ALBUM REVIEW | Shoegazer Sanctuary Records (V/A) - Gazing Into Andromeda Volume II

ARTIST: Shoegazer Sanctuary Records

RELEASE: Gazing Into Andromeda Volume II 

RELEASE DATE: 7th January 2016

RECORD COMPANY: Shoegazer Sanctuary Records

I'm not really one for reviewing compilations. I've always found that they're either full of the same old, same old bands & featured artists or it's just another blog, webzine or net label trying their luck by forcing me into another click bait exercise. It's all a very disappointing & mundane exercise to be honest. But I sat back and watched as the Connecticut based net label 'Shoegazer Sanctuary Records' release their debut compilation 'Gazing Into Andromeda Volume I' in July of last year and I was mesmerised at how they selected the list of artists for the release. They didn't add the usual heavy hitters from the underground psych/gaze/ethereal/ambient scene just to get Facebook likes or numbers across a blog. They didn't annoyingly force the release into my inbox either by harassing or tagging me in their social media posts. They purposefully & honestly decided on each artist by their sonic individuality (and not by their social standing) and that's the reason why I'm reviewing this compilation release today. 'Gazing Into Andromeda Volume II' features 20 artists from the world wide space rock, shoegaze, psych-gaze & ambient electronica scene that you may or may not have ever heard of before, and that really shouldn't matter. What you can bet your bottom dollar on is that every single track on this release will blow your socks off. As usual the label have put this out as a 'Name Your Price' tariff up on their bandcamp page: shoegazersanctuaryrecords.bandcamp.com

This massive compendium of sound opens up with Italian giants 'Clustersun' and a track taken from their amazing 2014 release 'Out Of Your Ego'. The chosen track is 'Clustersun' and it shimmers in a beautifully translucent psych-gaze haze filled with melodic drones and fizzy sonic sequences. Up next, Melbourne natives 'Fire To The Stars' bring magical synth swells, swirling vocalisations and droning reverberation to the fore as 'Keep You Safe' taken from their 2016 release 'Made Of Fire' is brought to bare. Connecticut based 'Omega Vague' unleashes a huge sonic behemoth next, in the form of 'From The Outside', lifted off last years triumphant full release 'Obsolescent' whilst Canadian based 'Slowly' ushers in tremulous instrumentation and gloriously addictive shimmering tones as the melancholically atmospheric 'Melt' does exactly as it says on the tin. Utterly delectable and a beautifully crafted piece of music.

It's off to Malaysia next as we're graced with beautiful waves of reverb laden guitars and ethereal vocalisations courtesy of the track 'Past', lifted off SOFT's majestic 2013 release 'A Warm Romanticism In A Coldwave Room'. Sit back as this track explodes into the ether, swirling into beautiful, cascading frequencies as it burns out. Up next is the California based Ryan Fields aka 'Project Skywards' and a track called 'No More Lies' originally released back in 2006 on his immense 4 track EP entitled 'Sirius'. 'Project Skywards' blend ambient electronica and experimental space rock with magnificent results. Definitely worthy of your ears. The next five track blend seamlessly. The hazily hypnotic space rock sounds of 'The Quality Of Mercury' swirl into the ether as 'Her Eyes Are The Stars' explodes into earshot whilst Sweden's own shoegaze wonders 'Zeit' bring the noise with their 2013 release 'Silvery Nights'. Then it's up to Atlanta based 'Absence Of Ocean' to bring their majestic blend of experimental post-gaze into the mix as 'We Don't Sleep' spins into earshot on a cloud of swirling reverb & quivering atmospherics. Up next, impressive Californian doom gazers 'Sleep White Winter' bring a heavy darkness to proceedings with two tracks. Firstly 'Philo Sophia' gets a spin, lifted off their latest six track release 'Degeneracy of Nostalgia' followed by 2014's 'A Succession of Unrecognizable Emotions' lifted off their self titled full length album.

