Sunday, June 26, 2011

Gösta Berlings Saga- Glue Works (Diskret #6)

GBS are back with their third release. The band has released the vinyl edition themselves (300 hand numbered copies) and the CD is out in the American label, Cuniform. The record was recorded in 2010 at Studio Pelikaan and produced by Mattias Olssen from Roth Händle. Some of these tracks are five years old as the band has many many recorded ideas and songs that just need to be worked up in a studio. Here we get to hear about 40mins worth of cool music. The side A starts off with a 6min track called 354. It is an uptemop track with a cool spacey thread running through it with a major focus on the keyboards and mellotron. A short 3min piece leads into the Island piece which features some really cool guitar and the sound has this cool distorted edge at times. There is great interaction between the keys and guitar on this super cool track. Side B starts with Gliese 581g, which is quite mellow with mainly bass and fender Rhodes to start and with additional keyboards as well and a voice slowly filters into the music. The guitar and drums only come in the last two minutes and totally change the track and mood. Two shorter pieces are next. Waves is a cool 3 min track with a great bass line and horns and spacey vibe. Geosignal is only 2 mins long and a sort of intro to Sorterargatan 1, which I swear I have heard before. I wonder if they have played this live when I have seen them. This is a super cool track with a heavy cool sounding bass and very interesting and sometime Crimson like guitar lines that cross the keyboards in interesting and sometimes distracting ways. A bit symphonic almost at times but also something that could be in a horror film with the way they use the bells against the heavy bass line. This is a stunning track with a bit of a surprise how it ends completely different than it started with cello and almost like the orchestral stuff the Beatles did. The band also has five musical guest adding cello, French horn, tuba, trumpet, saw, and harmonica to add to the mystery and sound. I really like all this bands records and this is no exception. High quality instrumental music from Sweden and never predictable.

Roqueting through Space (Fruits de Mer Vol 18)

 Fruits de Mer is a really cool vinyl only label that releases quite a few limited edition singles and LPs. This is a pretty cool compilation of all bands doing cover songs of space or krautrock bands on blue vinyl. It also comes with a bonus 7” with some of the best music in this package. The vinyl artwork is quite cool and it comes with an insert with the information about the bands on this release. All the tracks on this compilation are unreleased and related to space. Vibravoid starts things off with a quite psychedelic track called No Silver Bird by a band called Hooterville Trolley. Great version though I have never heard the original. A band I am not that familiar with called Vert:x play I come from another planet Baby by Julian Cope. I never liked the original. This is probably my least favorite track on the record as it is a bit too pop psych. Others will probably really like it though. You have to decide.Helicon due a supercool and long version of Hallogallo by Neu! Side B starts off with Cranium Pie’s Baking research Station. What a great name! They play Blacksand by Brainticket and this is the most psychedelic track on the record. Fucking far out but cool. The luck of Eden Hall perform the classis Pink Floyd track, Lucifer Sam. Not as cool as the Dark Sun version but good. Frobisher Neck perform another Neu track called Isi. This is a very melodic floating version. The Grand Astoria playing CAN’s Oh Yeah and with harmonica, acoustic guitar and a very spacey atmposhere. Diarmuid MacDiarmada perform Telestar by a band called the Tornados. I did not find this track very interesting at all. The 7” record features the return of Alpha Omega (they released a cool CD I reviewed some years back). They due a very cool track where they somehow manage to meld Transdimensional Man and Paradox from Hawkwind. The UK outfit, Sendelica perform a good version of the Hawkwind classic Urban Guerilla with Nik Turner on board, who played on the original. A very cool compilation record.

Dasputnik- Cyclokosmia (Art Safari Records AS0002)

Dasputnik is a really cool psychedelic space rock band from Turku, Finland. We met up with these guys when my band, Øresund Space Collective played in Finland in March 2011. Really cool people and I got to hear their first record, which I really liked. The band has been around about 5 years and this is their 2nd album. The band is five members with Tuomas on guitars, Ville on Bass, Marko on drums, Teppo on keyboards and Sini on saxophone, percussion and tubular bells. This is out on CD and I think also vinyl soon. The artwork is really cool and reminds me of Bland Bladen a bit. There are four tracks in 38mins. Orbitary Volcano starts things off and is a quite uptempo track with some nice guitar by Tuomas, which drives the tracks. The keys and Sax come in later and add a almost Spanish feel to it and are mixed in a special way. The next track, …Phantom Wakes, is the longest track at 12½ minutes and really influenced by GONG in the end section and totally blew me away this one. Cosmic Train to Anticreation starts with a dominant sax as it slowly builds up along melodic keyboard lines. Tuomas’s guitar is slowly mixed up as the track builds. Trinity Quadrilogy is another long track, nearly 11 mins and strong features the Sini on saxs and Antti on trombone as well. This a melodic and pretty high evergy track with some great interaction between the players and really builds up well and has some nice spacey synth stuff at the end. I quite like record a lot but the sound production could be much better. It sounds like the sound is very compressed and the guitar and drums are not very dynamic sounding but the songs are super cool!

Danava-Earthless-Lecherous Gaze Split 12” (Kemado Records )

This is one of those real records for collectors and little more. 750 hand numbered copies. 3 short songs playing at 45rpm on one side of the vinyl, with the other side just totally wasted and no music. I really never have seen the point of such a waste of space, especially when going to all the trouble to make a vinyl. All these bands had more music that could have gone on this record. Earthless has not released any new studio material in like 3 years and Danava as well. Anyway, Danava starts things off with the Illusion Crawls a pretty uptempo piece and a more raw less produced sound than their other records but equally complex stuff. Ok track. Earthless is next with Woman with the Devil Eye. It is a more bluesy track but sadly the guitar is mixed too low when Isaiah takes solos, he is way too low. What is up with that very bass heavy mix? The mix could have been much better. I had never heard of Lecherous Gaze but their track is called Get you some. This might be the best track on the LP! A very cool rock track with a raw vocal. An LP for collectors pity there is not more music as this was expensive!

