Saturday, August 30, 2014

Temples - Sun Structures (2014) - UK Heavy Acid Rock


About : Temples consist of lead singer/guitarist James Edward Bagshaw, bassist Tom Warmsley, drummer Sam Toms and keyboardist Adam Smith. The Kettering band released their debut album Sun Structures on 10th February 2014, including the singles Shelter Song, Keep in the Dark, Colours to Life and Mezmerise. The four-piece have supported Interpol, Suede, The Vaccines and Kasabian and will play Coachella in April 2014. (from last.fm)



Review
________


I can't remember the last time I was caught by the music hype – usually I just wait until album is released and enjoy the music. But in this case, Temples, very fresh band on UK scene caused a lot of fuss in last few months, especially when their debut was finally released (February of 2014 – I didn't want to review it immidately, but rather wait for some fresh air). Not even Tame Impala popped up so quickly in viewfinder of many thirsty ears, it took them few years from their demos to Innerspeaker to really show themselves as the psychedelic giants. Thing with Temples was bit different - they've been pouring oil on fire with their singles and music videos throughout 2013, and coming of their debut album has been seen with big expectations. First time I heard about them, it was on MOJO compilation Echoes, which included Shelter Song, first song on this debut aswell, which blew me off completely. The itching riff had that great 60s garage roots, vocals were splendid and whole construction of song sounded very convincing. I instantly heard the next big thing. Title track, Sun Structures, had premiere on CTRL-sessions when they killed this song in the middle of church. Song sound very antic, like they've used some old mayan song and transformed it completely – with steady drum beat, swirling guitar and handful of crazy effects they almost opened a portal into parallel dimension.




The Golden Throne
is another solid mindopener, from fast intro you dive into very thoughtful verse with great lyrics. It sounds like the early Moody Blues, in medium tempo, with a lot of progressive breaks and  sentimental vocals. Their glam-rock heavyhitter, Keep In The Dark, is one of those instant hits from this album. Acid groveness that's present creates perfect catchyness that'll stick the song instantly to your head – mostly because of the unmercyfully cool beat. There's also this great break with thrumpet riff that serves as good conclusion of chorus. Mesmerise starts very euphorically and indeed, it's one of their most psychedelic songs in the classic version of that term – with oozing sounds of organs, and ever-present ancient echoes on those drums (which after all, really proofs the name Temples). Their references on freemasonry, opening of the third eye, parallel dimensions and revealing of life's mysteries can be seen in their great music video.



 One of my favorite songs on this debut is the next one, Move With The Season. Nostalgic singing at the start soon transforms into something wilder with furios beat and dreamland guitar sound. After few minutes, songs sails away into more hazy waters, when vibrant effects starts creating dreamy sound illusions. Colours To Life has a way different feel, more progressive than dreamy, more static than tripped-out. Fine riff creates something like sound ladders onto which keyboards are set to create almost classic sound of the mindwarp. Temples are able to create a fuckin' great song with their trademark ancient, dreamy sound – but what is left out is balance.  I don't criticise their fascination with effects and their higher aestetic of sound – it definately gives deeper stomp into new era of psychedelic music – but I feel somehow that they need more profinence, more songs that doesn't depend on fat beat with reverbed guitar. To be perfectly clear – more of their songs should follow example of A Question Isn't Answered, one of their best numbers on this album aswell. Intro sounds like nursery ryhme with wise lyrics that puts question mark at the end of the sentence, encouraging you to rethink everything withthe line : „a question isn't answered if an answer isn't questioned“. Progression of the song is also pretty idyllic – from slow warm up, beat is patiently building tension until buzzed organs pierce your mind with acid riff. They also left some space to guide this space jam to some other galaxy, ending with beautiful outro.




The Guesser
is hybrid between psychedelic ballad and pop song, with upbeat tempo and calming lead vocals. They don't repeat their mindless tripped-out sonic excursions in this one, but rather offer the other  side of their sound – dramatic violin and flute arrangements. Test Of Time starts furiously, but as it continues it feels like they just extended the idea from The Guesser and changed few bits, there's no remarkable riff or any other variation from their usual sound. Sand Dance plays with oriental sound and length, being longest one on album, clocking at 6:31. However this space isn't filled adequatly – it doesn't possess creative strength of Shelter Song, or Keep It In The Dark or Move With The Season, and it's obvious that this song use more as a „album filler“ than a serious show of their musical strength. Fragment's Light is like a farewell song from ancient temple ritual, sounds very esoteric and distant, like a forgotten mantra. This short but sweet last number corrects final opinion that Sand Dance spoiled a bit. After all – Sun Structures is a very good album, but that aftertaste is dry a bit, because of their constant single releases that already showed some of the best songs on album, leaving little to discover with the final listen. However, Temples are band that is up-n-coming. They succeed to create pretty good hype in rock and psychedelic circles, and they already are making name for themselves. They do sound like their influences, which I don't find bad. Music is not fashion and there's no need for constant changes in styles, I still appriciate other genres but I know what I like the most. To put an end to this long review – keep an eye out on these guys and enjoy!!
,

TEMPLES 
(left to right - Tom Warmsley, bass guitar / top down - Adam Smith, keyboards, rhythm guitar / Sam Toms - drums / James Bagshaw, vocals, lead guitar


Cover Art : 9/10 - I love this cover so much, it's very mysterious and psychedelic at the same time - that house looks weird in classic-fairytale way. This design is much better than any of those designs they did for their singles. I think they maybe are making reference to The Who's - Who's Next cover, where four of them are standing around some monolith.
Psychedelic Rock sound : 10/10
Garage Rock sound : 5/10
Progressive Rock sound : 7/10
Trip-o-meter : 9/10
Recommended Tracks : Shelter Song, Move With The Season, Sun Structures, Keep In The Dark, A Question Isn't Answered, Mesmerise, Colours To Life



click on Alice!


album reuploaded 8.10.2014.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

VSOA Vol. 12 - The Lovegutters (2014) - Heavy Psychedelic Rock / Surf Garage / Acid Experimental Rock



