ALBUM REVIEW | Magic Shoppe - Wonderland

a1444895293_16ARTIST: Magic Shoppe

RELEASE: Wonderland

RELEASE DATE: October 26th 2016

RECORD COMPANY: Little Cloud Records

Hailing from Boston, Massachusetts, the fantastic ‘Magic Shoppe’ tweaked my attention back in February with their absolutely stunning four track EP interestingly titled ‘Interstellar Car Crash’. Now the band have returned with a glorious full length album via ‘Little Cloud Records’ aptly titled ‘Wonderland’ and filled with the same tantalising sonic soundscapes that had initially caught my ear earlier in the year. 'Magic Shoppe' collectively create a swirling cacophony of modern day psychedelia intriguingly peppered with sonic atmospherics, fuzz and droning instrumentation. 'Wonderland' had its official release on the 26th October 2016 and is available to buy/download right now on various formats including a luscious limited edition opaque red vinyl option from: magicshoppe.bandcamp.com

‘Wonderland’ unfurls its warm & fuzzy tendrils from deep within the grip of a raging sonic maelstrom. ‘Stars Explode’ unleashes a blistering sonic assault on the senses as its swirling guitars ride a thunderous wave of throbbing bass frequencies and pounding drums and the stunning vocal lines instil a futuristic kind of atmosphere as they creep nonchalantly in and out of the turbulent whirlwind. Up next, ‘Head On The Floor’ staggers on a woozy but melodious bass line as its repetitious drum pattern holds a steady beat allowing those snaking lead lines to harry and tease the vocal progressions with ease. ‘Kill’ screeches into earshot on droning guitar feedback before the throb of the bass line takes hold and the entrancingly hypnotic beat meanders into the fray coupled with shakers and impressive reverberation. The sublime fuzzy vocals cut through the entire piece like a hot knife through butter before the chorus progressions soar into the ether dragging this listener with it as it deftly loops and arcs into the blood red skyline. ‘Kill’ is definitely my favourite track by far on the entire release and a recommendation from me!

‘Hearing Voices’ creeps into audible range on a tremulous drone underscored by a hi-hat heavy drum pattern and the constant hum of bass frequencies. The swirling guitars and impressive vocals sit effortlessly in the mix, knee deep in reverb and highly addictive. The delectable ‘Blowup’ arrives and undulates gracefully through swathes of 60’s sounding psych before the atmospheric ‘Sister Burden’ swerves into earshot courtesy of a barely audible vocal sample, driving bass line, pounding drums and dissonant white noise. The albums penultimate track entitled ‘Find Yourself Some Love’ shakes and shimmies through reverb induced backward drones, iridescent instrumentation and hazy vocal lines before the hypnotic lead guitar weaves a sonic web of fantastically hallucinogenic golden streaks throughout the track. The albums closing piece entitled ‘Wonderland’ slows proceedings down a tad as it jangles on a four chord fuzzy guitar structure and a splash of tambourine. The vocals arrive accompanied by sporadic percussive hits and swirling instrumental drones before the track fades into the ether. A stellar return to form and a fitting ending to a marvellous album.... Bravo Magic Shoppe!

4/5

LINKS:

magicshoppe.bandcamp.com

facebook.com/MagicShoppeBoston

twitter.com/MagicShoppe

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 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 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 | WTCHS - She Walks, She Creeps

a3245023901_16ARTIST: WTCHS

RELEASE: She Walks, She Creeps

RELEASE DATE: October 28th 2016

RECORD COMPANY: Sonic Unyon Records

By far the most interesting, engaging, original and experimental piece of music I have heard from a non pro band/music project in the past while, WTCHS 'She Walks, She Creeps' may just be the album to *expletive word* off all of the other phony’s. They’re not even in the same league actually; this album is heavy, dirty, transgressively wild and utterly engaging in its experimentation and sound. Before I go on though, I can guarantee you that a lot of you will probably hate this album. If you love shoegaze, you’ll dodge this album. If you love synth pop, you’ll be confused by this album. If you love dream pop, don’t even look at the cover of the album. This is HEAVY. Because this album is a sludge metal album… And the only thing that stops it from becoming a lengthy, thick, brooding stoner metal/drone metal album is the occasional alternative rock instrumented passages and distant but impressive post-punk inspired vocals that put a whole other angle on songs presented wherein. This is truly an original release; an album of true experimentation and of truly juddering proportions.

'She Walks, She Creeps' opens with ‘Black Actors’ which I can almost guarantee will manage to put the bands detractors and those who dislike metal out of the picture within the intro. The song opens with two minutes of thick, wavering noise and distortion that acts as a complete wall of sound. There are no drums, there are no vocals, there is no context; it’s just pummelling feedback and noise distortion until the rattling of drums seeps in after a while to introduce some sort of rhythm to the song. When all other instruments are introduced the guitars tone takes a step back into something more tangible with a neat post-punk inspired riff. The vocals, far away and barely audible, act as a fantastic counterpoint to the noise filtered and chaotic air of the song. ‘Black Actors’ belts on for over ten minutes; surging and retreating, offering vocals then splintering noise and sound textures built between the heavy percussion, guitars and the soaring but dark vocals. The band showcase just what’s up their sleeve, however, with the tracks outro; the shuddering noisecore wall of feedback with vocals screaming over the top before they are eventually drowned out by noise similar to the tracks intro. But just when the audience are getting their ears assaulted, the band does a clever move and the song swings into a clipping audio sound of distortion that drowns itself out; then quiet. ‘Old Crowns’ follows with a less monumental structure than ‘Black Actors’ and relies on a noise laden post-punk sound that includes plucking high guitars and less experimental vocals. The song projects a fantastic follow up to the wild and epic ‘Black Actors’ and showcases the bands power when it is acting in a less conceptual arc and more traditional song structure.

