Fascinating Things : Issue 66

July already, where is the year going?

There’s some exciting things coming up over the next few months including a brand new Van Der Graaf Generator album which I have naturally pre-ordered and a raft of gigs associated with our little record label including a show case event at the Eagle in Salford on 12th August which will feature, all the way from Modena Italy, the sensational Saint Lawrence Verge , the debut of Ian “Moet” Moss’s new band Four Candles (who look very promising from rehearsal recordings) , from Cambridge an acoustic set from the exceptional Bouquet of Dead Crows, and the remarkable Poppycock  as headliners. The Italian boys will be travelling down to Cambridge the following day for a gig at the Corner House with the Dead Crows and a visit from The Junta. We also have a presence at The Eagle on the Saturday with an EP launch from Rose and the Diamond Hand  and a guest appearance from the very talented Alana Bondi.

Anyway enough of this manic self-publication here some new things that might pique your interest……

Omar Rodriguez-Lopez  of At The Drive In/Mars Volta fame is to release a series of solo albums via Ipecac Recordings, with the first release, Sworn Virgins, available digitally on July 15. The previously unreleased albums were recorded from 2008 to 2013, while Rodriguez-Lopez lived in Zapopan, Mexico and  El Paso. The titles will be released on a bi-weekly basis with the first spate of albums running through the end of the year. Each album will see a digital release with a limited number of physical copies (CD) available on Rodriguez-Lopez’s various live outings. Following the initial run of releases, a limited edition CD/LP box set will become available.

Photo credit : Robin Laananen

Pixies have  announced a new album, “Head Carrier” which is available for pre-order at http://www.pixiesmusic.com. ‘Head Carrier’ is released on September 30th, 2016, on
Limited Edition Box Set, Heavyweight Vinyl in Gatefold Sleeve, and CD Digipack.  They have also announced a new continental European tour for November 2016 with UK dates to be announced very soon. Here’s the single ‘Um Chagga Lagga’.

It appears that Indie is making a comeback, did it ever go away I ask myself. with the new single from Blush. It has all the intensity of The Wedding Present with a transatlantic vocal shtick which sticks in the mind.

Hovering somewhere between Ray Davies, Dylan and The Byrds Glasgow’s The Echo Session have a new single. ‘But I’m Scared’ out. It is a live studio recording from the Echo Session vaults, mastered by Dave Cook. The single will be available from all the usual digital outlets, including the Flowers in the Dustbin bandcamp store. It’s seven years since their last single apparently.

Having burst wild-eyed from the stalls of a buzzing monthly club residency in deepest Hackney and with a lot of interest for debut single ‘Shakin’ Like the Leaves on the Trees’, blues-tinged tearaways Mollys Daggers are gearing up for the release of their debut album “Prima Materia” alongside 2nd single ‘Zin-uru’. It kicks off sounding like Rory Gallagher, which is fine by me, and a welcome respite from the Mumford clones that litter my in-box of late. Expect to hear cuts from the album on Aural Delights Podcast over the next few weeks.

If my Tardis was working (sadly the temporal synchro-mesh is off line) I’d be hopping over to the Corner Hotel in Melbourne round about now to catch Dave Graney ‘n’ The Coral Snakes. I’ll have to make do with the excellent PBS radio session from a couple of days back which was stuffed with classic Snakes tunes like Warren Oates. I’m pleased to be able to share this video from the session. What a band!

Fascinating Things : Issue 63

Apologies for the lack of posts recently but it has been a rather busy time with all sorts of German Shepherd Records stuff going on in the background and with some exciting gig news coming soon…..so inevitably there is a backlog of things to bring to your attention, better get straight to it…..

Continuing his run of “one single a month” releases in 2016 Dave Graney is back with Clare Moore, of course,  plus guests Will Hindmarsh and Emily Jarrett  of Go Go Sapien on backing vocals. This one is pretty short for a DG tune but manages to pack in enough cool sounds within it’s 2:59 to satisfy any lover of fine music. It’s undoubtedly Dave and Clare with it’s smoky late night vibe but there’s a freshness to this one indicating yet another variation in direction and development. This run of singles from Graney and Moore has been exceptional, can’t wait to hear the next one….

