ALBUM REVIEW | Solilians - Shin

a1760897817_16ARTIST: Solilians 

RELEASE: Shin

RELEASE DATE: November 18th 2016

RECORD COMPANY: Goodbye Better Records

'Solilians' are a Merrick, NY space rock ensemble that mix Hebrew vocals, ambient dub, and even shoegaze. They sound unlike anything I’ve heard in recent years, sounding as out there as some of A Sunny Day in Glasgow’s material. That only scratches the surface, because they throw in klezmer and horns too. To quote the press kit: ‘Solilians space drone dreams are the interstellar journeys of mystic seekers, mantra minimalism for the next generation. Benjamin Malkin's slow motion ambient dub prisms of klezmer melody refract Sharon Malkin's Mediterranean Hebrew beauty; while Gabriel Walsh's psychedelic sci-fi edge dances with Neptune Sweet's otherworldly cosmic majesty, all coming together on Shin, the four-piece's debut full-length (Think Stereolab slowed down to Stars Of The Lid).

The band got their start via the 7-inch soundtrack of The Binah Comics, a super-powers tale without violence that describes a woman sick of all the insanity and nuclear posturing surround­ing her homeland. A collaboration between Benjamin's writing and the great illustrator Ian Densford, The Binah Com­ics proved successful and Malkin put together his dream team of some of today’s best space rock minds to create ambient reflections of the comics. Starting off, there is 'Hine Ma Tov (Merc Yes Mix)' with horns, slow jam beats, and a droning aspect to it that invites and keeps the listener engaged. 'Hatikvah The Next Generation' retains the same mysterious elements, and it’s all about the emotion elicited, so the lyrics matter less than the music, at least for me. Its center is a drone and numerous voices move in and through the mix, leaving the listener feeling a bit unsettled. 'Lamedvavniks' exceeds eight minutes and is an interstellar journey into the heart of space. Vocals emanate from the creepy fringes of an event horizon, and immerse your ears in cosmic dream pop. This is music to be enjoyed over a great set of headphones and infinite time to let your mind expand and take it all in.

'Rev’s Gold' is much shorter and offers listeners a trippy sonic tapestry mingled with subdued vocals. It is music that takes you out of yourself, drawing you into a daydream. 'Hine Ma Tov' makes another appearance in the form of the Space Drone Dream Mix and this time it’s 13 minutes long! Prepare to float away into the ether. 'I Have Been, And Always Shall Be, Your Friend' takes its title from a Spock quote, and many hued layers of sound propel you straight in and you wish it would never end. Pulsating synths burgeon and grow in volume before it all comes to a dead stop. 'Planet Binah' may well be the centerpiece of this album, named as it is for The Binah Comics. It is another 13 plus minute journey, demanding that you stay present and experience its pulsating presence. The singer’s voice is submerged with synthesizers taking center stage. It all comes to a close with 'Post-Rev’s Reprise', a somewhat disquieting drone that winds down quickly. In short, this is album unlike anything you’ve heard this year, or any year for that matter. It is a fascinating and demanding work, but one that will reward you with repeated listens. Well worth seeking out for fans of international space rock laced with ambient dream pop.

4/5

LINKS:

Solilians.bandcamp.com

goodbyebetter.com

solilians.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

elizabeth

Music has always been a driving force for Elizabeth Klisiewicz, which she days "continues to define my existence". At present, she writes for The Big Takeover Magazine and The Active Listener Blog, and when not writing technical manuals, she gets her thrills from reading mysteries, birdwatching, and can always be found with a camera and a maxed-out storage card full of music.


ALBUM REVIEW | Daniel Land - In Love With A Ghost

a3446439266_16ARTIST: Daniel Land

RELEASE: In Love With A Ghost

RELEASE DATE: November 25th 2016

RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned

The well-travelled transition of lo-fi, simple and sloppy production and mixing into well-produced, fluent and full production is often one that tends to place song writing, musicality and instrumentation at the background of importance. Bands and artists bath senselessly in the pool of sounding and appearing magnificent and sort of forget to be magnificent. A man who has somehow jumped this very preverbal shark is Daniel Land. His albums were never lo-fi per say, but his latest album In Love With A Ghost is so well produced and neat sounding that he seems to have made that aforementioned transition, and he has done so with style and talent on full display. A gracious and stylized effort, In Love With A Ghost throws a crisp nu-pop sound, alternative rock undertones, shoegaze melodies and the fantastically solemn tinkering’s of downtown jazz into one collective effort; ultimately it’s an album that demands to be respected in its substance, content and dazzlingly appearance.

