ARTIST: Desert Mountain Tribe
RELEASE: Either That Or The Moon
RELEASE DATE: 11th March 2016
RECORD COMPANY: Metropolis Records & Membran(UK).
Dear pseudo psych bands – Unplug your puny phaser pedal, and pull up a pew. Here’s a lesson in the head-spinning world of psychedelic sound, 2016-style from Desert Mountain Tribe and their debut album Either That Or The Moon. Note the analogue delays creating dizzying drones, study the mesmerising power of repetition, submit yourself to the rhythm of the riff. If you follow these tenets, as so aptly displayed by DMT, there may yet be hope. If not, you’ll be trapped in a sub-Kasabian purgatory. Suffice to say Either That Or The Moon is a hefty swedge of satisfying psychedelia – scuffed, swirling and bone-crushing in all the right places.
Opener ‘Feel The Light’ launches this space rocket of sound, countdown and all. There’s a dusty swagger to ‘Take A Ride’, with its lyrics about big cars and dreams. Bigger is definitely better for Desert Mountain Tribe, they are not a band who seem interested in confinement or restraint, so the chorus to ‘Midnight Sky’ is expansive and perhaps a tad grandiose. There’s some devilishly good tape delay in ‘Heaven and Hell’, a repetitive rumble that makes the head spin. Single ‘Runway’ is a good ole rock n roll tune. There’s hint of Southern rock about it and it could almost tip over into convention line, if it were not for that rich palette of sound which keeping it heavy. ‘Enos in Space’ has a strong sixties vibe, with organ featuring high in the mix, and those Byrdsian harmonies. There’s a brief clearing of the psychic fog with ‘Way Down’, but before long, the drums are pounding, there’s a huge fuzz explosion and an all-encompassing wah-wah solo. ‘OC Dream’ marks a change of pace on the record. It all seems to slow down. We float along on the updrafts of the melodic bass. The icy lament of ‘Interstellar’ sends out space signals that soon explode in the sky. With the fuzzed-out slow dance of ‘Coming Down’, we’re into a dark place on this trip and it is here in this suffocating, swirling spot we stay.‘Leave It Behind’ is a cowboy tale with a sinister sway that breaks down into a huge stramash of sound.
Either That Or The Moon is quite a journey and one that’s not afraid to lead us into the shadier edges of the psyche, but it’s definitely a trip that’s worth taking.
The album gets its full release on the 11th March 2016 via Metropolis Records (Membran in the UK).
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
In her time, Sarah Cuthbert-Kerr has attended raves and rock clubs. She enjoys pedals, pizza and spy dramas. Sarah also plays guitar in Edinburgh-based noisemakers Wozniak and is co-founder of Morningside Young Team who put on gigs and put out records for discerning audiences who enjoy fuzz and confusion.
by Primal Music
RELEASE: Prism Cinema
RELEASE DATE: April 15th 2016
RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned
L.A. based psychedelic explorers ‘Bokonon’ unveil their impressive eleven track debut album entitled ‘Prism Cinema’ to the masses on April 15th 2016. With a sound that surfs along the very tips of modern day psychedelia whilst doffing a well worn cap to Shoegaze, Krautrock and swirling 60’s Psych Pop ‘Bokonon’ inject stunning melody into every single track on this immense release and have that canny little knack of pulling you into their sonic world and showing you around it’s fuzzy inner workings. The band are made up of Monique Luna – Synths, Elvis Galvez – Guitars & Vocals, Tianna Nicole – Drums & Ray Montes – Bass & Vocals.
Prism Cinema by Bokonon
The album opens on a whirlwind of golden colour as ‘Stay Awake With Me’ unleashes its shuffling percussive hits, addictive synth patterns, shimmering guitar lines and wavy studio effects that seem to circumnavigate those impressive vocal lines with ease thus leaving this listener with an over riding feeling of total sonic immersion! A truly marvellous opening track and a great jump off point into melodic world of ‘Bokonon’. Up next, ‘By My Side’ meanders into the sonic arena on magically hypnotic bass frequencies, reverberating guitar stabs and that impressive vocal. It explodes into a cacophony of colourful sounds throughout its chorus progressions and soars within a maelstrom of impressive drum patterns and layered sonic waves. Track three, ‘Thru The Trees’ is melodically metronomic from its very first droning notes as that beautiful vocal swirls into the sonic ether. It oozes space and has the freedom to build with impressive synth swells acting as a steadying centrifuge as all around it streams through layers of immense reverb. ‘Harmonia’ has synth pop like beginnings until its calming vocals take over and drag it into a beautifully structured slice of psych-pop whilst ‘Interstellar’ drones on its axis and swirls into earshot as pounding drums herald the arrival of an experimental psychedelic monolith! The bass line drives a sonic furrow through the musical landscape with aplomb and as the track progresses I’m reminded of the instrumental psychedelic explorations of Boston based ‘Ghost Box Orchestra’. Simply stunning!
