ALBUM REVIEW - Telephone Exchange - Maschinelles Lernen - Featured Image - (700x700)

ALBUM REVIEW | Telephone Exchange - Maschinelles Lernen

ALBUM REVIEW - Telephone Exchange - Maschinelles Lernen - Post Image - (300x300) ARTIST: Telephone Exchange

 RELEASE: Maschinelles Lernen 

 RELEASE DATE: January 5th 2019

 RECORD COMPANY: Ongakubaka Records 

Do you remember those films where some or another adventurer, archaeologist, mercenary or traveller discover some sort of stone, jewel or emerald that was increasingly hard to find and was even harder to identify? Do you remember the scene where the character finds the prize and holds it up, perhaps so happy that they begin to jump about and celebrate? There’s that feeling of a prolonged search, finally made worthy by the reward they hold in their hands that was camouflaged in its surroundings. This writer’s prolonged search has been through a metaphorical jungle of music that pertains to be ‘experimental’ and ‘genre pushing’ but ultimately leads nowhere. The jewel is 'Maschinelles Lernen', the debut album from Mexico-based psychonauts 'Telephone Exchange'. What a release; free of the confines of genre, destructive in its bizarre push to either trample or re-invent what is commonly known as pop music and ultimately such a reward to the listener that you wonder why you’ve never heard the band before. The album is officially released on the 5th January 2019 via the good folks over at Ongakubaka Records and is available to pre-order right now on various formats via ongakubakarecords.bandcamp.com

'Maschinelles Lernen' opens with the off-beat ‘Index of Bounds’ which is essentially around five minutes of ‘ba-ba-ba’ kind of almost barbershop quartet gone very wrong. Underneath of the singing is the disgusting grind of a noise-laden/distorted/fuzzed guitar that occasionally goes out of key (intentionally). The first time I heard it I thought ‘oh my god, I’ve finally found a band whose self-proclamation of genre pushing is actually true’, and this was statement was continually re-instated as the song continued with more wordless singing into its second section wherein the guitars sounded like a cheese grater. ‘Poppies Biscuits’ takes a more conventional (sort of) angle; it’s almost like an early rock ‘n’ roll song from the sixties. The actual tune and the melody seem appropriately psych, yet the lo-fi production and (again) occasionally off-key passages make things all the more weirder. There’s even what I guess you could call a ‘guitar solo’ yet it sounds more like a train engine with distortion pedals run through the sound… This album was sounding increasingly like the aforementioned jewel I was searching for. ‘Plevna’ is perhaps the most ‘linear’ song on the entire release, much of it centres around a delicate riff and strong, lo-fi vocal performance which calls to mind what could be defined as jangle pop. The guitars pitch bend slightly, and massive gaps are left between some strummed chords, making the whole song land somewhere between romantic and awkward… in a good way.

Two of the albums best tracks are actually the most bizarre on the entire release. ‘The Bureaucratics of Parametricism’ relies on either a sampled section of speech or one of the band members performing a spoken word piece (I’m not really sure which it is) over the top of a beautifully, poignant piece of music that sounds at times like the previous tracks meld of psych and garage rock and a demented kind of shoegaze. Following on from this is the fantastic track ‘User Manual’ which opens with a beautifully danceable almost swing-beat before divulging into a rougher post-punk passage by the band. The song bounces back and forth between these two sections of music as well as a sample of somebody explaining, what sounds to be, an audio user manual, and the bands own characteristically off-beat low-pitched vocals. ‘Machine Learning’ is a monster 11 minute plus post-punk ballad that seems to also incorporate many other genres of music. To fully explain the song here would do it injustice; just go and listen to it instead.

There is something extremely satisfying about this release. Whether it’s the lo-fi layout and tones that feed throughout, the obtuse chord progressions and sounds or just pure weirdness, I’m not too sure. 'Maschinelles Lernen' has the same appeal as great outsider art does: it appeals to us who seek out something wherein rules are not so much barriers but things you aim to surpass and transcend. The simplicity of this release also bolsters its appeal, nothing here is aiming to be anything in particular, which makes it all the harder to describe. Furthermore, 'Telephone Exchange' shed all the pretentiousness and polished sound of many boring and bland psych bands making music. It most certainly will not be for everybody, but for those interested, this may be one of the most enjoyable releases to come out on the underground psych circuit in quite a while. Pure fun, pure experimentation, pure sound.

5/5

LINKS:

ongakubakarecords.bandcamp.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Cam Phillips - Contributing Writer

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.


ALBUM REVIEW - Medicine Boy - Lower - Featured Image - (700x700)

ALBUM REVIEW | Medicine Boy - Lower

ALBUM REVIEW - Medicine Boy - Lower - Post Image - (300x300)ARTIST: Medicine Boy

RELEASE: Lower 

RELEASE DATE: 5th October 2018

RECORD COMPANY: Fuzz Club Records 

'Lower' is the latest full length release from Berlin-based sonic experimentalists Medicine Boy. Released on the ever boundary pushing Fuzz Club Records, 'Lower' hints at the dreamy male/female vocal crossover of bands like Mazzy Star, with an added dose of investigation into the space between notes and chords. Large scale passages sway with minimalistic riffs and keyboard lines, there is the bolster and jagged edged noise-sections and then, here and there, sections wherein the soothingly spacious vocals of either band members are left on their own, floating for the listener to examine carefully. The album was released back on October 5th 2018 and is available to buy/download right now digitally or on lovely vinyl via the good folks over at fuzz club.com and fuzzclub.bandcamp.com respectively.

