Posts Tagged ‘Three Lobed’

Sunburned Hand of the Man – “Flex”

There may be few freer flowing catalogs than that of Sunburned Hand of the Man. The longstanding Northeast collective have long kept the candle burning on free psych in the new age, letting out a steady stream of CDrs, cassettes, and limited digital ephemera in the name of digging into the deep scatological burn of psychedelic fallout that lives and dies in the room. The band breathes a noxious exhalation of groove battered funk, jazz-wrenched psych, and noise scuttled concrete. The lucky takes find their way imprinted onto tape for preservation on the shelves of those who’ve already felt the call of the cosmic and are keeping tabs. They are totems that aren’t often easy to come by. Last year the band pulled out of a longtime vinyl drought to slip out an excellent LP for Cardinal Fuzz. Headless hit like a second coming, hammering in everything that kept the band vital over the years and packed it onto a platter that was woefully here and gone before too many hands could feel the heat. It was their first LP since 2010’s A on the long shuttered, but much missed Ecstatic Peace, but this time they don’t make the wanting wait too long between records. The band announces a follow-up today as part of Three Lobed’s 20th anniversary series.

Pick A Day To Die leads off with the slinking kosmiche coil of “Flex,” finding the band cleaning up their corners with a tightly wound flash of liquid-skinned guitar propelled by a groove that owes its blood to a few German Progressive forefathers. Shot through with a mercury-melted pulse, the song sets out some high expectations for the next round of Sunburned singe. The band is ever elusive on the details that birthed this batch, but the band’s Ron Schneiderman sets it up with an ominous air. –

“Sources say: you need to get the fuck in a car and drive.
Like, get way gone. Crime-solving spree style.
Did we tell you about the time everything changed?
We will not even pretend that things are okay.
Ride with this hope and welcome the collapse.”

Pick A Day To Die is out March 12th from Three Lobed. Nab one of the limited LPs below as part of their essential new anniversary series.


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Gunn-Truscinski Duo

A decade into their partnership Gunn-Truscinski Duo continues to strip rock’s impulses back to its most basic elements. Despite Gunn’s rise to Matador namesake in more digestible waters, the pair have kept the Duo as an outlet of experimental edge — with Gunn’s guitar work weaving fragility and fury into instrumental bliss and Truscinski proving he’s an infinitely flexible foil. Much like contemporary Steven R. Smith, the pair are able to form compositions that radiate calm, dredge anxiety, and hound the listener with sonic horror, though they’re keeping close to the calm on Soundkeeper. As the record opens, they pad their way into the room with patience, not working to stun or shun the listener with a tumult unitl the moment is right. On through “Valley Spiral,” the record is coiled and cautious — picking through its motifs in slow spirals.

Once the band kicks into “Pyramid Merchandise,” though the tone changes. With a low-slung Gunn riff and an audible “whoo” sent up from the room, the duo begins to buck against the tide. Clangorous blues are wrestled and Gunn’s grit-teethed riffs grow fangs. John kicks the pace to match and the album lights a blaze against the forming darkness. From there the pair pushes through dirt-caked blues, crumbling under the Rust Belt’s weight before emerging once again with the languid, shimmering tones of calm waters once again. The title track pulls some tension once agan, urging them through 16+ minutes of wrangle and wain before skidding into the psychedelic blur in homage to Eddie Hazel that closes out the record, a smoldering elegy to the guitarist that rides away on the ashes of what they burnt down over the last hour. Its an excellent springboard into Three-Lobed’s new 20-year anniversary and a reminder of what’s made the label, and this band’s involvement in it over the years, so vital.




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Gunn-Truscinski Duo – “For Eddie Hazel”

Another subtle crusher lands from the upcoming Gunn-Truscinski Duo’s Soundkeeper and the album closer does its best to sum up what GTD is all about. An ode to the legendary P-Funk guitarist, this one dives deep into the Maggot Brain afterburn that bounces around the cavern that the duo often find themselves exploring. The song’s doused in a dry ice dose that’s billowing in every direction with Gunn working the cave sonics in tandem with a bit of low-end growl. Both players constantly push each other to the edges of their experimentation, but this is a nice focus in on a sound that gave the Duo life in the first place. Many have tried to emulate Hazel, and many have failed, but Gunn and Truscinski are more than up to the challenge. This LP kicks off the Three Lobed 20th Anniversary bundle that will include Daniel Bachman, Sunburned Hand of the Man, Six Organs of Admittance, Body/Head and Sonic Youth and an as yet to be announced LP. The Lobed knows, so I’d jump on that bundle while it sticks around.




