The Danish 70s rock band, Fuzz Manta is back with their 3rd record. Opus 2 was an excellent record and came out less than a year ago but I was really looking forward to hearing how this record sounded. The band recorded it in their rehearsal space and mixed it elsewhere. It is out on the Kozmik Artifactz label on three different colours of vinyl in a fantastic gatefold sleeve with a poster as well. The songs are all between 5 and 8 mins in length. Side A starts off with And so she speaks. It begins with some acoustic guitar and then the track takes off with a heavy bottom end sound bluesy guitar (including slide) before Lene comes in on the vocal and it gets a bit heavier. A fantastic opening number with Freddy playing some great solos as well. A very melodic vocal line helps to make this a quite catchy track. Electric Heat is next and another heavy 70s rocker with a slower pace and a quite in your face vocal. This track has a really cool wah guitar section that is a bit psychedelic as well as it really builds up at the end. Vertigo reminds me a bit of a modern version of Hey Joe mixed with a bit of Robin Trower
Freddy plays a beautiful blues solo as well. I also like the spacey wind at the
end of the track as well. Between the Lines is another hard hitting rocker with
a Clutch like groove and Freddy laying down the wah solo. Torke is a slow and
easy blues track with a slight spaceness to it as it begins. I really like the
layered guitars as it builds and reminds me of WE (less psychedelic Last
Stronghold of the Freaks!) during these spacey parts. Then the song structure
changes totally but with a really happy vibe. It is a great psychedelic number. The vocal seems more mixed into
this track compared to most of the other tracks, where at least on my stereo,
they are a bit too in your face. I honestly thought the record was over but the
band has placed like 3mins of silence in at the end of this track and then the
music fades back up from some sort of heavy jam right into the wah solo
section. Finally, here in bridge of Sighs ,
we are developing a band that writes kick ass 70s style material and plays it
well. A fucking fantastic record. Denmark
This is a site where I post reviews of CDs, DVDs, LPs, and concerts. I have been writing music reviews on and off since 1984. I ran a heavy metal fanzine from 1984-1988 called Metal Madness and have been a staff writer for Aural Innovations for many years. I have also contributed to Chrohinga Well (RIP), Bad Acid (RIP), Lowcut (RIP), Roadburn and a number of other zines as well. I recently moved to Portugal so please request the new address and do not send any music to Denmark anymore. Tak..
Saturday, January 28, 2012
My Brother the Wind- Wash my Soul in the stream of Eternity (TransubstansV04)
The totally improvised band, MBTW are back with a nearly double vinyl record (sadly the 4th side is totally blank, what a waste, but this is my only negative comment). The packaging is awesome on the double vinyl edition and the tracks have a great flow and feeling. Side A starts with Fire Fire! A 13 min track with intense drums and bass and guitar feedback and riffing as it pushes forward. There is a video for this on youtube. A beautifully spacey guitar solo is played while the band just pushes forward with a wall of sound. A fantastic jam and the mellotron comes in at the end as well. Pagan Moonbeam is a very short 4 min track that starts with acoustic guitar and it has a bit of an eastern feeling to it and Ronny (bass player) plays some organ as well and Mathias sitar. Side B starts with a shorter, dark mysterious piece also focusing on the mellotron. The title is very long. Torbjörn Abelli is the 11 min show piece of this side and it is very melodic and spacey with great interaction between the two guitar players. Really floating, transport you to another universe stuff. The last side has you break right into a jam in progress where the band is really grooving with some nice guitar leads that then slowly comes down into a floating space section. The title track ends this really excellent 2nd record. It starts with a slowly developing repetitive bass and guitar line that grows. The band has made a very different record from the first, mainly with an extensive use of mellotron, which adds a different element to the two guitar approach. A really nice spacey journey. Fans of Øresund Space Collective, the Spacious Mind and Farflungs earlier material will dig this.
