Categories
Music Reviews

Vex

Vex

Sanctuary: The Complete Discography

Sacred Bones

Vex were enthusiastic participants in UK anarcho-punk circa 1983, playing shows with the likes of Conflict, kitted out in the requisite armor of studs and leather, raging against the Thatcherite machine. And yet, once the needle drops on the Sanctuary reissue, you are treated to a far more subtle, mysterious and seductive palette of sound – easily in line with Josef K, early Sisters of Mercy, Christian Death, and Killing Joke than Crass. Indeed listening to it with virgin ears in 2014 places it squarely in the gothic camp; hell, Vex could be heralded as one of the unwitting forefathers of the g-beat sound (Belgrado, Cemetary, Blue Cross, Anasazi). So it goes with the strange and wonderful British sub-subgenre of positive punk, which also birthed the Mob, Sex Gang Children and Southern Death Cult. Basically, punk stripped of its yobbish piss and vinegar, gripped with an existential panic at the state of the world, and utilizing a far more expansive palette of sonics and well emotions, as well as a more flamboyant presentation.

Out of print for decades, Vex’s Sanctuary 12″ seemed destined for GREAT LOST ALBUM status until Sacred Bones unearthed it and then added some extra tracks to encompass all of Vex’s ouvre. And Vex has fucking withstood the test of time admirably. Eldritch anthems run headlong into lirthe punk heaviness. There’s a sense of keening possibility in every liquid guitar run, anchored heavily reverbed drums and JD-style bass. And the singer marshals existential outrage into every glorious war whoop and bellow. “Sanctuary” could have been an anthem for the Cult. “It’s No Crime” nicks a few ideas from “The Wait” but with an altogether different kind of tension. “Relative Sadness” is a masterclass in deathrock darkness; in another world, constant mixtape fodder. “Rushing To Hide” is a staccato, metallized mantra that seems to anticipate Ministry and other industrial abusers. (Great vocal echo too. A demo of “Pressure” closes the album magnificently, giving sly hints of “Love Like Blood” level pop mastery. If only…

www.sacredbonesrecords.com

Categories
Music Reviews

Vex

Vex

Sanctuary: The Complete Discography

Sacred Bones

Vex were enthusiastic participants in UK anarcho-punk circa 1983, playing shows with the likes of Conflict, kitted out in the requisite armor of studs and leather, raging against the Thatcherite machine. And yet, once the needle drops on the Sanctuary reissue, you are treated to a far more subtle, mysterious and seductive palette of sound – easily in line with Josef K, early Sisters of Mercy, Christian Death, and Killing Joke than Crass. Indeed listening to it with virgin ears in 2014 places it squarely in the gothic camp; hell, Vex could be heralded as one of the unwitting forefathers of the g-beat sound (Belgrado, Cemetary, Blue Cross, Anasazi). So it goes with the strange and wonderful British sub-subgenre of positive punk, which also birthed the Mob, Sex Gang Children and Southern Death Cult. Basically, punk stripped of its yobbish piss and vinegar, gripped with an existential panic at the state of the world, and utilizing a far more expansive palette of sonics and well emotions, as well as a more flamboyant presentation.

Out of print for decades, Vex’s Sanctuary 12″ seemed destined for GREAT LOST ALBUM status until Sacred Bones unearthed it and then added some extra tracks to encompass all of Vex’s ouvre. And Vex has fucking withstood the test of time admirably. Eldritch anthems run headlong into lirthe punk heaviness. There’s a sense of keening possibility in every liquid guitar run, anchored heavily reverbed drums and JD-style bass. And the singer marshals existential outrage into every glorious war whoop and bellow. “Sanctuary” could have been an anthem for the Cult. “It’s No Crime” nicks a few ideas from “The Wait” but with an altogether different kind of tension. “Relative Sadness” is a masterclass in deathrock darkness; in another world, constant mixtape fodder. “Rushing To Hide” is a staccato, metallized mantra that seems to anticipate Ministry and other industrial abusers. (Great vocal echo too. A demo of “Pressure” closes the album magnificently, giving sly hints of “Love Like Blood” level pop mastery. If only…

www.sacredbonesrecords.com

Categories
Music Reviews

Xiu Xiu

Xiu Xiu

Nina

Graveface

Beautiful deconstructions of a beautiful deconstructionist. One chameleon almost out shapeshifts another. All that remains consistent is the tone and timbre of Simone’s voice, reflected in the defiant, fight-or-flight despair of Jamie Stewart.