‘Vanilla Kiss’ explodes with visceral intent as it works through its sonic gears. As the vocals arrive there are hints of early ‘Tame Impala’ swirling around in the track’s make up but its the stunning psych induced tones of ‘Somewhere Sacred’ that peak this listeners attention. It crawls like a stalking sonic beast as it builds on layers of stunning synth swells and infectious guitar progressions. The vocals sit atop of those brilliantly executed drums as we wait for it to unfold its wings and soar into a mosaic coloured sky. A truly wonderful track and possibly my favourite on this entire release. ‘Behemoth’ begins on a bed of throbbing bass frequencies as distorted guitar swells shatter the serenity of the previous track. This is full on 60’s tinged psych rock interspersed with impressive krautrock explosions as organ swells and screaming guitars play hide and seek with the bass and drums. ‘Orbits’ swerves into earshot as droning synths usher in shimmering guitar progressions and earthbound drum patterns. The psychedelically charged vocal lines swirl within the sonic whirlwind and are allowed to loop and arc throughout the entire track.
The albums penultimate piece entitled ‘Untamed’ oozes melody as the instrumentation makes way for another stunning vocal performance. With near perfect production ‘Untamed’ uses its verses to carry the vocal as its chorus parts explode into stunning golden frequencies. The albums closing track floats on magical synth swells, reminiscent of early ‘Electric Light Orchestra’ as we’re treated to blissful vocal lines and hypnotic instrumentation. A fitting end to a truly magnificent album.
‘Prism Cinema’ is available to buy/download on various formats right now from: bokononband.bandcamp.com
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.
ARTIST: Dead Skeletons
RELEASE: Live In Berlin
RELEASE DATE: 9th April 2016
RECORD COMPANY: Fuzz Club Records
Released on April 9th 2016 via the ever reliable ‘Fuzz Club Records’, psychedelic explorers ‘Dead Skeletons’ bring their explosive live sound to the ears of the listening masses on one highly anticipated latest release. ‘Live In Berlin’ was recorded at Berlin’s iconic S036 Club and it features a plethora of live musical guests including members of The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Spacemen 3 and Singapore Sling gracing the bands stage. The album is available to buy/download right now on most formats from the Fuzz Club website.
‘Om Vajra Sattva Hung’ meanders into earshot on a brutal tidal wave of dark oppressive live frequencies adorned with glitchy guitar squalls and squealing feedback. The intense live atmospherics are indeed palpable as the track builds in momentum swirling within reverberating fret noise and shuffling off-kilter snare drum theatrics. It breaks into an expansively spacious kind of reverberating peace before pounding drums and addictive guitar structures interrupt it’s dreamlike state to announce the track in all of its mantra driven glory. ‘Om Vajra Sattva Hung’ is thoroughly experimental as it works through its structured changes to become one big monolithic sonic surge. Electronic sequences coupled with intense guitars swirl within the musical void as ‘Om Mani Padme Hum’ breathes an explosive edge into proceedings. It’s Pounding drums act as a central spine as it bears the weight of the swirling instrumentation and that exquisitely repetitive vocal mantra! Up next, ‘Buddha Christ’ shuffles on its percussive coil as it explodes into some modern day psychedelically infused rockabilly whilst ‘Kundalini Eyes’ expands the rock n’ roll trend, albeit with an infusion of driving old-school ‘Joy Division’ for good measure, before bending and manipulating frequencies at will to create a massive wall of experimental sonic brilliance.
