ALBUM REVIEW | Stupid Cosmonaut - Algol (Drone Rock Records)

ARTIST: Stupid Cosmonaut

RELEASE: Algol

RELEASE DATE: March 2017

RECORD COMPANY: Drone Rock Records

UK based sound manipulators ‘Stupid Cosmonaut’ release the next chapter in their impressive sonic catalogue this coming March via Drone Rock Records in the form of their deliciously entrancing four track monolith 'Algol'. Their sound permeates the outer reaches of ambient psych-rock whilst it’s inner core is full of dark, atmospheric synth swells, beautifully produced percussion and swathes of minimalistic drones that collectively create music to immerse your entire being into until you float away on sonic ripples of shimmering ambience. The band are made up of Steve McNamara – synths/bass, Sam Read – synths,/guitar, Andy Hunt – drums & Mark Hawnt - synths. The album is available to pre-order right now on lovely vinyl (colour Side A / Side B effect in black and grey/limited to 250 copies) via dronerockrecords.com

'Algol' unfurls it's sonic wings and swirls into earshot on a wave of hushed voices, haunting bass frequencies and repetitive fret board theatrics. 'Solitary Stasis' floats through the ether on clouds of sweeping synth swells and ambient reverberation coupled with intense atmosphere and the constant chattering of samples vocalisations that seem to come and go in and out of earshot at will. A stunning opening track indeed. Up next, 'The Demon Star Pilot' announces itself on indignant guitar tones and swirling synth swells. coming in at a whopping sixteen minutes plus I quickly realise that I have to strap myself in for the long haul. Senses pummelling frequencies underscored by dark swathes of unrelenting synth lines quiver and wail in a visible mass of atmospheric reverberation as we're swept up and advanced into what I now firmly believe deep space actually feels like. Alone and frightened the arrival of a metronomic percussive thrill and something solid sonically to focus on is a welcome reprise. That's not to say this isn't enjoyable, I'm simply referring to the brilliance of 'Stupid Cosmonaut' and their use of dark atmospherics to stimulate the senses. 'The Demon Star Pilot' rumbles on through massive walls of shimmering synth and soaring lead guitar lines as the ever present cadence of drums, addictive bass thrills and droning instrumentation loops and arcs all over the entire track, helping the listener to experience the full on sonic arsenal that this band can unleash at will. Let's not be fooled here, this track is absolutely immense! You need to listen to it via headphones to experience total sonic immersion.

The album moves on with frightening pace as the albums penultimate piece 'Passing Between Dancing Giants' enters into audible range spiralling menacingly in seething synth lines, echoing reverberation and the constant thump of repetitive drum progressions. 'Passing Between Dancing Giants' is so good it belongs on a sci-fi movie soundtrack. It is huge in scale and moves like a monstrous tidal wave through the ether pulsing instrumental drones, sound waves and frequential noise through swathes of dark reverberation, deploying expansive deluges of sound into every single facet of being. Its a triumphant piece and one that I will keep coming back to again and again. The album closes out in a flurry of psych induced guitar progressions, surging synthetic drones and turbulent glitchy sound waves. 'Barus' is absolutely immense! Swirling atmosphere builds rapidly from behind the dark oppressive instrumentation as hauntingly good production holds court dragging this behemoth into the ether, pulling with it sparse percussion and the dark throb of bass frequencies. Synth swells bob and weave a steady path, intertwining with the twang of guitars but dodging the explosive drum patterns as 'Stupid Cosmonaut' unleash the heaviest track on the entire release. Gone are the ambient stylings of previous tracks to be replaces by a monolithic modern day space rock anthem! 'Barus' is a fitting end to a bloody marvellous album!

Bravo 'Stupid Cosmonaut' ..... we've just pre-ordered this one on vinyl!

4/5

LINKS:

dronerockrecords.com

stupidcosmonaut.bandcamp.com

facebook.com/stupidcosmonaut/

twitter.com/stupidcosmonaut

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.


