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.

An ode to energy - IN SEARCH OF SPACE #73

I’m a twitchy, instant gratification kind of guy; I’ll be the first to admit. Years of computer gaming and using my iPhone during television commercials have whittled down my attention span to the point that unless I am being constantly assailed I’ll get bored. I long ago lost the ability to listen to post-rock (also known as the genre where nothing ever happens) and art-house films long ago slipped from my grasp. It seems to be that I’m sliding into being unable to do anything, my tastebuds too have weathered poorly against the constant assault through which I put them and are now able to taste nothing but weapons-grade Cheddar and strong spirits. Musically I’m slipping into punk and amphetamine psychadelia as the only genres able to hold my interest enough to be transcendent. I’m sure the long summer days will mellow me out but right now I need a Red Bull rush to keep me going through the night, and Radio Moscow are the band to do it, as well as their new incarnation, Blues Pills. Although it sounds like shitty reviewer spiel about whatever inconsequential bullshit band just realised an inconsequential retrograde album, there really isn’t a dull moment on Radio Moscow’s 2009 album Brain Cycles. Offering a wild kaleidoscopic haze of rock and roll scrawled across a disk like Jackson Pollock was in charge of record pressing. Blues Pills, two parts Radio Moscow and one part Janis Joplin have been tickling our interest for a while, and now they’re firmly here, leaping into our stereos and hearts with a massive release of a re-recorded Bliss single and three other songs absolutely perfect for this no doubt short lived summer heatwave we been having.


A recommendation under duress - IN SEARCH OF SPACE #72

Oh shit. Oh shit! It’s all happening again! Remember that killer Lysol workout? (me neither, I was two) when the Melvins released an album named after the drain clearer Vachel Lindsay drank to rid himself of this earth and it featured 35 minutes of unabating Iommiisms. Brave as that was, when the Lysol drain cleaner company threatened to sue for use of their name, the Melvins hastily recalled all the records and taped/magic markered over the name and re-released the same fuckin’ records. How awesome is that as a rock and roll story to be sure and tell yer wee-‘uns. A career suicide more certain that if the Melvins had drank the bloody stuff instead of naming their album after it. And yet, when they emerged from the lawsuit-proof bunker they discovered they had a cult on their hands, like Willard with Kurtz’s blood still on his hands. Well my dears a new band has emerged on the scene with an 18 minute EP full of the same heart-stopping career-flameout-guaranteed rock and roll that will Hiroshimafy your speakers before you know what the fuck and just like that Melvins LP will leave completely perplexed joy in the wake of its motorbike roar.


I saw Sleep - IN SEARCH OF SPACE #71

Or: - Lebanon! Lebanon! Hashishian! Rubble me, I’m a fifth century stone Buddha.
Or: - Stoner caravan from deep space arrives.
Or: - Sun beams down on to the Sandsean reigns.

NOTE - Adam is still trapped in exam glut, so spare a thought for him, and because I saw Sleep last night, give Tony Iommi a thought. The Sabbath reunion may be a retard jambourie at the moment, but they also laid a foundation of mung so thick you could build your house on it. Housekeeping over, on with what I scribbled!

Rocket City Riot - IN SEARCH OF SPACE #70

Well y’all it’s actually been quite a productive day of digging through the mountainous music industry slag heap looking for the few overlooked gems. Like that Tuber piece of magnificence Rocket City Riot’s self-titled debut single is only six minutes long, but we get two tracks, both instrumental and both really excellent in a instrumental MC5-type way and I’m excited to bring y’all it now. What we’re given is two tracks of the rawest retaliation, kicking out the jams and kicking against any notion of anything except the groove. The riffs are 800 decibels across, and only a lifetime long and so relentlessly, recklessly, resoundingly catchy I feel like I’m hearing Karma to Burn’s Almost Heathen again; but the riffs are more dynamic than that, less repetition and more progressiveness, holding forth these three lambaste the landscape from atop a medieval tower constructed of Marshall amps and issue forth a endless tide of sturdy and unstoppably catchy noise-rock underground type stuff. Rocket City Riot is the excellent name of this opus and it’s perfectly titled. The guitars, particularly on the self-titled opener are just a riot, so instantly catchy with real low-down ball-cranking heaviness behind them without it becoming overwhelming. It’s a thudding a psychedelic desert journey, seen through that hazy rainbow heat vision and looking at all the mirages down the highway while the drums do the driving. It’s got tempo too, far too many guys nowadays fuck about in my ears far too long, wasting the time they take and taking too much, Rocket City Riot is right on the money and doesn’t hang about. It’s a spectacularly great single that’s already merited twenty or so listens. And I’m excited for the rest of the catalogue.

