Saturday, September 22, 2012

Hidria Spacefolk- Astronautica (Hidria Music 001)

It has been 5 years since the last Hidria Spacefolk album. The band has played a decent amount of gigs each year and have a new synthesizer player and an additional musician on marimba, vibrafone, and xylosynth for the last 3-4 years. The delay has mainly been due to fatherhood for a number of the members but that has not made the band mellow out in any way. The LP or CD starts off with Ad Astra, an 8 min number. IT has some really intense guitar and synths and very psychedelic mix in this uptempo number. The mid section has a really cool space out.. Wow.. you just float with the beautiful harmony guitars and trip away. The main synth and guitar lines that get repeated are very cool and what a groove…. The track they released as a single back in May called Cycloop is next and probably the track with the heaviest guitar riff the band has ever had! A pretty cool ebo guitar riff and a potent and spacey guitar lead that penetrates the sound and leads the way while Mikko plays the hard guitar riff. The new synthesizer player (Veikko) really plays super cool stuff and Olli on vibraphone also adds a totally new dimension. Plenty of spacey sounds balancing out the heavy guitar riff. Badding, a 12 min song ends the first side of the LP. This starts very spacey with some beautiful guitar and xylophone but then the really groovey bass line kicks in pretty fast. Really melodic and spacey xylophone and keyboards take the main lead while the guitars are more in the background at the start as the track really builds and is very dynamic. The band written more complex and like progressive rock style stuff in this track but they still maintain the killer hypnotic groove and sound they have always had. Very fresh. This next track, Endymion is a killer starting side B of the record with its rock-trance groove and all the layers of spacey stuff going on. I was totally tripping with it sort of eastern groove and the bells. The LP ends with the long 11min track, Seirenes. This has this very intense like vocal chorus synth but also some lead guitar work, more than on the other tracks underneath as the track builds to the mid section, where it changes gears a bit but maintains a very special intensity. Phew.. What an amazing record…. For sure in the top ten this year and available on vinyl and CD.....

Antibalas- Dirty Money (Daptone Records DAP-028)

The NYC afrobeat group Antibalas are back with their first new CD in 5 years. Damn, we have had to wait a long time. It is 6 songs and 42mins. I am a huge fan of the band and this has been one of my most anticipated records for this year and it does not disappoint (although it could have been longer). It starts off with the brilliant title track, with a great groove and cool lyrics. Check out his video with an edited version of the song. The Rat Catcher is next and has a long instrumental beginning with a cool mid tempo groove and some fantastic horn playing. The female backing vocals are in classic Fela style. Him Belly no go Sweet, starts with a horn, percussion intro before the main rhythm kicks in which is quite slow as the vocals are sung in a Nigerian language with some English. Cool laid back one. Ibéji is a short 6 min track which is led by the bass line and is a bit slower and spacey at times. The last track, Saré kon kon is recorded live but is a new song. This one has a kick ass groove, the horn players are just ripping it up and you can hear the audience really getting into it. A great closer. If you check the liner notes of the cool digipack closely it says it was recorded on 8 tracks, which is pretty cool.. Pretty live stuff.

Friendship- Friendship 7” (Private Press)

Friendship is a new rock trio (going for a classic 70s sound) from Oslo, Norway. This is a limited press of 300 copies. The opening track, Alpha Male, starts with some vocals and then the really funky soul groove kicks in as the band really take it to another level. Give it Time plays pretty catchy music but also very organic. The guitar solo section on this track was really nice and they ease out of it in a sort of jam like fashion and very cooly into the track again. Wow. Brilliant release and I look forward to hearing a lot more by these guys..  

