RELEASE: Past, Preset and Future
RELEASE DATE: January 23rd 2018
RECORD COMPANY: Self Released
It's been quite some time since we've had any music from brilliant San Francisco based experimental shoegazers 'Echodrone'. Their impressive 2015 released long player 'Five' caught the ear of the venerable 'Saint Marie Records' and marked a significant change sonically for the band. It was released at a time when the resurgent underground scene was booming and shoegaze was a buzz word on the lips of passionate scenesters. It was also met with rave reviews upon release and is still spoken about today as being a landmark album from that year. Now the band have returned with a brand new thirteen track opus entitled 'Past, Preset and Future'. Self -released, this massive compendium of tracks swirls and dances through a multitude of music genres such as shoegaze, dream pop, post-punk, electronica, post-rock and indie-rock with relative ease and is sure to stir up the hearts and minds of the underground faithful once more. The album gets it's full release on January 23rd 2018 and will be available to buy/download from that date via all of the bands usual outlets.
A swirling tremulous drone pulls jangling instrumental progressions filled with shimmering guitars and wide scoped reverberations out into the ether as ‘Threaded Barrel’ unfurls it’s glistening tendrils and reaches out to pull the listener inside. Giddy percussion rides the wave of blissed out sound waves as hazy vocalisations meander in and out of deep laid bass frequencies. Catchy lead lines stick to the sonic concoction like glue as we’re pulled into a marvellous chorus surge and swept away on a wave of beautiful noise. ‘Threaded Barrel’ bounces and moves like clock work and is a massive statement of intent. Up next, ‘Failure’ glides into audible range trapped in a melancholic dream-pop hue underpinned with stunning instrumentation and an immense vocal performance. Chorus parts soar skywards on layers of streaming guitars and pounding drum patterns as the throb of bass envelopes walls of outstanding production. The albums title track ‘Past, Present And Future’ begins with a busy sequenced synth progression that clutches noisy guitars, swirling electronics and a metronomic percussive beat. Electro styled bass lines spiral through the melee instilling a post-punk kind of edge to proceedings thus allowing us to take breath and prepare ourselves for the monstrous instrumental build ahead and it doesn't disappoint. It's sublime, absolutely spellbinding and definitely one of my favourite tracks on the album.
‘Open Your Mind’ swirls into action tumbling through instrumental drones, building slowly and announcing another marvellous vocal track. It’s guitar parts bubble through layers of synth swells, humming bass lines and solid production before exploding into a cacophony of intense noise all wrapped around a stunning chorus progression whilst the opening bars of 'Dystopian Story' has ambient intentions with it’s swirling electronics and twinkling production. It opens up into captivating guitar progressions that swoop and circumnavigate hazy vocalisations as catchy melody filled chord changes and hook laden atmospherics add ethereal like connotations to the entire piece. It is absolutely beautiful from start to finish and I recommend that you pop on some headphones to experience it in full. Up next, ‘Save Me’ begins with punchy post-punk hued guitars before you get sucked into that beautiful vocal and fall head long into pools of heady reverb. Electronic theatrics bubble and dance just below the mix as steady drum patterns keep the tempo just nice allowing cascading synth lines and the addictive throb of bass to wash over you.
‘Below From Above’ has that 80’s post-punk sound reminiscent of ‘The Cure’ or ‘Siouxsie Sue’ but with a modern dream-pop twist. Twinkling electronics meander deep within the mix catching the ear in between vocal breaths as driving guitars, surging synths and reverberating bass notes create a heady sonic brew that is highly addictive and keeps the listener focused on the track whilst ‘Rock Waltz’ uses backwards instrumentation and slow moving production to great effect. The entire track reminds me of early ‘Deus’ and I can’t quite put my finger on wether that’s down to the vocal track, the use of vocal sampling or the overall layering of instruments? Either way it’s a stunning piece of music. ‘Land Of Nothingness’ jangles on a wave of bass frequencies and lo-fi vocalisations. Hi-hat heavy percussion keeps things simple as we weave and bob through shimmering guitars and heady experimental production values building brilliantly through each interconnecting sonic part before unfolding into a blissed out chorus progression with relative ease.