The new EP from 50FOOTWAVE is absolutely stunning. Rob Ahlers, Bernard Georges and Kristin Hersh are in fine muscular form powering through six new tunes. Kristin’s raw emotional vocals are at their very best and the band delivers intelligent, well crafted tunes. It’s called “Bath White” and you really should listen…..plus a crowdfunding drive has kicked off to support the publication of ‘Nerve Endings’, a book featuring selected lyrics from across her career as a musician and songwriter. For more information on the book and available pledge levels, visit the project page at Unbound: https://unbound.co.uk/books/Kristin-Hersh.

Nefarious Industries release the self-titled debut EP from Chicago-based Mine Collapse ton July 22nd. Formed in the autumn of 2015 by two-thirds of now defunct punk/metal band Arbogast, the new band picks things up where the old one left off, with Aaron Roemig and Mike Rataj continuing a nearly decade-long collaboration.  The sound is characterised by  a heavy, jagged, sludge-punk sound featuring reverb-soaked vocals. At twenty-two minutes, the four-song EP includes of frantic noise rock and doom riffage stacked atop Rataj’s unique jazz-infused pummeling drum style. Influences range from contemporary heavy bands like  Torche, Queens Of The Stone Age, Don Caballero, Boris, and The Austerity Program and old-school nineties AmRep bands à la Helmet, Jesus Lizard, and Unsane. Pre-order now here https://minecollapse.bandcamp.com/releases.

The excellent Yob are embarking on a European Tour in September/October with a raft of UK/Eire dates. The support for the six dates is Black Cobra.

Fri 07/10/2016 – Bristol, The Fleece
Sat 08/10/2016  – Glasgow, G2 Garage
Sun 09/10/2016  – Birmingham, The Rainbow Club
Mon 10/10/2016 – Manchester, Ruby Lounge
Tue 11/10/2016  – Dublin, Whelans
Thu 13/10/2016  – London, The Scala

Here’s a reminder of their remarkable album from 2014:

‘Church of Rock n Roll’ is taken from the album We Are The Ones. The debut solo album from Cambridge musician Gavin Chappell-Bates. It features 12 tracks, including previously released songs ‘95’, ‘We Are The Ones’ and ‘Black Holes’. Other tracks include the aforementioned aggressive adolescent punk of ‘Church Of Rock ‘N’ Roll’, the bright upbeat pop of ‘Dead End Disco Streets’, the shining sentimental ballad of ‘Starlight’, and ‘Refugee’ – a Manics-esque epic tinged with loneliness and loss. The album is the culmination of years of playing in bands, writing songs and gigging relentlessly. Friends, family and fans helped pick the final tracks to feature on the album. It was recorded and produced by James Coppolaro at Mix66 (Okiem Warmann, David Botrill, David Ellefson and Loretta Heywood) and features Rob Gibiaqui on drums (Sergey Lazarev, The Pinker Tones), Anna Scott on cello (Imogen Heap), Prue Ward on violin (The Willows) and the choir Full Score conducted by Ralph Woodward. For live purposes Gavin utilises German Shepherd’s very own Bouquet of Dead Crows. It’s a small world!.

Finally, for this issue, the Moss Brothers are back together again creating their left-field alt.pop with “Dark Snow” a dire warning to climate change deniers and self-serving politicians everywhere. With Neil’s wife Gaynor on backing vocals this is a step in a new direction for Ian and Neil. The single is pay what you want and all proceeds will go to Friends of The Earth.

dark snow 1

 

Fascinating Things : Issue 59

Still buzzing from my adventures in London last week it has taken quite a while to catch up on things and there is a pile of stuff to share with you so I will dispense with the usual sermon and get on with it…..

Described as the “New Wave of British Punk” The Jacques, from Bristol. aren’t, they might be the new wave of glam or pub-rock, but it most definitely isn’t punk. Anyway they pen a good tune and once you get by the annoying narrative bits there is something good going on here. Reminds me of the Heavy Metal Kids or something like that. It’s out on 20th May and they play Dot to Dot Festival in Manchester on the 27th, and a load of other Dot to Dot Festivals elsewhere after that, as well as Kendal Calling.

Since the release of their debut LP, “Manifest Decimation”, Power Trip have been playing and touring ceaselessly with international names like Lamb of God and Anthrax, and a comprehensive list of the best operating in the hardcore, metal and punk underground. With their trademark reverb-drenched old school attack that brings to mind Cro-Mags and early Sepultura amongst others, they are a band for lovers of loud and fast punk metal. Their new record, “Nightmare Logic” is due out on Southern Lord this year.