The Cosmic Dead- The Exalted King (Dub Ditch Picnic)

Wow, the Scottish space rock band, the Cosmic Dead are back with a new release on cassette and download only. It is only three tracks but quite long and very spaced out. The title track opens things up and lasts for the next 34 long stoned droned out spaced out minutes… The band have moved from a high energy 1971 Hawkwind vibe to a more drone space sound akin to GNOD on this long track. Evenutally, a quite repetitive and space guitar line leads the way with some awesome bass playing and intense drumming to back it up. It takes as long time for the space sounds to return as this is mostly a trio piece lead by this melodic space guitar line. The band never really take it to a peak unfortunately and one might even get a bit bored but damn they sure have a killer groove going at the end and I love the bass line. The end is more spaced out like GNOD. Anatta is next and 15mins and is a slow build up as well but damn the last 3-4 minutes just really kicks some ass they build up a huge wall of sound. This track blew me away. A bit like BONG but not so doomy. Anaphora starts slowly with some spacey synths and really spaced out vocals (not really possible to understand what he is saying hardly at all due to the long delays and feedbacks). It slowly moans and groans as the drums keep a steady rhythm. The guitar plays a really space repetitive line as the spacey sounds and tempo slowly increase. They maintain a really spaced out vibe and the crazy vocal returns as well. I love that space guitar line. Cool stuff… Oh yeah, this last track is about 20 mins long..

Admiral Sir Cloudsley Shovell- Don’t hear it, Fear it! (Rise Above Records RISELP142)

ASCS is a really cool raw blues rock trio from the UK. I saw them play at the Roadburn festival in 2011 and they really rocked the house with their brand of intense blues rock. I was really looking forward to this LP and it does not disappoint, in fact it blew me away. It must be played LOUD… I also ordered quickly and got the special edition with the extra 7” record.  Anyway, the record starts off with Mark of the Beast. It starts off with a strange crazy intro but then the real gritty rock and roll takes over with a sort of punky attitude but the music is nasty rockin’ blues. Devil’s Island starts slowly with the bass leading the way as the Johnny slowly comes in with his guitar before the major riff that the song is built on kicks in. The effect on the vocal gives the track a eerie feeling. It takes the track some time to build and evolve. Mid way through the song takes off with a several short guitar solo breaks and a great jam with some cool bass playing. iDeath is the last song and a really uptempo and intense rocking song. Some people will probably slag the vocal as he is not really a proper singer but a guy who just really expresses himself vocally in an intense manner. It suits this raw and nasty rock and roll that they do..  Satan is smiling now and says please flip the record, I need some more… An untitled short piece that fades up and within a minute fades away leads into Red Admiral, Black Sunrise. It slows things down but has a cool slow heavy guitar riff and there is some nice solos thrown in as well and it really rocks out at the end. This is my favourite song on the record. Scratchin’ and Sniffin’ features the bands friend Jay on organ and Tony McPhee (Groundhogs) on slide guitar. Dirty, slow and heavy, while The Last Run brings back the speed and intensity. The LP ends with Killer Kane which features some intense guitar playing and is just a really rough and ready song. If you are curious about the songs on the 7”, they are November and Cursed Earth, both original numbers.  November features some organ (much more prominent than on the early track) and is a very cool song, totally different than all the others and the guitar plays with the organ to create some brief harmonies before the solo section. Still rough, raw and powerful stuff, especially if you can crank it loud! Cursed Earth starts with some really crude and nasty, drunken slide guitar. The track is very closely modelled on the ZZTOP track, Goin’ down to Mexico from the 1st album.  They did a great job capturing the raw essence of the band at the Foel Studio in Wales.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Barrett Elmore- Woodlands (Trail Records 012)