Nina Simone is an audacious undertaking, usually one only left to (weirdly) tone-deaf Starbucks jazz artists — hell, a coked-up David Bowie even bailed after one foray into Simone’s work — but the shadowy Xiu Xiu undertake a full album of the jazz titan’s best work. “Don’t Smoke In Bed,” “Wild Is The Wind,” “You’d Be So Nice,” all tackled and petulantly reshaped into liquid pools of hurt, amorphous fragmented sonics suddenly joined seamlessly with a single line of a Simone lyric. There is a definite and oh so appropriate lineage here.

The electro Xiu Xiu of “Fabulous Muscles” seems so far away now; this is an altogether more torchy, elegant affair. Saxophones, guitars, piano, drums, ancient electronics all clash, swirl, and shriek around the bare bones of Simone’s compositions — held together by Stewart’s intimate vocal tremor, like he’s whispering in your ear, the voice inside your head, your diary talking back to you. Think the Art Ensemble Of Chicago backing Ian Curtis and Brigitte Fontaine. There’s a telepathic, sensitive interplay amongst the backing musicians.

Highlights are legion: The tortured creep and stagger of “Don’t Explain”, impossibly gorgeous when Stewart shhhhh’s into the mic accompanied only by crystal guitar strums and a metallic percussion heartbeat. “Wild Is The Wind” is almost TOO vaporous to believe, appropriately. Even when the saxes go on a rampage, they’re so far recessed into the background it’s like auditory muscle memory. The sass, strut and skronk of “See Line Woman”… I love the call and response with the horns and the skittery gallop of the drums. The lingering noir menace of “The Other Woman.”

And, finally, a deep respectful bow to Savannah, Georgia’s Graveface Records for being brave enough to release this and savvy enough to make it a handsome, worthwhile physical artifact.

Graveface Records: www.graveface.com

Categories
Features

45 Grave: June 2013

45 Grave

June 2013: I Waited Half a Year For THIS??

45 Grave is a monthly (ed: HAHAHAHA) column dedicated to a physical music medium that is way too fun to go quietly into digital limbo, no matter how eagerly cloud zombies want to fashion the coffin. I deal with the records I review herein as a tactile object, so I’m going to talk about the cover, the color or heft of the vinyl as much as I talk about the music locked deep within those mysterious grooves.

• •

Tropic Of Cancer

I Feel Nothing cs

Dream

Originally a 12″ on Sleeperhold that sold out in the blink of a tear-stained eye, the fine people at new cassette label Dream pressed a new run, albeit limited to a few hundred copies. (So hurry and buy one!) Tropic of Cancer — the brainchild of Camella Lobo — is one of the front vanguard among a new crop of primo darkwave that includes KVB and Silent Servant and has really snagged this reviewer’s ear. The three songs on I Feel Nothing, encased on a opaque black tape, appropriately, sound like many things I’ve heard before but then nothing that I’ve heard before. The recordings are vague and bleary, a drum machine echoes slowly in the distance, marching on into a distant nothing, minimal waves of guitar and synth are there and then not there, cold siren voices sing deathsongs and hidden laments, and you collapse into a heap.

Dream: dreamlabel.tumblr.com

• •

Plastic Flowers

Strange Neighbors 7″

Wierd

It’s a classic American success story straight outta The Great Gatsby, but given a strange underground twist. Sensitive young man gigs hard and writes music in nowheresville north Florida, then moves to New York and almost immediately ‘pon arrival releases a 45 on tastemaking darkwave label Wierd — home to the likes of Blacklist, Frank Alpine, and (that trio). And this 7″ is a corker too — one side is glacial, delicate postpunk that calls to mind New Order’s debut Ceremony/In a Lonely Place and the flipside is an equally frigid instrumental that thrills like the promise of an empty street on a wintry, full moon night. So much promise.

Wierd Records: www.wierdrecords.com

• •

Rikk Agnew

All By Myself cs

Frontier/Burger

Buzzy cassette label Burger Records has partnered up with venerable Cal-punk label Frontier to reissue classic catalog pieces — including albums by Redd Kross, the Adolescents, and Christian Death — in limited edition tape runs. Stop cocking your fucking eyebrow about tapes, this is a great, inexpensive way to get some important sonic documents back in print. Besides Only Theatre Of Pain (o’course), my vote for the best of the batch would be the first solo album by Adolescents/DI/Christian (fucking) Death guitarist Rikk Agnew. Agnew, barely out of his teens and splitting his time between a passel of different outfits cut this album in 1982, and it mixes savvy songwriting sensibility with the sugarfix impatience that informs so much of his best work. Not as much deathrock as one would hope, this is instead a solid slab of high-velocity, pre-hardcore punk, ya punk.

Burger Records: www.burgerrecords.org

• •

Fad Gadget

One Man’s Meat 7″

Mute

Tucked wayyyyy in the back of the local punk rock record shoppe’s selection of battered 45s was this little gem, and I happily liberated it. And let me tell you, this song (and Fad Gadget, for that matter) basically prefigured EVERYTHING in underground electronic music that came after. Two slabs of songcraft that are thoroughly sleazy and perverted and yet somehow elegiac at the same time — overloaded staticky synth lines vie for space with with oddities like mannered piano fills, bongos, and Tovey’s spine-chilling vocals. B-side “Sleep” is more stripped down, and basically renders Soft Cell obsolete. This is what Oingo Boingo wanted to be, and failed at miserably. Frank Tovey (RIP) was a hero to all.

Mute Records: www.mute.com

• •

No Mas Bodas

Flesh 7″

Haute Magie

When I saw Austin’s No Mas Bodas live a few years back, they were delving into deeply groovy, Slits/ESG-gone-industrial territory — that’s why this recent 7″ on Austin’s home for all things black and bleak Haute Magie comes as such a pleasant surprise. The songs inscribed on “Flesh’s” lavender vinyl are much more reflective and elegiac, sometimes bordering on early (VERY EARLY) New Order. There’s so much to love here, be it vocals that recall Liz Frasier and Kate Bush twinned with nerve-ridden synth lines and clockwork beats, suddenly intruded on by a fucking cello (fascinating historical collages), a general sense of future-anxiety pervading every note on the record, AND AND delightful pulp sci-fi inspired artwork.

Haute Magie Records: www.hautemagie.com

• •

Poison Idea

Filth Kick EP 7″

TKO

Filthy, raw, and truly scary, Poison Idea fused hardcore’s velocity with the terrifying self-abnegation of the Germs and the rock lechery of Motorhead into a potent musical brew that made them one of the best hardcore bands ever. To add to the fear factor of the music, there were the optics; this was a bunch of burly, gigantic degenerates leagues away from your typical willowy hardcore “kid.” Their sonic ethos was already fully formed by the time this, their second EP, was released in 1988. Reissued as an edition of 2000 for this year’s Record Store Day, this is a faithful repress of the original, the sleeve, emblazoned with pics of the hulking band, has handwritten lyrics on the inner sleeve. The music is as meaty as it is lightning fast, the mood is bitter and sarcastic as fuck. The cover of the Damned’s “New Rose” almost outdoes the original.

TKO Records: www.tkorecords.com &end;

Categories
Music Reviews

The Switchblade Kid

The Switchblade Kid

Miss Molly Music

There are a whole lot of young bucks out there who lay candles at the altar of the Jesus and Mary Chain and fervently wish that maybe some of that sacred n’ profane would rub off on them, and y’know what? I FULLY support that. Better a nation of Mary Chain clones than Days of the New clones (‘member them?). But the problem is that, see, it don’t mean a thing if you ain’t got that swing deep DEEP down in your guts. So thank Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and JUDAS for The Switchblade Kid’s Memphis upbringing, which guarantees that there’s a surfeit of soul and Southern dirt seeping into his UK shoegazing tendencies. The Switchblade Kid gets it right in the same way that A Place to Bury Strangers’ first album got it right. Twelve (!) songs of ultra-low fi, primitive mono-chord sneering swamped in reverb and echo — the stuff that true rock dreams are made of. Now it’s time to hit the road in a leather jacket and start riots every night.

The Switchblade Kid: theswitchbladekid.bandcamp.com

Categories
Event Reviews

Merchandise

Merchandise

Atlantic Nightspot; Gainesville, FL • April 9, 2013

In another (not too distant time), a Merchandise show would be heralded by the likes of Tony Wilson or Alan McGee screaming at us to WAKE THE FUCK UP, Stone Roses or Echo and the Bunnymen-style, and that this is the real deal. And indeed, there were so many points during their Gainesville set where I felt myself on the verge of a swoon. Merchandise’s recent album, Children of Desire, was deeply romantic music, and played live with total abandon, well, it’s the kind of thing that can make you fall in love with guitar music again. Were there hints of Morrissey at his early ’90s best? Yes, there were, as was a lingering whiff of The Chameleons. It was that kind of a night.

