Posted in Whathaveyou on October 22nd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
Eerie psychedelic strangeness pervades the work to-date of Lima, Peru, upstarts The Dead-End Alley Band — who released their debut album, Whispers of the Night (review here), and followed it up with Odd Stories last year, both on ultra-mega-respected purveyor Nasoni Records — and one assumes they’ll carry those late-’60s vibes with them when they cross the Atlantic next month to tour Europe for the first time. I don’t know what the baggage rates are for such things — that might get classified under “personal item?” — but The Dead-End Alley Band have worked quickly to create a niche for themselves within heavy psych flow, and even post-Halloween, autumn seems like a perfect time for them to make the trip, which will round out with an appearance at Yellowstock in Belgium on Nov. 28.
Info below, as seen on the interweb:
THE DEAD-END ALLEY BAND : Soaked In The Cold (European Tour 2015)
This fall, you will not escape from the nightmare.
After three years of activity and two albums released on vinyl, CD and tape, finally, we are proud to announce that we’re coming to Europe this November!
BIO: The Dead-End Alley Band is a psychedelic, blues and vintage rock band from Lima, Peru, formed by Javier Kou Mansilla and Sebastian Sanchez-Botta, with the ambition to create (or re-create) music based on the psychedelic scents from the sixties and seventies.
‘Odd Stories’ (2014) is the second studio album of Peruvian psychedelic rock band The Dead-End Alley Band. It was recorded and produced in Lima, Peru, by Javier Kou, Sebastian Sanchez-Botta and Chino Burga. Edited, manufactured and released on vinyl in Europe by Nasoni Records (Germany) and on CD and tape in Peru by Tóxiko Records and Inti Records (Peru).
Posted in Reviews on October 1st, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
We’re in the thick of it now. It’s hard sometimes putting these things together to remember that each band has worked incredibly hard to put out an album. I’ve been through that process (once), and so I know it can be harrowing at times between acts going back and forth about recording, what’s included, how to release, when, and so on. There’s a lot to cover this week — and we’re not out of the woods yet — but I hope that, just because each review is short, you don’t take that as a sign I don’t have the utmost respect for the effort that has gone into making each of these releases. It can be a tremendous pain in the ass, but of course it’s worth it when you get to the end product. We continue.
Fall 2015 Quarterly Review #31-40:
We Lost the Sea, Departure Songs
To be blunt, We Lost the Sea’s Departure Songs is the kind of album that immediately makes me want to own everything the band has done, in hard copy, for posterity. The Sydney outfit’s third full-length finds its crux in its two-part closing duo of “Challenger Part 1 – Flight” and “Challenger Part 2 – A Swan Song,” enacting a lush instrumental interpretation of the Space Shuttle Challenger flight and disaster that took place nearly 30 years ago in Jan. 1986. In its progression, patience, flow and discernable narrative thread it is nothing short of brilliant, a lush and sad beauty that serves as a genuinely affecting reminder of the hope for a better future that died with that shuttle’s civilian crew and the era of aspiration that tragedy brought to a close. I think the closing sample is the only time I’ve ever heard Ronald Reagan speak in my adult life and felt something other than anger, and that’s a testament to the ground Departure Songs covers – on the preceding three cuts as well as the final two – and the masterful execution on the part of We Lost the Sea.
There does not yet exist a name for what Finland’s Dark Buddha Rising bring to bear on the two side-consuming tracks of their Neurot Recordings debut and sixth album overall, Inversum. Self-recorded and presented following some shifts in lineup, the album swells to a massive head of bleak, noise-infused psychedelia, fully ritualized and self-aware but still vibrant as it makes its way further and further down into itself. It is bright black, based so much around contrasting ideas of form and tonality that to listen to it, one almost doesn’t believe that the band are accomplishing what they are on an aesthetic level, but the weight, chants, screams, cavernous feel and nod that “Eso” (24:05) and “Exo” (23:52) enact is ultimately real no matter how nightmarish and otherworldly the impression might be. A work that sounds as likely to digest as be digested, it constructs a temple of its own sound and then burns that temple and everything around it in a glorious final push into charred chaos.
