Sunday, November 16, 2014

Siena Root- Pioneers (Gaphals Records GAP068)

Siena Root is back with the first new studio album in 4 years and a pretty new line up with only Sam (bass, vocals) and Love (drums) from the original SR. The new guitar player Matte, the organ player Erik and lead singer Jonas, have been in the band for a year or more and really have found the vibe. As the band has been doing for many years this was recorded completely analog in the bands own studio. Between the Lines opens the record and is a sort of hard edge, almost southern rock (vocal style) like guitar riff.  Classic rock, 70s style. 7 Years is next has some great guitar and organ interaction and also has a pretty hard riff. The chorus really gets tiring though, do you really need to sing,” 7 years of bad of luck, filled with pain and misery you broke the mirror on my wall” 20 times in a short song?? I like space section leading into the boogie jam a lot.. The next two tracks are both very Deep purple inspired especially the Root Rock Pioneers which starts with a guitar and organ jam. The way you turn starts side B off and is a damn catchy track with a cool organ sound and groove. Matte plays some nice slide guitar on this one as well. Keep on Climbing is a quite dark track and a bit psychedelic as well with some cool organ playing. The guitar solos are too short but I know in concert they are jamming out these tracks which is really cool. Going Down is foot stomping rock and roll track. In my Kitchen is a very nice long slow bluesy track and a great way to end the pretty intense hard rocking record. A great return for the band and a fresh new Deep Purple inspired sound without the screams! Congrats guys..  The album is also being released in the USA on Cleopatra. I hope this will finally get the band to the USA…


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Saint Vitus and Orange Goblin- Babel, Malmö, Sweden 11/7/14

This was the 2nd night of our honeymoon and like yesterday when we arrived at KB and got to meet Charlie Starr, when we walked up to Babel, there was Wino coming out the door. I had met him on several occasions and he remembered me and we had a nice chat and then he headed off to get some air he said. He was in a good mood and said the tour was going great.  

          We could not decide what to eat but ended up at the Curry Hut and this was a good choice. The Indian food was excellent. I wanted to order the Phal, which was to be insanely hot but since we were only getting one dish to share as we had a big lunch, we did not got for the super hot one. We were to meet up with my friend Nils but sadly he was sick. We arrived at the venue and I had never been in this converted church venue and wow. This was a great place, probably the best venue I have been to in Malmö. Three different balcony layers so it was easy to find a good place. I chose to be right in front of Chandler (guitarist for St Vitus) on the first balcony, as the drums are always mixed too loud for St Vitus since Hank joined. I also talked with Banessa, the great local DJ who also does shows in Copenhagen as well. Super nice lady..


          Orange Goblin hit the stage at 20:10 and rocked the place for an hour. The crowd was totally mad for OG and were going crazy on the bass player side. Wild people, moshing and having a lot of fun. The band played a mix of tracks from most of their records and I think 3 from the new album. Sabbath Hex was a great one. The guitar player is really good but he only makes really short solos. Ben, looked so huge on this stage and the crowd really blew him away by being so into their set. This was the first time either band had ever played in Malmo. I enjoyed their set a lot especially Saurman’s Wish and Blue Snow.

Set List: Scorponica, Acid Trial, Saurman’s Wish, Sabbath hex, Heavy Lies, Blue Snow, Some you Win, Into the Arms, Devil’s Whip, The Fog, They come back, Quincy the Pigboy, Red the Rising


          It took them a half an hour or so to change out the drums and stuff before Vitus hit the stage and there was a bit of an altercation with Hank and a guy in the front row that could have turned ugly but did not. Saint Vitus are also pretty conservative as far as the set list go each night but I had never seen them play all the songs from Born To Late. It was a great mix of quite a few of their more high energy tracks and fewer of the slower ones. I wish they would mix Chandler’s guitar higher and the drums lower though as Hank, although he is a great drummer and pounds the shit out of his kit, he does not have to be louder than all the other instruments. Wino delivered the vocals with perfection and the whole band had a good time with the very wild audience who was really into it. I had rarely seen a crowd like this in Malmö. Really fun night and the band hung out with the audience afterwards which was really nice.

