Saturday, May 28, 2011

Octopus Syng- Demo 2011 (Finland)

My friend, Jaire is back with another selection of 6 songs with a full band and not playing all the instruments himself this time. He is also not doing all the singing himself and many of the songs feature a female singer. The music is still very Syd Barrett inspired at times. The Day of Ganesha starts with a very nice organ and a cool bass line kicks in and the track does have a sort of mystic Indian mystic to it. A very cool song. Surrealistic Room has a really nice guitar theme but not that new if you are familiar with this band. I quite like the female singer. Jaire sings on the chorus. Countryside Mysticism is next and I really like this one. The guitar parts are very nice and the music is very happy. Cuckoo Clock Mysteries is a very cool guitar organ psychout song that lasts over 9 mins. These Precious Nights is next and starts with organ and some light guitar, hand drums and very spacey. The female singer is back in this lovely song. This song reminds me of Jefferson Airplane especially with the delivery of the vocals. Jaire plays some cool electric guitar as well, his best solo on the CD, perhaps. Great song. Rosie is the last song and sung by Jaire to start and then the female sing comes back in. I think Jaire has come up with a really cool set of new songs and is nearly ready to release a new record. Great..

The Dawn Band- The Agents of Sentimentality (Elektrohasch CD148)

The Dawn band is a new project with Daniel the drummer from Hainloose and Martin Treppesch. They call it Indie psychedelic rock, which was not a good start for me. I don’t want any Indie shit in my psychedelic rock! But it is my job to review it and give it a chance. The CD contains 10 tracks in 42 minutes. The opening track starts slow and pretty colour haze inspired and then the more melodic riffing kicks in and the song gets less interesting. The singer has this really nice brit pop whispery vocal style that I am not at all fond of at all. This track slows and they try to be psychedelic and then they come back to the main laid back part. City Lights is a more uptempo track and the backing vocal is really annoying and makes it too happy pop music. The next section of the song is pretty cool with a power riff and a more intense vocal and then they come back to the main riff. There are very few guitar solos on this CD. A powerful song and the longest on the CD. Lost soul at the Nightclub is pretty far out after the last song. It is a very repetitive vocal track that slowly builds up and they psych out a bit with a cool heavy section but sadly it goes back to the repetitive theme and it did not evolve more. Surfing the Big Wave is another long track, 8 mins that starts very slowly and then the bass and drums kick in as they hit the fast paced melodic groove. The end mid part gets pretty funky with the wah guitar kicking in and then they go into a short strange section before they kick back into the uptempo happy melodic guitar section. I am not so fond of some of the sections of this last 3mins but still a great track. Boat across the Ocean is a 4 min acoustic track and with a very melodic theme and then this dual female vocal comes in that is pretty cool and then back into the acoustic theme again. The vocal parts are really cool and mainly sung by this woman. The next track is another double layered instrumental acoustic number. Kussnacht continues with another track that starts with acoustic guitar and the whispery vocal again. This one picks up the pace, sounds like Cheap Trick actually.. but gets intense. Amours Ark starts with a bass line and low laid back whispered vocal as the guitars start coming in and increasing the complexity of the songs. I am not really into the singing on this one and it is very in your face in the mix. They break out of this into the heaviest thing on the record and cool riff and guitar. Still very melodic but a good build up and track. Wow.. hell of a track except the rap sample at the end. A very melodic track takes off next and is a bit spacey and then builds up and really reminds me of Motorpsycho. The closing track features a really cool organ that is mixed loud and is pretty psyched out and the band is playing some heavy stuff in the background and the singer really screams and sings in a very powerful way. Wow. This song has a very intense ending of a damn cool record, despite my reservations to start. The band is clearly Colour Haze, Motorpsycho and Queens of the Stone. This is another strange band choice for Elektrohasch but there is a lot of really cool music on this album and some stuff I am not so keen on. The release before was German punk rock band. 

