Sunday, October 27, 2013

Vista Chino and Monster Truck- Loppen, Christiania 10/25/13

Monster Truck
It is not that often that I come to shows at Loppen that are sold out! It is just so packed and hot. Anyway, my friend Johan and two of his friends from Sweden arrived in the late afternoon and we had some Indian food and beers and listened to a lot of cool music for a few hours including Seven that Spells, Beyond-o-matic, Church of Misery, Nocturnal, Blackberry Smoke, ØSC, and other stuff. Around 21 we headed off for Christiania. A lot of people were hanging out in front of Loppen and we took a walk around Christiania for a little bit but it was raining some so we headed into the club. met up with Tommy from Gas Giant (Stefan and Thomas came later), the guys in Causa Sui, Tom and Sven. Monster Truck are a Canadian band and despite being a quite popular band in Canada (they have opened for ZZTOP!) they are totally unknown here. I checked their web site and they have made 1 full length record and two EPs. Anyway, the set was high energy stoner rock with a bluesy edge at times. They did one real blues song and that was cool but the guitar solo was way too short. I was pretty blown away. The singer has a fantastic voice and a great combination of heavy guitar riffs, Hammond organ (Nord Electro into a Leslie cabinet) and great bass, drums and vocals. I will try to hunt down their record for sure.

Set List: Old Train, The Lion, Boogie, Runnin’, Power of the People, Love Attack, For the Sun, Sworded Beest, 7 Seas Blues, Call it a Spade

          It was probably half an hour or more before Vista Chino hit the stage and people were high and filled with alcohol and ready for the Kyuss intensity. It was really hot in Loppen and the band opened with Adara from the new record and into One Inch Man. The sound was a lot louder than for the first band (whose sound was excellent) and many more people were packed into the front now. John and the entire band sounded killer. What a great vocal performance. He does not say anything to the audience but was really passionate and sang great. Still has a great voice. Brant sang Planets 1&2, the first encore song. It was cool to hear them play the instrumental track Asteroid. Mike from COC was killer on bass. They did a few really cool jams in Dark and Lovely (my favourite track from the new record) and Whitewater. Freedom Run was so cool to hear. I guess they played about 90mins and really worked hard and sweated this night. Killer concert. Wow… wish I had recorded it. If you don't think Kyuss is back, you are wrong. They had to chance the name but they are laying down as well or better than the past. 

Set List: Adara, One Inch Man, Dargona Dargona, Hurricane, Sweet Remain, Gardenia, As you Wish, Asteriod, Supa Scoopa, Dark and Lovely, Thumb, Green Machine, Freedom Run, Planets 1&2, Whitewater, Odyssey

Friday, October 25, 2013

Vidunder and Katla- Stengade 30, København 10/24/13

Stengade 30 used to be a great place to see shows and I am happy to see it is once again a very good place to see bands with excellent sound and a perfect size. For the last 8 years or so they booked mostly reggae, some metal but all the stoner rock and psychedelic rock had disappeared from the bookers minds but now the place is back on track and booking cool shows again. I have been there like 3 times in the last month.. Wow..

          On this Thursday night, there were very few people when I arrived about 21:30 and no one I knew. Rhona, Thor, Tom, Jens, Martin, Anders and Nanna eventually all showed up and I guess there were 25 people who saw Katla and 50 for Vidunder. Katla started at 22:10 and played 4 songs and about a 40 min set of  very cool heavy psychedelic rock with some doomy and jammed out parts. I was really impressed. I filmed the same song as they have on You tube called Wrist watch in a Time Vacuum. I enjoyed the set a lot.

After about 20mins or so Vidunder hit the stage and people just came from now where to create a decent crowd of 50 or so for this young new Swedish trio from Malmö. The band opened the concert with the first track on their CD called Summoning the not Living and ran this into a pretty boring instrumental track (no guitar solo). I filmed the next two tracks, Trees and Threefold both from their debut record. The best song of the night was the closer, In her Grave but again this one sounds like it was written by Witchcraft and sung by Magnus. Way to short a set at 35mins.

The band wears their influences a bit too close and really lack originality in a big way. The songs are nearly all close copies to either Graveyard style sound and vocal or Witchcraft and usually a mix of both. The crowd was enjoying it but it did not hold my attention much as they don’t do any jamming, improvisation and don’t even have an original sound and they had few very interesting or good guitar solos (he is young!). They headlined and played less than 40mins. What the fuck is that? You need to have at least an hour of material if you are going to headline clubs. Don’t you like to play live, why play so short? At least play all your songs and a cover song (please not Witchcraft or Graveyard but someone like Buffalo). Do some jamming or something. The stage is yours take advantage that you are getting to play live for people, have fun, jam, experiment, write new songs, try them out live, but if you are going to spend hours driving setting up and filling the club and you play 35mins. This is just not good enough. Sorry for the rant from this old fucker.. Just keep playing more and try to develop your own style dudes…

