Matus is an off shoot of the original Don Juan Matus from Peru that released some really cool rocking records some years back. This release (on CD) features 10 tracks. The opening is a great track with new drums recorded in 2021 from the album Visiones Paganas (2008).. Polarias from the debut album in 2007 remixed with new drums and theremin sounds really great… UmBral is interestingly a mono track and has a special sound for sure but it is ok… Summerland also with new drums rocks!!! Misquamacus is a dark and heavy one but the chorus vocals give it a really different vibe.. This also has new drums. The final track is Adiós Affallenau, dedicated to Gerardo Manuel Rojas Rodó and Fernado Vial Cabailero!!! I guess… Very cool track and a totally different vibe than most of the record. This is a really cool album with a remixing of 5 tracks, as well as 2 early version tracks and what appear to be at least one unreleased track (Rocky Black, which is a quite experimental sound collage of sorts). A very nice package with a printed sleeve (rare to see in a CD) with archive pictures of the band and the other side a picture of all the releases by Don Juan Matus and Matus..
Wednesday, August 3, 2022
5th album from the Australian rocks, Datura 4 and another bunch of classic rock with a bluesy feel and footstomping grooves like the opening track, Going Back! They are still fronted by charismatic leader, Dom Mariani on the vocals and guitar. I like the great mix of fun, catchy songs but they all have the hard rock edge and they are not scared to take a long guitar solo or other instrumental sections in all the songs. Secret Society keeps the good time music rolling in a slightly slower bit more straightforward rock and roll number but still footstomping good. Open the Line is the first track to feature that classic rock organ driven track. It has a nice spaced out ending section which I really liked. Bad Times, sounds like a lot of the bands other older tracks. This one features a piano line to compliment the song and a bit of slide guitar. Black Speakers is a slower track and love the vibe and cool wah guitar solo.. Great track and something to mix it up a bit! The title track is an instrumental with a different sound for the album and they throw a bit of harmonica in as well. Was not that much of a cool jam though but a cool song. Hold my Life is an acoustic and harmonica driven track about the state of information in the world. A Worried Man´s boogie tells a current story but boogies on!!! Digging my own Grave is returns to where the album began with an upbeat rocker with a cool organ jam in the middle. One of the most rocking songs on the album. Fish Fry slows it down with a slow groove with the organ playing a nice supporting role. Drive by Island closes out the album with another acoustic track. Reminds me of the 70s like Little Feat, Allmans, etc… Another cool album but not that many new ideas. Band sticks with their tried and true way of constructing songs, vocal parts, choruses… If it works..
Fans of Gin Lady, Blackberry Smoke should dig this band…
Sons of Adam was a short lived group that featured Randy Holden (Blue Cheer) and Craig Tarwater later playing in LOVE. Some of the guys also played in a surf band called Fender IV and some of those tracks are also included at the very end. I have never heard any of this material. There are all the tracks from the 3 singles the band released and then about 30mins of live material that is all unreleased. This shows the more raw like Mr Sun, reminds me of early Pretty Things, Animals (no organ in this band). They also do a version of the THEM song, Gloria! Having a bit of jam. Your a better man that I (Yardbirds) is a really good version as well. The CD comes with a big booklet with a full history and interviews with some of the guys including Randy Holden. The end section is an article about a woman who used to book shows for them from the Fender IV days thru Sons of Adam days and travel with the band, etc… You can hear the roots of some more hard rocking sound than what was happening in CA at the time but certainly Pretty Things, Animals, Kinks, had some as heavy or heavier riffs than these.. Anyway, I enjoyed hearing this…. Check it out… Nice package..
HIs career had major ups and downs from being well respected song writer and having a few hits to albums that did not even chart at all. He battled alcohol for many years, sex addiction but died at age 56 of a lung disorder usually related to being exposed to asbestos. Peter does a very good job of charting through all the albums and detailing what was going on his life that lead up to the set of songs that was recorded. He is also critical enough but not too critical to point out the best things and also the worst things.
