Rituals - s/t (2012)

If, like me you're in the Skullflower era Orange Canyon Mind, your mind will be blown by the first track of this LP ("Cognitive Dissonance"). It's one of the most breathtaking thing I heard for quite a long time. Afterwards, the post-rock à-la Isis dimension is more pregnant but the wilderness of what's played (à-la Neurosis) avoids any rubbishness so frequent in this music style (but now frequent in most of what I listen to, whatever the school the newcomers adhere to). If you are users of this blog, you won't be surprised by my choice, cos' you got here what I love in this mix of extreme sludge-doom-noise I consider the only music providing a credible sound equivalent to our times. All else honestly seems to me rather out of subject (I'm half a century old but don't want to listen to recycle music and needs relevant music as I wanted it when I was 13 and listened to Black Sabbath or Procol Harum). Except some melancholic singers who explore their innerself with all the deadly content (from Melanie to Lana Del Rey). But here we have the soundtrack of our purulent times. There's something of a tribal approach (I'd said Indian, the civilisation and the band) in the drum beat that makes it sound all the more wild and non-WASP. Sometimes it's strangely very very calm and beautiful (the bridge on the end of "Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy", whatever Takotsubo may mean, or the first part of "It Was All Very Sudden").If you miss it, it's a real waste. Enjoy it here. And then go there to support them the best you can (they're from Washington DC). After Vestiges (here) and Alda (there), Replenish records show they are one of the best label of the times.


Ronnie Lane & Slim Chance - The Poacher / (Bye and Bye) Gonna See The Kings 7" (1974)

In May 1974, a second single from Ronnie Lane and his band Slim Chance (in which Gallagher & Lyle had been replaced after they went to form an eponymous duo) is issued. A-side is one of the most delicate and elegant pop song ever released, but unfortunately it will fail to reach summons in the charts for a reason I ignore. Lyrics may seem old-hippie style (but Ray Davies' were not different at the time) but what remains is this extraordinary clarinet (English call it French clarinet), this subtile violin subtitles and this aerial melody. The kind of aeternal pop sweety tune that will put some joy in future generations minds as it was able to do when it was released, and as it is still able to in mine tonight. And there's a lot to do in the shitty state of mind I'm in. Enjoy it here (hoping that it'll not be removed too fast by our vigilant PPP ( protectors of private property)). It's in flac for a better sound quality. I won't put it in this format everytime but for singles I'll sometimes try. Below an interesting document from the Melody Maker, one MM file about Slim Chance published between the single and the album. PS. Since the single had no cover sleeve, I did one with the superb picture from the Anymore For Anymore LP from which both sides of the singles were taken. 


Ice Dragon - Tome of the Future Ancients (2012)

Surely one of the most impressive album I'll listen to over the year. Not without weak moments, not without technical approximations in the production and playing, but creating a really deleterious atmosphere all the way long. Imagine this album is about 73 min long (finally a double vinyl album) and keeps all along the way a doom path based upon Black Sabbath with a kind of Electric Wizard treatment, but with a much more artisan approach, I would even say lo-fi, far from metal actually and its obsession of efficiency, grandeur, pomposity, technicity. In other ways, I totally adhere to this kind of project. If you're in 70's old shit and you come on this site to catch some, please be curious enough to listen to this gem, I'm sure you won't regret it. And then go here to buy it please. Before, enjoy it here


Ronnie Lane - How Come / Tell Everyone / Done This One Before 7" (1973)

After leaving the Faces, Ronnie Lane formed a band called Slim Chance (maybe the chance he thought he had to have success) and released this first 3 song single that was actually quite successful, staying 3 weeks between the 11th and 12th position in the charts. When I feel the world is really too thick and vulgar, I often listen to Ronnie Lane, one or the most delicate singer songwriter of history. His style may seem a little soft and naive and too much Harrison-influenced, but actually you got here the germs of the Jacobites, the Waterboys, Tom Petty and so much more. Times being quite rough in France these days with the fascist party reaching more than 30% of votes in some parts of the country, I needed Ronnie Lane gentle and nice approach of music to cure my head from this shit (and shit is much more sane than these sub-human brains). The first post about the singles he released during his brief period with this band. To note that the files are in flac. I don't change them in mp3 cause the quality is too much deteriorated afterwards. You just have to have VLC to listen to them. Enjoy it here. Note that "Done This One Before" has been covered by ex-Acid Bath Dax Riggs.


