Posts Tagged ‘Psych’

Fabulous Diamonds

Aussie duo Fabulous Diamonds had an impeccable string of albums from 2008-2012 and then promptly disappeared off the map for the next seven years. This year they return on UK indie ALTER with a new LP and a bigger vision of their dub-glossed damage. Back when they were slinging discs on Siltbreeze and Nervous Jerk, the band was itching at the same wound that like-minded howlers Blues Control and Peaking Lights found themselves infected with. There was a faded, pre-dawn quality to the music, tumbling down a wormhole of disorientation and delirium and then bounced through the spring reverb within an inch of its life. They’re still not wholly dislodged from that mindset, but Plain Songs feels like someone bottled their sound and terraformed it into a seething organism — bigger, smarter, and more alive than ever.

There’s still the evil slink of tape hiss, but it doesn’t feel like a vehicle of necessity this time. There’s no Tascam noose pulled tight on their sound, rather singer Nisa Venerosa feels like she’s piping her humid vocals through six feet of imported wet topsoil, recording them with an expensive array of contact mics and condensers threaded throughout the room for total coverage. The underbelly of their sound is still haunted by noise, but, again it’s come to some of the logical conclusions of what they were setting up prior. There’s a dingy, collapsed-society, ‘end-stage capitalism devouring the tail’ kind of feeling on this one.

The corrosion here is more of a viral creep than a means to an end. They’ve embodied the spirit of a lounge act poisoned by years of exposure to heavy metals and carcinogens — giving their disease flight through sound, spreading it through the narrow alleyways of an unrepentant reality. They are the cure and the carrier. They’ve finally gone through the lens and into a Lynchian sound that’s as full as they deserve to be and it’s so good to have this pair back, finding the bile that flows through the night wanderers’s souls and giving it a home on two-inch tape.



Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Allah Las – “Prazer Em Te Chnhecer”

Been a good week for hazed psychedelia and ever new trickle out of this Allah Las album marks it as one of their best. The lackadaisical, sunny swing of “Prazer Em Te Chnhecer” slings a set of Portuguese vocals onto a sun waxed surf slider that’s baked in the afternoon sun. There’s not a worry in the bones of the song, instead marinating the days last rays in Mezcal and contented sighs. The song’s title translates to “Nice To Meet You” and that cheerful veneer and welcoming spirit buoys the track throughout its three-minute ramble. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating. Keep your ears out for the Las new one on October 11th.

Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

KAK – KAK

Almost too perfect that alongside the new cosmic collectives releasing sunshine and shade this week there’s a classic back on the table thanks to Mad about Guerssen. I first picked up a copy of KAK at the WFMU record fair years back. That cover just draws you in, a Kodachromed vision of California utopian psychedelia. The record makes good on the visual with room to spare. The record owes a great deal to Moby Grape, but they work to make their own way. The band, formed by Gary Lee Yoder and Dehner Patten, grew out of the pair’s former roots in the short-lived Oxford Circle. They recorded their sole album, released in 1969, but as usual with very little push from their record label, which sent it into obscurity for years. The record is built on a split between bluesy West Coast rockers and some more faded folk touches that dip into the waves with the sun.

While the record is often derided as being derivative of larger names, since the band came up alongside many of them its likely they were just swimming in the same stew. The hinge the record on the huge triple medley “Trieulogy” but the rest of the record easily stands up to the might of that one. After the record’s dismal reception, the band would part ways with Yoder going on to join Blue Cheer and recording a few solo singles. Guersson does this one good with a remaster, heavy sleeve, OBI and new liner notes by writer Alec Palao and members of the band.



Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Wet Tuna – “Cowpath 40”

The steam off of this upcoming Wet Tuna record continues to rise and the band gives another inviting glimpse into the world of Water Weird. “Cowpath 40” slinks forward from the depths, slow and silken, yet covered in an algae slick that gives it a dank, earthen smell. There’s more than a little of the Midnight Tripper in the veins here, the bones of Louisiana sprung to life hundreds of miles north, swamped and sodden, but never soggy. Valentine and Gubler are skulking through a permanent 3AM tilt and it feels like the only right time to be out when Tuna’s on the speakers. New record lands October 11th, and the band is hitting Hudson for a stacked bill at The Half Moon. I’d highly suggest getting some Wet Tuna in your life.



Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Garcia Peoples – “Heart and Soul”

The other half of this new Garcia Peoples platter found its way out yesterday and it’s a damn fine shade on them. Unmoored from the band’s usual groove, the flip to their epic One Step Behind finds the band whiskeyed down in the pre-dawn light, feeling out the bottom of the soul under the flickering bare bulb of yearning. Putting Derek Spaldo’s keys front and center, the song takes the band through country-scarred territory they’ve only hinted at before. The song dives into the large statement sadness of No Other-era Gene Clark in a way that most contemporary artists could only hope to scratch. While the band has cemented their status as kings of the stage — no matter how big or small — with this record they’re proving that the studio is just as much a home, and a place to carve out ecstatic highs and crushing lows that forever reverberate in their two-inch loop around the soul. If this one isn’t already on your wishlist for 2019, this damn well better seal the spot.



Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Ulaan Khol

Stephen R. Smith checks in with his third LP of 2019 under a third alias. This time up he’s landing blows under the Ulaan Khol name, following March’s release under his own Steven R. Smith banner and February’s Ulaan Passerine release. Much like the latter, the Khol arm of his Ulaan empire is fraught with tension, anxiety, and charcoal scraped doom. His collected works have taken on an extraordinarily cinematic quality lately, soundtracking the imagined panoramic sounds of squalid earth and desperate civilizations sifting through the remains of our indulgences gone sour. Perhaps more than any other artist, Smith seems like the one to truly soundtrack the dire crumble of our natural environments. His soundscapes scar the skies and dampen hope, but as fraught as they are with the grit-toothed moments of overwhelming darkness, there’s a strident beauty to Smith’s world.

The driving crescendo that breaks through the smoke on “Above the Arbor” is triumphant, even in the face of such tension. The bilious clouds of smoke that rise from his sonic ruins form ashen monoliths against the reddened skies. The songs are harrowing, but the imprint they leave finds beauty in atrocity. As each arm of the Ulaan (Markhor, Passerine, Khol) universe seems interconnected, its hard not to see this as a continuation of the ravages laid down since at least 2012 within the scope of Smith’s works. Seven years later, the stakes seem just as high as they always were and the consequences are documented on Collapsing Hymns with little room for relent. Naturally, this one comes highly recommended. Smith’s done up the packaging nice as well, the limited cassettes come housed in a stamped wooden box, making this a nice curio of the collapse for you collecting needs.



Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Whistling Arrow – “Forking Paths”

This Heat founder Charles Hayward has been having a hell of a year, with an acclaimed solo record, collaboration with Keiji Haino and now this simmering new LP on the way from Whistling Arrow. The band alongside Hayward is made up of Laura Cannell, Andre Bosman plus members of Ex-Easter Island Head on prepared guitars. The track strains and stretches, rumbles through rhythm and bites into the flesh of experimental and classical canons. The ensemble builds their disjointed cacophony with a nod to invisible funk – possibly only existing in the mind, filtering between the bars. There’s a sense of dance arcing over the track, bones of jazz that tumble to the floor the instant the strings start to get caught in the beast’s teeth. It’s definitely got me curious how the rest of this will shake out. Check the track below and look out for Forking Paths November 22nd on God Unknown.



Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Sunburned Hand of the Man

Trying to keep up with the output if Massachusetts psych collective Sunburned Hand of the Man is almost a futile gesture. I’m willing to bet there might be releases they don’t own. However, especially now that the band’s Bandcamp is a thriving archive of all things Burned in and their orbit its worth paying attention as older releases filter in and newer one’s quietly slip alongside them. Case in point, the band just lobbed up a real gem in their latter output this week, Intentions a micro-release that was recorded in 2017 at Black Dirt with Jason Meagher and intended for a larger release. It wound up instead as an edition of 20 cassettes in Meagher’s microdose series from the studio. Odds are, then, that this one has eluded your grasp.

