Omni – “Afterlife”

New cut from this Atlanta trio on Trouble in Mind recalls a welcomed jittery blast of new wave / post-punk dragging the line from ’77 – ’81. Flecked with bits of Televison’s hangover and Robert Quine’s shaky surgeon’s hand, the band seems well versed in their music nerdom. Stapling those post-punk guitars to the safety glass gaze of Devo and Pylon, they’re definitely rumbling down a hallway that I’ve got a soft spot for. The video pays homage in kind with some Commodore 64 vintage graphics that feel out the same angles they’re pinning to the track. This song’s giving me plenty of room for anticipation for the rest of Omni’s full length. Hopes on that the rest has the same jittery jones.

More info HERE.

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Spectrum Control

Dewey Mahood has earned himself a place a the psych warrior roundtable and then some, serving in Eternal Tapestry, Plankton Wat, Gärden Söund and Edibles over the years. Now he sets off on a new endeavor in the solo vein. Tacking a different wind than previous (pseudo)solo adventure Edibles’ junkyard dub; Spectrum Control is built on a midnight shift grind of junkshop beats scotch taped to 4 AM cigarette curls of guitar that wind their way around buzzing organs, dipped into the last grit coffee of the evening. The record has a bloodshot quality that taps an energy on the line between the nervy edge of exhausted and exhilarated. Mahood’s not off base in the least by calling it twilight pop. Its music for the eternal wanderers, the streetlight scions.

There’s certainly a feeling that Mahood is finding his footing within the framework. The album’s got a rough charm about it, but I’m hoping this gets a little room to breath and more shelf space down the line. I was a fan of Mahood’s Edibles and this has some crossover appeal for those on the fringes of psych’s heady hang. But for now, this is a pretty strong jump out of the gate.




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King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard

King Gizz have blessed us with quite a few years of prime psych around here, rolling through a tumble of incarnations – stomping blues, acoustic pop, savage psychedelic storm and cowboy poetry. They’re reviving the storm for Nonagon Infinity, recorded at NY’s famed Daptone studios and over a year in the making; an eternity for a band on a two to three album a year schedule. The polishing has paid off as Nonagon rolls through speakers like a battering ram of rhythm and fury, bringing down a metric ton of squall and slashing at any who might doubt that such a prolific outfit could have this much quality material on lock at all times.

The record runs rampant with a thematic punch, a pounding repeated guitar herald and chant of “Nonagon Infinity opens the door.” The theme plays into the band’s touch of occultism that’s risen in some of their past videos and here they mix that with a doomsday prophecy and lyrics that hint at mankind’s ravaging of the planet. Most environmental screeds don’t burn to the touch like this one does, but King Gizz manage to make the looming atrocities of man’s greed seem both harrowing and thrilling at the same time, like being strapped into a George Miller setpiece and shot at the speed of sound across a desert flatland powered by harmonica screech and a double kick pounce.

What could make the package more enticing? The whole album runs on an infinite loop if you knock it to repeat, feeding back into itself like a lysergic ouroboros with a furious appetite for destruction. It goes without saying that this was highly anticipated but in the wake of its scorched path, this is going to be a hard one for anyone to touch as album of the year.


Support the artist. Buy it HERE (US) or HERE (AUS)

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Bardo Pond – AcidGuruPond

I’m not always one for RSD releases. For every amazing collaboration or clutch reissue, there are usually a hundred releases that are thrown in bins for the sake of pressing up needless nostalgia. Personally, I don’t ever need a reason to be coaxed into a record store, either, let alone wait in line for one. However, Bardo Pond’s release this year warrants some true praise. The long beloved drone/psych unit teamed up with Acid Mothers Temple and Guru Guru, both of which collaborated themselves on a solid string of records, including the spark that set it all off, 2007’s Psychedelic Navigator. Adding the Pond to the mix only makes this psychic stew even heavier, swampier and more psyionically gelatinous.

The album opens with a bit of pastoral psych before it moves into heavier tones and the ozone burn of AMT and Guru Guru can both be felt. Its not as slung with rhythmic chug as one might expect given that Guru Guru is involved, rather the combo seems to be coasting on melted vibes that roll through floor puddled zone out to the clash of free jazz ramble (specifically “Orange”). By the time “Red” rolls around the record drops into noisier territory, smoldering in full on cinder-psych territory, uncomfortable in any position and twisting to break free of its constraints. A damn fine outburst from all involved and Fire has put it together in a gorgeous package as well (RSD, gotta have colors). If your local store is out, you should buy something else from them and then head to Discogs. There are still some moral souls there selling it for around retail.

Some copies available HERE.

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Jackie McDowell

Jackie McDowell’s been around a stretch, either under her own name or as Inez Lightfoot, but her latest is a psychedelic sweat lodge that pores deep into psych folk territory and refreshes my interest like it was the first time. There’s something in the timbre of McKenzie’s voice that reminds me of Kilynn Lunsford from Little Claw, especially on “Thirteen Mothers Rose,” but rather than clashing with the amp frizzle fry she’s swathed in the echoed psychedelics of harmonium, dulcimer and banjo. The album definitely has a late night cracking into morning vibe, rich with incantations and skittering percussion that’s shuffled spatially around the album’s field of focus. McKenzie leads the spell sessions with a dark rapture and its pretty hard to divert attention from her mournful and haunting howl; but just as amiably, the tidepool of psychedelic folk puddling beneath her captures the imagination, bringing the heydays of Badgerlore, Charlambides, Tower Recordings and Fursaxa flooding back.

