EP REVIEW - Wozniak - The Space Between The Trees - Featured Image - (700x700)

EP REVIEW | Wozniak - The Space Between The Trees

ALBUM REVIEW - Wozniak - The Space Between The Trees - Post Image - (300x300)ARTIST: Wozniak

RELEASE: The Space Between The Trees

RELEASE DATE: February 9th 2019

RECORD COMPANY: Morningside Young Team Records 

For those of you new to this blog, Edinburg-based 'Wozniak' have been thrilling us with their musical incantations since way back in 2013, subtly changing and morphing their collective sound with each individual release and building something that is much more akin to an experimental sonic journey than it is to a definite generic specification. This latest collection of six tracks brilliantly named 'The Space Between The Trees' is the culmination of six years hard graft, moulding and sculpting a sound that differs from most bands around them. They experiment, forge their own path, create blueprints for future bands to explore and are not afraid to mess with song atmospherics or light & shade sonics. The band are made up of Simon Cuthbert-Kerr - guitar, Sarah Cuthbert-Kerr - guitar/vocals, John Sinclair - drums & Kevin Fraser - bass. 'The Space Between The Trees' gets it's official release through 'Morningside Young Team Records' on February 9th 2019, was mastered by Simon Scott of Slowdive fame and is available to pre-order right now on various formats including lovely vinyl via wozniak.bandcamp.com

The EP opens up with 'Slacker'. Droning instrumentation swirls around the twinkle of guitar as that slow moving percussion rattles into audible range pulling the slow hum of the bass notes with it. Haunting vocalisations glide into view on waves of reverb, hanging in a kind of suspended animation as the track slowly builds, adding layer after layer of shimmering production before falling headlong into a deep pool of fuzzy reverberation and on into that meandering line of atmospheric lead guitar. With sizzling shoegaze highlights and oodles of post-rock charm, 'Slacker' is absolutely sublime. 'Karate Kid' begins with a rumbling growl as the guitars grind through a distorted, noise rock inspired chord structure. A brilliant cascading bass line arrives, skipping through notes with ease and adding a solid spine to proceedings as a steady drum pattern welcomes snaking lead lines that plough into that huge wall of immovable reverb. There are atmospheric post-rock vibrations here too, melding perfectly with those 'in your face' noise rock connotations that are aptly tipped with some psychedelic flair. What is glaringly noticeable already as we skip through this opening tracks is the input of Kevin Fraser on bass duties. Gone are those huge slabs of bass frequencies (as heard on previous releases) in favour of more melodic bass lines that seem suit the bands overall sound, melding brilliantly with the surrounding instrumentation.

'Bone Caves' floats into the sonic arena on a sparse but brilliant drum track, spacious guitars and the soft hum of bass. Soaring lead lines echo and dance here, drenching the entire track with instant melody as it pulses through clouds of iridescent reverberation. With swirling psych, hazy shoegaze and melancholic post-rock streaming through it's opening passages, 'Bone Caves' subtly changes half way through, morphing into this enormous sonic behemoth. Huge cliffs of atmosphere add weight as the track swoops skywards, tumbling and spiralling through catchy chord structures before gliding out into the sonic ether. 'Bone Caves' is sublime and a definite album highlight for me. The albums lead track, 'Twin Sirens', arrives with a menacing edge. Catchy lines of guitar bellow on top of swirling instrumental drones as woozy lines of bass tip toe in between the lines and we glide on swirling waves of reverb. Breathtaking and melodic all at once, this track scoops the listener up with it as it moves, building meticulously into a raging cyclone of beautiful noise before carefully tumbling earthwards into a majestic finale.