Circle- Infektio (Conspiracy Records CORE102)

Circle has returned with their 3rd release in about 6 months in 2011. This has been getting quite mixed reviews but I was pretty impressed. This is pressed in 3 different colors of vinyl, each in 500 copies, I believe. This material was recorded in Tampere and Pori, Finland in 2010. The opening 15min track features a 4th guitar player to this three guitar player line up (Ash Bowie). Salvos is a slowly evolving track and pretty spacey, floating and psychedelic. The track has lots of strange sounds, added percussion, small guitar parts floating in and out and more synthesizers and keyboards than usual. Very cool. Maatunut has that more hypnotic Jussi bass driving the track and some really far out vocals by Mika and more piano. Did they play this one when I saw them last year? Side B stars wither Peruuttamaton for 8 mins and this is a strange track that seems to be starting a lot of different ideas but the band never follows any of the leads. Interesting. Pisara again features Ash and has some really cool guitar parts as the band is creating cool layers. Saarnaaja is a fast paced piece with some cool keyboards and different guitars phasing in and out of the sound but it ends quickly after 3½ mins. Kalpea is another short 3 min piece and spaced out. I don’t think these short pieces work very well but they are pretty cool. Very interesting more experimental record.

The Chemistry Set- Impossible Love 7” (Fruits de mer Records winkle1)

The Chemistry Set is an old UK psychedelic rock band from the 80s. I have not heard these folks in years. The title track is a very catchy track but it has a brilliant psychedelic side to it and features very melodic male and female vocals and a lot of psychedelic layers of stuff in the sound. It is quite funky and spacey at the same time at the end. A brilliant number. A very old Rolling Stones track called We luv You is the b-side and this is played with a bit of Syd Barrett thrown in with like electronic driven beat, which I am not sure I like so much but the rest of the track is cool and very different than the original. Great records and limited to 300 copies on a cool blue vinyl.

Blood Ceremony- Living with the Ancients (Rise Above Records)

This is the Canadian quartet’s 2nd record and it was quite delayed in coming out. The gatefold double vinyl LP turned out quite nice. I was a bit bummed I did not get to see the band at Roadburn due to choosing to see another band. There were three great bands all playing at the same time, so what can you do? You must choose one. The record starts off with a short instrumental track with some nice acoustic guitar and flute, very folk oriented. This leads into Coven Tree which starts quite dramatic with a heavy organ sound and then some samples from a movie (I think) come in and the track takes off. This is a cool melodic doom track with a nice guitar solo and some great vocals. The Hermit brings the flute back and the vocal is quite spacey on this one. Musically it is a bit like Witchcraft meets old Tull. Fantastic song. Side B starts with an uptempo track called My Demon Brother and it has a long organ solo followed by a great guitar solo as well. Excellent track. Morning of the Magicians has a hard edge guitar riff that is nicely balanced out by the flute playing and melodic vocals. Wow. The flute playing is so much better on this LP than the first one. She has really improved a lot. Side C starts with the track, Oliver Haddo. It sadly fades out with a really cool riff and groove going. Night of Augury is one of the really melodic epic style tracks and reminds me one from the debut LP. Side D starts with a short intro piece with flute called the Witches Dance and this leads into a long track called Daughter of the Sun, a track with many sections. A great track to end this excellent record that tops the bands debut.  Http://

Spiders- High Society 7” (Kemado Records)

This is the new band formed in Göteborg, Sweden with the guitar player from Witchcraft and drummer from Graveyard, who is no longer in the band due to commitments with Graveyard. The 7” is pressed in only 300 copies and they are had numbered as well. I thought this was going to be new songs but sadly, this is two of the four songs (the A Side) on the bands debut 10” on Crusher records. High Society starts things off and is quite a catchy tracky, which makes sense for a single. It has a nice guitar break this track. Gracious Man is the track on the flip side. It is a bit more guitar driven with some nice wah and soloing throughout. Catchy stuff and a great track.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sweden Rock Festival- Sölvesborg, Sweden June 8-12th, 2011

June 8th, 2011 Day 1

12:00 Sue and I arrived at the hotel and we have a better room than last year. This one that faces the Sea. The drive up was fine, a few places with road work but no big deal. We heard Five horse Johnson, Electric Wizard, and Judas Priest Sin after Sin. IT is quite humid here and totally overcast but the sun should come out later. We will go have some lunch and relax and head to the festival around 15.

15:45 We got our wristbands and everyone around seems to be in a good mood. The sun is shinning and it is nice and warm but not super hot. We grabbed a beer and watched some of a Swedish band, who was the first to play today called Seventribe. It is a big band with 3 guitars, bass, drums, strange drum kit like Slipknot, 3 rapper singer, screamer guys and a guy running around with a horse head on. I did not like them at all. All dressed in white shorts and pink shirts with ties. Aggressive but totally uninteresting music.

Rhinobucket was next and this was good fun. We sat down for most of their AC/DC like good time high energy mid paced rock and roll. They were in a good mood and talking with the audience and really having a good time. The audience quite liked them. A guy came around and gave me a copy of a double unofficial live Rhinobucket CD-R set. I can try to review it. A lot of skin this year with this weather, but sadly, the fat women outnumbers the thin skinny ones 2:1! Men are slightly better off when it comes to weight but are catching up with the women as well. Lots of tattoos.

Mason Ruffner from Texas was next and he played a solid set and had some nice groove songs. The 2nd song, I just kept on Playin’,  we heard had a totally killer guitar riff. He did a Santana cover (For all the Angels) as well. He does not have a very interesting singing voice but plays some good guitar and has a solid band. I enjoyed it quite a bit.

We got some food and heard a bit of Crashdiet but it was not for us. They had a really big crowd and people were really into it. They play a quite melodic 80’s glam metal type thing but not as hard as Motley Crue but not as soft as Bon Jovi. Very pop choruses to the songs but very professional

19:45 We saw the first 4 songs by the very tattooed Hollywood band, Black Veil Brides. They were not really my thing. They play hard edged gothic glam metal punk stuff with catchy sing along choruses. They look way cooler than they are!

