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Monday, 17 April 2017

FLOWERS MUST DIE - KOMPOST (Rocket Recordings LP, D/L).

Again Rocket Recordings are well on the money and have brought another excellent band to everybody s attention. Named after an Ash Ra Tempel song and coming on like a supercharged Amon Düül II, Flowers Must Die are taking Krautrock inspired Psych Rock to places way beyond any normal comprehension of Psychedelia. On the surface it seems that the band are one of the many astral travelers that criss cross the highways and byways of time and space with sprawling cosmic soundscapes beamed back from the stars………but it’s not that simple. Look past the Krautrock influences of CAN, Bröselmaschine, Faust and the other groundbreaking German bands along with the Space Rock squall of early Hawkwind you will find a cacophony of beautiful noise that takes in Soul, Disco and Jazz with inspiration from such dissident sources such as Bobby Hutcherson, Angelic Upstarts, Skip James, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Blue Öyster Cult and Oscar Sulley & The Uhuru Dance Band. Yet another discovery from the fertile Swedish freakscene by Rocket Recordings and although grounded by their love of the early 70s Underground, Flowers Must Die debut album for the label, Kompost, shows the band honing their improvisatory freak outs into more coherent songcraft amidst mind bending spectral Techno and cosmic Disco shapes, where the angular Post-Punk twisted Pop of The Sugarcubes meets the narcotic noise of prime Royal Trux at their wasted best………………cool or what???

The Space Rock/Noise Pop intro of ‘Källa Till Ovisshet’ merges into mutant twisted Disco of ‘Hit’ (a tune that is both totally trippy and outrageously funky) and we have lift off!!! Kompost does not let up for the next 40 minutes as it twists and turns taking on new forms and sucking strange sounds into a swirling vortex of off kilter Psychedelia. Taking in fuzzed up and blissed out journeys to the further out (‘Why?’), brain scrambling noise (‘Hej Då’), freaked out Funk (‘Don't You Leave Me Now’) warped Post-Punk Pop songs (‘Hey, Shut Up’) and Cosmic jams (‘Svens Song’) along the way, Kompost is one of the most innovative and diverse Psych Rock records we have heard this year……………………it’s Pop music of sorts but from an alternative reality. Flowers Must Die have taken the outward-looking spirit of 1971 and the anything-goes mentality of the Scandinavian freaks of the recent past and have transposed this vibe elegantly to a modern era in need of new horizons and in a manner refreshingly different to the stylistically rather narrow, spectrum of space rock revivalism that has grown increasingly crowded over the last decade. What’s more, who’s to say what dimensions this alchemical force have yet to explore.

Due for release on 28/04/2017, Kompost will be available on yellow vinyl from all good record shops, online from Amazon and the usual Psych Rock stockists or directly from Rocket Recordings/Flowers Must Die here………. https://flowersmustdie.bandcamp.com/album/kompost where you can also buy the digital download……………….there if no indication that there will be a CD available, however keep ‘em peeled if there is any news of any future CD release.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

10,000 RUSSOS - DISTRESS DISTRESS (Fuzz Club Records LP, CD).

In 2017 we really have to ask “what is Psych Rock?”. It out grew the 60s template of tripped out folk and R&B a long time ago and the bands from the 80s Neo-Psych scene seem merely quaint nowadays……………..so all hail the new breed. 10,000 Russos are a formidable force within modern Psychedelia; their industrial Psych/Post-Punk has been turning on FuzzHeads across the globe with its stomping, shamanic mantras and otherworldly krautrock slant. At their core the band are a primal and celestial mix of The Fall, NEU! And Spacemen 3 and back with a new album on Fuzz Club Records the Portuguese trio have once again transcended the boundaries of Psychedelia as we know it today; their dark, droning noise is twisted, distorted and pushed to its limit. Distress Distress, a darkly dystopian record that reflects the times, is a trip into the dark heart of Psychedelia where no one gets out alive and is so ritualistic and industrial it sees 10,000 Russos patent heavy and darkly Psychedlic Post-Punk sound pushed within an inch of Techno territory at times, with its abrasive, repetitive beats and motorik grooves.

At times 10,000 Russos appear to be redefining the concept of Psychedelic Rock with a ecstatic noise far less guitar-centered, instead it’s propelled by throbbing bass lines, hypnotic chant-like vocals and repetitive stabs of oscillating feedback, drones and loops. Opening with the pounding Techno thump of ‘Distress’ 10,000 Russos channel the Industrial grooves of Throbbing Gristle with squalling noise and jack hammer beats taking Psych Rock deep into uncharted waters. There are strong traces of a heavy Neu! influence on many of the tracks on this record, however it’s not always the free flowing tunes like ‘Hallo Gallo’ but sometimes more the fucked up and experimental second side of Neu 2. Had New Order taken a ton of hallucinogens and explored the dark underbelly of Manchester instead of discovering House Music in the New York clubs then they would have made records like this. On this record 10,000 Russos have set the bar really high…………experimental but accessible and darkly industrial but still very psychedelic, Distress Distress takes Psych Rock to a place where not many bands can follow, smashing together dissident sounds and creating new forms. Psychedelia has evolved……………..this is the new electric music for the mind and body.

Distress Distress is out NOW on Fuzz Club Records and available on vinyl with also a deluxe coloured edition limited to only 250 copies and CD. Available from your local Post Industrial record store, on line and direct from the Fuzz Club store



BABY GURU - BABY GURU IV (Inner Ear Records LP, CD).

This has been kicking around our psychedelic basement for a while……..it’s taken a while to get our heads round the new Baby Guru album. We first came across Baby Guru via last years excellent Chickn album of blistering beats and scorching Acid Rock that included contributions from bassist Sir Kosmiche, vocalist/keyboard player Prins Obe and drummer King Elephant. We were expecting more of the same and were really surprised when we discovered that Baby Guru IV is an intriguing blend of Psych Pop, Prog Rock and massive Afro Rock influences…………..and it’s great.

Released on Greek Psych/Prog label Inner Ear, the fourth album from the Athens based quartet sees the band expanding their sonic pallet and embracing mutant Afrobeat along with their existing Prog/Psych influences. It’s very different to most of the stuff we get to hear and it takes a few listens for it to sink in………..However, when it clicks a whole range of sonic landscapes open up before you. There is a solid pop sensibility running through the album on which Baby Guru use as a foundation for their songs. The album’s opening track, ‘Tell Me What You’re Made Of’ is gentle, twisted psychedelia with a pure pop heart…………………..and this vibe continues right through the record with the occasional diversion into Afro Beat Disco grooves on ‘Motel Rwanda’ and ‘Bluebird Picnic’. It’s not for everybody, Baby Guru IV is far to poppy for those of you that dig mind melting Psychedelic Rock ‘n’ Roll……however if you like quirky pop tunes with a psychedelic tinge not a million miles away from bands such as XTC you are going to like this.