UK/Eire dates are:

  • 26/05 – Cardiff, The Bunker
  • 27/05 – Birmingham,  Concrete Fest
  • 28/05 – Dublin, Fibber Magees
  • 29/05 – Belfast,  Warzone Centre
  • 30/05 – Glasgow, Audio
  • 31/05 – Leeds,  Temple Of Boom
  • 01/06 – London, Boston Music Rooms

And this is what you can expect to see….

Rude Audio includes Mark Ratcliff (arrangement, production and keyboards), Amanda Greatorex (vocals and lyrics), Eucalypta LV (guest vocals), Lamis Harper (piano and keys), Tony Shea (guitar and ostrich guitar), and Owain Lloyd (mixing desk and lyrics), who just finished up a tour with Paul Weller and began a new one with Stereophonics. Their new EP  “Rudest” is out on June 7th and is very good indeed….

San Francisco’s Kowloon Walled City, radical distillers of sludge and post-hardcore, are heading out on a European Tour for the very first time this August/September; they will be supporting  Minsk. This is an excellent chance to witness a band who over the last decade have refined their sound through a series of excellent releases. Last year’s “Grievances” LP, released in October via Neurot Recordings, was their best to date echoing the early menace of Slint albeit in a more unforgiving framework.  As things stand there is, sadly, only one UK date at Underworld in London on September 3rd.

La Malinconia delle Fate, by the post/experimental/heavy/progressive/instrumental duo SDANG, made in collaboration with La Fornace Dischi, Dreaminggorilla, Taxi Driver Records and Totem Schwan is now available via Bandcamp. Groovy head-banging stuff!

Mamiffer (Faith Coloccia & Aaron Turner) tour across Europe this summer, in support of Turner’s band SUMAC. This tour supports  Mamiffer’s new LP, “The World Unseen” (SIGE Records) and sees the bands travel across Germany, Denmark, Belgium, the UK and Portugal. UK dates are 06/07/2016 – Bristol, The Fleece  and 07/07/2016 – London, Underworld, both dates with Janne Westerlund.

Le Butcherettes are returning to Europe for a headlining tour this autumn, in support of their latest offering “A Raw Youth” which saw release last September via Ipecac Recordings. On 13th May  they released a Digital Deluxe version of “A Raw Youth” with four bonus tracks. The bonus tracks include an acoustic version of “Shave The Pride” and “They Fuck You Over”, a b-side featuring King Buzzo (Melvins) titled “We No Owe”, and a live cover of Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” which was recorded at Rough Trade in Brooklyn.

UK/Eire dates are all in October

  • 14th, London, The Black Heart
  • 16th, Birmingham,  Hare & Hounds
  • 17th, Cardiff, Clwb Ifor Bach
  • 19th, Dublin, The Workmans Club
  • 20th, Belfast, , Black Box
  • 21st, Glasgow,  King Tuts
  • 22nd, Manchester,  Night & Day

Ask For Joy presents the new single “Cherry Popsicle” from the 7-track LP ‘New Private Window’. A mainstay on the U.S. shoegaze scene, this is Ask For Joy’s 9th release, featuring walls of shimmering reverb-drenched guitars, endearing vocals and expansive harmonic melodies. Founded in 2005, Ask For Joy is the solo project of multi-instrumentalist and producer Aaron Rossetto. Based in Austin, Texas, artists like himself and Ringo Deathstarr are putting this city on the shoegaze map. Combining the fuzzy warm shoegaze of Slowdive with the raw sonic power of bands like Jesus and Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine, Ask For Joy offer a slightly heavier version of the genre.

Middlemist Red is a psych-rock band from Budapest, Hungary, founded in 2012.
Evermore is the band’s first single from their second upcoming LP. There’s a good mix of space rock vibe in here as well, alongside the nods to early Floyd and a touch of post-punk in the vocal area.

 

 

 

Fascinating Things : Issue 26

I suggest you make a brew and get comfy for this one, it has been an extremely busy week. For those out there that say that there is  no good new music out there, I beg to differ. A seriously eclectic selection awaits your visual and aural pleasure:

Father Murphy, the Italian duo comprised by Rev. Murphy and Chiara Lee who are troubling the underground since the early Noughties with a series of dark, disturbing recordings, this time team up with producer Fabrizio Modonese Palumbo (Larsen) for a 10” EP aptly titled Lamentations to be released by the avant-garde label Backwards on 20th November 2015. The release completes Father Murphy’s 2015 Trilogy of The Cross, which started with Calvary (a 10 minute long introductory piece released by Blue Tapes in January) and was followed by Croce (Father Murphy’s fifth album and first release for the San Francisco based label The Flenser, released back in March).

