Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wild Eyes- Wild Eyes Ep (Heavy Psych Sounds Records HPS018)

Wild Eyes are a totally rocking band from San Francisco featuring the bass player from the great Djenghis Khan. They are fronted by a powerful female singer. This EP features 5 tracks in about 25mins and is the bands 2nd release. Stiff Nites starts things off in a rocking way and at high speed as this four piece really belt it out with some great guitar solos and energy as well. Snakey Lady has a really cool guitar sound and killer bass groove as Miss Gonzales belts out the vocals. The mid section the drummer is really awesome and I like the way they make the most out jamming in a short 4½min track. Give you Plenty Lovin’ ends side A with the same energy as the first 2 tracks a bit of psychedelic effect on the voice. The last two tracks are 7½ mins or so each and feature Doug from Glitter Wizard on keyboards. The Freak starts things off and takes things down a lot for a more laid back bluesy, stoney track with some nice organ. Around 2mins the emotional energy raises and then into a nice guitar section. Great song… Alabaster Dream/hewn Runes is the last track and a mid-paced one with a cool funky vibe in the 2nd half. I really like this band a lot and it is a pity they did not make it this far north on their European tour.  Cool band.



Wedge- Wedge (Heavy Psych Sounds Records HPS019)

Wedge is a new band fronted by the guitar player from the Berlin band, Magnificent Brotherhood.  Kiryk wrote all the songs and plays all the guitars and vocals. The album cover is a total copy of the first Kadaver record, including the same style design of the logo! Anyway, the CD features 7 tracks that sound a lot like Magnificent Brotherhood but with a slightly harder guitar edge to it. Fans of the Magnificent Brotherhood will dig this record of 60’s inspired hard rocking sounds that loan from LOVE, the Doors and Quicksilver Messenger Service and borrowing a lot of riffs, arrangements from the masters. That is the vibe the band goes for and succeeds with. The opening track, Easy Chair is hard rocking for the first 2½ mins and then a really cool piano keyboard section changes the mood completely. They eventually come back to the where it all started. Great song. Looks ‘n’ Savvy is next keeps the energy high and happy with a simple rock song. Makeyersefree starts off sounding like Stairway to heaven by Led Zeppelin with a mellotron and then it becomes another great melodic rock song, for sure inspired by Led Zeppelin with a nice short organ solo. The band are pictured as a three piece but I wonder live if they have a keyboard player as they are all played by David who also plays bass but he can’t do both live? There are a lot of keys on the record. 61 SG is next and the band has released a cool video for this one. See it below. The Fight is next another high energy R&R number one with some ripping guitar as David and Holger just rock and roll and keep a cool groove going. The Spider and the Cat is not a very original arrangement but a fun song. The last track on this short album is Never Learn. This track starts off jazzy but then after 1min kicks into a high energy track with some intense bass playing. This is a really good and fun record. Enjoy…



The Sorrows- Go Find a Cave 7” (Rise Above Records)

This is a very different release for Rise Above. I had never heard of this band before but they seem to have been around briefly in the late 60’s and early 70s and then disappeared and now have reformed with at least one original member. The two tracks are both really different and special. Go find a Cave is the first of three tracks and is a kind of dirty blues garage rock track. Kind of primitive, strange, weird lyrics, off somehow, ….  I don’t know.. Some cool guitar and solos for sure. Don’t do that is a high energy rock and roll song with some funny catchy lyrics and then they go onto a strange Irish jig like section and then into a track just like Mona, and finally back into the high energy R&R that started this sing-a-long off.. Not what you would expect on Rise Above.. Doin’ Alright Tonight is a sort of cheesy rock and roll track, like a really bad Rolling Stones track… I don’t get this one and I would say most people who buy this labels records would not see much interesting in this… Not a good way to finish this 7” off. Hum………


MUGSTAR/COSMIC DEAD SPLIT 12” (Evil Hoodoo Records EH-009)

