|Million Dollar Reload|
Thursday, March 6, 2014
It has been 5 years since Sue and I saw are current favourite Southern Rock band, Black Berrysmoke. The gig has been sold out, actually, the bands entire UK tour sold out. Some friends of BBS, Cadillac 3, who happen to be in town playing opened the show with a short like 25min set. They were an interesting 3 piece of drums, guitar (who did the lead vocals), and pedal steel, who also did a lot of singing. Sadly, the pedal steel was mixed way too low in the mix and you only herad him in the more quiet sections, which were few as this was big heavy southern riffs, almost like a stoner southern blues with no solos. They played Tennesse Mojo and their new single, which is not out yet called South but I don’t remember the title of the other three short songs.
I had seen the set they were playing on this tour and it was really heavy on the Whippoorwheel, which was only just released in the UK and Europe on Earache records, despite having been out like 1½ years in the USA. Anyway, they opened with the hard rocking, Leave a Scar and into Like I Am from the bands little Piece of Dixie record. Turns out they would only play tracks from these two records with nothing from their debut or the more country, Honky Tonk Ep. The set went by pretty fast as the songs are played very tight and exactly like on the record except for Sleeping Dogs, where they have a bit of fun with a jam in the middle with a bit of Midnight Rider by the Allman Brothers and back into the song but even this is done with picture perfection as they do it like this every night for the last many years. People really got into Up in Smoke, which would have been a perfect one for them to jam out and one of the few where Paul gets to do a guitar solo but they kept it short. I really wish they would jam it out a bit more. The bass player and drummer looked like they could have fallen asleep during the set a few times, while Charlie and Paul were clearly having a ball playing. I shouted out Train Rollin (a song from the first album) but Charlie said that was a Deep Cut and they could not play it because Paul could not remember the words! The first encore was a brand new song, called Livin in the Song, and it was a quite a short commercial track. I did not particularly like it but you know their songs grow on you… They were pressed for time so a quick version of Shake your Magnolia and they were out the door in about a 95min set. Fun show for sure…
Set List: Leave a Scar, Like I am, Six Ways to Sunday, Good One Comin’ On, Pretty Little Lie, Crimson Moon, Sleeping Dogs, She’s Mine, Whippoorwheel, Holy Ghost, Up in Smoke, Ain’t got the blues, Freeborn Man, Restless, One Horse Town, Ain’t much Left of Me, Livin in a Song, Shake your Magnolia
Set I- Sweet Chicago, Crawling Kingsnake>Whole Lotta Love>Crawling Kingsnake, All over Now, Same old Blues, Blues with a Feeling, Walking Blues
Set II- One More Dance (with a tease of My Favorite Things, James bond movie theme), Catfish Blues, Put on your Sailing Shoes, Rollin’ and Tumblin’, ??
The all instrumental three piece band from Copenhagen are back with another new record to start off 2014. While the band are not very creative with their album or song titles, they make up for it with some really cool music. As with all but their first record this one is once again recorded, mixed and mastered by Jonas Munk, who also plays synths on the album side long track 3. They are not really breaking any new ground or territory with this record but if you have enjoyed their musical trips you will really dig this record for sure as you get sucked in right away with the opening track, Papir IIII.I, which is one the band have been playing at most of their live shows in 2013. The track starts softly with a nice bass line from Christian before Nicklas takes the lead with some really beautiful guitar. The track has a beautiful mid-section that leads up to the intense ending. IIII-II is 9½ mins and it amazes me how this band creates this spacey vibe, beautiful melodies but also this musical tension. Great album side. Flip the record over and prepare yourself for the 22min track simply called IIII.III. It starts with a long fade in and then the journey begins. It slowly builds up and then comes down in the middle to a section with just bass and guitar before it creeps back up. It gets really psychedelic at the end. Jonas’s synth parts are pretty subtle throughout but most noticeable in this section. Hope they play this track live. Another cool record. Keep it up boys!
