Album Reviews Buzz Chart

Serious Sam Barrett

serious_samSerious Sam Barrett
Sometimes You’ve Got To Lose

YaDig? Records

Sometimes You’ve Got To Lose is Serious Sam Barrett’s first release since 2014’s AnyRoad, and sees the same heady swirl of love, life and skateboarding occupying its subject matter as his previous output has ever done. Sam’s blend of genres, Yorkshire-cana is the closest description currently put to it, incorporates healthy doses of folk, blues, country and rock n roll into a sound which, despite the previously listed elements, still sounds undeniably birthed from The Ridings. Sam’s music is as powerful as it is because, despite being deeply personal, it takes from the aforementioned genres their accessibility and universal appeal. Whether you’ve loved, lost, sat at a petrol station in a strange place drinking coffee at sunrise, put in the blood, sweat and tears to build a DIY skate spot, gone out for a quiet drink and suddenly found yourself dancing on a sofa at 3am clutching a bottle of bourbon, put yourself in hospital skateboarding and counted down the days before you could next feel the sensation of truck on coping, sat in a van for hours talking nonsense with your mates – any of those things, then Sometimes… will be an album you relate to.

It’s music with soul – much like the punk and hardcore bands whose influence is visible, if not in Sam’s sound itself, then in a DIY approach to his craft. The songs on this newest album see a lean back towards the folk and blues end of the spectrum, closer to his early releases than his last and more country influenced LP. This is undoubtedly due in part to a return to recording songs live in the same style as his first couple of records. A 12 string, vocal chords and the occasional banjo are the instruments of choice, creating a rich wall of sound much more than the sum of its parts from the get go. The title track might reference breaking a wrist before tour last year and ably sum up the recovery process, not being able to play guitar or skate, but it is from the start that we see love being the overriding theme of the album – whether that be to his other half (who produced the killer zines which accompany the first couple of hundred records), to the particular satisfaction to building and skating your own DIY spot or to the joys of being on the road, this is distilled PMA at its finest.

‘Sailor’s Song’ opens proceedings and sound-wise, would not be out of place on 2009’s Close to Home. A rolling pace and finger-scorching 12 string lick, as well as a melody which defies the listener not to be drawn in, are a formula bought to bear both here and on the title track. These two songs, with their respective themes of love and of absolutely wrecking yourself taking a good, solid slam, book end the yearning post tour blues of ‘Drive Your Way Home’. The title track is followed by ‘Shoals of Montana’, the one banjo-picking track on the album with a haunting melody that sounds like it could have been written any time between now and 1900. ‘The Last Thing’ and ‘My Last Sad Song’ are the closest nods to straightforward country songs on the album, while in between them the brawling folk stomp of ‘Single Drop of Rain’ leaves its mark strongly. ‘Me and you Tonight’ is a tender love song which sees the first appearance from another musician, as Sam is joined by Frosty AKA Squeezebox Bob on the accordion. LBP represent…

Frosty’s able assistance continues into the album’s closing tracks; ‘I’ve Been Trying’ and DIY spot ballad ‘New Bird, Needle and the Dustbowl’, Sam’s ode to one Liverpool and two Yorkshire skatespots built guerrilla style under the council radar by locals for the love. This celebration of what can be achieved with DIY ethics and a community of people on the same page is a fitting end to the record, running pretty much parallel as it does to Sam’s own method of recording and releasing records. Run from a label created by him and Matt Bradshaw, with artwork by Sami Graystone and the previously mentioned zine courtesy of Kate Bristow, Sometimes… slots perfectly into Sam’s catalogue of releases and shows just how music flourishes away from the industry and big record labels. This one is pretty much guaranteed to not leave the record player for weeks and leave you wanting to experience his music in a live setting – which he proved on the tour for this album that he can power through even with an unexpected re-broken wrist, showing no signs of the injury having slowed him.

