ALBUM REVIEW - Fawns Of Love - Permanent - Featured Image - (700x700)

ALBUM REVIEW | Fawns Of Love - Permanent

ALBUM REVIEW - Fawns Of Love - Permanent - Post Image - (300x300)ARTIST: Fawns Of Love

RELEASE: Permanent

RELEASE DATE: January 18th 2019

RECORD COMPANY: Test pattern Records 

California-based husband and wife team of Jenny & Joseph Andreotti aka 'Fawns Of Love' have made huge strides in the development of their collective sound over the past eighteen months. Since the release of their debut album 'Who Cares About Tomorrow' back in 2017 they have matured their sonic techniques, concentrating on melody, intricate instrumentation and instilling a serene calmness into their overall sound that is both breathtaking & atmospheric all at once. Their addictive twist on the traditional ethereal dream-pop sound should be applauded for being both forward thinking and experimental in it's approach. Injecting raw slices of shoegaze, walls of shimmering reverb and moments of immersive post-punk into a distinctly 80's sounding sonic platform is a joy to hear. The band have returned with a blistering full length release entitled 'Permanent' through Sacramento-based 'Test Pattern Records'. It's penned in for official release on January 18th 2019, was mixed and mastered by Josiah Mazzaschi (whose credits include The Jesus & Mary Chain & Built to Spill) and is available to pre-order right now on various formats including lovely vinyl via fawnsoflove.bandcamp.com

The soft pulse of electronic percussion announces the arrival of ‘Someday’, the albums opening track and it’s not long before we’re scooped up and whisked off our feet, tumbling gracefully in a flurry of intricate guitar lines and clouds of hazy reverberation. Swells of synth bubble and sway from below the mix, merging with the orbiting instrumentation and adding serene atmospherics to proceedings as Jenny Andreotti's gentle vocal tones glide effortlessly on waves of shimmering electronics. ‘Someday’ is absolutely sublime, a wonderful opener and one of the many track highlights on this impressive album. Up next, ‘December’ dances into the ether trapped in a sequence of pounding drum hits, trembling lines of guitar and swells of beautifully entrancing synth. Ethereal vocal lines come into view, swimming in a sea of reverb that seems to catch her tone perfectly, gently melding it with those glistening swirls of reverb to collectively envelope the entire mix. Reminiscent at times to 80’s sounding New Order colliding with the ethereal qualities of the Cocteau Twins, ‘December’ is deliciously majestic.

‘Horoscope’ oozes a kind of sentimental coolness that is very hard to shake off. It sways into audible range on layers of synth and a totally addictive drum pattern. Rhythmic electronic incantations twitch and run alongside those rambling lines of guitar, carefully circumnavigating a pristine vocal take as we glide and move with every single note. Graceful in it’s attack and beautifully serene, ‘Horoscope’ is another little sonic gem. ‘Permanent’ arrives trapped in a cloud of intense melody as it’s swirling instrumental drones mix with huge swells of synth and the rush of reverb leaves you breathless. Guitar lines intertwine with the ricochet of percussion as the vocal cuts a deep furrow straight through the mix with relative ease whilst ‘Mournful Eyes’ sees the band continuing to experiment with their sonic craft, injecting sequenced electronics and repetitive percussive loops with melodic guitars, simmering swells of synth and swooning vocalisations to collectively create something altogether magical.

‘Divine’ echoes into existence on a wave of swirling instrumentation as ghostly vocalisations materialise out of those huge waves of reverberation. The pitter patter of electronic percussion holds a steady rhythmic pattern here as floating electronics and cascading bass frequencies dance and flow just below the mix and that constant pull of guitar is ever-present. Wonderfully  ethereal, ‘Divine’ is a sublime track and should of been a lead single. The albums penultimate piece entitled ‘Anarchy & Kisses’ unfurls it’s sonic tendrils and tumbles brilliantly into a cloud of hazy instrumentation as Fawns Of Love inject their now trademark sting of shimmering melody. Repetitive guitars arrive to pierce through the woozy layers of production as Jenny’s ethereal vocalisations float into view, now wrapped in a warm blanket of reverberation, and proceed to glide with grace on top of the swirling sonic melee. Another fantastic track, ‘Anarchy & Kisses’ is simply beautiful. The album closes out with ‘Wasted Days’, a blissful sonic charge of intense melody and instrumental perfection. Swirling guitars, beautifully streamlined vocals, hazy synths and a repetitive rattle of electronic percussion collectively bring this magnificent album to a shimmering close.