The EP's penultimate piece is another doozie. 'Rilke' explodes into the sonic arena on a wave of noisy guitar. Layers of reverb cushion those huge production theatrics as animalistic guitar sounds are unceremoniously bent and sculpted into something left over from MBV's 'Loveless' album. Menacing in it's approach, it's an interesting pause before we're introduced to the EP's final track 'Deceiver'. Coming in at almost fourteen minutes, 'Deceiver' begins with a squally guitar structure and the odd pull of bass frequencies before those woozy lead lines arrive trapped in a bubble of reverb. Again, Wozniak build this track brilliantly, adding intense atmosphere and catchy bass thrills before the drums arrive and we push off away from the dock and head out into a magnificent sea of reverb. Sarah's fragile vocals ride the sonic wave as that brilliant line of bass throbs underneath and those swirls of guitar take your breath away. Instrumentally this track is brilliant, manoeuvring through the darker moments with ease and sounding more like a live recording than anything else. Throughout their back catalogue Wozniak have had this great knack of adding an expectant edge to their collective sound and this track does not disappoint. It explodes into a baying wall sonic energy as the band work through the gears, unleashing wave after wave of turbulent noise onto the waiting listener before the arrival of those haunting vocalisations calm proceedings down and we're led into the tracks finale. It's a wonderful ending to what is another huge step in the development of a band on a continuous upwards spiral.

While some 'music commentators' affiliate Wozniak as being on the forefront of an apparent 'Second Wave' of shoegaze, those who have been actively supporting the band from its earliest beginnings understand that it's two main protagonists - Simon & Sarah Cuthbert-Kerr love to explore the spaces between musical generics & modern sonic lines. They collectively exasperate the layered atmospherics around them, slipping in-between different genres to subtly morph and shape their individual parts into something abhorrently better. Shoegaze as a genre has significantly moved on from that god awful 'Second Wave' terminology and is now in a kind of continuous experimental flux. It pulls a veritable melting pot of other musical genres into its collective consciousness such as modern psych, electronica, noise-rock, post-rock, post-punk, indie-pop, dream-pop & other more alternative leaning sounds. As a consequence of this experimental flux, it is forever changing it's sonic make up and is experiencing a longevity that some music types thought would never happen. So for us to just lump Wozniak into that 'second wave of shoegaze' bracket is simply lazy reviewing as they're much, much more attuned to their sonic surroundings than that.

5/5

LINKS:

wozniak.bandcamp.com

twitter.com/band_wozniak

facebook.com/wozniakofficial

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Del Chaney - (Author Photo)

Del Chaney has spent the last six years dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the unsigned or small independent label based shoegaze, ethereal dream pop, postpunk & modern psych rock from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog - The Primal Music Blog. He is also a contributing writer for The Sound Of Confusion (Now On Hiatus). His other arm  - Primal Radio -  has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has helped him in actively promoting genres 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.


EP REVIEW - Hanford Reach - Nathalie - Featured Image - (700x700)

EP REVIEW | Hanford Reach - Nathalie

ARTIST: Hanford Reach

RELEASE: Nathalie EP

RELEASE DATE: 25th January 2019

RECORD COMPANY: Medium Lavender Music 

Brooklyn-based 'Hanford Reach' first tweaked our radar back in 2017 just before the release of their debut four track EP 'Canyons'. Since then the recording duo, consisting of Chris Sherman & Leah Cinnamon, have released a splattering of singles leading up to this brand new four track release entitled 'Nathalie'. Spanning a multitude of sonic disciplines, 'Hanford Reach' create solid, melody filled standards stuffed to the brim with ear catching chord structures and clever instrumentation. 'Nathalie' was officially released on the 25th January 2019 via the bands own record label 'Medium Lavender Music' and is available to buy/download right now from hanfordreach.bandcamp.com

The EP open up with 'Ontario'; driving guitars ride a ridiculously live sounding drum pattern before collectively imploding into a swirling cacophony of golden tinged synth and the luscious pull of cleverly created bass frequencies. Steeped in punchy and  woozy psych-pop, the vocal lines courtesy of Chris Sherman, cut through the instrumentation brilliantly, instilling melody and an overall freshness to a sound that we've come to know from the bands previous releases. Up next, 'Microfiche' arrives swaying to a slow moving percussive swagger and trapped in a dense cloud of jangling guitars. Featuring Dan Kendall on synths and effects, the track glides gracefully on that cascading baseline before falling into precise reverb filled instrumental pauses with ease and capturing another impressive vocal performance wonderfully.