'Lower' opens with ‘Bottom of the Blue’, an extremely sparse but never-the-less interesting and engaging album opener. What sounds to be an organ slowly opens the song, playing a thin piano line before the vocals, greatly complimenting said organ, soothing float into the mix. Eventually, the large scream of feedback and noise flattens out the song; an added touch I greatly appreciated. Almost turning to a primitive sludge-metal sound, the following track ‘Water Girl’ brings forth walls of loud and distorted guitars as well as the shake of cymbal and pounding drums. The vocals remain untouched, singing atmospherically above the hum and grind of the instruments below. ‘Carpels’ brings the instrumentation back to the slow shudder and roll of programmed drums and the textured strum of guitar. Songs like ‘Carpels’ successfully show off the top quality production of Medicine Boy and 'Lower' in general: everything is laid out crisply and neatly. ‘Yellow Eyed Radio Blues’ follows much the same way: drums roll slowly along with the strum and hum of instruments… until the second half of the song when an out of key piano chord pushes the song in a new softer direction, making things all the more original and interesting. ‘For the Time Being’ sounds perhaps too crisp and clean, its slow tempo and somewhat ambiguous lyrics and vocal performance float into the background, making it a less than impressive track and perhaps one of the weakest on the release.

‘Diamonds’ returns to the drum and organ type layout heard on ‘Water Girl’ with the occasional spin off into darker, noisier territory. But again, I feel like the song writing pales in comparison to the crisply clean production on the song which somewhat over shadows the darker and spacious qualities of the music because none of it actually sounds dark or noisy enough. ‘One Hundred Bodies’ is a stronger song that comfortably matches the quality of the production, in fact, it highlights it. The slow hum of the vocals fits perfectly with the organ and cymbal backing of the tune. Although it can be easily found on many other songs that feature on 'Lower', ‘One Hundred Bodies’ showcases the true power of how both female and male lead vocals fit together; rewardingly, almost like a jigsaw puzzle. Interestingly enough, ‘Lovely Heart’ which can be found on the second half of the album, is by far the most well written, straight forward, beautiful song on the whole thing. It almost disregards everything that Medicine Boy have done on the previous sections of 'Lower': there is no noise, there’s no driving drums or slickly strummed guitars. There is only a delicately played piano (something that benefits strongly from the stellar production) and the hum of (assumedly) a violin and a textured soundscape. The lyrics are by far the most engaging and well written, yet most linear, on the entire album.

'Lower' is a different kind of album. In a press release, Fuzz Club Records introduced them as ‘noise-pop’ but that the band were less concerned about the ‘noise’ than the spatial passages of sound in-between notes. This is true, but I feel like the aforementioned classification of the band as ‘noise-pop’ encapsulates what the album is trying to be. There isn’t anything too experimental, noisy or generally definitive (in an originality sense) about 'Lower' that much at all. The first track grabs ones attention with its bizarre organ lines and then a section of blasting noise, but beyond that, the album is simply a collection of almost over-produced alternative rock and songs with no real defiant sound. Several songs come off as though they are extravagantly produced demos; the lyrics are sort of … ‘there’? and the music never moves into an area considered substantial. The album certainly has positives though, especially in songs like ‘Lovely Heart’ and ‘Bottom of the Blue’ and the production, with its extremely precise mixing and stellar, crisp sound.

4/5

LINKS:

medicineboy.bandcamp.com

facebook.com/gimmeyourmedicineboy

fuzzclub.bandcamp.com

fuzzclub.com 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Cam Phillips - Contributing Writer

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.


ALBUM REVIEW - Sky Flying By - (Re) Routed - Featured Image - (700x700)

ALBUM REVIEW | Sky Flying By - (Re) Routed

ALBUM REVIEW - Sky Flying By - (Re) Routed - Post Image - (300x300)ARTIST: Sky Flying By 

RELEASE: (Re) Routed

RELEASE DATE: October 26th 2018

RECORD COMPANY: Fluttery Records 

'(Re) Routed' is the latest studio album by the Boston-based post-rock/drone/cinematic aficionado David Palmer aka 'Sky Flying By'. It contains upwards of eight generally, moving, ambient post-rock instrumentals tied together by absolutely stellar, clean production. Violins and other varied string instruments, buzzing electronic noises, guitars and other instruments combine to create soft sonic texturing and backing soundscapes; all released by the well-loved LA-based independent record label 'Fluttery Records'. The album was officially released back on October 26th 2018 and is available to buy/download right now via sky-flying-by.bandcamp.com

'(Re) Routed' opens with the gentle sway of strings over a minimalistic piano line. Immediately, the listener makes correlations between Sky Flying By and what could be safely coined ‘film soundtracks. This song, titled ‘A Thousand Miles of Everything’, continues along maintaining the consistent level of minimalist piano, introducing complimentary and bring bell sounds as well as the bang of a drum. The entire piece eventually evolves into the continued piano line and varied instruments accompanying the beat of the drums. An electronic interlude of sorts is introduced later in the track. ‘Forgetting Sky’ takes the conceptual elements of a film score and amplifies them ten fold; half the track is the sparse (yet beautiful) sound of various stringed instruments playing cinematic swells and emotionally raw soundscapes. The ending, which is especially great, brings together electronic programming and strings in a compelling and rewarding way. ‘Keep the Weather Eye Open’ is the first track (I think?) on the album to include guitar (albeit minimalistic guitar passages). Here, more traditional rock instrumentation can be found alongside the stringed instruments of previous tracks and, of course, that tinkering piano sound. ‘Completely Lost’ takes this further, maintain the steady rattle of the drums as well as the noticeable presence of guitar. An album highlight, the true beauty of ‘Completely Lost’ hides in the vast electronic sweeps and bizarre buzzing soundscapes in the tracks backing. David Palmer should be complimented on his skill of melding both electronic and acoustic instrumentation together smoothly, and ultimately, beautifully.

‘The Dream of a Promised Fulfilled’ starts darkly, oozing with soft strings that conjure images of wide and perhaps empty landscapes. The song continues much the same, occasionally introducing the hum of synthesizers and electronic soundscapes in the background to add texture to the song as a whole. ‘The Road Ends Where the Sea Begins’ with its marching rhythm and guitar plucking, is certainly one of the album highlights on the latter half of the release. Its eventual unfolding into a sound that truly showcases unity within the instrumentation (drums, guitar, strings and more) reflects upon Palmers talent of melding together sounds. ‘When the Clouds Clear, We’re Gone’ lightens up things while retaining elements found within other tracks. The transitions between passages are adequately held together by the beat of a drum (and at one point some soothly vocal chanting), yet comfortably seem to be distinctly different from one another. The closing sections snare rattle based beat is the strongest of the songs varied passages. ‘Wind Unwind’, almost an interlude, is essentially another drum-orientated rhythmic track wherein strings other electronic elements patter along in a minimalist fashion.

