Wednesday, 29 June 2016

OCTOPUS SYNG – HOLLOW GHOST/ROCHELLE SALT (Mega Dodo LP, CD, D/L). OCTOPUS SYNG – REVERBERATING GARDEN NUMBER 7 c/w FLAMING (Mega Dodo 7” Single, CD).

Strange things are happening in Finland…………….two years in the making, Octopus Syng follow their 2014 release, Reverberating Garden No. 7, with a brand new album released by Mega Dodo that is an hallucionary  blend of baroque Psychedelic Pop and Acid Folk. Hollow Ghost/Rochelle Salt takes many of the themes, sounds and textures that made their previous album so alluring and gives them a subtle twist. A rich, dark and sometimes mystical brew of modern Psychedelic sounds, this is a sensitive and melancholic record that, like its predecessor, draws on the spirits of Syd Barrett/early Pink Floyd along with the more contemporary vibes of modern day Psychedelicists such as Jacco Gardener.

Hollow Ghost/Rochelle Salt is, in parts, dissonant and eerie and in others intriguing and diaphanous. Mixing up the feel of Syd Barrett’s more whimsical flights of far out fancy with the Floyd (such as ‘Matilda Mother’, ‘Flaming’ and ‘Chapter 24’) with gentle, pastoral late 60s Psych Folk, Octopus Syng create a wash of blissed out, swirly, acid soaked Psychedelic Pop where beneath the surface there is just a nagging suggestion of darker forces. Full of quirky Floydian flourishes, the inspiration for this record comes from a parallel 60s universe where Pink Floyd and The Soft Machine were the more influential bands and not The Beatles and The Stones…….. Hollow Ghost/Rochelle Salt vibrates with a Psychedelic Summer of 67 shimmer which also evokes the less well known British 1960s Baroque Psych bands such as 23rd Turnoff, Kaleidoscope, Les Fleur de Lys amongst all the other groups that had invested in a Mellotron and dropped acid. There is certainly a strong Barratt influence on a large proportion of this album with ‘Surrealistic Room’, ‘Lady Florette’, ‘Unknown Actress’, ‘Reverberating Garden Number 7’ and the fabulously wonky ‘Belle and Ville’ all sounding like they could be from poor Syd’s fried egg mind, whereas the opening track ‘Carbon Dust and Latin Romances 1927’ is not dissimilar to the tripped out soundscaping of A Saucerfull Of Secrets where the Floyd started to pick up the pieces after his L.S.D. fuelled breakdown. There are also some great dark and twisted, atmospheric, folky Psych tunes here………. the more opaque ‘Echoes from The Past Centuries’, ‘Melancholy of Delight’ and ‘Walking in The Pale Light’ are all fantastic blends of old and new Psychedelia which add a little shadow to the kaleidoscopic hues of the rest of the album. Hollow Ghost/Rochelle Salt is luscious experience, a trippin’ musical creature, where each note is a short journey to unimaginable places in our minds. So relax and let yourself drift into an ethereal world of dark imaginings and prepare yourself for a very strange trip!

Also available on Mega Dodo as part of the Mega Dodo Singles Club or available separately as a standalone 7” single is an alternative version of the track ‘Reverberating Garden Number 7’ which, if it’s possible, is a far more psychedelic than the album version……………..flip the disc and there is an absolutely fantastic cover version of ‘Flaming, from Piper At The Gates Of Dawn which is exclusive to this release.

Octopus Syng really don’t hide where their major influences lie…………..fans of classic 67/68, lysergically informed English Psychedelia are seriously going to dig this album. Due for release at the end of July on limited edition blue vinyl and silver CD (500 copies of each format) or as a digital download,  Hollow Ghost/Rochelle Salt will be available from the usual outlets, distributors and groovy record stores………………….however you can pre-order the album from the Mega Dodo Bandcamp page here http://megadodo.bandcamp.com/album/hollow-ghost-rochelle-salt-3 or from the Mega Dodo website where it is also available as part of various bundles that include either the single or the previous album. You can get hold of a copy of the single (either on vinyl or CD) here http://megadodo.bandcamp.com/album/reverberating-garden-number-7.

THEE PSYCHEDELICATESSEN  

Saturday, 25 June 2016

RADIO MOSCOW – LIVE! IN CALIFORNIA (Alive Natural Sound 2 x LP, CD, D/L).

