RELEASE: Fever Dreams
RELEASE DATE: 18th November 2016
RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned
Toronto based noisy shoegaze duo 'Tonemirror' have unleashed their six track debut EP 'Fever Dreams' to the masses via their bandcamp page. The band exploded onto the underground scene back in June 2016 with their debut single & Primal Radio fav 'Supermoon' and pretty soon caught the attention of a fair few online radio Dj's with their no nonsense, hard hitting blend of noisy shoegaze underscored with post-hardcore tendencies and coupled vocally with subtle dream-pop sensibilities! The band are made up of Jake Lehman - guitar/vocals & Robby Sedran - drums and the 'Fever Dreams' EP is available to buy/download right to from:tonemirror.bandcamp.com
Fever Dreams EP by Tonemirror
Jangling guitars and echoing reverberation announces the arrival of 'Lost' and it's gloriously evident to me that these guys love brash & fuzzy frequencies. The drums erupt as those swirling guitar progressions wrap themselves around a brilliantly executed vocal and drag this track through walls of noise & crashing cymbal splashes. Up next, 'Smile' swirls woozily into earshot on a wave of almost ethereal sounding guitar and above all I'm instantly hooked with just how live the drum track sounds! It's impressively explosive and injects atmosphere into the entire track as it's vocal track arrives, held fast within an addictive slacker vibe that is brilliantly reminiscent at times to early 90's shoegaze stalwarts 'Swervedriver'. Track three has captivated me ever since I first heard it back in June. 'Supermoon' builds & creeps like a stalking animal as those guitars weave a shimmering sonic web of reverberation and instil a blissful edge to proceedings. They spread out and envelope the hi-hat heavy percussive attack with ease allowing the vocal line to bleed into every facet of the tracks instrumentation. A stunning track and possibly my favourite on this entire release.
'Drag Me' announces itself on a tremulous frequential cloud as those jazz like percussive hits skittishly arrive coupled with another impressive vocal track. It's not long before the track explodes and pulls you into its soaring chorus, filled with lead licks, psychedelic swirls, mind bending reverberation and driving guitar drones. The EP's penultimate piece is growling, noisy beast! 'XYZ' drives and pulses angry guitars steadied by explosive percussion and wailing vocals that collectively creates a massive wall of highly addictive fuzzy noise. Absolutely immense! 'Fever Dreams' closes out out with 'Asomnia', a skulking forlorn passage filled with dark, atmospheric instrumentation and wailing vocalisations courtesy of Jake Lehman. A fitting ending to a rather impressive debut EP.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Del Chaney has spent the last four years not only fronting popular experimental Irish based electronic duo Analogue Wave but also dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the unsigned or small independent label based shoegaze, ethereal dream pop, post punk, post rock & modern psych rock from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog - The Primal Music Blog. He is also a contributing writer for The Sound Of Confusion. His other arm - Primal Radio - has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has helped him in actively promoting a genre of music that he is passionate about. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, he is a keen Vinyl Collector, Tattoo Fan & all round good guy! He is a self confessed music freak & is never far away from a studio console or a turntable.
by Primal Music
Just Like Leningrad by The Orange Kyte
Vancouver based psych outfit 'The Orange Kyte' have unleashed the penultimate track on their mammoth sonic expedition to release one track per month for 2016! This latest track is called 'Just Like Leningrad' and as per it's 11 predecessors it packs a serious melodious punch! 'The Orange Kyte' are made up of Steve Moonboots & a revolving door of likeminded musicians. Piloting the good ship Orange Kyte on this voyage are Stevie Moonboots - Guitars/Vocals, Mat Durie - Organ, Dave Mulvaney - Drums/Percussion, Robin Schroffel - Bass, Additional guitar by Kyle McQueen of Strange Things, Trumpet by Caton Diab & Trombone by Jonah Kya Goksøyr. 'Just Like Leningrad' is available to buy/download right now from: theorangekyte.bandcamp.com
'Just Like Leningrad' swirls in a circulian spiral of melodious frequencies where the droning organ holds court and those infectious vocals ride a tempestuous percussive assault. The refreshing addition of a brass section adds blistering depth as guitars & throbbing bass lines undulate thus weaving a seriously heady sonic brew.
