3.27.2015

Carlton Melton / Mind Mountain Split 7"
God Unknown's recent series of split 7"s have grabbed some great psych talent, ranging from Oneida to Acid Mother's Temple to Gnod and Eternal Tapestry. Good stock to be sure in a series that's centered on
mind expanding psych, but they're also helping to shed some light on a few new names in our book as well. The Oneida split features UK heavies Teeth of the Sea and the latest pairs Carlton Melton up with Liverpool's Mind Mountain. Melton, I've always been able to see the appeal, but never really jumped out of my skin to get at, but on the flip, Mind Mountain steal the show and definitely beg for more material from them soon. Heavy blasts of heat blasted guitar melted into prog-minded organ that builds to a ferocious wall of sound by the end of the track. A face melter here and one that I'd hope speaks to more to come soon.

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posted by dissensous at 4:04:00 PM 0 comments

3.26.2015

Ben Chatwin


Stepping away from his alias as Talvihorros, Ben Chatwin takes a nudge towards a more personal sound under his given name. The Sleeper Awakes creeps in still and menacing as a stormfront sweeping across parched fields. Chatwin's guitar divides its interests between beauty and noise, finding the former in the latter more often than not, while helping shape glassy landscapes of desolation and sorrow. Augmented by dark-hearted strings and flecked everywhere by Chatwin's use of a century-old Dulcitone (a portable piano manufactured in Glasgow at the turn of the century), the record is sweeping, cinematic and gorgeous in a way that recalls the oddly futuristic industrial landscapes of Imogen Cunningham. Like those photos, it feels steeped in a kind of deep-rooted sadness, longing and looking back at what's become and possibly what might have been. At its heart, Chatwin has crafted a study in hopeful regret, soundtracking a protagonist who's made mistakes but has convinced himself otherwise. The delusion is both beautiful and devastating.

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posted by dissensous at 12:37:00 PM 0 comments

3.25.2015

Gnod - "Breaking The Hex" Video


Gnod melt your brain with a blast of psychic fry in this video for "Breaking The Hex" from their upcoming new triple LP, Infinity Machines. The track is doused in squelch and fueled by skronk, making their visual accompaniment of brain torture a pretty spot on bit of imagery. The band have never ceased to disappoint in their prolific career and from the sounds of this new one, they aren't about to tarnish that reputation. Psychedelic warriors, consider yourselves notified.

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posted by dissensous at 3:50:00 PM 1 comments

Free Pizza


For a band that's got a foothold in New England, Free Pizza has a lot of twang in their veins. The band snake a southern style jangled bashabout that's part country-fried and open skied and part flophouse punk. Though to be fair its probably 100% flophouse punk. The record is holding on by the very last fibers and that recklessness is what makes it work. There aren't pronounced hooks so much as there are cadences between the wire wrung strums, though when they do hit on a bit of catchiness it jumps out like a cat caught in a door as on the standout, "Baby Girl," a love song that feels both sweet and a little dangerous. Discordant, disheveled, call it what you will, Free Pizza feel like the tougher version of The Memories, where East Coast winters shade their songs with snarl n' strife rather than West Coast calm n' palms. The kind of record that you put on first thing in the afternoon, waking up in yesterday's jeans and hunting around for a smoke between the cushions. So, you know, good times.

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posted by dissensous at 2:17:00 PM 0 comments

3.24.2015

Jacco Gardner


Following up his stunningly constructed Cabinet of Curiosities, Jacco Gardner doesn't stray too far from the delicate yet complex psychedelia of his debut. Hypnophobia is a similarly towering layer cake of dulcet synth and swelling strums; this time making the framework of tales that walk the line between dreaming and wakefulness, a battle between the release of sleep and the pull of reality. The album moves in dark moon phases, vacillating between precious and creepy, echoing the theme of dreamscape and often sauntering into a disorienting territory that would leave more than one listener with a case of the night sweats. Consistently the album retains Gardner's 60's pop core, still feeling like a man thrust out of time and now using a hefty helping of studio accessories to keep the dream of lysergic pop alive. And though, he's certainly indebted to a large swath of the Nuggets generation, Gardner finds a way to make his homage feel fresh and not just a well worn retread of the past. He avoids any notion of a sophomore jinx and just pulls us further into the rabbit hole he's constructed.

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posted by dissensous at 11:37:00 AM 0 comments

3.20.2015

Windian Subscription Series #3
Its time once again for Windian's annual subscription series and as usual they've rounded up a good bunch of under the radar garage in these six discs. Top spots go out to Wisconsin's Platinum Boys and Texas' War Party. The former bring a glam
buzz and bit of dirty hipshake to the party. The A-side smolders with a crunch that lives up to its title and the flip holds its own while cooling tempers slightly. The latter head into sould / doo-wop territory and then dust it up with a bit of garage charm and bigger flair on the b-side. The rest of the bunch hold down the hatches with punk sneers and dusty leathers and as usual the label's wrapped these up in eye catching boxes and limited clear or black vinyl. Got to get these before they dissipate.

