Poignant Heart And Soul Intimacy With Midnight Hour Crooner OLI SPLEEN

Best longplayer of April 2022

30 April 2022

Artist: OLI SPLEEN
Who: Singer-songwriter
from Brighton, UK

New album: STILL LIFE

Oli Spleen: Ten years ago when I was in Paris finalising my debut solo album
“Fag Machine”, I would not have believed that ten years on I’d be five albums in.”

Cover artwork: The cover art is a painting by Sara Abbott of a baby albatross,
dead from plastic consumption. Based on a photograph by Clare Fackler (NOAA
Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
). In seafaring folklore, it is thought that he
who kills the albatross will be cursed. This image reflects how we as a species are
dooming ourselves and future generations in our relationship to the environment.

Turn Up the Volume: Oftenly, hard times can be an artistic inspiration for
musicians (for all sorts of artists, actually). It can work or not for the psyche
of the listener. Here it works magnificently.

Spleen constructed 10 sonic paintings about his struggle for life, about
soul-destroying and physical pain, and doubts about the present and
the future.

10 heartfelt, tender, and very intimate ballads, at times distressing, at times mournful,
but in the end, there’s hope, redemption, and lust for life. Spleen‘s voice is both doleful
and warm, just like star crooners such as Nick Cave, Father John Misty, The National‘s maestro Matt Berninger and most of all the midnight hour voice of Tindersticks maestro Stuart Staples sound.

Ten pearls about suffering and surviving.
A poignant and riveting work. Don’t miss it.

Stream/buy Still Life here…


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OLI SPLEEN: Facebook – All Albums on Bandcamp

ALBUM OF MARCH 2022 – Canadian Pop Romantics BASEMENT REVOLVER With ‘EMBODY’

1 April 2022

Band: BASEMENT REVOLVER
Who: Indie outfit producing noisy and graceful shoegaze-esque
music out of their hometown of Hamilton, Ontario since 2016

New album: EMBODY – the band’s 2nd one.
Order the digital version here .

“Their sophomore LP, Embody, is explicit about these new ideas and new thoughts,
addressing them with a deeper sound and crisper production to adroitly express the
complexity of the world.

It is an album of friendship, of working out identity together and making deeply personal
art. This record, with its complex sonic landscape, sometimes lush and sometimes stark,
is of a piece with their earlier work, but it’s deeper and more self-aware. Embody is the
sound of freedom, especially in the midst of such pain, both locally and globally.”

Turn Up The Volume: The most striking instrument on the album is the angelic voice of songwriter Chrisy Hurn. Just phenomenal. To my avid ears, she may join the female vocal likes of stars such as Angel Olsen, Sharon Van Etten, The Sundays Harriet Wheeler, Belly‘s Tanya Donelly, and Mazzy Star‘s Hope Sandoval.

Yes that good, that special. Check ballad beauties Slow / Blackhole / Storm / Tired and my two favorites Skin and Long Way and you’ll hear why Chrisy’s voice is the band’s shining star. And when they rock out (Be Okay / Dissolve / Tunnel Vision) multi-layered shoegaze guitars take over and create a burning wall-of-sound that blows you away.

Overall this high-quality second LP encourages young people to be confident to be themselves, to be proud of who they are, and proud of how they look. It’s a vulnerable
and heartwarming, a passional and human, a tender and longing piece of work for heart and soul. Album of the month!

Singles/clips: Circles / Skin / Transatlantic / Tunnel Vision

– SKIN –

– TRANSATLANTIC –

– TUNNEL VISION –

Buy/stream Embody here…


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BASEMENT REVOLVER: Facebook

(Images via Auteur Research PR)

Album Of The Month – NOVEMBER 2021

1 December 2021

Band: CONVERGE feat. CHELSEA WOLFE and also
contributions from Cave In man Stephen Brodsky
Who: Longtime metalcore noiseniks from Boston
featuring the Goth heroine
Active: Since 1990 / 10 studio LPs

New album: BLOODMOON: I
Released: 19 November 2021

Kerrang! said: “Converge have long been rightfully revered as hardcore trailblazers, expanding the scene’s vocabulary through a questing spirit and willingness to experiment. Even within this ever-evolving context, however, Bloodmoon: I is so different to the rest of the Salem slammers’ oeuvre that it feels like a glimpse of an alternative timeline… You’ve never previously been able to describe a Converge record as mystical, but such is the arcane allure that defines this unique album, especially on Coil and the title track. Chelsea’s distinctively haunting contributions are inevitably a major factor here, but Stephen also makes his melodic presence felt throughout, with Jacob Bannon’s harsher throat completing a vocal triptych that never fails to thrill, their very different but complementary styles weaving together as if they were always supposed to co-exist.” Full review here. Score: 5/5.

