Posts Tagged ‘Feeding Tube’

Sore Eros – “Backseat Bop”

Long a favorite around here, Sore Eros is back with a sprawling new LP for Feeding Tube. The band has become a bit more spread out of late, which accounts for the five-year span between their last outing and this eponymous opus. Robert Robinson and co. start things off with the sunrise swells of “Backseat Bop,” a swooning, jubilant slice of pop that starts off slow and serene before exploding into a cascade of pop colors. Sore Eros has often captured a certain homespun psychedelic pop feel that warbles with a tender fragility, and that feeling is on prime display here. The song’s trepidation burns off, though, around the halfway mark, blowing out the walls of the bedroom in exchange for a widescreen, all-hands-on opener to their new album. The LP is out January 10th and features contributions from longtime compatriots Daniel Oxenberg (Supreme Dicks) and Kurt Vile. Good to have the band back in our arms again.




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Hôpital De La Conception feat. Junk Nurse

A head-scratcher of a platter from a triumvirate of labels (Feeding Tube/Cardinal Fuzz/Opaque Dynamo) births the mysterious debut and sole artifact from France’s Hôpital De La Conception. The record is swift to note that it features Junk Nurse, but he seems to be the only avatar piloting this thing through the blooze swamp foot stomp anyhow. The record is ripped and ragged – zeroed in on an Earth’s core riff that drills down to the very kernel of psychic consciousness. There’s a dogged locomotive rhythm to the record, constantly chuggin’ through the smoke curls and feedback flutter. That hypnotic heave anchors “The Electric Rockin’ Chair” to the concrete so that it doesn’t get flayed clean by the storm swirling about it. The Junk Nurse doesn’t relent, plowing this one through a “Sister Ray” / Don Van Vliet vortex caked with noise and cursed to rumble for all days.

The album’s just the one song – flip it and it starts chuggin’ all over again like a lost soul condemned to scream sonic fury for all time. If this is Dante’s soundtrack to scuzz, then when the fury kicks up, the Nurse has you hitting your head on every wrung of the inferno before laying limp on the floor and begging for no more volume. The Hôpital and Junk Nurse hear your plea and turn the thumb down. The riff will rage and you will be inflamed with the body buzz of chooglin’ fury once more. Into the abyss, let it lock down and linger. That’s what I say. Now as for all the mystery, shadows and riddles about who’s behind this opus of guitar offal. I don’t know about you, but the possibility that the only other record to come out on France’s Opaque Dynamo is from GR (aka Gunslingers’ Gregory Raimo) makes this one a very good bet. Who knows who the Nurse serves but if its outta that camp, I’d put my money on it being a necessary pickup.




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Big Blood

Another one from the ranks of Raven’s past, Big Blood has been a bit of a fixture here (and on the old Blogspot) since back in ’08 when The Grove grace my ears. The band’s continued with a rather enviable output over the years. Following their work with Cerberus Shoal and the always underrated Fire On Fire, the couple has kept a stead stream of records and CD-rs coming out on their own Don’t Trust The Ruin, Time-Lag, Blackest Rainbow and Feeding Tube. The latter lands as the home to their latest, The Daughter’s Union. The album was actually recorded prior to their last Feeding Tube outing, Operate Spaceship Earth Properly, which came out last year, but with the band’s dense catalog it’s sometimes hard to keep track. The title likely alludes to the fact that this is the first album that fully features the couple’s daughter Quinnisa, and her contributions, as on its companion from last year, give the band a harder edge.

While the sound is a bit toughened at the edges, that doesn’t mean the band has lost their folk hearts. Transitioning from their early, wooded sound into more Fairport/Josephine Foster territory that gives rock a place at the folk table, they let the new heaviness seem in organically. Colleen and Quinnasa meld their vocals into shaky, aching harmonies while underneath there’s a renewed sense of rhythm and riot. The band tackles some unlikely sources for covers (The Troggs, Silver Apples) and they fit the album together into a psych-soaked vision of ‘70s-indebted rock that’s floating somewhere between the Laurel Valley and the Eastern mountain ranges. The record is another solid endorsement of Big Blood’s prowess – a veteran band that only seems to steep their sound further in their influences, interpolating them and weaving folk and rock into an inviting wicker warmer. If you’re not already coveting each new Big Blood release, it might be time to start.



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The Taxidermists

The sophomore LP from Massachusetts duo The Taxidermists takes a different tack than I’d expect from Feeding Tube, but then again, the label is built on not fostering expectations. The Taxidermists trade in a noisy nook of indie that’s got a shelf full of Sonic Youth, Pavement, No Age, and Eric’s Trip – though from a contemporary standpoint they’re landing right in the kinked-tin travels of someone like Omni. The aural twists come quick and, while not frantic, they are certainly anxious. On the contrast the lyrics seem almost nonchalant. They remain unfussed by the din that grows behind them. The band threads noise through their sound, but they’re in search of as many hooks as the next pair. The dynamic gives the record a nature of being at odds with itself. The vocals give way to a need to be liked, while the guitars yell “fuck you for thinking this will be that easy.”

