RELEASE: Wasted Mind
RELEASE DATE: 2nd June 2017
RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned
Austin based noise aficionados 'Glaze' self-released their stunning sophomore EP 'Wasted Mind' back on the 2nd June 2017, following on from their impressive debut three track 2016 release entitled 'Dimensions'. Their sound centres around angst ridden post-punk & fantastically noisy alt-rock thats underscored by soaring layered shoegaze collectively topped off with utterly sublime vocalisations that will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand to attention. The band are made up of Stephen McElwee, Austin Yeates & Jake Villarreal and you can buy/download the full EP right now via glazeusa.bandcamp.com
Wasted Mind by Glaze
The EP opens up with ‘No Surprises’; a swirling vortex of intense sound waves buffer and arc through layers of turbulent reverberation as charging percussion tumbles and skits alongside chugging bass frequencies and the resonating pull of guitars. Haunting vocalisations ride the tempestuous instrumental surge as lead lines whip and cajole the track to within an inch of its life dragging this listener with it as it streams into an abrupt finale. This is a masterful opening salvo! Up next, ‘Who Can Say’, the EP's lead single, builds from the off and steadily rises into a raging sonic behemoth filled with with brilliantly dark post-punk hued bass lines, screaming lead guitars and hazily melodic vocals. It breaks midway through into a sublime cacophony of tempo changes, psych induced instrumentation and production theatrics before fading into obscurity by swirling aimlessly into a reverberating fog.
‘Mercury’ jangles into earshot on a tremulous guitar progression before busy percussion drags the deep hum of bass and another blistering melody driven vocal line into focus. This track floats effortlessly through it’s verse parts before breaking into an explosive chorus stacked to the brim with soaring guitars and deliciously catchy vocal hooks. The EP closes out with ‘Chow Mein’, probably my favourite track on the entire release. A simple bass line opens proceedings up before we’re sucked into a swirling sonic whirlwind, battered around the senses and dumped out the back end to perch precariously on a melodic verse progression, only to be pulled along brilliantly by the aforementioned bass line and sucked back into the sonic melee once more. Thoroughly enjoyable and a fantastic finale to a well executed EP.
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
Asphalt Ocean by The Mites
San Antonio based noisy dream pop quartet 'The Mites' have announced a brand new single entitled 'Asphalt Ocean' lifted off their forthcoming three track EP of the same name. The band fuse riotous, fuzzy guitars with swooning vocals to create a powerful no nonsense brand of dream pop that leans somewhere near alternative rock whilst doffing a well trimmed cap to those early 90's shoegaze sounds. 'Asphalt Ocean' follows on from 2015's five track release 'Bellows' and will be released on 7" vinyl via Painter Man Records in Seattle. If you want to get your hands on the vinyl, pre-orders have now opened via paintermanrecords.bigcartel.com
RELEASE DATE: 13th January 2016
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.
Tether by Blushing
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.
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.
ARTIST: 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!
New Born by Sounds of Sputnik
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
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.
RELEASE: Home Recordings
RELEASE DATE: 13/05/16
Released to the masses back on the 13th May 2016, ‘Home Recordings’ are the tentative first steps by a band who create stunning musical soundscapes that are heavily steeped in melodically astute, fuzzy alt-gaze promise. ‘Sidechick’ are a Texas based trio made up of Stephen McElwee - Guitar & Vocals, Austin Yates - Drums & Kelvin Givens - Bass and their debut three track release is available to buy/download right now from: sidechick.bandcamp.com
READ ON -
Home Recordings by Sidechick
‘Home Recordings’ unfurls with excellent ‘Prisms’, a two minute plus instrumental masterpiece thats filled with golden hued guitar lines, steadying percussion and throbbing bass frequencies. The band give very little away on this opening piece as the tension builds, forcing glorious reverberating swirls into the sonic ether and pulsing fuzzy layered guitar squall through shimmering hazy frequencies. ‘Prisms’ soon burns out and courses headlong into track two, the blistering ‘Dimensions’, and its not long before we’re introduced to a droning guitar line that drags the listener into the impending explosive drum patterns, heavily tracked by fuzzy throbbing bass lines and screaming feedback laden guitars. The vocals here are sublime and they sit on top of the instrumentation like some sonic demigod vying for populous attention. ‘Dimensions’ is probably my favourite track on this entire release and worthy of your attention!
The EP’s closing track is a brilliantly melodious affair. ‘Mercury’ rocks on a thoroughly addictive lead lick that explodes through the chorus breaks whilst carefully balancing on a bedrock of pounding drums and hypnotically layered reverberating guitars. Another stunning vocal track adds atmosphere as it pierces the protective reverb induced bubble and soars into the sonic ether with aplomb. A fitting end to an interesting first outing from ‘Sidechick’.
Ones to watch!
Del Chaney has spent the last four years not only fronting popular Irish Electronic duo Analogue Wave but also dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the Unsigned or Small Independent Label based Shoegaze, DreamPop, PostPunk, PostRock & PsychRock genre’s of music from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog - The Primal Music Blog. He is also a contributing writer for The Sound Of Confusion. His other arm - Primal Radio - has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has hepled him in actively promoting a genre of music that he is passionate about. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, he is a keen Vinyl Collector, Tattoo Fan & all round good guy! He is a self confessed music freak & is never far away from a studio console or a turntable.
Release Date: 24/02/15
Record Company: Saint Marie Records
Echodrone are something of a fascination to me. I seriously assumed it was all over for the band after the release of 2012's brilliant album 'Bon Voyage'? So, when I heard that they were on the verge of releasing a brand new album, I got really excited. I'm a big fan of this band. 2015's epic brand new 10 track release entitled 'Five' not only see's the band introducing new members to their ranks but also reflects just how far they have come musically, as a collective unit. With a new impetus surrounding the construction & structure of their songwriting plus the added bonus of having a heavyweight independent record company ( Texas based - Saint Marie Records) behind them, Echodrone have crafted a stunning atmospheric soundscape full of shoegaze, dream-pop, post-rock & psychedelic promise. Hailing from San Francisco, California, Echodrone's history spans a full 8 years on musical landscape littered with failed gazers. From their early 2007 self titled 4 track release 'Echodrone', through to their epic 2010 opus 'The Sun Rose In A Different Place' and on into my personal favourite album of theirs, 2012's brilliant 'Bon Voyage', Echodrone bring a added bonus to the psychedelic shoegaze & dreampop table. Traditionally they have always had immense production on every one of their releases - 'Five' is no different. This is a stunningly emotive & truly awe inspiring album. It swoops & soars through sonic walls of psychedelic guitars with ease. The vocals are beautifully produced & are allowed to grow as the album plays through each track. There's a new electronic element to the band that enhance's the overall listening experience. This album takes you in & opens the door to another world. Its breathtakingly beautiful. We've picked a few of our favourite tracks from this epic release & you can read about them below.
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'Falling From Planes', the second track on this immense release is burst of impressive shoegaze with dream-pop flair. Building like a steam train, only to explode on the musical canvas, spewing forth sonic waves of goodness infused with swirling walls of guitar, solid bass & drum tracks, synths to die for & a brilliantly produced vocal, this track epitomises what Echodrone are about, for me! Expressive & emotive musical stories depicted in the art of gazing. It is simply Immense!
Just let our second pick from the latest release from 'Echodrone' entitled - 'Five', wash over you from it's opening notes! 'Glacial Place' soothes your soul with its atmospheric tones from the off. It's addictive guitar lines lure you into the safety of it's impressive walls of sonic goodness. With effected duel vocals swirling around a brilliantly executed bass line, coupled with a steady drum beat, this track yet again brings this listener to another level all-together. Instantly one of my favourite track's so far of 2015, a year which promises to be one of the best yet for album releases, 'Glacial Place' is beautiful.
Swells of sonic delight announce the arrival of a musical behemoth. 'When The Two End Meet' is an absolutely immense track. A swirling maelstrom of synth lines, bass, drums & walls of effected guitar fight it out for the spaces between the vocal parts. This track is a musical battle of wills with the only winner ultimately being the listener! A truly monumental track of epic proportions. One to savour with headphones on.
You can listen to any track on this album and truly get sucked into a world of atmospheric shoegaze infused, dream-pop & psychedelic landscapes. The production work going on under the main instruments draws you in & keeps you focused on what needs to be heard. 'Echodrone' have found that happy medium between old school Gaze & modern day explosive Nu-Gaze! This is a truly epic release on all fronts. If, come year end, this album doesn't make it as one of the best albums of 2015 - I'll eat my hat! I think this band will only go from strength to strength going forward & I for one will be supporting them when they do - Bravo Echodrone!
We Rate This A Stomping - 10/10
You can find out more information about 'Echodrone' by following their various social media outlets:
Echodrone's latest release 'Five' is also available on various formats from the Saint Marie Records Bandcamp page:
Del Chaney - The Primal Music Blog - March 2015 - Dublin. Ireland.
Del Chaney has spent the last two years not only fronting popular Irish Electronic duo 'Analogue Wave', but also dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the Unsigned or Small Independent Label based Shoegaze, Dream Pop, Noise-Rock & Post-Rock genre’s of music from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog - The Primal Music Blog. His other arm, 'The Primal Radio Show', has gained considerable respect from band’s and promoter’s alike since it’s conception in 2013 & has helped him in actively promoting a genre of music that he's passionate about. He also currently write's for Canadian based online music webzine www.ReplicantEars.com. 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.