Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Der Blutharsch with the Infinite Church of the Leading Hand- Dream your Life Away (Klang Onstage)


This is a live album recorded on Oct 13th, 2021 and features 7 tracks, and might be all new material as I checked the last few CDs I had from the band and none of these tracks are on any of those. The opening track reminds of Codex Serafini or Goat, dark gothic rock, moody. Wish I weren´t Here features a female spoken word over some edgy psychedelic atmospheres with some flourishes of synths and sounds and psyched out stuff. Cool….  Chant is a repetitive rock track with a catchy riff. A bit hypnotic…..Land of Free is a bit more rocking and very steady until it is not and takes off with a wild guitar solo and gets psyched out.. O Lord is a spacey instrumental. Wish the synths were mixed a bit higher though…. Today I want to Catch Clouds has a very intense groove, catchy…… good energy over which the bands play some spaced out sounds and hard riffs. A bit space rock like..  The album ends with the title track..  A slower and more moody track to start but a good one to end this excellent live document and perhaps the last with Albin..  I am not sure who is in the band but there are two guitars, bass, drums, keyboards and female voice. 

http://www.derblutharsch.com/ 

https://derblutharsch.bandcamp.com/ 



The Golden Road- The Recorded History of the Grateful Dead by John Kilbride (Sonic Bond Publishing)


I am not the biggest Grateful Dead fan but I had a huge respect for all the groundbreaking work the band did with improvisation, different set lists every night, sound systems, establishing that it was ok to record bands and setting up the first taper sections, etc…    As this book also includes live recordings you can image it is quite massive!!!  344 pages and by far the largest of any book I have seen published on Sonic Bond Publishing. The first 187 pages include the introduction which explains a lot about how they approached this book and other details. Then they take the band year by year starting with 1965 up to 1995, when Jerry Garcia died. 

The first Appendix goes into details on the Live and Studio releases year by year and fills up the next 13 pages and is basically a list of who played on it, where and when it was recorded and all the songs and who is credited for writing them in a list format.  Appendix 2 is Archive releases in order of recording date and as you would expect this list is massive, about 100 pages long and again in pretty much the same sort of format. The 3rd appendix is Collections with unreleased material from different years. A lot of this is just a show listing and set list after the first few listings. The 4th Appendix is compilation albums and the final appendix is a list of significant solo albums…   These appendices are very useful for the real collector by not that interesting for the casual GD fan. The first 187 pages is the real book if you really want to learn about the GDs music. John is incredibly well researched and while I have only read one book on the dead by the roadie Steve Parish, who was also Jerry´s personal assistant and manager, there is a lot of interesting stuff in this book.. Really pretty cool.. There is a small section with some pictures, mostly of album covers but also of the band. Probably most of these have appeared elsewhere.   Great book. I really enjoyed reading it a lot. 

http://sonicbondpublishing.com 

King Dude & Der Blutharsch with the Infinite Church of the Leading Hand- Black Rider of the Storm (Wir Kapitulieren Niemals WKN 62)


Albin Julius (RIP 2022) sent me and the latest DB CD in the same package just a few weeks before he passed away.  I had just messaged him 2 days before and he wrote back that he was glad I got them and hoped I would write about them and then he was gone.. So sad. I never met him but what a creative musical guy..  Releasing a lot of interesting music on WKN and in different projects and here was again, something really cool.  Ballads of a Cowboy lost in Austria is a sort of subtitle of this excellent CD…  It features 11 diverse tracks. Hells Canyon is an instrumental track to give you a feel of this sort of dark Americana style music.  The title track follows and I just love the vibe of this music. I assume King Dude is the singer. He has an interesting voice, a bit dark and deep. All I see is You is a more rocking track with a bit of a psyched out guitar solo and a bit of madness… The Drifter and the Dog is a spacey track with a repeated bass line that appears here and there but built mainly on the guitar lines on this instrumental track. Bury the Knife brings the Dude back and what a cool song. Strange Visions is a droning instrumental to just change the vibe before kicking into Spiritual Vampire! This one has a very hypnotic groove almost like some Vibravoid stuff. Great track.  Dead Man returns to the mysterious vibe and I really dig this Tom Waits on drugs feel.. The Bitter Cup features acoustic guitar and a bit more country vibe. Going to the Sun ends this awesome record.. I  have to say I loved this album… A complete surprised to me… a bit like Tom Waits on a psychedelic trip with Mark Laneghan is my best description. 


