Tuesday, 8 December 2015


Strange things are happening down at the psychedelic basement ……….for our final round up of Bandcamp freebies of 2015 we have a bumper bag of psychedelia for you to check out. We have tracked down a mix of sparking Psychedelic Pop, groovy 60s influenced Power Pop/Freakbeat, mellow Prog/Folk sounds, fuzzy freakouts, twisted tunes, punky Garage Rock and mind melting Psychedelic Rock ‘n’ Roll that can all be downloaded as “name your price” digital files…….Christmas has come early for you all.

Hot on the heels of the Bandcamp release of a bunch of fantastic 60s inspired demos/home recordings from Austin Garner’s very cool band, The Waves, comes some brand new music very much in the same vain as the previous releases. Now recording as a duo with drummer Tai Lendh, The Waves have put together the Hypnotized EP, a very groovy four tracker full of Byrdsian jangle and psychedelic swirl to end the year in fine style.……. and as before, in The Waves psychedelic world it’s always 1967 and all the clocks are always set at 25 O’Clock Swinging London Time (SLT???).

Opening with the fuzzy haze of the EPs title track, The Waves slip effortlessly into a stoned groove of tumbling, swirling guitars before kicking into ‘Cherry Knows’, a distant cousin of the Jesus And Mary Chain’s ‘Some Candy Talking’, having the same somnolent vibe as the best of JAMCs early, massively influential, Psychocandy “wall of noise meets wall of sound” period. The Waves mix together all the archetypal psychedelic tropes to blend together a sparkling Sunshine Pop vibe tempered with Acid Rock guitar wig outs taking in influences from the acid drenched 60s psychedelic scene nuanced by the 80s neo-psych revival……..it’s all great stuff and the other two groovy tunes on the EP,(‘Never Coming Down and the trippy ‘What It's About’), are both outtasite cuts of classic Psych influenced goodness. This EP shows a logical progression as The Waves begin to evolve into a pulsating psychedelic entity, they are now a full gigging band with the addition of a new bass player and we look forward to what they do next year...…….. If you are new to this band, where have you been till now?????

The Hypnotised EP is available as a “name your price” download from The Waves Bandcamp page at http://thewavesus.bandcamp.com/album/hypnotized. Check it out people and you will understand why we think this band have been our best discovery on our monthly hikes through the Bandcamp forest during 2015.

What can you say about Leeds based Beat/Garage/Bubblegum/Psyche/Power Poppers The Ace?.........well they are…..erm…..pretty ace!!!!Their new album Riot Of Sound is a teenage rampage of sugar shaking poptastic mayhem straight outta the garage with hooks as sharp as a needle. Taking influences from The Searchers to The Standells to The Stairs, The Ace take the fizzy sounds of 60's Beat and Garage Rock, add a touch of Bubblegum, a dash of Soul and a large helping of  manic pop thrill  making them a real toe tapping, hip swinging, ass shaking, upbeat affair.

Riot Of Sound is an amphetamine headrush of the best up tempo, seriously danceable tracks from the mid-sixties British Mod/Freakbeat era with also a tip of the hat to the early eighties with a Pop Art collision of the Mod revival/Neo Psych scenes. With added fizzing Farfisa to fill out a model bass, drums, guitar line-up, The Ace blow the roof offa the joint with 12 tracks of top tunes and rave ups as tight as you like. Among the standout tracks are the very groovy ‘I Dream Love’ and ‘Misunderstood’, the Modish ‘Into The Action’ andTake My Love’ which is packed full of Nuggety goodness. This record is an excellent distillation of the era in British music just before the Mods started dropping acid………think early Kinks, Beatles, The Action, The Who, The Attack, The Poets, Yardbirds and you are going to in the right place and at the right time for the inspiration/influences you can hear on Riot Of Sound. Dig The Ace’s happening 60s scene kids.

Released as a “name your price” digital download through the very cool Swedish Power Pop/ Mod/Surf/ Punk/ New Wave/Northern Soul internet radio show/boutique label Ice Cream Man Power Pop And More Records and available from their Bandcamp site at https://icecreammanrecords.bandcamp.com/. There also may be a CD release in the pipeline so keep a look out for that.