Both of these bands have their own unique style of cosmic psychedelic instrumental (mostly) space rock music and are playing some dates together in December in the UK to support this new release. I have been lucky enough to see them both live this year. Cool bands. Each band played an album side long track and the record starts off with Mugstar performing Breathing Mirror (18mins). The track starts off very slow and spacey and then a hypnotic groove slowly fades in and off we go.. The track is very much driven by the bass and drums with the guitar playing varied stuff and space sounds coming in and out and here and there to make it trippy..  About half way through you think it is going to end as the drums fade out and it gets a bit metallic in sound and then it cuts off and you are floating in space suddenly… A bit later the trance state is loosend up and you return to a theme a lot like the way the track started… Looking back into the Breathing Mirror. Flip the record over for the Cosmic Dead track, Fukahyoocastaluh (25:51). The Cosmic Dead’s side starts slowly and hypnotically and perhaps a bit more psychedelic due to more spaced out synths. There is not a lot of guitar for the first part of this track but the track is really spaced out and slowly builds as most Cosmic Dead stuff does..  There are some occasional vocals with a lot of effects just to take you to the next level of the head trip.. Great record…



Horisont- Break the Limit 7” (Rise Above Records)

The Swedish hard rock band Horisont are back with two new tracks, the title track, which will appear on their next studio album. this is the first release with Tom (ex-Church of Misery) on guitar. He has been playing on and off with the band for the last year or so but is now a full time member.  Break the Limit starts things off and reminds me of Thin Lizzy. I don’t know exactly what it is about the track that makes it like Thin Lizzy. The Chorus is very 80s metal like. The dual guitars work really well and they play these intense harmonies. But it still has that real Horisont sound also. Yellow Blues starts off with a synthesizer loop and then the band kicks in, very retro in feel and sound. The riffs are all early 80s metal style though. The dual trading solos is really cool before they end this very cool song. Very impressive. I cant wait to hear the new full length! Great work guys…



Fribytterdrømme- S/T 7” (Levitation Records LR00017)

This is the debut release by a cool young Danish band led by their guitar player and singer, Lau. The band is a 5 piece with two guitars, bass, drums, keys and percussion back up singer. They sing all their songs in Danish and have pretty cool lyrics as Lau also writes surrealistic poetry and has published his first book last month. Anyway, things get started with Jeg graver huller i Mørket (I dig holes in the Darkness). This track is a organ driven track with a really nice groove and straight out of the 60s…. the organ line is one used a million times and even can be found on other Danish bands records like The Setting Son and really dominates the sound mix with all other instruments pushed to the back besides the voice. Anyway, a cool song and lip the record over for the shorter track, 

Taget Noget (Take Anything). This track has the guitar and bass mixed more to the front to drive the track and sounds more like the band does live. Lau has a special voice but I like it. While the band are not breaking any new ground, and sound very retro, they write really good songs and are an excellent live band. The band has finished mastering their first full length record and this will be released on Levitation Records in March. A single sided 12” will also be released with their long nearly 20min track that is very Pink Floyd inspired when they play it live called Fribytterdrøme.


Gnod/Eternal Tapestry split 7” (God Unknown Records 001)

This is the first release on the new label from the Mugstar guys. This is the first of like 10 releases over the next year. GNOD have the A side and start off and is very strange number. A very stripped down sound with just saxophone, percussion, chimes, and synths and quite strange. Like Henry Cow or something. The track does have a clear repeated theme that is looped and evolved in a special way. GNOD are strange I have to admit to liking their older stuff better but they do it there way and it still works.. The Eternal Tapestry track is really amazing (plays on 33rpm) with a really low fi but organic sound mix, great guitar and just generally jammy and spaced out rehearsal room like sound with a lot of passion and rawness. Loved the bass playing as well and can be like My Brother the Wind, Oresund Space Collective in a way… Wow…. I look forward to hear the next bands in this series..