Set List: Summoning the not Living, Instrumental, Your Ghost, Trees, Threefold, Asmodeus, Fire, Into her Grave

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Seven that Spells- Future Retro Spasm (Cosmic Eye EYE006)

As many of you know, 7thatspells is a crazy Croatian band run by mastermind Niko Potocnjak (guitars). The band is changing all the time and I think something like 40 people have been in the band since the start. Anyway, this was recorded in 2009 with a really cool line up that I even got to see play! Sax, bass, drums and guitars, no singing, no bullshit, just intense music.  Olympas starts the journey with a repeated bass thump, while the drummer warms up and slowly the sax takes the lead. Niko is patient and just waiting, standing in the corner watching until he decides it is time to enter and blow minds. Ok.. he actually holds back in this track. G is next and starts with the sax and guitar mirroring each other before the bass really takes the lead and then it switches to Niko playing a very repetitive riff while the sax solos away and they intertwine their lines until they get really tangled up and they both break free in a wild sexual release. Music for wild fucking for sure. Terminus Est closes side A with a very intense drumming and bass playing as Louro (Sax) and Niko musically masturbate in the background. Far out….Side B is something completely different to start with a beautiful long track called The abandoned world of Automata. Slow, steady, with beautiful melodic playing and a long sax solo that leads into the final build up based around a repeated guitar riff and final long solo guitar excursion. Quetzalcoati also another long track and has the intensity of material on the A side and gives the guitar a more upfront take to start with the sax going mad later in the track. The fucking bass playing by Narantxa is also animal like while Stanislav just pounds away at the drums until the orgasmic end.

Fruits de Mer Annual 2014 7” (Crustacean 44)

The label Fruits de Mer have a new 7" record that collects a few cover songs that Keith loves but was not sure where to publish them so why not on a crazy 7”! This one has three bands on it: The Giant Blue Zeta Puppies, The Raiders and Astralasia (6 tracks in 13mins). The GBZP starts things off with Joe 90 Theme. This is a frantic instrumental surf psych track originally by Barry Gray. Astralasia was a bit of a surprise to see them here doing a much more electronic and cool version of a sort of Country track by Geoff Goddard called Johnny Remember Me. The dreamy female vocal fits really cool in this version. Far out. The GBZP return with Lost in Space (by John Williams) and this track is also quite a fast one with a bit of a slight western theme as well with some really cool synth sounds. The Raiders perform the CJT Midgley/Robin White track, I remember. This slows things down a lot and has this almost Hawaiian tremolo like guitar that is eerie but also beautiful. Astralasia close with Johnny in Dub, which is strange sounding reworking of the track they played before.

Manthra Dei- Manthara Dei (Acid Cosmonaut Records ACD-003)

Manthra Dei is a project that has being going on since 2009 and it is four Italian guys playing all instrumental psychedelic stoner rock. That the simplest description but there is a lot of layers to their sound and moods but they try to keep it also heavy! The CD starts off with Stone Face. This sets the mood and reminds me of Karma to Burn and Rotor at times but also a slight My Sleeping Karma vibe (but luckily not too much). Xoloti is slower and features the spacey organ playing of Paolo. The other Paolo in the band plays the guitars and has a really nice longish solo in this track before the track really picks up and rocks for the last several minutes with some killer guitar riffs. Legendary Lamb is a more groovy tune and features the drummer Michele on vocals and so cool double tracked guitars. Urjammer is a 5mins organ improvisation that is slowly modulating but not all that interesting in the end. Blue Phantom is the main piece of music on this CD, clocking in at over 17mins. It starts off with a slow spacey intro with a keyboard drone and some nice guitar playing. The piece floats for the first 4 mins and then the drums and a mean ass guitar riff kicks in and then you have some organ and also some synths and a totally cool and twisted sounding guitar. The organ solo is super cool and sometimes out of control as the guitar riff is just repeated over and over and over. I won’t give up all the surprises but this is a very cool song. The CD ends with an acoustic reprise of the opening track. This will also come out on vinyl in 300 copies, I am pretty sure…

Vespero- Careful with that Axe, Eugene 7” (Crustacean 42)

The Russian psychedelic-progressive rock band returns with two Pink Floyd cover songs. You would like that because this is a 7” that the band would not be able to do justice to these tracks but they actually play at 33 rpm and run over 7 mins each, which is required if you are to do them justice. The version of Careful with that axe is quite smooth and all the sinister nature of the original is gone as this is focused on the floating space of the keyboards. They make it a more beautiful journey. One of the Days from the Meddle album is on the B-side and they also strip away the sinister, dark edge and create a super cool new version with totally spaced out electronics and wild experimentation. This was awesome…

Kikagaku Moyo- Kikagaku Moyo (Sound Effects Records)

I have never heard of this Japanese artist before. The record features 5 tracks and starts with a really nice acoustic track with spoken words and flute and a mellow beautiful vibe and it even later includes some nice sitar playing as well. This song made me smile. Zo No Senaka continues the mood of the opening track with more sitar but now there is a mid-paced driving song with some space rock elements as well. Later on a really nice wah guitar solo compliments that change in the track well. Tree Smoke is an instrumental track and has great dynamics mixing cool guitar, heavy riffs, sitar, and a really spacey atmosphere. Cool stuff. Flip the record over and you start off with Lazy Stoned Monk.  Think that you are at a monastery and you hear the sound of dripping water, some distance voices, sounds, then the deep drone of sound begins to trickle in, some bells, and then some slow building guitar lines and percussion creep into…you get the idea…  Dawn ends the record with a nice long psychedelic guitar driven piece but also with some sitar. This album really caught me by surprise.. I have not seen anyone write about it and it is really excellent. Good for Sunday morning and fantastic artwork.. I love the cover. 

