- ▼ September (3)
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- ► 2015 (58)
Sunday, 10 September 2017
Cool……………..The Lords Of Altamont are back with a new long player. L.A’s finest bad ass biker bar band return to action with the long awaited follow up to their 2014 release The Lords Take Altamont, firmly adhering to the old maxim “If it ain’t broke…..don’t fix it”. The Wild Sound of Lords of Altamont is another hi-octane white knuckle ride mixing together 60s Garage/Punk and scuzzball 70s Heavy Rock riffing in a full on brutal sonic assault………….it ain’t big and it ain’t clever, but that ain’t the point.
The new Lords Of Altamont platter blows the roof offa th’ mutha with some of the greatest unpretentious amped up primitive Rock n Roll we have heard all year!!!…………it’s the sound of the cocksure raunch of the Flamin’ Groovies meeting the Detroit howl of the Stooges and the MC5 and no one gets out alive. Fans of their previous records are not going to be disappointed, if anything The Wild Sound of Lords of Altamont sees the band leave the garage and head out on the highway bringing……….erm……..heavy metal thunder. It’s everything that was great about American Heavy Rock at the turn of 70s and includes a tip of the hat to band’s such as Steppenwolf and the other biker boogie bands on the scene with 11 powerful late-sixties/early-seventies sounding tracks which manage to sound fiendishly contemporary. The Lords Of Altamont don’t fuck about…………opening with the blistering ‘Like A Bird’, they then hit the afterburners and don’t ease up till the last track, tearing through the songs and taking no prisoners along the way. They don’t make records like this anymore, well not ones as good as this. Fucking Ace!!!
Due for release in October on vinyl, CD and also as a digital download via Heavy Psych Sounds, The Wild Sound of Lords of Altamont is available to pre-order here…..
Saturday, 9 September 2017
It’s been 50 years since Richard Thompson first emerged as a fresh faced teenage guitar prodigy, spitting out fiery lead lines on stage at the UFO Club with Fairport Convention. Regarded as one of the finest songwriters of his generation, through his work with Fairport Convention as they evolved from a very English version of Jefferson Airplane into one of the most important British Folk Rock bands of the 60s, the wonderful records he recorded with his then wife Linda and his long distinguished solo career that followed, Thompson has been recently revisiting his extensive back catalogue of songs, recording stripped back acoustic versions of his best known work. Released in 2014, Acoustic Classics contained a selection of some of his best known songs from his post Fairport albums with the recent, critically lauded, Vol. II going further back and including acoustic versions of ‘Meet On The Ledge’ and ‘Genesis Hall’ among the tracks.
Recorded as a companion piece to the Acoustic Classics albums, Acoustic Rarities is a collection of new recordings of some of the more obscure songs in the Thompson catalogue, some previously existing only as cover versions……………included here are Thompson’s own take on ‘Rainbow Over The Hill’, a song gifted to The Albion Band, and ‘Seven Brothers’, previously covered by Blair Dunlop. Still possessing one of the most distinctive English Folk Rock voices and sparkling guitar skills undiminished by time, Richard Thompson breathes new life into songs first recorded over 40 years with a pair from the Fairport Convention album Full House (‘Sloth’ and ‘Poor Will And The Jolly Hangman’), an acoustic reworking of ‘Poor Ditching Boy’ from Thompson’s under rated debut solo album Henry The Human Fly and brilliant versions of two of his finest songs recorded with Linda Thompson……………..at the time of their release in the mid 70s when Thompson was still in his mid twenty’s, ‘End Of The Rainbow’ and ‘Never Again’ felt incredibly cynical, but now with his seventieth birthday on the horizon, they are songs that have seasoned as their writer has aged. Let’s be honest, with Richard Thompson’s most recent recordings being pledge funded by his large, hardcore fanbase and with at least half this album made up of previously unreleased songs, it is clear that this record and the Acoustic Classics albums are aimed clearly at existing fans of this most enduring of artists…………if you are looking for a “young person’s guide to Richard Thompson” you really need to be looking elsewhere. Along with both volumes of Acoustic Classics, Acoustic Rarities is an essential purchase for fans of early Fairport Convention and Thompson’s work since he set off on his own idosincratic path at the start of the 70s.
Released on Thompson’s own Beeswing imprint via Proper Distribution, Acoustic Rarities is available on CD and as a download. Available to pre-order on Amazon with a due release date of 06/10/17 and then available from proper record shops.
Sunday, 3 September 2017
Originally part of the first wave of early 1980s Neo-Psychedelic/Mod revival bands that got it together on the Italian scene, outta Milan, via Carnaby Street circa 1966/67, comes the first album of new material since 1986 from Four By Art. Formed back in 1982, Four By Art played a blend of Mod/Beat inspired energetic R&B and Power Pop with strong 60s Psychedelic Pop influences stirred into this potent brew, recording a self released EP and a couple of albums for the Electric Eye label before calling it a day towards the end of the decade…………………..the collected works from this period, The Early Years '82-'86, were released on CD by Area Pirata Records, the home of Italian Garage Rock, back in 2008 and is still available from the label, you can check it out/ stream it/buy it here https://areapiratarec.bandcamp.com/album/the-early-years-82-86
Reforming in 2002 and returning to playing live to enthusiastic audiences for over ten years, Four By Art have finally been able record the follow up album to Everybody's An Artist With...Four By Art!………..and guess what???? It’s really cool!! There is some great stuff here………..from the album’s Psych Pop opener. ‘Alive’, to the pastoral, trippy Small Faces groove of the closing track ‘Say Something’, Inner Sounds twists and turns through 13 tracks taking in the Power Pop head rush of ‘I Ask You’ and ‘At Your Door’ , the funky Psychedelic Soul of ‘Allora Mi Ricordo’ full of mad brass stabs and jazz flute, the R&B/Garage Rock squall of ‘Sorry’ and ‘The Loop’ and the stunning Jangle Pop of ‘Take Your Time’. It may have been a while since their last album, however Four By Art have returned with a record that both recognizes their 80s heritage and is also relevant to the now. Maybe not the most original album we have heard all year, however mixing Maximum Mod R&B/Soul influences with catchy as hell Power Pop and Psychedelic flourishes, Inner Sounds is the vibe of the Small Faces transposed into the second decade of the 21st Century………with a mix of crunching guitar riffs, rolling piano and swirling Hammond Organ underpinned with solid bass playing and awesome drumming, Four By Art whip up a storm of familiar sounds from the past but are much more than just a heritage act. Well worth a listen.
Inner Sounds is out NOW on CD and digital download from Area Pirata Records in collaboration with the band’s own Artrecords. Available from the Area Pirata website or from their bandcamp site here……………………
https://areapiratarec.bandcamp.com/album/inner-sounds where you can also stream the album.
Wednesday, 30 August 2017
STRANGE THINGS ARE HAPPENING
CRICKETBOWS - ‘END OF THE NIGHT’
"Our town and county (Montgomery County, Ohio) is at the center of the 'Heroin and Opiate Epidemic' - we're leading the nation in heroin and opiate overdoses per capita and the song and video is sort of about that. I'm losing friends and acquaintances weekly. Our coroner has had to bring in restaurant style portable freezers because we don't have room for all the bodies."
CHAD WELLS - CRICKETBOWS
Monday, 28 August 2017
As a genre Power Pop is pretty difficult to tie down as it spills over into so many other genres…………………but roughly (and we mean very roughly) it’s the bit on the Rock n Roll Venn diagram where Nuggety Garage Rock, the influence of British bands such as the Kinks and Beatles, the Punk Pop smarts of the Ramones and post Psychedelic 70s Pop radio intersect. Trace the roots of Power Pop back to the turn of the 70s and major influences such as Badfinger, The Raspberries, Todd Rundgren and Big Star emerge before the genre went seriously overground with Cheap Trick’s zillion selling Live At Budokan album. Moving into the 80s, Power Pop mutated and shared influences with the children of Nuggets, cross pollinated with the new breed of Neo-Psychedelic and Post Punk Garage Bands before more or less spluttering out as a commercial force in the 90s with the Badfinger tribute band Jellyfish. Still thriving in the underground, mainly in the USA, Power Pop is alive and well with new bands putting out great records and festivals dedicated to the genre such as International Pop Overthrow and the Power Pop-A-Licious music festival attracting an audience of dedicated fans.
Broadcasting outta Syracuse on their local Internet Radio station, since forever, former GOLDMINE writer Carl Cafarelli and his co-host Dana Bonn have been blasting out the finest Power Pop on their weekly show This Is Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio with Dana & Carl mixing up tunes from the better known bands with the new breed, unearthing a few obscurities along the way. Carefully compiled by Dana and Carl, This Is Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio Volume 4 is the latest release in a ongoing series of collections of their favourite Power Pop tunes since Volume 1 dropped in 2005. With The Rubinoos, The Grip Weeds and The Smithereens among only a few bands reasonably well known outside the Power Pop scene (no doubt due to licensing issues), This Is Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio Volume 4 features the best of the less known and newer bands on the scene who have been influenced by……………..erm………..Nuggety Garage Rock, British bands such as the Kinks and Beatles, the Punk Pop smarts of the Ramones and post Psychedelic 70s Pop radio and includes absolutely killer tracks by Stepford Knives, Popdudes, Ronnie Dark, 1.4.5, The Rulers and The Legal Matters’ stunning take on Teenage Fanclub’s ‘Don’t Look Back’. As previously mentioned, Power Pop has a habit of spilling over into different genres and this compilation is no different…………….it mixes together The Bottle Kids bubblegum Psych/Surf Pop with crunchy Cheap Trick style riffing from Chris von Sneidern (now a Flamin’ Groovie), the furious Punk Pop of The Rulers brilliant ‘I Want My Ramones Records Back’ with 1.4.5’s cool Pop Rock and The Smitheerens Dixy Beatles groove of Big Star with The Grip Weeds Byrdsian jangle…………showcasing the best of what is a pretty wide ranging mix of styles that could be loosely be described as Power Pop . Although Power Pop aficionados are going to really dig this, the range of music here is universal enough to catch the ear of a wider audience and well worth checking out.
Dana & Carl Present: This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio Volume 4 is out NOW on CD, released by the very groovy Power Pop/Alt Country specialist label Kool Kat Musik with a portion of the proceeds going to Spark Syracuse, the community radio home of This Is Rock n Roll Radio. Available directly from the label’s shop or if you are brave enough you can get your local Indie record store to order it for you.
Saturday, 26 August 2017
It’s quite a trip going from representing Belgium at the 1968 Eurovision Song Contest to recording a stunning experimental pop album full of wonderful 60’s abstract–expresionism orchestrations with chimes and ondes Martenots (an early electronic musical instrument invented in 1928 by Maurice Martenot and a distant cousin of the Theremin) among gentle bass lines and ethereal organ drifting along with a dreamy use of echoes, reverbs and sometimes electronics………………..frankly, it’s a bit like Cliff Richard getting his freak on with the BBC Radiophonic Workshop during a weekend drug bender in the basement of Broadcasting House!!!! Although best known for her Eurovision exploits and her later career as a voice actor/singer for kids cartoons, Belgian maverick Claude Lombard recorded Chante, a strange and beautiful record of incredibly exquisite songs, all sung in French, as her debut album that is now a startling document of melancholic chanson psychedelia that staggeringly foreshadows the eerie, incorporeal sci–fi pop of Stereolab and, more specifically, early Broadcast by about 30 years. Originally released by the long defunct Palette label in 1969 and, like all records years ahead of their time, completely bombing commercially but living on by word of mouth as a cult album and considered a lost classic by those who had heard it. Spanish crate diggers Guerssen Records have rescued this brilliant record from obscurity and have reissued it for the first time with the rare original French edition gatefold kaleidoscopic artwork via their Sommor imprint, complete with with liner notes by pop connoisseur Don Sicalíptico.
Produced by Roland Kluger, (best known for his work with Belgian pop group Chakachas, who had a minor hit in the USA in the early 70s with ‘Jungle Fever’, and the Free Pop Electronic Concept), Chante is probably one of the unique examples of French songs with really gorgeous, untypical sound work, closer in their sonic range and complexity to UK and US proto–Psychedelic orchestration in the pop world. With it’s unusual mix of instrumentation, Chante has a otherworldly eerie atmosphere akin to the work by Bob Crewe and Charles Fox on the Barbarella soundtrack, The United States Of America and the early electronic work of Bruce Haack mixed with the sonic eccentricity of the White Noise album and the Psychedelic samba of Oz Mutantes, all tempered with mainland European cool. At it’s core Chante is a pop record, albeit a pretty strange and experimental one, made by a producer who wanted to push the boundaries and a singer who was more than happy to go along on the ride, having previously worked with Italian avant garde composer Luciano Berio. The songs are a work of beauty with Claude Lombard’s wonderful voice complementing the slightly off kilter arrangements. Any serious fan of Broadcast or Stereolab will fall in love with this absolutely gorgeous album forever………………tracks such as ‘Polychromés’, ‘Midi’, ‘L’ Usine’ and ‘L’Arbre Et L’Oiseau’ sound more relevant to the retro-futurist sounds of today than they did when first cut to wax nearly 50 years ago. A lost masterpiece emerges back in to the light.
Chante by Claude Lombard is out NOW on vinyl and CD. You can gets yer hands on this gem from the very best record shops, the usual suspects on line and, of course, direct from the Guerssen Records web shop.
