19 Jul 2021

Freq reviews Gnod's Easy To Build, Hard To Destroy


They say:

The nouveau mediaevalism of the first track on Easy To Build, Hard To Destroy, “Elka” is a choice gem plucked for those early hippy daze where I first mentally hitched a ride on the Gnod train from the back of a dusty Trowbridge barn. A trickle of curling consciousness, leaking naturally into the latch key languid incessants of “Inner Z”, full of sweeping Moog and dazzling silver, the free-flowing vocal caged by a chordic bite and colliding colour.

It’s hot and summery and I have this on headphones, a fly lands on the page of a book I’m reading, and it walks the words in time to that steadily metered sprawl that wheels through my head in twisting spirals. Its thin insect legs obscure the letters, then scrabble-dance as the vocals levitate languidly in a weird synchronicity that plays nicely along...

Read the rest here: Freq

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16 Jul 2021

Tom Tom Rock reviews The Holy Family


They say:

The Holy Family's debut album is a surprising trip in mysterious sonic dimensions, an almost 90-minute long ritual whose master of ceremonies is David J. Smith , percussionist and multi-instrumentalist already with Guapo and The Stargazer's Assistant. The musicians who assist him have precedents with bands such as Gong, Coil, The Utopia Strong, Téléplasmite ... very respectable past that guarantee a very high technical level and that accompany us in the maze of the most creative British underground, in which this album also lives, to between avant-garde, progressive, folk wyrd, psychedelia with space and ethnic influences.

The 'plant' The Holy Family
The Holy Family is like a plant firmly anchored to mother earth, but with long branches reaching out into the universe. The roots are represented by references to an ancestral folk matrix, percussions are preferred to drums that easily evoke the image of esoteric rites consumed in dark clearings to awaken the elements of nature. As in Lovecraftian mythology, the doors of access to another reality are opened, which returns to us simultaneously from the deepest interstellar spaces and from a remote and forgotten past...

Read the rest here: Tom Tom Rock

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14 Jul 2021

The Prog Aspect reviews The Holy Family


They say:

My initial thoughts were, “Can I just say… this album is fucking tremendous!” Read on further if you want the long version. 

One of my go-to “altered state” albums has long been The Isness by Amorphous Androgynous – those who know, know. When I spotted a vinyl version of the Abbey Road mix of this fine slice of English wiggoutery on Discogs, I had to snap it up. I just played it prior to giving my shiny new copy of The Holy Family a spin, and it is the perfect hors d’oeuvre for David J. Smith’s main course, I must say! Gaz Cobain’s lysergic musings meld seamlessly into I Have Seen the Lion Walking, the opening woozily wonderful song on this effervescent new album from a new-but-old band, from whom we always await fresh waxings with a puppy-like eagerness.

You see, The Holy Family is really those tremendous righteous noiseniks Guapo wearing Kosmische make-up and a lush feather in their cap. Convening in Plague Year to craft a new album, David J. Smith and his mischievous troupe, namely Kavus Torabi, Emmett Elvin, Sam Warren, and Michael J. York, found that the heavy manners of the times was guiding the Guapo muse into an entirely different and colour-negative elysian landscape, far removed from its usual altar of levitational and deeply spiritual insistently heavy and heady rhythms. Here, where the musical kaleidoscope frequently hones in on rolling vistas of odd but vaguely calming hues, before heading off through clouds of Kosmische dust, things are not what they once were or may ever be again...

Read the rest here: The Prog Aspect

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Flowers Must Die announce rare live show


Flowers Must Die are playing a rare show at Festival of the Midnight Sun in their home town of Linköping on the 28th of August. Also on the bill is Träden and Baby Grandmother.

Info: Festival of the Midnight Sun

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8 Jul 2021

Freq reviews The Holy Family album


They say:

This has a weird energy, a smokey commune bonfiring prog, hippy trippiness and the more esoteric end of the musical spectrum.

A flamboyant mirage angeling the experimental itch of the Ya Ho Wha 13, King Crimson and Comus (and a hell of a lot more). The Holy Family‘s head architect David J Smith has gathered together a host of like-minded travellers, including The Utopia Strong’s Kavus Torabi, and Téléplasmiste’s Michael J York to bounce ideas between.

The Holy Family is a fusion of spacey collisions and peppered psychedelics inspired by the shimmering surrealism of Angela Carter and displaced realities of Dorothea Tanning, the narrative slips past, as snippets zero in, dreamily detonate, affix themselves like uneven tapestries alive with candied contours and half-lit rabbit holes.

