Sunday, March 30, 2014

Black Elk Medicine Band- Santa Ana 7” (Valley King Records VKR707)

BEMB is a new band from the San Francisco Bay Area lead by Issiah Mitchell (Earthless, Golden Void) on guitar and bass, John McBain (Wellwater Conspiracy) on drum programming and Phil Manley on guitar and synth. The title track features Issiah doing what he does best and playing lead solo guitar over programmed drums. It has a special sound the opening track but a bit of the vibe of Black Elk Speaks from Hawkwind’s Space Bandits (if you stretch your imagination).. Flip the 7” over and you get As the Sun Rose on Dec 29th, 1890. This track is just a dreamy guitar over a synth drone and surely a nice track to play as the sunrises on anyday… I wonder if they have made a full record? The 7” comes in a really nice sleeve with cool artwork, a single cardboard insert with the cover and a square sticker as well. They are all handnumbered to 500 copies.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Abramis Brama/Black Debbath- Split 7” (Transubstans Records TRANS SV709)

It has been like 5 years since the last Abramis Brama record. Last time I saw the band in Malmo, they were a five piece and now they are back to a four piece again. AB starts off with the title track of their new CD, Enkel Billet (Single Ticket), a mid-paced hard rock track with a silly “Nah, Nah Nah” sing along like part. I like the end when it really picks up oth pace but in heaviness, while the first part is forgettable. I saw Black Debbath play like 15 years ago but not since. This track is a high pace 3min hard rocking song that starts off with a funny vocal before they kick into high gear. They sing in Norwegian so I have no idea what they are singing about. It has a bit of an epic feel in the slow mid section before the final rocking section. This was a rockin’ song. I think only 300 are made of this 7” and the AB track is not exclusive, so I can only recommend this for collectors. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Causa Sui- Live at Freak Valley Festival (El Paraiso Records)

Causa Sui are a four piece instrumental psychedelic rock band who originally laid their roots down in the mold of Colour Haze but gradually over the years have really developed a really unique and person sound and feel to the music. While I have been able to see the band many times here in Denmark, the band rarely plays live anymore. Luckily, the Freak Valley Festival captured this excellent and rare live performance and the band mixed it for our pleasure. The set is heavily focused on the bands last record Euporie, where half the tracks come from. The versions are pretty close to the record with a little improvisation but not much. The song lengths are almost identical to the record. Side A starts off with The Juice and Homage from the new record. Red Valley is one of the bands favourite tracks to play from the Summer Session’s series and Jonas just plays great guitar. Rasmus’s keyboard parts tend to be mixed a bit higher on this live recording which is cool.  Side B starts off with two of the three parts of the track called Manifestations of Summer, where they play the first two parts- Lonesome Traveler and Santa Sangre. On the record Venice by the Sea ends this piece but here they exchange that for Garden of Forking Paths (the only track from the Pwet’R sessions). It starts quite dreamy before the monster riff kicks in there is some cool keyboards from Rasmus to compliment this. The rhythm section of Jakob (drums) and Jess (bass) are just awesome. These guys have been rocking for more than 10 years now. Anyway, the track develops into the most psychedelic stuff on the entire record with the band just out there for a few minutes before coming back to earth. Mireille ends the side and again is from the latest album Euporide Tide.  Side C starts off with the grooving track El Paraiso and a long guitar solo as the track builds up. Rasmus gets a quite nice solo section and Jonas plays beautiful guitar while the track comes down. Euphorie is 11 mins and has some great bass playing and drums in this track that is a bit more jazzy but has great dynamics and also killer. Now to the final side, which starts off with Homage. The guitar riff and sound you could say is a Homage to ColourHaze but the organ changes the vibe a bit and a different kind of melodic thread runs through the track despite the riff being CH inspired. Soledad ends this 90 min concert with a very uplifting track that for sure left the audience in a great mood. A must have release.

The Spacelords- Synapse (Sulatron Records st1403)

 I have not heard this German band but this is their 4th release and first on vinyl. Marcus from this band is the current drummer in Electric Moon as well.  The LP features for mainly instrumental tracks of space rock. The trip begins with Synapse, which has a hypnotic bass line, a slow building guitar line and riff and a lot of bubbling space sounds. A point later the organ comes in and towards the end the synths make it feel like a UFO is going to land in the living room. Pretty cool. Sitarguitar is exactly what the title says, a slow spacey sitar guitar piece that really has a great atmosphere. Nice trip.. Flip the record over and the track No.2 starts with an organ, some floating wind and delay guitar as the drummer shows the way forward into space. This track reminds me a bit of My Sleeping Karma with its hypnotic qualities and repeated guitar lines. Pyroclastic Monster has a really beautiful guitar line that runs in the track at the beginning. Very nice dynamics and layers a bit like Folkazoid. A strange vocal sample is thrown in a few times to mix it up and also some intense riffing at the end a bit like Farflung. A very cool space rock record.