‘You Own Your Bones’, a nearly eight minute noise rock extravaganza, follows with less of a full beginning; this time the band rely on the bare vocals, guitar and drums. After this small intro, however, the mesmerizingly brilliant swing of the songs structure begins to be played. Which somehow includes a brass section of instrumentation accompanied by a beat one could liken to a carnival ride? This is true experimentation. Where a lot of other bands believe that throwing in extra percussion or doing screams instead of cleans, WTCHS put a brass section into a sludge metal/noise rock song that goes for eight minutes… As I said before; that is true experimentation.

Speaking of which, the much more traditionally structured ‘Whitney At The Rifle Range’ places all the sonic noise into a more compact unit and showcases a more punk orientated sound with the occasional drum passage stationed in-between lengthy guitar and bass orientated passages. The vocals are in another completely different place again, this time sounding like borderline radio static. The track somehow keeps itself together enough to produce an interesting, versatile and engaging song that fits well in the context of the album. ‘Young Girls’ sits comfortable in this same pattern, however WTCHS rely on a more heavy, slow and sludge metal sound. This time, the vocals reach shrieking high notes while the drums keep a slow, steady pattern. If ‘Black Actors’ and ‘Old Crows’ are noise laden beasts, then ‘Young Girls’ are the trees in the forest that those beasts run through; influenced by their ways but different themselves.

Ultimately, the albums most experimental moment lies in ‘Six of Cups’ which starts with samples of percussion that last well over the two minute thirty mark. These percussive, lo-fi style beats are accompanied by slight and distanced soundscapes at the back of the mix; hardly noticeable until they present themselves as what sound like reversed vocal tones. As the listener focuses on these sounds and textures, it becomes evident that ‘Six of Cups’ is like one, lengthy outro track. And eventually, the band confirm this with distorted chanting and vocal like sounds at the back of the mix that eventually drown out as the song fades. And just as you were thinking that this sounds inferior compared to the albums chaotic and loud opening, I believe that this is a contrast; almost like the album has recharged itself in all its noise and feedback riddled glory. Rather than crescendo out onto a whole, volatile album that builds into something like ‘Black Actors’ the band do the opposite and waver the music slowly, drowning out the noise. The songs on the albums second half become more structured, punk inspired and more accessible until ‘Six of Cups’; which I believe to be a brilliant and alternative way to present an experimental album.

As I said before; although this album is by no means avant-garde by any standard, it will not be appealing to everybody who enjoys alternative music. Just how listeners who love sludge metal may not fall in love with it, or folks who love post-punk may not either… And that is because the album is experimental. All the way from ‘Black Actors’ to ‘Six of Cups’ the band cross and swing between sludge metal, stoner metal, post-punk, noise, industrial, ambient, lo-fi, Art Metal and No Wave, which makes the album even more abstractly memorable. Perhaps its greatest achievement is its sheer originality; so many bands doing so many similar or slightly above average things begins to make one wonder where the art of experimentation and originality really is; the answer is its right here, in all its dirty, fuzzy glory. This animal of an album stands to the testament that there is always another step to take in music; whether it’s nice or dirty, clean or sludge, milk or mud. And the band give it their all; through performance, production and sound.

5/5

LINKS:

sonicunyon.com

facebook.com/wearewtchs/

wtchs.bandcamp.com

twitter.com/WeAreWTCHS

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 | Rise Of The Echo Drone - Chemically Altered

a0842208450_16ARTIST: Rise Of The Echo Drone

RELEASE: Chemically Altered

RELEASE DATE: September 28th 2016

RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned

Glasgow based experimental psych outfit ‘Rise Of The Echo Drone’ is a collaborative musical project created by Laura O’Brien and Helicon’s own Gary Hughes that features hypnotically charged psychedelic soundscapes gloriously filled with swathes of sequenced electronics, dub laden bass frequencies, motorik percussive patterns and intensely addictive instrumentation that effortlessly swirl through the sonic ether with reckless abandon. Their latest full length nine track album entitled ‘Chemically Altered’ was released back on September 28th 2016 and is available to buy/download right now from: riseoftheechodrone.bandcamp.com

‘Getting Higher’ menacingly ambles into earshot on rumbling bass frequencies and a repetitious percussive pattern coupled with sampled vocalisations and underlying synth swells. It’s mantra like vocal lines are enticing and they meld effortlessly with the swirling bleeps and whirls of the instrumentation. Up next, ‘Skull Grinder’ crawls and shudders as it makes landfall, building in intensity as the drum patterns rumble and shake, all the while circumnavigated by droning frequential noise, snaking lead guitar lines and haunting sampled vocals. The eastern esoteric vibes of ‘Chemically Possessed’ float into the ether on a blissful wave of tabla drums and electronic theatrics whilst ‘Drone And E’ does exactly as it says on the tin.