You would never guess from the band’s name they were from Sweden (somewhere in the forest). The band is a four piece with a female vocalist and playing some pretty cool spacey melodic psychedelic music. Apparently, the band started off as a trio playing raw psychedelic blues before meeting Mikaela. The CD features 11 tracks in 46mins and starts off with some nature sounds and piano, spacey synth as the track slowly builds up with the slow drum and bass rhythm in this opening track called Entrance. Now, we head to the Creek. The water is running, some chimes are being blown about and the acoustic guitar is being played by the Pixie under the mushroom. Mikaela sings in a very melodic style and with a bit of reverb that makes her voice float. Beautiful music. I see a Man is a very short song that leads into The Nixie, which has some nice delay guitar and now either Claes or Max take over the lead vocal, in this really relaxed and spacey track, which really builds up at the end with some more intense guitar. Drowning has an effected vocal features more guitar work outs but still maintains its psychedelic character. Now a storm is coming and this is a beautiful instrumental that reminds me of the Doors meets Pink Floyd. It is the organ that gives it that Doors feeling. The Brook Horse returns to this floating space but also has some nice dynamics. The drummer is really good at adding intense drumming to some not so intense songs but also knowing when to relax and glide. Lost in the Swamp is another short interlude track with a  beautiful piano balancing the easy going nature and the guitar line reminds me of the Doors. I could easily hear Jim sing on this one. Dusk (Dance of the Pixies) keeps in the same vibe but is a bit more spacey and Mikaela returns after a break of a few songs. The title track, Woodlands has these airy singing from Mikaela and at 1½ mins a heavy guitar (but very melodic) enters to change the mood and compliment the acoustic guitar. The beginning theme returns at the end. That is the end of the regular record but they have attached a 12min bonus track called Psilocybe Semilanceata, which is the most psychedelic thing on the CD and really goes back to early 1968 Pink Floyd style stuff but also is sort of a collage of different pieces of music they have put into a little mind journey.. Beautiful heart felt music. This deserves a vinyl release.

Svensk Psych Aften II- Live at Ungdomshuset Copenhagen (Kommun2:20)

This was a pretty fun psychdelic rock night at Ungdomshuset in Copenhagen on a freezing night last February (See my full review of this night). Local psych rock collector, promoter and fan, Sven Kruppa arranged this 2nd night. There were three bands: SKL, Huggorm, and Anders playing. Side A is the first song by SKL and I actually play on it. This is a 20min Swedish folk track with violin that about midway through turns into a cool psych rock track. It also features Hobbitten on psych guitar (On Trial, Spids Nøgenhat). Flip the record over and you get 3 short punky raw tracks by Huggorm. They are really a special band and some like their vibe and others just hate them… You can choose. The last track is Anders (drummer from On Trial, Mother Superior), who has released two solo records on the Kommun2 label with a track called Drop your Bombs. He is basically backed by the Dragonetears guys (minus Guf), so it is a pretty long psychout jam.. Very cool stuff.. Only pressed in 270 copies with a great sleeve artwork.  It should be noted that I did the multitrack recordings of this night and also the mixes of SKL and Huggorm for the LP as well as several of the pictures in the inner sleeve I took as well. The label did not give me any credit so I will do so here…. Enjoy… 

Propane Propane- Indigo (Clostridium Records)

This is a private press in 5-600 copies on a pretty new German label called Clostridium. The band is from Sweden though. I got very lucky to come across this one at the last record fair in Copenhagen (thanks Tobias).  Never heard of the band. The A side begins with Rise. It starts spacey and builds up quite fast before the heavy stoner wall of sound kicks in. Very inspired by the New Zealand band, Arc of Ascent, except there are fewer guitar solo parts. The vocal has an effect on it so it is not so clear but more distant and spacey. There is a nice melodic thread in this song, especially in the interlude. Kometh starts slow and spacey before the massive stoner riff kicks in. Cool song. ANT is a heavy and intense vocal and lyric about falling asleep with his head against the wall and finding his feet chained to the floor! Cosmic Hideout is a great track with a lot of cool guitar and spacey vibe. Truth slows it down and goes for a very heavy riff that is just pounding but it has a lot of dynamic parts and a real uptempo ending. This A side is really long, like 28mins as is the B side. Aquatic starts the B side slowly with an instrumental track that did not really grab me. Return of the Burning Son kicks in fast but then finds it pace before coming down to a slow bluesy section before they really take off with a solo.. Food of the Gods has a really cool bass line and then the large riff kicks in, in the same way that Arc of Ascent build their songs but this is a bit more raw and psychedelic some how. The LP ends with the 12 min title track, Indigo. This is the most spaced out track on the record as the band really go out there… Damn cool record. If you like stoner rock but stuff that is more on the psychedelic and spacey side, for sure check this new band out. This is a vinyl only release in 3 colors. I have number 117/200 on black vinyl.