Half way through and the immense tracks keep coming. One of our favourite UK based bands of the past few years 'The Virgance' aka Nathan Smith injects his fuzzy brand of experimental psych into proceedings with the incredibly intense  'Saturnine', lifted off his immense 2015 release 'Paradigm 3' whilst up next we're whisked off into a dreamlike electro-gaze state as Vitaly Bogachev aka 'Talhayme' unleashes 'Real Me' lifted off his 2016 release 'Telesanctuar'. Up next are a band who tweaked my attention back in 2014. Melbourne based 'The Lost Jackets' released a five track EP back then entitled 'The Airports Of The World All Look The Same' and I instantly fell in love with it. Here they are represented by the brooding track 'Sirens', lifted off their 2016 release 'Don't Turn Your Back On The Sea'. Well worth your time! Argentina based 'Ison Spectra' swirls effortlessly into earshot with their experimental space-gaze release 'Oceano' whilst Brazilian based Roberta Artiolli and Bruno Romani aka 'S.E.T.I' reinvigorate the senses with the beautifully dreamy synth laden 'Sinta​-​se, Perca​-​se', taken from their latest full length album 'Extase' released back in 2015. Santiago, Chile is our next port of call as delicious dream gazers 'Perfectos Extraños' float into earshot on a swirling frequential drone and instrumental atmospherics. The track represented here, entitled 'Shanghái' is filled with warm, summery eastern flair.

Québec based 'The City Gates' have been wowing the underground fraternity over the past year or so with their brand of no nonsense gaze induced soundscapes. The brilliant 'Maddening Ride' is taken from their highly anticipated forthcoming sophomore release penned in for sometime in 2017. Recommended listening if you ask me. Up next, Berlin based shoegazers 'Downhill Willows' unleash the brilliant track 'Machines', lifted off their self titled debut album, released back in 2016. Special mention here has to go to the immense vocalisations of Kenneth Estrada. Check them out. The spiralling dark-wave sounds peppered with subtle psych-gaze highlights of North Carolina based 'Spirit System' (another band that we've reviewed here at Primal) effortlessly swerve into audible range with their track 'Nest' lifted off their immense album 'Nightfalling' whilst the brilliant London based 'Doldrums' have added their epic track 'Dreamcatcher' to the list, bringing with it a touch of impressive neo-psychedelia. I'm please to see another one of my favourite bands make an appearance on this compilation as Michigan based 'Great Black Night' bring their fuzzy brand of melodiously dreamy psych-pop to the sonic table. 'Spit You Out' is lifted from the bands latest six track release 'Lift Those Hands', a serious recommendation from me! 'The Dead Lucid' released their debut six track self titled EP to the masses back in October 2016. This is an immense slice of impressive psych rock and it's well represented here with 'If You Don't Mind', a serious throw back to that delicious 60's psych sound.

Self classed as 'Soundgaze', Rome based Massimiliano Nardulli and Gabriele Saffioti aka 'Pipes Not Dead' create a heady mix of shoegaze & electronica with outstanding results. 'The Place Where Time Stood Still' plinks into existence on sequenced theatrics and electronic percussion before scooping you up on a journey of sonic discovery. Up next are the experimental indie rock/shoegaze stylistics of L.A based 'PurePleaser' who's track 'The Grateful 4' at first confuses me before exploding into a electro-gaze masterpiece.  The penultimate track on this epic 20 track compilation comes courtesy of 'The Infinite Seas', an LA based electronica duo comprised of Infinite Creativity Group Founder and Producer Dino Bose and Vocalist/Dancer Yanna Fabian who create dark and broody electronica. 'Dark Lightning' is reminiscent at times to the brilliant 'Spc Eco', with it's huge production and ear catching vocalisations. The final piece of this immense worldwide sonic puzzle goes to Maryland based 'Soñder' and their specially commissioned 'Sanctuary Remix' of 'STRAÑGE'. A fitting book end to one of the more interesting music compilations out there today. Go get it!