'Asunder', the EP's lead track, resonates into audible range on splurge of guitar trickery and jazzy drum pattern before woozy bass notes and swells of synth arrive to back up that fragile vocal line. Building majestically, it charges into a fantastic chorus change, led in part by a blistering lead guitar line and explosive drum rolls. Melodic in intensity and brilliantly executed, 'Asunder' is a definite EP highlight for me. 'Nathalie' closes out with 'Morning Phantoms', a busy psychedelically leaning sonic behemoth that loops and arcs through layers of glistening reverb and those jangling lines of guitar. Irresistibly catchy, the bass line meanders and snakes just below the mix, intertwining with those huge drum fills and the addictive swell of woozy synth while the vocal lines ride the infectious sonic melee below. It's a great ending to another impressive Handford Reach release.

4/5

LINKS:

soundcloud.com/hanfordreach

hanfordreach.bandcamp.com

facebook.com/HanfordReach

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Del Chaney - (Author Photo)

Del Chaney has spent the last six years dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the unsigned or small independent label based shoegaze, ethereal dream-pop, postpunk & modern psych rock from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog - The Primal Music Blog. He is also a contributing writer for The Sound Of Confusion (Now On Hiatus). His other arm  - Primal Radio -  has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has helped him in actively promoting genres 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.


EP REVIEW | Sooner - Stranger

EP REVIEW - Sooner - Stranger EP - Post Image - (300x300)ARTIST: Sooner

RELEASE: Stranger EP

RELEASE DATE: 7th December 2018

RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned

Brooklyn-based dream-gazers 'Sooner' released their latest six track EP entitled 'Stranger' back on December 7th 2018 but due to our extended Christmas break we're only getting to it now. 'Stranger' represents a sea change in the bands collective sound as they've forgone with depending on their alternative rock leanings to concentrate more on those dreamily intricate pop sensibilities that littered their debut self-titled release back in 2017. Yes, their soundscapes are still steeped in shoegaze, but 'Sooner' are deploying the more dreamier almost ethereal side of their sound to good effect on this latest release. The band are made up of Federica Tassano - vocals, John Farris - guitar, Tom Wolfson - drums, & Ehren Brenner - bass. 'Stranger' was officially released back on December 7th 2018 and is available to buy/download right now via soonermusic.bandcamp.com

'Stranger' opens up rumbling on a rolling drum pattern and the soft twang of guitar as 'Humid Air' unfurls it's blissful sonic tones. With a jolt of immediate melody the track stirs, percussive patterns change and that woozy instrumentation cushions a beautiful line of vocal that leads us by there hand in to a magnificent chorus change. Catchy lines of guitar intertwine with the hum of cascading bass as Sooner's dream-pop influences come to the fore showcasing a strong start to this EP. 'Notes From The Underground' begins in a flurry of golden tinged frequencies as jangling guitars and a busy bass signature rattle on top of that steadying drum pattern. A song of two halves, 'From The Underground' melds the soft hushed tones of modern dream-pop with the hazy reverberating whoosh of shoegaze. My favourite track on the entire release, it is filled with intricate lines of instrumentation that wrap themselves around Frederica's vocal line brilliantly.