20:00 Bob Log III on the new Rocklassiker stage was really a great entertainer and we watched most of his set. He played a steel guitar with slide and was dressed up in a crazy suit with a helmet and telephone glued to the front that he sang into. He also played kick drum and tambourine with his feet. It was fun stuff.

23:00 Five Horse Johnson were next and kicking ass and had a pretty good crowd. I really enjoyed them a lot and the singer was really into it and played a lot of cool harmonica. The end of their set was really good with Ditchdigger for the Drowning man, Cherry Red (not the Groundhogs song) and a really jammed out encore track that was like 10 mins. Excellent set. Best of the day so far.

          Necronaut was super cool and much better than I thought this would be. I am not sure who all these three different singers were except for JD from Spiritual Beggars/Grand Magus. The group is made up of nine people from Dismember, Entombed, Watain, Nifelheim, Tormented, Grand Magus, Dundertäget) They had a guest guitar player on one song and you could not hear a single note he played. Normally the sound guy on this stage was probably the best of the whole festival but sometimes they just don’t pay attention to who is playing solo, etc..  They had some really great tracks and a pretty big crowd. IT was really cooling off now and the sky was getting black. Rain was coming soon. We left to catch the bus 23:10 as the next one was not until 01.10, so we saw 40mins of Necronaut and none of Hardcore superstar, who I heard were really good but a lot of people left as it was pouring down rain super heavy before and during their set and the stage was very wet, etc… Crazy…  Glad we missed the rain.

24:00 We are going to bed after a nice day. Sunny and hot most of the day and then when we were on the bus back to the hotel, it was raining pretty hard. We did not see any of Hardcore Superstar but I heard it was quite chaos as it was really pouring down hard and very windy and there is no shelter at all over by the Sweden Stage. Not a bad first day.

June 9th

10:00 It is totally overcast and it was very foggy today. We need to catch the bus at 10:45 if we want to see OZ. today will be a very long day as we will stay and see all of Judas Priest as well today. Weather forecast says it will just be cloudy and about 15-18C today. NO rain after lunch anyway. I will still go for shorts. I don’t think it will be that cold.

12:30 We arrived in time to see OZ and they had quite a good crowd and had at least two original members in the band, including the singer. The singer he could still sing quite well and sounded great. It was a classic set of OZ stuff plus a few new songs, one of which was really good and the other pretty lame. They said they hope the new record to be called Burning Leather, will be out in September but they did not sound very convincing about it. They opened with Searchlights from Fire in the Brain, and songs from most of their older albums but the main focus was on Fire in the Brain and they of course, played Turn the Cross upside down! Gambler was really nice to hear. It was a good and fun set from a band I never imagined to ever hear live! Oh yeah, they had a guest bass player on the last song that I think he said was the son of one of the members!

Setlist: Searchlights, Let sleeping Dogs Lie, Dominator, Tease me, Seasons, Gambler, Burning Leather, Turn the cross upside Down, Fire in the Brain.

Next we caught a few songs but Perry and the Travellers, a very young new Swedish band playing southern style rock. They had some good songs and nice elements to their melodic southern rock. The guy in overall with tattoos and long blond hair played slide guitar and then switch to the piano and also played harmonica. The lead guitar player was not very impressive at all. Perry had a great voice. A band to watch out for!

13:30 After Perry, we heard some of Duff McKagen’s Loaded. They were on the rock stage and the sound was pretty bad and it would be pretty bad the entire festival on this ROCK stage due to all the bass cabinets placed in the center and the sound people just cranking out the kick drum and bass so loud through the center that all the bands sounded terrible if you were anywhere in front of the stage, you had to go off to the far sides for the bands to sound decent and only some did. What the fuck are they thinking? Make the sound for the 20% of the people and shit for the most of the people in front of the stage?? Anyway, Duff was so average cock rock with a punky edge. Not at all interesting. There were a lot of people there but it was dead boring.

We ran off to see some of the Haunted and saw about 30mins and that was much better than I thought. They are really a lot like Slayer without guitar solos. That is the best way I could describe them. Heavy and intense stuff. This was on the Sweden stage and again, all the bass cabinets were in the center so if you stood anywhere in front of the mixer, where most of the people are is sounded awful, only drums and bass, you could hardly hear anything else. This was not improved much on this stage either until the last day (I complained to the sound people about this and was so surprised, basically shocked by the response, that they knew is sounded bad but this was one way they could make it louder to overcome the db limit a little bit was to overdrive the bass, even though it destroyed the sound and they knew it. Unreal.. Will anyone from Sweden Rock read this article, sadly, probably not.

14:45 We saw a bit of Buckcherry, who opened with a really great jamming guitar driven track with some great solos but they just went downhill after that. I was sadly disappointed. These guys are really seriously covered with tattoos. We saw 4 songs. So now we sit here and wait for Clutch in 15 mins. You could also choose to go see Joan Jett! No thanks..

16:20 Wow.. Clutch started off a little shaky but damn, they caught the groove and played a really cool selection of old songs and Neil played guitar on like 5 songs today. I have never seen him play guitar on so many songs. I love the new record so I was really happy to hear several of the new songs but I really wanted to hear Abraham Lincoln but they don’t play that one much. I was little surprised they only used 65 of their 75mins though and did not play an encore, when they had 10 mins left. Not like them.

Setlist: Who Wants To Rock?, The House That Peterbilt, Pure Rock Fury, The Mob Goes Wild, Profits of Doom, 50,000 Unstoppable Watts, Animal Farm, Struck Down, Red Horse Rainbow, The Elephant Riders, King of Arizona, Soapmakers, Child of The City
Cypress Grove, A Shogun Named Marcus, Electric Worry

17:00 It is getting pretty windy and a bit cold now. I looks like it is going to rain later. I hope not too much. We saw the beginning of the Queensryche set and I have to say, this was really disappointing. The first two songs were really terrible. Some sort of really average boring rock. Then they played their big hit from Operation Mindcrime (the start of their downward spiral…) called I don’t believe in Love. They had a couple of heavier tracks next but I was really disappointed. I love their EP and first two records but once the main guitar player left, it seems to have been over for this band. I heard they did play the Lady wore Black from the first EP later in the concert. We went to see the Groundhogs!

