A Gaze Among Them

The two year gap between the last three BIG | BRAVE albums is profoundly frustrating. Their music is compelling and there needs to be more of it, and more often. The latest, “A Gaze Among Them”, is released on Southern Lord on May 10th.

Since their formation in 2012, BIG|BRAVE have explored varying aspects of experimental rock with a focus on repetition, an epic sound, and an unrelenting delivery. Those elements are in full effect on this new album, released on Southern Lord.

The band includes Robin Wattie (vocals, electric guitar, guitar amp, bass amp), Mathieu Ball (electric guitar, guitar amps) and Loel Campbell (drums) with guest album appearances from Thierry Amar (Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Thee Silver Mt Zion) on Contrabass and Seth Manchester’s synth overdubs. The album was recorded with Seth Manchester at Machine with Magnets in Pawtucket Rhode Island.


With the exception of the relatively short “The Deafening Verity” the remaining four tracks vary between 7 and 10 minutes in length allowing enough space to develop a sound palette in which Wattie’s feral/anguished vocals persist over intense riffing and churning atmospherics. There is little modulation as the band pursue one note or one chord to create a hypnotic drone of noise rock.  An almost ecstatic and cathartic wall of sound emerges as guitars are brutalised and percussion creates a supporting bed  . Elements of religious and middle eastern music hover at the edge of the sound evoking a range of emotional responses not usually associated with this genre.

This is their fourth full length and their best work to date.

The album will be featured on Aural Delights Show 336 on May 9th.


Album Of The Year?

Yes it’s that time again……and with it being a very busy year I thought i’d better prepare the long-list early on…..so in no particular order the candidates for this years “Best Of…..” not jazz albums… I’ll whittle it down to a top ten in due course, and I may well include some other ones I have missed and some things in the pipeline which look like they make the list.

There are a couple of very strong front-runners at the moment and after that it all gets a bit difficult…………

  • The Seven Twenty – The Seven Twenty
  • Niche – Heading East
  • Heroin In Tahiti – Sun and Violence
  • Dilly Dally – Sore
  • The Holy Soul – Fortean Times
  • Mammoth Penguins – Hide and Seek
  • The Lancashire Hustlers – What Made Him Run
  • Moff Skellington – Scribnalls
  • Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Just Sit And Think And Sometimes I Just Think
  • Robert Forster – Songs To Play
  • Bouquet of Dead Crows – Of The Night
  • Dave Graney – Once I Loved The Oceans Roar
  • Monkeys In Love – Take The Biscuit
  • Corrections House – Know How To Carry A Wip
  • Esmerine – Lost Voices
  • Dead Sea Apes – Spectral Domain
  • Moff Skellington – The Corkscrew Tongue
  • Liberez – All Tense Now Lax
  • Vienna Ditto – Circle
  • JD Meatyard – Taking The Asylum
  • Ken Mode – Success
  • Dead to Dying World – Litany
  • Myrkur – M
  • The Creeping Ivies – Your New Favourite Garage Band
  • Ought – Sun Coming Down
  • Big Brave – Au De La
  • The Happy Fallen – Lost and Found
  • Cryin’ Queerwolf – Diva
  • Alif – Aynama -Rtama
  • Dave Graney ‘n’ The Coral Snakes – Night of the Wolverine  (Expanded)
  • ZX+ Don’t Drink The Water
  • Author & Punisher -Melk En Honing
  • Dave Graney & the mistLY – Play mistLY for me – live recordings vol 1
  • Flies On You – Etcetera
  • Brothers of the Sonic Cloth – Brothers of the Sonic Cloth
  • The Go-Betweens – G stands for Go-Betweens : Volume One 1978-1984 (yes I know it’s a box set but it’s too good to ignore)
  • Moff Skellington – The Corduroy Bridge
  • The Fall – Sub Lingual Tablet
  • Minimi Deutsch – Minimi Deutsch
  • Anna Von Hauswolff – The Miraculous

Once again, blood rushes to the head

A serious deluge of new things to listen to this week so without further ramblings straight into the fray:

Celtic Frost the Swiss extreme metal band from Zürich is being honoured in a new various artists compilation released on November 13th by Corpse Flower Records.

Sample tracks will be featured in Sonic Attack Podcast 130.


There are lot of bands around here that sound like New Order. Men in the Sky (MITS) is a British-Canadian collaboration between founder Gary Roberts (guitar and synths) and Simon Mawson (vocals), Gavin Thomas (vocals) and Chad Montgomery (guitars). A chance meeting  led to Men In The Sky forming a partnership with Factory Records’ lead engineer Michael Johnson, (“Blue Monday” and‘Closer’)  Johnson has produced their latest single ‘If I go’. It echoes the classic 1980s  New Order and Frankie era Trevor Horn and is a bit too pop for my podcasts but no doubt Monty (Tuesday nights at 9pm Salford City Radio) will be all over it like a rash.

