RELEASE: EP 1
RELEASE DATE: November 4th 2016
RECORD COMPANY: Wrong Way Records
Menacing Essex based psych/garage trio 'Muertos' release their debut EP entitled 'EP 1' to the masses via the brilliant purveyors of modern psychedelia 'Wrong Way Records' on November 4th 2016, unleashing their impressive fuzzy freakbeat imprint on the unsuspecting music buying public in the process. The band are made up of DeAnna Avis, Marc Crane & Tom Lewis and their debut EP is available to pre-order on various formats right now from wrongwayrecords.bandcamp.com
EP1 by Muertos
'EP 1' unfurls its burgeoning sonic tendrils from deep within a reverberating vortex, filled with growling guitar drone, throbbing bass frequencies and the incessant thump of the bass drum. 'Ballroom Spritzer' skulks impatiently like a misguided school boy, dripping with hypnotic swagger as it deftly meanders down dark sonic corridors, wrapping itself around that brilliantly executed boy/girl vocal and constantly building momentum until we're thrust headlong into a maelstrom of impressive noise and dragged effortlessly along with it through stunning sonic peaks and troughs. 'Ballroom Spritzer' will blow your mind from its opening notes. Up next, held fast within the twang of tremulous guitars and howling feedback, lives the masterful 'Black Box'. It explodes through its chorus progressions in a hail of fuzzy instrumentation & pounding drums before the listener is dragged back into the calmer waters of its verse progressions, safe in the arms of those soothing boy/girl vocal tracks that seem to instil a short-lived sense of calm to the piece before exploding once more into a cacophony of noise. 'Back Box' is what I imagine walking in and out through the eye of a raging tornado feels like. It's that bloody good.
The EP's penultimate track slows proceeding down to a dark crawl. 'Snakes' undulates as it hovers into ear shot on a woozily repetitive lead guitar line, underscored with reverberating whammy bar theatrics and a metronomic percussive pattern. Vocally reminiscent at times to the brilliant UK based 'Dead Rabbits', 'Snakes' builds beautifully and floats through a wonderfully translucent vocal break before leading the listener to its eventual explosive finale. The EP's closes out with another impressive piece. 'Write To The Devil' swirls into the ether on an repetitive drone and deliciously dark bass frequencies, before the introduction of a shaking tambourine and another impressive vocal performance cracks up the atmosphere. Pounding drums ride the ensuing sonic wave as the track explodes into a maelstrom of fuzzy noise, howling vocals and throbbing bass. A fitting end to a marvellous debut EP.
Recommended! So good that I just bought it on vinyl!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Del Chaney has spent the last four years not only fronting popular experimental Irish Electronic duo Analogue Wave but also 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 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.
by Primal Music
ARTIST: Vivienne Eastwood
RELEASE: Shook EP
RELEASE DATE: 6th October 2016
RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned
Brooklyn based fuzzy shoegazers 'Vivienne Eastwood' finally unleashed their highly anticipated sophomore EP entitled 'Shook' to the masses back on October 6th 2016 via bandcamp. The band are made up of vocals/guitar - Jordan John Parker, drums - Jenny Wong & bass - Bailey Meadows with additional musicians on this release listed as lead guitar/slide guitar on 'Nons' by Phil Radiotes & additional vocals on 'Snooze' by Lindsay Lueders. Vivienne Eastwood create impressive sonic imprints that are filled with dreamy layers of fuzzy reverberating shoegaze.
SHOOK EP by VIVIENNE EASTWOOD
A cacophony of swirling cymbal noise enters earshot before the opening bars of 'Snooze' erupt into the ether on a massive sonic tidal wave. This track is explosive and it meanders deftly on a bedrock of pounding drums, throbbing bass lines and woozy guitars coupled with that immense duel vocal attack. Up next, 'Shook' twinkles, drones and floats blissfully into audible range before the distortion arrives and the repetitive drum beat leads us into the verse progressions with aplomb. It's a different approach on this track, vocals are aligned brilliantly to the fore as the impressive instrumentation takes a back seat. But don't be fooled, Vivienne Eastwood's trademark wall of reverberating sound returns soon enough as the chorus parts explode into a maelstrom of beautiful noise. Thoroughly enjoyable and probably my favourite track on the entire release.