4/5

LINKS:

fawnsoflove.bandcamp.com

fawnsoflove.com

facebook.com/fawnsoflove

twitter.com/fawnsoflove

testpatternrecords.com

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.


ALBUM REVIEW - TAU - TAU & The Drones Of Praise - Featured Image - (700x700)

ALBUM REVIEW | TAU - TAU & The Drones Of Praise

ARTIST: TAU

RELEASE: TAU & The Drones Of Praise 

RELEASE DATE: 2nd February 2019

RECORD COMPANY: Drones Of Praise Records 

'TAU & The Drones Of Praise' is the highly anticipated sophomore release from Berlin-based neo-psych collective TAU. Filled with rhythmic tribal incantations, swirling shamanic mantras and lysergic tinged instrumentation 'TAU & The Drones Of Praise' dips it's impressive sonic tendrils into a fascinating variety of music genres from psych-folk to krautrock, modern day psychedelia to eastern tinged neo-psych, all with a deft nod to esoteric spiritualism & sonic experimentalism. Formed by Dubliner Shaun Mulrooney (Dead Skeletons/Camera) after an excursion through the deserts of the American Southwest, TAU unleashed their debut long player 'Tau Tau Tau Tau' back in September 2016 through the very veritable Fuzz Club Records to positive acclaim. The aforementioned debut release featured guest musicians such as Christoph 'Tiger' Bartlett (Kadavar), John Jeffery (Moon Duo) and Valo from the brilliant Soft Moon to name but a few. With this latest sophomore long player from the band getting it's full release on the 2nd February 2019 through Drones Of Praise Records & Sound Effects Records you can expect to hear a rolling menagerie of guest musicians such as Andy Aged (Celtic Harp) and Idris Ackamoor's cosmic saxophone interpretations. 'TAU & The Drones Of Praise' is available to pre-order right now via tauofficial.bandcamp.com

Frequency laden incantations swirl effortlessly around a spiralling rhythmic percussive assault as the opening salvos of ‘It’s Already Written’, the albums emphatic lead track. Featuring Idris Ackamoor (Pyramid) on saxophone & Andy Aged on Celtic Harp, it unfurls it’s sonic tendrils to carefully envelope this listeners entire cranium. A deft injection of pulsating drums arrive at speed to add serious weight to those metronomic percussions as TAU unleash a psychotropic avalanche of kraut tinged melodic sound-waves filled to the brim with lucid lines of guitar, instrumental drones, harp, haunting synths, impressive backing vocals and that magnificent meandering saxophone that seems to tie everything together brilliantly as we collectively glide through hallucinogenic clouds of reverb, desperately trying to catch up with the undulating vocal tones of head honcho Sean Mulrooney. This is absolutely superb and as opening tracks go ‘It’s Already Written’ is a monumental triumph and an album highlight for me. Up next, ‘Tonaith’ drones into existence trapped in a slow burning slice of experimental neo-psychadelia. Mulrooney’s opium hued spoken word clings to weaving lines of slow moving instrumentation that weaves and ebbs through masses of atmosphere, pulling twinkling percussion, flute and bone shaking guitar strums with it into the mix before collectively deploying them to blistering aplomb.

‘Craw’ whispers into existence hovering on waves of atmospheric synth as the gentle pull of melodically inclined acoustic guitar accompanies an almost psych-folk feel. The arrival of strings, sitar and the receptiveness of that meandering guitar move and dance as one before the vocals arrive and instantly inject an eastern esoteric air of brilliance. ‘Craw’ is deeply enchanting and another favourite track of mine. ‘New Medicine’ has a subtle west coast 60’s psych feel pouring from it’s impressive sonic pores whilst ‘Erasitexis’ dives headlong into the more modern sounding experimental psych-folk genre. An entrancing blend of mesmerising instrumentation accompanies hallucinogenic vocalisations layered with stunning lines of backing vocals that collectively lift this listener skywards and out into the infinite sonic ether. ‘The Sturgeon’ chugs into audible range on pulsating bass frequencies as the underlying rattle of instrumental spoons keep a steady metronomic tempo allowing those shamanic vocalisations to take hold and the lysergic injection of heavier guitars to shake the roof. Meandering lines of synth meld with experimental passages of instrumentation, whispering lines of vocal and catchy chord structures that at times swerve into prog rock territory before deftly skipping back out into experimental psych.