El Camino- The Satanic Magick (Nighttripper Records 002)

El Camino are a new Swedish band playing doomy stoner rock. This CD/LP features 8 tracks in 45 mins. The opening instrumental number, Prelude to the Horns is very doomy to start with a huge sound to start and then into a more stoner rock groove the next 2½ mins. Hail to the Horns follows for the next 6 mins with some more monster riffing and now you get to hear the singer, who has a very growly singing style. The next section the guitar players each take solos (too short) and then back into the main riff and singing. The track is pretty intense and then a doomy ending. We are the Dark is doomy to start and then the slow building riff starts to take off. Around 3mins the track gets a bit spacey as it slows down. The band then takes it back up into a groove. The solo section was a bit weak though. Mountain Man is the most melodic track so far and a slow stoner rock style track with some cool parts. Intense end! Rise of the Snake has some dual harmony guitars at the beginning and then kicks into the main riff. I was never really struck by this song. This is one of the weakest songs on the record. Family Values, another track over 6mins and starting a bit more doomy. A very Black Sabbath inspired one! He sings some pretty heavy lyrics in this song, based on the title. The solo guitar section is pretty cool on this one before the singing kicks back in and the heavy groove. The title track (been used by a lot of bands), the longest on the CD at 8 mins. The singer is very intense and they have a vocal sample of some sort before the guitar solo section which is the best on the record. Nice solo and the space guitar at the end was excellent . Abra Kahdabra ends the record and is the shortest track which starts with a strange backwards static vocal thing that is pretty strange and the music fades in and out with this intense voice on the top and also also includes some backwards stuff that morphs in and out.. Far out ending. I loved it. El Camino is a pretty intense band. The singer is really in your face and forceful. Some of the bands songs are great and lots of amazing riffs. The band is a bit weak in the guitar soloing but they have nice part changes and some good harmonies at times. I still am mixed on this record. Some days it blows me away and sometimes not.. You decide.

ROBEDOOR/GNOD 7” (Not Not Fun Records NNF202)

GNOD is back with a new split 7” with a band I have never heard of called Robedoor. The 7” artwork is a strange hand drawn coloured pencil thing that is pretty cool but damn strange. The 7” also comes with a pretty cool hand drawn green sticker other than that and the word Bored Fortress, there is no information on the record at all. Gnod is not listed, no label info, year, no writing at all. I played the Robedoor side first and it plays at 33rpm and is a very low fi mid paced psychedelic rock number with vocals that you can’t really understand as they are quite echoy and far away and the drums, bass and guitar are all quite distorted and distant like a bad audience recording. Only the bass line sort of cuts through the psychedelic sound. Far out stuff. GNOD is next and called A Very Special Request. This track is a sort of slow psychedelic blues track with a very distant vocal as well but a more hi fi sound but still pretty primitive and spacey. The guitar is very psychedelic and pretty cool and unusual for GNOD. I like this side a lot. I am not sure how many copies of this 7” are made.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Rovo- Ravo Dub (Wonderground Music WRCD-49)

ROVO are a pretty damn cool instrumental band from Japan. This is their latest release and I think it is all new material and it is interesting to hear the band experiment with dub music and use all these delays on the percussion etc.. Their last studio record was three years ago. It was all mixed by their violin guru Yuji Katsui and keyboard player Tatsuki Masuko. There are 5 tracks in 47 mins. The sound production is totally amazing and very cool. The CD starts off with Tanger Dub for the first 10½ mins. It has a very lush sound with intense drumming and spacey synth and violin but a very melodic thread runs through the track. Man, they really like to use delay and they switch from adding it to the keyboard, violin, percussion, etc.. Damn cool and psychedelic. Eclipse Dub is only 4 mins and does not have any groove to start, just the band experimenting with sounds and echos as a nice melodic keyboard line repeats itself over and over. Some drums come in and out here and there. Baal Dub is 12 mins one of the stand out tracks. It starts quite slow and spaced out and has a massive deep bass (be careful if you have a subwoofer), then it kicks in with a spacey synth or is it violin and they mix the drums coming in an and out of the sound in a very special way that really fucks with your head. They go into a very cool section with all these bells about 2/3 of the way into the track and it is really spaced out. Totally psyched out stuff. RM Dub is another long one but almost mainstream after that psych out that was Baal dub. There is still a lot of sounds going around but this is more percussive and grooving with melodic synths and violin.The end of this track is really cool with Hawkwind link synths and stuff and really groovy! The last track, Sino Dub, just under 7 mins, starts off with guitar and then the uptempo drums kick in and the layers of everything else starts. I am pretty sure this is a song from one of their DVDs or records I have by them. Anyway, a pretty cool way to end this excellent album. If you like Rovo, for sure try to hunt this down. It is only released in Japan.