Apart from during the writing of this review, I last listened to the album a couple of days ago on the train back from Yorkshire, following on from a two-day-heavy session at a DIY skate spot, stoned and half drunk on a fast diminishing bottle of wine as I watched the sun set over the countryside. If possible, I can’t recommend this environment for listening to this album highly enough.

Jono Coote

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Take a psychedelic roll through San Francisco with Josh Matthews, Al Davis, Brian Delatorre and Daryl Angel, directed by Justin Carlson, as Woods have employed the Habitat Skateboards crew to feature in their new video for new single I See In The Dark.

This tune is taken from Woods’ new album City Sun Eater, out now on Woodsist Records. See them play in the UK at these dates:

Tue-Jun-21 The Hope – Brighton (UK)
Wed-Jun-22 The Dome – London (UK)

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Science Skateboards Mixtape 5

science_skateboards_logoScience Skateboards’ latest mixtape has arrived right in time for their new skate promo coming next week, The Important Nothing.

Get your ears into this new set of tunes, a proper chiller featuring A Tribe Called Quest, Eugene McDaniels, Donovan, Finsta Bundy, Curtis Mayfield, Duralcha, Tony Newman, Roy Ayers, Madlib, De La Soul, Peanut Butter Wolf, Joe Bataan, New Holidays and more.

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Kikagaku Moyo

kKikagaku Moyo
Guruguru Brain

Set to feature on a new album titled House In The Tall Grass, by a band called Kikagaku Moyo, ‘Kogarashi’ (that’s the ‘Autumn Wind’, before you hit google translate) is just the ticket you need for a trip to the dreamy inner realms of far-eastern psychedelia.

Here you’ll find influence from Indian raga’s, Krautrock, country folk and more, but a devotion to none of them. Think of Kikagaku Moyo as a free, untainted and loose being, bridging gaps between the netherworld and the outer cosmos, armed with little else but a sitar, a couple of maracas and the soundtrack to Paris Texas.

These chilly autumnal soundscapes conjure levels of poignant scenic imagery that sit firmly on par with those great American deserts on just a first listen. Do not miss their new record, due May 13 via Guruguru Brain. The band will tour the UK in May on the below dates.

May 2016 live dates

25 Bristol, UK Cube
26 London, UK, Fields Brewhouse
27 Manchester, UK, Star and Garter
28 Glasgow, Scotland, Nice’nSleazys
29 Leeds, UK, Karma Fest
30 Brighton UK, Bleach
23 Paris, FR, Paris Fashion Week w/Issey Miyake

and there’s more…

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Fear Of Man

Little is known about what exactly Anglo/Hungarian/Swedish basement-metal crew HAG were up to in the five-year gap taken between debut EP and full length album, but Fear Of Man confirms it was time well spent.

Nine-tracks strong, Fear Of Man comes laced with the kind of gut punching intensity you’d expect from messrs Buzzo and Dale. A hefty comparison, though one that stands tall considering drummer Tamas Kiss also shares his talents with the mighty Bad Guys. It’s an album laced with delightfully jagged and dog-eared production, courtesy of Part Chimp’s Tim Cedar, and one that rages back and forth across the punk crossover with gusto, spraying toxic sludge and throwing daggers at any opportunity.

We urge you to check it out on the stream below.

Buy here:

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Archy Marshall

Packshot_imageArchy Marshall
A New Place 2 Drown

Archy Marshall, who we are all familiar with under the alias King Krule, announced this project via his new instagram only a couple of weeks ago. He may have ditched the name for now, however his sadistic lyrics in which romanticise the smallest of details within our world still remain.

The project comprises of a book, 12 piece soundtrack, and a short film, all of which give us an insight into the creative pathways in which a crossover between Archy’s music and his brother Jack’s visual expertise are contextualised.

I have been eagerly anticipating more beats from the south London legend and stand not in the slightest disappointed. These tracks may lack the jazzy undertones of which we generally associate Archy with, however this album is still a melting pot of different experiences; grinding every genre into one amalgamated sound and with each listen a new aspect can be heard within his equanimous words and beats.