ARTIST: The Telescopes
RELEASE: Hidden Fields
RELEASE DATE: 7th August 2015
RECORD COMPANY: Tapete Records
Far from the introspective ears of the mainstream media whores & hidden deep within a swirling mass of droning guitars and reverb laced vocals lies the ingenious mind of seminal experimental psychedelic explorer / founder & sole remaining member of legendary UK based band ‘The Telescopes’ AKA Mr. Stephen Lawrie! Founded in 1987 ‘The Telescopes’ have been creating a seriously addictive brand of psychedelically infused noisy space rock, intertwined at times with a shimmering intense melodic brilliance that transcends even this modern day spaced out shoegazing rebirth thus continually giving them the ability to transport the listener back to a world where musical experimentation is king & floating in a suspended reverberating whirlwind is common place. To most musical commentators they were the underdogs of the 80’s /90’s but to me they were the dogs bollox and are more relevant today, in my opinion, than any of the recently reformed musical bandwagon riders.
As you can probably gather I am & have always been a Telescopes fan. Back in the early days when my friends were following the exploits of Slowdive & Ride or trying without hope to understand the inner confines of ‘Creation Records’ own – ‘My Bloody Valentine’ I was more interested in what ‘The Telescopes’ were experimenting with musically. It was Spacemen 3, The Telescopes, The Velvet Underground & Jesus And Mary Chain that soundtracked my early pre-adult life. I began listening to them in school after I was handed a DIY home recorded copied cassette of their very first release entitled ‘Taste’ & was instantly hooked on the brilliant single ‘The Perfect Needle’. But it wasn’t until their follow up, the epic self titled monolith (or if your new fan of the band the aptly named reissued version – ‘Untitled Second’ ) that I really began to sit up & take note of just what this band could create collectively! It was a sonic awakening! A full on rollercoaster ride of shimmering brilliance with tracks such as Flying, High On Fire, Ocean Drive & the stunning Sleepwalk leading the charge. Did they go all baggy around this time? Probably! But I tend to see it as a natural experimental progression on the road to musical martyrdom.
‘The Telescopes’ called it a day in 1992 but after a 8 year hiatus they underwent a sonic resurrection to rave live reviews (within the ever circling music press) but with a revolving door policy when it came to band members! They regrouped & returned to their foundation sound of melodic white noise, drone & space rock. Throughout this resurrection there was one continuous shining beacon of light in the guise of the ever present Stephen Lawrie! The band, in various forms, went on to release a plethora of immense albums including the brilliantly intense ‘Third Wave (2002)‘ followed by the experimental ‘Number 4 (2005)’ & then ‘Hungry Audio Tapes ( 2006)’, ‘Infinite Suns (2008)’, ‘HARM (2013)’, various compilations & live albums, split 7’ & 10’ singles with various bands including ‘A Place To Bury Strangers’ & ‘Deadly Cradle Death’. The list goes on!
Stephen Lawrie teamed up brilliant Glasgow based noise rockers ‘St Deluxe’ to release a brand new 5 track album entitled ‘Hidden Fields’ (out on the 7th August 15) via ‘Tapete Records’. This release continues his love of experimental droning space rock & dreamy infectious mind bending soundscapes.
