All matter flows according to the whims of the Great Magnet, what a fool I was to defy him. Life ebbs and flows like a frost stream, not like an ever-flowing river. After being trapped in a busy schedule and getting hung-up on a series of below-par albums for a few weeks I was beginning to lose sight of what this blog was about. Luckily fresh drilling into the welcoming belly of the underground has yielded yet more fret-smashing action I’m all too happy to bring to you in a pristine psychedelic state of the union. It has also not escaped my attention that we’re speeding towards the end of the year, and the end of year lists (and we gotta special present for y’all in December too, so keep ‘em peeled) but right now I figured it was time for a psychic roundup of all the best psyche that for one reason or another slipped past us this year (mostly ‘cause I missed the fuckers, eh?) Each and every one of these is special, bespoke, very very good, and usually effing difficult to get ahold of, savour.
Something spooky be going down here folks. I tells yah. So I was staggering sundrenched through the streets when I gets a cosmic murmuring to return to the bunker, where I find two naked CDs, both from Chris at Rocket Recordings and both by Goat, and Afro-Scando trio whose records are still more fun than you can otherwise have this year with your pants on and ye gods I missed out on the Rocket Party, where Gnod and Goat tore up London; after seeing Gnod in full space-age terms at the Copendium book launch and hearing what Chris at Rocket dropped to me today, I can tell you it was a one-in-a-dreamtime gig. Though I’ve always maintained records are where it’s at, far more people hear records than see live shows, even for hardworking bands, so thankfully they strapped down and catalogued the First Sonic Ritual, which is being packaged with their stellar debut if you grab World Music from Norman Records and it sure is a vital sonic addition, but also a crucial artefact. Artefacts are something Goat is big on. You can’t hear their debut without grabbing either a sweet little packaged CD or dropping the big one and going all-out for coloured vinyl. I can confirm Goat are everything I hope they’d be live. Instant classics from the record are brought to life by high sonic priestess and her helper gnomes and turned into lucid organic fever dreams of a manic time in a frost-wracked Congo riverboat, in sweaty fits of an unknown affliction depicting itself as the sweetest of dreams even through the Apocalypse Now vision of the world around. I can confirm Goat are very much alive, but Mistah Kurtz, he dead.
Come on take a trip down town to the psychic garden. Come stroke the trees. Stay for the atmosphere. Drink, and make merry and make light of the mysteries and wonders of the universe. Life is long and we are young and the soundtrack is the Dalai Lama Rama Fa Fa Fa, which’ll excite you if you’re hardwired into the politico-posturings of a little buncha chaps running by the name of the MC5. It sounds like Soul Kitchen played by Sir Lord Balt, or the whole of Back in the USA slipped into an acid cocktail and eagerly slurped down by one of the 13th Floor Elevators. Possessed of the same surf-psyche guitar tones you get at 1968 acid beach parties without a hint of musty nostalgia and psychedelic like sunlight hitting an oil puddle, this gnarly French fourpiece set a new standard for the sorta psyche we can expect. Dalai Lama Rama Fa Fa Fa have locked on to it and are closing in fast. Their full-and-proper record is due an undetermined soon and until then their stuff is painfully hard to get ahold of, requiring much journeying into the hinterland of discarded rock and roll in order to rustle up the cosmic goodies. But you can take it on whatever authority this (now seemingly long-running) blog gives me, and go forth, and seek out any and all Dalai Lama Rama Fa Fa Fa yooz can lay your mitts on, because it is so worth it. No doubt I will alert yooz all to when and where their latest offering is emanating.
O’course it ain’t all psychic gardens me babies. Motor cityis burning in the new Outside Hours release, which on top of being fucking awesome flames flickering out of a slum window, is also totally free. So you have no excuse but to toke it. It’s the end of the world me babies, it’s all falling down, every little thing we tried to put together. Don’t worry, it’s going to be fine. It’s all just a blissful parade, the sadness, the happiness, it’s all shades of the same grey, so say Outside Hours in their gloompsyche tribute to all things fine. Hoo yeah baby, ‘specially at the price of free, there’s no excuse for not picking up and absorbing this little slice of fried gold.
Am I getting tired of retro rock? The huge deluge of bands from the past that are being dredged up from the swamp slime, as well as Graveyard and all the modern retro-rockers working off the back of that first really retro Sword LP and dump records into my inbox every day with the same basically sound ingredients (downtuned groovy sub-Kyuss guitar and the big boom-pow drum hits as well as some bourbon drenched hero on the vox) and why are so many of them dull? Why do so many make me feel just a little bit sad that I was such a vocal fan of this stuff when it first came along. Writing endless praise of these albums because after all that nu metal debauchery we’re getting rid of the Korn hangover with getting back to when rock and roll was best. Now it all seems like everything it’s overstayed my welcome. That’s what I thought, until I got dropped the new Heavy Eyes EPs for this year and realised blues rock, or retro rock, or stoner rock or whatever you want to call it, is just as passing out behind the bar on Saturday night brilliant as ever before. Take me back blues rock, why did I ever doubt you? So y’all can hear quality snapshots of their second album in the two EPs they’ve released, giving us four of the upcoming songs. Looks like you can get a fairly good idea by dipping toes back into the swimming pool of groove of their first album because these Wax Apples don’t seem to have fallen far from the Heavy Eyes tree. Playing like Split-era Groundhogs shot through with something of Mountain’s Mississippi Queen righteousness all played by Volume 2-era Sleep on an acid frenzy. Check out These Men Are Wolves, and if you aren’t turned, you must have a beige soul.
Now y’all might be inclined to maybe think some of these bands are quite good enough? Well they are. All these records are just the thing you need for the midwinter blues and to banish any worries about the coming apocalypse. We’ve got less than 21 days to live kiddies, according to the doomsayers, so live it up while you can. Let these records be your passport. Also let me know what you thought of the Psyche roundup, I enjoyed doing it, so if you like it too maybe we'll do more of these? Love me, heads, 'cause I love you.
Written under duress by Steven.