Set List: Living Backwards, I bleed black, Blessed Night, Let them Fall, White Stallions, The Troll, War Starter, Lost Feeling, HAAG, Dying Inside, Clear Windowpayne, Born to Late

Blackberry Smoke and Massive- KB, Malmö, Sweden 11/6/14

This was the 2nd time for me to see Blackberry Smoke this year and I was really looking forward to it and hoped they would play some new material. Sue had never been to this venue before so before we had dinner we went over the venue and guess who was standing outside smoking a cig, but the one and only Charlie Starr!  Sue and I had a small chat with him and explained this was our honeymoon and we were big fans of the band. He said he would dedicate a song to us, which was nice but I was wondering if he would really remember 4 hrs later?

          Anyway, we headed over to the Malmö Bryghus and tried their 5 beer sampler and they were all excellent. I think my favourite was the Winter Ale and Sue liked their Belgium style ale. We were not feeling like burgers so we ate at a Japanese restaurant run by Korean people (They did not know what Hamachi was (Japanese for yellowfin tuna). Anyway, the meal was very good and we were ready for some southern rock!

          We met up with my friend Mats and his friend Lars for another beer. Massive, were a R&R band from Australia and they played about a 40min set of AC/DC meets Guns and Roses style music. A lot of cliché and attitude but solid rocking songs. The singer was perhaps 5 feet tall but was totally into it and had a cool voice as well.  Audience gave them a good reception.
Massive (Australia)

          It was 21 when BBS hit the stage with a short little like jam and then into their standard opener on this tour, Like I Am. It was leave a Scar earlier in the year, which was the 2nd song. IT was a straight up set of good old BBS songs focusing still on the material from the Whippoorwill album a lot. I noticed in that track that Charlie now had a delay pedal and changed the solo a bit. Also the jam in Sleeping Dogs was longer before they did the Midnight Rider part. They should just leave that out and do their own jam.. They really need to jam more, then they would really be a totally amazing band. If they could change the set lists around more and jam, they might be my favourite band. Anyway, it was great to hear them play the Lynryrd Skynryd song, Whiskey Rock a Roller. Suits them well.  The band was really touched when the audience sang Brandon happy birthday in Swedish. He also got one of those plastic Viking hats with the horns (There were no horns on the Viking hats!) and schnapps. The encore was a brand new song called Rock and Roll Again and sure enough, Charlie dedicated it to Sue and I, the newlyweds.. Very touching and we had moved up to about the 3rd row in the center. They ended the show with Shaking hands with the Holy ghost.

          It was a great night. Wish we could have met them afterwards and thanked them but maybe the next time….

Set List: Intro Jam, Like I Am, Leave a Scar, I'd Be Lyin', Six Ways to Sunday, Good One Comin' On, Crimson Moon, Pretty Little Lie, Sleepin' Dogs>Jam, Midnight Rider>Sleeping Dogs, Sanctified Woman, The Whippoorwill, Restless, Happy Birthday Brendon, Band Introductions, Up in Smoke, I Ain't Got The Blues Any More, Everyone knows she’s Mine, Whiskey Rock a Roller, One Horse Town, Ain’t much left of Me> When the Leeve Breaks> Ain’t much left of Me, Encore: Rock and Roll Again, Shaking hands with the Holy Ghost



Sunday, November 2, 2014

My Brother the Wind- Once there was a time when time and space were one (Free Electric Sound FES4011)

The cosmic improvisation group from Stockholm are back with another cool studio album to follow up there recently release live at Roadburn record. As their approach (not their sound!) is very similar to the Øresund Space Collective, just set up in the studio and see what happens. This time around though the record is made of mostly shorter pieces, less mellotron and only one very long piece, which makes the experience quite different.  The Prologue opens things with some backwards recordings and space sounds and nice bass lines and fades into Song of Innocence Part 1 and 2. This track has a slow build with some nice guitar with a bit of delay on it that sort of glides over the bass and drums. This lasts about 7½ mins before heading into part 2 which is more uptempo but with some cool guitars and solos. Into the Cosmic Halo starts off with a distinct guitar riff that the band jams on and develops. Misty Mountainside features Ronny on the congas. Garden of Delights is my favourite track on the record and has a cool mysterious start but just builds up into an amazing track and also the longest on the record. It has a sort of eastern flavour as it fades down around 9 mins and a bit of mellotron (choir sounds) sneaks through the mix. Thomas Mera Gartz is a short dreamy piece. The title track is a more searching track with some awesome bass playing. Epilogue, a very mellotron based track closes this record that was recorded on one day in Jan 2013.. Enjoyl…



The Higher Craft- Delta9 (Diptera Records)

This is the final release by the excellent psychedelic rock band from the UK, THC. I have followed all their releases and really enjoyed them a lot. They have always made very cool handmade items with lots of tender loving care and great thought put into the presentation, music and overall vibe.. I have purchased all of these and am very glad for them. This finale is seeing the band go out on a high note, with one last creative adventure out into the unknown world of psychedelic rock and electronic music to create one last mind latering journey with a major theme on marijuana…  Please check out the band on bandcamp, where you can hear all their releases and if you have time explore their main web page, with lots of fun and interesting things.. I will miss this great band, one of the most creative on the UK scene for the last 7 or so years.