HIs first recordings were in the mid 60s and his first solo album in 1970. It was not until 1976, his 2nd album would come out and then this is when things started to happen for him, mostly because Jackson Browne really believed in him and got him record contacts in the 70s and the 80s. He was good friends with David Letterman and some famous Hollywood people as well. A very well balanced book. I learned a lot. Well done..
Tuesday, August 2, 2022
This was a very tough experience going to this concert at the old national Stadium. It was 4 train stops from our hotel, which was not bad but a long 25 min to the stadium area and then some quite steep stairs with no rails up into the forest where we had to enter the stadium for our ticket area. Airborne stared at 18 or so so we missed them completely. We were very tired and thirsty. It was 38C today… We had already finished our bottle of water. They let you bring in the water bottle without the top but there were no places to fill it it anywhere!!! They did not let you bring in water and there is no access to water except for buying it! In the upper level where everyone who was in the stands (10,000??), there were 6 stands to buy drinks with 2 people working in each. The cue was at least 100 people and you had to wait an hr or more to get any kind of drink. I managed to say my wife was passing out, we both nearly were due to the heat and got two small bottles of water from a medic. That had to last us the next 4 hrs since it was impossible to get any liquids… Totally fucked up.. They had way more places for drinks down on the field but our ticket did not allow you to do down to the field.. This was fucked.. The food was just a nightmare as well as they had one line to get to buy the food, cue in the next line to pick up the food and they sold no drinks.. Totally fucked up. Never going to this place again.. It is Portugal, so I guess I should not be that surprised that they have not been able to figure out an organized way to do anything. I still love this country...
Stage was massive. Within Temptation is not at all our kind of music. Melodic power metal with new age pad keys or choir keys, operatic vocals (she is awesome) and no instrumental solos at all hardly. I was really bored.. The audience up front really were into it but around us, I think most people felt the same. I was quite shocked that the tour shirts were 40€!! I guess it has been way too long since I had been to a huge show like this. I make shirts for my band and I know they pay no more than about 5€ for these shirts when they print them in such bulk. Maybe it is 7 now with inflation..
Anyway, the change over was very fast.. 30mins and Iron Maiden (saw them first time in June 1981!!) are back on stage in front of me…. They opened with 3 songs from the new album (which I really liked a lot) and 2 of the 3 were great songs. They struggled with the sound a bit to start. You could not hear Steve Harris at all and the drums were super boomy. They did not let WT use the screens (which were pretty small) but I loved the way that the soundman boosted the guitar solo a few db and every guitar solo was up on the screen for the entire solo. They did not film the drummer or Bruce when the guitar solos were on. This is the way it should be. None of this superfast camera change ever 2-3 seconds like on Rockplaast (fucking terrible).. Awesome video.. Anyway, the set changed from medieval Japan to a church like for Revelations and the next long batch of songs. The set list was the same the entire tour but besides the lame Blood Brothers and Fear of the Dark (never liked this song), the set was cool… Sign of the Cross, Flight of Icarus, Hallowed be they Name, The band play so good still. Steve harris used to run all over the place but he stays in the same part of the strange most of the concert. Mick Jagger is more active for sure. Bruce is all over and Janick is jumping around in his part of the stage with rare ventures to the middle. Dave stays hidden in his far left corner of the stage. We could only see him when he was on the screen from where we were on the left side. Nico still plays well but with no power anymore. I miss that aggression in the drums.. it feels a bit off to me the light hitting. Hey, the guy is 74 years old and still has to work hard.
The encores were The Trooper, Clansman, Run to the HIlls and Aces High.. The total show as about 100mins. Probably 90mins of music with all the intros etc. Band was in great shape and Bruces sounded incredible considering he has been singing these songs nearly every other day for the last 2 months! Wow.. Still a great band 41 years later. It was a nice show. Good sound for a stadium and pretty damn loud. I enjoyed hearing these songs from my youth a lot.
Set List: Senjutsu, Stratego, Writing on the Wall, Revelations, Blood Brothers, Sign of the Cross, Fear of the Dark, Flight of Icarus, Fear of the Dark, Hallowed be thy Name, Number of the Beast, Iron Maiden, The Trooper, Clansman, Run to the HIlls and Aces High.
