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Music Reviews

Liquid Sound Comapany – “Psychoactive Songs for the Psoul” – [Liquid Sound Records]

carsonstreet   4/26/2022   A Library, CD

Liquid Sound Company is from Arlington, Texas. Formed in 1996 by Solitude Aeturnus guitarist John Perez and Last Chapter drummer Jason Spradlin. The goal: create mind expanding psychedelic sounds for the head! With the nucleus of the band being John Perez & Jason Spradlin the band also includes current members Alan Wise, Mark Cook, and Ron McCain. With a new album in 2021 and live trips in the works, Liquid Sound Company is ready to fly!  Get out your lava lamp and light up the skies, with eastern nods, guitar freak outs and spacey chill out vibes.

Gnod – “La Mort du Sens” – [Rocket Recordings]

carsonstreet   4/26/2022   A Library, CD

Gnod are a British rock band from Salford, Greater Manchester, England. Formed in 2006, the band was described in a review of its 2011 release Ingnodwetrust as “a collective from Manchester with an ever-rotating list of members. La Mort Du Sens translates to “The Death Of Meaning” and also reflects its creation. As Paddy Shine of Gnod notes: “I think the title sums it up well because this album was coming together at a time when confusion was king for us all – still is. I think we can all relate to that. This record is a really strange beast because of the big change that happened between mixing and recording”. Started in 2019 the pandemic got in the way and ended up helping form the end product. Paddy continues: “I think the title really does sum up the vibe of ‘What the Fuck’? Maybe we should have called it that!”

Gerycz / Powers / Rolin – “Lamplighter” – [American Dreams Records]

carsonstreet   4/26/2022   12-inch, A Library

On Lamplighter, the trio of Cloud Nothings drummer Jayson Gerycz, hammered dulcimer player Jen Powers, and guitarist Matthew J. Rolin come together to whip up a storm of mostly improvised jams that roil with joyful abandon. The group weaves together roots music, free jazz, rock, and drone to create mesmerizing, largely acoustic music that captivates, dazzles, and imparts wonder. Lamplighter is lightning in a bottle – the trio is firing on all cylinders, confident in their skillset and interplay, which makes the improvisational nature of the compositions even more impressive. A little psychy and a lot meditative. Relax and enjoy.

White Manna – “First Welcome” – [Cardinal Fuzz]

carsonstreet   4/26/2022   12-inch, A Library

White Manna is a psychedelic/space rock band from California. Fueled by mystic forces hidden behind California’s Redwood Curtain, White Manna has been feeding heads a steady diet of transcendent jams for quite some time. White Manna’s longevity as one of the leaders of the modern psychedelic movement can be attributed to their willingness to introduce new elements to their sonic repertoire. Initially, these moves were subtle, but as the band has moved on through the years, these moves have become much more pronounced. So, here we are with First Welcome, an album that features warbled country leanings, airy blooms of ambience, and occasional hints of a German yesteryear, all implemented into the band’s signature hazy and spacey sound. First Welcome is the eighth full length album from this ever-evolving band. First Welcome is a product of the COVID era, with much of the recording happening in quarantine or while socially distanced. The band’s process relied on communicating via email and sending music files back and forth.

Wet Leg – “Wet Leg” – [Domino]

Sir Cumference   4/24/2022   A Library, CD

Wet Leg are Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers, from the Isle of Wight. Last summer they released their first single – Chaise Longue – was a catchy ditty that had me wanting more. The songs deal with all the usual things that 20-somethings deal with: Love, sex, the futility of existence, and the disappointment of adulthood. The whole album is a joy to listen to, but if I had to pick a favorite moment it’s near the end of Ur Mum – you’ll hear what I mean (I don’t want to spoil the surprise) also, there’s a nod to Man Who Sold the World on I Don’t Wanna Go Out.

[COLL] Godspunk Volume Twenty-Three

karma   4/20/2022   A Library

Godspunk is a creation of Pumf records in Blackpool, England. Most of the artists on this 52-track album are from the UK, but there are a few from America and France. This is a delightful album that immerses you in its universe. It starts with a few outlandish tracks. The title track talks about how the Teletubbies never existed. A few songs later, Breathilizor spins a tale about “bean burrito toilet sludge miasma.” The album then features a few songs by UNIT that seem to feature right-wing talking points. Is it punk to watch Fox News? Poe’s Law got to me and I didn’t realize that they were satirizing conservatives by singing about their views in beautiful four-part harmony. 


