Archives for posts with tag: psychedelic rock

Lorelle Meets the Obsolete

Lorelle Meets the Obsolete are a duo from Guadalajara, Mexico and “Líneas En Hojas” is a track from their recently released (third?) album “De Facto”:

The track combines melodic dream-pop with tense experimental post-punk tinged psychedelia. That minimal drum, bass, voice, guitar, synth repetition, building up into layered constructions and the contrast between light and dark/ dream and nightmare/ soft and harsh is a feature of many of the songs on this intriguing album.

Lorelle Meets the Obsolete are Lorena Quintanilla (Lorelle) and Alberto González (The Obsolete) with “De Facto” featuring a handful of additional musicians.

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Earth to ZenaEarth to Zena are a 4-piece band from Wellington describing themselves – very accurately – as ‘psychedelic shoegaze’. Here’s the remarkable “Celestial Skins” from their debut album, “Transmundane”:

“Celestial Skins” here represents the best of all the bands’ elements combined together. There’s muscular crushing space rock noise (Hawkwind, circa “Space Ritual”, with Lemmy on bass!) to open and close the song, and, in-between, passages of diaphanous dream-pop/ shoegaze wonder, plus a kind of free-flowing psychedelic rock reminiscent of Jefferson Airplane. The outro combines everything – plus added synth – in a celestial celebration of distorted glorious saturated noise.

Lead vocalist Renee Cotton also plays synthesizer, adding extra textures and melodies to the futuristic (and Hawkwind-esque space rock) elements of the sound, with Barton McGuire on guitar, Alex Sipahioglu on bass and Nic Allan on drums.

“Transmundane” is a great collection of strong songs, rendered with confidence and style, and also quite often with the amps and effects turned up past the point of no return. Give it a whirl for yourself!

Alazarin Lizard 2018Day 19 of PopLib’s 31 Days of May marathon for New Zealand Music Month comes from the “Dunedin-transient pop influenced, neo-psychedelic mess” Alizarin Lizard with “Back to Front”

Alizarin Lizard share a couple of members with peripatetic popsters Ha, The Unclear and are similarly spread far and wide around NZ’s great cultural centres – Dunedin, Auckland and Katikati (I think).

The band has a fulsome back catalogue on Bandcamp exhibiting a wild conglomeration of jammy psychedelic rock with observational lyrics and some proggy touches. “Back to Front” is a single released ahead of a new album and it sounds a lot more polished – a finely crafted psych-pop gem with enough ear-popping sonic adventuring to keep it well left of the mainstream.

The guitars chime with sitar-like effects, a fuzzed out lead refrain soars above, keyboards swirl through rotary speakers, and the reverb washed vocals all combine together to give an effect like an NZ take on a sun-bleached lost early 1970s US band blasting out on FM radio as you take a trip through California in a van full of stoned friends. There’s something almost Todd Rundgren-esque about this wonderful song and its weird but listener-friendly earworm pop.

ITLM psych squarePhiladelphia instrumental 4 piece I Think Like Midnight have a new album out in a few weeks. “This Land is Your Mind” is jam-packed with shimmering and often deliciously psychedelic guitar-driven soundtracks to road-trips way out West of Weirdsville – real or imagined. Here’s “Acolyte”:

The album takes in many moods from surf twang to motorik psychedelia and even instrumental power pop. It often travels similar cosmic trails to the instrumentals of New Zealand’s David Kilgour & The Heavy Eights, and also Australian guitarist Cam Butler. So, if you like those artists or if you like what’s on offer here on “Acolyte”, take the plunge and get the album. You won’t be disappointed.

The recording and sound is rich and colourful, and the ensemble playing by the band balances technical skill with feeling, bringing the arrangements alive. And sometimes those arrangements provide imaginative surprises from additional instruments – keyboards and vibraphone – to add even more layers to the sonic variety and atmosphere.