For those in the know, the San Diego based Radio Moscow are one of the best Psychedelic Blues/Rock bands on the planet. The power trio led by Stratocaster genius Parker Griggs have found THE formula………. powerful, crunching Sabbath style chords and fiery solos that earn the right to be called Hendrixian which plants its flag firmly in the territory where Psychedelic Rock and cranked-up Blues meet. Taking the essence of the best late 60s/early 70s heavy Blues Rock bands such as Cream, Blue Cheer, Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Groundhogs and Taste while remaining completely relevant, Radio Moscow are an amped up joyride to the centre of the mind. With material pulled from all their previous four studio albums and featuring new arrangements, their new album Live! In California was recorded absolutely live (no overdubs) over two nights at The Satellite club in Los Angeles in December 2015. The album contains 76 minutes of the trio's unique brand of high-energy Psychedelic Rock ‘n' Roll which will blow the mind of any guitar heavy “Classic Rock” disciple.

Although not doing anything particularly radical with the genre, Radio Moscow take Psychedelic Blues to another level by the sheer brute force of pulverising bass and drums underpinning Parker Griggs jaw dropping, virtuoso guitar explorations which are a thrilling mix of deep down and dirty heavy rock and soaring psychedelic swirl. Coming on like a blend of the flowing Psychedelic inventiveness of Jimi Hendrix combined with the Bluesier earthiness of Rory Gallagher, Parker Griggs leads Radio Moscow through a barnstorming 14 song set which takes in high octane heavy rock riffarama (‘Rancho Tahoma Airport’), cosmic boogie (‘I Don't Need Anybody’) rootsy blues (‘City Lights’ and ‘Deep Blue Sea’) and stoned psychedelia (‘250 Miles/Brain Cycles’ and ‘Before It Burns’) on a wild ride through the rocky landscapes of the start of the 1970s. Perfectly encapsulating the sound of a band on fire, Live! In California is the perfect introduction to this great band for new listeners and for those of us who are already familiar with these tunes, it’s confirmation that Radio Moscow are one of the most exciting and electrifying Psychedelic Blues outfits in the world.
   
Due for release by Alive Natural Sound Records on 8th July 2016, Live! In California is available to pre order from their website. Available a limited edition 2 x LP with a press of 300 copies on starburst vinyl or as a CD with a digital download available from Amazon.


Wednesday, 22 June 2016

MONARCH – TWO ISLES (El Paraiso Records LP, CD).

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Here’s one for you 1970s “Classic Rock” aficionados!!..........if a blend of late 60s sweet California jams and a fusion of tricksy guitar rock is your thing then you are really going dig Two Isles, the debut album from West Coast laid back sonic voyagers Monarch. Informed by sun kissed psychedelia and inspired by the more Jazz Fusion influenced Prog Rock bands of the 1970s, Monarch are a throwback to the heady days of the post-psychedelic era where the blurring of boundaries was common and cornucopia of musical styles were up for grabs. Hailing from the fertile Southern California Psych scene, Monarch connect the dots between classic California rock, sweeping Prog Rock soundscapes, languid pastoral Psychedelic jams, explosive Jazz Rock fusion and the vivid, expansiveness of early 1990s British Shoegaze. With Brian Ellis from SoCal Prog Rock titans Astra on board as producer, Two Isles is the sound of a band conjuring new magic from styles of bygone years. It's full of breezy Allman Brothers guitar leads gliding effortlessly on top of subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, Prog-Rock structures. Even when it gets squally and heavy there's still an airy, inviting quality to Monarch's music that makes more than anything Two Isles the perfect head trip for easy summer days…………and all the other days you wish it felt like a balmy July afternoon.