There is a lot of instrumental music on this album. Much is with traditional instruments, but a lot of songs feature ambient noise such as birds, dogs, and doors. Most of the songs, especially the instrumentals by UNIT, are excellent. However, some of the songs seem to feature mainly distorted speaker feedback. “Memoir of a Horny Abortionist” is so unsettling that Ruth Bader Ginsburg would become pro-life. 


The second CD turns more introspective. The tracks explore issues such as anger, loneliness, and the meaning of life. However, these deep tracks are interspersed by weird instrumentals with titles like “Toxic Cock Syndrome” or a spoken word song about getting spanked by Tom Hanks. There is something on this album for everyone! 

Worm “Foreverglade” [20 Buck Spin]

atavist   4/19/2022   A Library, CD

Thankfully projects continue to till the decomposing detritus found at the intersection of death metal and funeral doom. Why not when more filth piles up every day? Transposing the clear chimes of echoing, chorus-y guitar with utterly filthy doom chugs and deranged squeals. Vox steeped in the rotting vapors of a Floridian swamp. The session drums, especially the double kick, are well-captured in the recording and properly assertive. The second track adds some churchy monk vocals and has an epic soaring riff, and lo, I detect keyboards. Seriously old-school solos that would have found a home in the late 80s. “Empire of the Necromancers” has grand, melodic passages, setting up “Subaqueous Funeral”, which, vokills aside, is so… pretty. Which is fine for this soft-hearted reviewer, if surprising and unsettling. Worm closes this out with a return to the doomed sounds, circling back to where it began, as the cycle of despair must be renewed endlessly.

Soyuz Bear “MMXV” [Zanjeer Zani Productions]

atavist   4/19/2022   A Library, Cassette

This limited edition cassette from 2015 captures a crusty slab of French doom from a project that has since disbanded. Side A has three more polished studio tracks, and side B has three rehearsal tracks engineered by the band. Side A checks the boxes for the bongrip soundtrack though the riffs aren’t super original. Side B, being a rehearsal, captures a little air and space and basically squashes the vocals in the mix. And though I usually don’t advocate for the live stuff, track 5 “GHB Uber Alles” might be the most vital track on the release. Where the studio stuff walks the path, the rehearsals capture a band imbibing and going for it, and it works in their favor. This is followed by the closer “In the Abyss”, with some groove-laden riffs to get stoned heads nodding in unison. Possible FCC in track 1; in this genre it can be hard to make them out, but steer this one into safe harbor.

Nyctalllz and Agdistiz – “Kozmik Noise” – [Syrphe]

Mister S   4/19/2022   A Library, CD

Dark ambient sounds derived from electronic processing in the vein of Zoviet France, SPK and F/i with a bit more of a rhythmic sense in the realm of Faust. Conjures mental images of grainy, anxiety inducing black and white films like Robert Eggers’ The Lighthouse and Darren Aronovsky’s Pi. Do not listen during commute traffic. Great late night traffic free driving music or indulging on 4/20.

“Nyctalllz is a noise, experimental and dark ambient music project formed in 2007 by Morego Dimmer (aka Xerxes The Dark/ Morego) in Tehran, Iran. Agdistiz is a noise and experimental music project from Romania. Both artists exchanged audio files through the internet, Kozmik Noize was born.”

Qrixkuor “Poison Palinopsia” [Dark Descent Records]

atavist   4/18/2022   A Library, CD

From an upwelling of cinematic horror emerges a relentless armada poised to break the mountain with a downstroke of contempt. Ridiculously complicated, monstrous track lengths—both clocking in over 24 min. Doom riffs and filth setting up a blastbeat passage that happens until, well, another complicated thing is happening. There is no wavering in their intent—Qrixkuor are in a feverish madness stringing this together. Halfway through the first track, “Serpertine Susurrus – Mothers Abomination”, the cinematic horror intro returns and resets the chess board. A new build, seemingly more resigned, or perhaps just steeled for what’s to come. When the onslaught returns, it hews to a narrower line. Careening guitar solos round out the proceedings. The wildest, proggiest blastbeat section closes the track in hyperventilating abandon. One heretical opinion, a sneaky DJ could opt to play the first half of the track or the second half, treating them as parts one/two and fading in/out on the orchestral middle section (I myself am inclined to stretch the break clock just enough to play the monstrosity in its entirety). In “Recrudescent Malevolence – Mother’s Illumination” we have reached a desolate promontory, we can see a vast reek stretching below us. A film reel of horror. Guitars moan in agony. The barrage commences. After a nearly seven-minute slow build, things are coalescing a bit, but the approach remains more restrained than the previous track. For those who crave speed, this track doesn’t fully launch until about ten minutes in. Corpse vocals wreathed in echoes, maelstrom of drums. And similar to the previous track, disconcerting horror movie music thrown into the middle of the track, setting up the second half. Like both tracks on the album needed an intermission, so heavily laden are they. Bombastic, perhaps, but it’s interesting to hear death metal obsession magnified to this almost unbearable level.

Years – “Rats” – [Self-release]

Max Level   4/17/2022   12-inch, A Library

Noisy rock out of Oakland, with bluesy, folky, and country touches. Singer-songwriter Kyle Ranson fronts an honest-sounding, solid-but-not-overly-polished band that gets the point across. Slide guitar all over the place. Some harmonica. Reminds me of American Music Club but friendlier. Songs are around 2 to 4 minutes in length. Totally enjoyable.

Nihil Communication – “Live: The Lab In San Francisco 12 Nov 2011” – [Danvers State Recordings]

Max Level   4/17/2022   A Library, Cassette

One 22-minute track of atmospheric sound-noise-scape. For this live 2011 performance, Andre Custodio’s solo project Nihil Communication expanded into a quartet lineup including members of other projects such as Conure, Sutekh Hexen, and Neurosis. I hear laptops, microphones, and instruments such as flute and guitar in the mix. The dynamics vary from medium quiet to medium noisy. Nothing harsh or scary, though—just intriguing caverns of sound created by people who know how to do this stuff.

Beyond Captain Orca! – “Live 2018” – [Self Release]

Jay Omega   4/17/2022   A Library, CD

Beyond Captain Orca! are a purely improvisational band out of Seattle featuring the psychedelic guitar work of Jack Endino. The tracks ebb and flow as the musicians play off of each other on their meandering journeys. When one idea is played out, a new idea quickly emerges. There are three tracks on this release spanning two live performances. The third track also features Ganjas’ guitarist, Pablo Giadach, from Chile. At roughly 10, 20 and 30 minutes, there is a track length to fit your needs.

Somali Yacht Club – “The Sun +1” – [Robustfellow Prods.]

Jay Omega   4/17/2022   A Library, CD

This is the debut album of Somali Yacht Club, a Ukrainian band from Lviv Ukraine. This power trio moves between, and blends, Stoner rock, Psychedelic rock, Shoegaze, Post-metal, Post-rock, Dub, Doom, and Space rock, to create heavy prog-like journeys. Their ability to move about the musical universe is amazing. If I had to pick something to criticize, it would be that they do it just a little bit too well.

Shilo, J.P. – “Jubjote” – [Heavy Machinery Records]

cinder   4/13/2022   12-inch, A Library

A nightmare fueled dream state through Twilight Zone-esque themes and forlorn thoughts. As the cover art depicts, there’s beauteous pipe organ (Melbourne Town Hall Grand Organ) sounds that drone and float, drifting along with some electronics, guitar and such. It’s glorious. JP deadpans a story akin to Randy Greif, Edward Ka-Spel & Blood Axis/Les Joyaux De La Princess. I recommend laying flat on your back in the dark, closed eyes, and let it soak through your mind.

Loopsel – “Spiral, The” – [Digital Regress]

cinder   4/13/2022   12-inch, A Library

Solo project of Elin Engström from Sweden. Sounds of a fantasy daydream, but also sparked with darkness. There’s light rhythmical tendrils, which then take a harsh right turn into industrial anger. Not noise, not pure evil, but a slight sinister edge behind the guitar and electronics. Experimental haze. A glowing golden hilltop with black storm clouds. 

Exek – “Advertise Here” – [Castle Face Records]

Thurston Hunger   4/12/2022   A Library, CD

Oz-balls. with Albert Wolski’s languid vox on top of awkward pop songs. The drums want to party, the rest of the band is fine just chill’ing in a post-Clean lighted synth space. The CD beings and ends with brief palette cleansing instros. Wolski steps to the mic and on toes on #2 with “You’re looking pregnant, are you pregnant?” If this album took a paternity test, it might indicate Cueniform and Flying Nun as label parents. Ben Hepworth’s bass is a stand-out, check him out as he boogies his was from “Sen Yen For 30 Min of Violin” on into “Beyond Currency.” Ben straight up pumps up the sonic tent for synth/piano to breathe and for the occasional guitar Fripp-flare or trumpet squoom. Is Valya YL Hooi the trumpeteer? She also guest sings briefly on “Unseasonable Warmth” – her 2021 “Untitled” album is a nice drifty, dizzy dream of an album btw. Back on the Exek summary, not sure what the title means (nor sure about a lot of Wolski’s words) but it’s a pretty smooth ride.
-Thurston Hunger

Scissor Girls, The – “Scissor Girls, The” – [Jabs (2)]

Thurston Hunger   4/12/2022   12-inch, A Library

Origin story for Scissor Girls, once upon a cassette (circa 1992) now a slab of vinyl. Azita Youssefi’s vox nicely mixed btw, percussive with that punk swagger stand out. She’s no girl in trouble, she IS trouble. Sue Anne Zollinger on guitar is sharp and slashy, those brittle distorted chords and some of that math-by-odd-numbers note playing that are part of the no-wave vibe. Discordant and more abrasive at its time, 30 years later it feels like home, to me at least. Heather Melowic ties it up with a Ramones-y approach to the drums. As befits its humble demo beginnings, this album is pretty short and stripped down. On “Riveted” there’s a hint of the art damage that would be added when the band got Load-ed to a (pretty amazing) label back then.

One aside about the Jabs label, run by Ethan Swan it’s interesting in an era where one hears about nano-pennies per play on various streams, that he’s striving to be super transparent on production costs and profits. It ain’t a Rochester-to-Riches tale, but as labors of love go especially in an internet world where everyone is watching/listening/creeping, it’s laudable.

This EP is a cool artifact, and for some maybe an introduction to Chicago No Wave and beyond (connecting to Bulb Records, Zeek Sheck, Weasel Walter as Zelig and more). Dig in, despite what Azita assails on “Gamma E-Ray-Ser” there is a victory of sort.
-Thurston Hunger

Flower-Corsano Duo – “Halcyon, The” – [VHF Records]

Thurston Hunger   4/12/2022   12-inch, A Library

Two side-long koans. guitarist and Vibracathedran Michael Flower rejoining forces with drum roller
Chris Corsano. KFJC has no fewer than 12 Corsano duos (including “The Four Aims” with Flower) and
additional 10 trios with Chris’ sticks. Like 2009’s “Four Aims” this is jazz-inflected free rock. Flower’s guitar shimmers, high-note, high-frequency arpeggio cycling that keeps cresting upon itself. Corsano equally fervent, but with cymbals to cool the process down. To me this is like hyperdrone music, such a consistent scramble of surging sound it has that calming drone vibe. Hence the LP title perhaps, although it is a kind of crazy calm. Hell-cyon?!? Actually side B does have a pretty chill section guitar wise starting at about 9:20 in, slow rise refueling back Meanwhile the song titles could refer to Cuyahoga and Werner Herzog’s “Fitzcarraldo” …but probably not. As exhilarating as the playing by both, their efforts on recording/mixing are just as crucial. Every trill, every fill is alive here. When Flower’s electronics fritz you can almost smell the crisp electric singe. Talk about a smoke break….fire this up!
-Thurston Hunger

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