Marblewood- Marblewood (Talesyn Productions TAL003)

Marblewood is a new band featuring the guitar player and bass player from the Swiss blues rock band, Ginger, who are taking a break it would appear from their website. David Zurbuchen (drums), Michael Marti (organ) fill out the band. There are also two other guests on hand drums (Sandro) and vocals on the track, Splendor. This CD features 6 long tracks in 70mins. Kailash starts things off with a pretty heavy rock track that almost reminds me of some of Wino’s solo material and bands. The middle section is an improvised jam with a slow evolving guitar solo and later the organ joins in as it really builds up. The female bass player, Ariane is really good and helps to lead many of the pieces as David really rocks on the drums. Hit the Breaks reminds me of Siena Root with it uptempo and organ driven rhythm and trading guitar and organ solos and cool lyrics about the fate of humanity! Splendor features the talents of Sandro on dilruba and esraj, which gives the track a really unique sound with these strange Indian instruments. Sarah Weibel guests on vocals after the spoken word part by Marc. Marc later plays a very intense wah guitar solo as the track really builds with some intense drumming. Silence is a 10min track and starts very slow and bluesy and a very depressing lyrical theme but some damn fine lead guitar work, so passionate. Postwar Apocalypse continues with the heavy lyrical themes and features a more heavy guitar riff. David plays some synths on this track as well. The last track, is called In the Beginning and this is the first jam the band had when they hit the studio back in August 2013 and it is a 21min long instrumental piece. You have to be patient but you can hear the beginnings of the band on this one long track. Great fucking record….

You can download this cool album for free from the bands web site below.

Dirty Grass- It’s all About (Levitation Records LR008)

Dirty Grass was a project that grew out of the Danish band Ghost Rocket. This material was recorded on a single weekend in June 2008. The band was led by Morten Aron (Spids Nøgenhat, On Trial, Aron, Ghost Rocket, and many other projects). He was joined by Hobitten (played in most of the same bands, except Ghost Rocket) on guitar, Claus Rosenblad on drums, vocals and organ from ghost Rocket and Sigurd Djurhuus (Tidsguest) on bass and organ. It is a very short EP with 7 songs in about 23mins. It was pressed in 500 copies on two different colours of vinyl. How to describe it??? Very raw psychedelic garage rock.. Check it out if you are fans of the these cool Danish projects..

Deep Space- Through the Haze (Sulatron Records st1401)

Deep Space is another new band for me. The 3 piece are from Austin, Texas and have previously released and EP called Cosmic Waves. The band has a new cassette out now called Berlin as well. This album starts off with the uptempo and really spacey song called Work. The vocals are mixed in a very psychedelic way while the space sounds float around. It has a bit of a Wooden Shjips like vibe but not the same sort of hypnotic groove, more an acid rock jam style. Vibrations is a 11 min track with a similar vibe to the first track and it is quite stoned and features some great brain tingling guitars to fill in the psychedelic landscape. Inner Light is a fun sort of psychobilly track with organ and a Elvis like vocal at times. Flip the record over and Motorcycle takes us on another trip, starting off with a spoken word piece of a really slow building spacey track. Lady Heroine reminds me a lot of White Manna from California. Overall, this is a really psychedelic album with a really cool feel and vibe and a nice variety of tracks.

Chickencage Experience- Kama Sutra Blackbelt (Nasoni Records 147)

The members of the Polytoximaic Philharmonie are back with another Chickencage Experience CD. I really enjoyed the last CD/DVD release. This one is a bit more focused with shorter tracks and more singing and less instrumental parts. Mayday Sister Mayday starts things off in a mid pace with some nice saxophone and great singing by HM Fishli. It starts to rock out with some short bursts of lead guitar and lots of complex movements and the end reminds me of Blood Ceremony with a slightly doomy, heavy guitar riff. Top Secret is a short 2½min song with a synth line that gives it this dreamy feeling. Werküken tells a story up until about 3½ mins when it changes direction but then leads to a fade rather than a jam or something. Shaken not Stirred sounds exactly like it would be perfect in a James Bond film. Done to perfection.. Thousand Miles in nearly 8mins of melodic floating progressive style rock, with nice layers of synths, sax and occasional guitar solos but the song is again very focusing the singing. Still flaky but Free features a bit more instrumental sections and nice interaction between the keyboards, sax and guitar. Spacecop Goodbad is a short funny track. Hope Song has some nice lyrics and beautiful guitar lines. An Ocean full of Gold is a really short one that leads into the CD closer, Whitewash, which is one if not my favourite track on the record. I love the guitar playing on this instrumental. A pretty cool record once again and it would be perfect for a James Bond movie….

Aalto- Ikaro (Uulu Records UULO009)

Aaolto is a new 6 piece Finnish psychedelic folk rock band. All the info in the digipack CD is in Finnish but the band plays a lot of diverse and interesting musical instruments from all around the world and sings in Finnish. Uulu Records is a cultural collective that is involved in a lot of really cool and different artistic things, including releasing music. The CD features 8 songs in 50 mins. Ikaro starts things off with a repetitive line played on a string instrument and a drone slowly creeps in as the tension slowly builds up. The voice begins to creep in and then the drums and other instruments as sort of American Indian like tribal feeling takes hold. What a super cool track and it fades out the way it faded in. Vapahtaja is next and has a clarinet that takes the lead to start this trip to Morocco or a similar place. The female vocalist sings the lead on this track in another magical trip, which has a really cool middle section with harp and other cool instruments. Now it is time for Heijastumia and to go a bit further east with a bit of sitar and some sort of other string instrument leading the way to start before the male Finnish vocals come in and is traded with the female voice. Wonderful psychedelic music. Kastepisaroita I and II are next and it starts pretty mellow with just hand drums, clarinet and female vocal. The 2nd part has a sort of funk riff played on a string instrument and then the sitar comes in.Antero, who plays sitar, tambura and other instruments actually writes nearly all the songs. He had gathered together a great group of people to execute his vision. Sateentuoksuisia Unia features acoustic and pedal steel (or slide guitar), digeridoo and floating vocals. I really like the guitars and folk music vibe on this one. Metsätaloushöömei features some throat singing and an uptempo rhythm and also features banjo! Kuum Tytär ends the album. It starts very slowly with bits of almost all the instruments you have heard on the record at times mixed into a very melting, floating, breathing psychedelic flow. I was just melted away completely while listening to this… This is for sure one of favourite record I have heard so far in 2014…