Pothead- Pottersville (Janitor Records 016)
Pothead is back with a new studio album, their first in 4 years! They used to be a band that put out a new record every year but as they age it seems to take them longer but at least they maintain a great high quality. This CD (and their first release on vinyl since the 90s and it comes with 3 Pottersville 1 zillion dollar bills!) has 13 songs in 47 mins and a lot more guitar solos! C’mon starts the CD off and is really funky, a bit electronic and unlike any Pothead song I have ever heard but damn cool! Can Go has a really cool rhythm and guitar in this most catchy track with a melodic vocal chorus. Stand has one of the more heavy metal guitar riffs on the record. Rock on, Let’s Rock also has a heavier rock riff but such a killer groove. Love in a way is totally different song with a light keyboard, acoustic guitar and really great singing by Brad. About the Word is a sort of slow bluesy thing with some multitracked vocals. A very passionate song. Flip the vinyl over and it starts with Atomic, which will remind you a bit of the track Stadium, with a repetitive keyboard line that is quite spacey, and a simple groove. Brunhilda has a slight country blues tinge and really awesome singing by Brad. Digitus Infamis also has a slow groove but a harder guitar riff and a really cool guitar solos section! Far out lyrics also. Sky Fallin’ In has that simple heavy metal riff and Brad switching is lyrics from spoken words to a more falsetto vocal while the groove just moves the track down it’s path. All Fishers has more spacey slow pace and some really nice guitar by Brad as the track has this sort of ringing drone also. I like this one very much. Hope they play it love and he can stretch out the guitar section! Relax Man also shows Brad playing some mean leads and having fun. The LP and CD end with Little Dipper.Brad is a totally amazing song writer. Pothead just has their own unique signature and way of writing and composing songs. After 4 long years this is a really great record with a lot of memorable songs but also some really new ideas.
White Hills- Live at Roadburn 2011 (Burning World Records)
This is a very nice release on the Roadburn label from the amazing White Hills performance from 2011. It also features the special guest Shazzula on synthesizer for the entire concert. Unfortunately, you only get 42mins of the bands nearly 80min performance, perhaps this is so it can fit on a vinyl record in the future. Dave is totally ripping it up on the guitar, wow…. It reminds me of the vide that Gary Ramon could channel on the Sundial record, Return Journey! IT starts off hard and aggressive with Three Quarters from the Dead record. Quite a raw, almost harsh sound production on CD but I am sure it will sound better on vinyl. Shazzula’s sounds come spinning in here and there to add some extra space and flavour. After the spacey break in the song, Dave plays some totally ripping wah solos. Under Skin or by Name takes up nearly the next 10 mins and starts very slow and spacey with just bass and space sounds. The wah guitar is really mixed in your face on this track and the vocal quite far back but the long solo is very intense and also melodic. Great guitar playing. One of the tracks they seem to always play, Radiate is next and is sung by Ego. Intense bass playing on this one comes through a bit more strongly in the mix since Dave is playing more psyched out stuff on the guitar at times. The Condition of Nothing takes up most of the next 14 mins with really long spacey guitar workout and the most spaced out track on the CD. The CD ends with the title track of their lastest studio album H-p1. Great album, what more can I say..
WHITE HILLS- THE PROCESS CASSETTE 2011 (SM034)
This is an interesting release. A limited edition cassette of the jams that the band had where the riffs and ideas for the main rocking tracks for their last LP, H-p17 were developed. It is split into two parts, A Step In (A side) and Step Outside (Side B). Side A has a long really slow spacey part that is great that leads into a real crazy noise guitar war or something, and then it all goes strange and sort of fades away.. On the side B, there is a section with an interesting spoken word section. The sound quality is raw like it was recorded in a big hall. If you like the more spaced out White Hills, this is for you to pick up as it is more or less long spaced out jams. Cool that they release this for the dedicated fans….
Saturday, January 14, 2012
Three Seasons- Escape 7” (Transubstans Records)
This is the first single in the new Transubstans singles club. Two brand new songs by the Swedish band, Three Seasons. Escape starts things off and this plays at 33rpm just to let you know. This is a great melodic 70s style rock song with some nice guitar solos and less keyboards than on the material on their debut record. I really like this song. Reminds me of someone but I can’t place it right now. Wood to Sand is nearly 7 mins long on the b-side. The track starts off with piano and very nice and then really goes into an uptempo jam with great guitar and some nice organ leading into and out of the jam. This is a fantastic track and I really look forward to seeing these guys live in 2012. This one is pressed in 500 copies and they are all numbered. I think the first 100 are red and the rest are black. I believe the next singles will only be in 300 copies. I know Øresund Space Collective, Electric Moon (this one is already on pre-order at the Record Heaven site), Vibravoid and others will have singles out in this club in 2012..
