Ruins Ruins - Mammock - Featured Image - (700x700)

ALBUM REVIEW | Ruins! Ruins! - Mammock

ARTIST: Ruins! Ruins!

RELEASE: Mammock 

RELEASE DATE: 10th August 2017

RECORD COMPANY: Fluttery Records

The rumbling sound of a deep but somewhat cinematic cello, backed by the rumbling march-beat of a drum and the occasional strum of a guitar opens up the wondrously bizarre carnival of music and sounds created by Russian natives Ruins! Ruins! A band who dwell somewhere in the Siberian forest. To accompany this contextual imagery of forests and the wild where the band reside is their own free form, dirty, heavy and dissonant brand of post-rock. I wish to clarify that when I say post-rock, I mean the furthest thing away from the ambient tinkerings and soundscape-backed light drone music that has come to represent the genre. Rather, Ruins! Ruins! project sludgy, progressive rock style ‘big’ riffs that are contrasted with passages of cello based, string music and playing of the utmost beauty. Together, these elements make their album Mammock a truly engaging deep dive into what can achieved in post-rock music with a bit of grit, distortion and experimentation.

‘Serene’ opens the album with the cello/drum/guitar sound that I begun the review with, operating as a neat intro to the heaviness and raw-rock sound of the album. ‘Hurricane’ captures the essence of the whole album: large, crunching and dirty, with several shifts in tempo and style to create balance along the way. Around the three minute mark, the music notably slows down to a fantastic chug of guitars and cello interlocked together before diving back into a wide scale of the songs origins. ‘Distress’ turns things even heavy and features some of the greatest textural blending on the whole release, especially towards the end of the song. ‘Grab’ opens with the feedback echo of a guitar and a drum beat that welcomes in a catchy bass line. Just as you think Ruins! Ruins! are going to turn it up again and go full on, crunch-down with their drums and guitars, they instead slow down and turn the song into a tight display of rhythm. ‘Arch’ sways on for over twelve minutes, and what first sounds interesting and appealing slowly turns into a slog through the preverbal mud. There are indeed interesting and perhaps even beautiful moments on the song, but its lengthy and overblown running time becomes exceptionally tiresome, especially with a middle section that is built around already explored territory. A brief dance with the china symbol just before the ten minute mark makes the last section the most enjoyably fascinating over the course of the entire song.

‘Kurta’ proves to be one of the albums highlights: its textural cresecendos are made all the more rewarding when the vast and wide prog breakdowns are backed by more ambient, sound scaped guitars. The drumming (as well as the other instruments) are of a strong and rewarding quality also. Chucking another over eleven minute song onto an already lengthy album is ridiculously game, but thankfully ‘Szorstki’ is a different beast altogether. Opening quietly and with a slow-burn progression into a much louder and more full sound, the song captures the essence of what fantastic progressive rock should be: tight, loose and a step-by-step journey into engaging sounds. ‘Collumns’ is the opposite: over six minutes of throughouly monotous down-strumming ‘hard’ rock. ‘Polynya’, however, is another fantastic track and definitely yet another album highlight. The border line black metal-esque opening receeds into long, slow, and downtrodden guitar scapes that build up again with the assistant of tight and melodic drumming.

'Mammock' is an interesting mixed bag of sounds. Sometimes its bordering on feats of alternative and prog-metal, other times it shows the listener nothing more than beautiful cello and tight yet simplistic drumming. The underlying genre of the whole release, however, is that chuggy-chug-chug-chug prog rock sound… Which becomes tedious as easily as it becomes interesting. The first half of this album is a fascinating exercise in dirty, open ended prog and post-rock musings, but by the time the second half of 'Mammock' rolls around, things start to feel a bit on the tiresome side. I completely have nothing against lengthy songs or lengthy albums, but where fantastically original bands such as WTCHS and My Invisible Friend triumph in their extended adventures through sound, Ruins! Ruins! don’t alter things quite enough to keep themselves in the ball game. Similiarly, they don’t keep it avant-garde or experimental enough to justify their song writing choices. Of course, there are redeeming features throughout the album: almost the entire first half is enjoyable and engaging and select songs thorugh the second half retain this neat and original flavour. Also the performances are of a fantastically strong quality, balancing the enjoyable production with a heavy yet melodic sound.

