Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Tusk - The Resisting Dreamer (2007)

Atmospheric post-metal with epic songs that do
not just bludgeon the senses but have an almost
dreamlike (a very heavy dream!) feel for passages
before the drums and guitars crash in.

Doomy drones give a background tapestry to the
slower tracks while as things speed up, noisy
hardcore textures help give this a satisfying heavy
end to everything.

I had a lot more to write but I keep getting bombed out
of Blogger, so will take this chance to post when I can!

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Posting problems

Blogger has not let me sign in for the last 3 days and it seems to be affecting other people as well.

Some people have fixed this by changing browsers but it did not work for me.

I use a Mac and Safari and was only able to post this by using an ancient, emergency work PC which is slower than a slow thing being very slow indeed.

If anyone else can crack this, let me know.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Ufomammut - Eve (2010)

This is the Italians 5th album and is made up of a
single 45 minute track divided up into 5 movements.

With the sound firmly cemented in Doom, this starts
off with ambient sounds that slowly build up with
layered guitars that gradually explode into a sonic
explosion of dense heaviness.

I am quite new to the world of doom, so have no idea
about comparisons or the correct termonology ..... but
the riffs are killers in the sense that the notes not only
somehow sound heavier than normal but they evolve,
bringing new sounds of chord progressions in a very
organic way, nothing seems forced, everything just flows
into the next track.

You get chanting vocals, slow frenzied solos, deep grooves,
drones, organ stabs, samples and throughout, plenty of
distortion and feedback.

Did I mention the heaviness?

Friday, 20 May 2011

Public ImageLtd - Metal Box (1979)

Whatever Lydon does in the future - or has done
in the last 10 years, "Bollocks" and "Metal Box"
can stand as hugely influential albums.

His grating vocals and abstract, doom laden
lyrics set the scene for the jagged Kraut-rock
rhythms, dub bass lines, droning keyboards
and Keith Levene's twisted, spiraling, harsh
brittle guitar work. Was this the first comprehensive
album to herald post-punk?

I remember interviews with them saying that they
recorded late at night, speeding off their tits and
just trying anything that did not sound like "rock".

All the songs have a minimal production which build
up the tension with a feeling of claustrophobic
suffocation that the repeated riff lines help to produce.

Jah Wobble weaves his bass lines in and out with the
guitar and the resulting songs are ahead of anything
I had heard before.

I got the Metal Box which contained 3 "12 records
which were a real fucker to get out without snapping
them in half. How proud I was with my shiny collectors
item sitting proudly with my other records. I am less
proud 32 years later now that my once-oh-so-shiny
tin is now covered with some sort of rust that marks
anything it touches! How proud PIL must be of that fact!
Bastards............ now enter a world of brilliance.

If you want to see someone using the tin as a cookie mould - Watch

Thursday, 19 May 2011

The Flaming Lips - Dark Side of The Moon (2009)

I bet this had Floyd fans frothing at the mouth.

For over 35 years, this album has ingrained itself
into everyday life and I'm sure as some sort of
benchmark for how a "proper album" should sound.

Hey, don't get me wrong, the original is a fucking
classic and anyone who thinks otherwise is a dick
but here, The Flaming Lips have torn it apart and
given it a reconstructed kicking!

This was part of the Record Day event held in the
States in 2009.

Teaming up with Stardeath and the White Dwarf,
they also got Henry Rollins to provide vocals for
all the speaking parts.

"Breathe " starts off with a heavy distorted bass line
and a sparse wailing guitar - straight away you are
made aware that this is not a slavish copy but their
own take on the masterpiece.

Where you would expect alarm bells for the beginning
of "Time", you get electronic klaxons and warning sounds
before the reflective, quiet vocals start.

"The Great Gig in The Sky" with the famous Clare Terry
vocals, has Peaches reining in her trademark banshee wailings
and giving a restrained - and very good - performance.

"Money" is brought down to its bare bones and the vocals
are heavily processed - very much like Gilmours on "Sheep"
from the "Animals" album.

Reaching the end, "Us and Them" is sung with a wistful vocal and
backed with keyboards that would not sound out of place in a
small church, having a sunday service!