'Mean' slows things down a tad. Beautifully entrancing and deeply melodic, it's standout moments are full of vocal flair and that woozily addictive guitar that seems to envelope everything as the almost metronomic stomp of drums keeps a steady tempo. Up next, 'Breathing' glides into the ether on a bedrock of jangling guitars, break-beat styled drum patterns and the throb of that hovering bass line. Vocally brilliant again, it's lead guitar uses that space between breaths to full advantage here and also the use of instrumental pauses needs to be applauded as they work really well. There's a refreshing almost atmospheric post-punk edge to 'Lily (Regrets)' that catches the ear as it begins with a melodic guitar line punctuated by heavier stabs of instrumentation. Slow moving at first, it builds into this driving monolith, switching into a woozy freak-out mode driven by that charging bass line and thunderous percussion before falling back into those melodic lines of guitar and on into the tracks finale. The 'Stranger' EP closes out with 'Right There'. One minute plus of layered instrumentation drenched in swirling reverberation with a vocal line sunk into the cyclonic sonic melee. All in all a fantastic ending to a wonderful EP.

4/5

LINKS:

soonermusic.bandcamp.com

facebook.com/Soonersounds

instagram.com/sooner_band/

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Del Chaney - (Author Photo)

Del Chaney has spent the last six years dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the unsigned or small independent label based shoegaze, ethereal dream pop, postpunk & modern psych rock from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog - The Primal Music Blog. He is also a contributing writer for The Sound Of Confusion (Now On Hiatus). His other arm  - Primal Radio -  has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has helped him in actively promoting genres 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.


EP REVIEW - Helicon - Zero Fucks - Featured Image - (700x700)

EP REVIEW | Helicon - Zero Fucks

ARTIST: Helicon

RELEASE:  Zero Fucks

RELEASE DATE: 11th January 2019

RECORD COMPANY: Fuzz Club Records

It's been just over a year since Glasgow's 'Helicon' unleashed their well overdue self-titled debut album, blowing the lid off the UK psych scene in the process and showing the worldwide psych audience just what they were truly capable of. Their hard hitting approach to bending and shaping sonic frequencies into high energy tripped out, wall to wall psychedelia cannot be taken lightly, making them one of the best modern psych bands plying their trade on the scene today. Now the band have returned with a three track EP entitled 'Zero Fucks'. Recorded live, mixed and produced in one day at Glasgow's Green Door Studio, the EP comprises of three immense instrumental soundscapes that skip through boundless kosmische, four to the floor fuzzed out rock n' roll and woozy washed out psychedelia. 'Zero Fucks' get's it's full release via Fuzz Club Records on the 11th January 2019 and is available to pre-order on various formats from both fuzzclub.comfuzzclub.bandcamp.com respectively.

The EP opens up with with 'Phil Mitchell'd', a blistering slice of brooding, motorik kosmische. Angry bass frequencies ride punishing instrumental drones as bounding percussion arrives and we launch skywards out into the sonic ether. Swells of mesmerising synth arrive permeating huge walls of stunning reverberation as a driving bass line meanders and snakes just below the mix. This is absolutely sublime,  a non stop sonic thrill ride that loops & arcs through a kaleidoscope of lysergic tinged psychedelia whilst up next, 'Come On Get Off' begins in a haze of turbulent instrumental drones before the arrival of an angry and repetitive line of guitar, the subtle pull of bass and the slow moving thud of drums solidifies the entire mix. Swells of electronic wizardry, synth and catchy instrumental breaks arrive to add intense atmosphere and we navigate the sonic melee accompanied by the cushioning of reverend those addictive lines of sitar.

The EP closes out with 'I Hate Everyone But I Quite Like You', it's lead track and my favourite cut on the entire release. A track of two halves, it begins on a droning whim, hovering on a bedrock of slow moving percussion and the quietened hum of jangling guitars before quickening in pace, swaying on subtle bass notes and manageable feedback laden frequencies. There are faster moments here too that creep up and take advantage of the peaceful air before we tumble into a droning instrumental break and find ourselves rolling into the second half of the track where we're gliding inside a far-out acid drenched sonic trip. The track is an absolute sonic triumph closing out what is another impressive Helicon release.