I believe I’ve said it already this year, but its good to get back to a solid run of psych folk, as the well seems to be getting, not dry, but certainly low as of late. McKenzie is a welcome reminder that there are still those souls haunting the forests, channeling the the moss flecked flats of the American wilderness and fog odes that roll in among the trees. This is one of those albums that feels like it flickers only by candle or firelight and it makes me anxious for the sun to set so that the proper respects can be paid as the first track clicks to start.


Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

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Stef Chura – “Slow Motion”

Detroit’s Stef Chura brings a dose of grunge love to her half of a split tape with fellow motor city resident Anna Burch. Both halves of the tape were recorded by Saturday Looks Good To Me’s Fred Thomas and he contributes instrumentation to both artists’ tracks. “Slow Motion” has a scuzzed but sweet quality that recalls Colleen Green’s recent grunge revitalizations, though Chura’s got a tougher delivery by far and hits the 90’s grit dead on. Like Green, she knows what she likes and her flannel influences wear sleeve deep. This one bodes well for some more material from Chura and if the EP’s just a taste, I’m interested to hear where she’s going. There’s an album in the works, titled Messes so all ears on that when it comes out later in the summer.

Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

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Able Tasmans – A Cuppa Tea and a Lie Down

In contrast to some of their louder peers on Flying Nun, Able Tasmans boast a more acoustic jangle-pop focused sound that’s fleshed out nicely with keys. That doesn’t leave them by any means delicate, as opener “What Was That Thing” will attest. The band is more just as likely to indulge in a gorgeous strum as they are to incorporate wild and cathartic yelps and they push and pull between ecstatic and contemplative over the course of the album. They jumped onto the Flying Nun roster with The Tired Sun EP, which is included in Cap Tracks’ expanded reissue, followed up by the “Buffaloes” single, whose A-side is also incorporated into the expanded package here. This stands as their magnum opus, a gem of a sprawling album that pushes all over the map of Dunedin jangle at the time (though they were in fact from Whangarei), pulling in catchy charms, spastic angst, and even more experimental bits of spoken word collage. It stands as a true highlight in the Flying Nun catalog.

The band would follow it three years later with the more compact Hey Spinner! and push on into the nineties before disbanding. The later works don’t have the same impact as this debut, which pulled the Dunedin sound out of its guitar rut and into something of an update with their focus on keys as an integral part of their sound. A nice package from Captured Tracks’ diligent efforts to reissue key parts of the Nun catalog for sure and the extras make a nice bonus to the original album, giving it a bit of context as to where the band were leading up to its creation.



Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

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Kane Ikin

Kane Ikin’s Modern Pressure fits in nicely with the darker tones of Type’s roster. He’s got a touch of the soundtrack menace that Pye Corner Audio is channeling and plenty of the suffocating darkness of labelmate Vatican Shadow. Built on a minimal base of beats, synths and field recordings, the simple setup is actually less self imposed than socially imposed, due to the everyday pressures that Ikin refers to in the album’s title. Having to sell off pieces of gear to pay rent, the artist stripped back to the basics and the record is a bit better off for it. Not that I envy the artist his belt tightening, but it has wrought an excellent album with a taut and nervy sound, feeling like the walls might cave in at any moment. Though its hard to sit back and relax to Modern Pressure that’s not to say that these track aren’t infinitely enjoyable, as long as you like thrillers vs comedies.

There’s anxiety as the bedrock here, but more than that, many of the tracks have a creeping dread that’s sewn into the seams of Kane Ikin’s sound. The bass shudders through you solar plexus, the synths pool in glowing dread in the background and the beats click by slow and steady, as if waiting to strike. Its the kind of album that Type has become known for; calculated, precise and devastating all at once.




Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

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White Mystery – “Best Friend”

You know, I fell off the White Mystery train for a while. The eponymous debut burned, on Blood & Venom knew what they had going, but then it kinda slid for me. No hate, just sometimes you fall outta love. But I’m digging on their new track and its like old times. “Best Friend” has got a groove, and that groove is infectious as hell. Alex White’s still got the yelp and this has moved away from their typical garage power groove towards something looser; pounding keys, shuffling drums and White’s vocals just riding out the funk like it was an everyday affair. Hell, brother Jack knows that sometimes you gotta put down the guitars and pick up a piano to keep things interesting. I’ve always been a devoted lover of Get Behind Me Satan, maybe White Mystery are following suit, picking up the yoke and pushing to the barroom rollick that soothes the garage woes like a salve. I hope that the rest of this puppy simmers like this, that’s for sure.


Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

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Loose Tooth

Melbourne’s Loose Tooth pack a lot of power into a shaggy but shiny first EP. The songs on Saturn Returns pass the mic back and forth between male and female vox, with both sides of the coin finding easy footing in their Aussie pop charms. The band peppers the tracks with a good glut of guitar jangle and the occasional fret workout or caffeinated crunch, but the key is locking it all down with the driving force of Luc Dawson’s bass. They pull from a good amount of 80’s janglers who came before them on both sides of the ocean, taking bits of American, Brit and Aussie indie stalwarts alike (Some Sea Urchins here, some Heavenly and Beat Happening there, dashes of Able Tasmans) but they’ve mashed them into a mixed bag of pop snacks and shaken the whole thing nicely, finding little bits of each rearing their heads within one track.

The band’s recording setup was locked down by what’s becoming one of my favorite two punch package of Paul Maybury behind the boards and Mikey Young on mastering. They’ve both reared up as a litmus of quality Aussie youth and Loose Tooth is another nod in the right direction from both. Its a fun first foray from the band and one I hope leads to more for sure.




Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

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