‘Psycho Dead’ drones on a sampled vocal before its subtle percussion parts add just enough weight to support those dark and oppressive vocals allowing the guitars to swirl around the entire track with ease. It stalks the outer reaches of your audible range but unlike the previous tracks it manages to stay earthbound and straightforward enough to allow even the newest of listeners to grasp whats going on. Up next ‘When The Sun’ shimmers and hangs within suspended sonic animation as it’s gradually allowed to open up and gracefully show off its inner musical demons! It swerves on layers of reverb as the steadying pace of the drum track ushers in the melodic vocal and allows it to breath before it soars into the sonic ether. ‘When The Sun’ is simply stunning and it shows the diversity within a live sound environment that Dead Skeletons possess. They can gauge the mood of the audience on any particular night and change the sound to suit when needed. Magnificently executed.
‘Dead Cometh’ builds from the off and it is packed full of experimental atmosphere as it grinds through its sonic gears. Massive guitar structures loop and arc all over the sonic arena as its addictive vocal lines ride huge waves of brooding and effected frequencies intertwined with those pounding drum patterns. Track eight, ‘Get On the Train’ is a modern day psychedelic behemoth! It drives a tremulous sonic furrow through proceedings whilst the albums penultimate track the aptly named ‘Kingdom Of God’ shudders and groans on a wave of droning guitars and repetitive explosive drum patterns. It builds and builds gathering immense heights, all the while stacking layer upon layer of insanely brilliant sound-waves to create a stunning live sonic assault on the senses. The albums closing piece needs no introduction, no reviewing or fancy wording and no bloody frills! It is simply a thirteen minute plus call to arms to the modern day psych world and is my favourite track on this entire release. Ladies and gentlemen I give you ….. ‘Dead Mantra’.
This is a stunning collection of live recordings from a band who can do no wrong as far as I’m concerned. Dead Skeletons effortlessly transform their entire studio sound into something thats quite otherworldly live. They can evoke out of body experiences through the medium of sound and are definitely worthy of your ears. My advice to you is to get out and see them live just to experience it for yourselves!
This is spiritual enlightenment in musical form ….. this is music!
ARTIST: Ghost Box Orchestra
RELEASE: High Plaine
RELEASE DATE: May 17th 2016
RECORD COMPANY: Evil Hoodoo Records
I’ve been a big admirer of the sounds created by Boston natives ‘Ghost Box Orchestra’ for quite some time . Their collective musical stylings enthralled me from very early on as I repeatedly overplayed their cinematic post-rock hued 2010 debut ‘The Only Light On’, then fell head long into the magnificent dark vortex of 2013’s ‘Vanished’ only to tumble out the other end and crash straight through the reverberating ‘Sound of (Eternal Now)EP' back in October 2015. For me, it’s been a brilliant musical rollercoaster ride of epic proportions and now I’m happy to report that the band have unleashed a brand new full length masterpiece! ‘High Plaine’ was officially released back on the seventeenth of May 2016 via ‘Evil Hoodoo Records’ over in the UK and it is nothing short of immense!
High Plaine by Ghost Box Orchestra
A swirling keyboard drone heralds the arrival of ‘Flutter’, as its tremulous guitars and eerily hypnotic organ progression circumnavigates pounding poly-rhythms & surging swells of reverberating sonic brilliance. ‘Flutter’ builds from its opening notes as the cyclonic musical cacophony urges those Impressive vocal lines to take centre stage happily in the knowledge that they are protected from any outside interference by a raging wall of noise. Let’s not be fooled here people; this is a stunning opening track full of explosive psychedelic promise and worthy of your ears. Up next are howling (but impressive) vocal progressions intriguingly underscored with melodiously repetitive guitar structures and explosive percussive patterns. ‘High Plaine’ opens up into a monstrous musical animal as it weaves its way through swathes of shimmering instrumentation.
The senses are tweaked at the arrival of my favourite track on this entire release! ‘Socrates Burned’ is a monolithic sonic beast that pulses through walls of stunning reverb as those pounding but regimented drum patterns act like bedrock, bearing the full weight of those soaring guitars and its huge swirling synth swells coupled with growling bass frequencies and a piercing vocal attack. There’s a quick reprise of sorts as the remnants of ‘Socrates Burned’ fades into obscurity but its quickly replaced by the calming and refreshing opening bars of ‘Wave Goodbye’. This track is deeply melodic as it meanders through peaks and troughs of glorious golden instrumentation. Cascading keyboard thrills hang suspended just above audible range as ghostly vocalisations litter the reverberating landscape. It’s brilliant guitars shimmer as they stir within a heady brew of steading drum progressions, beautiful synth swirls and impressive throbbing bass lines. Up next is the shuffling ‘Dead & Gone’ with its mesmerising reverb retched vocal chants that seem to hover blissfully on sonic winds like a hunting eagle as all around it the ether rages a sonic war of attrition. Simply stunning! Droning guitars and meandering vocal lines usher in the opening bars of ‘Days Are Forever’ before we’re lifted high above the musical landscape on melodically brilliant wavy guitar lines and pounding drums as the chorus progression explodes into a brilliant cacophony of wonderful noise.