Few endorsements carry as much weight for me as that of Germany’s Nasoni Records, so when I see that venerable imprint is on board for the release of Red Mountains’ first album, Down with the Sun, expectations immediately rise. The Norwegian four-piece don’t disappoint, calling forth a heavy psychedelia weighted enough to be immersive without really falling into the trap of sounding too post-Colour Haze or Causa Sui, finding a balance right away on opener “Six Hands” between open-vibe and structured songcraft. They toy with one side or the other, getting crunchy on “Rodents” and tripping out into ambient echoing on the penultimate “Silver Grey Sky,” but that only makes the debut seem all the more promising. Particularly satisfying is the scope between “Sun” and “Sleepy Desert Blues,” which is enough to make the listener think that grunge and desert rock happened in the same place. An engaging and already-on-the-right-track start from a band who sound like they’re only going to continue to grow.
It’s improper to think of Germany’s Black Space Riders as entirely psychedelic if only because that somehow implies a lack of clearheaded consciousness in their work, which as their fourth album, Refugeeum, demonstrates, is the very core tying all the expanses they cover together. As Europe comes to grip with its most dire refugee crisis since World War II, Black Space Riders take their thematic movement from such terrestrial issues (a first for them) and it makes a song like 11-minute centerpiece “Run to the Plains” all the more resonant. Of course, the big-chug groove of “Born a Lion (Homeless)” and the cosmic thrust of the penultimate “Walking Shades” still have a psychedelic resonance, but the balance between the earthly and the otherworldly do well to highlight the progressivism that’s been at work in the band’s sound all along. A considerable undertaking at 61 minutes, Refugeeum is an important step in an ongoing development that has just made another unexpected and welcome turn.
And so, with their third and final outing, III, Portland, Oregon, trio Lamprey reserve their strongest point for their closing argument. The two-bass trio of bassist/vocalist Blaine Burnham (now drumming in Mane of the Cur), bassist Justin Brown (now bass-ing in Witch Mountain) and drummer Spencer Norman recorded the conclusive six-tracker with Adam Pike at Toadhouse (Red Fang, Mammoth Salmon, etc.) and even the slower shifts of “Harpies” and the decidedly Conan-esque “Lament of the Deathworm” breeze right by. Like their two prior releases, 2012’S The Burden of Beasts (review here) and 2011’s Ancient Secrets (review here), III is a showcase of songcraft as much as tone, and it seems to presage its own vinyl reissue, each of the two halves starting with a shorter piece, the opener “Iron Awake” a notably vicious stomp that sets a destructive vibe that the rumble and weirdo keys and leads that finish out “Gaea” seem to be answering, a quick fade bringing an end to an underrated act. They’ll be missed.
If newcomer bruisers Godsleep seem to share some commonality of method with fellow Athenians 1000mods, it’s worth noting that on their debut, Thousand Sons of Sleep, they also share a recording engineer in George Leodis. Fair enough. The big-toned riffing and shouty burl on which Godsleep cast their foundation makes its identity felt in the post-Kyussism of “Thirteen” and stonerly grit of centerpiece “This is Mine,” which follows the extended opening salvo of “The Call,” “Thirteen” and “Wrong Turn,” the latter of which is the longest cut at 9:09 and among its most satisfyingly fuzzed nods. They’re playing to style perhaps, but doing so well, and if you’ve gotta start somewhere, recording live and coming out with a heavy-as-hell groove like what emerges in the second half of “Home” is a good place to start. Godsleep are already a year past from when they recorded Thousand Sons of Sleep in Summer 2014, so I wouldn’t be surprised if a follow-up happened sooner than later.