18:30 The Groundhogs had a pretty small crowd and Tony is looking not too bad considering his stroke a few years back. He had a woman named Toni, who sang or tried to sing all the songs except one that Tony managed to sing. It was of courses a classic set and probably the only thing they can play these days with Eccentric Man, Garden, Split 1&2, Mistreated and Cherry Red. I am not sure what the encore was or the first opening track. I enjoyed it and he still can rip it up but his guitar playing is all over the place and very psychedelic at times. Split was really spaced out. Fun to see them again.

19:50 We caught the last half of MoonSpell concert on the Sweden Stage after the Groundhogs finished. I had only heard the first record from this band from Portugal. They play very dramatic gothic metal. They were actually very good and put on a powerful set and were in a really good mood. They played quite a few early songs and had a cool back drop. They were quite a good surprise. The CULT is next.

21:30 We caught the last song Balls to the Wall by Accept while we were getting a place right in the center for the CULT. I had never seen the Cult before but Sue saw them a few times in the 80s and really liked the band. I only know their early stuff up to Sonic Temple. This was a really solid band and the lead guitar player was really good and Ian was very much on form and singing great and having fun with the audience as well. I have to say it was a set of great tracks and a big surprise for me. They ended with a sort of Doors Break on Through with some extra Doors stuff thrown in as well. Great concert.

Setlist: Rain, Everyman And Woman Is A Star. Electric Ocean, Sweet Soul Sister, Horse Nation, Rise, Nirvana, The Phoenix, Fire Woman, Spiritwalker, Lil' Devil, Dirty Little Rockstar, Wild Flower, She Sells Sanctuary, Love Removal Machine, Break On Through>Dead rats, etc..

We missed GWAR. I really wanted to see them as well but what can you do? Now you have to choose between Morbid Angel and Saxon. I was a big Saxon fan in the 80s and Sue really loves them so this was not a difficult choice for us.

23:20 WOW… Saxon really kicked ass and we had a great place right in the center but sadly, the sound was shitty. You could not hear the guitars well at all but we could see really well. We suffered through the shit sound and we know all the songs anyway, so you just have to fill in the guitars from your memory. Sad that you have to do this. We left the center after an hour and it sounded much better when we got further away and to the sides but still too little guitar and too much bass and drums. Shit sound people. I was so disappointed with the great the Eagle has landed and you could not hard hear the great guitar solo parts in this cool song. They played a super cool set with the entire Denim and Leather record, which they played in two halves. Biff had to read some of the lyrics from these tracks from Denim and Leather that they had not played since 1982, but that was ok! Both the new tracks from A Call to Arms, were actually really excellent and Biff was sound great. I probably have to check out the new record. A great set. I really liked it.

Set List: Hammer of The Gods, Heavy Metal Thunder, Motorcycle Man, Back In '79
Never Surrender, Fire In The Sky, Midnight Rider, And The Bands Played On, Rock n Roll Gypsy, The Eagle Has Landed, Play It Loud, Rough & Ready, Out of Control, Denim And Leather, Princess of The Night, 747 (Strangers In The Night), Crusader, Bass solo >Strong Arm of The Law >Guitar solo (Doug) >Wheels of Steel

01:30 Wow… Judas Priest played a really great concert for the first 75 mins and a set of the classics for the end, which was not very adventurous as the first part of the concert. They had a really cool stage set up and awesome lasers during some songs. I think they first broke them out during Victim of Changes and because there was this light almost misting rain for most of their set, they looked really amazing. The best I have ever seen live. Some of the set totally blew me away and they had great sound but it was not very loud and were just to the left of the mixer in front of the stack. I could not believe they played stuff like Starbreaker and Never Satisfied (from Rocka Rolla). Halford is such an amazing front man but sadly he just can’t sing like he used to but he is still great. The did indeed play songs from nearly every one of their records, including the terrible Turbo Lover. It was a great set and excellent concert and the best headline show of the weekend.

Setlist: Rapid Fire, Metal Gods, Heading Out to the Highway, Judas Rising, Starbreaker, Victim of Changes, Never Satisfied, Diamonds & Rust, Prophecy, Night Crawler, Turbo Lover, Beyond the Realms of Death, The Sentinel, Blood Red Skies, The Green Manalishi (With the Two-Pronged Crown), Breaking the Law, Painkiller, Electric Eye, Hell Bent for Leather, You've Got Another Thing Comin'

Day 3

12:50 We are waiting for the bus in the sun now and it is a very nice day so far. I had really wanted to see Agent Steel at 12:15 but we need a bit extra rest. Slidin’ Slim (on Transubstans Records) was also on early today but we missed them both. Today looks to be the weakest day (boy was I wrong!).

15:00 We got in a beer in time to catch the entire set by this young UK band called the BREW. Guitar player and singer is only 22 (today) and is backed by a father and son team on bass and drums. They totally rocked, spaced out and jammed. Great grooving rock songs and plenty of solos. I don’t know what the set list was but I shot one video of a long instrumental piece.The Brew live instrumental Jam They ended their set with a long take of Dazed and Confused into Astronomy Domine by Pink Floyd (with no singing) and the guitar player played the guitar with only a violin bow. Strange but cool. A really cool band. I think the guitar player still has to develop a bit more. He is inspired by Hendrix and old Clapton but never does any long solos (seems to lack finger stamina?) but I like him. This is a band to watch and I hope we can get them to Denmark.

17:00 We saw some of Iced Earth (we saw most of their set last time as well) and then headed over to see Jason and Scorchers at 16:00. Iced Earth is a very good band and you know exactly what you are going to get: Some complex and powerful metal music. I saw Jason and the Scorchers back in 1985 or 1986 and Eric Johnson was the opening act. Jason is quite a funny character and this comes across in his oddball country rock twanged mainstreamish music. They were having a blast and the small audience liked them as well. It was very funny when before Deep Holy Water he asked how many Catholics their were in the audience and not a single hand or yell came back and he was like, “Oh that’s not very many”. It was a pretty stupid thing to ask this audience. We got a good laugh out of that. They were fun but we headed off for DOWN

17:30 We just saw DOWN and they totally blew me away on the mainstage. We had a really great spot and the sound and the vibe was killer. The band was in such a great mood and having a fantastic time, and really playing and joking with the audience. Phil, the singer was having some vocal issues so he was not so screamy, which was really great, he actually sang more and did not push his voice. They were very powerful and my favourite so far today. Fucking hell it was a cool set. They did not play their full 90mins.