In Love With A Ghost opens with the piano laden alternative pop tune ‘You & Me Against The Sky’ that showcases the spacy and impressive production that features on the entire album. The songs post-punk inspired double snare tap contrasts Lands soft voice which gives the song a beautifully dream pop aesthetic. This notion is reinforced with the synths that play throughout the chorus of the song and the piano that acts as the foundation of the song and instrumentation. The tracks greatest element is the saxophone that creeps in and plays in an appealingly whimsical style that eventually seeps into the outro; a beautiful and melodic piece of music. ‘Holes On the Dancefloor’ follows with a more electronic and soundscape tone similar to Lands previous recording efforts, but continues the pop sensibility expressed on the opening track by still incorporating the distant sound of piano. Land exercises his skill of writing catchy but alternative chorus lines and lyrics with the chorus on this very song; featuring a small but notable vocal performance that climbs in a reflective way to the instruments. ‘Everyone's Got A Guy Garvey Story’ continues the piano balladry style of the previous two tracks but in a more up tempo styling. The highlight of such a song is the clever lyrical content; featuring referential and introspective lines that dance along with the swinging, up tempo beat of the drums. While the following track, ‘The Sweetest Lover’ doesn’t quite connect the same way previous tracks do, one must admire what is actually going on in the song and the instrumentation. The swing style drum beats, the layers of guitar and perhaps most interestingly, again; Land’s skilful vocal delivery.

One of the highlights of the album is the fantastic, jazz inspired ‘New York Boogie-Woogie’ which melds Land’s instrumentation with a dreamy shoegaze styled soundscape in the background. The song plays along at its own pace; drawing a picture in your mind with Land’s lyrics and then the utterly skilled saxophone (in a tone reminiscent of the opening track) that joins the instruments in the outro. ‘Saints With His Mercy’ is the closest Land comes to complete and utter dream pop on the entire album; but this is a good thing. It offers a crossover of the musician’s pop aesthetic and the dream tones of keyboards and guitars that results in a dancehall style pop song… Yes, by dancehall I mean like borderline reggae; thus, the song sounds at times experimental in its wild mix of danceable drum patterns but husky and echoed elements of dream and shoegaze. The ultimate ballad, ‘Whistling Gypsy’ again displays Land’s mesmerizing vocal delivery, but this time offers a more minimalist backing; with distant, sliding guitars. Another top moment on the album is the outro to this song; beautiful, entrancing and somehow calming in its musicality.

The title track lends itself to a lengthy, shoegaze intro that melds into a swell drum machine pattern that crosses into the opening of ‘The Beautiful Room is Empty’; which rounds up all of the albums sound and song writing traits into one enthralling piece of music. Again, Land creates an outro that really one could not speak highly enough of if they tried.
In a way, this album is some kind of warped pop album, even an experimental pop album perhaps. And this very fact makes it an interesting listen… But let’s assume that it wasn’t so alternative; it would still be an engaging and greatly enjoyable listen. And this is where Land demands some kind of greater perspective or respect with this album; it is so *expletive word* difficult to make a pop album, whether that be pop rock, alt-pop, soft pop blah blah, that is different, fascinating and at least somewhat original that so many artists just end up drowning in clichés and step by step musical characteristics. Land’s album is obviously far from the delirious pop of the mainstream but it is a mostly pop orientated album whose songs centre on all things piano, drums and the art of the voice.

The production is top notch; clean, precise and echoed to compliment Lands vocals and the music’s distinct sound and style. Mixing is of a similar quality; every piece of string plucking, vocal chanting or murmuring and drum tapping can be heard in a polished and clean way; even when it is in the background of the song. Perhaps the greatest element of the album, beside the song writing itself, is the performances exhibited wherein. While all the instruments are truly brilliant, I feel Land himself delivers one of the best performances on the album vocally. This is a dreamy, original and somewhat experimental piece of pop music, built on the genius of performance, production, song writing and sound.

4/5

'In Love With A Ghost' gets it's full release on November 25th 2016 and is available to pre-order right now from: danielland.bandcamp.com

LINKS:

danielland.co.uk

facebook.com/daniellandmusic/

twitter.com/DanielLandMusic

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

bio-pic

Cam Phillips is a writer and above all, a music lover, who seeks to gain experience through writing and listening. He is also an avid film viewer and art and literature junkie who enjoys creative writing. His most recent published work was featured on the Australian heavy music blog, I Probably Hate Your Band.


ALBUM REVIEW | Belle Mare - Heaven Forget

a1597040533_16ARTIST: Belle Mare

RELEASE: Heaven Forget

RELEASE DATE: 30th September 2016

RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned

Brooklyn dream poppers Belle Mare have recently self-released their confident and really wonderful debut album Heaven Forget. They inhabit the same dreamy electronic spaces as bands like New Order, The Cure, and Cocteau Twins, to name just a few.

Opening track 'Georgia' uses moody synth along with Amelia Bushell’s reverb speckled vocals to great effect. Imagine if The Cure had a female singer and you are only getting started. The follow up tune 'Cicada' is extended and gorgeous, containing equal parts Beach House and Radiohead in its soaring textures. Just lovely! 'Every Night' is conversational and intimate, with a bright, jazzy buzz to propel it along. 'How Much Longer' proudly trots out its New Order influence, with synths and metronomic percussion front and center. Amelia’s voice floats over it all like a skein of silk, through which you can view the wonders of the world.

'Dark of My Evening' is entrancing with warm washes of organ that slowly builds in intensity. It is stuffed full of catchy riffs and Amelia sounds particularly fine here. 'Ghostly' is another stunner, and all sonic elements mesh together effortlessly. Amelia’s ethereal vocals are woven into the melodic fabric, and it all works in perfect synchronicity. 'Rehearsed Lines' runs along the same introspective, melancholy lines as Lotte Kestner, while 'All This Time' dials up the energy a bit and bursts through your head in trippy bursts of color. Amelia hums on parts of this, and it’s a fun trip. 'Feel You Against My Heart' dwells in darker spaces populated with chilly synths, only alleviated slightly by Amelia’s airy vocals. 'In the Fall' is the lengthy coda to this bright, elegant, and beautiful record. Recommended for anyone who enjoys savory dream pop with touches of psych and even jazz to sweeten the pot.

