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.

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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.

 

 

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Forget Nostalgia – Listen To New Music

Some very good new things have arrived already this week……a mixed bag of genre’s which suits me

Vancouver’s Baptists share the first new track from their upcoming second album, Bloodmines, which is due for release via Southern Lord on 13th October.

Arriving at the album’s mid point, ‘Harm Induction’ is a volatile, high speed, turbo-charged rager. As the guitar riffs scale to an ear-splitting climax, the vocals also reach the peak of absolute seething anger. Harm Induction is unrelenting, near suffocating, and highly cathartic.

Le Butcherettes have joined Ipecac Recordings’ roster and will release their second album release, Cry Is For The Flies, on Sept. 29 via the label in conjunction with Nadie Sound.

“Since I created Le Butcherettes in Guadalajara, I’ve always yearned for the band to be part of a label/community that helps and supports artists to act fearlessly and help serve the music.” explained fiery Le Butcherettes front-woman Teri Gender Bender. “So happy beyond words that we’ve found a family in Ipecac. Dream come true.”

“We are EXTREMELY excited to be working with Le Butcherettes,” said Ipecac Recordings Co-Owner Greg Werckman. “Teresa is a dynamic front person and a perfect fit with the Ipecac family. Not a band to miss on record or live.”

The eleven-song release had previously been available exclusively as a digital download via producer Omar Rodriguez-Lopez’s label Nadie Sound’s website but, as of September 29th, will be made available on physical formats (CD/vinyl) as well as through various digital service providers including iTunes.

In a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, Teri said of the subject matter on Cry Is For The Flies: “There are so many demons I have inside – they’re little gods. There’s a god of evil, the god of good, the god of sex, the god of lust. With music, I tap into those god demons. It’s therapy.”

Cry Is For The Flies was recorded at Infrasonic and Kingsize Studios in Los Angeles. The album features guests Henry Rollins (“Moment of Guilt”) and Shirley Manson (“Shame, You’re All I’ve Got”). Le Butcherettes is Teri Gender Bender (vocals, guitar, keys) and Lia Braswell (drums). They shall be touring the album in support of Omar Rodríguez-López and Cedric Bixler-Zavala’s band Antemasque.

Black Earth are a four piece band from Sheffield whose influences includes Joy Division and QOTSA. Heavy drumbeats and strong guitar riffs are the perfect back drop for a dark and often mysterious vocal creating a sound that draws you in. Three tracks are available via their Bandcamp page – worth checking out…..

At long last a new album from Monster Island – a band always worth checking out if only for Stephen Waddicor’s particular utterings about the world – they do not disappoint with their latest offering called The House of Lancaster  which appears on first hearing to be even more unhinged than previous releases. Bloomin’ marvellous say I. They will be playing songs from the new album etc. on 3rd September at The Castle, Oldham Street, Manchester with Locean (who I must check out)  and Un Deux Trois.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based demolition union, Die Choking , is prepared to shove their second wave of hyperactive, earthmoving grind/thrash down the world’s collective throat, with II on September 29th – expect some airplay on the Sonic Attack Podcast around and about that time.  Five tracks in 5m 57s gives a sense of the content – scabrous vocals, impossibly fast D-Beat drumming and confrontational bass and guitar make for fascinating listening.

New Born, the debut album from Moscow’s Sounds of Sputnik, is a kaleidoscope of reverb-soaked guitar, calculated drums, thick bass, and angular guitars intertwined with ethereal vocals. This is extraordinary noise-pop, with layered harmonies, interlacing synth and distorted guitars. Sounds of Sputnik paired up with Canadian-Ukrainian duo Ummagma to co-write, produce, and record this album, to be released on UK label Ear to Ear Records. Ummagma’s Shauna McLarnon and Alexx Kretov both contribute mesmerizing vocals.

