Sunday, October 23, 2011

Papir, Troldmand, Hedgehogs- Loppen, Christiania 10/21/11

This was a very cool psychedelic rock night at Loppen and I had the honor of being the DJ! I also showed up and did a multitrack recording of all the bands. All these young bands are very cool people and it is so fantastic to see them all reaching out for the frontiers of music in search of their own musical realm of consciousness as the minds of the musicians meld together to create a unique musical experience. It is a very unique evening to have three ibasically instrumental bands on the same night. All adventurous and challenging, not just playing formula rock or metal, all seeking to find the muse!

           Hedgehogs, are a trio and have really chanced musical direction from their early more song oriented garage rock days and now are playing long jammed out pieces. I am pretty sure the band played their new album called Depths, which is just two long pieces and you can download it for free here from bandcamp. Anyway, the band started the concert with the drummer making some spaced out sounds with an Alesis Air synth and the guitar and bass player on the floor with their pedals and then they went into the first part was a bit like psychedelic surf garage to start and then really got going. The 2nd part was when the guitar player really found himself and was really jamming and this was much more like 70s psychedelic rock with some long guitar solos and great jamming from the band. They played one last jam out track and the crowd of about 60 people or so was into it. Damn cool..

           Next up was the Danish band Troldmand (means like a mystic mand). This was their debut gig and they were pretty nervous. These guys are fans of my band ØSC and are quite inspired by Hawkwind and Acid Mothers Temple, etc.. They feature two guitars, bass, drums and two guys sharing a stand with different pedals and effects and one guy also did some spaced out vocalizations, which you could never really hear. Anyway, there was about 120 people at Loppen now and they flew straight out into Deep space rocking hard and spacing out for about an hour in 5 or 6 numbers as I recall. Very good dynamics and the guitar player with the Witchcraft shirt on did some very cool guitar solos and a long cool slide guitar piece. Kasper, the other guitar player (his mom works for the same company as I do and was there for the first song or two) was the heavier rifer with a more spaced out guitar sound. They blended well together. The sound man was very very good on this night. Fantastic space rock. Wow….

           It was pretty late by the time Papir started about 00:45. Jonas and Rasmus from Causa Sui were there as this was suppose to be the release party for Papir’s new double vinyl record on the El Paraiso label tonight but there were no records at the show. Anyway, the band played a mind blowing show. I have seen them many times but this was really the best I could imagine. Nicklas is a fantastic guitar player and very creative with his sounds and riffs, while Kristoffer and Christian just fucking rock out and are also great. The music is very dynamic, driving, engaging and sometimes psychedelic and always some great guitar solos in every track. They are hard to describe, they are for sure inspired by a band like Causa Sui but they have their own unique thing. They played for about 85 mins and at least 2-3 songs that I had never heard. It was a great concert.. Wow.. Check out this video of one of their tracks.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Blood Ceremony and Sinister Creation- The Rock, Copenhagen 10/17/11

 I was really surprised that around 100 people showed up for this show on a Monday night. I have both the Blood Ceremony records but missed them when they were in Denmark with Electric Wizard and I also missed them at Roadburn. Anyway, local doom rockers, Sinister Creation started the night and played to about 35-45 people and really rocked the house on this night. They opened with the new song 42nd Street. I saw them a few weeks ago and it was not that good a show but in just a few weeks, the band really rose up. Songs were tighter, more guitar solos and a bit of delay on martin’s voice made a huge difference. Martin was totally into it and a great front man. They played a short like 35mins set. The band said they just recorded 3 songs on the weekend and will probably use two of them for split 7” releases. Cool. The bass player and guitarist in Blood Ceremony really liked Sinister Creation, which is good news for this young band. The bass player even got a shirt and wore it.

