Saturday, January 20, 2018

Maat Lander- Seasons of Space- Book #1 (Clostridium Records CR032)

This is the 2nd full length record by the Russian band, Maat Lander. Last year the band released a very cool split LP with Øresund Space Collective.  Now the band are back with 8 new tracks with a specific theme and Vol 2 on the way later this year. Planet of the Intelligent Gas-shaped Lifeforms starts things off with some spacey synths and guitar and then the main riff kicks in. A nice synth solo is played while the drums play a more intense rhythm. Ilya later kicks in with a beautiful solo as the track glides forth. Crimson Turtles starts with some synths (2) and then the guitar line, followed by bass and then the drums. Very nice vibe, spacey and floating.  Some nice themes that are repeated over and over and then deviations by the guitar or synth trading back and forth at times. It gets more rocking at the end. Cool track.  Galaxy Passage #1 features acoustic guitar and some spacey synths (played by the bass player). IT is a short track that leads into the final one on side A called Fields of Serenity. Space jazz to start and then a quite heavy riff and bass groove and great guitar solo.

Side B starts out with the World of the Ocean with no Dry Land, featuring Dr Space on guest synths. It starts slow and spacey with lots of synth layers before the band and slide guitar kick ins. The energy level rises with a great guitar riff and loads of spacey action in the background and cool synth solo by Arkidiy (bass player).  Galaxy Passage #2 is another short acoustic piece to bridge into Dance of Photonic Roaches. Great title. This one is a bit faster with a cool guitar line that sort of penetrates into your brain as the layers of synths are quite freaky. The Constellation of the Mirror Fish closes this great album and a cool progression from the bands first album. A lot of synths on this last track as you really float into space. Great atmosphere and music. 

The record comes with a nice pamphlet with a cool sci fi story in it with nice illustrations. I look forward to the next space journey and book.

Sweet Times Vol 6 7” (Who can you Trust WHO-34)

The cool Germany label Who can you Trust is back with the 6th volume of their Sweet Times series. I have only ever heard of Zig Zags and not the other three bands. The 7” starts off with a track called Casino by Dealer. This is a fast aggressive track with some killer lead guitar to start things off and then it slows down when the vocals kick in but the riff is still damn mean. Drums are very intense at times. Char-Man kick in with a track called Freak Rock. This is a pretty straight up rock and roll song with a much lower volume than the first track. Reminds me of the Ramones.  Side B starts off with Falco by Hydromedusa. The vocal is very raw and a bit buried under the heavy guitar line and organ on this rocking track. Classic rock and roll! Zig Zags close things off with a track called Blood. High energy rock and roll, what else do you ever get from the Zig Zags. Solid track. Very cool sleeve on the inside that folds out and the cover but no information about the bands (where they are from, where it was recorded, web sites, etc..). Cool release. Rock and roll mutherfucker and play LOUD.

The Sourheads- Care plan for the Soul (Oak Island Records 2017)

This is a totally new band for me from Wakefield, UK. The four-piece band plays a rough and tough rock and roll with a lot of attitude. The CD starts off with Demon and gives you a good taste for the Stooges (only a few tracks) old Alice Cooper inspired rock and roll music.  They experiment and get a bit distracted on this and experiment a bit. Morally High has an almost Ted Nugent like guitar riff but not groove. The main bridge-chorus is a bit alt rock and melodic but they return to the hard rock sound. My Rock and Roll is a bit wondering at the start before they kick into the rock. Power of Addiction starts with just an organ and vocal before the bass line leads into a nice track and something different from the others. Rag and Bone Man has a great guitar riff and cool vocals one of the rare guitar solos.  Cool song. Don’t get Caught.(I am the Lotus) reminds me of the Stooges with a very obvious borrowing of the guitar riff from I wanna be your Dog!   Secret Cigarette brings back the groove with a foot stomping track. Warbird is another mid paced rocker with a mean main guitar riff but then goes into a more melodic territory for the bridges and chorus. Mad Dog is the last and longest track at 6mins in length. It goes through a lot of different phases and twists and turns.  This is an album you need to hear quite a few times before you can really appreciate the bands song craft.  Interesting..