Baby Guru IV is out now and available directly from the Inner Ear Bandcamp page here, all the usual online stores and the more adventurous record shops.


QUAD - QUAD (Sulatron Records LP).



Now that Gary Ramon and Sun Dial have found a welcoming home for their releases on the German psychedelic label Sulatron Records, we are now starting to see the timely re-issue of the more obscure releases from Ramon’s own Acme label. New from Sulatron is a real collectors item……………originally released in 1997 the first album from Gary Ramon’s Quad project is due to hit the vinyl racks for the first time in twenty years. Available on vinyl only (although there a plans for Quad and Quad 2 double CD package in the near future) this groundbreaking mix of Ambient Electronica and 70s Krautrock is set for release towards the end of May 2017.   

Released during Sun Dial’s long hiatus during the 90s, Quad started out as a more experimental solo album away from Sun Dial’s Psych Rock/Indie Rock releases and was finally completed in ‘97, landing in an alien landscape of records by Radiohead, The Verve, Blur and Oasis and a full on Techno scene…….There was not much love for trippy Psychedelic guitar improvisations beyond a smattering of hardcore heads and if there was ever a case of wrong time, wrong place then this is it. Unfortunately, this really fantastic record dropped way below the radar, but thanks to the good folk at Sulatron we now get hear what we were missing at the time. The Psychedelic/Ambient/Drone/Electronic music recorded in the '90s for the Quad project has not aged one bit, sounding possibly more relevant in 2017 than it did in 1997……………….basically, Gary Ramon is a seriously under appreciated musician who is so far in front of the curve it’s scary and in effect it’s taken 20 years for everyone to catch up. Comprising of three long tracks, Quad combines early ‘90s Ambient Electronica and Eastern vibes with a solid ‘70s Krautrock influence, mainly the drifting guitar sound of Ash Ra Tempel’s Manuel Göttsching, and has in the past been described as “sounding like Shiva meeting Jesus for a common freak-out on guitars, sitars and severe machines”………..which aint that far from the truth People. The opening track ‘Tempel’ has a strong Krautrock core (the clue is in the title) as Gary Ramon’s light and airy guitar floats across a soundscape of bubbling synths and sitar drones underpinned by some really groovy drumming. ‘Projection’ is a proper headswirler mixing organ drones, spiraling sitar and a funky bass line with scorching Acid Rock guitar. Flip the disc and the second side of Quad contains just the one track…………….and it’s a total mind melter. ‘Revisitation Mantra’ comes from the narcotic netherworld where Psychedelic Rock, Eastern mysticism and a foggy ambiance melt together in a hazy lysergic vapor……………it’s a track that demands you get heroically stoned before you drop the needle. It’s totally trippy and in no doubt completely at odds with what was happening when the album first dropped. The re-issue of this great record happens at a time where there are going to more receptive ears for Gary Ramon’s psychedelic soundscapes and where 70s Krautrock is common musical currency and not just something Julian Cope and a few hardcore heads dig……………..it may have taken 20 years for this record to be properly re-released, but it has been worth the wait.

Out on 26/5/2017, the self titled first album by Quad is released as a limited edition of 500 copies on orange vinyl. Available from your local tuned in record store, on-line and direct from Sulatron Records web store……………..keep ‘em peeled for pre-release details.


Friday, 14 April 2017

ELECTRIC MOON - STARDUST RITUALS (Sulatron Records LP, CD).

Although possibly best known for their mind melting live albums of cosmic jams where they take you on a heady, lengthy white knuckle ride to the edge of the Galaxy, it’s on the studio albums where the magic really happens for German Space Rock titans Electric Moon. Their meticulously constructed studio records have a wonderful sense of depth and a subtlety that is very difficult for the three piece band to replicate live and the new Electric Moon album, Stardust Rituals, is no different………………….mixing together the loose free form improvisations with structured songwriting and expanding the squall of the Heavy Psych trio with overdubs and vocals from bassist Komet Lulu. The result is a mesmerizing LP of sprawling, atmospheric Space Rock with four long, tripped out tracks of the finest quality that will blow your mind……it’s that good.

Released on Sulatron Records, Electric Moon’s long awaited fifth studio album Stardust Rituals has the feel of a lost 70s Psychedelic Rock album with a mix of post-Lemmy Hawkwind (where the bubble of primitive synths and squeals of an audio generator were replaced with Simon House’s Mellotron, piano and organ) and a heavy krautrock vibe (the stuff that wasn’t Neu!, Can, TD or Kraftwerk) as Electric Moon navigate a trip through the deepest depths of the outermost innermost on their journey through the inner cosmos. With swirling organ and piano, the opening track, ‘The Loop’, has almost a 60s Garage Rock feel until it explodes into a Hawkwind style cosmic chug with guitarist Sula Bassana letting loose his inner Dave Brock. Originally recorded in 2014 and already released as an instrumental version on two previous live albums, ‘Stardust (The Picture)’ has been remade and remodeled and now includes vocals and a dense fog of guitars. It’s deep, dark Space Rock at it’s best with echoes of the trance like Noise Rock of bands such as Loop……………in contrast the breezy eastern flavoured ‘Astral Hitch Hike’ is a psychedelic electric sitar headswirler. Flip the disc and you will find the epic ‘(You Will) Live Forever Now’ which, clocking in at a few seconds shy of 23 minutes, is a classic Electric Moon cosmic slowburner…………..seriously atmospheric with Lulu’s haunting, ethereal vocals way back in the mix and piano and sitar slowly giving way to Sula’s floating psychedelic guitar as the intensity builds. It’s a trip………with slashing wah wah guitar spiraling to infinity before crashing back to earth with waves of sweeping Mellotron. It’s stunningly beautiful and brutally cacophonous all at once, it’s one of the most amazing tracks the band have recorded to date. You need a copy of Stardust Rituals in your life, it’s already one of the essential records of 2017.

With a totally far out cover by Eriko of Mont Doom Design in Italy and Lulu Artwork, Stardust Rituals is out NOW on CD, with a release on marbled vinyl due early June, and available from all the best record stores and the very groovy Sulatron on line store……..keep ‘em peeled for vinyl pre-orders People.


Sunday, 9 April 2017

CAUSA SUI - LIVE IN COPENHAGEN (El Paraiso Records 3 x LP Box Set, 3 x CD, D/L).

This is special……….two unique concert performances recorded Causa Sui’s home city of Copenhagen released as 3 x LP Box Set and also available as a triple CD package with bonus tracks. With excellent sound quality…………………..Both shows were recorded multitrack with an A-grade selection of mics and mixed and mastered by Jonas Munk……..it’s the sound of a band letting the breaks off their studio recordings and flying, turning their tunes inside out as they perform in front of an audience (a rarity in itself). It’s an absolute treat for fans of the band with 140 minutes of music recorded at the release parties of Euporie Tide & Return To Sky. 