Premonition 13- Premonition 13 7” (VEV 020)

This is a hand numbered 7” on blue green vinyl from Wino’s new band. It features two tracks and is pressed in 1000 copies. The A side is a track called Switchhouse. This band is a three piece (four piece live with two guitars, Wino plays bass and guitar on this first release) like most of this band projects and this track is a slow heavy but not doomy track with some nice dual guitar stuff. Wino’s voice is potent as ever and he sings this haunting like background chorus. The B side is a longer and high speed instrumental track called Crossthreaded. A lot of cool guitar playing on this track with both Jim and Wino do a lot of trading guitar and some dual really psychedelic stuff. This is a great 7” and I look forward to the full length record.

Gingerpig- Dimlighted Heart 7” (Suburban Records BURB 079)

Gingerpig is a new Dutch band from Gorefest guitar and vocalist Mr. Boudewijn. I was given this 7” record at their invite only debut concert at the Roadburn festival. This single is hand numbered in 500 copies and most were given away when you bought stuff at the Burning World record stand at the festival or the debut gig. Anyway, the Dimlighted Heart is a long track split over the two sides and is like real 70s classic power rock with a lot of cool synthesizer, organ and powerful vocals. The guitar and drive of the track reminds me a lot of later day Spiritual Beggars material. The side B starts with some piano and organ and a slow bluesy guitar and builds up on the Moog playing and then suddenly comes back to the main theme of the song that was started on the A side. Very cool stuff and I really look forward to their full length record due out later in 2011.

Circle- Mylläri EP (Svart Records SVR051)

It looks like 2011 is going to be a very productive year for the Finnish group Circle. They already released one full length record and Infektio is out anyday now on Conspiracy records and this extremely short EP, which is only for the collectors and has nothing to do with the music, sadly. There are 4 songs and only a little over 5 mins of music total, so it is a bit of waste or a joke. I guess the band thought it would be fun but I would avoid this release unless you are collecting Circle, then you have to have it! It is some very short thrash metal like things. It is funny to hear Mika sing like that but not worth 5-7€ you will pay or more for this 7” record.

Carlton Melton- Country Ways (Mid to late Records MLT-004)

I had never heard of this band even though I was a fan of Zen Guerilla. The band plays totally spaced out instrumental psychedelic rock music. I managed to pick up this new record as well as the bands strange split LP with Qumram Orphics and a limited edition 7” record (which is super cool!). This is the bands 2nd full length (missed the first one) and features the side long Country Ways track and three others. Country Ways is a very slow building piece constructed on these spaced out delay guitars with the drums way in the back as the layers of guitar just sort of reverberate in your brain. Very spaced out stuff and they add some synthesizers at the end. I am pretty sure they played this track (jam) at Roadburn. Sometimes it is not that interesting and other times it perks you up, like at the end when the layers become more dense-wow! Best when stoned for sure.
Full Moon Revisited is another very stoney track but features more psychedelic lead guitar, rather than just looped riffs. This track is really psychedelic. Harrington Fair is a   track with a very bluesy guitar while there are some other wordly feedbacks and sounds in the background. It is almost comes across as a warm up to something else that the band just happen to record while they were setting up or something and thought, “hey, this is pretty cool”. Use your Words has a more distinct bass in the bottom end that reverberates a bit more than the Country Ways track but this track is a bit similar but it features a more intense wah guitar and both players play some more lead like guitar. This is a totally spaced out record for stoners for sure.