‘Walks Without Sound’ hovers as it unleashes sparse percussion and a plethora of impressive sampled vocals that collectively swirl through swathes of reverberation while ‘Chemically Altered’ rattles as it’s burgeoning synth swells sit atop a repetitious breakbeat, building in intensity as it works through a collection of woozy sequenced patterns. Up next, ‘Dying Escape Death’ is steeped in atmospherics as its dark synth lines and pounding drums usher in it’s unsettling repetitious vocal mantra. The albums penultimate track is a modern day psych monster. ‘Is He Sleeping’ undulates and builds in intensity as it enters into audible range. It’s driving bass frequencies lead the charge as the almost hallucinogenic vocal line rides a wave of impressive reverb and is brilliantly intertwined with searing guitar squall and enchanting lead licks.

The albums closing piece entitled ‘Insane People With Insane Minds’ swirls around a sampled speech by the infamous Mr.John Lennon. Subtly building as it meanders through layers of deranged synth swells, cascading piano progressions and droning instrumentation, ‘Insane People With Insane Minds’ is a fitting end to a brilliantly experimental slice of modern day electronic psych.

4/5

LINKS:

riseoftheechodrone.bandcamp.com

facebook.com/RiseOfTheEchoDrone/

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 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 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 | In Violet - Amber

a0998012515_16ARTIST: In Violet

RELEASE: Amber

RELEASE DATE: October 21st 2016

RECORD COMPANY: Bottle Imp Productions

In my opinion listening to music should be a totally immersive experience. Every single facet of my being should spark & fire upon hearing a new release for the very first time just for me to get interested enough to play them on the radio let alone write about my experiences as well. It's something that has stood me to good stead over the years both as a musician and as a Dj/music writer. It's a principle I tend to stick to as I peruse the ever expanding musical genres hovering within todays burgeoning underground scene. Back in 2014 I was introduced to the enigmatic Mr.Jake Murray, founding member, frontman & chief bottle washer of London based experimental sound manipulators 'In Violet'. Their impressive debut album, entitled 'Opal', blew my socks off and I have been eagerly awaiting its follow up with baited breath ever since. In Violet have a brilliantly immersive & experimental sound that traverses a plethora of varying musical styles, taking in driving electronica, avant-garde post industrial, psych & krautrock tones whilst infusing melancholic post rock & sonic atmospheric's into the mix and they are not afraid to push boundaries or test limitations with their music. Now the band have returned with their stunning full length sophomore entitled 'Amber' and it's penned in for release on the 21st October 2016 via Bottle Imp productions. 'Amber' features guest collaborations from members of  Teeth of The Sea, Rumour Cubes, Collider and many more and the album will be available in all major digital stores with an extremely limited edition CD and art book available as a single-edition run via inviolet.bandcamp.com

'Amber' is steeped in a burgeoning sonic darkness. And I don't mean that in a bad way at all.  It's all good, very very good actually. What I mean is that from the opening drone of 'Betrayed' right through to the closing death throws of 'The Matador', In Violet manage to instil a sense of utter foreboding into their sound. There's an underlying atmospheric brutality to every single track on this album that is irresistibly addictive and totally enthralling. The use of glitchy experimental electronics, swirling instrumental drones, pulsing reverberation, charging synth swells and processed motorik percussion is immense. Add into the mix Jake Murray's sublime vocalisations, the constant hum of bass frequencies and a cacophony of fuzzy, layered guitars and what we have is a heady & experimental, multi-faceted sonic melting pot.

Each track on this album expertly dips a sonic toe into a delectable procession of hypnotically charged music styles. From the immense psych behemoth 'Amber' through to the industrial sounding twosome of 'Betrayed' & 'Bereft', the kraut-rock heavy hitters 'Shivers' & 'Poseidon Weeps' and on into the albums more mellower ambient side with tracks like the beautifully intense 'Salome' or 'Lady Of Avalon' and the swirling impertinent drone of 'Sagazan', In Violet have created a stunning collection of highly creative soundscapes that will have you hooked from the off. Each track in this collection is forward thinking and brilliantly experimental without being overly annoying. They are totally immersive, full to the brim with swirling atmospherics and bathed in swathes of dark pulsating frequencies that collectively will pull you with them as they ride a turbulent gittering sonic wave into a world of senses pummelling noise.

'Amber' is a stunning return to form by a band who have now set the judging bar very very high indeed.

Recommended.

5/5

LINKS:

inviolet.co.uk

facebook.com/invioletofficial

twitter.com/_inviolet

inviolet.bandcamp.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 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 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 | Total Gaze - We Need More Condos

a3412553766_16ARTIST: Total Gaze

RELEASE: We Need More Condos

RELEASE DATE: September 13 2016

RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned

The intelligently and humorously named We Need More Condos is the debut album from Minnesota’s own Total Gaze, a band who sport the term post-shoegaze… Which is interesting both ways; whether you believe it to be a genre or not… But it’s getting off topic to debate genres and sub-genres and how many pedals you need to qualify as a specific type of band; the album evokes a lot of different genres however, including post-punk, shoegaze, ambient and dream rock, just to name a few. Total Gaze juggle these sounds into an impressive and tightly knit type of musical odyssey that sounds a lot let less clean than the average ‘modern shoegaze’ album; bordering on what some would call ‘garage’ and touching on the realms of the whimsically dirty musical genre known as ‘lo-fi’.