Talking of things which aren’t quite brimming with newness there’s a definite Scouse sound to Oranj Son, in that they reminded me of The Farm with a rhythm stolen from Parallel Lines. The promo says “Ellesmere Port. Home of the Vauxhall Astra, oil refineries, and now of Oranj Son, one of the most exciting and talked-about bands (by who I wonder) to emerge from the North West of England in 2015. Comprising Kieran Linford (guitar, vocals), Lew Yii (percussion), Brad Welch (bass) and Matt Linford (keys, guitar), their brand of infectious and hypnotic groove-laden rock brings to mind classic East and West Coast US Psychedelia, Northern European Electro and 80’s Post Punk – influences they wear as proudly as Phil Daniels wears his parka.” Well having listened to is a couple of times it still sounds more Merseyside than American to me. Apparently Oranj Son are the latest band to join the roster of Edge Hill University’s The Label Recordings, the team who discovered Hooton Tennis Club, who I can quite honestly say I have never heard of. Once again not for me but I’ll zap it in a Monty direction as it’s more his cup of tea.

Back to more noisy things for the next one. Creator-Destructor Records have announced the impending release of the brand new, self-titled 12″ EP from one of San Francisco’s heaviest bands, Mohicans. The self-titled six tracker clocks in at just under fifteen and has the brutal attack of Motorhead at their best.


Mohicans002_webA couple of excellent albums in from the marvellous Cardinal Fuzz arrived this week. Out in late November Black Bombaim, Isaiah Mitchell, Rodrigo Amado, Shela – Live at Casazul is a mammoth 40 minutes plus improv at a festival in BB’s home town.  The second is from a band formed  2008, called the band whose name is a symbol aka TBWNIS and/or TBWNIAS. The promo advises they are “…about about creating the ultimate marriage of improvisation and hard rock edged psychedelic music”. Originally a 4-piece and now 6 TBWNIAS are based out of  Birdman Sounds record shop in Ottawa. They have now released 9 vinyl only LPs in miniscule editions (Private Press and Lathe Cuts) in which their underground reputation has made them a cult among aficionados of hard thudding, rock riffing kraut.  Cardinal Fuzz are at last able to bring the sounds of TBWNIAS to a wider audience and on “Masters Of The Molehill” TBWNIAS take their “free wheeling fanaticism for experimentation and sprawling psychedelia and lace it with some major psych burners”. Imagine High Tide – Death Warmed Up or maybe Hawkwind (with Simon House on Violin) via Acid Mothers Temple with Krautrock, progressive and middle-eastern tones to get an idea of what it’s all about. Only 350 are being pressed complete with Screen Printed Sleeve with Insert and all Black Vinyl. The release date is 16th November. Highly recommended! A radio edit of the Black Bombain tracks and two tracks from “Masters of the Molehill” will be on next weeks Sonic Attack podcast.

The Band Whose Name Is A Symbol_1

Big|Brave have released the first video from their latest album “Au De La” ( as reviewed here), released on Southern Lord earlier this autumn, with the nearly 12 minute epic track ‘Look At How The World Has Made A Change’. Influenced by installations and video screenings that you expect to see in art galleries and museums, the video sees two images changing in contrast and hue. These subtle changes are reminiscent of the album’s evolutionary progression from minimalist to mammoth sonic heaviness.

Unfettered and Emotionally Charged


Au De La

Southern Lord

18th September 2015


Those of you who read these ramblings on a regular basis will be aware of my tendency to like bands, artists etc, that sound unique, break the mould, are iconclasts, and deliver a new aural experience, BIG|BRAVE meet those criteria with consummate ease.

Big Brave is a Montreal three-piece who played their first show in July of 2012. Recorded with Efrim Menuck (Godspeed You! Black Emperor/Thee Silver Mt Zion Memorial Orchestra) at Hotel2Tango, their new album “Au De La” adds to a growing discography comprising their debut EP An Understanding Between People (2013) and the debut LP Feral Verdure, which they recorded at Paradise Studios with Jon Boles, and self-released in September 2014.

Big Brave

The band remain frustratingly non-committal about their line-up, identities and background. What is known is that there are two guitars and drums creating an altogether refreshing sound. Special guest Jessica Moss (of the Thee Silver Mt Zion Memorial Orchestra) also brings her violin to a few of the album’s five tracks. At least we know what they look like.

