Posts Tagged ‘Heavy’

Feral Ohms – “Teenage God Born To Die”

Been excited for this one since the live LP dropped onto the Castle Face roster last year. Though Ethan Miller has been involved in a cadre of psychedelic endeavors over the years (Heron Oblivion, Howlin’ Rain) his legacy has always been the wild spark of Comets On Fire. Early Howlin’ Rain had flashes of scorched riffs, but they mellowed over the years into something that had less of Comets’ DNA and more debt to ’70s radio rock. Heron Oblivion lit up psych-folk last year with a set of acetylene tracks that smelled of the same brimstone fueling Miller’s amps of yore, but it’s Feral Ohms that have truly brought his catastrophic nature hurtling back. “Teenage God Born To Die” is a wild, feral lob into the chaotic soul of heavy rock. The song threatens to tear itself, any set of speakers lucky enough to shuttle it’s fury and every waking body within earshot to pieces. Miller has woken the beast that lurks in the psychedelic heart and it’s clearly hungry. This one’s going to be hard to beat in 2017. Sweatin’ with anticipation.


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CFM – “Rise And Fall”

2017 appears to be the year when the members that have made Ty Segall’s backing bands so potent get their own shared glow of the spotlight, and deservedly so. With Meatbodies heading up the glam-psych concept album and The Cairo Gang shined into pop prettiness, it’s left to Charles Moothart to lift the garage baton high and get into some dirty riffs. The first taste of the band’s upcoming LP on In The Red is the tar-thick garage-pscyh stickiness of “Rise and Fall.” The recording here, like Moothart’s compatriots in Meatbodies, takes a notch up from the shredded psych salad he’s released in the past. He has West Coast studio wizard Eric Bauer and old pal Segall to thank for that, as the pair get down on recording and mixing duties. There’s an air of Motorhead’s laryngitis howl, a thatch of Sabbath via Satori riffs and a cloud of smoke so thick that the band can cut their dry ice budget in half. Couldn’t be happier to see all these solo runs adding up to a year of heavy gems.




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Expo Seventy

There’s never really a bad time to have a new Expo ’70 album on deck (two actually as of this posting) but somehow Fall/Winter seem to lend themselves entirely to the thunderous creep of Justin Wright’s doom psych. America Here & Now Sessions captures the band as a rare four piece, adding an additional drummer whose presence amps up the churning sea of rhythm that ushers along both of these sidelong epics. Wright has long had a habit of improvising heady studio jams and these pieces, recorded as a part of a cross-country traveling dialogue about America through the arts, find the band lashing out into the howling void with the best of their releases. In turn they wind up summing up the ominous vibes of current Americana in fine fashion.

The first movement rolls over the land like a tornado on treads, spreading a seed of fear that’s mirrored in the stark and spectral second movement’s more Kosmiche approach. Where the first is chaos shot through a keyhole and smashing everything under its eighty tons of terror, the second movement is desolation, and stunned shock ramping up to a meltdown moment that’s packed with 50 megatons of amp toned torque. Every Expo release seems to find a new storm within Wright’s soul and America Here & Now is as ferocious and bracing as his best work. Essence has gone above and beyond in the packaging dept as well, aside from the normal color spectrum, there’s a super deluxe edition that comes in a woven silkscreened bag with prints feeling like super ‘luxe has been taken to a new level.




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Axis: Sova

Everything about Brett Sova’s second album for Drag City imprint God? is more confident. He’s raised himself out of the murk of tape hiss and brought forth an album that, much like fellow Drag City stabler Purling Hiss, embraces guitar as a saving grace for the psychic stomp of 2016. Unlike the Hiss, though, Axis: Sova isn’t chasing the demons of grunge, but rather the boogie blues and psychedelic sweat of a ’70s vision that holds up Guru Guru and Hawkwind as the reigning class. Hell, you’ve got to have stones to open up your sophomore album with an almost nine-minute acid fuzz assault on the senses that seems like it should be the kind of song that collapses an album to the floor. Instead Sova chooses to blast the listener with a defining statement of Axis’ aesthetic. Its the kind of opening salvo that says, “this is what you’re in for so either strap in or get out of the way.”