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3.19.2015

Moon Ate The Dark


An uncommon duo to be sure, Moon Ate The Dark combines the solo piano of Welsh pianist Anna Rose Carter with the nudging, atmospheric production of Christopher Brett Bailey. The latter works in a more painterly approach to bring the depth of the piano through on these compositions, utilizing mic placement and atonal embellishment to frame Carter's compositions in a shadowy well of halftone greys. The songs remain cinematic, as most driving piano seems to lean, but oddly solitary in its execution. The songs feel like a singular traveler's journey filmed in sweeping montage using repetition to wear down on the listener like the weight of a day. Bailey's contributions remain subtle but that's often what makes them so effective, twists of the knife to force home Carter's rain streaked runs. In the realm of modern composition, there are many that strive for a balance of skill and singularity and with their eponymous release, Moon Ate The Dark achieve that tightrope walk quite nicely.

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posted by dissensous at 10:43:00 AM 0 comments

3.17.2015

Love Axe


Following a move from Oakland to LA, Love Axe returns with a new album brimming with a slideshow of pop-edged indie rock that's far from workmanlike. Aided and abetted by the composer's ear of songwriter Chris Hatfield, their sophomore album is a widescreen affair. The songs on South Dakota flip through energetic piano-bashers, troubadour tuned whiskey odes, outsized guitar pop and country slung simmerers, feeling very much like a product of immersion in studio heavy indie pop albums of the 90's / 00's. Full of meticulous craftsmanship, there's a sense that South Dakota exists in a larger environment than it was born in, ready for a stage on inception. This is in large part due to the crisp arrangements that hearken back to a classically crafted pop sound, drawing a line from Spoon to Sloan, Beulah and Super Furry Animals to Fountains of Wayne. Its major label production on an indie budget, that's virtually void of trend worship and hype. In its place, the band treads on earnestness, swooning dynamics and crack songcraft. The guitars crunch in all the right places, the harmonies kick in quick, raising the hair on the back of your neck and the hooks stick in your brain for days; couldn't ask for very much more.

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posted by dissensous at 12:02:00 PM 0 comments

3.16.2015

Wand


Following quickly on last year's stellar Ganglion Reef, LA's psych travelers Wand return with a harder version of their space-punk vision. Golem, like its predecessor, is fleshed out with sonic embellishments, flights of synth fancy and a general sense of kaleidoscopic overload, but this time the guitars bite with a touch more flash of the fangs and the blood they draw is a welcome wound. The band delves into heaviness on lead single "Self Hypnosis In 3 Days," blowing out the cortex with a pulsating, flayed quasar of rock that's ink black at its iris and burning so bright at the edges its heard to look, a trick they repeat with increased fire on "Cave In." The soft hum of acoustics adorn the respite "Melted Rope," shaking the sweat off of the surrounding crags for an all too brief moment before they delve into the back half of the record with a renewed fury that scorches the brain. They aren't really remapping their formula, which is great, I'm glad to see that someone has taken the mantle of prog-nerds and injected a razor edged soul to it; but they've definitely perfected what they were working up to last album and the further they delve into studio weirdness, the band threaten to crystallize that vision. Definitely creeping up our list of the best of 2015 yet and meeting all the expectations built up after last year.

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posted by dissensous at 10:33:00 AM 0 comments

3.13.2015

JÜ with Kjetil Møster


There have been a couple of good crossovers between the jazz and rock worlds of late. The recent record by Hedvig Mollestad Trio comes to mind, La Piramide di Sangue, John Dwyer's delve into jazz with Sword & Sandals; but Hungarian trio JÜ have hit on an incredibly solid connection in their team-up with Norwegian saxophonist Kjetil Møster. The record hurtles opens a dialog between Møster's fluid sax lines and guitarist Àdàm Mészáros' histrionic leads. And though both of those parties trade parries and jabs, the secret weapon here is the rhythm section that keeps time like a jackhammer. The record plays with space, allowing the sax to breathe rings of smoke into desolate cold rooms, rooms that more often than not are immediately decimated by a barrage of noise and heat from the members of JÜ. The two parties work in blacks and greys, painting a bleak and hard cragged picture of urban decay, then delighting in the destruction of those crumbling forms. Sadly I'd not heard from either party independently but JÜ Meets Møster is more than enough reason to send you hurtling for the back catalog.