Monarch’s line-up features three guitarists with powerful, supple drumming and lithe bass playing holding down the bottom end……………..guitars twist and intertwine, soaring and spiralling in a mad dance with the players swapping lead lines, executing jazzy runs and soloing like a demon, all with an air of supreme musicianship, while the tight as you like rhythm section underpin the whole thing with verve and precision. It’s music from an era where complex time signatures, intricate song structures and virtuoso playing was celebrated and not frowned at. Kicking off with a flurry of Prog Jazz before easing into a blissed out swirl of guitars, the album’s title track encompasses what Monarch are about……there are elements of the classic West Coast vibe of Quicksilver Messenger Service mixed with the newer sounds of bands like the Allah Las, all intermingling with a 70s style display of breath-taking musical dexterity. This combination of the old merging with new continues with other tunes such as the hazy, mellow ‘Hundreds, Thousands, Millions’ and ‘Dancers of The Sun’ with the truly brilliant ‘Assent’ not sounding out of place next to the best Sleepy Sun songs. Monarch seriously get their Prog on with the final two tracks on the album………’Sedna’s Fervor’ and the epic ‘Shady Maiden’ are a riot of sparkling guitars, tempo changes, Moog washes, jazzy bass lines and powerful, intricate drumming which has the feel of Neil Young & Crazy Horse jamming with the Mahavishnu Orchestra. It’s Prog Rock alright…………………but with a warmth that you would not normally associate with the genre and it's about mood and texture as much as it's about anything else. Blending classic genres with a modern sensibility, Two Isles is an imperious debut from a thrilling new band and well worth checking out for both suburban Prog Heads and bedroom Psychedelicists alike.

Two Isles is another quality release from El Paraiso Records and is due to hit the shops and usual outlets at the end of July. Available on Red/Green blended vinyl and CD, pre-orders are being taken now at the El Paraiso web store now.


Tuesday, 21 June 2016

THE HIGHER STATE – VOLUME 27 (13 O’Clock Records LP, D/L).

Strange things are happening…………After nearly a decade of releasing top quality 1960’s American Garage/Psych influenced tunes, English Acid Dandies The Higher State return with an new album which is possibly their best to date. Released on Texas label 13 O’Clock Records, Volume 27 is a swirl of Byrdsian Jangle Pop, Garage Psychedelia and lysergically altered 60s Folk Rock which vibrates with the authentic grooviness of a rave up at the Whisky A Go Go circa 1967. Although the music is rooted in the past, lyrically The Higher State address the state of the modern world with songs about liars, frauds and fools amongst the thrilling jangle of Rickenbaker guitars, fizzing Farfisa organ and groovy drumming, creating a modern psychedelic masterpiece.

Opening with the big and beaty ‘Long Someways To Go’, The Higher State pull no punches as Volume 27 pulls you directly into their furiously spinning Psychedelic vortex. Mixing together the classic sounds of 60s Garage Rock (our favourites being ‘The Worst Of Their Treason’, ‘Forest Through The Trees’, ‘Killing Me Inside’ and ‘Smoke And Mirrors’) with more reflective Psych/Folk jangle on tunes such as ‘When We Say’, ‘Pretending I'm Dead’ and ‘Tomorrow You'll Find Today, The Higher State tear through twelve tracks of sharp, tight, fuzzy Psych Pop which all have the feel that they are previously undiscovered 60s gems. Suffice it to say that this is an undoubtedly brilliant record, absolutely crammed with fabulous songs with no filler whatsoever…………………..a must listen for all the Nuggets/Pebbles heads out there who dig the sounds of The Seeds, The Byrds, Dylan and the Electric Prunes.

Volume 27 is out now on 13 O’Clock Records and is available as a limited edition vinyl run of only 500 copies or as a digital download. It’s selling fast but you should be able to get a copy of the LP via 13 O’Clock Records mailorder, otherwise an internet search will point you towards other stockists. A digital download can be purchased from The Higher State Bandcamp page at https://thehigherstate.bandcamp.com/ where there are still a few vinyl copies of the album left, but be quick. Seriously People, you need to check this out.

 THEE PSYCHEDELICATESSEN     

Saturday, 18 June 2016

THE ALLOY SIX – TURN OUT THE LIGHTS (copaseDisques LP).

From the ashes of two great Stockholm based 60s Garage/Mod/RnB/Psychedelia influenced bands The Moving Sounds and The Fourtune-Tellers emerge The Alloy Six!! Mixing Pebbles/Rubble inspired Garage Rock with harder edged Mod/Freakbeat vibes, for their debut album The Alloy Six deliver twelve tunes dominated by driving, swirling Hammond organ and 12-string guitar, along with fuzzed out distortion, super-tight drumming and spot-on bass that give these songs that authentic vintage 60s feel.