Shiva’s Nat is the new band formed by former Highway Child singer, Patrick. He is joined by Morten (Ex-Fuzz Manta) on bass and Alexsander Trap-Jensen on drums and Bjorn Sunesen on organ. The record starts off very spacey with the track, The Shape of my Soul. When the track begins it is a very passionate blues song with the organ playing a major role in the melody of the track. Later in the track, Patrick plays a lovely guitar solo as well. I’m Alive shows Patrick belting out a wild vocal and the guitar and bass line is more aggressive as well. The track has a really jammed out ending with Patrick taking some extended solo time before the track comes back to the main theme. Intermission is a slow bluesy track to end side A without organ. Flip the record over and you start with the Dragonodyssey! This has a really rumbling bass line over which the track develops and there is some great double tracked guitars that make this one quite psychedelic. Bjorn comes in at the end with the organ. You ends the record with a slow starting blues track with some really fervent singing once again and guitar playing. Fans of Highway Child will dig the singing but might be surprised how bluesy this one is and not as rocking perhaps as one might expect. Cool record, I think..
The German psychedelic world music band are back with a new CD in a small cardboard sleeve with a glue on artwork as well as a double vinyl. It has different versions of most of the songs from the Delayed Back CD from 2009 but they have been remixed by various people. I have very mixed views of this material actually. I have been a big fan of the bands Ozric Tentales like sounds that they started off with and the way they have travelled a nice journey to create their own psychedelic world music. Peninsolar starts things off with a chilled dub vibe. Dschungelgelöt has this really chilled elevator techno jazz bar feeling. Grant Lump also has this pretty smooth techno groove but I quite like the violin line. Shinkenwurst Dub is just as it says, a very relaxed dub. Vibrant Hydrant is also very chilled with a sax and some violin. Rumpankong features some rapping and female vocals over a reggae style remix in this Ramfma and knut remix. VeJon Kennedy does his own totally different remix of Pennisolar and instead of dub this has a quite deep bass line and fast programmed drumming. Tom tyler remixes Vibrant hydrant in a very cool and psychedelic track. This was my favourite on the remix record. Mahdrescher is another dub out trip mix. Rotterdub is a psacey dub. He CD ends with Der heikle Mann, which is also pretty relaxed. Anyway, some of these remixes have turned the band’s sound into some sort of laid back lounge music, while others have maintained more of the original vibe. I like the last half much better than the first. Take chance…
Baby Woodrose is back with a new CD collection rare tracks from the mostly B-sides of their 7” singles. The music has been remasted in the studio and also features music from some of the very rare 7” records like the one originally released on Pan records. There is also two tracks from the very first recording session (That’s how strong my Love Is, 6654321). This is also pressed in 1000 copies on black vinyl for the first pressing. The CD comes in a nice digipack format. This is a great collection for those who don’t have the money to hunt down these rare 7” records. I have been spinning it a lot lately...
Saturday, February 8, 2014
This quite cool Belgium band has released a new record on vinyl in 500 copies with a poster and a sticker and they are all hand numbered. I have number 338. There are quite a few guest vocalists and players adding horns, synths, and Fender Rhodes. The record has a wide range of diverse material on it and starts off with Sahara, which slowly fades in before the band kicks into an uptempo and intense song but then at the break it goes into a totally 70s section with horns and keyboards and the vocal style changes to this very laid back mood from a very powerful vocal before returning to the power of the start. Cool dynamics. Serpent is an very nice and melodic instrumental piece, which really picks up at the end. Salvation is the last track on side A, which has some very powerful lyrics ending with “chocked on materialism, forced only to see, we’re losing the power to be”.. I like that.. It starts with some very nice harmony guitars by Philip and Erik, before the heavy and slow riff kicks in and the vocals, which have a sort of nasty angry edge to them, to contrast the nice melody of the song. This track actually reminds me a bit a lot of the Finnish band, Amorphis. It ends with a long acoustic section. Flip the record over to hear Sands, which starts with a eastern flute with Fender Rhodes, section before an acoustic guitar section with a female spoken voice and as the rest of the band joins on this slow building piece. Cool song. The record ends in a very heavy fashion with the monster track, Song of Saturn. It has a very heavy riff to start but then really evolves in a unique way. This is a great record and not what I had expected at all. It is also released on a CD digipack, which I forgot to mention before.