Set List: Hail The Leaf, Lysergik Funeral Procession, Lifer, The Path, Losing All, New Orleans Is A Dying Whore, Pillars of Eternity, Ghosts Along The Mississippi, Swan Song, Temptations Wings, N.O.D., Eyes of The South, Stone The Crow, Bury Me In Smoke

18:45 I had never actually seen Electric Wizard so I was not sure what to expect and they totally blew me away. Wow.. and what a contrast with the Christian metal band, Stryper, whose set was starting half way into the evil Electric Wizard. I am not sure what the set was but they played Dopethrone, and A Chosen Few, etc.. I think they played 7 or 8 songs in their one hour set of slow 70s DOOM rock. The bass player was totally tattooed on this hands and face. It gave him a special look. He played some really cool guitar solos as well. He was praising drugs and pot and this was funny to hear in Sweden! Great concert.

Set list: (maybe not exact) The Chosen Few, Scorpio Curse, The Nightchild, Return Trip
Satanic Rites of Drugula, Black Mass, Witchcult Today, Dopethrone, Funeralopolis
          Before us checking out Rob Zombie we watched one song of Stryper and it was as I expected. They had a pretty big crowd for their very positive message, the completey opposite of Electric Wizard!

21:30 Rob Zombie had the coolest stage set up of the entire festival and the band members had really cool costumes and masks, etc.. Rob looked totally insane and they had these super cool microphone stands. We only stayed for the first two songs and it was some sort of almost industrial metal thing. He was a very cool and powerful front man but the music did not catch me so we headed off to Doc Holiday and boy was I glad we did as they were really a huge surprise and excellent. In the 80s they were one of the most pop or mainstream of the southern bands (the direction that Point Blank took as well) and I never liked them. It seemed like they were quite a few of the original members if not all in this line up.

          Anyway, they opened up the set with a really excellent hard edged and jamming track with some great guitar and organ. These same cool and crazy Finnish brothers we seem to meet up with at all the cool concerts were there again! Anyway, they played a few more mainstreamish tracks but quite good and then Moonshine Whiskey, just blew my socks off. What a great track and they were having a killer time and really nice solos. Doc then told a story about Ronnie James Dio and this was quite surprising but they opened for Black Sabbath on some dates on the Mob Rules tour and got to know the guys a bit. It was the Outlaws opening when I saw them on this tour as well. Anyway, he said Ronnie was a great guy and they played a strange version of Heaven and Hell next which was really cool. Stryper probably had just played this song in a totally different version on the other stage as it is on their recent album of cover songs. It was a great concert.

21:40 Now we have to choose, Overkill or Helloween? Who would you choose, I hope Overkill as I will tell you now, they totally slayed and blew me completely away. Wow. The sure power of their music, the passion they played with, the amazing set list, including some tracks from their early demos (Deathrider!), etc.. They also have totally killer sound. Rotten to the Core, Iron Bound, The beast Within.. wow.. It is pretty funny as I really liked this band in the 80s and basically never heard any of their records or seen them since the last time they played at Sweden Rock (that was the loudest band I had ever heard play at Sweden Rock, before the dB limits they have now came into place) yet, I just totally got sucked into the vibe. Bobby was an amazing front man and have a fun time and great conversation with the audience. Best of the day!

Set List: The Green and Black, Evil Never Dies. Rotten to the Core, Give a Little. Bring Me the Night, Hello from the Gutter, Ironbound, Death Rider, The Beast Within, In Union We Stand, Skullkrusher, Old School, Elimination, Fuck You!!!

Now it was time to check out Whitesnake and if we did not like them we will go see GHOST on the Zeppelin Stage. Whitesnake had a large crowd and we worked our way up on the right side so we could get a decent view of the stage. IT was the same tired set Best Years, What is Love, Love ain’t no Stranger, etc… same songs as when they played three years ago. We left for Ghost. Coverdale was not sounding that well. I just don’t think he can sing in this style that he had in the 80s anymore. He can probably still sing the blues but they don’t play any blues anymore.

01:00 GHOST was a really fucking cool show. The sound could have been better as you could not hear the guitar or keyboard very well and we were right in the center just two meters in front of the soundboard. I really enjoyed their strange set of as Sue says, pop melodic satanic rock. Could be on the radio some of this stuff the way the singer sings, if it were not for the musical content. Let’s hope they go for a darker less mainstream sound next record but I doubt it. Very cool to see live, even though I did not like the record they made much when I heard it.

Con Clavi Con Dio, Elizabeth, Death Knell, Satan Prayer, Stand By Him, Prime Mover, Genesis, Ritual, Here comes the Sun (Beatles)

We actually managed to catch the last two Whitesnake songs on the video screen after Ghost and their was a big fat Bernie Marsden playing Fool for your Loving and then out came Adrian Vandenburg to play with them on Here I go Again. People seem to be very disappointed in Whitesnake, playing mostly the same set, Coverdale can’t really sing these 80s power rock songs anymore, 15mins of the set wasted with drums and guitar noodling and only 90mins total.

Day 4

12:02 I am pretty damn tired today after not getting home before 02:00 an up at 9:10. I had hoped to catch the earlier bus to see Destruction at 12:15 but no chance. Our first band today will be the cool early 70s Swedish band, Fläsket Brinner.

13:35 We are sitting on the grass waiting for Fläsket Brinner. Not a lot of people here yet and I don’t expect too many for this band. The terrible AOR American band, the Hooters are playing on the big stage. Sound terrible. Crowd looks to be pretty big though.