NEW SINGLE PREMIERE | The Grey Merchant - The Last Transmission

Cork based experimental kraut/psych/alternative collective 'The Grey Merchant' have returned with a stunning new single entitled 'The Last Transmission' following on from their highly addictive debut single 'Spotless (The Protecting Veil)''The Grey Merchant' is the collaborative recording project of Enda O'Flaherty (Neon Atlas) and a collection of friends and fellow musicians. Their sound gravitates towards a mixture of stoner rock & modern day experimental psych & kraut rock with a moody undertone that is steeped in glorious reverberation. 'The last Transmission' is penned in for release on February 23rd with the promise of more releases throughout 2017.

'The Last Transmission' is absolutely massive in scope! Instrumentally immense, it glides through layer after layer of blistering reverberation, rattling on explosive percussion, soaring synth swells and impressive vocalisations all the while being whipped into a sonic frenzy by intricate guitar progressions and brilliant executed production. A step up from their previous release, 'The Last Transmission' only whets the appetite for a hell of a lot more from the band.

Recommended!

LINKS:

soundcloud.com/eannaflatharta

facebook.com/thegreymerchant/


NEW SINGLE PREMIERE | ZRN - Deep End

Danish based noisy alt-psych duo 'ZRN' have released a crawling sonic behemoth in the form of their latest single 'Deep End', lifted from their forthcoming EP entitled 'Swim' penned in for release sometime in April 2017. 'ZRN' are a side project of monstrous Danish psych rockers 'Tales Of Murder And Dust' and their sound has gone from meandering, atmospheric almost slowcore/shoegaze leanings on their 2015 full-length release 'Animous' into a more of a menacing noise rock orientation on these new tracks. In the bands own words 'Deep End' is "a feminist battle hymn" and it was recorded with the backdrop of the US elections hanging over all of our heads. It deals with some very real & dangerous subject matter, focusing on the bleak outlook of a polarized society, where the basic respect for a woman's body and rights is under attack.

'Deep End' is immensely infectious! It undulates and snakes on layers of dark, noisy bass frequencies supplemented with repetitive lead lines, shimmering tambourine shakes and a heavy sense of sonic foreboding. It's vocal lines glide and snake in and out of the instrumentation, under constant bombardment from whirring lead guitar lines and atmospheric production theatrics. There are sublet hints of 'Sonic Youth, Lydia Lunch' and seminal UK noise gazers 'Cranes' pulsing through Deep End's inner core that are incredibly addictive. Roll on the full EP!

Recommended!

LINKS:


ALBUM REVIEW | Solilians - Shin

a1760897817_16ARTIST: Solilians 

RELEASE: Shin

RELEASE DATE: November 18th 2016

RECORD COMPANY: Goodbye Better Records

'Solilians' are a Merrick, NY space rock ensemble that mix Hebrew vocals, ambient dub, and even shoegaze. They sound unlike anything I’ve heard in recent years, sounding as out there as some of A Sunny Day in Glasgow’s material. That only scratches the surface, because they throw in klezmer and horns too. To quote the press kit: ‘Solilians space drone dreams are the interstellar journeys of mystic seekers, mantra minimalism for the next generation. Benjamin Malkin's slow motion ambient dub prisms of klezmer melody refract Sharon Malkin's Mediterranean Hebrew beauty; while Gabriel Walsh's psychedelic sci-fi edge dances with Neptune Sweet's otherworldly cosmic majesty, all coming together on Shin, the four-piece's debut full-length (Think Stereolab slowed down to Stars Of The Lid).

The band got their start via the 7-inch soundtrack of The Binah Comics, a super-powers tale without violence that describes a woman sick of all the insanity and nuclear posturing surround­ing her homeland. A collaboration between Benjamin's writing and the great illustrator Ian Densford, The Binah Com­ics proved successful and Malkin put together his dream team of some of today’s best space rock minds to create ambient reflections of the comics. Starting off, there is 'Hine Ma Tov (Merc Yes Mix)' with horns, slow jam beats, and a droning aspect to it that invites and keeps the listener engaged. 'Hatikvah The Next Generation' retains the same mysterious elements, and it’s all about the emotion elicited, so the lyrics matter less than the music, at least for me. Its center is a drone and numerous voices move in and through the mix, leaving the listener feeling a bit unsettled. 'Lamedvavniks' exceeds eight minutes and is an interstellar journey into the heart of space. Vocals emanate from the creepy fringes of an event horizon, and immerse your ears in cosmic dream pop. This is music to be enjoyed over a great set of headphones and infinite time to let your mind expand and take it all in.