This time VSOA compilation is filled with various bands from around the globe, from the Swedish psychedelic vaults of 1968, till new, up-n-coming demo bands that you'll be hearing about. First one is still active Pugh Rogefeldt with his acid hit, Love Love Love. His badass intro with great riff makes brilliant start for this compilation - it instantly make you dance and groove on :) His style and overall sounds reminds me od Dungen - who probably was hugely influenced by Pugh - his way of singing, sound on drums and guitars scream : this is Swedish psychedelia! New garage monsters, The Spyrals come with this hot stuff - Take Me Out Again. You can feel everything from early Stones, The Sonics, The Velvet Underground and even MC5 at some moments in their sound. Heavy kicking, unmerciful stomping rhythm gives you no time for break, because next one is Omega, cult heavy psychedelic rock band from Hungary with their psychedelic ode, Tizezer Lepes (eng. 10 000 Steps). At the very start, slowly building rhythm combines with almost occult vocals - creating unique atmosphere of almost stepping in old temple crowded with demons - which reaches it's peak when beautifully disported guitar start melting your brain. I've read some articles that in mid-60s Hungary they were often banned band from radio, I wish I could understand Hungarian better to understand the power of lyrics. Just to mention one more time for the record - that guy on solo guitar is a crazy man!! I also saved some space on this compilation for demo bands that have been sending me their demos and EPs - there's some great stuff (more of those I saved for next, demo-oriented compilation, for now I present you these : ) - and among others I picked out amazing new garage/surf band from Germany called Sick Hyenas. Their song Handle Song is first from their newly-released album that you fully listen HERE. Their garage wackiness is a great one - fuzzy guitar and bleached vocals are what guarantees you golden summer memories. And that's how they sound - very strong and undistructable in their youth. Also, the rest of album is great but I had to only pick one for compilation. If you're garage sucker, you'll love this guys. Black Market Karma is a new psychedelic/experimental rock band from England, London. Their weird mix-up of Spacemen 3-sounding guitars, electro doo-woop beat and hazy vocals is what makes this song, C'est Gratuit , so interesting. It's length also proof one thing - perpetual sound, and relaxation within it. This is almost like meditation mantra, but with trippy edge. Next one is a quick dance fever song - Osmijeh by Grupa 220. They were equivalent to how The Beatles would sound if they were from Croatia - this timeless ex-Yu hit is one of the finest rock-n-roll tunes that ever emerged from late 60s Yugoslavian scene. I thought that it would be cool to incorporate this tune on compilation, I was raised to this song and I think it would be great to pass this song on to others, since majority of audience of this blog is outside of Europe. Next one is how Beatles would sound if they were heavy acid-droppers while being 17 years old - Try A Little Sunshine by The Factory. I already reviewed this band's only EP few years ago but also thought it would be great to "recycle" this awesome tune and put it to make this comp even more heavy. Deep sound of that bass, combined with vibrant trippy guitar is making this tune sounds like the-giant-trippin'-on-acid at one point. Next one, Angel Dust by Odyseey is another fat tune in a style of Iron Butterfly, Blue Cheer and Black Sabbath. Lazy and heavy riff owes it's roots to blues, but now - simplified and electrified - it changes it's spectrum of sounds to colorful stoner psych. Harmonic vocals carried pop-part of the tune, and after that, unmerciful jamming starts. With the next number , Bam Bam Ba Ba Du Bam by Grupa Mi we take another quick timetravel to late 60s Yugoslavia pop-charts. This funky-jazz 60s sunshine groove is brought by 7-piece band that were one hit wonder. However, they're evergreen still sounds fresh and groovy as hell. It makes you wanna shake that booty yo! Next tune, Take Pills by Panda Bear is one of those masterpiece songs that just amazes you the way it was created. Panda Bear is really a creative mind not only in terms of making fresh-sounding music, but also the approach he makes towards every song he makes. This acid-train collage builds slowly, with one-of-a-kind dream logic - echoed voices makes layers one over each other, mixing, intertwining and producing beautiful harmonies. All this formula played over caught-in-a-moment train beat, creates beautiful infinite loop of ecstasy. One of the finest, but also most underrated, progressive bands in history of Balkan music, DAH, recorded amazing debut Veliki Cirkus which was focused on the issues of war, and next song is title one - Veliki Cirkus (eng. Big Circus). Precise and spotless beat is also one of the grooviest thing I've ever heard from Yugoslavian 70s scene. Lyrics are very poetic and they go great with the ever-stomping rhythm. I also read somewhere that this band tried to score big in Belgium, but after few-year effort and one album, they gave up and split. Such a shame, because whole connection within the band is amazing, they're jams are amazingly executed. Next one is great girl duo, Bleached with their noisy Think Of You. These girls know how loud you should turn on your amp, and they are rocking hard - I just love bleached sound of girl's voice that runs over fuzzy guitar, it makes any garage rock song sound instantly classic. Another "recycled" song is by Peter Bardens, best tune from his album "The Answer" - I Don't Want To Go Home. I reviewed him also few years ago and I thought that best tune from that album could sound amazingly on this compilation - and indeed, his dreamy intro (played by Peter Green from Fleetwood Mac) and main riff sound beautiful, as if you can hear nostalgic sound of your childhood float over in soundwaves. Beautiful blend of acid folk and psychedelic rock. Another London demo band - Love, Hippies & Gangsters scores it's space on this compilation with their noise-rock freak-out tune, All Is Fine. It combines elements of space rock, noise, shoegaze and psychedelic rock in one fine hybrid of greatest color, melting vocals and fogged-out atmosphere makes you feel high without necessary herbs. You can check more of their tunes HERE. One of greatest latest finds, I'm Goin' Mad by German psychedelic band Scorpions could be one of the earliest heavy-psych songs recorded at that time in Germany. Except of Eloy and few other bands, I don't know any other band from that area that was so heavy (including most of kraut rock here, as well). Their simplicity consist in extensive jamming and occasionally repeating song title, which is delicious. Last but not least tune here, Being Is More Than Life by obscure Swedish psychedelic rock band, Baby Grandmothers (oh what a great band name!), is pure psychedelic monster in all it's title. Heavy and titanic noise of lead guitar is crushing everything on it's path, and groovy harmony that spontaneously emerges from this power trio is just unmistakable! The story goes that this very prolific band at the peak of it's fame, some mid 1968, opened with this monster for Hendrix's gig in Copenhagen. After that, they recorded their only single and mysteriously vanished away in the fog of unknown, such shame... Enjoy with this beast and have fun until the next compilation!


Tracklist :
__________

1. Pugh Rogefeldt - Love Love Love
2. The Spyrals - Take Me Out Again
3. Omega - Tizezer Lepes
4. Sick Hyenas - Handle Song
5. Black Market Karma - C'est Gratuit
6. Grupa 220 - Osmijeh
7. The Factory - Try A Little Sunshine
8. Odyseey - Angel Dust
9. Grupa Mi - Bam Bam Ba Ba Du Bam
10. Panda Bear - Take Pills
11. DAH - Veliki Cirkus
12. Bleached - Think Of You
13. Peter Bardens - I Don't Want To Go Home
14. Love, Hippies & Gangsters - All Is Fine
15. Scorpions - I'm Goin' Mad
16. Baby Grandmothers - Being Is More Than Life


Cover Art : Photo of Jeanne Hebuterne (Modigliani's wife) , edited by me
Psychedelic Rock sound : 9/10
Garage Rock sound : 9/10
Progressive Rock sound : 7/10
Trip-o-meter : 10/10 



click on Alice already, goddamit

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Pridjevi - Pridjevi (2014) - Croatian Psychedelic Experimental Lo-Fi Folk

Pridjevi cover art

About
______

Pridjevi (eng. Adjectives) are Croatian three-piece psychedelic/experimental folk band consisted of Dino Santaleza (vocals,guitar,drums,effects), Nina Romić (vocals) and Ivana Picek (vocals). Trio gathered through social network and record whole album mostly in their homes. Dino is already known in freaky psychedelic lo-fi circles, with his band East-Ra. They already made three albums that you can download HERE. What are you about to hear will transcend everything you knew before.


Review
_______


There has been rare but beautiful times in history of Balkan music where strong will and good taste overcame shallow social demand. In those times new idea was born, new groove was sent throughout thirsty ears. Some 35 years ago when Igra Staklenih Perli started playing something new and exciting, they gained small but cult following, and now their first-edition vinyls are one of most expensive LPs that ever emerged from Balkan area. Similiar thing happened on a first day of Spring of 2014, when Pridjevi released their debut album. I could tell you list of influences that helped shaped them sound they're having, but honestly - I never heard something like this. It possess that beautiful remorseful feel after waking up from a dream and remembering every single little detail. As a matter of fact, it sounds like Dino,Ivana and Nina connected they're minds in a most peculiar way and recorded whole album while being in a dream, and a recording somehow survived transition into reality. Ako je (eng. If it is) is an instant lo-fi psychedelic poison that will stuck with you after you hear Nina and Ivana singing harmonies. Absolutely amazing and simple lyrics about state of dream and being awake give colours to this story, while beautiful vocals pierce depth in your third eye. Not to mention stunning Dino's mindtwisting on his guitar, what a fuckin' sound!! Funny thing is that, when this album got released I was doing student exchange in Krakow (Poland) and ofcourse I got mesmerized by the album so I was playing it all the time on my friends' laptop so they got addicted, too, by the sounds of fairytale psychedelia. It gave an interesting spread among Erasmus herd to that extent, when I would visiting my friend in this apartment, this album would be played on loop for whole day. Kantarion (ili gospina trava) (eng. Kantarion (or maiden's weed)) is second tune, approached in more Velvet Underground-style, with Dino's narative intro and avangarde composition. Free-form guitar experimenting takes the toll before girls starting pouring some heavenly sounds into it. Song is about the herb from folk medicine and it's healing effects. Pjesma O Drveću (eng. Song About the Trees) is quick twist from avangarde mindbending into relaxing, etteric sounds of freak folk. At this point Ivana's and Nina's voices sound like pixies' voices combined in a ancient forest ritual. Heavy and greasy riff that puts a stomp on a whole tune, owes it's sound to underground garage movement.Next one is On je jesen (eng. He's an Autumn) , witty and jazzy number about love that was never meant to happen, it's a contemporary anti-love song. Jazzy organ gives great touch to foggy relatitionship between the two. After these few songs you can feel influences coming from various directions, from classic and modern psychedelic rock, freak folk, avangarde jazz, blues, bossa nova, electro, native folk songs and many others... It's like the Velvet Underground that traded Lou Reed for two pretty girls, Sterling Morrison for Barrett-minded Dino, and they're not coming from NY at all - but from the deepest edge of Stribor's forest, equiped with crazy variety of instruments. Svijet na dlanu (eng. World on palm) is upbeaty, poetic confession from other dimension. Otherwordly intro gives esoteric feel to what's about to happen, and just when drums starting slicing the beat, whole thing starts getting great taste. The best thing is that hardworking hands of Dino did not only made this beautiful instrumental, but also a bizzarly odd and beautiful music video :