The Tower- Hie Abundant Leones (Bad Omen Records OMEN004)

The Tower is a new Swedish four piece playing slow, dark melodic 70s rock. Side A has 6 short songs and starts off with short instrumental track Non Omnis Moriar. Adrenalawine has a very catchy groove and gets things started in a great way. I was hooked right a way with the cool guitar riff. Exile is catchy track and could be the single if there was going to be some radio play from this record. Lucy is a slower bluesy track with a nice wah guitar solo and really builds up at the end to a massive freakout with Tommie really pounding the drums. Lions at the Gate is another really melodic track with some great bass playing by Viktor a nice guitar solo, again, heavy on the wah! Pinetree Mary starts slowly but then really picks up again driven by Viktor’s bass lines. Side B starts with the long track, Moonstoned, which has a very tasteful guitar solo and in general I really like the guitar playing of August. Wounds starts off in a quite psychedelic way before the sound changes and the track develops. The guitar and bass section is really cool on this track with a far out effect on the guitar. The Tower ends this album with again a bit longer track and this is slow and a bit spacey and then really speeds up and then comes back down. There is not much of a solo but what great dynamics and vibe and cool lyrics. How to describe them? Let’s just say they have listened to a lot of 70s record records like Black Widow, November, and probably their country mates in Sweden, Graveyard, Witchcraft, etc...  They have their own vibe though. Eric has a special voice, a bit like Jon Oliva from Savatage at times without the screams, but it fits well with the vibe of the music and the whole band really sound great. Some compared them to the Doors but I don’t hear it, check them out for sure. Great record.

Second Grave- Antithesis (Pariah Child MLP006)

Second Grave are a four piece US band and this is released on the cool Northern Ireland label, Pariah Child. It is a limited edition 2 song 10”. Each track is a long and goes through many different movements and moods. Mourning Light is an uptempo and melodic NWOBHM style rocker. Krista, the female vocalist has a fantastic voice. The highlight of this track though is the beautiful and long melodic guitar solo section. Flip the record over and the slow building track, Drink the Water is next. IT starts off slow and doomy but slowly builds up and there is a lot of singing of the lyrics 2x and then a Candlemass like section that builds up the fast guitar solo section. The ending is really a big shift as it gets really heavy and doomy with this intense female growling. I really like the intense drumming on this track. A very cool EP if you like female fronted heavy rock bands you should for sure check this one out. They have a bandcamp site as well.

Spiralmaze- Back to the Center (Spiralmaze 2014)

Spiralmaze are back with their 2nd release of mostly instrumental Ozric tentacles inspired music. This is a private release by the band on CD. It features 7 tracks in 40mins (so maybe it comes out on vinyl??). The CD starts off with the excellent Multiuniverse starts things off with a trance techno like synth line and a very fast drum rhythm and a guitar solo right out of the Ed Wynne handbook. Hwang Ho has a really nice bass line by Aris mixed up front and driving the this track. It also features more guitar solos than the previous track and a guest one by Stel Andre.  Remipede has a riff that is very close to an Ozric song but which one (Vita Voom). There is a vocal sample on this track that sounds like a Middle Eastern singer. The synths are very nice on this track as it floats and spaces for a while and then the guitar riff changes and slowly morphs into the solo section as the track builds up, which features a very melodic solo. Myraid Small Creatures has a sort of reggae skank guitar riff to start things off and lots of nice synth layers. This track featues some additional percussion by Vangelis Kalatzis and another vocal sample. This is a lovely track. The Longest Day is next and split into Part 1 and Part 2. It starts very spacey with lots of floating synths and a bit dreamy. They might even have a Novation supernova like Ed as the synth sounds are quite similar. Part 2 picks up the pace and it takes a while before the guitars kick in and the groove is very tight and funky. The delay guitar is really cool that goes along with this track. It really speeds up at the end and Ed Wynne like guitar returns with a really cool wah guitar solo. The title track, Back to the Center ends this cool record. It starts off with some drums with some effects on them, some vocal samples and a tribal like rhythm before the dreamy synths and bass line roll in. It gets quite heavy at the end. While the band is very Ozrics inspired they use some more heavy metal style riffs on some of the songs like Remipede, which is very heavy at the end. Fans of the Ozrics, Quantum Fantay, and Mantric Muse, will probably really dig this album. I think it is better both sound wise and playing that the band’s first record.

