Blues Control

It seems like just a few days ago I was writing about Blues Control. Quickly following up their lauded 12" Puff, the band releases their first proper CD via Holy Mountain. Another smoke filled, tape strangled version of the blues filtered through the addled minds of Lea and Russ. The record isn't quite the embryonic journey that Puff was, but it draws together nicely from the repetitive piano and feedback of that one and a little from the harder edge of their Riverboat Styx tape and then proceeds to move on nicely from both of them. The duo attack the blues like Tetuzuki Akiyama lost in Tim Hecker's basement, tangled in wires and tying to use everything at their disposal to meld the noise. Hell, comparisons aren't really fair in their case though, Blues Control are creating an original sound that blurs the lines of psych, drone and blues into one crazy shape that puts them into a category all their own. Holy Mountain's building themselves a stronger roster every day. Keep an eye on them. Oh and while you're at it, check out the feature on them in Dusted's Listed section here.

[MP3] Blues Control -Blues Control
[MP3] Blues Control -Migration
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posted by dissensous at 10:08:00 AM 0 comments


Two albums that ride the heavy blues spirit into harder rock territory; a trend that started with a blues fascination that brimmed amongst British and American guitarists in the late 60's early 70's and really reshaped the sound of hard rock to come.

Stonewall - Stonewall
A real gem of the mid 70's and extraordinarily rare in its original pressing, this record saw release on Tiger Lily records, a label that was reportedly a Tax Scam for organized crime. There was a bootleg style reissue out a few years ago with
a different name and hideous artwork, but luckily this classic has been restored to its original look. The sound is a heavy, heavy blues that borderline on the proto-metal blueprint; harsh and raspy and with a drive that will level anything in arms reach. Once again poor distribution and organization lead a deserving group into obscurity. This could have ruled the airwaves in '74 but instead it was relegated to a few scarce copies. Not sure how long the proper reissue is sticking around either, so if you spot this one pick it up.
[MP3] Stonewall - Bloody Mary
[MP3] Stonewall - Suite: I'd Rather Be Blind/ Roll Over Rover

Frijid Pink - Frijid Pink
Detroit native sons, Frijid Pink built on the boogie blues sound and shot it through with a heavy dose of fuzz for that maps the hometown transition from the MC5 into J.Geils. The closest they came to recognition was a chart hit of a cover of "House
of the Rising Sun," trading the original's stark delivery for a darker, moodier approach. They never really attained more attention with their follow up albums, which lacked some of the spark of their debut and after a last ditch attempt in 1975 the band called it quits. This album, however cements their legacy in the Detroit sound and chain of hard rock events.

[MP3] Frijid Pink - I'm On My Way
[MP3] Frijid Pink - Tell Me Why

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posted by dissensous at 10:11:00 AM 1 comments



One of the better surprises I've gotten in the mail lately was this record by Headdress, a beautifully handmade album out on Totem Songs. The album occupies a hazy brand of desert night blues caked in clay and baked by the setting sun. These are lonesome moon odes to desperate spaces; murky dreams full of easy venom and soft elixirs. Occupying the slim window where Brightblack Morning Light stop and Wooden Wand begins, the band carry themselves like troubadours of the last caravan West. A perfect accompaniment for whisky at 4 a.m. when the wind stills. The soft electric strum of strings vibrating off of the canyon walls and straight down the back of your spine. You should do yourself a favor and pick up a copy. Limited to 250.

[MP3] Headdress -Great Horned Owl
[MP3] Headdress -Skydye
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posted by dissensous at 10:15:00 AM 0 comments


Before they were on Matador, before the genuine widespread acclaim, Lavender Diamond put out this split with Devendra's Queens of Sheeba.

Queens of Sheeba/ Lavender Diamond - Split 7"
Their 4 track ep and subsequent album have brought me nothing but delight but for me it all started with this 7". The Queens side is a vamped up hobo Christmas carol, but the side that Lavender Diamond calls their own
is imbued with the subtle charm and whimsy of the best lullabies. Stark's voice soaring over a gentle strum of guitar and a simple whisper of bells. Easily one of the prettiest and most delicate songs in their cannon.