‘You Were Right, Again’ returns to the string-orientated passages of previous songs on the album, yet for sounds much more downtrodden than the bands other soundscape based tunes. The song even winds down into being completely string based, relying on the texturing of music that sounds like a crossover between classical and more film composition, The second half especially showcases a true beauty that can be achieved with string based music. Despite this turn, ‘Stopping for the Breaking Waves’ switches again to a completely rock based instrumentation setup and a much more linear post-rock sound. Guitar and drums play away with the occasional hum of a piano; the eventual unloading of strings in the songs second half make for a more epic backing to the track as well.

'(Re) Routed' certainly has many positives: the stellar production, the precision of the performances as well as the high quality of the assorted soundscapes and the songs. Yet to be honest, writing a full, track by track review of this album was increasingly difficult. After the first few songs you sort of well… get it. Most of the songs (with the exception of a few) sound very similar: there’s the violin swells, the passages that sound like they could be a film soundtrack, the mildly pretentious names, the sort of ‘okay, we get it’ sections where Palmer tries to do the minimalist thing over and over and so forth and so on. I can understand why this appeals to some listeners, but yours truly got to around the fifth track and sort of wandered off into other thoughts. The overly cinematic tinges and extremely polished production leave little room for anything truly ‘organic’ to come over. Because of this, I really struggled with forming an emotional connection to many of the tracks. Bands like Sigur Ros have toyed with these notions of post-rock; the stringed instruments, the touches of electronic instrumentation and the overall special aspects that can be found on (Re) Routed. Except, Sigur Ros carefully experimented and pushed forth on almost every track they made, making their songs sound as though an art orchestra was trying to render electronic music into something viably acoustic. It was this unique method that gave their songs such emotionally originality. Here, Sky Flying By seem to be less interested in incorporating or considering those facts within the music. Truthfully, they seem more interested in making something that could be picked up and used on a film score… and that is very much okay. I had to be honest about those things, and many will be confused about such statements when, on the surface, this album is so beautiful and professionally put together. That’s not to say there isn’t amazing passages, sections and songs held within, because there are. In these passages, the production, writing and performance come together to promote the purity and precision of the bands sweeping yet gentle sound.

3/5

LINKS:

sky-flying-by.bandcamp.com

flutteryrecords.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Cam Phillips - Contributing Writer

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.


ALBUM REVIEW - The Oscillation - Wasted Space - Featured Image - (700x700)

ALBUM REVIEW | The Oscillation - Wasted Space

ALBUM REVIEW - The Oscillation - Wasted Space - Post Image (300x300)ARTIST: The Oscillation 

RELEASE: Wasted Space

RELEASE DATE: 21st September 2018

RECORD COMPANY: Fuzz Club Records  

Lets get straight too it: The Oscillation's latest release, 'Wasted Space' is the definition of bonkers genius. I first heard that term, ‘bonkers genius’ in regards to a film script that had been written as a proposed sequel to a very popular and big budget movie. The script had essentially taken the originals core story (a medieval epic) and introduced a complete crossfire of madness. Absurd subplots involving time travel, resurrection based suicide and gigantic, million men armies going to war for 400 years could all be found in the proposed sequels script. It was, indeed, bonkers. But underneath it all there was something amazing. Perhaps that ‘something’ was the very composition of the script, maybe it was that, when stepping back, the plot actually made coherent (and considerate) sense. Maybe it was because everything locked together in a way that many people wouldn’t even consider when approaching it. All these questions can be applied to 'Wasted Space' . Tracks here are scattered underneath piles of bizarrely twisted loops, sound FX, off kilter guitars, and just general madness. Underneath it somewhere, is a warped and absurdist dance album. Preface: this is one of those releases that even the greatest writers cannot accurately describe. Demian Castellanos has created a swirling hedonistic thrill ride in the guise of 'Wasted Space'. It's the bands sixth album to date and it leads the listener on a blistering journey into the darker side of the experimental psych spectrum, a side that balances tentatively on a fizzing tight rope of sonic emotions. The album had it's official release back on the 21st of September 2018 via those good folks over at Fuzz Club Records and is available to buy/download right now on various formats via fuzzclub.comfuzzclub.bandcamp.com respectively.

I’ll try and be as legitimate as possible, but you must understand that many of the sounds on this exploratory adventure are extremely difficult to describe… Some are actually so confusing I don’t think I could describe them even if I tried. The album opens with ‘Entity’, a beat orientated dance track that begins with a wall of shaky noises and bass and drums orientated backing. The guitars are all over the show. The vocals sound filtered through a robotic voice… and then reversed? Occasionally a riff comes along with a pretty ‘normal’ sound only to be then swept away by obtuse but brilliantly inventive guitar playing. As mentioned above, the track is essentially a dance track gone crazy. The title track follows with a dense-layering of feedback and noise where vocals can be heard, deeply layered in noise, screaming in the background. It then jumps between patches of sound collages and dark, almost post-punk rhythmic interludes. All the way through (much like the previous track) the song sounds as danceable as ever, albeit at times layered in the depths of oddity. Being a fan of noise music, I very much enjoyed the occasionally passages (and background sounds) of feedback and distortion-based vocals that appeared throughout the song. The band leaves space for a bit of keyboard play on the following track ‘Visions of Emptiness’ which is a fantsastic and much more (mostly) linear song. Guitars interlock with the steady yet rhythmic beat of the drums. The whole song builds in fulfilling manner toward leftover ambience and a passage of wavy feedback.