3.5/5

LINKS:

ruin-ruins.bandcamp.com

www.flutteryrecords.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Cam Phillips - Contributing Writer

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 Baeble Music and Culture (USA), Sounds and Colours Magazine (Latin America, London), Easterndaze (Latvia) and the Australian based heavy music blog, I Probably Hate Your Band.


ALBUM REVIEW | Sounds Of Sputnik - New Born feat Ummagma

a0232950477_16ARTIST: Sounds Of Sputnik

RELEASE: New Born feat Ummagma

RELEASE DATE: 16th May 2016

RECORD COMPANY: Moon Sounds Records

When I first heard that two powerhouses of the underground post-rock, electronic shoegazing & dream-pop scene were collaborating on an album I wasn’t in the least bit surprised. In fact, I was overjoyed! After all it is a musical match made in heaven in my opinion. I was surprised, though, to read that it was going to be Sound Of Sputnik’s debut album because I’d been listening to Sound Of Sputnik for a long time, playing them on Primal Radio and up until now foolishly thinking that they had a back catalogue of albums to peruse at my leisure. Boy was I wrong! Moscow-based Sounds Of Sputnik is the brain child of Roma Kalitkin, a close collaborator of UMMAGMA, influenced by My Bloody Valentine, The Jesus And Mary Chain, Ride & Sonic Youth but with a style closer to Mogwai or Air Formation. What I had been listening to were stunning soundscapes written as a group of tracks but never actually released as an album! I’m talking about electronic, post-gazing soundscapes like: Astronomical Summer, Adaptation, The Mission & Motoroller!

It was then that I had one of those ‘light bulb lighting up over head moments’. I got giddy & I simply had to hear what these two bands could conjure up together musically! So when I received my copy of the album to review what I found was a musical masterpiece! Yes the trademark Sounds Of Sputnik post-rock & shoegazing soundscapes are still there but there is an added injection of something rather special. You see to me I’m amazed at how a collection of musicians fixed on the same trajectory with the same drive & abilities can create brilliant musical ideas and get the best results imaginable in the most harshest of atmospheres! You see ‘New Born’ is groundbreaking on many levels musically but it’s the fact that Roma Kalitkin, Alexx Kretov & Shauna McLarnon managed not only to initiate this project but co-write & record it under what must be a whirlwind of unpredictable political turmoil in Kretov’s home country of Ukraine thats the most amazing thing! And collectively they don’t disappoint!

Unless you have been hiding under a rock for the past twelve months you would have read or heard about Ummagma, the Canadian / Ukrainian electronic, dream-pop duo of Shauna McLarnon & Alexx Kretov and their stunning albums UMMAGMA, Antigravity & Lama Remixes LP on which Sounds Of Sputnik created a remix of Lama, another epic Ummagma track and their latest Moon Sounds Records released ‘Frequency EP’. What Ummagma bring to this collaboration is the vision of vocalist, producer/musician Alexx Kretov and the absolutely stunningly beautiful vocal abilities of Shauna McLarnon. Mixing melodic dream-pop with electronic shoegaze, they add their life’s blood to this record and you can hear it in every track that they feature on! From the blistering lead track ‘New Born’ with Shauna McLarnon on vocals through to the brilliant dream-pop/shoegaze laden ‘Light Scheme’ featuring Kretov & McLarnon on duel vocals and on into the epic Sounds Of Sputnik’s post-rock, gaze heavy ‘Blizzard’ & ‘Shades Of The Cosmos’ this album plays effortlessly from track to track! Add into the sonic melting pot the pulsating, thundering ‘Overdrive’ featuring none other than Graham Bonnar (Ex Swervedriver/Brian Jonestown Massacre ) on drums & McLarnon on vocals & what we have is a must have album for anyone who adores everything thats good within the electronic, post-rock, dream-pop & shoegazing genre’s without the frills!

‘New Born’ also feature’s remixes of both ‘New Born’ & ‘Light Scheme’ by Malcom Holmes of legendary Synthpop group OMD, Oleg Mezherovsky & Morozov, Roma Kalitkin himself & Brazil’s Mind Movies!