Recorded in Turin under the supervision of sound engineer Paul Beauchamp, Lamentations finds Father Murphy at a crossroad of sorts: instigated with the guidance of Fabrizio Modonese Palumbo, the core duo of Chiara and the Reverend opted for a slight alteration of their signature squalor-sound, whilst still remaining cheerfully focused on their thematic obsessions (namely: death, God, pain, forgiveness). Inspired by a tongue-in-cheek reading of the Book of Jeremiah, as well as the traditions that mark the orthodox Holy Week Lamentations, the band have produced two long compositions that Iam advised feel like classic Father Murphy material, yet are substantially enriched in respect to their usually spare sonic palette.

I will share this with you on the podcast when a review copy arrives.

Photo credit: Sara Xiayu
Photo credit: Sara Xiayu

Ritual Productions have announced the signing of The Poisoned Glass, a duo comprised of two members of the legendary doom band Burning Witch; vocalist Edgy59 and bassist G.Stuart Dahlquist.

After the demise of Burning Witch in 1998 and going their separate ways, the two kept in touch, occasionally making overtures towards working together and knowing that they would when it felt natural. The Poisoned Glass started with the song ‘Silent Vigil’, a twelve-tone progression Dahlquist had originally intended as a tonal bass solo. After experimenting, he felt that the resulting sound was heavier, more despondent and unforgiving than any of his existing projects and sent the rough mix to Edgy, who understood immediately that this music represented perfectly both voices as a unit. It came naturally, as though it was meant to be, and with that, the duo formed, and set out to record as The Poisoned Glass.

The instrumentation is exclusively centred around bass guitar, organ, and voice – nothing more. In spite of seemingly limiting instrumentation The Poisoned Glass is far from minimalist; the atmosphere is bleak but so dense it is virtually without air. Dahlquist’s unison bass and organ is massive, building, evolving and expanding, punctuated by Edgy’s unbridled tenor and the irregular jarring of one or two note dissonant harmonies.

The Poisoned Glass will release their self titled LP on Ritual Productions in spring of 2016. More details of that to follow in the coming months.

TPG

Philadelphia psychedelic rock trio, Wizard Eye, release a self-titled new full-length on October 10th via Black Monk Records. Recorded in three days at Haddon Heights, New Jersey’s Gradwell House Studios with  Steve Poponi producing and mastering by Dave Downham, the  follow-up to the band’s 2010 Orbital Rites debut includes their signature brand of mind-bending riffs , bottom-heavy grooves, churning bass, otherworldly effects and raw vocals.  Their roots are planted firmly into the lysergic soil of ‘70s acts like Hawkwind, Budgie, Blue Cheer, Captain Beyond, Motörhead and Black Sabbath, Wizard Eye shows the band operating at the pinnacle of its creative and musical abilities.

treswizards

Paris’ based duo AaRON return with ‘Blouson Noir’, the first track to be lifted from their upcoming, self produced, third album ‘We Cut The Night’.  The duo’s debut ‘Artificials Animals Riding on Neverland’ came out in 2007, it sold over 400, 000 copies and is considered a classic by many. Years to follow saw the accolade of another chart topping album (Birds in the Storm) and the pair being awarded with a European Border Breaker Award followed by a sold out tour. ‘Blouson Noir’ tells a tale of a late, sleepless and very much lovelorn night in New York City; walking alone in the cutting darkness through the concrete, the buildings, the sirens and the overpowering nature of it all with nothing but the sounds of Grace Jones “Strange I’ve Seen That Face Before” playing. “

AaRON_BLOUSON_NOIR_2400

The Insight deliver a stong post-punk sound with a Gallic tinge.  They release album White Noise on 25th September. Manc/Scouse influences are strong throughout, lots of flanged guitars and reverby drums with dramatic vocals. You can pre-order on Bandcamp.

