25 Apr 2013

REVIEWS ROUNDUP

I don't always get the chance to review everything that I want to, so here's the first in an occasional batch of mini reviews and links for things that you need to know about.

GREANVINE - WITCH SONGS E.P
Greanvine may not be a name that rings a bell with you yet, but it will in good time as they're  former Owl Service members Steven Collins and Diana Collier.
"Witch Songs" is a free three track digital download E.P which like the best of the Owl Service's releases evokes the early seventies U.K folk-rock revival, with nice contemporary touches (the slashing electric guitars and hammond of "Prickle Holly Bush" for instance.) Also includes an excellent cover of Donovan's "Season of the Witch".
Listen : Download from the Stone Tape Recordings Bandcamp page here, and check out the rest of the label's excellent catalogue while you're at it.

BLACK SPRINGS - SUNRISE E.P
Black Springs are an excellent new psychedelic rock act from Australia. "Sunrise" is their first E.P, and a very promising debut indeed. Opener "Sunrise" is as good an introduction to their sound as any, with it's bouncy McCartneyesque basswork buoying heavily reverbed, jangly guitars in a fashion that finds middle ground between early Flying Nun and the likes of the Brian Jonestown Massacre. Excellent.
Listen: Available on CD or to download through their Bandcamp page here.

SOUL THIEF - COSMIC WOMAN E.P
Three long, psychedelic stoner rock tracks that start slowly and build a nice head of steam from this rather good U.K based group. Refreshingly for stoner rock the emphasis is not on big riffs, but trippy textures and heavily treated bluesy lead breaks delivered at a hypnotic pace that gets under your skin and stones the soul.
Listen: Available as a name your price download from their Bandcamp page here.


JOE MEEK & THE BLUE MEN - I HEAR A NEW WORLD
A welcome vinyl release from Poppydisc of Joe Meek's batshit mad 1959/1960 concept record which does a surprisingly good job of making a dodgy skiffle group sound if not alien, at least very odd indeed. The speeded up Chipmunk's voices tend to grate a little, but there's no denying Meek's inventive production techniques are at their best here on these memorable tunes. Influential stuff, and still entertaining today.
Available on vinyl only. Get it here.


 
BROTHER RUTHERFORD - TAKE ROOT
This is a fascinating solo release from Ethan Johnstone who also plays drums for Active Listener favorites Houdan The Mystic. "Take Root" is an instrumental release that is almost impossible to categorize, combining the complex time signatures of progressive rock (and some jawdroppingly clever drumming) with lushly arpeggiated twelve string acoustics and some lovely cello from Caroline Connolly. Inventive, lush and frequently beautiful.
Listen here: Available as a name your price download from Bandcamp here.

UH BONES - ONLY YOU E.P
Uh Bones are a chicago based garage group that largely bypass the more common garage psych route in favor of gritty garage R&B. The results hearken back to pioneers like Them and the Yardbirds, helped no doubt by some convincingly authentic production that makes it sound like everything is being run through a Vox pedal. Top tunes too with "Amess" taking the crown at a pinch.
Listen here: Available on vinyl or digitally through their Bandcamp page here.


broaddaylight - ANNIVERSARIES : REUNIONS
broaddaylight are one of a growing number of bands using the template set by the Cocteau Twins to launch out into new and exciting areas of shoegaze and dream pop.  broaddaylight are sticklers for details and do a far better job than most of recapturing that lightning in a bottle dreampop sound of the late eighties / early nineties, no doubt aided somewhat by the mastering skills of Cocteau Twin Robin Guthrie. It's Sarah Eakin's ethereal vocals that impress most though, coupled with a very strong set of tunes.
Listen here: Available digitally through their Bandcamp page here.

THE GO - FIESTA
The Go are fucking brilliant, and the sprawling 20 track "Fiesta" has finally surfaced after a long wait, and it was worth every second. An impressively diverse set of vintage psychedelia and powerpop with surprises around every corner, choruses that will floor you, and a production sound to die for - I really cannot recommend this highly enough. Get it now.
Available from Burger Records website here.

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