Posts Tagged ‘Psychedelic’

Venus Principle are premiering the melancholic and powerful new track ‘Drag Nets’ as the final single taken from the dark psychedelic rocker’s debut full-length Stand in Your Light, which has been scheduled for release on May 27.

‘Drag Nets’ makes subtle use of a wide range of instrumentation from sax to mellotron vibes and Mini Moog, and the stunning vocal chemistry between Daisy Chapman and Daniel Änghede comes into play again as well.

The band comment: “After the initial recording sessions for Stand in Your Light were postponed, we had a chance to write a few more songs”, guitarist Jonas Stålhammar tells. “The last one written was ‘Drag Nets’. It turned out to be by far the heaviest track on the album. ‘Drag Nets’ represents the waste and rejects of man. You can trawl the sea for food and treasure, but humankind will always carelessly discard all unwanted matter only for it to be rediscovered as flotsam and jetsam. The idea of adding saxophone was a last minute thought in the studio when I reached the conclusion that we had too many guitar solos on the album already. Our amazing guest on the saxophone, August Eriksson, copied my guitar solo note for note and then added some improvised sprinkles.”

Listen to ‘Drag Nets’ here:

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‘Long Time Ago’ is the driving new single by ‘Woodooman’, Cardiff Multi-Instrumentalist and Artist, Iwan Ap Huw Morgan.

The second single to be taken from forthcoming Album ‘Y Nos’, which is due for release on 24th June; ‘Long Time Ago’ follows in the wake of the fantastic Welsh Language track ‘Y Nos Mewn Cariad’ that was released last month to a very warm reception including praise from BBC DJs Huw Stephens, Adam Walton, God Is In The TV Blog, Golwg Magazine, Lisa Gwilym and Rhys Mwyn.

‘Long Time Ago’ will be released on the 2nd of May via Recordiau Dewin Records

Listen here:

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As Italian masters of heavy psychedelia Ufomammut prepare to release their ninth full-length album, Fenice, through Neurot Recordings in early May, they have just shared a video for ‘Pyramind’.

For more than two decades, Ufomammut has combined the heaviness and majesty of dynamic riff worship with a nuanced understanding of psychedelic tradition and history in music, creating a cosmic, futuristic, and technicolour sound destined for absolute immersion. Fenice, “phoenix” in Italian, represents endless rebirth and the ability to start again after everything seems doomed. The album is the first recording with new drummer Levre joining Poia and Urlo, marking a new chapter in the band’s history and unveiling a more intimate, free sound for the group.

The second single from Fenice, ‘Pyramind’ is delivered through a visualiser filmed in a scenic rural setting in Italy. Guitarist Poia reveals, “To choose a single track from Fenice isn’t easy, because the songs are long and linked together, and the flow results are incomplete. But we think that ‘Pyramind’ represents in a very clear way Ufomammut’s two-souls attitude: the heaviness melted down with psychedelia.”

Watch the video here:

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LIVE DATES:

07.05.22 – Alessandria (IT), Laboratorio Sociale – Album release party
14.05.22 – Mezzago (IT), Bloom
24.05.22 – Vienna (AT), Arena
25.05.22 – Karlsruhe (DE), Dudefest
26.05.22 – Bremen (DE), Tower
27.05.22 – Ghent (BE), Dunk!festival
28.05.22 – Groningen (NL), Vera
29.05.22 – Berlin (DE), Desertfest
30.05.22 – Dresden (DE), Chemiefabrik
31.05.22 – Salzburg (AT), Rockhouse
10.06.22 – Munich (DE), 17 Years Sound of Liberation Festival
11.06.22 – Piacenza (IT), Desert Fox Festival
24.06.22 – Wiesbaden (DE), 17 Years Sound of Liberation – Official Festival Warmup
26.06.22 – Clisson (FR), Hellfest
18.08.22 – Pescara (IT), Frantic Festival

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Photo by Francesca De Franceschi Manzoni.

Yr Wyddfa Records – 25th March 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

The latest offering from Holy Coves (who hail from Holy Island, Anglesey, renowned for its long historical links with pirates) is a bold, mid-tempo stroller. Infused with psychedelic and stoner rock, above anything, it’s got arena-friendly anthem stamped all over it – although I don’t mean that as the insult it could be taken. Not everything has to be edgy to be any cop.