‘Drop’ brings forth the previously explored dance-based industrial sounds and proves to be one of the albums most accessibly dance-based tracks. Again, the song is strengthened by the efforts and skill of its bass/synthesizer lines, backed up by its steadily club-orientated dance beat and the bizarre swells of sequencers and noises in the background. ‘The Human Shell’ is a different beast altogether; strangely hypnotic and slow, its collection of sweeping synthesizers and glacial guitars make it sound (almost) like a dream pop/shoegaze song. Slowly rolling along for almost 8 minutes, the song highlights the bands talent to produce something straight forward, reliant on the strength and skill of the song writing and playing rather than abstraction and layering (although there is nothing wrong with that). Rolling at almost 14 minutes, the colossal ‘Luminous Being’ offers much of what the rest of the album has to offer: sweeping ambience coupled with bizarre soundscapes and backings, somehow beautiful but never boring. The bands mixture of sequencers and synthesizers makes for interestingly sketched out feelings of confusion and comfort, simultaneously.

It goes without saying that this album cannot be recommended to everybody… but here I am, strongly recommending it to you. I’m mostly bored of generic ‘psych’ bands and I’m extremely glad that The Oscillation have appeared here to ensure there are still those out there doing something fantastic and original. You know an album is good when you’re tempted to describe it as: ‘it sounds crazily like if Alice in Wonderland was performed at an ice rink with all the lights dimmed and everybody there was on a cocktail of drugs, listening to a psych band in reverse’. The performances are tight, the production, while sometimes politely lo-fi, holds the whole picture together… but ultimately it is the bonkers genius put together that makes this album a piece of brilliant original sound.

5/5

LINKS:

fuzzclub.bandcamp.com

fuzzclub.com

theoscillation.bandcamp.com

facebook.com/theoscillation

twitter.com/The_Oscillation

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Cam Phillips - Contributing Writer

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.


EP REVIEW - Martes Niebla - Martes Niebla - Featured Image - (700x700)

EP REVIEW | Martes Niebla - Martes Niebla

EP REVIEW - Martes Niebla - Martes Niebla - Post Image - (300x300)ARTIST: Martes Niebla

RELEASE: Martes Niebla

RELEASE DATE: April 4th 2018

RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned

From the far away lands of Seville, Spain, comes the dynamic dream pop/post-punk genre crossover of 'Martes Niebla', a band whose self-titled debut EP keeps things simple yet stunningly enjoyable. Across four tracks the band, singing in their native Spanish, pull together a sonic palette so effortlessly enjoyable that I could comfortably call it one of my favourite reviews of this past while. Unlike many contemporaries, Martes Niebla don’t spend effort and time trying to sound like somebody else; they defiantly push through with something that remains both un-complicated and strikingly beautiful. The band are made up of Inés Olalla (Blacanova), Erica Pender (Terry vs. Tori), Davis Rodriguez (Escuelas Pías), Cristian Bohórquez (Blacanova, Escuelas Pías) & Paco Arenas (Blacanova). 'Martes Niebla' had it's official release back on April 4th 2018 and is available to buy/download right now via martesniebla.bandcamp.com

‘Fósiles’, the opening track, displays these aforementioned qualities of contrast: between sentimentality and exploration, between simplicity and intricacy and more, in the most direct way. The guitar riff that weaves itself throughout the song sits comfortably atop the slow build of a drum beat and a constructed guitar soundscape in the background. The vocals float along with the instruments in such a way that they become like a second guitar riff, breathing a personality into the instrumental colouring of the song. ‘La verdad blanda’ follows, with its much more upbeat and almost dance orientated backing drum beat. The guitars take a back seat to the rhythm section, meanwhile a neat female vocal (which fits perfectly with the scope of the song) sings in a dreamy voice over the track. Somewhere between post-punk and electronic rock, Martes Niebla again utilize their own originality to make something that, above all, is supremely enjoyable.

Speaking of post-punk, ‘Marble’, the EP's third track, takes a leaf from French coldwave. It opens with a drum/bass combination that sounds like something straight out of an 80's post punk track; the production is icy, laid out yet danceable and emphasis is placed on the rhythm section while vocals and guitar enter and exit jaggedly against the music’s backdrop. While it differs from the opening track, I feel it appropriately suits the band and their sound in the context of the whole EP. ‘Cervatillos’ may be the best track on the entire EP. It utilizes that nostalgic feeling that can be found on ‘Fósiles’ and develops it further: pushing it past the six minute mark while never letting things feel overlong or extensively drawn out. Ultimately, the sound is a familiar one: much like previous tracks, ‘Cervatillos’ showcases the bands interest and influence from post-punk and dream-pop.

There isn’t a huge amount to add in retrospect to this review. Things are pretty simple: an interesting band create interesting music that sounds unique without being pretentious. The production is done well, the performances are fantastic, the music is well written, and the sound is neat and slender. Thrown together these elements make something worth listening to and beyond. Okay, stop indulging in this review, quit the ostentatious bands that try to hard and enjoy something made of pure and intelligent sound.

5/5

LINKS:

martesniebla.bandcamp.com

facebook.com/martesniebla

instagram.com/martesniebla/

twitter.com/martesniebla

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Cam Phillips - Contributing Writer

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.


ALBUM REVIEW - Parrot Dream - Light Goes - Featured Image - (700x700)

ALBUM REVIEW | Parrot Dream - Light Goes

ALBUM REVIEW - Parrot Dream - Light Goes - Post Image - (300x300)ARTIST: Parrot Dream

RELEASE: Light Goes

RELEASE DATE: August 24th 2018

RECORD COMPANY: Good Eye Records

'Light Goes' is the debut LP from Brooklyn-based dream-pop/psych-pop outfit Parrot Dream. It’s a neat combination of old school alternative bands (such as the Cocteau Twins) and newer, sleeker sounding dream-pop bands like Beach House and Memory House. Everything is sort of here: the breathy female vocals, the wizzingly bright synths, the reverb guitar, the drum machine-esque beats and, finally, that weird place between nostalgia and retrospective abandonment that only dream-pop can capture. With this in mind however, Parrot Dream don't really ride the genre in a new and wholly original direction. They use what’s already lying around to create their collective sound; albeit with a nifty talent for song writing and production. The band on this release is made up of Christina Hansen Appel (Kiki) - vocals/keys, Gonzalo Guerrero - guitar, Matt Sklar - bass & Agustin Faundez Rojas - drums/ percussion'Light Goes' had it's official release back on the 24th August 2018 via Good Eye Records and is available to buy/download right now on various formats from parrotdream.bandcamp.com

The opener and titular track starts things off brilliantly; guitar and keyboards weave over a simplistic drum beat that rolls tiredly along. The vocals add to this already catchy and soft texture. Here the band are accurately playing upon the ‘pop’ side of dream-pop; the song provides an enjoyably laidback introduction into the album. ‘Follow Me’ takes a more ballad-like approach, the vocals are breathy and whispered and the tempo has been laid back even more. However, this song lacks the catchiness of opener ‘Light Goes’ and seems to pale in comparison somewhat. Unfortunately, this type of slow-burn songwriting continues on ‘1740’, which doesn’t really go anywhere beyond the point of a collection of instruments playing an unconnected tune. Thankfully, the following track pulls the show back together; ‘Paradise and Prey’ features a calming backing synth and the occasional guitar plucking to forge a calming image in the listeners mind. The sound captures a band in unison, with the vocals sounding more connected to the rest of the instrumentation as a whole. ‘Julio’ is an album highlight: the intricate drum beats, weaving throughout a slow synth line and the usual guitar plucking create a different approach to the type of textures previously explored throughout the album. The vocals shine (perhaps the most interesting vocal performance on the album) in a manner similar to the aforementioned melding of Memory House.

‘By Your Side’ continues this, its opening showcasing the power of a dream pop-based soundscape. Following this, the contemplative side of dream-pop happily follows as the band perform with a deeper and more concentrated sound. ‘Fall Forward’ is a neat, post-punk hued tune which envelops into a more beautiful, whimsical place as the song rolls on. The instrumentation here, mixed with the high vocals, makes for a beautifully rich and engaging sound. ‘Cloudchaser’ seems to be the pinnacle of the previous group of songs: it collects the best elements of Parrot Dream into one song, projecting something both enjoyable and well written. Here the performances finally connect perfectly with the production and mixing, creating a credible album highlight. The darker and challenging ‘Ode to Octavia’ is just as interesting, collecting up all the previously mentioned elements of dream-pop and twisting them to sound more like a question than a thought. ‘Helium’ proves to be one of the best songs on the album, lasting longer than other tracks and combining thoughts and sketches into long winded instrumental passages. The second half especially sounds like somewhat of a homage to shoegaze; guitars climb, drums smash and vocals soar.

'Light Goes', as previously mentioned, is not exactly a wholly new, original take on the dream-pop genre. Its cards are placed with a historical retrospective and a familiarity that the band actually plays to its strength throughout. And often Parrot Dream and their use of dream-pop practices is actually quite refreshing because it relies on nothing more than quality song writing and performance rather than explorative elements. At times, of course, this is a hinderance. Most predominantly on the first half of the album, songs seem like album fillers or slight re-hashes of other music you’ve heard before. Thankfully the second half of 'Light Goes' seems to recover and realise the correct direction that songs and tracks should be taken in. Interestingly enough, I often find myself weighing up the amount of songs on albums by particular bands, seen here in a sort of contemplative footnote in the second half of the review. Without going too deeply into critical points, I believe that 'Light Goes' may have too many songs on it. Much like many of the releases I’ve heard lately through this blog, the extent of track listings are stretched to ten or more tracks, with no hugely variant elements found from track to track, making the album seem like more of a forced odyssey than an interesting adventure. Parrot Dream are almost an exception though, as the second half seems to pick up the pace and set things a little more ‘on course’. Compliments to the performances and production, the album cover (a fantastic picture that truly captures the songs on the album) and the overall sound.

3.5/5

LINKS:

goodeyerecords.com

parrotdream.bandcamp.com

parrotdreamband.com

facebook.com/parrotdreamer

twitter.com/parrotdream

instagram.com/parrotdream/

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Cam Phillips - Contributing Writer

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.


EP REVIEW - Tombstones In Their Eyes - Nothing Here - Featured Image - (700x700)

EP REVIEW | Tombstones In Their Eyes - Nothing Here

ARTIST: Tombstones In Their Eyes

RELEASE: Nothing Here

RELEASE DATE: 24th August 2018

RECORD COMPANY: Send Me Your Head Records

There’s something tantalizingly interesting in a band/album description wherein genres cross from somewhat oppositional points. Its like saying ‘I’m in a J-Pop band, our sound is a mixture of Perfume and… Napalm Death’. Immediately you’re interested, you’re captivated, because, due to your years of musical socialization, you find the mixture of those two bands to be somewhat amazing. You also find that mixture of bands to be like mixing ice cream with sausage… it may taste like trash, but it sure is interesting. In my book, creditability can be found and served happily to those who are willing to push the boundaries, to experiment… Even if things turn out like trash, there is a kind of theatre of the absurd quality that makes it more important than some bunch of musicians who stuck to the rules in the proverbial book. Speaking of the proverbial book, turns out LA-based group 'Tombstones In Their Eyes' didn’t read it. Their latest release, a tight three track EP entitled 'Nothing Here', melds the shoegaze explorations of bands like MBV and even a tinge of bands like Asteroid 4 with the dirty, sludge/psych guitar music of stoner bands like Kyuss and a kind of watered down Monster Magnet… This should be interesting.