The EP opens up with the dark menacing overtones of ‘You Know The Way’. A howling white knuckle ride through layers of feedback, throbbing bass lines & addictive drum patterns that somehow seem to sit perfectly on a two chord guitar progression of melodic brilliance reminiscent in parts to early Sub-Pop era ‘Mudhoney’ or ‘Sonic Youth’. Add into the mix that soul wrenching vocal line & that ever present screaming guitar and we have our favourite track right here! Simply Immense! Next up we’re into early ‘Spaceman 3’ territory with the droning melodic overtones of ‘Absence’. This for me is music made for coming down to (all be it via headphones!) ‘In Every Sense’ screams ‘The Velvet Underground meets Jesus And Mary Chain’ but with a heavier droning maelstrom of sound more commonly found within the modern day droning genre with bands such as Scottish based outfit 'The Cherry Wave’ or UK based ’93 Million Miles From The Sun’ leading the charge. Next up, track 4 – ‘Don’t Bring Me Round’ is a swirling whirlwind of dark oppressive brilliance intertwined with screaming guitars, hypnotic drums & a demonic vocal line that somehow seems to dig itself out of the overall sound & hug a melodic undertone of shimmering intensity. Highly addictive in parts but with a musical brilliance that will leave you gobsmacked. The closing track on ‘Hidden Fields’ should have a post code all of its own! Coming in at 15 minutes plus ‘The Living Things’ is a chaotic collision of swirling guitars, droning noisy sounds & shuffling drums that somehow all intertwine into musical logic! Put simply it makes musical sense! This track belongs on a short film outlining one mans decent into suspended reverberation. It's the ‘TRON’ of the musical world – a bloody masterpiece!
‘Hidden Fields’ is a musical rollercoaster ride through multifaceted layers of sonic goodness. Not for the faint hearted, this oppressive collection of tracks needs continuous listens to peel back the dark overpowering sense of foreboding that swirls around its inner being. But once you hear its shimmering melodic core it will have you hooked on its internal beauty. A truly magnificent adventure to a world of sonic abandonment & one that I will return to again & again.
ARTIST: LSD And The Search For God
RELEASE: Heaven Is A Place
RELEASE DATE: 15th January 2016
RECORD COMPANY: Deep Space Recordings
Back in January 2007, San Francisco based psychedelic wonders ‘LSD And The Search For God’ unleashed a beautifully melodic, hazy & down right fuzzy collection of five tracks on their self titled debut EP that blew me away from my very first listen! Steeped in glorious reverb & musically reminiscent of Spacemen 3, The Telescopes & early ‘Creation Records’ drone practitioners My Bloody Valentine, ‘LSD And The Search For God’ told sonic tales brimming with dreamy duel boy/girl vocals, straddling beautifully fuzzy space rock jams. Fast forward nine years to 2016 and the band are back with another astonishing collection of 5 psychedelic stories glistening with the same spaced out ingredients that blew my mind way back in 2007. The ‘Heaven Is A Place’ EP is real, it’s not a figment of my imagination & it follows on from copious amounts of touring, collaborations with UK based psych gazing stalwarts ‘The Telescopes’, the addition of new members & building up a massive cult following throughout those nine years, all the while deliberately teasing us with the promise of a new release! This is a full on fuzzed out confession told through the medium of sound and picks right up where the bands debut left off. ‘LSD And The Search For God’ are made up of Chris Fifield – Guitar, Sofia Campbell – Vocals, Ryan Lescure – Bass, Ricky Maymi – Drums & Andy Liszt – Guitars / Vocals and this latest release was unleashed via the brilliant ‘Deep Space Recordings’.
Heaven Is a Place by LSD and the Search for God
The EP opens up with the immense ‘Heaven’, a swirling, droning maelstrom of layered reverberating sound straddling a thundering drum beat and that blissful vocal arrangement courtesy of Campbell & Liszt. This is a sonically charged slice of euphoric brilliance. Up next, ‘(I Don’t Think That We Should) Take It Slow’ is a melodically fuzzed up psych behemoth dipped in shimmering reverb and trapped within a whirlwind of hazy simmering sound-waves. Probably my favourite track on the whole release is ‘Outer Space (Long Way Home)’. This track slowly shuffles into the sonic ether with ease & I’m mesmerised with it’s addictive guitars & fuzzy droning undercurrent. Andy Liszt adds a lazy vocal to proceedings but its only when the sublime duel vocal hits and everything gets subsumed within the swirling guitars, throbbing bass & pounding drums that we are treated to something truly wonderful.