Getting away from the stadium with 30,000 people was a nightmare. Took us 90mins and we had to walk 5km before we could get to the train station. There were no cabs. 100s of people in the same situation as us. Stadium is out of town..
was multiple power outages early in the day and loss of water as well).
It all started at 14 with local singer songwriter, Garyon performing his all original material. I much prefer this to his covers, which is sadly, mostly what I hear him playing at the local markets and they are often not that good. Anyway, he had a lot of more interesting tracks including one where the music was very close to Redemption Song by bob Marley (which he often covers). Hardly any people were were around at this time as it was so fucking hot! 38C in the shade.. He did not get much response.
They had a drum circle out in the area behind the main bar area next with about 15 people but it was so hot and there was hardly any shade, so not that many people could be bothered but they were for sure having fun. Local organizer, Nick was also trying to explain to people about the concept and how to think if it as an conversation and it is ok to pause and listen and play when you have something to say. Cool… good advice..
I Spy showed up around 15-16 to set up there gear some of which would also be used for the live jam session at 18. They were starting to serve some food around 16 and pizzas at 17.. Cheese (goat), veggy or a chorizo… They had a cougette burger gyozas (3), falafel, brownies, and flapjacks.. The bar you could get lemonade, watermellonade, gin and tonic, beers (1€), fizzy orange drink (Sumol), sparking water, white wine and I think that was it. Free tap water!
Larry Lush (local 90s UK record producer and DJ played tracks for a few hrs before the jam session. Mostly poppy electronic stuff disco, some funk, most of it is not my taste at all. Virtually no rock music.
The jam session had Rob on Drums, Larry on keys, Andy on Sax (all from I Spy), Rui on double bass, Nick on guitar and Carlos on djembe. Later a guy came and played jews harp and flutes. A girl came up to do some singing but you never heard anything she sang. Pity.. Mike did not do a very good job on the sound.. Too stressed. Some of it was ok and other stuff not that great. A bit too much towards the piano jazz stuff that I Spy play as openings for their shows often. No real rocking going on at all I was going to join but it was too hot and I did not like the idea of my synths in this heat. It was not good for them some weeks ago.
Carlos Geometri (famous Brighton UK DJ) played some very cool dub and African music on the PA before I Spy started. Sounds was great for I Spy (Nick was working with Mike) but I was so tired from the heat and beers (only had 3 in 8 hrs) that I headed home. I would have liked to hear Carlos´s full set and there was another DJ (D.C) on after him.. Trance stuff, I think,
It was great to catch up with some friends and meet people again.. I guess there was about 120 people and at least 30 children. They had lots for them to do which was cool. Pool, sandbox, painting, drawing area, stuff for them to climb, a dance class, etc.. A good time by all. Pizzas were small but really good..
Monday, July 18, 2022
Dans Revival 18:30
I arrived about 15:30. Sadly, the festival site had to be moved from the usual location down at the Douro River valley due to the high fire risks at this time and so many active fires. It was moved to a close by local down square. When I got there the organiser (Nuno) and his crew were getting the food and drink area ready, setting up a few tables, etc.. I sat at a table with the Dan´s Revival guys and soon Travo was here as well. Super nice people. Stage was up and the PA and mixing desk and they needed to do some cables but were more or less ready for bands to soundcheck. I should mention it was insanely hot and the stage was right in the direct sun… 42C in the shade…
They wanted Madmess to soundcheck first (since we play last) and all bands were going to use more or less the same backline. Sadly, Madmess were really late and did not even arrive until 17 so the rest of the night was fucked up… We finished soundcheck at 18 and went to the local pool for a swim (cost 1.5€) and that is just what we all needed. Travo showed up but they were closing in 10mins. We got an ice cream as well… Felt a bit more refreshed. We were very disappointed when we got back and no one had even stared playing yet…
|Travo, Madmess and friends|
Anyway, Dan´s Revival were a guitar (also sings) and drums duo playing dirty, nasty, sometimes hard rocking blues rock type stuff…. They need a bass player or at least a guitar run thru a bass cab to give the sound some more balls… They played 30mins or so.