4/5

'Heaven Forget' is available to buy/download right now from: bellemare.bandcamp.com

LINKS:

bellemare.bandcamp.com

facebook.com/bellemaremusic

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

elizabeth

Music has always been a driving force for Elizabeth Klisiewicz, which she days "continues to define my existence".  At present, she writes for The Big Takeover Magazine and The Active Listener Blog, and when not writing technical manuals, she gets her thrills from reading mysteries, birdwatching, and can always be found with a camera and a maxed-out storage card full of music.


ALBUM REVIEW | Narcosatanicos - Body Cults

a2501229188_16ARTIST: Narcosatanicos

RELEASE: Body Cults

RELEASE DATE: November 4th 2016

RECORD COMPANY: Bad Afro Records

'Narcosatanicos' are a psych/prog/noise rock band from denmark and are by all means laying down the 'Danelaw' once again. In a world populated with Sonic Youth and MBV 2.0's this band immediately caught my ears as if a sawn off shotgun had been unloaded into them and the surrounding areas of my mind. 

Echoing the experimental ballsyness of 'Can' ,the brute force of 'Black Sabbath' and dare I say saxyness of 'Bitches Brew' era 'Miles Davis' all the while keeping it brilliantly psych! This is something I personally admire in a world where people are relying more on their foot pedals than their actual fingers, this band is cataclysmically heavy and experimental in equal measure (These boys definitely love 'Mastodon').

'Body Cults' is an exhibition of all of the most twisted elements I mentioned above. If you are reading this and have not heard the album yet, go into this album after an argument with the Mrs, a shitty day at work or after the results of America's recent election to feel it in its full nature.

There is absolutely no point in me explaining the tracks, 'track by track' while I have a link ready for you with which you can experience it for yourself.
 If you have gotten this far by reading then you are likely to already be interested.

 Instead of the usual track by track verbose nonsense where I try and plug my agenda to you, I will just suggest standout tracks. The opener 'Vulvic Church' is a crafty beast whilst 'Television Dreams' reminds me of Earthworm Jim for the Sega Mega Drive for some reason?! 'Matamoros' is why I added the 'Miles Davis' reference and of course the hard hitting lead single 'Vile'.

4/5

'Body Cults' is available to buy/download right now from: badafrorecords.bandcamp.com

LINKS:

badafrorecords.bandcamp.com

facebook.com/narcosatanicosdk/

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Robert Mulhern is the vocalist, guitarist, producer & engineer in Irish based heavy experimental psych-gazers 'Tuath'. Hailing from Donegal in the North of the Republic, Robert’s musical influences span numerous genres and are far reaching. 'Tuath' are quietly establishing themselves as forerunners in Ireland’s experimental shoegaze & psych-rock scene.


ALBUM REVIEW | Echolust - Veldisa

a2243359290_16ARTIST: Echolust

RELEASE: Veldisa 

RELEASE DATE: November 18th 2016

RECORD COMPANY: Cleopatra Records

Programmed drums, dream pop guitars and the deep contextual influence of 80’s post-punk and ethereal wave combine with absolutely brilliant song writing on the debut album of Californian shoegaze/darkwave/post-punk band Echolust. 'Veldisa' is a sprawling, dark yet beautiful musical journey through moods and places, sounds and lyrics and contrastingly vivid soundscapes. Upon almost every track the band exercise some sort of gaze back into the past; but this act surpasses nostalgia and more offers commentary on thought and pondering. It’s beautiful and dream pop inspired guitar riffs support the slow and swinging music to fantastic degrees; expressing emotion through music with some wild sort of ease.

‘1799’ opens the album with a dreamy guitar riff and a drum machine inspired by the double tap of the French coldwave and the early 80’s programmed beats of post-punk bands. Mixed within the song is the screech of a slow and winding synthesizer that seeps out when the soaring and wide chorus opens; offering a neat a song writing counterpoint to the language and sounds used within the verse of the song. The track retains a slow and winding quality which somehow never gets boring; an indication of a well written and instrumented song. ‘Cherry Dancer’ showcases the bands more shoegaze tendencies with its largely reverbed opening. The echoes of dream pop still linger however, so much so that ‘Cherry Dancer’ seems like a next door neighbour or companion piece to the more up tempo ‘1799’. From there the band leaps forward into a fantastically disco-darkwave inspired track titled ‘Dark Hair Girl’. The backing of the song sounds similar to an EDM/Dance style track; which contextually mixes well with the more alternative rock aspects that the song holds. The vocals remain deep and full of FX, which makes the singing sound like a direct instrument in the landscape of all of the instrumentation. ‘Dark Hair Girl’s best moments are when the vocals go higher and the band follow, showing off their talent of creating soaring style dream pop.