          As for Blood Ceremony, they hit the stage about 22 and played for a bit less than 70mins and a good mix of old and new songs. They had some new upper PA speakers at the ROCK so the sound was a bit better than I had expected but stil the drums were too loud, especially the kick drum, which totally blocked out the bass player but you could hear the guitar nicely at least. They opened with The Great God Pan. The highlight of the show was the track Oliver Haddo. Wow.. fantastic. They also played a brand new song called The Eldrich Dark. I shot a video that you can see below. Return to Forever, Hymn to Pan and one other track from the first record was played. It was a very good show. Alia is a very nice person and great front lady, playing organ, flute and singing. I just wish the band would do a bit of jamming as they have great long song structures where Alia could do a longer organ solo and Sean a longer guitar solo for sure but they play the songs exactly as on the records, which is a bit boring for me. Still, I enjoyed seeing them live. Great melodic progressive doom rock!

Set List: The Great God Pan, Return to Forever, The Master of Confusion, The Eldrich Dark, Oliver Haddo, Coven Tree, Hymn to Pan 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Bomb the Sun- Bomb the Sun (Kozmik Artifactz Artifact3)

This is a sort of an archive release as Bomb the Sun (UK three piece band) broke up a few years ago but Kai from Kozmik decided the bands material just must be heard! The record was recorded in 2005. The record is mostly instrumental but there are some vocals on a three of the tracks. The band really has a great groove and vibe and there are some guitars solos as well. The opening track is called First Israeli in Space slowly fades in with a heavy Colour Haze like vibe to it and leads directly into Not Waving, Not Drowning which picks up the tempo and has a powerful riff but very melodic side when he sings. This is a very cool song with very interesting twists and turns in the instrumental parts. Great stuff. Your blood is on my Hands starts slow and spacey but really builds up and takes off. I like the E-bow like guitar in this opening section and the bass playing is superb. Another very powerful and interesting long song. Side B starts off with the last of the vocal tracks, Bombay. It has a very intense beginning before the laid back and slightly spacey vocal kind of floats over the intense rhythm. The end is is very Colour Haze inspired with the way the guitar riffing and sound as well. The last two tracks are instrumental. Deh Na has a bit of tension building and you wonder where the track will head off to? They mix in a long guitar solo and proceeded by a section with some organ, which was a surprise. The Last Israeli in Space is a short space out to end this excellent record. Fans of Monkey 3, My Sleeping Karma, Colour Haze, Glowsun, etc.. should dig this record. Kozmik Artifactz is a very cool mail order place and great to see them releasing great bands like this as well as Wight, Fuzz Manta and 1000Mods.

Electric Moon/Glowsun split LP (Sulatron Records st1103)

This is a damn cool split LP featuring the French band, Glowsun and the Germany psych rock band, Electric Moon (Sula Bassana). Fantastic cover artwork for the gatefold. It has been a couple of years since Glowsun released anything new. It is pressed in 500 copies and they are all numbered as well. Glowsun with a song called Death’s Face starts the record off quite spacey and I was surprised that all their songs were now instrumental as nearly all the songs had vocals on their last record and only one or two instrumental songs. Nice bass lines as the guitars mostly just space out. The drums have a very dry sound when they kick in that I don’t much like. Ugh.. Anyway, the stoner rock section kicks in after awhile and a cool wah guitar is added to the mix as the band sound a bit like Monkey 3 for this section but more organic and cooler. Lost Soul has a very melodic interplay with the bass and guitar to start this one, which is also quite spacey and then the really heavy almost doomy riff kicks in. Powerful stuff. Monkey Time starts with monkeys recorded at the zoo, I suppose as the guitar slowly layers into the track and a riff appears and the band kick into the stoner rock groove but then the band spaces out a bit with some cool psychedelic guitar work. Great song. I was quite surprised to hear Glowsun move into this Monkey 3, My Sleeping Karma totally instrumental spacey groove area. They have more grit, guts and power and not so clean as the aforementioned bands.