Loudness- 2012 (Tokuma Communications TKCA-73810)

A pretty straightforward title for the new Loudness CD. Thanks to my friend Hatsumi, I have been able to stay on top of the bands activities over the last decade or so where they have only been releasing records in Japan and on a yearly basis. This is the 2nd CD with the new drummer. The lyrics are more political, more powerful in some way and very passionate. The CD features 11 tracks and two of which are instrumental. I loved the instrumental track on their last CD, Eye to Dawn. The opening track, The Stronger starts slowly with some melodic guitar and then at 45 seconds just takes off at Slayer like speed and attack and then the attack becomes a bit less intense when Minora starts to sing. 2012- End of the Age is also another really aggressive track with some killer lead guitar. It has slow and fast sections but is mostly very intense. They lyrics are a bit depressing but true. Break new Ground slows things down but does not decrease the intensity of the music. Driving Force is a war song and has a very cool guitar riff and hook. I wish they did not fade out the guitar solo at the end as it was really awesome. Amazing sound production on this record. Behind the Scene is mid-paced and Akira kicks in with some wah guitar but the riff is still massive and the lyrics very powerful. Bang em Dead is a very intense track at the beginning with this machine gun double bass but then the basic up down guitar riff rhythm kicks in but Akria is mixing in some sool guitar every place he can squeeze it in. The Voice of Metal (Song for RJD) is a cool song dedicated to Ronnie James Dio. A true tribute song, done Loudness style! Who the hell Cares is a slow, really heavy track again with potent lyrics. The ending is really nice and spacey and totally different. Spirit of the East starts with a little bit of Hendrix inspiration. I wish the band would do more of these style tracks as this is such a cool track but this one was too short at 2 mins. Memento Mori is a mid paced track about living your life. The CD ends with the instrumental Out of the Space, another short 2min piece. I am not sure I agree with the song order on this record but it is a great one. They put all the really intense songs together and should have put these instrumental ones in between rather than at the end.. 

The booklet is massive and the Japanese version comes with an extra CD with just one track that is only 5mins long, which seems like quite an extra expense for only 5mins of music. Maybe I should throw it in a computer and see if there is a cool video on it or something extra?? Anyway, the track is called Deep-Six the Law! It starts with a keyboard or guitar synth and is another pretty heavy one but also one of the most mainstream (musically). It is about the US (or any other gov’t) passing laws that take away your freedom to see a lawyer, in the name of freedom, but’s how can you be free if they can lock you up forever without being able to see a lawyer and fight your case… This is not for freedom, this is for hiding away the people who threaten to remove you from power….  Sorry for that political statement..

Litmus- Slaughterbahn (Litmus Music 001)

The UK space rock band is back with their 4th full length record and their first to be released on their own label (the last two were in Rise Above Records). It is quite a departure from their previous more heavy records but the unique way the band create their vocal delivery is intact. The songs are shorter, the band line up is down to a trio (although James is now in on Synths) and the songs are more straightforward hard driving rock, like the opener Deeper. It also features some lush synths played by either Simon, Martin or marek, who all get credits for synths). The tracks often run right into each other in fast order. Spark and Breakout are really fast tracks and Simon plays some cool lead solos and martin killer bass in the short breakout tune. Static slows things down and features a organ like keyboard combined with a lush synth line as the melodic vocals are sung over the top. Streamers is a short 3½ min really melodic track with some great lyrics. Reminds me a bit of Bevis Frond in a funny way. Satellites starts with a synth drone before the Hawkwind style guitar riff kicks in and the track slowly builds and it later features mellotron. The bass solo is cool. 1x1 is a short 1½min piece that is just building up to go somewhere and then it is over. Last Man Standing is a bit longer at 5½mins as the band kick into high gear once again with a heavy guitar riff. I love the really cool phased out drum section on this addictive track. Sleepless once again has some mellotron that comes and goes throughout the track.  The track starts off really spacey but then really takes off at high speed. The groove really gets you on this one. Lights Out is a really well constructed and interesting track. Slaughterbahn is the longest track on the record at nearly 8 mins and starts with some mysterious atmospheres and then the drums and guitars kick in to start the uptempo space travel with a more laid back vocal, which I like. A more stripped down sound for Litmus but it works. Cool record.. Go the web site and pick it up and support the band. Nice people.