4/5

LINKS:

fuzzclub.bandcamp.com

fuzzclub.com

heliconglasgow.bandcamp.com

facebook.com/HeliconGlasgow

twitter.com/HeliconGlasgow

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Del Chaney - (Author Photo)

Del Chaney has spent the last six years dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the unsigned or small independent label based shoegaze, ethereal dream-pop, post-punk & modern psych-rock from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog - The Primal Music Blog. He is also a contributing writer for The Sound Of Confusion (Now On Hiatus). His other arm  - Primal Radio -  has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has helped him in actively promoting genres 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.


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

EP REVIEW | Martes Niebla - Martes Niebla

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

RELEASE: Martes Niebla

RELEASE DATE: April 4th 2018

RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned

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

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

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

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

5/5

LINKS:

martesniebla.bandcamp.com

facebook.com/martesniebla

instagram.com/martesniebla/

twitter.com/martesniebla

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Cam Phillips - Contributing Writer

Cam Phillips is a writer and above all, a music lover, who seeks to gain experience through writing and listening. He is also an avid film viewer and art and literature junkie who enjoys creative writing. His most recent published work was featured on Baeble Music and Culture (USA), Sounds and Colours Magazine (Latin America, London), Easterndaze (Latvia) and the Australian-based heavy music blog, I Probably Hate Your Band.


ALBUM REVIEW - Trillion - Maybe Someday Soon - Featured Image - (700x700)

EP REVEW | Trillion - Maybe Sometime Soon

ARTIST: Trillion

RELEASE: Maybe Sometime Soon

RELEASE DATE: 9th August 2018

RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned

Sydney-based sonic aficionados 'Trillion' was originally formed by two best friends during the heady days of the first shoegaze genesis, before disbanding to focus on the trials and tribulations of everyday life. Now, after over a decade of hibernation their swirling brand of alternative led shoegaze with subtle dream-pop tendencies has become increasingly relevant, this time with an added injection of modern musical influences and far superior advancements in recording techniques. Their fantastic new seven track EP entitled 'Maybe Sometime Soon' was initially recorded as a duo although they have recently expanded to a five piece with an eye on live shows and more expansive recording. 'Maybe Sometime Soon' was officially self-released back on the 9th August 2018 and is available right now to buy/download via trillion1.bandcamp.com

The EP opens up trembling on woozy guitar progression drenched in sizzling reverb. 'Alone' dives headlong into a melodic sonic stew as fizzing layers of guitar ride steady lines of percussion and the deep boom of delicious bass frequencies hover alongside, delicately complimented by the cutting tone of the vocals. Intricate lines of lead guitar intertwine with catchy chord sequences allowing space for the reverb to breathe and lift the higher guitar tones out into the ether. Deeply melancholic, 'Alone' transports the listener back to those heady early 90's sounds as it floats effortlessly on the sonic ether. Up next, the bellowing collectiveness of heavy bass and charging guitars announces the arrival of 'Drive Away' and we're bowled over as that thunderous percussive attack leads the charge and we crash into a wall of tingling instrumental melody. There are hints of the melodic side of seminal shoegaze stalwarts Ride and sheer fuzzed out mayhem of Swervedriver coursing through the veins of this track that are very hard to shake. The arrival of the vocal, pulled back into the mix, adds intense depth and brilliant atmospherics as those swirling clouds of frequency laden reverb ebb and flow through passages of driving instrumentation and huge cavernous breaks. 'Drive Away' is absolutely brilliant and a definite highlight for me on this release.

'Maybe Sometime Soon' begins like a modern dream-pop track until it explodes into a riot of colour and fuzz. It's off tempo percussion is slightly disorientating at first and it takes a while to figure out just whats going on, but my god, when everything comes into focus instrumentally this track is powerful. The duel vocal works well here and I love how those those huge walls of fuzzed out guitars sit on top of the cascading bass line as meandering lead guitar sews everything together. Up next, 'So Serene' does exactly as it says on the tin. Ethereal instrumentation highlights the bands subtle dream-pop leanings as swirling layers of reverb bounce on top of that mesmerising bass line and the steady pitter patter of percussion carries a distinctly post-punk hued vocal line into a charging MBV styled break. Its another mesmerising highlight and a serious recommendation from me. 'Stars In The Sky' screams JAMC and those dizzying line of percussion are reminiscent of early creation era Primal Scream but it's the production on this track that catches the ear. Again the vocal lines seem to keep everything grounded here as just below the mix as the overruling influences of MBV are evident in those screaming lines of guitar.

