Wednesday, February 25, 2015

-valis Pick of the Week



Hail Voyagers! From Glasgow, Scotland, comes our Pick this week: The Mushroom Club! Their new release, EP2, was just set free a month ago.



Together Paul McCabe, Stevie Kearns, Blair Miller, Seb Jonsen, and Grant Cowie, have put together a 5-track head trip lasting longer than some bands' albums. I hear quite a lot of Spacemen 3 in their style, especially on the nearly-eight-minute "Dreams," and "Oh God." If that name drop gets you excited I think you'll enjoy strapping on the headphones, lighting up the hookah, and gaining admission to The Mushroom Club. (The password may be "Buckfast!")

Listen:





Best wishes to the band as they open for Dead Meadow, alongside fellow Glaswegians Cosmic Dead, in three weeks at the 02 ABC2 in Glasgow.

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You can hear the archived version of the radio show Trip Inside This House on KDHX any time you want to stream it up to two weeks past a show's original air date. GO HERE.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

-valis Pick of the Week



Hail Voyagers! Our Pick this week calls Oakland, California, home: Mondo Drag! Their self-titled release just came out last month on Kozmik Artifactz and is causing quite a stir in all the right circles. Find it here.



With a sound which harkens back, in many ways, to the '70s, intentionally or otherwise, they manage to create a big sound in that space between your ears. Three of the five original members remain and form the core of this powerhouse, (indeed for my money guitarist Jake Sheley may be the second coming of Paul Kossoff!) Also, to these ears, they've not lost anything in their sound with John Gamino managing vocal duties. A move made necessary when the band lost two original members back in Iowa, where Johnnie Cluney, (original chief vocalist,) still resides and makes music under the Bedroom Shrine name.
Opener "Zephyr" confirms the '70s throwback sound homage with a chugging keyboard line that'd make Jon Lord proud. "Crystal Visions Open Eyes", the second track, opens with a propellant beat by new drummer Cory Berry, with a swirling big ballroom feel and Sheley's magnificent playing near song's end. I strongly encourage readers to give this album a listen and judge for yourself. Finally, I'd be remiss if I didn't state, for the record, my favorite track: "Shifting Sands" is a five-headed hydra of krautrock insistence, a la Neu, and never lets up. Witness:



And here's "Zephyr"

Catch them in the Bay Area on Friday, Feb. 27th, at The Brick & Mortar, with Cosmonauts and good blog pal Al Lover!



Wednesday, February 11, 2015

-valis Pick of the Week



Hail Voyagers! Our Pick this week comes from the banks of the Volga: Cosmic Letdown! Cheboksary to be exact. Their debut album, BeHepa, (Venera,) is out now and available via their label Opium Eyes Records/Bandcamp



The band, Artyom Yegorov - sitar, guitar, vocal; Tosha - drums; Roman Prokhorskiy - bass; and RIFF - percussion, guitar, certainly create whipsmart riffs and melodies carrying listeners to the outer reaches of inner space, much like the spacecraft the album's title is taken from. Well worth a listen and satisfying on repeat visits!



Listen to "Мэри", ("Mary):



and here is "Mope", ("The Sea"):



I'm unsure if they've taken their name from The Warlocks track, from their Phoenix album, but Cosmic Letdown sure do shake the dope out!

Friday, February 06, 2015

-valis Pick of the Week



Hail Voyagers!!! Our Pick this week comes from Pécs, Hungary: Sky Children! Their first full-length album, released last July, (yes, I am constantly catching up,) self-titled, is available via Bandcamp.



The duo of Bien János and Reiner Ágoston jr. create some of the most compelling soundscapes I've heard in a while. Certainly talented and more than capable of bringing their vision of who and what they are to light, they've also clearly listened to a substantial amount of classic psychedelia and rock, along with the tropes and moves of more recent practitioners. Overall, an effort well worth your time. Strap on the Sennheisers and enjoy the vistas!




They also have a Tumblr page. A band worth paying attention to.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

-valis Pick of the Week



Hail Voyagers! Our first Pick of this new year, 2015, and it's a good one: from Seattle, Washington, Kingdom of the Holy Sun! Their new album, The Return of the Sun Kings, is being prepared as you read this for a vinyl release soon.



Over the course of the six scorching tracks the band further their agenda advanced over prior releases. This time we're treated to what I can best describe as a heightened garage flavor, intensifying the effectiveness of the band's sound. I'm unsure how many tracks might've been recorded for the session(s) in making this album, but I'm positive what they've chosen to release is damned near perfect. The essentials, and concentrated distillation of Kingdom of the Holy Sun's aesthetic. It does NOT disappoint. Highest recommend.


The band are: Josh Deveney, Daniel Sansone, Christian Powers, Scott Kennedy, Benajah Weiss, and Guido Anselmi.