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posted by dissensous at 10:15:00 AM 0 comments

3.11.2015

Jacco Gardner - "Find Yourself" video



Jacco returns, and not a minute too soon with a second album of psychedelic vignettes, which he matches perfectly with a bit of 70's noir in the first video for "Find Yourself". The clip has a lot in common with the visuals that accompany Gardner's live setup, and if you haven't seen him, these add a real dimension to the proceedings. As a standalone video though this clip balances the icy, fragile psychedelics of the song nicely with heavy suspense and period appropriate effects. This one's lodging itself high on our list of anticipated 2015 releases.

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posted by dissensous at 3:48:00 PM 1 comments

Ennio Morricone - Gli Occhi Freddi Della Paura
Far from the Spaghetti Westerns that made him famous, this soundtrack to the 1971 film, Gli Occhi Freddi Della Paura sees Morriconne reconnect with the Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza. The group, of which
Morricone was a founding member, were instrumental in incorporating noise and atonality to 20th century composition. Here they utilize that instinct along with a burgeoning love for free jazz, in creating a strange, propulsive and disjointed soundtrack to Enzo Castellari's "The Cold Eyes of Fear" The film was notable for Castellari's visual style and in mirroring the chances he took Morricone too has created something that lasts far outside the film's plot. The soundtrack languished long forgotten until a 2000 cd issue and now Dagored has put it on vinyl with an incredible bit of packaging that reimagines the cover in flawless style. Its not a soundtrack for those looking for background music, but if you're looking for a walk into experimentation then its a welcomed romp.

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posted by dissensous at 1:25:00 PM 0 comments

3.09.2015

Föllakzoid


Föllakzoid continue to explore the outer reaches of space with their Hawkwind-sized aural excursions on III, aptly their third proper release for Sacred Bones. The Chilean band thrive on a steady diet of Krautrock engine exhaust, locked into tyrannical feats of rhythm that are here augmented by German electronic impresario Atom TM, who added a touch of synthesizer squelch to the four monolithic tracks that make up III. The band exists in shadowy corners, moving mysteriously through ritualistic sermons that bring visions of cloaked figures in the night. Very little light escapes from the universe that makes up the tribal heatstroke visions and shamanistic murmurings that fill the edges of this LP. The band bite down hard on tension and dread but leave just enough room for a fevered release from the grips of those two vices. When release finally comes its only too brief as the band ramps back up the gnash of guitar all over again. After two solid starts, the band continue to dominate the new edge of Krautrock like few others.

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posted by dissensous at 1:56:00 PM 0 comments

3.05.2015

Pink Section - Pink Section
There are still plenty of gems to be found in the debris of post-punk and if anyone was going to sift through the rubble and find the gold, its Superior Viaduct. The label's been shining a necessary light on band's that have often
held reverence longer than their records were ever in print and San Francisco's twitchy art-punk Pink Section are as deserving as any of this retrospective. The band, named after the pink newsprint in the SF Chronicle's Arts and Entertainment section, were art school friends who rode the line of discordant punk and new wave weirdness finding plenty of common ground with early DEVO or MX80 in their absolute disregard for pop's conventions. That's not to say there isn't anything catchy in Pink Section, there's an undercurrent of body shaking rhythm bubbling beneath their harsh aesthetics and dadaist lyricism. The band also contained members of Inflatable Boy Clams, which the band evolved into after some time. SV has also issued their scant catalog this month. This may not be the soundtrack to your next party (though who am I to judge how you party) but there's fun to be had listening to the band throw sonic paint against a wall in wildly evolving colors.

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posted by dissensous at 2:11:00 PM 0 comments

3.04.2015

Föllakzoid "Electric" video


Digging pretty much everything about his new track and video from Föllakzoid. The band's had a handle on hypnotic, tribal psych since the start but they're really coming into their own on their third record. The twelve minutes of "Electric' seem to melt away with Rakhmatulina's strobe and smoke visuals pairing nicely with the band's low rumbling menace that builds like creeping suspicion over the track. The band sculpt tension with a knife of dread and its absolutely entrancing to watch.

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posted by dissensous at 5:33:00 PM 0 comments

Eternal Tapestry


With a long storied discography that's wound them through ozone shred territory, languid psychedelia and collaborations with the likes of Sun Araw and Gnod, its hard to see how this band could venture further into the void. On Wild Strawberries, not only do Eternal Tapestry lay down a defining statement for themselves, but they build a monstrous feat of psychedelic absorption in the process. The double album is anchored by four extended workouts, aided and abetted by the band's improv heavy recording sessions in the remote Oregon woods, each of which pushes the vortex of hallucinogenic froth further towards the edges that the band have previously explored. From the sweat lodge mantras of opener "Mountain Primrose," to the Hawkwind space rituals of the title track, the album cracks open the skull and lets the listener's consciousness dance on curls of smoke and psilocybin. The wooded surroundings seem a particularly perfect environ for this album to have hatched; there's a cool, mossy feeling to the record, dosed out in languid drips of guitar that seep from Ned Bindeman's fingers in azure pools of sonic steam. The band has never been one to shy away from heady waters, but here they're immersed, infused and inoculated with the very soul of pscych and it’s well worth taking the trip with them. Certainly their best, and most complete work to date.

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posted by dissensous at 11:10:00 AM 0 comments

3.03.2015

Twerps - "Stranger" video


Twerps gussy up a sweet bit of claymation in their video for standout track "Stranger" from their latest LP. Somewhere Ben Wyatt is quietly jealous of their resolve. The sweetly strummed sways of the track fit in nicely with the suburban life portrait painted by the band here. If Range Anxiety hasn't already found its way into your collection of 2015 essentials, then its probably about time to rectify that.

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posted by dissensous at 1:25:00 PM 0 comments

Brooks and O'Hagan - Other Voices 01
RSTB fave Ghost Box has begun a new series entitled Other Voices, pairing their roster regulars with some new collaborators or simply showcasing some like-minded artists in one off singles. The collaborations have proven to be the most interesting, highlighting
some of the label's already excellent out-of-time psychedelia with new shades, as is the case with Jon Brooks' (of Advisory Circle) collaboration with The High Llamas' Sean O'Hagan. The single certainly has Brooks' hands all over it, with sweeping pastoral touches, library music swaths and mid-century modernism seeping from its grooves, but O'Hagan proves a welcome voice amongst the orange patterned shag of Brooks' world. Both tracks have a sunswept, autumnal feel to them, the last throes of lingering heat giving way to a pleasant chill as the final chords dim in the speakers. Something tells me that this pairs well with a nice red, but you'd barely have time to pour the glass before this one's over too soon.

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The Pattern Forms - Other Voices 03
Brooks returns to the collaborative arena for another singles in the series, this time paring with Ed Gibson and Ed MacFarlane of Friendly Fires. The A-side takes the vocal pop route, and falls into a sweetly swirling vein of psych pop that's heavily draped in echoplex
soul and the creeping nostalgia of synth bubbling underneath. It's got a light 80's lilt but the buzzing analog murmur puts it squarely in Ghost Box's corner. Its easy to see how a full length in this vein might draw some of the NPR set into its maw. The flip hits harder with an instrumental sci-fi burner that's more planetarium journey than pleasant pop. The NOVA vibes are an excellent use of Brooks' pastiche and the track simmers with a vibrancy that, again, makes me wish for a full album in this vein. Hopefully both of these don't just end up farm club one offs. They're both worthy of some more exploration.

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posted by dissensous at 10:23:00 AM 0 comments

3.02.2015

Surf City


Surf City are back on the scene following 2013's excellent We Knew It Was Not Going To Be Like This. The band resume their stance on bliss flecked rhythmic pop that draws as much from the motorik grind pushing it like an engine as it does from South Hemi jangle cracking in the forefront. The record's got more of an even keel than its predecessor, which had some dizzyingly high moments in its singles. Nothing on Jekyll Island quite hits those highs, but it keeps some pretty constant quality across the board. In many ways this album seems like it will only blossom as the Spring unfolds. The glint off of the best moments of Surf City always has a midsummer, sun dipping over the beach quality to it that hits nostalgic notes on the nose and can't help but make you wanna roll the windows down and share the good vibes. That balmy quality is all over Jekyll Island, begging for the crisp snap of a beer tab to accompany these songs into the nighttime. For now, maybe it'll serve as a primer for warmer days or at least an aural vacation when those icicles get too menacing.

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posted by dissensous at 10:59:00 AM 0 comments

2.24.2015

The Bitter Seeds (The Rock Shop) - State of Your Mind
The Bitter Seeds kept good company, gigging the West Coast through Bull's Eye Tavern, Longshoremen's Hall, The Matrix, and The Fillmore with a litany of pych royalty. They recorded a lone 45, but to avoid confusion with
The Seeds, who'd already made a mark on the scene, they changed their name to The Rock Shop. This likely hurt fan's recognition more than the proposed confusion they were hoping to avoid, but the single captured a great mash of R&B and burgeoning garage grit and the band certainly have some heavy swagger evident in the two tracks "State of Your Mind" and "Is That Your Halo". Despite the name change they actually got a bit of radio play off of the single locally but then began to gig back under The Bitter Seeds again (to be fair it is the better name) and with the exception of four demos also included in this set, the band would cease their recorded output shortly afterward. A gem for collectors and now made available back on vinyl from Out-Side. Heavy garage freaks, take notice.

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posted by dissensous at 4:29:00 PM 0 comments