          Flip the record over and you get two really psychedelic tracks by Electric Moon. The first one is called Trip Trip Trip. Dave is playing some really spectacular spaced out guitar, which is really the main reason you listen to EM. Lulu and Alexander maintain the steady flow which gives Dave room to reach for the cosmos. A mind tripper. Wow..  Lost and Found Souls is next and the band try to top that heavy spacedout track. IT starts with a very dark and heavy fuzzed out riff, a bit like White Hills style stuff and Dave adds some delay and it has a more spaced out sound. The next section is kind of doomy towards the end with a very intense guitar. Then they shift into a section where Lulu repeats “we’ve got to stock together over and over”, and this did not do much for me but damn the part after she stops talking is really psyched out and a killer heavy guitar riff! I wish Dave would do some more lead soloing but damn he has fucking cool spaced out guitar sound at the moment. This is the best EM stuff on record for sure.

Bevis Frond- The Leaving of London (Woronzow)

Nick Saloman is back with his first new record in 7 years. His life was quite complex the last few years and he left London for Hastings and the lyrics are very inspired and thoughtful and the double vinyl version is very nice and even signed by the man himself! The album features 18 tracks with a really diverse range of tracks from uptempo melodic stuff like Heavy Hand and Stupid Circle to solo piano songs (The Leaving of London-beautiful). Speedboat has some nice backwards guitars to start and is quite uptempo in the breaks with a nice wah guitar. An Old Vice is a track with a nice melodic groove. Why have you been fighting Me is a power ballad of sorts with powerful lyrics. I really like this track. The Divide is an acoustic ballad with just bass, guitar and vocals. Reanimation is the most hard rocking track on the record and really hails back to the records from 1990-1993 era with some nice double tracks solos (in fact taken in one take, Nick said….). Son of a Warm Gun features a really nice guitar solo, laid back vibe and some organ underneath as well. Barely Anthropoid is uptempo BF track while, Testament is just Nick and his acoustic guitar to start and the keyboard very lightly layered underneath. You’ll Come is another fast track and quite catchy but I don’t like falsetto chorus vocal at all. Preservation Hill sounds just like a song from BF another record, but I can’t place it. Too Kind is the longest track on the record at over 8 mins and also a great one with some nice guitar, powerful lyrics about being accepted as a musician, songwriter, artist…. The LP ends with the acoustic guitar-piano track True North.  Yes.. Nick is back and the world is a better place with a new Bevis Frond record, so please don’t wait so long before you unleash another set of class songs on us, Nick.  

9 Chambers- Stashed Gems EP (Private Release)

9 Chambers is the new band with Ed Mundell (ex-Monster Magnet), Vinnie Appice (Black Sabbath), Jorgen (Gov’t Mule) and Greg Hampton on guitar and vocals (Lita Ford, Alice Cooper). They have just released their debut CD and this is some extra material that they sent out to the first 50 fans who ordered the CD after they announced it on Facebook. I was lucky enough to get one. The CD-R has 5 tracks in 20 mins. I don’t know how it compares with the CD since I have not heard that yet. The band plays heavy 70s style rock with lots and lots of lead guitar. The vocals are a bit intense and forced at times like on track 2. The opening track (Lightning is gonna strike me down?), has a lot of ripping guitar nearly all the way through the track and a pretty heavy groove. Track 2 (Swept Away) is in a very similar vein as the first track and reminds me a bit of old Soundgarden. The 3rd track is a killer instrumental jam that they fade into and could have been an old Atomic Bitchwax like track. This is by far the coolest thing on this EP. Track 4 (Goin’ in LA?) starts with a guitar sound and into an intense solo and the main part of the song sounds a bit like Aerosmith when they do the pop chorus stuff. Other than that, it rocks. The last track (You’re not all Alone) is another uptempo track with a bit of a psychedelic mix with some really cool guitar and effects. I don’t have any proper song titles so I just guessed. A pretty cool band but I don’t like the vocals at all really, so I hope they do a lot of jamming live as the songs are a bit overproduced even though the sounds is raw and psychedelic at times. Vinnie has never in his entire career (at least that anyone has ever heard!) played on stuff like track 3 and Jorgen (who is totally used to jamming in Gov’t Mule) laids down some thick bass for sure, while Ed does what he does best and plays killer lead guitar. Greg, I am not familiar but he must be the one who charts out the standardized songs structures, which are not that interesting for me. I look forward to cranking the real CD when I get it.