Here’s another song, called “Tuned Mass Damper”, in video form:

Kikagaku MoyoJapanese sonic adventurers Kikagaku Moyo are back with a new album called “Stone Garden” out 21 April. Here’s the pulsating kaleidoscopic swirl of “In a Coil” to set your mind on fire:

Kikagaku Moyo came to PopLib’s attention a few years ago with the beautiful album “House in the Tall Grass” which mixed heavy-psych rock, Krautrock and more pastoral acoustic psych-folk together into an accessible album.

This track is the only preview track available for the new album so we’ll have to take the word of their label – Guru Guru Brain – that this album is more experimental, built around lengthy improvised jams. “In a Coil” comes over like the most frantic passages of the previous album condensed into one mesmerising 6 minute trip through space and time, a quivering sitar coda adding an Eastern air to this Neu! influenced pulse of cosmic music. It’s an understatement to say this is a promising introduction to the new album.

koizillaKoizilla is another supercharged band from the guitar-drum axis of Dunedin brothers Zac and Josh Nicholls along with bass accomplish Connor Blackie. They’ve provided stellar progressive guitar-based music since high school through their bands A Distant City and The Violet-Ohs, but in Koizilla they’ve found their most natural and most explosively adventurous spark to date. Here’s “Child” from their “Blunder Brother” debut EP:

The EP – and especially the opening track above – channel perfectly the imaginary Dunedin version of Amon Duul II which was my first reaction to seeing Zac Nicholls playing guitar in A Distant City four years ago.

It wasn’t just the long hair but his guitar playing style, which combined serious technical skill with what seemed to my ears a real early 1970’s feel for fluid psychedelic adventure and melodic improvisation. That stood out as unusual in Dunedin in 2012 and he’s only refined that impression since, particularly with Koizilla.

While A Distant City maybe took the proggy post-rock soundscape thing a bit too far in one direction, and The Violet-Ohs perhaps pushed the guitar-driven pop a bit too far the other way, Koizilla seem to have these two elements in balance and have injected a bit of cartoon-colour-saturated fun into the equation (like the over-exuberant “Krill” for example).

Highly recommended for lovers of psychedelic power-trio music which dares to fly higher than the limits of the earth’s atmosphere.

kandodo-mcbainSet the controls for the heart of the sun with “Holy Sike” from Kandodo McBain:

I bought a copy of a new album called “Lost Chants/ Last Chance” by Kandodo Mc Bain on impulse after hearing one track in Rough Trade’s east London store a few weeks ago during a trip to the UK.

That track turned out to be “Pelagic Blue Haze”, the last of the 5 tracks on the album. The guitar part reminded me of Robert Fripp’s playing on “Index of Metals” from the Fripp/ Eno collaboration “Evening Star” but over top of a heavy motorik stoner-metal backing.

It was an impulse buy, and I’m glad I took the chance on a band I’d never heard of before. The whole album is wonderful; the most intricate, detailed, hypnotic, fierce, heavy, mesmerising, sublime psychedelic instrumentals you can imagine.

Kandodo McBain are a fusion of UK heavy psych outfit The Heads and US psych guitarist John McBain (Monster Magnet).  Mostly recorded by Simon Price, Wayne Maskell, and Hugo Morgan in Bristol, UK and then more layers added by their US based guitarist John McBain. None of these bands were on my radar, so discovery of this album also opens a door to a rich psychedelic underground scene and back catalogue I’ll be checking out in the months ahead.

The LP plays at 45 or 33 rpm and the CD format comes as a double with one CD playing the 45 rpm version and the other playing the 33 rpm version. Both sound excellent, and the 33rpm CD enters into territory similar to the mighty Earth but with an enveloping kind of thickness and intricate detailed texture to it. Can’t get enough of this album – at either speed – right now.

I usually try to post a Bandcamp link so you can buy direct or a Soundcloud link so you can track the release down somewhere. There doesn’t seem to be anything like that for this album so your best bet may at Creepy Crawl or your local independent record store (if you are in the UK) or a reputable mail-order place such as Norman Records here.