EP REVIEW - Violent Dreams - Serotonin - featured Image - (700x700)

EP REVIEW | Violent Dreams - Serotonin

EP REVIEW - Violent Dreams - Serotonin - Post image - (300x300)ARTIST: Violent Dreams

RELEASE: Serotonin 

RELEASE DATE: 17th March 2019

RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned

Hailing from Liverpool/London, 'Violent Dreams' are a melancholic shoegaze/dream-pop duo who specialise in creating mesmeric sonic soundscapes whilst doffing a well worn cap to the originators of the respective genres. Think 'Cocteau Twins' forged with the instrumental prowess of 'Mazzy Star', a sprinkling of modern goth & noisy alt-rock and you'll stumble onto their collective sound. Consisting of Matt & Abby, 'Violent Dreams' unleashed their debut five track entitled 'Scared of the Dark' to the masses back in 2017 and have followed it up with this latest sophomore EP entitled 'Serotonin'. The five track EP was officially released back on March 17th 2019 and is available to buy/download right now via violentdreams.bandcamp.com

'Lost In You' jangles into the ether on a wave of luscious guitar and swells of synth before haunting vocalisations awash in reverb move atop of repetitive lines of percussion. Deeply melancholic and brilliantly executed, this track is filled with mesmerising chord changes and catchy hooks that ebb and flow through layers of shimmering reverberations as slow moving lines of bass cascade just beneath the mix. Brilliant lead lines haunt the entire track as we tumble through the ether completely enveloped in blissful noise. A fantastic opening salvo indeed. Up next, 'I'm Still Here' arrives with a sprinkle of tambourine, slow moving lines of guitar and booming lines of bass. Repetitive bass kicks add atmosphere as the vocals float on shimmering waves of reverb and those lead guitar highlights lead us into a magnificent chorus change. Explosive cymbal hits crash as drum rolls rumble and lead guitar soar skywards in a haze of glorious golden tinged reverb. 'I'm Still Here' is intensely atmospheric  and a definite standout track. 'Grace' swirls into the sonic arena on a menacing chug of guitar steeped in reverb pulling slow moving percussion and that irresistible vocal tone with it. Sullen verse parts work through the gears before we tumble into another huge chorus break filled with wide scoped reverbs and woozy chord changes. Drenched in melancholy, 'Grace' is infectious.

The EP's penultimate piece entitled 'The Terror' is instrumentally reminiscent of 'Treasure' era 'Cocteau Twins' with its impressive instrumentation and oodles of reverb all swirling around that massive vocal line. A brilliantly addictive percussive assault drives everything forwards as swirling synths, throbbing bass lines and excellent production lifts the entire track skywards allowing the vocal line to permeate absolutely everything. Quite possibly my favourite track on the entire release 'The Terror' holds it's head high. The EP closes out with 'Serotonin', magical acoustic vibes weave a golden web used primarily to capture that magnificent vocal line as those swirling organ swells, captivating synth and the slow moving thud of percussion keeps a deafening metronomic time. Beautiful and awe inspiring, 'Serotonin' is a fascinating ending to a wonderfully refreshing EP.

4/5

LINKS: 

violentdreams.bandcamp.com

facebook.com/ViolentDreamsBand/

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 - Japan Review - Juno - Featured Image - (700x700)

EP REVIEW | Japan Review - Juno

EP REVIEW - Japan Review - Juno - Post Image - (300x300)ARTIST: Japan Review

RELEASE: Juno

RELEASE DATE: 22nd March 2019

RECORD COMPANY: Reckless Yes

London-based 'Japan Review' have had a revolving door of personnel since its formation back in 2014 all milling around it's one solid sonic protagonist - Adam O'Sullivan. Steeped in hazy lo-fi sensibilities and permeated with experimental yet dreamy nugaze vibes, 'Japan Review' inject drone, analog synth and impressionistic twists into their collective modernistic sound. Their latest four track EP entitled 'Juno' was recorded last year and co-written with O'Sullivan's former Beach Volleyball bandmate Dom Ashton. It had it's official release on March 22nd 2019 via independent record label 'Reckless Yes' and is available to buy/download on various formats from both recklessyes.comjapanreview.bandcamp.com respectively.