Weary repetition reprobates - IN SEARCH OF SPACE #69

Or:- How to do more in six minutes than some bands do in their whole fuckin' life.

NOTE - Adam has some pretty serious exam stuff to work out so don't worry, he will return, just not this week. So you get double me. Fun huh? Two shorties this week. First one, Tuber.


Surf aliens must die! - IN SEARCH OF SPACE #68

NOTE – Surf Aliens Must Die has been created by Steven for the purposes of this review. It breaks down a lil’ summin’ like this. Side One is Moonliner Vol. 1, Side Two is the newly released Moonliner Vol. 2.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been in any kind of trouble, really, real trouble. But there’s always the legacy, that whole wall of vintage and that whole hard drive of stunning quality stretching back in time and in space, spanning 60 years and the globe. Rock and roll, the undeniable bible of bad, the walking, strutting monument to misbehaviour. And it ain’t ending! It’s still under construction like a needlessly elaborate cathedral, there are still bits of it being unearthed too, Pentagram only really came into existence recently; as well as all the smart and clever heads working all over the world under all imaginable conditions both spiritual and physical to make sounds. I’ve been really trying to dig around and come up with these contemporary heads because while I love taking you on my Raw Power trip, I figure you aren’t huge fans and would rather I led you to something new. And with that, let me take you on my little Brujas del Sol trip (that’s Witches of the Sun to you).


The Survivors' Suite - Keith Jarrett - LICK MY DECALS OFF, BABY! #49

 
A drone… a sound evocative of a seafarer’s horn. Deep, earthy, but above all furtive. A moan at first; a deep, earthy groan, as if nature itself were longing, to be reconnected with that which was lost. The yearning cry of the lonely islands shrouded in mist “like the hollow of a thirsty earth from which they broke off,” the folk-songs of ancient mariners, the vast expanse of water and sky, lonely, in solitude. Thus begins The Survivors’ Suite, with Keith Jarrett’s bass recorder playing the part of aforementioned haunting sound. As we are enveloped in our seclusion, however, mysterious semblances of bass and percussion paint an almost elegiac picture. The bassline, uneasy but regular, gives the track a backbone, its insistent presence like the waves or the tide, casting the track forward in its drift. With the eventual unity of the percussion and bass, the recorder is lost, and the track delves into quiet contemplation for a brief moment before a new sense of rhythm is established.

Al Cisneros - Ode to the Shrinebuilder - IN SEARCH OF SPACE #67


For the last few days I’ve been ill, as ill as an ill thing that had too much to drink last night, which has been impeding my training and led to me slinking about my flat in darkness feeling like royal arse listening to nothing but Om on repeat, I already had that angst-generating bile-vent over the abomination that was Live Conference but for full spiritual recovery amongst terrible illness (it isn’t that terrible, it’s quite bearable really, I just like whining) there has been nothing else on the turntable but Om’s side of the Om/Current 93 2006 split Inerrant Rays of the Infallible Sun (Blackship Shrinebuilder). This ain’t gonna be an over-spill of word vom like normal, it’s only eight minutes, but getting longer every listen and it’s oh-so-juicy.

Al Cisneros - Wanted dead or alive - IN SEARCH OF SPACE #66

Being a switched on head it is my honest and important message to not only put on the blues-and-twos around releases certain to send you into distorted nirvana but to also put a corollary on those which fall short, sometimes a single disk or a whole wave of a band that is best avoided like a high density minefield or a extremely boring person at an otherwise pleasant dinner party. Even the very greatest head-expanders do it, drop a clanger every so often, even Sabbath had that Born Again trouble that won’t be fully atoned-for until everyone even remotely responsible is taking a dirt nap. I put on a big warning stripe for any Sir Lord Baltimore release except their astonishingly good debut, I dedicated a whole article to giving the wave-off to Karma to Burn’s latest and now I give you another big fat no to add to the hundreds of full-on hell yess I’ve given. Today’s dud offenders may come as a shock because they’re one of my favourite recording artists still recording, Om. The logical continuation of the Sleep idiom. But I just took delivery of this side cut, so you’d be forgiven for assuming my following words are just the drunk raves of a lunatic fan who has lost all sense of perspective. To that I’d say: so?

In memory of Adam "MCA" Yauch - LICK MY DECALS OFF, BABY! #48


I’m a little late in writing a response to my favorite Beastie Boy’s untimely death, simply because it’s been so hard to process. I only got into the band about 2 years ago, and their music still hits me with freshness and fills me with enthusiasm. What’s more, it had been a hope of mine that one day the boys would come over to the UK again and tour, and I guess the realization that it’ll never happen hasn’t quite hit me yet.  

Somebody buy that man a beer, I got run down by the motorik madness gone rouge - IN SEARCH OF SPACE #65

This retrospective/recommendation was written in one night on the first listen to this new LP by killer Kraut artist Pharoah Chromium. The album is Electric Cremation, I don’t think I mention that. I didn’t intend to give y’all a hip on just one hit, but I felt compelled to bring this to you as soon as I could. 

Right off the bat I just know I’mma love this Pharoah Chromium record so damn much I may just have to settle down with it. The first 35 seconds of side one have already indulged in that true Melvinite post-Iommiism with such dedication and affection I just wanna take the record and play it for y’all individually. There also been some organ worship that brought back fond acid flashbacks of Yamantaka Sonic Titan trips with such pleasing instant mind-transferall I just gotta tell y’all, I felt a little summin’ summin’ in my bones. It all went a bit electric too. Just what are they putting in the water in Berlin to make you drop this motha’fucker motherfucker? Whatever it is, drink up and drink deep because it’s closing time at the bar and you’ve got a universe to master. 

Top ten piano loops in hip-hop - LICK MY DECALS OFF, BABY #47


Something a bit different for today, as suggested by my good friend and fellow hip hop lover James, whose own top 10 list you can check out here.

Basically, there are a lot of different sounds that are often sampled to make hip-hop beats, but some of the most common are piano beats. Why this is I’m not sure, but the diverse sound of the piano can give rise to some menacing sounds, some chilled ones and some absolutely banging beats. This top 10 list is slightly atypical but hopefully contains all of the above.

"One of the best bands on the planet" - IN SEARCH OF SPACE #64

Rock and roll is a revolution. It’ll keep spinning, tuned-in heads will keep making records for nobody to hear so that we always have fresh slices for the soundtrack to the revolution, when we decide a large proportion of things we do are completely stupid and actively get in the way of what makes us truly happy. Alas, until that day utterly superb bands will continue to churn out mesmeric records and surprise me every few months with a real humm-dinger and you fuckers are all too blind and too stupid to notice. I like to know how you think the world is ever going to get any better if you just roll over and let the record companies tattoo your arse with their copyright. I present to you a wonderful opportunity to fuck those cunts at Apple right up with a simple act of revolutionary penance, and out of it you’ll get a superb rock and roll record to treasure that is unique and funny in a way a lot of heavier music isn’t and the smug knowledge that Apple are a few pounds/dollars/euros poorer and the band are a great many pounds richer. Go out, right now, before you read any further, and buy Megafauna’s debut album, so that they get a flush of attention and can make another one. You won’t be disappointed. Give as much as you like, I guarantee whatever you paid will be worth it.

Iggy paternity test comes back positive! - #IN SEARCH OF SPACE #63

There’s always been a fundamental difference between hippies and punks, as the Young Ones aptly demonstrated time and again. I’ve always thought that hippies, with long hair and flares, earthy colours seemed kinda soft around the edges, fuzzy; punks were strictly defined, rigid lines and angles, ‘sharp’ was their adjective. So when you start talkin’ ‘bout psychedelic punk I get a little... hazy. That’s the label slapped on Baltimore’s Vincent Black Shadow, not to be confused with Canadian female-fronted garage-pop the Vincent Black Shadow. Nope this is definitely Vincent Black Shadow, sans the. And what does this fusion of fuzzy and hard sound like? A caterwauling railway to a thousand words of oblique sexual innuendos? Certainly does. This rollicking 30 minuter is sure to set your legs a-quiverin’ and your speakers ablaze with a sultry blend of erogenous zone-stroking careful instrumentation with punk layered in like three shots of Stroh in the office Christmas party punch. And a punch it certainly packs, with a lyrical superiority to rival Iggy himself, lead singer Adam Black Savage wastes no time sand blasting his vocals across the spectrum in the greatest Iggy fashion, vocally gesticulating and cavorting as the songs come to broken-LP stages of rotation, slowing right the fuck down until all that you can hear is the wind.


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