Thorniness aside, the record wraps itself in a sort of classic New England clatter – the kind that would have once been traced back to fountains of shaggy shake a la Fort Apache, where the curdle in their licks would be well appreciated. It’s a pop record for folks who don’t like pop records. They are punks with a heart that heeds noise, noise nerds with a secret diary full of indie pop lyrics. If anything, the true criticism of the record is that it winds up a bit short. They burn bright and tangle hard, but then the record just hits a wall and they skitter off leaving the listener wanting more. Suppose that’s a good thing, but the hurt is real all the same.






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Weeping Bong Band

A second slab tumbles out for the ever-elusive Weeping Bong Band. The NY/Mass collective culls together the talents of Beverley Ketch, PG Six, Anthony Pasquarosa, Clark Griffin and Wednesday Knudsen, who play in varying forms under the umbrella of WBB. For a night in New Salem, Mass all members were on hand at the 1794 Meeting House and the tape was running as they seeped a sonic spell out into the room. The set is hazy, doused in curls of smoke and painted in plant dyes and ash. The tone shifts between the densely wooded hills of the Northeast — haunted and hallowed, suffused with the secrets of generations of spirits bonded to the wood — and the dry desert nights nestled among the barren hills.

There’s a constant sense of moan that winds its way through II giving the set the set a sense of creeping menace and gaunt despair. The guitars cry, not in outright anguish, but in a more personal pain — a quiet devastation that’s born out of secrets too dark to share. Something about the set being recorded in New Salem, gives it a particularly harrowing shamanic vibe, ferreting out old wounds scarred deep from occult rituals buried deep in the wounds of the earth. Appropriately, when vocals do arise, they’re incantations, screeds to the vibrating ethers, rather than tuneful musings. With this second set the band has cemented their status as one of the best nocturne collectives currently goin’. This one’s an essential trip.

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Jefferey Alexander

Its already been a pretty impressive year from Jeffrey Alexander. The recently released Dire Wolves album is fresh in RSTB’s best of the year and he’s got a solo jaunt on the way from Feeding Tube. This time the maelstrom that marked Grow Towards The Light is tempered. Instead, the album explores solo sojourns through the dark, favoring instrumentals that scrape at the corner debris of psychedelia and churn the subconscious a turn or two while they’re at it. Alexander’s pieces creep through the echo, delicate and dewy with hope in some spots (“Rewinding”) but more often creeping with eerie unease. There’s a dusting of crackle and hiss, not unlike The Caretaker’s most recent explorations into the trauma and trials of dementia, only here the forlorn linger of jazz halls is replaced with a lost echo of bittersweet psych-folk. The memories crumble on like a found hurdy gurdy left to rot in the woods, revived by the ghosts of an intangible past.

Wedged between these pieces, Alexander also places two top-shelf psych stunners that don’t go the instrumental route. Traveling down a bit of the Golden Road, he divines the midnight, pre-dawn shivers that would wear well on any release on Child of Microtones. Both songs are haunted and hushed, driven by firelight and solitude. Its a nice companion for recent releases by Ash & Herb and Wet Tuna, among others – a mountain pass primer of nocturnal psychedelic bliss. As usual, both Alexander and Feeding Tube don’t disappoint.



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Joseph Allred

Feeding Tube resumes its breakneck schedule of underground gems with a new release from Boston picker Joseph Allred. The guitarist has been knocking out great tapes for some time, including a few this year on the quietly endearing new imprint Garden Portal recs, but this marks the man’s third LP proper, following up 2016’s Fire & Earth for Scissor Tail. In his tape travels Allred has explored the persona of Poor Faulkner, a lonesome middle-aged man with an inner sadness and outer problem with ghosts of the non-metaphorical variety. Though his works are instrumental, this character’s narrative informs the tangle of strings that Allred weaves over the course of O Meadowlark. The titles tell of a man visted by a bird, coaxed to a wooded cabin in search of an Angel who brings a vision to Poor Faulkner. The album only plays out through his ascension with the promise of that vision to come in a later album.

While the narrative adds a nice color and emotional heft to the stringwork, even without the tale the album is an engrossing listen. Following in the Takoma tradition, Allred’s phrasing knocks between the river rambles of Basho and the Eastern sun salutations that Richard Bishop prefers. He swaps between guitar and banjo with ease, using the latter to rise like the sun in his vignette. Allred’s style is absorbing and it’s hard to escape the web of notes that he weaves. They surround the listener, dancing, dizzying, taunting, coaxing. He pulls the album back from the brink of technical showmanship, careful not to let it become just a flex of talent. Rather he imparts every note with the proper emotional heft to make the tempest of sound a heartbreaking aural journey. If you’re new to Allred’s catalog, this is a nice entry point and here’s hoping that Faulkner’s epiphany warrants a sequel to this stunner.



