Friday, January 24, 2014

Death Hawks- BETA, Copenhagen, DK 1/23/14

Sue had arrived from London this afternoon and I really wanted to go see this new Finnish band that my friend Santtu had recommended. I had not yet received their new record but had seen a couple of videos (Black Acid) on you tube and liked what I saw. Anyway, we arrived about 10 and completely missed the opening band, which my friend Ole, said was very average and nothing special at all. Met up with Anders, Nanna, Rhona, and Jens. The band hit the stage like 22:10 and played about 45mins or so. I don’t know how to describe them, a bit like Wolf People maybe. It is a bit bluesy, but with a lot of space rock like synths giving it a special psychedelic flavour. The keyboard player also played short saxophone pieces in a few tracks. The singer and guitar player (also in the band Seremonia) has a great voice but plays very little lead guitar, which I really missed on the longer tracks. They played a really killer long slide guitar track (Holy Water). They ended the set with Black Acid. The audience really wanted more so finally after like 5mins, the singer came out and played the old blues song, Death don’t have no Mercy by himself and that was it. I spoke to the band to get the set list and they were really cool guys. I filmed the last three songs of the show so check them out and enjoy!

Set List: Night Children, Death has not Reprieve, Cain go Home, Shinning, Quiet Sun, Holy Water, Black Acid, Death don’t have no Mercy

Black Rainbows- Holy Moon (Heavy Psych Sounds HSP012)

The very cool Italian band, Black Rainbows is back with a new album. It features 5 tracks including an amazing version of the MC5 song Black to Comm. This is a band that just keeps getting better and making really cool stoner rock songs with an awesome psychedelic flavour. The CD has 6 songs in 38 mins. The opening song, is the title track and it really has an awesome slow groove and cool guitar as it slowly builds up. Monsters of the Highway reminds me of a more psychedelic version of Nebula with a vocal delivery like Fu Manchu!  Chakra Temple is nearly 9 mins long and starts with a strange droney vocal before the bass and guitar slowly creak in. Some spacey synth or guitar effects is also mixed in as a track that might remind one of Colour Haze develops. The Hunter is next and no it is not the old Willie Dixon song that Free and Gov’t Mule of done great versions of but a really good rocker with a catchy hook and hard riff. If I was a Bird is a really cool acoustic song and the perfect lead into one of the best versions (16mins!) of the MC5 song Back to Comm that I have ever heard. Damn… Great album….

Spelljammer- Inches from the Sun/Vol II (STB Records)

Spelljammer are a great new four piece Swedish band. They had previously released a really cool record on the US label (STB). This tape was released in 2013 in a limited edition of 100 copies (I have number 87) in a cloth bag with two stickers and a pin. As with the first record, this one was mixed and mastered by Billy Anderson! Aun’s Mountain starts things off with some heavy doomy stuff.  I like the long delays on the vocals.  It does not stay all slow though; there are some faster parts as well. Electric Ground reminds me a lot of Sleep but the sound is not as massive. Space Reefer is the most melodic of the tracks on this side but still with a really heavy bass sound and an awesome wah guitar solo. Mountaininside is one of the most doomy tracks on the tape and quite psychedelic at times.  Witcher starts with a slow bass line and guitar feedback before the monster riff kicks in.  This one has some really cool spacey guitar in it. Nine is also a cool number with some really intense drumming at the end. Rise of the Sonic Surfer ends the cassette in a heavy doomy fashion and vocal and groove that is very SLEEP inspired. Overall, this is a really cool release and one I have enjoyed a lot and heard like 5 times in the last couple of weeks.


I am big fan of Southern rock and especially Blackberry Smoke. Since I actually got to see the concert that the three Lynryd Skynryd tracks were taken from, I thought I would buy this one. LS starts off side A with three tracks live from the Sweden Rock Festival 2012. It is a pity that they pressed these 1000 records and no one noticed that the Swedish town, close to where Sweden Rock is held was misspelled. The proper spelling is Sölvesborg, not Slovesburg. On the backside of the record it is also misspelled differently. Anyway, it is all about the music, right? The LS side is just as disappointing as the concert itself was. This is a band that basically sleep walks live. These are great songs (What’s your Name, That Smell and Simple Man) but damn the band plays with so little emotion now. Johnny nearly just speaks the words, hardly sings them and the guitar players have no fire at all. It gets much better when you flip the record over. Blackberry Smoke have a great set of songs, sing very passionately and are having fun. All three of the tracks here are from the band’s latest album, The Whippoorwill and Six Ways to Sunday and Pretty Little Lie are played nearly identical to the record but Ain’t much left of Me has a great Led Zeppelin- When the Levee Breaks interlude, which is really cool. A fun album. It is pressed on 180gm vinyl and has excellent sound. Enjoy.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Monster Magnet and Church of Misery- Lille Vega, CPH 1/20/14

Guitarist, me and singer in Church of Misery
I arrived at Lille Vega around 17 and the folks from Church of Misery were out at their van. I came up and had a nice talk with them and told them we could hang out later. They had flown in from Japan the night before but seemed fresh and in a great mood. I found the tour manager, the super nice German guy and he said I would be on the list +1 and we would work out the backstage passes after the show. 