Popular doesn’t have to mean weak, watered-down, lowest common denominator, and sometimes artists are popular because they’re good, rather than in spite of the fact. And there was, after all, a time when U2 and Simple Minds both made decent music, and they were packing out immense venues long before they became pompous, overblown parodies of themselves. It from this seam of 80s upscaled sound that ‘The Hurt Within’ is mined: everything about it feels huge, effortlessly amalgamating The Cult and Bruce Springsteen and coating it in a smooth reverbiness.

Holy Codes may or may not have aspirations to be immense, but their sound most definitely is, and it’s got that big, spacious feel; there’s probably an equation that involves ambition plus songwriting and production somewhere, and if there isn’t, then someone should map the co-ordinates of ‘The Hurt Within’ and take it as a blueprint.

New enough to grab anyone with ears, nostalgic enough to appeal to the forty-somethings and perhaps even older, and solid enough to stand up in its own right, it’s hard to fault from where I’m sitting.

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San Diego’s Wild Wild Wets are gearing up for the release of their just-announced new album Love Always.

The band has launched album pre-orders/pre-saves and is debuting the first single ‘Say So’ which is now streaming here:

Co-frontman Mike Turi (along with bandmate Taejon Romanik ) says of the track and companion music video, "Our good friend and producer, JeanCarlo Mendez, not only made the album happen, he has gone out of his mind putting together this wild visual video for "Say So" using old-school analog video techniques from the 80’s. His style and sensibility is obviously very much our vibe and he and his teammate Brandon Mosquera nailed the edit on this project."

Mendez adds, ‘Say So’ was immediately one of my favorite tracks. For the video I wanted to make an early MTV Era meets early 2000’s Ipod commercial… But on Acid. We used late 80’s era video switchers to create the feedback, and old CRT monitors to create the banding and scan-lines you see in the video. "Say So" is a fun psych-pop track with infectious energy, yet Sparks-esque, in its fermented dreariness (case in point the lyric: "I never met someone who could make me feel so high and not care if I’m alive" and references to ‘Formaldehyde Perfume’).

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Swiss trailblazers E-L-R have revealed the final video single ‘Opiate the Sun’ for a track taken from the doomgaze trio’s sophomore full-length Vexier, which has been slated for release on March 11. Please find all album details below.
The enigmatic video clip for the tense and explosive track ‘Opiate the Sun’ is available to watch here:

E-L-R comment: “We wrote ‘Opiate The Sun’ as the last song for Vexier and so far it is the most psychedelic single taken from our new album”, writes the Swiss trio. “As the title suggests, this piece is a tribute to the sun and its majestic radiance. We meant to musically dazzle the listener into a gracious daze with the interplay between the two parallel elements water and air.”

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Photo by Ramon Lehmann

4th February 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

It’s fitting that a doom / sludge metal act should take their time over things – and Sheffield trio Kurokuma have really taken their time over things in order to deliver their debut album. Having formed late 2013, they’re one band whose progress can’t have been said to have been hampered by the pandemic: instead, they’ve been evolving their sound over the course of a number of single and EP releases, notably the Advorsus EP in 2016 and 2018’s ‘Dope Rider’ single. This means that the arrival of Born of Obsidian feels like an event, a monumental summit in the band’s career. And if five tracks, in the face of it, does‘t look like much by way of a definitive statement that represents the apogee of some eight years of work, the fact that all bar one are over eight minutes long and each one packs the density of a black hole gives some necessary context.

‘Smoking Mirror’ lands things perfectly; there’s a definite groove, even a hint of funk – not in the Chili Peppers’ funk metal sense, but in a twisted, fucked-up psychedelic sense – to the bassline that bounces along before the crushing power chords crash in. The vocals snarl and scraw and everything comes together to deliver optimum weight. It may be a cliché to sat it needs to be played loud, and playing any metal not loud is a mistake, but having been recorded in London with Sanford Parker (YOB, Eyehategod, Indian), volume really increases the appreciation of the quality production. There’s not only great separation between the instruments, but each brings something more to the overall mix. On ‘Smoking Mirror’, your attention is likely to be on the churning guitar, but the drums are outstanding in the way they kick through the dense, treacle-like distortion.

They promise an album that’s ‘equal parts primitive brutality and mind-bending psychedelia’, and it’s all there in the pulverising repetitions of ‘Sacrifice to Huitzilopochtli’. For its brevity, it packs in a neatly-constructed structure, with intro, verses, chorus, mid-section – which brings an explosive change of tempo – and megalithic, gut-churning riffing that rages hard and heavy. It demonstrates that there’s a lot going on with these guys, and that they’re not just lug-headed chord-thudders, but possess a level of musical articulateness that separates them from many of their peers.

Single cut ‘Jaguar’ is, it turns out, entirely representative, a roaring beast of a tune that has a rare swing to it – and a lot of cowbell. It warps and lurches with remarkable dexterity for something of such colossal weight. The repetitive riffery of ‘Ololiuqui’ batters and bludgeons relentlessly, maintaining its form and instead varying the tone and depth of the distortion, and stepping up the volume incrementally, before the nine minute ‘Under the Fifth Sun’ delivers a decimating conclusion.

With bulldozing, unyielding mass and density, Born of Obsidian is high-impact: Kurokuma have mastered the power of hard volume and brutal force – as is in keeping with the genre. But where Kurokuma stand apart – and above – is in the detail, the nuance, the deviation from the blueprint, which shows a unique flair, and surely Born of Obsidian is destined for cult status.

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1st December 2021

Christopher Nosnibor

Just shy of a year since Cave Suns threw their improvised ‘Surk Skum’ EP into the plague-ridden void, they return with a proper lo-fi DIY release, consisting of four pieces, ‘improvised live one take each song apologies included’ they write. The set was captured on an iPhone and is released on a limited edition cassette (and digitally, of course).

Beyond the world of the major label (and the domain of the indie label with some cash behind it), this increasingly appears to be the future of the little band. With the chances of getting signed and getting bankrolled these days practically nil even for solids acts with some commercial potential and significantly less than zero for artists doing anything without that commercial potential (which isn’t to say there’s no audience or demand), they’re taking thee means of production into their own hands and just getting on with getting their music out there. If one positive thing has emerged from the last couple of years under the pandemic – and let’s face it, it’s been hard to find anything positive, particularly for bands and small venues (I’m hesitant to say ‘the music industry’ because Ed Sheeran and Eric Clapton won’t have suffered too heavily from the lack of touring options in terms of bank balance or their ability to reach audiences or shift units / merch and I’m sure the likes of Warners aren’t questioning their viability right now) – it’s the fact that perhaps finally any stigma around self-releasing has been eradicated. That said, for Newcastle’s Cave Suns, it’s business as usual: they’ve been self-governed and self-releasing since 2014 and haven’t been troubling studios in order to lay down their intrusive improvised sessions, preferring instead to capture live shows and rehearsal room jams

‘Dunder Salt’ is a kind of mellow psychedelic swagger with a buoyant bassline and bopping beat that seems to all cast a nod to the verse of The Beatles’ ‘Come Together’. With minimal progression, there’s a Krautrock element to the vaguely jazzy, vaguely funky groove. It’s a solid jam, but it’s not until the eleven-and-a-half-minute ‘To Who It May Concern’ that they really show us what they’re capable of. Mystical, eastern-inspired scales twist in a slow-building swell of sound, a hum and a drone of bass and tentative drumming before emerging on a vast sonic plateau. It’s one of those compositions that stops and starts so often that it’s hard to decide if it ever really gets going, or if it’s several pieces string together; perhaps more reasonably it’s best described as several movements with a succession of ebbs and flows and sustained crescendos, often with the drums pounding hard with insistent thrashing of cymbals and hitting some solid grooves even with the stretches of meandering guitar.

‘Essesse’ kicks off wide two with something altogether lighter, more technical, with a mathy aspect, and also more overtly proggy, you might even go so far as to describe it as jaunty – but then, you may not. It’s kind of a collision between That Fucking Tank, Muse, and Royal Blood. Maybe it’s more as well, It’s certainly their most ‘muso’ cut to date, and is also highly accessible.

The 11-minute ‘13th Celebration’ that rounds off the EP and the remainder of side two is built around a repetitive bas throb that evokes the monotonous groove of Suicide, but overlaid with a sprawling guitar jam that’s part prog, part space rock, all improv. They lock into a neat groove for a time and really rock out, but then slow it down and trip out, crawling to the close.

Hypnotic, groovy, completely free of the shackles of genre and commerce, No Guards knows no limits and captures Cave Suns on fine form.

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Christopher Nosnibor

The clue’s in the name: Bdrmm started out as a bedroom-based solo project for Ryan Smith in 2017, but soon transitioned to being a proper gigging band. Like so many bands, their progress was severely hampered by more than eighteen months of no live activity, something that seems to have hit bands in the early stages of their careers the hardest, since they rely on performing in grassroots venues and supporting larger bands to build their fanbase.