Desert rock guitar begins the EP opener ‘Silhouette’ which winds along slowly on a mixture of heavy guitars and drums. The vocals, muttered through various FX, float atop the instrumentation which eventually turns into layers and layers of guitars and the immovable fixture that is the drums. Interestingly enough (yet not to discredit the song) I actually found this the least engaging/interesting song on the whole of 'Nothing Here'. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good, well-written song… It just seems deficit of the memorable tinge of the other tracks. ‘Take Me Away’ features a fantastically catchy vocal performance which bolsters the almost-anthemic chorus. Just like on the previous track, walls of guitar filter through the mix, to the point where if you stop and listen, you’re not really sure how many are playing. This guitar wash-out, much like the actual riffs of the song, owe much to the drowned out guitar of MBV. Yet, Tombstones seem to bring it into their own stylings to create something both original and enjoyable. The title track that follows collects the best elements of the previous track and pushes them to the forefront. The vocals here sound more shoegaze orientated, while the backing instrumentation rocks steadily along with a more groovier sound. Again, beyond the guitars and the heavy drums, there is a real catchiness to be found in the music of 'Tombstones In Their Eyes'. The guitar solo, which walks above walls and walls of guitar thrashing, in the second half of the song is an album highlight… as is the refrain towards the tracks end, where guitars are feedback atop the slow tap of the drums.

More often than not bands pump out ten plus song albums that tend to fade into each other in a super un-original way. I give credit to 'Tombstones In Their Eyes' for producing here a tight, compacted and catchy three song EP. I also credit them with their modest song lengths; typically peers of the genre like to chuck a few nine-minute attempts at a magnum opus in there just to piss off/please the listener. I also approve of the less than brutal instrumentation that would sometimes find itself on a heavy release like this. And similarly, I enjoy the fact that the band didn’t push the guitars the way some shoegaze bands like to. But having said all this, I actually kind of wish the band had done all of those aforementioned things. Here there is a catchy collections of songs that meld genres together in beautiful and interesting way, yet there is room for lengither, heavier and more experimental elements of music to be explored. Of course, this comes down to artistic choice, but the band have all the elements to create a five or six song album that really melds the line between experimentation and catchiness… Just a thought. And with that thought aside, I urge you to give this EP a listen; I’m sure you’ll agree when I say there is some kind of relief, of interest, in the bands enjoyable and well written sound. 'Nothing Here' was officially released back on August 24th 2018 and is available to buy/download right now via tombstonesintheireyes.bandcamp.com

4/5

LINKS:

facebook.com/TombstonesInTheirEyes

tombstonesintheireyes.bandcamp.com

soundcloud.com/tombstonesintheireyes

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Cam Phillips - Contributing Writer

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.


EP REVIEW - Seasurfer - Vampires- Featured Image - (700x700)

EP REVIEW | Seasurfer - Vampires

ARTIST: Seasurfer

RELEASE: Vampires

RELEASE DATE: 4th August 2018

RECORD COMPANY: Saint Marie Records

'Vampires' is the latest four track release from German-based dream-pop (or dream-punk as they would like it known) musical project Seasurfer; the moniker which sole member Dirk Knight creates and collaborates under. Landing somewhere between their obvious influences of Cocteau Twins and the heavy new-age trap-like electronic sound of bands like Salem, Seasurfer present a small collection of well written and beautifully structured songs, dipped in a steaming vat of FX and left to dry out in the cold (or should I say Coldwave?). Knights instrumentation leaves enough room for a pair of female vocal talents (Änni Bird and Apolonia) and a bassist (Steven Burrows) to join the sonic wave that is 'Vampires', creating something emotionally deep while simultaneously dance-ably enjoyable. The EP had it's official release back on August 4th 2018 via the good folks over at Saint Marie Records and is available to buy/download right now on various formats from saintmarierecords.bandcamp.com

Vampires opens with perhaps the EPs strongest and most off the cuff track ‘Into Dust’ which begins with waves of synth and Burrows subtle but strong bass playing. The vocal track moves beautifully over these instruments before it morphs into something wholly anthemic. Immediately, the touch of the Cocteau Twins is evident; the sounds of the programmed drum machines sound eerily identical to the drums used on Treasure by Guthrie and Co. The vocals are presented in a very similar way. That’s not the reason that ‘Into Dust’ is an EP highlight though, its something much stranger. Lovers of the electronic genre 'witch-house' would be both confused and intrigued by this writers mention (and comparison) to the band Salem, but truth be told, ‘Into Dust’ features the same kind of underpinned weirdness that runs rampart on Salem’s brilliant debut EP - 'Yes I Smoke Crack'. Whether it be the heavy washing of FX or the chord progression of the music, ‘Into Dust’ holds some sort point of difference to other dream-pop tracks, one which draws the aforementioned comparisons to Salem and their equally bizarre electronic song writing tactics. It is this strangeness mixed with the catchy and beautiful vocals that make the song sound so great. ‘Sad Song’ has less of a catchy and memorable presentation; this time the band turn the tempo up and present much of the tracks first half in the cold depths of post-punk. In the second half the tempo is lifted, and the tracks intelligent inner structuring show at an interlude like refrain in the tracks second half.

The heavy beat-orientated sounds of post 90's shoegaze present themselves immediately on the slow burning track ‘The Calling’. A slow hi-hat lead drum track plays at the backbone of many layering’s of synth swells and textured soundscapes, over which the vocals float and sway. Somewhat comparable to recent releases by North Carolina-based shoegaze legends 'The Veldt' (especially their recent 'Thanks to the Moth and Areanna Rose') who have totally embraced the wizardry of electronic music, ‘The Calling’ utilizes layering (something that is, strangely, overlooked by shoegaze bands at various times) to achieve a textured array of sounds over which a song slowly but beautifully forms. The Cocteau Twins sound returns for ‘Bring Me His Head’, which offer up a less involved sonic palette. Lyrically the song is the most daring that Seasurfer practice on 'Vampires', showcasing the power of having tangible lyrics in sound heavy genres (such as shoegaze or dream pop). ‘Bring Me His Head’ is just as emotionally bizarre as ‘Into Dust’, but well into the second half of the song, one cant help but feel somewhat touched by the mixture of narrative, sound and vocal that are offered to the listener on the track.