4/5

LINKS:

shoegazersanctuaryrecords.bandcamp.com

twitter.com/JShoegazer

facebook.com/groups/shoegazersanctuary/

facebook.com/shoegazersanctuaryrecords/

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. 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 | Blushing - Tether

ARTIST: Blushing 

RELEASE: Tether

RELEASE DATE: 13th January 2016

RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned

Ethereal and dreamy, from Austin Texas comes the low-key shimmer and shine of 'Tether'; the debut EP from dream pop quartet (comprised of two husband and wife pairs) 'Blushing'. On this release the band use all of their technological wizardry to offer a basic, by the books dream pop EP, albeit a greatly enjoyable and catchy one at that.

The EP opens with the title track, whose gentle guitars leads the way into the well written melodic structure of the song, built around the slow tap of the drums, well mixed and comfortable bass and the noisy but ethereal influenced guitars. Special credit to the fantastic and memorable chorus, in which two soaring female vocals meld mesmerizingly with the instrumentation to create a beautiful and original type of sound. The band take que's from many other dream pop bands and include noise and feedback laden guitars in the songs outro; tying everything together into a neat and dreamy songs. The opener is followed by the much less engaging ‘Why Can’t We?’ which rolls along in a simple, almost generic form of pop music, culminating with a good outro and guitar sound before sliding back into its shell. Much like many pop musicians in the modern age 'Blushing' play it way too safe and straight forward with ‘Why Can’t We?’ making it look like the ultimate b-side on an otherwise very interesting debut EP.

The more slower and strung out ‘Mess’ stands out as one of the EPs most well-written tracks, helped graciously by the brilliant bluegrass/soft-rock style guitar strumming away in the background. The whole song shows the bands strongest points and puts on display their talents in the mixing and production area of things. The subtlety of the drum beats and fills can almost go unnoticed but I plead that one pay attention to this, as with the synth/soundscapes that meld away into the background (on purpose) making the whole song sound like a mixture of hipster paradise and palm tree-shoegaze styled aesthetics. The guitar shines through in the second half of the piece, in a breakdown styling that further compliments the song. ‘Protect You’ opens with a nice drone noisescape before the band show their previously explored, swinging jangle style sound backed up by a darker and heavier tone. As though the EP is a progression of the bands song writing, ‘Protect You’ stands as a few steps away from the EP’s beginning, with the band projecting a more well-rounded sound in an invigorating way. This very fact makes the EP even more enjoyable when you listen with the whole thing in context.

The more one listens to 'Tether', the more one notices how heavily the band’s sound is either reflected or influenced by indie and jangle pop bands. Though the EP projects a warm and fuzzy form of dream pop and ethereal rock, it is the songs undercurrents and foundations that owe much to indie and pop rock influence, mainly through the songs melodies and the style in which 'Tether' is produced. As previously stated, this EP is by no means avant-garde or extremely inventive in terms of stepping forward into new musical territory; it instead utilizes a well-rehearsed form of creating and writing dream pop and shoegaze music. Is this a bad thing? Well, no it’s not… It’s just that when you listen to it; make sure you listen for enjoyment completely. And before you ask, in no way was that some sort of stab at 'Blushing' or some kind of way of saying their music isn’t great. Their music is in fact great, but in a way that you may have already heard. The band should be congratulated however, on the beautiful and clear production and mixing on the EP, which highlights every little facet of their skills. Almost every chorus on the EP is brilliant and catchy; something that many dream pop acts generally forget about. And altogether, the performances are definitely worth a mention. This EP is a fantastic reminder of how dream pop can be just as brilliant as it’s ever been, channelled through production, mixing and sound.

3.5/5

LINKS:

weareblushing.bandcamp.com

facebook.com/weareblushing/#

twitter.com/BlushingBand

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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.


EP REVIEW | Liebermann - Evergreen

ARTIST: Liebermann

RELEASE: Evergreen

RELEASE DATE: 30th December 2016

RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned

Noisy Moscow based alt-pop/shoegaze quartet 'Liebermann' originally formed back in 2015. Steeped effortlessly in a noisy reverberating stew, the bands sound is brilliantly highlighted by it's soaring, almost ethereal vocalisations mixed instrumentally with a melancholic look back to the melodious early 90's. The band are made up of Zhanna Axenova - vocals, Yuriy Yakovlev - guitar, Michael Medvedev - bass & Denis Malyshev - drums and you can buy/download the bands debut EP 'Evergreen' right now from liebermann.bandcamp.com

The EP opens up with the title track! 'Evergreen' squeals into earshot on a wave of high pitched feedback and sullen guitar stabs before opening up into a wall of melody driven instrumentation. The addition of skittish drum patterns and throbbing bass frequencies introduce us to the heavenly vocalisations of Zhanna Axenova and the entire track soars into the ether. Up next, 'Midnight Sun' drives a harsh wedge onto proceedings with it's high hat heavy drum pattern, swirling bass lines and another impressively melodic guitar progression. The track explodes into it's chorus patterns with stunning aplomb, looping and arcing all over the sonic canvas, showcasing the song writing prowess that 'Liebermann' have in their arsenal.

The EP's penultimate track slows things down a touch. From it's opening chord structures 'Constrnt' lends itself more to a C86 sound but that theory is soon shattered as 'Liebermann' use Axenova's vocal prowess to blistering effect, swirling deftly into a cacophony of layered fuzzy guitars, melodious bass and pounding drums. The closing track on the EP is a slice of brilliant dreamy shoegaze. 'Rat Prince (Pumpkin Face)' shimmers on a cloud of ethereal vocalisations coupled with woozy guitars that swoon and move effortlessly on a bedrock of humming bass frequencies and exploding drums. Probably my favourite track on the entire release 'Rat Prince (Pumpkin Face)' is worthy of your ears and it closes out a rather interesting EP.

4/5

LINKS:

liebermann.bandcamp.com

vk.com/avi_liebermann

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. 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 VIDEO PREMIERE | The Marbles Jackson - Ten Million Suns

 

London (Hackney) based fuzzy & atmospheric psych/shoegaze outfit 'The Marbles Jackson' have announced a brand new single & visually compelling accompanying video directed by Naoko Takahashi entitled 'Ten Million Suns', penned in for release on the January 26th 2017 via Feline Frequency Recordings. This latest single is the band first since their highly successful full length album 'Notes To Dust' wowed us back in April 2015. The band are made up of Terry Kirkbride - voice/drums/acoustic guitar/drone, Naoko Takahashi - electric guitar/voice, Simon Gwyne - keys/electric guitar/slide guitar & Mikey Belfast Gibson - bass. 'Ten Million Suns' (backed by Wish For) is released on digital download and very limited edition Red Cassette Tape on 26th January 2017 and will be available to pre-order very soon via ffrecordings.bandcamp.com

'Ten Million Suns' echoes in a swirling haze of reverberation as the highly addictive vocalisations of Terry Kirkbride shimmer and glide through diminished instrumental drones, fizzing percussion and tremulous acoustic frequencies. The track loops and arcs through many different sonic permutations all the while cushioning your senses with beautifully intense passages of hypnotically charged psychedelic tones deftly underscored by brilliantly executed production techniques.

Recommended!

LINKS:

ffrecordings.bandcamp.com

themarblesjackson.wordpress.com

facebook.com/The-Marbles-Jackson-156165181144626/

twitter.com/marblesjackson


NEW VIDEO PREMIERE | Honeyrude - Roger McClain

Austin based shoegaze/alt rock four piece 'Honeyrude' have unleashed the first single, a one song teaser entitled 'Roger McClain' and it's brilliant accompanying video from their forthcoming full EP that's penned in for release sometime in the spring via Shifting Sounds. The band are made up of Ian Lund - guitar, Billy Kunath - bass, Paul Goetz - drums & Jess Ledbetter - guitar/vocals and what they collectively create are melodious soundscapes filled with mesmerising lead licks, uplifting hooks and glorious vocalisations that deftly skip through jangling shoegaze & brilliantly executed rock ‘n’ roll whilst being marvellously steeped in 90's sounding nostalgia.

The band reference My Bloody Valentine, The Verve, Failure, Medicine, Teenage Fanclub & Swervedriver as major influences on their overall sound so what's not to like?