Packed with Nuggety goodness, Turn Out The Lights is a solid album of cool tracks, combining up tempo hip-shakers with more lysergic tinged head-swirlers. There are some top tunes here that any fans of the first wave of 60s pioneers like The Electric Prunes, The Castaways, ? & The Mysterians, The Standells and The Leaves, along with 80s Neo-Psych revivalists such as The Prisoners, Mood Six and The Times are really going to dig. The spirit of Prunes, amongst other great, classic Garage/Psych bands, are evoked on both ‘Impossible Dream’ and ‘Lights Out’ making it obvious that The Alloy Six are big aficionados of that era as they channel these great sounds into their songs. The standout tracks have to be the fizzing ‘Like It Or Not’, a tripped out ‘Be What You See’ and the epic Eastern drones and Garage Rock fuzz of album closer ‘You And I’. This is a seriously groovy record that we recommend for lovers of the timeless sounds of the first psychedelic era and the energy of the UK Freakbeat scene.

Released as a limited edition vinyl LP (inc. D/L) only  by German retailer/distributor Copasetic Records via their own copaseDisques imprint…….Turn Out The Lights is due for release in late July (22/7/16) and is available to pre-order now from the Copasetic Records webstore and possibly from your very groovy local-ish Psych Rock retailer. Distributed by Cargo Records Germany (Gemany/Austria/Switzerland), Code7  (UK), Sonic Rendezvous (Benelux), Crypt Records (worldwide) and Copasetic Mailorder (worldwide).

The album will be released on CD in Japan end of August on Majestic Sound Records.



Tuesday, 14 June 2016

KIKAGAKU MOYO - HOUSE IN THE TALL GRASS (Guruguru Brain LP, CD, D/L).



Strange things are happening in the Far East………Kikagaku Moyo, Japan’s premier Psychedelic Folk band, have been turning heads for the last three years with their exquisite blend of classical Indian music, Krautrock, traditional Folk, and 70s Rock and have amassed a considerable cult following………those of you in the know will no doubt already have a copy of this record. For those of you new to this fantastic Tokyo band, their new album, House In The Tall Grass, will blow your mind. The band describe their thang as “feeling good music”, drifting from meditative, gentle vibes to a more chaotic Psych Rock squall Kikagaku Moyo channel the more “earthy” grooves from early 70s Krautrock bands, such as Gila, Amon Düül II and Bröselmaschine, with tripped out Acid Rock as sitar and swirling guitar intermingle with folk melodies. Existing fans will be comforted by the soft vocals harmonies and warm sitar, but what sets this release apart from their previous records is the refinement of the band’s song-writing and their delicate execution. Kikagaku Moyo have found the perfect balance between beguiling, bucolic psychedelia and full blown Psych Rock wig outs that is both absorbing and thrilling.

House In The Tall Grass elegantly reveals itself through many subtle layers as it ebbs and flows through nine magnificent tracks………..opening with the lithe Krautrock groove of ‘Green Sugar’, the interplay between the vocals, guitar, and sitar lift and carry the listener to the the start of journey which will encompasses a broad spectrum of influence & elements, building a bridge between the supernatural and the present. Easing through the gentle Psych Folk of ‘Kogarashi’ and the sublime ‘Old Snow, White Sun’ to the stunningly beautiful ‘Cardigan Song’, Kikagaku Moyo reward the patient listener with tracks such as ‘Trad’ and ‘Silver Owl’ which demonstrate the masterful balance the band has between soft and loud; chaos and order, or being both cold and tender at the same time. Most importantly their music is about freedom of the mind and body and improvisation is a key part of their sound……….crystalline jams like ‘Melted Crystal’ and ‘Fata Morgana’ slowly unwind into beautiful, fragile soundscapes to provide contrast to the more controlled chaos element of the band’s sound. House in the Tall Grass is a natural step forward for the band and perhaps the most refined example of their style to date. It’s the most beautifully chilled out, gorgeously trippy Psychedelic Folk record we have heard so far this year.

