Saturday, May 23, 2015

Space Gets Bent...

Multishiva - Multishiva EP (2015)

The half-hour covered by the three songs on this EP forms the first release from the Finnish psychedelic rock group of Multishiva, and though you might expect them to still be finding their footing (which they might be), on these three songs the band launches themselves forward at full speed.  Freak-out guitar licks, throbbing bass, drums that can go from slow to flicker-twitch in two seconds, and vocals with a full chest of air pushing them out into the echoing space come together in a blur of sound that pulses in just the right places to pick you up with it for the ride.  Multishiva strikes a balance between energized and spacy, mixing rocket-fuel guitar licks with slow-burn ring-mod effects, and the band juggles them about in ways that show off their long hours of practice without losing any sense of spontaneity.  The instrumental tear-off sections have an amazing spark to them, enough to make you believe they've been at this for years, and given that this is just their beginning, things are certainly looking up for Multishiva.  Give it a shot if you have any sort of fondness for psychedelic rock, but be prepared to have it taking up your free listening time for the rest of the month.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of;    Gallileous, JPT Scare Band, Wired Mind, AXIS/ORBIT, Molior Superum


Friday, May 22, 2015

Putting It To The Test...

Mos Generator / Stubb - The Theory of Light & Matter (2015)

If you've heard either Mos Generator or Stubb before (or really, most anything put out by HeviSike Records), expectations of some toothsome stoner rock should already be percolating in your brain; if you're new to any or all of them, this split makes for a very fine introduction, with each of the bands contributing three solid tracks.  Mos Generator takes the A-side, digging back through the decades for the psychedelic seasonings of their side, with fuzz-headed hard riffs getting melted all over by heated break-downs and syncopated spine-twitchers.  They do slide into a meaner angle with their last buster, "There's No Return from Nowhere", but here again is an introduction of sweeter melodies to even out the ride, cinching it up with a flourish.
For their part, Stubb get loose in a bluesier form, taking a 'my legs aren't working right now' sensibility in to channel the psychedelic influences through to the distortion and grooves of their half.  Mesmerizing and casually experimental, you can hear the guitarist's reluctance to let go of a riff's mutation when the time comes to fade out and move on.  The two sides add up to a satisfyingly diverse and deep-ended spectrum of stoner rock, released today digitally and on limited vinyl (red & black marbled from HeviSike, and white from the bands), so go ahead and pick up a copy if you've been wanting something to scratch a bleary-groove-wanting itch.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of;    Isaak, Groggy, The Hunted Crows, Syreregn, Red Scalp


Use Your Ears...

Omar - I Am Heavy Metal, Who Are You? (2015)

Do you like hard rock, either modern or heavily influenced by what it was in the '80s?  If the answer to that is a 'yes,' then you'll probably want to check in on Omar, a group releasing its first album today; it would have been here sooner, but due to a stolen shipment of vinyl, the time is now.  Relying on head-banging rhythms and noodly guitar riffing to pull in listeners, Omar bring in more heaviness than this style of music usually handles, though never really enough to shift it into 'heavy rock'.  Thanks in part to the glossiness of the mixing and production, things do go a little too close to radio rock (especially with the vocals), but the band's enthusiasm is hard to deny.  While the heavy metal claimed by the title doesn't appear too often, Omar does have it in them when they calm down, with tracks like "Ounce of Dirt" and "Bayonet" showing a more compelling style as the band gets less giddy.  Depending on your tolerance for cock rock, you might get more or less out of this, but there's little doubt that it's exactly what Omar wanted to do.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of;    MACH22, MAXX11, Black Stone Cherry, High Spirits, La Chinga


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Finding New Nebulae...

Frozen Planet... 1969 - Lost Traveller Chronicles, Volume Two (2015)

It's no secret (or if it is, it's a very poorly-kept one) that Australia is home to some of the best heavy psych rock to be found these days.  One of the biggest fighters for that scene, right up with Desert Highways, is the label of Pepper Shaker Records, which (in addition to the oft-lauded Mother Mars) has handled releases by Little Big Wolf and our subject today, Frozen Planet....1969.  Continuing on from the first volume of their Lost Traveller Chronicles, FP69 pick up right where they left off, pulling listeners from the first into a swirling cloud of fuzz, feedback, thunderous drums, and space-brained riffs.
Since the music is built around instrumental jamminess, it's up to the track-list to provide a setting, and with names such as "The Long Journey Home (Through Glitter, Dust And Debris)" and "Drifting Gently Backwards In Slow Motion While Staring Out Over A Suspended Streaming Mass Of Colour", it's not hard at all to say they've succeeded.  Reading and rereading the names as the string-tones spasm and twitch into long-burning grooves
It's not all your standard excellent heavy psychedelic rock, though, as the band has included touches of dub (for example, "Silver-Lined Cloud Lounge"), blues ("Aerial Burial"), shoegaze (that extra-long one I named earlier), and jazz ("Distant Star Island") for an ever-shifting, always-vivid cosmic blanket to cover your mind.  While it's just a little over half an hour, the album feels so sky-fillingly large as to not seem wanting.  Besides, room needs to be saved for Vol. 3, whenever it arrives, and should the opportunity for a vinyl release arise, no editing will need to be done to squeeze it on wax.  Currently available on CD and digital, so kick back and give it a listen until you're orbiting out there with Frozen Planet.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of;    Gallileous, Telstar Sound Drone, Salem's Pot, Wicked Lady, JPT Scare Band


Dying Yet Again...