‘Dance The Traps’, the albums penultimate piece, drones and swirls into the ether carefully orbiting the poetic vocal tones of Sean Mulrooney. Subtle fret noises merges with hovering swells of feedback and the twinkling plink of piano as we incrementally rise with every single spoken word. Sporadic percussive hits meander just below the mix as the expectant plunge into the sonic abyss arrives. We dive headlong into a massive pool of angry atmospheric noise, filled with heavy bass tones and angry guitars as those heady vocalisations make the senses swim. ‘Dance The Traps’ is impressive and should be released as a single at some point. ‘TAU & The Drones Of Praise’ closes out with a beautiful track entitled 'The Seer'. Magical lines of guitar accompany a mesmerising vocal as subtle swells of synth bubble and move just below the mix, rattling atop of slow moving percussion to collectively inject some summer warmth into the opening months of 2019.

Is iontach. Go raibh math agat mo chara ...

5/5

LINKS:

tauofficial.bandcamp.com

facebook.com/tauberlin/

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 - 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.


ALBUM REVIEW - Rancho Relaxo - Soft Luxury - Featured Image - (700x700)

ALBUM REVIEW | Rancho Relaxo - Soft Luxury

ALBUM REVIEW - Rancho Relaxo - Soft Luxury - Post Image - (300x300)ARTIST: Rancho Relaxo

RELEASE: Soft Luxury

RELEASE DATE: December 8th 2018

RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned

Norwegian-based experimental neo-psych aficionados 'Rancho Relaxo' returned to the burgeoning underground psych scene back in December 2018 with their ninth studio release entitled 'Soft Luxury'. Formed back in 2003, 'Rancho Relaxo' are on the forefront of the experimental psych scene. Combining a plethora of genres from drone to space rock, shoegaze to neo-psychedelia, the band continue to create a totally absorbing and immersive sonic experience with each long player. 'Soft Luxury' was officially released back on the 8th December 2018 and is available to buy/download on various formats right now via ranchorelaxo.bandcamp.com

A swirling feedback driven instrumental drone ushers in the beginnings of ‘No Shadow No Soul’, the opening act on ‘Soft Luxury’. It builds brilliantly, meandering through a kaleidoscope of sonic colour and the pull of hazily melodic guitars. Slow moving percussion echoes and hovers alongside waves of woozy reverberation as the throb of bass frequencies bounce intermittently between those deeply hypnotic vocal lines. The track undulates through a menagerie of sound waves before closing out with an immense instrumental finale. Up next, ‘lgjen’ twinkles into audible range dancing on a glittering line of guitar as the drone of instrumentation ushers in a live sounding drum kit. Melodic vocals riding the the throb of cascading bass enter the fray, mingling brilliantly with the swirl of reverb and the afterglow of those fantastic organ notes. Explosive chorus changes catch the ear of this listener here and I also cant help but notice a subtle 60’s psych vibe resonating throughout the entire track. ‘igjen’ is absolutely immense and a definite album highlight for me.

‘You Know Her Name’ glides into the ether on shimmering swells of melodic synth . Sounding almost anthemic in stature, this track is huge in scope. The arrival of percussion and soaring lines of guitar help to collectively permeate those massive clouds of reverb thus adding intense atmosphere that completely envelopes that haunting line of otherworldly vocal. Coming in at almost nine minutes in length, ’You Know Her Name’ is a blissful slice of modern neo-psychedelia. Up next, ‘Love You Baby’ bounces into the sonic arena on the hum of bass frequencies as shakers and the drone of electronic sequencing beef up the sonic attack. Rancho Relaxo surf the outer edges of sonic experimentation here, adding swirling electronics into the mix to coalesce with those meandering lines of bass as the track builds into one swirling tempest of beautiful noise and those sporadic off beats catch the ear. The vocal line seems to skirt the sonic melee completely, floating independently from the main body of instrumentation, lightly tethered to it at different times by intimate strands of melodic reverb. It’s a fascinating track that stands head and shoulders above anything else on the album.

