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Subarachnoid Space - Eight Bells

Four piece psychedelic outfit, SubArachnoid Space have been going since 1996 and have released a fair few albums in the process, the latest, ‘Eight Bells’ released on Crucial Blast; a label alone that will no doubt gain the attention of the relevant fan base. So too will the Oregon based groups progressive and trippy instrumental ensembles; ‘Lilith’ opens the album with a confident foray into psychedelia while a menacing rhythm section holds the piece firmly in orbit (albeit the outer...

Harvestman, Minsk & U.S Christmas - Hawkwind Triad

Three heavyweight names in contemporary doom/ psych metal have joined forces to produce a wonderfully thought out and crafted tribute to one the world’s greatest bands of psychedelic yesteryear: Hawkwind! Opening this pleasing accolade is U.S Christmas, a spacerock outfit by trade that take on ‘Master of the Universe’ with respect and devotion to the original material, making the composition loud but palatable while avoiding an amorphous edge some psych tracks find themselves indulging...

Carta - An Index Of Birds

Opening with a deep bassy hum and minimal piano instrumentation, ‘Alfred M’ opens our invitation to the cinematically emotive compositions of Carta on their latest offering, ‘An Index of Birds’. Hailing from San Francisco, Carta create soothing and elevating slowcore in the style of Low and Red House Painters, ‘Building Bridges’ being a strong evidential piece to prove the above. Composed, dreamlike and whimsical, it ticks all the boxes for a drone-pop/ shoegaze musical template. ...

Black Breath - Heavy Breathing

Aptly suited for Southern Lord Records though equally under sung as a genre on said label, Pacific North West-based Black Breath weave hardcore and thrash together with brutal shredding and a whole lot of ferocity. Made up of members of Shook Ones, Go It Alone, Blue Monday & Get The Most, Black Breath’s Heavy Breathing is no doubt going to appease the masses with ease, their opening track ‘Black sin (Spit On Cross)’ as harsh and rapid as it is energetic and abrasive. A modus operan...

iM.G.R. y Destructo Swarmbots! - Amigos de la Guitarra

Im.g.r have crafted this really cool forty-two minute track of guitar ambience, with like a Spanish style guitar plucking (think of the spaghetti western style guitar) with deep ambient rumblings in the back ground that is absolutely powerful and haunting. It is a collaboration between Mike Gallagher of Isis and Swarmbots and was apparently recorded by Oktopus of Dalek. I have to admit a total ignorance of Swarmbots, but still it is a fairly impressive line-up. Okay so I’m not a huge Isis f...

Faust - From Glory To Infinity

Okay I love metal albums that start this way. No introduction, no warm up, no shaking your hand and seeing if you’re alright. It just totally gives’er. Right from the track to the last. A blast of teeth smashing brain grinding death metal. Faust do all the tricks right ripping double bass, thrashing guitar some nice noodley guitar bits, cookie monster vocals. The whole bit, just really straight forward metal, with some elements of prog thrown in just to keep the listener on their...

Kreator - Hordes of Chaos

You know what? I have never been a bit fan of thrash metal. I mean I don’t find anything inherently wrong with it, it’s really just not my cup of tea. And to be honest, in the spirit of full disclosure, I have always thought Kreator was a bit of a joke. I mean come on you know what I mean with those ultra cheesy hordes of doom fantasy covers, you know devils and demons and knights and faces of elflike thingies. And it was even worse with the pseudo industrial metal devil elves screaming...

Leprous - Tall Poppy Syndrone

Okay this is a little funny, okay well I found it so anyway. Just before this I was listening to a really crappy version of Greensleeves, and the beginning of the first song, in fact the first song in general makes me think of a really bastardized version of that song, like Metallica trying to do it or someone like that. Anyway interesting tidbit for you there, utterly meaningless, but there none the less. Okay I don’t really know what to make of Lapus it seriously makes me think ...

