Posted in Whathaveyou on October 1st, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
I’ll admit, I’m not really sure how we gar around to Subersive I being the third release from Netherlands-based instrumentalists Radar Men from the Moon. Their debut was 2011’s Intergalactic Dada and Space Trombones (review here). Then came 2012’s Echo Forever (review here), and after that was last year’s Strange Wave Galore (podcasted here). That puts Subversive I as number four, unless they’re counting the first one as a demo these days. Didn’t sound like a demo at the time, but I guess that kind of thing will happen.
Whatever number it is, Radar Men from the Moon‘s Subversive I is out now and available in a pressing of 500 total copies, most of which seem to be gone, from Fuzz Club Records. It will serve as the first in a series of three releases — presumably all titled Subversive — that, according to the PR wire, will explore a range of styles:
Radar Men From The Moon (Fuzz Club Records) release new LP “Subversive I”
On the border between an instrumental Psychedelic Rock quartet and a Dadaist collective open to contamination and to merging with other art-forms and musicians, Radar Men From The Moon is an Eindhoven-based outfit consisting of Glen Peeters, Jan-Titus Verkuijlen, Tony Lathouwers and Bram van Zuijlen.
“Subversive I” is their third release. They have been consolidating their fan-base over the last 4/5 years, thanks to a series of European tours and appearances at some of the most important Psych festivals, such as Freak Valley, Desertfest Berlin, Eindhoven Psych Lab, Roadburn, Yellowstock and (just a few days ago) Liverpool Psych Fest…
It is the first of a triptych of albums from a band that has set itself to conduct sonic experiments transcending the boundaries of any genre they explored so far (from Shoegaze to Psychedelia, from New Wave to Krautrock).
RMFTM – Subversive I is limited to 400 copies. 180 gram transparent purple vinyl.
RMFTM – Subversive I Deluxe edition is limited to 100 copies. 180g white vinyl with purple.
Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!
I was all set to pat myself on the back for making a podcast and posting it when someone might actually see it, unlike the last two (033 and 032), which rather impractically both went up on the eve of a major holiday, and then I remembered today was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Whoops. Seemed like a good idea at the time. Oh well. There’s always next month.
This one took kind of a strange and fun turn in the making and got very languid, very spaced out and sort of dreamy but still heavy in the bottom end. We start out with new stuff from We Hunt Buffalo, Truckfighters and Dwellers right in a row, and I guess that set the tone for a heavy roll that carried through a lot of the rest of the nearly-two-hour span. Not a complaint. I think it flows really well, and of course I hope you do too.
Once again, no real theme, though in addition to the aforementioned, you’ll also find new tracks from Sahg, Papir, Radar Men from the Moon, Pontiak and The Wounded Kings, the latter providing a grim finish after All Them Witches and Black Skies offer prime terrestrial psychedelia. It’s a good mix, all told. It grooves. It nods.
We Hunt Buffalo, “Blood from a Stone” from Blood from a Stone (2014)
Truckfighters, “Get Lifted” from Universe (2014)
Dwellers, “Creature Comfort” from Pagan Fruit (2014)
Salitter, “But I am Not Consoled” from Salitter EP (2013)
Papir, “I” from IIII (2014)
Radar Men from the Moon, “Surrealist Appearance” from Strange Wave Galore (2014)
The Ravenna Arsenal, “The Desert Shows No Mercy” from I (2013)
Pontiak, “Surrounded by Diamonds” from Innocence (2014)
Sahg, “Blizzardborne” from Delusions of Grandeur (2014)
Doctor Cyclops, “Cobweb Hands” from Oscuropasso (2014)
Mammatus, “Brainbow/Brain-Train” from Heady Mental (2013)
Sun Voyager, “Space Queen” from Mecca (2013)
All Them Witches, “Swallowed by the Sea” from Lightning at the Door (2013)
Black Skies, “Lifeblood” from Circadian Meditations (2013)
The Wounded Kings, “Consolamentum” from Consolamentum (2014)
Not terribly long ago, I happened to come into possession of 35 DVDs’ worth of Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes, and watching some of the crappy old sci-fi shorts that precede the crappy old sci-fi movies in the earlier episodes, it suddenly became very clear from where Dutch trio Radar Men from the Moon got their name. Here I just thought it was something they picked because it sounded science-y and like it was from the ’50s. Little did I know it actually was.
Five men died because of my ignorance.
Okay, not really, but I couldn’t think of a way to end that story about finding out where Radar Men from the Moon got their name and I made something up. You got me. Either way, the three-piece will release their new album, Strange Wave Galore, on Jan. 30 through Fuzz Club Records and they’ll be playing in Eindhoven — gorgeous, awesome Eindhoven — that night at the Effenaar that same night. Funny how that works out.
Roadburn got the video premiere, and the album is up for preorder here. You’ll find the clip along with info about the band working with visual artist Iris Donker below.
Radar Men from the Moon, “Surrealist Appearance” official video
Roadburn Festival unveils our first video ‘Surrealist Appearance’ from our forthcoming LP, Strange Wave Galore, which will be released on January 30th through Fuzz Club Records at the kick-off event of Eindhoven Psych Lab at the Effenaar in Eindhoven, The Netherlands.