‘Mouth’ opens up with sampled vocalisations before the woozy swagger of organ and swells of reverberation take hold pulling percussion and catchy chord changes into the mix peppered with an intense kind of melody. Lines of vocal ride waves of sound, using the momentary pauses in instrumentation to good effect. Swirling lines of organ take centre stage here, injecting a brilliant swirl of atmosphere into the track as we head into it’s eastern tinged but lysergic fuelled finale. ‘Det Sku lkkje Skjedd’ begins brightly. Droning organ swells meld with catchy lines of guitar, humming bass and intense production atmospherics as we lift skywards on waves of effortless sonic melody, churning on hypnotic sound waves and eagerly awaiting the arrival of that immense vocal track. ‘Det Sku lkkje Skjedd’ is an intensely spiritual sonic ride, easily reminiscent of The Black Angels or even ‘West’ era Wooden Shjips and is another highlight on this release.

The albums penultimate track entitled ‘Oh Me’ is a woozy affair. Bluesy guitar structures rattle on top of slow moving percussion, cascading lines of bass and sporadic shimmers of tambourine. Catchy vocalisations merge with shimmering production values as we chug through verse patterns filled with rolling reverberation and clatter into guitar filled chorus parts filled with intertwining lead lines. There’s a hint of post punk here as the repetitive instrumentation takes hold but all in all it’s a solid track. The album closes out with one of it’s shining gems. ‘Out The Door’ begins on a warbling wave of repetitively melodic, reverb hued organ. Utterly addictive, this in turn pulls rattling percussion, shaking tambourine and the jangle of guitars into view used primarily as a conduit for those warm west coast sounding vocalisations. Intricate chord structures and those meandering lines of organ carry the weight here as Rancho Relaxo cast a solidifying sonic spell on this listener, instantly injecting a slice of warm summer sun into the opening salvos of 2019.

4/5

LINKS:

ranchorelaxo.bandcamp.com

facebook.com/ranchorelaxoband/

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.


ALBUM REVIEW - Nonn - XVII - Featured Image - (700x700)

ALBUM REVIEW | Nonn - XVII

ALBUM REVIEW - Nonn - XVII - Post Image - (300x300)ARTIST: Nonn

RELEASE: XVII

RELEASE DATE: 7th December 2018

RECORD COMPANY: Fuzz Club Records

It would be very easy for us to categorise 'NONN' as being purely post-punk. In fact, I've read some recently furnished reviews of their music where the reviewer has pigeon holed the band into the aforementioned genre without so much as a mention of the multifaceted affiliations that the band have to the more modern or generic sonic specifications. Their brooding electronic soundscapes do indeed tap into that late 80's post-punk gloom but they also pluck numerous influences from minimalistic electronica, EBM, darkwave, synth-punk and the alternative experimental side of the modern psych spectrum to mould and sculpt something altogether new sounding. When Stockholm's Christian Eldefors (The Orange Revival) released his debut solo album as 'NONN' back in May 2017 we instantly viewed his style of music as forward thinking psych-punk. Minimalistic, atmospheric and brooding with a simmering melodic undercurrent of modern electronics that wowed us from the off. Now he has returned with his sophomore release aptly titled 'XVII'. Joined by Hannes Nyling and Christian's brother Alexander, the project has a heavier feel this time around, leaning more into the electronic side of the venture, apparently a bi-product of touring and playing the debut album live all over Europe. The album gets it's full release on December 7th 2018 via those ever reliable folks over at Fuzz Club Records and is available to pre-order right now both digitally from fuzzclub.bandcamp.com or on lovely vinyl from fuzzclub.com