Out NOW on Tokyo based label Guruguru Brain and released on LP, CD and also as a Download. The CD and D/L version of House in the Tall Grass is available to buy from the Guruguru Brain Bandcamp page here https://gurugurubrain.bandcamp.com/album/house-in-the-tall-grass along with the usual outlets. The vinyl version sold out ages ago from the Bandcamp page, but at time of writing Shiny Beast were carrying copies and no doubt a bit of Googling will turn up other stockists. Well worth the effort tracking this record down.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

THE BONNEVILLES – ARROW PIERCE MY HEART (Alive Natural Sound LP, CD, D/L). KING MUD – VICTORY MOTEL SESSIONS (Alive Natural Sound LP, CD, D/L).

If the glorious sound of amped up, dirty and distorted Punk Rock Blues straight outta the Garage is your thing then there are a couple of new releases on Alive Natural Sound Records (the original home of the Black Keys) that you really should check out. From the dark swamps of……err…Lurgan, Northern Ireland comes a barnstorming record from The Bonnevilles which is the missing link between Mississippi bluesman R.L. Burnside and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion plus an album of hard blues, blue eyed soul, heavy rock, and feedback from King Mud, birthed from an epic studio session with Van Campbell (drums and vocals) from the Black Diamond Heavies and Left Lane Cruiser’s guitarist/singer Freddy J IV………..both records guaranteed to blow your face out.

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With two studio albums already under their belt The Bonnevilles are well on the way to becoming one of Europe's top Alternative Blues acts, sharing the stage with acts such as Left Lane Cruiser, James Leg, Johnny Walker and Guadalupe Plata along with appearances at The Deep Blues Fest in Clarkesdale Mississippi and its counterpart in Germany. A stripped down Garage Punk/Blues duo of Andrew McGibbon Jr (guitar, vocals and some other shit) and Chris McMullan (drums), The Bonnevilles ferocious take of contemporary Blues Rock has been described as "deep dark punk and stylish hard roots music with good pop-sense and without a whiff of retro poly stink”………….this is “not the same old Blues crap” (© Fat Possum Records) but a snarling fuzzed out fusion of traditional blues heavyweights Howlin’ Wolf, Robert Johnson, Chess Records etc. and the Punk Rock attitude of modern Alt Blues Rock bands such as the Jim Jones Review, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and, way before they hit commercial pay dirt, The Black Keys with crunching riffs and soaring bottleneck playing combined with thunderous heavy rock drums.

Anyone looking for musical innovation on The Bonnevilles third long player will be sorely disappointed, but if visceral Punk Blues thrills are what you are after….. then you have come to the right place.  Arrow Pierce My Heart opens with a blues lament, ‘No Law in Lurgan’, which is a mess of distorted, overdriven guitar and powerful unfussy drumming which sets the tone for the rest of the record………………….’My Dark Heart’, ‘The Electric Company’, ‘I Dreamt of the Dead’, ‘Learning to Cope’ and CD bonus track ‘Who Do I Have to Kill to Get Out of Here?’ are all infused with a primitive Garage Rock energy that elevates the tracks above yer standard, plodding 12 bar blues as they bristle with urgency and excitement. However there is more to The Bonnevilles than full on million mph, high octaine rockin’ blooze……until you check the sleeve notes and find out that ‘Eggs and Bread’ is an original composition, you would be convinced that it was a reworking of a traditional folk tune. The album’s title track is a sandblasted, slow burning, atmospheric Psych tinged Desert Blues which really could be stretched way past its 3 minute running time and still be totally absorbing. Arrow Pierce My Heart is a record that deserves exposure beyond the boundaries of the modern Blues Rock scene as the bands approach to a genre that can be very conservative is incredibly refreshing and forward thinking. It would be fair to say that the Bonnevilles new album is a triumph……..on the basis of this record, it confirms that they are one of the best of the new Punk Blues bands emerging in the post White Stripes era.

Arrow Pierce My Heart is out now on vinyl, CD and digital download and is available from the BOMP webstore, your clued up local record emporium and many of the usual outlets…………..vinyl version available in either in classic,stylish black or limited edition gold splatter vinyl.

