RELEASE DATE: 1st September 2017
RECORD COMPANY: Modernsky UK
Liverpool based psych-pop aficionados 'Fuss' release their sublime debut self-titled four track EP on vinyl via Modernsky UK on September 1st 2017 just in time for their appearance at 'Liverpool's International Festival Of Psychedelia' on the 22nd September. The band are made up of David Baddeley, Tony Dixon, Karl Byrne, Bobby Reardon & Cormac Gould and they've previously shared the live stage with some serious sonic heavyweights such as the fantastic Psychic Ills, Ulrika Spacek and The Vryll Society. The 'Fuss' EP is available on lovely vinyl via Modernsky UK and digitally over on iTunes and Spotify.
Jangling melody driven guitars intertwine with swirling synth lines and throbbing bass progressions as 'Fluff' unfurls it's sticky sonic tendrils and washes this listener in simmering reverberations. Addictive vocalisations float into the ether held fast to sticky instrumentation, rocking slowly on a bedrock of steadying percussion and lysergic vibrations that build effortlessly into a kaleidoscope of sonic colour. Up next, 'Human Music' fills the ether with sparking guitar riffs, cascading bass lines and slow metronomic drumming as fizzing electronics and bubbling synths envelope another impressive vocal take. Lead guitars loop and arc in and out of catchy hook laden chorus progressions that float and undulate on magical psychedelically charged sonic frequencies.
'Life Forming' bubbles on a slow moving bass line as subtle organ stabs shimmer beneath the surface allowing the tinkering guitars to dance and move along that addictive drum pattern. Laid back vocals lead the listener on a sonic journey, keeping them focused on meandering guitar hooks and shimmering lead lines that circumnavigate the entire piece brilliantly. Thoroughly enjoyable, 'Life Forming' is my favourite track on the entire release. The EP closes out with it's lead single. 'Coma' enters audible range on a swirling guitar riff and simmering sampled vocalisations before exploding into a cacophony of instrumentation. It's fizzing synth lines hold court, strapped to a busy percussive pattern and the throb of magnificent bass frequencies as swirling psych induced guitars lick and whip those impressive vocal lines to within an inch of their life. 'Coma' is an absolutely absorbing piece of music and a fitting end to a marvellous debut EP. Definitely ones to watch going forward!
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
RELEASE: Sleep Cycle
RELEASE DATE: 21st July 2017
RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned
Tunisian based shimmering dream-gaze duo 'Retrieval' unleashed their latest album entitled 'Sleep Cycle' to the masses back on the 21st July 2017 and as far as we're concerned this instantly catapulted them into the 'Best Of 2017' category in the process. Their previous incarnation stood firmly in indie rock territory but boy are we glad that they decided to step outside that generic melting pot and turn their attention to pastures new. Their collective sound now swirls effortlessly through hazy 90's era shoegaze but is definitely underscored with modern instrumentation & production techniques that lifts their sonic footprint to new heights. The band are made up of Omar Chouikha - vocals/guitar/drums/ synths & Tima Savchenko - vocals/guitar/bass/synths and 'Sleep Cycle' is available to buy/download right now via retrieval.bandcamp.com
Sleep Cycle by Retrieval
The albums opener bounds into the sonic arena in a rush of percussion and hazy reverberation. ‘Away’ soars through the ether on waves of turbulent guitar and throbbing bass frequencies, deftly circumnavigating impressive dual vocalisations. Up next, my favourite track, ‘Sleep Cycle’ screams into audible range with it’s soaring guitar signatures enveloping fragile vocalisations as it’s steady almost metronomic drum patterns keep everything strapped down. Intricate chord structures make way for catchy hook laden chorus changes allowing haunting vocal tracks to shimmer and undulate through layers of mesmerising production whilst ‘Calling’ floats effortlessly on a slow melodic frequency laden guitar progression accompanied by those stunning vocal tracks and an explosive percussive swagger. ‘Waves’ opening bars tremble on crisp acoustic frequencies before the track explodes into a melee of hazy instrumentation that is absolutely drenched in stunning reverb. Slow and ambling drum patterns guide this soundscape through meandering psychedelic impressions as it’s ghost like vocalisations float along in close proximity, rising and falling with every single chord change wrapped in luscious lines of lead guitar and the constant twang of acoustic vibrations.