COSMIC TRIP MACHINE- Vampyros Roussos LP +7” (Nasoni Records 115LP)
The Belgium band, Cosmic Trip Machine are back with another epic story record about a guy named Jimmy who goes to the psychedelic Electric Banana club and falls in love with a girl called Myrtakia and it turns out she is a vampire and it gets darker than that. The material was recorded back as far as 2003 but the real record was finished in April 2009 and finally released on vinyl. Anyway, the LP contains a lot of short pieces that are all running together as one long trip. It is guitar, bass, drums and additional organ, sitar, sitar guitar, flute, theremin here and there. The songs are all really cool and it is a more 70s vibe and has a harder edge to it than the bands last record. The A side starts off with a acoustic psych folk feel as the story begins. Psychedelic Twist sounds a bit like Mandragora light show society. A flute intro leads into the There’s no sympathy for the Devil, with a loose attachment to the Stones version. It feels Good is like some 70s funk soul stuff, which totally catches you off guard but it is great. This is a strong contrast to the heavy and dark Under the Control of Evil that preceded it. Side B starts with some acoustic guitar and sitar pieces before getting pretty intense again and strange as well with the devil talking. Lots of great guitar solos on this record and I really like the one on This is Jazzy isn’t it! The inside of the LP gives a pretty detailed diary of the recording of the record, which is cool… Brilliant record… Oh yeah.. the 7” is a single version of the track (Not) Very High and the b side an extended version of Revelation Evil that is really fantastic!
Carlton Melton/Mugstar split 7” (Trensmat 25)
The record is just a white label on both sides so you don’t which band is on which side or what speed to play it on. A bit annoying.. Anyway, Carlton Melton is more spaced out so you will recognize this side of the record when you play it. The track is called Company and it is repetitive with a charactistic low-fi distorted sound and a very spaced out guitar as the track slowly takes off with some cool spacey stuff. The artwork says 45rpm on the Mugstar side. Their track is called Black Fountain. It starts off driven by the intense drumming as the guitar slowly builds up over the repetitive riff as they build up some tension and you really wait for what happens next. A solo guitar starts to play but is mixed to the back and then it really picks up with a heavy guitar riff as they repeat the drum, bass and guitar riff over and over and it ends. There are extra tracks by both bands that you get as downloads with your purchase of the 7” record. Death Whisper is one by Carlton Melton.
Heavy Pink- s/t (Maple Forum 040)
Heavy Pink is another side project band from Tony (Mos Generator, Stone Axe). As far as I know he played all the instruments and everything himself. The A side song is called Flower and Song. It is a slow heavy melodic track with acoustic guitar (briefly), electric guitars, a bell that rings in at regular intervals. I really like the vocal on this one with a bit of reverb. A great track but I felt like it ended too soon, before any kind of solo, etc.. The B-side is the track There is a Light. This is also melodic with some great layering of the guitar as he plays with himself several times (you know what I mean) as the track slowly builds up. It is only guitars and vocals for most of this track, until the very end, when it gets heavy and just ends! The 7” is pressed in only 300 copies. I was expecting it on pink vinyl but it is black.. Great stuff. Would love to hear an entire record but with some longer tracks where more ideas could be developed. Tony Reed is a creative guy.. Look forward to hearing the new Saint Vitus record that he recorded and produced with the band.
Bardo Pond/Carlton Melton- Split (Agitated Records AGIT009)
It has been some years since I have heard any new Bardo Pond material. They start out the A side of the record with a long track called Fallen recorded in May 2011. This is pretty spaced out stuff. Reminds me of an early Hawkwind jam with flute but not audio generators. A very raw, heavy and spacey sound as the two guitars, bass and drums just slowly float into the psychedelic space as you totally disappear into the depths of your mind… and then she starts to speak and this is your reawakening before it gers really noisy and ends.. Cool stuff for heavy space heads! Carlton Melton is also just one long track called Fallen and it starts off really with some looped drone guitar and spacey wind as you start to float away. Suddenly, the guitar breaks out of the drone and the track is more distorted with the bass forcing itself to the front while the guitar is more in the background maintaining the melodic spacey vibe. It slowly gets more and more heavy, distorted, repetitive and totally spaced out sound. Far out stuff. I think their sound is a bit too distorted for my liking. I prefer the other side.
Bang- Death of a Country (Rise Above Records RARLP015)
BANG was an amazing band from the southern part of the
playing hard rock. This is
their very first recording from 1971 and appearing for the first time on vinyl
in a deluxe gatefold sleeve. The record is concept album actually. The LP opens
with the long title track which is an excellent political commentary as well,
which 40 years on is still sadly relevant. It is has a really nice groove and
great playing by the band, almost progressive rock in nature. No Tresspassing
is more melodic and floating but also a great track. Sometimes they channel the
vibe of the Beatles, Pink Floyd (More era) in some of the musical passages.
