Tuesday, December 30, 2014
L’Ira del Baccano are a new band from Rome, Italy. I heard of this band as the guitar player Alessandro is the boyfriend of my friend Banessa a really cool local DJ in Malmö. The record has been released on CD as well as double vinyl in three different colours. The band plays really cool progressive spacey but very tightly composed instrumental rock music. The opening track called the Infinite Improbability Drive is split in to 3 parts. The opening sections start off like some progressive metal but this does not last long before the track glides down into a more spacey realm with cool space sounds and nice beautiful guitar playing. The track floats along like this and then raises up with some intensity after a while.
Part two starts with some intense stop start sections and synth sounds before the direction the track will follow unfolds as the wah guitar leads the way. A lot of time changes occur keeping the 9min track very interesting. It ends very psychedelic like old Hawkwind before heading into part 3, which starts off really mellow with a nice psychedelic tapestry laid underneath with some glissando like guitar. Lovely bass playing and a nice repeated guitar riff let you slowly glide away. Again, many themes are visited before the bass takes the lead the guitar really takes off with some wild intense guitar. Lovely 32min piece. Wow.. Sussurri is another 2 part song that lasts 11½ mins with some nice synth sounds as the other instruments glide into the mix. Like Jerry also says this one reminds me of RUSH (the old stuff!) and I like the guitar solo despite it being quite short. Volcano X13 is the last track and also the longest at 14½ mins. This track is much like the other but has one of the best guitar solos of the album. I wish they were a bit longer but lots of variety and just an amazing vibe on this record. I would recommend reading my friend Jerry’s review of this album as well as I more of less have the same view as he does. Great stuff…
Les Lekin are a new band from Austria playing mostly improvised and instrumental stoner doom rock with a lot of really cool guitar playing. After a short intro piece the CD kicks in heavy with Solum, a long piece that sets the feel for the entire CD.. heavy doomy rock music with a lot of intense guitar playing. Peter is mostly just riffing and using some effects on this track but he really let’s loose with some killer solos later on. Useless starts with just guitar and sets a mood quite different from the opening track but the heavy bass is still filling the space as they search for that moment to take it to another level and man, he plays a great guitar solo as Useless merges into Allblack. The riff that starts this one I have heard before and reminds me of Monkey 3. This one builds up in layers before peter kicks into a intense wah guitar solo. This track is one of the highlights of the CD. Loom starts with some intense guitar that sounds massive at loud volume! The track is a slow stoney one with nice space blues like solo that leads into the more doomy section and then slow spacey blues. Nice stuff. Release is the final track and reminds me a bit of Colour Haze. Great record guys…
Fans of Wight, Samsara blues Experiment, Wo Fat, Monkey 3, My Sleeping Karma… will dig this band.
Heroinne is a new band from Trondheim Norway playing some nasty stoner rock music that really gets under your skin and reminds me of Church of Misery at times. Sludgehammer starts things off with an intense track with a great groove and cool middle guitar solo, riff section… The vocal is very raw but pretty cool once you get used to him. A really cool way to start the record. Clear sight, Fogged Mind starts with drums only and then the heavy riffs kick in and a short jam and the it is over and off into Ultimate Fuzz Octane which slows things down but keeps it really stoney and really raunchy vocal and totally like Church of Misery and also with some cool guitar. Yawning Sun settles into a more relaxed stoner rock mood and takes the aggression level down a bit and the band get a bit more spaced out, which is cool and the longest track at 9 mins. Wendigo is a really uptempo track with intense drumming as it slowly gets heavier and heavier until the spacey ending in a very short track. Brained Dead kicks the stoner rock back into high gear again and is quite groovy. Rogue Planets Galore is slow and intense and a wall of sound. Pulsar ends the record and might remind some of Kyuss and is one of the few tracks with longer guitar solo. I quite liked this one despite it being mostly just riff rock and hardly any guitar solos. The band has a really powerful sound and must be pretty cool live.
IT has been a long while since I reviewed one of my favourite bands from the USA, Gov’t Mule. This is a very impressive package with 3CDs and a DVD of the entire concert as well. This show was recorded on Halloween in Boston and it was only the 2nd show with new bass player, Jörgen Carlsson. Basically, this was the first time he had ever played any of these songs live and he does a great job. The band really play a great first set with some standards from the latest record like Brighter Days, Brand new Angel, and Child of the Earth. St of the rest of the set is really jammed out stuff with a long jam in Game Face, Trane-Eternity’s Breath- St. Stephen Jam and then ending the first set with the great instrumental, Kind of Bird! The next disc is what Warren states some of the bands favourite Pink Floyd tunes. They actually managed to get two female singers who actually toured with Pink Floyd and brought in a laser light show and Ron Hollaway on saxophone. So what do they play, it all focuses on 70s Pink Floyd from Meddle to the Wall, including the full Shine on you Crazy Diamond, One of these Days, a bit of Dark Side of the moon, and Comfortably Numb. The encores include Million miles from yesterday and a long jammed out Blind Man in the Dark. Amazing show..
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
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 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…
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………
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…
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…
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.
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
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 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..
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.
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|
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
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.
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..
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
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………………….
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…..
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…
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