Perhaps the greatest thing about 'Vampires' is both the directness and in-directness it takes emotionally and musically. There are no eight minute epics, no winding intros and fuzz driven solos and, perhaps most importantly, a well-suited amount of tracks. Similarly, the songs are deep and at times (positively) formless listens; in the space of four or so minutes, Seasurfer present deep, FX induced passages of what sounds like four or five synthesisers, guitars, bass and a structurally sound programmed drum for good measure. This mixture of explorative, journey-like songs that don’t delve into indulgent, over the top presentation makes 'Vampires' all the more powerful. Perhaps the only criticisms this writer would highlight are firstly, ‘Sad Song’, which is as close to a filler that 'Vampires' comes. It seems somewhat out of place, and while a good song, doesn’t stand as tall as the other tracks on the EP. The second criticism is that sometimes the line between influence and copying is blurred in regard to Seasurfer's sound. The at first obvious influence of the Cocteau Twins eventually evolves into the occasional passage that sounds as though the band are trying to replicate their sound. The drum patterns, the vocals, the sonic melding of sounds at times sounds like Knight and Co are alluding to more than fan-based influence and more into the realm of artistic un-originality. But this criticism is almost completely revoked when one re-listens to 'Vampires' a couple of times, for the truth is, Seasurfer's embrace of more modern electronic production and mixing techniques elevate them from a copy-like comparison to the Cocteau Twins. 'Vampires' is a great display of what this author would coin ‘contained exploration’ and presents a band pushing the formula of dream-pop into somewhere different and beautiful through great performances, production and sound.

4.5/5

LINKS:

saintmarierecords.bandcamp.com

facebook.com/seasurfer

twitter.com/seasurfermusic

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Cam Phillips - Contributing Writer

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.


ALBUM REVIEW | Magic Wands - Abrakadabra

ALBUM REVIEW - Magic Wands - Abrakadabra - Post Image - (300x300)ARTIST: Magic Wands

RELEASE: Abrakadbra

RELEASE DATE: 13th July 2018

RECORD COMPANY: Etxe Records 

Los Angeles-based duo 'Magic Wands' unleashed a dazzling new eleven track entitled 'Abrakadabra' via the good folks over at Los Angeles and Washington DC based independent record label 'Etxe Records' back on July 13th 2018. What’s it like? It's like… a time machine whizzing back to a time when shoegaze and dream-pop was more than just about writing a shitty melody or riff and layering as many FX on it as you can. A time when, if you stripped away the studio tricks and FX manipulation, you were still left with a catchy and/or well written pop or rock song. 'Magic Wands' seem to spend as much time writing the music as they do manipulating it into the ethers of distortion, layering and reverb… which makes 'Abrakadabra' well worth the time and the listen. The album was recorded at Voltiv Studios in Los Angeles, produced by Phil Galloni and the band themselves and mastered by Tim Young (The Smiths, My Bloody Valentine). 'Abrakadabra' available to buy/download right now via magic-wands.bandcamp.com   (Digitally) & etxerecords.com   (Vinyl) respectively.

Following on from the humble but slight opener ‘Bashmuuu’, Abrakadabra opens with the slow pop tones of ‘Nocturnal’, which features layers of feedback guitar and the slow rumble of beats/drums. On top lies the hazy, reverbed vocals which vary from hush and whisper all the way to fully and beautifully spoken. The song screams dream-pop, but the slower and deeper FX and song writing structure allow the song to come off as an intelligent and enjoyable listen. Things turn somewhat more standard with the following song ‘Houdini’, which features that recognizable dream-pop styled guitar tone and a more upbeat feel. Showcasing the bands post-punk influence, ‘Houdini’ compliments the previous tracks more darker sound and is notable for its neat FX laced-sequencer noises. ‘DNA’ is an album highlight and delves deeper into the crossroads between dream-pop and post-punk music (exercised neatly through the drum beat). The aforementioned dream-pop elements shine through in several facets, the vocal performance is dazzling and the general pop-ness shines through to make the song worth the effort. The following track ‘Realms’ seems somewhat more of a step back into cruise control. Beyond the almost darkwave production and synth sounds, the lyrics seem somewhat awkward and almost throw away. The melding of darker elements with the softness of the singer’s voice seems to show off an enjoyable side of the band, but beyond that, ‘Realms’ feels like more of an album filler.

Things thankfully turn back to the more interesting dance/dream-pop of the albums opener. ‘Loveline’ is an enjoyable dance track, laced with neat keyboard production and a danceable beat that highlights the bands strong points. The chorus in particular shows how simplicity can do so much for a song…. There’s some great bass playing as well. ‘New Device’ follows the form of ‘Bashmuuu’, a slower style beat that allows the FX heavy instrumentation to mix in beautifully together. And then things return to the dance floor. ‘Chains and Fur’ features a slick rhythm section with the undertones of a dream-pop guitar and vocals that sound as though they have been dunked in neon; another album highlight for me! ‘Diamond Road’ slows things right back and offers up a hazier, almost psychedelic tempo equipped with soft and more helmed back production. With all the stripped back instrumentation, the vocals shine through, which leads me to the songs main criticism: the lyrics. While at times the lyrics adequately capture the feel of the music, a large portion of them come off awkwardly and, more importantly, cliched. The following track ‘Julie Ann Gray’ is a fantastic post-punk thriller, filtered through Magic Wands dream-pop sensibilities; thankfully, here the vocals and lyrics are in fact one of the songs highlights. ‘Julie Ann Gray’ summarises much of what the band has been projecting over the course of Abrakadabra: the danceable passages, the post-punk underlays and the dream-pop tones that all beautifully meld together sonically and instrumental. ‘Big Life’ features a slow melding beat that sounds like a slower version of trap music: the hi-hats hit rumble slowly, followed by a heavy snare. The vocals float softly and enjoyably over the instrumentation. Bonus track ‘Puzzle of Love’ is also worth noting; especially if you enjoyed the danceable, retro sound of the some of the aforementioned dance-y songs on the album.