This is a new Russian band released on the very cool US label, Trail records. From the picture in the digipack, you can see four young men (Dmitry- Guitar, vocal, keys, Alexander- Electric Tambura, Andrei- Keys, bass, and Feodor- Drums, keys) who created this very diverse, cool and interesting musical journey. The Final Mantra starts things off with a slow steady beat that hardly changes throughout the track, but interesting layers of vocal chants and some psychedelic guitar playing compliment this interesting intro track. The 2nd track, The Fractalized Sky will remind people a lot of Wooden Shjips, with its sound, vibe and vocal style. It has some very cool psychedelic guitar. Time Eternity is an excellent eastern style instrumental piece and features Stepan Jee on sitar. Morosim (2 C-P dub) changes the feeling totally as it very spaced out and dub like at times but some spacey vocals and wah guitar lead lead the way. The track is also pretty hypnotic with a lot of repeated elements. To the Delta of Aquarius has some more spacey synths and a bit of a eastern feel to it again and more singing and Saucerful of Secrets Pink Floyd feel at times. Shagri-La is a slow track with hand drums and a slow evolving lead guitar line that complements the simplicity of the track as the keyboards lay low on this one and slowly creep into the sound as it gains in intensity, when the organ takes over. Launch #93 has some spoken words taken from some astronauts talking in space, while an acoustic guitar strums and different keyboard fill in the rest of the space. The 10min long title track, Cosmos Inside ends this excellent musical journey. This track has a more uptempo and groovy bass line that gets things going before the band really improvise and go out into space with a lot of cool guitar and effects and keyboards as this one gets really intense. There is one bonus track called Rhymes and Armonies and once again features Stepan Jee on sitar. The whole journey is 55mins.. I really liked this CD a lot.
It has been years since I heard any Truckfighters. I had the Gravity X CD but someone made off with it at some point.. Anyway, this 10” has the title track from the bands new record as well as a live track from Australia. The new track is very groovy and has all the features that this band does best. The bass is really leading in this one and they have a lot of cool changes. The guitar player is not playing hardly any lead guitar but mixing up the riffs a lot. A very cool mix of vocals as well. Great song. Desert Cruiser is clearly a song the band and the audience dig as you can hear the audience singing a long and you almost get the energy of the audience jumping up and down with the way the band are into it and stretch this one out to 12mins! If you are a fan you will love this one. I hope to catch them when they play in Copenhagen on Feb 16th…
This is a new Norwegian band to me. They have release two singles before this amazing full length record. The band hails from Trondheim and features the rhythm section from Motorpsycho. This limited edition vinyl record is a super cool package with amazing artwork and on a few different colours of vinyl (I got the purple one). The album in CD is also included. All information about the record is printed on the inside of the sleeve, so you have to sort of stretch it out to see the writing. The record features 4 tracks on the A side and two on the B side, one which is most of the side. Per Borten is the lead man who plays the guitar and sings. There is also saxophone, trumpet and pedal steel on the record. Into tomorrow starts the record off with a low fi garage rock type song but then when the bass and band kicks in, it is a real rocker. The vocals when Per is at his most powerful he reminds me of Spice of Spiritual Beggars. This track also mixes in some keyboards and horns into the mix and has a cool groove. Blaer Jubel starts off sounding just like Motorpsycho the way the bass line runs through the track but Per is a more intense singer and then the cool lead guitar takes over for a brief section. The track has a long instrumental section where the guitar is mixed up front and the rhythm is just killer and it just ends as a sort of faded out jam. Master of Disguise is uptempo and really reminds me of Spiritual Beggars but with a bit more rock and roll attitude! Southeastern Voodoo Lab starts off a bit funky but then just ends up in a very jamming loose feeling track. Damn, this side is some kick ass rock and roll with attitude, some far out fuzzed out guitars and killer grooves. It is great when the horns kick in as well. Flip over the record you have an extended version of Empty Rooms that was released as a single. It starts off with a sax solo and a long intro before the band and powerful vocal kicks in and the track really rocks with a powerful bass line like Back to Komm by MC5 and a cool guitar with some massive effects on it. Million and Somersault is a long jammed out instrumental track and by far the most laid back on the record but with some excellent space outs and psychedelic parts and lots of changes. Amazing record..
The psychedelic rock band from Finland entitled Mr. Peter Hayden have a new 7” record out to proceed the release of their next full length record due out in April. The 7” has the long track split over two sides. If you heard the bands last record, then you will get an idea of the direction the band was heading. The side A starts off slow, heavy and spacey with a quite far out sound production to start (especially if you play it at the wrong speed!). When the track really begins it is heavy, repetitive, and slowly evolving with a distant vocal. The lead guitar lines make it pretty psychedelic before you have to turn the record over. A quick fade up before the monster space laden doom riff kicks in. This track is basically instrumental but towards the end you can hear a voice that sounds like it has a vocoder effect on it but it is mixed into the background. The next record is going to be a trip for sure!