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Gunn-Truscinski Duo – “Valley Spiral”

A whole lotta great news packed into one post here. First and foremost, Gunn-Truscinski Duo return and the first track off of their upcoming Soundkeeper is as slinking and satisfying as they’ve ever been. Steve Gunn’s been plenty busy holding it down solo over the past few years, but he and John Truscinski have kept up a partnership that pays out in knotted riffs and loose-limbed brilliance over the past few years. The bonus to this beast of at 2xLP release is that it marks the first of a new 20th Anniversary series by Three Lobed Records that’s both bound up as a limited bundle and available a la carte for those that don’t choose to enter into a year-long anticipation endeavor. But how ya gonna pass up that full package with names like Daniel Bachman, Sunburned Hand of the Man, Six Organs of Admittance, Body/Head and Sonic Youth on the ticket. That’s not to mention a bonus LP with secret performers, and if these are all the announced bands, what treasures could lie in that seventh entry? My love affair with Three Lobed has spanned the entirety of the site and their subscription series always prove essential. 20 years is an admirable milestone and from the sounds of it, this is off to a great start.

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Silver Scrolls

Silver Scrolls work to elevate the simple act of walking into a microcosm of introspection, providing a soundtrack to clear your head or parse the infinite. The band probably didn’t think the album would land this presciently, but here we are in the grip of 2020 and the walk itself has become a necessity in cloistered times while also transforming into a moment that’s more prepared for than impromptu. The band, which boasts ex-Polvo members Dave Brylawski and Brian Quast doesn’t take the predicted route in association with introspective space. When I’d first heard that the title was Music For Walks, thoughts of ambient headspace immediately cropped into view, but the pair crib from their wheelhouse of psych, math, and angled indie instead.

The album is hardly reduced to a shade of background music, though they work to employ a certain hypnotic quality in the riffs. While Polvo is the name that sticks out most on paper, Brylawski’s songwriting here might more align with the psych-blues of Black Taj, which had a short run on Amish Records in the early Aughts. Blending some of the textures of Polvo, with the exploratory blues model of Taj, he lets the album wind in a sort of steam of consciousness feeling that moves from heavy amplifier curdle to delicate finger work and introspective ruminations. I feel like (if such a thing as commutes existed anymore) this one would have made a good Music for Commutes as well. The centering quality is good for getting the head straight whether its for the numbness of Capital servitude or a good 40 minutes through the neighborhood. These days, any even keel is appreciated, and this is an asset for ballast.




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Silver Scrolls – “Walk Two (I – Nature’s Promise)”

Offering up a new cut today from the debut album from Silver Scrolls. The band is the latest work from David Brylawski (Polvo, Black Taj) and Brian Quast (Polvo) and centers around a meditation on walks, and their connection to free association and waking dreams inspired by The Christopher Bollas Reader. Gnarled and inherently rhythmic, the songs beat like an internal metronome, but spiral off into vibrating tangents of sound, both tense and amniotic. While some songs lean on the idea of walking as an escape from inner turmoil, some let that turmoil spill out into the streets and back in again. Honestly, its a rather prescient concept for a record in a time when movement is coupled with anxiety and allowable space has become a constant force in so many lives.

For this particular track, Brylawski explains, “The overall conceit is a person who goes for a city walk then anxiety comes in and (he) decides that a nature walk is what is called for – Nature’s Promise, a ‘Doom Blues’.  However, he realizes anxiety has entered this walk as well – nature does not guarantee tranquility, so (he) must seek something else.   This part of the album, the nature walk, was influenced by an actual walk my family took in Montana a year ago.  There was a sign saying ‘last bear sighting 5 days ago’ and someone had crossed that out and wrote ‘three days ago’.  My family started on the walk but as the path became more narrow and the forest became dense – my wife and I at the same time became worried about our kids and literally running into a bear so we turned tail and got the heck out of the trail.” The album lands July 10th on Three Lobed.



 

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Bardo Pond – Adrop / Circuit VIII

Oof, almost too late with this one, despite the LP having been released just last Friday, but there’s still time as long as good outlets hold out. Pretty sure if you’re landing on the shores of Raven Sings the Blues that familiarity with Bardo Pond is a given, but I’m not one for assumptions. Philadelphia’s reigning noise wranglers have fallen under many banners from psych to space to noise and experimental – each assessment is 100% correct and can’t be divorced from the other. The band is a force of nature and that force is on full display over this two-record reissue of their ‘06/’08 releases for Three Lobed — Adrop and Circuit VIII. Both records were part of CD series that the label put together in these respective years. Adrop was only available as part of the “Modern Containment” collection that included Hush Arbors, Kinski, Mirror/Dash, Mouthus, Sun City Girls, Sunburned Hand of the Man, MV & EE with the Bummer Road, and Wooden Wand and the Omen Bones Band. I believe it was that last one that brought me into the TRL awareness in the first place, but the set also opened up a world of post-Matador Bardo Pond to me that was more sinister and more visceral than they’d ever been on the mini-major.