The album opens up with 'Pray', a dark, slow moving sonic behemoth that pulses on a wave of deep penetrating bass frequencies continuously circumnavigated by menacing lines of synth and and heady hypnotics. Its vocal lines glide and shimmer on top of that massive wave of fizzing electronics, collectively drenched in heavy reverberating atmospherics. Up next,  the albums lead track 'Clear' charges into the sonic arena steeped in typical post-punk flair. Repetitive sequenced percussion traverses a cascading bass line that plods along like some sequestered boot boy as those Cure-esque lines of guitar intertwine with subtle sweeps of synth to carefully envelope another impressive vocal take. Filled with deft nods of the proverbial cap to those early 80's post-punk pioneers and with a firm injection of modern charm, 'Clear' is an album highlight. 'Home' sticks to the well worked formula of the preceding track with its melodic guitars straddling a great vocal performance that collectively rattles atop of sequenced drums and those throbbing swells of bass whilst 'Believe' ushers in a menacing slab of electro-psych with its booming bass frequencies and the repetitive thud of a bass drum. Swirling electronics stick to the vocal line as the track builds brilliantly alongside the twang of guitar and swathes of reverberation. Fizzing lines of sync arrive to break the monotony as the sequenced electronics are cranked and the sound gets all fuzzy. 'Believe' is immense, a modern day gem and another album highlight for me.

'When' arrives swirling inside a building instrumental drone. More akin to psych-punk, this track sticks to a more linear formula. Swirling vocalisations steeped in melodic reverb ride the deep throb of bass as the repetitive thud of a bass drum keeps a metronomic beat allowing fuzzed out electronics to ebb and flow at will, adding masses of atmosphere with each gluttonous rise. Mesmerising in its attack and with a sublime finale, 'When' is absolutely brilliant. Up next, 'Hide' morphs into 80's theme tune territory with those fizzing synths and that punishing line of sequenced percussion. The vocal lines are fantastic here, twisted into something futuristic and run alongside a throbbing bass signature that magnifies them tenfold allowing the drums to skip and roll between each line of verse before finishing rather abruptly. The very Cure-esque sounding 'Reach' is steeped in melody. Vocally faultless, the accompanying drum pattern is immense and when the guitar arrives alongside those lines of synth the track instantly takes off. It's another standout gem. Then albums penultimate piece entitled 'Beyond' arrives in a haze of bouncing electronics. Sequenced percussion is busily dancing underfoot as that repetitive bass line holds everything in place allowing fizzing lines of synth and subtle twangs of guitar to keep the tempo tight as the vocal line glides effortlessly overhead. Deeply entrancing, 'Beyond' is steeped in melody and another album highlight. 'XVII' closes out with the instrumental 'Past', a throbbing bass heavy piece with another repetitive bass heavy percussive assault. The twang of guitar rides fizzing lines of electronics that seem to build and build into one massive sonic wave, injecting sublime melody into that beautiful bass line until eventually opening up into something sounding akin to The Cure melding with the darker side of Massive Attack. It is utterly fantastic and brilliant ending to another impressive release.

5/5

LINKS:

facebook.com/nonnband

nonn.se/NONN

fuzzclub.bandcamp.com

fuzzclub.com

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.


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

ALBUM REVIEW | Telephone Exchange - Maschinelles Lernen

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

 RELEASE: Maschinelles Lernen 

 RELEASE DATE: January 5th 2019

 RECORD COMPANY: Ongakubaka Records 

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

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

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

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

5/5

LINKS:

ongakubakarecords.bandcamp.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Cam Phillips - Contributing Writer

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


ALBUM REVIEW - Holy Monitor - II - Featured Image - (700x700)

ALBUM REVIEW | Holy Monitor - II

ARTIST: Holy Monitor

RELEASE: II

RELEASE DATE: October 12th 2018

RECORD COMPANY: Blackspin Records

Blistering Athens-based experimental psych/kraut rock collective 'Holy Monitor' wowed us back in early 2017 with their debut self-titled full length release absolutely filled to the brim with luscious soundscapes that pull together different disciplines to create an otherworldly sonic vibe charged with glistening hypnotics that are all collectively drenched in a woozy kind of psychedelic abandonment. 'Holy Monitor' first pinged our radar with their very impressive 'Ongakubaka Records' released 'Golden Light​/​Aeolus', a compilation containing both of the bands previously released (only digital & in a ltd edition cassette) EP's and since then we've been firmly on board with what they create musically. From rhythmic krautrock to blissed out space rock and on into modern day psych permutations, 'Holy Monitor' do not disappoint. Now the band have unleashed 'II', their monstrous sophomore full length that builds on what the band have already manifested, a wonderful, no nonsense lysergic tinged sonic assault on the cranium. 'II' was officially released back on October 12th 2018 via the good folks over at Backspin Records in Greece and is available to buy/download right now from holymonitor.bandcamp.com