We Need More Condos begins with ‘Solid Gold’ which embodies more of the bands gutter sound than its core shoegaze sound. Noisy, unfiltered guitars are coupled with percussive-heavy drums and a low-key bass tone to create a neat, albeit slight, garage rock tune. The influence of shoegaze and post-punk seeps in on the second half of the track, with the song maintaining its garage undertones while embracing an alternative style of guitar riff. An interlude (one of three on the album) features some nice cricket noises but serves no true purpose. One of the greatest tracks on the album is the lo-fi, amazing ‘Don’t Ask’ which remains brilliant in its simplicity. The song utilizes the bands previous garage guitar sound with a fantastically downbeat shoegaze inspired tune. The chorus, in particular, should be praised for its simple breakdown style of song writing and drumming; drawing a fantastic and easily accessible line in the sand between the sounds of shoegaze and the rough, crunchy punk sound. ‘Facing Inward’ plays out in a similar fashion; this time the band sound more up tempo with shaking maraca percussion and brighter guitar sounds. The vocals display influence from no-wave New York yelling and screaming, purposefully distanced from the rest of the mix in a way that does nothing but favours for the type of music the band strut.

‘Interlude 2’ sits warmly between ‘Facing Inward’ and the genius ‘On Fire’, which furthers the band sound. One particular fantastic piece of song writing and vocal delivery is the ‘oh wo, oh wo, oh, wo wo!’ which leads into easily the best chorus and outro on the entire album. This tight sound is perhaps the closest the band get too what you would call ‘post-shoegaze’ with its obvious sound blending at a very downtempo point. Couple this with the sketchy, murmured lyrics and vocals that are still stationed underneath the distorted guitars and rattling drums. Halfway through the song I thought the band had turned the direction of the sound around against themselves, but this interlude style passage of music that sits before one of the chorus’s suits the entire song with a few more listens. ‘Interlude 3’ plays out as an airy-FX filled conversation with a voice drowned in reverb and radio static. It is probably the only Interlude that really and truly alters the context of the album when listened to it in its entirety. A post-punk anthem ‘Sauna Sweet’ follows in a cleaner, much more modern sounding way. While this song may not be quite as compelling as others, it showcases some fantastic performances and features a neat guitar solo/ riff in the second half of the song. Similarly the vocals reach a shaky/louder style that seemed more drowned out by instruments on previous tracks. ‘Television’ opens with an indie style pattern of guitar riff followed by drum beats; this is however drowned out by a fully-fledged piece of shoegaze instrumentation. While it sets up some nice instrumentation and a perhaps more colourful sound than some of the previous ‘heavier’ tracks, ‘Television’ never really fully showcases the band’s sound and song writing skill to its full extent as many of the other tracks do. And while it is not a bad song by any means it’s position on the album and its contextual weight (comparing it to the bands other songs) means that ‘Television’ doesn’t shape up to the heights of the majority of the album.

We Need More Condos is refreshing without seeming avant-garde, fun without seeming childish and intellectual without ever coming across as pretentious. Ultimately there are a couple of ways to listen to the album. One, you can listen to it without any context; instead just for pure listening and interest. This way is rewarding and ultimately shows off and flaunts the bands greatest strengths while simultaneously travelling from track to track. The second, perhaps deeper, way of listening to We Need More Condos is the contextual and conceptual way. This entails asking what ‘modern’ style shoegaze sounds like; the answer being quite different to that of the sound of Total Gaze. And while this album is by no means the most experimentally-history advancing piece of shoegaze music to present itself for a modern audience, it is one that should be appreciated and applauded. So with the clean crisp sound of shoegaze adding to the contextual side of We Need More Condos, the album can be easily listened to as a step away from clichés and distant, echoed sounds that at times borderline completely on ambient music for other bands. Of course, We Need More Condos will not be for all audiences, and with the aforementioned ‘second way’ of listening to consider, it also will not be for all shoegaze lovers. At times the desperate and distanced style of vocals will sound too punk-ish and garage for some listeners, while the guitars and musical arrangements may be enough for others to steer away from the band.

We Need More Condos is, however (albeit not for all) a recommended listen. The sounds and songs fit well together and pan out from the pure alt-rock/garage sound of ‘Solid Gold’ to the sheer post-punk and dream style tones of songs like ‘On Fire’. The band present a wild and tightly garage blend of the alternative, ‘high’ side of town, and the dreamy gutter; drawing an elegant and talented musical line in the sand. They achieve so through the avenues of performance, production and sound.

4/5

LINKS:

totalgazempls.bandcamp.com

facebook.com/thegaze101/

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 | Citrus Clouds - Imagination

a3913398401_16ARTIST: Citrus Clouds

RELEASE: Imagination

RELEASE DATE: TBA

RECORD COMPANY: Custom Made Music

Phoenix based desert-gaze trio ‘Citrus Clouds’ have announced their debut full length album entitled ‘Imagination’, released this fall via Custom Made Music. The band are made up of Eric Pineda, Stacie Huttleston & Anthony Jarero and collectively they create stunning soundscapes that swim effortlessly through swathes of reverberating shoegaze and addictive, dreamy vocal lines that are impressively underpinned by steadying percussion and sublime instrumentation.