Papir meets Electric Moon- The Papirmoon Sessions (Sulatron st1302-2)

The night that these jams were recorded I was at home and got a call that my good friend Ralph Rjeily had passed away. I was going to come out and join these guys but it pretty much shattered my evening and I called up Mogens and let him know the bad news. Everyone in Electric Moon and Papir knew Ralph. He was an important part of the Copenhagen music scene. Anyway, even with the sad news inhand, the jam session was going to go on and did and now you can hear at least what they thought were the coolest parts. The players on this session were all of the members of Papir (Christian, Christoffer and Nicklas), Sula, Komet and Mogens (ØSC, The Univerzals). The opening piece is dedicated to Ralph (the entire CD actually) and is called Farewell Mr. Space Echo. It starts with a slow modulating organ, simple guitar line and a bit of a sad depressing atmosphere. It slowly opens up at the drums build up and Mogens creates a lot of modular bubbles and the guitars become more active. I am not sure there are two unique bass lines so Lulu is most likely making effects, even though it seems more like her kind of bass playing then Christians?  It eventually builds up into a really killer space rock jam track. Phew… Red Dust is 6 mins long and starts with some delay guitar and a slow building theme before Nicklas enters in with the 2nd guitar and then some spacey layers of synths also float in and out. Pretty spacey stuff. The Circle is 21mins long and closes this first trip by these cool bands. This one features Christian on the bass for sure! There is almost a happy theme at times on this track and it is another uptempo piece and it takes a while for the two guitar players to bring their lines together but then at 4mins it is all faded down and a totally new spacey piece begins and it takes quite some time before it really picks up but a nice psychedelic vibe slowly builds and then it really lets loose with killer guitar. Cool stuff. This is pressed in 1000 copies on CD and 1000 on vinyl (red or black vinyl, 500 each).

Vibravoid- Colour your Mind 7” (Crustacean 41)

The German psychedelic rock band, Vibravoid are back with a new 7”. It has been a few years since they released one on this label. All three of the songs are cover songs, which Vibravoid are usually great at doing remakes of. So the 7” starts off with the title track originally recorded by the Australian band, Tyrnaround. I remember this Australian band from the Psychedelic Psauna compilation from Delirium records. Anyway, this is a great version with nice guitar and organ solos. Next is a cover of what was apparently a hit in France in 1966 and Jimmy Page supposedly played the guitar. La Poupee qui Fait non by Michel Polnareff). Yes… Christian sings in French, I think… hard to tell with all the delay. The last track is an obscure song by an LA band called Human expression who released 3 7”s in 1966-67 and disappeared. Optical Sound is about a bad LSD trip. Vibravoid is must be the perfect band to just continue forever making cool covers of obscure songs from the 60s. They do it so amazingly cool.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Horisont, Nocturnal and Demon Head- Stengade 30, København 10/19/13

I was a bit tired after being out til 4am the night before at my friend Magnus's 40th birthday party but since my friend Tom was playing in Horisont, I had to pull myself together and come out and see him, hang out and rock with my other friends, two of which were DJ'ing.. Saw quite a number of people and intact, the drummer Birk, who has played a lot in ØSC the last two years and he and his brother Thor were the guitarists in this new Danish band Demon Head.

I arrived early and Tom and i hung out for an hour in the dressing room while he played guitar and we talked about live in Scandinavia, all the different band projects he had going and what I was doing as well. Just such a super guy..  I went upstairs about 21:45 and set up my microphones and was surprised that the place was half filled. Great turn out.

Demon Head started right at 22 and played for about 45mins. All young kids and playing music in the style of 70s Pentagram. The lead singer, he does a decent Bobbly Liebling stye vocals and they had a lot of pretty cool songs. I think the weak point for the band at the moment is the lead guitar but at least they did have solos and not just all riffing. I think they have a lot of potential and this was only the bands 2nd live gig. Enjoy the video. 

Set List:  ?,  ?, Master of Confusion, Demon Head, Ride the Wilderness, ?