Next one, Lucifer i ja (eng. Lucifer and me) offers more from Pridjevi's approach to avangarde jazz. Guitar goes up and down the scale, giving more experimental thinking than sober solo-building. Lyrics goes beyond some song politeness and dive deep into occult, while offering some of that devil's charm - slightly giving to whole album a taste of dark. Next one, Ubila sam cvijet (eng. I Killed a Flower) reminded me instantly of obscure American psychedelic-folk band, Relatively Clean Rivers (that I reviewed HERE). Giving almost  a furious rhythm, cloaked in a dreamy atmosphere, girls' voices repeat sweet mantra : Biti, biti, biti ; biti zauvijek (eng. To be, to be, to be; to be forever). Požuri polako (eng. Hurry Up Slowly) starts with wavy electro rhythm, giving some bands like Tame Impala or Temples in mind. Evergroovy sound of Dino's guitar puts another Pridjevi's trademark all over this song. I like their simplicity, it's almost like crazy bunch of 12 year old wunderkinds made an album, having more wisdom than a tribechief while doing so. Last but not the least, Tužna (eng. Sad One), combines in a weird way elements of ballad and funeral song. Always present jazzy drums make whole thing more fluent and , duh, sadder.
Orchestral part is a pure beauty of pain. With this song album approach its last minutes, and although it lasts less than some 35 minutes, it offers more than some hour-lenght albums. Such creativity poured into an album haven't happened in a long time - and the best fact : this album is completely FREE! Exactly, the fact that these three artists put their beautiful minds together and made such great piece of art absoultely outside of commercial world is probably one of nicest thing that happen to Croatian music in a while. If you want to support them you can do on their bandcamp or facebook. Enjoy!


+ amazing underground, DIY album put together by up-and-coming forces of Croatian psychedelic scene
+ lo-fi psychedelia from the depts of Istra's forests

Cover art : 10 / 10 - Absoultely stunning artwork. Not only that multitalented Dino did instrumentals and music video, but he also made this cover that puts unforgettable image of Pridjevi in your mind. He's amazing collage artist that you can check out here. Great package for great album. I wish they release this on vinyl!
Psychedelic rock sound : 8/10
Folk rock sound : 7/10
Experimental rock sound : 9/10
Trip-o-meter : 9/10
Recommended tracks : Whole album!


click on Alice to download

Thursday, June 12, 2014

VSOA Vol. XI - Guide To Disorted Reality (2014) - Garage Rock / Heavy Acid Rock / Blues Rock compilation



Review
______


VSOA compilation is back to bend your mind like a hot rubber. This compilation is more oriented to garage and blues rock, combining best of old and new, with some forgotten classics, and also few non-English-speaking bands.
First one is great catchy cover of Them's Gloria by Robb London, whole song has a slow bluesy feel with garage edge, nice cruntchy riff with drunken crowd howlin' behind Robb, who is killing it, to be honest. Kurt Vile's Ocean City, contemporary folk ballad with happy thoughts, is next one to brighten up things a bit. Kurt never fail to deliver best of dreamy's folk on the edge of Nick Drake, Neil Young and Tim Buckley. When it comes to modern garage, I think there's never been a finest revival that delivered almost autenthic feel of old dirty garage as it is today with garage rock revival. One of those bands who will nevel let you down is Christian Bland & The Revelators (The Black Angel's guitarist side band) with Say Hello. Old Bo Diddley's blues classic Pretty Thing has been standard for rockin'-it-the-proper-way in class of harp n guitar combination riffing. Melody is so catchy, with restless jungle rhythm that keeps pumping it. Thee Oh Sees are one of most important garage rock bands now, with their amazing live performance, catchy garage-trash horror movie sound and unique album covers (they just realeased new album "Drop" so check it out!!) and they deliver it one more time with movie-outro ballad Goodnight Baby. I guess Dwyer will never stop making great riffs. Rock n roll and heavy metal legends, Black Sabbath, sneak in with Planet Caravan, weirdest song on their second album, Paranoid. It's totally contrary to what they sounded like, but Sabbath never stop amazing me with their powerful sound. This is more of a meditation than a heavy-riffing standard you would usually find on their albums. Calm melody and vibrant voice creates almost shamanic atmosphere. The Modern Lovers' heavyhitter, Roadrunner, is steady-rockin' tune on a trace of The Velvet Underground's What Goes On and I'm Waiting For My Man, stream-of-badassness with solid rhythm section and gritty guitar. It just makes you wanna drive the fastest. Next one is great song from Polish contemporary psychedelic rock band, Kim Nowak called Prosto W Ogien (Straight to Fire). Although I don't understand the lyrics very much, voices sound great and ancient. Bass groove combined with hazed-off guitar sound amazing, but best part is solo at the end, amazingly furious! Very psychedelic, they sound like Polish The Shocking Blue. Quick turn of style to good ole blues with T-Bone Walker's Blues For Marili is gonna refresh you like the coldest lemonade on Hawaii beach. It's sunny and happy feel combined with badass guitar improvisations gives the right amount of coolness to survive the day. We're back into garage with The Animals' Cheating, quick pumping and furious garage freakout in the times when Burdon was cooler than Jagger and wilder than Link Wray. Polish 60s heavy psychedelia is next on turn, it's Mira Kubasinska & Breakout with Do Kogo Idziesz? (To Whom You're Going?), which sounds like more rawer and tought-trip version of Jefferson Airplane's White Rabbit, sung on Polish which just gives more heavier sound. Guitar riffs are beautiful, and middle groove is fantastic. The only band I'm reviewing this time from the bands who are sending me their stuff is The Vickers with another dimension's sound poured into the song called Ghosts. If the disorted reality is not already appearing, you should check if your speakers work properly and if that thing that you are smoking right now is weed indeed. Dazed out intro with reverbed vocals melting over the guitars are just something otherwordly. Great job guys. Gives a reminder of Tame Impala and Panda Bear. This song is not connected with garage cult or psychedelic mindmelting, but rather with jazzy cool-out. JJ Cale is something you can't miss, and his song After Midnight is the cure for all of your pains. Soothing voice and playful guitar is always a good combination, and good ole JJ is doing it more than the proper. Psychedelic country ballads are indeed a weird combination of poppy lyrics and country singing style, weird guitar solos and lonesome cowboy feel, and I'd be damned if Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood's 1968 classic Sand is not what this playlist needs. That classic sound in their voices is just unforgettable. The weirdest song always deserves the end of compilation, and Karstof's Ur is something amazing. I actually find about this band over their former drummer, Dim, a wonderful person who I met in Krakow during acoustic jam sessions. Dim is still rocking it in a chill-psychedelic way and during one our talks he mentioned he had a freaky avantgarde-psychedelic band when he was young. Band was from Yugoslavia, teritory which is now Serbia, and he gathered with 3 other kindminded souls and did some crazy stuff in their small village during early 70s. What they did was influenced by Igra Staklenih Perli, CAN, Pink Floyd and other amazing psychedelic and progressive band of that time. This song is mostly tripped out jam, with only one word used as a lyric in a many different, experimental ways. Band recorded 2 albums, but I still found their first one amazing obscure gem of Balkan's psychedelic scene. This is where this review ends, but compilation starts after you download it and share it with other people. Enjoy!


Tracklist
______


1. Robb London - Gloria
2. Kurt Vile - Ocean City
3. Christian Bland & The Revelators - Say Hello
4. Bo Diddley - Say Hello
5. Thee Oh Sees - Goodnight Baby
6. Black Sabbath - Planet Caravan
7. The Modern Lovers - Roadrunner
8. Kim Nowak - Prosto W Ogien
9. T-Bone Walker - Blues For Marili
10. The Animals - Cheating
11. Mira Kubasisnka - Do Koga Idziesz?
12. The Vickers - Ghosts
13. JJ Cale - After Midnight
14. Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood - Sand
15. Karstof - Ur


Cover Art : Photographs used : Man Ray (the face), Google Image (key) and my own photo (background)
Psychedelic Rock sound : 6/10
Garage Rock sound : 9/10
Blues Rock sound : 6/10
Trip-o-meter : 8/10


just click on Alice, goddamit




Monday, June 9, 2014

Bebe Na Vole - Goin' Mad (2012) - Croatian One-Man Band Modern Acoustic Blues

Goin' Mad cover art

Review
_______


Summer is behind the corner and I know you folks been cravin' for some great acoustic blues. Well, this guy is a miracle of my country. His name is Adam Semijalac, but he plays under pseudonym Bebe Na Vole (which would literally mean "(Kicking) Babies on volley" ) and he playes one of the meanest blues eastern from Delta. He's one man band, he's mean, his voice is gritty, and believe me, this guy really have the blues. It's still one of the biggest mystery of croatian music that this guy didn't still achieve international fame, but rather kept it underground in a true blues style. I saw this guy 3 times live and it was best blues gigs I saw. This demo album (demo!!!!) is incredible in every way, it starts with new-age blues mix-up Goin' Mad, where he combines electronic beat and flawless guitar playing. Unlike most of new blues bands, who actually just play rock n roll with an exception of 12-bar solo which gives them "blues" title for some reason, this guys really combines new and old in best way. His amazing voice (just listen to that howlin'!) and guitar playing give a vintage feel, like you just picked up some Leadbelly's vinyl in your grandpa house, but he still gives a new touch with samples and electronic beat. He's DIY rebel that like I never saw before, definately one of my biggest influences in playing guitar.




Bebe na Vole

Next one is blues masterpiece, Decisions Richochet,  with sharp, hot and dry guitar sound that just kills everything infront of itself. If by any chance this was recorded by The Black Keys, it would be international hit. Next one, slide guitar howl from the Croatian swamps, Doctor, Doctor, gives you insight in Adam's playing technique. It's painfully beautiful guitar sound will just make you buy antoher whiskey. When my friend showed me this guy I thought he's 1930s African American blues player, but I was so amazed to found out that he's actually born 100 kms away from my hometown. His voice is just amazing. Sickness is the next one, and it goes even deeper down your skin, to the heart where deepest blues lies. I grew up on old acoustic blues and this guys combines the best of everything. He's like Croatian Robert Johnson who found out about electric guitar. Why Can't You Feel is also one of my most favorite tunes on this album, althought it was hard to pick favorites because this guy is just amazing. First part is lonesome blues jamming with half-broken heart, but second part is wild and ruthless blues freakout with electronic beat put up in a clash with guitar howl. It picks up on "modern blues" where Goin' Mad left. It's just keep getting better with every song, and next one is great proof for that - Ramblin' Blues. Heavy echoe is just what you needed to tame your blues away, and his guitar picking picks up my nerves in head n foot and make me beat alongside the rhythm without stopping. I mean, how is it possible for somebody to put such an amazing material for everybody to listen - you can check out his other releases HERE - and got such low recognition? Adam, you have all my love, and you deserved even more for the next one - Give Me Everything, acoustic greedy n upbeat blues where he shows no mercy for that guitar one more time. If you'll ever have a pleasure to hear this guy live, throw him your bra if you happen to be a woman. If you're a man, just buy this guy a whiskey. Here's live version of one of his other songs, where he totally killed it in every sense. Just watch this !



Next one is a sweaty, nervous blues waiting for a train, First Train. He's songs always have that raw power, honest and direct emotions with rebel's voice. His mastermind guitar playing is just sugar on top, he could've get away only with singing, but when you see this guy, shredding that guitar and singing his blues, you trust him immidately. That's what I always appriciate about artists, wether in music or visual arts, to be convincing. While speaking of rebel's voice, next one says it all - Fuck the Government. Ruthless, vulgar and brutal are one of Adam's finest qualities and he don't fail to deliver them when it comes to speak your mind about the leaders and politicians. In fact, he's one of the most direct musicians I ever heard from Croatia, sometimes he reminds me of Phil Ochs with more blues and less folk;  he's not afraid to tell you what's on his mind in the muddiest way possible. Keep shredding baby!! Feel-good acoustic blues is next with Made Me Miserable, where Bob Dylan, Jackson C. Frank and from contemporaries, Fink and Kurt Vile, come to mind. Given Yourself Trouble is dark and sad look-from-the-grave blues, where he overlooks his friends after the funeral. Guitar howl just bend your mind into sweetest blues possible, where you could cry and laught at the same time; at least that's how I feel. Guitar solo is one of the most amazing moments of Adam on this album, electric shiver is send down your spine if you hear this properly. Winter Time Blues is take on a folky blues, where the personal poverty is set in focus. Some would say this song sounds pretty standard for blues, but there's something gruesomely happy about it that just makes me keep pushing that replay button everytime he finish his last lick. Look Yonder goes in a similiar way, upbeat folky blues wraps up this amazing debut album from one and only, Bebe Na Vole. Croatian music scene is really a sad place to be, maybe that's why this guy has such a strong blues in his veins, voice and fingers; definately one of the best blues acts in Europe - even better if you experience this guy live! Long live Adam, keep your blues alive and thank you for your music!

Cover art : 4/10 - Although I'm huge fan of his music, I'm not really a fan of his album covers, but I guess it only adds more to his "modern blues" philosophy, mixing amazing acoustic playing with samples and electronic beats, and taking blurry cellphone selfies to show you his blues.
Blues sound : 10/10
Rock 'n Roll sound : 7/10
Psychedelic Rock sound : 3/10
Trip-o-meter : 6/10
Recommended tracks : Whole album!


click on Alice

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Buffalo Killers - Heavy Reverie (2014) - American Psychedelic Southern Rock



After great albums 3 and Dig. Sow. Love. Grow, these bearded heavy-psych rockers recorded some new material that they released on their new album, Heavy Reverie. So how far have they got in their psych-country prophecy after 5 long play albums? The one thing is sure : they just cemented even more firmly their distinctive sound, which draws influences from older legends like Allman Brother Band, Led Zeppelin, Canned Heat, Guess Who, but also new acts such as The Black Keys. Posionberry Tide is the first one with catchy rolling riff, the song that picks up where they left on the last album and shifts to another gear with crunchy and fuzzed-out guitar reverb.

 


Dig On In
could be one of the chart-hitter songs, with smooth bass intro and chopped-off guitar riff. Howling vocals paints some weird Woodstock scene with frontmen of Canned Heat (which always remind me of Zachary Gabbard) synchronizedly shaking his belly and head to the rhythm of the song. That Girl Has Grown has that really typical Buffalo sound, kind-of country chorus with heavy rocking guitars. Cousin Todd goes in a similiar direction, where Buffalos dont want to reinvent the rock n' roll, but keep rockin' in the same good old power-trio way. There is definately lack of any other instrument that isn't guitar, bass or drums on album, sometimes few songs can sound like different takes on the same thing, but thing with Buffalos is that they're not offering sensational weird sound that so much bands try to achieve ; they're continuing good old headgroovin' music that peaked so beautifull in mid-70s. Sandbox is something a bit different - fuzzed-out garage country with poppy edge in chorus. That is not ofcourse a bad thing, it makes tune easier to remember. My favorite on album is the next song, Who You Are?, butt-moving hard acid rock freakout. I love that schreeching riff, that moment is definately a step forward for building concrete, heavy Buffalo sound. I kind of missed moments where they would completely lose the theme of the song and push towards to some mindless jam, instead of being strictly oriented toward riff-chorus-riff-solo structure. Grape Feel (How I Feel) sounds like something that Blue Cheer could recorded if they had Bob "The Bear" Hite for a singer. Heavy, relentless and non-stopping headbangin' is the rules these guys live by, and the next song, Loder Than Your Lips, lives up to its name, with it's heavy stoner rocking. You gotta love that guitar solo, it always gives me that summer-fest feeling.



Buffalo Killers


Shake
is a bit mellow, but still with a rough edge. You can call it southern stoner ballad, done the way these bearded creatures want.On January there's finally some sweet slide guitar, popping out of weed-fog these guys probably made while recording this album. It's a last song that wraps up the album pretty nicely, in a bit slower tone but still with raging energy. Buffalo Killers is not one of those bands that keep changing their sound so they can prove they're "modern", "hip" and "cool", they draw their coolness out of their beards while playing stoner-country rock, but still I think that there's room to progress, they should stop recording albums that at the end tells the same story. For instance, "Don't You Ever Think I'd Cry" that was released on compilation Never Give Up On Your Hallucinations as Buffalo's B-side had much more progress for their sound than any of songs on this album, but that's just my humble opinion. At the end, I can't put up download link because I got mine digital copy straight from Buffalo Killer's headquaters only for reviewing issues, but anybody who liked their previous stuff will also like this album aswell, so support those beautiful beards and heavy guitars HERE.


Cover Art : 8,5/10 - I always loved the surreal photographs made for album cover, something like Storm Thorgerson did for Pink Floyd. It's pretty simple, clean, positive but still have that old-school-trippy vibe.
Psychedelic Rock sound : 6/10
Hard Rock sound : 8/10
Southern Rock sound : 7/10
Trip-o-meter : 6,5/10
Recommended Tracks : Who You Are? / Louder Than Your Lips / Dig On In / Grape Feel (How I Feel)

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Lebanon Opera - Lebanon Opera (2014) - Croatian Dark Psychedelic Folk


Review :

________

Hey people, in next few reviews I'll shed some light on new Croatian psychedelic and blues scene. There's not many bands and most of these people are connected together through various music and art circles, we try to support each other as much as we can but situation for non-pop chart scene is very hard. Anyhow, I'm presenting you this time EP of Lebanon Opera, lo-fi freak-folk psychedelic trio that owes their sound to bands such as BJM, The Velvet Underground, The Underground Youth, The Residents and Istrian folk (something that other Croatian one-man band, East-Ra , was doing for a while) I knew frontmen, Mateo Žunić, for a while through facebook and then he offered me to send some material to review it, and I was very pleased to get anything from them. So the morning I got CD was really something. I was coming in early Saturday morning from a friend's flat party, partially drunk and stoned. On my way to home, I accidentally cut my hand which caused my hand to be all bloody. Perfect, I thought, as I was going home, this was really the last thing I needed. Still confused, I entered my dorm and saw my name on the post list. Whoa, what could it be? So I picked up a letter, opened it, and took out the beautiful baby-blue EP of Lebanon with my bloody hand. Kind of a gruesome scene in the early morning, but what the heck. So I washed my hands, put CD in and went to sleep as EP was playing. Birds were singing outside, sometimes colliding with the melody which caused pretty surreal morning scene. First tune is Oboreni Rog, gloomy acid folk with foggy vocals. Folky picking pattern intertwined with dark atonality riff creates scene from long-forgotten battle – istrian influence on sound is obvious, but not used in a cheesy way. Next one is my favorite – Plave Perle i Kosti, the tune where Wild West meet cold Istrian rain. It definately has some kind of hidden badassery combined with nostalgia in that repetitive riff. The vocals are fogged out beyond recognition – something that other music website called „bad production“ while reviewing this EP – but little did they know that lo-fi freak folk is meant to sound like this. It's not a sing-along song that you'll hear on radio, it's a dark confession of a poet. Closer is the last song on EP, bit harsher and sharper than other two. They still keep their gloomy, cruel sound and combine melodic singing with avangarde folk – repetitive one-not bass with warhowl horn won't sound the prettiest for candid ears of usual listeners, but if you stick with it for a while, you'll get the idea of the guys. Overall review is that this is a good start, but I think they can do better. There's no solos and most of songs are left out of common song shape, they're moody and repetitive. But I'm not saying this in a negative tone – those are good qualities if you can put more sense in to it. I can understand the way these guys are thinking and I appriciate the effort of trying to do something very different and very personal. Support Croatian underground scene and stay tuned for more!

Cover art : 7/10 - I really like blue color background combined with ornaments and portrait of Antonin Artraud, nice style. Doesn't really give away what the music sound like, but it fits great.
Psychedelic rock sound : 5/10
Folk rock sound : 7/10
Avantgarde rock sound : 8/10
Trip-o-meter : 6/10
Recommended tracks : Plave Perle i Kosti


click on Alice



Wednesday, March 12, 2014

VSOA Vol. X - The Fog Encounter (2013) - Heavy Psychedelic Rock / Garage Rock / Acid Folk Compilation




Review
______


I think this was my biggest pause so far, 3 months without putting anything, shame on me. Anyhow I'm back with great compilation that will blow the wax out of your ears. I made this one as a fruity mix - I put underground bands that have been sending me their material (The Black Explosion, Violent Swells, Sapin, Basement Baby, Moon Halls), tunes from lesser known old bands and recent psychedelic candies from new bands that have already established themselves on a shelf of badass music makers.

This one starts with latter category. I've been already puttin' some Radio Moscow songs on earlier compilations, and they're here again with Sweet Little Thing, great and sharp desert blues tune. I think this songs plays in any person's head before he die out of dehydration in the middle of the desert. Hazy and colorful fog of psychedelic sounds is brought by Acid Baby Jesus with Mesmerized. These acid garage rockers with a great band name perfectly capture the feel of blurred-out trippy state of mind. Jupiter's Garden by Violent Swells sounds like some classic psych/proggresive tune you could hear on a student radio back in 1972. Intro is delicious, and fogged out vocals that are melting in lysergic acid makes a great atmosphere. This is new band that tries to catch some wider atention so check them out HERE. I was wondering if next two songs should find their place on this compilation because they belong to indie-rock bands from mid 2000s, but then I said "What the heck, it's still my compilation and I'm my own boss so I made decisions". Charming retro pop from Camera Obscura with their If Looks Could Kill actually makes a great moment when you could, you know, actually dance. I know that I don't make best party-dance compilations so I think it's time to shake that stoner ass. Main riff is sharp as knife, and later, when trumpet comes in, it makes idyllic nostalgic feel. Well, when we're talking about idyllic nostalgic feel, next song is full of it. I Can't Seem To Make You Mine by The Clientele was one of my favorite retro pop tunes when I was still heavily in my indie-rock phase when I was about 16 or 17. Beautiful, dreamy guitar and tweedy vocal are perfect match for your early 60s feel. If you missed that dance moment you had with Camera Obscura, it's back with Sapin's Perfect Day. Waves are high, the weather is great and it's time for you to take that surf board and start grabbin' some chicks, dude! Awesome blend of surf and garage rock is just what you need to get you in a shape before the summer comes, and you can check out this new band HERE. Next one is great recent discover, dreamy ballad Lady Miss Ann by Food. For me this song reminds me of my grandma's garden she had in the village I was born. On a beautiful, warm spring days we would sit outside in the garden, and we had grapevine growing over our heads, forming fairytale-like roof through which sun beams pierced, leaving small sun stains all over our garden. Well that was many years ago, my grandma died and my dad cut all the grapevines down. I just wish if I discovered this song 10 years ago, I would play this song to my grandma. Next one is strong and dirty garage rock number, Don't Tread On Me by Erotic Biljan & His Heretics. I think it was time to finally introduce some cool bands from my country, Croatia. They're not really the newest band (this was recorded at the start of 2000), but they still kick some ass. Apart from having one of the best names ever, Erotic Biljan & His Heretics definately will burn your mind with their hot and spicy riffs. If you thought that Croats can't rock like the Sonics, you were wrong. Aj niđ ja lave, aaaargh!!! Next tune is another one from my indie-rock vaults, lovely baroquesque folk song by The Ladybug Transistor, called Oceans In The Hall. Intro will make you sit and gaze thoughtfully about how life is beautiful, but at the same time inexplicably sad. I love the voice of the singer, it's really smooth, like warm Earl Grey tea. Quick jump back to screachy and dirty world of acid garage with amazing Sun Medallion by King Tuff. First time I heard this song it sounded so amazingly classic, mostly because of the Dylan-on-acid sound of his voice and mindbending solo. And then I saw this great music video and my mind was set off to Jupiter.



If you wanted some more psychedelic garage heaviness, then wait no more but turn louder that next one, Cartwheel by Basement Baby. We're talking about new and fresh band, and you can check their bandcamp HERE. This stuff is great, I liked most of their songs on their new album. Getting all kinds of sounds inspired by The Doors, The Velvet Underground, The Misunderstood and few other badass bands, this guys are very promising. Keep shredding yo! The Letter by The Boxtops is one of those forgotten classics of 1967, with Chilton's amazing dirty voice. When he sings "Lonely days are gone, I'm a-going home..:" I get chills every time. Although they made internation success with this hit, in history of music they were declared as one-hit wonders, although they had few other good songs. Tantric drums and unmerciful heavy acid shredding by The Black Explosion with Blow It Away will blow your ass like tsunami wind. First thing I thought when I heard them, "Finally somebody preaching the holy heavy acid rock started by Blue Cheer and MC5". These guys are also new band, and you should check them out HERE. Lazy trippy pop by Moon Halls with Alpine Troops is next and you can check out this new band on their bandcamp HERE. Sounding similiar to bands like Tame Impala, Pond and Foxygen, these guys will sure mellow you out before last two songs melt your mind out. Soft Machine with Joy Of A Toy will definately send you wandering out to another dimension, with playful wah wah guitar defying the laws of physics. Your journey won't stop here, oh no. It will only prolong itself into mysterious space of disorted shapes and colours, because next one is one of the best psychedelic songs recorded in last 30 years. It is sacred Rats by Devendra Banhart. I've been loving this song already for 2 years and I don't know why it took me so long to put it on compilation, maybe it was waiting for a perfect moment, but anyhow, this compilation ends in best way possible. Just hear that fat bass at the intro, supported by electrifying sound of guitar and Devendra's deep and profound voice. Lyrics are equally brilliant, simple but wise. The flow of the song is amazing, switching to completely different riff with bass shredding as usual. Solo is also another story with happy ending. I smoked so many weed to this song on some really beautiful places with some amazing people that for me this is not only a song, but important experience. I hope you'll find it that way aswell, and I hope you'll enjoy this compilation that took me 3 months to put together. Enjoy the spring, good times are back!


Songlist
______


1. Radio Moscow - Sweet Little Thing
2. Acid Baby Jesus - Mesmerized
3. Violent Swells - Jupiter's Garden
4. Camera Obscura - If Looks Could Kill
5. The Clientele - I Can't Seem To Make You Mine
6. Sapin - Perfect Day
7. Food - Lady Miss Ann
8. Erotic Biljan & His Heretics - Don't Tread On Me
9. The Ladybug Transistor - Oceans In The Hall
10. King Tuff - Sun Medallion
11. Basement Baby - Cartwheel
12. The Boxtops - The Letter
13. The Black Explosion - Blow It Away
14. Moon Halls - Alpine Troops
15. Soft Machine - Joy Of A Toy
16. Devendra Banhart - Rats
Cover Art : The drawing and design are done completely by me and I claim all of the rights. It's my 5th drawing in The Holy Void series. You can check out the rest of my work aswell as others drawing in this series HERE

Psychedelic Rock sound : 6,5/10
Garage Rock sound : 9/10
Folk Rock sound : 8/10


(click on Alice to get download link)


Thursday, November 7, 2013

VSOA Vol. IX - 20 000 Leagues Above the Earth ( Heavy Psych Rock / Acid Garage / Experimental Folk Compilation)


Review
______

First of all, I need to apoligize to all these bands that had been sending me their songs, demos and albums for not replying for a long time, longest one been almost 2 years ago. Lately I've been stuck with huge need for artistic expression through visual arts and music ,and that what takes almost all my time. But that's not really a good apology for not replying to somebody for almost 2 years, especially if this band sent you a good piece of music. So I didn't know either to review all these bands separately, or put them all together in one compilation, so after listening thoroughly through a lot of demos and albums I thoguht to be the best, in recent spirit of making compilations, to make one that will unite all good music from new, mostly very underground bands, that has been writing and recording great music and sending me their stuff in last two years. Best of them are here.

First is amazing band from Denmark called Spökraket with amazing droned out intro on Just Go Spit Out Another Lie, which in my opinion is one of the bravest, loudest intro to some song I've heard in last few years. Tutored by BJM's repetitive mindfuzzed structure, these boys go for big. And long apparently, judging by their cosmic jams that go on for more than 10 minutes in a lot of songs. Totally amazed by that song, first one on track listing from their 2012 album All Art Is Propaganda. California's sun-drenched sound of next guys, Dirty Gold , is just awesome. California Sun is easy ewoking 60s sun-burnt sunny beach photo in mind, guided by golden voice that just went surfing on thouse soundwaves. Beautiful reverbed guitar is spinning sailor's licks, sounding as it came from some unknown island tribe. Finally some fresh air for your ears. Van Der Vous' member recently send me their material, later remind me to definately check it out, and I was surprise enough when I heard their great desert-stoner psychedelic rock on I Get High, recorded on their EP High. Intro is just perfectly hypnotic, there's heavy sound on that main lick and ofcourse dazed-out vocals that remind me of Tame Impala, Dead Meadow and The Black Angels when it comes to contemporary bands,but have also heavy root in 60s music, naming The Doors, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix and Jeffereson Airplane as one of their influences. Amazing, loud and unmercyful. Definately one of biggest discoveries in my library lately, rock on guys! Also one of my biggest discoveries are The Ar-Kaics, who left me wanting for more after I listened to their 45s demo. Dirty, loud, noisy - just as garage rock should sound, being guided by sacred guitar fuzz from old 60s garage masters. I reviewed three of their song because you have to hear them. Can't Stand This Place is somewhat happy-rebel punk song that sounded like it came straight from 1965s basements, Sick and Tired follows the same example of badass atmosphere, washed out with some acid and a cruising hot car that rides around the city, with really good chorus. One that stuck with me the most is Cut Me Down, their longest song on demo and definately one with best feel, long and cool riffs get you through this silent beast with slow and trippy vocals. Happy and cheerful Lovely Girl by Christopher from San Francsico is really relaxed-your-mind-and-float-away song. Acid folk similiar to Syd Barrett and Donovan is something you don't hear lately, and this song come as a refreshment for my playlist. Careful but steady drumming, combined with saxophone and trumpet (correct me if I'm wrong) and sweet-feel licks sticks with you after few play. Amazingly rough and heavy the band in Heaven, brings this brutal stomper, Sleazy Dreams. These guys sound all from heavy acid garage to shoegaze, and this is great example how something sounding so un-pop can actually be a great catchy tune, in some better circumstances becoming a hit. Fuzzed-out guitar riff is headbang-approved by my many nights, sitting with a friendly joint dazing off to outer space with this one. Other one, included in Psych For Sore Eyes compilation of modern psychedelia (lot of great music on that one, too), is High Low, an amazing combination of BJM and Spacemen 3 in one song, with trademark feel of TBIH, hazy, long and droned out improvisation. This brilliant tune closes this album and I think that place is well deserved. It reminds me of Thee Oh Sees and Ty Seagall style, really like it. Next spaced-out and out-of-this-atmosphere band, Wet Moss, is a young but great Swiss band. Their Arms of the Universe is heavy-n-solid psych tune, swirling from chilled-out feel, slowly building into drone and fuzz battle where your mind evenutally explodes.Their second track on this compilation, Lines, has much more mellow feel. It clocks over 8 minutes and leaves you with strong feel of legends such as Pink Floyd or King Crimson. Especially after 3:30 break, when everything gets heavier, later involving into some kind of intergalactic jazz jam. Friend of Los Angeles-based musician, Geroge Elias, sent me his track, Ghost Town, to check it out and give a few thoughts. And I love it so much, mostly because of strong Dylanesque sound (the dude even looks like Bobby in the music video for this tune), with sharp lyrics and great playing, both on guitar and harmonica. I love his voice, it sound so distant, scarred and provoking. If you like Dylan, Drake and Jansch, I just found your new favorite song. Hard working acid garage band Volage from France just recently released their 10'' EP called Maddie, from which I reviewed two great songs - I'm A Fool, which is great acid garage rock in a best manner. If you thought if this song could get a little bit faster, just wait for that mindbening repetitive part where riff is getting inch by inch faster in reckless jam-out.  Second one is Not Enuff, following great example of contemporary garage rock leaders, from already mentioned Thee Oh Sees, Ty Seagall and White Fence. Great sound of that vintage guitar playing with burning rock n roll. Temporary Pharaohs' Walk in The Park may sound like 60s pop in first few instances, but after that solo comes in, it claims its psychedelic weirdness and unpredictableness within few seconds. Vintage organ sound fits awesome with steady drums as songs fade away. Kinda sound like The Zombies and more trippier version of the Beach Boys. As contrary to gentle melodies and sounds from Pharaohs, Viper Fever drips out pure brown acid with Summer Time. Wailing Morrison-like vocal proves that golden era of heavy stoner is not yet over, actually looking at the date when this band is formed (late 2012) I think we're gonna enjoy some good noise from these fine gentlemens. Actually, recently they released their new EP Revenge and Now You're Dead which is of the same amount of heavy acid rock as their Summer Time EP. Last band on my list is Uncle Bad Touch, which I discovered through a friend, and after seeing music video to I Wanna Love You, I immidately got hooked to their gritty and unmercyful blasting acid garage, but after checking their Uncle Bad Touch album, I became a life-time fan. Sounding as contemporary Cream, but with female vocals that hits the perfect spot with it's screaming tone. Baby Baby Baby Baby is similiar story, but in another dimension. Dimension where loud and muddy bass lines make the rules, and amazing guitar solo is equalled by sacred experience. Just cannot believe how this song is so good.The choice for the last UBT's song was not so easy, I thought about either picking The Sweetest Dream, beautiful psychedelic folk ballad with outstanding sweet-60s sunshine daydream feel, or La, kind of shorter, the Velvet Undergroundish take on the The Sweetest Dream. As both songs have good amount of "la la la" in their lyrics, I thought why not take 'em both. La is pretty different, being pure acoustic number with lovely flutes and vocal that sound like Nico's USA cousin.