That tindering ’70s Brian Eno off-cut that is “Skulls The…” coaxing the cobra to cast wavery silhouettes across the room. The acoustic dawn of “Inward Turning Suns” that merrily ribbons your head like a Woodstocked aquarius, its flowered braids kaleidoscopically kiltering into the Can-like candy of “Stones To Water” that beetles some tasty percussive recoil and gargling crocodiles. A diverse universe, satirically pinching at its influences as “Desert Night” lustfully devours a Comus-like glee, and the musicality drifts out from its moorings to Rorschach the uncharted...

Read the rest here: Freq

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Listen to The Holy Family special on Sideways Through Sound radio show



Listen to this interview with David J Smith from The Holy Family plus a playlist of tracks he has picked out exclusively for  Australia's Sideways Through Sound radio show.

Listen here: Sideways Through Sound

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7 Jul 2021

Listen to rare GOAT interview on Le Guess Who's 'The Big Playback' podcast


Listen to episode 2 of Le Guess Who's 'The Big Playback' podcast about the relationship between Art and Identity which features a rare interview with a member of GOAT amongst other interviewees.

You can listen here: Le Guess Who

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Le Guess Who? presents ‘The Big Playback’, a conversational, in-depth podcast about all things music. In the second episode of ‘The Big Playback’, host Margaret Munchheimer talks to four different musicians about the shifting relationship between Art and Identity and who in some way explore the self as a medium, through persona and performance. 

Episode 2 of ‘The Big Playback’ is titled What's Behind The Mask? It has been said that our ability to create art is directly linked to our ability to imagine something beyond what we see in front of us. For many, that imaginary ‘something’ begins with the Self. This episode explores the shifting relationship between Art and Identity, from alter-Ego to anonymity.

What kinds of possibilities are open to an artist through inhabiting a persona of their own creation that wouldn’t be available otherwise? Does the work create the Self, or vice-versa, and what are the effects of living in that space of transformation even beyond the stage?

The episode centers around conversations with Patrick Flegel (Cindy Lee), Natalie Sharp (Lone Taxidermist), Radwan Ghazi Moumneh (Jerusalem In My Heart) and an undisclosed member of Goat.

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Watch video for Land Trance track 'Transcript'

Here is the band made video for the track 'Transcript' by Land Trance, taken from their debut album 'First Séance' which is available on ltd edition vinyl. We have sold out but there should still be a handful of copies ion the shops. 

You can hear the album in full here:

Bandcamp   Spotify

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Gum Takes Tooth added to Raw Power line-up


Great to see that Gum Takes Tooth are joining fellow rocketeers Teeth of the Sea, Sex Swing and Petbrick at this years Raw Power Festival – weekend and day tickets are available: 

Raw Power

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6 Jul 2021

Louder Than War and Echoes and Dust reviews The Holy Family album


They say:

The Holy Family are a band led chiefly by David J Smith and whose membership includes the likes of Kavus Torabi, Emmett Elvin, Sam Warren and Michael J York. Borne out of improvisations which took place in an old country house, the album was then molded into shape by Smith and engineer / mixer Antti Uuismaki, for approval and final overdubs from the rest of the collective. Inspired by everything from magical realism, children’s folk tales and the surrealist art of Dorothea Tanning, The Holy Family finds itself perfectly placed to soundtrack imagined journeys both outer and inner and seeing as most of us have not been able to travel far these last eighteen months then its timing could not have been better...

Read the rest here: Louder Than War

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What kind of foolhardy sonic adventurer would launch a new band with a double album of mind bending psychedelic rock? Not the fragrant chanteuse Olivia Rodrigo – at time of writing bothering the much coveted number one slot on the UK charts with ‘Good 4 U’. No doubt Ms Rodrigo’s “People” would advise her against sailing such a career-destroying course through the tempestuous waters of commercial pop. Much better to “do it for the kids” (or indeed, The Kidz). No, no pilgrim, The Holy Family are the ones to press-gang you aboard their leaky galleon and fare the sonic seas to the whirlpool of oblivion...

Read the rest here: Echoes and Dust

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Listen to a The Holy Family special on Sideways Through Sound Radio Show


Sideways Through Sound Radio Show are airing a The Holy Family special with an interview and curated playlist with Dave Smith from the band – the show goes live this Wednesday, 
8-10pm 2SER Sydney, Australia

Listen here: Sideways Through Sound

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5 Jul 2021

GOAT reveal brand new single and special compilation album 'Headsoup'

You can't believe how excited we are to announce to you that on 27 August we will release 'Headsoup' by the mighty GOAT. 