‘Elizabeth’ starts slowly with a melodic guitar line intertwined with that now trademark psychedelic droning swirl until the drums start & again we’re treated to another immense vocal arrangement. There is a definite ‘Creation Records’ sound here (although do I hate lumping modern day bands into the “Creation Records” category!) & it does swirl around the overall ascetic of this EP but ‘LSD And The Search For God’ have added something special to proceedings and thus have taken it to a whole new modern level. The EP’s closing track ‘Without You’, the longest track on the EP , is an immensely euphoric chunk of expressively edgy psych-gaze that erupts after 5 minutes, unleashing a monstrous swirling sonic wall of noise. Vocally brilliant in its entirety ‘Without You’ will leave you wanting to hear more.
‘LSD And The Search For God’ have released something really special in my opinion (Not that my opinion really matters in the grand scheme of things) but none the less, ‘Heaven Is A Place’ has instantly catapulted itself into my top 10 releases of this year and it will take something really, really special to remove it.
ARTIST: Rancho Relaxo
RELEASE: White Light Fever
RELEASE DATE: 2nd May 2016
RECORD COMPANY: Wrong Way Records
Self described as creating “Neo Psychedelic Zendom”, Norwegian based ‘Rancho Relaxo’ return with a fifteen track monolith of sonic delights via Wrong Way Records(UK). ‘White Light Fever’ is the bands seventh release & again epitomises their unique talent of creating whirlwinds of intense psych infused shoegaze intertwined with subtle spacey kraut rock tones & when its all melded together it produces an exquisite collection of alternative, droning soundscapes. ‘Rancho Relaxo’ collectively create impressive sonic pictures, of mind bending acid tab proportions, and take their listeners on a coloured hypnotic journey through their entire musical world where droning guitars are king!
White Light Fever by Rancho Relaxo
The album opens up with an intriguing but highly addictive droning tone that swirls & arcs within some kind of suspended animation until we’re treated to that shimmering guitar line, shuffling drum pattern, tambourines, reverb drenched vocal progressions and the mesmerising swagger of ‘Strange Vibrations’. Up next, is the aptly named but blindingly brilliant ‘Who Married Jane Fonda’. It permeates the sound sphere & introduces us to a haunting, duel vocal attack straddling a simple but repetitive drum & synth pattern and those insanely hazy guitars! ‘Stars’ jangles on its beautiful shoegazing sonic axis while ‘Who Says’ is reminiscent of US based alt psych aficionados ‘The Warlocks’ with its lazy, layered fuzzy tone that addictively floats on a wave of reverberating joy. ‘What You Want’ evokes that shimmering 60’s tinge of romantic melancholy mixed with menacing ‘Velvet Undergound’ styled overtones.
‘Im Crying’ is like a modern day psych soul explosion with its piercing organ swells, fuzzed out guitars and distorted vocal lines & the brilliant ‘Its All In A Dream’ is an abrupt reverberating wall of noise! ‘If You Want To’ is a psychedelic journey of epic proportions with its soaring organ swells & reverb drenched vocal lines all swirling within a maelstrom of droning guitars & repetitive drums. ‘Dead Space’ is a menacing, swirling ball of coiled up noise that loops & arc’s all over the sonic landscape with aplomb whilst ‘Clean Eyes’ is six minutes plus of impressive, shimmering, melodic brilliance that creeps and waits in the shadows before exploding onto the musical canvass with stunning effect.
Up next, ‘Desert Talk’ is a spaced out, wavy instrumental affair that has impressive peaks & troughs throughout while the dynamic ‘Taken’ slows proceedings down completely to a beautiful cacophony of golden shimmering sound waves. ‘Fake Human’ begins with a swirling synth sample that in turn heralds the arrival of a brilliant psych driven behemoth. ‘Fake Human’ is utter self indulgence & a true sonic masterpiece. It’s the jangling intro of ‘Now It’s Dark’ that quickly makes way for a thrill ride through an infectious, desert gaze inspired soundscape, jam packed full of impressive droning & swirling whirlwinds of sound, but steadied by a solid drum pattern, hypnotic tambourines and pure, full on psychedelic charm! White Light Fever’s closing track is thing of beauty! ‘White Light’ in my opinion, is the foundation stone of this entire release. A swirling blissful drone completely wraps itself around the musical atmosphere, its careful tone shaping & comforting the carelessly enveloping sound waves with ease. You really have to listen to this track on headphones to experience it in it’s entirety.