The Re-stoned- Chronoclasm (Oak Island Records)

The Moscow based band, The Re-stoned are back with their 9th release. I have only heard the ones that have been released on vinyl but this is a well evolving band. The leader, guitarist, Ilya also plays in Maat lander and other projects as well. Side A starts off with The Sirens of Titan with some great stoner rock riffs and some cool guitar solos before going off into a more dreamy part with a sort keyboard like sounding guitar and this is how the jam ends going into Human without body which kicks in with some nice slide guitar work. Eventually, the track turns into a bit more doomy riffing before the return of the slide for the solo section. Amazing guitar solo and a cool use of effects pedals. Ilya is a master. Save me under the Emerald Grass has some beautiful melodies and nice acoustic guitar work to start. Side B starts with the Psychedelic Soya BBQ and another cool slide guitar work out but mixed with some cool effects and a sort of laid back bluesy feel. Great track. OC44 brings back the rocking and killer guitar to start and then the acoustic guitar is layered in as well to nice effect and beauty. Then the classic HM riff kicks in again. The title track, Chronoclasm closes out this album. This one starts with a very interesting guitar riff and sound and also some layers of slide once again. These themes repeat over and over a few times and then a new twist is introduced and off they go….. The 2nd side of the record seems to have a bit more multilayer guitars going on. Anyway, I love this record and have been spinning it a lot.. Great band.

Short chat with Ego Sensation (White HIlls)

I have been friends with the folks in White Hills (Dave, Ego, Rodney (RIP)) for some years now and have had the honor to play live with them 3 times. We always hangout when ever our paths cross and have really good times. I thought I would ask Ego a few questions.. Enjoy...

Where's Home?
New York City

Earliest Space Rock Memory?
Hearing the Beatles

First Space rock record you bought??
Pink Floyd- Relics

First Space Rock Gig
Farflung and Nick Turner's Space Ritual

Guilty Musical Pleasures
Missy Elliot, Burt Bacharach

Biggest Space Rock Extravaganza or gig..
Freak Valley Fest 2016

Fave Venue
Botanique, Brussels

Outside of Space Rock, what are you into?
All other kinds of music, cinematography, performance art, fine art, dancing, hot yoga, chocolate, observing NYC wildlife, reading, writing, listening, brainstorming

What do you collect?

Your Space Rock Hero?
Blixa Bargeld

Last Space Rock Gig you attended?
Insect Ark in Brooklyn.

Who do you call in the Space Rock community for a good night out?
Dave W

Most important Space Rock song?
Too hard to say- maybe "Straight to the Heart" by Loop

The best Space Rock Gig you ever saw?
Spiritualized at the Beacon Theater in NYC 2002

Which Space Rock muse would you most like to work with?
Wayne Coyne

What Space Rock album gets you into a good mood?
Flaming Lips- In a Priest Driven Ambulence

Your fave Space Rock album cover?
Pink Floyd- Wish You Were Here

What are you up to at the moment?
Writing music, playing drums, drinking coffee, enjoying life!

Friday, January 5, 2018

Gaia/Slow Joint Split LP (Virkelighedsfjern Vir025)

Gaia and Slow Joint are two Copenhagen trios that have played a lot of gigs together in the underground doom-sludge scene. This time the band joined together to make a split LP. Side A starts off with two long tracks by Gaia (some of the members also play in Måneskjold). Gaia starts things off with the stoner doom monster Wound Gravity (10mins).  Slow, constant stoned doom with some vocals pushed to the back. Some of them are almost like throat singing and very drony. Cool.  There’s Nothing Left, another long one starts with a more melodic guitar and a slow build. The heavy doomy stuff does not start to creep in for several minutes. Stoned…… Flip the sucker over for some Slow Joint. Beverage Joe starts with some feedback and bass before the track really kicks off and reminds me a bit of Weedeater.  A more in your face vocal and stoner-doom like a slower Church of Misery.  Low and Slow is a bit more angry and with a cool guitar riff. Politicks is very angry with another heavy doomy riff. No solos from either band on these releases.  Check em out and play it really LOUD.