Thursday, 28 January 2016

Whiskey Music 5

DeWolff - Roux-Ga-Roux, album review


Dutch band DeWolff release their sixth album imminently, and you can listen to it streamed here. Described as a psychedelic southern rock outfit, what I like especially on a first listen are the accompanying female, soulful vocals in support of that retro-rock sound [though the guys are defiant that their analogue recording of this album isn't as some hipster-retro kinda reason but as homage to the perfection of the sound, though there may be a crossover nod to the past somewhere in that]. There are plenty of organ sounds and hectic guitar sounds and feedback sounds and backward recorded sounds across the mix and it all sounds pretty psychedelic southern rock. That organ and guitar get a great workout on the excellent Tired of Loving You. The soulful backing vocal gets a rousing workout in the love dimension of Love Dimension. Drumming gets a psychedelic workout on Toux-Da-Loux. Sound retro-good? It is.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Andromeda Sun - Introspective Soul, album review

Richly Now

This is an interesting release, not ostensibly retro despite the bandcamp tags of 60’s pop rock blues rock psychedelic rock rock and roll Portland, though it is the last one that perhaps says most for its musical richness, being a home of such in many ways. There are elements of lo-fi in the recording, as with second Feel the Heat, yet opener Welcome Yourself and third Mountain on its Knees have a rich complexity in their crafting and performance, horns and violin in the latter in particular adding depth. The band have in Peter McCoid [lead vocal I am guessing; unless Ian Harris on keyboards from picture below] a singer with a raw but confident range and style, the jazzy emotion in fourth Fearless Now of Forever being evident. I like fifth Dance Around the Fire with its strong guitar chords and singing, both aroused to, respectively, fuzz and gritty sass as the song progresses. There is a 60s feel to some of that lead guitar in its garage-pop, and then more delicate piano, guitar and female vocal sticks its collective head through the open door. There’s blues in sixth Peace is Free, wah-wah date-checking, and trombone being just a little different. The following two tracks Blooming and Endless Sky slow the pace, so there is languidness, sweet reflection, emotive rises and floating harmony: not in that order, and not limited to that, but again confident in its unadorned but fresh performance. I’ll just mention one more, Andromeda Sun Pt 2, which is a fulsome blues with fulsome vocal and punchy instrumentation. A fine band and songwriting that does much more than echo of before.

And I’ll just mention the ending in particular of penultimate track Mother Nature Takes Care of Me which is rousing stuff.

Buy here, naming your price.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Flying Vinyl

Received my Christmas present this morning [thank you] which is an installment from Flying Vinyl, who can explain themselves better than me with We curate some of the best new music in the world, press it to 7” vinyl records exclusively for our members' listening pleasure and mail it out in a monthly music box, and you can find further details by going here.

I like the Hunter S Thompson quote which you can read on the first photo [click to enlarge] and of course it is being used ironically as the company is obviously fighting against that history of the music business. Vinyl rules:

Friday, 22 January 2016

David Bowie Collection

Easy now to wish I had made a fuller collection over the years, but especially pleased with the last two, Blackstar ordered before Bowie died.

John Martyn - Sapphire [remastered January, 2015], album review

Always John Martyn

Any John Martyn fan loves all of his albums and rightly so, and I remember distinctly when I got my vinyl copy of this as with all the others, and yes these from the 80s.

So I know this album well. Favourite songs are John's cover of Over the Rainbow, and Fisherman's Dreams. These are beautiful. Mad Dog Days is 80s production corrupted to excellence. Two songs I will also mention in particular are the jazz-infused Coming in on Time and Rope-Soul'd: the former has an instrumental backdrop of looping dissonance that builds to the level of Martyn's superb jazzy vocal; the latter is a brooding ballad where piano and percussion - and Alan Thompson's glorious bass - lay the jazz-inflected tone, Colin Tully on sweet saxophone.

The second disc that comes with the remastered version has some interesting extras: Over the Rainbow with its distanced, slightly echoed vocal; Fisherman's Dream with its 'straight' rather than 'gospel' choir - a less emotive version; Mad Dog Days [Andy Lydon Mix] which strips away much of the swelled sound on the original, and closes on three 1986 live recordings. All good, always.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Sports Music

Good vinyl is harder to find in charity shops now, but there is plenty of bad. Couldn't resist these today as they so clearly fit my thematic covers obsession. And this is how it was back then....

Various Artists – Golden State Psychedelia 1966-69 [2015], album review

Golden Groovy

You could have thought the Nuggets and other label collections/compilations would have exhausted the discovery of further late 60s gems, but this trawl from the Golden State Recorders label proves otherwise. It is either frightening to think about how much good music is still out there unknown and unheard [and also in the sense that those bands and artists missed their moment and all the potential that went with this] or it is exciting to think such unearthings can and will continue.

Or you could think it doesn’t merit the finding, but I would disagree.

I’m not saying there are startling revelations on this album, but there is certainly material good enough to be better than much else. If you like the period, obviously. And it is great fun at times in its exuberant sense of discovering the boundless trajectory music could, and did, take at this time.

I’ll just mention a few of the 25 presented on this album: opener The Goody Box Blow Up is a superb garage pop burst, with organ beeps and church chords with fuzz guitar and a short drum solo; The Carnival Meditorium is vocal rich in harmonies and musical shifts, brilliant drumming and bass; The Tow-Away Zone Shab’d is Airplane-esque jangled guitar and vocals as well, suitably psyched; The Bristol Boxkite Sunless Night coming in after these first three introduces a slower folk element with sweet harmonies; next The Immediate Family Rubaiyat continues that folky lean with more Airplane-esque sounds [hardly surprising that JA will be such a prominent touchstone] and this is a gorgeous song; a little later Celestial Hysteria Speed is the first psychedelic rock with a female vocal reminiscent of [yes, her] and the interplay of vocals and instruments is more manic; Magician Fuck For Peace is simply Far Out with lyrics including feeling groovy; The Seventh Dawn Don’t Worry Me with raw and earnest rather than great vocals; The Short Yellow Hand Full with its rampant female vocal – operatic at times –  and feminist assertions including a strident disregard for going to school, partly to rhyme with the breaking of a rule, but this too is deeply earnest and cool,

and it continues, at times easy to mock for its being passé, therefore I need to stop before I do so at the expense of the wonderfully dated garage and psyche authenticity. This is an immensely enjoyable album, mixing familiar nostalgia with just enough sense of the new.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Car Music 23

Honeymoon Disease - The Transcendence, album review

Shocking Lilt

This Swedish rock group is firmly down to earth in its hard rock roots, but have transcended the nomenclature norm in naming themselves after the vernacular for cystitis. With the excellent female lead vocal of Jenna, her Scandanavian-English lilt - but the pure, precise tone too - reminds, perhaps inevitably, of Dutch band Shocking Blue and its vocalist Mariska Veres. Opener Higher is the most varied track on the album with its choric start, though it is quickly into dual guitar rock riffing and we know what we will be getting for the rest. But this is a fine generic track, as are the rest on this retro rock road heavily traveled of late. It is a welcome route.

Whiskey Music 4