The rest of the album doesn’t hold back any fury either. Following that scorcher of an opening shot, the rest of Motor Earth cranks its way through exhaust fume choked psych swagger and low and gritty fuzz rumblers leveled at ya with the kind of steady gaze that proves that Sova can back up the chatter with more than a few dirty riffs. Sova brings along fellow guitarist Tim Kaiser for the ride and the two staple their riffs to a chassis of stomp n’ clatter beats that, though workmanlike, fill in the space between the two amplifier clouds amiably. Its clear that the folks over at DC could see through the swamp of his debut to this cleaner burning version of Axis’ power. Though, in the same capacity as Mike Polizze’s Purling Hiss transformation, it would be interesting to see the band evolve into a three-piece with a proper pound rounding out the storm. Still, the record holds its own with just the two players making one hell of a ruckus. Trailing out their love for the ghosts of ’70s space rock and gravel pelted grinders alike, they prop themselves up as a two-man Leaf Hound on an Afflicted Man budget, and to tell you the truth, its workin’.

Listen to the album in full below!





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Kandodo / McBain

As previously mentioned here, three members of The Heads have teamed up with John McBain, original member of Monster Magnet, who has also done some time in Queens of The Stone Age, The Desert Sessions and The Wellwater Conspiracy. Needless to say, the resulting sessions air on the heavy, druggy and especially droned out. The album, Lost Chants – Last Chance creeps out of the gate with high plains dread, finding solace in older Kandodo work, but also the atmospheres of Barn Owl, the sonic growl of Hills or the chest rattling work of Earth. The band doesn’t shy away from length, letting the dust cloud they will to life traverse every inch of these five tracks, inching their way up to the fifteen minute mark in some places.

The combination of players creates a kind of psychedelic vortex that sucks listeners in, making the album feel expansive, looming, and brimming with a storm that threatens to tear down the walls before the needle clicks to a close. To compound things further, the album is setup to play at both 33 and 45, allowing the aforementioned heaviness stretch to longer and slower grinding depths, with the CD/Dig versions including the 33 rpm slowed down cuts for those without a speed selector in their life. At either speed the Kandodo/McBain collision is a formidable foe, fraught with doom and dread which feels perfect for the onset of the end of 2016. Keep this one close at hand, there’s no telling when the apocalypse needs a good soundtrack, thick with oil smoke and charging hard at the edge of the stormfront. This one’s vibing hard towards what might be called global collapse rock. Feelin’ it.



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Dreamtime LP Reissues

Fans of Aussie psych can rest easier knowing that Dreamtime’s two LPs from 2011 and 2013 have found their way over to domestic shores via Captcha (US) and Cardinal Fuzz (UK). The labels are reissuing the band’s eponymous album and Sun, both of which were pressed in numbers that went quickly in their native Australia. The Brisbane band have made a name for themselves in the interim, opening for Bardo Pond, Moon Duo, Boris, Earth, King Gizzard and Earthless and hopefully this means that there might be some new music on the way shortly.

New music or no, for the stateside uninitiated this is a great chance to get acquainted with the band’s heavy, tribal pscyh. The two records show two sides of the band, their debut is built on a bed of scorched fuzz and amplifier vomit, with the bass throbbing in heatsick wobbles. They incorporate a bit of the high plains dust into their ourvre, but this one puts them squarely into the lexicon of psychedelic scorch. The follow-up is more subtle than its predecessor and more so than some of their chosen touring mates’ might lead you to believe. Sun’s brand of psych is heavy, but not crushing. They utilize mantra-like droning and dextrous guitars that explode when the fuse is lit. As a pair, the albums lift Dreamtime up as an essential South Hemi export.





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Black Mountain – “Florian Saucer Attack”

The first taste from Black Mountain’s new LP IV was a dirgey bit of bleak prog that felt as heavy as their namesake, but they froth it up on this new track. Its heavily lead by Amber Webber’s vocals and pulsing along on a real late Hawkwind vibe that’s full on carbon exhaust chugging with a smattering of syth stabs for good measure. Everything in this album feels like the band is really embracing their Prog membership club status and for the record, I couldn’t be happier to see the band go full Tarkus.

The accompanying video is lent a hand by Chad Van Gaalen as animator and director and his style and content here seem to be drawing on some real Rick and Morty vibes. Again, not something I’d ever complain about. I can’t believe its been almost six years since the band had an album proper but with these tastes, I’m looking forward to it.

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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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