ARTIST: Lost Echoes
RELEASE: No Tomorrow
RELEASE DATE: March 5th 2018
RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned
Portland based space-gazers 'Lost Echoes' self-released their debut three track EP entitled 'No Tomorrow' to the masses back on March 5th 2018. Their collective sound swims in a heady sonic brew filled with driving reverb laden instrumentation overlaid with a deeply atmospheric hue. The band are made up of David Gross - guitar/vocals/production, Joel Cox - bass, Marcus Knauer - drums/production & Michael Lynch - guitar with the three track EP available to buy/download right now via lostechoes.bandcamp.com/album/no-tomorrow
No Tomorrow by Lost Echoes
The EP's title track growls into life driving comfortably on a steady percussive pattern and a woozy bass line as feedback laden atmospherics squeal and dance just below the mix. 'No Tomorrow' pulls vocal lines into the mix completely enveloped in resonating guitars and lashings of hypnotic reverberation as brilliantly executed guitar progressions lead us into a wonderful chorus break before we dive headlong into passages of billowing distortion. Up next, 'So Tired' ambles into audible range rocking slowly on a metronomic tempo as swells of guitar and booming bass frequencies step into luscious lines of jangling guitar and beautiful entrancing reverberation. This track swoons as the beat picks up tip tapping through time signatures at will allowing the ear to fall onto those shimmering guitars. as instrumental pieces go, 'So Tired' is a triumph and worthy of your ears.
The EP closes out with a Marcus Knauer Redux of the title track 'No Tomorrow'. It does exactly as it says on the tin and fans of these kind of remixes will enjoy the finished article. All in all 'No Tomorrow' is a very interesting EP indeed filled with brilliantly executed song writing and deft instrumentation making 'Lost Echoes' ones to watch throughout 2018.
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: Ten Million Lights
RELEASE DATE: 23rd February 2018
Portland based 'Ten Million Lights' pull influences from from shoegaze, post-punk and modern psych rock to craft and create a sound so luscious it will have you instantly hooked and checking their back catalogue in a heartbeat. Comprising of Ryan Carroll - vocals/guitars, Eric Block - guitars, Emily Logan - vocals/guitars, Russ Ellis - bass & Scott Smith - drums they unleashed their four track sophomore EP onto the world back on February 23rd 2018. 'Bellicose' is available to buy/download right now from tenmillionlights.bandcamp.com
Bellicose by Ten Million Lights
'Bellicose' opens up stuck fast to a jangling guitar progression before swirling vocalisations and the pull of bass frequencies add a heady weight to proceedings. Percussion free and lasting for under two minutes, 'Simplicity' tumbles and flows brilliantly, building with each sonic circumference before falling off a veritable cliff and on into it's unexpected finale. Up next, 'Falling Apart (extended mix)' erupts into a pounding percussive beast. Noisy layers of angry guitar and throbbing bass envelope that brilliantly executed vocal track as we swoon effortlessly through shimmering reverberations peppered with catchy hooks and brilliant production. Bouncing post-punk hued bass lines meander in and out of the mix, cascading at times through catchy lines of lead guitars and brilliantly poised acoustic breaks making this track a definite highlight for me.
'Smother', the EP's lead single, opens up riding a wall of brilliant noise. Humming bass lines ride a steady percussive pattern as feedback laden guitars and catchy lead lines pull those duel verse vocal lines (reminiscent of 'Goo' era 'Sonic Youth'), into the mix before tumbling out the back end into a mesmerisingly melodic chorus progression. Although I hate using these analogies, I can't help hearing subtle similarities to 'RIDE, Catherine Wheel' and the melodic side of 'The Brian Johnstown Massacre' swirling through this track, making it a bloody good listen. The EP close out with a instrumental of sorts. Channelling their inner MBV, 'Ten Million Lights' unleash 'Dakota/Code/Talker' onto the listener. Woozy reverb laden guitars pull turbulent layers of hovering vocalisations into the mix ,underpinned at times by the addictive throb of bass and resonating frequencies, as we fall into those lusciously spacious beaks and eventually out into that infectious ending. Its a great closing track that literally showcases this bands abilities as musicians. They must make one hell of a racket playing live!
ARTIST: Lunar Grave
RELEASE: The Sunstruck Forest
RELEASE DATE: 5th January 2018
RECORD COMPANY: Cardinal Fuzz Records / Sky Lantern Records
Portland's 'Lunar Grave' have undergone some personnel changes since their inception back in 2010, releasing various outings on home grown cassette tapes, CDr's and digitally in that time building up to this debut seven track vinyl release. Their sound centres around driving krautrock, deliciously infused with free flowing transcendent psych and hypnotic grooves that collectively create something akin to an out of body experience in sonic form. It was officially released back on the 5th January 2018 via the good folks over at Cardinal Fuzz Records and Sky Lantern Records respectively with editions still available on various formats through cardinalfuzz.bigcartel.com and skylanternrecords.bandcamp.com
The Sunstruck Forest by Lunar Grave
Bouncing bass signatures accompanied by a huge percussive assault announces the arrival of 'Piper In The Woods', the opening salvo on this impressive collection of tracks. The drum and bass assault continues for a time before 'Piper In The Woods' opens up into a full on assault on the senses. Soaring lead guitar meanders in and out of that solid drum & humming bass line combo leading us on a metronomic dance to the tracks finale. Up next, 'JJ-180' slows proceedings down a tad as a swirling concoction of soothing bass frequencies and luscious reverb stick to slow moving percussion and the lull of immense guitar sounds, continuously moving through a trance like state whilst 'Collapsed Horizon' is an impressive live jam that shudders and shakes through repetitious drum tracks, throbbing bass lines and resonating lead guitar. The sonic tendrils of 'Slow Death' unfurl, reach out and wrap themselves around the inner psyche as repetitious guitars swim and move through hypnotic reverberation buffered by slow moving bass frequencies and the slow march of percussion. 'Slow Death' is infectious. It lures you in with it's soothing sonic repetitions, carefully rocking you back and forth before gracefully implanting you deep in it's inner core. It's a triumphant track and possibly my favourite on the entire release.
'Kykeon' builds from the off as meticulous layering of guitars meander into audible range strapped to an almost motorik percussive swagger and the pull of bass notes, swaying back and forth like a pendulum deftly instilling hypnotically charged psychedelic impressions with every twist and turn. The entire track moves as one singular being, a sonic murmuration of sorts spilling technicolour sound-waves at a whim. 'Kykeon' is sublime and another highlight here. We take a quick sojourn as the fifty seconds of 'The Mold' spills it's guts before we're whooshed into the albums closing piece. Coming in at a whopping eleven minutes plus, '2-3-74' isn't for the faint of heart. Woozy instrumentation hugs a monolithic bass signature as lead guitars wrap themselves around a slow moving drum pattern, looping and arcing in and out of catchy bass progressions, drum fills and yards of stunning reverberation. It's intensely hypnotic, spiritual even as it builds and builds into a raging cacophony of psychedelic noise that floats out into the sonic ether and on into a marvellous finale. It's a fitting ending to a wonderful album.
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: Tender Age
RELEASE: Disappear Here
RELEASE DATE: 9th March 2016
RECORD COMPANY: SINIS Recordings
Tender Age’s Disappear Here EP is a self-proclaimed attempt at stripping off the polish. So the recording, while far from rough and ready, is definitely at the ragged end of the spectrum. This is a refreshing relief from the tendency to smooth away all the rough edges in the genre. The Portland based band have also gone to the trouble of adding some extras for those fans who go to the trouble of getting themselves a hard copy, which is a nice touch. Their debut album is on the way later in the year, and there’s plenty here to keep your ears engaged until that drops.
Disappear Here EP by Tender Age
Opener 'Lowers' cuts like broken glass with jagged distortion and detuning, but the dreamy vocal glides along, cool and clean. Delirium‘s chopped up in bits, with tremulous guitars and crunchy electro-drums. Like a wonky music box, NO swoops and sways with sinister undertones. ‘Oh, I’m underwhelmed’, sings Elaina Tardif. And the fractured guitar creeps on. The record concludes with two covers, the first is a heavenly melding of the Mary Chain meets Phil Spectre for Dream Lover. The next, I Love How You Love Me, is a howling hurricane.
Disappear Here is shoegaze without the sheen. It’s eerie and engaging and not an easy ride. But who’d ever want one of those?
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.