This was one of many shows that got booked, rescheduled, and rescheduled over the course of the last eighteen months, during which time they’ve maintained a steady flow of releases, including their debut album and an attendant set of remixes and a number of singles, which have clearly done no harm to their profile, garnering glowing reviews from across the spectrum from NME to MOJO via Line of Best Fit. The Fulford Arms, then – sold out, although still operating at reduced capacity for ticket sales – is pretty busy even early doors.

It’s an interesting demographic, too, probably around a 60/40 split of twenty-somethings and forty-somethings – which isn’t entire surprising given Bdrmm’s referencing of the music that the older fans were listening to when they were around the age of the younger ones.

Having just two bands on the bill works well – not only allowing time to ventilate the room between acts – but to give the punters and their ears a rest, time to recharge glasses without a crush at the bar, and an early finish. After so much time out, it might take some time to rebuild the stamina for late nights for a few of us, and for those slightly further afield, public transport isn’t what it was a couple of years ago (or more).

Manchester’s crush – another band who, having formed in 2018 have a lot of early-days ground to recover – are on first. I was pretty sure there have been other bands called Crush, and it was only later I recalled Donna Air and Jayni Hoy’s short-lived pop career and the early 90s project featuring John Valentine Carruthers (formerly of Siouxsie and the Banshees) and Killing Joke drummer Paul Ferguson . The young four-piece are nothing like either. The set makes a shuddering launch into mid-tempo post-rock shoegaze with two guitars. Their sound is reminiscent of melodic 90s indie with a dreamy style, but still some drive too. There’s lots of texture and occasional bursts of noise. They may be lacking that slickness that playing often develops, but they can really play, and the closer comes on like Dinosaur Jr being covered by Slowdive, and it’s ace.

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Crackling distortion yields to a driving motorik riff to announce the arrival of Bdrmm, and it’s immediately apparent that they’re a cut above, and that any hyp is entirely justified. The sound is immense. The drums are half-submerged beneath a heft wash of guitar. It’s a dense, throbbing, shimmering wall of sound. The percussion is a mix of traditional and electronic drum pads, and everything comes together magnificently. New single ‘Port’ drops early as the third song and it’s a brooding synth-driven beast, part My Bloody Valentine, but probably more A Place to Bury Strangers. There’s all the reverb, and all the volume: in fact the sound is great, and sound man Chris Tuke gets a deserved shoutout from the stage during the set. Because while it’s nice on record, and all the comparisons to Slowdive and early Ride are entirely appropriate, live, it really needs to be heard – and felt – at organ-trembling volume.

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‘Happy, is a synthy swirl meshed with a gritty bass, and as the set progresses, we see the band peeling off blistering sheets of noise. Bent over, guitars practically scraping the floor, they don’t only do shoegaze but they also properly rock out. Near the end of the set they treat us to an immense, slow-building crescendo climax worthy of I Like Trains.

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They leave us overheated, breathless, and stunned by the sheer power of the blistering noise of the guitars that howl and melt. No way should we have been able to experience this in a venue with a capacity of around 130, and I rather doubt we will again. Bdrmm are a Brudenell band at the very least: they have not only the songs, but that indefinable ‘fuck yeah!’ quality that comes from the wild exhilaration of seeing a band who simply blow you away.

Following the first film/single, ‘Riptide’, Japanese instrumental rock band MONO unveils ‘Innocence’, the second film/single from the band’s 11th album, Pilgrimage of the Soul.

As with ‘Riptide’, the film for ‘Innocence’ was directed by the Spanish film collective, Alison Group. Watch the short film now:

Recorded and mixed – cautiously, anxiously, yet optimistically – during the height of the COVID- 19 pandemic in the summer of 2020, with one of the band’s longtime partners, Steve Albini, Pilgrimage of the Soul is aptly named as it not only represents the peaks and valleys where MONO are now as they enter their third decade, but also charts their long, steady journey to this time and place.

Continuing the subtle but profound creative progression in the MONO canon that began with Nowhere Now Here (2019), Pilgrimage of the Soul is the most dynamic MONO album to date (and that’s saying a lot). But where MONO’s foundation was built on the well-established interplay of whisper quiet and devastatingly loud, Pilgrimage of the Soul crafts its magic with mesmerising new electronic instrumentation and textures, and – perhaps most notably – faster tempos that are clearly influenced by disco and techno. It all galvanizes as the most unexpected MONO album to date – replete with surprises and as awash in splendor as anything this band has ever done.

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