Posts Tagged ‘Feeding Tube’

Powers/Rolin Duo

This year started out with a beautiful, tender album by Matthew Rolin, and he continues to stun with his duo recordings with Jen Powers. Anchored by Rolin’s circular guitar work, and fleshed out with the dulcimer work of Powers, the album cascades in sheets of shimmer. The two create a language of languid ripples that give the impression of moving through wet caves filled with light reflected off of water. The damp coolness lives inside the core of their eponymous LP, tempered slightly by the sawing midsection of “Catarwauls,” but even this plays into the overarching feeling of reverberating light and sound. The culmination is a sidelong stunner topping out at just under eighteen minutes that lets both artists unfurl their true prowess. The piece grows slowly, peaking out from over the horizon like the apt cover painting. As it takes shape the song opens itself to the listener, increasing its crystalline glow with each passing minute.

Up until now the pair has kept their output largely to live recordings, but a couple of tapes have slipped out on Athens label Garden Portal, both as a duo and alongside Jayson Gerycz (Cloud Nothings) on percussion. These recordings beg for more from the duo, and here’s hoping that this is the start of a fertile relationship with the Northeast’s best, Feeding Tube. Seems like quite a few are in need of something to bolster quiet contemplation these days, and while the impetus for these tracks may not have been meant for quite these times, its certainly appreciated.



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Dire Wolves (Just Exactly Perfect Sisters Band)

It’s been a hell of a year for Dire Wolves. The bi-coastal psych slayers have been on an endless tear for over a decade, but some of their best moments have coalesced in between 2018 and the present. Flow and Heady comes close on the heels of the vinyl pressing for their tour-only I Just Wasn’t Made For These Set Times and in an almost tandem issue with another live to tape recording, Knee Deep In the Buchla on Stoned To Death. The latter is from the same tour just shifting the focus from Copenhagen to Prague. There’s a rash of live recordings within the cosmic sphere of late, but with the Wolves in particular, being in the room isn’t just a matter of experiencing one of their studio records flung far and wide. Often as the lineups mutate and the song matter evolves, certain shows can contain the only true version of a song. A pair of hungry mics picking up the delirium to be experienced outside of the walls that were doused in the electric sweat of the moment is a reason to be thankful indeed.

Flow and Heady takes place, as I mentioned, in Copenhagen. In particular it was recorded for their appearance at Festival Of Endless Gratitude. The festival is a freeform, psych-folk gathering that pulled Jandek and Lau Nau alongside the Wolves and a good crossection of Scandinavian psychedelic collectives. Already primed for elevated vibes, the festival appearance divined a transcendent set out of Dire Wolves. Covering ground not previously explored by the band in existing recordings, this is an aura that can’t necessarily be replicated by conventional means. Not that the Wolves mean to use anything conventional. On this tour the band connected with Nik Rayne of The Myrrors (guitar and clarinet) and Scottish player Bell Lungs (violin, voice and bird calls) who both add an extra dimension to the European dates and their presence is felt deeply threaded through the set.

The album is anchored heavily by the title track which takes up a good portion of the first side — pairing the band’s freeform wander with an expanded guitar interplay and ululating vocals from Bell. The song hangs on their own particular ether and soaks in the damp humors of the humid atmosphere. They roll out of it with something of a ritual or incantation before pumping the calm out of the room for a tangled mass of distortion and woven wicker lines set ablaze in the Copenhagen sun. “Dr. Esperanto” closes out the set with a combination of the two — guitars still smoldering from the previous outing, but laced with Bell’s violin and a haunting bout of vocal apparitions. If you’ve stuck around here long enough, then chances are you’re already following the band’s releases with perked ears, but for any newcomers to the Just Exactly Perfect Sisters Band, this is as inviting a portal inward as any. Bonus: All come with bonus Download Content featuring 2 extra concerts (Die Friese – Bremen – 6th September and Rhiz – Vienna – 9th September)



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Banshee

In an age that bubbles under with rage, someone needs to tap the crack that breaks the damn. The floodwaters don’t always have to be righteous, sometimes they just need to be cathartic. That’s where Boston’s Banshee come in. Livin’ In The Jungle lets the chaos of the current free with the kind of wild abandon that feels counterintuitive of late. The band are huffing the exhaust from the sinewy side of the ‘70s. Their new LP for Feeding Tube/Cardinal Fuzz is knuckle beaten by the animal instincts of The Stooges, The Deviants, and Dead Boys, but they don’t stay down in the dirt for the entirety of their trip. While a primal thrum is at their core, the band stripes the record with a psychedelic smoke that winds itself around these chiseled rhythms. On “Dawn of Man” the band pounds a glam-stomped beat that reverberates to the bone, but they lace it up with ecstatic strings and narcotic gang vocals. In that regard, they take a good couple of swigs off the hippie hell raiser brand that Hawkwind and The Pink Fairies used to stoke their fires.

Beset with howls and the squalls of horns competing to crack the senses, “Savage Man” is hot to the touch, but the band are pretty quick to inject a good ounce of dry ice dampness elsewhere. Biker-psych isn’t a genre that gets too much love these days, and when it does its never with this level of self-awareness and swagger. Simmer the releases of Hoover III and Zig Zags down to their bits and bottle ‘em and its a brew coming close to what Banshee have concocted. The band aren’t afraid to mix their psychedelic metaphors and I respect that. They’re perfectly happy to dip their throat-shredded ozone burners in the mayfair trappings of hippiedom and it works so well. This one has all the earmarks of a record that’s going to get slept on, so I’m urging you not to be among the poor souls left behind. Crack the windows and let this one echo off the second stories around you.



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Waterless Hills

Manchester’s Waterless Hills lay an absolute gem on us, quietly eking out an eerily calm eddy of prog from under the scarred English skies. The group, which features previous Feeding Tube alum C Joynes on guitar and Dan Bridgeood-Hill on violin (Irma Vep, Charles Hayward), trades in a dark strain of folk that wanders the streets at dusk and wanders states of reality after that sun finally sets. There’s an outworld quality to the songs of The Great Mountain, and as much as that title conjures up visions of Jodorowsky’s nightmare wonders, the band makes good on them with aural imagery that’s as tarnished by ash, sand, and soil as his films. The record is dried by the sun — scorched, leathered, and laid bare — and in many moments that simmers from the speakers there’s a feeling of palpable sweat seeping through the songs. It’s not constant, though, there’s the respite of dusk and the cool ripples of clean water tumbling through natural cut rock in the bones here as well.

The guitars chime and bend, roll and ramble. The drums crash and skitter with a malevolent force and all the while that violin drags us to our feet time and time again to take the journey to the mountain on the mantle. The journey is the through line and we, as listeners, arrive changed certainly, but not exhausted. Instead there’s an elation, an unplaceable euphoria humming through the invisible wires of Waterless Hills’ offering to the endless horizon. Aside from a lone lathe cut sourced from the same sessions this is the band’s only output, but here’s hoping its not the last. The record finds its home here in the states on Feeding Tube and abroad in the arms of Cardinal Fuzz. Best grab one of these because neither of those labels has a tendency to let record sit idle in their bins.



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Dire Wolves – “Flow and Heady > By The Fireside”

Brand new heady jammer from Dire Wolves is up today and heralding a live release split between Feeding Tube and Cardinal Fuzz. The set was recorded live at the Festival of Endless Gratitude in Copenhagen last year and presents the band in full shamanic glory. The opener “Flow and Heady > By The Fireside” plunges straight into the heart of the beast, clawing through the psychedelic ephemera like only Dire Wolves could. Alexander’s guitars are as hooked into the ether as ever and as would be expected the track is doused in a swirling interplay between violin and voice that’s disorienting and delightful. The band has had an unstoppable couple of years and this LP shows no signs of stopping their roll. The LP lands on the tables April 17th. Definitely get in the running for one of these limited pressers.



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Matthew J. Rolin

Finally hitting a week where I can catch up on all the great LPs in the pile, many of which come from the esteemed Feeding Tube. This one’s for the fingerpick freaks out there, and while it hits the heartstrings of those weaned on Fahey and, more importantly, Kottke, it appears that Rolin has a more modern thorn in his side. The artist comes from Cleveland garage and psych outfits (most notably Nowhere) that ramble far less than they hop through the haze. After a shift to Chicago Rolin ditched the echoplex dreams for acoustic inflection, leaning heavier on the new class kickers like Ryley Walker, Daniel Bachman, William Tyler, and Richard Bishop more than the Tompkins Square set for his inspiration. No matter what the inroads, though, the impact remains the same. Like American Primitive dominoes the influences trickles through in his playing and he enters into the new class alongside Itasca, Kendra Amelie, and Joseph Allred as carriers of the torch.

Influences aside, the album is a refreshingly vernal take on the form. Tracks tumble and sparkle with life. His runs are rapid, but cut through with a slide-blues dissonance that sides with passion over precision. There’s a forlorn quality to songs like “Siren” and the appropriately titled “Neverendingness,” but Rolin works his way through mourning, meditation, and celebration all in good time as the record unfolds. There’s been a staggeringly great run of new fingerpicked music over the last decade and this is a lovely addition to the roster. Just check out that Ryley curated Tompkins Sq LP for a taste (Rolin’s included) to really get acquainted. This one’s getting scarce (my fault for not giving it some love sooner) but where you find it, you should certainly pick it up.



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Sore Eros

The histories of RSTB and Sore Eros are fairly intwined. A long running fixture on the site, the band also graced the first show ever booked under the banner of RSTB at Northside festival a million years back. So, its only fitting that as the band releases their swan song it should wind up here. Robert Robinson has been holding the spark, but the band drifted to different coasts and doesn’t find themselves working live so much any more. Enter engineer/producer (and the force behind The War On Drugs) Adam Granduciel, who was able to coax the band’s distant members back into the studio for a fitting sunset on the band. The band simmers in a brand of soft-focus psych — part folk’s whisper, part hypnogogic shimmer, and here, part sun-kissed West Coast foam rolling back out to sea. The low-light linger adds a nice touch to sound and gives the whole record a relaxed nature that reverberates calm and coolness.