One of the greatest tracks on the entire album ‘Decor Blonde’ displays the band in full shoegaze swing; reverb drenched guitars and a slower and darker tempo. I believe it to be one of the greatest on the album simply for its fantastic wall of sound styled production; a form and style that adds a whole other dimension to shoegaze music. The lyrics also practice exactly what I mentioned before accompanied by the fantastic guitars and bass, they add an emotive element to the music and sound of the song. Praise also to the fantastic outro on the song, which takes on a whole brilliant sound of its own. ‘Doublespeak’ returns to a more post-punk formula but retains elements of the shoegaze sound explored on ‘Decor Blonde’. This song also takes the disco beats explored on ‘Dark Hair Girl’ a step further with a tight bass and drums section that sounds exactly like a R’n’B inspired track. ‘Doublespeak’ also relies more heavily upon the gradual tap of the programmed drums in the back of the mix. Perhaps the weakest song on the album is the darkwave heavy ‘Electric’; a lengthy and indulgent track with lyrics that seem like they were written by a completely different band than the previous tracks.

‘For Least Resistance’ brings things back into the bands sphere; featuring a synthwave drum and soundscape style of tone with the fancy shoegaze styles of the dream pop guitar. The track even features an experimental-trap influenced style drum machine beat throughout the song which melds into the music in an interesting and engaging way. The strange lo-fi/alt-rock genius of ‘This Blurry Kill’ shows another side of the bands talent of song-writing; tied off magically with the experimental soundscape stationed in the mix. The title track is another contender for the albums weakest song. It sounds somewhere between a B-side and a draft; featuring comedically confusing drum patterns and boring mid-tone vocals. Thankfully the band turn everything around with the fantastic ‘Velvet Holiday’ which rehashes all of the bands fantastic post-punk songs into a dark, more straight forward and heavy song. It’s almost as though Echolust wanted to connect the more synth and darkwave influenced side of their album with the more post-punk side and speaking of which, the atmospheric ‘Zombie Birds’ connects both sides together in sound with the dance influenced drum machine beats and the shoegaze styled bass, guitars and synth. Together this mixture creates something that sounds almost on the borderline of industrial music, something I suppose the band have constantly toyed with on the entire album. ‘Zombie Birds’ features a fantastic and mesmerizing intro that leads into the lyrically diverse verse and chorus in which the fantastic backing soundscapes and sneaky production sneak back into the song.

A few songs into Veldisa I wondered why the band wasn’t going pro; the songs were well-written, thoroughly beautiful, experimental and original pieces of brilliant music. After the opening few songs I was a little less mesmerized and by the second half I showed little-interest to the music, but the second half of the second half managed to turn it around and recapture some of the magic of the beginning. And that, in essence, is how Veldisa could be summed up. The album as a whole drags on and on and on (there are too many songs) and with less engaging songs in the middle, the listener just becomes more bored as the album plays through. In said mid-album area, the songs begin to sound more and more like clichéd and distant dance tracks thrown together to fill album space… But Veldisa doesn’t need album fillers. The band should have stuck to their guns and produced a more compact album with the same sharp and fantastic song writing skills displayed at the albums opening. For that reason Veldisa as a whole seems tiresome in structure, even when a lot of the songs are so well written.

The production is good, the mixing is great and the performances should also receive praise. Together these elements carry the album in its more paint-drying moments and prove that, although not throughout the total album, Echolust can produce a fantastic quality of song writing. I believe the opening few tracks are so good they almost carry the albums more weaker points and for that reason one should definitely listen intently to Echolust’s fantastic skills. These are achieved through mixing, production, performance and sound.

4/5

LINKS:

echolust.bandcamp.com

facebook.com/echolust

twitter.com/echolustmusic

echolust.com

cleopatrarecords.bandcamp.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

bio-pic

Cam Phillips is a writer and above all, a music lover, who seeks to gain experience through writing and listening. He is also an avid film viewer and art and literature junkie who enjoys creative writing. His most recent published work was featured on the Australian heavy music blog, I Probably Hate Your Band.


ALBUM REVIEW | Landing - Complekt

a1563261661_16ARTIST: Landing 

RELEASE: Complekt

RELEASE DATE: November 25th 2016

RECORD COMPANY: These Are Not Records

Connecticut based experimental shoegaze/lo-fi four piece 'Landing' are no strangers to the underground music scene having no less than nine previous releases under their belts. The latest addition to that stunning collection is 'Complekt', their 10th release to date and a continuation to their no-nonsense, genre-defining attitude of creating blissful sonic soundscapes that are filled with hazy shoegaze highs and jaw dropping ethereal vocalisations coupled with experimental twists and lashings of glorious reverberation. The band are made up of three longtime members; Adrienne Snow - vocals, Aaron Snow - guitar/synth/bass/drums/vocals, Daron Gardner - bass & John Miller - drums/guitar/synth and you can pre-order the full album on various formats right now from: landing.bandcamp.com

In a beautifully translucent instrumental drone ‘Complekt’ unfurls its effortless sonic tendrils to announce the arrival of it’s opening salvo - 'Light'. It pulses into earshot on a wave of quivering guitars and deliciously ambient swirls before it’s blissfully ethereal vocalisations sweep past you, held fast in swathes of immense reverberation. Up next, ‘Complekt’ swirls repetitiously before exploding into a driving cacophony of thunderous percussion, throbbing bass frequencies and a maelstrom of layered reverberating guitars. The vocal lines cut an ethereal wedge through proceedings, bringing a sort of serine clarity whilst all around them wage a sonic war of attrition. A stunning track that you must listen to via headphones to experience its full sonic onslaught.

