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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Jeremy Irons & the Ratgang Malibus - Bloom (2011)

The grand return of the krautrock, and other similar musical pharmaceuticals, have yet again entrenched itself in many peoples ears. It is music with a retrospective way of thinking that takes its listeners on adventurous excursions deep into one's mind. Music that aims to broaden your horizon and consciousness. JI&TRM will make an impact on you in the same way with their album Bloom an innovative and highly personal take on the psychedelic rock and the very use of its many components and elements. As the indicating seriousness of the first line of the opening track reveals... "It's not a joke this time. I'm leaving reality for sure." Bloom is their second album released on Transubstans Records, preceded by Elephanta which was released in 2007. JI&TRM employ 60’s/70’s psyche grooviness threaded through a singer/songwriter pattern in the vein of Jeff Buckley. The spirit of this American musician wanders through this 50 minute album. If nothing else, you would agree that the vocal style of Karl Apelmo is reminiscent of Buckley’s, who is certainly one of the best vocalists, in my opinion. The Ratgang Malibus’ psychedelia is rather more simplistic. Calling for Buckley’s spirit in the opening Elefanta starts the pilgrimage to a reverse time vertigo. Throughout the album’s flow, Jeremy Irons together with the Ratgang Malibus make constant turnouts heading back from Buckley’s trippy vortex to Zeppelin worship in the closing track, Fernando. Meanwhile, numbers like Skin Deep, Cosmo Tropic and IAOA revoke the bluesy hard rocking vibe, while Tales of the Future is setting the pace in the most straightforward sort of way. Golden Hours, together with the title track is another paying tribute to Jeff Buckley’s amazing work.

Karl Apelmo – Vocals, Guitars
Mikael Pettersson – Guitars
Viktor Kallgren – Bass
Henrik Persson – Drums

1. Elefanta (04:49)
2. Skin Deep (09:34)
3. Tales of the Future (05:07)
4. Golden Hours (05:06)
5. IAOA (07:18)
6. Bloom (05:42)
7. Cosmic Tropic (04:07)
8. Fernando (09:00)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Giant Squid - Metridium Fields (2004)

Metridium Fields is technically the second release by San Francisco-based doom metal outfit Giant Squid. The material on the album was originally released in 2004 as a self-released album entitled Metridium Field, but after signing with The End Records in 2005, the band decided to re-record the entire album and re-release it as their debut for the label. It was released on August 22, 2006, and brought the band critical acclaim and a devoted fanbase. The titular song is named for Metridium, a genus of sea anemone. - Wikipedia

Aurielle Gregory – Vocals, Guitar, Banjo
Aaron Gregory – Vocals, Guitar, Banjo, Theremin
Bryan Beeson – Bass
Michael Conroy – Drums
Tim Conroy – Trumpet

1. Megaptera in the Delta (0:50)
2. Neonate (6:39)
3. Versus the Siren (9:24)
4. Ampullae of Lorenzini (9:16)
5. Summit (6:39)
6. Eating Machine (0:55)
7. Revolution in the Water (5:33)
8. Metridium Field (21:09)

The Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation - Egor (2012)

The Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation is a strange entity, straggling the line between a true musical vehicle and a bizarre side-project. An offshoot of the popular Dutch act The Mount Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble, TMFDC began as an ambitious experiment to create murky and unwieldy soundtracks to silent films, such as Nosferatu and Metropolis. Yet the alter ego morphed into something else entirely, something more fleshed out and self-aware. Boasting their self-proclaimed "mutant jazz" sound, the band has released several albums filled with dark ambient soundscapes and jazz-lite elements. Until now, however, the band has always felt like a side-project; a mere vessel for the Darkjazz's more experimental leanings. But with its fourth record, Egor, the Doomjazz Corp. has crafted a bold and vivacious record that is as dark and perplexing as it is beautiful and brilliant. Egor, for all intents and purposes, seems much closer to a Mount Kilimanjaro record than any of its predecessors. Featuring a less drone centered sound, the album draws influences from a wide array of ambient
and jazz. It still retains the "free form" aesthetic that has been prevalent in both bands' works, utilizing it to give the album a very organic and spontaneous feel. Strings and brass play a much larger role than before, and the ghostly vocals reappear to give Egor that special eerie sound that the band is known for. Even with the solid instrumental work, the album's strength lies in the stunning atmosphere. A palpable tension hangs in the air at all times, even at the most lulling and comforting of moments. It's nigh indescribable, like a nagging thought in the back of one's mind. This energy permeates the record, managing to be more affecting than most records could ever hope to be.

Charlotte Cegarra - Vocals
Eelco Bosman - Guitar
Ron Goris - Drums
Sarah Anderson - Violin
Hilary Jeffery - Trombone
Jason Kohnen - Bass
Gideon Kiers - Electronics

1. Elevator of the Machine (16:36)
2. Knock By the Stairs (13:05)
3. Cosmonaut (Rasputina) (22:19)
4. Glass Is Destroyed (16:51)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Ancestors - Of Sound Mind (2009)

Los Angeles-based heavy-psych quartet Ancestors have, as their name suggests, thoroughly absorbed the work of their late-'60s and early-'70s forebears. They tend to go for a doomy, psychedelic sound reminiscent of Deep Purple, Meddle-era Pink Floyd and Uriah Heep rather than the amped-up stomp of Grand Funk Railroad or Hawkwind's spacy explorations. Their first release, Neptune with Fire, contained only two songs in just under 40 minutes, and was more about mood than aggressive forward movement. This follow-up, quite clearly designed to be heard on double-vinyl as it includes four lengthy pieces, features as much organ as guitar, and the vocals are sometimes a hoarse roar and other times are delivered in a group singalong style that recalls rock bands affiliated with cults, like Ya Ho Wha 13. The drums even have that early-'70s cardboard-box sound. The long tracks are bracketed by short fragments: "Not the Last Return" is 90 seconds of aimless piano, while "A Friend" offers three minutes of synth squiggles and drones leading into the nearly 18-minute "The Trial," which starts off a Floydian guitar jam and becomes almost Mastodon-heavy toward the end. Another piano piece, this one over six minutes long, introduces the album's final cut, the aggressive "The Ambrose Law," a very Uriah Heep-like rave-up that takes the disc out on a high note. Though there are no new ideas here, Ancestors have cherry-picked the best ones from 35 years ago, and longhairs who think rock music's been on a downward slide since 1975 will love this album. 

Justin Maranga - Guitar, Vocals 
Nick Long - Bass, Vocals 
Jason Watkins - Organ, Piano, Mellotron, Vocals 
Matt Barks - Moog Synthesizer, Guitar, Vocals 
Daniel Pouliot - Drums

1. From Nothing (1:01)
2. Mother Animal (14:32)
3. Not the Last Return (1:29)
4. Bounty of Age (13:45)
5. A Friend (3:06)
6. The Trial (17:34)
7. Challenging (6:26)
8. The Ambrose Law (13:32)