NEW MUSIC: Heron – Splashdown

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Guitar notes and chords splash and chime out of a billowing ether of reverb as Heron’s song ‘Splashdown’ slowly emerges, blinking into existence. There’s a patient quality to the track with the intro taking a calm two minutes to blossom into a fuller sound when measured drums entering the equation.

The post-rock band from the heart of the Pennsylvania Wilds have a second full-length album coming soon. For the moment there’s plenty to explore in this immersive and meditative track that spreads its wings over nearly eight minutes. They combine the dreaminess of Sigur Ros with the electric grace and grandeur of Explosions In The Sky.

 

NEW MUSIC: Beastwars– Omens

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photo by David James

New Zealand metal band Beastwars return with their first single since singer Matt Hyde successfully underwent 6 months of treatment for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in 2016. ‘Omens’ comes from their new LP IV, due out on Friday June 28th.

 Hyde said that through his diagnosis and subsequent treatment, he was given an opportunity to look into the abyss beyond life as we know it. “Throughout the treatment – I was numb – and it’s interesting to have the ability to confront that, to confront the void, to confront the idea of mortality. I didn’t make peace with it either.

To celebrate the album release Beastwars are touring New Zealand and Australia in June/July – presented by Panhead Custom Ales. They are hitting Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch and Dunedin in New Zealand and then jumping over the Tasman to play Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne shows.

IV can be pre-ordered now at all good digital stores and streaming platforms and Limited Edition Vinyl, Cassette and T-Shirt Bundles are available at http://www.beastwars.bigcartel.com. Single ‘Omens’ is available for streaming and purchase now.

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NEW MUSIC Möss Fölk – Misery Mothers

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Blistering thrash metal with a super-solid bottom end of distorted bass on this track from Worcester, Massachusetts band Möss Fölk. The riffs are relentless while the vocal totally hits the spot for us – raw, punk-metal and visceral without getting too cookie monster. The killer blow comes at 1:09 where everything drops away to reveal the grungy bass before everything collapses back in on top of it with glorious chugging heaviosity.

The track comes from their four track demo which is available to download for free on their Bandcamp page.

 

NEW MUSIC: Unwed Sailor – Ovid

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Math-rock, post-rock, call it what you will… The 90s and 00s were a goldmine for this kind of music. Knotty guitars wrestling and dancing in weird shapes, time signatures playing hopscotch and for the most part no vocals. From Slint, Pan Am and Tortoise through to Isis and Pelican the range of sonic detail and emotional outpouring and impact ran the gamut of intensity.

Unwed Sailor, from Tulsa, OK have been at it for a long time, particularly main man Johnathon Ford, a one-time member of Pedro the Lion and Roadside Monument. It’s been 11 years since their last album but they’re back with Heavy Age and this first taste of it, ‘Ovid’, digs into some wonderful guitar lines. Part shoegaze, part post-rock, you can hear similarities with a bunch of English bands including Swervedriver and Ride yet the lack of vocals means the focus is even more tightly fixed on the landscape painted by the guitars and their effects pedals as well as the gloriously contorting rhythm section.

Heavy Age is set for release on May 3rd.

NEW MUSIC: Japanese Television – Bloodworm

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Galloping ramalama psych rock hurtles straight out of the gates on this instrumental track from wild and eclectic London quartet Japanese Television. It’s like a manic sideshow ride with a streak of reverb-laden surf rock blasting out of battered amusement park speakers. The song careens along with patches of spiralling space rock sending bent organ notes exploding skyward. You think it’s over and it all kicks off again with a Krautrock urgency.

Head over to Spotify and you can also check out their 2016 self-titled EP.

‘Bloodworm’ was recorded in an old isolated village hall onto an 8 track tape by Kristian Bell of The Wytches who had set up the makeshift studio from scratch to manifest the live sound they were after. The band said; ‘’The track only had a working title when we started recording it, we’d played it out live for the first time the night before. The name comes from a book we found in a collection of second-hand novels in the corner of the village hall. The cover of the book has a giant worm wrapped around a ruined Big Ben, which seemed to fit pretty nicely with the mood we were trying to capture! Another weird fact is that a character in the book shares the name of our guitarist, Tim Jones. He is in the book for a single page, at which point he gets eaten by a Bloodworm.’’

 

NEW MUSIC: Theory Of Why – Wrapped Up In Snow

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Theory Of Why is a studio collaboration project between Anton Kropp and Julia Nova who met as college radio DJ’s at the University Of Maryland WMUC station where they continued to write and play music long after college, not stopping after they went separate ways.

‘Wrapped Up In Snow’  comes from their self-titled debut album and has a mix of Breeder’s 90s rock sounds and a darker, more exploratory psych and Krautrock drive. Their self-describe blend of influences such as Stereolab and Wooden Shjips is a pretty accurate one in terms of this track.

 

NEW MUSIC: Jackmann – The Wolf & The Hare

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Jackmann is the stage name of Kris Schroeder of The Basics and ‘The Wolf & The Hare’ is the first single from his forthcoming LP Low Key.

He mentions Warren Zevon as an influence and was one of the first reference points that came to mind on this track. That backbeat, the clipped chop of the rhythm and the vocal sound all combine to produce a great 70s sound, with some magical guitar playing. There’s a certain toughness to the sound that works well as the piano hammers out notes like a wired and poetically belligerent barfly. Great production courtesy of Sam Okell at Abbey Road Studios too.

According to Jackmann, “The song is both a plea of innocence and an admission of guilt, an exploration of mental health, power, predator and prey in the new world of internet relationships, emotional manipulation and sugar daddies. “I am not a criminal, I’m just as much a victim as her…” “Who is the Wolf? Who is the Hare?”