Things are really moving at pace now as ‘Ghost Box Orchestra’ offer up the albums penultimate track! ‘Within The Sound’ is a storming call to arms. It’s pounding drums and rumbling bass frequencies should have a post code all to themselves as they plough a sonic furrow through the entire musical landscape. Add into the mix the raging wall of noise created by the attacking guitars & that soaring vocal line and we have a full on assault on the senses. The albums closing track fades blissfully into ear shot on a swirling mass of droning guitars. ‘Causality Devotional’ floats on angelic frequencies as it works through its sonic gears. It builds brilliantly as it layers each one of its instrumental components at various points along the tracks navigational path. The vocals soar into ear shot on waves of shimmering reverberating frequencies that loop and arc all over the sonic spectrum with blistering aplomb. ‘Causality Devotional’ then builds into a raging maelstrom of noise as it tumbles into its droning finality. This is a stunning track to close out an absolutely stunning album.
Bravo Ghost Box Orchestra!
‘High Plaine’ is available to buy/download right now from: ghostboxorchestra.bandcamp.com
RELEASE DATE: May 6th 2016
RECORD COMPANY: Sunrise Ocean Bender Records
The brilliant independent record label ‘Sunrise Ocean Bender’ presents a stunning collection of seven tracks by Sicily-based psychedelic explorer ‘JuJu’ (Lay Llamas, Herself) released back on the May 6th 2016. With a stunning sound thats more akin to a pulsating, living organism ‘JuJu’ transcends this modern day psych rock plain bringing with it swathes of rhythmic, almost ritualistic golden frequencies to the ears of its waiting listenership. The album is available on various formats via juju-spell.bandcamp.com
JuJu by JuJu
Driving bass frequencies, riding a wave of panned percussive hits usher in track one, the hypnotically atmospheric ‘Samael’. It’s sequenced drum patterns swirl within the magical maelstrom as it builds into a whirlwind of reverb induced vocal lines coupled with pounding drums and intertwined with suppressive droning guitars. It surges through its chord progressions with apparent ease as wave after wave of sonic frequencies batter the senses and block out any outside influence careering you off its chosen musical path. A stunning entry point into a dynamic world of sonic delight. Track two thunders into the musical arena on a titanic wave of shimmering reverb. ‘We Spit On Yer Grave’ is completely addictive as those plodding synth progressions, cushioning that immense vocal attack, rides a juggernaut of explosive drums, throbbing bass lines and tremulous golden hued guitars.
The metronomic opening bars of ‘Stars And Sea’, my favourite track on this entire release, swerves and moves within a translucent world of shimmering suspended animation as those stunning vocals add an air of atmosphere to proceedings. There’s a subtle but brilliant country chic feel to this track as it meanders its way through peaks and troughs of psychedelic delight. The added eastern sounding percussive hits inject weight and balance but soon make way for an absolutely blistering finale as the track takes off into a stunning cacophony of swirling vocals, swerving synth swells and dark driving guitars. Beautiful atmospheric piano hits circumnavigated by dark oppressive samples announce the arrival of ‘Dance With The Fish’ as immense psychedelically charged synth swells sonically mimic an apparent underwater scene. It’s a beautiful two minute sonic aperitif to what comes next!
A repetitious guitar progression carefully balances a whispering but effective vocal pattern on its axis as ‘Sunrise Ocean’ builds momentum into a charging musical monolith! The tidal wave of sound expands as those droning guitars arrive and plough through the tracks fuzzy interior with aplomb. Add into the mix those driving, addictive bass frequencies and what we have collectively is an absolutely stunning piece of music. The albums penultimate track entitled ‘Lost’ begins with stunning melody courtesy of a repetitive piano sequence. There’s an air of tranquility as the synth swells and drums arrive, adding subtle but firm movement to the track and allowing the vocal samples to loop and arc throughout the reverberating atmosphere. The mood then changes as we shift sonic gears. The drums increase in tempo, coupled with the arrival of a repetitious guitar progression and shakers the entire piece swirls within a beautiful sonic whirlwind!