Gnod- 5th Sun 7” (Trensmat Records TR030)

The psychedelic trip rock band, GNOD are back with a new 7” on the Irish label Trensmat. The tracks were recorded at Studio Chaudelande like the two records that came out before this and this stuff channels the same vibe. The record is on cool orange vinyl but neither side is labelled so you just have to guess which side is which. Side A is the title track and side B is 5th Dub.  Anyway, the track in it’s two different mixes is pretty heavy, drooney and wickedly spaced out. True psychedelic spaced out headfuck music of the best sort. Have a trip to the 5th Sun…. they obviously did…

Earthride- Earthride (Totem Cat Records totem001)

This is a re-release of the long out of print first EP that US band Earthride released back in 2000. I had not heard this before and it really blew me away. It is in a limited edition numbered copy in a nice digipack and it last includes 3 live tracks (one from each of the bands 3 records) from the Stoner Hands of Doom Festival 2011. 39 minutes of music. The opening track totally reminds me of like 1978 era Motorhead and Dave really sounds a lot like Lemmy as well. Earthride opens and is quite a long track with fast, and slow more doomy parts. A great track with some cool guitar sections. I wish Motorhead made such raw music as this today. Black has a hypnotic groove and has a very dark evil lyrical content at times. Enter Zacfreyals is an instrumental song and speeds things up and then a very Spirit Caravan like groove kicks in and you could almost place it and then it takes off in again and back again. Weak End also is a great heavy groove rocker that slows down and gets more doomy at the end with a nice bluesy solo. Fighting Devil’s Inside You is the first of the live tracks. What a fuzzed out wah guitar to start this track. Wow.. Hacksaw Eyeball is from the bands latest studio record, Something’s Wicked. A heavy stoner groove. For Mere Remains closes this CD. I dig it..

Chickencage Experience- An Eggspoliltation Movie (Nasoni Records 122-2)

This is a new release from the creative folks from Polytoxicomane Philharmonie. It comes in a cool dual sleeve digipack with the CD with 6 long songs from 9-17 mins in length and a DVD movie. I have heard the record alone and also watched the DVD movie. The majority of the movie is a film of the band playing live in the studio. I did not think that the whole thing came across that cohesively but it was fun to watch and the music is pretty cool and sometimes amazing.. It is hard to describe but this is the most free form, jamming and space rock like the band has ever been. The two female vocals remind you of GONG at times but there is a more lead vocal story telling role here and not just space whispers, and poetry. These guys play such cool music but I think you need to watch the DVD and hear the record, it worked better than stand alone. Cool to see some people doing something different with musical media.

Blackberry Smoke- The Whippoorwheel (Southern Ground Artists SGA012)

One of favorite southern rock bands is finally back with another studio album. They are on the road a lot so they don’t make so many albums. This is only their 3rd in 12 years. Six ways to Sunday starts the record and it is about being in love and showing that to your mate. A really catchy song with a piano lead line. Pretty little Lie has that slight country feel that they do very well. Everybody knows she’s Mine really reminds me of a Lynryd Skynryd honky tonk like track. One Horse Town is the single and it an amazing acoustic song with a slight country tinge (and pedal steel) Excellent lyrics about being from a small town and not escaping when you had a chance. Some of these songs like the title track, Everybody knows she’s Mine and Sleeping Dogs were on the bands excellent live DVD they released last year. Ain’t much left of Me has a bit harder riff and a nice organ and slide guitar solo. The title track is a countryish song. Lucky Seven is another piano honky tonk track. Leave a scar is the fastest song on the record and also really a catchy groove and fun lyrics. Ain’t got the blues starts off sounding like it is recorded with a mic far away and then it kicks in to the real track. Fun track.  Sleeping Dogs has a killer laid back vibe. Love this one. Shaking hands with the Holy Ghost has this heavy thumping bass line that drives the track. Up the Road is the last track and a piano acoustic guitar ballad and the only track with an sort of extended solo (great long guitar solo). Very passionate.