The Graviators/Brutus Split 12” (Transubstans Records TRANSV01)

This is the first vinyl record on the Transubstans Label. This was originally suppose to come out last year on a 10” but was delayed but now it is here. 100 on clear vinyl and 400 on black. The Graviators have a brilliant really long track that is really jamming. This is the best thing I have ever heard by the band. The track is called Druid’s Ritual and it has many different really cool sections. I really look forward to the bands next record.  The Norwegian band, Brutus is back! The opening track, Brutus is a Hellhound is a very hard rocking blues number with some nice guitar and powerful vocals. Queen of the Night slows things down a bit until the mid section really takes off with a cool footstomping groove and nice guitar. A very impressive release.     Http://

Rotor- Festsaal Kreuzberg (Elektrohasch CD152)

As the title suggests, this is a live concert recording of Rotor’s powerful concert from Nov 14th, 2009 in Berlin (Kreuzberg district). The songs are all from the bands last two records and pretty similar versions to the records as the band don’t really jam or improvise much at all. So you might ask, why would you want this if you have the bands last two records?? Good question? All I can say is that the sound is really good and the energy level and they way the band mix the songs up is great and I found the more time I heard this, the more I got sucked into it. For those who don’t know Rotor, they are a Berlin based all instrumental groove rock band. Not a lot of guitar solos but a lot of complex and interesting song structures that take cool twists and runs and usually keep you pretty engaged featuring powerful drums and bass with dynamic riffing. A damn cool band for sure and now you can hear them live!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Obrero- Morui Vicos Docent (Nighttripper Records NTR003)

The Swedish label, Nighttripper are back with their 3rd release. Despite the name and title, this is a Swedish band and features members from a number of Swedish Death and Trash metal bands Talion, Phidion, Melting Flesh, Bloodbanner and Protector. This five piece play stuff that is more influenced by the dark Italian metal scene and bands like Pentagram, Trouble and Mercyful Fate. The CD starts off with the Wolf’s Hook and I really like the vocals of Martin Missy (Protector) and the grooves and heavy riff on this track. Reminds me a bit of Mercyful Fate without the guitar solos and screams. Son of Tutankhamen is another 7 min riff monster with powerful vocals and some dark stuff mixed with more stoner rock style stuff but still no solos. Svantovit starts with a cool funky bass line and melodic groove with a cool flangy guitar before they kick into their standard sound plus some keyboards. The Fourth Earl is the 4th track and you might start to tire a bit of the same style riffing and vocal style, which is similar to what you heard on the first two tracks: mid paced Doom-stoner riffing. Octaman is a bit doomier and some nice harmony guitars that remind you a bit of Trouble but with no guitar solos. Charles the Hammer has a more stoner groove going but they also use the harmony guitars nicely and this one reminds me of Candlemass during the vocal chorus parts. There are some keyboards on this one as well. Exterminate starts with a spoken word piece from some classic movie before the doomy riff kick in on this most melodic track also with mood keyboards and a sing a long like chorus part. The record ends with The Lost World, which starts a bit like a movie soundtrack song for a horror film and then it takes off and could fit in with any other track on the record. I like the brief bit of wah guitar that kicks in now and then, where it sounded like he might actually play a solo. This is a pretty cool record but the guitar players just keep it very simple with riff after riff and never really go anywhere very exciting with their playing and just play it safe all the time. There is not a single real guitar solo on the entire record!