Sunday, 20 August 2017
SPIRIT VALLEY - NEGATIVES (Fuzz Club LP, D/L). SACCADES - SACCADES (Fuzz Club LP, CD, D/L). HOLY WAVE - FUZZ CLUB SESSIONS (Fuzz Club LP).
Strange things are happening…………………presenting for your delight and delectation a round up of some of the new releases from the weird and wonderful Fuzz Club Records.
In the ongoing evolution of Psychedelic Rock it appears that the 60s may nearly be over (the 60s officially ended in 1976 after some uptight a-hole booted in his telly after seeing the Sex Pistols on the Bill Grundy show but not everybody got the memo), the endless recycling of Black Sabbath riffs and Neu!/CAN grooves from the 70s are on the wane and all the cool kids are now digging 80s Post Punk and Psychedelia with Joy Division/New Order low slung bass lines, the chiming guitar of the early Echo and The Bunnymen records and the dark, psychedelic ambiance of The Cure and Sisters Of Mercy among others now being copped as influences/inspiration for many of the latest wave of fuzzed up and freaked out Psych Rock bands. The new album from Amsterdam two-piece Spirit Valley draws heavily on the early 80s UK post Punk Neo-Psychedelic scene, particularly the first two Echo and The Bunnymen records Crocodiles and Heaven Up Here (which, by the way,are essential purchases), along with more modern Psych Rock flourishes. At its darkest, Spirit Valley’s expansive, primal Psych Rock falls somewhere between the fuzzed out Rock’n’Roll of The Black Angels and the warped synths of Moon Duo, however Negatives is an album that constantly wrestles its way between light and dark and in Spirit Valley’s lighter, more cinematic moments we are overwhelmed by a beautifully crushing wall of noise that recalls the gravelly croons of the first wave of Post Punk bands with glacial New Wave, almost Gothic, synths and guitars plucked right out of the 80s. Like a bullet to the head, Spirit Valley's sonic assault of fuzz-heavy guitars and tribal percussion burns straight to the brain from from the second the needle hits the wax……………..the album opener ‘Don't Panic’ is an onslaught of ferocious drumming and twisted synths and guitars setting the tone for some of the most visceral Psychedelic Rock we have heard this year. Negatives is simply brilliant, melding influences decades apart into a powerful statement addressing where Psychedelic Rock has been heading for the last couple of years.
Best known as one-half of The KVB, Berlin-based musician Nicholas Wood spent the summer of 2016 working on a solo album under the moniker of Saccades and the fruits of this labour have now been released by Fuzz Club as his self titled debut record. As you would expect, it’s quite a departure from his work with The KVB and has already been described as "A bright, sun-drenched psych pop reverie that places Saccades leagues above the rafts of diluted Tame Impala rip-off’s that loosely throw around the term". Recorded and produced by Nick himself, the twelve tracks on Saccades see him take a much more melodic, guitar-based approach, ditching the dark, glacial synths of his work with The KVB and serving up a vivid, immersive combination of jangling reverb-drenched guitars, vintage 70s synths, minimalistic percussion and dreamy echoing vocals. Recorded using an old Tascam tape recorder, there’s a warm lo-fi feel to the record that manages to make the songs feel even more euphoric than they already are. Warm and pastoral, it’s not the sort of record that you would usually associate with Fuzz Club, a label better known for it’s ear shredding cutting edge Psych Rock than a gentle psychedelic meander through a host of 60s/70s influences…………..it’s a strange and beautiful album full of dreamy escapism that echoes 60s West Coast tripped out bliss infused with loved up Neo-Psychedelia. Recommended.
And finally…………………………….Fuzz Club Records’ live session series has already seen amazing releases from the likes of Night Beats, Heaters, The Entrance Band and 10,000 Russos and it’s still showing no sign of slowing down. The latest to join the club is Austin's finest Garage/Surf heavyweights, Holy Wave. While the band were in the UK touring their 2016 LP Freaks Of Nurture, Fuzz Club invited the band to an analogue recording studio in South London to lay down a live album. Holy Wave’s Fuzz Club Session contains one previously unreleased track ‘Buddhist Pete’ and five other cuts from Freaks Of Nurture. The Texas five-piece are clearly steeped in a 60s Nuggets-era nostalgia but manage to make it completely their own with daydreaming pop melodies and expansive songwriting their reverberating Garage Pop sounds better than ever with the warm analogue recording of the session creating a hazy echo chamber of sun soaked psychedelic ecstasy………………..recorded live, straight to 2” tape and committed to wax……….Dig It kidz.
All these records are out NOW and should be available from all the best record stores, the usual suspects on line and of course directly from Fuzz Club Records.