The album opens with its title track and we’re instantly pulled into the mesmerising throb of bass frequencies, meticulously intertwined with the repetitious percussion. ‘Imagination’ swerves and glides on gloriously dreamy layered frequencies, dipped into a swirling pot of reverb and deployed effortlessly to accompany a vocal line that swoons and soars as it gently caresses the senses with sonic joy! A stunning opening track. Up next, ‘The Sun Is In My Eyes’ saunters into earshot on a warped guitar progression and a shuffling drum beat. The duel vocal lines float into the sonic arena on wisps of hazy reverberation, swirling their tendrils effortlessly as they meander on a predestined course, complimenting each other perfectly to create an almost ethereal feel at times. ‘Make A Life’ growls and shudders on a bed of explosive percussion as it unfurls its musical tendrils to unveil a beautifully melodious soundscape filled with sublime vocals, throbbing bass lines, snaking lead licks and wall of sound guitars.

Up next, ‘Always Tomorrow’ swoons as its vocals and tremulous guitars build into a cacophony of blissful noise allowing it to soar through its chorus parts whilst ‘Its You That I Find’ pulses a heavier edge into proceedings, leading the band to unleash their most shoegaze orientated track on the entire release. If I’m honest, ‘Its You That I Find’ is probably my favourite track on the album. ‘Shapes And Things’ drives into the ether on a wave of distorted guitars and thunderous drums. It’s bass frequencies hum as the vocal’s easily enter the maelstrom of noise, bringing with them a refreshing air of clarity as the sonic whirlwind loops and arcs throughout the entire soundscape. ‘Bright Lights’ arrives next and is a monstrously noisy, reverberating beast thats pock marked with ‘teddy boy’ warbling guitar progressions and driving instrumentation. Its vocal lines sit effortlessly atop the swirling sonic cacophony deftly piloting the piece to its finality.

‘Be Eternal’ shimmers into the ether on a blissful wave of golden frequencies, sparse percussion and addictive bass lines that all seem to circumnavigate those impressive duel vocal progressions. The albums penultimate track, entitled ‘Begin Again’, jangles blissfully and builds from the off as its opening chord structures caress the senses and announce the arrival of the impressive vocal. It meanders through sonic peaks and troughs with ease, culminating in an explosive finale filled with repetitious vocal lines and thunderous noise. ‘Imagination’ closes with a flurry of hazy tones, throbbing frequencies and layered reverberations. ‘Monsoon Daze’ is a warm, fuzzy slice of ‘Desert-Gaze’ and a fitting finale to a really great album.

Highly Recommended!

4/5

LINKS: 

citrusclouds.bandcamp.com

facebook.com/citrusclouds/

twitter.com/Citrus_Clouds

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 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 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 | Jenny Besetzt - Tender Madness

a2099830529_16 ARTIST: Jenny Besetzt

RELEASE: Tender Madness

RELEASE DATE: 15th July 2016

RECORD COMPANY: Friends Records

Tender Madness is a full length album by North Carolina’s Jenny Besetzt, a group who uses fast tempo in contrast with dark sounds to create deep and vast post-punk that sounds as if it was conceived at the beginning of the post-punk era, but was recorded much, much later. Over the course of eight tracks the band do little to confront the listener; an intelligent and crafty move… Instead they pull their music back from distinct definition and throw very few punches. You’re probably thinking that’s an insult, but it’s very much the opposite. Modern post-punk bands try so very hard for sounds and songs to be noticed… They throw soundscape after soundscape, turn instruments up louder, sing the lyrics in Japanese, play with their guitars not plugged into an amp and what not just so the audience, or the reviewer, says something like ‘this album is really in your face’ or ‘there is a lot going on in this album’. Sure they may be compliments, but when so many bands do it, it’s refreshing to hear a post-punk outfit sketch out songs and play them as they are… You know, without a million different guitar lines that all sound muted because the kick drum is turned up so loud.

Tender Madness opens with ‘Authorless Speech’ a fantastically dark and shoegaze-inspired song that starts with slow and neat dream pop guitar after which fantastic double tap drums enter, but only distantly, in the background of the music. Through this brilliant piece of song writing, Jenny Besetzt begin to display the kind of musical colouring they fluently practice possess; firstly with the magnificent post-punk sound and then with the heavy, deep and baritone vocals, which brings the song onto a whole other level. Black As The Night purrs on a beautiful vocal, it's the albums entire vocal section that really holds everything together fantastically, especially the instrumental riffs and the beautiful underpinned synths. Such amazing synth tone may be heard on ‘Dorothy Everything’s Fine’, one of the albums true highlights; inspired by darkwave dance tracks and slow, classic post-punk guitar with bass that is drowned out by the aforementioned synth sounds during the chorus. Soft spoken, murmuring, deep vocals float heavily within the mix and the whole thing sounds like a true reflection of a style of sound that so many bands have tried to reach for but just end up sounding generic within. An average interlude follows, entitled ‘Kanizsa Triangle’ which is built predominantly around a choir like synth piece that plays softly with a few samples chipping in the background.