Pharoah Overlord- Out of the Darkness (Full Contact/Svart Records SVR 065)

Like Circle, Pharoah Overlord are never predictable. The people who like the totally repetitive heavy stuff of the bands early recordings will find this one quite surprising as this is really like 80s heavy metal stuff and really rocking. This is collaboration between Finland and California, with long time collaborator, Bruce Duff (Jesters of Destiny) sings and plays additional guitar. Frank Meyer (Angus Khan) also sings two of the songs and finally, Sam Velde of Nighthorse sings two tracks. There are 9 tracks in total. The Eyes of Pharoah is a short acoustic track that leads into the heavy metal riffing title track with lead vocals by Sam. This is a cool total 80s metal style track. Next up is the 9½ min track, Devastator which features Frank on vocals and lead guitar. This will remind people of Judas Priest meets Accept but without the screams. A very fast track with a repetitive vocal that can almost drive you crazy if you don’t focus on the intense guitar soloing. Doomsday Mourning is another long, nearly 8 min track and features Bruce on vocal and lead guitar. It starts slower and doomy but then the main riff kicks in and you get surprised by the keyboard overlays. Cool.. And now to the Side B. This starts off with Transylvanian Afternoon. This is a really different track than you would think from the title, with a lot of moods and different feelings and the occasional heavy riff. We came to Rock and features Frank on vocals again and Bruce on lead guitar and is a real speed metal track and kicks some ass. No Speed Limit features Bruce and is a very uptempo track as the title would suggest. Unseen Eye features no guest, just Jussi, Tomi and Jussi ! It is a straight up heavy metal track and then suddenly these strange melodic keyboards come in to freak you out. The last track, I am the Light once again features Sam from Nighthorse on vocals and is a damn cool track. A pretty cool record with a slight psych edge on a few tracks but a lot of metal and not a lot of what you are used to from this band.

White Hills- Measured Energy 7” (Trensmont Records TR024)

White Hills is back with another rare 7” that went out of print very quickly. I feel very lucky to have found a copy. The title track (might not be as the 7” has only a white label so there is no way to know which side is which) is a totally far out soundscape with what sounds like a mix of guitar with lots and lots of effects and some synthesizers. No drums or percussion at all. This sounds just as far out on 33rpm as 45rpm, the intended speed of play. The B-side(??), The uncommon parallel that resides between your fingertips, is also a strange experimental piece of music with strange sounds, a repeated synth drone that weird stuff is layered underneath or over the top and new sounds coming in and going back and forth from right to left. Not your hard rocking spaced out stuff but the experimental side of the band.

Rising- To Solemn Ash (Exile on Mainstream EOM055)

Rising is a three piece Copenhagen metal band and this is their debut record recorded in 2011. The band had previously released a four track EP and a 7” single. I saw them perform a couple of times before they had any releases out. The band has really changed their sound and are much more focused and perhaps less aggressive than I remember. Anyway, the current band is Jacob on the guitars, Henrik on bass and vocals, and Jacob on drums. The CD features 10 tracks of heavy riffing stuff with intense playing from the entire band. The promo material highlights that the bands lyrics are quite deep and cover interesting subjects and not your usual, love, sex, drugs and rock and roll stuff. I would have to say that unless you really listen carefully, the lyrics will just pass you buy as the pronunciation with the way he sings in a very forced manner, makes it not that easy to follow. I don’t know if the regular CD comes with the lyrics but this would be very helpful. If you are into aggressive metal with some complex riffing stuff, check out his rising new band and they are really nice guys also. Check out the video from the new record below.


Last Hippie Standing DVD (Merlins Nose MN1003)

The Last Hippie standing is a really cool film made in 1999-2000 by German film producer, Marcus Robbin. It was originally released in 2002. They head to GOA in search of hippies. It is quite a fun and interesting movie that lasts only about 45mins. They interview a lot of different people at the beginning of the movie asking them what they think a hippie is and where they can find them, etc.. They eventually get to find some and there is some cool archive footage of hippies in GOA from the late 60s or early 70s and they spend a lot of time at the end of the film with three main people: A lady, who is super cool and seems to have recently died, who wrote a book about being a hippie in GOA coming from the USA in the late 60s and ending up in India. Then they also have interviews with GOA Gil and Swami Williams, who have never left India after leaving San Francisco and have really adopted Indian life. One is a swami and the other a trance DJ and also spiritual. It is a fun and very cool movie. Check it out… The extra stuff is not all that interesting compared to the movie itself.