Following their 2013 reunion, the Californian hardcore/thrash metal crossover band Excel have since teamed up with Southern Lord and are reissuing their debut album, Split Image (originally released through Suicidal and Caroline records). Widely regarded as a classic album, Split Image was produced by Randy Burns (Death, Possessed, Megadeth, Kreator, Suicidal Tendencies). The reissue shall be officially released on 29 September.

Remastered by Brad Boatright (Bl’ast!, Sleep, Obituary, Black Breath) the Split Image Southern Lord issue comes with a massive amount of bonus material including the Welcome to Venice comp tracks, Personal Onslaught Demo & Refuse to Quit Demo). The LP Includes a 32 page 7”X7” booklet with tons of photos from the era and a 11” x 17” poster of the original Michael Seiff album cover artwork. The CD contains bonus demo material (Personal Onslaught & Refuse to Quit Demos). Also including a booklet with many rare/unseen photos. A crucial documentation of an essential crossover band.

Having formed in 1984, they released three studio albums as well as a number of demos and singles.  Equally informed by punk rock’s attitude and heavy metal’s riffs, their  fast, grinding and heavy sounds, combined with their intelligent lyrics, set them apart as a genre defining band of the era.    The current line-up includes Dan Clements on vocals, Shaun Ross on bass, Mike Cosgrove on drums and Alex Barreto (Chain Of Strength) on guitar.

A new Grouper album is news, highly anticipated and  best introduced in Liz Harris’ own words, here’s the story…

 “Ruins was made in Aljezur, Portugal in 2011 on a residency set up by Galeria Zé dos Bois. I recorded everything there except the last song, which I did at mother’s house in 2004. Iʼm still surprised by what I wound up with. It was the first time Iʼd sat still for a few years; processed a lot of political anger and emotional garbage. Recorded pretty simply, with a portable 4-track, Sony stereo mic and an upright piano. When I wasnʼt recording songs I was hiking several miles to the beach. The path wound through the ruins of several old estates and a small village.”

“The album is a document. A nod to that daily walk. Failed structures. Living in the remains of love. I left the songs the way they came (microwave beep from when power went out after a storm); I hope that the album bears some resemblance to the place that I was in.”

Grouper

As the release of  Yob‘s forthcoming album Clearing The Path To Ascend dawns, the band reveal one of the four tracks on it, the brutally heavy “Unmask The Spectre”. The band have already revealed snippets of the track via their album trailer, now it is time to hear the whole thing. Here’s what Mike Scheidt has to say about the song…”This part of the album gets dark, but it also has a sense of beauty and resolve. The mood and atmosphere nod equal parts to old and new YOB. It’s one of my favorite things we’ve ever done.

 

 
  
(photo credit: David Lee Dailey)
 

In celebration of Old World New Wave, the impending new release from Ides Of Gemini, here is the first official sampling of the record with “The Chalice & The Blade.”

Relays singer/bassist Sera Timms of the tune, “The main riff [guitarist] J [Bennett] brought in for ‘…Chalice…’ marches in as a transcendent assault with [drummer] Kelly [Johnston-Gibson]’s oppressive, jagged beat moving it forward like some re-animated corpse. A mechanized shamanic trance that sent me straight into the underworld lyrically.”

The follow-up to the band’s 2012 Constantinople debut, Old World New Wave was recorded at Valley Recording in Burbank, California, engineered and mixed by Chris Rakestraw (Danzig), mastered by Grammy award winning producer Matt Hyde (Slayer) and boasts the striking hand-drawn cover art of Kelly Johnston-Gibson.