Written whilst under the influence, the stomping new single “Kicking the Habit” out 12th October, finds Greg Hooper and Gordo Francis of The Lost Art in a playful, raucous mood.  The single comes from pair’s Special Edition version of their self-titled debut album set for release 2nd November. Included with the albumrelease are special remixed songs along with a fully notated score allowing fans to enjoy the duo’s music in a new and unique way. Mixing the old with the new, the varying cocktail of quirky remixes add extra flavour to this inspired thirst quencher of an album. It’s very good in a teetering on the edge of collapse way, sdaly however I have nothing to embed for you as the promo people seem to have neglected to send a link other than for the last single which seems a trifle odd. Anyhow it will be on next weeks Aural Delights so you can hear it then.

ca0d1e5d-9448-4a1a-9814-b5b4ce5b8559

To celebrate her signing to First Word Records and announce her forthcoming mini-album ‘Of The New World’ Sarah Williams White has released ‘Winter Sun’ as a free download.

Here’s a little background to the track from Sarah herself:

I wrote this track to gratify all these images from films I had in my mind like Empire of The Sun, Fist of The North Star… imagery of a post apocalyptic/war-torn world, but nature with it’s strength and beauty just standing it’s ground! The Sun, or that something at the end of the tunnel that gives hope through darker times..

All my new music seems to have this underlying theme of time and repair, and the awesomeness of earth. Its a bit of a theme throughout my upcoming record Of The New World.

‘Winter Sun’ started out as a li’l instrumental idea with my Hohner Pianet over a beat of Timmy’s (Timmy Rickard is the drummer and engineer I work with) – I’d been listening to a lot of Roy Ayers! Then it kinda filled itself out over time into a more spacey harmonic piece with the poem and vocals, new b-boy drum grooves from timmy and my juno 106 playing the glaring Sun.’
It was released on 17 September 2015 and is an inventive jazzy tune which improves on repeat listening.

SWW

Cheeky London chappies The Black Sparrows release a new single , they describe themselves as punk n roll, dapper flat caps and waistcoats would normally be a turn-off but this lot manage to grab my attention wth a sort of Libertines/Heartbreakers looseness.

Gabrielle Papillon is a Canadian singer-songwriter with a fantastic voice.  Her upcoming album The Tempest Of Old captures the pick-up-and-play honesty in her song writing with each track being beautifully produced alongside a yielding sense of time and place. The album , will be available for sale and download Friday 25th September 2015. Get You Well is the first single from the album.  This is her fifth album so I think a check on the back catalogue will be worthwhile given the quality of the new one.

The Melvins, who are currently in the midst of a European tour, flash back to their 2012 attempt at a world record setting tour of the United States (plus DC) with the Noember. 13th DVD release of Across The USA in 51 Days: The Movie! The tour launched on September .5th, 2012 from Anchorage, Alaska and wrapped up fifty-one days later, October. 25th, on the sunny shores of Honolulu, Hawaii. “We figured it was time for us to do something REALLY crazy,” Buzz Osborne said at the time of the band’s transcontinental trek. The band documented the outing via Spin (http://www.spin.com/tag/melvins-tour-diary/) and also through a collection of never-before-seen video footage. I’m putting together an Aural Delights special podcast on the Melvins to coincide with their Manchester appearance (October 9th at Gorilla)

Melvins

To be brutally honest I’m not sure Ben Chasney’s head is at these days.  Drag City release Six Organs Of Admittance‘s latest Hexadic II on November 20th.   The album appears to be an acoustic variation on the tunes on the preceding album, athough it’s best described as a transformational process rather than a faithful reinterpretation. It  took me a few listens but I began to get into this enjoy what he is up to. He ploughs his own furrow and does it well.

…and finally, I am most overjoyed to find that the ever excellent Monster Island have a seven song EP out hopefully later this year. They are down in that there London on 10th October for a gig at The Windmill Brixton for International John Peel day. Here’s a little reminder of how wonderful they are.

 

 

Fascinating Things : Issue 02

More new music things that have come my way over the last week – many of these can be heard on forthcoming podcasts:

Coquin Migale are getting a lot of fuss made about them. Their second release from the recent Feel EP is called “Socotra”, which after a wistful, nearly disconcerting, skinny indie kids start, gets into a full blown anthemic, bathed in reverb, little nugget, that becomes a little bit rock and roll, and has some very good guitar work. Release is scheduled for 27th July.

Stockholm’s Jenny Hansen releases her debut single “Wanderer” on 6th July, a nice slice of quirky pop with a jazzy prog tinge, and  with a decent voice as well, worth investigating.