The albums closing piece is simply magical! Swirling bongos, sequenced samples and droning golden frequencies begin the hypnotic rhythmic mantra as those amazing repetitive vocals shuffle into earshot. ‘Bring ‘Em War’ builds and builds, developing form and shape before unleashing something akin to absolute sonic abandonment! It weaves and bobs throughout and drives a deeply melodic psychedelic furrow right through the centre of the musical landscape! A truly wonderful closing track to a blistering album.
ARTIST: Is Bliss
RELEASE: Velvet Dreams
RELEASE DATE: October 21st 2016
RECORD COMPANY: Club AC30
The brilliant London based independent record label 'Club AC30' have been nurturing some fantastic worldwide artists from the psych/gaze/electronic & dream-pop genres for quite some time now. Their list of rostered artists has brought us some serious heavy hitters such as 'Flyying Colours, Pinkshiunyultrablast and Ringo Deathstarr' to name just a few. Now they've unleashed a veritable sonic triumph is the guise of the debut EP entitled 'Velvet Dreams' by Portsmouth based trio 'Is Bliss'. This band are causing quiet a stir right now within the underground fraternity with their no nonsense, full on, psych induced reverberations! They are made up of Jimmy Stuart - vox/guitar, Dean Edwards - bass & Sam Speakman - drums and they have already graced the stage with the likes of Wolf Alice, Telescopes, Nine Black Alps, Mark Gardener and Robin Guthrie. The vinyl edition of 'Velvet Dreams' (limited to 300) has already sold out over on the record labels website store.clubac30.com so if you missed out on this immense debut EP, then you will just have to take our word for it! It is absolutely magnificent.
The EP opens up with 'Morning Sun', a beautifully effervescent track full of esoteric sound waves and translucent sonic frequencies. Driving percussion and throbbing bass lines hold court as those impressive guitar lines weave effortlessly in and out of haunting vocal progression's courtesy of Jimmy Stuart. 'Morning Sun' surges forward on wave after wave of brilliant reverberation, reminiscent at times to early Verve or Creation Records era Telescopes. Up next, the immense 'Realise' enters into earshot on a steadying drum pattern coupled with a melodious baseline and another impressive lead guitar progression. It explodes stunningly into a cacophony of beautiful noise as it's chorus parts take flight and soar into the ether, all the while circumnavigating that brilliant vocal and those massive walls of guitars just to lead us on merry dance until we're dumped out the other side like a geek at school disco. 'Realise' is absolutely Immense and not for the faint hearted.
'Truth' growls into existence on punctuating bass frequencies and luscious guitar squall before unleashing a huge wall of instrumentation that is just about big enough to carry those 'angry young man' vocal lines! The guitars wail and scream brilliantly as this track launches itself skywards, dragging every single fucking listener with it as the torturous screams of Jimmy Stuart echo into forever. A triumphant track and possibly my favourite on this entire EP, 'Truth' is a sonic call to arms for a society in ruins. The EP's penultimate piece entitled 'Ocean Blue' swirls into the ether on an instrumental drone as the drum track winds up and pulses out a metronomic beat, coupled with the underlying swing of tabla, shakers & tambourine hits all enveloped around Stuart's impressive vocalisations. The collective result puts a kind of swirling hypnotic hue on proceedings as those eastern esoteric vibes undulate and meld with cascading sitar, throbbing bass frequencies and those psychedelically intense guitars.
The EP's closing piece is a psych induced monster coming in at eight minutes plus. 'Lure' has a menacing drone creeping down it's central spine as the instrumentation builds and lurches forward on it's pre-destined course. Addictive bass lines and almost prog rock like guitars swim effortlessly in a sea of reverberation as those wailing vocals ride a slow processional drum pattern, meandering deftly and without hindrance. 'Lure' begins to gain momentum now and we're thrown headlong into a maelstrom of effortless instrumentation and immense sonic abandonment with it's pounding drums and screaming lead guitar lines echoing into a raging finale.
