11.21.2014

Acid Baby Jesus


Some days you wake up and think, "yeah it its time for another album from Acid Baby Jesus". Well maybe you don't wake up and think that, but I do. Slovenly wraps us a new batch from Greece's favorite sons, and its just as wonky a collection of psych addled garage and cigarette burnt pop froth as their first. Divining creepy vibes from the center of the rotted soul, the band pounds out the kind of psych squelch that creeps slow up the neck, settling into the hypothalamus and taking root like an insidious tumor. They've found the formula for evil and dipped it in a coating of garage that's more exhaust fumes and packed tar than flash glamour and hip swagger. Plenty of bands know how to make you move but very few know how to make you move six rows back to avoid your gaze, and that's where ABJ bring their expertise. The Grecian foursome instill the kind of pit of the stomach bad vibes that make you back slowly out of a room, only to end up in a back alley full of greaser punk, full blown and fuming. Resist the dread and just embrace the weird negativity wafting off of the amp stacks. It’s easier to give in than to fight. That's the beauty of "Selected Recordings," its a jukebox of acid reflux regrets that make you hungry for more.

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posted by dissensous at 9:36:00 AM 0 comments

11.20.2014

Matthew Melton


Matthew Melton, better known around these parts as the driving force behind Bare Wires, Warm Soda and Snake Flower 2, isn't exactly hurting for output. But as prolific entities seem in the habit of, there's more material than various incarnations can hold. So as with his first solo LP, Outside of Paradise wrangles up the cutting room floor and misplaced extras that just don't seem to find a place in his regular canon. As such there's the edge of glam, hint of power pop that's been prevalent in Melton's recent offerings from Warm Soda. There's a touch of the swagger that made Bare Wires cut so hard, but more often this is a softer side of Melton and perhaps that's the tie that binds these together. The winking playfulness that's always bubbling under Warm Soda is nowhere to be found on this LP's title track, a swooning pop song that's tinged more with sadness than triumphant strut. Even when the tracks bound into the room, Melton often seems lovelorn, a Lothario pining rather than preening. Despite their varied recording dates the songs stitch together into a pretty seamless quilt of garage pecked pop that's branded with plenty of Melton's charm. It may not soundtrack your Saturday night the way that Warm Soda did earlier in the year but Sunday afternoon is waiting for this side of Melton.

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posted by dissensous at 10:14:00 AM 0 comments

11.18.2014

Ulaan Markhor


Stephen R. Smith returns to the valley of Ulaan. Or rather he's always been there, recently cranking out releases under the Ulaan Passerine moniker and Ulaan Khol monikers, though he's always held a place in our hearts as Hala Strana. The latest turn as Ulaan Markhor smoothes the fire and fits of Khol and refines the languidity of Passerine into an album of fluid, propulsive instrumentals that have a head in the German Progressive movement and a foot firmly planted in psychedelic American rock tipping out of the late 70's. The drums never hit that motorik tick but the bass certainly does and there's an expansiveness and float that's sharing space at the lunchtable with some kosmiche cronies. The album's ten feet thick in a cloud of ether but with an oddly nostalgic tilt that seems to lurch up out of the smoke and swirl to pull at some forgotten regrets. In merging the ennui and prog into a digestible genre it seems that Smith has found the cinematic heart of stoner rock and given it a breathing soul; something that also gives it a considerable amount of heft as well. Its good to see Soft Abuse kicking some releases back onto the table as well as they've been scant in the last few years but what comes is always very welcome from that stable.

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posted by dissensous at 8:24:00 AM 0 comments

11.13.2014

Aaron Hawn


Speaking of Sonic Meditations, the label keeps on as always with solid selections from Justin Wright in limited form and this time they reach back into the RSTB memory chest with a release from Aaron Hawn, former bassist of OG Not Not Funners Mythical Beast. As with The Beast's own work, the tape traverses dark hallways, drops its possessions and wanders out into the desert night. Over the course of six tracks Hawn saws shamanistic guitar visions in half with creeping dread and keeps us hooked for visions to come. Its got musical roots with the Evan Caminiti/Barn Owl coven but certainly Hawn etches out his own space on the plateau with this one. Limited like hell to 80 cassettes and worth its weight in spooled tape.

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posted by dissensous at 10:39:00 AM 0 comments

11.12.2014

King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard - "Satan Speeds Up" Video


KG are at their best when mining the weird, faded corners of R&B soaked psych and their last couple of releases have had plenty of opportunities to spread the psych ward love. While in NYC the band took some time to capture a few moments to video for Mind Fuzz's excellently flute soaked "Satan Speeds Up". If you haven't already put this on your "to buy" list, now's the time.