Nocturnal, are from Linköping, Sweden and have made a couple of records and 7"s. I saw some of their set at Heavy Days in Doomtown this year but man, they were really great tonight. The guitar player has this special guitar cabinet with like a 12" horn in the bottom and a Leslie like cabinet in the top that he can switch back and forth and that gave him a really cool guitar sound at times. They were more loose and jammy than I remember the last time and I really dug then. Crowd seemed into it as well but there were fewer people than for Demon Head. They also played about 45mins. I did not shoot any video as there were these tall guys right in the front of the stage and there was not decent spot to shoot a video.

Set List: Until the Morning Light, Magic Times, ?, ?, One of a Kind, Wait

After 30mins or so, as they had to change out the entire drum kit and remic it, Horisont were ready to hit the stage. They opened up with the Wolf, a sort of NWOBHM style track, in fact I think a lot of the new stuff, and we heard 8 out of 10 of the songs from their 3rd record, is NWOBHM inspired. The singer is just amazing. What a fucking voice but he is also intense. Tom sounded fantastic playing with these guys and I guess he did about 60% of the solos. The other guitar player is also great and they both play Les Paul guitar's. Very high energy stuff and some great older songs as well like Unseen and Nightrider from the 1st record. They also did 2 from Second Assault, including the title track. They played about 45mins and then came out for a three song encore. About an hour in total. I am not sure why they play such short shows and never really do any jamming.. All the songs are around 3-4mins and played really straight. Great band and I highly recommend them. 

Set List: Wolf, On the Run, Writing on the Wall, Unseen, Second Assault, Brother, Crusaders of Death, Time Warriors, Vand Tilback, Backstreets, Just ain't Right, Diamonds in Orbit, Visa Vågen, Eyes of the Father, Nightrider

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Spektr from Morning to Midnight- Cinemateket, København Oct 12th, 2013

Carl Heinz was a German silent film producer and he made a really far out avante garde film called From Morning to Midnight in the early 20s. The theater was nearly sold out and I only knew one person in the entire place (Martin from Devolution magazine) and we did not meet until after it was over. The place was more than half women, which surprised me but then when I saw that the band is also has three women (two on keyboards and one singing), I understood.
The bass, guitar and drums were all men!  There was a little introduction by the man from the Film Institute of both the film and the band (in Danish) and then the movie started and it was in 5 acts and the band played along. The first two acts the music was pretty mellow with mainly just the keyboards, voice and percussion but then during some of the intense parts in the last 3 acts, the music was more uptempo and rocking. The last act had some surf like guitar mixed in as well. I think they did a great job but was a little surprised they did not try to follow a few of the movie cues like when he is knocking on a door, to make a knock sound and when the guy was playing a trombone, to make those kinds of sounds. Anyway, they were great and very professional. I could see they had recorded a few records as well that they had for sale. A really cool event.

Spids Nøgenhat- Kommer med Fred (Bad Afro Records)

Spids Nøgenhat produced their first studio record nearly 15 years ago. I got to see them play a few times in the late 90’s and travel with the band to Hannover to play their only show outside of Denmark. A few years ago, Ralph Rjeily, enticed the band to come back and start playing again and they did including a very successful concert at Roskilde Festival that was released on a limited edition vinyl record. The guys who make up this band are very busy with their regular bands which includes Baby Woodrose, Aron, and many other projects. Anyway, here is the new record and I think it is really cool. A bit more laid back and less psychedelic  than the first record but totally in the vibe of the early 70s bands like Alrune Rød.  The LP opens up with a spaced intro just like on the band’s debut before Mere Lys (More Light) starts with a really catchy guitar line and Guf singing and playing the acoustic guitar but features a quite cool psych section but short. Lolland Falster (the band has a cool video for this one) is about this beautiful part of Denmark sound of Copenhagen. Lever vi Nu (Do we live now?) is a more dreamy track and the acoustic guitar is complimented with some organ and psychedelic guitar, of course! Den Gennemsigtige Mand is a cover song (written by Hans Vinding and Furekåben) that this band and also Dragontears have played live for many years. It is the longest and probably the most passionate and best song on the record. The solo by Aron just cuts through the sound and goes straight into your brain, while the background just remains totally spaced out but a beautiful melody is retained. I just love this song. Spids Nøgenhat I Græsset (mushroom in the grass) is a mellow track about taking a mushroom trip. Spids Nøgenhat is the Danish name for the liberty cap, psychoactive variety. Again, Aron comes through with a solo that pierces the cranium right through your left ear (if you have headphones on). Jørden Kalder (The world calls) is slow track with no drums on the song, just drones, layers of spaced out guitars and some space sounds and floating organ. Vand, Brød og Te (Water, Bread and Tea) is another one the band has been playing for many years including at Lorenzo’s solo shows. He wrote it! Henrik plays a super cool wah solo on this track. Fred (Peace) ends the record and this is a really cool hippie tribal psychedelic trip track. Lovely stuff.. A super cool record and just what you would expect from this group of Danish psych supertars! Our good friend Ralph would love this record if he were here with us today….  Peace, love and good music..