Disc 1 is a recording of the launch party for Causa Sui’s most recent studio album Return To Sky held at Copenhagen’s avantgarde institution extraordinaire Jazzhouse, where the band run through most of the album with a scattering of tunes from earlier records. Disc 2 and 3 contains an epic set recorded in 2013 at the legendary underground venue Dragens Hule where the band played in front of a small, ecstatic crowd until the the early hours. During these three discs Causa Sui aren't merely running through classic tunes from the catalogue……..each track is explored, reinterpreted and given new life – often straying far away from its original roots with a burning energy. One minute the band is bluesy and heavy, the next they're repetitive and blissed-out or venturing into a cacophony of Albert Ayler-like sax bursts, free-form electronics and feedback. Swedish saxophone player Johan Riedenlow joins both shows and Papir guitarist Nicklas Sørensen occasionally adds his magic to the Dragens Hule set, including contributing to a towering 13-minute version of ‘Eternal Flow’, that seems to channel the energy of mid-1970s Popol Vuh, as well as a breezy cover version of Agitation Free's ‘First Communication’. It’s the sound of Psych Rock, Space Jazz, Krautrock, Post Rock and 70s Classic Rock melded into strange new shapes. ‘Ju-Ju Blues’ from the Jazzhouse set is Causa Sui at their most fuzzed out and Hendrixian, reaching new improvisational heights, whereas ‘Dawn Passage’ feels like an obvious fusion of Tame Impala and Allman Brothers. Fan-favourites ‘El Paraiso’ and ‘Red Valley’ appear here in possibly their ultimate versions. On the Dragens Hule recording the band takes Bitches Brew-era Miles Davis into a crazed vortex of spinning, squalling noise……………….’Portixeddu / Tropic Of Capricorn’ is totally far out and back again. The Dragens Hule set closes with a one time only 17-minute interpretation of John Coltrane's ”A Love Supreme” featuring both Johan Riedenlow and Nicklas Sørensen. Suffice to say it’s all brilliant and an absolute trip showcasing the sheer musicality of Causi Sai…………………..live shows from the band don’t happen that often, Live In Copenhagen gives us the opportunity to share these special moments.

Released on El Paraiso Records and limited to 1000 copies of each format, Live In Copenhagen is available to buy now as either a triple vinyl Box Set or a 3 x CD digipack from all good record stores and the usual on line traders…………………..but be quick as it’s selling fast.


JONATHAN SEGEL - SUPERFLUITY (Freeworld 2 x CD).

Strange things are happening…………..Out now on Floating World’s imprint Freeworld is an excellent solo album, Superfluity, from Camper Van Beethoven guitarist/violinist Jonathan Segel which is a massive smorgasbord of styles and vibes which span the worlds of Psychedelia, Improvisation, Prog Rock, Americana, Electronica and the Avant-Garde. Now relocated to Sweden, Segel has over the years fully integrated into the local music scene with various projects and collaborations with various Scandibands and musicians including Dr Space’s traveling band of cosmic gypsys the Øresund Space Collective and the improvised Post Rock/Space Jazz project Sista Maj (whose recent releases were both reviewed on Strange Things here….
https://theepsychedelicatessen.blogspot.co.uk/2016/11/resund-space-collective-visions-of.html). Recorded in Stockholm, Superfluity was several years in the making evolving from home recordings and jam sessions with drummers Mattias Olsson and Chris Pederson fitted around other ongoing projects until the the addition of Kelly Atkins beautiful voice added the icing to cake…………….the finished album is a pretty good indication of where Jonathan Segel is at in this moment in time and space.

There is a lot of music here……………spread over two CDs, Superfluity is a mix of gently psychedelic Alt-Rock songs, Prog Rock instrumentals, trippy Electronica, West Coast guitar workouts and totally out-there improvisations. Disc 1 contains a mix of delicate, folky Psychedelia and Alt- Rock songs (‘Mouse’, ‘Cat & Mouse’, ‘Sleep For A Hundred Years’ and the beautiful ‘Rain Down’), instrumentals (the proggy ‘Imply to Deny’ and ‘Seventh Wave’ plus the tripped out cosmic jam of ‘Like Mercury It Slips Through Your Fingers’), an excursion in experimental psychedelia (‘Silent Notes’) and closing the side an epic 23 minute bonus track improvisation which is not from this earth and at times sounds like larks Tongues In Aspic period King Crimson beamed from beyond the stars. Disc 2 is absolutely fantastic, opening with the cascading guitars and violin instrumental ‘Luxury Of Living’ the second disc contains more straight ahead, less experimental Psych/Alt-Rock such as ‘Strawberry Sun’, the album’s title track, the crunching ‘No Backup Plan’ and the epic ‘The Dying Stars’ which sounds like QMS and It’s A Beautiful Day jamming on Pluto. If you enjoyed Jonathan Segel’s recent Sista Maj project and like the weirder side of Camper Van Beethoven you are going to dig this………..check it out People.

Out NOW on 2 x CD, Superfluity is available from all good record stores, the usual on-line outlets and direct from Floating World here……



ROBYN HITCHCOCK - ROBYN HITCHCOCK (Yep Roc Records LP, CD).

In the near four decades since the demise of the legendary Soft Boys, Robyn Hitchcock has skillfully navigated his own idiosyncratic path through the years and along the way been “almost famous” on the occasions new generations of lovers of whimsical, surreal psychedelia and excellent songwriting discover his records……it’s been a long strange trip with at least 20 plus album releases over this time. The muso’s favourite cult artist has always had more of a following in the States than in the UK, collecting “heavy friends” along the way and now has an East Nashville Zip Code on the letters that arrive in the post. Recorded in Nashville and described by its creator as “an ecstatic work of negativity”, the first-ever eponymous release of this legendary British artist’s career sees Robyn still hardwired into the psychedelic sounds of The Beatles, The Byrds and Syd Barratt/Pink Floyd but with a latent Country Rock influence exposed for the first time with producer Brendan Benson at the controls and backing by a crack band of fellow Music City pickers and players that includes guitarist Annie McCue, bassist Jon Estes, and drummer Jon Radford……….. harmony vocal contributions come courtesy of Alt Rock/Country heavy weights Emma Swift, Grant Lee Phillips, Gillian Welch, and Wilco’s Pat Sansone.