The Creeping Ivies are a 3 piece Rock N Roll band based in Glasgow. Led by vocalist/guitarist Becca Murray, they formed in 2011 and have recorded two albums to date. Debut ‘Stay Wild’ was released on vinyl via US label Dead Beat Records which was followed up a year later with the full length ‘Ghost World’. They have supported notable acts such as Viv Albertine, Vic Godard & Subway Sect, Bob Log III , The Primevals , played headline shows in Scotland and London and have received airplay all over the world. They have a new 3 track ep, ‘The Witch House, out on 16th August  on Flowers In The Dustbin.  The lead track is a groovy little primal rock ‘n’ roller in the spirit of The Cramps.  Nice!

Hull five piece The Talks are off on tour – more info can be found here

Minneapolis, Minnesota’s scathing grind trio, Ambassador Gun, are in top form, unloading ten new tracks in just over twenty-six minutes on their new one. While the band’s approach is as devastating slick and caustic as ever, incredibly infectious grooves on Tomb of Broken Sleep make themselves as present as a squadron of B-52 bombers paying you a visit with full payloads. Recorded, mixed and mastered by Adam Tucker at Signaturetone Recording (Blue Ox, Guzzlemug, Nerves) in Minneapolis, Tomb Of Broken Sleep exemplifies them as band that can fearlessly write songs that are both ferocious and catchy. Set for independent release this Summer,Tomb Of Broken Sleep will be released digitally via Bandcamp on July 15th, 2015, with physical versions to follow by the end of Summer. Watch out for tracks from it on Sonic Attack during the week of release.

amgun-vanjam

.”So you say this is your final chance” …the opening line of Shark Tape’s ‘Marathon’ speaks of the desperation of a band ready to take off. Shark Tape, a three piece rock band from Philadelphia are Stephen Lorek, Niles Weiss and Dylan Mulcahy. Active on Philadelphia’s music scene since 2007 under various project names, they evolved into Shark Tape and 2012 saw the release two EPs, the self titled ‘Shark Tape’ and ‘Eyes On You’ which gained considerable airplay from East Coast radio stations and went on to be selected as one of WXPN’s top records of the year. Channeling influences from several of rock’s greatest eras, each Shark Tape song carries the band’s own unique sound with subtle references to the likes of The Replacements, Big Star, The Smiths and Cheap Trick. Having garnered a steady and loyal following that continues to grow organically in their hometown, Shark Tape will be touring later this year, looking to replicate the well attended and vibrant shows they’re known for in and around Philadelphia. In late 2013, the band teamed up with renowned engineer Jeff Ziegler (Kurt Vile, War On Drugs) to begin production on the band’s debut album ‘Marathon’. With a huge list of inspirations that includes adventure, struggle, desperation, a quest for enlightenment, Dionysus and Apollo, faint glimpses of the future, destiny vs choice, the search for a way to travel the universe and a desire to walk into the horizon so the sun never sets, it’s fair to say that Marathon is one of the most exciting and intriguing debuts to come out of Philadephia in recent years.

Milton Star follow their hugely successful double A side record ‘Salvation’ and ‘Sorryville’ with the release of their new single ‘Things Fall Apart’. The track is another example of duo Alan Wyllie and Graeme Currie’s unerring ability to create wonderfully atmospheric stories about love, loss and regret framed in beautifully structured melodies and carried by an expansive tremolo wall of sound and a dark soul.

Austrian psychedelic artist Juleah is back with a  new album, Melt Inside The Sun. For lovers of 60s psych with a modern twist. Melt Inside The Sun is available in limited edition vinyl, CD and Download – more info on the Bandcamp page.

…and finally for this issue

Released on June 29th 2015, “From A Zafira Comfort” is the second trailer single taken from “Sunny Day Machine”, the forthcoming debut album by St.Christopher Medal, which is due out on Stereogram Recordings on August 10th . At only two minutes long, it’s a short but sweet burst of crunching, melodic Alt Country/Americana guitar pop. It’s energy comes from long friendship; from deep love of music; from C86 to the classic country rock of The Stones and the Flying Burrito Brothers. None of it dimmed for even a moment. Teenage Fanclub. The Hold Steady. Dylan. It’s all there. In the words of singer and chief songwriter Ali Mathieson: “This is all completely true. Sometimes something happens. Some mad alignment of the planets, and all of the children are all asleep at the same time. Then we can get some proper fighting done! This is an apology song (one of many) and although it sounds pretty unlikely now, when I first wrote this it was rocking a kind of Calypso/Merengue, West-Indian sort of vibe. Funny how that sort of thing just suddenly happens like that.”

