Browsing Category Tracks

Paperhead – “Dama De Lavanda”

Nashville’s Paperhead are one of those band’s I’ve been waiting on to take the bump up to a full-on widescreen approach. They’ve been seeding some great psych-pop over the years, embracing the lo-fi trappings of the times on their 2010 debut for Infinity Cat and the eponymous follow-up LP on Trouble in Mind a year later. They’d hinted at a bigger scope on Africa Avenue, but its this wide-open slice of psych-pomp, which embraces huge atmospheres, lounge jazz, blue-eyed soul and a ’70s hangover of indulgent (yet glorious) major label epics, that feels like they’ve finally found themselves. The bi-lingual romp from their upcoming album, Chew, drops in flutes and sumptuous horns to the mix of fuzzed out guitars before breaking down to a psych-soul outro. Can’t wait to see how this fits into the scope of the whole album. It feels like a great first step towards the band embracing their full psych-pop potential.


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Hills – “Flöjtjola Med Tema Från Solen”

Swedish psych stormers Hills have been kicking up dust clouds of fuzz and fray since ’06 and in their tenure they’ve issued three great, if slightly undersung, albums for Intergalactic Tactics, Transubstans and Rocket Recordings. Their debut for Intergalactic Tactics is now getting a well-deserved reissue through Skylantern / Cardinal Fuzz this year and alongside the redone original LP, the labels have worked up a bonus that ropes in five unearthed bonus cuts packed on an LP with artwork by Skylantern’s Nik Rayne. The first bonus cut to see light is “Flöjtjola Med Tema Från Solen,” a scorched instrumental that vomits lava and ash to hypnotic effect. The band has often been a psych collector’s secret, not quite enjoying the plaudits of their fellow countrymen Dungen and Goat, but they’re equally worth the praise. If you’ve missed out on the debut LP in its first run, or simply got there when it was CD only (like me) then this is a good time to revisit and pick up a few bonus blasts while you’re at it.


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The Bats – “Antlers”

Five years on from their last foray back into jangle-pop’s halls, The Bats return with a new cut from their upcoming ninth LP, The Deep Set. The song’s got all the hallmarks of a classic Bats tune; low-swung rhythm, the scratch-sway jangle melting with chiming chords, and Robert Scott crooning over the whole affair, demanding your rapt attention. For most bands this far out into their career its hard to make your sound relevant, without seeming dated or gimmicky. In The Bats’ case the fact that the world finally turned its head to the right angle to hear New Zealand’s sound as a widespread influence helps this cut feel like it may well have come from any number of worthy followers. though the magic is that none of them could quite find the timelessness that Scott and The Bats conjure. “Antlers” feels like its always existed, waiting in a pile of classic tunes to hit you right in the ennui center of the soul. Quite like their contemporaries The Chills, they pick right up where they left off and prove that perhaps people should have been paying more attention all along.

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Feral Ohms – “Love Damage”

Honestly, most any news of Ethan Miller’s involvement in a band is welcome and usually met with quality psych of some sort. Stepping away from the more seasoned and softened work he’d been pursuing with Howlin’ Rain and perhaps as an extension of his burnt, though somewhat psych-folk leaning work with Heron Oblivion, Miller has a new project on the rise that he’s introducing with a Castle Face live LP. Feral Ohms is comprised of Miller, Chris Johnson (Drunk Horse, Andy Human and the Reptoids) and Josh Haynes (of epic Olympia, WA rockers Nudity). The riffs on the live LP are ten feet tall, covered in fuzz and shot through with the unhinged spirit that made early Comets On Fire such a joy. Live is obviously a comfortable place for the trio but if this is just the first taste, I’m eager to see how they translate this to a proper record, which is in fact slated for release on Miller’s own Silver Current label in 2017. But first, melt as many faces as possible with the ten ton sumo gut punch of “Love Damage.”

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J. William Parker – “Tigers In The Glass Room”

Guru Guru Brain quietly slips out news of J. William Parker’s debut. The Hanoi songwriter is a complete unknown that came into the attention of the label with these cracked and quiet home recordings fulling in tact. The songs bristle with the kind of vitality that befit some of the best private presses of the ’70s. “Tigers In The Glass Room” is a warm, present burst of strum, distorted by the limitations of Parker’s setup, but the cracks only add to the intensity of the track. The label’s not so far off base in giving the record accolades of bringing to mind Ted Lucas and the quality reminds me of a favorite from a few years back from B.R. Garm. There’s an intense loner vibe here, that feels like the music is a cry in the night. Its not a cry for help though, maybe just a cry for companionship or just a cry to be heard. Either way, its sounding like a great bit of fractured folk.



