26 Aug 2013
Review Roundup : We Are Toxic / Beyond From Within / The Outer Church / Orval Carlos Sibelius
A new four-piece offshoot from the earlier Pink Floyd inspired french outfit Pink Nicotine, We Are Toxic retains that influence and reels in a whole lot more for an impressive debut that has one foot in the past, and one very much in the present.
Psychedelic rock, glam stomp, big Sabbathy riffs and modern alternative rock are all touched upon in this excellent debut, which I bet sounds even better live.
"A Green Feedback From Mars" is the clear highlight, covering all the bases mentioned above and adding synth-pop and King Crimsony, mellotron -infused prog rock to an already alarmingly diverse palette.
Beyond From Within "Beyond From Within"
The brainchild of Steve Andrews, Beyond From Within is an accomplished psychedelic studio project with lyrics seemingly beamed direct from Haight-Ashbury circa 1968 or the unpublished writings of Timothy Leary.
Musically this is more along the lines of neo-psychedelia than the original hippie psych stuff, with naggingly catchy songs that make an immediate impression, swathed in subtle, often eastern sounding keyboards, and layers of scorching acid-guitar ("Forever Road" being a particular face-melter).
Well worth checking out for those wanting a modern spin on the classic hippie ethos.
Established by music writer Joseph Stannard ( Mojo / The Quietus / The Wire) in 2009, Brighton's Outer Church has quickly become a spiritual home to the best envelope pushing English electronic musicians, with this double CD collection showcasing unreleased material from 28 artists associated with the church, including big hitters like Pye Corner Audio, Time Attendent and Hong Kong in the 60s.
It's not uncommon for collections like this to act as a dumping ground for otherwise unreleasable material, but the quality control here is set very high.
Staggeringly diverse, this is a no-brainer not only for hauntology buffs, but anyone with an interest in what's happening outside the square.
Another lysergic transmission from France, this time from the incredibly talented Orval Carlos Sibelius who has tagged his music on Bandcamp as, among other things, "weird pop" which is an apt description for what he does. VERY psychedelic, Sibelius isn't afraid to take his incredibly melodic pop tunes in unusual directions with the balance of experimentation to simple tunefulness reaching Barrett / Floyd levels of creativity.
With the possible exception of Animal Collective, there's no one else I know of making music as adventurous as this, yet somehow he's managed to integrate an immediate melodic payoff that'll hook those that aren't in the mood to be challenged.
Very clever stuff, with my highest recommendation.