‘Costal Life’ swirls into earshot on atmospheric samples, subtle fret noise and wavy instrumentation before ‘Bones’ erupts into a cloud of fuzzy splendour as it’s lumbering vocal tracks cut a v-shaped wedge into a massive wall of beautiful noise. Lead guitars wail as bass frequencies throb, collectively rocking on a bedrock of heady noise, synth and precision drum tracking. Up next, ‘In The Frame’ is a noisy modern day shoegazing beast with powerful guitars and post-metal like vocal tracks whilst ‘Shut Down’ loops and arcs through massive swathes of stunning reverb as it’s wispy vocalisations magically intertwine with bass frequencies, soaring lead guitar, bubbling synth swells and beautifully atmospheric production. The albums penultimate piece entitled ‘Luna’ is steeped in an ambient hue with subtle sonic reflections that swirl momentarily through layers of tumbling psychedelia before noisy guitars, plodding bass progressions and pounding hi-hat heavy percussion take over, dragging the track kicking and screaming into a melding of post-rock or post-metal with a dollop of soaring shoegaze for good measure. It’s all very confusing instrumentally but deeply satisfying all the same. The album closes out with ‘Lessons’, a droning malicious entity filled with noisy guitars and overfed pedal boards. Melodic vocal lines twist themselves around fuzz filled frequencies as hazy production swallows up any chord changes crazy enough to pop their head over the sonic parapet. Again there is a definite post-rock edge to this track as it undulates through the ether on an atmospheric and percussion-less voyage. A fitting end to a rather interesting album.
Corsets by Ask For Joy
Sublime Austin based dream-gaze aficionado Aaron Rossetto aka 'Ask For Joy' has unleashed a stunning new single entitled 'Corsets' lifted off his forthcoming five track EP 'A Blow And A Kiss' penned in for release on the 10th September 2017. For those of you who are new to his music, Aaron has an uncanny ability of creating musical standards that swim in lush, shimmering & dreamy reverb that wraps itself effortlessly around the exoskeleton of every single track that he writes, leaving every one of his listeners blown away with the final results. 'Corsets' is available to buy/download right now via askforjoy.bandcamp.com
'Corsets' unfurls it's sonic tendrils tumbling through layers of shimmering reverb as sparse percussion resonates through the swirl of guitar and the echo of a simplistic vocal line. There's a hint of post-punk bubbling under the surface of this dreamy track as it meanders and arc's brilliantly along a luscious predestined verse/chorus route before 'Ask For Joy' dismisses the haze and explodes into a blistering melting pot of shimmering instrumentation including the addition of a trumpet line that fits into this piece effortlessly. This track is impressive, the sonic experimentation on it is most definitely inspired ... roll on the full EP!
ARTIST: Crash City Saints
RELEASE: Are You Free?
RELEASE DATE: 11th August 2017
RECORD COMPANY: Saint Marie Records
From the city of Kalamazoo, Michigan (apparently it’s across from Milwaukee, over Lake Michigan) comes 'Crash City Saints' and the interestingly bold and grand concept album they have created, entitled 'Are You Free?'. Released via the ever interesting 'Saint Marie Records' (whose back catalogue includes the impressive SPC ECO, Bloody Knives and The History of Colour TV), 'Are You Free?' tells the story of a boys attempts to mature and bloom in a small town in the 90’s when shoegaze was dense and on rotation in the mainstream and underground of the American music scene. 'Crash City Saints' have obviously utilized said music from the time and adopted it into a mix of shoegaze and alt-rock to tell a story over the course of twelve tracks that hails the significance of influence while also celebrating the freedom of originality in the context of modern music. 'Are You Free?' was released back on the 11th August 2017 and is available right now to buy/download on various formats via saintmarierecords.bandcamp.com
Are You Free? by Crash City Saints
The album opens with ‘Ice Cream’ a nice little jolt of pop-based alternative rock that highlights the hushed MBV style vocalisations and strumming acoustic guitar. There are several fantastic moments, including the churning-downtrodden shoegaze riffs that are touched upon at around the one minute thirty mark, as well as a tasteful string instrument in the background of the music. ‘Spring Lines’ owes more to a soft kind of neo-grunge rather than shoegaze, but nevertheless showcases the instrumentation and weave in-out aesthetic of the guitars. As it is on much of the album, the drumming is tight and impressive; highlighted sufficiently and smoothly in the mix. ‘Weirdos Need Love To’ fits in well as a kind of interlude between the narrative structure of the main songs whilst 'Use Once Then Dispose’ is an absolute album highlight; the post-punk double tap snare and 90’s inspired guitars meld fanatically together to create a rock-inspired atmosphere; the vocals hum away, touching on lyrically much darker themes than have been explored previously on the album. That’s not to say they are not well written, actually it’s quite the opposite. ‘Spirit Photography’ is a smooth, aesthetically enjoyable take on what sounds like 90’s era Brit-pop, while also (eventually) smothering the track in Shoegaze based guitar freak-outs. A very enjoyable experimental track, ‘Spirit Photography’ sheds the skin of the previous songs pop elements; making way for emotive and warped guitar based-psych passages of song writing. I assume ‘Act 2’ is named as such because it brings forth another stage of story and narrative; either way, as a song it feels one of little narrative importance (lyrics are drowned out in a vocal effects) while the whole song takes an almost lo-fi quality (not complaining).