Electric Orange- Volume 10 (Studio Fleisch SFCD003)

This is the first new release by German psychedelic Kraut masters after their 20 year double album last year. There are 8 tracks in about 70mins on this CD and each track has a funny name related to Black Sabbath songs. The opening track is called Paraboiled and is a strange track with a constant flow of ideas and sounds. Slowblnd speads the pace up a bit but each instruments slowly enters into the fold as the drummer keeps the drive going. The main synth drone is accompanied by some acoustic guitar and hand drums as well. Cool groovy track and one of the shorter ones at only 6mins! Symptom of the Moony Nurse starts with a cool guitar to grab your attention and is slow, stoned and spooky to start with a cool synthesizer. Suite Beef is a long slow building track with the organ taking the main lead but a pretty cool strange string instrument (phonofiddle) and mandolin making some cool accompaniment. Spacey stuff… A Tuna Sunrise has this interesting instrument called a Phillicorda played by Dirk that gives the track a really special feeling as the music is really floating and drifiting away into the outer reaches of your mind and universe. Lovely use of the Rhodes sound and organ on this track. Behind the Wall of Sheep changes the mood and starts off quite mysterious and almost like something dangerous is going to happen. The drums and bass eventually kick in as the guitar line with a slow wah creates some tension and the synths pulse and push as the track searches for one instrument to take the lead and punch out into the known… It becomes nearly a space rock track but then slowly glides back out into space and then back for another short flight or glide…  Seven and Smell features some spoken words stuff at the beginning as it has some tribal drumming that the bands flows a long with. Worn Utopia is another long 15min track featuring mellotron and phillocordia again… This Cd is more spaced out and drifting, than the last one but still very experimental and in the vibe of the original krautrock masters.. 
 

The Chemistry Set- Elaspsed Memories 7”(Fruits De Mer Records WINKLE18)

The UK psych band, the Chemistry Set is back with another cool 7” record. The 7” features two original tracks and a Jimi Hendrix cover (Love or Confusion). Elapsed memories starts things off and takes you back to the late 60s but with a more modern sound production. A bit poppy, a bit dreamy and very melodic but stuck 40 years back in time.  A cure for the Inflicted Afflicted has a pretty hard rocking guitar riff but then it weaves in and out of more melodic parts and this very cool guitar riff and guitar solo. Fantastic track and I love the harmonica that kicks in at the end. The last track, is the Hendrix track in a nice acoustic version with a bit of sitar and hand drums. Great version from a very cool band..

Pharoah Overlord- Överhörn cassette (Ruton Music RUT-009)

Wow.. what can I say.. this is one very intense tape but kicks total ass. A very intense live concert from the Lepakkomies club in Helsinki from 2012. The band are just so powerful, loud, intense and in your face… The place must have been like a complete sweat box. The energy is just unreal… Think high energy heavy metal but with that hypnotic trance of Circle and some wild vocals and guitar as well…… The band do slow it down though for some far out blues also.. The B side also is not as wild but still very cool stuff… Only made in 100 copies…   Check the web site…


Space Travel 2007-2014 (Trail Records)

This is a promo sampler from the cool Trail Records from New York. It features a lot of really cool bands and focuses on more spacey songs by these bands. The majority of the tracks are from 2010 with only 1 from 2013 and 2014, respectively. I am familiar with most of the bands on here like Siddhartha, Barret Elmore, Sky Cries Mary (who has two tracks), Ole Lukkøye, In the Labrinyth, Polska Radio One and Beyond-o-Matic (2 tracks). The bands that were new for me were Rada and the Blackthorns (who plays a sort of tribal jammed out vibe with the guitar being quite experimental and searching), The Narcotic Daffodils (hypnotic spacey rock with sitar and female vocalizations- great stuff!), and Plootoh (who feature a slow spacey blues track with some beautiful guitar). It is nice to see this label is still releasing some music. I had heard rumors of the new Ole Lukkøye coming out on Trail but sadly have not seen or heard anymore about this. Ther eis one track at the link below here you can preview. http://www.trailrecords.us/news.html

A very cool label releasing world music in the psychedelic and space rock genre.