The album was released on May 16th through the Texas based independent label ‘Moon Sounds Records’ and is also available on various formats through: soundsofsputnik.bandcamp.com/album/new-born

4/5

LINKS:

moonsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com

soundsofsputnik.bandcamp.com

ummagma.bandcamp.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Del Chaney has spent the last four years not only fronting popular experimental Irish based 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 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.


EP REVIEW | Lava Lite - Lava Lite EP

a0692290148_2

Artist: Lava Lite

Release: Lava Lite EP

Release Date: 23/04/14

Record Company: Unsigned

Lava Lite are a  Shoegaze/Dream Pop band, formed in Saint-Petersburg, Russia in 2011. They are: Sergenty Timoshenko - guitar, keys & vocals, Nikita Tarakanov - guitar & keys, Paul Kostyaev - bass & Eugene Kulikov - drums, percussion & backing vocals. This band have slipped under the shoegazing radar but from the very first listen it sound's to me like they've put their boots on, kicked down the door & unleashed a mesmerising whirlwind of beautiful shimmering shoegaze on their latest 5 track, self-titled offering. We've chosen 3 tracks from this EP and you can read what we thought of them below:

[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=1665240877 size=large bgcol=333333 linkcol=e32c14 tracklist=false artwork=small]

 

'Fear Of Silence', the first incredible track on the EP, with guitar nods to nirvana and bass lines similar to the ilk of dare I say it  - 'Twiggy Ramierez'(Marilyn Manson) circa 1996, it's also got the fire of the smashing pumpkins! Check it out:

[bandcamp width=100% height=42 album=1665240877 size=small bgcol=333333 linkcol=e32c14 track=2347858505]

 

Track 2-  'Have You Ever', is somewhere between 'Waterfall' by 'The Stone Roses' & 'Kevin Is Gay' by 'Giant Drag'. This song meanders on a little bit and is by no means the best offering to the shoegaze gods but it is a solid second track. The one thing I really like about this track is the vocal line as it sears around the tracks like water around a stone in a running river.

[bandcamp width=100% height=42 album=1665240877 size=small bgcol=333333 linkcol=e32c14 track=2316812727]

 

On 'Can't You See', the third track on this epic EP we are treated to sparse bass lines, octaving smoothly as if they were lounging around in a funk track. It has an energy to it thats similar to the 'Brian Jonestown Massacre' but with its own vitality. It invokes a sort of 'post rum libido' for that special someone you only met 3 hours ago at the local bar. This track also comes with the standard wailing unison bend that we all know and love, the lazy guitar line that refuses to change key and the bass line's are playing very nice with the drums. This epitomises what shoegaze is all about & its one of my fave tracks on this lovely EP.

[bandcamp width=100% height=42 album=1665240877 size=small bgcol=333333 linkcol=e32c14 track=359798852]

 

From start to finish this EP is a display of music made by a band who have embodied the sonic culture completely by the way that they consume the music of the sophmoric shoegaze era ,eating other modern bands for dessert. The musicianship and production values on this EP are fantastic plus the songwriting is lush and the lead singers voice is immense. What I would love to hear from them is music in their own language, but moreover I can't wait to hear what they come up with next. Their sound is already very mature and their production impressive. 'Lava Lite' are ones to watch.

The EP was recorded & mixed by Vladimir Nosyrev at the Petersburg Recording Studio, Saint Petersburg, produced by Lava Lite & mastered by Andrey Subbotin at the Saturday Mastering Studio, Moscow and is available up on their band camp site - www.LavaLite.Bandcamp.Com

LINKS: 

facebook.com/LavaLiteBand

soundcloud.com/lavalite

last.fm/music/lava+lite?setlang=en

vimeo.com/lavalite

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Robert Von Ciaran
Robert Von Ciaran

Robert Von Ciaran is the Vocalist, Guitarist, Producer & Engineer in Irish heavy shoegazers 'Tuath'. Hailing from Galway in Western Ireland Robert's musical influences span numerous genres and are far reaching. 'Tuath' are quietly establishing themselves as forerunners in Ireland's shoegaze & psych-rock scene.