The EP begins rolling through clouds of reverb as the pitter patter of sequenced percussion fizzes underfoot and the twang of guitar echoes through the sonic ether. 'Soviet Happy' builds into this booming monolith as it's melancholic vocals arrive, peppered with repetitive guitar, the hum of bass frequencies and flurries of synth. Both melodic and sullen in equal parts, this track explodes into a riot of colour as layers of driving reverb-laden guitar merge into one huge wall of fuzz, sucking in the vocal until barely recognisable and those soaring lines of synth point skywards leading us into it's grand finale. Up next, 'Say Hi To Juno' begins floating on a melodic keyboard line before being joined by droning guitars and a busy sequenced drum pattern. Huge in scope, it lays bare an almost cinematic approach with it's wide scoped reverbs and massive production values that allow those vocals to hover in a kind of suspended sonic animation whilst the instrumentation circumnavigates in a gentle kind of way. Beautifully transcendent, 'Say Hi To Juno' is my favourite track on the entire release.

'Sealand F.C' announces itself with blissful sample before sequenced synths and acoustic vibrations arrive, pulling vocals and slide guitar in to the mix drenched in oodles of reverb. Again, this track is heavily melodic and beautifully constructed, abundantly lo-fi and distilling a melancholic wave of reminisces that forces the listener to remember a lost love or times gone by. Listen out for that huge sounding finale and the brilliant use of percussion throughout. The EP closes out with 'Inertia', another brilliantly constructed track but leaning more into alternative led electronica than the previous soundscapes. Layered percussion bubbles beneath the throb of bass frequencies to collectively construct a solid bedrock of sounds as swirling guitar drones and subtle lines of analog synth envelope the vocal brilliantly. Unfortunately though, as I listen through this track, there are massive differences to the previous three and I can't help but hear Radiohead or even Thom Yorke's solo efforts coursing through its veins. All in all a very interesting release.

4/5

LINKS:

japanreview.bandcamp.com

twitter.com/japan_review

recklessyes.com

instagram.com/japanreviewmusic/

facebook.com/japanreviewmusic/

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 - Blume - Wash Away - Featured Image - (700x700)

EP REVIEW | Blume - Wash Away

EP REVIEW - Blume - Wash Away - Post Image - (300x300)ARTIST: Blume

RELEASE: Wash Away

RELEASE DATE: 19th February 2019

RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned

'Blume' aka Alberta native Arthur Bennell creates washed out shoegaze underscored with flurries of dream-laden reverberations, a hovering post-punk edge and a splashing of psychedelic abandonment. Bennell writes and records everything himself, underpinning that lo-fi 'do it yourself' work ethic that we all like here at Primal Music. Hazy vocalisations and jangling guitars meander through walls of reverb on his latest six track release entitled 'Wash Away', the follow up to the 2015 released self titled four track EP. 'Wash Away' had it's official release back on February 19th 2019 and is available to buy/download right now via blumeband.bandcamp.com

The fantastically brilliant 'That Day' kicks things off in grand style. Hazy reverberations swirl and glide as that repetitive guitar line ritualistically twists and turns on a metronomic pattern of percussion. Swells of synth and the hum of bouncing bass frequencies captivate here as lead lines intertwine with those dusky vocalisations. Brilliant in it's approach and eerily good, 'That Day' is a definite EP highlight. Up next, 'Feel Again' arrives tumbling in a wash of reverb as the soft tap of sequenced percussion and the swoon of woozy guitar washes over the listener. Hushed vocalisations cling just below the mix here, barely audible inside a wave of instrumental melody as we're edged slowly into that huge behemoth like instrumental break and on into the tracks finale. The EP's title track has post-rock connotations streaming through it's inner core. Repetitive lines of guitar hover and float on waves of beautiful reverberation as a busy line of percussion rattles below. Swirling lines of lead guitar soar, puncturing through the layers of reverb and injecting intense melody, atmosphere and a delicate hue into the track. Again, the vocal lines here are hushed but seem to fit this track more than the before as the rambling line of lead guitar streaks skywards.

'Error 404' drones into existence on a menacing line of guitar and sullen sweeps of atmosphere. It builds as it's industrial tinged percussion staggers into view, followed by another rambling lead guitar line and the swoosh of reverberation. Repetitive in nature, this instrumental has a distinct post-punk edge. The EP's penultimate piece glides into audible range with an instrumental sound reminiscent of 'The Cure' or mid 80's 'Cocteau Twins'. The meandering guitars and the pull of bass frequencies are instantly addictive as 'Always The Same' unveils a fantastic vocal take that seems to cling to the surrounding instrumental melody and meld with the wash of lead guitar. Wonderfully refreshing and executed brilliantly, 'Always The Same' is another highlight for me. The EP closes out with 'Can't Wait'. The pitter patter of percussion keeps a steady metronomic tempo as throbbing bass frequencies, undulating lines of lead guitar and oodles of reverb take centre stage. Impressive vocals ride the sonic wave as we're led into that hypnotic lead break before that noisy final third brings the curtain down on a very interesting release.

4/5

LINKS:

blumeband.bandcamp.com

facebook.com/Blume-581864445295476/

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 - 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.