Anyway, it is a fucking great record and real sing along party music! The band is blessed with a singer that has a really down to earth voice and writes really cool lyrics that can really reach people. The way the band structure their songs is pretty similar often and they use the Hammond in the same way on a lot of songs as well but they write great songs. I wish they would rock a little harder and do some jamming, have some longer solo sections but I just to have to be satisfied that they are just brilliant anyway!

Øresund Space Collective, Stoned Jesus, 5R6- Dragens Hule, København 9/14/12

This was the 2nd ØSC concert at Dragens Hule this year and we decided to help out some cool bands from the Ukraine to set up a concert in Copenhagen on their Europe tour. Everything was running late but we still managed to start on time with 5R6 at 22. There were about 40 people. 5R6 are some young guys from the Ukraine (two guitars, bass and drums) and they play a pretty intense music. The first track was a bit more like stoner rock but with a good groove and some great lead guitar stuff but then they went into more complicated riff rock stuff and were quite TOOL inspired and even did a TOOL cover as the last song of their 40min set. Check out the video

Next up was Stoned Jesus, also from the Ukraine. I really like both their releases so I was really looking forward to the show. They were really really nice people but we did not have too much time to chat.. Anyway… they opened up with Indian from the new record, Seven Thunders Roar. They are only a three piece band. Igor, the guitar player and singer had just got a beautiful new blue Gibson Les Paul here in Copenhagen so this was his first gig with this guitar. Next up was Bright like the Morning. They next played a short 3min new song that they said they played for the first time ever last night in Berlin. Then my favourite song from the new record, I’m the Mountain was just as long as on the record and sounded great. There were many more people now by the time they were playing. They ended the concert with Falling Apart from their debut EP. I really enjoyed the concert and they got a good response. Sadly, they had to leave before we got to play so they never saw ØSC. 

ØSC, we started about just before 01:00. Rune, from Sinister Creation was paired up with Nicklas from Papir. They had not played together ever in ØSC but used to play some music together years back. Anyway, due to the late hour, Rune had to leave after the first jam and the bass rig died during the first jam as well so it was quite chaotic to start the show and everyone was really waiting as it took us forever to get started as well. Nickolas (Univerzals) took over from Rune and then we really took off! These 2nd and 3rd jams were really cool. The 4th jam a young lady came up to the mic and attempted to sing but this was not very exciting even though the jam was really great. We took a set break and came back and after a modular synths space out had a monster 57min jam!!!!!!! One more jam and that was the end of the 2nd set. It was 4 in the morning and I was pretty tired, the guys making the amazing projections were also very tired but the band wanted to play more. So we started a 3rd set and had one really cool 27 min jam but I could play no more. I was totally drained. After I took down all my stuff, the guys were still playing and about 20 people still getting wasted were hanging out… Crazy night….

Set List

Set I
Rune goes, jiri Explodes 21:35
Dark space before the return of the bass 5:45
The bass is Back 31:18
4.The girl is Lost 24:42
Set II
Modular Intonations 5:12
Across the Universe 57:26
Stupid Boys, Smart Girls 21:49
Why play More? 27:40

You can hear the concert at this link! 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Ralph ”Rock n' Roll” Rjeily Tribute Concert- Loppen, Christiania Sept 8th, 2012

This was an amazing day and evening! Thanks to Henrik and Lotte for arranging this magical evening. I arrived at the club at about 15:30 to set ui the hard disc recorder to capture the evening. Most of the guys in On Trial, Baby Woodrose, Aron, Sölvi, etc.. were all there. Sebastian, who did the lights for all of these bands for years, was setting up all the gear and screens and cameras. Lotte, Ralph's wonderful wife, was decorating with the help of some family and friends. There were table clothes, balloons, fresh plants, etc.. The mood was great and everyone was talking freely about all the good times with Ralph and the mood was fantastic.
I got to hear all the soundchecks, so heard the sets that Spids Nøgenhat and On Trial would play later in the evening. The sound guys had a big job on this night as 12-14 different acts/bands would play each only about 20 mins. In the end it was only about an hour later than the very ambitious schedule which was great. The doors opened to the public at 19 (normally it is 21) but only very few people came before 20:30 or so. By 21 quite a few people were coming in at a pretty steady rate. There were a lot of musicians of course as this is primarily what Ralph worked with. In the end it was a really diverse crowd of people that probably filled Loppen with 250-300 people. A great crowd.