There is not such a thing as a bad Robyn Hitchcock album, admittedly some are better than others but they are always packed with fantastic songs and never disappoint. Robyn Hitchcock immediately stands among the most energized and ambitious recordings of the iconic troubadour’s long career. The album sees Hitchcock casting familiar shapes into surprising new forms, the whimsy and surrealist sounds and visions that first stimulated his work are now ribboned with experience and hard-earned wisdom with Robyn in a more reflective mood in his seventh decade. Songs like ‘Sayonara Judge’ are gorgeous and intense, rife with avant imagery, astringent wit, and righteous anger. Spanning dystopic psychedelia (‘Mad Shelley’s Letterbox’, ‘Time Coast’), inspired folk baroque (‘Raymond and the Wires’, ‘1970 In Aspic’), even rambunctious liver-fried country (‘I Pray When I’m Drunk’), Robyn Hitchcock has all the elements of the best Hitchcock albums in place but they sound as if they have been assembled the wrong way round on this occasion……………..it’s the same as before but different. For long term fans this is yet another excellent record to add to the collection and for those new to strange world of Robyn Hitchcock, it’s an ideal entry point into the great man’s wildly brilliant oeuvre.

Due for release on vinyl and CD by Yep Roc Records on 21/04/2017 the self-titled new album from Robyn Hitchcock will be available from all good record stores and is also available for pre-order now at the official Yep Roc Store here…………


Sunday, 2 April 2017

THE COSMIC DEAD - PSYCH IS DEAD (Riot Season LP, CD).

The Cosmic Dead are back with a new album…………………and resistance is futile. Released on the Black Country’s finest, Riot Season Records, there is a relentless inevitability about the sixth full length album from the band, the glowing embers of a a few days spent recording in a sweaty Sardinian kitchen overlooking the Mediterranean Sea……………….Psych Is Dead is an aural exploration of time and space that annihilates everything in it’s path leaving blown minds and eardrums in it’s wake. Swathed in a narcotic haze, switching between the darkly atmospheric and churning waves of noise, The Cosmic Dead take heavy Stoner/Space Rock to the next level.

Psych Is Dead is a monumental, somnambulistic wave of sound that burrows into the unconscious mind as the three tracks on album symbiotically unfold into a near continuous piece of music over two sides of vinyl. Dense and intense, the epic ‘Nuraghe’ sets the controls for the heart of a black hole and this journey continues with the tripped out title track where Psych Rock squall is underpinned by thunderous drumming. The album closes with the darkly psychedelic ‘#FW’ which builds and builds until collapsing under its own weight into a mess of glorious noise. It’s a record that has been described by Riot Season head honcho Andy Smith as “ making me feel like i’m half mashed trying to get out of a bath full of molasses, and i mean that in a good way” and that ain’t that far off the mark. It’s different…………The Cosmic Dead have side-stepped the usual Stoner/Space Rock approach of sub-Sabbath riffing and Krautrock grooves and gone for something more measured and cerebral in their aural explorations of time and space. Make sure you check this one out.

Due for release on 24/04/2017, the album will be coming out on CD (500 copies) and two vinyl editions. The main vinyl release will be a white vinyl edition limited to 700 copies for the world. Along with that will be a mail order only edition of 300 copies pressed on swanky silver vinyl………….unfortunately, these silver copies all sold out on pre-order in 24 hours via the labels website, however you can still pre-order the white vinyl edition and CD here http://riotseason.bigcartel.com/ with pre-order copies also available from the Riot Season Bandcamp page here……………………


Sunday, 26 March 2017

COZMIC CORRIDORS - COZMIC CORRIDORS (Mental Experience LP, CD). REQUIEM - FOR A WORLD AFTER (Mental Experience LP, CD).

From the vaults, a couple of Krautrock curios that have been saved from obscurity by the cosmic crate diggers at Guerssen Records and released on their Mental Experience imprint.

As part of Mental Experience’s plan to re-issue the entire Pyramid Records back catalogue (see our review of Cologne Curiosities – The Unknown Krautrock Underground 1972 – 1976 for a bit more back story on this most enigmatic of German underground labels) the self titled Cozmic Corridors LP that originally surfaced sometime around the mid 90s as an ultra-limited handmade edition, (any original copies are lost forever in the mist of time), gets a long overdue re-release, with master tape sound and packaged with an insert with detailed liner notes by Krautrock brainbox Alan Freeman (Ultima Thule/The Crack In The Cosmic Egg). Featuring Mythos drummer Hans-Jürgen Pütz on percussion & effects, alongside synth/keyboard freak Alex Meyer, poet/vocalist Pauline Fund and mysterious guitarist Peter Förster, the album was recorded circa 1972-73 in Cologne by Toby “The Mad Twiddler” Robinson for his Pyramid label and is one of the more idiosyncratic Kraut/Kosmische albums of the era. More Rainbow In Curved Air than Journey Through A Burning Brain the Cozmic Corridors album is a record of tripped out ambient soundscapes, dark atmosphere, drones, plenty of MiniMoog, gothic Hammond organ, Rhodes, electric & 12-string acoustic guitars, ritual chants, effects and a vibe that has been described as “…haunting and seductive, recalling the atmospheric minimalism of Brian Eno and conjuring up images of celestial angels drifting like ribbons of smoke through the darkness of deep space…”.

Beautifully sparse and minimal, Cozmic Corridors has more in common with Terry Riley than the pulsing soundscapes of, say, Tangerine Dream……..with a droning organ motif underpinning a Moog improvisation ‘The Summit’ is a hypnotic, gothic trance out that is more avant-garde NYC circa 66 than early 70s West Germany. Much of the music on this record could be described as “Dark Ambient” with echoes of the early records from Cluster, Ash Ra Tempel and Popol Vuh, it’s an album that is totally ahead of it’s time in regards to the evolution of ambient music. Eno get lots of credit for “inventing” ambient music with albums such as Music For Airports, however the Krautrock forefathers were making inventive, warped “chill out” music (for the want of a better description) way before that. With meditative synth drones and soundscapes that sound almost sacred in places tracks such as the evocative ‘Niemand Versteht’ and totally epic drone out of ‘Daruber’ are near mystical journeys into an alternative side of Cosmic music very rarely heard. This may not be everybody’s idea of what Krautrock is but Cozmic Corridors is a absolute gem of a record and well worth your time.