Jakob Skøtt- Amor Fati (El Paraiso Records EPR016LP)

Jakob is best known as the drummer in the instrumental Danish band, Causa Sui. He has also been involved other electronic music projects like September. This is his 2nd solo record and this one is really totally different from the first one. The opening track Mantis in Lace is driven by a quite garagy drum session over which many layers of synths are layered for quite a psychedelic effect. Synthemesc is much more synthetic with the percussion rhythm being driven by a very special percussive sound (quite cool, actually) but with the bass synth taking the real lead that you follow as another synth layer brings the melody. Like the first track, it has a quite spacey ending. Araucaria Fire ends side A and is the longest track at 8½ mins. This track again starts with Jakob playing some intense drums and then synths gradually become your main focus of attention. This track is really quite trippy as more and more stuff and different kinds of synths get layered in. Wow.. Side 2 features 4 tracks and this first starts off quite a bit like the first track with some great drumming but not as low fi a sound and then Jakob experiments with different layers but lets the bass synth often take the lead. Omega Oscillator starts with a few synths sounds with some long delays before the main synth groove begins. A totally different vibe to the previous track. The melodic line jumps in and out at regular intervals to make your brain neurons react in just the programmed way. The title track, Amor Fati, brings back the more raw drum sound as the first track and a quite driving rhythm with a very psychedelic synth line driving the freaky part while many might hook their ears into the bass synth line. This track gets quite funky at the end like he was having a really fun jam with himself! Earth of No Horizon ends this record with one last 7 min space out. It starts very slow and droning and then the repeated bass synth starts to oscillate. Fans of early German electronica will dig this stuff. Very relaxing in one sense yet challenging in another.. You decide..

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Fribyttedrømme- Drone, København March 20th, 2014

It had been half a year since I saw this young new Danish band play. I was really surprised that the place was totally packed with people and a lot of women. The shows are free here and the place is a sort of dump. The cheapest beers are 25kr but mostly people come because you can just smoke freely downstairs. It is horrible place to see a show due to this but I suffered through it. The band played a lot of the same stuff as when I saw them open for Carlton Melton but they debuted a new song and announced they would have their first single out soon on the local psych label, Levitation Records (Kasper from the label was there). Check out the video below.

The band has three guitarists (two who do all the lead work and one rhythm guitar player, who on this night seemed a bit out of it and was doing strange stuff), keyboards (he mostly plays the organ sounds), bass, drums and a short bald guy who sings back up vocals and tambourine. I think he took the lead in a few short sections. They have a very retro sound, and started with two uptempo tracks that had the kids in our area dancing. Bits of it sound like the Doors meets Alrune Rød.  Frybyttedrømmen, is a long 15min track that sounds a lot like classic Pink Floyd. Great stuff. The last track of the concert was a sort of long freak out but sadly the main lead guitarist was turned down on the prior and this last number so you could not hardly hear the psychedelic stuff he was doing (We were right in front of him, Tom and I.). They played one hour and that was it.. This is a very promising new band and probably my favourite of the current batch of young Danish bands playing psychedelic rock. Oh yeah.. they sing all in Danish like Elevatorfører and Spids Nøgenhat.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Temperance Movement and Graveltones- BETA, Copenhagen March 15th, 2014

I was not at all sure I would know anyone at this show tonight but I wanted to go and check out the Temperance Movement. I had read a lot about them in Classic Rock Magazine and bought the double vinyl record. My friend Anders is working at the club so he was there and later Freddy (Fuzz Manta) and Morgan (Shiva’s Nat) showed up but other than them I knew few people. It was nearly sold out this show so a lot of people (120 or so).

          At 22 the Graveltones hit the stage. They are a duo of drums and guitar and from the UK. I think they played 35mins or so and just now have their debut album out. The singer/guitar player has a cool guitar tone and he had a lot of pedals but stuck with this gritty sound and an octave sound he used in like three songs. I really liked the lyrics to his songs and he was really passionate. The drummer was a heavy set guy and really pounded his kit and had great dynamics. They were tight even though I wanted them to be more loose and jamming. I enjoyed the set but still don’t understand and never will why these bands choose not to have a bass player. It can only be better, not worse if they choose the right person and it opens up your options of what you can do so much more. I heard others say they reminded them of the Black Keys (I never heard them) and White Stripes.

Set List: Bang Band, Off Shelf, St. Lucia, Money, CMOTF, No Good, Newby, I want your Love, Boom Boom

All the gear was setup for the Temperance Movement (no moving of amps or changing the drum kit) and the band did not come out for over 30mins. The crowd was more than ready for their 2nd show here in Copenhagen. They played KB18 last year, apparently. 23:05 they hit the stage. They opened up with Pride and it seemed a bit extended with a longer guitar solo from the short haired guy on the left. Singer has a great voice a bit like Chris Robinson meets Joe Cocker or something. He was a bit hoarse or sick tonight and you could see he struggled a bit. The band has some great bluesy grooves and you can really get pulled in at times but they also use all the predictable sing alongs (“hey, hey.. oh..oh.. etc..) and stick very close to their record. I had read in Classic Rock they like to mix things up and jam but it was not really apparent to me at this show, where if the singer is not doing well, what better chance to give him a break and do some longer jamming and play less songs. They did two songs in the middle of the set where the singer played acoustic guitar. One, the guitar player on the right, he did a really nice longer solo. The singer, he really seem to get into the last couple of songs but otherwise he was pretty boring as a frontman but he sang his heart out. Anyway, it was a fun show but not sure I would go see them again unless I check out some shows on line and find out they are jamming more but I guess they will go in a more not less mainstream sound after this. Let’s hope not..

Set List: Pride, Ain’t no Telling, Midnight Black, Fight with a Smile, Know for Sure, Smoldering, Lovers and Fighters, Chinese Lanterns, Only Friend, Take it Back, Serenity (Battle Lines was on the set list but the singer said he needed to rest his voice so they did not play it). 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Movements- Like Elephants 2 (Crusher Records CRCd014)

 About 6 months ago, this psychedelic rock group from Göteborg released the first part of this two part series. This CD is only 37mins long and although they could have combined it into one, they split it into two records. This one has 11 tracks and starts off with Six Feet Under, which is really spacey to start and then it floats into the beautiful track with wonderful vocals, acoustic guitars and nice synthesizer complementation.  Stolen Love reminds me of a track from Baby Woodrose and includes a short psychedelic guitar solo. Ice Cold is a short ballad with acoustic guitar and piano (at the start). Give it to Me reminds me of the US artist Phideux, except the drum sound is more raw. Everybody needs Something is a more uptempo and dynamic psych track. I just love this guys singing. Man, he is so expressive and cool. Again, it reminds me abit of Phideux, the way he sings sometimes. Redemption is an mellow track with some pedal steel now and then that gives it this slight country flavour. Yesterday, Now and Forever picks things up and this track features some brief slide guitar parts to compliment the sound before the farfisa solo takes the lead. Like Elephants 2 is a bit droney and has this feeling for winter and one you could play at Christmas!  Winter’s Calling has a very cool bass groove as the band jams it out a bit. I hope they play this one live. What would happen if I Tried ends the CD with a relaxed track with organ, shaker, acoustic guitars and a nice build into a psychedelic ending..   Another cool record..

Electric Moon- Mind Explosion (Sulatron Records st1402-2)

This is a new live release recorded at the cool club, Graf Hugo in Feldkirch, Austria last September. It features 4 intense jams over 70mins and is released on CD (500 copies) and a double vinyl in 1000 copies. The recording is very raw and in your face but great. The opening track starts mellow with some keyboards but then it just builds into a screaming psychedelic guitar freakout like you have never heard by EM.. This is going more into the direction of the Heads, Acid Mothers temple direction. Dave eventually departs from freakout mood and plays some more melodic parts. Very intense drumming and repetitive bass lines help to create the intensity of the track. The keyboards return at the end. Kaleidoscopeephole starts slowly with some delay guitars as the 22min trip begins. The mid-section the band are trying to find a new path but eventually head back to the tried and true very heavy riffing space guitars with lots of effects before the track reaches its end with a nice come down. The Picture continues with more heavy, repeated and stoned riffing as Dave experiments with what other effect combinations he can come up with to blow your mind… The last track Mind Explosion starts with some keyboards, layers of effects from Lulu and Dave before it attempts to turn it all up a bit higher with the intensity and the band burning up and collapsing on the stage… Maybe….

BONG vs the Bots (Fuckin’ Amateurs 83)

This is a new cassette release from BONG and the Bots. IT was made in an edition of just 30 copies (I have #17). The BONG side is recorded in Newcastle in Oct 2013 and is one long jam, with not the best sound quality. There are much better quality ones out there but the vibe is heavy and stoned as ever and this is supposed to be the debut of the new record (Stoner Doom?). At the end of the track, there is an interview of BONG by one of the guys from the Bots. A very intense sound on this recording and some crazy guitar. I like this new direction of BONG.. Yes......

Schnauser- As long as he stays perfectly Still 7" /Schnauser- As Long as he stays perfectly Still 7" (Fruits de Mer Records)

 Schizo Fun Addict- theme from Suspiria 7” (Fruits de Mer CRUSTACEAN48)
                This is a new band for me but they were the labels first band back in 2008. The 72 contains two tracks for a total of under 8mins and starting with the Theme from Suspiria ( I love Argento and the Goblin soundtracks for his movies).  The special Susperia organ sound that you will recognize right away is kept but then layers of wild and crazy stuff are happening in the background to make is pretty psychedelic but sadly it ends at 4mins, just as I was totally into it. The B-side features In the long Run (from a Russ Meyer’s movie, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls). The vibe is totally different now with this strange psychedelic funky soul track. I liked both tracks and they would fit into these movies for sure..
Schnauser- As long as he stays perfectly Still 7” (Crustacean 46)
This is a very cool and interesting 7” with a Soft Machine cover (from Vol 2) and Yes (from Time and a Word). By the Bristol based band Schnauser. Astra Traveller starts things off and it is a pretty cool rendition and it is different enough to be interesting. Covering YES is no easy feat. The band says this is a fun one to play live. Next up  is the title track, an old Soft Machine track from their 2nd record. This one is a bit more psychedelic and has a nice guitar solo section.