http://www.derblutharsch.com/ 

https://derblutharsch.bandcamp.com/ 

Mammoth Volume- The Cursed who perform the Larvagod Rites and Josiah- We lay on Cold Stone (Blues Funeral Recordings)


I just received the first two in the next Blues Funeral Subscriber series albums and man, these packages are just insanely cool. They are like nothing you could image. Super cool triple foldout sleeves, with printed plastic parts you are supposed to assemble, playing cards to cut pop out and collect together with the other releases and finally a 4 page fold out with pics of the bands and liner notes by the one and only JJ from the Obelisk…  Incredible..  so what about the music. Mammath Volume, like Josiah (the other record), neither band has released anything in a long time. 

I have had the digital files for the Josiah album for a while and I have to say it did not really grab me at first but after some repeated listens, there is a lot of classic Josiah in this album for sure and if you are fans of the earlier ones which Heavy Psych Sounds has reissued on LP and CD, then you will want to hear this one for sure..




As for Mammoth Volume, I pulled out the one CD and tape (1999 and 2000) I own by the band, to revisit the early days and see how they have changed…  While there are some songs you could point to the material done 20 years ago, this is really a new band sound and much more eclectic and adventurous. I was most impressed with the variety of material, of which, not a lot really fits into stoner rock, really…  I think the band cared little about that and it was about getting in the room or trading ideas and making music with little care for the past. This was the future…  Pretty cool record guys…



https://bluesfuneralrecordings.bandcamp.com/


Da Captain Trips- Maths of the Elements (Bloodrock Records BRRCD052)

DCT is an melodic spacey, proggy, instrumental Italian band. This is their 7th album. I only own the first one but have heard some of their other albums on the internet. This CD features 6 tracks that make up the vinyl edition and one bonus CD track. The opening number Rivers, Water and Earth Stream is a slow mellow floating track with some beautiful keys and guitar. At about 3mins the track rises in intensity with drums and bass playing a more prominent role in the track now, while the mellotron or organ is still most dominant.. Very nice track..Deserts Earth and Air Carve follows in much the same feeling but the synth sound is very different than the first track. Keyboard still dominant though. Later on the guitar gets to be more of the highlight. Mountains Fire and Earth Sculpt flows directly out of track 2 with some spacey synths and there are some more heavy guitar riffs later in the track and some soloing but this is more about the vibe of the entire track, then the solos. Clouds Water and Fire Shape raises the temp and mysterious element and is more groovy with a great bass line and some hand drums. So far this is my fave track. The synths are more experimental and not so straightforward. Very cool song..  The next one, Oceans Air and Water Form reminds me a lot of My Sleeping Karma if you took the keys away.. It also features the most energetic guitar solo so far on the record.  I really like the build of the album by this point with only one last track, Skies Fire and Art Set. I really like the build of the album by this point with only one last track, Skies Fire and Art Set. This track is a bit more laid back but more uptempo that the start of the record but a nice way to finish things. The bonus track is called Crystal. The bonus track is called Crystal and the shortest on the album with mainly just guitar and keyboards. A cool relaxing late night or Sunday morning start the day type album…  Very nicely played and executed…  I look forward to meet and see the guys at Kozfest this summer..

Radiohead- On Track- Every Album, Every Song by William Allen (SonicBond Publishing)

Sonic Bond sent this one without asking as they did with the ELO and I do not own any Radiohead albums at all.  I know they are known for being a sort of ground breaking pop art band for doing more experimental things and mixes but whenever I have heard their music it never excited me in anyway… just too mainstream.  6 number one UK albums so one must be impressed!  Anyway, William Allen is for sure an expert and the amount of detail gathered in this book is mightily impressive. IT is a bit longer at 180 pages than most of these Every Album books.  The end part with Rare Tracks, Unreleased songs, DVDs, and solo albums takes up the last 30 pages and is what real huge fans might find the most interesting actually.  I read the entire introduction about how the band met, etc.. but this is probably not that new of information for the real indepth fans… 

http://sonicbondpublishing.com 

Electric Light Orchestra- On Track- Every Album, Every Song by Barry Delve (SonicBond Publishing)