14:55 Fläsket Brinner was very good. I think the lead guitar player was a bit off today but the band plays great instrumental jazz rock stuff that is pretty Zappa inspired at times (says Sue). I saw them once a few years ago and it was a great concert. I have no idea if they played any new songs or if they were all old. I enjoyed the set here in the sun very much,

16:20 Molly Hatchet played a very solid but too standard set. This is nearly the same set they played last time we saw them there except for these two new songs from their new record, Justice. One was really good, the other so so. I saw these guys back in 1979-1982 and it is just so different now. They still play well but they don’t have that ass kickin’ drive and energy they used to. It is also only one of the original members even though some of these guys have been in the band for 25 years. Sure I like to hear some of the classics like Dreams, Flirtin’ with Disaster, Beatin’ the Odds, Whisky Man, Gator Country, etc. but they could drop some of these and play some different old songs. The singer is quite a funny guy and he must have said “Hell Yeah”, 50 times during their concert. I expected a bigger crowd but perhaps more people went for Spock’s Beard or Angelwitch.

Set List: Whiskey Man, Bounty Hunter, Gator Country, Been To Heaven - Been To Hell. Fall of The Peacemakers, Justice, Drum Solo >Beatin' The Odds, Live Til I Die, Darkness of The Night, Jukin' City, Dreams I'll Never See, The Journey, Flirtin' With Disaster

17:55 We saw the first half of Styx and then we went and got some food at the new food stand that had this amazing Jerk chicken kebab thing. We could hear Styx perfect from their. I was really pleased with Styx and they played about 70% of the same songs they played last time they were here which they could have done better on but they were in a great mood and like last time they had the original bass player with them, looking rather out of place but he played bass on one old song, Fooling Yourself. It was really cool to hear Loreli and Madame Blue from my favourite Styx record, Equiniox. I would have totally been blow away if they played Midnight Ride! Great that they stick to the 70s material and don’t play any of the terrible 80s stuff but they could mix the setup a bit more expecially when they come to this festival and play the same thing they did last time.

SetList: Grand Illusion, Time on my hands, Lady, I am the Walrus, Loreli, Madame Blue, I’m Ok, Queen of Spades, Fooling yourself, Drum solo, Miss America, Blue Collar Man, Renegade

19:30 Kansas just finished. Wow.. saw them first time in 1979 on the Monolith tour and saw them last time they played here like 6 years ago as well. They had very good sound and played a pretty different set from what they played last time. Many more mellow songs and half of the Leftoverture record! We sat on the grass for their entire set and had a great view of the screen. Steve Walsh still sings excellent and this line up of nearly the entire band that recorded most of their 70s records (minus the violin player) is pretty cool to see. Solid set. Now Zakk Wydle.

21:00 Wow.. Zakk was in a special mood today. I have never ever seen him so reserved vocally. What he made up for vocally he put into his solos though. He was on the top of the game. He hardly said a word to the audience on this concert and usually he is a bit like Ozzy and demanding some response and really raising hell but he was just focused on the music and he was awesome at least for the first part of the show and blew me away with the early part of the set list. Bleed for Me.. Damn, I love that number. A very powerful set and I was totally sucked in. We were dead center in front of the soundboard and it sounded awesome. I think he lost it abit though after Fire it up when he played the most extreme shredding guitar solo you ever heard. I think he played 5-10 mins more of less constant notes. Takes amazing finger stamina but damn, it is pretty uninteresting after a few minutes. Really cool to hear the Blessed Hellride with both he and Nick playing 12 string guitars. He also did another monster solo during Concrete Jungle (the only decent song on Shot to Hell). I had hoped Ozzy would come out and sing on Stillborn but apparently things are not all the good in the Ozzy Zakk relationship, even though they say all is fine. If it was, Zakk would have played with Ozzy for sure later this night. Ozzy really hesitated also when before he introduced Gus G and said he had played with a lot of great guitar players and mentioned Randy Rhodes, Jake Lee… big Pause… Zakk Wylde. Did not mention Brad Gillis, Bernie Torme, etc.. Anyway, BLS kicked ass totally and it was a great set.

Setlist: Crazy Horse, Funeral Bell, Bleed For Me, Demise of Sanity, Overlord
Parade of The Dead >Born To Lose, Darkest Days, Fire It Up >Extreme Guitar solo >
Godspeed Hell Bound, The Blessed Hellride, Suicide Messiah, Concrete Jungle, Stillborn

21:40 Now people had to choose between Hawkwind and Thin Lizzy. I of course was going to see Hawkwind, while 98% of the festival was going to Thin Lizzy. I got to speak with Kris (manager) and Richard the drummer briefly, which was nice. He wanted me to come backstage with him but I did not have pass for behind that stage, just normal backstage access. Anyway, they started on time and had some very serious sound issues at the start but the sound guy did a pretty good job sorting them out as they have a very complex set up with all these laptop computers, several keyboard set ups, two bass set ups, two guitars and no front of house sound check. It sounded great after 4 songs except not enough delay on the vocal and none at all on the theremin, which Tim played a lot, so that made it sound really strange and dry. They really had a great energy and Niall playing a lot of bass was great. He is a super cool bass player, much better than Dibs, who can sing much better when he is not playing the bass. Dibs vocals were the best I had ever heard him sound. The version of Angels of Death was really cool with along spaced out jam. They jammed a lot also in Brainstorm, Magnu, well, actually all the songs after the last new one. I was pretty blown away. Silver Machine sounded really funny though as the main vocal was not heard at all, only the chorus, as it turns out the sound guy had turned Richards mike off. Great set and way way better than the last time they played here in 2004.

Setlist: Poem- Warriors, Assault & Battery>Golden Void>Where Are They Now
Angels Of Death, Fahrenheit 451, Promotheus, Brainstorm, Sentinel, Magnu
So Far Behind?, Psychedelic Warlords, Wraith, Assassins Of Allah, Silver Machine

12:30 The master of Darkness, Ozzy himself, put on a solid set of old classic songs with not a single track from his latest record that he recorded with this band. It was a short concert, just under 90mins total. He went completely nuts during Suicide Solution with some gun shooting some kind of foam stuff like from a fire extinguisher. Dumping it all over himself as well. Quite foolish. He was also very demanding saying “I can’t hear you, scream for me”, almost as many times as the singer from Molly Hatchet said “hell yeah”. He was in a great mood and he sang better than I expected but he still is vocally only about 50% these days. Goodbye to Romance was a real surprise to hear. He played it at one of the two times I saw him on the Diary of a Madman tour. He has a great band, especially the drummer. Gus G, is so much like Zakk Wylde. His guitar solo was just the same type of shredder stuff as Zakk. Cool to hear these Sabbath numbers as well. I saw Ozzy 3 times with Randy Rhodes and it is fun to hear these songs again. Ozzy is still a great perfomer and always has a good band but he could have played longer and put some kind of show on for 6 million kroner he got. The lights were not very interesting at all and there was no screen projections, no explosions, fire, lasers, nothing…. The headline acts should be held to a higher standard. Solid show and a good way to end an amazing festival.

Setlist: I Don't Know, Suicide Solution, Mr. Crowley, Goodbye To Romance, Bark At The Moon, Road To Nowhere, Shot In The Dark >Guitar solo >Rat Salad, Iron Man, Fairies Wear Boots, I Don't Want To Change The World, Crazy Train, Mama, I'm Coming Home

           On last thought, I really think that Sweden Rock needs to demand more of headline bands. They need to bring something unique to the festival. To just let these older bands come here time and time again and play nearly the same tired set of greatest hits songs year after year is really lame. People pay a lot of money, probably the most expensive festival in the world and especially the headline acts, who get millions of kroner, who put it all in their pocket, don’t even put on any special show or anything, is not really doing the festival or the audience justice. Please, Sweden Rock, just demand a bit more from the artists, you will get it from them if you just ask. It would mean a lot to us fans, like Saxon playing all of Denim and Leather. That was very special. Thanks to Ravenheart for help with the set lists. 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

On Trial and Technocolor Poets- Loppen, Christiania June 3rd, 2011

This is an exciting but also sad day as this will be the last concert that the legendary Danish psychedelic rock band, On Trial will play. While the band has not been that active the past many years, they were a seminal band in the Danish underground and many amazing groups have come out of the creative people that formed the core of this band, including Baby Woodrose, Spids Nøgenhat, Dragontears, Aron, and others. I first saw On Trial play here at Loppen back in December 1997, just 6 months after I had arrived in Denmark. I have been friends with the members ever since!

          I showed up on my Christiania bike at 16:30 and could hear them soundchecking the drums. I dragged all my stuff up the stairs and went straight to work to set up the cables from the soundboard. It was a amazing weather today and very hot in the club. I was really sweating. One of the staff, a guy with really long hair, helped me out a lot. We tried to find a place with less vibrations and I also brought the cushioning foam (but it sadly was not enough). The sound check was great and everyone was in a great mood and doing well. After I was set up I went through all the hand made On Trial 7”s and choose 5 to buy for me and my Finnish friends. A lot of really cool ones.

The Technicolor poets were stuck at the bridge due to some sort of power failure so missed the soundcheck completely. They arrived around 20:30, I think. Sven, Anders, Henrik and Sölvi all went over above Nemoland to have some beers and sit in the sun and chill out after the dinner. Around 21 I headed back with Tom and Sally and Sven, the others had left a bit earlier. Everyone was in a good mood but with this weather I was wondering how many people would drag their lazy asses up and come to the show. A guy named John came all the way from Chicago!

Technocolor Poets are a new 13th Floor Elevators inspired band from Malmö, Sweden and this is their 2nd concert in Copenhagen. They released a pretty cool record on the Kommun2 label last year. They did a quick line check at 22:05 and were playing by 22:15. There was not that many people here yet, which was a bad sign. This is a pretty cool and really young band. They seem to play all songs I had heard before even though I spoke to them and they said they had 3 new ones but perhaps they are the same that they played last time?? Their very last track was really cool. Nice band.

          On Trial took a while and now I guess their was about 100 people. Thomas and Tommy from Gas Giant, Magnus, Dorte, Jemez, Lorenzo’s Mom, Lars from Bad Afro, Finn and quite a few others I knew were there. The sound was loud but very good and the band played a really long set for them. A good combination of older and newer material. They opened with Flashinghast and into a new one called Black Seagull. The classic Lovecraft was next. Cor Kill City Lights, Sölvi, a good friend of the band and former member of Mother Superior (Same band that the Swedish drummer used to play in) came up and did the guitar solo at the end. Cool. A few more more recent tracks and then Lorenzo joined the stage for some classic On Trial songs. He used to play drums but today was just singing with Bo (who sounds as good today as 13 years ago!) and playing tambourine. Blood Butterfly (they did not space it out much), Do you see her and Blinded by the Sun were all played. Next was a huge surprise, with Into the Void from Head Entrance. I am not sure they ever played this one live. Super cool and spacey as well. Lorenzo was back for Be forwarned, That’s Right (This totally rocked) and House is not a Motel by Love. They now, stepped back for a few minutes about about half the people stupidly left to go smoke or go outside but they were back in a few mins and started with a very cool space out with Kolos, a classic psych track from Blinded by the Sun. This was one of the absolute hightlights for me of the show and a lot of people missed it. Totally spaced out.
Now the set this was not really that set and they played some tracks not even listed like Parchment Farm. Anders (old guitar player, used to play bass in Baby Woodrose), he joined for some old numbers like Pot of Gold and Long Time Gone. Lorenzo was also up there and clearly really enjoying himself a lot! What great times this band had playing all over Europe and in the USA for many years and this was the last blast for these songs. Blood River was a great version. They ended with the Supersonic Spce bird with Lorenzo on vocals as well. I thought they were done but they did come back and play an old cover, Never been here before. The show was about 2hr and 10mins long.

A really great show and the best I have seen since the early days when they were more spaced out and psychedelic but I had an amazing time. Sadly, we had some problems with the multitrack recorder due to sound vibrations and only about ¾ of the show got recorded. Bummer. A full audience recordering was made and a couple of people had video cameras and filmed different parts of it. I am sure some of it will show up on youtube. A great time with a great bunch of people. Nice visuals from Frank as well. Wow.. it was a really fun and great night and I met up with many new and old friends to celebrate this most excellent band.