‘Dawn of A Bright New Nothing’ introduces a fantastic Barrett-esque piano line into the mix, making the song one of the most purely enjoyable on the album. Yes, that’s right, this reviewer has significantly enjoyed a song because it sounds, is mixed and feels nice and relaxed. ‘Annabella’ returns to a much more alternative rock sound, the chord progression of the bass and guitar highlighting a progressive rock influence that played an integral role in the development of shoegaze music back in the 90’s. Its outro, featuring a guitar solo over the vocal chant/hum ‘you don’t know my name’ is particularly satisfying. Another interlude follows before one of the longest tracks of the album ‘The Hour Of The Wolf’ opens with a sequencer based EDM style sound. Although this aforementioned beat grows tiring after a while, this doesn’t cease the track from growing into a heavy, loud and colourful collection of sounds and noise, backed by the thrashing of the drums. The outro guitar picking is especially amazing and very much in-context of the seven minute long song. The following dream-pop based ‘Harbour Lights’ remains a sonic (but almost as equally lengthy) contrast to the previous wild melding’s of ‘The Hour Of The Wolf’. In fact, ‘Harbour Lights’ is an album highlight: the guitar tones and overall atmosphere of the song congregate into a dream pop/shoegaze breath of fresh air after the previous songs noise and drenched soundscapes.
Releasing a concept album of any type is a big and daring leap. Will people be able to detail the story (if the concept is narrative)? Will the story get in the way of the music? What about the other way around? 'Crash City Saints' have previously stated there is a narrative kind of concept behind the album, and at times while listening to 'Are You Free?' I was lost as to what (if anything) was actually going on, but then I realized that its concept lies beyond the realm of just a narrative. Over the course of the album the band swiftly (and at times intellectually subtly) incorporate and throw influence and nods to the American music underground of the nineties. There's grunge, dreampop, alt-rock, dance and electronica, shoegaze and many more… This album is a musical exploration in concept rather than a boring ‘he does this, then she does that’ kind of structure that tends to drag down and drown many ‘concept’ albums. The song writing is strong, although at times relies too heavily on formulas used on previous songs, even if it is a kind of throwback. The mixing and production (done so by Elliott Frazier of Ringo Deathstarr) is of course a brilliant, but also (if you listen to a lot of it) a well-rounded and respectful throwback to the music of the 90’s. Listen for an interesting story (accompianed and helped along by interesting lyrics), great instrumentation and playing, and a reminder of the brilliant and nostalgic music of a few decades ago, achieved through production, mixing and sound.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Cam Phillips is a writer and above all, a music lover, who seeks to gain experience through writing and listening. He is also an avid film viewer and art and literature junkie who enjoys creative writing. His most recent published work was featured on 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.