The Movements- Like Elephants 1 (Crusher Records CRCD023)

This Swedish psychedelic rock band is back with a great new record. The record is a mix of more laid back shorter tracks and some long killer grooving and spacing tracks. As the titles suggests, this is only part 1 of a 2 part series, in which the 2nd part will be out in early 2014 (they say). The single that I recently reviewed starts the record off (The Ballad of John Hall D.Y.). Next is my favourite track on the whole record, an amazing song called Boogin’. After this a short track called Shady Wind is a really nice change of mood. Two Tongues is a melodic but really uptempo rocker with some slide guitar. Great Deceiver features a really dreamy keyboard line, a cool guitar solo and reminds me of Vibravoid a bit. Great song. Just note that if you have the CD there is a mistake and track 6 is like 8 seconds of nothing and called Paus. This leads into All the Lost, a short 3 min psych pop song including farfisa organ and a different vocal approach. Like Elephants 1 is a really cool short track with an Eastern feeling and sitar like guitar and very nice lyrics. Beautiful track, so Run like Elephants!  Ingenting kommer ur Ingenting, despite the title being in Swedish is actually sung in English!  This track is 6½ minutes and has a mid-pace and lots of cool things going on if you really listen closely and I really like the far out distorted edge that the sound has as it just gets buried further and further in this heavy layer of distortion as Krita plays a cool guitar solo in the background. Far out.. It takes a Spark ends this most excellent 60s inspired psychedelic rock record and brings you back to where the album started. I really look forward to the 2nd part. A very cool band and if you like some of the Danish psych bands like the Setting Son, Baby Woodrose, the Hedgehogs, or a large number of the acts of Fruits der Mer label. Check these guys out.

Marc McDowell/Octopus Syng split 72 (Fruits de Mer Winkle 13)

Here is a new split 7” with Marc McDowell, whom I have never heard of and my friend Jaire’s band, Octopus Syng with their first new material in some years. The single starts off with Marc a track entitled Girls of Belvoir (clocking in at 5½ mins). It is mainly acoustic guitar, violin and vocals to start. The mix is quite psychedelic and eventually some flute and drums enter. A beautiful track and it reminds me a bit of Circulus but more spaced. The Finnish band Octopus Syng is back with a track that goes back to the roots of the band mixed with the magic of Syd Barrett. Few people can pull this off like Jaire and his group of Finnish freaks. Acid-folk psychedelia at its best! Enjoy…

Church of Misery- Thy Kingdom Scum (Rise Above Records)

I probably don’t need to review this record damn, when a band you like makes their best record ever 10 years into their career, you need to stand up and yell about it!  I was quite uncertain when Tom left COM for Sweden what would happen and they had a new guitar player but he only lasted for a short tour and then they got Ikuma ((ex-DHIDALAH, a band I have never heard of) and now have made a totally killer record. Tatsu the bass player still writes all the songs but having Ikuma around must have done something as the music is just more groovy, more spaced out at times but still those killer Sabbath inspired heavy riffs (yes they use a lot of them over and over and over) but I am just pretty hooked on this new record and the opening track  BTK is an instrumental and but does feature some spoken word samples, presumably from or about the serial killer Dennis Rader. Lambs to the Slaughter (about Ian Brady and Myra Hindley- a nasty duo) slows things down a bit and Hideki actually sings more clearly than ever on these track and this one features a really cool psychedelic guitar solo but too short.  Brother Bishop (about Gary Heidnik) closes side A and starts with a really killer guitar riff and will have you headbanging for sure. Later on a really bluesy and killer solo kicks in with a bit of panning on the sound as well. Now to side 2 where three more serial killers get a chance to be sung about. Dennis Andrew Nilsen who did some nasty stuff at Canley Gardens apparently, is next and starts with a slow spacey bluesy intro after the spoken word intro. Then it really takes off with some cool solos and mean nasty vocals.  A big surprise is a Quartermass song called One Blind Mice is squeezed in before All Hallow’s Eve (John Linley Frazier). Something tells me Quartemass never imagined their song being played quite like this! This one starts off like a jam with some killer bass playing and distorted solo and sound before the main theme of the song takes shape.  Düsseldorf Monster (Peter Kurten) is the last track and takes the entire side C and is one of the best on the record as it gives the band space to really jam a bit. I still don’t understand not putting something on the 4th side. Such a waste, like buying a beer with only half the bottle filled. I look forward to seeing the band in Copenhagen on Jan 14th with Monster Magnet!