‘Lunar Talks’ opens with what sounds like a heavy metal riff, but eventually seeps back into a dream pop style tune. Over the course of the song, the band build up an alternative, dream like riff before splintering back into heavy, industrial sounds of the beginning giving the song a wild and spinning feeling. Perhaps the greatest song on the album is the playful, dreamy and utterly beautiful title track; its beginning is that of a loose, pictorial dream sketch, utilized through soaring synths and guitars. This song is the closest the band get to what some may refer to as ‘nostalgia’ and they do so with a kind of elegance and grace that never broaches textured simplicity. Eventually the song gets more downtempo and situates itself back in the light of the bands previous sound, but all the while it never exceeds its trance-like beauty and swift, easy appearance. Both Tender Madness & ‘The Rabbit’ acts as a sense of ease and ambience to the dark and heavy post-punk songs that preceded them. The Rabbit features lighter vocals, a brighter and more melodic sound courtesy of the indie-inspired guitar plucking and the pulsating soundscape of synth under the mix. One should also listen closely to the enthralling instrumental outro to the song, which crescendos into a fantastic math/post-rock inspired piece of guitar and drum playing. This tiny piece of music, enough to only fill a small portion of the song, is symbolism of absolute musical genius; subtle, engaging, alternative and absolutely captivating in its presentation.

And that’s that. But before you go and enjoy these songs on all their post-punk merit and dark but sweet musical textures, there is something more to be perceived about this album. Go out and find a modern post-punk album and I am sure that the band will go deeper and darker as the album goes on. Either that or they will chuck a lengthy, epic, synth and soundscape filled piece on the tail end of the release. Well, Jenny Besetzt have done neither of these. They’ve instead started with the dark and substantial alternative musings and drawn out the ending to something else, to something more; something that sounds more illuminated. With this in mind (and what was written before about how the band have presented the songs as they are) this album beats out on being another generic post-punk revival album; offering a neat conceptual reward for the listener by showcasing lighter songs on the end of the album. All in all the production and mixing are good and the performances are brilliant, but the real crux of the pleasures of this album are held within the band’s song writing ability, which at times sounds as though it is throwing a swift middle finger up to all the clichéd alternative bands out there. Where others would try too hard, they have not… And this shows itself simply and neatly through performance, concept and sound.

Tender Madness is available to buy/download right now from jennybesetzt.bandcamp.com

4.5/5

LINKS:

jennybesetzt.bandcamp.com

www.jennybesetzt.com

jennybesetzt.tumblr.com

facebook.com/jennybesetzt

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 | Stupid Cosmonaut - Astral Transmissions

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ARTIST: Stupid Cosmonaut

RELEASE: Astral Transmissions

RELEASE DATE: 30 September 2016

RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned

Hot on the heels of May's staggering debut release, the blistering 'Abstract Concepts' by UK based experimental psych outfit 'Stupid Cosmonaut', comes another impressive trip into the sonic unknown. 'Astral Transmissions' is a dark thrill ride into the sonic subconscious of a band who have no off switch when it comes to experimenting with frequency bending and sound manipulation to collectively create astonishing soundscapes that will both test your psyche and immerse you head long into a sonic world where you will experience something very few artists in this genre can do. The band are made up of Sam Read, Steven McNamara, Andy Hunt and Matthew Hattersley who collectively experiment with electronic, ambient and psychedelic sounds to stunning effect. 'Astral Transmissions' is available to buy/download digitally right now from stupidcosmonaut.bandcamp.com with pre-orders available for the limited edition cassette version, penned in for release on the 30th September available too.

With an air of trepidation we push off into the unknown and float on a dark sea of swirling fuzzy drones and sequenced electronics coupled with hazy sampled vocalisations & pulsing tones as 'AT1: Fermium' builds momentum and unleashes a monolithic assault on the senses. It builds in intensity as layer after layer of repetitious instrumentation is added to the sonic whirlwind, each corner turned on this massive track introducing the listener to some new glitch, whirr or bleep, and all the while accompanied by that immense vocal sample that seems to hang in sonic suspension just out of earshot. 'AT1: Fermium' is ten minutes plus of musical schooling by one of the most interesting bands on the underground scene today. Up next, 'AT2: Ununtrium' drags itself into the open with a whirling drone and another vocal sample, barely audible under the pulsating drone and its accompanying fuzz. Without doing very much 'Stupid Cosmonaut' instrumentally instil intensity into the piece before unleashing a screaming sonic blast reminiscent to the soundtracks of some of the best science fiction movies of my youth. 'AT2: Ununtrium' is deeply cinematic and incredibly experimental as it deftly brings its listeners on a mind expanding sonic exercise.

'AT3: Hassium' is a testing beast. Coming in at sixteen minutes plus, this is possibly my favourite track on the entire release. It pulses and ripples astonishing sounds into the reverberating ether as it builds in intensity and drags you with it on a fast paced cloud of analogue instrumentation, sparse percussion and experimental abandonment. A triumph of monumental proportions and a recommendation from me. You simply must listen to this track via headphones to experience the whole sonic spectrum for yourselves. The albums penultimate track 'AT4: Curium' conjures up images of the magnificent space race between the US and USSR. The sampled countdown runs cautiously as the track builds and those impressive synth swells force magnificent atmosphere into the piece before we're once again treated to a beautifully constructed slice of ambient psychedelia. The shortest track on the album coming in at four minutes plus, 'AT4: Curium' is a welcome reprise with its serine instrumentation, whirring bleeps and calming atmospheric effects.

