Released in September 1970, 2 months before their Play It Loud album, this single is maybe one of their most forgotten ones although the songs are not rare, both included on the album. In this single, the Beatles influence is very pregnant, but the Cream and Ten Years After influences are easy to find on "Know Who You Are". On the B-side, it's not being rude to say the song is a plagiarism of McCartney but with a Bee Gees flavour (the band of the sixties, not what they became once turned disco). All in all, a totally commercial miss but a testimony of the ability of the band not to be only a stomping and funny bunch of glamsters. To note that during these months, the band had a skinhead look that would have allowed them to play unnoticed during the punk's era. Enjoy it here. PS. The single was released without cover sleeve so I did one with a picture of the times
This Australian one-man band is actually, like Malefic for Xasthur, the project of Desolate, who seems to do almost everything on it. It's surely one of the most deep, intense and moving funeral doom LP ever released, at least to my ears, or should I say to my sadness, since this music can't be really judged like another one. What the fuck is to say that it's good or not when the only criterion is whether it touches your own despair. Despair is not an objective parameter. Of course, many can laugh and mock this obsession of digging black thoughts and depressive ideas. But we can't help being sad by the world and our own fatal condition can we? Let's wait for their agony's hour, they'll be less swanky. Meanwhile, there is here everything I like in this music when it's done seriously and with taste. To try to describe it is useless with o' so pathetic English. There are many sites who made more efficient panegyrics of this album over the last 5 years that I could ever dream to write. So, the best is that you drown your solitude, like me tonight, in this ocean of tears and distorsions here (as usual, it's 320 kb, found on mf). No news from Funeral Mourning since this LP. Too sad. Below, the 17th century engraving called "The Mirrour which Flatters not" by John Payne that provides the cover sleeve and many other ones.
Happy to see these English release a full lenght-EP after their demo posted on this blog with cheers (find it here). They carry on with a mix of EyeHateGod, UpsideDownCross and Buzzov.en that seems really to come from the moisty climate of Louisiana but comes from the smoggy UK. It's first class, first choice hatred, exactly what I needed tonight, being full of disgust for human species, specially specimens living in my country, my city, my workplace, and even those who say to be my friends and beloved and who let me leave in complete solitude. What the price of affection or love if you leave those you say to love rot in their loneliness. Don't know if it's what are singing about these guys but this is exactly what their music tells me. No contest it's the best sludge record of the year. Find their bandcamp here and please buy their stuff on CD or support in dl the mp3 against some cash. Before, try it here.
Vrangsinn has a long history in the black metal world, and notably with Carpathian Forest (but also more than 10 different bands). This Norwegian is much more than a simple bassist of black metal bands, but a versatile artist (writing, filming, drawing) not afraid to be also a character, what our times are lacking so much. Profoundy anti-religious (welcome to the club, I can say that since I'm older than he is), here he offers a totally strange and unexpected album which has nothing to do with metal, but has more to do with Nick Cave. But although I don't appreciate our famous Australian icon, here I find the proposed songs totally my taste, since they have the despaired and delericted flavour that you won't find in Cave's work, who is in the classic artist format. What is the most striking in this LP, is that Vrangsinn often sounds vocally as a drunken Robert Smith, and I can't imagine any Cure's fan, specially of the most delirious periods of the band, not caught by this album. This music is like a poison. You can find it a little bitter for a while, but soon you listen to it again and this bitterness begins to taste sweet. If I post this album now, it's also because we're waiting for his new album, and the some songs that can be heard make me think it will be quite a masterpiece. Meanwhile, enjoy it here. Lyrics included in the rar file. More on this LP there. The whole album was associated with videos you can watch below.
This band from Germany offers one of the strongest warrior sludge doom (don't ask me what it means, I invented this expression for this band) I heard for a long time. Something of High on Fire and Sleep (something of Mike Pike in other words) but totally recreated, with an atmospheric Neurosis flavour (I'd said Omega Massif since I'm a fan of this latter band). This is a must-hear for all the amateurs of this post-rock instrumental sludgy doom that provided so many mediocre bands and some exceptionnally good as is this one. I appreciate particularly the absence of grandiloquence, so frequent in this genre. Here they keep their feet in the rawness and muddy ground of sludge and don't adopt the usual larger-than-life attitude of so many of their colleagues. A band to count on. It's an EP but I hope it will be successful enough to allow them to record a full LP on a label. Their bandcamp here. Their facebook page there. Enjoy this fantastic EP here.
When you look at Slade's look in the beginning of 1970, you could believe a skin or an oi band from 1977. Now managed by Chas Chandler, they are in their skinheads period and release this Mann/Weil song from the Wild in the Streets motion picture. It was not a hit (in March 1970) but they had a TV exposure on Top of the Pops. The version is rather good, quite Cream inclined. The B-side is totally under the Beatles influence with its "Paperback Writer" riff, and once again, it's rather good although it seemed unlikely that the band may make long lasted impression with a so 60's music. Here enjoy this piece of history.
If there was a sign that Jethro Tull was no more a singles-band, the messy released of 7" driven from their Aqualung LP was one. Released in March 1971, and a great success in both the UK and US charts between March and May, one will have to wait until July to see a single out of it. More strikingly, this single will change according to the countries with almost a different B-side by country and sometimes the A-side being the B-side. For example, if "Hymn 43" (the song most commonly found on A-sides, although one of the weakest on the LP) was backed with "Locomotive Breath" in UK, it was "Locomotive Breath" that was on the A-side backed with "Hymn 43" in France (the single I listened to when I was a child, see the orange cover below). In the US, it seems that "Mother Goose" (another LP track) featured on B-side, when in other countries it was "Up To You". Even "Aqualung" was released in Asia on A-side. So, apparently, the band had not real interest in the content of singles and left each country act as they want. Here I chose the UK official release but of course, for me, "Locomotive Breath" will always be the Hit. Enjoy it here.
3rd post for this one man side-project I particularly appreciate, although I don't really know why. Fletus is actually a 30 min track I listened to very often this year, and I don't find the same pleasure in this new LP or in the previous compilation of unreleased tracks released some weeks ago under the name of A Cold Distance (both on this blog) But however, this is still a music I can't help to find moving and efficient for creating a special inner feeling that extracts you from this world. And that's what I ask to music now. And that's what is difficult to find when you listened for decades to music. This Belgian musician succeeds to do it and I love his way not to play the "artist" and to keep it simple and modest. What I like less in these records than in Fletus is surely the fact that now there are voices. Not that they are bad, but I really would prefer to be carried by the music only and I don't think the vocals add anything to it (except maybe on the gorgeous "Suicidal Crisis"). But that must not preclude anyone to listen and buy this great depressive and slow piece of doom. Enjoy it here.
They asked me to sleep on the floor The people were running galore They asked for the time to make a number of changes and I let them I sat on my case in the hall The window and ceiling looked tall How long does it take to make a number of changes when you let them The case of another man was open and the contents were lying on the floor I could tell by his face he's a man like myself that's for sure I was there for a fortnight or more The place is full up to the door My mind was deranged and my habits were changed since I let them I finished my job nine till four I thought that my boss knew the score It makes you feel sick when you think of the tricks they get up to The locks on the windows were made by yourself not to open (by yourself not to open) Come to think of it now that if I were a child they'd be broken I've now spend a year behind this door The doctors would see me no more They asked me to sign with a pen on the line I was done for
Quite a change of style with the previous posts I agree. But there is quite a time I want to post the first singles by Slade. I'll stop around 1973, but I think these little vinyl circles showed that Slade was much more than a stupid stomping band for teenagers and that their Beatles heritage made them composed and played really good songs that they often put on B-sides. Not on this first single (at least the first under the Slade name, since before they were the In-Be-Tweens and then Ambrose Slade and had released some singles and one album), released in Oct. 1969, the B-side will be included on their further album (Play It Loud), released one year later. It's a great song and deserves to be not forgotten. The A-side is a little more dispensable and failed to chart. In late 69, Slade was still a somewhat skinhead band (see the video and the pix below) and not yet this successful bunch of working class glam boys that they'll be 2 years later. Enjoy this first shot here (the version of "One Way Hotel" seems a little different that on the album actually).
Sorry if you read this one before but this album will feature in my Top 5 of the year, or won't be far to be in, since there are on it some fantastic tracks (eg, "Forever Never Fails", "Nothing / Everything"). This band received some very severe critics and despises from black metallers who listen to music through their narrow-minded classification, and since it's actually not true black metal (but to lie to classification is something every musician should tend to) and even not really black metal, they can't appreciate the extraordinary beauty of this music when the band reaches the peak of it's style (cos' there are some weaknesses, notably the use of some synth-sounding keyboards not very inspired). Based on a style developped by Celest and early Katatonia, they take it to a higher level since it's never repetitive, boring or self-indulgent and since melodies are most of the times present and interesting. Of course, Xasthur's influence is also easy to detect, and Sigur Ros, Echo &the Bunnymen, the Cure and so many more. What's important is that AAFCC make all this theirs and offer a great piece of work that you'll play over and over again as I do for the last days. Quite different from their previous (and first album), more solar, more heavenlish than hellish, it's still a music to hang oneself on, don't be afraid. You can really feel to fly when listening to this record, not a common sensation when, like me, you've listened for so long to music and lost this capacity to be caught by music that we all have more easily younger. From Nederland, this is a band that'll make our year less boring for sure. Enjoy it here and then don't forget to buy the LP, these bands need support to go on and enchant our lives. Their myspace here.
One year after their superb Pulver (here), Lifelover released this second LP, not far from being better, maybe less adventurous, more The Velvet Underground and Jesus & Mary Chain gone Dark Gothic and Black Metal (of course the influence of 80's gothic rock à-la Sisters of Mercy is quite pregnant, more than on Pulver). Listening to it yesterday, I was thinking that bands like Lifelover, Frequency of Butterfly Wings (there), Gosdtopper (there) or the late Xasthur (there) are maybe making old rock obsolete. Maybe it's the end for monolithic bands (even those I love) who offer music easy to classify, linear, afraid to mix styles, in other words pre-calibrated music, at least most of the existing bands. Maybe we'll have again these album that we loved in the 70's such as the Todd Rundgren's, Captain Beefheart's, Steve Harley's or Kim Fowley's ones, full of unexpected "mélanges". Maybe I'm wrong but this was the impression I had. I hope that more and more bands, from more and more countries on the planet (in the 4 examples, one is from Sweden, one from Iran, one from Canada and one from the USA) will pursue in this way and give us not only a musical flower on each album, but a bunch. So here is the fantastic second LP from this unusual band.
I stare out the window, everything is so bleak Old wounds, unclean dusty wounds I shall repress it all Sterile, distant buildings, a thousand endless fucking streets,roads to the last unwilling breath Memories and melancholy, despair and depression The endless hall of omission Fuck this, I don't care
This is exactly what I expect from an album these times. Something that constantly surprises me, that reinvents things so that I can't even say in which sub-tribe you can classify it (fed up with all the assholes listening to music with their taxinomic glasses, hating if not doom enough, black metal enough, stoner enough, they are parasites and it would be a relief if they could quit writing on music anywhere). This band has succeeded in providing such a thing here and it's an album you'll have to count on when time will come to decide what's has been important this year. Yes indeed, this band from Iran (yes), shows to all their occidental fellows what it's to be free in music (shit, I can't find the right way to say what I'm thinking, really a bore to write in English really). In 11 tracks, they cover such a large palette of styles that really it's impossible to recomment listening to this LP to anyone in particular. There are some weaker parts (at least to my ears, particularly due to some approximation in the drumming and the production) but it doesn't really matter since this is the kind of album you listen as a lot and not for specific songs. It's sometimes like having in the same album Xasthur and TV Personalities. All I can say is that I think it's a sort of masterpiece and that it will surely feature with Dark Castle, the Unthanks and Corrupted in my top 5 of the year. Enjoy it here. You can read the lyrics there. Their facebook page here.
I'm sitting down on a chairtall walls surround me i feel i'm blind, it seems i'm deaf i tried to scream but no one hears there is no light, where is the sun? nobody's alive, people cry can't you hear? i won't pay attention to this pain in my heart i can't breath anymore darkness swallowed me i'm sure a rush of blood falls from my eyes i won't birth anymore
I won't hide that after the fabulous Magic Lady (there) and the great Sea Of Storms (here), Valley of Light is quite a deception. Don't really know what Mandy Morton wanted to do there, but it seems she tried to be a mainstream ROR & adult rock icon and it was a failure. The band is totally new but plays rather dully and arrangements are often terrible (these ugly moogs and synthetisers that ruin several songs), although Mike Kemp is the official engineer. More dramatic, Mandy doesn't sing with this particular and unchallenging charm she had on her previous offerings. Listen to her vocals on the pseudo-rocker "No Reason" and you'll doubt it's the same artist than on Magic Lady. Even the cover of Grace Slick's "Somebody to Love" is bad. But, however, it's Mandy Morton and impossible not to find some pleasure in this album. Some songs have some inner quality such as "Time Machine" (except the awful moog solo on the final) or "Chosen Few", the only track reaching the level of her previous work, and it's a shame all the LP was not all this good. A mention to the final song, "Born Natural", with something of Steve Harley era Timeless Flight in its arrangements (and something of "Celluloid Heroes" of the Kinks in the melody of it's closing). No picture of her from this period so I don't put any. This was her last recording (at least released). Not really surprising if you remember the environmental musical landscape in the 80's. Sad but that's it. This last offering here.
Sorry, nothing to do with the previous post. It's not because there was an elephant on the cover sleeve of Preacher's last offer that I post tonight the Forks of Ivory. No, it's only because this duo plays a fantastic sludgy noise (unleast it's a noisy sludge). With only drums and guitars, they give you the impression you're trapped in a washing machine program spin-drying. Most of time instrumental, we are here somewhere between Tweak Bird and Lightning Bolt (and even Shellac) but with a sludge and doom imprint that you don't find in these bands and a lot less based upon virtuosity (it's sometimes rather simplistic but I don't dislike). A great mixing of atmospheres that deserves to be supported. In times where blogs tend to overestimate a lot of new bands that don't offer anything new or enjoyable (at least to my ears), here's one real interesting thing. Enjoy it here. And then go to their bandcamp here to buy it or their reverbnation site there to program them in your town or village.