The first track featured from the new album is "Getting Higher." Listen:


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You can listen to the archived stream here; or, hear it this Friday, on The Dead Man's Turn Me On, Dead Man show on Live365, where it's heard every Friday at noon eastern time, as well as Mr. Atavist's Sunrise Ocean Bender show, heard every other Thursday from 11pm to 1 am eastern, on WRIR in Richmond, VA.

Note:
Adding the Pick of the Week to their show is Dogs Got A Bone out of Edinburgh, Scotland, from 10pm to midnight, Mondays, U.K. time, (adjust accordingly,) on Belter Radio. Thanks Col Chant!

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

-valis Pick of the Week



Hail Voyagers! Our Pick this week comes from two places: Denmark & France: Halasan Bazar & Tara King th.! Their collaborative album, 8, is out on Moon Glyph Records.



To these ears it's a perfect update of the magical collaborations between Lee Hazelwood and Nancy Sinatra, circa "Some Velvet Morning" and "Sand." If that description gets you excited check it out!



Of the collaboration and how it came about:
" February 2014 in Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, a sleepy mountain village in the Auvergne, and Tara King Th (FR) and Halasan Bazar (DK/NO/UK) meet for the first time, a musical blind date arranged by Steve Rosborough, boss of both bands’ Californian label Moon Glyph. Armed with an embryonic songbook of ideas exchanged over the internet, the newly formed sextet set up a makeshift studio in La Gargouille, the deliciously incongruous 70s-styled local discothèque, together with photographer/film-maker, Sébastien Tixier. Living and playing, singing, drinking and dancing together in glorious isolation amidst the snow and disco balls, the collective rapidly bond, and the stage is set for them to merge their individual brands of psychedelia - Halasan’s introspective and whimsical folk-rock and Tara King’s cinematic baroque pop - into one organic whole. They rise to the occasion, swallowing influences, expanding their palettes with open minds, maturing startlingly before our very ears. Guitars shimmer and keyboards swirl and chime to form an atmosphere of giddy intoxication, while bass and drums provide a backbone of powerfully pulsating precision. In the foreground are the stoned, melancholic vocals of Fredrick Rollum Eckoff and the seductive and nuanced tones of Béatrice Morel-Journel. The songs are a delicious variety set to life by the detailed production of Arnaud Boyer. ‘Coeurs Croisés’ and ‘Ventolin’ come from a soundtrack to a halfdreamed Nouvelle Vague tale of espionage, sex and spilled blood. ‘Rot inside’ is aching dark romance. There’s crystalline fragility on ‘Cover’, bluesy swagger on ‘Door wrap’ and plaintive, primal howl on ‘TK16 Part 2’ and ‘Beneath the Golden Tree’. ‘Below your deepest expectations’ ebbs and flows in epic style, close-to-defeat yet defiant, while the tripped-out groove of ‘Try their best’ drones hypnotically before soaring heavenwards." (by Robert McTaggart)

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You can listen to the archived stream here; or, hear it this Friday, on The Dead Man's Turn Me On, Dead Man show on Live365, where it's heard every Friday at noon eastern time, as well as Mr. Atavist's Sunrise Ocean Bender show, heard every other Thursday from 11pm to 1 am eastern, on WRIR in Richmond, VA.

Note:
Adding the Pick of the Week to their show is Dogs Got A Bone out of Edinburgh, Scotland, from 10pm to midnight, Mondays, U.K. time, (adjust accordingly,) on Belter Radio. Thanks Col Chant!

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

-valis Pick of the Week



Hail Voyagers!!! Our Pick this week come from Iceland: Singapore Sling! They've just released their seventh album, The Tower Of Foronicity, on Fuzz Club Records.



As Henrik Björnsson, main man behind the band states on With Guitars dot com: "The new songs were written and recorded at Henrik’s home studio in winter 2011/2012 and in February/March 2014. To the band’s front-man, “Foroncity” is a made up word that means “ridiculousness” and “adversity” at the same time, in other words “so much adversity that it’s just ridiculous”. “Foroncity levels have been extremely high this year” and Henrik adds: “The Tower of Foroncity is endless, it goes on and on and on, and when you think you are at the top you really are at the bottom”. Such statement is not a surprise, as it comes from the man who named his project after an obscure 90s film by Nikolai Nikoladis: a perverse and dark movie about a man who has sex with a corpse." For those who need more Surfgaze n' Psych' in their life, along with a heavy helping of the Jesus & Mary Chain sound, I highly recommend this one!





***
You can listen to the archived stream here; or, hear it this Friday, on The Dead Man's Turn Me On, Dead Man show on Live365, where it's heard every Friday at noon eastern time, as well as Mr. Atavist's Sunrise Ocean Bender show, heard every other Thursday from 11pm to 1 am eastern, on WRIR in Richmond, VA.

Note:
Adding the Pick of the Week to their show is Dogs Got A Bone out of Edinburgh, Scotland, from 10pm to midnight, Mondays, U.K. time, (adjust accordingly,) on Belter Radio. Thanks Col Chant!