Image 1Also out on Alive Natural Sound Records is the Victory Motel Sessions from King Mud…..another band that think bass players are surplus to requirements. A Stoner/Blues Rock “super group” of sorts featuring guitarist Freddy J IV from Left Lane Cruiser and Van Campbell the drummer for Black Diamond Heavies (with contributions from Radio Moscow guitarist Parker Griggs), King Mud holed up in LA in the spring of 2015 for a marathon recording session which birthed a fantastic album of heavy Blues Rock that sounds as though it was born deep in the Mississippi Delta. With producer Arthur Alexander (ex NYC Power Poppers, Sorrows) on board, King Mud mix up late 60s/early 70s Blues Rock vibes with more modern electrifying Punk influenced hard Blues and apart from a few additional flourishes of instrumentation the sheer noise and sheets of feedback and distortion from a drum kit and one guitar is astounding.

Kicking off with the Canned Heat boogie of ‘Rat Time’, King Mud make it absolutely clear what they are about…………………like The Bonnevilles, they are not going to win any innovation awards but their infectious heavy blues is going to get feet moving (and no doubt some outbreaks of furry freak idiot dancing). There are nods towards Led Zep style post Psychedelic Stoner/Blues Rock with tracks like ‘Suzy’s Cookies’ and ‘Smoked All My Bud’, which are as good as anything Jimmy Page ever stole, which is mixed together with the more “classic sounding” groove of Delta Blues and with added Hammond, mouth harp and bass guitar on tracks such as ‘Arthurs Hooked’ give the LP an authentic feel described as “The blues meets Johnny Satan in a motel and they duke it out. Victory Motel Sessions is that soundtrack.” ‘War Dancers’ is a great example of how King Mud have brought the Blues into the now…….riff heavy and with brutal drumming, it’s the sound of Motorhead’s apocryphal meeting with the Devil at the crossroads where the M1 meets the M25……..the road to hell. The Victory Motel Sessions also has a couple fantastic cover versions etched into the wax………………………….taking Dr Feelgood’s classic tune ‘Keep It Out Of Sight’ from the Thames Estuary and relocating it back to its spiritual home, the Mississippi Delta, King Mud take Canvey Island’s celebrated R&B band back to the source, supercharging Wilko Johnson’s tune and tuning it a amped up, fuzzed out, rocking Blues monster. There is also a really cool cover of the Garage Rock classic ‘I Can Only Give You Anything’ (previously recorded by Them, Little Boy Blues, The MC5 and The Troggs amongst others) played as heavy Blues tune with scorching guitar from Parker Griggs. Victory Motel Sessions is a terrific Blues Rock that fans of “Classic Rock” from early 70s will love; it’s the Blues with all the traditions of that fine genre but with a ferocious hard rock spine running through ten fantastic tracks. If you dig the bands these musicians come from you will probably love this record!

Victory Motel Sessions is out now and available in various formats (including multi-format bundles) from the BOMP webstore.…………..the vinyl version available in either in classic, stylish black vinyl or limited edition gray and black splatter starburst or hot pink marbled  vinyl. CD and digital download also available from the usual outlets.


Saturday, 4 June 2016

TYLL – SEXPHONIE (Mental Experience LP, CD, D/L). CAL ROCK & ROLL- HOMEGROWN (Out Sider LP, CD, D/L). C.K. STRONG – C.K. STRONG (World In Sound LP, CD).

Although you really can’t beat the thrill of digging out an original copy of some long deleted vinyl obscurity in a 2nd hand store or at a record fair, we have now an internet driven reissue culture that allows small specialist labels to thrive and if you are not too fussed about the format, there are some great albums re-emerging and getting the reissue they deserve…….we know that sometimes the quality is not the best (especially when the masters are long lost and the recording is taken from the original vinyl) but the music is out there to be listened to after years of collectors folk tales about the existence of mysterious, supposedly long lost records……….we have had three albums land at our psychedelic basement that a reissue was long overdue.