Set List: Flasghinghast, Black Seagull, Lovecraft, Believe, Kill City Lights, Bolt of Force, Too Late, Blood Butterfly, Do you see her, Blinded by the Sun, Into the Void, Be Forewarned, That’s Right, House is not a Motel, Kolos, Pot of Gold, Long Time Gone, Parchment Farm, Blood River, No beginning, Super sonic Spacebird, I have always been here before

See the best pics that I took at this link below:

Friday, June 3, 2011

Lunar Dunes- Galaxsea (4 Zero Records FZ009)

I recall reviewing another Lunar Dunes CD a few years back but here they are again with a great new hour long journey. As you may recall this band is a few members of Transglobal Underground are involved as well as Adam Blake from Cornershop and Julia Thornton from The Metaphors. The CD has 9 tracks of very well produced music, much of which was improvised by the three main members (Adam, Hamilton and Ian on the guitar, drums and bass), with the others adding harp, sax, vocals and keyboards. There is female voice on many tracks and a lot of different moods expressed. The CD starts off with the laid back and spacey Moon Bathing, Krupa Pattni is providing the very melodic free singing style that is featured on several tracks of the CD. Oriental Pacific also has this free floating psychedelic spirit as it slowly builds around the guitar of Adam Blake. Oh you strange Tune, starts with a loop and the very cool uptempo bass line kicks in as the track floats for a while before Adam picks it up with his guitar. The others are having fun with lots of strange sounds in the background as Ian and Hami really keep the drive of the track going. Pharaoh’s Dream continues the uptempo pace (or at least Hami does). Larry brings in some nice sax playing that is mixed nicely into the music and not too dominant as Adam plays some more spacey wah guitar. It gets psyched out at the end! Ayaz once again features Krupa but this track has a more funky groove and some nice delay guitar and some eastern stuff going on in the underworks of the track. Svalbard features some really nice harp by Julia (she also plays on 3 other tracks but is more highlighted here in this space beginning) as this one slowly grows over the 10mins. There is a lot of stuff to listen to and get absorbed. Nice ambience. Free to Do is probably my favourite track on this album starting with some great delay guitar stuff and going off into a very cool jam lasting 8½ mins. Eastern Promise has some nice harp, sax and female vocals played in a eastern scale. Quite cool. Off World Beacon ends this CD with a quite laid back mood with sax, harp, voices, and other worldy sounds. This is a very cool record with a lot of different styles of music expressed by these creative people.

Chicago Odense Ensemble (Adluna Records AR004LP)

This music was recorded in the summer of 2008 when Jakob Skøtt and Jonas Munk of the Danish band, Causa Sui, visited the USA to play some electronic music festivals and had some time in Chicago. They hooked up with some of the local experimental musicians from Tortoise, Isotope217 and the Chicago Underground Collective and had some old school early 70’s style jam sessions and this is the results. This was mixed by Jonas in Odense and has taken a very long time to come out but it is here on CD and very limited edition on heavy vinyl (only 250 copies).  The music is mostly improvised but a few overdubs were done in Odense. Side A starts off with Parallel Motions as all the musicians are getting a feel for things and it is lead by cornetist (sounds like a trumpet) Rob Mazurek. Pretty laid back noodling with two distinct guitar styles really going on and some electronic sounds in the background as well. This one builds up in intensity with again Rob really taking the lead but sadly as you are really getting into it, it ends in a pretty unnatural way. Cool piece. Emanuelle has a deep and steady bass that drives the track and is a bit more psyched out with lots of stuff happening in the undergrowth. Side B features 3 shorter tracks. Spirals is like 2mins and just coronet and guitar. Glide Path is also pretty short and mellow and does not have a lot of time to develop but has some really nice drumming. Soup is next and really cool. I like the repeated guitar line and cross rhythm thing that is happening and also the return of some spacey electronics in the background. Great track. Side C starts with another short track, Spine Dots. It is mainly some electronics and coronet and you can hear a few other sounds as it sort of builds the mood for leading into Delivery. I like the tabla like drums at the beginning and this really reminds me of some of the Causa Sui summer sessions stuff this track as it is also a little funky some how. Rob totally takes the lead, in fact he is basically the only one doing solos on most of the record except this track. The guitars and other instruments are just providing the grooves and ambience for Rob. Great stuff. This is the most intense track on the album. Pretty nice is the final track and takes up only less than half the space of side 4. It has a nice slow building atmosphere to it and cool percussion. Here is some advice. I found that this record can be a little boring on a low volume so really crank it up and then the great mix and interesting interactions between the members really cuts through the sound. You will get sucked in for sure. I did.

Voodoo Boogie- This ol’ Storm (RE Music Records 28026)

Voodoo Boogie is a new four piece Belgium rock band. This is the bands 3rd release, having released an EP in 2006 and their first full length record in 2008. First off I have to say that this record has a really great sound production and feel so hats off to Rob who mixed this. The first two tracks are really cool stuff but then the 3rd track is something different and the singer sings with this falsetto voice that I really don’t like. Music is pretty cool and groovy and organ driven but the vocal drives me crazy. Summer Callin’ is a short bluesy 2½ min uptempo track with a thumpin’ bass groove. Reconsider is a nice fender Rhodes driven bluesy track with a laid back groove. At the end of the track it gets all dreamy with some nice wah guitar. Rain keep Fallin’ is a real foot stomper with a distorted in your face vocal. It gets a bit psyched out in the middle of the track before coming back to it’s mainframe of reference. Electric Kissing comes back to that same sort of laid pack piano groove with the falsetto voice again. Not my thing, sorry to say. Wild Night, Full Moon is a really cool track with a psychy guitar, freaky vocal and great organ sound. Takin’ me Home is another really cool slow building organ driven blues track that I could hear the band really jamming out. I love this track and a nice organ solo! Leave me Be is a bit more slick and a more straight track but it does features some more in your face guitar and a nice mid section with a totally different direction and nice electric piano and then back into the organ. The end of my Day is a short vocal and hand clap track that ends this pretty excellent CD.