'Hold On', the EP's penultimate piece, swirls into audible range trapped in a shimmering cloud of golden frequencies as the swoosh of tambourine and the jangle of guitar bubble on top of a cascading bass progression. The arrival of the percussion sets us off at marching speed as the vocals arrive, pushed back into the mix and we float into that soaring tambourine filled break. Catchy chord changes filled with fuzzier moments of sonic reflection shatter the quieter verse perspective as that ever present boom of bass caught up in those thunderous drum rolls continue to captivate this listener. The EP finally closes out with 'Desert Song' and we're swept up on lines of woozy guitars and slow moving drum patterns. Another brilliant bass progression bouncing just below the mix lifts everything up superbly as swirling waves of guitar and deep pools of diminished reverb drench the collective instrumentation. Subtle highlights of melodic guitar and undulating synth add to the overall atmospherics as we lurch through soaring shoegaze peaks and on into booming troughs of alternative led production. It's a fitting ending to a marvellously melancholic EP.

4/5

LINKS: 

trillion1.bandcamp.com

twitter.com/trillionshoega1

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Del Chaney - (Author Photo)

Del Chaney has spent the last five years dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the unsigned or small independent label based shoegaze, ethereal dream-pop, post-punk & modern psych rock from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog - The Primal Music Blog. He is also a contributing writer for The Sound Of Confusion (Now On Hiatus). His other arm  - Primal Radio -  has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has helped him in actively promoting genres 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.


EP REVIEW - Lo! Peninsula - AKA LO! Peninsula - Featured Image - (700x700)

EP REVIEW | Lo! Peninsula - AKA Lo! Peninsula

EP REVIEW - Lo! Peninsula - AKA Lo! Peninsula - Post Image - (300x300) ARTIST: Lo! Peninsula

RELEASE: AKA Lo! Peninsula

RELEASE DATE: 18th August 2018

RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned

Channelling upheavals or life changing experiences into musical soundscapes convincingly doesn't happen to very many artists. In fact, wearing your heart on your sleeve honestly whilst writing and recording a debut release without it all sounding very bloody boring is a difficult feat to accomplish. Now insert brilliant India-based psych-gaze trio 'Lo! Peninsula' into the narrative who explain brilliantly that this debut EP release "is a catharsis of the existential crisis that we have been facing since the band was formed", and you'll find something so self explanatory, so mesmerisingly good that you can hear every single hard yard that the band have had to travel through just to get to this finished point. Comprising of Nitin, Jyotin & Avinash, 'Lo! Peninsula' have this uncanny knack of producing awe inspiring soundscapes that skip brilliantly through swirling passages of shoegaze with an undercurrent of modern psychedelia and a splattering of soaring post-rock just for good measure. Their immense debut six track EP entitled 'AKA Lo! Peninsula' was released back on the 18th August 2018, is a serious recommendation from us lot here in Primal Music and is available to buy/download right now via lopeninsula.bandcamp.com