Originally released in 1975 on the German label Kerston Records, Tyll’s sole LP, Sexphonie, will shortly receive its first ever reissue on the Guerssen Records imprint Mental Experience. A band mired in copyright controversy with the better known cult German 70s band Eulenspygel, formed when ex Eulenspygel guitarist Teflon Fonfara was approached by Kerston Records with the intention of releasing a Krautrock album. Teflon's previous group was not active at that moment, so he assembled a new studio band featuring members and friends of Eulenspygel and apparently their original live set included that bands repertoire, arranged differently, which naturally caused confusion with concert-goers, and after conflicts and legal wrangles with the “real Eulenspygel” the band changed name to "Tyll". The music itself offers a mix of Acid Rock, Hard Psych, Polit-Rock and Progressive/ Folky sounds with some Eastern influences, not unlike early Amon Düül II, Floh De Cologne and, of course, Eulenspygel……. Tyll can be seen as the illegitimate step-sister to Eulenspygel, (let’s say there was some…..err…. rivalry between the two bands, especially as Tyll had poached Eulenspygel drummer Günter Klinger), yet, whereas by 1973 Eulenspygel’s creative powers were seriously on the wane with the band never again reaching the heights of their early albums, Tyll's LP was one of those surprisingly creative gems of the mid 1970s that, to the few that heard it, was a welcome breath of fresh air.
Given that Tyll were an ad-hoc band brought together to make a record and given total freedom to do whatever they wanted……..Sexphonie was  typical of releases on Kerston Records at the time (they were very Teutonic (Tyll sang in German), non-commercial, with a very varied range of styles and lots of invention)……..this record has aged surprisingly well.

Essentially a power trio featuring three vocalists, Tyll’s sound revolves around the inventive virtuoso guitar playing of Teflon Fonfara (who once blew out Camel’s PA system with his tape and delay guitar effects!) which blends seamless fusions of acid rock fury with amiable folksiness. Apart from seven minute Acid Rock squall of ‘Delirium Song/Grammophon’ where Forfara’s soaring guitar playing tears a hole in the sky, Sexphonie if full of a good mixture of songs and instrumentals that are short and sweet like sugar. The Eastern flavoured psychedelic instrumental ‘Asiatische Liebeserklärung’, the gently twisted folk tune ‘Morgenlicht’ and the ambient guitar drift of ‘Kristinas Traum’ are absolutely beautiful, whereas there is also a more Acid Rock/Psych vibe to other tracks with the swirling ‘Paranoia Eines Verliebten’ and  enhanced by Günter Klinger’s subtle percussion work, ‘Nervenzusammenbruch Einer Gitarrre’ are the stand out tracks here. Possibly another record that found itself in the in the wrong place at the wrong when first released…..in 1975, Kraftwerk, CAN and Neu! were busy mapping the musical future and held in that light Sexphonie would, in some eyes, no doubt seem like a throwback to the more anarcho hippy, organic Krautrock of a few years earlier and in that respect there really is not much surprise this record fell of the radar regardless of quality. Sexphonie is an undeniably amazing find after being hidden away for all this time and now being judged in a less significant timeframe is possibly more relevant now than when it was originally released.

Due for release on 9th June, pre-orders are being taken for the fully remastered vinyl release at the Guessen web shop or from Forced Exposure in the USA, album includes insert with liner notes by Alan Freeman (The Crack In The Cosmic Egg) plus reproduction of the rare original booklet /comic. CD version of Sexphonie also available from Gussen/Forced Exposure with a digital download here https://guerssenrecords.bandcamp.com/album/sexphonie.

Homegrown cover artAnother record that arrived at the wrong place at the wrong time was Homegrown by Cal Rock & Roll. Self-released in 1982, if Homegrown had been released 12 years earlier it would have caught the wave of mellowed out post Psychedelic Rock and 12 years later the mellowed out post Neo-Psychedelic Alt Rock explosion. Recorded and self-produced by the band in a NYC home studio way before it became the norm, Homegrown was self-released in an edition of 2000 copies, of which most were discarded due to pressing faults and to compound the shitty bad luck it was discovered the album been mastered at a lower speed…….bummer. Soon after, guitarist/vocalist Larry Calabrese met Todd Rundgren at a recording studio and he expressed interest in the band and some of their songs, while legendry label Sugarhill also seemed keen in adding Cal Rock & Roll to their roster but nothing came of it in the end. So Homegrown vanished into obscurity………..that is until some original copies were discovered by psych dealers and collectors in the 90s which led to a couple of glorified bootlegs being released around 10 years, but until now there has not been a legit reissue of this once lost record. Remastered at the correct pitch/speed, Homegrown gets the full reissue treatment from Guersson Records imprint Out Sider and gets a multi-format release complete with an insert with detailed liner notes and rare photos.