BONG- Beyond Ancient Space (Ritual Productions 2011)

BONG is back with their follow up effort to the recent Live at Roadburn (which is still not out on vinyl yet). One of the tracks from that live release is also on this excellent CD. If you are not familiar with BONG, they are from Newcastle and played pretty spaced out heavy doom. A lot of it sounds quite a lot but you have to get drawn into the droney nuances of the music. This CD is three tracks in 79 mins and wow….  The nearly 26 min Onward to Perdardaris, which is also on the live at Roadburn, it starts slow and spacey and then the massive riff kicks in just after the spoken word piece from the great author Lord Dunseney. The sitar like instrument is played throughout the next part and it gives it this cool effect as the massive drone wall of doom pummels you. I wish they would mix the lead guitar louder and he would solo even more but it is fucking cool and totally spaced out. The vocal comes back later but in a totally different way and the song is getting more and more intense and the end is massive as they build up. The shati baaja (sitar like instrument) is really mixed high at the end and makes it very far out. One of their most, if not most amazing tracks ever!
This band is totally heading into the right direction with just getting more spacey and spacey. The riffs and wall of sound is quite similar on a lot of their stuff but the spacey details and sounds is what make them special. Massive…. Across the Timestream is starting the next 25 mins of the journey beyond ancient space. It starts quite reverberating at the beginning and slowly fits its feet with some very spacey but also quite melodic stuff. It is very stoney stuff with the reverberating guitar just mixed into the center of the sound. A very melodic but also heavy piece! Almost mainstream for BONG this one!  The last 29 min piece, The Shadow of the Towers has a more low fi sound and starts slowly, is heavy and dark, unlike the more happy (if you can call it that) last track. Massive slow doomy wall of sound- that characteristic BONG that you all know and love. About 7 mins into the song, it starts to take off in a slightly different direction but damn it is massive and around 13½ mins he starts to solo a bit in the background of the massive pummelling we are getting here. Very spaced out sound as well and it really picks up in pace as well from the slow beginning. A total mindfuck of a record for sure.

Vibravoid- Minddrops (Sulatron 1101)

Vibravoid have released quite a few 7” releases and a double live CD but not a new full length record for over a year. This CD only contains 6 tracks including a long take on Pink Floyd’s Set the Control for the Heart of the Sun in 54 mins. Seefeel is a short, pretty standard Vibravoid catchy psych track. Next up is the 12min track that is a long trip with cool repetitive elements and a guitar riff that reminds me a lot of the Sundial song, Mind Train (but not as heavy or fuzzed out as Sundial). Do it allright is another short on before the very repetitive and psyched out You keep in Falling, which is 3 mins longer than the 7” version released on the Greek 7”. I love the sound on this track. Very psyched out. The band perform a pretty cool 23min version of Set the Control. It starts slow and spacey with the main organ theme and takes a long time as the band takes its time spacing out. The mid section is pretty cool and experimental as well. They never reach a very crazy heavy section as Pink Floyd often did. A solid psychedelic effort from Vibravoid.. I look forward to the vinyl? What will they leave off? Probably the You keep on Falling track, which is about 7 mins but also one of the best new songs. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Graveyard- The Rock, Copenhagen May 18th, 2011

Graveyard, who I consider myself to be good friends with were back in town for their 4th gig in Copenhagen. Not sure when the last time we hung out was but when I showed up it was like a greeting of old friends. I congratulated them on having a number 1 record in Sweden. They were really blown away by this and all 4 release parties in Sweden were all sold out! They were flying at the moment! We talked about a lot of things including set lists, jamming, Axel leaving Spiders, bands they had toured with, them going to open up for Iron Maiden, etc.. We had a few beers and just a real nice time before the show. I completely missed the opening band, which I was told was terrible. Super cool people.

          The place was totally packed and they had a really cool banner on the front of the stage and they were in a good mood (but a bit nervous that I was recording the show for my own personal use). They played about 50-50 new and old numbers and the new songs came across great. I especially like this title track, Hisingen Blues and Uncomfortably Numb. I was really surprised that people were so into it. Very unusual in Denmark that a 70s band like this gets this kind of response. The band plays the songs more or less like the records with no real stretching things out or experimenting. Axel was an animal on the drums and so hot, he just played in his underwear, since he forgot his drumming pants (he said!). The sound was not very good as the drums and bass were too loud in the room and the soundman not doing much about it despite complaints. It did improve some at the end of the show but still the drums dominated throughout the concert and it should not be like that. This is rock and the guitars need to be the dominant instruments. Some sound guys just don’t get it.