Swirling guitars announce ‘Home’ and we’re again pulled into a mesmerising vocal performance reminiscent at times to seminal USA based dream-gazing outfit ‘Whimsical’. Soaring chorus progressions take your breath away as they glide skywards on streaming jets of beautiful melody, layered guitars, luscious synth and senses tingling percussion whilst ‘Low’ keeps things almost ethereal. Guitars drone effervescently, drenched in reverb and twirling through percussive shakers before pulling trembling guitar progressions into the mix enveloping another fragile vocal line perfectly. It’s another stand out track for me on an album filled with great songs. ‘Abstract Thoughts’, the albums penultimate piece, is a slow moving atmospheric affair with sparse percussion, jangling bass lines, surging synth swells and another beautiful melancholic vocal collectively pinned to twinkling guitar progressions drenched in stunning reverberation whilst the album closes out with ‘Snow Drift’. Ghostly vocalisations ride steady drum patterns and meandering guitar progressions as the pull of deep cascading bass frequencies wrap themselves gracefully around swirling lines of synth. This track explodes into a marvellous cacophony of reverb and noise as the chorus progressions launch themselves skywards into a glistening sonic ether closing out what is another immense compendium of tracks by a band who have been sorely missed from the underground music scene.
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 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
2017 has been colossal in terms of underground music releases. Nearly all of the bands who we had expected to release new music this year did so and we also had some immense new arrivals to the scene, pushing boundaries and making waves all on their own. With the vast amount of submissions that we get to the blog on a daily basis it was very difficult to review all of them, we tried our best and we endeavoured to condense who we deem top contenders for our best releases of 2017 list down to a reasonable bunch of candidates. End of year lists generate conversations about bands who deserve support from small online publications like ours. So, from the veritable Fuzz Club Records to Edinburgh's 'Morningside Young Team', Sweden's VÅRØ Records to 'Blackspin Records' over in Greece and on into 'Wrong Way Records' over in the UK, Ireland's own Penske Recordings and straight through to the awesome American based Saint Marie Records we've tripped the sonic fantastic with this years 'End Of Year List' bringing you some blistering psych, sublime shoegaze, dreamy dream pop & atmospheric post-rock for your listening pleasure and you didn't even have to vote for one single entry!
Happy Christmas one and all and we'll see you all in 2018 for more fun and frolics!
Primal Music & Radio
Holy Monitor - Holy Monitor
Holy Monitor by Holy Monitor
2017 kicked off with a bang and we were introduced to a band back in January who absolutely blew our minds. Stunning Athens based experimental psych/kraut rock collective 'Holy Monitor' released their debut self-titled full length release filled to the brim with luscious soundscapes that skip through a multiple of different sonic disciplines with blistering aplomb. Released via 'Primitive Music Records' in collaboration with 'Blackspin Records' , this album is a total trip!
Dead Gurus - Acid Bench
ACID BENCH (On Sale 50% Off) by Dead Gurus
Dark and foreboding, menacing and hypnotic, Minnesota based psych aficionados 'Dead Gurus' are no strangers to this modern underground psych scene. The band are made up of Jason Edmonds (Magic Castles), Bennett Johnson, Collin Gorman Weiland (Daughters of the Sun and Dreamweapon) & Ryan Garbes (Wet Hair) and what they collectively create is a no holds barred, deeply entrancing thrill ride through the darker side of the psychedelic spectrum. Their seven track opus entitled 'Acid Bench' was unleashed on February 17th 2017 via the exciting UK based independent record label 'Wrong Way Records'.
Percolator - Sestra
Sestra LP by Percolator
Dublin based three piece 'Percolator' have been creating electronically charged experimental standards drenched in poly-rhythmic kraut rock connotations underscored with subtle flourishes of shoegaze, prog rock & resonating noise since 2012 with the bands core lineup of Ian Chestnutt - guitar/vocal, Eleanor Myler - drums/vocal & John Murphy - bass staying true to the project since its conception. They popped up on our radar back in 2013 with the immense 'Little Demon' EP (which we played tracks from religiously over on our sister radio station Primal Radio) and they returned this year with a staggering collection of eight tracks packaged as 'Sestra', released via Cork based independent record label Penske Recordings.
Wozniak - Courage Reels
Courage Reels by Wozniak
Having wowed us all with their musical presence over previous EP releases, the sonic force that is Edinburgh's noisemakers 'Wozniak' unleashed a stunning collection of tracks in the guise of their highly anticipated debut album deftly titled 'Courage Reels'. This album tumbles through a plethora of immense genres generating enough power through each endearing track to continuously turn industrial strength turbines! Stand out tracks on this release are 'Crush, Shader, Perihelion and Super Panther', but the whole album is immense from start to finish. It was released back in April via the Edinburgh based independent record label 'Morningside Young Team' and worthy of your ears. Recommended!
Todavía - Shyness
Shyness by todavía
Los Angeles based dream pop aficionado Todavía aka self-releasing multi instrumentalist Rhyan Riesgo unleashed a highly anticipated brand new eight track album entitled 'Shyness' via the bands bandcamp page back in April. Todavía's sound is distinctly dreamy, with hushed synth swells, sequenced percussion, swirling guitars and shimmering reverberation that all circumnavigates that almost ethereal vocal tone. This album is luscious, addictive and a very early contender for our year end list.
Has A Shadow - Sorrow Tomorrow
Sorrow Tomorrow by Has A Shadow
Mexico natives 'Has A Shadow' released their sophomore album (their first via Fuzz Club Records) entitled 'Sorrow Tomorrow' back on January 18th 2017. The band create a brand of dark and ritualistic modern day psych gaze that heaves and undulates through swathes of unabashed reverberation and driving instrumentation tinged with menacing gothic tones. This album was so good we gave it 5/5 after just one listen!
Jellyskin - Jellyskin
jellyskin by jellyskin
Leeds based 'Jellyskin' correlated all of their previously released singles, added a splattering of newer material and packaged it all up on what was their very first self-titled physical release. Formed in 2016, 'Jellyskin' exploded onto the underground psych/gaze scene with four consecutive single releases, each one absolutely sublime. Unless you've been hiding under a rock over the past year you would have read about the band on Primal Music's web pages & listened to them over on Primal Radio daily; they are seriously that good. 'Jellyskin' create stunning musical soundscapes that gracefully meander through experimental shoegaze, dream pop, psych rock and it's many, many sub genres. The availability of Jellyskin's singles in one release is a big bonus and we had earmarked these guys very early on as contenders for our best of year end list. Highly recommended!
JuJu - Our Mother Was A Plant
Our Mother Was A Plant by JuJu
JuJu teamed up with one of the best underground independent record labels currently plying it's trade in this ever evolving scene, the immense 'Fuzz Club Records' and announced his sophomore release aptly titled 'Our Mother Was A Plant'. This time around Gioele Valenti dipped his sonic tendrils into a plethora of genres that includes afrobeat, krautrock, glam, post-punk, art rock, shoegaze & drone and it also featured guest appearances from 'Capra Informis', the masked djembe player of Swedish based psych aficionados 'Goat', making this album one of the most anticipated releases of 2017. It got it's full release back in September on 180g vinyl via www.fuzzclub.com and every single one of you needs this album in your collection. It is immense.
Tuath - Things I Don't Know
Things I don't know by Tuath
‘Tuath’ exploded onto the Irish underground scene back in March 2015 with their intensely addictive & deeply experimental debut EP ‘An Taobh Tuath(Ail)’ closely followed by their immense spaced out single ‘Amhairc Thart Ort Fein’ in September of the same year. Last year the band returned with a blistering four track EP entitled ‘Existence Is Futile’ packed full of experimental dreamscapes that skipped from serine psych-rock into blissfully dreamy shoegaze and on into expressive jazz fusion coupled with swirling hypnotically progressive rhythms and sullen space rock hues. Back in January the band created what is their most interesting release to date. 'Things I Don't Know' pulses through four tracks of soaring reverb laced progressions, deeply filled with haunting vocalisations that are collectively underpinned by heavier grunge filled moments, swirling instrumentation and massive swathes of melody. It cemented a place in our minds back then and was always going to appear on our end of year list.
Miniatures - Jessamines
Jessamines by Miniatures
The debut album from 'Miniatures' is a dense and lush affair. Its textures are tightly woven to create velvety soundscapes that envelope and endear. Formed in 2012 and currently based in Melbourne, the trio seem to be a further example of the strength of the Southern hemisphere's creative scene right now – especially when it comes to the dreamier side of the spectrum. The band worked with renowned Melbourne based producer Matthew Hosking to fine tweak the sounds on this album and the finished product is spectacular. 'Jessamines' floats and flickers. It had it's full release on the 6th October 2017 via the ever reliable Saint Marie Records.
Helicon - Helicon
Helicon by Helicon
When Glasgow based experimental psych outfit 'Helicon' announced their highly anticipated self-titled debut album we got really excited. With eight EP's under their belts, 'Helicon' have taken the live scene by storm, touring Europe and sharing the stage with some serious heavy hitters including Wooden Shjips, The Warlocks and Dead Skeletons. Helicon's sound is addictive, engagingly dynamic and at times all consuming or otherworldly with melodic eastern tinged psych, swirling drones, mantra like vocalisations and intricately intense guitar work that collectively merges into one almighty sonic attack. Their debut album is officially released on the 8th of December via those good folks over at fuzzclub.com and it is sublime!
