Sunday, September 5, 2021

Dark Bottle- Failed State/Police State 7” (Harava Records HRV-002)

Dark Bottle (from Finland) are back with a high energy politically charged release.  Failed State is also quite catchy, with slide and banjo but a punky vibe… Let the through be told (very rare in the USA)!!  Check out the great video below! This is what the band had to say about: “Don wrote this song while observing, from a distance but with a lot of concern, at what a mess things seem to be at the moment in the USA. We recorded it in short order at Nekala Propaganda Centre and video genius Joona Virtanen made a great video of it.”  

The B side is the song Cop Killer by Body Count but with a totally new arrangement that leans more towards psychobilly.. I wonder what Ice T thinks?? I guess he would dig it and so will you!!  Only made in 2 or 300 copies.. A very different release from some of the bands other material but damn good!!

Rob Gould plays Pawn Hearts (Fruits de Mer Records, Friends of the Fish 51CD)

This is not the first release on Fruits to recreate a classic album from the 70s.  Here we have the 50th anniversary of the Van der Graaf Generator album recreated by Rob and collaborators Cary Grace, Brazilian band ‘Dr. Fantastico’ and The Purple Gang’s Chris Joe Beard. Here is some background info:   Keyboard player and composer, Rob Gould, has already written and recorded 13 solo albums, not to mention an album’s worth of tracks that he’s recorded for Fruits De Mer Records - all cover versions - ranging from Pink Floyd's 'A Saucerful of Secrets', The Beatles' 'Tomorrow Never Knows', Manfred Mann's 'Funniest Gig' to two David Bowie songs, appearing on various FdM projects over the years.

I have to say I have never heard the original. VDGG and ELP since they did not have a of guitar, I never really got into them. Clearly this album had more or Rob and the gang added quite a bit of guitar.  The album starts with the Lemmings (incluidng Cogs) and some beautiful piano and floating synthesizer followed by the bass. About 1.5 minutes in the drums kick in and off we go, with first vocals (mixed quite low at first, as you hardly can make out the words until the chorus, then they sort it out). After about 6mins it gets quite psychedelic with a lot of cool instrument experimentation. Around 8mins we return back to the main theme of sorts and the vocals are back in full. What an amazing spacey track in the end.  Lovely… Man Erg is next for another 10mins. This is classic early 70s prog with the organ dominating the sound until 3mins and then things start to change in more interesting ways and there is a beautiful keyboard solo (actually multiple) that follows.  Quite a track and very different from the first one. The final 26 min track starts slow and spacey with some nice piano playing. A surprise is to hear Carry sing but why not! It is great that they are not trying to do an exact copy of the record but a really cool interpretation.  What a great release…  Only made in 150 copies on CD (at least for now)..

Mongolito- Pure (Hau Ruck! – HR!138)

Just got this in the mail from Albin Julius label, and has usual, there is no information so you have to do some research to find out a bit about these mysterious acts that he releases. This is a solo project by Marc de Backer, best know from Mucky Pup and Dog eat Dog, Mongolito and recently Wolvenest! This is the 9th release (15 on bandcamp) he has made He plays nearly all the instruments except the drums, a little bass and synth (DéHa). The CD features6 tracks in about 40mins. Baclanova starts with a nice melodic guitar and some droning synths and a really nice vibe. A bit over 3mins the drums kicks in and the track becomes mid tempo with two guitar riffs now as it builds and gets a bit heavier. Amazing track. The Death of yet another Dream starts slow with a sort of happy mood but quickly a sort of large epic soundscape begins to emerge. Another moving emotional track.. Ultrasolution starts with some mellotron choir voices and guitar. A spaced out voice makes a brief appearance before fading away into the void of the song only to reappear now and then. Spacey stuff but a similar guitar sound to the other two tracks. The guitar gradually becomes dominant and a bit like David Gilmour at times, saying a lot with few notes.  nice music to just float away to. Years of Nothingness starts with a bass synth drone and drums.  “Repeat after me… all these years of Nothingness……”  a more trippy track than the others but a cool mood. I dug that.. Slowly is one of the more heavy tracks with a nice wah solo and heavy riff. Later on their is a synth solo followed by a more wild guitar solo while the rhythm guitar plays more or less the same riff over and over.. The title track ends this album with another short guitar driven instrumental. Great album. I was really surprised how much I liked it. Check it out for sure!

The Insektlife Cycle- Superstrung (Friends of Fish 48)

The info below was supplied by the record label. The Insektlife Cycle are an instrumental rock group based in Pateros Metro Manila, Philippines, formed in 2013 by members of the bands Hateure & Barabbas. They have already released singles with Fruits de Mer Records and an album with Sugarbush Records. Their new four-track EP is being released by Fruits de Mer Records as a super-limited 8” lathe-cut (just 100 copies worldwide). The band describe it as, “a sonic work of instrumental heavy psych and modern blues in sunshine acid” The record has been engineered by guitarist Ronnel Vivo and produced by the band. It will also be released in the Philippines by local label PAWN Records on cassette.
The lathe-cuts are being made by Phil at 

 As for the music the CD features 4 short instrumental tracks with some intense lead guitar on the opening track, Old Year’s Eve. It is based on a pretty heavy bass and guitar riff but some keyboard is mixed in. Superstrung! kicks in fast and again with the same sounding heavy bass and drums a bit more up front in the mix and guitar a bit back but also some nice lead runs. These tracks all feel like excerpts from longer jams and not really focused tracks. These first two could be from the same jam.. It has that feel to it.. Sol Velvet changes the mood with some nice synths underneath the bass and drums. The guitar is more melodic as well. Recline is a relaxed track with a nice almost surf vibe in a way… anyway good spacey beach music. It would have been nice if the synths-keyboards were mixed a wee bit higher… Cool stuff. I had never heard these guys. The 8” lathe will also come with a limited CD with two extra tracks, I am told. This is going to be rare.. Only 50 tapes and 80 8”s….