I have never really liked ELO . a bit too commercial for my tastes… The Move, which was the band that ELO grew out of was pretty cool though.  The author was very passionate about this band and clearly knows a lot about them.  The details on a lot of the tracks is extremely impressive. No doubt this was a hugely influential band mixing classical music and pop in a very unique way and how this all emerged from the early bands and into the making of ELO is very well presented. I finally managed to finish this book and the author is clearly a real expert and knows every last detail about the bands recordings and outtakes. The most interesting parts of the book for me was the information leading up to the albums and what was going on with the band rather than all the exact track to track details, being that I do not know hardly any of their music.. 

http://sonicbondpublishing.com 

Monday, June 6, 2022

Rob Gould-Dome and Dome II (Fruits der Mer Records)

I had never heard of Rob Gould´s Dome album, which was recorded way back in 2007. In 2022 he recorded a 2nd volume, another approx. 40mins track of ambient bliss….   The original album had some contributions by 3 other folks (Jurgen Kaletta-space guitar, Natalia Brightmore- Flute, Angel voices, Gavin Newman- deep breathing) but the new version of Dome, Rob recorded all of the instruments himself. Clearly a very talented man. I was only familiar with his remake of the classic Van der graaf Generator album that I reviewed last year and quite enjoyed.   Anyway, these long tracks are perfect for putting on late at night to chill or on a Sunday morning to ease yourself into the day…  The way the music flows is just brilliant super well executed.. Listening to these a few times has really inspired me to try to make an ambient album now.  2023???

http://fruitsdermerrecords.com 
https://robgoulduk.bandcamp.com/album/dome

Black Sabbath- In the 70s by Collins (Sonic Bond Publishing) by Chris Sutton


Wow.. this was a super cool book to read. I actually learned quite a lot of cool information from this book, especially about the making of the first 5 albums. The author was either running out of space (even though this book is longer than many of the On Track books) or there was just not that much new or interesting info to add about the last two albums. I liked that he also included a lot of details and good comparisons with the normal albums all the recently released deluxe versions (Vol 4, Sabotage, and Technical Ecstasy). The author (like in many of the Every Album, Every Song books) has strong opinions about certain songs when describing them in detail. You might or might not agree of course. Just like this review!! 

The section about the live and rare releases at the end of the book was great. A lot of good details and comparisons.  I am a big early Sabbath collectors and discovered at least 2 live recordings that I should seek out now! Cool. Great book, even for people who have read Iron Man and Ozzy¨s biography.   Seems Geezer¨s will come out next year…   Good job!!!

http://sonicbondpublishing.com 

Liverpool Psych Festival 2022

April 16th

We all met for the soundcheck at around 10. The staff and stage hands were not at all prepared with stuff and we basically had to find and set up all the backline ourselves and find keyboard stands, etc..  In the end it seem to go pretty ok with the way we had set things up. Omar was not there but we did the rest. First band was on at 14.  I went back to the hotel about 1230 so Sue and I could have lunch. We missed the first band, Vert:X.  Pity, as I quite like some of their stuff.  I only saw bits and pieces of bands all day as I need to rest my ears and it was pretty loud, like 102db.  Watched most of the Silas and Saski, a very enjoyable set. There were still not that many people in the venue yet. They replaced Snakes don´t belong in Alaska. 

Next I went upstairs.  The sound was pretty awful upstairs where the smaller bands played. I saw a bit of Amon Acid (below) and that was pretty cool. I like the way the guitar player used a lot of effects and also triggered sounds. Huge high ceilings and just so boomy. Not a clear sound at all. Best to stand up front as it sounded awful everywhere else.  


Amon Acid (I think)
The main stage was cool and you had a great view of the band from just about anywhere but the sound was a bit bass heavy in the back as you got under the balcony.  Sadly this was a psych festival with nothing psychedelic about it. No projections, no cool lights, no interesting art or backdrops on the walls, just nothing special about it.  