Mindwarp- Mindwarp EP (Acid Cosmonaut Records ACD-004)

There was not a lot of information about this band in the promo sheet except they were formed in 2012 and are from Brindisi, Italy and play instrumental heavy psych. Ok, so I just cranked the 4 track EP to see what it revealed.. Haarko-Haari starts things off and the band really seem to be in search of a direction on this track with it all finally coming together towards the end. Check out this video: 
 Adrenochrome is pretty simple stoned riffing and like the first track without any real solos by the guitar, just switching riffs and in search of a groove, which they occasionally hook but again not that interesting of a track until the wah guitar at the end but this section was far too short. Excuse Me, I have to go to Space Now is by far the coolest track on the EP with some really beautiful music leading up to the heavy rocking section. Iramocram ends this 20min EP. It has the heaviest groove of any of the tracks but not much that really grabs you. I guess this band is pretty new and clearly still searching for where to go with their melodic stoner rock. I would say this is not psychedelic at all and not very heavy either. Check them out and make your own decision…

Crystal Jacqeline and The Honey Pot double 7” (Crustacean 47)

There are 7 tracks, 6 of which are covers from very famous bands. Some of the cover versions are credited to Crystal Jacqueline and other The Honey Pot. Things get started with Pink Floyd’s Remember a Day. Jacqueline has this airy dreamy voice which suits this song well and this is a very cool version with lots of unique elements tossed in. Wow… It’s Raining (Icarus Peel) is an uptempo and happy track and features Crystal (the man of the group!) on lead vocals and features a really psychedelic section of music before returning to beauty. White Rabbit (guess who?) is served up in a quite extended version of nearly 5mins and this is really fantastic as well with an almost like Spanish music vibe where they repeat the lyrical section again. Tick Tock (The Fleur de Lys) has a very funky vibe and somehow sounds familiar. Egyptian Tomb (Mighty Baby) also has a quite dreaming feeling to it but also is a very happy and uplifting track. Puppets (Curved Air) is another beautiful track. The double 7” ends with I had too much to Dream Tonight. I highly recommend this record. Every track is totally skilfully performed and delivered in this group’s own unique but also accurate renditions.

Planes of Satori 7” (Who can you Trust)

Not sure where this band is from but I guess the San Francisco bay area since it contains members of Golden Void, Parchman Farm, Voices and Cousins The 7” starts off with Son of A Gun, which has a guitar line that steals a bit from the Flower Travellin’ Band and reminds a bit of Satori (just a little). The sound production is quite strange with the drum toms mixed quite high. Cool song. Dichotomies changes the vibe totally and is more laid back and wandering, in a way but still pretty spacey. This band is one that needs longer times than this 7” gives them in order really create a good trip for you. It simply just ends too quickly! Enjoy..

Bronco Bullfrog- Time Waits for Norman (Regal Crabomophone 15)

 Another totally new band for me and one that the label says is channeling the vibe of England circa 1966/68, which sounds like a cool thing to me. The 7” contains two original tracks and one 60’s cover of a band called Sands. It starts off with Time waits for Norman and it retains the vibe of the Beatles meets the Kinks but with a more modern sound production. It fades out when it sounds like the band is going into a more improvised jam or something.. I wonder if we ever hear the full version? Rocking Horse Mender (inspired by Kaleidoscope) is only 2½ minutes of 60’s music but without the psychedelic edge. Listen to the Sky (Sands) is a catchy track about listening to the Sky…  Enjoy..

Admiral Sir Cloudsley Shovell- Black Sheep 7” (Rise Above Records RISE7/174)

The nasty rock and roll sounds of ASCS return with two new tracks that precede their new record due out later this year. Black Sheep starts things off with an uptempo rocker with a catchy head bobbing riff and groove and a short guitar solo. This must be one of the bands shortest songs ever as it just went by way too fast…  Elemental Man has a really dirty guitar sound and riff and starts off with a guitar solo. Reminds me a bit of the Groundhogs, a band these guys surely dig.

Us and Them- By the time it gets Dark (Regal Crabomophone WINKLE 14)

Us and Them is really Britt and Anders (Sweden). They start the 7” off with the Sandy Denny song that is the title track of this 7”. It is very serine and dreamy and clearly difficult to sing and capture the original Sandy magic. A Donavan song is next and is quite cool and really does evoke this creepy story by Lewis Carroll. The 7” ends with a band original called Do I Know You. This track is 6½ minutes and also very beautiful and magical in a way with just simple instrumentation to start but then the drums come in and flute, etc.. Perfect track to start the Sunday morning!

Deamon’s Child- S/T (Zygmatron Music ZYG1)

This three piece band hails from Northern Germany and plays a strange punky rock music. The band has a female bass player/singer who sings in German, which is very unique. She also has a very special voice. There are 9 tracks in 30 mins as this record tends to fly by. The songs remind me of Melvins at times with these crazy changes going on all the time but the production is far to clean and produced. I have no idea what they sing about if it is political, funny, serious, or what. Missu sometimes plays some pretty cool guitar parts in different songs while Tim, the drummer, is the real driver of the rhythms and is mixing things up all the time. I don’t know what more to say.. Just check them out……

The Hedgehogs- You make me wanna Cry 7” (Levitation Records LR010)

The Danish psych band from Aarhus are back with a new 7” release mixed and mastered by Tony Reed (Mos Generator). The title track starts things off with a standard baby Wodrose like strummed guitar riff. The lead guitar line runs a melodic thread through the entire track while the mid-section really picks up with the organ more prominent in the mix. The harmonica solo comes a bit later as the track gets more and more psychedelic. Can’t Find Myself continues in a very similar vein as the first track with a mid-pace and catchy combination of organ and guitar melodies that would fit perfect back in 1968… While the band is really lacking in original ideas, they play 60’s garage psych really well and if you are into that you will probably dig cranking this 7” up. I believe it is pressed on 200gm vinyl in 500 copies so it will be around for a while.