Dead Man- Get off my Back/Love on my Brain 7” (Denihilrecords NIHL007)

The Swedish band Dead Man from Örebrö Sweden is back with a new single release. The band is completely different now with only one member from the original group, Kristoffer (Vocals and Guitar). The single is one original track and one cover song. Side A starts off with the original track, Get off my Back and this has a killer groove and a guitar riff that reminds me a lot of Jumping Jack Flash! I really like this new song a lot and the band played it at the recent concert. The B-side, Love on my Brain, is an old song from the 60’s by Jim Ford and is a bit of country style tune and even features Trumpet! I liked the A side much more and look forward to the new record.

Paradise 9- State of the Nation (2011 Paradise 9)

The UK psychedelic rock band, Paradise 9 is back with a new EP. This is a very special EP as it contains the last material that Judge Trev (he was in Iron Maiden in 1969 and best known for his work with Nik Turner in Inner City Unit) recorded before leaving this planet due to pancreatic cancer. He plays guitar on the opening title track. Gregg sings with a really cool almost snotty British vocal, which I really like. This is a high energy, punky psych rocker with a spaced out mid section with two guitar solos and spacey synths. Very cool stuff. Is this the Time, is another short 3½ minute track with a nice melodic thread and quite cool guitar. Ocean Rise is a longer, nearly 7 min instrumental track that starts very spacey with some nice bass guitar before the clarinet melts into the spacey soundscape. Excellent track. The CD ends with Distant Dreams and again features Judge Trev on acoustic guitar, a spacey power ballad with excellent very positive lyrics. At the very end it sounds a lot like You know your only Dreaming by Hawkwind. This is a great release from a cool band. If you like a bit punky psych rock, check this out at Soundawesome.

Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats/Danava Split 7” (Kemado Records KEM136)

This is the debut release on vinyl of a new UK band called Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats. Their full length record, Blood Lust, is out now on Rise Above records (Sold out in 2 days). The band has previously released this on CD-R and is repressing it for those who missed the vinyl. The track I’ll cut you Down, is sadly not unreleased and on the LP and CD-R, so buying this 7” for Uncle Acid is a bit of a bummer. A very cool track. A bit like a more garage version of KISS: Catchy but a nice 70s style vibe. The singer has a very special voice and apparently this is a studio project and there is no live band at this time. Danava provide the track, White Nights of Murder, which is also on their latest record. It has a lot of dual harmony guitar stuff and also solos. This is another band, where the singer also has a quite special voice that you have to get used to. This is a fun release for collectors but not much more since both tracks our on the bands latest records.

Wooden Shjips- West (Thrill Jockey 279)

This is the new full length record WS from San Francisco have released. The band is always releasing a 7” or EP here and there. Anyway, like there other records, there are 3-4 short songs on each side and that characteristic psychedelic sound and bass groove remains the same. As always the band go for the warm analog sound with lots of fuzz guitar and organ. Black Smoke Rise is a repetitive hypnotic fuzz guitar organ driven track with laid back stoned vocals. Cross is quite cool with a nice slower spacey repetitive groove with the fuzz guitar mixed our full and the clean guitar solo is allowed to sor to float free as the organ reverberates you mind. Lazy Bones is a much more uptemop track with a cool bass line and organ. Home closes the A side. A pretty standard and boring track. Flight is a slow track with a repetitive rhythm with the organ the main changing part as he sings some spoken vocals in a slow stoned manner to start but then they really take off with some killer spacey guitar playing. Great stuff. Looking out has a nice grooving organ line and really spaced out guitar sound but this is a quite catchy track. Overall, this is a standard Wooden Shjips record with some real stand out tracks like Flight but I would love to see the band take a few chances…