Friday, October 17, 2014

Black Moon Circle- Andromeda (Crispin Glover Records)

This first full length record by the Norwegian band, Black Moon Circle (BMC), and it is a psychedelic rock monster! Full of cool songs and moods, massive riffs, spaced out sounds and a killer drummer and bass player that just groove, while guitarist Vemund, plays whatever the hell he feels like and rocks like a MF…  Machine on the Hill is a 9½ monster track that starts slowly with just some loud drums (sounds really awesome like he is playing in the living room if you have it cranked loud!) and spacey guitar parts as it slowly builds up. The bridge has a super catchy chorus. The band hits overdrive and this track has a great jammed out ending.  Jack’s Cold Sweat has a heavier riff and more intense singing from Øyvin as the band reaches just the peak, where Vemund can take the guitar to the skies.. The band is complimented by Dr. Space adding some far out space sounds in the background to take you out into orbit! “Step into the afterworld, follow the others into the void, take the step on the golden tongue, follow the dream forevermore….”  Supernova slows things down and starts off with some heavy bass drones with a bit of delay on it as Per slowly brings the drums in. Vemund takes his time to settle into the riff of choice for taking you on the journey. Øyvin sings with a melodic, slowly sung vocal with a dreamy character through most of the drifiting track that lasts about 6 mins and finishes side A.  Dragon starts off with some acoustic guitar and a bit of other guitar before the drums come in around 2½ mins and but you have to be patient for the arrival of the Dragon…..  then you will feel the dragon rising and the track just becomes a monster and again Dr. Space makes another appearance around 5½ mins. Vemund plays some really intense guitar parts as the whole sound becomes a huge psychedelic trip lasting 3 more minutes. Phew…. Andromeda is a 15min track that closes the album and has many moods and starts off a bit like a Gov’t Mule song, with its slow melodic guitar build up before the heavy riff kicks in after the 1st long vocal section. Around 5½mins, the band is ready to jam now and Øyvin steps up the bass intensity and Per as well and then it is Vemund’s turn to deliver space guitar. Around 10mins Vemund has really let loose with some great solos as the whole band just lifts the track to another level around 11½ mins when Vemund kicks in with another space guitar effect and Øyvin starts killing it on the bass.. Wow.. what a fucking jam…  Look out early next year for the Studio Jams Vol 1!


Postcards from the Deep Compliation (Fruits de Mer CRUSTACEAN 58)

This is a pretty unique and ambitious release. 10 one sided flexi-discs, 10 postcards, poster, and CD in a unique clamshell box…… Flexi discs never really had such great fidelity and are not known for being able to be played many times (maybe that’s why you really need the CD this time!). Anyway, it is a cool idea and it will cost you 27£ plus shipping if you want to own one of the 700 that will be produced. It features 10 somewhat obscure and some of the most popular bands from the Fruits de Mer catalog including Astralasia, The luck of Eden, The Thanes, Schizo Fun Addit, Crystal Jacqueline, The Crawlin Hex (a new band from Fred from Earthling Society), The Loons, The Past Tense, The Blue giant Zeta Puppies and Icarus Peel. All the bands perform cover songs of mostly pretty obscure bands from the 60s like the Hippies, Dragonfly, The Sorrows, Laurie Johnson, Count Five, Calico Wall, the Pretty things, Brainticket,  Satori and Donavan. Alot of very cool versions. I was impressed. 


Zoltan- Tombs of the Blind Dead LP (Rise Above Records RISE12/186)

I am not really that into soundtrack albums but this one sounded pretty damn cool and it is! The band is only a three piece with bass, drums, keyboards and samples but they make the most of it. The music is dark, moody, and with great atmospheres. Side A starts with the title track and then Return of the Blind Dead. A very nice rich sound and a great use of bells, strange sounds as the drums and bass keep it doomy. The Ghost Galleon starts side B off and features a lot of Mellotron. When the drums and bass kick in, the keyboards and samples get really spaced out. Quite cool stuff. Night of the Seagulls is the last track and again features mellotron to help create the creepy atmosphere. I guess this album is about 30mins of music max but I enjoyed it a lot. I for sure want to see the movie now!