This can stand alongside your copy of the "Easy Star All Stars" version
and should be of interest to most people who read this blog.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Kong - Snake Magnet (2009)

Brought for you from the fantastic Brew Records
label, this is a twisted, brutal and intense album,
full of chaotic and technical workouts that have
lashings of distorted guitar.

Sounding like the bastard son of Shellac and the
Jesus Lizard, these boys also have enough of
their own identity to produce something that
stands on its two own feet without feeling like
a direct rip-off.

Don't look for the normal verse / chorus as
Kong hammer out riffs that twist and turn,
making each song follow its own peculiar logic.

Give this a deserved listen while waiting for
something new to emerge this year ... hopefully.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

MC5 - Saginaw Civic Centre 1st Jan 1970

History according to the book of Maim.

1st album "Kick Out The Jams" was one of the
greatest live albums ever.

3rd album "High Times" was a sonic masterpiece,
a stab of proto-punk and psychedelia.

The 2nd album "Back in The USA" was a limp,
tired, thin sounding piece of shit, that with the
exception of a couple of songs, sucked hugely.

For those of you who agree with me, here is a live
recording of the Motor City Boys performing most
of "Back in The USA" as it should of been played
the first time - with power and passion and an urgency,
NOW these songs sound good.

If any one actually reads these reviews, this CD is
from the boxed set "Purity Accuracy" and is CD 3.

If you prefer "Back in The USA" over the other albums - get the fuck off my blog!

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

The Blood - False Gestures for a Devious Public (1983)

Saw these guys a lot - they seemed to always
support The Damned.

This was high-octane punk, high on memorable
tunes, wicked fast guitar licks and solos, great
thuggish singing with a lot of backing vocals
sounding like a drunken football crowd - this
sometimes earned them the "Oi" tag which
was pretty unfair.

The singer would dress up as a Cardinal, (very
suitable as his name was Cardinal Jesus Hate!) covered
in fake blood and I am pretty sure I remember that
the album release date was delayed as the pressing
plant refused to go ahead, objecting to the lyrics
and cover!

This features high on my top punk albums which
have driving songs and killer tunes rather than
my crust/anarcho albums!

Basically, if you like any songs from "Machine Gun
Etiquette", give this a listen.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Beautiful People - If 60's Were 90's (1994)

This has disaster written all over it - a bunch of
ravers let loose on Hendrix tunes!

But before you set fire to your guitar and hunt them
down ..... have a listen.

Rather than a cheap cash in, these guys took their
ideas to Jimi's father who gave his complete permission
for them to go ahead.

This has been done with respect and care and the
end results take the Hendrix legacy into a different genre.

Using many snippets of riffs and vocals as a template, they
are woven into ambient/acid beat tracks that have a real
groove to them. The Jimi samples are not smothered or
hidden underneath the songs, rather they become the driving
force in the loops and should appeal to guitar or electronic fans.

Or maybe not - I do not care.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

The Future Sound of London - Lifeforms (1994)

A double album from the electronic experimentation
band, The Future Sound of London.

This is full of epic, ambient soundscapes that flow
from song to song with phrases that repeat throughout.

Unlike The Orb, percussion and drums do not dictate
the rhythm or tempo of the tracks (unlike their next record
- Dead Cities), instead pacing is achieved by sound effects,
gentle drones, snippets of speech, rainfall and wind to give
a organic feel.

Mix in trip-hop, ambient dub and an almost dreamy psychedelic
feel - this is music to bliss out to.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Pneu - Highway to Health (2011)

A compelling mix of Math-rock, instrumental
and Noise-rock.

Strong, frantic, heavy and chaotic all spring to mind
when these French guys do their thang.

I am having to go somewhere shortly, so:

This band is very much like a more tuneful "Lightning

You will either know what this means or you are reading
the wrong blog.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Faust - Faust is Last (2010)

A very strong album from the Kraut-rock vetrans.

I hate reading reviews that just say "This is really
hard to describe" but this is really hard to describe!

This is not a nostalgia trip - it is very firmly set
in the "now", smashing through genres often in
a single song.

Sun-Ra meets grungy rock and takes a trip into
noise passages before ambient drones float through
the speakers ......guitars, noises, keyboards ....... each
track leads somewhere else.

No point in reading this, if you want to try something
different or just to dip your toe into kraut-rock - listen.