The Sandcherries are a Parisian band that expertly mixes together Indie Rock with echoes of the older, classic Psych Rock sounds from the 60's. With Psychedelia and Garage Rock influences such as The Beatles and The Electric Prunes, but also inspired by more current bands like The Strokes and The Black Keys, their dreamlike compositions blend haunting male/female voices with vintage electric sounds building a delicious psychedelic atmosphere. They have a new four track EP released through L.A. label Spirit Goth Records which is the fruit of their recording sessions during the summer and showcases their exceptional talent of blending together beautiful melodies with a palette full of psychedelic colours.

The most instantly accessible tune is ‘Alice’ (watch the video here) where The Sandcherries sing in English over a lush, sweeping soundscape of chiming guitars and swirling keyboard sounds that is very modern sounding but with the feel of a half forgotten dream. The remaining three tracks, ‘L'échappée’, ‘Palpitation’ and ‘Néoménie’ have a slightly twisted, hallucinogenic vibe about them and although possibly more Indie Rock than truly psychedelic, The Sandcherries songs have enough about them to keep the Psych Heads interested without scaring the Indie Kids. A tremendous EP and well worth checking out.

The Sandcherries EP is available a “name your price” digital download from the bands Bandcamp page at https://thesandcherries.bandcamp.com/releases or alternatively from the Spirit Goth Records Bandcamp page at https://spiritgothrecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-sandcherries.

A link to this Bandcamp download landed in our inbox several weeks ago, we gave it a listen and found it pretty intriguing and we thought we should share……..Hailing from Oakland CA, Perfect Aquarium are a very modern Progressive Rock band in the sense that they have absorbed inspiration from an abundance of musical sources without appearing to be in thrall to any of the classic Rock/Prog bands from the 70s that many newer Prog bands struggle to pull away from their all-encompassing influence on the genre. There are no sword and dorkery epics or space operas here and apart from the 12 minute track that closes the album majority of the tracks are pretty short and snappy by Prog Rock standards…..and that’s quite a refreshing thing to listen to after ploughing through endless concept albums over the years. Perfect Aquarium’s self titled debut is a real mixed bag of influences/ideas from experimental guitar pieces, Indie Rock, gentle Psychedelia, hard Rock, Folk/Classical guitar workouts and multi-textured compositions, in other words a typical Prog Rock album. It’s not going to be everybody’s thing but it is well worth a listen if you like complex Rock/Prog bands like Rush etc etc etc. Available as a “name your price” download from the Perfect Aquarium Bandcamp page here https://perfectaquarium.bandcamp.com/releases

The Smoking Gun EP is a cool little release from London Garagey/Punk-ish band Dead Natives that is starting to get quite a bit attention. If scuzzy 70s Garage Rock floats yer boat, then you are going to really like this. Not quite yet a year old, Dead Natives have put out a great three tracker and although it’s not very big (a touch more than 10 minutes long in total), it is pretty clever…….Very much in the mould of Lust For Life/The Idiot period Iggy and full of grizzly guitars and sleazy melodies. ‘In Spite of the Rain’ is our favourite track, it is a distant cousin in feel to Iggy's ‘Turn Blue’and has the louche vibe of the best early Only Ones numbers. Dead Natives are certainly a band to watch out for next year. The Smoking Gun EP is available as “name your price” download from https://deadnatives.bandcamp.com/album/smoking-gun-ep.

And finally a couple of downloadable tracks from Russian Psych Rock band Cosmic Letdown. Already firm favourites down in the psychedelic basement following the release of a fantastic album titled Venera and an album of hypnotic drones from their headswirling side project The Opium Eyes Of Nico (both reviewed here), Cosmic Letdown have available a two track single that is a bit of a departure from their intergalactic adventures early in the year. ‘Pitch Black Surf’ shows that the band are space age surfer bums at heart and take on the 60s instrumental Surf/Garage sound of the Ventures, Dick Dale, Link Wray, The Mar-Keys et al head on, while the twangtastic ‘Western’ casts Cosmic Letdown as cosmic cowboys mashing together the vibe of the theme from Rawhide with what sounds like bits of ‘Ghost Riders In The Sky’ and other classic western tunes. It all good stuff and can be downloaded from the Cosmic Letdown Bandcamp at https://cosmicletdownband.bandcamp.com/track/western.

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