Review: If you've caught either Khruangbin or Leon Bridges live before, or indeed listened to anything by either band or producer-singer-songwriter, you'll know where this 20-minute EP is heading. The sleeve art, which gives more than a nod to the 1960s hippy movement, also offers a major clue.
Tripped out, smoked out, lackadaisical, bliss-infused overtures, honied and syrupy, easing you in so far that you don't quite realise how hard it is to crawl back out of the sugar-coated opiate haze. A collection of heady, hallucinogenic work for 21st Century high plains drifters, it's jazzy, psychy, lush soulful fare you'll be wanting to hear again and again, capturing the heat and slow pace of America's southern states with heartfelt songwriting from genuine masters. The result is something very special indeed.
Review: In the grand scheme of 'we might need to explain a bit about this one', Acid Mothers Temple rank pretty high in so far as band names go. The Japanese psychedelic outfit make no secret of their penchant for mind-melting concepts and otherworldly themes i just check the artwork here for further evidence i and have long since had a reputation for backing that passion up with seriously adventurous sonics. In the case of 'Reverse of Rebirth Reprise' those expecting cosmic futurism might want to prepare themselves for a shock, though. The crew are instead piloting this vessel straight into far earthier environments, effectively reminding everyone that acid folk was, is and always will be a thing if you look hard enough. Aided no end by the addition of vocalist Jyonson Tsu, this is one to really get immersed in.
Review: The Black Lips are one of those outfits that are never content to sit still, and are armed with more than the necessary talent to pull off their shifts of shape, style and focus. In the past we've seen them touch on punk and dive headfirst into psychobilly, but on 'Sing In A World That's Falling Apart' they move to pastures new - literally - by embracing country and western.
Don't expect this to be packed with slide guitars and lamentations on D.I.V.O.R.C.E., though. Instead we're talking bourbon-soaked, thigh-slapping, rowdy and raucous songs to soundtrack any self-respecting barroom brawl. There are shades of Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan at play here, and this is no cheap pastiche - all three of those greats, and more, would be proud to call this one their own.
Review: When it comes to plugging in mega stacks of amplified prog-rock, Vancouver-area band Black Mountain deliver a retro-futuristic sound that's as large as any Godzilla soundtrack. With Destroyer presenting a fifth LP on Bloomington label Jagjaguwar, Black Mountain go someway in delivering a bold cross reference of only the best and most legendary points of 60s, 70s and 90s rock n roll regalia. With keys and piano mixed with guitars, distortion and vocoders giving the band a futuristic, krautrock (Deutsche elektronik musik) edge, British psychedelic and raw but atmospheric arrangements give the band their own undeniable identity. With songs passing the bottle from slow dancing rock, flashy hair metal, to synthy guitars and cosmic arpeggios, the best metal of today is still way up there, on Black Mountain.
Review: This third release thus far this year to issue forth from Anton Newcombe's Berlin base will be as manna from thrift-shop heaven for anyone who's hooked on the heavy-lidded, hallucinogenic and cheekily retro-aligned stylings by which they've accidentally defined a sizeable proportion of the current 'psych' scene. Drifting from a Thirteenth Floor Elevators cover that features The Black Angels' Alex Maas on jug to the Slovakian 'Prsi Prsi', this collection of excursions and altered states is a good deal more compelling that its title would suggest, rater testimony to the BJM's continued prominence over all the classicist realms they survey.
Review: If you missed The Comet is Coming's brilliant debut album, Channel The Spirits, first time around, help is at hand. Happily, the Leaf label has decided to reissue the Mercury Music Prize nominated album, expanding it to two discs via the addition of 2015's similarly sublime Prophecy EP and a trio of previously unheard wig-outs. The genius of the London combo's music lies in their unique and eccentric approach to musical fusion. While their roots lie in fusing spiritual jazz and freaky psychedelic rock, keen listeners will hear a myriad of other influences and inspirations seeping into their distinctive instrumental compositions, from spiraling electronica, Afrobeat and skewed funk, to ambient, dub, drum and bass, Roots Manuva and low-slung industrial funk.
Review: Are you a dreamer? Swedish band Death & Vanilla ask across eight contemporary takes on German Krautrock, French Ye-ye pop and 60s psychedelic. Vocals are breezy, their moog synths fat, with guitars drenched in reverb and delay. At times the band's sound aligns with other kindred groups like Goldfrapp, Portishead or even Bjork (with "Vespertine") through their subtle take on downbeat, alternative '90s pop and this is heard most in "Let's Never Leave Here". "Are You A Dreamer?" delivers the Malmo trio a fifth studio LP following last year's conceptual soundtrack for stage and screen entitled "A Score For Roman Polanski's The Tenant", and this time around, our highlights include the spacey western riffs of "Eye Bath" and the ever-so dreamy "The Hum". Esoteric modern pop for sure.