Overall ‘White Light Fever’ is passionately experimental. It twists & turns with psychedelic glee and entrances its listeners with every single solitary note. This album is thoroughly enjoyable, recommended listening & a worthy entrant into any psych gazing fans music collection.
ARTIST: Soft Wounds
RELEASE: Soft Wounds
RELEASE DATE: 31st January 2016
Toronto based alt-gazers ‘Soft Wounds’ bumped up the release date of their debut self titled album from its original January 31st date obviously to ride on the buzz created from the release of their debut single. Their brand of fuzzy alt rock strewn soundscapes with hints of impressive shoegaze & dream pop has been making waves within the underground gazing community ever since they sprung their impressive debut 5 track ‘Demo’ (Nov 2015) & their subsequent debut single entitled ‘Baby Blue’ back at the beginning of January. The band are made up of Andrew Peach – Bass, Charlie Berger – Vocals/Guitar, Matt Rimon – Guitar/Vocals & Jimmy Fitzgerald – Drums. ‘Soft Wounds’ is available to buy/download right now via the bands bandcamp page: www.softwounds.bandcamp.com
Soft Wounds by Soft Wounds
My 2016 North American odyssey continues with Soft Wounds, another Toronto-based gaze gang. Their eponymous debut album came out in January, to some impressive reviews. Its cavernous reverb sounds are augmented by some scuzzy noise rock influences too which come through in a well-placed squally guitar line, or a vocal melody like those in You Can’t Stay Here or See the Sun.
Opener Honora kicks in with purpose. A track of warbly delay lays down the shoegazey bedrock of the sound and built on top is a loose alt-rock structure that tends toward the anthemic. This big vision continues in Baby Blue, an affecting ode to girls gone by and one of the highlights of the record. ‘There’s a voice inside my head’ runs the refrain from Voices, but it must be a benevolent presence because the song tumbles along with an easy rhythm. Bright and Early opens with a blistering guitar line and settles into a dark sashay.It’s back into high gear with You Can’t Stay Here, equal parts jangly and grungy guitars and Dive In is gritted up with another cracking, crackly guitar solo. Forty Winks is warm and woozy, like being wrapped in a huge fuzzy duvet, before we are jolted back to consciousness with the sing-a-long See the Sun. The opening strains of Stray settle into a rolling but somehow melancholy groove while the guitars chime prettily along.
Soft Wounds debut is a record that seems to benefit from influences beyond the usual suspects. And could it hint at aspirations to head somewhere grander in the future? Only the voices in their head will know the answer.
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.
RELEASE: Strange Weather
RELEASE DATE: 25th March 2016
RECORD COMPANY: St Marie Records
Experimental, cinematic post-gazers ‘deardarkhead’ formed in Atlantic City, New Jersey, back in 1988. The band have released five recordings on their own label ‘Fertile Crescent Records’ & released the sensational ‘Strange Weather’ , their latest 6 track instrumental, via the wonderful ‘Saint Marie Records’ on March 25th 2016. The band consists of Kevin Harrington on Guitars, Robert Weiss – Drums & bassist Kevin McCauley, who came on board in late 2010 after the departure of longtime singer/bassist Michael Amper! Influenced by Cocteau Twins, The Cure, Echo & The Bunnymen, The Chameleons, Joy Division, The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Church, The Psychedelic Furs & The Beatles, to name but a few, the overall ‘deardarkhead’ sound can be described as a stunning mixture of old school melodic post-punk, intrinsically intertwined with driving moody psychedelic shoegaze & edged with a beautiful euphoric dream pop swirl. Although completely instrumental, ‘Strange Weather’ oozes style & structure. It soars in just the right places & sulks like a scorned love sick teenager when required.