‘Weft’ jangles into ear shot on an undulating bed of instrumental promise, sequenced synth theatrics and a shaking percussive pattern as it’s brilliantly executed guitar lines languish deep within swathes of luscious reverb, whilst the monumental ‘Shifts’ menacingly emerges from beneath an angry instrumental drone accompanied by hypnotic shakers and massive walls of ethereal noise. ‘Shifts’ undulates as its beautiful vocals swerve through cascading synth lines that float effortlessly through the sonic ether, looping and arcing with blissful aplomb. Up next, ‘Thither’ soars on a glorious synth swell before building into a throbbing sonic beast. This track pulses and swirls on a cloud of hazy electronics and sequenced atmospherics before we’re treated to a metronomic drum pattern, melodious bass frequencies and another beautiful vocal performance, constantly circumnavigated by reverberating guitars and cushioning synth swells. ‘Thither’ is immense and possibly my favourite track on this entire release.

‘Grow’ bleeps and swirls into existence on a bedrock of sequenced electronics and stunning guitar swells. It shimmers blissfully as it works through it’s sonic gears with aplomb, effortlessly floating unaided through layers of reverb and droning experimental instrumentation. Coming in at ten minutes plus ‘Grow’ is by far the longest track on the entire album and it doesn’t disappoint. It moves effortlessly through soaring guitars, pulsing synths and hypnotic percussion whilst pushing wave after wave of golden hued frequencies out into the sonic ether without breaking a sweat. The vocal lines weave a spell as they majestically intertwine with the entrancing sound waves. ‘Grow’ is a sonic triumph of immense proportions. The albums penultimate track entitled ‘Clouds II’ moves on a lazy percussive swagger albeit coupled with swirling guitars and the constant hum of a throbbing bass line. It’s vocal sits gracefully in the mix, gently leading this listener through a meandering pre-designated verse pattern and on into it’s soaring chorus parts. The albums closing piece however, shimmers on acoustic frequencies and soaring synth swells. ‘World’ switches from female to male lead vocals brilliantly as it builds into a trembling maelstrom of glorious reverberation and tremulous noise. A fitting ending to a marvellous album.

5/5

LINKS:

landing.bandcamp.com

landingsite.net

facebook.com/Landingtryyps

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Del Chaney has spent the last four years not only fronting popular experimental Irish based electronic duo Analogue Wave but also dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the unsigned or small independent label based shoegaze, ethereal dream pop, post punk, post rock & modern psych rock from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog - The Primal Music Blog. He is also a contributing writer for The Sound Of Confusion. His other arm - Primal Radio - has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has helped him in actively promoting a genre of music that he is passionate about. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, he is a keen Vinyl Collector, Tattoo Fan & all round good guy! He is a self confessed music freak & is never far away from a studio console or a turntable.


ALBUM REVIEW | Breve - Nothing Stays The Same

a2144110573_16ARTIST: Breve

RELEASE: Nothing Stays The Same

RELEASE DATE: November 1st 2016

RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned

Melbourne based experimental/psych/alt rockers 'BREVE' have self-released a stunning collection of tracks in the form of their debut album, brilliantly titled 'Nothing Stays The Same'. Having wowed us back in July with their then lead single we were eagerly waiting to get our mucky paws on the full ensemble and it did not disappoint. Their impressive take on the modern psych genre is absolutely breathtaking, so much so that I've given the album a rating of 5/5 and thats a rare occurrence for me. The band are made up of Dougal Shaw, Toby Fitzgerald & Billy Dowle and 'Nothing Stays The Same' is available to buy/download right now from: breveband.bandcamp.com

‘Nothing Stays The Same’ opens up with ‘Konecrane’, a turbulent droning monster that wears its experimental heart on its sleeve. This track builds menacingly from its very first swirling tone until the addictively repetitive lead guitar lines crawl and intertwine effortlessly with steady percussion and throbbing bass frequencies, eventually leading us into an immense sampled filled break and on into its glorious finale! Up next, ‘Introverse’ woozily enters earshot on dark synth swells and sequenced percussion before opening up into an electronically charged psych behemoth. The vocal lines ride a heady mix of explosive reverberating instrumentation deliciously underscored by the the constant hum and throb of the unmissable bass line. ‘Cold Sweat On A Sunday’ enters the fray and immediately entices this listener whilst ‘Nothing Stays’ bursts into a cacophony of noise as its explosive drum patterns and the brilliantly executed guitar lines circumnavigate those immense vocal's, echoing ‘Queens Of The Stone Age’ with its instrumental intensity.