[MP3] Lavender Diamond -The Song of Impossible Occurrences
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posted by dissensous at 6:59:00 PM 0 comments


Frode Haltli

Norwegian Accordionist Frode Haltli has crafted an album of both cinematic beauty and experimental playfulness. Combining his accordion compositions that translate a sweeping melancholic sadness with percussive pieces and workings with voice; his album Passing Images is another of this year's stunning neo-classical triumphs. Haltli has a knack for recontextualizing traditional themes in his native folk music into a modern setting and combining this approach with a skillful ability to improvise around those themes. The music is exuberant and crushing; playful but reposed. All the sounds that wander into Haltli's life seem to be wrapped up and squeezed through the bellows in sweet sad notes that hang on the air like breath in winter. With the exception of maybe Yann Tierson, Haltli has to be one of the only people to be able to pry such emotion and soul out of the accordion, this album is a great testament to his skill.

[MP3] Frode Haltli -Jag Haver Ingen Karare
[MP3] Frode Haltli -Vals
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posted by dissensous at 10:03:00 AM 1 comments



Dan Smith plays a maudlin nighttime folk that dances slowly 'round the pub while both entrancing and disturbing in equal measure. With a bit of gypsy charm that blinds you in the moment before he steals your children, Smith seems to ease into the roll of the minstrel. Soft fingers of guitar are invariably wrapped in a lonesome fiddle and strokes of piano all twirling around in a lamentable sadness that floats under Smith's croon that is half David Byrne and half Will Oldham. The aptly named Nightly Things sees release next month via Locust Music, a fitting home for Smith's dark brand of parlor folk.

[MP3] Begushkin -At Night With Me*
[MP3] Begushkin -Hearth Light of Our Home*

*Removed per label's request

[MP3] Begushkin -Nightly Things
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posted by dissensous at 10:19:00 AM 5 comments


James Blackshaw

I've been enamored with the fingerpicked style of guitar for quite a few years now and it always amazes me how such a similar technical style can yield so many varied undertones of emotion. For such a young player James Blackshaw seems to have really carved out a place for himself amongst his peers. His style is marked by a restrained beauty and calm wonderment that sometimes surpasses older players who give up style for intensity. Blackshaw's latest record The Cloud of Unknowing expounds upon his circular style of playing and fills each repetition with a sublime joy and comfortability with his instrument. Adding some extra percussive and orchestral bits to his sound, Blackshaw has created his most wondrous and achingly beautiful record yet, which considering some of the recordings he's produced in such a short time, really speaks to his ability. This record feels right for the coming summer; a calm lay in the grass pulling shapes from tattered clouds, the smell of childhood in your nose and the feel of playful wind on your ears. The Cloud of Unknowing is out now on Tompkins Square Records.

[MP3] James Blackshaw -Running to the Ghost
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posted by dissensous at 10:17:00 PM 1 comments


Two albums of lost pop classics that fell flat at the time of their release but as time passes only seem to grow sweeter and enter ranks with some of the more melodic gems of their generation.

Nick Garrie - The Nightmare of J.B. Stanislas
When young Garrie wrote this album he had in mind a sparse literate album of gentle folk steeped in the surrealist literature he was fond of. During the recording a 56 piece orchestra was brought in and
birthed an album of gentle baroque psychedelia that he wasn't exactly happy with. The album suffered almost no release at the time due to the suicide of the label's owner days before its release, but over time collectors and enthusiasts have brought this sunny slice of 60's romanticism back from the dead and let it breathe again. Its a quirky gamut from Beatlesesque tunes to Zombies inflected sadness. A delightful listen that can sometimes suffer from its dated approach but is still worthy of much of the praise collectors have heaped upon it. The reissue has included bonus tracks that stripped away some of the orchestration to let the simple charm of some of the original songs peek through.