‘Strange Weather’ opens up with the impressive ‘Falling Upward’. A swirling drone precedes a monstrous build as we’re treated to a post-punk masterclass. Immense drums & throbbing bass lines lead the charge as shimmering reverberating guitar progressions loop and arc all over the musical canvass. Up next, a steadying drum beat that ushers in the jangling early 90’s sounding ‘Sunshine Through The Rain’. This track is packed full of stunning melodic guitar lines that swirl & coil around that impressive drum & bass progression with ease. Although instrumental throughout, you can actually hear in your head just where the vocal parts should be & for me this lets my imagination run wild and adds to the overall expectancy. Track three ‘Juxta Mare’ explodes onto the musical ether with stunning effect. Musically reminiscent at times to the heavier soundscapes created by ‘Lush, Bleach’ or ‘For Against’, ‘Juxta Mare’ swerves through heady shoegaze inspired peaked crescendos & no nonsense hard hitting post-punk lows. A thundering drum pattern firmly fixed to the earth but holding firm to layered, soaring guitars heralds the arrival of ‘March Hares’, track four on this impressive release whilst track five ‘Ice Age’ has soaring atmospheric flair & hints of experimental ambient post-rock coursing through its inner core. The albums closer ‘Thinking Back’ harkens back to the early 1990’s with its sweet, shimmering guitar lines & cymbal heavy drum progressions. Again you can hear the ‘apparitional vocal line’ quite clearly through the intense but insanely beautiful production.
‘deardarkhead’ collectively create beautiful, hazy, experimental soundscapes. The band have previously mentioned on various social media sites their desire to employ a vocalist again at some stage in the future. Im not too sure they need to? For me, I just loved imagining the vocal melody as the music looped and soared through every single chord progression & I personally think that instrumentally they have something really special going on.
‘Strange Weather’ was officially released on 25th March 2016 & is available right now from ‘Saint Marie Records’ – www.saintmarierecords.bandcamp.com
Chain of Pink by Lazy Legs
Our favourite Chicago based shoegaze trio 'Lazy Legs' have unleashed an explosive new track entitled 'Chain Of Pink', lifted off their forthcoming brand new EP of the same name and penned in for release on December 16th via the Chicago based micro label Wild Patterns Records.
'Chain Of Pink' swirls into earshot on a repetitive drone as the track builds in delicious intensity adding percussion, throbbing bass frequencies and that explosive layered wall of effected guitars that effortlessly envelopes the hazy duel vocal attack. This is an absolutely enthralling track that will have you floating out into the musical ether with ease.
Phoenix based desert-gaze trio ‘Citrus Clouds’ have released an astonishing new video to accompany their track 'Make A Life', the latest to be cherry picked from their impressive debut album 'Imagination'. The video swirls and echoes through crystalline cinematic shots of hazy tree lines & vivid sun blasted skylines whilst concentrating intently on the video's two main actors. It was directed and edited by Tony Sziklay and stars Tom Elliot & Glory Hernandez.
‘Make A Life’ growls and shudders on a bed of explosive percussion as it unfurls its musical tendrils to unveil a beautifully melodious soundscape filled with sublime vocals, throbbing bass lines, snaking lead licks and wall of sound guitars.
'Imagination' was released on the 1st November 2016 via Custom Made Music and is available to buy/download right now from: citrusclouds.bandcamp.com
There is a subtle air of the nostalgic swirling around within the meandering jangle led frequencies on Newcastle based 'Seeing Hands' latest single 'It's True' that only lends to the current musings within the underground music blogging world that this band lean effortlessly to the past whilst injecting a new twist into the dream-pop/jangle-pop genres of music. In our opinion (however good that is) their immense sound is full of melody, catchy hooks, is vocally impressive and absolutely drenched in layered reverberation to the point of languishing somewhere in-between hazy shoegaze and dreamy frequency fed dream-pop! Closest comparisons today as far as we're concerned would be the sublime Melbourne based 'Bloodhounds On My Trail'. Whatever way you look at it, these guys are rather impressive!
'It's True' is available through all of the usual music streaming outlets.