Alpha Omega- Down the Gravity Well (Clostridium Records CR009)

Wow.. how I was surprised to hear about this one! I did not know that this far out Australian band from Brisbane even existed anymore. I have their Psychedelometer CD from 2007 that I reviewed way back then.  Now they have a new full length record so get ready for a trip. Since the names of the musicians were coded on the earlier release (Captain Monotone, Stucifer (Stuart?)and Max Volume) I don’t know if it is the same people or not. I think it is the same three guys plus a 4th member now. Anyway, side A starts off with the title track, which is going all over the place and changing speeds and is quite chaotic and difficult to get a grasp of but Paul brings in some vocals inbetween some lead guitar passages and lots of spaced out sounds. Folow Me starts off dreamy before the nearly heavy metal but very 1980s Hawkwind style guitar riff kicks in but with a more raw sounds. Reminds me of some Huw Llloyd Langton stuff as well. Excession is next and features a spoken word vocal and is a really space slow track with some cool space synth sounds but the main focus on the psychedelic guitar lines. Polydream is heavily synth lead (like stuff Harvey Bainbridge might play) and more uptempo but seems like it ends just as it was going to take off somewhere interesting?? Ok, flip the record over now. Subsequent Retraction has a deep bass line and starts with a wild lead guitar line and slow drums before the drummer (Stuart) takes the lead to drive the pace of the track and Paul (Singer, guitarist, synth programmer and bass) heads off on a wild solo. This was certainly just a cool instrumental jam the band had. Atmosphere of Decay has what sounds like mostly programmed but many some real drums and layers of synths in another instrumental track. Tanquil has a totally different sound production and the volume output has dropped quite a bit in another instrumental track with a melodic guitar thread and nice solo but there is also something menacing that never quite clears the fog to bite you! Verzweiflung has a vocal and feeling of some of the recent Nik Turner and Space Ritual material and even the latest Darxtar record, Aged to Perfection. I believe in UFO’s ends this record with a track that has a very cool heavy guitar riff, some spoken word vocals and lots of spaced sounds but still a melodic thread to it. A pretty cool record and quite different than Psychedelometer. Enjoy the trip.. The vinyl is limted edition in a cool yellow-green color (100), green (200) black (200) and the yellow-green one comes with a poster, sticker and three postcards. A very nice release.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Carlton Melton, White Manna, and Fribyttedrømme- Stengade 30, København Oct 3rd, 2013

This was a really fun night and a bit emotional for the Rich and Andy from Carlton Melton. It was the first time they had played back in Denmark since they were here with Zen Guerilla more than 10 years ago. they were good friends with Ralph Rjeily and had stayed in contact with Ralph via music and bands for all these years and Ralph as also the tour manager on the first Freeks tour, on which Andy played drums. Anyway, I arrived at the venue about 19:30 and the bands had just arrived from a long drive from Berlin. I hung out equally with Rich and Andy as well as the White Manna guys who were all super cool folks from Humboldt California (US Weed capital!).

          The opening band are a new young 7 piece Danish psychedelic rock band (yes.. yet another one!) called Fribyttedrømme, which means something like Pirate Dreams in Danish. I have to say I was really blown away by these guys. This is a band that really channelled a cool 70’s vibe with a mixture of like Pink Floyd (Obscured by Clouds era) and Alrune Rød (great Danish band from the 70s, who sadly don’t exist anymore). All the vocals are in Danish and well sung. They have three guitars but they were all playing different stuff and two of the guitar players did all the lead guitar work, with the singer having a really fuzzed out guitar sound at times. They played for about 45mins and were really excellent. I did not find a set list. I don’t think they have released anything yet. The guys in both bands checked out the whole show and really liked this band as well.

Set List: Fribyttedrømmen, Kosmonatuen, Ørken, De Konstruerede, Fem er det Magiske Nummer  
          It took 45mins before Carlton Melton hit the stage as they had all arrived too late to sound check and had to set up new drums and all the stuff now. I went outside for a while and chatted with my friends Sven, Tom, Anders and martin. It was a really disappointing turn out tonight with only about 40 people. Where was everyone? All these new Danish bands like Troldmand, Road to Suicide, Spörkratet, Spids Nøgenhat, etc.. who play psychedelic rock, none of these guys come out to see bands that they probably listen to and dig. A bit strange. Anyway, that is the way it is.

          Carlton Melton opened with a slow dual guitar space out as they always seem to do. I was supposed to jam with them this night but in the end, Rich (plays guitar, synths, samples) made the decision they were not prepared, so I was just a spectator. Next time we will do it for sure we agreed. Anyway, the opening piece was like 15mins and ended with Rich just letting loose with some killer guitar solos. Andy then switched from guitar to drums and things became much heavier. I think they play more or less the same songs every night from what the White Manna guys said but the way they play them is really different. Tonight you could tell that it was emotional for them at the end Andy yelled out “Ralph Rjeily” and a lot of people knew Ralph so they got a nice response back. Rich said he was thinking a lot about Ralph when he was playing. Cool concert of about 50mins. I am guessing they never play that long.

          White Manna used a lot of the CM gear so it was 30mins or so and they were ready to fly but it was nearly 1 in the morning now. Anyway, this band really blew me away with their high energy space rock with the hypnotic flavour or Wooden Shjips (it is mostly the cool hypnotic way the bass player plays and not the guitar and keyboard at all). They played mostly new material and only one song from the 1st record. The opening track felt a lot like a long jam and I filled this track and Dunes. There is a great interaction within the band and after 2½ weeks on the road with a gig nearly every day they are flying high. They change the set every night to keep things fresh, which is the way it should be. The version of the Mick Farren song, I’m Coming Home (it is also on the new record) was really cool. A fantastic concert but too short at like 55mins. A very late night. Enjoy the videos.

Set List: Esu ra, Dunes, X-ray, Illusion of Illusion, Sweet Jesus, I’m Comin’ Home, Evil

Psicomagia- Psicomagia (El Paraiso records EPR014)

Psicomagia is a new group featuring Brian Ellis (not on guitar or synths by on saxophone) with a group of like-minded mates from San Diego. I think some of these folks also play in the improvsed Brian Ellis group. The spoken words are all in Spanish as are all the song titles. The music is mostly instrumental very intense. Fans of the Mars Volta will probably dig this even though there is no guitar! El Memorioso start things off with a really cool intro before the amazing bass playing and intense drumming kicks in and then saxophone takes the lead. The song has a very cool vibe and the duelling battle with the keyboards (sometimes sounds like a flute) and sax is very cool. El Congreso Pt1 is next and split over the end of side A and beginning of side B and this features the spoken word poetry in Spanish of Bernardo Nuñez. It starts slowly but then gets super intense as you go on the same trip as the first track with the synths really taking the lead with some repeated patterns return with the sax lines. Phew.. Flip the record over and the poetry returns but the intensity of the keyboard is really cool as it sound nearly like a guitar at times and really is balanced to the right while the poetry is to the left. Brian is taking a break for a bit but rest are not! I have to say this is some of the absolutely most intense effected organ and synth playing I have ever heard, this Tyler Daughn is fucking unreal. He gives the music a total head fuck! The last track Simplón is a bit more composed and less of a full on freakout but no less intense. This one hell of a record to sit through and you need to hear some pretty mellow stuff afterwards but I am fully ready for the next trip!  Awesome.

Here and Now- Live in London (4ZeroRecords FZ012)

This is a really cool live archive recording with all tracks except one recorded at Dingwalls, London in 2007 and featuring the line up with Joie (ex- Ozrics, Dream Machine, Eat Static) and two original members Keith (Bass) and Steffe (guitars). They are joined by Steve Cassidy on drums (he replaced Merv from Eat Static, who was also in and out of the band around this era) and Gwyo on Synths. A very good line up. The CD opens with very cool synths and slowly builds up into a cool jam. It is great to hear some of the songs from the spacey UFOasis album as well as some new tracks but mostly focused on the 90s and recent material. Great sound production and playing by all. Steffe is giving plenty of room to play cool solos in each song and there are plenty of synth solos as well by Joie and maybe Gwyo. Crazy Lives is a really funky track with a heavier guitar riff. Telly Song has a slow spacey intro and goes into a reggae like piece but not like you are used to but the way space rock bands do it. Some cool solos and keys. Moonrise is an instrumental like jam with really nice bass playing to complement Steffe’s lead work, while the synths provide a spaced out background. Steve is very solid on the drums as well. Underground Dub is like the title suggests a sort of dub track with some wild synth sounds shooting into the soundscape from time to time and a more straightforward dub rhythm and keyboard as well at times. Rattle the Cage keeps the pace slow and spacey and would have been a good time for a more upbeat track but Steffe lays down one of his coolest guitar solos here. Dig the positive lyrics in this track. Only way is a short melodic track. The CD ends with a song called Near and How and this is more GONG like in nature with some wild synths returning and a more uptempo and hard guitar riff and they get totally psyched out like on no other track. Very cool way to end the CD..

Monkey3- Birth of Venus 7” (Napalm records)

Monkey3 are back with a new album, the 5th sun and this is one of the tracks from that record. The keyboards have played a larger and larger part in the sound of this band over the last couple of records and this continues here. The track starts heavy and dramatic but then goes into a more floating direction again with the keyboard dominating and almost no guitar for quite a long period before kicking back in as the keyboard which is made to sound like female voice is what grabs your attention as the track builds up again. The B-side is a cover of the Black Sabbath song called Zero the Hero from the Born Again record. It features Niklas Sjöberg on vocals from the Swedish band Graviators! Musically the band stick with the main guitar riff but db adds in a lot of cool synth effects that make this quite psychedelic. Niklas’s voice is not really in the same league as Gillan though but he really gives it his all. Fucking awesome stuff and worth the cost of the 7” alone…

White Manna- Dune Worship (Holy Mountain)