The very dream-pop sounding 'Maybelline' arrives on a shimmering guitar line and another impressive percussive pattern. Soon its wowing this listener completely as its stunning vocal track arrives in a haze of glorious reverb coupled with those impressive lead guitar licks that seem to unfurl their tendrils gracefully as they meander in and out of the entire piece. 'Maybelline' is brilliantly addictive, its sickly sweet tones hang in the air as if held by some unseen gravitational pull. Up next, 'Sea Salt' shudders as it works through its opening sonic gears, reminiscent at times to Adam Granduciel's 'The War On Drugs' or early 'Tame Impala'. 'Sea Salt' quietly builds as each facet of instrumentation is added, perfectly poised to accommodate that impressive vocal line as it weaves and bobs in and out of earshot and leads us into its brilliantly explosive finale.
The EP's penultimate track, 'Nons', is a blissful affair. Sparse percussion and throbbing bass frequencies underpinned by massive swathes of reverb laden guitar and that utterly addictive slide guitar collectively create a hazy wave of beautiful noise that carefully envelopes that fragile vocal track. 'Nons' is a triumphant soundscape that instils an air of intriguing melancholy into proceedings, bringing up past dreams of longing & lost love. The EP's closing piece, 'Messy', is a floating sonic monolith, full of beautifully translucent effervescent tones and golden hued frequencies that envelope the senses and aid floatation through the mechanisms of sound. Vocally sublime, it soars through its hazy progressions with ease, drenched in reverb and pulsing fuzzy melodies. A fitting ending to an absolutely immense EP...... Bravo Vivienne Eastwood!
With buying formats and links to be announced, this is a must have EP for 2016. Keep your eyes & ears peeled and head over to vivienneeastwood.bandcamp.com for details.
RELEASE: Danxia EP
RELEASE DATE: 11th September 2016
The lush sounds of Warm Rain are a dreamy introduction to Danxia. The Warrington based band have been whipping up whimsical sounds for their debut EP.
Danxia EP by Danxia
Closer is a triumph of textures, the guitars gritty and soaring by turns, topped with a honeyed vocal. The mood is more contemplative with Dislocated Minute's hushed intro, full of intricate layers that briefly bloom into a crashing reverb-laden crescendo. Sullen's melodic bassline bobs and weaves alongside the pretty vocal lulls and soothes.
A delicious debut!
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.
ARTIST: Citrus Clouds
RELEASE DATE: TBA
RECORD COMPANY: Custom Made Music
Phoenix based desert-gaze trio ‘Citrus Clouds’ have announced their debut full length album entitled ‘Imagination’, released this fall via Custom Made Music. The band are made up of Eric Pineda, Stacie Huttleston & Anthony Jarero and collectively they create stunning soundscapes that swim effortlessly through swathes of reverberating shoegaze and addictive, dreamy vocal lines that are impressively underpinned by steadying percussion and sublime instrumentation.
Imagination by Citrus Clouds
The album opens with its title track and we’re instantly pulled into the mesmerising throb of bass frequencies, meticulously intertwined with the repetitious percussion. ‘Imagination’ swerves and glides on gloriously dreamy layered frequencies, dipped into a swirling pot of reverb and deployed effortlessly to accompany a vocal line that swoons and soars as it gently caresses the senses with sonic joy! A stunning opening track. Up next, ‘The Sun Is In My Eyes’ saunters into earshot on a warped guitar progression and a shuffling drum beat. The duel vocal lines float into the sonic arena on wisps of hazy reverberation, swirling their tendrils effortlessly as they meander on a predestined course, complimenting each other perfectly to create an almost ethereal feel at times. ‘Make A Life’ growls and shudders on a bed of explosive percussion as it unfurls its musical tendrils to unveil a beautifully melodious soundscape filled with sublime vocals, throbbing bass lines, snaking lead licks and wall of sound guitars.