Although by today’s standards it’s not the best recording in the world, for a self-recorded album using what was available/affordable at the time the sound quality is remarkable.  This is a perfectly recorded and played effort, featuring well-crafted songs. Theres lot of loud distorted guitar, Hammond, analogue synths and some Jim Morrison influence on the vocals, especially on the lysergic swirl of ‘Couragous Cat’. Despite the 1982 release date, this  album feels completely out of synch with the times and is more like vintage 70s stoner music (the band had quite a following with the local biker fraternity) and musically Homegrown is mostly tame hard rock but with some interesting Prog/Psych flourishes which make this record worth a listen. Amongst some basic heavy rock and perfunctory Biker Bar crowd pleasers (‘Rock & Ride’, ‘Party Party’ and the cringe worthy flag waver ‘What’s Going On’), which Larry Calabrese really did not have enough of a Rock n Roll voice to carry off, there are some great mellow late 60s/early 70s influenced Psych/Folk moments. ‘State Of Mind’ evokes a comfortably stoned Country/Folk vibe circa 69 and there is a wonderful West Coast feel on the gentle instrumental ‘Today’ (which is later reprised as a fantastic vocal version sung as duo by Calabrese and Denise Chillemi). The less “Rocky” tunes suited Calabrese’s voice much better and this is evident on the aforementioned trippy Prog/Psych wig out ‘Coragous Cat’. The most Psychedelic track here is no doubt the spoken word/tape effect ‘Young & Angry’ which sounds like it has fallen down a time hole that leads straight to 1967…………it is totally understandable why this record fell off the face of the Earth in 1982 (the year that the Paisley Underground was in full swing, on the East Coast the Lyres from Boston, and The Fuzztones, The Chesterfield Kings and The Vipers from New York had come screaming outta the garage and the Neo-Psych revival hit the UK head on where bands like Echo & the Bunnymen, The Cure and Siouxsie and the Banshees plunged into full-on modern psychedelia), but also why there was so much interest when it resurfaced nearly 20 years later. Homegrown is by no means a classic, but there is enough here that fans of early 70s Psych tinged American Rock will really dig……. File next to other Psych misfits such like T Kail, D.R. Hooker, Marcus and Michaelangelo.

This album is also due for release on 9th June, with pre-orders being taken for the vinyl release at the Guessen web shop or from Forced Exposure in the USA. Homegrown will also be available on CD from Gussen/Forced Exposure with a digital download here https://guerssenrecords.bandcamp.com/album/homegrown.

Recently delivered to our psychedelic basement was a package of cool releases from the German label World In Sound, who as well as putting out fantastic new Psych and Prog albums they also have a reissue wing that have released some great, long deleted records. Included in this bag of goodies was the reissue of the self-titled C.K. Strong long player that was originally released on the Epic label in 1969. A heavy Psychedelic Blues band featuring the powerful vocals of Lynn Carey, C.K. Strong were tipped to be one of Epic’s breakout acts of 69 with their brew of Big Brother/Janis Joplin style tunes…….the original sleeve notes claimed “Hearing is believing, but even then, you'll come away shaking your head in disbelief...everything original, everything ebullient and everything "strong" in modern-day record production. Miss Carey is worth the price of admission, even if she didn't sing. A radiating, well-endowed blonde, her pyromagnetic caroling scans three octaves. To these ears she's at least the equal of Janis Joplin”.

C.K. Strong’s only ever release is typical of the times when Psychedelic Rock was on the cusp of evolving into something much heavier. A model/actress/singer/whatever, Lynn Carey had appeared in The Man from U.N.C.L.E., provided the lead vocals for the Carrie Nations songs from Russ Meyer’s wonderfully twisted Beyond the Valley of the Dolls for Dolly Read to mine to and post C.K. Strong fronted the heavier Mama Lion, like many of the female Rock singers of the time was influenced by Janis and her storming vocal performance raised this record way above the releases from similar bands of the era. The opening track, the excellent ‘Stormbird’, sounds like Jefferson Airplane circa 1967, however the rest of the album is made up of some very cool Blues Rock with the slow burning ‘Mean Hearted Man’ and the ambitious ‘Trilogy’ being the stand out tracks. Overall this is a record that is crammed with vibrant songwriting, exemplary playing plus there’s plenty of variety…….it’s another record that has aged really well and is well worth tracking down. You can check out this album and all the other great reissues from World In Sound's Relics From The Past series here.