 

News – local and international

There has been a lot happening in the last seven days so here is a quick bullet point round-up of some of the news which has been brought to my attention:

  • Monster Island have a new album – their fifth – called “House of Lancaster”  out on Monday 25th August – which is excellent news for lovers of their particularly fascinating approach to music
  • Mr Heart have got a new bassist to replace Sophie Lord – she is Amy Spray – and they have a gig in Bolton on 30th August at the Blind Tiger with Coroner for the Police
  • German Shepherd records have a new EP out by a band called Scratchings, No Gravy – it’s called “Eccles Cross Breakdown” and you can get it here. The next releases on the label will be a new EP from Modal Roberts and the re-release of the excellent album from The Bacillus called “I Can’t Adapt To This Prison You Call Society”
  • In further German Shepherd news the label is co-curating a gig with Louder Than War signings Kill Pretty at Dulcimer, Chorlton, Manchester on 12th and 19th September. Kill Pretty headline both nights and have special guests – West Coast Sick Line, Indian Pale Male and Poppycock on the 12th, and 2 Koi Karp, Andy T plus As Able As Kane on the 19th. Advance tickets are available with a booking fee from here. All of those purchasing advance tickets will get a free set of Kill Pretty badges when they arrive at the gig!
  • Earth‘s brand new full-length studio LP, Primitive And Deadly, the album shall be released in less than two weeks through Southern Lord. With founding guitarist Dylan Carlson weaving his slow-motion, organic dirges throughout the amazingly restrained percussion of his longtime cohort Adrienne Davies, the duo are here joined by bassist Bill Herzog (Sunn O))), Joel RL Phelps, Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter) and additional guitarists Brett Netson (Built To Spill, Caustic Resin) and Jodie Cox (Narrows). Rabia Shaheen Qazi of Rose Windows lends her angelic voice to the album’s third composition, “From The Zodiacal Light,” as heard in recent weeks, while the fifth track, “Rooks Across The Gate” and second track, “There Is a Serpent Coming,” feature evocative vocal contributions from Mark Lanegan previously of Screaming Trees, Queens of the Stone Age, Mad Season and more. The lyrics for “Rooks…” were written by Dylan Carlson and the lyrics for “Serpent..” by Lanegan.
  • Avec le soleil sortant de sa bouche is a bit of a Montreal supergroup, its members having been active in this city’s experimental rock communities for well over a decade, including participation in Panopticon Eyelids, Pas Chic Chic, Red Mass, Set Fire to Flames, and, from the Constellation roster, Fly Pan Am. Avec le soleil has solidified over the past year into a tight four-piece unit, and moved towards mastery of a highly original, deeply satisfying, giddy and heady avant-funk. They have an album out on Constellation on 29th September. Looks interesting from the notes I have seen.
  • Last Ex is the new instrumental rock ensemble led by Simon Trottier and Olivier Fairfield, both longtime fixtures of experimental/punk scenes rooted in the cross-province hub of Hull/Ottawa (straddling the border of Quebec and Ontario, respectively). In addition to duties in various groups orbiting Fairfield’s E-Tron Records (including H. de Heutz, Ferriswheel and many others), the two are perhaps best known as core members of haunted blues-folk ensemble Timber Timbre, which spawned the Last Ex project. When Timber Timbre’s ambient music for a horror film went unused back in 2012, Trottier and Fairfield began revisiting the sound palette they had built up for the soundtrack at Fairfield’s studio in Hull, expanding on their techniques and textures, adding drums, bass and various other instruments. The duo found that they had dug into some very fertile territory, writing additional songs throughout 2013 and bringing their obsessions with sound collage, tape-based music concrète and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop to bear on the cinematic lyricism of the initial widescreen guitar- and string-based material. Derived from the title of the abandoned film, Simon and Olivier dubbed their new project Last Ex. It is released on Constellation on 13th October.
  • Montreal four-piece post-punk group Ought has been gathering momentum the old-fashioned way, with a humble and deceptively unassuming debut album that’s been worming its way into many many ears thanks to its combination of intelligence, authenticity, directness, simplicity and energy; and with live performances in which it is reported that  the band’s channeling of genuine passion, politics and charisma are consistently connecting with and exuberantly galvanizing audiences. While they continue their relentless touring across North America and Europe this Autumn, Constellation will be releasing a vinyl- and digital-only EP which corrals a couple of selections from the band’s older songbook, re-recorded this Spring at Hotel2Tango to reflect some of the ways they’ve grown and evolved over the past year or so.   Ought will be doing a full UK tour in November. The EP is called “Once More With Feeling” and is released on 27th October.

