, even if I am a bit behind the curve… So, meet 'Manon Meurt' from the Czech Republic and who released this mini-album way back in February 2014. These six tracks are a beguiling introduction to a band who let their music breathe. While many gazers heap track upon track, Manon Meurt’s songs are spacious and special.
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Opening song 'To Forget' blends beautiful vocals, including a deeply buried but gorgeous male backing vocal which must be mentioned, with a rush of reverb-laden guitars. There’s plenty of fresh, sparkly air to enjoy in the middle eight, before they start building that wall of sound. The big-bottomed 'Glowing Cityscape' is driven by growling bass and Phil Spectre-esque drums which contrast deliciously with delicate vocals. Judicious guitar adds texture and sparkle. '94' is a hymn to the golden age of gaze (surely!), with the Holy Trinity of reverb, fuzz and delay all in evidence, and the swooning lyric calling ‘God save me’. Hallelujah! We’re drawn in to 'Until You Can' with a mesmerising Eastern mantra that shape-shifts into a heavy psychedelic sway.
The mood changes with the mild melancholy of 'In These Eyes' before closing track 'Blue Bird' appears on the horizon. The wistful whisper of shimmery cymbals and sparkling guitars succumbs to a swell of sound that soars in the sky, and fades.
Manon Meurt's self-titled debut release is available to pre-order on vinyl right now from the Canadian based Label Obscura : www.labelobscura.com/manon-meurt-manon-meurt/
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
In her time, Sarah Cuthbert-Kerr has attended raves and rock clubs. She enjoys pedals, pizza and spy dramas. Sarah also plays guitar in Edinburgh-based noisemakers Wozniak and is co-founder of Morningside Young Team who put on gigs and put out records for discerning audiences who enjoy fuzz and confusion.
by Primal Music
RELEASE: Geisha EP
RELEASE DATE: 29/04/15
RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned
Italy is a hotbed of brilliantly emotive, post punk fuelled, droning shoegaze & dreampop bands these days and ‘The Primal Music Blog’ has reviewed many of them before. From Milan to Napoli, Rome to Modena we are big supporters of the Italian ‘Scene That Celebrates Itself' or ‘Italiogaze’ as the scensters are calling it these days. This week we were introduced to yet another immense musical outfit based in Italy. ‘Arirang’ were born in Milan and are made up of Marco Mercuzio P - Guitars / Vocals, Francesco M - Bass & Giacomo C on Drums. Their debut EP release entitled ‘Geisha’ was officially announced to the masses back in April 2015 and is a truly magnificent collection of post rock inspired soundscapes intertwined with stunningly emotive cinematic shoegaze that is at times interspersed with post punk inspired vocal arrangements that will leave you truly amazed. The musicianship alone on this 5 track release is simply stunning!
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The EP opens up with beautifully arranged ‘Humming Rigmaroles’. This is a slice of cinematic post rock in its purest form. Stunning reverb infused vocals sit on top of an enticing drum arrangement & lead you into its explosive core. This track is full of musical peaks & troughs and it will take you on an unbelievable sonic journey. Stunning!
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Track 2 ‘Mantrabox’ begins with full on rock god connotations. Reminiscent in parts to ‘God Is An Astronaut’ with its explosive guitar arrangements and post rock infused progressions. The reverb fuelled vocal arrangement is simply addictive and leaves you wanting more. There’s a subtle hint of programmed drums running through this tracks spine but this only enhances the overall sound. Check it out:
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Track 3 is another cinematic soundscape wonder! ‘Under The Mount’ begins on a slower curve than the previous 2 tracks but don’t be fooled. This track opens up into an instrumental shoegazing masterclass as waves & waves of emotive walls of reverb drenched guitars wash over you and scoop you up with their many layers of immense goodness until it breaks and gently places back onto terra firma. I am amazed at the level of musicianship that Arirang are expressing on this track. It is simply sublime! Bravo!
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Track 4 - 'Oh Whale', is a slow burner. Ethereal vocals float on top of a steady but sparse percussion arrangement & intoxicating guitar lines until it erupts into a full on post rock gem. ‘Arirang’ have a cunning knack of bringing their listeners on a journey of musical discovery with the ebb & flow of their musical soundscapes. The programmed drum patterns returns mid way through the track but again it adds to the overall sound. This is yet another beautiful track of immense proportions & fans of emotive post rock will instantly fall in love with it. Stunning! Check it out:
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The closing track on this impressive release from Milan based ‘Arirang’ is a whopping 12 minutes plus of post punk infused vocal arrangements, droning sounds, pounding drums & swirling guitars. 6 minutes in and silence . . . . . . only to build into a maelstrom of instrumental shoegaze fuelled swirling guitars & pounding drums of immense proportions. A fitting end to a truly epic release.
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Del Chaney has spent the last two years not only fronting popular Irish Electronic duo Analogue Wave but also dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the Unsigned or Small Independent Label based Shoegaze Dream Pop Post-Punk & Post-Rock genre’s of music from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog - The Primal Music Blog. His other arm - Primal Radio - has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has hepled 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.
RELEASE: Lemonseeds EP
RELEASE DATE: 23/06/15
‘Morels’ hail from Baltimore, Maryland & have a unique collective sound that is sometimes melodic alt-rock, sometimes noise-pop mixed with a hint of fuzzy impressive shoegaze & intertwined with post punk inspired vocal arrangements. But what interests me the most about this band is their ability to evoke melancholic snapshots in time of hazy youth, warm summer days & full on fuzzy shoegazing. Made up of ex-members of both Bad Liquor and The Warlocks plus members of The Flying Eyes/Bad Lung they have just released a stunning collection of tracks on the aptly named - ‘Lemonseeds EP’.
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The ‘Lemonseeds EP’ opens up with a straight laced indie rock inspired stalwart of a track entitled - ’Honeybee’. On first listen this track has an early 90’s feel to it with its vocal tones & production effects intertwined with an edgy musical undertone. Its a happy, jangling, floating 3 minute affair with addictive guitar parts & a solid drum pattern but to me it does exactly what it says on the tin. This kind of stuff doesn’t normally float my boat but ‘Morels’ have my attention! Check it out:
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At first the deceiving opening drum pattern on track 2 leads me to believe that we’re on a similar voyage to a land of tame run of the mill indie rock. But boy was I wrong! ‘Morels’ open up a swirling maelstrom of beautiful shimmering guitars, immense drums, addictive bass lines & what I think is a synth progression running just under the madness that reminds me of very early ‘Cure’. There is also a subtle hint of mid/late 80’s post punk in the vocal too on ‘Raygun’ that just sucks you in and keeps you interested & fixed on the track. This is a sublime wall of sound that is simply beautiful. You need to check it out:
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Track 3 ‘Lemonseeds’ floats into the musical atmosphere with a hazy laid back alt rock vibe surrounded by swirling synths & yet another brilliant vocal performance. This is what I mean when I say that ‘Morels’ have the ability to evoke memories. This track just washes over you & takes you with it as it tells its story. A triumph, musically!
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The closing track on this latest 4 track EP from Baltimore based noise merchants ‘Morels’ is possibly my favourite on the entire release. ‘Communion’ is a full on menacing ball of energy with its 80’s inspired emotive synth swells, Sisters of Mercy / Cult esq vocal arrangements, impressive drum patterns & full on walls of swirling droning guitars. This track alone makes it all worthwhile. You need this in your music collection! Check it out below:
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RELEASE DATE: 29/06/15
RECORD COMPANY: Morningside Young Team Records
In the realm of instrumental shoegaze noise-rock, psych & post-rock it is the ability of the musician and or musicians to collectively carry a project to its finality thats the most important overriding factor. These modern day creators of psychedelic gazing are tasked with the job of carefully enticing listeners into their world by virtue of a sonic journey through many layers of infectious mind bending tone & shape and on into a blissful arena of sound. Musicians need to be masters of their craft & commit to enthralling listeners with their collective creative abilities in order to achieve their fans adoration. One such band have continued to impress not only me but the vast majority of the underground shoegaze, noise-rock, psych & post-rock world with their stunning musical soundscapes & their collective ability to bring listeners to their music on a psychedelic rollercoaster ride through waves & waves of addictive shoegazing goodness.
From their earliest creations Edinburgh based sound gazers 'Wozniak' have produced mind numbing music of brilliant shimmering proportions. 'Wozniaks' first release 'MFMB / New Hampshire' was a tiny crack in the surrounding framework that encompasses their musical world but what it did was to allow us to briefly peek inside. Listening to it let us collectively (as music fans first & foremost) sample a small sliver of their psychedelic might. It wasn't until the release of their immense EP 'Pikes Peak' that they broke the mould & unleashed a torrent of beautifully inspired shoegaze & noisey post rock infused cinematic sounds into the atmosphere that are so good they actually had the ability to sweep up this listener & carry him on an awe inspiring wave of shimmering musical brilliance.
After releasing the brilliant explosive single 'Five Star' back in November 2014 as a follow up to the mighty 'Pikes Peak' the band have released another stunning collection of tracks on Morningside Young Team Records aptly named - 'Auster'. The EP takes its name from the Roman God of the south wind, and reflects the elemental forces at work on Auster’s four stunning tracks. With its swirling snarl of guitars, dark, dirty bass tones and tom-heavy drums, the EP builds on 'Wozniak’s' previous releases revealing sophisticated sounds and songs that reveal themselves over repeated listens. 'Auster’s' layers of shoegaze sounds are underpinned by a noise-rock intensity and the expansive structures of post-rock bringing to mind comparisons with Slowdive and Mogwai.
This latest release opens up with the rather beautiful 'Snow Effect'. Glimmering guitars, addictively layered lead progressions, fuzzed out intricate bass lines, the steading presence of John Sinclair on drums mixed with that absolutely stunning standout vocal performance from Sarah Cuthbert-Kerr makes this track shimmer. As opening tracks go this has to be one of the best that I've heard this year. 'Snow Effect' has the ability to tell a story through the medium of music. Its chorus alone will shake up your memories & have you dreaming of the heady sunny days gone by. This is an absolutely stunning first track!
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The opening salvos of 'Wings Of Pegasus' charge into the musical atmosphere & instantly bring you back down to earth with its full on instrumental noise-rock swagger accompanied by that ( a- typical of Wozniak ) swirling maelstrom of guitars courtesy of both Simon & Sarah's penchant for guitar effect pedals & their ability to craft wondrous sounds from them! This is an addictively repetitive monster of a track that belongs on an early Death In Vegas mixtape & should in my opinion be remixed for the dance floor at some stage further down the road.
Next up on this immense release is another instrumental masterpiece - 'Gospel Of Infinity' is a call to arms. It builds from its very first repetitive chord progression whilst sitting on top of Johns Sinclair's rolling drum pattern & intertwining with yet another addictive bass line courtesy of the brilliant James Urquhart until the band eventually explode in unison as one swirling singular mass of gazing noisy sound waves.
The closing track on 'Auster' is simply EPIC. 'Hester & Zelda' is eight minutes plus of pure joy. Its cinematic beginnings are steeped with post-rock tendencies but don't be fooled. Wozniak refuse to be tamed within any genre specific borders. They unleash a full on sonic assault on your senses that will have you on the one hand gazing at your shoes immersed in a beautiful swirling mass of sound & on the other I can guarantee you will spend your time being absolutely amazed at this tracks post-rock infused glory. A truly wonderful track by a band who are not afraid to experiment by beating & bending sound until its moulded into their preferred shape. Stunning!
If creating & releasing music can be classed as a continuous progression with each step a betterment of yourself as a musician or as a collective of musicians then Wozniak have made a serious leap up the musical ladder with this latest EP release. What 'Auster' shows is that this band are one with their music & that they have the ability to create serious waves in todays underground musical landscape. I firmly believe that they have (as a collective) raised the musical bar for others to see clearly. This is a bold statement of intent from a band that I have a lot of time for & who I know have a lot more to give to us paltry music fans going forward. This EP is a must have for any serious music fan reading this (who like me) love their music on the shadier side of noisy post-rock but with that full on atmospheric shoegaze wall of sound.
It is my belief that the sounds 'Wozniak' are creating today will be influencing new bands for years to come.
Next up a full album release .......... & I can't wait.
Del Chaney has spent the last three years not only fronting popular Irish Electronic duo Analogue Wave but also dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the Unsigned or Small Independent Label based Shoegaze Dream Pop Post-Punk & Post-Rock genre’s of music from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog - The Primal Music Blog. His other arm - Primal Radio - has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has hepled 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: Teen Brains
RELEASE: Teen Brains
RELEASE DATE: 01/06/15
RECORD COMPANY: Chud Records
Praise be, 2015’s sunshine has finally arrived in the form of Teen Brains debut EP, also called Teen Brains. From a village on the coast near Norfolk, UK, it's no surprise that there's something surfy about the four piece's creations, but they're clearly fans of fuzz and reverb too. This five track EP is their 1st longer length release, following on from singles Annabelle and Flume, which both feature on this record. The whole EP shimmers with a sort of sun-kissed dreaminess of summers past.
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'All My Time' sparkles into the ears, soaked with reverb and big Mowtown-esque drums. When it can't seem to get any lusher, those 'las' slip down your spine like an ice cube. The aptly named 'Lucid Dream' charmingly chimes in a melodic haze of guitar. Lolloping in all eazy-ozy, 'Drenched' soon finds the distortion pedal and some energy, and finally we're fully gazing at our flip flops. Most recent single 'Annabelle' pines for the ungettable girl in the way that only teenagers can - part glorious jangle, part fuzz-fest and wholly, fully gorgeous. 'Flume' pours floods of reverb and dreamy vocals on our sunburn and skint knees. Live, I wonder if Teen Brains keep it dreamy, or go for a sonic assault. Hopefully I'll find out before summer is over.
Teen Brains is out now on Chud Records - www.teenbrains.bandcamp.com
ARTIST: Kimono Lights
RELEASE: Sugar Loneliness
RELEASE DATE: 21/05/15
Back in February 2015 Italian based noise merchants 'Kimono Lights' exploded onto the underground music scene with a stunning body of work full of dreampop flair, post rock connotations & touches of shoegaze magnificence. Their debut album 'Imprinting' was a snapshot of a band on the rise. I wrote about 'Imprinting' for The primal Music Blog on its release ( Check It out : HERE ) & at the time I stated that this band had a lot more to give musically! Now the band have dispensed of their beautiful dreampop infused swirls & replaced it with full on shoegazing soundscapes that will have you dazzled with its walls of guitars, angst vocals & impressive musical constructions. There is an air of experimentation on their latest EP entitled 'Sugar Loneliness' & in my opinion this will surely catapult them into many an end of year top EP of 2015 list. 'Sugar Loneliness' is a sonic thrill ride through layers of reverb drenched guitars, pounding drums, throbbing bass lines & impressive vocal arrangements & is a must have EP for any shoegaze fan. The band hail from San Pancrazio, Italy and are made up of Andrea Crispy Smiths - Guitar and Vocals, Manuel Fabbri - Bass, Matteo Sama - Guitar & Enrico Piraccini - Drums and Vocals.
This latest EP opens up with the rather impressive 'Milkshake'. Driving guitars & steadying drums lead the charge until a full on high octane, angst ridden vocal arrangement drags us to a blissful soaring reverb drenched chorus. This is a statement of intent from a band experimenting with their sound. It is addictively sublime. Check it out:
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Track 2 has touches of the bands brilliant debut album 'Imprinting' all over it. There are hints of their earlier ambient post rock explorations through the intro & verses of 'Give Me' but its in the explosive shoegazing chorus parts that I find solace. This track soars like an eagle through the chorus. Production wise it is immense. The guitars loop & arc throughout with a vocal track reminiscent of early Loop. This is Immense! Check k it out:
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'Deception' - track 3 on 'Kimono Lights' latest EP offering 'Sugar Loneliness' has a multitude of genre's streaming through its core. I can hear flurries of 80's alternative infused with a melodic dreampop vocal line that sits on top of that infectious, effected drum pattern & screaming reverb laden guitar parts. This track will keep you hooked from its very first note! To me this is something new for us fans of this modern day shoegaze/dreampop revival & it goes to show how hard 'Kimono Lights' are working in studio to release something different. 'Deception' is a triumphant track & one worthy of your ears. Check it out:
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'Kimono Lights' never fail to impress me! Track 4 on 'Sugar Loneliness' is simply beautiful. 'Cherry' - evokes feelings of loss & emptiness with its infectiously spacious acoustic guitar lines & psychedelic electric touches all swirling around that immense vocal line. It guides you through it's 3 minutes plus of intense beauty until a disturbance in the form of a screaming wall of guitars takes you to another place where love rules & reverberation is king. This is stunning ........
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The opening bars of 'Sugar' - Track 5 on the latest release from Italian gazers 'Kimono Lights' feels like it shouldn't be here? Im confused at why they would want to put it on this release at all. A complete turn around from the previous 4 monumental tracks, this reminds me of early 90's indie rock? Not my cup of tea but sure to interest the gallery crowd at least.
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The final track on this EP brings us back to normality. 'Lift To Hell' is 2 minutes of reverb laden instrumentation with the driving guitar swells, impressive drum patterns & swirling psychedelic sounds typical of this new sounding 'Kimono Lights'. Too short to over explore but a fitting end to a blissful EP.
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Overall this is brilliant release from a very competent collection of musicians who are not afraid to experiment with sound. 'Kimono Lights' have the ability to push on and make serious waves in this modern day shoegazing revival. I am seriously impressed at how much they have progressed from their immense debut album. This EP is worth every single second of your time & your music collection will thank you for adding it to its ranks.
RELEASE: I Wanna See Everything
RELEASE DATE: 16/03/15
There is a wealth of postpunk / shoegazing / noise rock talent coming out of New York and surrounding environs at the minute. New York based 'Honeymoon' have a distinct sound full of expressive, layered guitar arrangements, addictive vocals, pounding drums and reverberating bass patterns. Their shoegazing & noise pop tendencies are evident in every track on this latest release but theres a subtle undertone of ethereal dreampop surrounding their vocal effects & arrangements that is absolutely divine and for me it makes them stand out from their peers. They released their debut EP 'I Wanna See Everything' back in March & it actually took me by surprise on my very first listen. The band are Ryan Barnes - drums, Nate Patterson - bass, Rob Scheuerman - guitar & Cait Smith - guitar and vocals. Below is a review of Honeymoon's latest 4 track release - 'I Wanna See Everything'.
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The opening track on this 4 track release from New York based ‘Honeymoon’ is nothing short of sublime. The hauntingly beautiful vocal tones of ‘Cait Smith’ surrounded by a maelstrom of effected guitars, steady drums and pulsating bass lines will introduce you to this immense musical outfit and leave you wanting more. At 2 minutes 34 seconds ‘Halo’ is a stunning introduction for anyone new to this band. Check it out:
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‘Leaves’ is my favourite track on this release. It has a solid shoegazing / noiserock foundation through its pounding drum pattern and screaming guitar lines but if you listen closely to the vocal arrangement it has a subtle dreampop infused flair, albeit very faint, gracing the tips of its arrangement. It’s another short track but it packs a serious punch and again its expertly executed.
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Track 3 ‘No Danger’ is explosive and I love how the guitar effects are the main protagonist in this tracks structure. They are immense! The guitars loop, arc & swell with aplomb. Again ‘Cait Smiths’ vocals are addictive and carry this track as it moves through sonically brilliant layers of pounding drums and guitars with ease. This is sublime! Check it out:
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The closing track is a subdued affair. ‘I Wanna See’ is an emotive sonic rollercoaster of impressive guitars, hauntingly beautiful vocal tones & steady drum pattern that doesn’t really veer from its opening trajectory at all. It stays solid throughout. It’s a great closing track but I cant help feeling that this band have a lot more in them in terms of songwriting & I cant wait to hear what comes next.
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Del Chaney has spent the last two years not only fronting popular Irish Electronic duo Analogue Wave but also dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the Unsigned or Small Independent Label based Shoegaze, Dream Pop, Post-Punk & Post-Rock genre’s of music from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog - The Primal Music Blog. His other arm - Primal Radio - has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has hepled 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.
RELEASE: The Washer EP
RELEASE DATE: 24/02/15
RECORD COMPANY: Mama Coco's Funky Kitchen
Lady are a New York based Shoegaze/Post Punk/Noise Punk band who specialise in creating immense soundscapes through the medium of sonic sculpturing & who's finished product is emotive & thought provoking, powerful & expressive whilst still staying true to their core underground shoegazing values. Their latest release 'The Washer EP' follows on from both of the 2014 single releases, the brilliant 'Creatures' & the immense 'Disbelief'. The band are made up of Steven Joyce, Ricardo Arias, Patrick Joyce & JP Basileo.
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The opening track on this wonderful EP is a carousel of shimmering reverb laden guitars, swirling and arcing in close trajectory to a steady, grounding drum pattern, pulsating bass line & a psychedelically infused vocal arrangement that will entice you to listen to it over and over again without a moments thought. The addictive ‘Creatures Of The Night’ is a brilliant introduction to this immense musical outfit. Check it out:
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‘On My Mind’ the EP’s second track is positively my favourite. The intro continues on in the same vein as the opening track but it's the immense build up after the first chorus that explodes into the ether & instantly scrambles your senses as you float along with a sonic wall of guitars pounding drums and immensely addictive bass line. The vocal effect is dreamy and translucent but hard hitting at the same time. This is a monster of a track & I dare you not to instantly fall in love with this bands ability to shoegaze with aplomb. Stunning!
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A maelstrom of sonically beautiful, swirling effected guitars striding a thunderous drum pattern introduces the third track on this already immense release from New York based noise merchants ‘Lady’. ‘Cant Stay’- is a nervy, senses pummelling affair filled with screaming guitars, pounding drums, solid bass lines & psychedelic swells adorning its vocal arrangements! Another brilliant composition full of expressive shoegazing at it’s very very best. Check it out:
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Hauntingly good guitar swells set the tone & mood of track 4 on ‘The Washer EP’. This track opens up a lot slower than the previous tracks but don’t be fooled. It’s a moody, passionate affair, full of emotive walls of reverb drenched guitar lines, addictive vocals and stunning arrangements looping & swirling all over it’s musical canvass. 'Things Are Wrong' is another brilliant example at just how good this band really are. You definitely need this EP in your life.
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Track 5, ‘Chuta’ is a full on high octane shoegazing gem that screams into the atmosphere from its very first opening chord. This track is like a steam train on full tilt slicing through a world of reverb laden delight without a care. I first heard this track on a radio show a few weeks back and it had me captivated with it’s full on sonic assault. Pretty cool stuff. Check it out:
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The closing track on this epic release is the shortest track on the EP coming in at 2 minutes 43 seconds. As closing tracks go this is huge! Pounding drums, shimmering layered guitars and that ever addictive vocal pattern swirl through a multi layered sonic heaven that escorts you through the many levels of ‘Wait (If You Leave)’ until you end up floating in a world of purely emotive shoegaze. This is immense shoegazing and a fitting end to a brilliant EP.
I connected with this EP on so many levels. Its high velocity, fast paced and addictive tracks left me breathless at times. The swirling maelstrom of reverb induced guitars pounding drums & pulsating baselines are highly addictive and when we add into the mix the psychedelic thrall of the vocal arrangements, this EP is one that could grace any proper shoegazing fan's record collection with ease! Its a truly wonderful thing & one that I will play again & again. This is highly recommended listening for anyone interested in this genre of music. The Primal Music Blog gives this release 10/10.
Del Chaney has spent the last two years not only fronting popular Irish Electronic duo Analogue Wave, but also dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the Unsigned or Small Independent Label based Shoegaze, Dream Pop, Post-Punk & Post-Rock genre’s of music from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog - The Primal Music Blog. His other arm - Primal Radio - has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has hepled 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: New Politicians
RELEASE DATE: 21/04/15
Music today has been diluted so much over the years that what we are actually hearing is a sonic soup filled with various musical genre's that represents a modern day equivalent of an original scene. Sometimes in this melting pot of various genres bands get it right & sometimes they fail miserably. Lately there has been a revival (or a rebirth depending on who you ask) of the shoegaze, Dream-Pop & Post-Punk inspired genres with great success all around the globe. Recent releases from unsigned artists in the aforementioned genre's are testament to the fact that the kids are listening to the original creators of these genres of music and are taking on board the influences & philosophies of these first wave bands and using them to their advantage to create something new! I get really excited when I hear a band who actually listen to their influences & don't pigeon hole themselves into one particular musical category. New Jersey based 'New Politicians' are one such band.
'New Politicians' started in late 2012 with Gian Cortese on guitar, keyboards and vocals and his brother Renal Anthony on vocals and guitar. The band, now a four piece with Erik Watson on drums and Winston Mitlo on bass, play Post-Punk, Alternative Rock and are based in Centerville, New Jersey.
November 2013 saw the band releasing their self-produced, sophomore EP entitled 'Drag A City'. This four track release, available to stream & download on their BandCamp Page, earned the band critical acclaim and an army of fans. Their highly anticipated new EP 'Remission' was released on April 21st and it is immense! This band have a full on Post-Punk inspired sound but they dip in & out of shimmering Dream-Pop tipped Shoegaze & Alt-Rock with aplomb.
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Remission opens up with thundering 'Revelator'. Fans of early Post-Punk will immediately associate themselves with this sound while newer listeners to 'New Politicians' will hear bands such as Interpol, Editors, The Cinematics & White Lies echoing in Renal Anthonys vocal lines. Musically though I can hear The Cure, Bauhaus & Gang Of four coursing through this opening track. Check it out:
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Track 2 is a slower affair. 'Cut A Hole' is edgy & moody with brooding guitar lines and infectious vocal arrangements. This is a very addictive song with catchy, shimmering guitar hooks that bring you in and keep you focused on the track.
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With an almost Dream-Pop inspired flair in the opening guitar lines track 3 heralds the arrival of what is possibly my favourite track on this impressive release! 'Been In The Wars' has touches of Joy Division running through its core but its the reverb drenched guitar lines that dips the tips of this arrangement into something new! The driving rhythm section and pulsating bass keeps this track thundering to its destination. This is a snapshot of a band in complete control of their sound & its a wonderful thing to listen to.
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Gone is the driving force of the previous track to be replaced by a regimental beat & really impressive vocal production intertwined with a swirling reverb laced guitar pattern. 'Images' is a great track. Its a well structured track but to me it comes across a bit same, same! And that's not a bad thing either. I simply mean that I'd expect something more from it. It sounds to me like its missing something? Check it out:
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'Killer On The Mend' floats into the musical ether with its shoegazing esq' guitar swells, repetitive drums & addictive vocal lines intertwined with a maelstrom of reverb soaked sounds, crashing cymbals & immense production. This is a triumphant track that menacingly stalks its listeners from its opening note! This is edge of your seat stuff. Sheer class!
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Track 6 'Remission' opens with traditional shoegazing tendencies represented in its layered guitar effects but its the immense vocal abilities of Renal Anthony that takes this track by the scruff of the neck and leads it into its explosive chorus. Lyrically this band are really impressive but its their songwriting & song structuring that catch this listeners ear. 'Remission' is filled with hook & licks that are so addictive you simply have to continue listening to every single second of it.
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The closing track on this impressive release from New Jersey natives 'New Politicians' is spectacular. The bass lines alone will have you hooked from the beginning. The band dip into a Dream-Pop fuelled world of shimmering guitars & full on vocals with 'The Idealist'. A solid drum arrangement keeps this track firmly fixed to the musical landscape while the guitars loop and arc through soaring hooks & swells.
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'New Politicians' are a band who seem very comfortable in their musical surroundings. They are not afraid to experiment with sound or skip through various musical genre's. Collectively they have some sublime vocal melodies and impressive hooks that are well balanced with their Post-Punk ethos but are not overly exuberant. This is a band in love with music and I believe that for them this is only the beginning. They haven't reached their full potential yet and only time will tell if they ever do. But they have the ability to leave a lasting impression on new listeners & in today's refreshed/rehashed Post-Punk scene that is a good thing.
