Friday, February 6, 2015

The Pretty Things- BOUQUETS FROM A CLOUDY SKY (Madfish 2015)

This is a very cool single CD sampler to promote the 13 CD, 2 DVD, 10”, book, box set of the complete Pretty Things due out at the end of Feb. It is only made in 2000 copies and cost £125 plus £20 for shipping in the UK from Burning Shed. I can write more once I get mine. Anyway, tons of rare material on this box and some very cool tracks on the promo cd to wet your appetite. This compilation features many bonus and rare tracks including the first band single from 1964, Don’t bring me Down. A few from their most famous record, SF Sorrow are also featured. The version of Helter Skelter by the Beatles is really unique and I really liked it a lot.

          The material for the Midnight to Six DVD is really well put together. The 2hr documentary has a lot of great black and white photage and they often show the entire track, not cut it up, which is great. The SF Sorrow live from Abbey Road, where it was actually recorded, is pretty recent and the first time they ever played all the songs in order from the record and including the narration by Arthur Brown and a guest spot by David Gilmour! Wow..The promotional video (13mins) from 1966 is really far out (see below)..

          The book is filled with loads of cool pictures, concert ads, newspaper articles about riots, arrests, etc.. and a lot to read as well. It is about 100 pages long. Great work from the people at Madfish.. Can’t wait to get mine around the first of March…

Shiva’s Nat- Gimme Your 7” (H42 Records H42-009)

Shiva’s Nat, the local Copenhagen rock band is back with a new 7”, on the heels of their highly successful debut on Bilocation Records, home to many cool Danish acts. There is very little information on the 7” sleeve but if you go to the web site you can find that Maria, the drummer from Cherry Overdrive (they broke up in 2013) is playing the drums on these tracks. Side A starts off with Gimme Your and is break from the blues rock of the first record and a pretty hard hitting 60s (due to the organ sounds and more low fi production) garage rocker. Powerful, raw vocal also. Flip the record over for Lovebug, a melodic sex driven simple 60s inspired track as well with a very cliché organ line, used in 100s of songs but it rocks! It is a different direction from the band’s debut album but solid tracks.  Rock and Roll…

Slow Order- Hidden Voices (ITALY 2015)

Slow Order is an instrumental four piece from Bologna, Italy.  The CD features 7 instrumental tracks of heavy metal rock and roll. This is the follow up to the bands previous EP entitled, Pyramid towards Oblivion.  Bokor’s Call opens things up also includes a short slow section with some synth before heading out with some ripping guitar and then back to some different riffs. Someone in the band also makes some occasional evil sounding vocalizations that you can’t quite make out. Crusade of Visigoth continues the heavy slightly more evil doomy groovy. The mid- section is again spaced out with some double tracked guitars and synths before returning to the main refrain. Drunken is a track where I really noticed the intensity of the Ale on the drums. It really comes across like he pounds the shit out of the drum kit. Garage Anthem starts off fast and furious and then becomes a bit like Candlemass and then back to the thrash metal. Wow.. In the Centre of the Sun is another more metallic track with intense guitar chord sequences and a really spacey ending with some chanting that leads directly into Pazuzu. By this point, some of the guitar riffs are starting to sound too much a like. He Dave does throw in a bit vibrato though on this one and some layers of synth sounds as he uses a cool effect on his guitar before going back to the well used riffs. Sabbatai Zevi has the occasional ringing bell to compliment the soundtrack of the end of the world. Wisdom of the Universe ends this record with some acoustic guitar and a sort of sitar like drone sound and later a synth drone and some percussion. A very cool way to come down from this heavy trip.

A mixture of Karma to Burn style stuff with more riffing metal and a bit doom thrown in with some space parts in the middle of a few tracks. That pretty much describes the whole record.

Molior Superum- The Inconclusive Portrait 7” (H42 Records H42-006)

This is a new Swedish band from Gothenburg that I have never heard. This 7” plays on 33rpm. It only has one song that is split into part 1 and 2. The band is really inspired by 70s rock and roll and but thrown in a good dose of the stoner vibe as well. The band describes their music as Bloozy groove n' roll, the fuzzy-faced lovechild of 70's hard rock. They throw in a touch of organ around the chorus part of the song here and there, The 2nd part starts with another groove and some great bass playing and a lot of riffing. There is a nice guitar solo towards the end of the track but not much soloing in this band. A really solid track. If you check out their bandcamp site they have 4 releases this band.