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Copenhagen Psych Fest Støttearrangement- Repubilkken, CPH Dec 13th, 2014

 This was sort of a CPH psych fest 2015 pre-arrangement to get people in touch with the scene, the people, the bands and to promote the festival for Sept 2015. I arrived early as the Danish band, Fritbyttedrømme were also having a 7” release party from 16-18 with their band leader, Lau, playing a few solo songs. I had never been to this place before and they had done some decoration to make it a bit cooler as it was a cold white, long skinny place with two places for live music and a bar-kitchen area.  Set up like a youth club or something. A bit cold.. Anyway, I met up with Lone and Hugo (a Bolivan guy living and going to school in Malmö). There was about 50 people for the release party and the crowd inside the club would rarely get much more than this over the entire night, despite 387 people saying they would come on Facebook!  Anyway, I knew some people and Jan Snerum from the Danish Radio was there and we had just done a radio interview a few days ago that will broadcast today (Sunday Dec 14th at 18-20 (GMT+1).
Lau from Fribyttedrømme

          Lau played one song on electric guitar and then the next was just fantastic and involved many layers of guitar and space sound and the tambourine player and back up singer from the band also joined. It was about 20mins but cool… I got the 7” record and you can read the review soon. Lone, Hugo and I went out to eat at Kebabbish just down the road and came back in time to catch the first act at 18:15, Distortion Girls. I had seen this three piece before in Malmö at an art gallery and they were really interesting. They have a male organ player, a female singer (poet) and a female guitar player who also triggers the sampled bass and other sounds that they play along with. Tonight they had some really cool movies projected on the wall that they also appear in some of them. I thought they were brilliant. It is a hard sound to describe but noisy, puts you on edge and is sort of druggy.. Cool stuff..
Distortion Girls

          Next up is the duo that calls themselves Kongekunst. I saw them at last year’s CPH Psych fest and it was a highlight for sure. These guys are highly original and just totally far out. They torture their guitars, pound their drums, drone their synths, do strange things to horns and just totally captivate you with their passion and energy. I can’t imagine listening to it at home but live, they are amazing. The show was a bit to short and they ended on a sort of mellow track for them, so I was left really wanting more. Still cool to see them. Not many people around, still only 40-50 people and remember there are 10 acts a lot of volunteers so maybe 20 paid people??  I should also say it was really cool that they had some liquid oil projection visuals done by Kasper Dons (Danske Spor) and what looked like could be his father. Great work guys. It makes such a difference to have some visuals.

Kongekunst
         Måneskjold (Moon Shield) was next and one of the best acts of the entire night. Kasper, the arranger of this event, played guitar and spacey effects in the band and he is joined by bass, drums and two guitars, although Rasmus, the singer, sometimes only sings and does not play guitar. They play a really cool psychedelic space rock with a punky attitude and edge and the interaction between the guitar players is really cool… Great band. They will make their new release next year..

Måneskjold
          Danske Spor (Danish tape or track) is normally a guy named Kasper Dons, playing acoustic tracks with very simple guitar chords. He is very passionate but I was not really grabbed by it. It is all sung in Danish. Today he was backed by the Kongeunst guys which added another whole layer and made it more interesting. Most people were just taking away as they usually do in Denmark and not paying much attention. He played about 25mins I think..

Danske Spor
          Now it was back to the larger hall for the band Baby Jesus. They also played at last years Psych Festival. This was the most people of the entire night as there was probably about 60 people watching the band as they played a really strong set of 60s rock and roll. They have a great sound and play very well together and sound very authentic. There are a lot of these Danish bands that are really good at coping the sound or feel of other bands and they are much less good at creating something original… Anyway, the band powered through their 30min set and rocked the place. Great energy and songs.
Baby Jesus
           Echofabrikken was a totally new band for me and this will for sure be the last time I see them. I have no idea how or why they were on the bill? It was like some sort of Danish radio pop with a bit of post rock spaceyness sometimes but I hated the pop singing and this had nothing to do with psychedelic music. 

Mary and the Hookers was also a new band for me and I quite enjoyed their set of Spiritualized- Spaceman 3 (the more mainstream) druggy vibe. All their songs sounded a like with the same sort of vibe with the guitar player on the left making some more interesting sounds and using a violin bow at times, and effects. The singer also played guitar and they had one other guitar as well who did some solos but very unoriginal ones.. I don’t think people liked them much though as the crowd was down to about 30 when they finished.