[MP3] Nick Garrie - Little Bird
[MP3] Nick Garrie - The Nightmare of J.B. Stanislas (Acoustic)

Think Dog - Dog Days
Recently unearthed by the heads over at Shaddoks, this pop tidbit showcases the talents of a group of classical kids gone rock under the influence of the Beatles. Though they didn't come from the same direction as some of their peers,
they adapted quickly and honestly have some great songs that are well deserved of their recent revival. The whole record kind of chronicles their evolution from just learning to a fuller sound. They flirted with many different pop groups at the time for the idea of them covering some of theses songs but eventually interest faded and so did they. This culls together most of their material from the time. Personally I like some of the early songs the best, simple, catchy and really decent 60's pop songs.

[MP3] Think Dog - No Julia No
[MP3] Think Dog - Can´t Begin To Be Happy

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posted by dissensous at 10:05:00 AM 1 comments


The North Sea

Tying his kite string of outsider experimental folk to a wind of much easier flowing and beautiful loner folk, Rose makes his first "proper" album stand out from his past incarnations. Collaborating with artists like Rameses III and working with his many alter egos (Corsican Paintbrush, Eastern Fox Squirrels, The Golden Oaks) as well as running the whole Digitalis operation, its a wonder Rose has time to make something for himself at all. But what he's taken the time to work on is an album of hushed introspection, quietly dissonant hymns and raga sewn soundlings. Floating ethereally between the dew point and the sunset, Exquisite Idols burrys itself in all that Brad has worked with, sounding like an equal bridge between Jeweled Antler vibrations and the Digitalis family. Rose is definitely a leader and a translator of the current folk tradition.

[MP3] The North Sea -Children of the Ashes
[MP3] The North Sea -Take It from Me Brother Moses
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posted by dissensous at 10:19:00 AM 1 comments


From the Meneguar/ Woodsist Camp a 7" that provides hope for another great full length.

Meneguar- Bury A Flower 7"
I've been pretty enamoured with any release that the Woodsist boys put out and all that's connected with them. The 90's bombast of the first Meneguar CD and the Lo-fi contrast of Woods have made me eager for another release from these guys.
This 7" shows promise of more melodic sing-a-long choruses and shout along fist pumping raw feelings that seem to translate well to tape. This 7" has doubled the already ridiculous level of urgency that Meneguar convey. Hopefully the next full length will get them the recognition they deserve.

[MP3] Meneguar -Freshmen Thoughts
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posted by dissensous at 1:36:00 PM 0 comments

Matteah Baim

Matteah Baim, the non-CocoRosie affiliated half of Metallic Falcons has forged on without Sierra Cassidy to create an album of disparate, haunted folk songs that loll over your senses like desert clouds. With the help of a few friends (Jana Hunter, Devendra Banhart, Rob Doran) she has taken her palate of lonesome inky textures and blown it dry with a wanderer's spirit. Her songs ring with a wounded sense of femininity and mournful charm that here furthers the tones her past work. Death of the Sun is, with the exception of an oddly chosen cover of Michael Row Your Boat Ashore, an album of subdued night shades and hot summer winds; a young songwriter carving a hopeful sadness from the scraps of the past.

[MP3] Matteah Baim -Wounded Whale
[MP3] Matteah Baim -Seven Stars
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posted by dissensous at 10:30:00 AM 0 comments


Vibracathedral Orchestra

The Vibracathedral Orchestra create a joyous sort of din on their umpteenth record, Wisdom Thunderbolt. Buzzing with a vibrant spirit that swarms with drones and clangs and buzzes and thumps, the record is a prime example of the less aggressive side of noise. Kept afloat by a sense of wonder and a transcendental obsession with the nature of sound; the British collective continue to wrestle the psychic whirlwind into view, only to be lost in it themselves. Highlight here is the 12 minute center piece that builds from pulsing drone into a diorama of cacophony. The best part of the band is that the players seem to go at the "songs" like eager 6 year olds, each enamored with the nature and spirit of sound that drops from their fingers and rings in their ears. The more you listen to it though, the more you understand just how they feel. The record drops on VO's usual nesting place VHF records.