          The encores were short and intense and Axel did a little drum solo in the middle of that song Granny and Davis from the b-side of the Hissing Blues 7”.  At the end of the next song, they did a recap of Blue Soul, which was cool and then the show ended. I think they played about 65 mins or so. They did not have a written set list since they play the same set every night with maybe 1-2 different songs so they don’t have to write it down. They promised to change the set for the festivals this summer. We will see… I had a great time. Check out these two videos of the encores. Sadly they had no vinyl records to sell as I know many people wanted these. I should also say that the light projection guy they have along did a really cool job.

Set List: ??, Hisingen Blues, Submarine Blues, Uncomfortably Numb, As the years go By, Satan’s Finest, White Truth, Thin Line, Blue Soul, Granny and Davis, ?, Evil Ways

Check out this video for Granny and Davis, the first encore track that I shot from the balcony!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sir Reg and Rovers Ahead- BETA, København May 12th, 2011

My friend Juba’s band, Sir Reg was in town for their first date on the first headline tour of Denmark, Germany and France for the next 16 days. I was on the guest list +1 so I invited my friend Finn to join. I had seen him a month ago at Roadburn. We met and had a beer and chatted and Juba was also around. There were no people at all until 5mins before the local Irish rock band, Rovers Ahead started and suddenly there was like 40 people! There was a lot of people outside who were all attending the French Hip Hop concert at Amager Bio…
         Anyway, Ravers Ahead have an Irish singer plus a guy who plays mandolin or banjo, guitar, bass, violin, drums and a new accordion player who played on the first two songs and the last two songs but none of the others. They had some good lyrics and played very well but musically did not offer much. None of the members played any instrumental solos the entire concert. I think that is a bit boring when you have such a cool line up of instruments to play. They played like an hour and started 15 mins late so this left not that much time for Sir Reg.

          Sadly, when Sir Reg started there were only 10 people left and even the members from the other band were not around at all, which is very sad to see that they don’t even support the visiting band. The Irish singer for the first band was around for 3-4 songs but mostly gone as well. Anyway, Sir Reg is a great band and in a totally different league from the first band. They have a great female violin (fiddle) player, a bazzuku player, bass, acoustic guitar and electric guitar. The drummer also has a laptop with plays some pre-recorded keyboards and stuff on a few of the songs. They play pretty uptempo Irish rock and the lead singer from Ireland, has a great sense of humor and a cool voice. This is very fun music but musically I also feel like a band like this can do more, as there are also almost no solos beyond an occasionally extended fiddle section. Anyway, I had a really nice time.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Dark Sun- A Journey through Space (Reverb Worship 2011)

The Finnish space rock band has a new release of archive jams from the studio sessions that they had in 2004 and 2005. This is some really cool and psychedelic stuff and pressed in only 80 copies on CD-R so hurry. There are 7 jams in 52mins and it all starts off with Set the Master of the Dark Sun Universe, which is a bit of a jam take on Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun, in a very loose way. It is really psychedelic and turns into Hawkwind’s Master of the Universe at the end! Electric Sunshine is a laid back and spacey track, after the hard rocking psychedelic track before. It features a really nice guitar solo. Venusian Dream Sequence is very nice track with some really dreamy guitar. A journey through Space brings back some more heavy space guitar as this one slowly builds up and some great dualing psych guitar solos. Return to the Controls brings us back to another part of the Set the Controls jam for another 4 mins. Hope turns into Fear is one of the few tracks with keyboards, which means that Janne and Mikko showed up. Janne does some spontaneous psyched out stuff. Celestial Waves ends this cool CD-R with a laid back spacey instrumental track. It is all instrumental except for the Hope turns to Fear. Great band.