The EP begins caught up in a momentary sample, as we’re introduced to it’s opening salvo ‘Another Divine Joke’ and we dive headlong into it’s sparkling guitar progressions and the hypnotic pull of reverberating fuzz. A sharp percussive attack lurches forwards, dragging a driving bass signature with it as we sail magnificently through bellowing layers of production used primarily to carry that addictive vocal as it streams into audible range. Slight lines of backing vocal come and go as catchy chord progressions switch from heavier indentations into mellower passages of music with relative ease. There are classic shoegaze moments spread out along this tracks hardened spine, permeated at times by lysergic themes sharpened impressively with a modern psych twist. ‘Another Divine Joke’ is absolutely immense and a brilliant opening salvo indeed. Up next, ‘Sleight Of Hand’ flicks into motion strapped to a stunning fuzzed up bass line as a steady drum track announces glittering lead lines drenched in oodles of reverb. Distinctly sixties tinged vocalisations tipped with simmering vocal highlights swirl into view as as those lines of lead guitar whip and cajole the track to within an inch of it’s life! ‘Sleight Of Hand’ loops and arcs throughout, driving through walls of reverb as it drags the listener with it into another impressive finale.

‘Flashback Kid’ takes centre stage next, floating on instrumental drones and jangling guitars before the deep throb of bass cascades through slow moving percussion and brilliantly executed chord structures. This track is absolutely beautiful, has definite post-rock connotations and melds shoegaze with ambient swells of blissed out instrumentation very easily making it one of the standout tracks for me on this entire release. Up next, ‘Quicksand (Nuffin)’ fizzes into life swirling through chittering production theatrics before a repetitive instrumental progression riding a well executed drum pattern arrives pulling another impressive vocal performance with it out into the sonic ether. Catchy hook-laden progressions accompanying immense chord structures rise and fall with each line of vocal sending ripples of reverb out to crash into twinkling electronic samples. It’s another sonic triumph, showcasing what is a very impressive release. ‘Evil Flavours’, the EP’s penultimate piece, opens up with sampled rain drops before that addictive guitar progression catches hold and we float into melodic waves of slow moving percussion, pulling melody strewn lines of vocal with us as we dive into massive pools of reverb. This track builds ever so subtly introducing heavier moments filled with fuzzy guitar progressions at different stages topped off with twinkling lines of lead and mountains of melody. ‘AKA Lo! Peninsula’ closes out with ‘Final Roar’, and where normally I would be groaning about now due to the overuse of samples to begin tracks with I think the musicianship and song structuring on this EP far outweigh my grizzled rumblings. This closing track continues with the trend of instilling tons of melody into both the instrumentation and the vocalisations whilst giving careful consideration to production values/techniques to end proceedings on a high. If you have to buy one EP this week I recommend this one. It's absolutely sublime!

5/5

LINKS:

lopeninsula.bandcamp.com

facebook.com/lopeninsula/

instagram.com/lo_peninsula/

twitter.com/Lo_Peninsula

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Del Chaney - (Author Photo)

Del Chaney has spent the last five years dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the unsigned or small independent label based shoegaze, ethereal dream pop, postpunk & modern psych rock from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog - The Primal Music Blog. He is also a contributing writer for The Sound Of Confusion (Now On Hiatus). His other arm  - Primal Radio -  has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has helped him in actively promoting genres 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.


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

EP REVIEW | Tombstones In Their Eyes - Nothing Here

ARTIST: Tombstones In Their Eyes

RELEASE: Nothing Here

RELEASE DATE: 24th August 2018

RECORD COMPANY: Send Me Your Head Records

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

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

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

4/5

LINKS:

facebook.com/TombstonesInTheirEyes

tombstonesintheireyes.bandcamp.com

soundcloud.com/tombstonesintheireyes

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Cam Phillips - Contributing Writer

Cam Phillips is a writer and above all, a music lover, who seeks to gain experience through writing and listening. He is also an avid film viewer and art and literature junkie who enjoys creative writing. His most recent published work was featured on Baeble Music and Culture (USA), Sounds and Colours Magazine (Latin America, London), Easterndaze (Latvia) and the Australian-based heavy music blog, I Probably Hate Your Band.