Opener “On The By And By And Thereon” sets the scene with brutal shards of guitar and metronomic drums, staccato vocals emerge from this dense battery of sound to create an almost tribal sound. The dark ambience of “Look At How The World Has Made A Change” provides a strong contrast to the first track. Sounds teeter on the edge of distortion, a plaintive vocal echoes middle-eastern musical forms, percussion tumbles and rolls around the sound-scape. The easy option of labelling this music as post-rock does not work here, this is beyond conventional accepted genre pigeon-holing. A howl of feedback takes the track into a slow march of epic proportions, Fractured and blistered guitars match the beat as it builds majestically, a cathartic rage against the forces of darkness, into a memorable climax. Challenging and breathtaking, cinematic in scope, quite remarkable.

The intriguingly titled  “do no harm do no wrong Do No Harm Do No Wrong DO NO HARM DO NO WRONG…” hides a pretty pop song under an unrelenting wall of dense guitars and insistent percussion. Once again the needle heads towards to red as the trio brutalise the listeners ears with an emotionally charged tirade.  Guitar abuse creates a tension against the repetitive drum beat as you are hit with an unforgiving wall of sound. Matters initially calm for the opening waves of the apparently more relaxed “And As The Waters Flow” but quickly brutal stabs of guitar noise break the mood and another aching vocal arises, developing into a massive howl of rage. This is pretty intense stuff folks and not for the faint-hearted. What they are doing musically is pretty basic but they are delivering it in such an unfettered and emotionally rich way as to make it something special indeed.

The longest track on the album “(re)Collection Part II” continues the thematic use of walls of guitars on the edge of feedback with slow and all enveloping drum beats. The vocal is buried deep in the sound scape, matters edge towards a Sunn 0))) aesthetic as dense guitars slowly move around in a frenzied clash of sound, which then transmutes inexorably into Dylan Carlson/Earth territory for the closing section.

Altogether an excellent second album and potentially one of the most exciting releases of the year. Highly recommended.



Fascinating Things : Issue 22

Still busy, more news stuff than album reviews this time mind you :

Those lovely people at The Active Listener are at it again with their 35th compilation of wonderful and psyche oriented musical sounds. There’s the usual eclectic mix including this time around music from recent favourites here Zx+ , Kingdom of the Holy Sun and The Seventh Ring of Saturn. Highly recommended as a place to dip your ear into some of the better things happening at the moment,

Llama Riot say they are proud to announce that their debut single “Live. Die. No Repeat.” is officially out now via all major download stores (iTunes, Spotify, Google Play etc) the world over.  To celebrate this release they have unleashed a new video of which you can check out below. Touch of the Bunnymen I thought, nice,

Corrections House release their brand new full-length, “Know How To Carry A Whip”, this October via Neurot Recordings. The promo says the new one is darker, denser, and more despairing than the predecessor, 2013’s Last City Zero – featured on Sonic Attack 29 and my “Best Of Review of 2013“.  The nine-track, forty-five-minute audio apocalypse was captured by the band’s own Sanford Parker (Minsk) and recently institutionalized minister of propaganda, Seward Fairbury, in Vietnam. The record boasts a guest appearance by Negative Soldier and finds Corrections House – which features the  lineup of Parker, Fairbury, Scott Kelly (Neurosis), Bruce Lamont (Yakuza) and Mike IX Williams (Eyehategod) — at their ” most punishing, painting electronic mosaics of deviance and decadence with brushes made from bristles of the damned”.

Corrections House

The Melvins are back in Europe this September and October, with a series of live dates commencing Sept 13th in the UK in Bristol. The band will be performing as a four-piece, joining forces again with Jared Warren and Coady Willis of Big Business. Having released three full-length LP’s together, Warren and Willis also performed on the band’s “The Bulls & The Bees” EP, which was recently released as a split alongside the 2001 album “Electroretard”. This 13 song album features both releases on one CD, available for the first time as a package. The quartet also collaborated with a series of guest stars on their 2013 covers album “Everybody Loves Sausages”. The Melvins also released “Hold It” In last October, the 12-song album pairs Osborne and Crover with Butthole Surfers’ JD Pinkus and Paul Leary.

UK dates are:

  • Sept 13, 2015 – Bristol – Exchange
  • Sept 14, 2015 – Brighton, – Concorde 2
  • Oct 08, 2015 – Reading – Sub 89
  • Oct 09, 2015 – Manchester – Gorilla
  • Oct 10, 2015 – London – Electric Ballroom

I will be pulling together a dedicated Melvins retrospective podcast sometime in the near future to coincide with the tour.