Mary and the Hookers
          The last act I saw was Dør nr 13 (Door number 13). This started off with one guy playing guitar and harmonica, ala Bob Dylan and singing a quite political song that got some response from the small crowd. Lorenzo Woodrose was here now and Anders Stubb (Anders, On Trial) as well. Some old friends! He was joined with a drummer and bass player for the next tracks and this was more interesting and more rocking but not really psychedelic. Not bad though…. I was tired now so I missed the last two bands, The Warmongers and Deadpan Interference.
Dor nr 13

          Overall, I have to say it was a bit disappointing. Most of the bands were the same that played the Psych fest earlier this year and considering I was there for 7 hrs I did not really see a single act that really blew me away or did stuff so original besides Kongekunst and Distrotion Girls. I really hope Kasper can pull together a more impressive line up for the real festival and next pre-event in April. The event ran pretty smooth considering the sound in both rooms was difficult; there was no professional sound or light people. Still a nice evening as I could hang out with cool people. 



Saturday, December 6, 2014

Space Ritual and Inevitable- the Borderline, London Nov 30th, 2014

This was supposed to be the last concert by Nik Turner’s Space Ritual with 4 of the original members of the 1970 Hawkwind (Nik, Mick, Terry and Thomas). The rest of the band I suspected would be filled out by Chris (space sounds), Angel (the dancer) and someone on bass. They said special guests so I had hoped Jerry Richards, who played on their only full length record and with the band in the early days might show.
Thomas Crimble
Inevitable
          Doors were to open at 17 but the bands were still soundchecking so they did not start letting anyone in until after 17:30. Project 9, another Nik Turner band was listed but did not play. Thomas Crimble (he played bass on the 1st HW record but now only plays Hammond in Space Ritual, which was never on any Hawkwind records, the early ones..) has a new band where he plays guitar and sings. They played from 18 til about 19 and had a 14 song set of mostly original material. The opening song, Just Get There was quite Neil young inspired. He had a really good lead guitar player and bass player. Thomas actually seem to be the weak link in the band, not being a particularly good or bad singer and seeming to mess up the guitar parts on a number of the songs and getting funny looks from the rest of the band.. but hell, it was the debut gig for this band, which was not a space rock band, but a band playing blues rock with a slight country edge at times. Great lead guitar player. So Lonely was dedicated to his daughter who moved to Australia and never came back. Chris from Space Ritual joined the band for Watch the Skies to make a more space rock track. Some of the tracks were really good and some were pretty boring but we liked a lot of the set.

Set List: just Get There, Closer to you, Far Away, Looks at you, Ocean, Go Anywhere, Let it Go, I need you, So Lonely, Down on the Farm, Live Love, Come on Everybody, Watch the Skies, Something Better


It was around 20 when Space Ritual hit the stage and they played a whole bunch of tracks from their only record including Otherworld, Ritual of the Ravaged earth, Sonic Savages, Walking Backwards and I think one more (Time Crime?).. Then they started doing the Hawkwind songs. The sound was great and the place was packed and everyone was having fun but Mick Slattery just could not really remember the songs that well and was really fucking up the guitar parts except when he was having his long solos, which was really nice. It was a pity and a bit sad as he is a really really nice blok and I enjoyed chatting with him but he clearly was not really doing well today. Anyway, no one really cared that much and all the songs were extended spaced out jams and people singing a long and having a really good time.  I am guessing this will be the last gig with this line up. We will see.. 


Approx.Set List: Watching the Grass Grow, Otherworld, Ritual of the Ravaged Earth, Sonic Savages, Time Crime, Walking Backwards, Steppenwolf, D-Rider, Sonic Attack, Reefer Madness, Ejection, Brainstorm, Master of the Universe…

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Atomikylä- Erkale (Future Lunch FULU-006)

This is a totally new band from Finland that plays some very intense dark psychedelic music! Fans of Mr Peter Hayden, Dark Buddha Rising, and Domovoyd will for sure dig this stuff. Wow..  The CD features 5 tracks over about 40mins. Alkuaineet starts things off with a very intense track with some wild vocals, doomy vibe and just a wall of sound. The vocals are very evil. The title track Erkale begins with some spacey guitar over the steady bass and drum beat as it gets more and more mysterious and for a very short period there is a spoken word vocal. The track gets more and more intense as the emotion just builds and builds to a psychedelic ending. Wow.. Ihmiskallo start off like a triumphant battle has just been won and the victors are coming home! The vocals are very intense but some organ really changes the mood and feel as the heavy doom takes a bit of a backseat for a bit. Who goes there, is a psychedelic jazz track and quite trippy. Musla Kulta ends this really cool CD in a slow spaced out way but then the singer breaks up the bliss to take you back down under the earth to the secret torture chamber on a speeding rollercoaster with blood dripping from the sides………………….