GeoDudes were a PT quartet of bass, drums, keys and a guy from Brazil who played flute and saxophone. They stared off with very traditional jazz quartet stuff. They all play very well but it was nothing original at all. I filmed some of this. Sadly, I should have filmed the last 20mins or so as it was great and more funky and jamming.. Cool band and nice guys…
I was really looking forward to seeing Travo as I dig their latest CD a lot and I had spent half the day talking with the guys and they were all super nice…. They had a horrible sound to start. Only bass and drums, no guitars….. It took the soundman some strong words from the bands friends to sort out the sound but in the end it was sounding great but not for the first few songs. Also, in the middle of the set, the drummer put a hole in the kick drum. They tried to duct tape this and it held for the rest of their set but was not looking good..
Thursday, July 14, 2022
Some Dutch friends of ours have a son and he plays on this release. He gave me a copy of the split tape release. Thomas also made the artwork, which is real old school DIY stuff but pretty cool and very satanic… As for the music, it is starts off with Injuria, slow with some intense vocals then the drums really kick it up a notch and the vocals get more evil and twisted.. Pretty far out….. I am not really into this black metal stuff at all and I have a hard time hearing anything new in it but this is like old school Venom vibe but with a more raw production and more crazy vocal.. Intense and raw with a lot of energy…. the singer for sure suffers for his art!! Side B is Morte Perpetua is a more raw production, faster but with a similar style of vocal. Brutal.. that is all I can say.
This is real underground black metal stuff from Portugal.. No idea how many copies this tape is made in but I guess less than 100!! Released in Feb 2022.. They have no bandcamp site or anything that I could find.
In January 2022, I met up and had a jam with the cool Portuguese band, It was the Elf, from Gouveia, in Central Portugal. I had been corresponding with Vasco, the guitar player in the band for some time and it all finally came together after covid had died down. I reviewed their great new album, Ancestors, earlier this year.. Anyway, give this a listen if you want to learn a bit more about the band. Enjoy....
Monday, July 4, 2022
The 12 page zine is super cool graphics. The mag starts with a page about the release and ethos of the magazine. Page 2 is Santtu writing about the project, the ethos, the experiment, styles and coconspirators… Page 4 and 5 Santtu goes through all the tracks on the compilation in detail. Page 6 and 7 features myself and Jonthan Segel writing about Santtu and Astral Magic. A personal view. The last 5 pages of the mag is a detailed discography, which incredibly impressive when you think that all of this material has come out in the last 3 years.. Release 25 is already out as well and called Alien Visitations, on cassette on the Noiseagonymayhem Records label out of Canada.
Anyway, if you are a fan of psychedelic space rock music, it is well worth checking out Astral Magic. What to recommend??? I really dig Visions of Infinity (of course, I mixed it and these songs really got into my head!), Mists of Orion, and Lords of Space…..
Wednesday, June 22, 2022
This is a live album recorded on Oct 13th, 2021 and features 7 tracks, and might be all new material as I checked the last few CDs I had from the band and none of these tracks are on any of those. The opening track reminds of Codex Serafini or Goat, dark gothic rock, moody. Wish I weren´t Here features a female spoken word over some edgy psychedelic atmospheres with some flourishes of synths and sounds and psyched out stuff. Cool…. Chant is a repetitive rock track with a catchy riff. A bit hypnotic…..Land of Free is a bit more rocking and very steady until it is not and takes off with a wild guitar solo and gets psyched out.. O Lord is a spacey instrumental. Wish the synths were mixed a bit higher though…. Today I want to Catch Clouds has a very intense groove, catchy…… good energy over which the bands play some spaced out sounds and hard riffs. A bit space rock like.. The album ends with the title track.. A slower and more moody track to start but a good one to end this excellent live document and perhaps the last with Albin.. I am not sure who is in the band but there are two guitars, bass, drums, keyboards and female voice.
I am not the biggest Grateful Dead fan but I had a huge respect for all the groundbreaking work the band did with improvisation, different set lists every night, sound systems, establishing that it was ok to record bands and setting up the first taper sections, etc… As this book also includes live recordings you can image it is quite massive!!! 344 pages and by far the largest of any book I have seen published on Sonic Bond Publishing. The first 187 pages include the introduction which explains a lot about how they approached this book and other details. Then they take the band year by year starting with 1965 up to 1995, when Jerry Garcia died.