ARTIST: Cross Tabou
RELEASE: Palace Of Rare Objects
RELEASE DATE: 20/04/15
RECORD COMPANY: Chrome Skull Tapes
In a world of big record corporations feeding untold amounts of money into manufactured tripe & then expecting these artists to make millions from physical /digital sales in a short space of time just to make a fast buck is it any wonder that the youth of today are turning to the unsigned underground artist & using their hard earned cash to collect decent musical soundscapes on various platforms hence supporting the independent scene we know and love today. I for one try my hardest to stay away from the mainstream artist in favour of the underground independently based bands because I am a firm believer that it is here that the future of music (as we know it) will reside & not in the pocket of the major labels. One such band have stolen my heart over the past 14 months & continue to stay true to the unsigned & independent mantra & also staying relevant, in the shadows, refined & cool while others flaunt their notoriety by hanging around the cool band pages on various social media sites flogging their music to anyone who will listen to them. Californian based 'Cross Tabou' is the brainchild of two of the best emerging underground artists to ever have graced the modern day independent scene. 'Sofia Vondell' & the brilliant 'Horizontal Halfspear' burst onto the scene back in 2014 with their self released debut EP and haven't looked back since. Creating sonically astute soundscapes is second nature to both of these artists and it shows on their latest 6 track release entitled - 'Palace Of Rare Objects'.
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The EP opens up with that typical 'Cross Tabou' infectious sequenced drumbeat suffocated with reverb infused guitar patterns & intertwined with psychedelic pulses. Sofia Vondell is a breath of fresh air and never fails to deliver a hauntingly beautiful vocal arrangement that floats on a wave of effected reverb. 'Flowers' is simply divine & turns the key on another brilliantly executed EP from this San Jose based duo. Check it out:
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Track 2 is an 80's inspired masterpiece with its processed beats & synth progressions swirling around a ethereal vocal from Sofia. The synth swells are infectious & cut through the steady beat with ease. 'Purple Light' is a great track but it ends too soon! I was expecting the traditional 'Cross Tabou' reverb laden guitar to scream into the track but alas, it was not to be. Enjoy!
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Two Minutes & Twenty Six seconds of headphone candy graces us with the third track on this brand new release from Californian based duo 'Cross Tabou'. I love the way this band are not afraid to experiment with sound. This a little slice of psychedelic magic that caresses your eardrums with its brilliance. Do yourselves a favour and pop on some cans lie back, find your inner spirit & listen to 'Fountain Of Coloured Light'. You will thank me after!
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With an intro reminiscent of Leftfield, the pulsating 'View From The Palace' explodes onto the musical canvass! I don't know why but this track reminds me of early LCD Soundsystem? It has a modern day New York underground electronic sound but with a Cali twist. Sofia delivers another blistering post-punk esque' vocal take & the psychedelic swells bring this beast to life half way through! This is truly amazing and I know for sure that most radio DJ's will play this as the lead track. Check it out:
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We're treated to another psychedelic instrumental on on track 6 - 'Ghosts'. Again I have to stress how in awe I am at the way in which this duo can cross genre's with their music. This is an ambient monolith with peaks of haunting vocal swirls gracing the sound waves at various points along the track. Another reason to don the rather expensive headphones.
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The closing track on this stunning 6 track release from 'Cross Tabou' is sensational. A hazy subliminal drum beat lightly caresses the monster guitar line & Sofia Vondell's vocal arrangement takes this track to a sleazy downtown biker club where sweat drips from the walls & broken beer bottles are strewn across the floor. There is a menace in every note of this immense track. 'Cross Tabou' are telling us something through the medium of sound! 'Shadows' is short as closing tracks go but it packs a punch all the same. Check it out:
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'Cross Tabou' are not afraid to show their abilities as songwriters. They are not afraid to grab hold of their influences & twist them into a new sound. Their ability to craft psychedelic soundscapes is evident in this release but they can also turn it on its head and introduce electronic vibes when the need occurs. This is a new animal for the underground scene to sink their teeth into because this duo are writing music for themselves. They are not flying their flag on any one particular genre of music. They will not be pigeon holed into a particular scene either. This isn't a genre of music you will be familiar with per say! This is why I love them as a band and after listening to this release I know you will too.
THIS IS NO-WAVE ........... and they don't care!