RELEASE: Our Mother Was A Plant
RELEASE DATE: 22nd September 2017
RECORD COMPANY: Fuzz Club Records
Back in 2016 whilst writing reviews for 'The Sound Of Confusion', I came across a fantastic seven track self-titled debut album from Sicilian based sonic manipulator Gioele Valenti of Lay Llamas fame now recording under the moniker of 'JuJu'. Being a Lay Lamas fan myself, I immediately dived headlong into it's swirling lysergic sound waves which were more akin to a pulsating living organism drenched in swathes of rhythmic, almost ritualistic golden frequencies. Sonically, it was something that I'd never heard before and it quite simply blew me away. Fast forward twelve months; 'JuJu' has 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 had just announced his sophomore release aptly titled 'Our Mother Was A Plant'. This time around Gioele Valenti dips his sonic tendrils into a plethora of genres that includes afrobeat, krautrock, glam, post-punk, art rock, shoegaze & drone and it also features 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 gets it's full release on the 22nd September and is available to pre-order right now on 180g vinyl via www.fuzzclub.com
Repetitious percussion accompanied by sporadic electronic sampling and the constant throb of skittish bass notes announce the arrival of track one, the brilliantly titled ‘Death By Beautiful Things’. Swirling reverberations pull luscious lead guitar lines into the mix as JuJu prepares to jump off the deep end and splash headlong into a pool of emotively experimental psych rock. The music drags this listener along with it tumbling freely into a droning synth laden soundscape filled with impressive kraut like percussive tendencies and mind numbing guitar progressions that seem to loop and arc effortlessly through swathes of psychedelic enchantment. At times ‘Death By Beautiful Things’ dips brilliantly in and out of ambient experimentalism leading you on a totally immersive sonic adventure. Up next, ‘In A Ghetto’ unfurls its sonic tendrils wavering menacingly on a sequenced drum loop that slowly adds a pensive kind of atmosphere with the addition of each musical layer. Hypnotic shakers rattle and shimmer as pulsing guitar progressions rise up from beneath a heady cloud of bass and reverb to envelope those mantra like vocalisations deftly undulating through JuJu’s subtle eastern esoteric leanings.
‘And Play A Game’ is refreshing as it bleeps and whirrs through sticky electronic vibes and repetitive percussion. It’s bass patterns are mesmerising and when accompanied by those addictive synth swells and it’s subtle lead licks, are totally unstoppable. Stunning vocal lines swirl throughout the mix as this track builds and builds into a surging psychedelically charged dance floor filler. It is absolutely magnificent. Up next, the insatiable ‘James Dean’ bounds into the ether on a wave of pounding drums, swirling guitars, haunting vocal lines and throbbing bass frequencies. It’s impressive organ lines intertwine brilliantly with soaring lead guitars and electronic percussion whilst the experimental pull of ‘I Got Your Soul’ is hard to escape. The sway of it’s funk like origins keep perfect time as the duel assault of bass and drums keep a firm hold on the earth allowing it’s mesmerising guitars to circumnavigate impressive vocalisations and soar out into the ether on reverberating sonic waves. ‘Patric’ begins life as a glitchy, atmospheric beast that trembles on yet another impressive bass progression. It’s haunting vocal lines undulate and merge effortlessly with raging guitars and stunning production to collectively create something altogether magical.
The albums penultimate piece entitled ‘What A Bad Day’ comes in at a whopping nine minutes plus and at no stage does it disappoint. This track enters audible range strapped to a metronomic drum pattern and the repetitive throb of angry bass. Atmospheric instrumental drones intertwine with fuzzy fret noise and resonating frequencies to circumnavigate it’s stunning vocals, as luscious synth swells bubble up from far below to drench the entire piece in shimmering reverb. There’s a hazy but ambient hue hanging over this track at times that tweaks this listeners attention as it meanders through layer after layer of psychedelic abandonment, twisting and turning through stunning musical passages filled with the occasional saxophone hook, colourful lead guitar progressions, electronic experimentalism and the ever present bark of dark bass frequencies. ‘Sunny Afternoon’ closes proceedings out and does exactly as it says on the tin. Shimmering guitar progressions and sparse percussion make way for fizzing electronics and the hum of bass as subtle synth swells pulse through the mix accompanied by electronic theatrics and the constant pull of simmering reverb. It’s a masterful ending to a totally entrancing sophomore album ...... bravo JuJu!
RECORD COMPANY: Label Obscura & Somewhere Cold
It's always a pleasure to feature new music from the fantastic Canadian based electronic dream-pop/shoegaze duo of Shauna McLarnon (vocals) & Alex kretov (multi-instrumentalist) aka Ummagma and I take any release from them as a sign that all is well within this burgeoning underground music scene. Never ones to shy away from challenging their musical boundaries, Ummagma continuously push the sonic bar higher and higher with every single one of their releases and this latest four track EP entitled 'LCD' is no different. It features three stunning remixes by two legendary musicians, the fantastic Dean Garcia (SPC ECO/Curve) and the masterful Robin Guthrie of Cocteau Twins fame, both with wide and varying musical styles but who both shine and buff, twist and reshape some of Ummgama's finest tracks into absolutely incredible soundscapes. The EP gets its full release through both 'Label Obscura (Cassette)' and 'Somewhere Cold Records (CD)' on the 22nd September 2017 with pre-orders available right now on various formats via ummagma.bandcamp.com
LCD by Ummagma
The EP opens up with ‘LCD’, a beautifully entrancing track with a vocal attack that is simply breathtaking. Both McLarnon and Kretov are back to their best with this deeply experimental eastern esoteric take on their usual electronic dream gaze fair. Punchy drum patterns hold court as surging synth, bouncing frequencies and fizzing electronics swirl effortlessly around a rather interesting vocal performance. Up next is the first of three remixes; ‘Dean Garcia (CURVE/SPC ECO)’ injects some hard hitting industrial sounds into ‘LCD’ turning it into a crawling electronic monolith with dark atmospheric undertones whilst ‘Robin Guthrie (Cocteau Twins)’ sprinkles some shimmering sonic stardust over the insatiably melodic ‘Lama’ (lifted off Ummagma’s debut album ‘Antigravity’) turning it into a bright and airy soundscape that seems to suit Shauna McLarnon’s vocal prowess immensely, offering them up in a whole new light.
The EP closes out with yet another ‘Dean Garcia (CURVE/SPC ECO)’ remix. This time he turns his attention to ‘Back To You’ (again lifted from Ummagma’s 2012 debut album ‘Antigravity’) and he doesn't disappoint. Fans of Massive Attack and Stereolab will love the wide expansive spaces and the huge swathes of reverb injected into this piece, deftly underscored by a hard hitting percussive swagger and airy dual vocalisations courtesy of Shauna McLarnon & Alex Kretov respectively.
Ultra Sound by Citrus Clouds
The fantastic Pheonix based desert-gaze trio of Stacie Huttleston, Erick Pineda and Angelica Pedrego aka 'Citrus Clouds' have returned with the stunning lead track from their forthcoming seven track EP 'Ultra Sound' penned in for release on the 22nd September 2017 via Custom Made Music. The track is called 'Life Happens' and you can buy/download it right now 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. This track is throughly addictive! It's possibly their best release so far and that fact only bodes well for the forthcoming EP.
ARTIST: The Breaks
RELEASE DATE: 3rd July 2107
Manchester based alt-shoegaze outfit 'The Breaks' unleashed their debut four track EP entitled 'Misery' to the masses via bandcamp back on the 3rd July 2017. With various worldwide commentators to the scene mentioning them on social media we felt it was about time we dissected it for ourselves to see just how good it really is and being completely honest; we weren't disappointed! The band's collective sound is inherently shoegaze orientated although their are lovely passages of music throughout that effortlessly jump in and out of luscious dream-pop or edgy alternative rock. 'Misery' is available to buy/download right now via thebreaks.bandcamp.com
Misery by The Breaks
The EP's opener entitled 'Honey' sways brilliantly on hard hitting percussion before swerving into a shimmering wall of reverberating guitars, throbbing bass frequencies and the twinkling splash of cymbal crash. Beautifully melodic vocalisations intertwine with heavier surges of guitar as catchy chorus hooks take flight dragging this listener up and out into the sonic ether, making this track a stunning opening salvo indeed. Up next, 'I Need' explodes into earshot on a massive wall of angry instrumentation. It's distorted vocal lines spit venom as they trudge through layers of wavy guitars and screaming lead lines, collectively tip-toeing in and out of noisy alt-rock and hazy shoegaze with relative ease.