A more “conventional” sounding Krautrock/Prog Rock LP is For A World After by Requiem which is a mix of darkly ambient Progressive Rock and Berlin-School sounds (Tangerine Dream etc.). This is the first ever reissue of this obscure electronic Kraut album. Originally released in Germany in 1981 as a private pressing of a 1000 copies on the tiny Daviton label, For A World After is a conceptual album which “tells the story of a world annihilation through nuclear war” (the threat of nuclear war was a very big deal in the early 80s, more so in Germany………...ask yer Dads kidz!) and was deeply influenced/inspired by the European rock and electronic scenes of the time (Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, Jean Michel Jarre, Emerson Lake & Palmer, etc.). It’s a big sounding record that is full of delayed psychedelic electric guitar, effects, waves of analog keyboards and cosmic atmosphere………….a very 1980s record, crisp and clean but a little soulless, lacking the warmth of the Cozmic Corridors album with a stark, cold drum machine driving the tracks forward and loads of horrible, cheesy 80s pre-programmed synth sounds. It’s not a bad record but it really hasn’t aged very well…….. at best it’s a mix of post Force Majeure T.D. with some interesting Floydian guitar flourishes however there are far too many bland tracks of the kind of uninspiring 80s New Age Electronica that used to be on sale at crystal shops and healing centres. When bands like Kraftwerk were redefining the sonic landscape for the 80s and 90s at the same time this LP was being recorded, For A World After sounds like a record out of time, however it’s an interesting curio that fans of 80s Prog Rock and more mainstream stuff like Vangelis and Jean Michel Jarre may like quite big chunks of. You can stream the album at the Guerssen Bandcamp site here.....................
https://guerssenrecords.bandcamp.com/album/for-a-world-after and make your mind up about this yourself.

Both albums are out NOW on LP and CD and available from the more out there record stores………….or directly from either the Guerssen Records on line store or their Bandcamp page. For the USA both records are available via Forced Exposure.




Saturday, 25 March 2017

MYTHIC SUNSHIP - LAND BETWEEN RIVERS (El Paraiso Records LP, CD).

From Copenhagen’s deep Psychedelic Underground comes a new record from heavy Psych Stoners, Mythic Sunship. On their second album on El Paraiso, the Copenhagen quartet drive even thicker grooves into their niche of extended cave-man fuzz voyages with three epic cuts of extra heavy, smoked out, sprawled out stuff……………break out the bong People and strap in for a wild ride to “out there” and back.

Fuzzed up and freaked out, Mythic Sunship cut a sharp edge into their 10 minutes plus sagas, often churning out tracks with seemingly endless amounts of energy. It’s all here: wild bursts of fuzzy and echo-perplexed guitars, thick Sabbath-esque basslines, and a galloping myriad of drums tossing and turning like a wild beast. As deep and dense as the most opaque dope haze, Land Between Rivers opens with the sprawling 15 minute Kosmik jam ‘Nishapur’ which slowly grinds through the gears at a glacial pace before exploding into shards of swooping and twisting guitars sending sparks flying skywards. With it’s killer riff and interlocking guitars, ‘High Tide’ is a “Dead Head” friendly, West Coast, QMS in space workout………….guitars sparkle and swirl while the rhythm section hold down the bottom end as tight as you like adding fuel to an endless pyre of blazed-out dual fuzz guitar action. It’s a tune that pushes right to the edge, stares into the void but knows when to pull back before it collapses into itself……..it’s 13 minutes of blissed-out Heavy Psych riff-worshipping that mixes together the freeform jamming of the late 60s with the controlled aggression of modern Psych and it’s a total trip. The albums vapor trail is left by the relatively short (only 6 minutes in length) but stoned immaculate ‘Silt’ bringing the album to a end in a hail of feedback and noise. What Mythic Sunship deliver in raw, untamed energy, is kept in place by their deeply grounded tone, Land Between Rivers was captured in a wooden cabin in the north of Sealand, Denmark, where the band secluded themselves and drove deep, making their release as akin to earthy doom as to spaced-out krautrock - making this feel like the “Götterdämmerung of Scandinavian heavy psych”.

Due for release on 29/04/2017, Land Between Rivers is available to pre-order from the El Paraiso shop here…………………….



Sunday, 19 March 2017

MARK & THE CLOUDS - CUMULUS (Mega Dodo LP, CD, 2 x CD, D/L).

Mark & The Clouds are another of the fantastic British Neo-Psych bands that are totally seeped in the sounds of the UK 60s Beat/Psychedelic scene ………….. If there was ever a band that was a perfect fit for the psychedelically inclined label Mega Dodo, then this band is it. Cumulus, the band’s second album for Mega Dodo, is a total trip that has been influenced by classic British Psych/Beat groups such as The Beatles, The Small Faces and the Kinks etc…..you would spend a lot of time trying to find anything stunningly original here, but that’s not the point………the album is a blend of timeless, catchy and powerful Psych Pop that 60s RetroHeads will really dig.

Evoking sweaty nights at the Marquee circa 1966 and the more bucolic psychedelia of the following year, Cumulus sees Mark & The Clouds treading the same path as the classic 60s bands……………Brutal, maximum R&B/Freakbeat morphing into more trippy tunes as the band mix up Pretty Things rave ups with more gentle Beatle-esque jangle. The stand out tracks are the Beatles Revolver era influenced ‘On Her Bike’ and ‘Another Grey Morning’ and the harder R&B influenced ‘You’re So Cold’ and ‘Baby, You’re Just A Liar’…………………..it’s a album of great 60s influenced songs with both bite and subtlety from London’s premier Psych revivalists. Well worth a listen.

Out now on Mega Dodo records, Cumulus is available on limited edition LP, CD (with bonus tracks) and 2 x CD with a bonus disc of Mark & The Clouds set at last years Games For May festival at the Half Moon in Putney. Get your copy direct from the Mega Dodo webstore or their Bandcamp page here…………………………


Saturday, 18 March 2017

THE BLACK ANGELS - DEATH SONG (Partisan Records 2 x LP, CD, D/L).

Arguably the most important Neo-Psych band of this decade, The Black Angels return with their first full-length release in four years and their debut for Partisan Records. After a short hiatus, the prime-movers behind the world renowned Levitation Festival are back with a brand new album, Death Song, who’s title acknowledges one of the band’s early influences and from where they took their name…….. ‘The Black Angel’s Death Song’ from the first Velvet’s LP. Death Song is an 11-track collection of new songs that offers a sharply honed elaboration on their signature sound…….menacing fuzz guitar and cutting wordplay, steeped in a murky hallucinatory dream. Perfectly comfortable with who they are, The Black Angels feel no need to radically alter their sound to chase a bigger audience and the new album is a natural successor to the Indigo Meadow album from 2013 and the Clear Lake Forest EP from a year later, with a more expansive sound evolving organically. Recorded between Seattle and Austin, ‘Death Song’ features production from Phil Eck (Father John Misty, Fleet Foxes, The Shins) and is a real tilt at crossing over from being a cult band to more mainstream success without sacrificing any of the elements that made The Black Angels such a great band in the first place.