Sendelica played a solid set but sort of what you expect once you have seen them as a trio. I like their records a lot more as there are synths, sax, violin, lots more going on. As a trio, it is long instrumental stuff, nicely played but a bit too much the same. 


Sendelica

Part Chimp were a very intense psych band and never let up for 50mins or so...


Part Chimp


Sendelica got off early and the very intense band, Part Chimp, also finished early so we are able to be a bit more relaxed setting up to play and could start 15mins early. Omar was no where to be found so we were mostly ready to go and no one could still find him. Anyway, took him 5 mins to set up…  IT was a strange concert as our guitar player Daniel, made himself the entire focus of the concert. IT was like a mini Daniel Lars trio (with him, Omar and our drummer Tim) in their own bubble while the rest of us (Vince, Par and myself) had to just sort of try to fit in where we could. It was strange but Tim and Omar were laying down the monster grooves and Daniel was quite the showman and really entertained the audience with his wild Steve Vai like quite acrobatics. I think we played about 100mins and had a great response from the audience and also the organiser who was very happy with our performance. Listening back to the recording, we all played our part and did well. 



OSC Foto by D. Croll. Thanks.. 


April 17th


My daughters birthday today… I wish I could have spent it with her. 

I was really tired as we did not get to bed until 2 in the morning and still feeling a lot of adrenaline from the gig.  Anyway, I really wanted to see Vince´s band, Sonic Trip Project and they were so good. I think it was the best band of the festival.  


Sonic Trip Project


I saw a bit of the Telephones. 60s psych with two guitar players both playing electric 12 strings.  Nice good songs but nothing that original. People were really enjoying it. THey really could have used some nice visuals, as all the bands. They had fun, you could tell. 


Telephones singer-guitarist


I saw a couple of songs by Road Trip a duo of guitar and synthesizers (a bit new age like with lots of pad stuff). The guitar player was really good and had a nice voice.  Not a lot of people upstairs to watch though. 


Sail
Sail, were a very interesting band from Somerset. It was a kind of Indie rock vibe but then they got really noisy like sonic youth and sometimes some really heavy riffs and some intense guitar solos.  Bass player could have been in Wham or something.  I saw 3 songs. 




Codex Serfini were very similar to the Swedish band, Goat but with saxophone  All in red robes, face masks, female vocalist facing to the back of the stage, harsh voice with lots of effects…. some intense music but too much the same for me. Not enough variety. Female drummer could really pound! 


Madmess from Portugal were really good. They are kind of like the PT version of Earthless. All instrumental long fast guitar solos but also lots of cool riff parts and powerful drums and bass. I saw their entire concert. Cool stuff..


Codex Serafini

Madmess Guitarist


Helicon from Scotland was the last band we saw. They had some great hypnotic songs (last song was the best) and the keyboard player used the sitar on at least 3 songs, during one the soundman was sitting down having a rest and did not see he had switched so he played for at least 1-2mins before you could hear the sitar, which he sort of twanged about on, not a real sitar player.  I enjoyed them though. Cool band. 


Helicon


I was pretty wiped out and really wanted to see Electric Moon. I spoke to the drummer (Pablo) quite a bit and he is such a nice guy. Said hi to Lulu. She looked well. Anyway, I heard they were ok. Our friend Susan said they were boring and Daniel said it was pretty good. Glad to hear they still do ok.. It was a cool festival but needed some visuals and also to pay the bands. 6 weeks later, still no money.. Not very good.... 

St. Kraut Roerich Trilogy (Strange Fish 25)

St. Kraut is a Russian band that Keith discovered via Carry Munter in Holland who has a wonder review blog (and had a great radio show as well). This band had one track on a sampler but Keith really dug them and it turns out they had released 3 albums since 2020 and he decided to just put them all out in a 3CD fold out package..  These jams were actually recorded back in 2017. The band is a trio of Alexandr on Guitar and Synth, Mikhail on Pads, Guitar, Drums and Synth and Evgenil on Bass, Guitar and Synth. 