Bolywool - From Void To Matter Vol.3
From Void to Matter Volume 3 by Bolywool
Hailing from the wind swept isle of Öland in Sweden, Calle Thor and Oskar Karlström aka 'Bolywool' have been fascinating us lot here at Primal Music for quite some time with their shimmering, cinematic, frost laden soundscapes filled to the brim with flourishes of atmospheric post-rock and scintillating shoegaze collectively underscored by stunning electronic progressions. They started out on a sonic journey back in May 2017 with the first of a planned trilogy of EP's entitled 'From Void To Matter' via VÅRØ Records . Throughout the three EP's 'Bolywool' went from strength to strength culminating in what we think is their best release to date and a worthy entrant to our end of year tally. 'From Void To Matter Vol. 3' was officially released back on December 1st 2017 and is available to buy/download right now via varorecords.bandcamp.com
Holy Monitor : holymonitor.bandcamp.com
Dead Gurus: wrongwayrecords.bandcamp.com
Has A Shadow: fuzzclub.bandcamp.com
RELEASE: Like A Dog
RELEASE DATE: 15th November 2107
RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned
Auckland based shoegaze/dream pop quartet 'Scarp' released their debut four track EP entitled 'Like A Dog' to the masses back on the 15th November 2017 via bandcamp. Their collective sound swirls effortlessly around some intense summery vibes as woozy shoegaze and beautifully entrancing dream pop hued vocal lines permeate noisy passages of layered reverberations. The band are made up of Pia - vocals/bass, Andrew - guitar, Adam - guitar & Howl - drums with EP available to buy/download right now via scarp.bandcamp.com
Like A Dog by Scarp
The EP opens with gentle guitar strums and a warbling lead line that intertwines with the plod of bass and steady percussion as those beautiful vocalisations wash over the listener. 'Youth Large, Size Small' builds slowly as it's instrumentation swoops through reverb hued atmospheric breaks underpinned with simple yet effective drum patterns and brilliantly executed chorus progressions. Up next, 'Air Max' shimmers on a wave of jangling guitars and intense reverb. Melancholic summer vibes explode into a cacophony of colour as this track unfurls it's sonic tendrils and instrumentally envelops another stunning vocal performance. It builds and builds gracefully into a wonderful crescendo driven dream pop standard echoing layers of subtle fuzz, captivating lead lines and rocking steadily on a pin point percussive pattern. 'Air Max' is simply beautiful and probably my favourite track on the entire release.
The slow moving 'Old Age' tip toes along it's steady drum pattern as it's bass line hums beneath a layer of hazy guitar drenched in swathes of reverb. Catchy hook laden chorus changes drag that vocal skywards, hoisting the repetitive verse progressions with it into new territory. 'Old Age' dips into the pop side of alternative rock at times and that's not a bad thing at all. It adds to the overall atmospherics of the piece and hit's home the tracks subject matter brilliantly. The EP closes out with 'Wasps', another slow moving slab of dreamy dream-gaze. Vocally sublime this track has a marvellous ambient hued break that builds brilliantly alongside pounding drums, throbbing bass and soaring lead guitar collectively guided by hazy rhythmic guitar progressions. It's a fantastic ending to a wonderful EP and I can't wait to hear what comes next for this band.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
ARTIST: Sun System
RELEASE: Strange Ways We Meet
RELEASE DATE: 1st December 2017
RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned
Arizona based 'Sun System' unleash their brilliant debut four track EP entitled 'Strange Ways We Meet' to the underground fraternity on December 1st 2017. With a sound that sits firmly in the alt-shoegaze stable 'Sun System' collectively inject shimmering melodic melancholy into every single track on this EP telling stories throughout and bringing the listener on a sonic journey of discovery with each passing instrumental progression. The band are made up of Cory – vocals/guitar, Nathan – guitar, Curt – bass, Christopher – keys and Lorenzo – drums. The EP gets it's full release on iTunes and Spotify from December 1st but you can check out some more of their singles right now via sunsystem.bandcamp.com
Shimmering guitar progressions glide and echo through layers of melodically hazy reverberation as ‘Smiles With No Teeth’ unwinds itself and shows us it’s inner workings. Throbbing bass frequencies ride a turbulent percussive pattern collectively leading a sublime vocal performance in and out of smooth verse transitions and noisy chorus parts with relative ease. This track builds, builds and builds into a cacophony of blissed out noise before cascading into a marvellously melodic finale. Up next, ‘Glimmer Man’ floats into the ether on swells of synth and jangling guitar that gracefully envelope another impressive vocal performance. Sun System’s shoegaze tendencies are laid bare for all to hear on this track as it rises and falls through stages of impeccable songwriting filled with effervescent layers of addictive noise.