Henry Calvert

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‘Organic Cities’
Swim Records

Revived after an unexpected synth-based shopping spree in New York earlier this year, Colin Newman (Wire) and Malka Spigel (Minimal Compact) have announced the return of their collaborative Immersion project. A nigh two decades on from 1999 release Low Impact, and with new-found sonic territories said to be inspired by the couple’s recent migration to Brighton, Analogue Creatures sees the long awaited fourth chapter in Immersion’s career to be immortalised on 10” vinyl via none other than Swim Records.

First cut ‘Organic Cities’ comes with analogue synth arpeggios in abundance. Seemingly structure-less and pleasantly meandering, the track also sees the first instance of electric guitar present on an Immersion record, with spatial, gloomy lines gliding skywards across ominous, geometric patterns. Check it out below along with a full track-listing.

Analogue Creatures track-list:
1. Always The Sea
2. Shapeshifters
3. Organic Cities
4. Mechanical Creatures
5. Slow Light

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King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard

trapdoor_king_gizzard_and_the_lizard_wizardKing Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard
Heavenly Recordings

Primed and ready to drop their seventh album Paper Mâché Dream Balloon on Friday November 13th, Melbourne 7-piece King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard have shared a marvellously daft new music video for the lead track, ‘Trap Door’.

Set to rise above the fuzzing, electric wig-out’s one has come to expect from this old-school Aussie crew, especially after the sonic storm their last full-length I’m In Your Mind Fuzz whipped up, their new album is to feature nothing but acoustic instruments. Let ‘Trapdoor’ set the scene as soft piano chords ensue, a tablecloth comes to life, and a spooky ghost lays down some mean flute licks all over the place.

February 2016 UK Tour Dates

15th Manchester, Gorilla
16th Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
17th Bristol, Fleece
19th Brighton, The Haunt

Buzz Chart Single Reviews

Night Dials

night_dialsNight Dials
‘Waiting At Your Door’ / ‘Little Flame’
Ciao Ketchup Recordings

West London’s Night Dials are set to drop their new AA-side single this month and its sun soaked psych vibes are downright riveting.

Sounding reminiscent of Cosmonauts, Night Beats and The UFO Club, via West Coast-surf scuzz, ‘Waiting At Your Door’ is a lo-fi melancholic daydream. With gushing keyboards and lead guitar rumble and fuzz, jolly, ska-esque rhythms ensue, puncturing the surface with every other beat to keep you bouncing along ‘Obla Di Obla Da’ style. A brilliant metaphor of quite literally waiting at someone’s door, the monotonous, foot tapping, ticking-clock guitar repetition is a nudge in your back every other second just to remind you it’s still there.

Nosediving from the optimism and youthful notion of ‘Waiting At Your Door’, ‘Little Flame’ provokes a darker corner of Night Dials’ musicality. Here we’re treated to a new depth. Gone is the fun and fuzz of the aforementioned track, giving a sharp thrust into the reflective keys showing that Night Dials have the ability, and sensibility, to add a new dimension to their sound and exist beyond the general “psych/garage” scenes.

Words:Tom Churchill

‘Waiting At Your Door’ / ‘Little Flame’ is due October 30th via Ciao Ketchup. Pre-order here.

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Capra Informis

capra_informisCapra Informis
‘Womb Of The Wild’
Rocket Recordings

What better way to shake the Monday cobwebs than with news that the djembe player from Swedish psych revolutionaries GOAT has started a side project?

While there’s no denying the solid parallels between this ‘bit on the side’ and their protagonist’s main venture, Capra Informis cast a far darker shadow over their mystic counterparts. A percussive thunderstorm of tribal, primitive beats and lead guitar lines raining down conjure a perpetual sense of foreboding. Sounding like a pagan ritual gone mad – ‘Womb Of The Wild’ comes cloaked, hooded and with sacrificial blood spilled all over the shop.

Womb of the Wild will be released on October 23rd 2015 via Rocket Recordings. Pre-order the ltd edition vinyl EP here.