The first (and maybe the last) Falcon record is out now. For those unaware, Falcon is all the current line up of Circle playing normal rock, with more than a hint of the worst of the 80s hard rock/metal scene, with the cheesy keyboards, etc.. but they can’t do it totally normal, there is always that little strange Circle twist. I love some of the lyrics especially on Beer and Ribs, which was released as a single last year. If you are a fan of Circle, musically you will find this a bit disappointing, unless you can really see how much fun the band had making a record like this. I enjoyed some of it quite a lot but you have to think about it in a different way, that this is not really Circle, but it still is…. Just check it out and make your own opinion and if you dig, order the record….
This is the first new material by Siena Root in 3 years. The title track the band has been playing in their live set for a year or so. This is the last recorded material with multi-instrumentalist KG West, who has now left the band. Conveniently Blind (plays on 45rpm) is the first material to features the new singer Jonas Ahlen. This is a straight up Siena Root 70s roots rock track with some nice organ and guitar work. The whole band sounds great. Mishra Kafi is a 5½ min instrumental track that is based on a composted sitar piece for the start and then half way through a melodic hard rock build up kicks in and KG plays like a lead guitar line on the sitar that sounds really cool and then the last guitar section he switches back to his trusty Stratocaster! Great song and 7”.. I think it is pressed in 1000 copies. I can’t wait for the full length record later this year!
This is Nowhere are a Greek band playing pretty psychedelic stuff, all tuned down, stoney and spaced out! This is the bands third release. The record comes with an insert as well as a CD version of the record with three bonus tracks, which are just remixed and different versions of three of the songs from the record (Moondub, I Need and I wish upon her for my Fall). Anyway the record starts off with Dopehead Blues (Lonnie Johnson song), a slow druggy blues track. Here you can get used to the reverb laden sound production. I need reminds me a bit of White Manna in a way. A sort of straight up rock and roll song but with strange twists and far out vocals, guitar parts, etc.. Bateman’s Late Night Shift is really psychedelic and passionate. I wish upon her for my Fall starts slow and crawling with just vocals and guitar reverb as it slowly grows. Side B starts off with the really psychedelic track, Two Nights. A great stoner rock riff and groove followed by some really spaced out vocals, which they later ease up on but the grooves continue. There is not a real guitar solo but more some spaced sounds. Theme for Peter slows things down a bit but is like a stoney psychedelic blues song. Theme for Bootsy, pretty much says it all, right? Well, it is not as Funkadelic like as you would expect. The guitar riff is pretty similar to the other songs with more spacey vocals. It gets more uptempo and spaced out towards the end and then returns to the chorus of vocals. Moondub ends this very cool record and is more floating with some nice guitar lines. I really like the vibe on the record as the songs are all like spaced out jams. They have two guitar players but there is very little lead guitar, it is mostly just heavy riffing and some psychedelic guitar parts but not many solos. Anyway, I dug the record, the vibe and it is great when you want a really heavy stoned trip. Enjoy…
Dog & Sky is a collaboration between Americans Matt Burt and Michael Dutch with three Norwegians from Trondheim. Matt writes all the lyrics, plays the guitar and sings (or speaks), while Michael plays the bass and mandolin, while Eirik (saxophone, piano, glückespiel, tablas, tambura), Truels (guitar, vibraphone, dobro, piano and backing vocals), and Vigdis (drums and backing vocals) make up the band. I this have heard record many time now and am pretty hooked even though it is nothing I would have bought unless someone pushed me in the right direction. Anyway, Denver starts off with a sound sample and a slow steady bass, drum and simple guitar line while Matt sings/speaks very slowly. It has an upbeat section where it becomes more “normal” for a brief period of time before the horns and all other instruments kick in and you wonder just what happened? Cool song. Jail Cells starts with some pedal steel and then the track starts to develop a bit of Americana but with a very cool and unique feel. Woman on the Corner, Matt changes his vocal approach and sings in a bit of high range as this track has an almost strange punky vibe. Reminds me of some of the Sub pop stuff by bands like Beat Happening.. Side B starts off with Sometime a Woman and it reminds me of someone that I just can’t place. The way the vocals, guitar and saxophone are played.. Ugh.. who is it??? Holding Hands has slow and fast parts and tells a nice story in this more mainstream track and features the mandolin. The Midnight Hiker is a very strange spoken word story with only minimal mood music. I found it quite a daring thing to add to the record but I actually liked it a lot. Great record.