The EP’s penultimate piece is a melodic, slow moving slice of sonic melancholy. ‘Alone Together’ is beautifully intense and it meanders through yearning and thought provoking verse progressions, pulling the listener with it as it tumbles into chorus parts filled with soaring tumults of glittering noise. It’s a wonderful track and possibly my favourite on the entire release. ‘Strange Ways We Meet’ closes out with ‘Scooter (feat. Travis Williams)’ and we’re pulled into an opening salvo of lo-fi guitars and and steady drum patterns. It’s not long before this track explodes into a kaleidoscope of noise, calming down at times to allow us catch little snippets of songwriting brilliance. There’s also a subtle dream-pop hue emanating from it that is rather interesting but for the most part instrumentally it skirts close to alternative or post-rock. All in all it’s this EP has an interesting mix of sounds and some brilliant passages of songwriting all underscored with some fantastic production values. It will be interesting to hear what comes next from ‘Sun System’.
ARTIST: The Cabin Fever
RELEASE: Exercise The Demon
RELEASE DATE: 23rd January 2018
Los Angeles based experimental dark gazing trio ‘The Cabin Fever’ have just announced their brand new sophomore release brilliantly titled 'Exercise The Demon'. This brand new eight track EP gets it's full release on January 23rd 2018 and it follows on from their 2016 debut album ‘Enjoy Yourself’. The band are made up of Sean Moriarty (vocals/guitar), Joel Bedolla (guitar) and Tripp Beam (drums) and 'Exercise The Demon' is available to pre-order right now via thecabinfever.bandcamp.com
Exercise the demon EP by The Cabin Fever
The tumble of slow paced percussion announces the arrival of track one ‘B-L-S-H’ and it’s soon accompanied by the melodic pull of heady bass frequencies and fuzzy guitar squall. There’s a deeply melancholic vibe coursing through the The Cabin Fever’s overall sound that’s inherently captivating and the arrival of those sublime vocalisations adds weight to that statement. They instantly suck you in and initiate a snapshot of modern times and the many pit-falls that lie beneath the blank facade of everyday life. They float effortlessly in amongst melody strewn lanes filled with catchy chord changes, undulating lead lines and the sweet pull of violin. An impressive opening salvo. Up next, ‘Simon Says’ shimmers on a trembling wave of tambourine and almost droning instrumentation that rises and falls through sullen verse parts that envelope another great vocal track and build brilliantly into driving chorus progressions filled with soaring lead lines and busy percussion.
‘Trucrime’ chugs into existence strapped to a crawling guitar progression and a slow processional snare hit that ricochets atop a pinging delay. It’s vocal track meanders brilliantly through 80’s themed synth lines and layers of hazy reverberation, cruising through catchy hook laden highs and dipping below the ether into addictively dark post-shoegaze atmospherics. ‘His People’ pulses and weaves a repetitive sonic web filled with off beat drum patterns and crawling guitar progressions underpinned with streamlined synth and layered production theatrics whilst ‘Exercise The Demon’ is dark and atmospheric. It moves extremely slow attached to the pull of intense guitars, it’s underlying strings and the melancholic tone of it’s lead vocals that keep the listener focusing intently on their every move. This track builds brilliantly. In fact, it has a subtle movie soundtrack quality and introduces it’s layered instrumentation as each verse progression passes adding colour when needed and slowing down at times to highlight lyrical narrative.
The Cabin Fever included a fantastic bonus track on this EP entitled ‘Tony’s Song’ that swirls into audible range on 60’s sci-fi synth swells and plodding bass progressions riding an almost metronomic percussive pattern. It explodes into a melting pot of sounds including resolute hand claps, cascading synth, hazy shoegaze hued layers of resonating guitars and the outright addictiveness of those sublime vocalisations. The EP closes out with two alternate mixes of both ‘B-L-S-H’ and ‘Exercise The Demon’. If that kind of thing floats your boat then these are for you. However if like me you don’t see the point in including them, then the EP finished up on that brilliant bonus track. All being said, ‘Exercise The Demon’ is an impressive collection of tracks loaded with layers of atmosphere and impressive melancholic abandonment.
