Friday, October 17, 2014

Black Moon Circle- Andromeda (Crispin Glover Records)

This first full length record by the Norwegian band, Black Moon Circle (BMC), and it is a psychedelic rock monster! Full of cool songs and moods, massive riffs, spaced out sounds and a killer drummer and bass player that just groove, while guitarist Vemund, plays whatever the hell he feels like and rocks like a MF…  Machine on the Hill is a 9½ monster track that starts slowly with just some loud drums (sounds really awesome like he is playing in the living room if you have it cranked loud!) and spacey guitar parts as it slowly builds up. The bridge has a super catchy chorus. The band hits overdrive and this track has a great jammed out ending.  Jack’s Cold Sweat has a heavier riff and more intense singing from Øyvin as the band reaches just the peak, where Vemund can take the guitar to the skies.. The band is complimented by Dr. Space adding some far out space sounds in the background to take you out into orbit! “Step into the afterworld, follow the others into the void, take the step on the golden tongue, follow the dream forevermore….”  Supernova slows things down and starts off with some heavy bass drones with a bit of delay on it as Per slowly brings the drums in. Vemund takes his time to settle into the riff of choice for taking you on the journey. Øyvin sings with a melodic, slowly sung vocal with a dreamy character through most of the drifiting track that lasts about 6 mins and finishes side A.  Dragon starts off with some acoustic guitar and a bit of other guitar before the drums come in around 2½ mins and but you have to be patient for the arrival of the Dragon…..  then you will feel the dragon rising and the track just becomes a monster and again Dr. Space makes another appearance around 5½ mins. Vemund plays some really intense guitar parts as the whole sound becomes a huge psychedelic trip lasting 3 more minutes. Phew…. Andromeda is a 15min track that closes the album and has many moods and starts off a bit like a Gov’t Mule song, with its slow melodic guitar build up before the heavy riff kicks in after the 1st long vocal section. Around 5½mins, the band is ready to jam now and Øyvin steps up the bass intensity and Per as well and then it is Vemund’s turn to deliver space guitar. Around 10mins Vemund has really let loose with some great solos as the whole band just lifts the track to another level around 11½ mins when Vemund kicks in with another space guitar effect and Øyvin starts killing it on the bass.. Wow.. what a fucking jam…  Look out early next year for the Studio Jams Vol 1!

Postcards from the Deep Compliation (Fruits de Mer CRUSTACEAN 58)

This is a pretty unique and ambitious release. 10 one sided flexi-discs, 10 postcards, poster, and CD in a unique clamshell box…… Flexi discs never really had such great fidelity and are not known for being able to be played many times (maybe that’s why you really need the CD this time!). Anyway, it is a cool idea and it will cost you 27£ plus shipping if you want to own one of the 700 that will be produced. It features 10 somewhat obscure and some of the most popular bands from the Fruits de Mer catalog including Astralasia, The luck of Eden, The Thanes, Schizo Fun Addit, Crystal Jacqueline, The Crawlin Hex (a new band from Fred from Earthling Society), The Loons, The Past Tense, The Blue giant Zeta Puppies and Icarus Peel. All the bands perform cover songs of mostly pretty obscure bands from the 60s like the Hippies, Dragonfly, The Sorrows, Laurie Johnson, Count Five, Calico Wall, the Pretty things, Brainticket,  Satori and Donavan. Alot of very cool versions. I was impressed. 

Zoltan- Tombs of the Blind Dead LP (Rise Above Records RISE12/186)

I am not really that into soundtrack albums but this one sounded pretty damn cool and it is! The band is only a three piece with bass, drums, keyboards and samples but they make the most of it. The music is dark, moody, and with great atmospheres. Side A starts with the title track and then Return of the Blind Dead. A very nice rich sound and a great use of bells, strange sounds as the drums and bass keep it doomy. The Ghost Galleon starts side B off and features a lot of Mellotron. When the drums and bass kick in, the keyboards and samples get really spaced out. Quite cool stuff. Night of the Seagulls is the last track and again features mellotron to help create the creepy atmosphere. I guess this album is about 30mins of music max but I enjoyed it a lot. I for sure want to see the movie now!