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

EP REVIEW | Seasurfer - Vampires

ARTIST: Seasurfer

RELEASE: Vampires

RELEASE DATE: 4th August 2018

RECORD COMPANY: Saint Marie Records

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

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

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

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

4.5/5

LINKS:

saintmarierecords.bandcamp.com

facebook.com/seasurfer

twitter.com/seasurfermusic

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Cam Phillips - Contributing Writer

Cam Phillips is a writer and above all, a music lover, who seeks to gain experience through writing and listening. He is also an avid film viewer and art and literature junkie who enjoys creative writing. His most recent published work was featured on Baeble Music and Culture (USA), Sounds and Colours Magazine (Latin America, London), Easterndaze (Latvia) and the Australian-based heavy music blog, I Probably Hate Your Band.


EP REVIEW - Loom - Some Time - Featured Image - (700x700)

EP REVIEW | Loom - Some Time

EP REVIEW - Loom - some Time - Post Image - (300x300)ARTIST: Loom

RELEASE: Some Time

RELEASE DATE: 25th April 2018

RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned

Hailing from Dallas, Texas, melancholic shoegazers 'Loom' have taken a slow almost processional approach to writing and recording their debut five track EP entitled 'Some Time'. Taking a year and half to create something this interesting stands as a testament to their songwriting skills. Self recorded, engineered and produced 'Some Time' skips nonchalantly through melodic passages of hazy shoegaze, slowcore and noisy alt-rock, showcasing a sound that some might be familiar with whilst newer arrivals to the scene will find endearing. The band are made up of Casey Dorris - guitar, Greg Nunn - guitar, Skylar Schexnayder - vocals, Sam Beaty - drums & Hunter Davis - bass. 'Some Time' was officially released back on the 25th April 2018 and is available to buy/dowmload right now via loom1.bandcamp.com

Swirling clouds of fuzz permeated by twinkling lines of melodic guitar swings meticulously on top of slow moving percussion as ‘All I Ever Wanted’ enters into audible range. Hushed vocalisations dive into the melee of sound-waves bouncing alongside whooshing crash cymbals and the warbling hum of bass frequencies as we tumble brilliantly through layers of whirring reverberations. Up next, ‘Memories’ arrives on tingling layers of soaring guitars as the ping of sparse percussion keeps a rag-tag kind of tempo. Again we move slow here, dragging heady doses of fuzz into those haunting lines of vocal as the boom of heavier drum patterns keep a steady metronomic beat. There are sounds here reminiscent of underground acts like the UK-based ‘Dose’, Virginia-based ‘Keep’ or even those noisy Texans ‘Glare’. Impressive stuff and a definite highlight on this release.

‘Some Time’ rumbles into life rolling on a barrage of snare hits before diving headlong into deep resonating pools full of noise, fuzz and reverb. Jangling guitars accompany melancholic lines of vocal out into the abyss as we glide effortlessly through those hazy verse progressions before exploding into a chorus section packed with kaleidoscopic sound-waves. Ohh, and watch out for it’s intensely good swirling psychedelic finale. ‘Interlude’ does exactly as it says on the tin. Vocal samples cling to layers of reverb drenched guitars and meander brilliantly whilst the EP’s closing piece is probably the best track on the entire release. ‘Your Existence’ floats into the ether on waves of guitar, slow moving percussion humming bass frequencies and senses pummelling reverberation. It’s vocal track projects itself in as kind of off-kilter kind of way, hovering just below the mix but close enough to those impressive guitars so as to be noticed. Clocking in at over six minutes long, ‘Your Existence’ is definitely worth your time. All in all, as debut EP's go, ‘Some Time’ is a cracking little listen and it’ll be very interesting to hear what these guys do next.

4/5

LINKS:

loom1.bandcamp.com

instagram.com/loomtx/

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Del Chaney - (Author Photo)

Del Chaney has spent the last five years dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the unsigned or small independent label based shoegaze, ethereal dream pop, postpunk & modern psych rock from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog - The Primal Music Blog. He is also a contributing writer for The Sound Of Confusion (Now On Hiatus). His other arm  - Primal Radio -  has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has helped him in actively promoting genres 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.