ARTIST: The Veldt
RELEASE: Thanks To The Moth And Areanna Rose
RELEASE DATE: 3rd November 2017
RECORD COMPANY: sonaBLAST! Records
Of the past while in modern music, I can think of no other band like 'The Veldt'. They are (as they like to say) virtually unclassifiable and against the practice of being pigeon holed or tied to a particular scene; against conformity and against rules and regulations. They are also (in my humble opinion) possibly the most underrated band in past memory of alternative music in America. Their songs are beautiful yet nostalgic, comforting yet retrospective; simple yet genius. They originated years ago, their history forming around the musicality of twin brothers Daniel and Danny Chavis who single handedly punched through the burgeoning dream pop scene of Chapel Hill in the 90's and presented themselves as one of the most original bands to come from the underground scene in the USA. Over the years they were dropped and picked up by a succession of labels, toured internationally with some of the biggest names in the world and released a string of amazingly beautiful albums, one of which, 'Afrodesiac', I personally regard as one of the greatest albums of the 90's. Here then, years after a stint under the Apollo Heights moniker and following up last years dreamy-trap influenced The Drake Equation, is a new EP by 'The Veldt' entitled 'Thanks to the Moth and Areanna Rose': a collection of older tracks reanimated and re-recorded from the bands past catalogue. And while generally a re-visit to the past can lead to awkward and somewhat ‘has-been’ attitudes, 'Thanks to the Moth and Areanna Rose' is the exact opposite. It stands as a dreamy reminder of how important the band has and continues to be. The EP had it's full release back on the 3rd November 2017 and is available to buy/download right now via theveldtmusic.bandcamp.com
Thanks to the Moth and Areanna Rose by The Veldt
The EP opens with one of the greatest songs the band have ever written in their entire career: ‘The Colour of Love is Blue’. If you ever get the opportunity to listen to 1994's 'Afrodesiac' you will notice a deep and immersive theme of nostalgia running through the music, a friend of mine coined the term (when listening to their magnum opus ‘Heather’) ‘downtown 90’s New York dreaming music’; this theme continues strongly on ‘The Colour of Love is Blue’. Rehashed, the song now features a slower and steadier drum beat, coloured and contextualised neatly with hummingly shoegaze-echoed guitar tones and an even higher vocal performance by Daniel Chavis. This restrung version maintains the same magic of the original, while also utilizing a different mood via the technical wizardry of programmer/bass player Hayato Nakao… The breathy, emotive pipes of Chavis proclaiming the words ‘we’ll be happy in the end’ is enough to send chills down your spine. ‘Black and Blue’ follows with a much noiser and alt-rock base: the song reflects a claustrophobic yet mediative mood that echoes on its brilliant chorus. The guitar rises to the top of the mix, presenting impressive playing and musical texture by Danny Chavis, backed by the somewhat simple but effective thump of the drums.
‘Fit to be Tied’ harkens back to a similar mood that could be found on some of the Apollo Heights releases: atmospheric and the slow build of the instrumentation paint a beautifully dream-pop cencric picture. This track most predominately captures the bands new found practice of mixing technological-based production with the more traditional method of musical texturing. Often ignored in the music of both The Veldt and Apollo Heights are the lyrics, which when studied on ‘Fit to be Tied’ make one wonder why this is the case… The chorus, which Chavis declares with an original mix of power and contemplation, adds another level of depth to the music again. ‘Camus’ turns down the lights even more so, sounding like its original inception dipped in neon lighting: the trap-beats that ran rampart on The Drake Equation dance around in a pan-motion at the back of the music. Where the other tracks on this EP could be labelled somewhere between soul, shoegaze and dream pop, ‘Camus’ stands almost as a down tempo funk song, melding elements of R’n’B with ethereal wave-sounding guitars. If anything, ‘Camus’ perfectly captures a band in the midst of wearing their influecnes (positively) on their sleeve. ‘Dakini’ dives deep into the bands interest in hip-hop, the backing drums and programming bounce boomstatically like the backing to an East Coast hip hop mixtape. The vocals, which dance around in the backing of the instrumentation, mix playfully with the wizzes and the bangs of the various sample, keyboard, feedback sounds through the mix. ‘I Like the Way You Talk’ is a skeletal yet bouncily dreamy take that revisits the bands noisegaze aesthetics with a wall-of-sound approach to the backing of the music. The breathy and somewhat relaxing vocals and drum balance that snakes through the verse is also a refreshing contrast to the aforementioned noise and feedback. A bizarre and off-kilter remix of ‘Dakini’ appears to mix things up, which sounds somewhat out of place with the other songs on the EP…. But it remains all the while enjoyable.
Back in the day, a key player in the foundational structure of 'The Veldt' both musically and stylistically was one of their heroes and generally critically acclaimed producer and musician Robin Guthrie (Cocteau Twins)… Here on this EP his production on the opening couple of tracks are noticeably excellent and should be praised. The other tracks also retain a fantastic open air feeling of soaring, thanks to production from 'The Veldt' themselves. Although an EP of past tracks rediscovered could have come together in an awkward fashion, the EP is instead a happy and rewarding revisit into the past. I personally am thankful that songs like ‘The Colour of Love’ and ‘Camus’, which are extremely difficult to find (even in the YouTube age), have been reanimated, re-recorded and re-released to showcase how genius they truly are. Altogether I can comfortably say that 'Thanks to the Moth and Areanna Rose' is a gratifying and refreshing reminder; its true appeal is in the fact that it combines the past with The Veldt's new and re-stylised approach to writing music. It is a sign that one of the worlds most interesting and most engaging bands is still at it, and that the music they continue to create is as rewarding as ever. All I can hope for now is that the rest of the world turns their head and hears this band, hears their beauty, hears their creativity and most importantly, hears their terrifically brilliant sound.