RELEASE: Somewhere Away
RELEASE DATE: 19/08/16
RECORD COMPANY: Vipchoyo Sound Factory
This is how a conversation about modern dream/trip-hop inspired electronics music sounds: ‘blah, blah, blah, blah, blah’. Why does it sound like that? Cause once upon a time a group of musicians got together and churned out a massive arsenal of absolute 5/5 albums; think Tricky, Smith and Mighty and Mazzy Star. They layered, they edited, they sampled, they sung, they mixed and they scored hit after hit off and on the mainstream. These musicians pioneered a genre of music that has literally being trampled upon since the late 80’s/early 90’s with copycat, boring, unintelligent rehashes that involve pushing some buttons on a drum machine, putting some interesting but generic female vocals over the top of the mix and being ‘atmospheric’. Those technical wizards who do everything blandly digitally believe wholly that trip-hop/electronic music should be released as it is, without experimentation, without huge inspiration, influence or genre-bending. So it is refreshing and somewhat soothing to listen to Somewhere Away; the new LP by electronic three piece Vibrissae, an album that experiments, practices fantastic song writing and is just enjoyable. And that really, is that. If 'Somewhere Away' spoke anything through the speakers in its conceptual and musical language it is that ultimately if a sound is enjoyable, if it mesmerizes in its quality and is a pleasing experience, then what else is there that needs to be pondered?
READ ON -
Somewhere Away by Vibrissae
'Somewhere Away' begins with a short intro track (Whiskers) that sets the mood subtlety by never directly tackling any of the sounds on the album but simultaneously teasing small sounds on the electronic palette of the genre. ‘Never Again’ begins the album with a jangling distorted guitar and pulsating beats that sound reminiscent of trance music; these sounds are all complimented with the hushing vocals, rocketing bass and shoegaze inspired synth and keyboards. The song has flashes of Eurobeat in its musical structure, but returns to a more synth pop orientated field with the chorus and the catchy, danceable riff that follows it. The song balances itself between dance anthem and alternative sonic soundscape just enough to create an intricate and energetic track; one that the listener may enjoy either way. For those searching for evidence of musical experimentation and genre bending/melding, one should look no further than ‘Incident Report’, which starts as a pulsating industrial track, layered with metallic percussion and the sound of a darkwave tracks opening few bars, only to evolve intelligently into a trip-hop song and delve straight back into darkwave inspired sounds coupled with post-punk style drums on the chorus. The song morphs and jumps neatly from one genre to another, while all the while holding its electronic basics and placing the vocals in a backseat position enough that the music and the vocals seep into each other; a rewarding listening experience.
‘Bulan’ nestles itself in calmly as another beautiful instrumental interlude, showing off all the bands tricks in a much smaller scale whilst 'Not Forever' is an ethereal feast of beautifully constructed guitars and glorious vocals. The metallic ringing from the previous tracks is brought into a stellar techno-inspired instrumental ‘Crooked Stripe’ which is then followed up with ‘Crooked Smile’ a four minute bass heavy dance/darkwave track. 'Vibrissae' show off their skill with the bass guitar, which forms a thick and tasty riff around the central beats and soundscapes. Eventually the track goes full darkwave and reinforces a heavy laden alternative dance beat, all packed together with the slick sounds of keyboard. Although the whole thing stands together intelligently, the song eventually becomes slightly boring, especially in contrast with other tracks on the EP. ‘Need’ is a heavy post-punk style song built around the opening guitar riff and the funk-inspired bass. The vocals fit magnificently in the mix as the song touches on indie rock and the intricate singing style of folk rock all the while returning to the opening post-punk riff; a brilliant and enjoyably diverse listen. The LP concludes with the epic title track, a ten minute adventure through what begins as a slow, alternative rock style riff which builds into an echoing electronic listening experience. The track itself feels like a journey, like sounds are guiding the way through a landscape that Vibrissae has built for the sole purpose of allowing the listener to roam around in, rather than just sitting and listening.
Overall the LP feels too ‘thrown together’. The longer weightier, well written and thorough tracks are surrounded by varying degrees of instrumental track, as if the band thought they didn’t have enough material and chucked together a few filler instrumentals. The LP is also greatly temperamental in its vocals; some tracks feature great amounts of vocals before two instrumentals in a row feature none, and then they return. I am not directly critiquing the songs themselves per say, rather their standing in the whole LP. But as I stated before-hand in the introduction, the pure enjoyment one gets from listening overrides simple things like track placement and the album does itself justice wholly and solely in that area. And that’s what makes 'Somewhere Away' great, it’s not a utopian album, but it’s a reminder that the pure enjoyment factor of a sound should ultimately shine through and inform our opinion in the greater sense. With that in mind, I thought this album was, in most of its parts, enjoyable and refreshing to the genre, a testament to the skill of the band and their sound.
'Somewhere Away' is available to buy/download right now from: vibrissae.bandcamp.com
Cam Phillips is a writer and above all, a music lover, who seeks to gain experience through writing and listening. He is also an avid film viewer and art and literature junkie who enjoys creative writing. His most recent published work was featured on the Australian heavy music blog, I Probably Hate Your Band.