Turn Up The Volume: Don’t expect that his album turned into something totally
surprising because Wolfe and Brodsky were invited by Converge to their sacred
studio.

But the colluding collaboration generates even more darkness to Boston‘s noise
freaks’ trademark pitch-black darkness with Chelsea‘s spellbinding vox adding an
obscure sensuality. The ghostly gathering is a grueling marathon of almost one
hour. It’s a celebration of all things gloomy and doomy with prog-rock textures.

A quiet-loud-quiet-very-loud rollercoaster of clashing, slashing and trashing
with a satanic sound as towering as the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston.

A Metal-Goth-Core Highmass!

Singles: Blood Moon / Coil

– BLOOD MOON –

– COIL –

Stream album here…

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CONVERGE: Facebook

Album Of The Month – London Singer-Songwriter GLASS SANDS With Sparkling Debut ‘BETTER THAN LIFE’

Best album of October 2021 according to Turn Up The Volume’s ears

29 October 2021

Artist: GLASS SANDS
Who: Musical moniker of indie singer/songwriter
Christopher Laurence Shackleton based in London.

Album: BETTER THAN LIFE

Info: Written and recorded over a five-year period, “Better Than Life” features some of Chris Shackleton’s most mature and versatile songwriting yet featuring ambitious sonics that take influence from alternative rock, post-punk, post-rock, krautrock and shoegaze. Lyrically, “Better Than Life” broaches on both the personal and the political with songs that focus on themes such as loneliness, populism, gentrification and just how far one is willing to go to find satisfaction in life.

Turn Up The Volume says: Expect an intriguing mix of moody moments (Coming Home /
In Your Hands / Ballad Of The Byford Dolphin / Hammerfest
), guitar-driven riff-hook-and-lick knockouts that cut like a Swiss knife (Better Than Life / She Hangs On The Western Wall / Phantom Pains / Cigarette Machine) and a slo-mo closer (Basilisk) that could feature on
the soundtrack of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks TV series.

An overall versatile accomplishment that grows on you with every spin. A twists and turns record swinging from dreamy pop to fuzzing and buzzing rock and back. Don’t miss this! You don’t need a pool to throw a party with Better Than Life on the stereo. Best album October 2021!

Stream/buy ‘Better Than Life’ here…


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GLASS SANDS: Facebook

Psychedelic Shoegaze Trip – London’s GHOST PATTERNS Score With Debut Album ‘INFINITE’

Best longplayer of September 2021

1 October 2021

Band: GHOST PATTERNS
Who: London based quartet formed in 2019 blending
psychedelic, shoegaze and post-punk influences
into their music.

Debut album: INFINITE
Released: 3 September 2021
You can purchase the record via Bandcamp

Turn Up The Volume: The amplified haziness of Slowdive, the mystifying nightmares
of Spacemen 3, the multi-layer-constructing skills of My Bloody Valentine. Hallucinating soundscapes, sonic shadowplays, synths and guitars dueling with each other while
tireless drums dauntlessly beat, and wailing voices wander in an enigmatic fog of reverberation.

This and much more is what the (sur)real world of Ghost Patterns has to offer. Put your headphones on, open your mind and ears and you’ll experience a wondrous, psychedelic shoegaze trip. Strongly intense debut! Don’t miss it!

Single: House Of Lies

Stream/buy full album here…


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GHOST PATTERNS: Facebook

Vocals/guitars/keys- Terry Hale
Vocals- Somrata Sarkar
Bass- Letitia Austin
Drums & Percussion- James Walker

Lyrics/music
Tracks 3,4,6,8,9 – Somrata Sarkar/ Ghost Patterns
Tracks 1,2,5,7 – Terry Hale/ Ghost Patterns

Recorded by Ghost Patterns
Produced & mixed by Terry Hale & James Walker

Pic credit: Serge Kutuzov

ALBUM OF THE MONTH – Power Trio METZ With ‘LIVE AT THE OPERA HOUSE’

30 August 2021

Band: METZ (Toronto, Canada)
Who: Titan noise junks based in Toronto, Canada.
Active: Since 2008 / 4 studio albums so far

New album: LIVE AT THE OPERA HOUSE
Released: 4 August 2021
Order info: here

The band: “We were determined to find a way within the confines of the pandemic
to create a live experience that felt dynamic and let us connect with you all. So we
took to the stage in October 2020 at the Opera House in Toronto, a hometown favorite
independent venue, to livestream a performance of Atlas Vending in its entirety.”