Written and recorded in large part during the recent U.S. election cycle, the music on Death Song serves as part protest, part emotional catharsis in a climate dominated by division, anxiety and unease. ‘Currency’, a strong contender for the heaviest song the band has ever put to wax, meditates on the governing role the monetary system plays in our lives, while slow-building Psychedelic earworm ‘Half Believing’ questions the nature and confusing realities of devotion. Elsewhere, there is the obligatory nod to the band’s Austin Psych forefathers, the mighty 13th Floor Elevators, on ‘I’d Kill For Her’ (c’mon, it’s a Black Angels album……it’s expected!!), fuzzed up Psychedelic swirl outs ( ‘Comanche Moon’, ‘Hunt Me Down’ and the mind melting ‘Grab As Much (As You Can)’), the twisted disco of ‘Medicine’ and pulsing motrik grooves of the tripped out ‘I Dreamt’ and ‘Death March’. Closing with lysegic reverie of ‘Life Song’, the new Black Angels album is a total triumph from the moment the needle is dropped on track one, side one until it hits the run out grooves on the flip. Possibly the band’s best album to date and the one to suck the Indie Kids and Alt-Rock Dads into The Black Angels weird and wonderful Psychedelic Universe.

Due for release on the 21st of April, the album will be available on 2 x vinyl LP and CD and is available to pre-order now either from the Partisan Records store or direct from the band at http://theblackangels.com/ where the album is available in various bundles with a ton of other band merch. Check it out People.


Sunday, 12 March 2017

THE GREEK THEATRE - BROKEN CIRCLE (Sugerbush Records LP, D/L).

Broken Circle is the second and long awaited-album by Sweden’s premier West Coast Psych act The Greek Theatre. The first album, Lost Out At Sea, was a gem of an LP and took many people by surprise such is its quality. This brand new album is the sequel of sorts but goes much deeper into full-on Psychedelia yet retains…….and even improves on…….their excellent songwriting from the first album. Sounding like a long lost recording from the vaults, Broken Circle evokes the hazy daze of Stillwater, Buffalo Springfield, Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Moby Grape and Love, with nine tracks of shimmering, sunkissed Psychedelia, this is one of the most beautifully mellow albums we have heard for quite a while……..we doubt if you will hear anything more tripped out and blessed this year.

While a lot of modern Psych bands adhere to trance like Floydian Space Rock, it is a rare thing to find an album of song based Psychedelia, which is what this album gives you………..and then some. The Greek Theatre channel the golden vibes of S.F circa 67/68 to create a mini masterpiece of grade A quality. The absolutely gorgeous ‘Fat Apple (At About Noon)’ which opens the album is a deep, rich track that evokes the swirling pop smarts of the Holy Mackerel blended with the laconic West Coast vibes of the early line up of the Steve Miller Band. The Greek Theatre add to their sonic palette West Coast Acid Folk and classic 60s Folk Rock troubadour elements with the beautifully evocative ‘Still Lost At Sea’ and the impressive ‘Stray Dog Blues’. There is a delicate gossamar fragility about The Greek Theatre’s songs which at times is heartbreaking and at others completely life affirming…….there is certainly echoes of Nick Drake at his best here. The album’s title track is The Free Design jamming with Airplane in a liquid light swirl out down at the Matrix while ‘Kings Of Old’ shows off the band’s West Coast Psychedelic Rock influences with six minutes of spiraling Acid Rock guitars as The Greek Theatre party like it’s 1969.The Greek Theatre’s “sound” may not be totally original, but they have skillfully pulled together all of their impeccable influences in order to record a record that is quite simply spellbinding. Closing the album is The Greek Theatre’s very own “Teenage Symphony To God”……’Now Is The Time’ is a distant relative to Forever Changes beautifully constructed with the complexity of Smile era Beach Boys……………totally stunning. Broken Circle is the first album of 2017 to totally blow our minds. Seriously recommended!!!!!!.

Broken Circle is out now on vinyl via Sugarbush records……………be quick getting your hands on this record as it is limited to a run of only 300 copies. You can buy the download/stream it to find out how fucking great this record is for yourself from The Greek Theatre’s Bandcamp page here…………………… https://thegreektheatre1.bandcamp.com/album/broken-circle


SONIC JESUS - GRACE (Fuzz Club Records deluxe LP, LP, CD, DL).

Strange things are happening People………….the Psychedelic Gothik 80s are back…….in full force. Channelling the proto-Goth and dark psychedelia of the decade for their enthralling second LP, Grace, shows Sonic Jesus take on an insatiable new form, ditching their industrial and hypnotic psych-rock for an expansive synth-driven Post-Punk sound that falls somewhere between Interpol, Joy Division and Cold Cave. In keeping with the more recent releases from Fuzz Club, the new Sonic Jesus LP takes the 80s Psych/Goth Rock model of low slung rumbling bass and thunderous drums underpinning dense guitars and sweeping synths, retooling the sound for a modern Psych Rock audience. There’s still the hypnotic Sonic Jesus darkness ebbing beneath the noise but these new tracks show the band reverberating around a new-found pop sensibility. Don’t be fooled though, this is no bubblegum pop; it is dark, complex, introspective and often heart-breaking. Using brooding synths not too dissimilar from Marty Rev’s Clouds of Glory, Grace is an album that truly gets under your skin.

Opening with the totally euphoric ‘I’m In Grace’, Sonic Jesus have fully embraced the richness of massive sounding 80s/90s widescreen production………..melodically it is utterly anthemic, yet Tiziano Veronese’s vocals sound as if he is being crushed by the weight of the world. This is a striking juxtaposition that continues throughout the album. ‘No Hope’ is propelled deep rumbling bass; the chorus is a majestic crescendo driven by euphoric synths. Tiziano's vocals are drowning amongst a dark ethereal haze, distorted and adding to the mystery and depth of this release. ’No Way’ has an 80s electro feel; it's utterly euphoric, soaring with clipped wings whilst ’Space Heels’ is seeped in a fragile melancholy. It’s clear Sonic Jesus have embraced pop with open arms but they’ve done it on their own terms – the edge, drone and passion are still pumping through its veins. Fans of the Sisters Of Mercy are going to love this record………..it’s dark and brooding while also being euphoric and uplifting, it’s Floodland for a new generation of outsiders with a soul. Maybe not one for the Psych Rock purists, however Sonic Jesus are pushing at boundaries of the genre and have created a epic record that transcends mere labels and defies expectations.

Grace is out NOW on Fuzz Club Records and is available on deluxe vinyl, standard vinyl and CD……………..Deluxe vinyl comes on 180g ultra clear vinyl with a tip-on gatefold sleeve limited to 300 copies (only 250 available online). Standard vinyl comes on 180g white vinyl limited to 700 copies. Available from the Fuzz Club online shop and all the best record stores…………………….the digital download is available to buy from the label’s Bandcamp page here…… https://fuzzclub.bandcamp.com/album/grace where you can also stream the album. 

Saturday, 11 March 2017

HEAT EXCHANGE - REMINISCENCE (Out-Sider Records LP, CD, D/L).

