12 December 2013

Glaze of Cathexis - 2013 - The Gates of Ra EP

I've wanted to make a surf rock album since I was 15 years old.  If you've been listening to previous Glaze of Cathexis, the signs were likely apparent (especially on the album "I Often Dream of the Apocalypse").  I guess I still haven't made an album for that genre, but here's an EP.  It's a venue for wailing away on my Fender Telecaster and trying to channel the Ventures and Dick Dale.  Of course, this is the psychedelic garage, and there are a few warped curve balls, but I think I was going more for atmosphere that innovation on this one.  The title track is a preview of the next full Glaze of Cathexis album, which will appear in the first few months of 2014.

Most of these songs were actually composed more than ten years old, and I think this is my third round at recording them (the first two will remain unreleased because I, uh, lost them).  "Journeys of Pilgrims Under Moonlight" only received it's vocal chant last week, but the rest of the track dates from the aforementioned 15-year-old Dr. Schluss and the song titles are all new.  Only "The Gates of Ra" is a recent composition, and even that melody has been bouncing around in my head for the past few years (although with tragically stupid and offensive lyrics that I didn't use).

I hope some of you are on the same trip as me for this one and will dig the tunes.  Please share them around. Here's a link:

11 December 2013

Tideland - 2013 - Lull

Quality: 4.25 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 4.25 out of 5

Well, you could say that there's nothing new under the sun here, but then you'd be missing out on some shoegazing bliss.  Yeah, Tideland's going staight for the unobtainable heart of the Bloody Valentines, but they do an enviable approximation of the vibe by weaving in the pounding of Ride and the pure abandon of 80's Dinosaur Jr.  I mean, let's face it, the Valentines don't have a whole lot of music to their name and this is some of the purest, straight ahead shoegazing I've heard in quite a while.  There are no nods to electronic or modern rock here - just the jet engine roar that only the best create.

Once you've heard "Starblood," you'll already know if this is for you.  New acolytes will note the amphetamine rush of buzzsaw guitars heading straight for your soul.  The Valentine effect is in full force on "Carved In Mine," which sounds a bit like "You Made Me Realize," but doesn't suffer too much from the comparison.  "Dinosaur" actually doesn't justif my Dinosaur Jr. reference all that much, but rather comes across like what the reverb god Dean Wareham would've sounded like if he drank a lot more coffee.

These are time tested approaches to melting the roof off of the club, but Tideland knows there stuff and presses most of the buttons that need to be pressed with a proper punk rock heart lurking deep inside the proceedings.  The guitars jangle, roar, or melt right when they need to.  Yeah, there are some diamonds to be found in the no-mans-land of Bandcamp, and this is certainly one of them.

Put a hole in your mind here:
Tideland - 2013 - Lull

Tom Waits For No Man - 2013 - Fun With String

Quality: 3.75 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 4 out of 5

Just to get this off my chest, change the name!!!  For the love of God, change the name!!!  I mean, I dig Tom Waits, but I wouldn't say he ever went psych rock and the pun brings me pain.  I almost didn't give this a listen because of it, but fortunately I did and there's some notable grooviness to be had here.  Back when I was a young buck right around the turn of the millennium, I stumbled into a number of those hardwood floor-shakin', bad-part-of-town house parties which had the hardcore punks wailing until the police showed up (admittedly for me a few times by way the primordial Glaze of Cathexis, Rocket Number Nine - not that we were hardcore punks).  I was always wishing for a garage rock rave up.  Before my partying time was done, the seas were shifting; I especially remember catching the early Black Lips at a few Atlanta shindigs.  Anyway, the somewhat unfortunately named Tom Waits For No Man would have been very welcome to that early 20-something Dr. Schluss.  Plowing with the essence of the 60's underground teens, you'll dig into some of the sounds here.

This stuff 60-70% instrumental, which is a touch of a downer as a properly unhinged vocalist would add quite a bit of sonic value.  But we're going to deal with what we've got, and plug it into the slot of soundtracking for a more deranged take on the psychedelic bro love-hate of Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper in "The Trip."  I guess these folks have something like on their mind as the tracks titles delve straight into the darker side of B-movieism with "Evil Dead," "Doom Patrol," and "Death Rides a Horse" making their names known.  The first half of the album throws some reverb-drenched, yet desert fried early morning tunes our way - sort of like if Brightback Morning Light got dosed with the brown acid.  With "Beauty in Garbage," we start to get some vocal warbling with some wasted Velvet Underground by way of Galaxie 500 intonations.  "Ohm" finally hits the garage rock sweet spot and may be the grooviest, Pebbles-ready tune here.  It's too entertainingly low-fi and warped for "Nuggets."  "Police Chase" goes back to the (mostly) instrumental, but comes on full blast with a brain-melting fuzz fest.

I sort of feel like we may be getting a few iterations of a band here (not that I have any evidence for or against that).  The building blocks for extreme awesomeness are nonetheless present on this offering.  I guess my "working-on-middle-age" advice would be to ditch the name and recruit a singer on the cusp of Roky Erickson to shout to the stars.  Not that I actually know what I'm talking about or anything.  Still, this may very well be a ground floor that you'll want to get in on.

Vibe in here:
Tom Waits For No Man - 2013 - Fun With String