ST37- I’m not Good (Cleopatra Records CLP-1967-2)

It has been some years since I heard a new ST37 record. These guys have been around for a long time now and just keep doing their own thing. The band has released material on lots of labels but this is the biggest for them, signing with Cleopatra out of California. This track has some cool artwork on the inside by my friend Chrstian Mumford (lives in Norway). The CD features 12 tracks in about an hour and starts with a strange intro and then busts right into Down on Us, which is quite psychedelic with two very different guitars split far out to the left and right channels and bass drums and vocals in the middle. Some electronics flow in and out here and there. The entire record is a pretty trippy adventure in sound, strange vocals and lots of cool guitar parts. You have to love the song titles like Odd Ass Silence, Eroica Horns, Magnetic Amphibian hydrated Gills and The pit out Back! There are quite a few guests on the record mainly adding horns here and there on some tracks. Anyway, this is a really trippy record. Glad the band hasn’t gone mainstream! Enjoy…..


Lamp of the Universe/Trip Hill (Clostriduim Records)

Clostridium is one of my favourite of the small underground labels in Germany, along with Kraut Minded. This split LP and also CD (only 500 copies all numbered) is all new material from both artists. Lamp of the Universe (Craig Williamson) has an album long side trip called Domain of the Budha, which is an amazing sound journey and will take you back to his earlier material. What a psychedelic potpourri of sounds! Amazing..  The next side see the return of the Italian multi-instrumentalist called Trip Hill. This side is split in 6 tracks with a short intro and outro and 4 tracks. The first real track is called Bright Spring. A really stoned spacey track with a dreamy voice, spacey synth sounds and a great guitar solo. Raining Metallic Mushroom starts off with some strange keyboards with a lot of delay on them before the guitar comes in. This is a slow track with but also some great guitar and a bit of mysterious eastern feel to it. I need Someone has a really cool groove and reminds me of Vibravoid for some reason. Cool stuff…Nice wah guitar by Fabrizzio (he plays all the instruments)… Driving over the Rainbow is the last real track and is short 3½min acoustic guitar track but really nice. Trip Hill is still making cool music which is great.  Great split and cool artwork…


Dead End Alley Band- Odd Stories (Nasoni Records NASONI152)

This is the 2nd release by this young band from Peru. It is pretty strange to hear young kids make such retro music but cool also. The album features 8 tracks of 60’s inspired dream rock. The Nightmare goes On starts things off at nearly 7mins and has this reverb 60’s dreamy sound with nice organ playing. The band also takes in free experimentation as well when putting their songs together like the middle section of this first track. They remind me of the Malmö band the Technicolor Poets at times. Devil’s Mask is another mail organ driven track with the fuzzy guitar mixed quite low and a frantic voice. Think a really far out version of the Doors! Blue at Distance brings things down with a slow spoken word vocal over a simple delay guitar line and then slowly the drums and bass take it up a bit, keeping it nice and laid back. Lost Again is around 8mins long and starts with some guitar and different sounds and voices mixed far to the rear before the real track kicks in. A very special song. Side B starts with The Cosmic Cry Out, which has a very nice guitar melody as it moves through several progressions including a longish guitar solo in this instrumental track. Distress is a special song and a bit hard to describe and they recycle quite a few ideas from the past in this track. Silvergreen’s Theme is a short track and one of the more psychedelic as it meanders over the bass line to find it place.Tthe closer, Look Away & Fake (A Green Breeze’s Odd Story) starts in a dreamy mood like where the record began. The vocal reminds me of US Christmas at times with it’s passionate agony! I nearly forgot the bonus track, called Half Past Dead, which is one of the heavier ones.  A very cool record



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