Saturday, January 16, 2016

366 Records in 366 Days. #10 - Slow Season - Slow Season

The beautiful phenomenon that is #MetalBandcampGiftClub resulted in my acquisition of Slow Season's self-titled release (listed as December 2015 on Bandcamp but referred to by several reviewers as a reissue of the band's debut - maybe mid-2013?).

The Zeppelin influence hangs heavy on the sleeve, to be sure, but this isn't a mere copycat or clone. The Page tone definitely dominates guitars and vocal range and approach is similar to Plant's (less of a screech, to be sure) but, aside from another obvious debt to the blues, Slow Season stretches out beyond the stomp and slide of Zeppelin I-IV and eventually settles into almost very pleasing psych and prog territory that distinguishes Slow Season as an entity all their own.

If it is indeed a debut, Slow Season does in places feel as such - a track like "Deep Forest" picks up steam nicely but never seems to fully develop and resolve. Still, there's a lot of depth and variety here, enough to make me consider grabbing this and their other release, Mountains, in physical vinyl format (the $55+ price tag for two records staggered me and left Mountains in my wishlist in digital format for now).

Slow Season rages out of the gates with "Heavy," one of the albums better tracks - and a good indicator of the quality throughout - check it out here:

Thursday, January 14, 2016

366 Records in 366 Days. #9 - Nightjacket - Eternal Phase

So Nightjacket's debut EP is pop but it's not. It's in no way disposable and its sound is only as transient as the latest play but something else lasts longer inside. The lyric on paper may look throwaway at a glance and the locale may at first pass feel like a bright West Coast though a narrative emerges quickly and a thread is woven across six pieces surviving across varying degrees of fading sunlight:

 Tar from the streets; it melts away / We had our looks and we melted away ... 

Working on the right way to fall this time / I want to fall into this, and never be found ... 

When all the hours fall down, and daylight's a dream / Slept until I dreamed I had returned to my native home ... 

Town so dense, don’t recognize the streets that I used to roam / When I walk alone through an empty night ... 

When the bed feels cold, and my dreams are dark / I hope I have this dream inside of me

The whole of Holland Belle's vocals and Jordan Wiggins' guitar far exceeds the sum of its parts and there's more to this music than just hook and spark. There's instead a smoke and smolder that occasionally flares into dancing flame and Eternal Phase is all the more satisfying for it.

Try it on:

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

366 Records in 366 Days. #8 - King Dude - Songs of Flesh & Blood - In the Key of Light

How is it I am only this week learning of King Dude? Cineramic (is that a word?), sweeping music that feels purely American yet descended directly via an illegitimate union with Nick Cave somewhere very recently in the family line (and probably while engaged in the most uncomfortable of positions). This is Western-flavored in the sense that it is as far East of Eden as anyone can be banished. For nighttime and driving away from women and murder scenes. Must get more.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

366 Records in 366 Days. #7 - Bad Psychic - Threee

Bloomington, Indiana's Bad Psychic (aka Liv Mershon) was a find during this blog's first life via the superb Isolation Grind. The insanely excellent Soon album from 2014 remains a mainstay in my listening rotation and the simple Sygil Records presentation on vinyl is just downright lovely. Trolling the Bad Psychic Bandcamp site, I decided today to grab the latest release.

Threee is an EP with guess how many tracks from October 2015 with sounds much in the same vein as Soon. Bandcamp tags the recording as "experimental goth lo-fi electro synth punk" and, while I cannot disagree, I think to view from any individual label - or collectively - does Bad Psychic a disservice. It's simply good, groovy, kinda creepy music. Yes, it's downbeat. No, it's not overly produced. And it appears to actively eschew mainstream leanings. It is still absolutely listenable and pretty damn enthralling. This is witchy shit. Witchier, say, than any of the 504,322 doom records on Bandcamp with the word "witch" in the title.

Check it out (and grab Soon while you're at it):

Cooler yet, each track has an impressive video version on YouTube as well: