May 20, 2017 § Leave a comment
White Hills have come out with another full length 8 track album called “Stop Mute Defeat”. It starts out with ‘Overlord’, and I can immediately tell that “Stop Mute Defeat” is a totally different album than previous White Hills. The vocals are dark, so is the general atomosphere. The beat is dubby and industrial on this track, with noise elements and samples. It is slower paced and there is no insane riffage or guitar work. It’s easier to understand the vocals with a steady beat “defy the law”, a protest. ‘A Trick of the Mind’ is repetitive and hypnotic, a feature with the tracks on this album. I like Ego Sensation’s vocals. White Hills have the ability to transform your mind with their music and get you in the zone. ‘Importance 101’ is fantastic, like nothing I’ve heard before. Great calming noisy sounds, and a cool delivery of vocals by Dave W. ‘Attack Mode’ has an explosive beginning and nice funky industrial sound, not too hard hitting though, with guitar riffs and more samples. A tribal sound almost. Vocal-“all the answers can be found”. ‘If…1…2’ is another darker themed song, distorted vocals, kinda longer track, punk rock in a way. ‘Sugar Hill’ is mysterious and enticing. Soft spoken vocals, and a slower beat. Makes me want to visit Sugar Hill. ‘Entertainer’ is melodic, and begs the listener to “entertain me”. ‘Stop Mute Defeat’ wraps up the album and is upbeat and robotic, one of my favorites on the album. “Stop Mute Defeat” is a great mix of musical styles; gritty and edgy overall, politically charged, a great new release!
“Stop Mute Defeat” is still psychedelic though, not that deviated from the White Hills I know and love. They continue to push boundaries with their unique brand of psychedelic sounds. White Hills are an amazing live band, total rock stars, so see them if you get a chance.
Photo Credit Dan Cohoon- Amplitude Photography
May 20, 2017 § Leave a comment
Petyr, a four piece group from San Diego, just released a self titled album on Outer Battery Records. They described themselves as “heavy skate/psych rock.” The album is 8 tracks long and clocks in at around 45 min. Starts off with ‘Texas Igloo’ which has a relentless guitar shredding and riffing my mind away. Right off I like this. Heavy percussion, and a sound like the wind blowing in the background. Vocals are crazy, reminds me of the Butthole Surfers in sound, and kinda indecipherable. Definitely heavy psychedelia. Standout track. The next track is a sort of acoustic interlude. ‘Stairway to Attic’ is a quick upbeat ripper. ‘Satori III’ is slower paced at first, and a longer instrumental track that climbs and soars. ‘Old and Creepy’ has more snotty/hard rock style vocals, which i really like, and has some serious speed and noisy elements. Prob my favorite track on the album. ‘Kraft’ has a cool breakdown in the song and so does ‘Three to Five’ which mixes things up. ‘Three to Five’ is less fuzzy and more vocal based at first, then it rocks out for a few minutes. ‘Vambo/Buffalo Stampede’ has a total bluesy vibe and is a great finisher to “Petyr”. I highly recommend this release if you want to scramble your head with some music that’s metal, punk, and psych (and awesome).
April 6, 2017 § Leave a comment
Sweat Lodge, the 4 piece band from Austin TX, have released a new album on Brutal Panda Records called “Tokens For Hell”. This short album packs a heavy metal psych punch. It starts out with the 5min track ‘Life Goes On’ which is a kinda throwback/ Black Sabbathy tribute. Rocks out tho. The vocals are great, emotional, and there is a nice psych rhythm. The guitar wails and strikes at you. I could listen to this over and over, actually that’s what I’ve been doing since “Tokens for Hell” came out. Next is the more relaxed ‘Lost the Sun’. This track has cool noise in the background. Vocals are slower, then pick up speed and this is hard rockin by the end too. ‘Precious and Grace ( ZZ Top Cover)’ is a quick crunchy ripper. Nod your head, “everything’s all right”. Fantastic cover, one you’ll like. ‘Tokens for Hell’ wraps up with the EP title track. This starts off with a groovy beat that I love. The vocals get things moving further. Great finisher to this short but powerful album.
