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King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard

King Gizz are keeping their two a year pace with a new full length to cap a pretty incredible year. Always ones to keep the audience wary and on their toes, they exit the jazz rock conceptual phase of Quarters and the dog-eared burnt psych of I’m In Your Mind Fuzz to take things down several notches… volume-wise, at least. The band self-imposed an “acoustic instruments only” policy on the record, roped together some sounds they’d previously never explored (clarinet, cello, double bass) and headed to a shipping container on Stu Mackenzie’s parents farm to record this sucker. The result is a pretty captivating and lilting collection of pop songs that embraces the pastoral background of its origins nicely. The darkness that’s billowed at the corners of their previous work is lifted somewhat and they get back to the weirdness and free spirit rambling of Oddments but still present some of their most easily accessible songs yet. The long winding jam is ever the band’s forte and while they may have turned the electricity off they haven’t exactly lost their ability to bend a song into a frantic bit of blues that explodes into 70’s tinged stadium-sized glory. The band was always meant for more ears and it seems this may be the final push they need. But, hell, who knows what comes from here, the fun seems to be in guessing where they’ll hop to next.

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Summer Twins – “Demons”

Burger staples Summer Twins have a new album out that’s full of sunshine pop and rainy day strummers and the track “Demons” is probably tops among the bunch. Rooted in their 60’s jangle aesthetic, the Flower Power cult imagery meshes quite nicely with the song, making for a darker turn for the band when it all goes wrong. If you haven’t had a chance to check into Summer Twins, this makes for an excellent entry point.

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Six Organs of Admittance – Dust and Chimes

This one’s still a little fresh in the ears for this column, but what the hell the turn of this last century is probably further off than I want to admit. It seems just around the corner that the clock ticked 2000 and Ben Chasney was picking his way into a second album, emblazoned then with a washed out photo cover that’s replaced with a much more appropriate woodsy backdrop on the new version. Dark Noontide would forever be the moment when Chasney broke into a wider consciousness but this predecessor really brings him into his own and out of the sketchbook patterns of his debut. Its a lush album built on a love of raga and Fahey and feeling very much in line with the trend down psych-folk inroads at the time. Being that this was released in the vinyl desert years it only apeared on CD at the time, leaving fans of Ben’s catalog with a hole to fill on the turntable. But now Holy Mountain’s gotten this on the table and ready for psych fanatics the world over. Complete with a new video here for “Blue Sun Chiming” by Magik Markers’ Elisa Ambrogio.

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Shannon and the Clams

Shannon Shaw’s voice is a lot of things; a lullaby, a force of nature, a time machine to the 60’s, a rallying cry for the heartbroken. On their latest album, Shaw is all those things and probably quite a bit more. The album is as crisp and clear as the band have ever sounded, finally kicking some of the hiss that plagued their recorded output and in the process its the most clearly indebted they’ve ever been to the girl group 60’s crooners that have undoubtedly served as some inspiration. The songs swing and pine with odes to love and loss but the real departure is that they’ve also pretty much shed their garage rock tag here. On Gone By Dawn Shannon and The Clams are a pop band through and through, albeit one that’s rocketed out of time and lodged themselves in the malt shop of your heart. And hell why not, Archie’s been reinvented for a modern era, perhaps there’s a kismet in this as soundtrack to the great American heartbreak. Perhaps its time to swoon again. If it is indeed time to wear a broken heart on leather sleeves, The Clams are there to help you cry and pick it all back up for another day.

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Wavves – “Way Too Much”

Wavves’ love of wrestling has often been the subject of Twitter rants and its about time that it made a video appearance. Frankly I’m surprised there haven’t just been a slew of videos in this vein. The song is fizzy as usual but the vid borrows a few grains from Mickey Rourke in “The Wrestler,” more dark reality than celebratory body slams. Definitely feeling this track.



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Tijuana Panthers – “Set Forth”

Ok admittedly this has been a quiet week around the Raven, and apologies for that. It’s been rather busy elsewhere, but when something great comes along, priorities must be given. Tijuana Panthers last album, Wayne Interest was a favorite around here and its great news that there’s a new one out today. Poster hits the shelves imminently but to herald it, the band have an awesome new video that’s inspired by 80s claymation classics like Penny Cartoons, California Raisins and Gumby. Being somewhat of a fan of the arduous task that is claymation, I can’t resist this combo. Check it out above.

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Hills

Sweden’s got a handle on psych, from the early releases of International Harvester and Träd Gräs och Stenar to Bo Hansson and Dungen there’s plenty of lysergic energy coursing through those valleys. Hills have been divining that psychedelic rift for almost a decade and yet, unlike the torrent of releases that come from so many, this is just their third album to date. But proclivity fades and each of Hills’ three albums is just as strong as the next, proving that quality is worth the wait. Frid hangs well with their Rocket labelmates Goat and Gnod, finding a middle ground between the two; sanding off a bit of the former’s excess with the doom-laden sense of space of the latter. The album is swirling with dry ice eddies of creeping dread that explode into the kind of clearcut guitar solos I’ve come to expect from Rocket Recordings. Heavy sounds with a lean on eastern mysticism and an expansive array of instrumentation; those looking to drop out into the meditative and heady expanses need look no further than this in 2015.



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Jacuzzi Boys – “Happy Damage”

Man I never realize how much I miss Jacuzzi Boys until they make a return. Breaking away to form their own label, Mag Mag, the band has an EP on the way and from the sounds of “Happy Damage” great things can be expected. The track crackles with a huge energy, bouncing with the cherry Pez vibes and low hip swagger that have been trademarks of the band. The video captured the band in their live glory, looking like they’ve never been more at home anywhere else than under the lights in your town for just a night.

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Jane Weaver – “Mission Desire”

An excellently pulpy video stocked with space pirates and hazy animated overtones to accompany one of the standout tracks from on Jane Weaver’s stellar kraut-pop masterpiece. The track picks up the reins left empty in the tragic wake of Broadcast and Stereolab and if it wasn’t already in the lush arms of Finders Keepers, it would have been right at home in the backwards gaze of Ghost Box. The video captures the psychedelic intrigue dripping form every inch of this song and the tone of Weaver’s longform odyssey.


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Rat Columns – “Fooling Around (Long Version)”

Rat Columns’ album Leaf charmed us when it was released back in 2014 but its been pretty quiet on their front until recently, probably because like so many Aussies and Aussie exports members are splitting time between so many bands its probably hard to handle. But David West is back in the songwriting chair and releasing an EP on the unlikely outlet of Blackest Ever Black. The EP showcases an extended version of Leaf standout “Fooling Around” and the extra breathing room looks good on the track. The EP backs the track up with three new tunes recorded by West’s San Francisco lineup of the band. The video compliments the track’s tempered tension with some homespun wanderer vibes. 12″ is limited and knowing BEB its gonna look nice.

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