Romero - Cough Lock 7" (2012)

I was sure I would find the music I needed tonight to consolate me from the load of bastards that live in my country and where 1 from 5 votes for a xenophobic and sub-nazi party (it was election day today, I loathe this stupid ritual but for once, I participated to it but it's again a disaster). So Romero does perfectly the game with this fantastic new single. I posted their previous one here and this one is again a gem. Actually, what I love with this band is that you never know what's coming next. They are quite unpredictable, sometimes Melvinians, sometimes Sleepians, sometimes Kyussians, always good, never in the pale copy. This single is free to dl so don't hesitate to ask it here or take it there directly.


Mott The Hoople - Live In LA (1973)

Almost a year after the Philadelphia show, it's a very different band we find here. Verden Allen and Mick Ralphs are gone (the latter to form Bad Company with Paul Rodgers), and in are ex-Spooky Tooth Luther Grosvenor (who had to change his name god-knows-why for Ariel Bender), Morgan Fisher and occasionally Blue Weaver. This live show in Los Angeles, caught during their Autumn US tour, is only 4 tracks long (sad but I didn't find more, if you have, let a comment), and has been broadcast it seems by the Midnight Special TV show. The reason why you can see the 4 videos of the songs here, here, here and here (sorry, the guy has desactivated the integration of some of them for some stupid reasons). The sound is not totally satisfying but it can be listened to without too much effort. It's clear (if I may use this term for a so sludgy sound) that the band is much more aggressive that it was in the Bowie period featuring Mick Ralphs. And it's for me the best era of the band, although many (and Ian Hunter first) say that retrospectively Ariel Bender was not the good choice. It's heavy and light, it's bubble gum and pompous, serious and totally weirdos, it's at the best of what glam could be. Enjoy it here. Sorry for the cover sleeve, that's the kind of stupid visuals I do when I feel like a little erotic-kitsch. I thought it was fine with this offer, surely a dude called Angeline driving to Memphis.


Alda - Tahoma (2012)

I cancel a Kim Fowley's post for this great album from a Washington DC band mixing Black Metal - Post Rock and Folk with a rare agility. After Deafheaven and An Autumn For Crippled Children (and of course Wolves In The Throne Room) another sign that this hybridisation with Black Metal can be fruitful (rotten fruits but fruit nevertheless). Except the rather dull acoustic track, the album is a complete success and take you off the ground in a similar way that Subrosa but with a music that is more mystic and conceptual. It could be boring but it's not. It seems a solid format will be out soon but meanwhile this can be dl freely on bandcamp here or a direct link there. Savour it. More great new releases to come soon.


Subrosa - No Help For The Mighty Ones (2010)

Sure that if I had listened to this LP last year it would have featured in my top 10 of 2011. Consisting in 3 females (2 on electric violin) and 2 males, this band from Salt Lake City proposes a splendid gothic rock avoiding all the usual kitsch "scories" that this style is often infected with. What is the most stunning is their ability to create songs that you remember, sort of classics of our times in a style where lazy repetition of ancient formulas is frequent. The atmosphere is dark but in a romantic way (romantic à-la Goethe and Freidrich) and the ambiance distillates a delicate sense of anguish with great crescendos (the final of "Dark Country") taking you off the ground for some celestian destinations. Violins are never invading the sonor space but sure adda lot. You can find a critic here, writing all this in a much better style than I can do with my poor English (even citing Joyce and where you can read that this "music doesn’t necessarily defy categorization, but it certainly discourages it", and that's fucking truth). This very long LP is so rich and complex in its structure that it'll take you quite a while to explore all it has to give. If you are in Dark Castle, Subarachnoïd Space, Godspeed You Black Emperor!, the Unthanks or Siouxsie & The Banshees, Daniele Dax or Curved Air (for the oldests), you will surely find here reasons to be excited. So try it here and then support them in buying this wonderful album here.


Mott The Hoople - Going Home / Keep 'A' Knocking fake 7" (1970)

Of course I can't remake history, but I'm sure that if Guy Stevens had liked this Stonesian song composed by Mick Ralphs and sung by Ian Hunter (a Guy Stevens idea actually) and recorded in January 1970, and if the band had released it in single during spring 1970 ("with "if", you could put Paris in bottle" says a French expression), they could have been the first heroes of the glam wave that will have to wait until February 1971 and T. Rex's "Hot Love" to appear. Yes, with their approach of the Stones, Mott created the so-specific Bolan's riffs that would enflame teenagers some months later. To verify what I'm saying here, listen to the intro of "Going Home" and you'll know I'm not joking. But not only this song was not issued in single, it was even not retained for the Mad Shadows LP next September and had to wait 10 years to be heard, on the 2 Miles From Heaven compilation. Incredible indeed. And the proof Bolan didn't steal his riffs idea from it. On the B-side, the unreleased studio version of the Penniman's "Keep 'A' Knocking" cover that was included live on the Wildlife LP more than 1 year later. Sad that this single didn't exist. Enjoy it here. Below a picture of Guy Stevens doing the Chuck Berry's duck walk.


Sun Worship - s/t (2011)

Quite a long time I didn't post black metal here. I must admit the genre must be really stunning to my ears for me to adopt it. It was the case with Xasthur or last year's An Autumn For Crippled Children. This year, the only thing that made me thrill in this style is this demo by a German band called Sun Worship. Some compare their way to approach black metal to Wolves In The Throne Room and Blus Aut Nord. All I can say is that there is a "grandeur" in their music that gives it a larger-than-life (and death) dimension that most in this genre fail to reach. I hope this first demo (I love the cover sleeve) is announcing a long series of great albums. Meanwhile enjoy this deleterious music here. Their bandcamp is there.


Grass Is Green - Ronson (2012)

It's only April but you want to be sure to listen to an album that'll feature in your (and others) list of the best LP of the year? I got what you need: Ronson from Grass Is Green. This unexpected and splendid mixture of Drive Like Jehu, Boat, Let's Active, Trail of Dead, Slint and the db's is doing my days, my weeks, my months and will do it for me this year. There's even some Sonic Youth meets Prefab Sprout emanations. Admit that you shouldn't be still reading this commentary and be on their bandcamp to buy (only 5$ and unfortunately no solid format to get) this incredible fresh, complex, intelligent, elegant, touching, modest and thrilling piece of music here. Honestly I got some difficulties to imagine how 4 young men can achieve such a perfect thing in 2012. Years ago it would have seemed less miraculous since there was a trend for this noisy math-pop but today, so many are slipping on sub-musical grounds I declare my admiration for these Bostonians. It's their 3rd album but the first I listen to (I'll try the previous ones when I'll have used this one completely). Don't think they are really exciting on stage, this is more music to hear at home, but I only say this after seeing some videos). This music will sound too university-inclined for many of my doom and sludge visitors and 70's aficionados, but let's have a try for a change (here), you won't be deceived I promise. An absolute must. PS. Don't know if Ronson deals with our Michael Picasso, companion of Bowie, Dylan, Hunter and Morrissey, but it gives the album a little more for me.


Saint Ivo - Self titled (2012)

I don't know anything about this band and didn't find anything except their LP on bandcamp (and not even in an LP form but in separate tracks freely downloadable). And what I knwo is that I totally fell in love with their style. Which one exactly. Imagine Murkrat playing the slow part of Acid Bath (with the voice of Dax Riggs) with a Type O Negative flavor you got something approaching the played style. The perfect music for the sonor background of some mediaeval horror film. Can't say why I appreciate so much something that may seem so simple and repetitive but I do. If someone can give some light about this band I would be grateful. Don't hesitate to dl it and I assure you won't be disappointed. A perfect gothic doom climax for those who love to swim in these muddy macabre waters. Enjoy it here. Listen below and then go to their bandcamp there.