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posted by dissensous at 1:00:00 PM 0 comments

Sungod


Austin duo Sungod's latest entry to the psychedelic canon merges pastoral touches with a cosmic expanse that cracks open your brain like the dome on a planetarium. Mixing synth swirls that launch from headphone to headphone with the lilting flute work of Kristine Reaume, the album eases in with deep, dark pools of languid kosmiche bookended by lonesome blues that fight the equal holds of Earth's Hex period and Brightblack Morning Light (an influence that more should be digging into for sure). The band comes in with high cred, recording not only here for Holodeck but also for Expo 70's pet label Sonic Mediations, and though they've had some high promise in past releases this eponymous LP proves they've hit a new peak. Light and dark transitions work as a sort of theme on the album, tension and release, driving intensity and serene closure all fighting for the same air. Ultimately this plays out like a forgotten Krautrock gem lost to cruel fates and just now surfacing for a new round of collector fueled adulation. Thankfully it’s not forgotten to time but limited as Holodeck releases remain, it’s still worthwhile to jump faster than hesitate. The good ones don't always lock this hard or feel as instantly classic.

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posted by dissensous at 9:22:00 AM 0 comments

11.11.2014

Voyag3r


Few have tumbled so headlong into the soundtrack without a movie vibe as Voyag3r (read Voyager Three). The Detroit ensemble rip creepy synth vibes right out of John Carpenter's hands and inject them with a harder edge and just a touch of metal's growl. Its been done elsewhere (Oneohtrix, Espectrostatic and Umberto all rocking some Carpenter nods over the years) but somehow just not with as much heart as Voyag3r throw into the mix. The room practically fills with fog from the moment that the needle hits the groove. They have the beats, the timing and the inherit suspense that Carpenter brought to his soundtracks. From the moment the LP cracks there's a lump in your throat and an urgent need to get to clearer air, throw in a pitch perfect design aesthetic and its easy to see why even aficionados like Death Waltz have this one up in their distro'd titles. It may be just past the Halloween hour but there's no reason that the power and anxiety of Voyag3r can't soundtrack November as well.

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posted by dissensous at 8:25:00 AM 0 comments

11.05.2014

Nude Beach


Nude Beach's last album caught our hearts with an apparent love for rock swagger that cut the lines between The Replacements and Tom Petty, with just enough room for the nascent beginnings of power pop to creep in at the edges. The band has come back with grand expectations for their latest, a double LP for Jersey stronghold Don Giovanni. The album has a lot of the same thumbprints smudging its sleeve but they've widened the lens and let in the tide pool swell of tempos, acoustic touches and a fine studio makeover. The album is grand but never bloated; rather it spins the dial through the best moments of college and classic rock territory to feel immediately familiar, like a beat up jacket that still fits from high school. They never really cut any new ground but they seem to be covering the sidewalks you know so well that it only helps to smile and plan an hour long drive that lets the speakers blare and the riffs build up.

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posted by dissensous at 8:16:00 AM 0 comments

11.04.2014

Ernie Graham - Ernie Graham
Ernie Graham's 1971 solo album often gets saddled with the 'pub rock' genre, which to be honest never really gets all that much respect and isn't always a good fit here. With the exception of closer, "Belfast", the album sounds much further from its Irish roots
and much closer to the American roots of The Band, Dylan or Fred Neil. The album's backed by members of Brinsley Schwartz, another overlooked pub rock band that included Nick Lowe in their ranks. Graham's solo excursions came together after the collapse of his band Eire Apparent, known for their extensive touring with Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd & Soft Machine and a debut LP produced by Hendrix himself. This is a far cry from Eire Apparent's psychedelic jams, but what it lacks in flash it makes up for in a cohesion and soul that they never had. 4 Men With Beards have now put this one back into the vinyl ranks where it belongs; a generational oversight long looking for a good home.

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posted by dissensous at 7:21:00 PM 0 comments

11.03.2014

Nots


Goner's picking up more Memphis homegrown fodder with the release of Nots debut LP. Grit-caked and low slung, its a bite-ridden record that shakes at the tree of synth-punk. The band, now expanded to a foursome with the addition of Madison Farmer on bass and Alexandra Eastburn on synthesizer, burns through the jungle of vitriol with a dedication that's admirable. The synth warbles add that perfect touch of quease to the mix, driving through your veins like a sugar sick hangover and burning it all clean with pounding pulse of bass in your temples. Running the gamut from impudent yowl to ferocious pummel Natalie Hoffmann's vocals pack more punch than many similarly minded contemporaries and you can feel the wounds, scars and claw scratched fire in every syllable. Seems that the garage underground has gotten very crowded of late, and its hard to find the gold in the silt but then something like We Are Nots comes along and reminds you that its still worth getting your hands dirty lookin'.

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posted by dissensous at 9:29:00 AM 0 comments

10.30.2014

Tape


Always good to see Tape back in the mix and on their sixth album proper, the Swedish stalwarts are still walking the line between creeping minimalism and their own cracked pop lens. Their songs are earthen, filling rooms with the faint whiffs of concrete, moss and oncoming rain. The band tends to lend themselves to the introvert, soundtracks of quite reflection, even isolation at times. In that vein Casino is hung with a cautious sadness, and while the same sighs have filled other releases by Tape, they are never dour, just a little exasperated at the constant cloud cover. With the various offshoots of its members, it’s a wonder they find time to all be in the same room, let alone to craft with as much heft as they have on this album. Nothing here is as explosive as some of the other collaborations that members have found time for but in a way it’s their patience for quietude that packs the strongest punch. Highly recommended for the oncoming chill.

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posted by dissensous at 10:31:00 AM 0 comments

10.29.2014

Propeller - Let Us Live Together
Formed by Achim Reichel, longtime RSTB fave from AR & Machines and all around Krautrock hero. Here he pairs with fellow members of The Rattles and Wonderland and a few guests from Lucifer's Friend for a band that skews more to the heavy / glam axis. The
repetitive elements that show up in his landmark works are all but a whisper here but the record has a huge sound and a very early 70's thumbprint that's apparent in the heavy blues riffs, soft psych touches and rootsy breakdowns. Truth be told, nothing about this album feels like it was formed by German players at the time, its more indebted to the UK swath of rock that was rolling through at the same time. Oddly his own Die grüne Reise (The green journey) was released in the same year, so it seems he was splitting personalities with his experimental and pop sides. Alas, the band would make only one album as Propeller before disbanding but Reichel would go on for many years as a solo artist.

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posted by dissensous at 10:07:00 AM 0 comments

10.27.2014

Panabrite


Panabrite's Norm Chambers has been nothing if not prolific in the past few years, teaming up with Digitalis, Aguirre, Tranquility Tapes, Bathetic and Hobo Cult among a dozen others to bring immersive synth soundtracks to the world. Now he's skipping over to Immune, another obvious home for his worn page ambient journeys, with Pavilion, a darker side to his dissociative universe. The album begins with the patter of rain, a nod to his Northwest homestead, and links its eight tracks into a weave of bubbling distraction, translucent calm and meditative headspace. The record, as with most of Chambers' works, winds up rather cinematic, feeling like a thread looking for the needle of a camera's eye to truly give it purpose. At once gorgeous and ethereal but strangely claustrophobic and anxious, Pavilion has a way of feeling like the waking edge of a dream caught while sleeping on the job, the sounds of machinery fading to the edges but always pulling at the focus so that you can't just float away with the receding tide of calm hallucination. The album works best between the nestle of headphones, where the enveloping qualities of Chambers' world can best block out the encroaching chaos of the outside world. The rain seems to pop in and out of Pavilion, a recurring sense of ennui that perfectly matches the nervous, pit of the stomach sadness that encapsulates Panabrite's universe. Sure its a bummer, but its a perfectly engrossing bummer, and one that feels as necessary as ever these days. There are many to choose from but this stands as on of Panabrite's best.

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posted by dissensous at 9:36:00 AM 0 comments

10.21.2014

Steve Gunn


It's hard to follow up the year Gunn had in 2013, with a celebrated solo album and RSD gem Golden Gunn, but he's back at it again and in true form, he's wrangled another gorgeous solo cut that's pushing him ever further towards the pop edge while still keeping that mournful soul that's always drawn us in. Way Out Weather is less of an introspective tumble than Time Off, opting instead for expansive skies tinged with amber hues that feel like they might stretch on forever. He's returned again to Black Dirt Studios, gestational home to many RSTB beloved albums, and there Gunn and his core players (plus a few new additions) shaded the album into form with fine brushstrokes. Gunn's become something of a new troubadour in the process of the last couple of records, equal parts JJ Cale and Tim Buckley, while contextualizing his wilder guitar side into digestible, but no less remarkable form. Though he does let his wilder instincts prevail on closer "Tommy's Congo." So while he's got plaintive pathos to spare and Way Out Weather draws the listener in with promises of smooth porch rockers that blossom on further inspection into weightier material much to our delight. It seems certain that fall has found a new companion in Gunn and this may well end up your soundtrack through the end of 2014.

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posted by dissensous at 10:06:00 AM 1 comments

10.15.2014

Hundred Visions


Austin's had plenty of heat as a garage rock breeding ground and the latest gem from the city of 1000 shows is Hundred Visions. The band's blending SF garage-punk along the Segall / Cronin axis with a touch of pop in the vein of Green Day in their less opulent days. The result, their sophomore LP SPITE is a thick-veined, rubber-necked blast of Texan heat that lodges Acme safe sized hooks in between Oh Sees worthy whoops and guitar frazzle. Its hard to escape the Dwyer umbrella these days as a garage punk band with any exuberance, but to be fair they don't spend the whole record in that shade. Taking it down for a few slow moments that pluck at our 90's pop hearts, the mid section of the album shows they've got more than just rabble in their tank. A solid sender from the Southern line and well worth a few spins on the table for sure.