'Headsoup' is a globetrotting acid trip of an album, collecting rarities spanning the bands career: standalone singles, B-sides and two enormous brand new tracks!

'Queen of the Underground', the first of these new songs to be revealed is a truly herculean track – a swaggering psychedelic powerhouse of the very highest order. Watch the video made by the incredibly talented Mike Bourne from Teeth of the Sea above.

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'Headsoup' is available on LP+7" and CD – you can preorder the special 'Rocket Shop' edition via this link:

Preorder album

But don't worry if these sell out within minutes, Normans Records and Rough Trade Records also have very ltd exclusive versions. There is also a ltd edition version available for indie stores. And for all you 'audio purists', there is a ltd 'Black' vinyl version available as well.

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GOAT have also announced a handful of rare shows, and if you have witnessed this band in full flight on a stage before, you know these opportunities are not to be missed:

Aug 11 / CZ / Val de Bagnes / Palp Festival
Sep 11-12 / GR / Athens / Plissken Festival
Oct 23 / SE / Malmo / Plan B

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Sometimes dark and heavy, at others joyous and beautiful, like Goat themselves ‘Headsoup’ is mysterious and constantly shapeshifting, difficult to properly pin down but constantly enthralling. Jazz-flute solos, pounding Afrobeat rhythms, ferocious desert blues, drifting Ethio-jazz and churning drones are just a fraction of their dazzling mix of influences. This is, as the name of Goat’s first album made clear, ‘World Music’ in its most complete form, a sound unrestrained by genre boundaries.

Almost a decade since Goat first emerged from the depths of Korpilombo, there is still no other band on earth that sounds quite like them.


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Sawdust Caesars reveal album of unreleased archive tracks


Old Rocket band The Sawdust Caesars have announced a very ltd edition LP that collects music from their archives called 'A Potential Social Menace Of The First Magnitude' released on Bristol label 'Raving Pop Blast! Recordings'. 

Only 100 copies available, so be quick and pick one up.

Bandcamp

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2 Jul 2021

Neolyd reviews The Holy Family

It reads:

Anyone who has ever heard "Tomorrow Never Knows" by the Beatles will usually not forget this wonderful-abstruse-crazy-psychedelic song anytime soon. A few years later after publication, John Lennon coolly stated that at the time of Revolver he himself had consumed LSD quite often. According to George Martin, while recording in the studio, Lennon said: "I want to sound like the Dalai Lama singing from the top of the mountain and still hearing the words I sing."

Translated soberly, or for the audio-technical realization of Lennon's request, this meant for the Beatles to let all tape loops run backwards, to apply a flanging and Leslie effect over the tracks and finally to use the Tibetan Book of the Dead as a template for the lyrics in the piece. Quasi the DIY for a legendary psych hit - or something like that. In order not to span the arc too far: The Holy Family trigger one thing in me with their debut album of the same name, a romantic memory of what is perhaps the strangest and at the same time most fascinating Song that I've heard in my life so far...

Read the rest here: Neolyd

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Fragmented Flaneur reviews The Holy Family


It reads:

One of my favourite books of the last few years was ‘Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell’ by Susanna Clarke (published in 2004, but I was late to the party), a beguiling and unsettling novel which wonderfully described a world of shifting reality and surreal happenings. It was something which was brought to mind when listening to this new album by The Holy Family. It is a fascinating listen, particularly in the way that, once you are within this double album, it does not really feel as if there is a beginning or an end.

Indeed, such is the dream-like state that you find yourself in when listening to it, the walls might just as well be shifting and the creepers growing up the inside of the walls. In short this music is pretty much what you want it to be… something which I do not think has happened by accident… nor, however, has this happened easily without the highly effective arrangement of what could easily be a film score, and the chilled out vibe that was clearly there when this was being recorded. A complete one off of an album that it going to take me many plays to completely unpick… although with each listen being radically different I may not totally get to the bottom of it.

See the post here: Fragmented Flaneur

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Rocket bands play this years Brave Exhibitions Festival


We are huge fans of the great Brave Exhibitions Festival at The Cluny in Newcastle so we are chuffed to see GNOD, Bonnacons of Doom and Petbrick joining a mouth-watering line-up of bands.