Haiku No Ku- Ultra High Dimensionality (Box Records 006)

This is a fairly new project featuring Mike from BONG on guitars, Sam Booth- Drums, and Jerome Smith on bass. They started putting stuff up on bandcamp back in 2013 and released their debut on Burning World Records called Sick on my Journey last August. I did not manage to hear that record but the sample I heard of this one made me want to buy it.  The album features 5 tracks over the two sides of brain damaging music. Side A opens with Dead in the Temple and gives you the first sonic glimpse. The sound of the record is such that you feel like these three guys just smoked a big joint or bong, grabbed the instruments and cranked up the volume in a large room with a lot of reverb and just set forth to another universe with the drums and bass keeping a simple stoned groove while Mike just plays totally psychedelic, fuzzy, distorted guitar and multi-layered at one point…. Pretty mindblowing opening track. Strung out beyond the Rim, starts a bit slower but it has a cool guitar riff that is repeated over and over until you are thoroughly hypnotized. Blue at Noon starts the side B and the aural assault of the mind kicks in straight away, with hardly a warning, with air raid siren like guitar, dropping bombs in the mind. It eventually becomes a bit less intense and then Mike does some more double layering of the spaced out heavy fuzz guitar. Void in Aimless Flight and Unbroken Reign of the Violent Yagyu end side B in a stoned haze of fuzz… I do not recommend cranking this one up in the headphones as you will be left with a totally blasted and shattered mind… Phew….. advice from the Doctor.

Coltrane 7” (Fruits de Mer Records CRUSTACEAN 59)

This is a really fantastic split 7” with the band Superfjord and Earthling Society. Superfjord from Finland start things off with a super cool version of A Love Supreme (John Coltrane)!  After a super spacey and far out intro, the band tries to enter into the main theme of the song but the pull of the drugs just keeps the music way to psychedelic until the vocals kick in. Super cool version and unlike any I have ever heard. Earthling Society take on Journey in Satchidananda (Alice Coltrane) is also out there on the other side of the universe trying to find its way back to earth, where the track was originally born….. What would John and Alice of thought?? Amazing! 

Full but different version from the 7"

Brant Bjork and South- Loppen, Christiania 10/15/14

It has been some years since I have seen Brant play. Last time he played at Roadburn, we could not get into the Midi Hall and missed his show… There was a really good crowd for a Weds night. I hung out with the guys from Wonderland and Lone and an old friend, Morten Jensen and his wife also. Some of the Roadburn gang (Nils, Tom, Magnus, Sven) were coming later.

          A new young Danish band called South, opened the show. They are a 5 piece band from Nørrebro in Copenhagen and play a pretty aggressive high energy stoner rock, heavy rock (metal) music. The drummer and bass player had a really great groove and the two guitar players whipped up a furry with some really cool riffs. The female lead singer had a pretty cool voice for their style and good stage presence. The 2nd songs was a slow and doomy one (Nils would have liked it!). The 3rd song also started with a heavy bass line and quite slow and heavy but it really built up in a cool way. Both guitar players play solos but they have quite different styles: one a more traditional heavy metal style lead work , the guy with the SG, a more searching experimenting style, perhaps he is not as confident or competent as a lead guitarist yet. The 2nd to last song was a really fast number and also short. The final number was also a fast rock and roll number and hard to distinguish from the previous. This was only their 2nd show ever, so I thought they did pretty well but some of their songs are too much a like but you can say that about Brant as well! They played 6 songs in about 35mins.