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Weeping Bong Band – “Pattern of a Platitude”

Pioneer Valley’s cosmic nub Weeping Bong Band don’t throw a lot of confetti as they approach releases. They tend to slip out under the cover of night, content to creep through the mists, solitary and serene. The band’s last LP for Feeding Tube was a shamanistic wander along the outer edge of folk’s reaches and they offer up more of the same for the upcoming, and rather appropriately titled, II. The first track to see the light, via a quietly slipped MP3 on Feeding Tube’s page, is “Pattern of A Platitude.” Again riding the pre-dawn vibes, the track lopes through strings and sonorous drones with a patient pace. The song’s spectral tendrils drag out over fields parched of green, dry and itching for a frost. If you missed out on the previous LP, the label’s done you a solid and repressed that gem. Otherwise, get ready for round two.



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Spiral Wave Nomads

Feeding Tube is often so busy its hard to keep up with the output, and this year has had such a solid roster of releases that it’s a shame to miss any. The debut from Spiral Wave Nomads proves this point nicely. The LP, a co-release with Twin Lakes Records, embraces a shimmering batch of psych-ragas that are burnt to the core. The band snags in two long-time psychedelic spool party regulars – Eric Hardiman (Burnt Hills, Century Plants) and Michael Kiefer (Myty Konkeror, More Klementines) and they continue their search for the bottomless pit of bliss that bubbles just below the acid-fried surface of a distant sun. Ambling and aching, the tracks on their eponymous debut squeeze dropout drones and square-wave boogies through a strainer to serve.

Throwing varying degrees of noise debris the listeners’ way, from cosmic dust to the kind of fuzztone flakes that get stuck in your teeth, the record doesn’t seek to salve the soul entirely, but rather to rumple, reorder, and render it before melting it into a puddle of pulses. The duo skates the edge of oblivion and anguish, feeling like they might topple either way at any time during the record. They build up a good deal of tension through chewed tin transmissions on “Wabi Sabi,” and then shave it to the bone on the languid “Floating on a Distant Haze” and closer “Patterns of Forgotten Flight.” The LP stands up nicely next to much of the Tube’s heady output this year (pairs nicely with Village of Spaces and Maxine Funke, not to mention the Fog Window LP on SFTRI I mentioned last week). If this one melts your core there’s bonus bliss to be found in the More Klementines release that just came out on Twin Lakes as well. I recommend lining those up on the turntable in tandem.




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Fog Window

For those of you paying attention, Fog Window lives in the extended family of Devin, Gary & Ross, the bizarro psych trio who have been frothing in the fringes for the last decade or so. The players themselves have been on the horizon even longer. Gary Panter issued a single with the Residents, did design work for Pee Wee’s Playhouse, contributed comics to RAW and knocked out a Yo La Tengo cover painting and you barely thought to say ‘thanks.’ Panter hooked up with Devin Flynn, also a purveyor of fine comics and illustration (Y’all So Stupid, Adult Swim, Yo Gabba Gabba), as a duo LP on Ecstatic Yod/Feeding Tube in 2011 and eventually they pulled in fellow psychedelic traveler Ross Goldstein to the fold. The partnership set the scene for two LP’s of melatonin-mad psych-folk goo that’ll warp yer wagon if you let ‘em, 2011’s Four Corners and 2014’s Honeycomb of Chakras. They’ve absorbed a couple more campfire cosmonauts into the mix for the lovely sprawl that is Fog Window’s debut – with Lily Rogers and Curtis Godino of the band Worthless rounding out the roster here.

With the deeper bench the band expands the notions of psychedelic drip that and DMT satellite transmissions that DG&R have molded into shape over the last few years. The record is hard to pin down (as might be expected) and the styles shift like colored oils under glass. Rogers adds an ethereal touch with her high register folk fawning, giving Fog Window a dreamy quality on shimmering tracks like “Time in Miles” and “Hippie Girl.” Don’t get your head set on where this is going though, the band won’t sit still for your dream-folk fantasies. The tone shifts to campfire clatter, humble and hummable, and then slides through the silt into spoken word workouts that are half-remembered through the haze of substance, reality, and time.

They drop out of the dream entirely by the time we roll into side three, amping up the ozone past more than a tickle in your throat and knocking a bit of cosmic sense into the listener with a toasted blues shuffle that could take a tête-à-tête with Endless Boogie and come out sauntering. While I appreciate the whole of Fog Window’s mercurial madness, this side hits me just right. “Landing Gear” sets the tone for the second half of the album, which seems to slide further off this crumpled coil and into the wet ink wonderland of the band’s rubberized hallucinations. By the time the fourth and final side is upon you the ground’s gone gummy and started to rise like quicksand, but if feels natural. It feels right. Fog Window are there to hold your hand as you tip off the edge of this shoddy temporal existence. They’re sonic Sherpas for end times shepherding us all into the smoke on the horizon.

Check out a stream of the LP below. Double gatefold comes with a bonus newsprint zine featuring art by the band.



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