Flip the record over and you have 4 shorter tracks. My Window has a Pink Floyd
inspiration with this floating nature to start and then the harder riff kicks
in on this great track. Life is Ending is more hard rocking and uptempo. Future
Song has a section that some will recognize the Hawkwind influence and the most
psychedelic of all the tracks, especially the phased out ending. A really cool
record but not as hard rocking as the next two records the band would make but
a record I really like a lot. Great packaging as well. http://www.riseaboverecords.com
Acid FM/Space Mirrors split 7” (Monsterfuzz Records)
ACID FM is Sparky Simmon’s group (he runs Monsterfuzz records and released the great Monster Magnet tribute CD). They start the A side off with a melodic space rock track called Space beyond Space that reminds me a lot of mid 80’s Huw Lloyd Langton solo material. The track is uptempo with some nice lead guitar work and spacey vocals. Space Mirrors present a more psychedelic track called Dreams of Area 51, that features Nik Turner on saxophone and Violin Cyndee on electric violin. It starts with some spacey synths, which are prominent throughout the track, as the vocals by Martyr Lucifer begin. It is mostly spoken word type vocals. Nice layering of the sound. Michael Blackman (plays all the bass and guitar) does a nice solo as well. The track actually reminds me the vibe of tracks on the Space Ritual CD, Otherworld. Cool limited edition 7” on red vinyl in 300 copies. http://www.spacemirrors.com
Hoofoot and Distortion Girls- Malmö Art and Forum Gallery, Sweden 1/12/12
Magnus and I took the train over to Malmö to see our friends in Hoofoot, who half of half also played with Magnus and I in the Øresund Space Collective. I was totally blown away by this cool gallery and the excellent display called Mindblowing which was a beautiful display of all those cool 1960’s
concert posters. Most of these
I had never seen before, which was great. The place was also decked out with
these like curtains with projectors showing movies and images. Really cool
stuff. A Copenhagen band with organ, guitar and vocals made some music while an
older guy named Percy Andersson did a slide show about how in the early 70s
they just sold everything bought some caravans and the idea was just to head
north in Sweden and see what happens! It was pretty cool but way too long and I
could not understand it all. Distortion Girls, then played a set of their own
and then finally Hoofoot. The DG first set was not that interesting, a bit too
repetitive and not very interesting guitar at all. They are a bit strange as
the female guitar player looked a bit androgynous and the organ player, I think
is a transvestite? The only really normal looking one was the female vocalist
who was in her own dream world. It was very dark in this place... San Francisco
Hoofoot are a six piece all instrumental psychedelic jazz band! I had never seen them before. Jocke on guitar, Olä on synths, Pär on bass (all have played with ØSC) and then drums, fender Rhodes and a sax player. They played two songs in the first set of about 35mins, with the second one being better. Great players in this band. I was waiting for Jocke to do a guitar solo as everyone else did solos but he never did.. Quite a lot of people here and a great vibe.
Here is a link to keep track of these cool clubs put on in Malmö. http://www.klubbkristallen.blogspot.com/
Dzjenghis Khan- Prehistoric Rock (Who can you Trust 02)
The amazing but lazy San Francisco Stoners, DK, are back with this live cassette from the Elbo Club in San Francisco from 2006. I saw Hieronymous Firebrain play there in the 90s! Anyway, it lasts about 25 mins and contains tracks from both that bands LPs as well as some unreleased songs and a cover of the Green Manalishi (Fleetwood Mac). The sound quality is very good and raw with a good balance of the instruments on this soundboard tape. The band just plays with some much attitude and raw rock and roll energy. You must crank it up to really appreciate it. The very last track, Stay in
is a really amazing jam and totally blew me away and was worth the cost of the
cassette alone. I loved the bands last record, in fact, it was my favourite record
in 2010! Come on guys, lets make another mind blower! No idea what they are up
to, they have not even logged into myspace, their only web site on the web in
since June last year! This is a cassette only release in 150 copies.. Hurry… Texas
Wow.. I had only heard the name of this magazine and since I collect Vibravoid and this special issue comes with split 7” with Vibravoid (Cover of White Ship by HP Lovecraft!) and the band Drug Free Youth doing Teenage Lima Bean by the Laughing Soap dish, I picked it up. What a find! This is a brilliant glossy all black and white magazine except the cover and back pages. Great interviews with Barry Melton, Fantasyy Factoryy (been wondering what Alan was up to since they have not released an album for some years now), Sal Valentino (Stoneground,The Beau Brummels), Billy Bill Miller (Cold Sun), Gary Marker (Capt Beefheart), Marty Roth (Bent Wind), Iron Butterfly article plus lots of cool reviews. It is 85 pages in total.. Check it out! Oh yeah.. also comes with a 14 track CD with some unreleased stuff by different bands…
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