Four score and sonic mung - IN SEARCH OF SPACE #74

Heavy metal is kinda Black Sabbath, I mean, they laid the groundwork for all that exemplary mung worship that was to come right? Bitta Blue Cheer maybe? Definitely a small group of late-sixties heads worked out the whole genre. It got all mixed with things but basically those guys were the seed that sprouted the metal tree. I wonder if Hawkwind realises or recognises their progeny. Or can accept how far from the old spacerock tree they’ve really fallen. There are too many great releases at the moment to give them all the elbow-room of a review each, and to bring them all to y’all’s attention so I’mma cram them all inta this one extra-long (hopefully) disquisition. Firstly, I’ve been messing about with some serious stoner sun vibes, Hawkwind would be proud, or ashamed, I can’t tell which.


Sunrise on Venus.

Beginning as only I can with Earthmass. Leaping onto the scene astride a super-rocket of a song, an epic twenty minuter full of lazy empty-calorie guitars and whistling car alarm electronics and dumping a whole space dumper truck full of heavy rocks onto us like some medieval stoning on the planet of the apes. This is Lunar Dawn, and it’s a helluva way to come onto the scene, like walking into a party with yer old chap unzipped and hanging out, just to let everyone know what you’ve got swingin’ around down there. It all gets a bit crowded around the middle with some vocals rising in the mix and the guitars getting up from their sludge-trudge to dance a merry solo gig on yer grave. Somewhere the gears have switched and we’re in a Kyuss instrumental… Help!  In fact the whole thing plays like Kyuss’s Asteroid (off that sub-fuckin-lime Welcome to Sky Valley LP) played at the wrong speed, the closer is even similar, with the thudding gaps like a boxers’ teeth. I suppose it isn’t the revelatory Jesus-light, the holes in pieces of paper lining up and revealing more of the world that we could hope for, but I gotta give a full salute to anybody who has the balls to roll a twenty minute wad of mung up the flagpole for their debut. It’s a good listen too, I guess. I sense a lot of potential, this band is like an elastic band wound back, they’re just waiting to snap and paint their masterpiece with Marshall amps. I can’t wait, keep these guys on the radar.

Get it here y'all, free!

Acid music for music freaks on acid.

That was the support band, the starter course, the lightweight fight though. We’re here for the unbroken fifty minute workout from Texas sun-bakers Liquid Sound Company. Hailing from a long line of things going psychedelic in the Lone Star State (thinking Elevators and Red Krayola) although this LP was probably sitting directly behind Acid Mothers Temple in the exam hall. Though there’s more than a nod to Krautrock too, these guys have the guile to call a song Agitation Free (or Free of Agitation depending on where it’s listed) (those of a mellow and cool disposition just had a little shiver of excitement huh?), whichever way you slice this LP, the tree rings suggest some serious sonic tomfoolery afoot. Epic rock ballads, carried in the Randy Holden mould of having one monolithic guitar (helmed by a fully freak-flag-flying John Perez usually found being epic in doom outfit Solitude Aeturnus, fact fans!) There are flutters of the Doors, which gives me a special kind of happy, little twinges particularly in Agitation Free, a single chord harking back to the End which is explosively ambitious. Generally this is the kind of thing that would be called a bootleg, a sliced and diced attempt at cutting together various takes and bits and demos and stuff into something vaguely listenable; it’s this Frankenstien’d feel that makes it all the more spacey, they couldn’t even drag themselves up from their Persian rugs long enough to write an album, just drop the whole lot together! This is relaxation music, best enjoyed while horizontal. It’s crisp and clean and the heaviness is like a burglar, slipping in under the apparently clean guitar tones until you come to fifty minutes later and notice your room seems a lot less cluttered. There’s mondo katzenjammer fuzz scuzz guitar all over this record and I can’t help lovin’ the production. This is electric in the most satisfyingly awesome way. The guitar tone (and the whole thing is guitar tone) is just superb, thuddingly powerful and redemptively clean and only really leaps into spazz psychedelia in the last fifteen minutes of the album, until then everything is on electric mode, Neil Young Randy Holden type deal, but with less structure, a thick chunk of distortion blubber that fills the room until you can’t remember anything else. Every time it goes away like hiccups you want it back.

Put on that record again, it’s time to cut the mung.

It ain’t just spacerock that’s been rockin’ my mezzanine these last few tortured sleepless nights, I’ve also latched onto some pretty fearsome worship of guitar mung that I think y’all’d like to lick. Natch it all begins with the Dopesmoker reissue, but I’ve already let off enough of my sticky stuff about that particular slice of sonic gold so I’mma say no more (buy it buy it buy it). As always, the best of the stuff is to be found outside of the system, and outside of any systems at all. Fuzz guitar record for y’all to prostrate yersels before is the excellent Discovery by one man Bucharest sound repentant Goddess, or Ervin Usein to his friends. From the thudding scuzz fuzz to the artwork, this cat does it all solo and it’s a richly detailed vision for a one-man operation. Duelling guitars, one clean and the other drenched in distortion battle it out in moment after moment that deserves, nay, demands to be heard. The EP is only twenty minutes but it is one of the most compelling debuts I’ve heard this year. The whole thing vibes in a way nothing else really has this summer release season. Y’know what’s the coolest though? He giveth this away for 99 euro cents. That is a mighty fine price when Coldplay are charging ten times that for an album that could be faithfully replicated by inserting a chordless drill into your forehead. These are chilled and adventurous jams from someone who can really be vibed through the music to love what he does. Give him some lovin’.

Goddess gives her lovin' for y'all here.

I’ve let the flood into the tomb of King Blood, but his slaves left him a stash of hee hee to see him through eternity.

The second offering from King Blood, on the other hand, as another blogger pointed out, is a motherfucker. From the opening chords room-rattling prowess and the japrock-ee production in which this EP is simmering, it’s clear King Blood mean serious business. Throughout, King Blood present the kind of static usually only found in the cracks through the centre of the earth, or the exact frequency if one could distil the experience of looking at the sun through binoculars into sound. In its most skull-crushing beer-bottle-smash moments it comes closest to that sonic grail of the saturated sound, L.A.M.F.’s criminally underappreciated Ambient Metal. The same production quality is here, so lo-fi you wonder what kind of stone-age tools they did the recording with, and why we can’t replace all recording devices with the same thing. Even if this EP didn’t have a crushing heaviness underlying it like a layer of black hardened treacle smeared over the floor and walls by desperate junkies on the drop, it would still sound like a B52 because of the production. The stars of the show though are King Blood themselves, who, if they retain their graph projections of this sonic rise into audio nirvana, are going to become very essential listening for broken Europe. Ain’t nothing heavier than a cracked economy, ‘cept these guys and the USAF. We’re sure to have a buncha killer records along the way too.

King Blood's new record and all their stuff can be found at their website. Soak it up!

That about does it. Four sonic pieces of gold, all cheap and all fuelling the modern rock and roll revolution. With my awareness smeared with this kind of quality, it’s possible to look into the light and see a bit of hope. Almost. Y’should check out each and every one of these artists because they be doing different things so far under the radar I’m pretty sure we’re digging trenches for the coming rock and roll war, but they all deserve your attention and love. Y’can’t fuck to it (I ain’t tried mind you) and I never promise you’ll like anything I write about, all I stipulate is that anything that graces these proto-Copean pages has earned its place here by waving its freak flag higher than most of us dare and deserves a place in your awareness even if you can’t bring yersel’ to love such a malformed and ignored child. Love, peace and fuck motherfuckers. ‘Till next time.

Written under duress by Steven.

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