Get it on gold cassette while you can at bandcamp. Your car rides, or stereo or whatever, will thank you while you rock out this spring.
March 31, 2017 § Leave a comment
Gnod, from the UK, have released a new album called “JUST SAY NO TO THE PSYCHO RIGHT-WING CAPITALIST FASCIST INDUSTRIAL DEATH MACHINE” which is quite the heavy political title. But so it is, that is their stance. This album has 5 songs and clocks in at 40 min. The first track, the teaser/single, is ‘Bodies for Money’. Starts off pretty punk rock. I had to turn it up really loud, a suggestion not recommendation, to hear the vocals. If that aspect doesn’t matter to you, catching random words here and there, then keep it at a respectable volume. Hah, but i always play mu$ic loud. Anyways, there’s a lot of noisy noodling toward the end of the track which is fine by me. Maybe a good intro to Gnod for people not in the know, it’s not incredibly long or abstract. ‘People’ starts with nice droning and newsreader type vocals. “time is running out for people”, “we always get what we deserve”. Not exactly uplifting but it makes a point about the bizarre climate of our world today. I like the drum beat in the background. ‘Paper Error’ is basically crunchy noise-rock, think Flipper Shellac or Cows, music and vocals alike, and one of my favorites on “JUST SAY NO TO THE PSYCHO RIGHT-WING CAPITALIST FASCIST INDUSTRIAL DEATH MACHINE”. ‘Real Man’ starts out like a classic rock song, then transitions into a little ditty describing real men, & goes back to the instruments. ‘Stick in the Wheel’ wraps up the album. “Don’t want to be a cog in the machine.” Telling us to just break away already from the norm, for god’s sake. Really what this album is about. I like the background wavey wall of whispery noise. It’s really cool so listen for it. Mostly an industrial type track, vocals balance it out nicely. “JUST SAY NO TO THE PSYCHO RIGHT-WING CAPITALIST FASCIST INDUSTRIAL DEATH MACHINE” is way more noisy than I expected, and less droney or even psychedelic. But that’s ok, I still think it’s great on the ears.
March 30, 2017 § Leave a comment
Casual Nun from London have released an album on Box Records called “Psychometric Testing By…” I got into them with their album “Super Fancy Skeleton” which was released last year but they have been around for awhile. It starts off with ‘Tusk’. Be ready for it: the speed, drumming madness, distorted vocals, and wailing guitar. This ripper is 1 min 33 sec. The rest of the tracks are much longer and takes awhile to sink your teeth into. Next is ‘Everyman’s Folly’ sorta doom metal but noisy as hell and with haunting and echoing vocals. This is noisy, and heavy, psychedelic rock. ‘Truth Machines’ has a repetitive intro, then the guitar creates an atmosphere, it pauses, and there are some whispery vocals. This song reminds me of Loop or Gnod, not too intense of a track. ‘Xiphiod Revolution’ talks about the part on our sternum, the xiphoid, which translates to “swordlike”, good way to describe the music too. I like this track the best. It’s vocals are punky/spoken word and the beat will get your head bobbing. Walls of crunchy noise that revolve around. ‘Stripes’ ends the album and is fun to listen to. Kind of stretches your ears out, then whips em back into shape. Vocals more for noise element than any decipherable purpose.
A bit on the title, according to the Casual Nun Bandcamp: “Psychometrics are used to gauge and influence in a world where information digestion has moved increasingly towards social messaging. The ability of organisations and entities to use psychometric data to build a psychological profile of a person is an alarming manipulation of our personalities, aptitudes and desires.” “Psychometric Testing By…” is a fun sonic adventure, that leaves you with something intellectual, and possibly frightening, to ponder.
March 15, 2017 § Leave a comment
Shit and Shine have released a new album called “Total Shit!” There are 9 tracks and it clocks in at 39 min. This fast paced, noisy album is sure to please fans of punk, hard hitting electronix, psychedelic rock, and utter noise bullshit. The album, which you can order at bandcamp, has a unique album cover, which consists of a silver poop emoji over a yellow background, attractive! They’ve been around for over 10 years, and I’ve been a fan since i discovered them with the total psychotic rhythmic track ‘Ladybird’. Go check it out. Based in Texas, on their discogs.com page, it says they have a “Changing lineup ( Craig Clouse is the main dude), frequently with numerous drummers. Style is hard, varied, and post-everything.” Pretty accurate.
