Tuesday, March 31, 2009
We are down to about a week before The Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound release their highly anticipated sophomore album 'When Sweet Sleep Returned'. Although i have every intention of buying it, i find myself searching for an advanced leak almost every few hours.. with no results whatsoever. I know the review copy is floating around, maybe they have done an extra special job keeping it under wraps? Or maybe they still are just so criminally unknown that nobody gives a shit.
Either way, i have been trying to fill the void with all already-existing material on The Assemble Head's record label, Tee Pee Records. Needless to say, it's all fantastic. Thus, I thought i would spend this entire week only posting Tee Pee and Tee Pee associated bands for you folks. At the end of this time the new Assemble Head should drop, i will dance, and i'll pop it up here for you!
Now, where to begin..
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Wheres the leak at?
I'm back with another uncovered 2009 gem that will probably be one of my favourites come years end. Hailing from the burghs of Long Beach, the band Greater California bring us a whole new distinct sound on their third album 'All The Colors'. It's a summertime landscape likened to the works of Brian Wilson, the Zombies, Harry Nilsson, the Velvet Underground and the Byrds, full of jangly 12-string guitars, rich vocal harmonies, a big bag of percussion, vibraphones and marimbas, a stray trumpet, and the ever inviting sounds of the hammond organ and wurlitzer electric piano.
On board as Producer is none other than Ikey Owens (The Mars Volta, Crystal Antlers.) Also included is an impressive list of guest musicians, most notably percussion genius Steven Hodges of Tom Waits. The new LP is a fixation of growing up from the stories told and listened to along the way, whether through the hills and valleys seen from past road trips or under the soft lights of a coastal downtown; 'All the Colors' can certainly usher in something to smile about.
My current favourite midnight album.
Friday, March 27, 2009
Much like the Joe Farrell post the other week and perhaps even more so with this one, all i have to do is mention those involved and it should sell. We're talking Coryell, McLaughlin, Corea, Vitous and Cobham.
In fact, fuck it. Nothing more needs being said.
Absolutely phenomenal, enjoy!
Thursday, March 26, 2009
I recently discovered this little gem and have been playing it over and over lately. Probably one of my favourite newly discovered artists of the year thus far. Like i have discussed in previous post-rock related posts, it is a dangerous genre. While there are a handful of amazing groups, the genre is ultimately weighed down with a lot of crap. Such is not the case here though.
Originally intended as just a private release for friends and family, Gathiens‘ debut album was written way back in between the spring of 2005 and the summer of 2006, with the majority of it recorded over one weekend down by the beach. After being allowed to gather dust for quite some time, it has finally been brushed off and 2009 sees it receive the proper worldwide release that it so clearly deserves. It is an album that has been lovingly slotted piece by piece into place, like some kind of magnificent sonic jigsaw.
I enjoyed this very much, and if anything it is a little too short. I am itching to hear some new stuff from the band, and rumour has it that it won't be long so keep an eye out. This is one hell of an appetizer!
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
This is the first of a series of four seasonal themed records by the lovely Pamela Wyn Shannon. It's that kind of melancholic folk that breathes with the musky scent of its Irish setting and influences, among them the likes of Nick Drake and Pentangle. Massachusetts-based musician, Pamela Wyn Shannon’s inventive and intricate guitar work has been described as “a tiny chamber orchestra working in unison at the end of her hands.” She has walked with the legends of British and Irish folk music, garnering respect and admiration wherever she goes.
The songs on this album have an elliptical quality which creates its own time frame, rules, and kingdoms, reminiscent of that magic found in UK ’60s psyche-folk artifacts. She recorded it largely on her own throughout New England and has created a rustic almanac of autumnal songs burnished with a melancholy mood, wistful vocals, delicate hand-spun guitar playing, weather-worn and windswept by plaintive string and recorder arrangements.
If you're a fan of Drake, Pentangle, Magna Carta or any of that wonderful early folk/psyche-folk, give this one a go!
Link: Removed as per Request
Monday, March 9, 2009
Here's a special treat for all you classic prog fans. Wobbler formed at the end of the 20th Century in the land of Norway, made up of members from White Willow & Jagga Jazzist to name a few. "Afterglow" is the self released and self-financed sophomore album from the band. It includes their two (legendary) demos re-recorded, a track that they were working on at the time of their debut "Hinterland" but never completed and two other older, unrecorded tracks as well.
Although the album only clocks in at 35 minutes, you can expect a few long and complex tracks featuring lush, vintage keyboard sounds, extensive use of the mellotron, mini-moog, hammond C-3 and harpsichord, beautiful electric and acoustic guitar playing, complex rhythm sections, flutes, recorders, saxophones, mandolins and various other instruments providing a very tasty symphonic sound.
"Hinterland" was one of my favourites of 2005 and this is an excellent follow up effort. Think Genesis, think Gentle Giant, think Yes, think PFM, think Gryphon. Along with newer symphonic prog bands like Anglagard and Anekdoten as well as some Scandinavian folk and classical influences thrown into the mix, and there you have the awesome Norwegian five piece, known as Wobbler.
Link: Link Removed By Request
Purchase: termo.myshopify.com - theomegaorder.com - lasercd.com
This is one of my favourite Jazz Fusion recordings, by one of my favourite Jazz Fusion groups. Imagine a cross between Ian Carr's Nucleus and early Mahavishnu and this is what you get. Coryell found his Jan Hammer- esque counterpart in amazing blind keyboardist Mike Mandel and Alphonse Mouzon is as close to a Cobham-style drummer as it is possible to find. Mike Lawrence on trumpet is just as electric and maybe even spacier than Jerry Goodman. His style mirrors that of Miles Davis during that period. Likewise bandleader Coryell really pushed the limits of both his playing and composing with this band configuration and subsequent release.
However, the individual who deserves special merit, and really propels this intensely awesome record in a super-mahavishnu way is unheralded-til-now bassist John Lee. His raucous thundering pushes Larry's sound in a very satisfying way, and Coryell's power here is a direct result of John's pulsing support. This is not Funk in any way, though this record has a certain funkiness to it, and that is mostly Lee's doing.Every song stands strong with repeated listenings. The album is actually entitled Level One, but if you ask me this is one of the highest levels of fusion attainable. This is a must-have for any fan of furious fusion.
Previous Album: Introducing The Eleventh House 
Thursday, March 5, 2009
These guys are probably one of my favourite modern day bands. They met in the DC punk/indie scene, though their music draws from more faraway sources. The band formed in the fall of 1998 from the ashes of local bands The Impossible Five and Colour, when singer-guitarist Jason Simon, bassist Steve Kille, and drummer Mark Laughlin set out to fuse their love of early 70’s hard rock and 60’s psychedelia with their love of writers J.R.R. Tolkien and H.P. Lovecraft.
Their sound fuller without losing its live essence, the band grew to encompass everything from ambient guitar drones to surging psych-funk sludge, blues-folk tunes to barbiturate space-rock, and some southern slow boogie thrown in for good measure.
Although all their studio releases are very good, this is my favourite. Enjoy!
As music evolved throughout the 1970s alot of people took on the attitude of the Scientist; experimenting, testing, grafting, surgically recombining to create unique hybrids. Too often these creations were nothing more than ghastly Frankensteins - massive, lumbering assemblages, and all together not quite human. On Cosmic Messenger Jazz, Funk, Rock, and Classical are all expertly and elegantly fused in an amazingly fluid unity. It is a virtouso performance of what's best about music. Rhythm and percussion so tightly bound, laying down thunderous grooves over, around and through which Jean-Luc rockets, gallops, marches, bops, drifts, glides, and floats.
While JLP is clearly in another world when it comes to violinists, the bassist and guitarist heard here are no slouches themselves, and sometimes seemingly steal the show. Amazing album, a must have for your Jazz Fusion collection.
Monday, March 2, 2009
I first took an interest in these guys after discovering their self titled EP from this fantastic blog. I was immediately intrigued. They have such a unique sound to them, which might not be to everyone's taste. It's noisy, it's chaotic, but would you expect anything less knowing it's produced from Ikey Owens of The Mars Volta?
Recorded and mixed on 2” tape at San Francisco’s Closer Studios in the span of one sleepless week, 'Tentacles' is a dоcument of the Antlers’ vigorous work ethic and breathless vitality. As hinted at on last year’s EP, many of the tracks here touch on the fragility of nature and its destruction by humankind, all under a cloudburst of epic sound and energy.
Beyond the sonic expansion, the band itself has grown: original guitarist Errol Davis returned to the fold for ‘Tentacles’, bringing the personnel tally to one bass, two guitars, two drummers, and an organ. Davis will also be a part of the Antlers’ manic and massive live show, joining them on the road for the North American tour in March.
The vocals might put a few people off, but i think they help add to the totally chaotic sound they got going. Check it out if you're looking for something new!
First things first, the spelling is correct. Do not get these guys mixed up with the similarly named 'Armageddon' band who came later on in the decade, which by the way is another excellent record featuring members of Captain Beyond, The Yardbirds and Colosseum. Back on topic of these Germans though.
Why didn't this group record more than just one album? Their self-titled album is a heavy progressive masterpiece with excellent, Hendrix-influenced guitar work and vocals by Frank Diez. Armageddon was the start of his long and impressive career. Their album had six tracks, and two of them were cover versions. Most impressive was the 10 minute version of Jeff Beck Group's "Rice Pudding". This track had some of the greatest heavy guitar riffing to appear on a German record.
Armaggedon's album has rocketed in price during recent years, due to the ever increasing interest. However, demand for the group was poor way back in 1970, and they soon broke up. Diez never played material with a similar energy again, his next step was to join the 'slightly-above-average' jazz-rockers Emergency.
With these six tunes, Armaggedon can cement themselves into your mind. The band as a whole is a unique voice that can raise eyebrows with ease, but has gone almost entirely unnoticed in the hard rock realm…unfortunately.