Up next, ‘Always Tomorrow’ swoons as its vocals and tremulous guitars build into a cacophony of blissful noise allowing it to soar through its chorus parts whilst ‘Its You That I Find’ pulses a heavier edge into proceedings, leading the band to unleash their most shoegaze orientated track on the entire release. If I’m honest, ‘Its You That I Find’ is probably my favourite track on the album. ‘Shapes And Things’ drives into the ether on a wave of distorted guitars and thunderous drums. It’s bass frequencies hum as the vocal’s easily enter the maelstrom of noise, bringing with them a refreshing air of clarity as the sonic whirlwind loops and arcs throughout the entire soundscape. ‘Bright Lights’ arrives next and is a monstrously noisy, reverberating beast thats pock marked with ‘teddy boy’ warbling guitar progressions and driving instrumentation. Its vocal lines sit effortlessly atop the swirling sonic cacophony deftly piloting the piece to its finality.
‘Be Eternal’ shimmers into the ether on a blissful wave of golden frequencies, sparse percussion and addictive bass lines that all seem to circumnavigate those impressive duel vocal progressions. The albums penultimate track, entitled ‘Begin Again’, jangles blissfully and builds from the off as its opening chord structures caress the senses and announce the arrival of the impressive vocal. It meanders through sonic peaks and troughs with ease, culminating in an explosive finale filled with repetitious vocal lines and thunderous noise. ‘Imagination’ closes with a flurry of hazy tones, throbbing frequencies and layered reverberations. ‘Monsoon Daze’ is a warm, fuzzy slice of ‘Desert-Gaze’ and a fitting finale to a really great album.
Brooklyn based alt-gazers 'Vivienne Eastwood' have unleashed another new single and stunning accompanying video entitled 'Snooze', lifted off their latest immense EP 'Shook'. 'Vivienne Eastwood' are a fuzzy reverberating slice of quality melody driven brilliance who create stunning, layered soundscapes that simply fly!
The 'Shook' EP will be available to buy/download from: vivienneeastwood.bandcamp.com
Phoenix based dreamy desert-gaze trio 'Citrus Clouds' have unleashed another impressive single entitled 'Make A Life', lifted from their forthcoming and highly anticipated full length album entitled 'Imagination', penned in for release via Custom Made Music. Formed in 2014 the band consists of Erick Pineda, Stacie Huttleston and Angelica Pedrego and they collectively create stunning soundscapes that swim through swathes of melodic ethereal shoegaze whilst all the while coupled with addictive dreamy vocals!
‘Make A Life’ is sublime as it growls and shudders on a bed of explosive percussion. It unfurls its musical tendrils to unveil a beautifully melodious soundscape filled with stunning vocals, throbbing bass lines, snaking lead licks and wall of sound guitars.
'Make A Life' is available to buy/download right now from: citrusclouds.bandcamp.com
Austin based psych-beat producer Al Lover is no stranger to the modern day American underground psych scene having honed his musical craft by melding past and present psych-rock/garage bands into heaving motorik monoliths filled with spaced out repetitious beats, distorted synths, chopped up/glitchy samples and swirling psych induced instrumentation to collectively create a new, previously untapped, form of modern day psychedelia. Now, ahead of an upcoming EU tour, he has teamed up with the purveyors of all things fuzz, the London based Fuzz Club Records to realease a dystopian sonic homage to two of the most influential bands in underground music - krautrock pioneers Neu! and NY proto-punks Suicide.
'NEUicide!' consists of two tracks that swirl menacingly around two repetitive droning 'SUICIDE' notes as the incessantly rhythmic percussive 'NEU' beat drives headlong into a turbulent world of boundless electronica, kraut rock & hypnotic modern day psychedelia. Its sprawling synth swells are addictive, rising and falling like a small wooden boat fighting a huge storm laden sea swell and coupled with those broken samples, cascading synth lines & swirling reverberating drones makes for an epic modern day sonic adventure.
NEUicide! is officially released November 12th on 10" vinyl and will be available to to pre-order from fuzzclub.com
Highly recommended .... We dig this release!
Danish based experimental lo-fi aficionado Jacob Faurholt aka 'Crystal Shipsss' has been releasing lo-fi home recordings, 90's inspired indie rock and ambient drone metal under both his own name and his alias 'Crystal Shipsss' for almost 10 years. His latest album, under the 'Crystal Shipsss' moniker, entitled 'Holly' was released back in May 2016 and features bubblegum pop intertwined with dreamy lo-fi progressions, heavy psych and noisy instrumental outbursts. 'World' is the latest single & accompanying video to be lifted from the aforementioned album.