Anyway, on to “Total Shit!” Starts out with ‘Hot Shovel’ which is electronically scrambled and joyful. Nice even paced drumming and indecipherable vocals (except for “fuck this”)-a key feature in most tracks by the way. Next one of the longer tracks on the album- ‘Chklt Shk’. Starts off like a jaunty ride, electronic beeps and tight rhythm. Slowly comes in noise I like to call a low frequency wave. ‘Excess, Laziness, Egotism’ seems to fit with the album theme reflecting on the strange and bizarre culture we have in 2017, based around technology and instant gratification. It’s reminiscent of Skinny Puppy, not as hard/ industrial tho. “Anything can change about your life” is one lyric. ‘Long Island City’ brings the good feelings back with a kind of disco/techno beat. ‘Dodge Pot’ is another longer track.”I think every child needs a place to escape to.” Sorta like a slo mo 80’s nightmare.’I Hate This Fucking Machine’ is my favorite track and is complex, more noise rock, also, quite early industrial sounding. The album winds down with 3 shorter tracks. ‘Have to Believe’ a quick noise blurp, ‘Fuck That’, some nice drums and electronic confusion, and ‘Stop Saying Awesome’, which is another ~awesome~ track on the album. Go ahead an listen, you’ll enjoy the scrambled eggs it makes of yr head.
March 1, 2017 § Leave a comment
The Brian Jonestown Massacre have released a new album called “Don’t Get Lost”. It is 14 tracks long and clocks in at 1hr, 12min. Anton Newcombe is an incredibly talented and prolific musician. There are dozens of full length albums, EPs, singles, etc. If you are unfamiliar with The Brian Jonestown Massacre you should check out Spotify, which has most if not all of their releases. In a documentary about the band, called Dig!, made in the early 90’s, they are described as being “so retro, and so the future”, a very accurate description that holds true to this day.
Give yourself time to delve into “Don’t Get Lost”. The tracks are hypnotic, and soothing. This is a very special record, with a warm sound you can nod yr head too. It’s also groovey, drone-y and, as is their signature style, psychedelic (one track, (sorta techno, sorta jazz) is even called ‘Acid 2 Me Is No Worse Than War’, so there ya go). “Don’t Get Lost” goes well with a morning cup of coffee, gives you time to gather your thoughts and open up your mind to higher frequencies. However, there is a subtle underlying theme in these tracks. One of independence & resistance, like please just do your own thing and ignore the masses, and keep your heart dedicated to freedom. ‘Charmed I’m Sure’ is a nice whimsical instrumental track. ‘Groove Is In The Heart’ picks up speed and Tess Parks collaborates on vocals. ‘One Slow Breath’ is intense and wakes you up, piano makes a show here, and transitions the listener to the latter half of the album. I really like ‘Throbbing Gristle’, (haha, here i mean the track!), but it totally rocks. Lots of good noise, more vocals by Tess Parks, and it has some industrial features/ robot sounds. ‘Dropping Bombs on the Sun’ is wonderful and dreamy. One track, ‘Geldenes Herz Menz’, or Gold Hearted Men, is instrumental and jazzy. “Don’t Get Lost” wraps with ‘Nothing New to Trash Like You’, one of my favorites on the album, and ‘Ich Bin Klang’ which has sound loops.
According to the website, “”Don’t Get Lost” was fully recorded & produced at Anton’s new Cobra Studio in Berlin.” You can buy the 2 LP album and other releases at Cargo Records. Follow Anton Newcombe on twitter too, he is a real interesting guy. Goes on a few tour dates in the USA in March. I have seen The Brian Jonestown Massacre live, at a show in DC awhile ago, and it was incredible. So much tension & energy and yet such loose limbed performances. Whoever happens to be in the band at the moment, cause it has varied quite a bit over time, these guys are pros and don’t f around.