Various Artists - Blue Sanct 2008 Mixtape

Well I think it might be a bad indication of an album when on the first song as you put it on you start singing another song. For the record it was Hoyt Axton’s Oklahoma Song, and yes I was singing it at the top of my lungs if you are asking, which I assume you are. And yes it really is that great a song. Now the fortunate thing for Bluesanct is that it is a compilation so I am sort of forced to hold my opinion before listening o the whole thing, so hopefully there are some really great so...

Gnaw Their Tongues - All The Dread Magnificence Of Perversity

I think that title makes me gnaw on my tongue. Okay, okay silliness aside, well all silliness in fact, silliness has no place in the world of Gnaw their Tongues. In fact that name alone is a pretty good indication of the intense noise on All the Dread Magnificence of Perversity. Intense death noise music. With lots of throbbing smashing violent soundscapes with blood curdling screams and god knows what the hell else is going in the back. It is just pure evil. In fact it reminds me a lo...

Laudanum - The Coronation

The Coronation begins with a very ominous dark ambient atmosphere with a pulsating noise repeating in the background and slow washes of noise like waves crashing over and over it, slowly a high pitched noise like a broken machine joins the chaos, and an alarm goes off in the background. All this over a deep rumble set off in the distance. The it breaks down into an empty wind swept plateau, leaving you feeling isolated and empty. This then continues into the second song, which slowly tur...

Merauder - God Is I

Merauder makes some freakin kick ass music. Blending together elements of death metal, thrash and hardcore punk into this blistering assault of menacingly brutal music. And hell there are parts that remind me of industrial metal. And boy does this mix ever work. Just taking aggression to a whole new level. With some samples even thrown in for good measure. Really it follows a style of just really good moshing music, with lots of moments of song builds that then break d...

Strotter Inst. - Minenhund

Strotter Inst is very reminiscent of bands like Brighter Death Now and Rains D’Etre. In fact they would be right at home on the Cold Meat Industry label, as it has that same quality of low end, noisy, death industrial, ambience to it. And the art work has that old time sepia quality to it. In fact when I first put it on I had to look at it few times before I was sure it wasn’t a Cold Meat Industry release, I mean everything on this album points to that, from the musical sound to t...

Bizzart - Future Stars and Small Wonders

Sound collage hip hop. Yeah mashed-up, mixed-up sounds made into hip hop tracks. Woo hoo, pretty exciting, no? And Bizzart seems to have a mild to severe obsession with robots and androids, With tracks like “Android Hearts” and their description of themselves as making robot poetry, which is a bit fascinating. And somewhat timely as I am reading this Judge Dredd comic strip where he is questioning if robots are given human emotions and then treated like slaves how long before they ri...

Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra - Kollaps Tradixionales

Deciding on Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra as their moniker for this recent release (How many variations are there now exactly?), Montreal trio Efrim Menuck, Sophie Trudeau and Thierry Amar conjure up more heartfelt, impassioned post rock symphonies with latest abulm, Kollaps Tradixionales. Familiarity with Silver Mt. Zion’s prior work or indeed with the musicians work with GY!BE will undoubtedly make this release rewarding if not all that surprising, ‘There Is a Light’ comb...

Inhabitants - A Vacant Lot

The jazz section in your local record store these days could really make due with just two sections: “Albums J.P. Carter Plays On”, and “Other”. Which is a roundabout way of saying that I’m a big fan of the Vancouver’s trumpet player’s deranged dialectic of slow, flowing beautiful jazz lines and unhinged, guitar pedal-driven skree. I’ve seen him charm supper club audiences with smooth bebop lines, and I’ve seen him melt faces off with a Proco Rat at illegal art galleries. While both are great...

Josh Turner - Haywire

Country is all about authenticity—so everything well constructed, tight, beautiful, a studio project of exquisite delicacy has, these days, seem genuine while have no roughness. Everything about an album, the drum fills, the lyrics, the guitars and pedal steel—have to appear to be “country” while not smelling at all like horse shit. They cannot say anything new, but they cannot appear too hackneyed—and they have to have a narrative, a simple one—of de...

Tommy Babin’s Benzene - Your Body Is Your Prison

Psyche and rock-tinged free jazz from Vancouver bass player Tommy Babin and his band. The album, recorded in a single take, features Babin on acoustic bass, with Chad MacQuarrie of weird punk band Karen Foster on electric guitar and Vancouver’s omnipresent free-improv hired gun Skye Brooks on drums. Your Body Is Your Prison starts out sounding somewhat composed, with a first track or two that have characteristics of contemporary jazz compositions by Steve Coleman and Rudresh Mahantha...

The Wheat Pool - Hauntario

Where’d the girl go? The Wheat Pool try to answer questions of lost love as well as overcome the haunting memory of symbolic Ontario. Past lived experiences play heavily in this alt-country, self-described “Canadiana” album. Filled with imagery from the Western provinces, Hauntario is built with straightforward song progressions. The album would happily suffice as a highway driving companion. Every now and again there are lyrics that make me smile, such as “I’m not an asshole I...

Sanktuary - Sanktuary

I was excited to hear Sanktuary as they are a thrash metal band from the Yukon, and hell who ever hears of metal bands from the North. So that in itself right there is a big point of interest to get you excited… well me, anyway. Okay so I have secret fascination with the Yukon so what? One day my plan is to drive from here to the Yukon. It’s possible: I looked it up on MapQuest. The only problem is is that I really want to drive there during the winter, but I somehow don’t think that wou...

More Or Les - More Or Les And Les Fresh Kils

Everything about the Les Kils ep shouts out old skool hip hop, right down from the design to the music itself. From the graffiti images on the cover of More Or Les & Fresh Kils, to the minimal, blue and white design, to the Pac Man arcade game. The images of the samplers and drum machines on the front really is the only thing that gives it away as modern. What this EP is a is collaboration between Montreal based MC(DJ etc) More or Les and Fresh Kils who I can only seem...

Pigface - Pigface 6

6 is, and this a hugely shocking surprise, Pigface’s 6th album. Hooray yay. Okay not really all that important but it is. So there you go. Continuing down the road of what you’d expect from Pigface, if there really is such a thing. Dancish beats and eclectic electronic sounds and Industrial flourishes with lots of weird broken passages and a gigantic spectrum of artists participating on each song is really quite unpredictable. Unpredictable, but within that sort of Industrial r...

The National Gallery - Performing Musical Interpretations of the Paintings of Paul Klee

Okay so this album originally came out in 1968 and was composer Chuck Mangione and arranger Roger Karshner’s little attempt at some sort of amazing studio wizardry. Apparently an attempt at making electronic painting, and I’m not sure if that is true but it is kind of interesting. So this is what wikipedia says about Paul Klee: Paul Klee(1879- 1940) was a Swiss painter who experimented with expressionism, cubism, surrealism and orientalism. And I don’t know what the hell o...

Father Murphy - ...and he told us to turn to the sun

No wave noise, yeah that is what Father Murphy does. With a little jazz thrown in just for emphasis. Maybe I should say post-rock no wave, because it has these long drawn out dirges of ambience which then rush into chaotic song structures. Less interesting than I had hoped considering the album design is pretty awesome. With old crosses and stuff, I had expected something that sounded like a psychedelic apocalyptic folk experiment. Yeah the design is really cool. It look...

The Human Quena Orchestra - The Politics of the Irredeemable

Metal -industrial-drone. Yeah that is the best way to describe The Politics of the Irredeemable. It is like a textured nuance of metallic blasts of ambience. Using elements of noise and metal guitar, with lots anguished vocals residing firmly in the background. Then with these calming moments of stark dread, sort of mellowed out in between the blasts of pure anguish, creates a nightmare soundscape of some apocalyptic fantasy vision of the future. A fantasy where the world has been ra...