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Moon Duo – “Cold Fear”

It’s a good day when there’s news of a Moon Duo album on the horizon. The pair have relocated from San Francisco to Portland and they’re turning seasonally affected mood swings into cold-hearted psych with a motorik heart and plenty of icy atmospheres. The track comes as the first taste of a projected two part album that spins Yin and Yang into counterpart albums of light and dark. “Cold Fear” is, naturally, from the darker half, Occult Architecture, Vol. 1. It’s an itching vein of synth fuzz heavily medicated with the Absinthe cocktail of Ripley’s guitar lines. Hushed and secretive, the vocals add a layer of mystery to this cold-wave killer while the lock-step pulse pushes the blood to a tight boil. The band has always lent itself well to this darker current and they’re at the top of their form with this one. Curious though to see how they temper the lighter side in Vol. 2. Lots to come from Moon Duo in 2017!




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People Skills – “89¢ Public Render”

It’s hard to pin down Jesse Dewlow’s sound under the name People Skills. He squirms from rock shadows to acoustic dirge over the course of his new album for Blackest Ever Black, all rendered half intelligible under a broken VHS veneer of faded sound glory that seems recorded in an oil barrel under the sea. He’s at his best, though, on the chaotic clatter of “89¢ Public Render,” a junkyard hymn of electronic thrum and buzzing guitar beamed through a b-movie asteroid belt that picks up some odd bits of chatter. He’s been honing a sound that’s desolate and dark for years and its coming to a head on the intriguing Gunshots at Crestridge.


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Lower Plenty – “Bondi’s Dead”

Al Montfort may well be in every good band in Australia these days. The man behind Terry, Dick Diver, Total Control and UV Race is back with Lower Plenty for another round of jangled, bittersweet bliss that comes on slow and leaves with a sigh. The track’s the first taste of their upcoming album Sister Sister on the always consistent Bedroom Suck. It breezes in with a wisp of autumnal hues in it’s bones and lasts just long enough to ache when its over. Though they share members with a cadre of top tier Aussie talent, the band’s sound shares more sonic DNA with the sorely missed Bedroom Suck alumni Boomgates, than most of the bands its members spend their off days running with. So, to salve the wounds of no new Boomgates LP on the horizon, its doubly good to hear Lower Plenty hitting similar highs on this one.


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Eternal Tapestry – “Where The Trees Touch The Ground”

In the face of an overwhelming 2016, sometimes the only answer is to fight chaos with the groove of cacophony. In that respect, I offer up this new track from Portland’s Eternal Tapestry. The Tap has always been an ever evolving unit of like-minded psych warriors, ready to step in and expand or detract their sound as necessary. They’ve had tons of studio cuts that file away at the jail doors of restraint, but I think that to truly see them knock the hinges and run, they need to be in the live setting. Skylantern Records has come to the call and released a double cut live recording of the band playing at Mississippi Studios in Portland with an expanded lineup that ropes in sax and additional players to their sound, bringing a storm of furious psych and an all encompassing din that threatens to pull the scalp away from the skull and burn every layer of worry or concern away in one sonic swipe. The cut here is some of the most intense bits of Eternal Tapestry I’ve heard, wielding hand in the flame style torrents of guitar and Jed Binderman’s drums just pounding ’til there’s no skin left. Its as vital a sound as you’re bound to hear this year, and one that’s aimed to set you at ease through flash fry intensity.



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Premiere: MV & EE – “i’m still in love with you love > void”

Longstanding psych-folk duo MV & EE were among the first to crop up on RSTB all those many years ago, and its a comfort to know that they’re still spinning the wheel of cosmic folk to this day. The band have a decidedly two sided coin in their approach, the first is a sun-streaked haze that stops just short of the sunshine psych perfected by the marquee members of their Woodsist home, the second is a darker and more discordant version that edges into squalls of psychedelic fallout, paranoia laden fuzz dirges and jammed transmission tape effects. The first taste of their upcoming album, root/void showed off that sunny disposition and the second dives deep into the wooded bunker of the latter style. On the epic album closer, “i’m still in love with you love > void,” the pair pulls into a territory that seems less idyllic forest folk and more in line with the sylvan trappings of a Cormac McCarthy novel, grey-skied and bleak, with a heavy heart and a toasted shell of apocalyptic creep. The track closes out the album on a note of resigned hope – it is a song about love, mind you, but the love seems to have faded from view and become twisted into something long since changed from its original incarnation. root/void is out Oct 7th on Woodsist.

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