The albums closing piece, the brilliantly atmospheric 'AT5: Dubnium', crawls into earshot on a droning dub synth line thats drenched in glorious reverb. Sampled vocalisations again accompany the piece and cascading piano lines add to the intensity before the sequenced percussion enters the fray (which I have to say 've missed immensely on the previous tracks) and the pace quickens. 'Stupid Cosmonaut' unleash their psych/dub leanings as swirling drones & break beat percussion take over and gently massage the senses before we're lured into a false disease of serine security. 'AT5: Dubnium' has a wonderful sting in its tail as the instrumentation merges into one big swirling sonic maelstrom, leading us into its tremulous finale. A wonderful ending to a magnificent album.

4/5

LINKS:

stupidcosmonaut.bandcamp.com

facebook.com/stupidcosmonaut/

twitter.com/stupidcosmonaut

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 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 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 | E Gone - Advice To Hill Walkers

egone-afhw-cover_72ARTIST: E Gone

RELEASE: Advice To Hill Walkers

RELEASE DATE: September 30th 2016

RECORD COMPANY: Sunrise Ocean Bender/Deep Water Acres

'Advice to Hill Walkers' is the second immense full-length album by Swedish based experimental psych aficionado 'E Gone' aka Daniel Westerlund. 'E Gone' melds together various musical stylings including electronica, psych, post rock, oriental, dub, raga, ambient and folk to create a stunning cacophony of mesmerising soundscapes. 'Advice To Hill Walkers' appeared briefly on cassette back in 2015 via the brilliant Zeon Lights label but its instrumental soundscapes sent ripples throughout the sonic ether, instantly captivating & permeating deeply into the psyche of the few listeners who had the pleasure of hearing it. Now the album gets a fitting rebirth and an expanded CD reissue on September 30th via the brilliant Virginia based 'Sunrise Ocean Bender' & 'Deep Water Acres' respectively.

The albums opening track, ’Mark The Spot Where You Leave The Injured’ fizzes into existence on a giddying droning swirl and a captivating intricate chord progression. A sparse percussive whirl adds atmosphere as the track builds into a menacing droning monolith, weaving stunning hallucinogenic visions draped in swathes of beautifully golden resonating frequencies. The eastern flavoured ‘Your Goal Is To Know Everything And Say Nothing’ arrives and instantly tickles the senses as its hypnotic instrumentation snakes and whirls through the sonic ether with relative ease, all the while captivating this listener with its tempestuous musical peaks and troughs. Up next, ‘Follow Moonmilk Rivers’ explodes into ear shot on a wave of glorious instrumentation, filling the mind with wondrous throbbing bass frequencies, tribal percussive attacks, swirling sitar progressions and entrancing musical patterns that collectively hypnotise as they pulse a chittering cloud of reverberation out into the burgeoning sound sphere. ‘Follow Moonmilk Rivers’ is a beautifully constructed piece of music that completely mesmerises as it meanders through its pre-designated course with stunning aplomb.

Menacing synth swells coupled with a hypnotic guitar line announces the arrival of ‘Build Your Camp Out Of Alpine Moss’. A thunderous drum pattern & a dark organ progression enters the fray as the atmosphere swirls and steadily builds, adding an air of film soundtrack experimentation to proceedings. This for me, is spaghetti western style experimental psychedelia, brilliantly thought out and expertly constructed for our modern age, presented to us to digest and try to make sense of. In lay-mans terms: This is music!

Up next, ‘Dwell In Tents By Day, Hike At Random By Night’ offers up an off kilter guitar progression coupled with sequenced bleeps and a cacophony of cascading musical tones. There’s a subtle psych/dub/raga feel to this track that will have you hooked so fast that you will eventually totally succumb to its addictive swagger and find yourself swaying to its immensely hypnotic metronomic swing. The album swerves into a more polished dub/electronica feel as ‘Fast Before Stalker Season’ cranks up and shutters into existence on a bedrock of sequenced percussive hits and programmed synth lines before ‘You Don’t Know It Yet But We Are Losing You’ rustles up more esoteric flair and injects some brilliant eastern edged vibes into proceedings.

The sampled pitter patter of falling rain and a rumbling of thunder graces the ears before ‘Find New Methods For Compass Use’ introduces a swirling ambient drone that completely cuts through the soundscape, gathering momentum as it builds in intensity, all the while helping to focus the mind and calm the senses. Menacing percussive swells and shaking tambourines usher in ‘Bring Ice Axe And Rope’ before dark & oppressive synth swells bubble up from the outer reaches, purposefully deployed to scare and enthral all at once. The track shuffles and dances, loops and arcs through layers of immense instrumentation that includes banjo, guitars, synths and sequenced progressions of varying degrees that build and swirl to stunning effect making ‘Bring Ice Axe And Rope’ my favourite track on this entire release. Swirling banjo progressions coupled with glorious sitar and hauntingly good synth lines brings the albums lead single, the brilliantly named  ‘Record The Humming Of Melodious Caves’ into earshot before skittish ‘tabla’ hits and the rumbling ‘dugga’ bass drum noises swirl into action. This is another addictive piece of music guaranteed to have you swaying with its snaking & motorik percussive movements.