The slow metronomic percussive thud of 'Biscuit Factory' enters the sonic arena and introduces us to 'The Breaks' melodic dream-pop sensibilities. Jangling guitar progressions accompanied by cascading bass lines and subtle swells of reverb circumnavigate a stunning vocal performance as this track twists and turns through catchy hooks and shimmering production. The EP closes out with 'Misery', possibly the most alt-pop that this band get on the whole EP and to be honest I was getting a tad worried until things took a rather interesting turn after the first verse. Opening bars of acoustic guitar rattle and scrape through standard street busking fair before lurching into a warm & fuzzy chorus layered with explosive drum patterns, bouncing bass frequencies and shimmering guitars thus restoring the balance and turning this track into an impressive sonic finale on what is a bloody marvellous debut EP. It'll be very interesting to hear what comes next from these guys!
ARTIST: The Radiation Flowers
RELEASE: Summer Loop
RELEASE DATE: 7th July 2017
RECORD COMPANY: Sunmask/Cardinal Fuzz
Saskatoon based psych-gaze quartet 'The Radiation Flowers' have been very, very busy this summer. Not only have they released a fantastic split EP with fellow Canadian's 'Hawkeyes Doom' (which we have previously reviewed for Primal Music), but now they've just unleashed what is in our opinion one of the best albums of 2017 so far in the guise of 'Summer Loop', a seven track thrill ride through impressive layers of psych, shoegaze and alternative sounds that will leave you absolutely floored. The band are made up of Shelby Gaudet - guitar/vocals, Amber Ross - drums/percussion, Christopher Laramee – guitar & Jay Allen - bass/vocals and 'Summer Loop' is available to buy on lovely limited release 350 eco-colour vinyl's & 50 limited edition vinyl replica jacket CD-R's via the ever reliable Cardinal Fuzz Records (UK) & Sunmask (USA) or digitally via theradiationflowers.bandcamp.com
Summer Loop by The Radiation Flowers
Fuzzy guitar progressions build menacingly as ‘Just Go Away’ announces itself as a brooding psych-gaze gem. Steady percussion underscored with throbbing bass frequencies pull floating dual vocal lines into audible range as the soaring hammond organ infused chorus hook is generously whipped by vivacious lead lines and the luscious swirl of reverberation. Coming in at just under six minutes long ‘Just Go Away’ is infectiously addictive and a stunning opening salvo. Up next, ‘Walking Down The Street’ is steeped in melody as tremulous guitars ride a woozy swell of hammond and a cascading bass line. Slow ambling drum patterns hold a hypnotic beat as entrancing vocal lines weave and bob in and out through layers of resonating sonic waves and wall of sound reverberations. ‘Colours’ glistens into earshot on a swirling organ progression as a mesmerising vocal performance dances along on a bedrock consisting of a throbbing bass line and punchy drum patterns. Jangling guitars envelope the entire piece, placing a protective layer around those impressive vocal lines thus reinforcing deep melody in the process.
‘Dancing In The Flames’ growls into existence held fast in a turbulent whirlwind filled with growling guitars, angry bass frequencies and thunderous percussion. Lysergic lead lines lick and harass a punk edged vocal take as we’re drawn headlong into a cacophony of raging psych induced instrumentation that is absolutely drenched in stunning reverberation. ‘Sunrise’ injects some 60’s psych-pop connotations into proceedings as it bounces along on a mid-tempo drum pattern and a repetitive guitar progression underscored with bubbling bass frequencies and that swirling instrumental drone. Intricate lead guitar lines and another impressive vocal performance tie everything together brilliantly and that catchy synth laden break is immense. Up next, the instrumental beast that it ‘Summer Of Burnout’ ambles into audible range tumbling menacingly in a glistening synth drone, a throbbing bass line and acid drenched guitar progressions. Those bass notes are utterly addictive and they drag you with them through layer after layer of undulating psych-gaze as the constant thud of percussion keeps steady metronomic time. The album closes out with ‘Walking (Reprise)’, a lysergic acoustic filled dreamscape that swirls beautifully in a luscious cloud of resonating sound, sporadically pierced by subtle percussive stabs, intense reverberations and delayed swells of instrumentation. A stunning finale to a mesmerising album.
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 and 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.