If the underground music fraternity are looking for a champion to nail their colours to, they've found it in these five tracks by the brilliant 'Is Bliss' ...... This is music!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
ARTIST: Fire Behaving As Air
RELEASE: Vapour Trail
RELEASE DATE: November 25th 2015
RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned
There is a haunting air of excitement as I wait for the opening salvos of this debut full length release from Melbourne based droning dream-gazers ‘Fire Behaving As Air’. I’ve been a big fan of this band ever since the release of their debut EP ‘Desire’ back in 2013 & having just recently read excerpts from an interview that the band gave to the brilliant ‘Blog That Celebrates Itself’, I was chomping at the bit to hear the finished album in full. Fire Behaving As Air’s origins began in 2008 by husband and wife songwriters Owen (guitarist) and Beck Lee (vocalist/harmonium), over the seven years the band’s family has grown and morphed to permanently include Chris Compton (lead guitar) & Mark Taylor (drums), as well as numerous guest appearances including players of additional harmonium, tabla, djembe, violin, cello, bansuri, moog, keyboard and trumpet. This latest release ‘Vapour Trail’ explores recurring themes of impermanence in all of its incarnations; loss, sudden destruction, metastasis, evasion, revolution and ultimately, the sublime release through escapism.
Vapour Trail by Fire Behaving As AirThe album opens with an atmospheric guitar progression that creeps between the interplay of light & dark tonal beauty whilst skipping along a musical atmosphere steeped in reverb laden brilliance, erupting in explosive power with the arrival of the absolutely immense vocal abilities of Beck Lee. ‘Silver Tongue’ is a portal to a world of sonic delight. Think Velvet Underground & Nico meets Portishead but turned on its head with a modern twist. Its a stunning opener. Up next ‘To The Seafloor’ has dream-pop aspirations from the off. Again the vocal track catches this listeners ear as it dances & weaves through reverberating guitars & steady shimmering drums. There’s a dark atmospheric edge interspersed with an almost folk like feel, vocally to ‘When She’s Bored She Dies’ & it does just about enough to keep you focused & interested until about 4 minutes in when this track explodes & offers up its inner wailing guitar self. ‘Tolerance’ is a triumphant masterpiece! Having been voted by the listeners of California based DKFM Shoegaze Radio as one of the Top 50 Most Loved Shoegaze & Dream Pop Tracks of 2012 its no wonder that it appears here on their debut full length release. ‘Tolerance’ meanders deftly through layer upon layer of fuzzy reverb laden psychedelic shoegaze & only comes up for air during Beck Lee’s stunning vocal parts. A must have in any true shoegazers playlist. After the heady heights of ‘Tolerance’ the pace slows a little as the band introduces ‘Unconquered’ & ‘Peaceful’. In both of these tracks I’m hearing sporadic ethereal dream-pop inspired flourishes Cocteau Twins style throughout but there’s also a dark droning addictively intense undercurrent that drags them both through peaks & troughs courtesy of Owen Lee & Chris Compton on guitars.
Up next, ‘Ripples’ builds & builds from its inception to its explosive ending whilst ‘Breathe’ is a cumulative charging sonic ball of hazy psychedelic goodness with repetitive vocal progressions, effected guitars & thunderous drum patterns. ‘Watch The World Go Down’ slows the album to a crawl as we listen to Beck Lee’s vocal swim through a wall of reverb & sink into a sea of guitar swells, diminished percussion & effected hallucinogenic instrumentation. This is a wonderful track that will inspire you to dream in colour. Listen to it via headphones, it will blow your mind! 'Mantra' sneaks onto the musical canvass with its throbbing repetitive bass line, snake like shakers & a droning wall of psychedelic sound all intertwined with another stunning vocal performance. There’s a definite 60’s psych feel to this enthralling track that swerves & meanders like a snake hunting its prey. Very cool indeed. The albums closing track ‘One More Winter’ is a tame affair of cinematic instrumentation all entered around a magnificent vocal performance reminiscent of Portishead’s own Beth Gibbons.
As debut albums go this is up there with the best of them. I really love the way ‘Fire Behaving As Air’ skip through various musical genres with aplomb. Their well thought out song structures, blissfully effected guitar progressions & pounding drums coupled with the immense vocal ability of Beck Lee should hold them in good stead with shoegazers, dream poppers & psych aficionados alike. ‘Vapour Trail’ gets its official release on November 25th and its a major recommendation from us. Go get it!
4.5 / 5
Fuzz Club debutants & Mexican natives 'Has A Shadow' have announced the second single to be lifted from their forthcoming (January 18th) full album 'Sorrow Tomorrow'. This latest track entitled 'Vampire Kiss' deftly follows on from their rather impressive lead track 'The Flesh' and it carries with it their brand of dark and ritualistic modern psych that is absolutely steeped in menacingly addictive gothic vibes.