Seedy Jeezus- Seedy Jeezus (Lay Bare Recordings 006/Blown Music 010)

Seedy Jeezus is a high energu psychedelic rock band from Australia. This is another record that Tony Reed (Mos Generator) has guested on and engineered. Side A features 5 tracks while they space out more on side 2 with only 2 longer songs. The record starts off with Shakin’ the Fuse, a totally untempo rock and roller with really in your face, semi-pressed-screamed vocals. Wormhole slow things down and features the first of many great guitar solos but this is by Tony and not Lex (who also sings the vocals) as he really rips it up.  Universal Overdrive brings back the high energy rock and roll. Chasing the Dragon’s tail features some wild riffing but a more slow and stoned solo and space out section compared to the rest of the frantic track. Pick UP ends side A with another intense in your face track.

          Flip the record over and start off with How ya Doin’.. So far so good. I love this track the way it has a slow build and a more relaxed and less pressed, stressed vocal and then the amazing interaction between the guys when they space out and jam. Tony plays some Moog Taurus stuff on this track. Later on there is a drum solo and the band really takes off one more time. Awesome track, which you can hear below. Sun in my Car is a really fast song with some wild intense guitar riffing as the band tries to follow. There is a small down section but mostly just ripping guitar and intense playing. This is a very cool release and amazing artwork by Mr. Frumpy.  If you like bands like Lecharous Gaze, Radio Moscow, Nebula, MC5, etc.. you will dig this…

Lord of Giant- Dust Demon 7” (H42 Records H42-006)

This is a new band for me. These two tracks are both pretty cool high energy stoner rock anthems. Dust Demon start things off with a grooving track with some cool wah guitar and nice delays on the vocals at the right places to make it a bit more psychedelic. You can easily get sucked into this one. Powerful stoner rock.. Woman is next and just classic, heavy slow stoned grooving rock music… not much more to say.. They don’t offer you anything new but if you crank this sucker up you will dig it….. I did…

Karma to Burn/Sons of Alpha Centuri- Split 7” (H42 Records H42-005)

Split single with the US instrumental stoner rock band, Karma to Burn and the other side features Sons of Alpha Centuri, a band I have not heard of.  Karma kick things off with a track called 53. Well, if you like Karma, you will dig this track… nothing really new for these guys but a solid rocking riffing track with a good groove.. That is basically what this band delivers… Alpha Centuri are also instrumental and have a more clean, less low end production but some really cool intense changes in the track with just full on forceful playing. The keyboard textures are interesting and different in the context of the music and one might think don’t fit at all but somehow it works.. There is some spoken words stuff at the end. Remember side B plays 33rpm while side A is 45rpm!

Kalamata- Kalamata (Zygmatron Music ZYG3)

Kalamata are a new instrumental three piece band from Germany. This is their debut, just released in Jan 2015 and the band are out on the road a lot this year according to the promotion information.. Anyway, the first thing you must know is that this CD has to be played loud. I heard it a few times in December and never really got into it much until now when I sit down to review it and play it LOUD.. The CD features 7 tracks that make up one sentence when read together and starts off with You. The intro is kind of spacey with just bass and guitar to start before a massive change in sound as everything kicks in loud. A slow hypnotic pace is kept as the track slowly takes shape with small changes, just enough to keep it interesting. The band likes to change dynamics the same way that bands like Colour Haze, Sungrazer, My Sleeping Karma do. Have starts off a bit doomy and repeats itself over and over until the guitar riff changes to a more intense faster riff and then back to the doom. To is the 3rd track and like the first starts with a clear guitar stream before the drums and bass kick in to take the free floating groove away in a more relaxed fashion as the guitar is more adventurous and not so repetitive until the end, which really rocks hard and then a very cool ending. Cool song. Die starts with a heavy bass line, as a track titled DIE should. This track actually has a pretty happy thread at times and the riffing reminds me of the SWORD, if you remember those guys. Soon has some really good dynamics and lots of changes in this short under 4 min track. Mother speeds things up with frantic drumming and a heavy groove and nice guitar riff in another short track. Fucker ends the record and goes back to the doomy track 2 style and might be a bit like Sardonis from Belgium. Anyway, a powerful instrumental record with a lot of cool tracks despite almost no lead guitar but enough guitar changes and riffs to make it quite cool. Let’s see if they jam any of these tracks out live with some more solos or anything. Check out my friend Jerry’s review for another opinion. Peace.