Alive with Worms (half)
Sölvi Silver
The first act of the night was Henrik Liebgott playing some Spanish guitar. I am not exactly sure what his connection to Ralph was. He played about 15mins and the last song or two was accompanied by a singer. It was not at all what people expected and people did not pay the attention they should have but that is the way it goes. Next up was the people from the Danish act, Alive with Worms. The bass player, played acoustic guitar and was accompanied by the amazing vocals of Jenine Neble on vocals. Wow.. she sings awesome. The last two songs were old Alive with Worms songs. The place was really filling up now and the crowd was into it. The party had started!

Lorenzo Woodrose (Guf)
Sölvi Silver (Mother Superior) came down from Sweden. He is a long term friend of Ralph's from the 90s and he had been a driver for some of the bands that Ralph worked with as well in the old days. He did a solo tribute song called Calling all rock and Roll Soldiers. This was a tribute song specifically written for Ralph with direct references to Ralph and the bands he worked with. Really passionate and they showed a lot of cool pics of Ralph on the screen while he played. This was short and then Lorenzo Woodrose took the stage for two really passionate cover songs. Bloody Hammer by Roky Erikson and Signed DC by Love. Wow.. these were so fantastic and Lorenzo sang with such passion. Fantastic.

Next up was Gas Giant. Ralph was the booker and producer of the bands two full length records. The band disbanded in 2006 so it had been some years since anyone heard Gas Giant songs played live. The band sounded great and Jesper was amazing with such a powerful voice still. They opened up with Mama Cool (it was on a split 7” with Colour Haze) and written about a woman in Germany who we all hung out with when Ralph, Gas Giant (I was playing in the band at this time) and Colour Haze were on tour in 2002. Powerful stuff. Next was the track, Storm of my Enemies, my favourite song from their debut CD. They tried to not jam it out too long but Stefan played some really great passionate guitar. The set ended with their, semi-hit, Too Stoned and the crowd loved it. Great but too short set.. Hope they will find the passion to play some more again in the future.
 Tommy, the drummer in Gas Giant, he also plays in the next band, which Ralph worked with a lot in the mid-90s. called Mother of Mary. They play a sort of grunge-hard funk sound. The singer he was a funny guy and said some really nice things about Ralph, as did everyone who was playing. They played 4 songs from their old records, which people dug. They were a bit loose but really having fun as well. Some people really knew their songs well.

Next was the only band on the bill (besides Henrk Liebgott), who I did not know what the relation to Ralph was. Supercharger were some really heavily tattooed Danish buys playing melodic power rock, something like the Swedish band Mustasch. Their opening song really kicked some ass but then it was a bit too normal somehow but really powerful high energy rock music and just what people were in the mood for as well. On Trial bass player, Nik's band Black Pussy hit the stage next and this is a down and dirty nasty form of punky rock and roll with a lot of attitude and fun stuff. No idea what songs they played but I really liked it a lot and was up in the front for half the set.

Black Seagull
Black Seagull is the new band from Bo and Bjarni (the singer and guitarist from On Trial, they play some dates in Germany, including Berlin in November). I had never heard them but they only performed two songs and both were great. Bo gave a nice introduction as well we before playing Heart of Gold by Neil Young. Bo used to sing in a Neil Young cover band a long time ago. Next they played, Lazing in a sunny Afternoon by the Kinks. People were singing along and really enjoyed this as well.

Aron Düül Maiden
Aron Düül Maiden was totally amazing and blew me away. Wow… No keyboards in this line up of Aron but great songs and playing. The lights by Sebastian were simply mind blowing and he really got better and better as the evening went along and you really wish that all bands could have such cool visuals to spice up the show. Anyway, På jorden (on the earth) started things off and was very passionate. Morten also played great guitar. The next song was Drop your Bombs, an Anders song but the last song was a real surprise when they played Drug Freedom from the Ghost Rocket 7” (2005). That was cool….