All in all Abrakadabra is well-worth the time: refreshingly well written song structures make way for sonic exploration through FX… but not too much FX. The only criticisms I have of the album are, quite admittedly, the same I have for many albums of a similar genre. Firstly, the sheer quantity of music on Abrakadabra is at times difficult to engage with. Song after song that thematically maintain similar ‘feels’ to each other mean that, after over ten tracks worth of music, the album can seem a little strained. The other criticism is the lyrics. While generally fitting of the both the music and instrumentation, sometimes the lyrics seem as though they were thrown in purely because they had to be thrown in… At times generic, at times cliched, and at times quite awkward and only semi-written. Beyond these two elements, Magic Wands have created a thoroughly enjoyable listen. The instrumentation fits very well, and the dynamic range between dance track and softer, slower almost balladery stylings makes things all the more interesting. The band comfortably put their foot down, showcasing their talent in the realms of performance, production and sound.

4/5

LINKS:

magic-wands.bandcamp.com

twitter.com/itsmagicwands

etxerecords.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Cam Phillips - Contributing Writer

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.


ALBUM REVIEW - Castlebeat - VHS - Featured Image - (700x700)

ALBUM REVIEW | Castlebeat - VHS

ALBUM REVIEW - Castlebeat - VHS - Post Image - (300x300)ARTIST: Castlebeat

RELEASE: VHS

RELEASE DATE: 28th March 2018

RECORD COMPANY: Spirit Goth Records

'Castlebeat' is that weird moment between nostalgia, unnerving contemplation and the dizziness that comes with hazy afternoons, setting suns and retrospection. This reviewer was impressed with their 2016 self-titled album, which arrived at a time before Mac Demarco had entered what could be scholastically deemed ‘post-celebrity’. A time when chorus pedals and slower tempos were beginning to be umbrellaed and confused with terms like ‘copycat’ and ‘influential’. I speak of this time only in reference to the fact that when the debut album 'Castlebeat' was released, a certain demographic, a certain underground and a certain discussion base were carrying them around on pedestals in the same way Demarco and other dream pop/jangle pop/synth bands were being. A similar thing happened around that time with the NY-based Porches and their debut album 'Pool'. Everything was about the aesthetic, the nostalgia… The internet was recovering and re-convening from vapourwave and all the associated facets of it. The moral of the story is, if Castlebeat arrived at a time it made sense in, (while simultaneously being a great album, musically) what happens when times move on? And what does the next album (the aptly named VHS) sound like? Brilliant apparently… And its all a great trick of the light, because not so much has altered for Castlebeat and their music, even if the times have.

'VHS' opens with the instrumental ‘Research’, which showcases plucked, bright guitars and a programmed post-punk drum beat. Behind the music, sequencers swirl and pulse with samples and the occasional soundscape that floats back: a welcome introduction to the album. The much more retrospective ‘Tennis’ follows with a darker sound. The vocals, which ooze in after a short guitar introduction, appear in a considered reverb way. On ‘Tennis’ the band do what they do best: combine that kind of goth nostalgia feeling with danceable rhythm sections and extremely catchy guitar riffs, and you have a terrific album highlight. Returning to the sound of album opener, ‘Here’ continues the similar, colour-distorted beach feeling of ‘Tennis’. Of note is the extremely catchy chorus, that finds the vocals dancing in the background of a great texturing of guitar, bass and drums. Easily the greatest intro to any song on the album, ‘Wasting Time’ features a memorable post-punk riff put through several reverb, echo and chorus pedals into the context of the band. The track seems somewhat more darker and distorted than other songs on 'VHS', which gives it a brilliant edge that makes it a true stand out on the release.

‘Town’ turns the tempo up but retains a similar feel to previous song. The lyrics seem somewhat lazy compared to others but these are made up for with a brilliantly sounding chorus and refrain and the instruments meld together in a beautifully harmonious way. ‘I Follow’ has one of the catchiest sounds on the album and lives up to Castlebeats self-classification of ‘goth pop’. Another album highlight is the minimal ‘Zephyr’ which relies on the fantastic bass player. The chorus passages reveal a kind of meditative smoothness that makes images conjure to mind even more swiftly. On the Bandcamp page, many listeners who have brought the album speak highly of the second half of 'VHS' and in particular ‘These Days’. I can understand why this would be considered by some to be the best track on the album; it captures (especially through the lyrics) a particular thoughtfulness of regret, retrospect and dreaminess that I think most can in some sort of equivocally way emotionally relate to. Its anthemic, slow and just the right length to support its memorable qualities. ‘Heart Still Beats’ takes 'VHS' full circle, bringing the music back to a danceable and brighter quality of beauty and approachability. Of particular note is the songs fantastic second half, which captures something playful yet emotionally challenging and bring it forth through the music. An additional song, ‘Video Tape’ wraps things up accordingly, in Castlebeat and aesthetically drenched stylings.

'VHS' takes the impetus of 'Castlebeat' and pushes it towards something more post-punk and guitar driven. This push certainly gives the album a faster paced, more danceable feel, and I can understand if fans of Castlebeat find something more approachable and fuller with the sounds found on VHS. The album can be comfortably played as a listening experience, background music, or something you can throw on at a party to get people on the dancefloor. The real intelligence though (and the reason for the rating below) is that underneath each of the ‘goth pop’ sounds and effects of the songs, underneath the beach sounding, aesthetic driven riffs, is a real sense of nostalgia and retrospect. When vapourwave was done well it achieved a similar result, but even that tended toward sounding artificial and distant… VHS maintains the authenticity and reminds the listener that this was handcrafted with love. Many will comfortably ride VHS off as a lesson in how simplicity can critically triumph over intentionally and presentably complex and intellectual music… Little do they know that the band has coated the latter in the former… Do you follow? Before I continuously acclaim VHS, I think it is worth noting that the album wont be without its critics. Many of the songs maintain a similar feeling (which is why it makes for great background music) and you have to pay attention to notice the differences and techniques used from song to song. This goes hand in hand for any similar sounding ‘aesthetic’ laced music. The moral of the story is, however, that Castlebeat have backed a great album up with an even better one… a release that captures so much while presenting something so simple, achieved through textured and mellow sound.

4.5/5

LINKS:

facebook.com/CASTLEBEAT/

spiritgoth.com

spiritgothrecords.bandcamp.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Cam Phillips - Contributing Writer

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.