'World' ambles into the ether on a repetitious percussive pattern underscored by soaring layered synth swells, throbbing bass frequencies and Jacob Faurholt's dulcet tones. The message held within this track is perfectly clear; we're all doomed and 'Crystal Shipss' have been gifted with the mantle of chief naysayer - It's A Burning World!
crystalshipsss.bandcamp.com (vinyls & cassettes)
Elasticity by The Orange Kyte
Continuing on with their impressive musical manifesto of releasing one new track per month in varying sonic shapes & sizes are Canadian based psychedelic explorers 'The Orange Kyte' with their latest triumphant single 'Elasticity'. The band are made up of 'Vancouver based but Dublin born', Stevie Moonboots & a revolving door of likeminded musicians with players on this latest track listed as: guitars, bass and vocals by Stevie Moonboots, drums by Dave Mulvaney & organ and synth by Mat Durie.
'Elasticity' growls into the ether on a magical instrumental drone before exploding into a cacophony of golden frequencies, swirling in close proximity to that impressive vocal performance courtesy of Stevie Moonboots. The track soars through its chorus progressions with ease, pulsing out 60's sounding psychedelic vibes as it meanders into that stunning break filled with tambourine shakes, snaking lead licks and glorious synth swells.
'Elasticity' is available to buy/download right now from theorangekyte.bandcamp.com
ARTIST: Archipelago Swell
RELEASE: Archipelago Swell EP
RELEASE DATE: 14th September 2016
There are support groups for drug users, there are support groups for alcoholics; where is the support group for fans of post-rock? Much like the aforementioned substances post-rock is addictive, translucent and a trip of sorts for the listener; for those addicted, we must always go searching for the next ambient, picturesque sound of swirling guitars and pounding drums. On this search it is clear to see just how popular the genre has become and fully displays the kind of culture (or aesthetic) its fans sport and love. But, as is with every genre, there are both masterpieces and… I don’t know, less than masterpieces? Where does Scottish post-rock/post-metal/instrumental band Archipelago Swell’s self-titled EP land on that spectrum? Well, somewhere in the middle, I suppose…
Archipelago Swell by Archipelago Swell
Archipelago Swell begins with ‘Terraforms’ a dark, heavy piece of post-metal underpinned with a touch of psychedelia for good measure. Impressively, the guitars switch between the tones of a heavy metal band to that of beautiful touching post-rock soundscapes; the drums do a similar dance but not as obvious or perhaps entrancing. In fact, the drums and percussion stay heavy and airy for most of the EP, something that always brings the band back to its post-rock roots; in a good way. As with most songs on the EP, the guitars eventually launch into a much, much heavier sound that rickets through your speakers with all the makings of Viking metal, backed nicely to sound heavier by the drums and the neat but at times inaudible bass. For the most part ‘Terraforms’ takes the shape of almost an intro track; the beginning shuffles around minimally (for the most part) before evolving into a heavier/metal-infused track of an epic scale. And that’s where things get a little bit awkward. After some beautifully intricate guitar playing and soft-dream like backing and textures, Archipelago Swell begin to turn up the metal-scale, and do so to their advantage; things still seem neat and instrumentally interesting. And then after the three minute mark there is a cringe-worthy tempo and riff alteration that weaves itself into some slightly embarrassing drum pieces and boring-as-paint-drying guitar *sexually explicit word*. For the small portion of what could be considered an outro the band regain some of the magic that was withheld at ‘Terraforms’ playful beginning, but all in all the bizarre attempt at ‘experimental’ rock is enough to make the listener take a step back and assesse what the band was trying to do.
‘Terraforms’ is followed by ‘The Overview Effect’ a much wider, epic track in which the band majestically bounce back and showcase their true talent. A sweet, colourfully intellectual piece of music, filled with everything the band are good at; blending instruments, writing cohesive and enjoyable riffs and walking the preverbal line between post-rock and post-metal in a greatly pleasing way. The song builds around a sweet, sketched out guitar line that sweeps and plays around the pounding but delicate drums and churning bass guitar. Epic in scale but never pretentious, the band dabble with a touch of math rock in the outro; which is where some of the greatest slices of music on the track are stationed. This track functions as a full leap into the core of the sort of sound that features on the EP and a step beyond the basic functions of ‘Terraforms’.