The Humboldt County, California space rock band, White Manna is back with a new trip to the deep side of the universe. I really liked the last record but man, this one is a much heavier sonic trip. I spoke to the band about the record at their recent amazing gig and they were much happier with this record and it was recorded in a special way. It started off as a series of jams with some sonic noise guys after tripping and recording. The end results was that they did not really like what these guys had done but that a lot of really psyched out grooves and things were played and they used these to build the record with a series of overdubs. The record has a very special sound and the hypnotic nature will remind people of Wooden Shjips but these guys offer more to my ears. The band is fully expanded into a 5 piece as well from three on the first record. The CD/LP begins with a 6min track called Transformation. It is a melodic mid paced grooving track with some spacey synths floating through the soundscape as the laid back spaced out vocal glides along and the lead guitar slowly finds its place in this really space sound production. X Ray slows things down with a more hypnotic feeling and dreamy tranced out vocal. Wooden shjips fans will like this one. Sadly, they fade this one out as it really starts to pick up pace. I would love to have heard where that one ended??  Illusion of Illusion starts slow and spacey and this trip lasts for 10 minutes with some super cool guitar work and it ends with a slow drone synth outro to give you a soft landing. Wow.. Ascension comes back with some monster space riffs and sounds in this slow instrumental piece that lasts about 4mins. Next up is I’m Comin Home (a Deviants song by Mick Farren from their first record). Something tells me that Mick would have approved of this space version of his classic. Solar Returns is the last 10min trip on the record and really spaced out. I have to say this will end up being one of my favourite records this year. Amazing stuff.

Monster Magnet- Mindless ones 12” (Napalm Records)

Monster Magnet is back with their first new material in 3 years and Dave has gone back to his roots! No more producers and recording in LA but down to the home studio of Phil (who plays bass and guitar) and two tracks of psychedelic rock like they made in the mid 90s. Dave is no longer scared or told no from some fucking producer to not put so much delay on the vocals,etc.. and back to doing just what he wants to do. Anyway, Mindless One is an uptemp rocker that could easily have been on Dopes to Infinity!  Not quite psychedelic enough for Superjudge though! Gavin does a great job of filling in the Ed Mundell like guitar licks as well as throwing in some of his own unique style. From the video I can see that Phil is doing quite a bit of the lead guitar as well. Quite a psychedelic track but still that mainstream MM feel with the repeated chorus,etc.. The Duke of Supernatural is more laid back with a keyboard that floats with groove. The drums are really killer on this track. IT is all familiar, yet cool and new and fresh. That is Dave’s magic, who I have to say, sounds as good as ever on vocals. A very cool 12”, I just wish that at least one of these tracks had been exclusive to make it worth shelling out the cash for this one. Only 300 made in purple and 300 in gold. The band will be in Copenhagen on Jan 14th, 2014 with Church of Misery as support. I will be there! 

Horizont- Writing on the Wall 7” (Rise Above Records)

The Swedish 70s rockers Horizont soon have a new LP out and this is a taster as well as including an unreleased track on the B-side. The 7” is made in many different colors and in about 1000 copies, if I recall correctly. Writing on the Wall is an uptempo track that reminds me a bit of UFO. Axel, his voice is so intense and really draws your full attention when he is singing. The dual guitars of Kristofer and Magnus provide very nice melodic lines for the main track. Real Slide Chain is a short unreleased track and it starts off with some nice dual guitar lines before the main theme of the song and vocals kicks in. Axel sings in a more laid back way on most of this track. The track goes by quite fast and is over before you know it.  An ok 7” but it did not really blow me away. I look forward to the new full length record where the band has more time to expressed themselves. These guys are coming to Copenhagen in Oct 19th at Stengade 30. I am not sure if Tom from Church of Misery, is still playing guitar with them or not.. 

Carlton Melton- Always Even (Agitated Records AGIT024)

This came out a few months after Four Eyes and it was recorded in the same place with the same band line up (Andy, Rich, Clint plus Brian and John). Side 3 features three tracks that are in the same vein. After a slow space in with Slow Wakte, Keeping On has a more dominant synthesizer than a lot of Carlton Melton tracks and this one really takes off at the end with intertwined guitar solos. Spiderwebs is a very a dreamy drone piece to end the side. Flip the record over and you have the very intense Sarsen, which is quite hawkwind inspired and a killer track. The Splurge brings things back down to earth but the guitar riff is a bit sinister in nature and not at all like the beautiful themes from the previous side. Yet another tripped out LP by this great San Francisco guys.

Carlton Melton- Four Eyes (Blackest Rainbow BR252)

Carlton Melton are back with two new records within a couple of months and once again with John McBain (Ex- Monster Magnet, Wellwater Conspiracy) playing and mixing. The opening track called Personal Space is a long space out with three guitars (Ricj, Andy and John) with Clint on the bass and Brian on drums. This might be the track they opened the recent concert with here in Copenhagen. Slow and spacey with some synths bubbling up now and then but mostly layers of guitar dominate the sound. After a while one of the three lets loose with a guitar solo and then another as well and the dynamic gets much heavier in this mostly drone style track. Road Swagger and the first song on side B have just Andy, Rich and John, no bass. This one is a heavier guitar riff that the song builds and spaces out on. Quite intense and noisy. Glass Home starts spacey like Pink Floyd with some cool synths as well as beautiful floating guitar lines. Mist ends this record. A heavier more fuzzed out, revereb drenched guitar dominates and gives this one a sound that really freaks out your ears with the frequencies. Trippy stuff. What these guys do is pretty cool. Music for real stoners and trippers.