Archives for posts with tag: psych-rock

Koizilla 2019

Our day 8 song for New Zealand Music Month 2020 comes from Dunedin hyper-active psych-surf turbo-prog band Koizilla, and a typically over-achieving precision riff-fest called “Prooble”.

Koizilla are Zac Nicolls (guitar and vocals), Hilary Faul (flute, vocals, keyboards, percussion), Connor Blackie (bass, vocals) and Josh Nicolls (drums). The band have always seemed to have some accidental early 1970s German psych-prog sound in their skillfully executed blend of riff-rock and prog-rock precision. But this song sounds more like a manic version of Anglo-French ensemble Gong.

Koizilla’s adventurous risk-taking glee of melodic multi-instrumental synchronicity avoids the joyless mechanical precision of musical theory mathematics exercises that prog-rock forms can sometimes amount to. It’s fun, and if it sounds exhausting to listen to, imagine what it’s like to play.

NZMM 2020

 

Francie Moon

“Dear Love” is the powerhouse second track from a new cassette album/ mini-album release from New Jersey psych-rock trio Francie Moon.

Francie Moon is a trio but also the alter-ego of guitarist and vocalist Melissa Lucciola, with Adam Pumilia on bass, and Richie Samartin on drums. This new album “All The Same” – which includes the three songs from their 7″ EP released earlier this year –  mixes elements of psych, garage, and surf rock in an energetic collection.

“Dear Love” featured here shows off Lucciola’s distinctive reverb & delay washed guitar playing and equally distinctive vocal delivery. Musically the song is part Hendrix (in his dreamiest Axis: Bold as Love phase), and part Swedish psych-rockers Dungen, embellished with subtle keyboard washes and a recorder solo in place of Dungen’s occasional flute flourishes.

 

Mint Field 2019Here’s a Psychedelic Sunday treat from Tijuana, Mexico and the shape-shifting sounds of Mint Field – “Ella Se Queda”:

Mint Field have followed up their 2018 debut album ‘Pasar de la Luces’ with a 5 song 25 minute EP called “Mientras Esperas” which continues and expands the horizons of their unique combination of psych rock, dream-pop, shoegaze and krautrock.

The duo of Amor Amezcua and Estrella del Sol Sánchez has also expanded to a trio with the addition of  with bass player Sebastian Neyra joining the band for the ‘Pasar de la Luces’ tour, and for this EP, which was recorded in a couple of days during a stop-off in Los Angeles.

Francie Moon

It’s not often that the spirit of Ronnie Dawson comes to mind when listening to a brand new 7″ single in 2019. Dawson’s 1958 version of “Action Packed!” was an all-time rockabilly classic, sung with terrifying eye-popping enthusiasm by the helium-voiced young star. But yet here we are in mid-February 2019 with a 3 song 7″ single on Keeper Records by Montague Township, New Jersey trio Francie Moon and Ronnie’s spirit seems present.

Francie Moon is a trio but also the alter-ego of guitarist and vocalist Melissa Lucciola. There’s just a hint of early Ronnie Dawson in Lucciola’s pitch and delivery on this song, and also in the reverb-heavy guitar. This is garage rock at it’s contemporary finest – a thrilling mix of semi-feral rock and roll, rockabilly, surf rock, garage-punk, and psych-rock, all delivered with wild enthusiasm and absolute commitment.

Also on the 7″ single is “Sittin’ in the Middle” – another classic two and a half minute rapid swirl of surf-a-billy garage rock built on reverb guitar and tight interplay between Lucciola’s guitar, Adam Pumilia’s bass, and Richie Samartin’s drumming.

The last track – the 5 minute “Present Tense” – is a different beast, coming over like some weird mutant fusion of Thee Oh Sees, surf rock, and the heavy stoner psych of the likes of Comets on Fire – check the guitar solo mid-way here – before a dreamy slow-psych interlude in the style of Swedish psych-rockers Dungen, complete with recorder solo. It’s an unexpected conclusion to an exhilarating collection of songs.

Here’s an action packed video for “New Morning Light” –

Little Desert_HappyLittle Desert is a 5 piece dark garage/punk psych-rock punk ensemble from Melbourne. “Happy” here is a brand new song, just released ahead of a new EP slated for release in 2019. Buckle in – it’s a W I L D (but happy) ride…

There’s nothing held back here. This is pure, unrestrained, wild, searing garage-psych rock energy. Vocalist Esther Rivers’ delivery commands the song – an ode to sisterly love and embracing life.  In the engine room, Ash Wyatt (Red Red Krovvy/ Masses) propels the song with urgent floor-tom heavy drums, Bonnie Mercer (Dead River/ Breathing Shrine) adds the classic buzz-saw guitar, Ema Dunstan (Hi-Tec Emotions/ Synthetics) shakes the foundations with ominously low bass rumble and Roman Tucker (Rocket Science) provides that psych-essential swirling keyboard atmosphere.

Esther Rivers – “Written on the train on the way back from Scotland it’s our first curt, “optimistic” song with no hidden meanings. I wrote it about my sister as I left her behind after visiting her after ages and finding her in a really good place. We’ve gotten a bit more B52s with these new songs! A bit more groove but still with passion and the psych-out at the end. A bit of a punk edge too. We love playing this song at the end of the set.”

“Happy” is A-grade wild psych rock and roll. Can’t wait for the EP, and I’ll also be examining the Little Desert back catalogue. “Saeva” below has a hard-to-categorise, winning mix of psychedelic garage-rock and doomy/ proggy UK 1970s heavy metal. While you are falling down the Little Desert rabbit hole be sure to check out each of the members other bands in the links above. There’s much more to discover in this noisy Melbourne underground scene.

 

MelenasMelenas are a guitar/ bass/ keyboards/drums band from Pamplona, Spain and “Mentiras” (which translates as “Lies”) is from their fabulous self-titled debut album of jangling psychedelic garage rock which is well worth exploring in detail… and then buying.

While some will hear the spirit of Look Blue Go Purple in that robustly rhythmic guitar strum, it reminds me more of the perpetual nervousness of The Feelies’ guitar sound. In recent years the only other band I can recall to evoke those same touchstones so well was Veronica Falls, who also shared a fondness for driving songs along with a heavy floor tom beat as Melenas do.

However, the songs here are also just as likely to evoke the spirit of the classic late 1960’s era of proto-psych-pop garage-rock fuzz, jangle and melody (as compiled on the “Pebbles” and “Nuggets” LP series) as they are any possible ’80’s influence. There’s a lot going on; from simple propulsive drums to a solid mesh of rapidly strummed 12 string guitar, soaring vocal melodies with layered backing vocals and a winning way with keyboard flourishes providing the sonic icing on Melenas’ psychedelic pop-tart.

 

Beaches by Darren Sylvester

BEACHES (photo by Darren Sylvester)

Continuing the heavy psych theme, here’s a blissful Sunday Psych-out fuzzfest called “Arrow” from Melbourne five-piece band BEACHES:

BEACHES have just released (September 2017) a double album of ultra-melodic psychedelic rock called “Second of Spring”. Actually, it’s a bit more than *just* psych rock, as the double LP format allows the band to mix their usual 60s/ 70s psych-rock via German 70s experimental motorik and 80s New Wave goodness with even more shoegaze melodic pop stylings to great effect, as “Arrow” here shows.

Some songs may even remind anyone who has established a long-running relationship with Australian alternative guitar music (guilty here) of the fuzzy melodic power-pop goodness of the likes of 80s/ 90s bands The Hummingbirds or Someloves. To my ears BEACHES more natural propulsive and joyful psychedelic stylings are way more preferable than the over-worked self-indulgent noodling of some of their much more vaunted Australian psych-rock contemporaries. Enough said!

BEACHES are Antonia Sellbach on guitar and vocals, Alison Bolger on guitar and vocals, Ali McCann on guitar and vocals, Gill Tucker on bass and vocals and Karla Way on drums and vocals.

They’ve been playing and releasing singles, EPs and albums as BEACHES since 2008. You really ought to dig back into their catalogue for stunning gems like the 2013 release “She Beats” which features even more motorik psych+melodic fuzzrock wonders.

transistorPopLib is an ecclectic music blog if nothing else. So we go from The Clientele’s autumnal English art-project music in the previous post to the heavy psych-rock of Wellington’s Transistor. Here’s “The Sun” – the opening track of a riff-laden EP released last year.

The EP is packed with ultra-heavy psychedelic riff-heavy space-rock, furnace-blasted by compression into a pummeling distortion saturated noise, with random spacey effects and vocals long on the echoey reverb. It’s unrestrained and it’s superb.

If you imagine UK early metal band Budgie, crossed with some lost 1970s Japanese psych-rock band then you are coming close to what this EP is all about. I love it.

While I’m a sucker for opening track “The Sun” because of the sheer gravitational pull of its heaviness, the second track “Nightworm” is probably even better for it’s more sonically-adventurous exploration of space-psych.

For added cool weirdness Transistor cover The Chills’ “Pink Frost” and make it their own, subjecting it to a set-the-controls-for-the-heart-of-the-sun treatment too. Epic.

 

Psychic Ills

Psychic Ills – Tres Warren & Elizabeth Hart

Psychic Ills is a duo based in New York – Tres Warren and Elizabeth Hart. I’ve somehow missed hearing them before, but tuned into ABC Radio’s Inside Sleeve show today as “I Don’t Mind” was playing & thought “hmm, that sounds like Hope Sandoval…”

Turns out this Psychic Ills track from their new (and apparently 5th) album “Inner Journey Out” is indeed a pairing of the inimitable voice of Hope Sandoval (Mazzy Star, Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions) and Psychic Ills’ Tres Warren.

“I Don’t Mind” and other tracks streaming on their bandcamp page for the album demonstrate a blissful use of drones and repetition in sparse mid-paced songs. The relaxed/ relaxing meditative feel is reminds me of Spacemen 3 (try their fabulous The Perfect Prescription album) filtered through influences from astral Americana, gospel and sun-bleached desert psych-blues-rock.

Very good indeed… time to check out more of the Psychic Ills catalogue now!

Invisble threadsDay 18 of NZ Music Month is a lovely slice of weirdo psychedelic drone rock with synths from Auckland band Invisible Threads. The song is “ZS”:

Tremendous. It starts out as a kind of fuzzy alternative stoner-psych-rock with almost conversational laid-back vocals. Then the guitar goes a bit super-nova with effects and finally that synth in the background bursts out, everything lurches into a lurching progressive sludge-metal freak-out battle between guitar and synth and it’s over!

Only two and a half minutes long, but what an intriguing mini-symphony of ear-popping oddness those two and half minutes contained.

Invisible Threads headline the “Better Living” event at Christchurch’s Darkroom this coming Saturday.

This “Better Living” event will not about stuff you can do with plastic, but is instead presented by Melted Ice Cream Records so it’s more about “Better Living” through being Glad all over with the joyful communal experience of a good night out listening to bands make a life-enriching noise.

The event information states: “INVISIBLE THREADS are about to release a brand new album through Melted Ice Cream and on their second ever visit to Christchurch they are bringing down a whopping fifteen modular synthesizers to all make wonderful, faster-than-average-tempo-for-your-average-band-of-punks, geek trash, good shit-zonk. Essential listening: A new single from their upcoming album ‘Oxide’ which WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE AT THE GIG!”  –

The album “Oxide” was released yesterday and you can find it here.