What hits you fist upon hearing 'Vampire Kiss' are the brash & scuzzy guitars that swirl deep within a dark haze of reverberation. You really have to check yourself as those throbbing bass frequencies & thunderous drums dance and swing a hypnotically charged jig, effortlessly circumnavigated by those hauntingly good organ lines and the foreboding vocal tones of Daniel Garciano. This is seriously good stuff.
As usual the full album will be available to pre-order very soon via fuzzclub.com
ARTIST: The History Of Colour TV
RELEASE: Something Like Eternity
RELEASE DATE: TBA
RECORD COMPANY: Cranes Records / Weird Books
On 'Something Like Eternity', the very crux of genres like post-punk, experimental music, dream-pop and shoegaze are brought to the forefront and laid bare in their characteristics by The History of Colour TV, a Berlin based experimental/alt-rock band. As they do this, they throw into the mix their own brand of indie and punk rock stylings (which have been explored on their previous two albums) to create something that all together sounds like an attempt to push alternative music in a different direction… To try and squeeze something more from sound, song writing and performance.
'Something Like Eternity' opens with the impressive ‘Granite Verge of Tears’ which sees the band utilising a more post-punk sound with some sort of garage stylings. Occasionally the songs ease back into simple guitar playing before jumping back into indie-stylised riffs. ‘Broken Trip’ acts as an extension of this; there is more of a jangle rock sound and the whole mood of the song seems lighter. Much as the opening track, the song dips deep back into a unrestrained dark section of music at places in the song, which gives it several different faces and ways of interpretation. The second half of the song features the crunch of background fuzz and noise; another wind back to the wild west of garage and noise rock. ‘Wreck’ seems slight in light of the previous tracks. Its guitar and drum play is enjoyable but it comes across as overly simple and never really reaches any substantial heights or points of engagement until a loud and wild section near the outro of the song. The lyrics become pointless because of the dry and relatively unimaginative style of the vocals, which sort of wander into the backing instrumentation and become too distant. Thankfully the band somewhat redeem themselves with the colourful and loud ‘Everything That Stood Still’, a track that plays around simple guitar plucking coupled with a drum pattern that leads into the loud and brilliant chorus riff. Credit should also be given to the fantastic outro on this song; a truly spacey and fantastic piece of music. While only meant to be some sort of interlude, ‘Overcast Half’ is a brilliant tiny piece of experimental feedback, mild distortion and FX filtered sounds. And it should be noted it fits very well in the scope of the entire album.
‘Even Rain’ has mesmerisingly beautiful slow passages of guitar picking which are then fluctuated by the banal passages of ‘emotive’ singing and louder instrumented sections. The band play upon more of an alt-rock style of music and this is complimented greatly by a small synth lead in the second half of the song; lending to a more post-punk style of sound. The lyrics again seem almost forced sometimes and I feel like I was concentrating on the music for the most part because of this.
The albums highlight is the alt-rock/noise infused ‘Wait’ which showcases the bands strongest points; the crunch of garage styling with noises and screeching in the background that make for fantastic song writing. The performances are at almost the highest point on the album for this song and the outro of feedback and noise is a complimented element that really wraps the song together for the listener. Another brilliant song follows; the echoed and quiet ballad like structured, ‘Flame’. This, like passages of other tracks is built upon the slow turn of a guitar riff and excellent playing by the band. On this track the vocals are highlighted and make for a quality part of the song, rather than being altogether bland. This song is followed by another riveting song entitled ‘Pattern’, which presents a fuller and more frontal side of the band with keyboards and a much lighter tone than the rest of the album. The songs greatest element is the chugging guitar riff that blends into the outro and into; you guessed it, more noise and feedback on the songs second side.
Across this entire effort, with a retrospective gaze into History Of Colour TV’s back catalogue, I feel this album to be some sort of drafted attempt at creating experimental or ‘different’ music. Sometimes it sounds like the band believe if they throw some feedback in then it will be considered experimental or somewhat avant-garde. Let’s hypothetically pretend there was no noise on the album… What do you have? A non-offensive alternative rock/indie/post-punk album with dark themes and some pretty impressive performances. For these songs act as post-punk, alt-rock tunes cooked down into simple draft structures with guitar, bass, drums, vocals and keyboard; no audio tricks, no mixing enhancements to make the songs sound deeper and darker and even perhaps more conceptually pleasing. As a result, the album drags and drags; yes there’s a song here and a song there that somewhat redeem the bands ‘signature’ sound but beside that the listener, at times, feels like yelling ‘we get it already!’ Also, past releases from the History of Colour TV compared with this material puts these songs into a whole other awkward light.