The live performance (2020 album Atlas Vending and two older tracks) is available on all digital service providers, with bundles at Bandcamp and Sub Pop that include also a film of the of the full concert.

Turn Up The Volume: To be honest, most live albums do not reflect what artists accomplish on a podium. Its hard to capture the live sound on a record. But this one is remarkably different. As I saw these wall-of-havoc crusaders multiple times, I know what they’re capable of. From the first chord on, the trio explodes as if they’re on a kamikaze mission.

They develop a slash and trash amount of illegal decibels. You actually feel the noise physically. Fact! Several times I really thought that frontman Alex Edkins would run out of oxygen. This live record is what you can expect from these noise titans when they hit the stage. Their sound is bigger than the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris (before the fire).

ALBUM OF AUGUST 2021

Alert your neighbors before you press play…


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METZ: FacebookAll Tour Dates 2021-2022

(Live photos by Turn Up The Volume)

Album Of The Month – May 2021 – ‘SEEK SHELTER’ By ICEAGE

1 June 2021

Band: ICEAGE
Who: Danish rockers who entered
the scene in 2008 / 5 albums so far

Album: SEEK SHELTER – 5th LP
Released: 7 May 2021


(photo by Turn Up the Volume!)

NME says: “A record that never sits still, an album of considerable polish and scope
and by far the boldest thing the Danes have ever made, but also an album that still feels distinctly theirs. The fierce 90-second punk songs of their early days might now have
morphed into vast stadium-rock anthems, but Iceage remain as razor-sharp as ever.”

Full review here. Score: 4/5.

Turn Up The Volume: Finally, Iceage do what they were expected to do for a long
time. Creating a standout album that makes the hair in the back of your neck stand
up. Melodramatic with balls, impassioned with vigour, romantic with grimness. Charismatic frontman Elias Bender Rønnenfelt leads the troops as never before.
Their fifth, their best.

Rønnenfelt: “We by no means wanted a producer to go in and tell us what to do
or lead the way as to what kind of record we were trying to make. We just wanted
a partner in crime.”

Singles/clips: Vendetta / Shelter Song / The Holding Hand

– VENDETTA –

– SHELTER SONG –

– THE HOLDING HAND –

Stream/buy album here…

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ICEAGE: Facebook

Best Album April 2021 – ‘G_d’s Pee AT STATE’S END!’ By GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR

1 May 2021

Band: GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR
Who: Wayward enigmatic, and experimental
collective from Montreal active since 1994.

New album: G d’s Pee at STATE’S END! – 7th LP
The follow-up to 2017 LP Luciferian Towers.
Release: 2 April 2021.

The band: “This record is about all of us waiting
for the end. all current forms of governance are failed.
This record is about all of us waiting for the beginning.”

Pitchfork wrote: “They’ve opted to acknowledge a world of seemingly infinite struggle and
offer a well-earned, well-timed score for continuing the fight. Godspeed You! Black Emperor spent a quarter-century making hold music for awaiting a revolution; why shouldn’t they bask
in signs of its potential sparks now, however limited or fleeting they might be?”
Score: 8/10.

Turn Up The Volume says: Fitting soundtrack for the funeral of the past, and at the
same time for the re-birth of humankind. Somber and apocalyptic. Only a very small light
at the end of the tunnel. Repetitive doom-and-gloom psychedelia, repetitive wall-of-guitar-scapes. Goosebumps all the way. One word: Götterdämmerung!

Song titles (take a deep breath):
1. A Military Alphabet (five eyes all blind) (4521.0kHz 6730.0kHz 4109.09kHz) / Job’s Lament / First of the Last Glaciers / where we break how we shine (ROCKETS FOR MARY) 20:22
2.
Fire at Static Valley
3. “GOVERNMENT CAME” (9980.0kHz 3617.1kHz 4521.0 kHz) / Cliffs Gaze / cliffs’ gaze at empty waters’ rise / ASHES TO SEA or NEARER TO THEE
4. OUR SIDE HAS TO WIN (for D.H.)
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GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR: Facebook

Stream/buy (digital version) here…


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GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR: Facebook