Adrop works in movements and they push a cloud of static through the heart of a dying sun. The record saws at the consciousness and proves that the Pond is not an average psych band by any means, defying any usual metrics at the time. The following set, Circuit VIII is equally scorched and unsettled, having found its way into the label’s next series “Oscillations III.” This series found them alongside fellow travelers Bark Haze, Tom Carter, GHQ, Howlin’ Rain, Magik Markers, The Michael Flower Band, Lee Ranaldo, Vanishing Voice, and Jack Rose. Eschewing movements, but operating in much the same way as Adrop, Circuit VIII is one longform piece that travels from deep, volcanic growls to tender acoustic tears. It’s a record that, much like its predecessor, defies convention or categorization, but as any Bardo collector might surmise, also elevates the form of mining cosmic vibrations beyond what many of their peers were doing at the time. Side note: that “Oscillations III” box contains one of the very earliest Robert Beatty covers and is worth nabbing a CD copy for this as well. Nice to see the label pack these two back together and set them aloft on vinyl as well. Both of these CD series were pretty formative in terms of how RSTB came about, so its got a special place in my heart.




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Wet Tuna

When Wet Tuna first unspooled their debut last year, they tapped into a primitive blues soup dipped strait from the swamp. It’s a humid, boiled record that folds one song into another with barely time to swipe the sweat before each groove subsumes the next. The band was built on the stage and they brought the deep zone groove nexus into the studio with surprising success. On the follow-up they still keep the cosmic tapestry intact, but they’ve begun to thread a few new strands into the tattered tap as well. The record is still living on midnight fuel, formed from their own admitted tendency to let the substances settle for a few hours until the balance is right and the clock slips past the uprights into the pre-dawn hours.

They channel this time-slip pseudo-seance onto a two-inch proof of purchase – a haunted haven of dank grooves to get lost in and vaporized boogie that cures the soul. Matt and Pat have boundless roots in the psychedelic pantheon, but collectively this is probably one of their most pure and primal discs. Water Weird is the cosmos captured, the burnt mind made good and projected through three layers of psychic meniscus into the ever after. Water Weird is the night made manifest and given flight over the horizon of infinite ink. There’s something ineffable, intangible, and alchemical about Wet Tuna and it all comes to a head with Water Weird. If this isn’t sitting atop your year end, then I’ve got some serious questions about priorities to discuss with you.

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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.



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Wet Tuna – “Goin'”

Couldn’t be more excited to have a new Wet Tuna up for grabs this morning. The last one hit hard, or it least it should have if you had the right kinda ears last year. This time the pairing of Matt (MV) Valentine and Pat (P.G. Six) Gubler is back to track your midnight ride into the subconscious, sub-dermal subject matter. The vibes are heady already as “Goin’” wafts into the room — the kind of molasses-milked twilight track that can hit just right when the brain’s in balance and the air is still. This is the core of Tuna — a humid seep of sound, a breath on the air that realigns the vibrations in the ether. “Goin” gets into the pores and never leaves.

Matt gives a little insight into how the track rose to the surface, “WET TUNA is wild & fun place for me. Pat & I have a language that seems to be unique to us…we don’t really talk about it and i reckon in many ways that’s what makes it cool. Anyway, that’s how it went down, via the jam, and how most of our music flows, we turn on the tubes and the tapes roll. I distinctly remember doing 3 “takes” of “goin’” — all with John Moloney on drums — he and i have been preserving it for a long time and the couch is flambeau comfy. He brought a pretty skeletal kit to the session, which was at my “Green Extension Studio B” in Vermont, and we left a lotta space. It’s a tight room. We tracked guitars live with drums and kept everything. Pat used a synth wah effect, I plugged in a Vox repeat percussion and Mutron. we used Gibson & Fender amps, did the vocals together in one or two takes. The lyrics came to me in a semina vision. Pat dubbed mellotron. it was around 4:20 in the afternoon, seriously, but it coulda been round midnight. Sunshine winter warmer…we had some Guinness in cans outside the window in a hanging pot from the night before, code name “water the plant” to grab a round. Pretty sure there were two left and we poured ‘em slow.”

New LP, Water Weird hits the shelves October 11th from the incontrovertible crew at Three Lobed.

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