The vibes here are decidedly less noisy than some of the practice space / small run issues that have been bleeding out of the Burn lately. Possibly closest in scope to their Burnieleaks 3 CD-r from a while back, the band is screwed down into some tighter woven webs of psych-folk and German Progressive psych. They’re picking up plenty of Duul nods and picking at the more capital P – Prog leanings of the great Swedish Silence label. What’s nice is the restraint here. The band doesn’t go as far out as they can and it gives this one a layer of polish that can sometimes get lost in the onslaught of releases. That’s not to say that this is a buttoned-down skimmer – It is still a Sunburned Hand of the Man release, after all.

They open the beast up with a smooth shot of sunset psych-folk, acoustic strums pulling at the ennui centers of the heart. On standout, “The Great Hope,” the band trades a grooverider rhythm with space-slicked synth spears and burnt-ends guitar scorch. They follow it with a “Coffee & Cheese” which sounds like an instrumental breakdown in a ’70-71 Groundhogs live set, on the edge of breaking into “Rich Man, Poor Man” at any moment. They blow further into spaced synths territory elsewhere, hanging some cosmic clouds on the set that pair nicely with the downed-sun guitar runs. “Agitation Cycle” might be as far out as the band swing here, but there’s still a kite-string pulling the band away from the paper shredder noise brigade they can get mixed up with on a typical moment’s notice. The set slides away on the loping grooves of the disorienting “Framework” and it clocks in as one of their best in a quite a while. Highly recommended!



Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Matt Valentine – “Light Speed>”

Well this one’s been on rotation for me for a while, so good to see that the rest of the world is getting a listen. Matt Valentine’s already got a heady burner on the dock with Wet Tuna, but this solo LP wraps up 8 years of pre-dawn jams into one handy collection to cook yer noodle. The opener, “Light Speed>” lays down the operating parameters for the rest of the platter – thoroughly cone-fried psych shot through the outer rim, bounced from quasar to quasar and back through the low-band AM ripples of your transistor soul. The album’s full of mind mel(t/d) mercurial moments and they all start here like a slow-motion explosion triggered by battery acid and sweat. Get into it! The record is out November 8th, from Beyond Beyond is Beyond.




Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Rain Parade – Emergency Third Rail Power Trip

A long running Paisley Underground classic gets a second life via Real Gone this week. The Rain Parade fully embraced the jangled and jeweled psych sounds that predated them by a good two decades, falling out of fashion for the times, but winding up timeless as a result. The band’s debut on Enigma Records is the long discussed and often influential Emergency Third Rail Power Trip, a complete oddity in 1983, but also a conduit from the soft-psych and Byrdsian janglers through to the next wave of Elephant 6-ers and beyond. The band’s true genus lay in wrapping those jangles around a more modern hum – a soft pink fuzz wave that came crashing through in earnest reverberations that would setup the next generation to push the sounds even further past the gauzy glow already forming around a bygone era. In their early years, the band never pretended to be anything other than a psych-pop act and that influence-on-their-sleeve aesthetic probably makes them one of the most enduring Paisley bands.

The band would follow this up with the arguably great sophomore LP Explosions in the Glass Palace, which leaned a bit further into the College Rock impulses springing up in 1984, but it still stands apart as an essentially Paisley platter. They’d issue the live record Beyond The Sunset and sign to a major (Island) for 1986’s Crashing Dream but neither would live up to any sort of reputation that those first two releases have garnered. Guitarist David Roback went on to play in Mazzy Star, keeping the hazed psychedelic vein flowing and the band would reassemble (as all bands seem to do) in 2012 and 2013 for a tour. There’s even a new record on Yep Roc this year. Third Rail (despite Ryley Walker’s assertion that Glass Palace is the true masterpiece) remains probably the most essential Paisley release of the short-lived movement. Though, labels notwithstanding, it’s just a great pop record to have on the shelf, and now, after 30-years, you can nab one again.

Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments