Review: Turning heads a couple of years hence with their self-titled debut, Fumaca Preta (which means 'black smoke' in case you weren't sure) are dark magicians of a wild and volatile analgam of whatever musical ingredients they see fit to throw into their collective cauldron at any given moment - be it crazed tropicalia, incendiary garage-punk, hypnotic psych-rock, Sabbath-style riffage, Butthole Surfers weirdness. wayward cumbia or maudlin balladry. Yet more mysterious than ever, they've somehow crafted a manner in which to be both more adventurous and more focused on this second effort, arriving at something akin to a tastefully disorientating dream sequence on a glorious psychic wavelength somewhere between high-energy Brazilian carnival and the nameless void.
Review: In the range of being able to build walls of noise that come up against those made by My Bloody Valentine (see album opener "Utro" for example), Gnoomes' sound splashes hues of Boards Of Canada with a wild and unique style of spaced-out, alien disco rock. With comparisons to be found in the distorted sounds of Holy Fuck and Does It Offend You, Yeah? "Mu!" sees the Russian four-piece push their sound to the furthest it's been since having it remixed by Krautrock icon Ulrich Schnauss. Highlights: "Ursa Major" & the psychedelic star gaze of "Sine Waves Are Good For Your Health".
Review: Inspired by the slightly unlikely collision of the Thai music of the '70s and The Shadows, Khruangbin - the name means 'aeroplane' in Thailand - are purveyors of a deliriously mellow and beguiling form of jammed-out power-trio guitar music - far removed from standard notions of psych and dreampop, partly owing to its pan-global influences, its nonetheless both psychedelic and dreamy, not to mention possessed of an unhurried, reflective and spacious lilt that renders this Texan-London outfit a rare treat in an information-saturated age, taking on delicate soul and funk with exotic atmospheres and making the journey feel both blissful and effortless.
Review: In 2015, Texas & London-based trio Khruangbin's debut album 'The Universe Smiles Upon You' garnered wide critical acclaim and captured attention for its seamless genre-blending and internationally shaped sound - one that evidently has deep roots in Thai-funk cassette culture. Similarly to their debut, sophomore record 'Con Todo El Mundo' is a cocktail of largely instrumental surf-rock, afro-funk, middle-eastern and far-eastern influences, mixed with warmth and soul. As if their pallette wasn't diverse enough, the additions of the pared back boogie on 'Evan Finds The Third Room', the widescreen dream-pop of 'A Hymn' and deeply intricate writing of closer 'Friday Morning', are illustrative of a band who have worked hard to broaden their horizons while keeping their roots in mind and, despite transatlantic bases, clearly remain a stunningly cohesive and well-matched outfit.
Review: It's not that fans of King Gizzard never expected this from the band's 15th long form outing, but rather anyone who stumbled upon the alliterated outfit on their last offering - "Fishing For Fishes" - is likely to be dumbstruck. Forget the life-affirming blues hues of that record. "Infest The Rats' Nest" sees the band at their heaviest - they are barely audible here beneath the din and cacophony of thrash metal. Exploring Earth's fate in the age of environmental degradation and pollution through "Superbug"'s slow chug and low, bellowed chorus, the driving riffs of "Mars For The Rich", the intensity of "Perihelion" and the screeching chords of "Venusian 2", the album's 9 tracks are as legit as anything this sub-genre has thrown at us since inception in the 1980s. More astute fans will have heard nuances of this on 2017's LP, "Murder of the Universe" and various manic musical explosions in Gizzard's back catalogue. "Infest The Rats' Nest" is a constant barrage of unrelenting energy from start to finish, and quite possibly their strongest album yet.
Review: Best band name since Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band, Australian group King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard have been dominating Melbourne's vibrant garage, psych and surf rock scene for nearly a decade now. Fishing For Fishies presents another jovial journey through light and breezy themes of folk, blues, rock and psychedelic angles, with Violent Femmes vocoder techniques and a bevy of other surreptitious Generation X, '90s era music to boot. Quality, raw recordings full of an unique musicianship that sees the band continue to defy the terms and conditions of classically garnered genres. Get it into ya.
Review: Rising up through the indie boom of the mid-2000s, New York's The Mystery Lights have landed once again to deliver a sound so fresh it may well just be the swinging 60s. Groovy. The raw, strummed guitars of the very indie "I'm So Tired (Of Living In The City)" harks back to a sound that bands like Manfred Mann popularised back in the day, especially when you hear the screaming howls of "Wish That She'd Come Back". It's a soundtrack for a surfer's safari trekking through the desert with a tambourine in hand, searching for that perfect wave, and with the analogue sound of space echos and reverb splashing throughout the album it's a much desired trip for the modern day.
Review: For the younger generation maybe it's Wolfmother, and for everyone else it's Black Sabbath, but for a slightly ironic psych rock band that's here to be taken seriously, with a pinch of motorik fun, Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs bring home the bacon. King Of Cowards provides the north eastern Brits with arguably their most rock solid record that comes in at six tracks large. It can sometimes be few and far between that perfect place, or band, that has the ability to capture the visceral vibe, howl and punch of heavy rock but there's no denying these guys do it with devil horns all the way.