[MP3] Vibracathedral Orchestra -A Natural Fact
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posted by dissensous at 10:11:00 PM 0 comments



It seems the Baltimore art scene can't be stopped lately, what with the exportation of Dan Deacon, Ponytail, Cex and the now Videohippos. If you were locked in a room and fed a steady diet of Nintendo, Twinkies and a constant barrage of 80's movies on wall sized televisions you might come close to the 16bit wonder that the Videohippos have stumbled upon. The record cannot capture the full hippo experience as they are as much videographers as they are musicians (as the name might imply). Twisting pop under their arms and giving it a keyboard noogie, the Videohippies taste, sound and smell like the latchkey children of the television generation. Oversaturated in the best of ways and somehow channeling a John Hughes nightmare that throws more buried images out of your rotten subcortex than you can comprehend. So as Adam and the Chipmunks battle it out with Link and Duckie just try not to think too hard. After all that's really what this record seems to be about so relax and take the ride. Unbeast the Leash is out on Baltimore's home away from home Monitor Records.

[MP3] Videohippos -Sick Dolphin
[MP3] Videohippos -Wages Of Fear

[MP3] Videohippos -The List
[MP3] Videohippos -Kool Shades
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posted by dissensous at 10:10:00 AM 0 comments


A few weeks back the good people over at SwedesPlease commented on a post we had here about some great bands from Sweden's past and well I got to thinking... yeah there were a lot of great Swedish bands overlooked by time. So in honor, a Jukebox tribute to some of Sweden's tortured garage souls. Enjoy!

[MP3] The Fabulous Four -438 S Michigan Avenue
Yeah, not that Fab Four but I suppose we'll let the name slide. This band was mostly known for some low quality covers that charted locally. However, this instrumental rocker with a low down fuzz groove and its wild biker flick sound effects has all the grit and craziness needed to cement them as having at least one great listen. Fuzz, rocks, motorcycles and screams; what else do you need?

[MP3] The T-Boones-I want You
Containing members of the much lauded (here anyway) Baby Grandmothers. The T-Boones were a premiere garage force in the Swedish scene. This has all the ferocity and candor of a true garage classic. Played, sung and radiating from the hips in ripped torrents of chords, the lyrics are short and to the point but be damned if you don't know exactly the feeling.

[MP3] Jackpots -King Of The World
A sugary sweet pop number that belies Sweden's knack for writing... well sugary pop songs. A sweet lilt and a catchy chorus distract from what proves to be a really creepy possesive love song. Breezy and cool in the verses and then out of nowhere BAM there are choruses about locking a woman away for not loving him. Eh, its still damn hummable. Up the duality.

[MP3] The Tages-Fantasy Island
A great swedish talent that here moves away from their merseybeat and mod influences to hit up some eastern raga action. A swirling, heady affair with phased organ and sitar aplenty. Somehow sweet and sinister at the same time.

[MP3] Hansson & Karlsson-Tax Free
Before Bo Hansson was writing prog odes to the Lord of the Rings, he and Jan Karlsson made some acid inflected wanderings into the ether. Taking on the Hendrix classic Tax Free, the band brings new respect for the organ and stomps and trills through in prime fashion. Hell no Swedish list would be complete (not that this one is) without at least some mention of these guys.

[MP3] The Deejays-Striped Dreams Checked Fear
We'll end it on a deliciously trippy note. The Deejays serve up a deliriously demented acid rocker that peaks in a haze and clamor. Deep and dark throughout, this is a complete ode to the bad trip. Alternating a cadence interpolation of 'o come all ye faithful' with a mantra of "I want to look inside your head," this is a warning and an advertisement for acid culture in one. A hell of a song that tears itself at the seams.
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posted by dissensous at 11:48:00 PM 3 comments



Merja Kokkonen has always been a jewel in a sea of noise. Sticking out amongst her Fonal compatriots, she uses dissonance to create wonderful heights of tension but never delves into the formless clatter that many of her lablemates prefer. In some David Lynch, dystopian alternate train of existence, Kokkonen is a wounded lounge singer begging for you to understand the marks on her soul. She sings with a tattered urgency atop feedback and rolls of piano; dusty woodwinds and slipshod percussion. A lack of understanding of the Finnish language makes her all the more enchanting, leaving your heart to ache for the knowledge of what she's trying so desperately to tell you. Ulula Yyy is her most complete and beautiful work yet under the Islaja name. She has taken the time to distance herself from her folk roots without losing the charm that has made her one of Finland's premiere exports. This album is without a doubt worth the price of getting it lodged under your skin.

[MP3] Islaja -Sydanten Ahmija
[MP3] Islaja -Pysahtyneet Planeetat
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posted by dissensous at 10:07:00 AM 0 comments


Asa Irons & Swaan Miller

Childhood friends Asa and Swaan reconnected one winter in the northeast to recapture songs from a notebook that was stolen from Asa. The idea was to get as many as possible down to tape so they could be preserved, but as whims of fate often have it the results were more stunning than they could have predicted. Whispered in soft tones that belie their longstanding ties, the two sing without the implication of making an album, just the confidence of two people sharing something for a moment. The most personal records are often the best, and this record with its lyrics wrapped around northeast traditions and the perfect intertwining vocals both hushed and vibrant, seems like oral traditions caught on tape for the first time. Thankfully Asa and Swaan saw the immense value in their private diary and let it out into the world; to kick the dust up from hallways and write their names in frost on the window pane, to throw one last log on the dim fires. Asa and Swaan's album is out on Important Records and saw a limited release on Spirit of Orr

[MP3] Asa Irons & Swaan Miller -Whitwill
[MP3] Asa Irons & Swaan Miller -Frost Line Blues
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posted by dissensous at 10:33:00 PM 1 comments


Peter & The Wolf

From the seemingly ever prolific camp of Peter & The Wolf, Red Hunter and crew produce a tour EP that is a mix between the spontaneous energy of Experiments In Junk and their more focused and serene album tracks. The EP captures the homegrown spirit and shuffle-minstrel ideals that Hunter has come to embody. Stripped down and humble the EP brings you closer into the bands circle and lets you join in around the late night fire. This falls right in line with the Akron/Family tour EP featured a few months ago. It's incomplete, but that's the best part of it. It's not over thought or over scrutinized; just as the songs leaped from the artists and onto the tape the moment was ended and its here now to just sit and enjoy. Somehow this is music for the coming summer; sunny without being saccharine, light without being vacant. Check 'em out on tour and grab a copy of Fireflies while they're around.

[MP3] Peter & The Wolf -Timeflies
[MP3] Peter & The Wolf -Images
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posted by dissensous at 9:42:00 AM 2 comments


The Sunburned

Sunburned Hand of the Man, operating for the Ecstatic Peace crew under the moniker of The Sunburned, keep it noisy and apocalyptic for their new release Z. A dark ride down a post industrialist rabbit hole, the album is both hazily unnerving and chaotically skronky. Somehow out of the rubble songs form, though they all seem to be named after multiples of infinity so maybe that's a clue to the concept. SBHOTM have been ravaging the mindscapes of the lucky for years now but thanks to the backing of Thurston Moore they are now unleashed on a wider public. The packaging is lean and adorned only with a masked shadowy figure, an ominous warning to the Wiccan drum torture and string asphyxiation contained inside. The Sunburned continue here to straddle the line between free jazz, noise and insane temperament that makes them the leaders of whatever scene it is they seem to lead into this wilderness of sound.


[MP3] The Sunburned -∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞
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posted by dissensous at 11:06:00 AM 0 comments


Two albums from bands whose influence reached into the nineties and spurred a new generation to reexamine the possibilities of psychedelic music. Helping to lay some of the groundwork for spacerock, electronic improvisation and a new wave of psychedelic provocateurs.

Amon Düül II- Yeti
As most of the original members of Amon Düül decided to stick with the commune life style, those interested in pursuing the musical career tacked on the II and created a more focused and sinister breed of spacy psychedelia. Their sprawling album
Yeti was a dual disc triumph of soaring vocals and instrumentation that, on the cusp of a burgeoning Krautrock scene was adept at mixing the freeform elements of the genre with the tips and tails of prog and psychedelic ephemera. The album is split into an improvisational record and a planned record but the temper of both seem so in tune that though the 18+ minute 'Yeti' excoursion sprawls a bit, it still fits easily into the scope of the album. Many bands took the ideas that ADII laid down here and built houses of sound that owe a great debt to them. A great and underappreciated album to this day, and one of my favorites.

[MP3] Amon Düül II - Archangel Thunderbird
[MP3] Amon Düül II - Eye Shaking King

Silver Apples- The Garden
Written half in 1968 and half from bits reworked in 1998, this album captures two great sides of a band that influenced the rise of electronics in music. The '68 tracks explore an inventive psychedelic pop while the rest combine drum
experiments from '68 with guitar improvisations laid down later. The two combine to create an album that is both jarring and revelatory. The original pop tracks shuffle and skiffle along on bubbling beats that for the time are quite unique. The second half is a kraut-esque tour of rhythm and oscillation. The album bubbles and squawks in a more palatable fashion than most of their albums and this duality of experimental and pop has made it popular among hip-hop and electronic musicians today. The album has actually seen its latest re-release courtesy of Sixtoo's label Bully.

[MP3] Silver Apples - I Don't Care What The People Say
[MP3] Silver Apples - Anasazi Noodle

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posted by dissensous at 9:17:00 PM 2 comments



Shortly after her commissioned EP for French radio, Cecile Schott returns to form with an album of heartbreaking beauty and noir temperament. Ms. Schott has shirked her former use of samples in lieu of a more natural approach. The only instruments the album are classical guitar, clarinet, the spinet and a custom made viola de gamba. Apparently Schott has been obsessed with the period instrument since she was a child and is living out childhood fantasy by playing it on the album. With her move away from looping, Schott adapts her technique to utilize every aspect of an instrument in a song; making the compositions at the same time solitary and dense. As usual there is an inherent sadness to her music. Each note hangs with subtle regret and composed humility. Schott is a masterful painter of sounds. The instruments brush at your ears and tint your mind in dark hues of blue and silver; like lonesome night itself settled into your brain. Your mouth tastes of raindrops you can smell the cold night in your nose with each pluck and whisper.

[MP3] Colleen -Sun Against My Eyes
[MP3] Colleen -Blue Sands
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posted by dissensous at 10:02:00 AM 0 comments


From the early days of the Anticon hip-hop resistance, Odd, Dose and Why? chew up the idea of the genre into tiny bits and glue them back together at whim.

cLOUDDEAD - All You Can Do Is Laugh 10"
The early slew of cLOUDDEAD 10"s seemed to come out of nowwhere and had a seemingly unprecedented feel for the nature of the game. This was sick slice of cough syrup hallucinations that rolled bits of
scratchy hip-hop into a psychedelic swirl. Each side is just one long track that seems to run with no real break but plays in dreamlike movements; from stutter funk to cartoonish television nob twiddle. At the time nobody was doing it like these artisans of the northeast. I picked up the first two of these suckers but either I was too distracted by other shiny objects to get the others or I'm just a piss-poor collector. Maybe a little of both. A great snapshot of the early Anticon days to be sure though.

[MP3] cLOUDDEAD -All You Can Do Is Laugh Pt. 1
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posted by dissensous at 10:40:00 AM 0 comments


Named after a heavy strain of clouds, Mammatus work on a duality of being both unmistakably heavy but also aesthetically environmental. The band take the doom fuzz template laid down by fellow Californians Comets on Fire and Residual Echoes and give it a bit of an acid prog reshape. Not a far stretch I know but still the scruffy sorcerers of Mammatus draw on prog's over elaborate past in a most enjoyable way. The songs are long and monolithic, crushing your chest with their weight but at the same time they cool down into spacey atmospherics that bubble into the ether. The lyrics beg homage to the nature around them, full of wizard spattered imagery that draws the yoke of 70's prog even closer to home. Book-ended by two monumental jams, the title track and the continuation of the "Dragon of the Deep" cycle that began on the last record, the middle of the record makes time to take from folk and krautrock, with even a bit of flute sprouting its head. This record is steeped in grit and pasted with dirt; a psych induced wander into the sea that feels more like returning home than drowning. The Coast Explodes is being released via the new home of California psych Holy Mountain.

[MP3] Mammatus -Pierce The Darkness
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posted by dissensous at 10:09:00 AM 0 comments



Still and always the masters of spazz, Melt-Banana return after way too long a break. Following in the same vein as 2003's Cell-Scape in moving from their past littered with 40 second temper tantrums of cardiac aerobics and towards more traditional 2 minute spazz-punk anthems, their latest album Bambi's Dilemma is still like a punk rock dryer fire with a keyboard in tow. Showing no signs of slowing down, the longer songs only give them more time to scream, wail and break everything in sight. This is J-punk the way it was meant to be, not cheesy and cartoony; more scary and unidentifiable, foreign and chaotic. I'm not sure how Melt-Banana happened upon the secret link to eternal 16 year old karmic aggression but they better keep drinking from that well.

[MP3] Melt-Banana -Cat Brain Land
[MP3] Melt-Banana -Heiwaboke Crisis
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posted by dissensous at 9:51:00 AM 0 comments



Spencer Doran has created a slow shimmering trickle of peace in the form of A Crystal Skull in Peru. Combining zither, bells, guitar, a dash of electronic manipulation and a serious dose of Sunday morning air he has crafted a lackadaisical dreamscape that is equal parts fanciful noise collage and multi-instrumental masterpiece. The record fairly tastes of afternoon sun and light clouds. This is a purely beautiful album devoid of any tensions or frustrations; a blurry tryst into suspended animation. Doran has proven himself with an ability to evoke calm without ever coming close to stagnant. Like slipping off the edge of wakefulness into the most revelatory lucid dream ever. The record comes as the first non-Starving Weirdo's release on Atheists Are Gods in a handsome screened digipak despite it's CD-r status. Copies can be found over at Aquarius and Fusetron

[MP3] Cloaks -Grass Pillow (excerpt)
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posted by dissensous at 10:28:00 AM 0 comments


Until recently Townes played the underappreciated artist role to perfection. It seems that with the reissue of many of his live recordings and his studio albums available on a wider scale, critical and compatriot praise has gushed forth over his catalog. And with great reason; for me Townes is the prime example of simple understated truth and world weary sadness. Though he was always at his best in front of an audience to overlook bright spots on his albums would be a shame.

Townes Van Zandt - High, Low and In Between
Quite possibly the most honest album title ever; this album captures some of Townes more whimsical southern spiritual/ country moments but never loses sight of his lyrical gift to drive
home the everyman's blues. This album can occasionally support the often heard complaint that his studio albums could suffer from production that distracted from the heart of the song, but when it hits the right moments, the solemn ring of lap steel can hang on your heart right along with the words. Covering everything from boisterous gambling odes to dust in throat traveling blues; but as always its Townes' voice hovering over the tracks with its unwavering honesty and soft country lilt that makes any tale feel like its a personal experience. Some of these come through with stronger conviction when the band fades away but they're no less true right here.

[MP3] Townes Van Zandt -You Are Not Needed Now
[MP3] Townes Van Zandt - To Live Is To Fly

Townes Van Zandt- Flyin' Shoes
More even in temper, Flyin' Shoes keeps the tone low and sweet. This isn't always at the top of folks' favorite Van Zandt lists but I think the album has an understated dignity, with a few digressions in production. It contains the heartfelt
ode Rex's Blues, to Townes friend and former owner of the Old Quarter, a fitting loser's anthem if there ever was one. This was the last album from his prolific period of songwriting during the 70's and signaled an oncoming lapse for many years. It definitely bears some signs of burning out in the form of the weary "Snake Song" and the title track. Still with the exception of an oddly placed Bo Diddly cover the album is sweet and packed with a kind of southern charm that radiates from its country tinges to breezes of folk and whisky dappled blues.

[MP3] Townes Van Zandt - Rex's Blues
[MP3] Townes Van Zandt - Flyin' Shoes

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posted by dissensous at 9:45:00 AM 0 comments