What follows is ‘Olympus Mons’ which is... Not that flash actually. What starts as a semi-interesting guitar riff just goes on and on, full of meaty-ness or whatever you want to call it… Occasionally there is a noise in the background that’s supposed to make us all go ‘what a post-rock song this is’ but isn’t really fooling anybody. Wait, I’ll do a cover for you: *Chug-Chug-Chug-Chug* *drum roll* and so on and so forth. Congratulations to the bass player who wrote and played interestingly enough to keep the band slightly above water. This isn’t offensive or meant to be abusive because I still think the previous track is absolutely brilliant, and that elements of ‘Terraforms’ are also beautiful and genius pieces of song writing; but I really don’t know about ‘Olympus Mons’. So here goes; the song has way too much reverb, the opening sounds like an interlude; the riff is uninspiring, generic and bland… And then there is the mixing and the production… Which leaves a lot to be desired. The levels of the guitar on the second half of the song are just so all over the place it literally transcends making an effort. It’s like somebody spilt alcohol on the mixing desk and the levels just started doing the can-can all over the place. And what in all musical sanity made the band put galloping guitars in… Like what are they doing in the song? Is this to try and see-saw the song between credible but bland music and humour? I don’t know. I really don’t know. I didn’t want to make it sound like this, but this is the PG version of what could be written about this; I apologise, but I just can’t put it any smoother. That’s just ‘Olympus Mons’ and how it sounds, how it’s mixed and how it’s heard.
‘Olympus Mons’ leads into ‘Accretion’ which seems somewhat refreshing, albeit nowhere near the pleasing heights of the EPs opposing half. There is more chugging at the songs opening, reminiscent and following on from ‘Olympus Mons’, but this gesture soon seeps into a soft and pleasing outro. Said outro presents a beautiful and majestic piece of post-rock guitar playing. The drums and bass ease back and the whole song sounds like a gentle and atmospheric sigh of relief; like a return to form for the band who use the outro to showcase their talent at simple and dreamy song writing. Eventually the softness of the outro blends into a more heavy and guitar orientated piece of music. I feel like this part of the song is what ‘Olympus Mons’ was trying to or could have been; a nice and enjoyable but epic piece of music.
Okay, okay, okay; a few things you should know. It may sound like in this review that I’m spitting on post-metal… I’m not. I actually love post-metal and the sort of sound and instrumentation a band or artist can play around with while under the moniker of its name. This band has some fantastic pieces of music that are definitely worth listening to. And ultimately, I think both post-rock and post-metal are difficult genres to sound refreshing or original within. But Archipelago Swell at times just try to transcend this difficulty… You’re probably saying ‘well they aren’t pro so…’ but one would only have to look as far as how absolutely mesmerizing unsigned post-rock can be by listening to 'Vinter' by the majestic and very talented 'Star of Heaven' from Stockholm. And while there are certainly many beautiful and fantastic pieces of music and songs on Archipelago Swell, I just can’t help but wonder what they were doing on some songs. At times it’s awkward, at times it’s cringey and at times I wondered whether the band had re-listened to the songs before releasing them. Anyway… I did enjoy some of it, and those pieces of enjoyment were enough to perhaps recommend the EP around, but ultimately I just guess that the listener can decide for themselves. If you enjoy post-metal, if you enjoy post-rock then you might appreciate this. If you are looking for some instrumental songs to chuck on in the background without looking too closely at them, this is for you. If you’re a stickler for production, assessing song writing structures and neatly looking ‘into’ the mixing and the songs meaning, then this is not for you. Credit, however, to the band for their performances, which throughout shine and make things interestingly swift and engaging. Shout out to the bassist for keeping things always interesting throughout the EP (that’s not a joke). You should know that within this EP there is some fantastic and engaging music from a band whose talent sometimes drift, but when it’s practiced; it’s a rewarding listen. Within this talent the band impress through blending, performance and sound.
Archipelago Swell is available to buy/download right now from archipelagoswell.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.