Sequenced percussion and sampled atmospheric’s announce the arrival of ‘Nothing Is Permanent’ as those repetitious guitars and the brilliantly executed (but highly infectious) vocal line permeates effortlessly through layers of reverb. ‘Nothing Is Permanent’ surges half way through into an angry sonic beast, unleashing a torrent of swirling noise until eventually fading out into obscurity. ‘Movement’ crawls into earshot on a menacing drone and a darkly ambient repetitious sample as its fragile vocal lines add atmosphere. The guitars swirl and glide in and out of a hi-hat heavy breakbeat before dragging the angry vocals back into the mix and on into a tremulous finale. There’s an air of movie soundcheck chic on the opening salvo’s of ‘Human’ as its haunting samples float underneath swirling feedback and jangling guitars before ‘Breve’ unleash a driving experimental onslaught onto their listeners. Wailing vocals and intricate bass lines meld effortlessly with explosive drum patterns and screaming wah-wah heavy guitar progressions to give us a progressive/psych rock behemoth. Up next, ‘Connected’ bounces on a bed of sequenced percussion, swirling synth drone and attention grabbing shakers. The vocals arrive as the instrumentation bubbles angrily beneath the surface and those lead guitar lines undulate effortlessly, constantly keeping time with the ever hypnotic shakers. There’s a subliminal message pulsing through every single note of ‘Connected’ that gives two fingers to the social media world of today and we all should pay very close attention to it’s infectious mantra.

The albums penultimate track entitled ‘Feel’ has loose ambient stylings swirling deep within its opening progressions. A beautifully translucent vocal pierces the ether and adds a subtle psychedelic edge to proceedings as swirling drones and malicious atmospherics move and swerve before the track explodes into a glorious cacophony of bass heavy noise and rumbling drum patterns. The albums closing piece staggers on a repetitious percussive sample as we journey through a world of psychedelic enchantment tipped with prog rock finery. ‘Elevate’ has an absolutely immense swagger about it as the metronomic thud of the percussion drags it’s vocal lines and melodious bass frequencies through layers of reverberation constantly assaulted by a swirling instrumental drone and screaming guitar squall. This is a stunning finale to a magnificent debut album.

5/5

LINKS:

breveband.bandcamp.com

facebook.com/breveband

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Del Chaney has spent the last four years not only fronting popular experimental Irish based electronic duo Analogue Wave but also dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the unsigned or small independent label based shoegaze, ethereal dream pop, post punk, post rock & modern psych rock from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog - The Primal Music Blog. He is also a contributing writer for The Sound Of Confusion. His other arm - Primal Radio - has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has helped him in actively promoting a genre of music that he is passionate about. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, he is a keen Vinyl Collector, Tattoo Fan & all round good guy! He is a self confessed music freak & is never far away from a studio console or a turntable.


ALBUM REVIEW | The Wedding Present - Going Going ....

cover2-320x320ARTIST: The Wedding Present

RELEASE: Going Going ...

RELEASE DATE:  Out Now (UK/Europe) & December 2nd (USA)

RECORD COMPANY: HHBTM Records

Jangle pop meets post-rock meets a bit of this and a bit of that on Going, Going…, the ninth album by well-rounded and deeply influential UK indie heavyweights The Wedding Present. A band (you should probably have a listen to if you haven’t) who have remained a prominent player in the UK indie/alternative scene through a revolving line up and heavy touring. Going, Going… returns to the bands 80’s roots of alt-rock influenced pop rock; instead this time they throw in a jangling indie rock tone that has remained popular on indie record labels from the late 80s onward. This enticing package of genres and sounds is pulled off by the band on most of the album; allowing the listener to fully relish in The Wedding Present and their mature and provoking music and songs.

While on the most part Going, Going… contains moody indie and pop tracks, it in fact opens with four beautiful and engaging instrumental tracks. ‘Kittery’ mixes ambience with the heavy tinge of alternative rock and the neat sound textures that the band were well-known for in the past. On ‘Greenland’ the band reach their most experimental heights; the enjoyable and interesting song is built around swaying percussion. Over the top of the beats are coordinates read out in a lo-fi style; all of this connects together with a slight aroma of musique concrète as the beats play slowly. ‘Marblehead’ is absolutely beautiful, mesmerizing and refreshing in its instrumentation; which consists of a couple of beautiful vocal passages backed with the slow rat-a-tat-tat of the drums and the harp like sounds of guitar. Similarly ‘Sprague’ uses an array of string instruments and the tapping of the piano to create a sound akin to a film score; flowing and tirelessly majestic. And then the band dive deep into their signature sound of indie, jangle pop in the form of ‘Two Bridges’; a neat pop rock tune that jumps and creates a enjoyably danceable melody. The lyrics connect with the music in a brilliant and smooth way with the melody connecting with the easy (very English) vocals and drumming. The awkward ballad like song ‘Little Silver’ follows; which has brilliant post-punk inspired heavy alternative rock passages of music that seem too good for the awkward and almost childlike vocal passages. The performances on ‘Little Silver’ showcase the brilliant and subtle talent of all the insturmental players involved. ‘Bear’ uses the modern English lyrical talents of the band to create a much more relaxed and full form song. The Wedding Present seem to build upon the slight ‘Little Silver’ to create a more impressive pop rock style ballad.

Just think of every single indie rock cliché you can and then tie them altogether…What would it look like? It would look and smell a lot like ‘Secretary’. This is the song that the listener is supposed to say ‘hahahha… Yes, hahaha, yes. That’s quite funny… Yes, I’ve seen what you’ve done there with the lyrics, hhahaha… Yeah, haha’ while listening to. But guess what? It evokes no such dialogue. Instead it’s actually quite cringey and ultimately, although there is more to say (much about the lyrics), I don’t feel like I need to elaborate on all of its annoying characteristics much more. ‘Birdsnest’ is mediocre but enjoyable. It should be noted of the fantastic vocal performance by the backing female vocalist especially, but ultimately the entire band showcase their talent, and more importantly they sound like they’re having fun doing so. ‘Kill Devil Hills’ features some great instrumentation but this steady craft of song writing is counterpointed by the tongue in cheek vocals and occasionally enjoyable lyrics. The band re-captures its sound on ‘Bells’, a fiery and much more heavy alternative rock tune where the percussion and the excellent mixing and production qualities present themselves clearly. The vocals are also back on a track that fits with the music. On ‘Fifty-Six’ this heaviness continues and is utilised to showcase the crunch of guitars and the sound textures the band feel much more comfortable playing. The outro especially fits well with the contextual elements of the song.
The slow and swaying sound of ‘Emporia’ allows the band to reach the quality of ballad that they have been dubiously searching for on the entire album. The vocals on the second half of the song are brilliant as is the wild and free post-rock like pace the music sets slowly for itself. The production shines through substantially to bring all instruments into the mix together and balancing them for a fantastic listening quality of music.

Interestingly enough, I entered into this album wondering what The Wedding Present would bring to the table. Would it be the classic post-punk influenced rock and pop that brought them many fans and acclaim during the 80’s? Would it be the indie rock sound that they carried through to impress audiences with? Or would it be something completely different? Well into the albums opening instrumentals, I was convinced it was the latter. But then… Then I knew that it was indie and indie and even more indie. What’s wrong with Indie music? Absolutely nothing… So what are you on about? Well, to be completely honest; I don’t know if The Wedding Present are still ‘into it’. They seem to be interested in this jangling, indie, alt-rock sound but they recycle bands that they probably historically influenced to create something that tastes generic, clean, not really that adventurous and at times very awkward. The album is by no means bad but I tend to wonder what the aim of the album was. And before you ask; no there doesn’t need to be an aim for any music. It just seems that the band ventured into a studio and recorded this and that, here and there and then threw it together without any sort of rewarding focus. Think what you may of this but I believe the instrumentals to be some of, perhaps the, best tracks on the album. But still, with this in mind, the fact that the album opens with post-rock, ambient, soaring cinematic tracks makes the album unbalanced and confusing. Perhaps the band believed these to be an album intro of sorts but they sit so well at the start that it sort of just sounds like a band recording a film score then deciding to write an indie album. Actually, it is almost like two different bands played on the album; which also adds to the fact that the album is almost overloaded with songs. The lyrics at times sound and read as if the band stuck to subjects explored within their back catalogue but tried to ‘modernise’ them. This doesn’t do them many favours and I wondered whether The Wedding Present were trying to be funny? Or is it telling a story? I don’t know… On such a topic; why doesn’t the backing vocalist sing more leads? On a couple of the tracks the current leads sound tired and insincerely awkward; overly Indie themed and at a contrast to the music.

This may read as if Going, Going… is a second rate album; but I must ensure you that it is not. The production is brilliant and actually is one of the best I’ve heard in a while; meaning the bands choice of studios and mixers came through for them greatly. The mixing is stellar across the album, as are the instrumental performances by every band member. And, just to remind you, there are some fantastic and catchy songs on this album… Which I recommend you listen to. The influence of The Wedding Present on indie music, and in fact UK music is great, and Going, Going... showcases elements of the bands song writing skills and fantastic talent. This is achieved through the immaculate production, neat mixing and sound.

3.5/5

LINKS:

facebook.com/TheWeddingPresentOfficial

scopitones.co.uk

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

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Cam Phillips is a writer and above all, a music lover, who seeks to gain experience through writing and listening. He is also an avid film viewer and art and literature junkie who enjoys creative writing. His most recent published work was featured on the Australian heavy music blog, I Probably Hate Your Band.


ALBUM REVIEW | Tears Run Rings - In Surges

tears-run-rings-in-surges-artARTIST: Tears Run Rings

RELEASE: In Surges

RELEASE DATE: December 2nd 2016

RECORD COMPANY: Deep Space Recordings

Not officially released until the 2nd December, dreamy shoegaze four piece ‘Tears Run Rings’ have used the magic of the internet to conceive their hauntingly good third album entitled ‘In Surges’. Taking a grand total of six years to complete, the band recorded in three separate studios transferring tracks backwards and forwards between three different cities - San Francisco, Portland and Los Angeles until each finished track was perfect. The band are made up of Laura - bass/vocals, Matthew - guitars/vocals, Ed -guitar and Dwayne - drums. Laura, Ed & Dwayne are original members of the now defunct 90’s twee/pop outfit ‘The Autocollants’ and Matthew & Ed also founded the brilliant 'Shelflife Records'. ‘In Surges’ is the bands third album and gets its full release via Deep Space Recordings. The album is available to pre-order on lovely coloured vinyl right now from: deepspacerecordings.storenvy.com

'In Surges' opens up swirling gracefully within a reverberating instrumental drone. ‘Happiness 6’ pulses a beautifully translucent sonic wave out into the ether as swathes of reverb are met with soaring synth swells and sparse percussion to perfectly envelope that impressive vocal. Up next, ‘Belly Up’ charges into earshot on a repetitious percussive attack coupled with noisy reverberating guitars and throbbing bass frequencies. Haunting vocal lines sway and bounce as they deftly circumnavigate the instrumentation, dashing in and out of subtle quieter/dreamier moments and on into awe inspiring soaring shoegaze, all the while drenched in beautifully ethereal reverb.