Photo credit: Kevin Willis

With the impending release of the second album from BIG|BRAVE, titled Au De La, rapidly approaching through Southern Lord Recordings, the LP-opener “On The By And By And Thereon” has premiered through The Line Of Best Fit. With five expansive movements which transmit BIG|BRAVE‘s creative sounds with exceptional production values, Au De La was recorded at Hotel2Tango with Efrim Menuck (Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Thee Silver Mt Zion Memorial Orchestra) and mastered by Harris Newman at Grey Market (Front Line Assembly, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, C H R I S T). Presenting forty-five minutes of luminous, exploratory, post/avant rock, the album sees vocalist/guitarist Robin Wattie, guitarist Mathieu Bernard Ball and drummer Louis-Alexandre Beauregard delivering a layered, engaging, memorable, visceral voyage. “On The By And By And Thereon,” the lead track to this auditory journey, which is one of several on the album to feature shimmering nets of violin by Jessica Moss (Thee Silver Mt Zion Memorial Orchestra), can be enjoyed for the first time here. Previous material can be sourced via Bandcamp here.  Here’s  a trailer for the album. Once I get a review copy I shall fill you in on more detail about this release.

 ANDREW R. BURNS & THE TROPICANAS debut ep (released May 2015 on Flowers In The Dustbin)  was featured on Aural Delights 123. The label has  announced the release of follow up ep ‘Delaydeez’. The band describe their music as “tropical dreamslop… lazy unpolished, reverb laden tunes.” The ep is out Sunday 18th October, available from itunes and all major digital stores via  Flowers In The Dustbin.  It is also available to pre-order now from their Bandcamp store with an instant download of Pop snuff-it.

Fascinating Things Issue 01

 This is the first of a semi-regular magazine format blog of new music that comes my way and gets featured on my podcasts. You will find a wide variety of music types here and hopefully something that piques your interest.

Chelsea Wolfe is set to release her newest full length album, Abyss, August 7th on Sargent House, here is the single release from the album :

Dead Rider have a series of European tour dates on the horizon in support of their new 7″ single New End b/w Uncomfy, and the  full length Chills On Glass which Drag City released last year.  UK dates are 17/6/15  London – Shacklewell Arms, 18/6/15 Glasgow – Bloc+
19/6/15  Edinburgh – Sneaky Petes, and 22/06/15 UK, Bristol -The Exchange.

In the year of shoegaze’s comeback, Ear to Ear Records presents you a free download international shoegaze compilation, involving 30 bands from 16 countries. In the words of Creation Records co-founder Joe Foster, this is as “an unprecedented spread of hope and art”, which has been embraced by members of such shoegaze pioneers as Swervedriver, Slowdive, The Telescopes, Brian Jonestown Massacre, and Swallow.

The Melvins  released The Bulls & The Bees/Electroretard split on Ipecac Recordings, on 2nd June. This 13 song album features both releases on one CD.

Fresh from a BBC Radio 6 Music debut on 6 Music Recommends with Tom Ravenscroft, and a live appearance at Song By Toad’s , Andrew R. Burns & The Tropicanas“Paradise Palms Song by Toa d Dingus Rock Slop Fest” the ‘Dreamslop’ ep was released on Sunday 31st May, and is available from itunes and all major digital stores via Flowers In The Dustbin records.

FLOW is the new album from the Belgium based quartet Drifter, co-led by Finnish pianist Alexi Tuomarila and Belgium saxophonist Nicolas Kummert, who won huge praise and acclaim across Europe and Australia as the Alexi Tuomarila Quartet in the early 2000’s.

Inego are named after the Spaniard hell-bent on avenging the death of his father in the 80’s cult classic ‘The Princess Bride’ . The band released their ‘What Are You Waiting For?’ in May . Recorded at Magic Garden Studios and produced by Gavin Monaghan and Joe Murray. The Band play The Headlander Festival in Stockport on June 20th .

The Junta returns with a four track EP on German Shepherd Records on June 12th. Entitled Hydra the music inspired by the Marvel Universe baddies and the Agents of Shield TV Programme. A follow EP with remixes  by Night Operations, Captain Black, Space Museum, Passage of Time and The Junta himself will follow in July.

Austin, Texas’s Sungod have released a fantastic two track EP of their signature psych drone krautrock – highly recommended

Southern Lord have announce the signing of Montreal trio BIG|BRAVE. The three-piece play  long-form out-rock that ventures in to different directions – at times mournful and unsettling – “their music plays out in to moon-bleached grunge where serene vocals crumble over scraping guitars bled of melody.” A new album is penciled in for a late summer release, recorded with Efrim Menuck (Godspeed You! Black Emperor/Thee Silver Mt Zion Memorial Orchestra) at Hotel2Tango. This will add to a growing discography comprising their debut EP An Understanding Between People (2013) and the debut LP Feral Verdure, which they recorded at Paradise Studios with Jon Boles, and self-released in September 2014. There’s high expectation of great things to come.

nTTx is the new project of Gord Clement (former singer/songwriter in Atomzero). His new music is a melodic, vocal driven form of EBM, with some synthpop and disco influences. The new single is titled ‘Falls Beautiful’ with a b-side cover version of ‘New Dress’ (Depeche Mode). The single is now available as a free download to the public via his bandcamp page . It will also be available through iTunes, Amazon, and most streaming services.