Since most of the band is the same, the band with the biggest draw, Spids Nøgenhat played next. The place was really packed in with people and man did this band sound great. This is for sure the best band in Denmark that is singing all in Danish. These are really passionate songs and the band just has this magical psychedelic flow with the guitars of Morten Aron and Hobbiten. Wow.. IT was far too short but the longest set of the night at like 25mins. Killer…
Spids Nøgenhat
Telstar Sounddrone is a new band for me but I know these are the guys who back up Baby Woodrose now, so I was familiar with their name. They played 3 songs in about 22mins and were really cool. Hobbiten and Christian (Bite the Bullet, Highway Child) play in this band as well. It was really spacey music but with melodic vocals and reminded me a bit of Spiritualized, the best aspects. Really nice people as well.

Highway Child
We were only about 20mins behind schedule and nearing the end now with only Highway Child and On Trial, two bands who both played their last shows last year and no one expected to see again live, so this was really special. Highway Child, Singer Patrik really had a new look with this cool 60's rock hair style and it was great to see them on the stage again and they could put the personal issues aside and just rock and roll. They went for long jamming versions of their really old songs. They started off with Change Yourself and then into a massive 10min or more jammed out version of Just like You. Paw was just ripping it up and pushing the limits on the guitar. Wow… The band really has a magic and intensity. Love for sale was also pretty jammed out and I thought they would stop since they had already played 25mins but no, they had to play Highway Child and this is one that gets the people singing as well. They had a great time and really kicked some ass.

On Trial
Now, it was 2:40 in the morning and we are only 1hr 10mins behind the original schedule but still probably 60% of the people are left. On Trial is the band that Ralph had the most to do with over the years, doing the sound for nearly all their live gigs since the mid-90s, tour managing, working in the studio, record contracts, etc… he was part of their family. The band disbanded last year but it was great for them to come and play a few songs tonight to end this amazing evening. Lorenzo even played the drums (that did not even happen at their last show in June 2011) on Flashinghast. Anders (used to play guitar in On trial and bass in Baby Woodrose and produced some of the On Trial records) played guitar as well. The LOVE song, House is not a Motel was played. The band was pretty tired and well lubricated with beer by now so they were pretty loose but very psychedelic still. A newer On trial song called the Breaking of Lines was played in a very spacey version. I thought they were done for sure but they ended with a Roky song, I have always been here before. It was an amazing day and night. It was 3:40 by the time I road by Christiania bike back home with the hard disc recorder (thanks to Sven for carrying it for me and saving my bad back…)… A once in a lifetime event. Great memories… Peace and love to Ralph's family….

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Smoke Mohawk- Viva El Heavy Man (Noisolution/Indigo 2012)

Smoke Mohawk is a Norwegian band with members of Glucifer and WE as well as My Midnight Creeps. This is their 2nd album and it is just as diverse and eclectic as the first one and a lot of fun making psychedelic rock but with a more mainstream edge, somehow? This starts off with a rip off of the WHO (Baba O’riley) that leads into VCR King. It has a cool pscyh ending. Sophia is a piano, acoustic guitar track but mid paced and pretty intense vocals. Squaw Woman has a more hard rock guitar riff and it just a fun rock and roll number until the strange ending. Jump out of Tyme is just like the title suggests a trip back to the 60s with its organ driven path. Phantom Spiker is a real contrast and funny song compared to the previous track. This one is a fun psychotic trip! Outskirts is a more high energy rock track also with a bit of a psychedelic edge. Next is cover of the classic song, Crazy Horses, done SM style! Pirate Train is a high energy track with a really special guitar phasing and phrasing. Inspector Holmes is a short acoustic driven, almost freaky Beatles like track. Expresso is a foot stomper that goes into these weird “60’s psych” sections and then back. The CD ends with POTLOP, which is also the longest track at just over 7 mins. This a very cool slow, steady, space song with a really cool horn and vibe to it, that just lets you float out into the kosmos.. Great and eclectic record!