Sweet Times- Volume 1 7” (Who can you Trust)

This is a 7” that plays on 33rpm and contains one track from 4 different bands. I believe these are all exclusive to this 7”. The first band up is Hot Lunch with the track called Love is all around Me. This track is totally sounds like it was out of the early 70s. Glitter Wizard is up next with a track called Siren. It is a really fast track and it sounds like they have a different singer but the music is freaky space rock punk (nearly). Flip the record over and Dirty Fences have a short uptempo catchy melodic punky rocker. Ouul changes the music radically even though the tempo is quite similar. Ther track, Jeewolf Awakening is a bit more aggressive and low fi in nature and a bit psyched out at the end. An interesting compilation and the first in a series of 10 all pressed in 600 copies.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Blackberry Smoke- 02 Academy, Islington, London March 3rd, 2014

It has been 5 years since Sue and I saw are current favourite Southern Rock band, Blackberry Smoke. The gig has been sold out, actually, the bands entire UK tour sold out. Some friends of BBS, Cadillac 3, who happen to be in town playing opened the show with a short like 25min set. They were an interesting 3 piece of drums, guitar (who did the lead vocals), and pedal steel, who also did a lot of singing. Sadly, the pedal steel was mixed way too low in the mix and you only herad him in the more quiet sections, which were few as this was big heavy southern riffs, almost like a stoner southern blues with no solos. They played Tennesse Mojo and their new single, which is not out yet called South but I don’t remember the title of the other three short songs.

Million Dollar Reload
After a 20min break, Million Dollar Reload, I think they were called hit the stage. They clearly had some fans in the area where we were standing but they were really average. A bit of AC/DC, Guns and Roses and 80’s rock and roll, ala Hanoi Rocks but we had heard it all before. Good energy and average sing along rock songs. I was pretty bored and just wanted to see BBS like everyone else.

I had seen the set they were playing on this tour and it was really heavy on the Whippoorwheel, which was only just released in the UK and Europe on Earache records, despite having been out like 1½ years in the USA. Anyway, they opened with the hard rocking, Leave a Scar and into Like I Am from the bands little Piece of Dixie record. Turns out they would only play tracks from these two records with nothing from their debut or the more country, Honky Tonk Ep. The set went by pretty fast as the songs are played very tight and exactly like on the record except for Sleeping Dogs, where they have a bit of fun with a jam in the middle with a bit of Midnight Rider by the Allman Brothers and back into the song but even this is done with picture perfection as they do it like this every night for the last many years. People really got into Up in Smoke, which would have been a perfect one for them to jam out and one of the few where Paul gets to do a guitar solo but they kept it short. I really wish they would jam it out a bit more. The bass player and drummer looked like they could have fallen asleep during the set a few times, while Charlie and Paul were clearly having a ball playing. I shouted out Train Rollin (a song from the first album) but Charlie said that was a Deep Cut and they could not play it because Paul could not remember the words! The first encore was a brand new song, called Livin in the Song, and it was a quite a short commercial track. I did not particularly like it but you know their songs grow on you… They were pressed for time so a quick version of Shake your Magnolia and they were out the door in about a 95min set.  Fun show for sure…

Set List: Leave a Scar, Like I am, Six Ways to Sunday, Good One Comin’ On, Pretty Little Lie, Crimson Moon, Sleeping Dogs, She’s Mine, Whippoorwheel, Holy Ghost, Up in Smoke, Ain’t got the blues, Freeborn Man, Restless, One Horse Town, Ain’t much Left of Me, Livin in a Song, Shake your Magnolia

Micky Moody and Papa George- The Red Lion, Isleworth, UK 3/2/14

The Red Lion is a quite famous music club in the North London suburb of Isleworth, not far from Richmond. The first Sunday of every month, Micky Moody (Whitesnake) and this friend Papa George play a couple of sets of old Blues standards and sometimes have some specials guests. Sue had seen them before and clearly so had a lot of the other people here. The place was nearly full when they started about 15:30 opening with Sweet Chicago. Papa has a great blues voice and plays mostly his steel body acoustic guitar while Mickey switches between his telecaster, Les Paul and acoustic guitar. Micky plays some really nice guitar leads and slide.  Next up was The Crawling Kingsnake with a mid-section of Whole Lotta Love from Led Zeppelin. They would through in some really short teases here and there in a number of songs if you were really paying attention. They did a lot of improvised and long solo sections in each song. All Over now (I love the Molly Hatchet version) into the really great song, Same old Blues. I also love the Allman Brothers version. This is a very nice and intimate place to see acts play. It was clear that this was still a family place as well as people had come to have a beer and brought their kids as well. The set ended with Walking Blues.