ARTIST: Cobra Family Picnic
RELEASE: Magnetic Anomaly
RELEASE DATE: 22nd May 2017
RECORD COMPANY: Cardinal Fuzz/Sky Lantern Records
Tuscan based psych aficionados 'Cobra Family Picnic' released a stunning album entitled 'Magnetic Anomaly' back on the 22nd May 2017 via Cardinal Fuzz Records (UK) & Sky Lantern Records (USA). The band create a fuzzy, blissed-out haze that skips through lysergic rhythmically focused space-rock, kraut-rock, experimental neo-psych and kosmische with relative ease and have over the last three years shared stages with critically acclaimed bands such as Moon Duo, White Manna, The Myrrors and Mugstar. Members of the band recorded here include names from a host of other local Tucson psych ensembles, such as The Desert Beats, The Night Collectors, and Wight Lhite. 'Magnetic Anomaly' is available to buy on lovely vinyl from Cardinal Fuzz, Sky Lantern Records or via cobrafamilypicnic-slr.bandcamp.com
Magnetic Anomaly by Cobra Family Picnic
Sampled vocalisations precariously count down to lift off as ‘Draags’ winds up a twisted drone, skittish feedback laden guitars and the surge of instrumentation like some deranged psych induced jazz recital in the back room of an Albert Hofmann experiment. Off kilter percussion keeps a rhythmic almost processional beat as undulating keyboard thrills tickle and harass the hum of bass frequencies and the whip of angry lead lines whilst swirling vocal samples intertwine brilliantly with seething noise and entrancing production. This is a fascinating jump off point to a deeply experimental collection of minimalistic tracks that literally pierce the listeners inner psyche, taking them on a journey of sonic discovery in the trance-inducing process. ‘IPT 001’ is a sojourn, a side step if you will into the eye of a spinning instrumental drone badgered by fizzing vocal samples and turbulent electronic theatrics while deeply transfixing atmospherics swirl and whirr through layers of mind altering reverberations.
‘Elysium’ shakes into audible range stuck fast to shimmering waves of tambourine and snaking feedback. Tumbling drum patterns envelope a throbbing bass line as the pull of wah-wah pedal melds with spiralling electronics licking and caressing a yearning vocal take. Shamanic instrumentation undulates and pulses psychedelically charged waves out into the ether as the track builds and builds into a raging sonic behemoth making ‘Elysium’ my favourite track on the entire release. Revolving drones intertwined with sporadic but haunting vocalisations announce the arrival of ‘IPT 011’ and we’re thrown headlong into an experimental world of intensely atmospheric synth swells, resonating fret board theatrics and deep lying reverberations melded with dissonant electronics and glistening field noise whilst ‘Frost’ breaks the serenity and streams into earshot on a thunderous drum pattern accompanied by shaking tambourine and a swirling instrumental drone. Tremulous guitars ride the collective sonic surge as the arrival of sublime vocalisations and screaming lead lines twist the mood from one of metronomic incantation into ascending space rock before we fall out the back end into a blistering melting pot of lysergic repose.
Melodiously fuzzy bass frequencies keep steady time as ‘Gilgamesh’ meanders into earshot pulling with it the shimmer of tambourine and those mechanical drums. Mind altering guitar signatures circumnavigate reverberating vocal lines, whipping and harassing each word to within an inch of its life as those sullen organ lines bubble up from below adding delicious atmosphere. ‘IPT 111’ hovers in a haze of atmosphere as sporadic drones fizz and whirr through horrifying vocal samples and swirling instrumental waves. Potent percussive hits meld with dancing electronics that pull the listener into it’s deeply experimental finale whilst the albums penultimate piece groans into existence tumbling within a swirling sonic behemoth. ‘Moody Mountain’ pummels the senses with fuzzy archaic melody and incandescent frequencies that build and build into raging instrumental drone until the arrival of a slow rolling beat and eventually brings some clarity to proceedings, pulling with it an impenetrable bass line, atmospheric vocalisations and a raging wall of guitars. For those of us lucky enough to purchase this album on vinyl there’s an additional bonus track entitled ‘Contact’ to grace your earholes with once you partake in using the digital download code provided. This track is a nine minute white knuckle ride through pulsating kraut like percussion, addictive bass lines, echoed vocal lines and raging guitars that will quite literally blow your mind. A fantastic ending to a marvellous album.