The first CD is called Boris & Gleb and features 5 tracks ranging from 3:39 to over 23mins. Only track 3 is less than 10! Inner Alter starts things off very slowly with a repetitive bass and guitar line as some light synths in the background. It is pretty relaxed for the entire 15mins. The Himalayas starts to get some energy with some drums, more spaced out synths and a higher tempo. Quite spacey stuff. By the 3rd track you are really wanting some thing more energetic and they raise tempo but the drums are poorly mixed (I think) but the bass grooves and the rest of the band spaces out…. Mishiva is about 10mins and returns to this very relaxed sound. The last track on the CD, Tropic Slumber is mainly like hand drums and some guitar notes with long delays for quite some time before anything else happens much. THis space out is 23mins long. I did not find this album to be very exciting and or hold my attention that much.  

The 2nd CD Ann without Hand features 6 tracks and is not as long with shorter tracks. The title track starts with a motorik beat with some guitar mixed quite loud compared to the rest of the instruments. Give the track a strange feeling.  The guitar goes into a more solo like mode eventually but is just too loud as the band sound like they are playing in another room???  Midnight Whispers starts a bit bluesy and has a long spacey delay guitar solo over the slow building drums.  Ann without Head is supposed to be but I think this is actually Aerial Whales as the timing fits. Anyway, it starts with some synths and spacey sounds.  Eventually the guitar played with effects becomes the predominant instrument. 3 excess Shots gives this album a bit more of a shot of energy as well with a more uptempo track with some spaced out guitars on the top. This is probably Ann without Head. Starts with some simple drums and guitar. A few other sounds enter here and there to try to make it more interesting.. The last track is called Lucid Dreams Exchange and features some mid paced drums and guitar noodling over the top for a long time.. Track is 13mins.. Not enough really happens on a lot of these tracks. 

The 3rd CD is called Fire Madness from Outer Space and I had high hopes this would be better than the other two which I have found not to be that interesting in the end. Sorry guys… the opening synth and drum track is a short interlude to Worship at the Gates of Night, which visits quite similar these to a lot of the other tracks but has more synths. Fire Maidens from Outer Space is one of the more interesting tracks with an intense atmosphere of noise (probably from the guest Kirill) while the guitar noodles about over the top and the drums keep a steady beat. Subconscious Ride starts with a synth drone and bass guitar. The drums slowly fade up and a sax like sound but I think it is guitar actually. The sequenced synth is somehow a bit off kilter from the rest of the track giving it this disturbing feeling. Later the guitar takes over nearly all.  The title track is next with the return of the motorik beat and synths and bass before the guitar kicks in.  Including what is probably the first real synth solo on the CD. Nice surprise.. Eventually the guitar comes and drowns the synth away for a while but then the synths come back to dominate once again. One of the best tracks on the 3 CDs.  The final track, Everything will be fine while this music plays, closes this 3hrs of music.. Wow… While I was not that fond of a lot of it, I think some people will really dig this a lot…  Just check it out… You can stream their albums on bandcamp.  Cool artwork..

https://stkraut.bandcamp.com/

http://fruitsdemerrecords.com 

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Lost Stoned Pandas- Dark side of the NooM

I really loved their debut double album.  This one took me a few listens to really get into it.  It is three tracks with the title track being a 19min one. Plus there is a 6mins edit dub version of the title track which strangely, starts the album off and is pretty psychedelic!  Gives you a taste for the full 19min version.  Interregnum is a pretty relaxed track with some nice bouncy bass and simple groove over which the synths, guitar, violin float and drift and transport you. Gradually, a more uptempo rhythm kicks in. A beautiful track. Luna Sunrise is more chilled and floating, almost new age like ambient stuff. Lush.. with layed back acoustic guitars, spacey synths, violin…   And finally, the 19min track. Starts with some bass and violin and slowly the others join in and off we go but it takes awhile. Just when you thought the track had died of ended, a new path takes over.  Quite a lovely track but you have to be patient..  Cool band..The vinyls are due to arrive around March 15th.. 

https://sendelica.bandcamp.com/album/dark-side-of-the-noom 

Fuzz Sagrado- A New Dimension (Self Released)