Info and tickets can be picked-up from here:  Brave Exhibitions

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All three bands are hitting the road with some confirmed shows:

Bonnacons of Doom 
Nov 19-21 / Newcastle / Brave Exhibitions Festival
April 29 (2022) / London / Desert Festival

GNOD 
Nov 11 / Preston / The Ferret
Nov 12 / London / Studio 9294
Nov 13 / Margate / Elsewhere
Nov 14 / Brighton / The Hope and Ruin
Nov 15 / Bristol / The Lanes
Nov 16 / Cardiff / The Moon
Nov 17 / Leicester / The Soundhouse
Nov 18 / Leeds / Mabgate Bleach
Nov 19 / Glasgow / Nice & Sleazy
Nov 20 / Newcastle / Brave Exhibitions Festival
April 29 (2022) / London / Desert Festival

Petbrick
Aug 27 - 29 / London / Raw Power Festival
Nov 19-21 / Newcastle / Brave Exhibitions Festival
April 29 (2022) / London / Desert Festival

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Raven Sings The Blues reviews The Holy Family


They say:

There’s a blurred vision aesthetic to the debut from The Holy Family. That particular vision comes from the mind of David J. Smith and over the course of his eponymous LP for UK psych outpost Rocket Recordings it’s passed through dense forests of psychedelic folk, sweat-beaten dessert rites, and dark catacomb rituals. Sewn together into a dizzying tapestry of an album, the shades shift at whim — pleasant, warmed by the sun one moment and in the next, fraught and hunted. While the album is rooted in rhythmic psychedelia, the pop moments that sneak in are just as welcome. The record crawls in across the coals, but by the second half of “Skulls The…” Smith is working through Talk Talk explorations and circular swings. Before the pop can take hold though he’s back slicing through the underbrush with a patter of drums and echoes of vocals rising from the canopy — incantations swirling in the smoke with a pungent pulse that wipes away the notion of pop under the breath of flutes.

Once into the fray Smith lets a bit of his notions of playing nice float to the edges of view. Skronk begets a hypnotic tangle of cosmic noise and the album compresses from cathartic crash to embryonic journey over the hinge point of “Stones To Water.” Yet each time the listener thinks they may have nailed the direction that The Holy Family sliding, the tapestry folds in upon itself once more. Robert Wyatt-drenced squee-rock and Pocahaunted temporal shifts and rhythm jaunts give way to bass-crusted Skull Defekts excavations of the mind. The Holy Family is no light undertaking — a massive double disc dystopia that threatens to consume the unprepared listener. With the right maps and an open mind, Smith’s labyrinth of lysergic impulses proves instead a garden of enchantment.

See in full here:  Raven Sings The Blues

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NARC reviews The Holy Family

Read the review here:

From the offset this incredible release from The Holy Family sets you in place with eyes and ears wide to gaze into its mists, hear its ramblings and immerse you in its exotic psychedelic universe.

We have some remarkable talent here, led by our spirit guide David J Smith, Kavus Torabi and Michael J York from Utopia Strong along with Emmett Elvin and Sam Warren from Guapo, they have collectively produced a lysergic-infused Druidic mantra sure to to be heard emanating from a sunset lit stone circle at solstice time for evermore.

First improvised and then further manipulated in studio by Smith and engineer Antti Uuismaki, it’s both surreal and magical but never twee, and has a keen edge of strangeness and modern punky mysticism. 4/5

See the piece here: NARC

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The Holy Family S/T debut album is released today


"A fog-draped psych folk journey trapped between the mind and the astral plane." 

Raven Sings the Blues

"Its radiance falls on your closed eyelids, scattering light."
The Sleeping Shamen

"Music for absolute entrancement and immersion."
Backseat Mafia 

The Holy Family's incredible S/T debut album is out now on ltd edition double LP and CD.

We have sold out of the Rocket shop version of the LP, but another ltd version on double grey vinyl is available now from your favourite record shop.

The ltd edition CD (600 copies), can be bought from here: Bandcamp

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We are having a little launch party tonight at Servant Jazz Quarters in Dalsotn/London to celebrate the album's release - join us for a full album playback and dj set from Holy Family member Kavus and his DJ partner Steve Davis.

Due to covid restrictions it is an all seated event so numbers are ltd – these seats are available on a first come first served basis. Kicks off at 7pm.

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The scope of The Holy Family - an auditory Rorschach test across thirteen tracks rich in adventure and intrigue - is boundless. It’s an intrepid voyage through sound-worlds that takes in all manner of incarnations, as spidery zeuhl, oceanic kosmische, blissful pastoral and celluloid-score tension are visited here in search of some greater universal truth. Yet all of these stylistic forays are married with relentless dream logic into one unifying kaleidoscopic vision.

Mercurial and mystical yet charged with primal energy, this is a classic double album as forum for chimerical experimentation - shifting in form and structure every time it travels from the record racks to the stereo, and revealing yet more psychic landscapes with each listen. 

Submit to its spell, and join The Holy Family.


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