The first Appendix goes into details on the Live and Studio releases year by year and fills up the next 13 pages and is basically a list of who played on it, where and when it was recorded and all the songs and who is credited for writing them in a list format. Appendix 2 is Archive releases in order of recording date and as you would expect this list is massive, about 100 pages long and again in pretty much the same sort of format. The 3rd appendix is Collections with unreleased material from different years. A lot of this is just a show listing and set list after the first few listings. The 4th Appendix is compilation albums and the final appendix is a list of significant solo albums… These appendices are very useful for the real collector by not that interesting for the casual GD fan. The first 187 pages is the real book if you really want to learn about the GDs music. John is incredibly well researched and while I have only read one book on the dead by the roadie Steve Parish, who was also Jerry´s personal assistant and manager, there is a lot of interesting stuff in this book.. Really pretty cool.. There is a small section with some pictures, mostly of album covers but also of the band. Probably most of these have appeared elsewhere. Great book. I really enjoyed reading it a lot.
King Dude & Der Blutharsch with the Infinite Church of the Leading Hand- Black Rider of the Storm (Wir Kapitulieren Niemals WKN 62)
Albin Julius (RIP 2022) sent me and the latest DB CD in the same package just a few weeks before he passed away. I had just messaged him 2 days before and he wrote back that he was glad I got them and hoped I would write about them and then he was gone.. So sad. I never met him but what a creative musical guy.. Releasing a lot of interesting music on WKN and in different projects and here was again, something really cool. Ballads of a Cowboy lost in Austria is a sort of subtitle of this excellent CD… It features 11 diverse tracks. Hells Canyon is an instrumental track to give you a feel of this sort of dark Americana style music. The title track follows and I just love the vibe of this music. I assume King Dude is the singer. He has an interesting voice, a bit dark and deep. All I see is You is a more rocking track with a bit of a psyched out guitar solo and a bit of madness… The Drifter and the Dog is a spacey track with a repeated bass line that appears here and there but built mainly on the guitar lines on this instrumental track. Bury the Knife brings the Dude back and what a cool song. Strange Visions is a droning instrumental to just change the vibe before kicking into Spiritual Vampire! This one has a very hypnotic groove almost like some Vibravoid stuff. Great track. Dead Man returns to the mysterious vibe and I really dig this Tom Waits on drugs feel.. The Bitter Cup features acoustic guitar and a bit more country vibe. Going to the Sun ends this awesome record.. I have to say I loved this album… A complete surprised to me… a bit like Tom Waits on a psychedelic trip with Mark Laneghan is my best description.
Mammoth Volume- The Cursed who perform the Larvagod Rites and Josiah- We lay on Cold Stone (Blues Funeral Recordings)
I just received the first two in the next Blues Funeral Subscriber series albums and man, these packages are just insanely cool. They are like nothing you could image. Super cool triple foldout sleeves, with printed plastic parts you are supposed to assemble, playing cards to cut pop out and collect together with the other releases and finally a 4 page fold out with pics of the bands and liner notes by the one and only JJ from the Obelisk… Incredible.. so what about the music. Mammath Volume, like Josiah (the other record), neither band has released anything in a long time.
I have had the digital files for the Josiah album for a while and I have to say it did not really grab me at first but after some repeated listens, there is a lot of classic Josiah in this album for sure and if you are fans of the earlier ones which Heavy Psych Sounds has reissued on LP and CD, then you will want to hear this one for sure..
As for Mammoth Volume, I pulled out the one CD and tape (1999 and 2000) I own by the band, to revisit the early days and see how they have changed… While there are some songs you could point to the material done 20 years ago, this is really a new band sound and much more eclectic and adventurous. I was most impressed with the variety of material, of which, not a lot really fits into stoner rock, really… I think the band cared little about that and it was about getting in the room or trading ideas and making music with little care for the past. This was the future… Pretty cool record guys…