We'll be keeping our well tuned ear's out for these guys throughout 2017.

Recommended!

LINKS:

facebook.com/HoneyrudeATX/


NEW SINGLE PREMIERE | Glissade - Malai Kofta Blues

On January 1st 2016 North Carolina based experimental psych gaze outfit 'Glissade' returned with a tasty instrumental eastern themed piece entitled 'Malai Kofta Blues'. The track swirls impressively around a buzzing synth drone, steeped in fuzzy esoteric vibes and hypnotic reverberations that are sure to have you mesmerised from your very first listen.

The track is available to buy/download right now from glissade.bandcamp.com

Recommended!

LINKS:

glissade.bandcamp.com


ALBUM REVIEW | Hideous Towns - Disquiet Living

ARTIST: Hideous Towns

RELEASE: Disquiet Living

RELEASE DATE: 25th November 2016

RECORD COMPANY: The Lost And Lonesome Recording Co.

Melbourne based 'Hideous Towns' have been on our radar here at Primal Music ever since their self titled five track EP release back in 2014. The band consists of Alana West, Ashley Stirling, Chris MacLean & Ryan DeCoite and they collectively create a beautifully astute melding of dreamy dream-pop, alt-rock and blissed out shoegaze! Their debut album 'Disquiet Living' was released back on November 25th 2016 via The Lost And Lonesome Recording Co and it is available to buy/download right now from hideoustowns.bandcamp.com 

Skittish percussion and jangling guitar progressions announce the arrival of ‘Don’t Forget’, the opening salvo on ‘Disquiet Living’. The stunning vocal arrangement swirls into earshot held fast within a surging maelstrom of fuzzy noise until we’re scooped up with it and pulled head long into a wonderful musical trip. Up next ‘Lion’ woozily swerves into the ether on a beautifully golden guitar line coupled with sublime vocalisations, throbbing bass frequencies and motorik percussion whilst ‘Jacques - Louis David’ reverberates old school post-punk sounds with a distinctly modern twist. Driving bass lines and explosive drums hold a steady central spine while the swirling lead guitar lines weave a blistering sonic web, deftly circumnavigating those impressive vocal lines courtesy of Alana West.

‘Waratah’ pulses dreamy frequencies out into the ether on waves of intoxicating instrumentation as we meander through melodious bass lines, wavy effects laden verse progressions and on into those explosive chorus breaks. A thoroughly enjoyable track and probably my favourite on the entire album. Up next, ‘Glass Curtain’ is drenched in delicious reverb and underscored with angry guitars, driving bass frequencies and those immense ‘call to arms’ vocal progressions reminiscent at times to seminal UK based noise makers ‘The Cranes’. ‘Don’t Look Up’ is a beautiful slice of noisy melody driven dream-pop whilst ‘Coincidences’ is jam packed full of atmospherics and brilliantly executed guitar lines that coalesce effortlessly with West’s distinctive vocalisations.

Fuzzy guitars announce the arrival of ‘Value’ (the albums first single) and it’s not long before it’s undulating bass lines take hold, deftly intertwined with a steadying drum pattern. Collectively they take up a type of sonic holding pattern as those reverberating guitars try ever so hard to keep up with those turbulent vocal lines. Up next, ‘Fantasy’ is led by hi-hat heavy percussion and another addictive bass line. This track drives sonic wedge through wave after wave of impressive instrumentation that is constantly battered by West’s sublime vocalisations. The albums penultimate track slows proceedings down a tad as lazy percussion and scaled back guitars allow the vocals to soar into the sonic ether. ‘Wake Us’ is a beautiful slice of modern dream-pop. Instrumentally reminiscent at times to Adam Granduciel’s ‘The War On Drugs’ albeit a million times better vocally. The albums closing piece is thing of beauty. ‘Natural Expression’ bobs and weaves on a shimmering wave of instrumentally charged reverb as those sparse percussive hits chug along nonchalantly. Beautifully radiant sound waves pulse outwardly as the vocals arrive accompanied by shimmering lead guitar lines that dance and arc all over the sonic ether. Harmonious vocalisations and spoken word add spine tingling atmospherics as ‘Hideous Towns’ close out on a triumphant piece of music.