 

 

Mr Heart with their new line-up
Mr Heart with their new line-up

Wall Ties

Monster Island

The Retaining Wall

Bandcamp

21st December 2012

Some would have you believe (once again) that this sounds like a Prestwich based band (yawn!!)  – tired and lazy reviewers please wash out your ears and listen again. It sounds like Monster Island – admittedly it sounds like the band have been hanging around the Lower East Side around the time of no-wave at certain points………

Once again the razor sharp lyrics of Stephen Waddicor are in full flow on the latest release from the utterly wonderful Monster Island. A new rhythm section obviously means a new feel and this is fairly up front by track two “The Theme of the Evening” which is a funky little bugger with a nice backbeat which wouldn’t have been out of place on a record from New York in the early 80s, apart from of course Stephen’s dead-pan delivery and some angular breaks.

The Retaining Wall

“Citizen Spy” was on some compilation album earlier in the year so it’s relatively well known, and reflects back to the earlier sound of the band to some degree but there is something a little more intense and unrelenting about this iteration – we are back to the funky feel with the riffy “Banned from the Library” which would have even the most jaded lotus eater up from their couch and doing the frug.

On a fair few tracks the drums and the guitar are in some sort of manic rhythmic unison – this is fairly obvious on the title track which slows the pace and worries the listener into  quaking wonderment with its’ mix of in your face driven scratchy noise  and restrained and brooding quieter bits – and heaven forfend there is almost a guitar solo at the end!

“Ferris Wheel” was released a few weeks back and takes a nicely acerbic look at Manc City Centre – apart from the fact the big wheel outside Selfridges  has now gone of course. Again wonderfully rhythmic. Similarly the stunning “Ether WIP”, with it’s tension wracked changes of pace, was pre-released  and to me sums up the band perfectly. “Book of Beasts” introduces a new feel for the band with a surging pulse, walls of guitar and an insistent hi-hat sound. Another pre-release the excellent “Shaking Hands” gets back into that high tempo funky back-beat sound – all scribbly guitars and a parless delivery from Stephen. Matters are slowed slightly for the moody “Flattened” which builds around a bass riff and then takes off into a signature Monster Island aural attack. The closing “Zoom, Zoom, Zoom” is a glorious reaffirmation of the quality and unique feel of this band – a marvellous riff, driving rhythms, and chord changes that reflect the rich history of garage music.

I think it’s bloody marvellous , and it sounds nowt like that other band.

It sounds like Monster Island – which we should be grateful for.

You can get a physical copy for £3 via the Bandcamp page.

Anyway – you can check it out yourself ….. I suggest you do ……

Salford Music Scene – 23rd October 2012

Listen here

Tunes played were:

Salford Music Scene – 2nd October 2012

On this week’s agenda promo’s for two great gigs coming up in Salford and Chorley – Salford Against The Cuts (Friday 5th) and Bongo’s Birthday Bash (Sunday 7th) plus lots of new music:

Stream from here

1 Salford Media City Long Deer is Awesome Single
2 Monster Island Ferris Wheel Single
3 Class Actions Hooligan Sound Keep Your Pride
4 Uncle Paul Disney Land W@nk the Cat, Feed The Dog
5 Flies On You Schmutziger Hund Nothing To Write Home About
6 Rapid Pig Little Clean Plane Demo
7 Trojan Horse And the Lights Went Down Trojan Horse
8 Semitt Falls Displacement Monkey See, Monkey Do Doo
9 Saturday Morning Cartoons In My Mind Demo
10 West Coast Sick Line Hanging at Picnic Rock Hope You All Have Nightmares Except Kirsty
11 Sinister Chuckles A Picture of Dorian Gray Blitzkreig Mop
12 Kill Pretty Brown Eyes In 80 Days
13 Da Mutts Dee Dee Jung Demo
14 The Fall Glam Racket The Infotainment Scan