St. Christopher Medal

Earth Hits Gorilla

EARTH REVEAL DETAILS OF THEIR TENTH STUDIO RECORDING, PRIMITIVE AND DEADLY; TO BE RELEASED VIA SOUTHERN LORD IN SEPTEMBER, PLUS TOUR DATES INCOMING INCLUDING A SHOW AT GORILLA, MANCHESTER ON AUGUST 15TH

Earth’s career, like its music, has always been a slow, deliberate progression. Each record slightly removed from the last, a constant refinement of a singular vision. Dylan Carlson has remained focused throughout on coaxing moments of strange beauty and reflection from “the riff”. This elemental foundation of rock is refracted, in their earliest recordings, through the prism of sheer volume & feedbacking drone or, in the twin Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light set from 2011 & 2012, via a sparse unravelling take on folk.

(photo credit Samantha Muljat)
(photo credit Samantha Muljat)

With Primitive and Deadly, Earth’s tenth studio collection, Carlson and long term drummer Adrienne Davies, manage to pull off the trick of completing a reative cycle, 25 years in the making, whilst exploring new directions in Earth’s music. For the first time in their diverse second period, they allow themselves to be a ROCK band, freed of adornment and embellishment. As much as Carlson’s guitar has always been the focal point of Earth’s music, it’s been surrounded by consistently diverse instrumentation. Here the dialog between Carlson and Davies drumming remains pivotal, underpinned by the sympathetic bass of Bill Herzog (Sunn 0))), Joel RL Phelps, Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter) and thickened by additional layers of guitar from Brett Netson (Built To Spill, Caustic Resin) & Jodie Cox (Narrows). Perhaps the largest left turn on Primitive and Deadly, though, is prominence of guest vocalists Mark Lanegan and Rabia Shaheen Qazi (Rose Windows) who transform the traditionally free ranging meditations of Earth into something approaching traditional pop structures.

The tension between a band pushing themselves ever forward whilst surveying their history is reflected in the albums twin recording locales. The foundation of the record was laid in the mystic desert high lands of Joshua Tree, California where Earth recorded hour after hour of meditations on each tracks central theme at Rancho de la Luna. Upon returning to Seattle these were edited, arranged and expanded upon at Avast with the help of long-term collaborator Randall Dunn (who was previously at the helm for the Hex, The Bees Made Honey in the Lions Skull and Hibernaculum sessions).

Sounds pretty tasty – and I look forward to hearing it……..

SELECTED EARTH DISCOGRAPHY:
Extra Capsular Extraction (Sub Pop) 1991*
Earth 2: Special Low Frequency Version (Sub Pop) 1993
Phase 3: Thrones and Dominions (Sub Pop) 1995
Pentastar: In the Style of Demons (Sub Pop) 1996
Hex; Or Printing in the Infernal Method (Southern Lord) 2005
Hibernaculum (Southern Lord) 2007
The Bees Made Honey in the Lions Skull (Southern Lord) 2008
Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light I (Southern Lord) 2011
Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II (Southern Lord) 2012
Primitive and Deadly (Southern Lord) 2014
*re-issued as A Bureaucratic Desire for Extra Capsular Extraction (Southern Lord) 2010

Prior to the album’s release, on 24th June Southern Lord shall be reissuing Hex; Or Printing In The Infernal Method and The Bees Made Honey In The Lion’s Skull on LP. You can order from this link:  http://www.southernlord.com/store/search/name:/artist_id:30/format_id:

TOUR DATES:
July 31st – Katowice, Pl – Off Festival
August 1st – Leipzig, DE – UT Connewitz
August 2nd – Berlin, DE – Lido
August 4th – Sibenik, HR – Super Uho Festival
August 5th – Vienna, AT – Arena
August 7th – Wiesbaden, DE – Schlacthof
August 8th – Zurich, CH – Bogen F
August 9th – Paris, FR – Point Ephemere
August 10th – Antwerp, BE – Zuiderpershuis
August 11th – Utrecht, NL – Tivoli
August 13th – Dublin, IE – Whelans
August 14th – Glasgow, UK – CCA
August 15th – Manchester, UK – Gorilla
August 16th – London, UK – Jabberwocky Festival

There will be an aural delights special featuring Earth during week beginning 1st June to mark this release.