To celebrate this occasion, we collaborated with visual artist Iris Donker. Her work is the juxtaposition of the ordinary absurdism of everyday life and the twisted strangeness of our own minds. When the dark cloak of the night falls, all these unexpected thoughts come floating, and it all comes alive in the work of Iris Donker. Her work is tasteless, glamorous, perverse, fun, melancholic and poetic. It’s hope and dread, it’s a surreal dream and a dark nightmare. It’s confusing.
Posted in Reviews on October 16th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster
I am constantly working at a deficit. Financially, yes, because like many of my countrymen I’m am tens of thousands of dollars in debt — but also in terms of reviews. I’malwaysbehind on reviews. Hell, it was into July of this year before I finally put the kybosh on writing up anything from 2011, and I’m pretty sure if I hadn’t put my foot down on it, I’d still have year-old albums going up or older. My to-do list grows like a witchcult.
It’s not something to complain about and I’m not complaining. I’m stoked people give enough of a shit to send their CDs in to be reviewed — especially those who actually send CDs — and it’s for that reason that I do this second reviewsplosion (first one here).
Yeah, as ever, I’m behind on reviews, but I’m also working on being more concise — I swear I am; check out the At a Glance reviews if you don’t believe me — and one of the things I liked so much about the last reviewsplosion was it forced me to get to the fucking point. As direct a line as possible to a review. Boiling the idea down to its essential core.
With that in mind, here’s my attempt to both balance my review budget and be as clear as humanly possible. Hope you dig:
Altar of Oblivion, Grand Gesture of Defiance
The subject of some spirited debate on the forum, the second record from Danish five-piece Altar of Oblivion revels in traditional doom methods. There’s an air of pomp in some of the songs — “Graveyard of Broken Dreams” lays it on a little thick — but by and large, Grand Gesture of Defiance(Shadow Kingdom) is a more than solid showing of genre. Classic underground metal flourishes abound, and while it’s not a record to change your life, at six tracks/34 minutes, neither does it hang around long enough to be overly repetitive. You could do way worse. Altar of Oblivion on Thee Facebooks.
Blooming Látigo, Esfínteres y Faquires
Primarily? Weird. The Spanish outfiit Blooming Látigo make their debut on Féretro Records (CD) and Trips und Träume (LP) with the all-the-fuck-over-the-place Esfínteres y Faquires, alternately grinding out post-hardcore and reciting Birthday Party-style poetry. They reach pretty hard to get to “experimental,” maybe harder than they need to, but the on-a-dime stops and high-pitched screams on tracks like “Onania” and “Prisciliano” are well beyond fascinating, and the blown-out ending of “La Destrucción del Aura” is fittingly apocalyptic. Who gave the art-school kids tube amps? Blooming Látigo on Bandcamp.
Five years since their second offering, Green Magic, left such a strong impression, Italian stoner rock trio El-Thule return with Zenit (Go Down Records), which makes up for lost time with 50 minutes of heavy riffs, fuzzy desert grooves and sharp, progressive rhythms. The band — El Comandante (bass), Mr. Action (guitar/vocals) and Gweedo Weedo (drums/vocals) — may have taken their time in getting it together, but there’s little about Zenit that lags, be it the faster, thrashier “Nemesis” or thicker, Torche-esque melodic push of the highlight “Quaoar.” It’s raw, production-wise, but I hope it’s not another half-decade before El-Thule follow it up. El-Thule on Thee Facebooks.
Botanist, III: Doom in Bloom
It’s a nature-worshiping post-black metal exploration of what the History Channel has given the catchy title “life after people.” If you’ve ever wondered what blastbeats might sound like on a dulcimer, Botanist‘s third album, III: Doom in Bloom has the answers you seek, caking its purported hatred of human kind in such creative instrumentation and lyrics reverent of the natural world rather than explicitly misanthropic. The CD (on Total Rust) comes packaged with a second disc called Allies, featuring the likes of Lotus Thief and Matrushka and giving the whole release a manifesto-type feel, which suits it well. Vehemently creative, it inadvertently taps into some of the best aspects of our species. Botanist’s website.
Say what you will about whiteboys and the blues, the bass tone that starts “Nobody Get Me Down” is unfuckwithable. And Seattle trio GravelRoad come by it pretty honestly, having served for years as the backing back for bluesman T-Model Ford. The album Psychedelta (on Knick Knack Records) jams out on its start-stop fuzz in a way that reminds not so much of Clutch but of the soul and funk records that inspired Clutch in the first place, and though it never gets quite as frenetic in its energy as Radio Moscow, there’s some of that same vibe persisting through “Keep on Movin'” or their Junior Kimbrough cover “Leave Her Alone.” Throaty vocals sound like a put-on, but if they can nail down that balance, GravelRoad‘s psychedelic blues has some real potential in its open spaces. GravelRoad on Thee Facebooks.
The Linus Pauling Quartet, Bag of Hammers
Texas toast. The Linus Pauling Quartet offer crisp sunbursts of psychedelic heavy rock, and after nearly 20 years and eight full-lengths, that shouldn’t exactly be as much of a surprise as it is. Nonetheless, Bag of Hammers(Homeskool Records) proffers a 41-minute collection of heady ’90s-loving-the-’70s tones while venturing into classic space rock on “Victory Gin” and ballsy riffing on “Saving Throw.” Being my first experience with the band, the album is a refreshing listen and unpretentious to its very core. Eight-minute culminating jam “Stonebringer” is as engaging a display of American stoner rock as I’ve heard this year, and I have to wonder why it took eight records before I finally heard this five-man quartet? Hits like its title. LP4’s website.
Odyssey, Abysmal Despair
It’s the damnedest thing, but listening to Abysmal Despair, the Transubstans Records debut from Swedish prog sludge/noise rockers Odyssey, I can’t help but think of Long Island’s own John Wilkes Booth. It’s the vocals, and I know that’s a really specific association most people aren’t going to have, but I do, and I can’t quite get past it. The album is varied, progressive, and working in a variety of modern underground heavy contexts nowhere near as foreboding as the album’s title might imply, like Truckfighters meets Entombed, but I just keep hearing JWB‘sKerry Merkle through his megaphone. Note: that’s not a bad thing, just oddly indicative of the greater sphere of worldwide sonic coincidence in which we all exist. If anything, that just makes me like Abysmal Despair more. Odyssey on Soundcloud.
Palkoski, 2012 Demo
Conceptual Virginian free-formers Palkoski released the three-track/67-minute 2012 demo earlier this year through Heavy Hound. Most of it sounds improvised, but for verses here and there that emerge from the various stretches, and the band’s alternately grinding and sparse soundscapery results in an unsettling mash of psychotic extremity. It is, at times, painful to listen, but like some lost tribal recording, it’s also utterly free. Limited to 100 CDs with a second track called “The Shittiest EP Ever” and a third that’s a sampling of Palkoski‘s ultra-abrasive noise experimentation live, this one is easily not for the faint of heart. Still, there’s something alluring in the challenge it poses. Palkoski at Heavy Hound.
Radar Men from the Moon, Echo Forever
Following their charming 2011 EP, Intergalactic Dada and Space Trombones, the Eindhoven instrumental trio Radar Men from the Moon (On the Radar’ed here) return on the relative quick with a 51-minute full-length, Echo Forever. More progressive in its jams, the album’s psychedelic sprawl shows the band developing — I hesitate to compare them to 35007 just because they happen to be Dutch, but the running bassline that underscores “Atomic Mother” is a tempter — but there’s still an immediacy behind their changes that keeps them from really belonging to the laid-back sphere of European jam-minded heavy psychedelia. They’re getting warmer though, stylistically and tonally, and I like that. Interesting to hear a song like “Heading for the Void” and think Sungrazer might be burgeoning as an influence. Cool jams for the converted. Radar Men from the Moon on Bandcamp.
Sound of Ground, Sky Colored Green
There are elements of of Yawning Man, or Unida or other acts in the Californian desert milieu, but basically, Moscow’s Sound of Ground sound like Kyuss. They know it. Their R.A.I.G. debut full-length, Sky Colored Green, makes no attempt to hide it, whether it’s the “Green Machine” riffing of “Lips of the Ocean” or the speedier Slo-Burnery of “El Caco,” though the metallic screaming on “R.H.S.” is a dead giveaway for the band’s youth, coming off more like early Down than anything Josh Homme ever plugged in to play. While not necessarily original, the trio are firm in their convictions, and Sound of Ground tear through these 11 tracks with engaging abandon. The Russian scene continues to intrigue. Sound of Ground on Thee Facebooks.
I just opened my mail here at the office, and in it found a CD from an indie band with a sizable PR company behind them. The album cover featured the members of this band — I’m not even going to say their name, lest I unintentionally give them press — shirtless, in shorty shorts, holding fake guns, wearing sunglasses, like something out of a hipster Road Warrior. Fuck that band. Instead of listening to them, I’m going to listen to Radar Men From the Moon.
If I said to you they’re a youngin’ Dutch instrumental heavy psych trio, you’d probably already have a pretty good idea of what they sound like, so here goes: They’re a youngin’ Dutch instrumental heavy psych trio. Guitar, bass, drums. The usual debts are paid to the likes of Colour Haze and others from the Elektrohasch roster, and a sample out of old sci-fi lends an Astrosoniq feel to opener “The Wire” from their self-released EP, Intergalactic Dada and Space Trombones.
But most importantly, familiar though Radar Men From the Moon‘s sound is, their three Bandcamp-streaming songs have provided me respite from the garbage that shows up at the work P.O. box, and for that, I thank them. We’re starting to see a lot of these kinds of instrumental acts popping up around Europe, and though sooner or later, someone’s going to have to get a singer, that day is not today, and I’m digging the easy, patient grooves of the EP’s title track and of “Moonjuice,” which is also a better title than anything that other band came up with.
Check these dudes out on Thee Facebooks or take a listen with the player below and see if you don’t agree they’re much better than douched-out irono-violence.