‘Things Have Changed’ shimmers as the twang of guitars meet underlying synth swells and ethereal vocalisations. The addition of the hazy acoustic guitar tones add atmosphere before the thud of bass frequencies take hold and carefully guide you out into the ether aided by wave after wave of underlying shimmering guitar effects. I can’t help but be totally blown away by both the lead vocal lines and the ethereally haunting backing vocals on this track. Absolutely stunning in its entirety, ‘Things have Changed’ is possibly my favourite track on the entire release. ‘Part of Glass’ blissfully ambles into audible range on a repetitive drum pattern, swirling instrumentation and another impressive vocal whilst ‘Green Lakes’ echoes and sway’s on a wave of reverb laden noise until we’re introduced to a beautifully ethereal vocal performance. ‘Green Lakes’ explodes into a cacophony of glorious colour as its chorus progressions take hold and we glide effortlessly within a haze of sonic grandeur into the ether.

‘Broken’ brings us back down to earth as it explodes into a reverberating beast. The vocals bring some clarity as they cut through overdriven guitar frequencies and I can hear subtle old-school flourishes reminiscent of ‘Slowdive’ here. Up next, ‘Destroyer’ breathes a modern sounding edge to proceedings as the track builds in momentum through its blissful verse parts and on into a beautifully arranged chorus progression. The chug, chug, chug of rhythm guitar coupled with those snaking lead lines, lazy percussion and soaring instrumental swells enter the fray and act as the perfect accompaniment to those ethereal vocal lines. The beginnings of ‘Something You Cant Hide’ have a welcoming post-punk edge before the track unfurls its sonic tendrils and radiates a stunning wall of layered guitars and driving bass frequencies underscored with a bedrock of explosive percussion. The albums penultimate track doesn't disappoint either as it unleashes a repetitious guitar progression and shimmering tambourine shakes. ‘Sine Wave Sleep’ is steeped in reverb, and totally reminiscent (instrumentally) of early Spacemen 3 mixed with the stunning melodic expertise of ‘The House Of Love’. As soon as the vocals takes hold, accompanied by those plodding bass frequencies and soaring lead guitar swells, you are completely hooked. ‘Sine Wave Sleep’ is a stunning track from start to finish.

The albums closing salvo entitled ‘Happiness 7’ majestically swerves through tremulous droning guitars and stunning atmospherics as it throws up blissfully noisy frequencies and hazy instrumentation. Out of the blurred sonic maelstrom comes a brilliantly executed vocal coupled with its underlying ethereal backing lines.

'In Surges' is a stunning return to form and well worth the six year wait!

4/5

LINKS:

facebook.com/tearsrunrings/

twitter.com/tearsrunrings

deepspacerecordings.bandcamp.com

tearsrunrings.bandcamp.com

deepspacerecordings.storenvy.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

 

Del Chaney has spent the last four years not only fronting popular experimental Irish Electronic duo Analogue Wave but also dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the unsigned or small independent label based shoegaze, ethereal dream pop, post punk, post rock & modern psych rock from all over the globe & reviewing them for The Primal Music Blog. He is also a contributing writer for The Sound Of Confusion. His other arm - Primal Radio - has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has hepled him in actively promoting a genre of music that he is passionate about. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, he is a keen Vinyl Collector, Tattoo Fan & all round good guy! He is a self confessed music freak & is never far away from a studio console or a turntable.


ALBUM REVIEW | The Wolfhounds - Untied Kingdom

a1854958397_16ARTIST: The Wolfhounds

RELEASE: Untied Kingdom

RELEASE DATE: October 14th

RECORD COMPANY: Odd Box Records

Modern life is rubbish is the central theme of The Wolfhounds first LP in decades. For a band that came of age in Thatcher's Britain, that's a fairly damning indictment. 'Untied Kingdom' explores themes of dissatisfaction, disconnection, disaffection and disunity. The album was released on October 14th 2016 on a double LP via Oddbox Records and is also available to buy/download from: thewolfhounds.bandcamp.com 

The Wolfhounds first came to attention on the NME's now legendary C86 compilation, and it's not too easy to find evidence of that aesthetic in these 11 songs, but then, thirty years have passed. The emotional scene for the record is set with the morality tale of Apparition and its plaintive voices. There are still some traces though of those 80's origins. These can be heard in the flanged guitars of My Legendary Childhood, the slack rhythm of The Comedians and the swooping intro of Across the River of Death. But now, it is that much more tight, muscular and ,above all, bristling with anger!

3/5

LINKS:

thewolfhounds.bandcamp.com

facebook.com/TheWolfhounds

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

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In her time, Sarah Cuthbert-Kerr has attended raves and rock clubs. She enjoys pedals, pizza and spy dramas. Sarah also plays guitar in Edinburgh-based noisemakers Wozniak and is co-founder of Morningside Young Team who put on gigs and put out records for discerning audiences who enjoy fuzz and confusion.