Matthew Moyer

Merchandise is that rarest of Florida music phenomena, a hometown band on the rise that everyone doesn’t hate the fuck out of. So many musicians that I know have stories of this or that member of the band who let them crash at their pad, booked them a show, etc. And the various members of Merchandise have logged serious time in the deep Florida underground, with other projects like Cult Ritual, Church Whip, Volcanic Slut, and Bloodwave. Indeed, they treat these “side” projects (a somewhat unfair designation) as equally important to the main entity. Even stranger, it’s all quality music, and it’s all being released at an astonishing rate in stark defiance of marketplace maxims.

But does it rock? Dude, yes it does.

Matthew Moyer

Three of the best songs from Children Of Desire form the jeweled spine of the set. “Time” and “Become What You Are” are the undisputed highlights of the night. Everyone in the room gets all choked up and starts slow-dancing with themselves as these numbers unfold, and they’re HUGE songs. These are the missing pieces from ’80s soundtracks that Richard Butler and Ian McCulloch are fucking kicking themselves for not writing, with choruses made to be scrawled on sweaty love notes. God! They close the night with a number off the new album, Totale Nite, mastered by Sonic Boom (points for rock history knowledge), on Night People Records — just the fact that they’re still releasing records on smaller, passionate labels over “indie” giants is somewhat a statement in itself — and it’s a mindfuck. Imagine the Smiths crossed with FunHouse-era Stooges. It’s a jagged mantra, building without cresting, complete with their own Steve Mackey-esque sax player. Intense.

Matthew Moyer

But did you ever get the feeling that maybe things are getting too good? (I miss the drum machine!) Merchandise’s music is increasingly anthemic (almost effortlessly so) and the crowd pressed up against the band sways back and forth ecstatically in a way that I haven’t seen since Morrissey’s Your Arsenal tour a couple of decades ago. Will they be swallowed whole by the entertainment industry borg? Is resistance futile? I don’t know for sure, I’m hoping not. Their heads, and more importantly, their hearts are in the right place, so maybe the good guys will win for once.

Merchandise: merchandisetheband.wordpress.com

Categories
Music Reviews

S.O.S.

S.O.S.

Astral Planes Drifter

Rainbow Pyramid

When you ask Jacksonville musicians of a certain stripe whom they want to namecheck, shout out, what have you, the name S.O.S. is bandied about more than most. On the flipside, when you ask about unpredictable performances, onstage confrontations, fractured collaborations, and general chaos, the name S.O.S. also comes up more often than it should. But y’know what? That’s fine too. If you want to sit with your nachos and be lulled to sleep, you can check out a bunch of losers singing paeans to Salt Life at the Beach anytime. It’s about damn time someone spilled some (virtual) ink on this great lost piece of Jacksonville psych-noise.

I’m taking awhile to get around to discussing the music on Astral Plains Drifter because it is absolutely impossible to describe the music on Astral Plains Drifter. It is an intensely personal, yet entirely egoless journey through one man’s psychogeography (hell, maybe even the collective unconscious). The pieces here are intricately structured individually, yet flow into a seamless, unbroken whole, taking in elements of noise, psychedelia, bossa nova, and sci-fi soundtracks, with field recordings and samples from various television shows and movies (usually space-related) woven in — the only solid markers of intent. The material was painstakingly constructed using a four-track, and in an age of Ableton, it makes the listening experiences downright impressive. By the time a sitar surfaces (played by S.O.S. himself, I should think, being that it’s his current musical obsession), you’ll start swaying along to his deeply strange and elating rhythms. Or just stare at the cover collage, also by the artist.

Rainbow Pyramid: rainbowcult.com

Categories
Music Reviews

koasasa

koasasa

Drawing Down The Moon cs

Housecraft

The first time that I heard this cassette was on the porch of sometimes koasasa (née koas) collaborator Brian Ratigan, played on a tape deck after a rainstorm, where the delicate washes of analog synth atmospherics interacted gorgeously with the drizzle of rain and the happy croaking of frogs in the parking lot across the street. After chaos comes peace.

Keaton Orsborn, who is koasasa for all intents and purposes, was once an integral part of Jacksonville’s so-called “noise” community, but now he concentrates his considerable creative energies on exploring more peaceful and lush vistas, both inner and outer. Now last year was a busy year for Orsborn, producing several tapes on his own Rainbow Pyramid imprint — including the stellar And The Earth Will Speak In Sun Cycles — but this tape for discerning Florida imprint Housecraft is as good a primer to the work of koasasa as any. It’s impossible to overstate how deeply calming of a listen this is. All the more surprising when one takes into account Orsborn’s past and the varied sources he uses to create his music. Analog synths and keyboards intertwine warmly around one another, field recordings of natural idylls surface and then fade in the amber wash, there is even a sample of African drumming coming in like a morse code signal from another time, tap-tap-tapping out the words “Be healed.” That what koasasa is all about.

Housecraft: www.housecraft.org

Categories
Music Reviews

Ascetic/Virgin Flowers

Ascetic/Virgin Flowers

Split Cassette

Rainbow Pyramid

A few years ago, Jacksonville brothers Josh and John Touchton led an unfeasibly heavy and weird duo project called National Dairy (later Dairy), known for sweaty physicality and dizzying dynamic shifts. Though their bond remained strong (I remember catching an Ascetic show once and Josh was the first to bound up to his brother as soon as he walked offstage to enthuse about the performance), each became involved in solo endeavors.

This split cassette on Rainbow Pyramid collects a clutch of songs by the main project from each Touchton brother while also whimsically bringing about a National Dairy reunion on tape; though, y’know, never the twain loops of tape shall meet. Exhibit A is Joshua Touchton’s Virgin Flowers, a solo lo-fi affair built on broken electronics, tape loops, and Touchton’s own blurred, heavily phased vocal murmurs. Virgin Flowers occasionally wanders into territory shared with Gucci Mane’s most unhinged moments, but Virgin Flowers is stripped of beats and forward motion. It moves erratically and messily according to its own internal illogic, and it’s more often than not a thrilling listen. Virgin Flowers is the sound of a mind overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of it all, trying to communicate in overawed and ecstatic fits and spurts.

Exhibit B is Ascetic, a duo project between John Touchton and Alyssa Silva. You’d be hard pressed to find music more stylistically apposite to National Dairy than Ascetic, but GODDAMN is it beautiful. Ascetic is a band in gorgeous hock to classic gothgaze like Lycia, with hints and nods to the Creatures and Dead Can Dance’s more sedate moments. Ascetic’s sound is built on solemn, hushed waves of synth and electronic percussion, awash in bejeweled echo. Silva’s voice carries it through, strong and pure like Lisa Gerrard. This is so outside the lines of what you would expect from a local act, it fucking blew my mind. Live, I just stood there, mouth agape, in front of the stage. The only drawback to this is that it’s not a full-length, or hell, a 5-tape boxset, by each. Evolve.

Rainbow Pyramid: rainbowpyramid.blogspot.com

Categories
Music Reviews

Loop

Loop

Heaven’s End/ Fade Out/ The World in Your Eyes/ A Gilded Eternity

Reactor/ Revolver

Deluxe remastered (from the original analog tapes, no less) editions, this quartet from a South London group best known on this side of the pond for supplying a guitarist to Godflesh absolutely deserves your close attention. And a reassessment of the band’s whole career.

• •

Heaven’s End

The fresh-faced trio of Robert Hampson, Bex, and Glen Ray that formed Loop (though lineups were fluid and flexible during these early times) in 1986 belied their youth and comparative chemical innocence with this first album, Heaven’s End. Clearly beholden to the Jesus and Mary Chain, Stooges, Suicide, MC5 and the more frazzled extremes of psychedelia, Loop still had enough brio and original ideas of their own to not just come off as another Spacemen 3 impersonator (though oddly, Spacemen 3 trashed them in the press whenever and wherever they could). Loop were too far adrift in the sonic aether to even notice. It’s weird though, Before dropping the needle, the uninitiated would be forgiven for expecting proto-shoegaze, but the sounds here are way tougher and more solid. Heaven’s End is fuzz-worshipping psych strafing from start to finish; echo, volume, and rhythm rule the day.

By the first notes of mantra-for-blurred-living, “Straight To Your Heart,” you can tell that a young Loop had its shit in order and knew pretty much where it wanted to be. The Suicide cover (“Rocket USA”) is a damn nice touch too, done with a VERY deft hand. Probably the best guitar-based cover of a Suicide number that I’ve EVER heard. And that’s coming from a Suicide OBSESSIVE.

• •

The World in Your Eyes

For the benefit of our younger readers, a little context. Unlike nowadays when a greedy record conglomerate will release EVERY SINGLE SONG off a, say, Lady Gaga album as a single, in Britain up until the late ’90s that was not at all the case. Sure, “the hits” would make their way onto album track listings, but groups were also expected to churn out several singles worth of new material for a full year, including b-sides, etc. So while it might seem odd to us in the here-and-now that Loop, in 1987 as a fairly new band, had only one album under its collective belt, they already had a stack of chemically induced 45s that I would put against any of the other headtrippers of that time. Including the Mary Chain.

“16 Dreams” is buoyed aloft by ghostly peals of guitar feedback incongruously paired to the most primal, dumb shake’n’shuffle rockbeat ever, and along with the yelled manifesto-soundbite vocals, it damn well works. “Head On” is sludgy, halfspeed cavestomp greatness. “Burning World” is a sprawling, smudged, trembling masterpiece, Velvets-y gentleness and pure phaser pedal bliss. And the wracked desperation and tension of “I’ll Take You There”…. And that’s just the beginning!

The bonus disc offers all manner of hitherto unknown pleasures: incredible covers of Can’s “Mother Sky” and Neil Young’s “Cinnamon Girl,” a multitude of different versions of “Artc-Lte,” and most pleasing of all, Loop’s cover of Godflesh’s immortal “Like Rats” from the Loopflesh 7″ that reveals the hidden spacerock layers to Godflesh’s unremitting heaviness foundation without sacrificing the grit and solid state torture sound. No mean feat. (And eerily enough, Hampson would soon join Godflesh to contribute to Pure and Slavestate.) You’d be hard pressed to pass this one up.

• •

Fade Out

The opaque riddle of a cover might suggest cloudy pastorals, but with Loop, things were never quite as they seemed. And with their second album proper (third if you count the aforementioned singles collection The World in Your Eyes), Loop, for lack of a better term, rocked. And I’m not talking about the vaguely fey way that Ride (whom I love) rocked. No, I’m talking full-on, burning amps, hip-thrusting, smell of car exhaust and leather, ROCKED. The influence of Hawkwind (shit, maybe Motorhead) and Neu’s rowdier tantrums looms large. Every song’s rhythm attack is basically a cruel stomp, sizzling lead guitar lines interlock and then explode into a million tiny pieces, the distortion pedals have an angry, raw, buzz, and even Hampson’s voice has hardened into a petulant snarl. Closer to Mudhoney than the Mary Chain.

Tracks are succinct and more impatient than elsewhere in their catalog, and the thuggish swagger of numbers like “This Is Where You End” and “Got to Get it Over” is a fucking revelation. This is like garage rock songbook canon.

• •

A Gilded Eternity

By the time of swansong album A Gilded Eternity (goddamn even the album titles are beautiful) in 1990, it’s pretty astonishing the musical progression (and personnel changes) over a mere trio of albums. Overt influences of, say MC5 or the Stooges are long gone. In their place is a multifaceted, ecstatic headrush of out-there sound that is fully the province of Hampson and co. One can hear forerunners of the oceanic shoegaze of My Bloody Valentine (“The Nails Will Burn”), but also there are forays into diamond-hard, gleaming metal (“Afterglow”), and even sample-heavy, industrial mantras like “Blood.” (Can see why Godflesh sought him out.) Elsewhere “Breathe into Me” has an almost Wire-esque brittleness and propulsion, and “From Centre to Wave” is just honeyed, Krautrock hymnals. B-sides like “Shot with a Diamond” and “Sunburst” frustratingly suggest intriguing sonic offroads never fully traveled. Not enough time! And fuck man, “Be Here Now” cooks!

The individual performances are assured and confident, the almost acid-jazz drumming alternating with the usual caveman chest-pounding, depth-charge bass, and innovative new directions in psych guitar — skronk, seduction, spaceways, silence, skullcrush — vocals ebb and flow from a whisper to a sneer to a howl. Remember them like this. A hell of a lot of other bands surely do.

Loop: heavensend.org