The promo sheet mentions Kyuss, hawkwind and Motorpsycho and I have to say, those bands never came to my mind while hearing this CD and I have all the records by those bands. Strange…

Dean Allen Foyd- Sunshine Song 7” (H42 Records H42-007)

This is the most new release from the Swedish psych band from Stockholm. The two tracks were recorded back in 2011 though. Sunshine Song is a happy track and start things off with a cool 60s vibe and an uptempo and nice changes between the organ and effected guitar. Nice spaced out section in the middle of the track with some cool guitar and effects and then a return to the happy these of this song. Devil’s Path is next and has a really far out beginning and then a string section with violins, viola and cello take over.  The rock and roll does kick in after a minute or so to create another quite cool and original track. What a cool band…

Coogans Bluff- Ein Herz voller Foul 7” (H42 Records 42-010)

Coogans Bluff are a very diverse German band starting off in the Stoner rock genre but now doing whatever they feel is cool music. The opening track is an old Yardbirds track called A Heart full of Soul and they do a great version in German and quite close to the original feel. Flip it over for the bands original track, She gave her life for a Man, sung in English. It starts off with an organ and also features horns!  It has a nice groove and I like the way they have the organ just come in here and there and the horns only in the end section. Nice 7” for sure…  Check the web shop for all the different colours this is available in.

Sun and the Wolf- Salutations (World in Sound WIS-3024)

This is a new band for me but they have a catchy groove and remind me of Spirtualized or early 90s Sundial without the great guitar playing. They are a quartet originally from New Zealand but moved to Berlin to make their mark on the music world. The band has previously released one record, called White Buffalo. I really dig the opening track, 87 years, such a cool groove and sound. Settle Down has a more dark vibe and is one of the longer tracks at nearly 5mins and has some drone synths and some conga in the mid-end groove section and some guitar but not that interesting compared to the rest of the sound. Great track. ! All we Need features a real 60s fuzz guitar and vibe but still have floating feeling. Ghetto Drum is a slightly slower piece with these slightly more spacey vocals and guitars. Waves  in front of Me has a some cool layers of fuzz and wah guitar as a heavy deep bass line pushes the track as the vocals put you in this ethereal world. Into this Mess starts off like a jam with a lazy bluesy, psychedelic guitar as the groove gets more catchy and melodic vocal develops to follow the guitar or the other way around and then they have a bit of a jam and space out but the guitar player only teases and never really just kicks ass and plays a massive solo.. only toying with us, sadly… This is probably my favourite track with the opening one but still under 5mins. The Fisherman starts with a loop and then the drums and bass kick in and then the vocals and happy vibe. Why are we not Fading is one of the more hard rocking tracks on the CD. Never Sorry finished off the CD and is another of the more melodic dreamy tracks. A lot of this CD I liked a lot and some of it was bit too mainstream dreamy pop rock stuff but fans of Tame Impala, Spiritualized, and the 90s UK psych-pop scene should check these guys out. They write a lot of good songs.

Colour Haze- To the Highest Gods we Know (Elektrohasch 010)

Colour Haze is back with their 10th record and this time a single LP with five songs. Again, it was recorded all analog at the bands own studio, with a focus on the best analog sound they can get. There is really no need to introduce this three piece band, although they are assisted by some special guests on modular synth, flutes, horns, strings, sounds of wind and water.. Circles starts things off with some slow building guitar with the tone you all know before Mani and Philip get pulled into the fold. Stefan’s vocal is soft and relaxed and occasionally doubletracked. The track just glides along, flowing like a river until the riff that you hear in 50% of all the bands songs, appears and the intensity goes up and the drums are beginning to get lost as the guitar is louder and a violin comes in for a brief 30 seconds or so. Paradise starts off with a really familiar riff, classic Colour Haze sound and tone, is it Zen or Roses that they borrow from??  Short 3½ min song, perhaps a single? Ûberall is instrumental and starts slowly with just guitar for about 2mins before the rest of the band kick in at a mid-tempo. There is some modular synth somewhere (very low at the beginning?) but the track ins 8 ½ mins of riffing mostly. Call, features Philip on some droning Hammond throughout the track but you can hear him best at the beginning. This track is very stripped down with just Stefan playing a riff with a really cool guitar tone and a vocal sung over it. At 6½ mins, the rest of the band kicks in for another 1½ mins of riffs you have heard before. The only real highlight of the record for me is the title track, which ends the album which is a brilliant like CH Spanish inspired track, starting with some acoustic guitar and later drums, violin and horns, etc... Amazing track.

          I have to say besides the last song, I did not really get into this album much. Probably my least favourite CH album since Chopping Block. It just seems like they have nothing new to say or express until the end of the record.  The artwork is just very stripped down and simple and just not that interesting and the songs just seem to recycled. Sure, they throw in a violin here and some strings or some organ or modular synth there but Stefan plays very little new or interesting guitar and hardly any solos and Mani is mixed way down in the mix. I liked the sound of the last record much more. Hum… Sorry guys.. I just did not really get it, I guess…