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.
ARTIST: On The Wane
RELEASE DATE: 20th November 2017
RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned
Kiev based four piece 'On The Wane' merge a plethora of genres to form their collective sound, from sullen shoegaze to driving noise rock, throbbing post-punk to oscillating pulses of new wave and atmospherically tinged gothic influences. The band have returned with their third album, brilliantly titled 'Schism'. This new ten track LP follows on from their 2015 released long player 'Sick' and see's the band continuing on with their infatuation of brewing a heady and melodic concoction of stunning soundscapes. 'On The Wane' are Daria Maksimova - bass/vocals, Anna Lyashok - drums/vocals, Eugene Voitov - guitar/synth & Eli Demyanenko - guitar. 'Schism' gets it's full official release on November 20th 2017 and is available to pre-order right now via onthewane.bandcamp.com
Schism by On The Wane
'Schism' unfurls it's sonic tendrils swirling in a cloud of angry atmospherics as stunning vocalisations courtesy of Daria Maksimova ride a tempestuous feedback laden wave. 'Truth Isn't Bright' undulates on a pulsating wave of sequenced percussion and subtle bass frequencies underpinned with periods of fuzzy guitar and electronic whirrs. There's a truly magnificent post-punk edge cutting straight through this opening piece separated at times by jangling lead lines and the twang of whammy bar. Up next, 'Fear' creeps into earshot strapped to a bedrock of electronic percussion and the addictive hum of bass. Swirling vocalisations envelope the entire piece forcing you to focus primarily on their calmness as all around it swims in a dark atmospheric sea. Sublime guitars meld with catchy hooks steeped in reverb pulling this track into a raging break filled with tormenting instrumental progressions more akin to a kind of art-rock than anything else. It's a simply masterful track and really hard to tie down influentially making it a stand out piece on the album for me. 'Human Race' jangles into earshot swirling through layers of deep atmospheric reverberation wrapped around a blistering guitar progression. Sequenced percussion holds a motorik beat underfoot as undulating instrumental drones bellow and move atop throbbing bass frequencies. There are echoes of hard hitting post-punk meandering through these gothic tinged new wave vibes that intertwine with intense vocalisations. It's explosive chorus passages inject subtle moments of noisy shoegaze making it an utterly addictive listen.
'Sultry Song' drapes a sullen atmospheric film over proceedings as the pull of lead guitar battles vehemently through layers of reverb and busy percussion whilst continuously vying for space in amongst repetitive sequenced shakers and swells of dark fizzing synth. It's an angry animal; dark, oppressive and almost soundtrack like in it's approach thats majestically bolstered by another impressive vocal performance. Up next, 'Revenge (Deeper Than You Can Imagine)' bounds into the ether on a pulsating wave of off beat percussion, sporadic bass frequencies and resonating guitars. It's post-punk credentials are laid bare for all to see but there's an added hazy layer of production sitting just under the mix that makes this track stand out and watch out for the break half way through that will knock your socks off because the instrumental build that follows afterwards is absolutely immense. The slow almost metronomic opening bars of 'Alcohol' skulks into earshot riding a deep melodic bass line constantly harassed by punishing guitar stabs and menacing production theatrics. The vocal lines float effortlessly as it's verse parts play out, building in both intensity and atmosphere until we're finally thrown head first into a raging cacophony of instrumental noise as it's chorus parts shift up a gear and inject some fantastic noise-rock into proceedings. It's a blistering track and worthy of your ears.
'Drop Bombs' is a sonic call to arms and it explodes into a menacing crescendo with stunning vocal lines and brilliantly executed instrumentation culminating in a noisy angst ridden finale whilst 'The Real Coward' swirls around an opening guitar progression and a busy rolling drum pattern. It builds and builds before unleashing a broiling sonic behemoth filled with raging guitars and punishing production before calming into a slow burgeoning juggernaut, it's vocal lines leading the charge as we're led into a torrent of effortless noise. The albums penultimate track entitled 'Home' throbs as it enters the sonic arena. It's opening bars are instrumentally reminiscent of modern day psych with it's tumbling fuzz laden guitars and the angry throb of bass frequencies all riding a brilliant percussive beat but it's when the vocals arrive that this track comes into it's own. The collective instrumentation roll's and twist's to form a protective barrier around Maksimova's vocals, filling every space with noise and atmosphere and allowing the track to flow freely as it works through it's predesigned sonic structure. For me it shows another side to 'On The Wane', it's also pretty impressive and possibly my favourite track on the entire release. The album closes out rippling on a pulsating wave of fizzing electronics as a sullen vocal track materialises out of the ether. 'Bad News' draws fuzzy guitars and angry synths into the mix to meld with deep dark bass frequencies to deliver a short sharp shock. It's a brilliant ending to what is a very impressive album.
ARTIST: Curelight Wounds
RELEASE: Constant Mind
Brooklyn based noise makers 'Curelight Wounds' have returned with their highly anticipated follow up to their impressive 2016 four track EP release 'Wearing The Strings'. This new EP is the bands seventh release to date and is aptly titled 'Constant Mind'. It's as melodically fuzzy as it's predecessors and pulls with it many influencial genres of music from noisy shoegaze to post-punk, noise-rock to lo-fi. 'Constant Mind' gets it's full release on the 20th November 2017 and will be available to buy/download via curelightwounds.bandcamp.com from that date.
In a broiling undercurrent of senses pummelling instrumentation ‘Curelight Wounds’ unleash a sonic call to arms in the guise of ‘Sew It Back’, the opening salvo on this impressive collection of tracks and the EP’s lead single. Bass lines throb deliciously with post-punk abandon as they stick fast to a busy tambourine led percussive pattern and dodge the searing whip of those ever present lead guitars. It’s accompanying vocal lines quiver menacingly as they pulse through layers of reverb, brandishing an addictive 90’s alternative edginess that is very difficult to ignore. Up next, ‘Hot House’ is a swirling sonic behemoth that starts slow with those woozy whammy bar guitar theatrics before building progressively into a throbbing, bass heavy beast steeped in repetitiveness, screaming guitars and monotone vocalisations. It’s a sublime track and highlights what seems to me to be ‘Curelight Wounds’ perfecting the marvellous art of the ‘no nonsense’ two minute track that hits the nail on it's proverbial head.
The EP’s penultimate piece entitled ‘Distant Song’ shivers on a melody infused bass signature used primarily to instil a calmness as all around it explodes into a cacophony of noise. Guitar lines envelope nearly everything as a steady drum beat keeps meticulous time allowing the vocal lines to ride the tempo sitting comfortably in amongst the sonic melee. The ‘Constant Mind’ EP closes out with ‘Hard Sand’, a pulsating monster musically reminiscent of early ‘Pavement’ or even ‘The Fall’ with it’s driving bass signature, skittish percussion and those wailing guitars. It's a brilliant piece of music that ticks every sonic box as far as I'm concerned - fuzz, noise, throbbing melodic bass and tons of reverb. An absolutely brilliant end to thoroughly enjoyable EP.
Our good friends and Sicilian natives 'Clustersun' have unleashed a stunning new video to accompany the second single entitled 'Lonely Moon' to be taken from their highly acclaimed sophomore long player 'Surfacing To Breathe', released back in May 2017 via the brilliant Italian based independent record label 'Seahorse Recordings'. The band are made up of Marco Chisari - vocals /bass, Mario Lo Faro - guitars, Piergiorgio Campione - synthesizers/keyboards/backing vocals) & Andrea Conti - drums and their sound sits firmly within the shoegaze stable with underpinnings of post-punk, psych-gaze, goth and alt-rock. 'Surfacing To Breathe' is available to buy/download right now on various formats via clustersun.bandcamp.com
'Lonely Moon' swerves into modern dream-gaze territory as wave after wave of shimmering synth and soaring reverb drenched guitars loop & arc around a brilliantly executed drum pattern that carefully surrounds and protects that stunning vocal performance courtesy of Marco Chisari.
Fantastic Phoenix based desert-gaze trio 'Citrus Clouds' have unleashed a brand new psychedelically hued video to accompany 'Life Happens', the very first single to have been lifted from their utterly delectable seven track EP 'Ultra Sound'. The video was directed by Anthony Sziklay and it was shot in the Maryvale area of Phoenix back in the summer of 2017. We've been supporting this band for a long time after falling head over heels in love with their brand of reverberating shoegaze and those addictively dreamy vocal lines. The band are made up of Eric Pineda, Stacie Huttleston & Anthony Jarero and if you like what you hear you can get your hands on their complete back catalogue including the latest aforementioned 'Ultra Sound' EP via citrusclouds.bandcamp.com
'Life Happens' trembles on a quivering bass signature before opening up into a swirling maelstrom of mind numbing reverberations held fast to a punchy percussive swagger and overlaid by majestic vocalisations. A repetitive lead guitar line races in and out of the collective instrumentation casting magical sonic spells throughout the ether.