The debut album from Blare is an exquisite combination of fuzz pop, shoegaze, post rock and experimental sounds. Opening track "A Simulated Sportslike Experience" is a high energy number that echoes "Your Living All Over Me" era Dinosaur Jr. "Meant Well For Nothing" could have easily found it's way into a film like "The Doom Generation". "Vacant" is a short acoustic track that contains a sample of a man asking people to really think about what life is all about and what brings a person joy adding a nice sound collage element to it. "Mush" has a laid back feel that features some beautiful guitar work and washy vocals that make me think of Butthole Surfers while the cover of Modern English "Melt With You" has mountains of distortion and atmosphere adding a new spin to the classic cut. The album ends with "Where Were You When We Landed On The Moon" which is the most experimental piece of the album as a orchestral like drone is surrounded by what sounds like lost transmissions from billions of miles away. "Meant Well" will certainly sit well next to your collection of 90's alterna-rock gems.
Two excellent tracks from this new artist out of London. The light jazzy beats in "I Only Look At You" set the pace for a roller coaster ride down a foggy track. A distant vocal and looming bass line sway underneath the other worldly like electronic tones that lull the listener into a euphoric trance only to be woken up with a short blast of sonic noise. "Pleasure" is in the same vein but more upbeat and a bit more mysterious. Think The Cure's "Siamese Twins" or "Heaven Up Here" era Echo & The Bunnymen. An impressive offering of psychedelic pop with a gloomy twist. These two tracks will be available as a limited edition 7" from Living End Projects soon.
Chilling shoegaze sounds from Perth Australia. I really enjoyed Hyla's E.P. from last year and this new single picks up where they left off. "The Thousands" is a hook filled wash of shimmering dream pop. Heavy on the effects pedals the guitars play off each other beautifully and the spacey vocals shine like the first ray of light on an early morning. There's a surreal type vibe though out the song that's truly blissful. Certainly one of my favorite new tracks of 2015.
What draws me to French instrumental band Lestrade is their ability to combine cagey guitar sounds that are also melodic and dreamy and full of power. "Galore" has tons of energy as the track moves from one mood to the next showcasing a collection of top notch intricate riffs. It's technical, inviting and intense. "Eastern Leaves" starts out rather moody before giving way to full on distortion backed by a pounding beat. The track pounces back and forth between left of center darkness and driving angst. A stellar release indeed.
Based in Poland, Seasonal is the musical project of Maciej Sochoń. Recorded under the influence of daily observations this eleven track album is simply beautiful. Each piece is highly atmospheric and incredibly textured. "Fading Spark" is an ambient opener with hints of "Darkside" era Pink Floyd while the guitar driven tracks "Deserted Bus Stop" and "Loop" are like lost sections from the Mike Oldfield classic "Tubular Bells". "Experience" has an underlying ode to Procol Harum's "Whiter Shade Of Pale" and "Orchard Of Rotten Apples" is relaxing and warm. The albums only song with vocals "To Chase A Dream" features Piotr Trypus who's voice has a liking to Morrissey in a "Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want" way. A stellar album that's perfect for a relaxing Sunday afternoon.
Can't say enough good things about this band out of Saskatoon Saskatchewan Canada. "SDRAZIW" is a charming album with ten very distinct songs that showcase the bands wide combination of influences. "Journeybone" opens the record with it's galloping rhythm and surfy guitars that break into a noise guitar orchestra along with distorted vocals that lie low in the mix. "Holy Smoke" reminds me of a modern take on classic groups like The Buffalo Springfield and The Band, while "Purple House" has a very Velvet Underground flavor to it. "Life Is Elsewhere" builds on the Velvets vibe but add's in a crushing Mascis like fuzz tone, pushing the envelope a little further. "Manikewan Ocean Dreams" has that stomping garage rock beat taking a page out of The Cramps hand book and adding a Mary Chain machine gun guitar tone and vocal that makes for an infectious dark psych anthem. Highly Recommended.