HEAVYDEATH - Awakening of the Forgotten (2015)

The ever-productive Heavydeath are back again, this time with ~20 minutes of material both old ("Awakening of the Forgotten", a reworking of a track from one of the numerous demos) and new ("Steel from Beyond", "Old Dust Alive").  The group's blending of death and doom is as satisfying as any previous release, but with a little more warmth and richness to the recording, and less of the crypt-studio feel (though I still found myself shivering for some reason).  The way the bass and vocals play off of each other is where it feels the meat of the songs is residing, with the guitar's sharp buzz acting as a scalpel to carve things up just as they start to settle in, and sometimes going a bit mad with the slashing.  "Old Dust Alive" really hits a nerve with the distortion effects, so even being the shortest of the three tracks, it gets under your skin and creeps into your bones.  If you haven't already given Heavydeath a listen, this is a great place to start; if you have, it's just more to appreciate, and gives a good sense of how they've adjusted things since the days of the first track's original recording.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of;    Coffin Torture, Plaguewielder, Sator, Sonance, Verdun


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Emerge Into Light...

Blood of the Mother - The Mother and the Neue Maschine (2014)

This album marks the first release from Glasgow's Blood of the Mother, and while they may be new, they're already dab hands at putting together heavy layerings and twisted progressions.  The first of the four evocatively-titled tracks on The Mother and the Neue Maschine takes an interesting curve to atmospheric sludge, dropping lo-fi elements into more richly-textured pieces for high contrast and successful ear-invasion.  "Womankind Is Kinder Than Mankind" leads listeners to a slower and more meditative setting, letting the strings resonate over slow drumming as the vocals quietly intone words of travel and identification before a wave of violence overtakes it and destroys itself.
As "Corpses of Lost Ideas" leads into the second half, the violent and wintry sounds come together in a more massive fashion, hitting an expansive projection that feels like it could fill the depths of a strip-mine.  After bleeding itself out, "Death in Kentucky" approaches with softer tones again, keeping a subtle edge going beneath the guitar's throttled notes, seducing your ears into complacency before launching the last volley.  A sound-clip that can't help but date itself already puts a little bit of a damper on the end, but in general, the release is a pretty fantastic first work.  There's variety, imagination, an expressiveness with the instruments that's downright devilish, and a considerate crafting for each individual piece.  Check it out if you like hearing sludge and doom being burned down to the bones.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of;    Gnaw Their Tongues, Heavydeath, White Darkness, HATE&MERDA, Ulver


How Polite...

Warp Riders - A Tea Party With Demons EP (2015)

This new EP from Norway's Warp Riders finds the group taking traditional hard rock, giving it a little modern crustiness and bluesiness, and proceeding straight-forwardly from there.  Crunchy cuts from the guitar are backed by strong drumming, a voice straight from the '70s, and vibrant bass, and through the four songs it sounds like they're really enjoying themselves with the noise, grooves, and choruses.  This being an EP, none of the songs are all that long, but the quickness works with the group's style, letting them storm in, throw the riffs around, and rush back out before you can pin it down.  It's easy to get swept up in that energy, even if hard rock isn't usually your go-to genre, and the band has enough heaviness going for it (plus some psychedelia rising up in "All of the Birds") to appeal to stoner rock fans as well.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of;    Fu Manchu, Black Rainbows, Father Sky, Five Black Bullets, Kopper8


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Hand 'Em Over

Mud Shark ~ Lend Me Your Ears (2015)

 No one does fuzzy, psyched out rock and roll like those crazy cats in Denmark. This time it's Mud Shark that's making their name heard, with their latest five track album called "Lend Me Your Ears". In this instance, that's an outstanding suggestion. From the very beginning it's an avalanche of fuzz filled riffs that will have you involuntarily nodding your head and tapping your foot. The bluesy, melodic vocals really make their mark on tracks like "Face of Sin", where the entire thing has a heavy blues vibe. Not just in the vocals, but in the guitar parts, with a recurring section that's twangy and has old delta blues written all over it. After that, the entire thing cascades into a hard hitting rock section, slowing down and then picking up steam and really letting their legs stretch on the heavy rock and roll side of it. If you're into things that aren't quite as mindfuck heavy as sludge and doom, these guys should be exactly what you're looking for.

For Fans Of; Libido Fuzz, Cream, Radio Moscow