They took about 20min break and I spent some time talking with a really nice guy named Steve Goslin, who would guest with the band on harmonica in the 2nd set. He had been playing harmonica since he was 14 years old. He said he played with Fleetwood Mac for 4 months in 1967. Very nice guy. He said he thought Sue looked familiar and it turns out he has done some freelance work as a genealogist at the same place Sue works. Anyway, the next set started with One more Dance with a lot of different small teases in this long song. Steve came up and played some cool harmonica on Catfish Blues. They did a cool version of the Lowell George song, Put on your Sailing Shoes. Rollin’ and Tumblin’ was next even though Micky said they were going to play Come into my Kitchen. The last song we saw they had a lady Ms.Maars, come up and she had a fantastic voice and Steve also joined in as they all traded solos. It was a fun free gig on a Sunday afternoon. They went around with a cup and asked for donations. We gave them a couple of pounds. They also had some really good beers on tap. I tried the Redhead red ale and the Double Hop Monster IPA!

Set I- Sweet Chicago, Crawling Kingsnake>Whole Lotta Love>Crawling Kingsnake, All over Now, Same old Blues, Blues with a Feeling, Walking Blues

Set II-  One More Dance (with a tease of My Favorite Things, James bond movie theme), Catfish Blues, Put on your Sailing Shoes, Rollin’ and Tumblin’, ??

Papir- IIII (El Pariso Records EPR015LP)

The all instrumental three piece band from Copenhagen are back with another new record to start off 2014. While the band are not very creative with their album or song titles, they make up for it with some really cool music. As with all but their first record this one is once again recorded, mixed and mastered by Jonas Munk, who also plays synths on the album side long track 3. They are not really breaking any new ground or territory with this record but if you have enjoyed their musical trips you will really dig this record for sure as you get sucked in right away with the opening track, Papir IIII.I, which is one the band have been playing at most of their live shows in 2013. The track starts softly with a nice bass line from Christian before Nicklas takes the lead with some really beautiful guitar. The track has a beautiful mid-section that leads up to the intense ending. IIII-II is 9½ mins and it amazes me how this band creates this spacey vibe, beautiful melodies but also this musical tension. Great album side. Flip the record over and prepare yourself for the 22min track simply called IIII.III. It starts with a long fade in and then the journey begins. It slowly builds up and then comes down in the middle to a section with just bass and guitar before it creeps back up. It gets really psychedelic at the end. Jonas’s synth parts are pretty subtle throughout but most noticeable in this section. Hope they play this track live. Another cool record. Keep it up boys!

Shiva’s Nat- Hard to Breathe (Bilocation Records ARFIFACT13)

Shiva’s Nat is the new band formed by former Highway Child singer, Patrick. He is joined by Morten (Ex-Fuzz Manta) on bass and Alexsander Trap-Jensen on drums and Bjorn Sunesen on organ. The record starts off very spacey with the track, The Shape of my Soul. When the track begins it is a very passionate blues song with the organ playing a major role in the melody of the track. Later in the track, Patrick plays a lovely guitar solo as well. I’m Alive shows Patrick belting out a wild vocal and the guitar and bass line is more aggressive as well. The track has a really jammed out ending with Patrick taking some extended solo time before the track comes back to the main theme. Intermission is a slow bluesy track to end side A without organ. Flip the record over and you start with the Dragonodyssey! This has a really rumbling bass line over which the track develops and there is some great double tracked guitars that make this one quite psychedelic. Bjorn comes in at the end with the organ. You ends the record with a slow starting blues track with some really fervent singing once again and guitar playing. Fans of Highway Child will dig the singing but might be surprised how bluesy this one is and not as rocking perhaps as one might expect. Cool record, I think..

Noetics- Delayed Back remixed (State of the Art Records SOTA011)

The German psychedelic world music band are back with a new CD in a small cardboard sleeve with a glue on artwork as well as a double vinyl. It has different versions of most of the songs from the Delayed Back CD from 2009 but they have been remixed by various people. I have very mixed views of this material actually. I have been a big fan of the bands Ozric Tentales like sounds that they started off with and the way they have travelled a nice journey to create their own psychedelic world music. Peninsolar starts things off with a chilled dub vibe. Dschungelgelöt has this really chilled elevator techno jazz bar feeling. Grant Lump also has this pretty smooth techno groove but I quite like the violin line. Shinkenwurst Dub is just as it says, a very relaxed dub. Vibrant Hydrant is also very chilled with a sax and some violin. Rumpankong features some rapping and female vocals over a reggae style remix in this Ramfma and knut remix. VeJon Kennedy does his own totally different remix of Pennisolar and instead of dub this has a quite deep bass line and fast programmed drumming.  Tom tyler remixes Vibrant hydrant in a very cool and psychedelic track. This was my favourite on the remix record. Mahdrescher is another dub out trip mix. Rotterdub is a psacey dub. He CD ends with Der heikle Mann, which is also pretty relaxed. Anyway, some of these remixes have turned the band’s sound into some sort of laid back lounge music, while others have maintained more of the original vibe. I like the last half much better than the first. Take chance…

Baby Woodrose- Kicking Ass and Taking Names (Bad Afro Records AFROCD047)

Baby Woodrose is back with a new CD collection rare tracks from the mostly B-sides of their 7” singles. The music has been remasted in the studio and also features music from some of the very rare 7” records like the one originally released on Pan records. There is also two tracks from the very first recording session (That’s how strong my Love Is, 6654321). This is also pressed in 1000 copies on black vinyl for the first pressing. The CD comes in a nice digipack format. This is a great collection for those who don’t have the money to hunt down these rare 7” records. I have been spinning it a lot lately...