Anyhow, I couldn't help but notice great album covers these bands have on their tracks. And I speak as visual artist on this one, not as fellow music freak - I mean, there's everything - from cool drawings, surrealistic paintings, great graphic artworks and photographs took by 7 year-old on some. Here are the best ones that caught my eye :


All Art Is Propaganda cover art 
 the ar-kaics demos for 45s cover artHigh cover art
 HoZac 7" cover art MADDIE E.P (10" White Vinyl Edition) cover art
EP 2012 cover art Revenge and Now You're Dead cover art
 Takes Money To Drink Money cover art

(not all the songs included on this compilation are from shown artworks)

Anyhow, I think I can proudly say that this is one of best compilation (and biggest ones also, I never crossed strict line of 15-songs-max on compilation, but this baby has round 20 delicious tunes!) I ever made and the fact that make it even better that it's all from new bands, that are just making their name of history of psychedelic, garage or folk music. If Jules Verne reviewed this, stoned out of his mind and bobbing his head in tantric rhythm he would definately wrote : "This stuff is 20 000 leagues ABOVE the Earth!"

To bands that I've include : First of all, really thanks for liking this blog! 90 percent of this compilation is gathered through songs I've got in my e-mail, and the fact that a lot of people who's music amazed me so much are actually following this blog and reading my ramblings, is really where magic is. Thanks a lot!

To all other bands : KEEP SENDING ME anything you have that you want to promote, I'm eager to listen to some new psychedelic / garage / blues / progressive rock, and if I really like it I'll include it in some compilation!

Hope this fat compilation will keep you busy till next one. Support these artists and buy some of their stuff, they would really appreciate it after making such good music.
Enjoy!


Songlist
 
___________

1. Spökraket - Just Go Spit Out Another Lie
2. Dirty Gold - California Sunrise
3. Van Der Vous - I Get High
4. Uncle Bad Touch - Baby Baby Baby Baby
5. The Ar-Kaics - Can't Stand This Place
6. Christopher - Lovely Girl
7. the band in Heaven - Sleazy Dreams
8. Uncle Bad Touch - The Sweetest Dream
9. Wet Moss - Arms Of The Universe
10. The Ar-Kaics - Sick and Tired
11. George Ellias - Ghost Town
12. Volage - I'm A Fool
13. Temporary Pharaohs - walk in the park
14. Uncle Bad Touch - I Wanna Love You
15. Viper Fever - Summer Time
16. The Ar-Kaics - Cut Me Down
17. Volage - Not Enuff
18. Wett Moss - Lines
19. Uncle Bad Touch - La
20. the band in Heaven - High Low

Cover art : Cover for The Taste Of Tea, edited by me (don't blame me for using Japanese movie cover, I think this image perfectly describes something heavy and strong rising from the underground when you are not looking)
Psychedelic Rock sound : 9/10
Garage Rock sound : 10/10
Folk Rock sound : 5/10
Trip-o-meter : 10/10


(click on Alice to get download links)

Due to all the complaints, I reuploaded on Zippyshare. Cheers





Sunday, November 3, 2013

RIP Lou Reed



I know I'm kind of late with this news, but week ago Lou Reed passed away, 71 years old.
Just want to thank you Lou, for all of the amazing music that has been soulfood for me past 6 years. Ironically enough, my first-ever rock song was "Rock & Roll" from Loaded, which I heard in one skate video (not sure but I think it was TWS?) and that lead me into amazing world of rock & roll. I was 15 than and just start to discover music I actually like, not the one your mother and father listens to. It was magnificient introduction, probably most important thing why I actually start liking this music so much, eventually got so much hooked that I want to start write something and share all this music to you.

Thank you, Lou.



Sunday, September 29, 2013

VSOA Vol. VIII - Odd Frequencies (2013) - Heavy Psychedelic Rock & Acid Folk Compilation


Review
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Hey guys, here's the newest compilation with contemporary psychedelic music (and two older tunes). Let's start from very beggining - intro gets warm with The Growler's People Don't Change Blues. Acidburned ballad of people's relationships have Aerial Pink touch in them, and the melody really gets catchy after few listenes. Gotta admit I really start liking this band, heared their Greatest sHits and immidately start digging their music. Next one is Dead Ghosts' You Don't Belong, bittersweet garage ballad they could play on your last day of high school, only if they weren't using fuzz from '63. and were high on morning glory. You gotta love this new wave of amazing garage/acid rock bands. In similiar category you could even sort next number, The Rain by The Spyrals. Old, sunburned sound of reverbed guitar is something my ears was begging for so long, oh! Hearing this in new package is great. Just because this band is so awesome, I listed two of their songs on this compilation. Of second you can read a bit later, because Asteroid No.4 is shattering down with their song My Love. Easy, cool vibes marks first few minutes as raising voice leads you into the song. Their sound mixtures remind me of a band that I reviewed before - The Purple Overdose. Nice guitar intertwining with base melody. In a similiar relaxing atmosphere, M.Ward's great Duet For Guitars #3 is coming next. Amazing guitar skills and fingerpicking are great example how M.Ward is not handling only heartbreaking folk ballads with ease, but great folk solo runs and theme songs. Thought it may come in handy to have this nice guitar instrumental between all this mindmelting and acid-buttshaking you probably are doing while listening to this compilations, ofcourse. Next one is from The GO, and their You Go Bangin' On sounds like drunken saloon's musical combined with the Rolling Stones doing some acid. Echoed harmonical howls through your head as steady rhythm keeps you in pink clouds. 60s bands like The Kinks or The Action come in mind while listening to this smashing hit. I even heard that Jack White was in this band. Splash of burned sand from Tropico island are melting through your speakers as first second of Lucifernandis by Boogarins starts playing. If Tame Impala was from Brazil, this is how they would sound. Steady temple riff in combination with tribal drumming is sounding so rad that constant repeating of riff is actually fullfilling. If Syd Barret had a fence in front of his house, he would probably paint it white if he heard how this young, brilliant musician called Timothy Presley, or musically White Fence is playing. Breathe Again can use as mantra to jump off the moon, or just to wait for the day to breathe again - or atleast help to imagine some other picture as this song's unfolds it's magic. Like something solid, but with melting edges, this tune just drips out your speakers and catch few grasps of air, to breathe again. Chaotic and vibrant sound of Helping Hand by The Spyrals is offering much more from it's psychedelic darkness then the first song I reviewed. Strong and ruthless fuzz collapses just everything you knew before about heavy acid rock! And I didn't thought a second about putting two song from the same band could be a bad idea...  Jacco Gardner's baroque psychedelic pop was always a catchy, dreamy reminder of 60s polaroid wet dream. Summer's Game reviewes not only some old, forgotten summer games you played when you were 13 years old, but ewokes a dream of something beautiful, shattered with sudden awakening. I've been a long-time fan of Jefferson Airplane, and it came to me as great surprise when I found out about J.P.P. McStep B. Blues. Actually a rare recording from Early Flight, this track is criminally underrated. Great rhythm and bass riffs with always-beautiful voice of Grace Slick and Marty Balin creates timeless moment from Haight-Ashbury street. Really surprised about finding this, and glad that I have some new-old material to listen from good ole Airplane. Next one, Girls and Tambourines by The Volta Sound is catchy psych folk number with lovely male and female vocals, until the killer guitar starts dropping juicy riffs and turning this song into whole-mind ceremony.  You won't imagine how stuff could go way more heavier after you listen Kadavar's Living In Your Head. It's like reviving heavy acid rock's essential spirit and putting him to hang out with The Black Sabbath. Heavy fuzz rulage. This guys are from Berlin and they rock harder than the fuckin' Titans after getting stoned. Amazing stoner riffs and jam-style structure of the whole song. Wolf's vocal is just amazing. Next one is also a older one, and also been a great surprise to me just as much J.P.P was. Today I found out about great song, The Wheel by Grateful Dead. You know, I could tell you that I listened to tons of their jams, concerts, unreleased stuff and this tune came to me through their Grateful Dead Movie from 1977. It starts at that amazing moment when the Skull is driving through the desert and through countless gigantic feets, and he start tripping balls. This tune is just brilliant, great medicine to chill out and get you to much far-outer state. Jerry Garcia's absolutely amazing sliding and guitar skills are soothening and cleaning my soul. No joke, just listen to this without distractions and it will get it to you. Cheers, this was yet another mindmelting trippy compilation for all of you who like to get groovy! 