Slow Joe Crow & the Berserker Blues Band, We are Blues People
Kentucky-based, cumbersomely-named Slow Joe Crow and the Berserker Blues Band may indeed live up to the We are Blues People title of their debut EP, but they’re definitely riff people as well. As such, the four-track sampling of their wares draws from both sides on a cut like opener “No One Else,” the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Austin P. Lunn, bassist Patrick Flanary and drummer Thom Hammerheart in the process of figuring out how much they want to lean to one or the other. They round out with a fuzzy take on the traditional “John the Revelator,” but the earlier “Muddy Water Rising” strikes a more effective and more authentic-feeling balance, leading to the slow jam of “Before I Go,” which adds a ‘70s rock vibe to push the bluesy feel even further and expand the palette in a manner one hopes they continue to pursue as they move forward.
Canadian trio Monobrow follow their 2014 LP, Big Sky, Black Horse (review here) with what’s essentially a new single that finds them continuing to step forward in their approach. Dubbed A Handwritten Letter from the Moon and taking its name from the 8:33 title-track, the Ottawa group’s latest offering finds the instrumental outfit smoothing out the tones a bit, still hitting into raucous grooves, but closer to Truckfighters than their prior brashness. I don’t know if it’s a method they’ll stick to going into their fourth LP next year, but the result is dynamic and suits them well. “A Handwritten Letter from the Moon” comes coupled with “Dyatlov Station 3,” a seven-minute rehearsal-space jam from 2011 that fascinatingly (and I’m sure by no coincidence) showcases some similar classic heavy rock influence. The only real shame of the release is that both these tracks are probably too long to fit on a 7”, since a small platter of vinyl would be a perfect way to hold over listeners until the next album arrives. As it stands, the digital version is hardly roughing it.
French heavy rocking four-piece Denizen issued their decidedly Clutchian debut, Whispering Wild Stories (review here), in 2011, and follow it through Argonauta Records with Troubled Waters, a more individualized 10-track outing that alternates between punkish rawness and classic upbeat grooves. Four years after their first album, their progression hasn’t come at the cost of songwriting, and while they still have work to do in distinguishing themselves in a crowded, varied European market, they deliver the material with an energy and vitality that makes even its familiar parts easy enough to get down with, be it the Southern heavy solo of “Jocelyne” or the meaner bite of “Enter Truckman.” I’ll take the pair of “King of Horses” and “Heavy Rider” as highlights, and remain interested to find out where Denizen head from here, as well as how long it might take them to get there. Four years between records gives Troubled Waters the feel of a second debut as much as a sophomore effort.
Releasing through Candlelight in their native UK, doom metal trio Witchsorrow mark a decade with their third album, No Light, Only Fire. Opener “There is No Light There is Only Fire” seems to nod immediately at Cathedral, with a speedier, chuggier take, and the record proceeds to alternate between shorter and longer tracks en route to the 14-minute closer “De Mysteriis Doom Sabbathas,” cuts like “Negative Utopia” and “Disaster Reality” sailing a black ship past the 10-minute mark on a rumbling sea of riffs and slow motion nod. They break for a minute with the acoustic interlude “Four Candles” before embarking on the finale, and the respite is appreciated once the agonizing undulations of “De Mysteriis Doom Sabbathas” are underway, using nearly every second of their 14:25 to affirm Witchsorrow’s trad doom mastery and bleak, darkened heft. No light? Maybe a little light, but it’s still pretty damn dark, and indeed, it smells like smoke.