4/5

LINKS:

hideoustowns.bandcamp.com

facebook.com/HideousTownss/

soundcloud.com/hideous-towns-1

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.


NEW SINGLE PREMIERE | Champanes - Daysaway

Stunning Saint Petersburg based vapourware/shoegaze outfit 'Champagnes' unleashed their immense latest single entitled 'Daysaway' to the masses back on April 29th 2016 via the French based independent 'Beko Disques label'. The bands sound is immersive, beautifully crafted and filled with dreamy shimmering synths, melodic bass frequencies, reverberating golden hued guitar lines and effortless percussion that collectively swirls around that gloriously hazy vocal. 'Daysaway' is available right now as a 'Name Your Price' tariff over on beko.bandcamp.com

LINKS:

twitter.com/champanesband

soundcloud.com/champanes

facebook.com/champanes/

beko.bandcamp.com


ALBUM REVIEW | Mirror Days - No Hope For Getting Better

ARTIST: Mirror Days

RELEASE: No Hope For Getting Better

RELEASE DATE: 31st October 2016

RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned

Soft, dreamy and influenced by a myriad of different sounds, LA based dream pop/shoegaze/soft rock recording project Mirror Days go into complete introspection and release a beautiful album which sounds like a kind of matured re-structuring of music featured on their EPs from the past. No Hope For Getting Better presents itself in a kind of meditative subtleness; never trying to sound too full or dense but instead creating a mesmerizing deep sound that resonates and plays out with a different kind of heaviness. Part- laid back beach inspired hipster dream, part introverted reconciliation, part directed self-expression, the album comes off as a kind of dazzling diamond of a piece of music; so beautiful and clean, but at times so shiny you can’t totally see into it… In a good way, of course.

The album opens with the breezy but aforementioned type of heavy ‘In Focus’ which is built around a calm and contemplative vocal FX and the slow roll of soft rock instrumentation, until the pounding drums enter into the background which turns the song into a more dream pop key. Lyrically the song takes the shape of the projects name as the vocals send their time questioning, wondering and humbly musing in a kind of reflective manner. The more shoegaze but utterly brilliant ‘Endless’ follows, featuring a more drowned vocal performance; adding a kind of post-punk element to the music. All the instruments join in an imaginative sound to step above vocals; making them sound heavier and deeper. The whole song, however, forms around the beautiful and rich instrumentation that makes it a step above what it could have been. ‘Left to Wander’ features more of a similar kind of instrumentation to previous tracks but adds another layer with a more poppy sound. It also seems to build upon the aforementioned dash of post-punk by incorporating more a coldwave sounding guitar and post-punk inspired bass riff. What makes it one of the albums highlights is again its tone and distinctive sound; the vocals and lyrics seem even more studious in content, again evoking the undercurrent and thematic elements of a more dream pop sound. This track is followed by ‘Time Won’t Heal You’, a shoegaze heavy song which begins with a shoegaze melody coupled with the dream pop aesthetic explored previously on the album. Impressive and well produced and mixed drumming holds the sound together while the guitars snake their way through the soundscape texture of the song. All the while the vocals extend into phrases that follow the instruments around and create interesting contrasts for the listener.

‘Low’ is an enjoyable and noteworthy interlude that features in just the right place for the album to flow and continue in the desired way. ‘Old Beginnings’ is a good, straightforward song but only continues the sound and tracks that have featured on the album before it, making it less impressive. That’s, of course, not to say it’s not a well written song, but it is definitely not one of the best on the album. Driving guitar opens the song ‘Spinning’. Its more melodic heavy sound gives it a hypnotising quality; couple this with the distant lyrics and moody air of the track and you have a song that is far away from the soft rock-beach aesthetic at the beginning of the album. ‘Spinning’ dives straight into the ocean, now dark and deep, to move away from its past while keeping one eye firmly in its preverbal rear-view mirror. ‘Rest Assured’ seems like the character or voice within the previous songs has finally made a decision of sorts. What kind of decision? What is the decision about? I have no idea. But as the most colourful and ‘least heavy’ song on the second side of the album it seems that the core tone has altered back into a more relaxed sound; slow and inward in a different form. These elements all join together to create a picture and ultimately to make the listener revaluate all the previous songs; to consider them in a different kind of light. No Hope For Getting Better thus presents itself together with this loose yet interesting concept involving regret and pondering of the past. And just as the album soothes with its opening chords and notes of a soft rock style sound, the complexion of the music swells into a whirl pool of darkness, depth and heaviness throughout the second half; ultimately culminating with the more considerate ‘Rest Assured’, bringing the entire album into a kind of full circle. A fantastic and engaging element of the music is that said content doesn’t only appear as a lyrical feature. In fact, the music and instrumentation pushes this kind of concept and emotive experience more so than the lyrics on a lot of moments on this album, and when it’s not just the music, it’s the music combining and contrasting the lyrics in a beautiful way.

Overall almost all the songs themselves remain enjoyable without featuring in between other songs on the album. Mirror Days talent of combining genres such as dream pop/shoegaze/soft rock/post-punk and alternative rock showcases the projects tight and impressive performance and song writing skills. It was mentioned in the PR kit for this release that the album features no electronic instruments; an extremely noteworthy feature as many bands program this and that to achieve sounds in a synthetic manner. Rather, like the music and the lyrics, the instruments come pure for the listening experience. An experience which is assisted with brilliant low key production and a type of mixing that saves the heavier drums from drowning out other instruments in a song. The projects actually talent with playing said instruments is also immensely impressive and can be heard through the magnificent production and sound.

4/5

LINKS:

mirrordaysmusic.bandcamp.com

soundcloud.com/mirrordays

facebook.com/mirror.days

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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.


EP REVIEW | Bloom Waves - Yumi On The Shore

ARTIST: Bloom Waves

RELEASE: Yumi On The Shore

RELEASE DATE: 27th March 2016

RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned

Although self-released back in March 2016, the brilliant five track EP 'Yumi On The Shore' seems to have only been sent in to us very recently! I can't really imagine why but I'm glad that they decided to submit to us. 'Bloom Waves' hail from New York and they create blissed out shoegaze gems filled to the brim with subtle dream-pop connotations and shimmering swathes of sonic brilliance. The band is the musical project of Ren Julius Reyes and 'Yumi On The Shore' is available to buy/download right now from bloomwaves.bandcamp.com

The EP opens up with a beautifully intense wall of reverberation as wave after wave of guitar driven noise pummels the senses. ‘Only A Daydream’ shudders on a hazy percussive pattern as it’s lead guitars soar and that immense vocal (reminiscent at times to Tom Barman of experimental music stalwarts ‘Deus’) takes hold. Up next, the grungy ‘Marionette’ growls as it unfurls it’s sonic tendrils. Wailing guitars and pounding drums swirl within a sullen vortex as throbbing bass frequencies melodiously astute instrumental effects loop and arc throughout the musical spectrum.

The EP’s self titled track jangles on a beautiful opening guitar line before exploding into a cacophony of glorious instrumentation that includes driving guitars, a subtle underscoring of ethereal synths and repetitive percussion. It’s lead guitar lines undulate as they intertwine with another impressive vocal track taking ‘Yumi On The Shore’ to new levels. The penultimate track oozes wall of sound guitars and harmonious vocalisations. ‘Fall Like Snow’ is a modern day shoegaze call to arms that is filled with swathes of reverberating frequencies and pounding drum patterns. It’s vocals ride a wave of impressive instrumentation and stunning musicianship to make this track my favourite on the entire release. The EP’s closing piece enters into earshot on a deafening bedrock of sequenced percussion and repetitive guitars. Bass frequencies throb as ‘Dive’ pulses a maelstrom of fuzzy frequencies out into the ether. A fitting ending to a marvellous EP.

4/5

LINKS:

bloomwaves.bandcamp.com

facebook.com/bloomwaves

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.