From those dedicated crate diggers and archive explorers, the musical archaeologists at the Catalonia based reissue record label group Guerssen Records comes an album of really great Post-Psychedelic heavy Prog and hard Rock from little known Canadian outfit Heat Exchange. Influenced by the early 70s British Progressive bands Heat Exchange played a blend of jazzy Prog Rock and Bluesy Hard Rock that was popular in the Rock Clubs and University venues around the UK at the time. Heat Exchange had the chops and a whole bunch of well constructed songs with powerful vocals, sax, flute, wah- wah, organ and a seriously solid rhythm section that bring to mind the Island/Vertigo/Harvest etc. bands such as King Crimson, Jethro Tull, Samurai, Human Beast, Deep Purple, If, Colosseum and Blodwyn Pig. During their brief existence Heat Exchange recorded an album of which only four tracks were released as singles for the legendary Yorkville label…………..however for the first time ever the complete Heat Exchange studio recordings, including their 45s plus the previously unreleased recordings they did for their never released LP in 1972 are collected together, remastered from original reel-to-reel tapes and 45s and have been newly released by the Guerssen imprint Out-Sider Records complete with detailed liner notes and photos, including an introduction by Rich Sheppard (After The Sabbath). 

For fans of classic 70s Progressive Rock, Guerssen have unearthed a rough diamond………….although Heat Exchange would not have won any points for originality, Reminiscence is a solid, absorbing Post-Psych/Prog Rock album and there is lots to love here. We think that the technical term is “all over the place” as Heat Exchange pull in influences from the whole early 70s Prog Rock spectrum……….The opening track ‘For Those Who Listen’ is a Folk/Prog Arthurian romp with flute and harpsichord, while ‘Inferno’ and ‘Philosophy’ are heavy on the Hammond hard rock squalls. There is FM Radio rock (‘Scorpio Lady’) and far out Psychedelic Jazz (‘Scat’) all mixed together in Heat Exchange’s strange brew. The 10 minute closing track ‘Four To Open The Door’ is a tripped out Psych Rock wig out which twists and turns around a central flute riff and gives the band the chance to jam………..it’s Jethro Tull on hard drugs. Elsewhere there are some really cool, accessible tunes………. ‘Stopwatch’ is a lost Prog classic with piano, sax and guitar combining beautifully and ‘She Made Me All Alone’ is a sax driven heavy Blues has the feel of Traffic when they rocked out. This gem is one to check out for all you classic 60s/70s ProgHeads, not arf!!!!!.

Out NOW on Out-Sider Records, Reminiscence by Heat Exchange is available on vinyl and CD from all groovy record stores, the Guerssen on-line store and the Guerssen Bandcamp page here.......................
https://guerssenrecords.bandcamp.com/album/reminiscence where you can also buy the download.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

CHILLI WILLI AND THE RED HOT PEPPERS - REAL SHARP (Proper Records 2 x CD).

From the early 70s Camden freak scene wing of Pub Rock, Chilli Willi and the Red Hot Peppers had a short career that closely mirrors that of Pub Rock legends Brinsley Schwarz………………both bands played unfashionable, unpretentious Country Rock in a Britian dominated by Prog and post psychedelic heavy Rock, retreating to the pubs to find an audience, both hardworking and hardgigging racking up the miles and the amount of shows played and both bands having a direct connection to the formation of Stiff Records. However, while the Brinsley’s now have cult status as a massively influential band, the Chilli’s have been near forgotten and are a mere footnote in the history of 70s British music. Originally a duo of guitarist Martin Stone and multi-instrumentalist Phil “Snakefinger” Lithman, who both had an impressive Psychedelic Rock pedigree……………….Stone had been a member of 60s Freakbeat/Psych Pop band The Action who morphed into the acid fried, couldda been contenders, Mighty Baby while Lithman had relocated to San Francisco in the early 70s and became part of The Residents inner-circle, later becoming a more permanent member following the demise of the Chilli’s………The band expanded to a five piece for live work bringing on board Paul “Diceman” Bailey (banjo, sax, guitar), Paul “Bassman” Riley (….errr….bass) and forthcoming Attractions drummer Pete Thomas. What they may of lacked in the Brinsley’s ear for a tune and the songwriting smarts of Ian Gomm/Nick Lowe, Chilli Willi and the Red Hot Peppers made up for it in spades with sheer musical ability and could comfortably go toe to toe with the best American Cosmic Country bands of the era. By 1975 it was all over…….following the Naughty Rhythms package tour which made stars of Dr. Feelgood and also included one of the finest British Funk/Soul bands of the 70s, Kokomo, the Chilli’s split and in the 40 years since slowly faded into obscurity. It’s about time that this great band are brought to a wider audience………….Proper Records have put together Real Sharp, a beautifully packaged anthology on 2 CDs which has included most of the Chilli’s recordings that they made in their short three year lifespan. Both their studio albums, Kings Of The Robot Rhythm and Bongos Over Balham, have been remastered by Paul Riley and are included with demos, live tracks and aborted studio sessions with Mike Nesmith at the controls along with a booklet with full liner notes and the artwork the legendary inkmeister Barney Bubbles provided for posters, merch and album covers.

Released in 1972 by the tiny Revelation label, Kings Of The Robot Rhythm is a predominantly an acoustic album recorded by Stone and Lithman aided and abetted by Nick Lowe, Billy Rankin and Bob Andrews from Brinsley Schwarz on a few of the tracks. Totally out of sync with the rest of the London rock scene at the time it’s a album recorded by a couple of stoner freaks who really dig Cosmic Country Music. Sourced directly from the original master tapes for the very first time it has an authentic lo-fi vibe of the best immaculately stoned late 60s Country Rock. Heavily influenced by rootsy Americana and the gentle vibes of the West Coast it’s a throwback to the stoner hippie Country Rock of bands like Mad River and Gram Parsons/The Byrds/Grateful Dead’s traditional Bluegrass ‘n’ Blues explorations relocated in Camden Town mixing reworked traditional songs with original material. Sparse and evocative, Kings Of The Robot Rhythm features mesmerizing guitar interplay between Stone and Lithman, tracks such as ‘Astrella From The Astral Planet’ and ‘The Ballad Of Chilli Willi’ are straight outta S.F. circa 69 while elsewhere they take a affectionate dig at the Country Rock cliches with ‘Drunken Sunken Red Neck Blues’ and ‘Nashville Rag’. The strongest song on the album is the stripped back original version of ‘I’ll Be Home’, a live favourite that appears again in a much fuller form as one of the out-takes from the fractious Mike Nesmith sessions for Bongos Over Balham. The rest of CD1 is taken up with demos recorded by the expanded line up of Chilli Willi and the Red Hot Peppers at the Chalk Farm Studio with many tracks appearing on Bongos Over Balham……….raw and vibrant these tracks are the sound of a band insanely tight from relentless gigging. With a taught, groovy sound not unlike the fantastic 1968/69 line up of The Byrds featuring Clarence White on guitar, the Chilli’s play Country music with Psychedelic flourishes on outstanding tunes such as ‘Friday Song’, ‘Goodbye Nashville (Hello Camden Town)’, ‘Truck Drivin’ Girl’. Two real killer tracks from these sessions are the Quicksilver Messenger Service gone Country ‘Desert Island Girl’ and the bluesy Van Morrison-esque ‘Jungle Song’. The band had also expanded their musical palette and included Trad. Jazz, Doo-Wop and Blues influence on songs such as the classic cover of ‘Choo Choo Ch’Boogie’ and a Chilli’s original ‘I Wanna Love Her So Bad’. These songs were eventually released by Proper records in the mid 90s on the I’ll Be Home album with collected up all the previously unreleased Chilli’s material which is also on this anthology.

CD2 opens with Chilli Willi and the Red Hot Peppers “difficult” second album, the wonderfully titled Bongos Over Balham, that was released by Mooncrest Records in 1974. After starting the album sessions with Mike Nesmith, the album was finally completed by producer Ron Nevison who had previously engineered albums for Led Zeppelin, Bad Company and Thin Lizzy and was in no doubt under instruction from the suits at the label to “make ‘em sound like Brinsley Schwarz”. Full of great songs, mainly from the Chalk Farm Studio sessions, but with the rough edges that made the the tracks so thrilling in the demo recordings smoothed off.........it’s a solid, workmanlike record but ultimately  a little disappointing and was a poor seller. On reflection, this was the same for all of the Pub Rock bands who built their reputation on their live performances……………..non of the bands who put records out saw much success as it was difficult to replicate the live dynamics on album (only Dr. Feelgood ever managed this…….with the live album Stupidity). It was live where the Chilli’s were at their best………….In 1974, Zig Zag editor Andy Childs wrote "The number of English bands who are currently performing and perfecting the many eclectic styles of American music can be counted on the thumb of one hand... they are Chilli Willi and the Red Hot Peppers. To see them live is an experience. Their music melts your heart, invites you to dance and sing along, and when it’s all over, you feel a rush of energy and exhilaration pulsing through your blood…like you don’t quite believe what you’ve heard or seen, so come back and shout for more and you come back and see them again and again." The remaining tracks on the disc are mostly live recordings, some from The Amazing Zig Zag Concert at the Roundhouse in 1974 that celebrated the fifth anniversary of the magazine and a great dirty blooze workout of “Walkin Blues”, featuring Will Stallibrass on harmonica, taken from a Capital Radio session. For fans of late 60s/early 70s tripped out Country Rock such as the Flying Burrito Brothers, Gram Parsons and The Fallen Angels, The Dead, Mad River and the other freaks that went looking for the roots of Cosmic Americana..........and of course Brinsley Schwarz.............. 

It was short, but it was sweet and Chilli Willi and the Red Hot Peppers stuck around long enough to record enough quality tracks to fill two CDs with great music. After the band's breakup, Thomas became the drummer for Elvis Costello's backing band, The Attractions; Riley played with Graham Parker; Bailey formed Bontemps Roulez and Stone played with the Pink Fairies before concentrating on his book business, sadly losing his battle with cancer last year while Lithman moved back to San Francisco where he began to work with his former associates, The Residents, under the name Snakefinger before passing away in 1987 aged only 38. Dedicated to the memory of Martin Stone, Phil Lithman and the late great Barney Bubbles, Real Sharp is out NOW on 2 x CD from all good record shops, on line and directly from Proper Records…………………and still only for the price of a pint and a packet of fags.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

BRINSLEY SCHWARZ - IT’S ALL OVER NOW (Mega Dodo LP, CD, Cassette, D/L).

Originally scheduled for release in 1975, It’s All Over Now  was supposed to be Pub Rock legends Brinsley Schwarz’s commercial breakthrough………….Rescuing their career after the infamous “Brinsley Schwarz Hype” PR disaster, the band had retreated to London’s pubs where they built a solid reputation as one of the best live bands on the circuit playing a mix of good time, self-effacing Rock & Roll, Soul and Country Rock, releasing a handful of well received but commercially disastrous LPs. Despite strong reviews and a dedicated fan base, the Brinsleys never managed to escape cult status, yet they influenced a legion of other artists, creating an underground, back-to-basics movement that laid the foundation for Punk Rock. By 1975, there was a seismic change in the air………….the Pub Rock bands were soon to be swept away by Punk bands and there is sense that Brinsley Schwarz knew a change was coming. The band split up not long after the recording sessions and before the record was due for release, seeing the album binned by United Artists (the album almost made the shops in the 80s but was withdrawn just before release) and it has remained  officially unreleased ever since. The archive diggers at Mega Dodo have rescued this gem of a record, given it a good dusting down and will be releasing the album on vinyl as originally intended with copies also available on CD and, for that proper retro vibe, on cassette.

For fans of the band, It’s All Over Now is an essential purchase……………….the record was recorded with Brinsley Schwarz cohort Dave Edmunds in the producer’s chair and a eye on the American market. The album contains several strong Nick Lowe/Ian Gomm penned songs (including the original version of ‘Cruel To Be Kind’ which was to be a massive hit for Lowe a few years later), a studio version of the live favourite William Bell's ‘Private Number, a groovy instrumental Soul stomper ‘Do The Cod’ and a Reggae version of the Bobby Womack song/Stones big hit ‘It’s All Over Now’………hey, it was 1975 and everybody was doing at least one Reggae influenced cut on their records. The album is effectively Pub Rock’s last stand and harks back to a time in the 70s when rootsy Americana, cod Reggae and blue eyed Soul side to side on the same record was not deemed strange…………………Dr Feelgood had made such a impact on the scene and as Nick Lowe said about the era “When the Pub Rock scene started going downhill, largely due to Dr Feelgood, who were so great they spawned many duff copyists, it was time to move on”. It’s All Over Now is a record of it’s time, how it would have fared if it had been released back in 1975 is anyone guess………………being a Brinsley’s record it would have no doubt died on it’s arse……but it has aged well for being near 40 years old. One to check out for fans of Graham Parker, Elvis Costello and the ton of bands Brinsley Schwarz’s classy blend of no nonsense Rock, Roots and Soul have influenced.

Due for release on 28/04/2017, the album will be available in limited edition orange vinyl (150 copies), black vinyl (350 copies), cassette (50 copies) and CD and should be available from all good record stores……………………check the Mega Dodo website and the usual clued up online stores for info about pre-release orders.