Archives for posts with tag: space-rock

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.

 

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Space Bats Attack Live to Air 2017.jpgA month ago Dunedin post-apocalyptic space-surf-rock guitar band Space Bats, Attack! dropped into their local University radio station Radio 1 and recorded a mesmerising set of new heavy riffing guitars/bass/drums instrumentals. They did such a fantastic job they put the live set up on their Bandcamp. Here’s the first pulverising track for your sonic exploration:

As Radio 1 video these live-to-air performances now you can also watch while you listen. Of particular significance is the fire extinguisher next to the bass drum, presumably placed there in case of spontaneous drummer combustion.

These are fantastic performances – musically complex, brutally propulsive yet lithe, full of dynamics with sonic twists and turns as effect pedals are manipulated like instruments. The video of the whole thing is a pretty compelling watch too:

Space Bats, Attack! are also a discovery point for a swathe of other noisy Dunedin guitar bands. As well as guitarist Lee Nicholson (Thundercub, and Lighting Wave effect pedal guru) you have guitarist Richard Ley-Hamilton (formerly of Males, now Asta Rangu), and the Nicholls brothers – Josh (drums) and Zac (bass). Zac is also a brilliant guitarist and along with Josh was in A Distant City, then The Violet-Ohs before forming their current band Koizilla.

egoism_2017Sydney band Egoism have just released their first EP, called “It’s Wearing Off”. One thing which isn’t wearing off at all is the magic of their dreamy dream-pop shoegaze soft-rock, as “Consequences” demonstrates.

The EP is a natural and perfect progression from their distinctive early releases which PopLib has followed for a couple of years now. The performance, recording and production is assured without losing any of the spirit which made their earlier releases a treat.

“Consequences” – co-written by guitarsist/ vocalists Scout Eastment and Oliver Rush – stands out as a bit more of a departure perhaps, with the volume scaled back, losing nothing in the process and adding further depth and sonic textures to their sound. The slide guitar, infinite delay and combined vocals are heavenly and of course there’s a trademark dreamy voice & guitar outro which floats the song off into the ether.

 

 

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.

Egoism_2016_Photo by Vanilla Docherty Photography

Egoism – by Vanilla Docherty Photography

The world is full of conflicting egos so, to avoid conflict with a similarly-named band, Sydney’s Ego return as Egoism with “Reason” as the lead single to the band’s first EP which is due out in October.

“Reason” contains everything we’ve come to expect from this intriguing young band. It’s a more polished recording than the previous excellent singles – “Moon”, “Better” and “Crowd”, adding layers and space to their lush reverb soundscape.

They call it ‘dream-pop’ and ‘shoe-gaze’ but happily it also still maintains that distinctively spacey early 1970s ‘soft-rock’ sound of those earlier recordings.

Another feature of those earlier songs was brilliant space-rock guitar solos and “Reason” maintains the tradition with an explosive solo before another familiar feature – a wordless layered vocal outro.

Looking forward to hearing the whole EP now.

 

 

Space Bats Attack_MirrorDay 25 of NZ Music Month is “The Riff” – a live recording from Dunedin’s masters of crafted outer-space noise-rock Space Bats, Attack!

They say this was recorded live at a show in Dunedin late last year and at about 2:30 am. Remarkably, all present are awake and flying as one. The way this instrumental ebbs and flows and then bursts into a breath-taking and frenetic race-to-the-end with some remarkable drumming is something else.

Here’s hoping Space Bats, Attack! have another recording mission lined up this year.

Space Bats Attack_Mirror

Dunedin batcore band Space Bats, Attack! have featured a few times on PopLib with their sonic mayhem. They’ve just released another EP called ˆ”ˆ Sub​-​EP ^«^ and “Mouldy Peaches” is the first of the two tracks from it.

“Mouldy Peaches” is a fantastic slice of proggy, space-surf sci-fi. It’s mostly instrumental but does feature some processed and submerged vocal midway if you listen carefully.

As with all Space Bats, Attack! tunes”Mouldy Peaches” morphs substantially over its duration . It starts out like some kind of psychedelic Calexico-on-Mars desert-noir thriller theme then launches into an up-tempo staccato guitar refrain before the twin guitars go on a frenzied string-bending rampage in a drag-race to the end. Brilliant.