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posted by dissensous at 2:20:00 PM 0 comments

10.14.2014

Andy Stott


Stott's always been a master of gathering clouds, forcing menace to the surface in small rivulets that build to a storm. By the time the creeping dread is on you, its far to late to do anything about it. He gathers a new squall on Faith In Strangers twisting his way through metal shards of dub as befit any of Stott's past works, but there's also a renewed appreciation for calmer waters. Lingering icicle moments of anticipation that leave the listener waiting for the crush. It finds the line between violence and the salve without ever feeling like he's trespassing in either tone. As he has in the past, Stott utilizes the vocal collaborations of Alison Skidmore in both instances to add a sense of, not necessarily pop, but an ethereal, smoke bathed soul. Its an alternate dimension's torch record, battle cry and requiem all in one.

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posted by dissensous at 1:44:00 PM 0 comments

10.09.2014

Herbcraft - Push Thru The Veil
Been a while around here but Herbcraft return to the fold, this time expanded to a trio with Aaron Neveu of Woods on drums & production and Joe Lindsey on bass. The first new offering from the new setup is "Push Thru The Veil" a
psych/dub, bleary-eyed trip through the heather. Brittle guitars that bring a touch of 70's afro-funk crunch nicely atop a thick stream of butter dubbed percussion and bass giving that new rhythm section an instant workout. It’s a fuller sound than the band's brought forth before, but still true to their faded gatefold psych approach. The flip on this one actually cranks the dubplate tighter with a version that's all swirl n' hotbox swelter. The single acts as a run-up to a new album on the way next year. From these sounds, there's a lot to be hopeful for in 2015. The single makes way as the first offering from the band's own label SA!

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posted by dissensous at 9:51:00 AM 0 comments

10.06.2014

Bloods


Ever since those early singles we've been following this Aussie trio and its good to see them finally grow into their own on an album that delivers well on those budding expectations. Versed in 90's Elastica riffs, Dum Dum Girls moves and tearing through a pixie stix punk ethos the album actually ends up equal parts sunshine days and heart hung lonesome odes that delve further into the pop well than the band has ventured previously. Naturally its good to see them stretch, but its hard to hold back the pogo when the band cracks open the fizz and lets loose on those wild, hair shaking moments that feel just right to hairbrush sing the morning away. With some crisp production and a eye on the widescreen, Work It Out full realizes the shading that they'd hinted at on their previous EP and it remains a perfect addition to some early Fall playlists, squeezing the sugar rush bounce of "Want It" or the doleful pining of "College" between Beach Day and Jenny Lewis for a perfect segue.

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posted by dissensous at 10:41:00 AM 0 comments

10.03.2014

Beach Day


Still a terrible name, still doesn't matter. Beach Day is rooted in the ringing, resounding voice of Kimmy Drake, who's got the pipes that Bethany Cosentino's been searching for. The band's always rumbling just below that horizon, an unfortunate case as they've got a stronghold on sunny riffs, handclaps and sand-grit guitars that make you wanna pop the windows open at 60 and just drive straight towards the sun. Its all heartbreak, he said / she said and hubris but that's the beauty of Native Echoes, there's no need for furrowed brows and politics. Sometimes its best to just keep things simple, sweet and instantly replayable. It’s a doo-wop record with dirt in its teeth and for that you can be grateful. There are still a scant few days of hangover summer left and the wise bet's on a boombox and a copy of Beach Day. Hell, even if it gets cold, there are more than a few tracks here that wrap tight like a favorite hoodie. Find time to savor it.

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posted by dissensous at 8:39:00 AM 0 comments

10.02.2014

Bass Drum of Death


BDoD blew onto the scene a few years back in the wake of main miscreant John Barrett's involvement with Flight, the cornerstone of Mississippi voodoo fuzz. Barrett bore a similar style to Flight's octane heavy, vocally obscured burners but immediately began to burn cleaner once he hit the long players. With Rip This the fuzz has subsided with the tide but there's still plenty of six ton riffs and Southern garage power pummel to punch the bedroom walls of each and every track, leaving behind a mess of plaster and earache hanging in the air. Barrett's gone from underdog sideman to garage darling in double time but that's not to say that its not deserved, every smoldering chunk of Rip This lives up to that boastful title. Its rips like a fishhook through the cheek, drawing blood quickly and leaving jagged scars like a pox on the listener. Hard to deny that this one's got legs and bears repeated listens.

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posted by dissensous at 8:32:00 AM 0 comments