But that’s not to say the album doesn’t have highlights or well written and performed songs. The second half of the album saves its weaker points in many ways; showcasing a more alternative style of music than the opposing. The performances are impressive on the most part, especially the guitars and the drumming. The mixing shines in the more full production, but praise should be given to it for sections with just guitar and vocals where it shines. Altogether the band create an interesting album, through these avenues of production, mixing and sound.
'Something Like Eternity' gets it's full release in early 2017 via Cranes Records / Weird Books. The bands latest single 'Wreck' is out now and available to buy/download from: thehistoryofcolourtv.bandcamp.com
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.
RELEASE DATE: November 18th 2016
RECORD COMPANY: Goodbye Better Records
'Solilians' are a Merrick, NY space rock ensemble that mix Hebrew vocals, ambient dub, and even shoegaze. They sound unlike anything I’ve heard in recent years, sounding as out there as some of A Sunny Day in Glasgow’s material. That only scratches the surface, because they throw in klezmer and horns too. To quote the press kit: ‘Solilians space drone dreams are the interstellar journeys of mystic seekers, mantra minimalism for the next generation. Benjamin Malkin's slow motion ambient dub prisms of klezmer melody refract Sharon Malkin's Mediterranean Hebrew beauty; while Gabriel Walsh's psychedelic sci-fi edge dances with Neptune Sweet's otherworldly cosmic majesty, all coming together on Shin, the four-piece's debut full-length (Think Stereolab slowed down to Stars Of The Lid).
Shin by Solilians
The band got their start via the 7-inch soundtrack of The Binah Comics, a super-powers tale without violence that describes a woman sick of all the insanity and nuclear posturing surrounding her homeland. A collaboration between Benjamin's writing and the great illustrator Ian Densford, The Binah Comics proved successful and Malkin put together his dream team of some of today’s best space rock minds to create ambient reflections of the comics. Starting off, there is 'Hine Ma Tov (Merc Yes Mix)' with horns, slow jam beats, and a droning aspect to it that invites and keeps the listener engaged. 'Hatikvah The Next Generation' retains the same mysterious elements, and it’s all about the emotion elicited, so the lyrics matter less than the music, at least for me. Its center is a drone and numerous voices move in and through the mix, leaving the listener feeling a bit unsettled. 'Lamedvavniks' exceeds eight minutes and is an interstellar journey into the heart of space. Vocals emanate from the creepy fringes of an event horizon, and immerse your ears in cosmic dream pop. This is music to be enjoyed over a great set of headphones and infinite time to let your mind expand and take it all in.
'Rev’s Gold' is much shorter and offers listeners a trippy sonic tapestry mingled with subdued vocals. It is music that takes you out of yourself, drawing you into a daydream. 'Hine Ma Tov' makes another appearance in the form of the Space Drone Dream Mix and this time it’s 13 minutes long! Prepare to float away into the ether. 'I Have Been, And Always Shall Be, Your Friend' takes its title from a Spock quote, and many hued layers of sound propel you straight in and you wish it would never end. Pulsating synths burgeon and grow in volume before it all comes to a dead stop. 'Planet Binah' may well be the centerpiece of this album, named as it is for The Binah Comics. It is another 13 plus minute journey, demanding that you stay present and experience its pulsating presence. The singer’s voice is submerged with synthesizers taking center stage. It all comes to a close with 'Post-Rev’s Reprise', a somewhat disquieting drone that winds down quickly. In short, this is album unlike anything you’ve heard this year, or any year for that matter. It is a fascinating and demanding work, but one that will reward you with repeated listens. Well worth seeking out for fans of international space rock laced with ambient dream pop.
Music has always been a driving force for Elizabeth Klisiewicz, which she days "continues to define my existence". At present, she writes for The Big Takeover Magazine and The Active Listener Blog, and when not writing technical manuals, she gets her thrills from reading mysteries, birdwatching, and can always be found with a camera and a maxed-out storage card full of music.