‘Fields Of Mars’ drones into existence swirling within a squally wave of extraterrestrial sonics and ambient hued sound waves. It builds as it manoeuvres itself into striking position unleashing fizzing lines of guitar melded with the repetitive pitter patter of cymbal noise. There’s a distinct tinge of 60’s psych undulating through the guitar sound that is thoroughly addictive, it adds to the overall atmospherics of the track and tunes the listener in at an early stage. Menacing swells of synth join forces with slow moving percussion, tumbling lines of bass and throb of reverberation as we’re scooped up and ferried along brilliantly with the impressive hypnotic sonic melee. As opening tracks go ‘Fields Of Mars’ is absolutely immense. Up next, ‘Animal Heart’ charges into the ether drenched in a garage tinged golden hue. Rocking kraut like percussion keeps a steady back beat as all around it swirls through heady clouds of futuristic neo-psychedelia. Fizzing synths, repetitive guitars and cascading lines of bass are the order of the day catching the listener off-guard with mesmerising instrumentation that collectively loop and arc throughout the sonic arena whilst the lines of vocals tie everything together perfectly. ‘Animal Heart’ is a triumph and a definite album highlight for me.

‘Cirrus’ begins pounding on a repetitive percussive assault before swirling lines of synth and captivating lines of guitar arrive pulling the distinctive throb of bass into the mix and melding into a perfect accompaniment for another melodic vocal. Catchy chord structures and impressive hooks lift and twist the track perfectly as we’re led into that magnificent instrumental break and on into the tracks sublime finale whilst ‘Hunter’s Moon’ conjures up subtle elements of of psych folk as it rumbles and shudders on a brilliant drum track accompanied by enchanting instrumentation and addictive vocalisations all drenched in a kind of lysergic tinged psychedelic abandonment. Up next, ‘Spirits Of The Wild’ swirls through clouds of deliciously hypnotic sonic fare filled with animalistic sampling, shimmering tambourines and shamanistic tendencies. It moves like a living organism, pulsing and undulating as one huge sonic form, dancing and twirling through a multitude instrumental connotations laced with reverberating frequencies that shimmer and shine. There’s a brilliant cultural feel here, a snapshot if you will of the psychedelic side of Greece. It overpowers this listener and is both captivating and exhilarating all at once.

‘Soothing Water’, the albums penultimate piece, drones into existence trapped in a cyclonic whirlwind of fizzing synth and the repetitive pull of those pounding drums. Throbbing lines of bass frequencies intertwine with soaring lines of melodic guitar, ushering in another futuristically sounding vocalisation. Busy lines of lead guitar enter the mix, following the duel lines of vocal perfectly and adding an intimate atmospheric feel to proceedings as all around them explodes into a cacophony of magical sounds. ‘Soothing Water’ is absolutely immense and another album highlight. ‘The Way Out’ closes out proceedings on this mesmeric album. Originally appearing on the bands digital EP ‘Golden Light’, ‘The Way Out’ epitomises that "Holy Monitor" sound. Like a pulsating beacon of musical promiscuity, this track ripples outwardly, like some magical pre-ordained mantra, meandering through throbbing bass lines coupled with hypnotic rhythmic percussive patterns, surging synth swells and a magnificent vocal attack. It’s an acid drenched modern psych gem and a firm favourite of mine that closes out another impressive release by one of my favourite bands around today ......... Bravo 'Holy Monitor'.

5/5

LINKS:

facebook.com/holymonitor

holymonitor.bandcamp.com

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.


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

ALBUM REVIEW | Medicine Boy - Lower

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

RELEASE: Lower 

RELEASE DATE: 5th October 2018

RECORD COMPANY: Fuzz Club Records 

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

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

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

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

4/5

LINKS:

medicineboy.bandcamp.com

facebook.com/gimmeyourmedicineboy

fuzzclub.bandcamp.com

fuzzclub.com 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Cam Phillips - Contributing Writer

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


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

ALBUM REVIEW | Sky Flying By - (Re) Routed

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

RELEASE: (Re) Routed

RELEASE DATE: October 26th 2018

RECORD COMPANY: Fluttery Records 

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

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

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

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

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

3/5

LINKS:

sky-flying-by.bandcamp.com

flutteryrecords.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Cam Phillips - Contributing Writer

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