Haiku No Ku- Ultra High Dimensionality (Box Records 006)

This is a fairly new project featuring Mike from BONG on guitars, Sam Booth- Drums, and Jerome Smith on bass. They started putting stuff up on bandcamp back in 2013 and released their debut on Burning World Records called Sick on my Journey last August. I did not manage to hear that record but the sample I heard of this one made me want to buy it.  The album features 5 tracks over the two sides of brain damaging music. Side A opens with Dead in the Temple and gives you the first sonic glimpse. The sound of the record is such that you feel like these three guys just smoked a big joint or bong, grabbed the instruments and cranked up the volume in a large room with a lot of reverb and just set forth to another universe with the drums and bass keeping a simple stoned groove while Mike just plays totally psychedelic, fuzzy, distorted guitar and multi-layered at one point…. Pretty mindblowing opening track. Strung out beyond the Rim, starts a bit slower but it has a cool guitar riff that is repeated over and over until you are thoroughly hypnotized. Blue at Noon starts the side B and the aural assault of the mind kicks in straight away, with hardly a warning, with air raid siren like guitar, dropping bombs in the mind. It eventually becomes a bit less intense and then Mike does some more double layering of the spaced out heavy fuzz guitar. Void in Aimless Flight and Unbroken Reign of the Violent Yagyu end side B in a stoned haze of fuzz… I do not recommend cranking this one up in the headphones as you will be left with a totally blasted and shattered mind… Phew….. advice from the Doctor.

https://haikainoku.bandcamp.com/ http://box-records.com

Coltrane 7” (Fruits de Mer Records CRUSTACEAN 59)

This is a really fantastic split 7” with the band Superfjord and Earthling Society. Superfjord from Finland start things off with a super cool version of A Love Supreme (John Coltrane)!  After a super spacey and far out intro, the band tries to enter into the main theme of the song but the pull of the drugs just keeps the music way to psychedelic until the vocals kick in. Super cool version and unlike any I have ever heard. Earthling Society take on Journey in Satchidananda (Alice Coltrane) is also out there on the other side of the universe trying to find its way back to earth, where the track was originally born….. What would John and Alice of thought?? Amazing! 

Full but different version from the 7"

Brant Bjork and South- Loppen, Christiania 10/15/14

It has been some years since I have seen Brant play. Last time he played at Roadburn, we could not get into the Midi Hall and missed his show… There was a really good crowd for a Weds night. I hung out with the guys from Wonderland and Lone and an old friend, Morten Jensen and his wife also. Some of the Roadburn gang (Nils, Tom, Magnus, Sven) were coming later.

          A new young Danish band called South, opened the show. They are a 5 piece band from Nørrebro in Copenhagen and play a pretty aggressive high energy stoner rock, heavy rock (metal) music. The drummer and bass player had a really great groove and the two guitar players whipped up a furry with some really cool riffs. The female lead singer had a pretty cool voice for their style and good stage presence. The 2nd songs was a slow and doomy one (Nils would have liked it!). The 3rd song also started with a heavy bass line and quite slow and heavy but it really built up in a cool way. Both guitar players play solos but they have quite different styles: one a more traditional heavy metal style lead work , the guy with the SG, a more searching experimenting style, perhaps he is not as confident or competent as a lead guitarist yet. The 2nd to last song was a really fast number and also short. The final number was also a fast rock and roll number and hard to distinguish from the previous. This was only their 2nd show ever, so I thought they did pretty well but some of their songs are too much a like but you can say that about Brant as well! They played 6 songs in about 35mins.

Set List: Black Saw Wing, Knife Twister, Blind Faith, Night, Satan’s Sister, Sleepless
Race with myself

          Brant did not hit the stage until 23, which is too fucking late on a week night. I really wanted to see him though. He started off with too long stoned out jammy versions of some of his older tracks starting off with Low Desert Punk.  He is more or less playing the same set every night on this tour from what I can see on the internet (below is a guess). I was really surprised how hard rocking and cool the new songs were. I think the new record will be really promising. I was really sad that he did not play anything from Gods and Goddesses as this is my favourite BB record….  Anyway, most of the songs were played pretty straight up but a few were stretched out. The new lead guitar player was pretty cool and damn, the drummer, he pounded the drums and was awesome. He had a killer band for sure.. It was a fun show. I think he played about 90mins.
Set List: Low Desert Punk, Lazy Bones/Automatic, Fantastic, Too Many Chiefs...Not Enough Indians, Turn Yourself On, Controllers Destroyed, Let the truth be Known,, Stokely Up Now, I Miss MyChick, We Don't Serve Their Kind, Freaks of Nature, Buddha Time (Everything Fine), Boogie Woogie On Your Brain