One or two things I aim to be featuring on the radio in future weeks which are worth considering……
Firesuite – You’re An Ocean Deep My Brother – Obtainable from Bandcamp : nudged in my general direction by my prog nouveau neighbours Trojan Horse. They say of themselves “Fronted and formed by Chris Anderson (vox, guitar), alongside Chris Minor (bass), Sarah Griffiths (vox, guitar) & Richard Storer (drums) Firesuite are an ongoing musical endeavour, born out of the desire to create something loud & hugely affecting. Combining polar opposite dynamics, from total white noise, to moments of striking beauty, Firesuite are as complex a unit as you are likely to find.”
I say – very good indeed – and complex is the correct description given that they from light post-rockish guitar excursions through to manic near hardcore breakdowns to lyrical vocalising . As they are from Sheffield, I could be lazy and mention”65days” as having some similarities but only tangential – there is considerably more to their output and the notable track is the beautiful “Stay” which manages to be both haunting and brutal. I was also taken with the silky para improv tones of “Sci Fi Lullaby” which is a very moreish. Recommended!
Nils Petter Molvaer – Baboon Moon – he has formed a new trio after ten years with Audun Klieve and the tinnitus suffering Eivind Aarset being replaced by Erland Dahlen on drums and Stian Westerhus on guitar. Instantly more listenable than the transitional previous album “Hamada” and probably his best album since “Khmer” in terms of new sound and approaches. Breathtaking that a trio can create such orchestral complexity I am somewhat in awe of this band. The trademark Molvaer fractured breathy trumpet is here, as are the shifting soundscapes that float around behind him but this is much more ferocious than what he has produced before, more dangerous even. Dahlen is amazing creating orchestral backing at one moment and then light airy percussive motifs the next. Westerhus is a revelation thoughout, altogether more brutal than Aarset offering Molvaer a more rock oriented pallette on which to paint his tone poems. An absolutely stunning return to form. Highly recommended! (also check out Westerhuses’s solo guitar album “Pitch Black Star Spangled” as a primer on what is possible with a guitar these days)
Nowhere Again – Han Shot First – another one on Bandcamp in which Mr Lynham and his co-conspirators emerge from some sort of blues rock tinged pyschedelic shoegaze mist brandishing guitars with some malevolence…..managing to sound on the title track like somewhere between early Roy Harper, and the Edgar Broughton Band, with a touch para funk in the same song which is certainly unique and definitely interesting. You get a studio recording of the title song, and then a live version (which fades out annoyingly early), some new live stuff and a reworking of Hardman Square from the “Now We Are Twenty” EP. “Red October” with its dive bomb bass is redolent of early 70s blues outfits, albeit with modern guitar harmonising giving it an altogether alien feel. This is perhaps even more “Black Knights” than “Black Knights” – if you see what I mean. “Never Lose That Feeling” is perhaps a little more of what we are used to although there is something of the blues about the riffing and it is drenched in walls of fuzz which counterpoints the insistent vocal style. The more relaxed “Home (Coda)” is an effective interlude after the preceding noise fest and the initial concluding beauty of “Hardman Square” with its scorching interludes and ethereal dimensions demonstrates the variety this trio is capable of delivering. Recommended.