Set List: Black Saw Wing, Knife Twister, Blind Faith, Night, Satan’s Sister, Sleepless
Race with myself

          Brant did not hit the stage until 23, which is too fucking late on a week night. I really wanted to see him though. He started off with too long stoned out jammy versions of some of his older tracks starting off with Low Desert Punk.  He is more or less playing the same set every night on this tour from what I can see on the internet (below is a guess). I was really surprised how hard rocking and cool the new songs were. I think the new record will be really promising. I was really sad that he did not play anything from Gods and Goddesses as this is my favourite BB record….  Anyway, most of the songs were played pretty straight up but a few were stretched out. The new lead guitar player was pretty cool and damn, the drummer, he pounded the drums and was awesome. He had a killer band for sure.. It was a fun show. I think he played about 90mins.
Set List: Low Desert Punk, Lazy Bones/Automatic, Fantastic, Controllers Destroyed, We Don't Serve Their Kind, Let the Truth be Known, Stokely Up Now,  I Miss MyChick, Buddha Time (Everything Fine), Freaks of Nature,  ?, Boogie Woogie On Your Brain

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Annot Rhul- Leviathan (Black Widow Records)

IT has been many years since the Norwegian project lead by Sigurd, have made a new record. The last works were released on the Sulatron label back in 2007. Sigurd plays most of the instruments himself but here is the list of the other folks that helped him realize this very cool album: Halvor William Sanden on drums, friends from Seid (Burt Rocket, Jürgen Kosmos and now ex-Seid member Organ Morgan), Lars Fredrik Frøislie (Wobbler), Sven Arne Skarvik and Ingrid Velle (Love Revolt), Allessandro Elide (Manifest/Hoist) and Erlend Naalsund (Asiago). The CD starts off with the long multipart Leviathan Suite and a long spacey intro before the main musical theme kicks in. This is a beautiful floating track with a lot of moods, mellotron and female vocals. The main long mid-section is a great synthesizer solo and then they return to the main vocal theme and melody again. At about 12½ mins it really picks up with a more intense guitar line and a organ solo. Great track. The Colour Out of Space is next and is a more uptempo track but also strong on the melodic progressive spacey vibe as well. This like most of the record is instrumental and primarily features a lot of synthesizer solos and much fewer guitar solos. There is some great synthesizer work on this track. Surya, starts off with a harpsichord and then moves into the direction of soundtrack music for Dario Argento but perhaps a bit more happy but also a bit haunting. Lovely short track. Distant Star is a very spacey track with some nice slide guitar work and some melodies that remind me a lot of SEID. The Mountains of Madness sounds a lot like songs that preceded it and is the first track to features male lead vocals (Burt?). Some of the guitar work is very David Gilmour inspired. The CD/LP ends with another long track called R’Lyeh, which is split into multiple parts. This has some of the most dramatic music on the LP hidden in this piece. If you like really melodic, floating space progressive rock with a lot of synthesizers, you should enjoy this a lot. If you have not figured out this record is very much inspired by the works of HP Lovecraft!

Full Track Listing: LEVIATHAN SUITE- The Traveller, part I, The Sailors, part I, In Limbo at 5000 Fathoms, Maybe they Sailed out too far?, Between Scylla and Charybdis, The Sailors, part II, Interstellar Foe, THE COLOUR OUT OF SPACE, SURYA, DISTANT STAR, THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS, R’LYEH- The Elder Ones, 47°9 S 126°43 W, Every Man For Himself, In the Wake of Cthulhu, The Traveller, part II

Leviathan Promo Video Teaser

Friday, October 10, 2014

Space Invaders & Nik Turner playing the Sonic Noise Opera (Nasoni Records 150LP)

Space Invaders is a really cool German Space rock band who do a lot of improvising and jamming live. This is their 2nd release and was recorded at the Psychedelic network Festival in Würzburg in Nov 2013, where Nik Turner played with nearly every band at the festival. Side A of the vinyl starts off with a pretty cool version of Sonic Attack!  Nik also then sings lead on the old ICU track called Space Invaders. Spicy Spider features some nice sax rom Nik as a good bass groove drives the track forward and some of the guitar line remains pretty melodic and the synths pretty spacey. I like the sort of Spanish inspired guitar solo as well as Nik switches to flute. See the video below. Drums ‘n’ Space is a improve where the band search out in space for a cool place to go while Nik plays in his own little universe.. Flip the record over for the 10min track, Stardust. This is simply a very cool piece of space rock with some nice flute by Nik. Mike plays some intense guitar when the track really gets speeding along and some far out space sounds are thrown in as well. Can You? Is a 12min uptempo rocker where Nik grabs his sax for another passionate blow! Again, the band has a great funky space groove going on that just really hooked me. Fucking cool stuff guys… Nik played with a lot of folks at the festival and sometimes it worked and sometime it didn’t but for sure it worked here!