Songlist:

1. The Growlers - People Don't Change Blues
2. Dead Ghosts - You Don't Belong
3. The Spyrals - The Rain
4. Asteroid No.4 - My Love
5. M. Ward - Duet For Guitars #3
6. The GO - You Go Bangin' On
7. Boogarins - Lucifernandis
8. White Fence - Breathe Again
9. The Spyrals - Helping Hand
10. Jacco Gardner - Summer's Game
11. Jefferson Airplane - J.P.P. McStep B. Blues
12. The Volta Sound - Girls and Tambourines
13. Kadavar - Living In Your Head
14. Grateful Dead - The Wheel

Cover art by unknown photographer, photograph found of Tumblr, edit by me
Psychedelic Rock sound : 10/10
Garage Rock sound : 9/10
Folk Rock sound : 7/10
Trip-o-meter : 10/10



click on Alice to get download links




Monday, August 19, 2013

VSOA Vol. VII - House Of The Weird Neighbour (2013) - Acid Garage / Surf Rock / Experimental Psych Rock Compilation


Review :

Hey guys, here's new and fresh compilation for your thirsty ears. This month's compilation is based around weird and yet-unheard new and old stuff. I don't mean "weird" in sense of pure avantgarde experimentation, I mean, in overall weirdness taste and feel of the song. And by weirdness, I mean psychedelic weirdness ofcourse. First tune, Speak To The Wind by Spindrift is a badass instrumental intro to some psychedelic western movie. I mean, you can smell something weird in the air if this tune starts playing out of nowhere in the soundtrack of your life. Pretty cool piece of music indeed, the sound of guitar is fuckin' amazing. Graffiti Elephant by Buffalo Killers could be your next favoirte happy-stoner tune. Repetitive heavy droned-out riffs with catchy tempo create almost signature sound of these long-bearded boys. This tune is included on their new LP so check it out, these guys are rad! Next one is amazing western-sytle ballad, Living In a Memory by The Growlers. Atmoshpere of this song is amazing - when Nielsen starts singing, I imagine fogged-out saloon somewhere in California, where lone and drunk dude is sitting with his booze tellin' stories about this unforgettable girl he met. Great song, the riff that keeps repeating through whole song is really great and adds a lot to whole lonesome feel. Everything Went Black by another fuckin' weird band, Thee Oh Sees, is nothing but massive acid-garage punch in your already-broken jaws. "The energy", "the intensity" and "pure garage" are few of many words you could describe these guys. I saw them live, I know what I'm talkin' about. Although this isn't one of their's most intense song, I love this tune because it shows their weirdness pretty good - mixed-out male and female vocals, marching drum patter mixed with heavy blues that later combines with outwordly melody on keyboards - I mean, fuck! Other than being awesome musicians, they're pretty nice guys to hang out with after a gig. Cheers, Thee Oh Sees :D Next one is from 60s, Little Hands by Alexander "Skip" Spence. He was indeed a legendary person in San Francisco 60s scene, playing with Jefferson Airplane and Moby Grape before recording his own solo stuff. He was some kind of American Syd Barrett, playing in famous psychedelic bands before having mental breakdown caused by LSD, later recording acoustic stuff. This tune, from his album "Oar" is one of his brightest gems. Looking just at song structure, it's getting pretty weird - chorus is repeating itself so many times it becomes only lyrics actually. Tempo is constant, with lead guitar throwing some good riffs here 'n there. Quick back to new music with Foxygen and their great San Francisco. It's kind of our generation's song "If You're Coming To San Francisco" by Scott McKenzie, it's sunshine hippy pop - only sounds as if it was sung by the Kinks (which is good thing). It's light and cheery tune with catchy chorus, I like male-female vocals exchange, it creates somewhat evergreen feel. It's good, cause I haven't felt it for a long time. Next one is absolute mind melting stuff. Sun Structures (played live for CTRL sessions, which audio I extracted from video on Youtube) by Temples, probably most exciting new band on psychedelic rock scene in 2013. I also included these guys in last compilation, Greasy Mind, with their song "Temples" which is equally brilliant. Anyhow, this tune starts as if Pink Floyd released hidden track from Live in Pompeii, great dose of trippy experimentations and groovy riffs. These guys are bound to wake up British long-forgotten psychedelia and hazy days of 60s. Also, watch out for that fuckin' gnarly solo! Anyhow, probably the weirdest band on this list is definately Suuns. Their song Edie's Dream is something unexplainable. Weirdest bass line ever continues steadily through song, as hazy, drugged-out vocals are melting in overall sound organism. Also saw these guys live and they're really how their music sounds - a bit cold, but immensly interesting. I love how song keeps progressing through ideas as it goes on through time. Mink Mussel Creek, band by Nick Albrook, the ex-bassist of Tame Impala, is delivering some heavy soundwaves with They Dated Steadily. Heavy experimentations and long brutal jams with tons of acid-guitar goodness are just few highlights of this heavy masterpiece. You can definately hear connection between them and Tame Impala - for example, sudden cuts in melody and starting with another theme continuing trippy atmosphere, that's very Tame Impalish. Another weird dude you could connect to acid-garage weirdness of Thee Oh Sees is definately Ty Segall. His tune Imaginary Person is a one steady rock-n-roll bonebreaker and yeah, I'm happy to inform you that you can find it on this awesome compilation, woohoo! If you don't shake your butt atleast a little bit on this tune, I'm sorry, but your body could be as mobile as Stephen Hawking's. Next one is heartwarming tune from Allah-Las called Vis-A-Vis. It could be most-nostalgic-60-flashback-prom-queen-tune made after the 60s, but anyhow boys at Allah-Las really put their creative minds and create this beautiful piece of music. Music video is even more nostalgic, for that matter. Forgotten band from the 60s, The Animated Egg recorded their debut album which consist of mostly instrumental heavy-psych rock tunes, and this song Inside Looking Out is from that debut. This could be your dream music background for your psychedelic shrooms ad, if you're interested in promoting shrooms through media. It sounds interesting enough to draw any square to your shroomie goodness, but wild enough to make first girl that took shrooms also take her shrit off. My Sympathy by young and brilliant Kurt Vile is one of best pieces of acoustic music I've heard in a while. His amazing fingerpicking skills proves for themselves in amazing intro. Also, the rest of song is not bad either - it's mesmerizing actually as Vile's deep, dissonant and wise voice starts it's story. If you're one of those acidheads that doesn't know this epic stoner masterpiece - Sleepy Silver Head by Dead Meadow, than I must first bitchslap you and than show you this amazing song that will change the way you smoke your weed forever. Anyhow, for all of the rest dudes that are deeply familiar with this tune, I bring you extended version of this monster that's 5 minutes longer and twice as badass as original version. I won't even review this song because you should be listening this shit right now, not reading this crappy review! Enjoy this compilation, stay tuned for more and keep the good vibes :D

Songlist :

1. Spindrift - Speak To The Wind
2. Buffalo Killers - Graffiti Elephant
3. The Growlers - Living In A Memory
4. Thee Oh Sees - Everything Went Black
5. Alexander "Skip" Spence - Little Hands
6. Foxygen - San Francisco
7. Temples - Sun Structures (CTRL In-Situ Session)
8. Suuns - Edie's Dream
9. Mink Mussel Creek - They Dated Steadily
10. Ty Segall - Imaginary Person
11. Allah-Las - Vis-A-Vis
12. The Animated Egg - Inside Looking Out
13. Kurt Vile - My Sympathy
14. Dead Meadow - Sleepy Silver Door (Extended Version)

Cover Art : Photo by unknown experimental photographer, Edit by me
Psychedelic Rock sound : 9/10
Garage Rock sound : 7/10
Rock 'n Roll sound : 5/10
Trip-O-Meter : 10/10



click on Alice to get download links