'Rev’s Gold' is much shorter and offers listeners a trippy sonic tapestry mingled with subdued vocals. It is music that takes you out of yourself, drawing you into a daydream. 'Hine Ma Tov' makes another appearance in the form of the Space Drone Dream Mix and this time it’s 13 minutes long! Prepare to float away into the ether. 'I Have Been, And Always Shall Be, Your Friend' takes its title from a Spock quote, and many hued layers of sound propel you straight in and you wish it would never end. Pulsating synths burgeon and grow in volume before it all comes to a dead stop. 'Planet Binah' may well be the centerpiece of this album, named as it is for The Binah Comics. It is another 13 plus minute journey, demanding that you stay present and experience its pulsating presence. The singer’s voice is submerged with synthesizers taking center stage. It all comes to a close with 'Post-Rev’s Reprise', a somewhat disquieting drone that winds down quickly. In short, this is album unlike anything you’ve heard this year, or any year for that matter. It is a fascinating and demanding work, but one that will reward you with repeated listens. Well worth seeking out for fans of international space rock laced with ambient dream pop.

4/5

LINKS:

Solilians.bandcamp.com

goodbyebetter.com

solilians.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

elizabeth

Music has always been a driving force for Elizabeth Klisiewicz, which she days "continues to define my existence". At present, she writes for The Big Takeover Magazine and The Active Listener Blog, and when not writing technical manuals, she gets her thrills from reading mysteries, birdwatching, and can always be found with a camera and a maxed-out storage card full of music.


NEW SINGLE PREMIERE | The Grey Merchant - SPOTLESS (THE PROTECTING VEIL)

Hailing from Southern Ireland, 'The Grey Merchant' have just announced their stunning debut single entitled 'Spotless (The Protecting Veil)' , penned in for release on November 8th 2016 via Demeanour Records. 'The Grey Merchant' is the collaborative recording project of Cork based Enda O'Flaherty (Neon Atlas) and a collection of friends and fellow musicians. Their sound gravitates towards a mixture of stoner rock & modern day experimental psych & kraut rock with a moody undertone that is steeped in glorious reverberation. With the promise of further singles and an EP to follow in 2017, 'The Grey Merchant' are most definitely the ones to watch.

'Spotless (The Protecting Veil)' rumbles around a sampled vocal line (courtesy of Charlie Chaplin's speech from 'The Great Dictator') as the track deftly unfurls its edgy side and unleashes a repetitive percussive assault on the senses. Throbbing bass lines and squally droning guitars circumnavigate the entire soundscape as we lurch forward in a distinctly motorik krautrock fashion all the while pulsing stunning frequencies into the atmosphere.

Recommended listening!

LINKS:

soundcloud.com/eannaflatharta

facebook.com/thegreymerchant/


NEW SINGLE PREMIERE | Al Lover - NEUicide! (Fuzz Club Records)

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!

LINKS: 

fuzzclub.com


EP REVIEW | The Poetry Book - Young Martyrs EP

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ARTIST: The Poetry Book

RELEASE: Young Martyrs EP

RELEASE DATE: 05/07/15

RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned

'The Poetry Book' appear to defy their locale, opting to create a kind of black ice -coated electro that suggests the sunshine of Madrid is not their spiritual home. 'The Young Martyrs EP', the duo’s second, is a chilly creation that conjures up bleak post-industrial cityscapes.

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The title of the opening track sets the scene. 'Decay' is a dark JAMC-esque drone with a side order of psych. 'Young Martyrs' is driven by a tom-heavy drum beat and a melancholy howl, sending chills down the spine. The goth gaze of 'Love Letter', with its heavily processed drums, is fast and slick and scary. 'A Last Ritual' unsettles us further with its dark 80s electro feel. The EP closes with 'The Promise', full of dystopian drama and laden with synthesised sounds, reminiscent of Mogwai’s soundtrack work for Les Revenants.

'The Young Martyrs EP' is out now at www.thepoetrybook.bandcamp.com.

LINKS:

soundcloud.com/the-poetry-book

facebook.com/pages/The-Poetry-Book/390016274506524?fref=ts

ABOUT  THE AUTHOR:

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Sarah Cuthbert-Kerr

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.