30 Sept 2010
Psychedelia has always been something of an opposing force in popular music. The Beatles turned to The Book Of The Dead. The Stones loved us. The Damned moved on from punk and recorded The Black Album. When things get predictable psychedelia returns to tip over the apple cart. Brin, Billy and the gang uncannily emerge from their burrow as everything in music is getting just a tad boring and predictable. The Future Sound Of Ashton may shock those who expect a dot-to-do recreation of the ’60s though. ‘The Combined Force Of An Atom’ is as feral, urgent and angered as Blur’s ‘Chinese Bombs’. And like Damon Albarn, lyricist Mole Brin Davies fully understands the correlation between the disconnected playfulness of Syd Barret and the art school nihilism of the early punk movement. Indeed, there is something very Soft Boys about The Moles’ musical landscape; fractured imagery, nightmarish word play, distinct vocals and an evident debt to 1967 without plagiarising the source material.
Across 15 songs the group forge a distinct sound, relying on simple production rather than the everything-but-the-kitchen sink effect laden approach of the Sgt Pepper school of recording. Billy Fuller (also a member of Beak, Fuzz Against Junk and Robert Plant & The Strange Sensation… yes, ROBERT PLANT) supplies many a memorable bass line whilst Davies’ characteristic English vocals may well leave the same lasting impression as Ray Davies, Andy Partridge, Robyn Hitchcock, Howard Devoto and Jarvis Cocker… even when having explosive US garage-punk/psych edges the forlorn, upbeat, funny and sad music of The Moles is as English as fish ’n’ chips at the end of Weston-Super Mare pier!
Serpentina Satelite - Mecanica Celeste
Are you ready for a total head fuck of an LP be warned listening to this album on headphones could bring on forms of psychosis.
South America seems to be the place as there are plenty of top notch sike bands on the go (Follakzoid, Watch Out!, Psychedelic Schafferson Jetplane…) but it would be fair to say these are the heaviest ive heard of the bunch.
Bringing to mind a tripped out Monster Magnet TAB vibe with some heavy late period Loop thrown in to the mix as well. Sounds swell and move from speaker to speaker as some serious wah wah action is played throughout.
Strange effects come in and out of the mix as the music builds in intensity and ferocity as a Bo Diddley riff via the Stooges kicks in dogs start barking everything panning from side to side.
Then some female ritualistic chanting soothes over us before sides are changed and theres more wah wah action and side 2 kicks in even heavier as Serpentina Satelite head for the heavens.
The last track kicks in on a pretty intense doomish vibe before finally kicking into overdrive and when you cannot take anymore the soothing female chanting brings you back down.
Rocket Recordings do the business with a beautiful sleeve. Also check out these guys last lp Nothing To Say on Trip in Time.
Brain Crushing Sounds
Plus some other nice words from these great sites:
28 Sept 2010
Roughly 6 months later I accidentally came across a copy of the album via a small retail outlet in Birmingham – the now sadly demised Chunky Records – and a CD duly arrived. The cover alone was exciting enough but I can vividly recall the moment I first played ‘Everybody Knows’ as I drove through the Yorkshire dales on my way to work in Ilkley. That intro and the brutal way Legavaan Satellite barged itself into my live is a moment I will never forget, and in many ways it remains a pivotal experience in my musical appreciation. My obsession with Bristol’s finest guitar noise bods began then and shows no sign of letting up getting on for a decade later. A few weeks later I discovered that they were playing in London at Camden’s Monarch and I went down especially to see them. I optimistically emailed Heads guro Simon Keeler about the gig who replied with gusto, saying there were to be ‘new songs, light show, the works.. .’ At the merchandise stall stood the towering but thoroughly friendly figure of Rocket dude Simon Healey who I babbled away to for most of the support acts. At one point he asked me if I'd ever seen The Heads live before and when I said ‘no’ he smiled and said, as if he were describing a delicious ice cream to a hungry child, ‘oh, you’re in for SUCH a treat’ – and he was spot on. Their set that night was absolutely ridiculous and I stood, awestruck, paralysed, grinning with pleasure as the blistering wave of deafening music rolled over me and everyone else. As I left I wobbled past Mr. Keeler and we exchanged a look. In my brain-shattered state all I managed to say was ‘that really was...’ and he finished my sentence with what seemed to be a question accompanied by a knowing grin ‘...a pummelling wall of psychedelic noise...?’ Too right. My journey was well under way.
The Heads don’t play live that often so such moments are something to savour – they have never disappointed me and I’ve travelled hundreds of a miles to catch a 25 minute support slot on occasion. The band members grew to know me and my obsessional colleagues, and so the 3 of us ‘Leeds boys’ became a recognised and inevitable presence at various Heads events. So many memories over the years - live appearances/pre and post gig antics with fans, band members and their extended friends and families/seeing them blow whichever band they were supporting off the stage every single time/helping with their gear/being lucky enough to sit in on a few rehearsals/Johnny O’s perpetually mind-blowing light-show light show/trying to buy drumsticks in Tilburg (actually that city alone provides endless tales of fun and frolics)... Us Leeds Boys have had SO much fun following this band. The Heads are embedded in my own head as the ultimate masters of intense guitar psychedelic music and some of the nicest people I know. They occupy an area of their own. No band I know could even think of reaching the areas in which The Heads set up base camp a good 15 years ago. Despite their ‘largely unknown’ status they carry on regardless and pump out music which seems to be tailor-made for my tastes with every treasured release. God bless them!
23 Sept 2010
Gnod – Supernormal set
(Thanks to the guys from Bong for this...it was a mind blowing set, so nice to relive it, maybe the best ever version of ‘Tony’s first disco’ that has been captured too...)
Various – Light Sounds Dark Presents Sherm Sticks and Other Nasty Joints / Return of the Sherm
(Some great fuzzed out rock stompers on these two comps...love the sleazy sleeves too)
Ngozi Family – 45,000 Volts
(Chris Zebby’s backing band let rip...like Zebby’s great album, this contains some great fuzz and spaced out wah, but with even more grooved out bass lines!)
Various – Menagerie
(Interesting vinyl only comp that comes with an art book, worth checking out for the Moon Duo track)
Far East Family Band – Parellel World
(Great album of kosmiche psychedelia...like the best bits of Tangerine Dream)
Shit Magnet – In Session 62
(Ridiculously fuzzed out instrumental punk with bonkers squidgy electronica over the top, sadly unreleased (at the moment), but looking forward to hearing more from this mysterious group of freaks)
Mugstar - Lime
(More stellar sonic adventures from Liverpool's finest, including some recent live favourites & 'Serra' a great Kraut shift in gear)
Oneida / Pterodactyl - The Green Corridor Series 1
(Oneida drop down a level to reveal a more ambient soundtracked side. On the flip Pterodactyl cover 'I See You' off the best Byrds album & then shoegaze into some backwards guitar loops)
Fuzzy Lights - Twin Feathers
(Psyche Folk, Americana & Noise in the vein of Godspeed You Black Emperor & Dirty Three)
Fern Knight -
(Like the first Espers album, it also echoes the spirit of the 70's British Psyche Folk, check out the track 'From Zero to Infinity')
Akira Ishikawa & Count Buffalo - Uganda
(Psychedelic whirlwind of Afro-tribal percussive fuzz blowouts)
16 Sept 2010
11 Sept 2010
Our friends at Invada records have kindly posted copies of the SERPENTINA SATELITE LP for sale on their shop website, we only have a small run to hand so snap the coloured vinyls up while we've got them.
You can order the LP from: