Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Assemble Head In Sunburst Sound - When Sweet Sleep Returned [2009]

And it's finally here! Let me tell you, i was really amped to hear this for the first time and it certainly didn't dissapoint! It couldn't have come at a better time also, as i am going away over the Australian Easter weekend (April 10-13) and will give it plenty of time to sink in while i'm relaxing on the beautiful Lake Tinaroo.

If you're looking to compare it to 'Ekranoplan', you will first notice that it generally seems to be a whole lot more relaxed and spacey. Dare i say, it's "groovier". However don't let that fool you, there is still a whole lot of jam going on. This slight change in direction only adds to the awesome palette of sound that is The Assemble Head!

Right from the opening "Two Stage Rocket" you are smacked in the face with a deliciously funkified riff, starting things off on the best of notes. If you checked out that 'Sleepy Sun' album you will be interested to know that they actually add vocals on "Two Birds" here, and it is nothing short of spectacular. The entire record just breezes through unknowingly and beautifully. If i had to pinpoint a few highlights in particular i would mention "The Slumbering Ones" for it's powerfully ethereal vocal harmonies, "By The Rippling Green" for it's amazing guitar work and violin appearance. As well as the rocking "Clive & The Lyre", which is the most like anything on the previous album.

Just another fine addition to the ever-increasing Tee Pee Records catalogue. As i said, i'll be away for a few days but will be back to post soon enough. Feel free to support the label and pick up some of these killer albums i have touched on: Online Tee Pee Store

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sleepy Sun - Embrace [2008]

First of all, this fantastic album is not on the Tee Pee label, nor is the band all together. I thought i would post it anyhow seeing as through Tee Pee and The Assemble Head in particular, i discovered their wonderful music. Just another reason i am itching to get my hands on the new Assemble Head is that these guys contributed on one of the new tracks titled "Two Birds".

Sleepy Sun is an apt title for this young San Francisco sextet, as their debut record, “Embrace”, is one of those rare slabs of rock and roll that will wake you up in the morning, and send you off to sleep at night. After honing their craft in the occult influenced creative community of Santa Cruz, the band has continued to grow, both creatively and in their loyal following, since their relocation to the city by the bay. With their throbbing rhythm section, swirling sea of guitars, and dreamy, haunting duet vocals, the word dynamic is a severe understatement.

Though the press is quick to rifle off a laundry list of rock’s greatest ghosts to describe their sound, one live show is all you need to know Sleepy Sun have stumbled upon something very much their own. Having performed their raw, high-energy show on stages shared with acts such as Howlin’ Rain, Earth, Dead Meadow, and Citay, they are quickly establishing themselves as a very tough act to follow. Fans at shows are known for shouting the band’s battle cry, “Let’s get weird”. If the group continues down their rapid road to success, things are about to get very weird indeed.


Link removed as per request [ATP Recordings]
This is an excellent band folks, check them out here:

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Witch - Witch [2006]

The group Witch was born from a marriage of apparently contradictory influences. J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr. renown and his long time friend Dave Sweetapple were interested in forming a hard rock band. They found willing and able conspirators in Kyle Thomas and Asa Irons, members New England avant-folk outfit Feathers. On their eponymous debut album, this line-up mounts a mighty sonic tumult that harkens back to classic heavy metal sound of early 70's outfits while still sounding modern in it's assault.

In Witch, Mascis returns to his first love, drums, playing with an unbridled passion that recalls his work with Deep Wound, his early 80's hardcore band. Meanwhile, Kyle sings and writes the group's supernatural-oriented lyrics, exploring the juxtapositions between age and youth, the paradox of meeting yourself, and the dilemma of falling asleep on a mountaintop and waking up a hundred years year. Asa weaves a dense texture of rhythm and lead guitar lines that ebb and flow over the basic monolithic, trundling riff-rock song structure. Dave adds additional weight to Witch's sound with massive, crunching bass lines, returning this his instrument of choice when he played in Newfoundland punk bands back in the early 80s.

Witch headed into the studio and recorded their debut album for Tee Pee Records with engineer John Agnello, immediately following an extensive Dinosaur Jr. reunion tour this past Summer. Agnello had already recorded Dinosaur Jr., J Mascis + The Fog, Early Man, Son Volt and Screaming Trees to name a few.


Friday, April 3, 2009

Weird Owl - Ever The Silver Cord Be Loosed [2009]

Weird Owl is a Brooklyn band that resides in the heaviness inherent in the convergence of imagination, poetry and sound. First formed in 2004 and through its odd mutations involving changes in approach and personnel, Weird Owl has arrived at the present day in its most solid and powerful formation yet. Weird Owl has crafted a sonic mindscape inspired by legendary acts such as the 13th Floor Elevators and Crazy Horse that states its relevance to modern-day masters Black Mountain, Dead Meadow and the Black Angels.

In its first release for Tee Pee Records, entitled Ever the Silver Cord Be Loosed, Weird Owl has gathered together a tour de force of its peculiar craft--hypnotic slithering guitar lines, the strange breathiness of cosmic synths, a dash of the punishing heaviness of the riff--all contained within phantasmagoric song structures and expressed with the language of a true visionary experience.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Graveyard - Graveyard [2008]

One listen to the self-titled debut from Sweden's Graveyard and you swear that this thing was recorded in 1971. Psychedelic, often times bluesy yet heavy guitar riffs, enchanting atmosphere, swirling drum patterns, and hazy vocals, all permeate this wildly seductive hard rock album. Think Cream, Black Sabbath, Blue Cheer, The Doors, Pentagram, Grand Funk Railroad, or newer acts like Witchcraft, Gentleman's Pistols, and Danzig.

Produced by Don Ahlsterberg, who did a fantastic job of really honing in on a classic vibe here, Graveyard just drips with psychedelic menace from start to finish, and everything from the guitar riffs to the vocals is so retro 70's that you gotta love it.

The people of tomorroooow, are the children of todaaaay! Obvious, and awesome.


Ancestors - Neptune With Fire [2008]

What better way to rattle off some Tee Pee with Ancestors' debut album 'Neptune With Fire'. These guys came out of nowhere and eventually started making noise after signing with the label. However it seems it wasn't until they started gigging with the heavyweight label-mates (Earthless, Witch etc.) that they suddenly exploded. Take the magic of that delicious 70's spacey psyche sound, throw in some mammoth 90's stoner/doom riffage, ala Kyuss. Add in some Gilmour solo work (circa 'Atom Heart Mother') and wrap it all up with some superb modern day production.

The album consists of just two songs-- "Orcus' Avarice" is over 16 minutes, the title track is more than 20-- and both serve as launching pads for extended jams. It's the kind of lumbering meganess that easily turns on a dime. So by the time the drums have reeled in, and the guitars ascend into outer-space, it's hard to recall the tumult that came only moments before. Ancestors, able to do more than whip up a simple fervor, spend just enough time inspecting the same guitar scale and a slippery blues bassline that gradually builds to climax.

Their debut LP, Neptune With Fire — a conceptual, two track record with a title track that tells of a metaphorical character and his cosmic, psychological ordeal through war, celebration, remorse and revelation — was released in August 2008. Artwork for the record was delivered by psychedelic visionary Arik Roper, the artist behind such record covers as Sleep's Dopesmoker, and Earth's The Bee Made Honey in the Lion's Skull.

Can't wait to see what these guys do next.