The albums penultimate track entitled ‘Continue Ascent While Blindfolded’ reverberates on a jangling guitar strum before organ stabs, light clavichord progressions underscored with sampled whirls & bleeps reminiscent to that of a dastardly ‘horror film’ merry-go-round scarily crawls into play! My recommendation is to listen to this track via headphones to experience what I mean ..... thoroughly dark & enjoyable! The albums closing piece is a ten minute plus thrill ride through electronica, oriental, folk, ambient, tribal and eastern musical themes that swirl and pulse swathes of beautifully hypnotic frequencies into the sonic atmosphere. ‘Reach The Summit, Egg’ is a mesmerising finale to another wonderful collection of tracks created from the mind of Daniel Westerlund, a man who has mastered a plethora of musical stylings to produce something not only quite eclectic & different but immensely compelling too. Bravo!

4/5

'Advice To Hill Walkers' gets its full release on September 30th and is available to pre-order right now via Sunrise Ocean Bender & Deep Water Acres.

LINKS:

sunriseoceanbender.bigcartel.com/product/e-gone-advice-to-hill-walkers

sunriseoceanbender.bandcamp.com

facebook.com/eegonee/

twitter.com/EGONEHQ

dwacres.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 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 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 | Children of Leir - Children Of Leir (3rd Album)

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ARTIST: Children Of Leir

RELEASE: Children of Leir (3rd Album)

RELEASE DATE: 5th September 2016

RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned

Following on from their impressive single release entitled 'Shades' back in July, Hamburg/London based experimental psych/drone aficionados 'Children of Leir' have self-released their magnificent third album to the masses. The bands sound melds together repetitious motorik percussive patterns with swirling synth drones, snaking hypnotic guitar progressions and intense vocal lines to collectively create a musical melting pot of acid drenched sonic reverberations that will enthral both new and old listeners alike. The 'Children Of Leir (3rd Album)' is available to buy/download on various formats right now from childrenofleir.bandcamp.com

On a cacophony of synth drones and a thunderous percussive assault the albums opener 'Bad Little Woman' erupts into ear shot dragging with it a growling meandering guitar line steeped in swathes of glorious reverberation. The track shifts gears as the metronomic drum pattern takes off at marching pace, all the while haunted by swirling synth swells and the ever present lead guitar line. Vocally sublime and utterly addictive 'Bad Little Woman' is a stunning opening salvo! Track two begins with a menacing synth drone thats pierced with beautiful frequency laden melody. 'Questions' builds momentum as it ploughs a sonic furrow through proceedings, opening the door for a repetitive drum beat coupled with layers of  reverb laden guitars. The vocals are melodious & hauntingly fuzzy, but broken intermittently at times by the snaking lead guitar line that seems to circumnavigate the entire track, pulling the remaining instrumentation with it as if some unseen sonic gravitational pull is at play. 'Questions' is nine minutes plus of magnificent psychedelic experimentation and is probably my favourite track on the entire release. You really need to listen to it via headphones to experience its sonic intensity in glorious technicolour.

Tremulous guitars announce the arrival of track three, the overtly 60's sounding 'Hate'. This is two minutes plus of charging experimental 60's psych pop thats full of swirling organ swells and hypnotically charged vocal lines purposefully arranged to attack the senses and wash a glorious golden tinge onto its listeners. The albums lead single arrives next on a wave of fuzzy frequencies. 'Shades' is a dark fuzzy ball of glistening sonic energy that drones as it skips along its designated path, deliciously perched upon a skittish bed of motorik-driven percussive patterns. The swirling mass of reverberating noise carefully circumnavigates that addictive duel vocal attack as those organ crescendo's tease and the hypnotically charged instrumentation instils both giddying excitement & atmospheric trepidation all at once.

The albums penultimate track entitled 'Young Man' shakes into existence on a meandering drone and an addictive vocal line. Reminiscent at times to seminal UK experimental psychonauts 'Spacemen 3', 'Young Man' purrs like a well serviced engine as you become transfixed on its sparse percussive tempo, swirling psychedelic synth swells and atmospheric guitars that add weight to the over all hypnotic swing that the track produces. A thoroughly enjoyable and deliciously addictive soundscape from start to finish. The albums closing piece entitled 'Sirene' is a triumphant maelstrom of sonic noise with its driving repetitive motorik percussive patterns, layered guitars, soaring drones and reverb laden sequenced synth progressions. The vocals sit atop a chariot of beautiful noise like some sonic god wading into an epic battle where musical frequencies bend and shape themselves at will allowing it to cut a sonic furrow through the entire track. This is a masterpiece. In my opinion 'Sirene' should be the next single as it can hold its own with some of the best experimental psych tracks currently gracing the underground scene today.

A monumental return to form! Recommended.

4/5

LINKS:

facebook.com/childrenofleir/

childrenofleir.bandcamp.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 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 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.