Electric Moon- Live in Immerhin and Inferno (Sulatron st cdr 011-012)

Sula is busy releasing his new bands music on these limited edition CD-rs, which is great for his fans as these are generally quite good recordings and performances as the band is a highly improvised unit and playing well. This double CD set features 4 pieces, two of which are very long (57 and 47 mins each) from a concert from 12/30/10 in Würzburg, Germany. The artwork is really cool on this CD. So what about the music? Sleepwalker starts CD 1 and is 57mins and starts with mostly a heavy repetitive bass in E with Sula making sounds. The real guitar does not come in for many minutes and the drums start around 5 mins. A very heavy intense psyched out wah guitar kicks in at 6½ mins. While Sula is freaking out I get a bit bored with the monotonous bass playing but she does use a few effects now and then. This is a very long journey and you have to be very patient and perhaps stoned. Around 17 mins the jam is almost dying out. Sula does not seem sure in what direction to take the jam at all but starts to come in with a more intense guitar again after some delay riffs at 20 mins. Anyway, this jam is very long and searching with several slow sections where not a lot happens. Not the bands most inspired jam. CD2 starts with Baba Lali’s Monotronic OM and it starts with a repeated bass sound that slowly gets louder and louder and then the band starts to go somewhere. It takes around 8mins before things get going but sadly the sound has changed a bit from the first CD and now the bass and drums really dominate and the guitar that Sula plays is too low in the mix when the drums really kick in. What happened to the sound? At 13-14 mins Sula is playinig some delay guitar stuff and Lulu some bass effects but it sounds like Sula is in the other room compared to the other instruments. Anyway, I did not make it through describing this jam due to the lack of guitar. Manic Farewell ends the show (which it sounds like there were not a lot of people left by this time) and lasts 25mins. 9 mins has gone by and not a lot has happened yet. It is like the band is waiting for Sula to do something and everyone is quite hesitant. Still Sula is too far in the background. 23 minutes in now and Sula has not really played much very interesting that I could hear and has been noodling away in the background and nothing very manic really happened. If you are a fan, check it out, if you are new to the band, don’t buy this one.
Electric Moon- Inferno (Sulatron st cdr 012)

            This is a new Electric Moon CD that was recorded at Amöbrnklagraum Mackenzell on January 5th, 2011. It features two tracks and a new drummer named Alex. Dave plays the guitar, organ and loads of effects and Lulu plays the bass and effects to make a spaced out recording. The CD starts with the 14min Mental record which starts with a repetitive bass line and Sula slowly comes in with the guitar. It is a very nice melodic guitar line but then Sula really plays some cool spacey and psychedelic guitar with a nice use of the wah pedal. Inferno is a monster 52 mins long! So how does one go about describing such a track. It is a very long jam with Sula leading the way with a lot of dynamic and variable guitar and interesting use of effects. Sula, although previously a killer bass player, has been really become a great lead guitar player. I am quite impressed. If you like long spaced out jams, for sure you will dig this. About 15mins into the track Sula plays some organ and then the soloing gets really psyched out. Then it slows down a lot and they space out around 30 mins Sula plays some really nice delay guitar as the track builds up again. Later on Sula is more or less torturing his guitar and freaking out totally. I would have liked to have seen him in the studio doing this part! Anyway… you get the idea. If you like Electric Moon, you won’t be disappointed with this either.

The Flying Eyes- Done so Wrong (World in Sound)

The Baltimore based Flying Eyes is back with their new full length record. The album is quite blues based still but a more rock approach and a bit darker, heavier record in general, especially the title track. I just listened to the bands first CD, which combined their first two EPs. This new one has 10 tracks in 39mins. The opening track Death don’t make me Cray is a killer track with heavy riff, haunting vocals and great but short spacey, fuzzy guitar break. Poison the Well is next and pretty aggressive and the vocal has a very special effect on it to make it quite psychedelic as the band really rocks on this one but bring it down at the end with a short bluesy solo that bust out into a furry. Nowhere to Run, is a slower bluesy track with some nice guitar and a great build up but unfortunately they just end the track and never really take it further or jam it out. I get the feeling this band does not jam at all, just plays the songs as they are. Clouded is a very nice and more floating melodic song after some heavy dark psychedelic stuff. Heavy Heart was a short instrumental track. Sundrop is a happier sounding track with a cool tremolo guitar and melodic singing. Overboard is slower as well but kicks in with a more heavy section and has great dynamics and a cool echoy guitar part that is used throughout the song. The title track is next and the only track that  over 4½ mins long and also the heaviest one and only experimental track. The beginning starts off very cool with some delay guitar, spaced out effects before the monster guitar kicks in. There is no singing until nearly 5 mins into the track. Greed is a track that starts with a cool groove but then they go for a more hard attack and lose the groove but then come back to it. Great song. The CD ends with Leave it all Behind, which is an acoustic number with a female vocalist singing some vocals as well.
            Overall, the band has made a very cool record and it is for sure heavier than their earlier material, which was more bluesy and this is more rocking stuff. I also really love the cover artwork on this album, very cleaver and cool. One thing I find strange is that the singer and band is compared to the Doors and I don’t get this at all. The singer sings a lot like the way Glenn Danzig does but he has his own cool way.