Posted in Reviews on June 9th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
Though on the surface its core of warm-toned heavy psychedelia seems straightforward enough, I’ve yet to listen to Given to Emptiness, the second full-length through Nasoni Records from Basque five-piece Arenna, and not hear something new within its span. And it usually doesn’t take all that long, either. The album, which follows their 2011 debut, Beats of Olarizu (review here), is constructed around rich tones and varied arrangements, still jamming and exploratory in the post-Colour Haze tradition, but prone to heavier excursions like that which emerges on “Move through Figurehead Lights,” its impact made all the more forceful by a stretch of acoustic guitar proceeding. As with the first record, the fivesome of bassist Javi, drummer Guille, guitarists Kike (a regional nickname, pronounced like “Quique,” short for Enrique; also acoustics and Tibetan bowls on closer “Low Tide”) and R. Ruiz del Portal (also mellotron on “Visions of Rex”), and vocalist Txus Dr. Sax — who most often backs himself but is joined periodically by Poti (also of Atavismo, formerly Viaje a 800) and Jony Moreno (also of Soulbreaker Company) in the chorus, Poti also handling Mellotron throughout the album and theremin on “Move through Figurehead Lights” — revel in a laid back atmosphere while conjuring fluid expanses of heavy psych, but where Beats of Olarizu topped 68 minutes, Given to Emptiness pares down to an efficient single LP just over 47, its seven tracks cleanly split between two sides, each demarcated by its longest component piece, the longest of which, “Butes,” opens the outing at 10:20.
Immediate points for that, and make it double since they open both sides with the longest track, “Chroma” answering from side B with a nine-minute rollout. “Butes” makes a gorgeous wash to start off Given to Emptiness, gradually unfolding to work in direct contrast to the title of the album, its turns leading it along a building path but showcasing a patience that will come to typify a lot of what they do throughout. Setting the tone, as it were. They do so with liquefied grooves and guitar interplay, soulful vocals from Txus Dr. Sax and a steady nod that holds sway for the duration. This lushness continues into the building “Visions of Rex,” the swirl of which is always present but never overdone, and forward through “Drums for Sitting Bull” (streamed here), which recalls some of the more straightforward moments of the debut but blends them smoothly with the sprawling vibes elicited already throughout the first two cuts. “Drums for Sitting Bull” marks an appearance from both Poti and Moreno on backing vocals, and they’re put to more than solid use, though it’s ultimately Dr. Sax himself who carries the apex of the song over with a sort of wavering, watery presence in his voice. Whether that’s an effect or not, I don’t know, but it’s striking either way, and Arenna roll their way through the end of the track afterwards — Javi‘s bass is a must-hear for appreciators of low end — with the drums dropping out and kicking back in to push the final groove to its eventual crash and ring out, feedback fading to close side A. Already the atmosphere is set for languid, jam-based vibing, but the band’s penchant for deeper arrangements with the touches of Mellotron, additional vocals, acoustics and even just swapping out one effect for another showcase a sense of wanting each track to add something to the larger whole of the effort, and that proves no less true of the four tracks included on side B.
In the spirit of “Butes,” “Chroma” takes its time in shifting from its dreamy opening of guitar, cymbal washes and airy swirls to move into its Mellotron-topped breadth, but unlike the album-opener, the side B launch is instrumental save for a late-arriving sample to mark the landing of the progression’s peak. “Chroma” turns and shifts and undulates naturally, a fuzz-caked nod that many among the converted wouldn’t even try to resist let alone have the ability to do so, but gives way to “Move through Figurehead Lights” — a no less otherworldly opening, even if it’s the drums this time leading the charge — without pretense, that track’s subtle volume swells and quiet vibing met just before the two-minute mark by acoustic guitar (courtesy of a guest spot by Manix S.) and vocals that come to drive the build as much as serve as part of it. It’s the voices of Dr. Sax, Poti and Moreno, in a non-lyricized “ohh” chorus near the end that almost become a riff of their own working in conjunction with the bass and drums along with the solo, and they carry through an almost spiritual celebration, which can’t help but add gravity to “The Pursuer,” which follows. A bit of symmetry with “Drums for Sitting Bull” in terms of structure, maybe, but “The Pursuer” has its own personality to be sure, in open verses and alternating echoes of guitar that, with the vocals, shift in the second half of the song to the album’s most purposefully pretty melody, giving way near the end as Arenna come as close as they have to any sort of aggression in progressive start-stop riffing to close out. With the epilogue, 1:41 “Low Tide” at the finish with its quiet acoustics for a last moment of contemplation, Given to Emptiness ends with something of a lonely mood, but even there I’m fairly certain there are (at least) two layers of guitar working at the same time, so even in its most minimal stretch, it remains far from empty. Somewhat understated in this review up to this point is the emotional resonance of the vocals, which are a driving force in engrossing and holding the listener’s attention throughout, but they’re far from the only aspect of Arenna‘s sound working in their favor. Their sophomore album also marks a decade of their tenure, and one can hear their experience and their chemistry in each track as Given to Emptiness unfolds, its patience never meandering so far from the overarching sense of a design at work that it’s unable to return.
Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!
If you listen to these podcasts on the regular, you might notice this one is a little different than other recent editions have been. I was all set to start it off at a raging clip as per usual and then that Bison Machine track stood out to me with that warm bassline and I just decided that was the way to go, start off languid with that and My Sleeping Karma and ease into the rawer and meaner stuff from there. There are a couple jarring moments here and there, but that’s kind of the idea too, and I think overall across the board it flows well across the two hours, the second of which builds across All Them Witches’ jams and Ichabod’s sludge rock right into the atmospheric doom extremity of Bell Witch. Three songs in about 55 minutes. Awesome.
You might also notice the tracklist below has time stamps. Listed is the start time for each song, so if you get lost along the way, that should hopefully provide some point of reference. In case there was any doubt I pay attention to the stuff people say in comments to these podcast posts.
As always, hope you enjoy:
0:00:00 Bison Machine, “Gamekeeper’s Thumb” from Hoarfrost
0:07:12 My Sleeping Karma, “Prithvi” from Moksha
0:13:39 Weedeater, “Claw of the South” from Goliathan
0:19:00 Sinister Haze, “Betrayed by Time” from Betrayed by Time EP
0:24:15 Sun and Sail Club, “Dresden Fireball Freakout Flight” from The Great White Dope
0:26:11 Lasers from Atlantis, “Protectress” from Lasers from Atlantis
0:33:29 Arenna, “Drums for Sitting Bull” from Given to Emptiness
0:39:40 Mirror Queen, “Scaffolds of the Sky” from Scaffolds of the Sky
0:45:47 Les Discrets, “La Nuit Muette” from Live at Roadburn
0:51:02 Cigale, “Harvest Begun” from Cigale
0:54:49 Black Mare, “A Low Crimes” from Black Mare/Lycia Split
1:00:03 All Them Witches, “It Moved We Moved/Almost There/A Spider’s Gift” from A Sweet Release
1:24:09 Ichabod, “Squall” from Merrimack
1:33:39 Bell Witch, “Suffocation, a Burial I – Awoken (Breathing Teeth)” from Four Phantoms
Posted in audiObelisk on April 21st, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
Spanish heavy psych rockers Arenna will release their second album, Given to Emptiness, on May 7. It’s been four years since the five-piece made their debut on Nasoni Records with the full-length Beats of Olarizu (review here) and today I have the privilege of unveiling track three from Given to Emptiness, “Drums for Sitting Bull.” Duly percussive, but no less centered around its heavy groove and warm, fuzzed-out tones, the song finds the melody front and center in contemplative style somewhat similar to the debut, but understandably developed in the four-year interim between releases.
Immediately laid back and catchy, a tell early on is the vocals following the lead guitar. That will come up again later in the song, before a late break cuts short to resume the roll of the central riff, added to by Mellotron (provided by Poti, who presumably is the same Poti from Atavismo, formerly of Viaje a 800), ending out the instrumental push with a quiet sort of apex. For Arenna — guitarists R. Ruiz de Portal and Kike (which I’m not even comfortable typing, but is apparently how he wants to be known), bassist Javi, vocalist Txus Dr. Sax and drummer Guille — it’s a steady flow that reinforces something the first album did well but also shows them trying new things with their sound. Hopefully that’s indicative of what the rest of Given to Emptiness has to offer.
Recording info for Arenna‘s Given toEmptiness and the lyrics in Spanish and English follow “Drums for Sitting Bull,” which you can find on the player below. Please enjoy:
ARENNA – GIVEN TO EMPTINESS
Format: CD / LP / Digital download Genre: Rock / Psychedelic / Stoner Label: Nasoni Records Release date: May 2015
Tracklist: 1 Butes (10:20) 2 Visions Of Rex (6:29) 3 Drums For Sitting Bull (6:17) 4 Chroma (9:00) 5 Move Through Figurehead Lights (7:02) 6 The Pursuer (6:15) 7 Low Tide (1:40) total (47:04)
Recorded by Javier Ortiz at Estudio Brazil (Nov. 1-7, 2014) Mixed by José López Gil at Sound Experience Studio & Estudios K. Mastered by JJ. Golden Produced by José López Gil and Arenna Music by Arenna Artwork by Khoa Le Designed by Artidoto
Music by Arenna Javi: bass Guille: drums & percusions Txus Dr. Sax: vocals & chorus R. Ruiz del Portal: guitars; mellotron (on track 2) Kike: guitars; acoustic guitars & Tibetan bowls (on track 7)
All lyrics by Cameron Webster, Estíbaliz Urretxu, Javier Arbulu & Txus Dr.Sax with special collaboration of P. Quignard (Butes) & F. Kafka (Drums for Sitting Bull)
Additional musicians: Poti: mellotron (on all tracks), theremin (on track 5) and chorus (on tracks 3, 5 & 6), Jony Moreno: chorus (on tracks 3 & 5), and Manix S. acoustic guitar (on track 5).
3. Drums for Sitting Bull If one were only an indian, Alert, on a racing horse, Leaning against the wind, Until one shed one’s spurs, & threw away the reins. Hardly saw land before one, When horse’s neck & head Would be already gone.
3. Tambores para Toro Sentado Si uno pudiera ser un Piel Roja, alerta, cabalgando sobre un caballo veloz, apoyado contra el viento, hasta arrojar las espuelas, hasta arrojar las riendas. Apenas viera ante sí el campo, ya habrían desaparecido las crines & la cabeza del caballo.
Posted in Whathaveyou on March 24th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
Long Island trio Axis/Orbit have announced they’ll release their debut LP on limited vinyl through ultra-respected long-running German imprint Nasoni Records. The LP, of which the title has yet to be revealed, is the follow-up to a self-titled EP that contains three songs and was issued by the band digitally late in 2014, and to my knowledge, this will be their first physical pressing. Due date is June 1, though as the band notes, that’s tentative.
The prior EP is streaming on the band’s Bandcamp, and as you can hear below, they dig into classic heavy rock with some garage-style flourish. Tones are warm but not necessarily retro, and the vibe on cuts like “Hazy” and the bass-led “The Owl” is laid back — at least until the animal noises kick in — and closer “Riot Canal” has an open-spaced, jammy sensibility that follows a linear course toward a satisfying freakout. Not to spoil it if you were going to listen, but solos are had.
Here’s the announcement and the band’s bio off the PR wire:
Axis/Orbit sign with Nasoni Records to release limited edition vinyl!!
Long Island’s stone groovers Axis Orbit have signed with seminal Stoner/Psych label Nasoni Records in Berlin to release their debut LP in a limited edition run of colored vinyl. Tentative release is June 1, 2015. Distribution through Clearspot of the Netherlands.
The album was recorded at Freedom of Speech Recording and engineered by Micky James (Chris Angel Mindfreak). Original art by Vincent Scala (www.vincentscala.com).
Axis/Orbit makes Rock and Roll. Stoner rock, retro rock, doomy, but unabashedly not completely metal. More of a cavalcade of 60’s-70’s rock stylings from the menace of Sabbath to the spaciness of Floyd’s cosmic tracks, to the heavy prog jam trio art of Cream and Band of Gypsies, with strokes of classic Cali folk rock, vintage grunge and straight up garage rawk. Formed in 2014 on Long Island, NY by drummer Mike Margulis, guitarist Bill Fridrich and bassist Lee Greenman with all contributing to writing, arranging and vocal duties, the group is rapidly gaining a following headlining regional shows, releasing an EP and preparing for a full length album of heavy psyche rancor for 2015.
Posted in Reviews on December 1st, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
For their third full-length, Italian heavy psych rockers Deadpeach offer five varied explorations, each with its distinct personality. Aurum, which takes its name from the elemental name of gold, is out on vinyl through Nasoni Records and splits well into two sides, but still works as a front-to-back listen with engaging turns and a blend of jammed and structures approaches to which the four-piece of guitarist/vocalist Giovanni, guitarist Daniele Bartoli, bassist Mr. Steveman and drummer Federio Tebaldi are amiably suited. On a superficial level, there isn’t anything in the span of Aurum‘s 38 minutes that couldn’t fall under the heading of heavy psychedelia, and I don’t think there’s anything present that’s intended otherwise, but Deadpeach prove bold within those parameters and find themselves ranging beyond genre confines more than it might at first seem. Side A, in particular, is an ambitious beginning, with just two songs — “Calcutta” (10:01) and “Gold” (9:14) — that comprise the first half of the record. As someone who gives immediate credit to records that open with their longest tracks, to find the longest two by a considerable margin pushed to the front of Aurum is a rare-enough treat to be remarkable, but even within themselves, they begin to show some of the range that unfolds as the album plays out, recalling the earlier fuzzy riff rock of their 2006 Psycle debut and the development that showed itself on the 2011 follow-up, 2, while continuing to push into newer, jammier ground for the band. Whether one approaches Aurum as two sides or in linear form, the first two tracks and subsequent “The Line,” “Stomper” and “Traffic” reveal an act capturing a vital spirit of creative spontaneity while also following a decided course.
Aurum has an easy appeal for the already converted among heavy rock heads. Giovanni and Bartoli offer up enough fuzz and riffs in “The Line,” “Gold” and the early going of “Stomper” that, if there’s a quota, it’s met. What really pushes that basic appeal to another degree is the shifts that take place between the songs and how well Aurum moves with them. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the 10-minute “Calcutta” unfolds gradually to reach its full breadth, but immediately the guitars and bass set an atmospheric foundation that becomes the basis from which the rest of the album is built. Light chanting and, later, lyrics emerge in a style not too far from Lamp of the Universe, but lead guitar is the focal point and the movement playing out behind it. Hypnotic, the jam comes to a head about halfway in and quickly recedes, only to be constructed again, a little faster the second time, and given an ambient leadout that smoothes the way into “Gold,” which takes Mr. Steveman‘s bassline as its driving element and, rather than split its build, follows a single line over the course of its nine minutes, hitting a stride of fuzz and crash after a midpoint break, shifting into more straightforward-seeming stonerly swing and verses, a Hawkwindy space factor not at all lost among the proceedings. Thinking of Aurum as one song flowing into the next, “Gold” bridges a gap between “Calcutta” and “The Line,” with a jammy first half leading to a more traditionally structured second, but the track itself has more substance to it than a mere transitional moment, be it in classically layered leads or the tonal weight of the push running alongside them. To discount either part as simply feeding out of or into something else doesn’t do the song justice, or acknowledge the fact that in putting the two sides next to each other and making it work as smoothly as Deadpeach do, they’re summarizing a good portion of the album’s appeal on what’s also as close as they come to a title-track. Even way out in space, there’s consciousness at work.
“The Line,” which leads off the second half of Aurum, is the shortest track included at 4:55, and true to the latter end of “Gold,” it’s a more straightforward fuzz rocker, updating classic heavy methods with a modern vibe. Giovanni‘s vocals still echo out from under the fuzz, and Mr. Steveman runs circles around the central riff, but whether it’s as a centerpiece of the five tracks or as the start of side B, no question “The Line” is a major shift from “Calcutta” and “Gold” before it, despite consistency of mood and swirl. Deadpeach find room in their only-song-under-five-minute rush to jam a bit behind a solo section, but with deft songwriting in their favor, they return to the chorus before finishing out, ending noisy and satisfying en route to the similarly rocking launch of “Stomper,” though it’s Tebaldi who takes that track over, turning an instrumental rocker into essentially a drum jam peppered with airy guitar. To his credit, he holds it together, and to the band’s, they bookend with a resurgent progression similar to that which led into the percussive stretch, a symmetry that keeps the vibe of Aurum steady even as Deadpeach move toward their finale and yet more ground to cover. Presumably because by now their listener might expect a fuzz-toned jam of one kind or another, the band dial back the distortion and close out with a jazzy instrumental movement that — while, yes, it kicks later into a fuzzy conclusion — provides one last turn from a foursome who’ve already shown plenty of variety. What the initial stages of “Traffic” demonstrate, however, is that there’s more to Deadpeach‘s fluidity than a pedal board. The vibe is maintained in the chemistry between players, but to jump back from “Traffic” to “Calcutta,” it would be easy to imagine you were hearing two different bands. Again, what makes Aurum work so well through this is the band’s ability to carry the listener along with them for the trip. As wide a range as Aurum works with, it never lets go of that connection.
Posted in Whathaveyou on September 22nd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Organ-laced heavy psych rockers The Dead-End Alley Band have released their second album, Odd Stories. It’s the follow-up to 2012/2013’s debut, Whispers of the Night(review here), and sees the Peruvian four-piece continue their adventurous psych explorations, dipping into surf tonality on “Devil’s Mask” and vibing out long-form on the eight-minute “Lost Again,” a strong current of Floydian progressivism emerging from the start of opener “The Nightmare Goes On” and serving as a unifying theme throughout several of the tracks. Vinyl and CD are apparently out now through a variety of labels — CD through Tóxiko Records and Inti Records in Peru, vinyl through Nasoni in Germany — and the band has also made Odd Stories available for front-to-back streaming on their Bandcamp page. Because it’s the future, and that’s how it goes.
Downloads are cheap, and if you need impetus to hit play on the embedded doodad below, Javier Kou‘s bass tone should serve nicely:
People, our 2do Disco ‘ odd stories ‘ is already in Europe, in the format vinilo. But if you do not have tornamesa or you can not wait to come to the records, you can hear you toditititititiiiiiito here. :D to see what you think.
‘Odd Stories’ (2014) is the second studio album of Peruvian psychedelic rock band ‘The Dead-End Alley Band’. It was recorded and produced in Lima, Peru, by Javier Kou, Sebastian Sanchez-Botta and Chino Burga. Edited, manufactured and released on vinyl in Europe by Nasoni Records (Germany) and on CD and tape in Peru by Tóxiko Records and Inti Records (Peru).
This new album is loaded with more heavy, fuzz and stoner scents, that gives the band a new unabashedly sound. An eternal lone and mad trip, through a neverending odd nightmare.
released 20 September 2014
The band: Javier Kou (Guitars / Bass / Vocals) Sebastian Sanchez-Botta (Vocals / Organs / Piano) Leonardo Alva (Lead Guitar at ‘The Cosmic Cry Out’) Jaime Diaz (Drum)
The staff: Chino Burga (Producer) Hans-Georg (Nasoni Records CEO) Marco Marin (Toxiko Records CEO) Diego Valdivia (Inti Records CEO) Jaime Diaz (Drums edition)