The Welsh psychedelic space rock band, Sendelica has released their first live album and it is fantastic. It was recorded at last year’s successful Crabstock Festival in Wales and released now on the Fruits de Mer offshoot label called Friends of Fish! The set features a range of tracks including some cool borrowed themes from bands like Pink Floyd and Funkadelic with such track as Set the controls for the heart of the Buddha and Return of the Maggot Brain. I have never seen this band and hate to admit, they are one band that has sort of just passed me by as I don’t own a single one of their records but I have heard them streaming while at work. This one I have been spinning a lot on the CD player and it is such a cool record and I hope to catch the band live. Enjoy this track from youtube below from the record..

My Brother the Wind- Live at Roadburn Festival 2013 (Roadburn Records RBR035)

I only caught about half of this really cool concert due to other bands I had not seen before were playing that I really wanted to see. It is great that most of the concert is represented here in 5 pieces of music spread over 3 sides of vinyl.  Sulpur valley Dawn (maybe this inspired the album over??) starts things off and you really feel like you are there in the audience waiting for it to all start as the band slowly get things going and you can hear the audience chatting before Mattias brings in the first guitar lines and the psychedelic trip begins! About 4mins the drums and bass really kick in and off we go with some great psychedelic guitar phrasing and wah guitar that flows so effortlessly over the cool bass lines of Ronny. At 11mins Nicklas puts down his guitar and switches over to the digital mellotron for a nice space change. The end is very intense with Ronny and drummer Daniel, really killing it.. Side 2 starts with Ancient Caravan, an mystical Eastern inspired piece that slowly grows into something else. There is an amazing guitar solo by Mattias at the end of this track when Nicklas reverts back to the mellotron for some haunting voice like sounds. Very cool.. The Mountain Trail features some really nice slide guitar continues a bit the mood of the haunting Eastern feel but a bit more spacey. It brings back great memories. The opening track on Side 3, further up the Mountain Trail features some truly amazing melodic guitar playing from Mathias. What a wonderful track. Into the Cosmic Halo closes out the record in a hard rocking manner. Excellent album. The bands new studio album is coming out on Oct 14th as well. I will try to review that as well.

HYPNOS- HYPNOS CD (Crusher Records CRCD026)

Hypnos is a young new five piece Swedish band playing NWOBHM style music mixed with that 70s influence that bands like Witchcraft and Graveyard took to heart. The bio says it is boogie rock but it is a bit more heavy metal that 70s hard rock that so many Swedish band excel at. Lots of songs about good and evil and a great rocking album. The CD has 8 tracks and starts off with the fast paced Hands of Evil. This melodic rocker also reminds me of Horizont as well, both with the style of singing and harmony guitars. Some great parts that also will remind you of Thin Lizzy, perhaps and cool changes in this track. A good opener Hypnos is a more laid back track in the bluesy way the guitar lines start things off and then it kicks in with full force and some powerful vocals and a great guitar solo section. Nightmares slows things down a lot to start with a Graveyard like vocal style but then the track really picks up. This band has a lot more lead guitar than Graveyard or Witchcraft, which is really nice. Fantastic song. Moving too Fast does indeed speed things up to a quick boogie rock track and also highlighting the excellent singing of Philip. The Mountain is a another fast one with a lot of harmony guitar parts over the nearly 6min track. Invaders really took me back to the early 80s NWOBHM bands that were more 70s hard rock inspired… Some great guitar solos in this track and a great sense of vocals phrasing and delivery. Abracassus again has this dual guitar phrasing in a track that really bounces along with a nice groove and some intense singing ala Ian Gillan! How to handle Madness closes this record and is a very fast song and one I can see the audience really digging live. A great debut… Good work guys..

Electric Moon- Lunatics & Lunatics Revenge (Sulatron st1406-02)

Electric Moon’s first two records that were originally released on the Nasoni Records label are now being re-released. These have long been sought after and out of print. This is a new edition in 500 copies in a double gatefold. It is also released as a 2CD set as well with both complete albums. It features new artwork, with the original artwork is featured on the inside of the gatefold.  I have both the original records but this is nice for the fans who want to hear where this band started off at. While the band have not deviated so far from their roots over like 20 records now, this stuff was a more composed and Dave was playing organ and both he and Lulu were also experimenting with some voices, where as the current line up goes for all improvised and heavy psych sounds to blow your brains apart……. One of Germany’s coolest heavy psych acts.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Uli Jon Roth and Crystal Breed- Amager Bio, Copenhagen Oct 2nd, 2014

Uli Jon Roth is one of my all-time favourite guitar players. He started out in the Scorpions in the early 70s and then left and had a cool band called Electric Sun in the 80s and then for the last many years has toured under his own name playing mostly his own music mixed with Jimi Hendrix songs.  This was the 40th anniversary of his debut with the Scorpions so he was doing primarily a set of old Scorpions songs and mixing the sets up every night and not just doing the same Scorpions songs every night (at least that is what I read in an interview).

          Sue and I walked down to the club about 19:30 and were lucky enough to run into a guy selling two tickets for half price so that was a great start. We later met up with Nils, Sven, Magnus and Finn, which was really nice. It was a mostly older crowd. At 20:15, the opening band, which made up most of Uli’s backing band as well played first. They played about a 45min set of very complicated progressive rock with a pretty hard edge at times but also the sort of high pitched vocal styling’s of the neo-prong bands from the UK in the 80s. Amazing musicians. I was really blown away by the keyboard player and the guitarist who sang most of the lead vocals, was also great but did not show is true form until much later in their set. I filmed one track which was something totally new that they had not recorded yet.  They were not bad..

We went outside for some air on this very warm evening for October while they changed some things on the stage. The band hit the stage at 21:30 and would play for about 2hrs. It was a totally different band compared to when he last played here. They opened with All Night Long, the opening track from Tokyo Tapes. The concert was mix of the more popular Scorpions songs like Pictured Life, We burn the Sky, Dark Lady (last song before the encore), In Trance and more obscure songs like I’ve got to be Free (which was quite jammed out and all members has short solos), The Sails of Charon, where Uli did an amazing solo. Others they played were Catch your train, Longing for Fire, Fly to the Rainbow and Drifting Sun. The encore started off with Polar Nights and then he invited a 12 year old Swedish girl out who he said, her band had covered one of his songs and they played Hellcat with her on drums. She rocked and was great! See the video by Mathias.  Wow.. Next we got some Hendrix tracks and the show ended with a cool version of All along the Watchtower.

The Sails of Charon live in Copenhagen...

          He had a great band but I am puzzled by why they play the songs so fast. It is like a speed metal version of the Scorpions and there are three amazing guitar players who each on their own were really keeping up with Uli and totally ripping it up at times with triple harmony guitars. The keyboard guy was totally pointless to have except that he did a lot of the singing with the guitar player from Crystal Breed who, did the lead vocals. You could not hear the keyboards at all where we stood in front on Uli half way back and the Scorpions never had keyboards!   Anyway, I wish they would slow the songs down to the old speed but I think it has to do with Uli can play his old solos twice as fast today as he did back in the old days and it fits better if the songs are also faster but they just don’t sound right to me, who has heard the old Scorpions records 100s of times…  Anyway, always a pleasure to see Uli play that guitar and hear these classic songs.. Great night…