Gnod- Ingnodwetrust (Rocket Recordings LAUNCH042)

The UK drone psych rockers are back with a new full length record. The Middlesex split LP was released earlier this year and I reviewed that already but this is something quite different. The A side is one long track called Tony’s First Communion and what ever priest he saw, sure gave him a load of LSD or strong mushrooms or ayawaska! I have never heard a Gnod record with such a clean, clear production either. Anyway, the track has a very straight drum and bass line that hardly changes for a very long time as the Dark Energy synth starts things off but then slowly a lot more sounds and voices float into the landscape as the track slowly builds up. A lot of spaced out sounds get quite loud as some guitar now starts to enter into the sound in a subtle way and the pace is increased slightly and then it ends. A cool trip. Vatican starts with some distorted drums and then a spaced out sample in Italian over a sort of organ like sound. This track has darker feel to it as the spaced out voice slowly fades to the background and the distorted bass and drum gives this one a freaky sound as the synth sounds fly around the soundscape. The theme that started the track comes back to end it again. Yet, another Gnodly mindfuck that sadly only lasting 33mins. This released on 500 copies on white vinyl and as a download option, no CD will be pressed as far as I know (at least right now).

King Bong- Alice in Stonerland (Self Released)

The Italian stoners are back with another improvised jam. This is one long improvised jam that lasts about 35 mins. As it should, this long jam has many different parts and themes from 70’s rock style jamming, to slow doom rock, to just pure stoned rock riffs and spaced out stuff.  It starts off with some nice melodic delay guitar as the bass and drums slowly crawl into the jam. The rest of this 1st of 5 parts is mostly just riffing as the drums get more intense. The 2nd part the track gets pretty doomy and then Andrea kicks in with some intense guitar soloing, while Alberto (bass) and Ted (drums), keep the jam moving forward. Alberto switches out of solo to intense wah pedal action as Alberto plays some cool bass lines and the drums really notch it up as well. The drums get a bit of a distorted sounds as the band blasts out of this last section and into part 3, where the more doomy guitar returns and now Ted starts making some funny stuff with the drum pad as Alberto is making some freaked out sounds with his bass pedals and then Andrea joins in as it gets very spaced out. The band then kicks into a very cool wah guitar section now. Now there is a very cool section where they are doing this stop, start with the drums, bass and guitar and they have sampled all these different animal sounds. That is pretty cool. The last section goes back to a more melodic section like the track started. This part is perhaps the weakest and only part I did not like that much but there is some nice wah guitar at the end. Pretty cool stuff. 

Trouble- Revelations (Life and Death) (High Rollers Records HRR 091)

This was announced some time ago and it has finally arrived. These are the very earliest recordings of Trouble beginning with the first demo tape from 1980, which I had never heard these songs before. I had heard their other demos though. Anyway, these first three songs are pretty cool and really just good NWOBHM like hard rocking tracks. Child of Tomorrow you can hear the start of the use of the dual guitars that would become a signature for the band. Eric’s voice is totally different as well. Then we get the Tempter, Revelation and Assassin and besides being more raw, they are very similar to the final recorded versions on the first record. Flip over the record and you have the last demo from 1982, which is the Wickedness of Man, which was also on the 1st record. The Fall of Lucifer is just fantastic. The last two tracks on the record were recorded on a Chicago cable TV program in 1982 and have decent audio but are both amazing tracks- Psalm 9 and Victim of the Insane. Wow. A very cool record. Only 500 copies made. I managed to get one of the blue-yellow ones which there are only 100 of!