Christian (Samsara Blues Experiment) moved to Brazil a few years ago but he has not left the music scene. He says active creating this new one man project called Fuzz Sagrado. This is his first full length under this name after a couple of EPs. The sound is not a big and powerful (especially the drum and bass sound) as SBE but the mixes are good.. Anyway, it is about the songs and here, they shine and some have that SBE vibe while others are just Christian rocking out. The opening track is a solid rocker with nice vocals. A lot of riffing and no real guitar solo on this one until the track slows down and he mixes in some synth wind as well and keyboards for the beautiful mid section. Lunik IX features some acoustic guitar and layered vocals and a more spoken word approach to start.  A lush synth kicks in as the mood changes on this sort of darker number. Really nice track with the acoustic intro and outro..  Baby Bee starts with some nice guitar and bass and emotional singing (probably about his wife!).  In her Garden is a mid paced melodic rocker. He is really passionate and happy on this track. The mid section slows down (like a lot of SBE songs) with some keyboards to change the atmosphere.  A very nice guitar solo. The guy can for sure still play!!! Lovely…  The Mushroom Part is another acoustic track but this one features a mid paced drumming and bass guitar as well.  Love the way the synth sequence sneaks on for a few moments here and there. Further starts slowly with some hand drums and synthesizers but a dark mysterious vibe. This probably has the longest guitar solo and some nice use of effects and synths. He also throws in some other more psychedelic elements at the end as well. Tropical Rain starts with some storm and then a mid paced drum and melodic guitar line. Need for Simplicity ends this very nice and diverse album. This one is instrumental with nice acoustic guitar and synthesizers. Crashing Cascade ends this great album and one that has the most SBE vibe (like on the last record they made).  Seems Christian has worked out a deal to get this released on vinyl and CD, cool… 

https://electricmagic.bandcamp.com/album/a-new-dimension

The Hobbit House Collective Double 7” (Fruits de mer Records winkle45)

Doing a cover of Led Zeppelin is always a bold and daring mood but some bands manage to do ok. Crystal Jacqueline take on Battle of Evermore and it is pretty stripped down to just mandolin, vocals and percussion to start and then a bit later some keyboards and then the band kicks in. I really like the way the vocals are very centred and then they split the harmony vocal into the sides. Very effective…  Instead of a guitar solo they have violin jam! Enjoyed this a lot…. Honey Pot take on Ramble On, also in a quite unique version.  The addition of the synth and some longer delays on some of the vocal parts and the way they slow it down. Love the ethnic style drumming once the main bridge kicks in… Super good.   

 The other 7” features Icarus Peel´s Acid Reign doing a take of the Chain by Fleetwood Mac in a very interesting and jammed out version.  The final track by the Locker Room Cowboys appears to be an Icarus Peel track!  It is an uptempo guitar driven track with a bit of a funky rhythm and some dashes of organ here and there!  Cool stuff. 

http://fruitsdemerrecords.com 

Organik- Morte Momento (Self Released)

Organik is a cool Danish band. I was proud that we could release their first record on Space Rock Productions… Sadly, the delays in making vinyls and the pandemic really fucked the label over and we have not had any money to release anything except what we had promised in 2021 and core acts… Anyway, the guys have really been adventurous on this record that features 7 tracks. 

Inside starts things off slowly and melodic but then just get super heavy, post rock like riffing but more heavy. Flatline starts with a heavy riff and has a lot of rhythm changes but it gets nice and spaced out with some synths in the middle of the track and a really spacey guitar.. Very cool.. Great dynamics.. Impersonate has a funky wah guitar and is interspersed with a brutal riff. A bit later it mellows out with some keyboards and spaciness. A longer guitar solo in the middle but a good mix of light and heavy..  The Eternal Boy and Paper Cut take the next 20mins. Eternal Boy features a female singer and piano but then we transition to like brutal death metal, which totally takes you by surprise!!! Powerful emotional stuff.. Paper Cut is something totally different and I really like that and the guitar sound is quite unique.. What a great contrasting song to the previous but it still is heavy as it gets going.. I love the end section the best though.. Unsettled starts with a nice melodic guitar and then a really jazzy funky vibe with piano some nice guitar playing. Calm takes us back to the heavy doomy stuff. 

It is a very interesting record that mixes a lot of styles from Psych rock to jazzy to Death metal like stuff. Great Danish band…

https://organikrock.bandcamp.com/