COM bass Player

I came back at met Nils at 20:15 and we waited for Tom and Sven and had a chat with Tatsu’s girlfriend who was working the Church of Misery merch stand. They had a lot of stuff including the new DVD. COM was to start at 20:45 and play for 45mins. The show was nearly sold out, which is great for a Monday night. I met up with the super cool Swedish lady that seem to hang out with Dave whenever they are in Malmo or here. We talked a lot and had met at Vista Chino also. I saw my old friend Julie and Nik from On trial, and many others. 

COM, this was the first time for us to see them with the new guitar player (tall guy for Japanese) and they really played a killer set with a lot of spacey sounds from the MS-10 by the singer. I am not sure what the set list was but they for sure played at least two from the new record but not my favourite tracks. They did a long jammed out version of Born to Raise Hell. I think most of the people here had not seen the band and quite liked them. Great set.. 

It took them a while to get the MM stage in order and this was the first night of the tour so all the gear was newly rented and had not been really tested. The band said they soundchecked for hours today. Anyway, a bit after 10, the show started and the band played the entire new record from start to finish, which I was not expecting. The opening song (I live behind the Clouds) is just a strange one for opening an album, much less a concert. Then the band played the totally killer Lost Patrol and that was so intense… There was no way the band could peak like that again. I filmed Paradise and Hallelujah. The mindless ones and End of Time were just killer high energy space rock songs. This record really has a lot of Hawkwind feel to it when they play it live and Dave gets plenty of chances to play around with his effects pedals to make spacey sounds. They ended with Stay Tuned and did not play the bonus tracks from the record (Strobe Light Beatdown or One Dead Moon). They took a 5min break to smoke a cig and played Dopes to Infinity, Look to your Orb for the Answer (Not a long whip it fuelled version), Tractor and Space Lord.. End of show. Great.. night. 

I hungout backstage for a bit with the band, the owner of Sex beat Records and said goodbye around 01:00….  Always nice to see and chat with Dave and the band.. Great people… Oh yeah, they will be back for shows in the summer (maybe Copen Hell) and Atomic Bitchwax have a new record in the summer and will tour in August. Riotgod have a new record out in Feb in Europe, March in the USA but no plan to tour Europe… Peace..

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Amon Düül II and the Birth of Kraut Rock Book

Swedish author, record collector and label owner (Kommun2), has written a pretty cool small book on the history of Amon Düül II from their early origins in different hippie communes in Germany in 1968 up until 1972. This is probably the only book in English that really describes the early days of the band in such detail. The majority of the book is taken from articles published in a lot of different sources but all put together here in a very nice manner. Tobias also describes each of the album tracks made by the band from the debut up until Wolf City (1972). There is also a detailed discography describing the singles and LPs from this period. Sadly, the book had to be severely edited after some members of the band complained about material that was included from interviews with different band members that Tobias had managed to track down. If you are a fan of the early ADII, then this is a fun read for sure. I learned a lot of stuff I had no idea about. I was lucky enough to get the author to answer a few questions so here you go:

What did you get interested in Amon Duul II?

I have been interested in music from the late 60s and early 70s for a long time and when I heard Amon Düül II and some other acts from West Germany I was really intrigued by their distinct sound. I know that most Germans think that Krautrockis a derogatory term - which might be true - but nevertheless I would say that there is a certain teutonic sound. As well as a Scandinavian sound, a Brittish sound (i.e. Brittish invasion, Meresybeat etc), a West Coast sound in USA (Blue Cheer, Jefferson Airplane and so forth). This distinct sound is of course more or less prominent, but definitely present in Germany on the early albums released by Liberty, Ohr and Pilz in and around 1970.

Did you ever get to see them perform in the 70s? Did they play in Sweden?

No, I never saw them perform back then. Their first gig in Sweden was in Vimmerby in 1977. I have the concert poster, although it is outside the scope of the book.

Was there any sort of culture like this in Sweden at the time period like what you describe in the book?

The situation in West Germany had many similarities with the situation in Sweden at the time, but was much more extreme. Sweden never experienced losing two world wars nor having to make up with its past in the same way as the Germans.

The book is an unauthorized biography. Did you try to make an authorized version with the consent from the band?

Initially I wanted to make the band happy with what I wrote, but after a while I noticed that it wasn't possible. I also read Anders Tegner's unauthorized biography about Yngwie Malmsteen last year, and I thought that it would not have been that great if Yngwie himself had authorized it.

How long did you research and do interviews, etc.. for this book?

About four years. But not full time as I have three kids a day job. So I could only work with the book during weekends and holidays.

Thanks for making his historical book. Do you have any other comments?

I would like to thank everyone that buys the book and reads it. And listens to this astonishing band!

You can purchase the book at the link below for 18€. It is a hardback, 159 pages printed in only 500 copies.