The record orbits around the ten-minute plus roil of “Ocean Tow,” an unusually extensive cut from a band who usually keeps things in the pop song range. The stretch works and they slide down the movement chute as the track folds and unfolds itself in billowing layers . Floating around the centerpiece, the band pings through the echoplex quasars, feeling out the foam with a bittersweet bent. Though this may be their last, the record makes a strong statement of purpose for Sore Eros. They were never at the forefront, but for those that dug into their tender psychedelic heart, it was a welcome journey.




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Taxidermists – “Meet Again”

Massachusetts’ Taxidermists fire back with a tripleshot single after their sorely overlooked Feeding Tube LP from last year. Still tightly wound and ready to blow, the songs are pop rocks packets of angst and angles. There’s a brittleness that the duo shares with No Age, though they often come off like a scrappier Omni. Those overtones are present on all three tracks here, but the opener, “Meet Again” is laced with a lingering sadness that’s not always present in the band’s work. It’s brittle, but ready to crumble under the emotional weight behind it. The band, so far, has bubbled far beneath the radar but here’s hoping they keep pushing out great records like this until their catalog begs a look. The EP is out now on a pay as you wish version on Bandcamp. Throw the band some love and a few bucks if you can.




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Joseph Allred

The last outing from Joseph Allred, 2019’s O Meadowlark solidified Allred’s reputation as a consummate picker, one whose style moved with an effortless grace from slippery Fahey runs through the more buttoned up blisters of Kotke and the spiritual slants of Basho. Like the latter player in that triumvirate, Allred takes a swipe at vocal blues on his latest, Traveler. While the majority of the record still showcases his chameleonic stringwork, on the album opener and title track, he lends his voice to an emotionally fraught tale that proves out of the gate that he’s not just a master of the strings. Over the next few songs Allred works his way through brambles and rabbles of notes that, while certainly virtuosic, also serve to salve and calm. It’s a pastoral, primal record that’s knotted with tangled roots and torn soil. Allred wears the mantle of natural conduit well, lending Traveler a soiled grace that’s hard to shake.

When his blues pop through once more, they don’t break the spell, instead giving the earthen rambles an anchor of humanity that tills the topsoil of the instrumental odes. “The Crown” feels sung by moonlight – a barn song that rings through the rafters with a pang of sadness. Allred swaps between banjo and guitar with such admirable ease that the change in instruments doesn’t jar in the least, letting the two timbres weave together into a tapestry of sound, looping lustrous thread through the earth tones of his sonic fabric. He caps off the vocal offerings with “O Columbia” a song that snags a few loose Fahey ends (specifically “In Christ There Is No East or West,”) and ties them to a sighing track that slips beneath the horizon as the record lopes into the last lap. The record finally fads away with a touching tribute to Glen Jones that tips a hat to one of Allred’s more modern influences. This may very well be his finest, and hopefully opens the door for more vocal offerings from the songwriter.



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Willie Lane – A Pine Tree Shilling’s Worth

Starting in 2009 guitarist Willie Lane issued a run of albums on his own Cord-Art label, ranging from fingerpicked folk to ragged blues. The albums, Known Quantity, Guitar Army of One and A Pine Tree Shilling’s Worth all seeped out quietly and went out of print quickly. Thankfully Feeding Tube have sought to correct the scarcity of the originals with a run of reissues over the last couple years and they’re now drawing that to a close with a new version of Pine Tree, which might be the best of the bunch. The LP is far more electric than the other two in the trilogy, leaning in heavily to the ragged blues and experimental feel of the series. The record isn’t tied to genre or feeling, but explores a shifting sense of sound that’s as rooted in the Takoma take on folk as it is in the dirt-caked Philly scene that would surface years later. Lane acts as a bridge between eras and does so without any whiff of overthinking. The pieces on A Pine Tree Shilling’s Worth flow with a loose ramble that weaves between the roots of the now snow-soaked Pioneer Valley.

Lane has been an integral part of the latest wave of psych-folk froth, not to mention the one before it, having collaborated with Elkhorn, Matt Valentine, Meg Baird, Samara Lubelski, Specrte Folk, and Espers over the years. Having this trilogy of releases back in print is a vital link between where Lane has been and where he’s headed. There’s word that another LP is on the way, so perhaps this last reissue will be preamble to the next node of his songwriting. Personally, I’m quite interested in what’s next, though 2019 itself is packed with Lane hallmarks. Besides this reissue, you can hear him on Elkhorn’s Sun Cycle/Elk Jam and Valentine’s Preserves album. If you’re just starting in on his works, I’d recommend beginning with this one and then diving backwards.



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