FONTAINES D.C. Talked To STEREOGUM About Each Song Of Their New Stellar LP ‘A DEATH’S HERO’

2 August 2020

Irish indie rock bohemians FONTAINES D.C. just released their second ‘difficult’ longplayer. A DEATH’S HERO is a stellar piece of work about the grim times we
live in seen through the eyes of young artists trying to make sense of all of it.

The band talked with online music magazine
Stereogum about every single track on their
new chilling masterpiece. Read it all here.

(photo by Turn Up The Volume!)


6 July 2020

THE MIGHTY ORCHID KING is the British answer to King Gizard King Gizzard & The
Lizard Wizard
, that incredibly productive and mind-expanding Aussie collective. The
St. Albans psych prog rockers just released their kaleidoscopic debut album called
THE DOCTRINE OF INFINITE KINDNESS. A bold, existential, bizarro piece of work.

These Five Horsemen of Eco-Anxiety combine Kerouac-esque spontaneous prose
with more direct protest songs about the ongoing destruction of our beloved, living
Earth. Their spectacular firstborn sounds like a sonic visualization of Stanley Kubrick‘s spectacular sci-fi vision ‘2020: A Space Odyssey’. Otherworldly, metaphysical, starry-
eyed and rainbow-colored. Several of the songs were written about their experiences
in the Extinction Rebellion movement, others were inspired by long periods of
isolation and attempts at enlightenment.

Sonically they mix their appetite for 60s harmony, fuzzy guitars, synth arpeggios with occasional impressions of samba, jazz, and house.

Sounds pretty far-out to my ears. Curious, aren’t you? No problem, ringleader Jonny Bennett will tell us all and more about ‘The Doctrine Of Infinite Kindness‘ track by track.

Let’s roll, Jonny…

“A recurring theme of the album is diving down deep inside our consciousness to
see what’s there — I was inspired by an idea from Sharon Salzberg that we can inherit trauma through generations. A lot of the lyrics were written spontaneously, often early in the morning. I’m endlessly obsessing about different ways to get the creative flow going – for a while summoning the spirit was about meditation then totally overwhelming my senses with crazy jazz and coffee while reading from my favourite site called Brainpickings.”

“We pick up again on this journey into the mind here. I’d been reading Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari and remember being really struck by his Orwellian prophecy that love would be unnecessary for cyborg humans of the future.
The synth arpeggio section was on endless loop for a few days, I got totally lost in it”

“I like the juxtaposition of the fancy-free shuffle groove with the lyrics which are basically about escaping the fear of climate meltdown by getting intoxicated and the ensuing guilt of feeling like you’re ignoring the crisis. It’s not just about getting drunk, but anything that we lose ourselves in to avoid confronting reality. We included a line about the absurdity of obsessing over streaming figures while our actual rivers and oceans are being polluted. The irony is that checking our Spotify stats is all we do at the moment!”

“This is the jam song on the record and our usual live set closer. This dates back to
a rehearsal jam in 2017. I started playing this weird rhythm on the kit and as soon
as I heard Martin’s guitar riff I grabbed my phone to record it. We used to write all
our songs that way. The synth sound felt like a real turning point for us towards
more dance elements. These were very spontaneous lyrics again, evoking a kind of
fundamental connection between people and nature.”

“Another song about the sanctuary of the early morning before facing the chaos of the world. There’s even a mangled Trump quote in there — “violence on both sides” — symbolic of the way these everyday horrors encroach on our peace. This is the album’s central conflict I think, between the bliss of withdrawing from the world and the need to confront the existential threats we face.”

(From Martin) “Head started off with the little drum machine beat and a few guitar parts but was condemned to the depths of my computer before Jonny helped bring it back to life. Lyrically it was a real mess at first. Basically just written to try get the song ready for a gig, but it ended up becoming about boozing/partying but that it leaves you feeling worse off (in more ways than one). I feel there’s something there about burying your head that fits in with the environmental message of the rest of the album.”

“This one was written by Michael C. Rea AKA Symbol Soup, who doesn’t play with the
live band now but is still very much a part of our collective. I went overboard on the harmonies. It was about trying to move away from just stacking on top of the lead
line and instead create contrapuntal sounds where different voices sing different
rhythms and melodies to create these interweaving webs. I’m always trying to get
closer to that Brian Wilson sound!”

“The interlude track sets up the last three songs. It’s kind of a play on the Beatles song, and like the closing song on the album is about a Buddhist meditation where you bring people to mind and wish them well – usually you start with yourself, then someone you really like, then someone more neutral and then someone you don’t like. I stopped drinking for nearly a year and started diving deep into all of these practices. Sometimes I’d try and meditate for two hours in a session — it was quite intense.’ ”

“This is the most direct song on the album about our ecological crisis. I was reading about indigenous protectors in the Amazon being killed as the Bolsonora government moved in to clear more land. The song is about the fundamental absurdity of chasing money at the expense of our life support system. It’s also about the hope of change. Last year a few of the band members were out protesting with Extinction Rebellion often playing with the samba band. It was an incredible feeling to be part of that community for a few weeks – you just start to lose all sense of your individual worries.”

“I remember listening to a podcast with a guy who claimed to have achieved enlightenment and he said one of the downsides was that emotions became so heightened afterwards that even seeing a moth flying towards a lamp became too
painful. I was reading a book about the mycelium networks between trees that allow
them to communicate, share resources, and protect each other. In this context a tree
in concrete with no friends seemed so sad. This song has quite a silly structure, there’s about 6 sections which repeat and a really strange key change.”

“This is the most experimental moment on the record but also I think the most groove-based. All the instruments in the verses are based on a rudiment pattern on the drum kit – I was trying to do a kind of Tony Allen linear thing with guitars and bass emphasising different parts of the groove. There’s a few polymetric moments on the record but this is the most out there – we’d been listening to Polygondwanaland by King Gizzard and also Your Queen Is A Reptile by Sons of Kemet. There are sections where the guitars are in 7/8 while the drums are in 4/4 – I think this chaos reflects the central theme of sending out unconditional love to all beings. I hope that we leave listeners with a positive uplifting message at the end.”

Thanks, Johnny for this revealing breakdown.
May the road rise with The Mighty Orchid King

Stream/buy album here…


Indie Rockers MUSH Released Highly Turbulent Debut Album – Discover Here ‘3D ROUTINE’ Track by Track…

19 February 2020

With their highly turbulent debut album called 3D ROUTINE Leeds furiously outspoken and electrical misfits MUSH show loud and clear that alternative guitar rock is vividly alive and angrily kicking. One moment they rage manically like dissonant legends Devo, then again they freak out like New York City‘s new wave innovators Television on speed, with clamourous frontman Dan Hyndman reminding me of infamous blank generation punk Richard Hell‘s fiery vox.

And their agitated, enraged and frenzied impetuosity fits their razor-sharp and biting political views perfectly well. In these troubled times we need engaged young wolves
like these hungry bohemians raising their worried voice supported by the necessary decibels to shake things up. Time to know more about this intensified and iron-cast
debut longplayer. Therefore, we invited the band to guide us through 3D ROUTINE,
track by track.

Welcome MUSH!

The songs

The track by track breakdown

1. Revising My Fee
“Felt right to have this one as the opener. It’s on the rawer/faster side of things, nice to chuck a couple of energetic ones in off the bat for a debut. It’s a bit politically minded but not as well considered as some others, more of a tangential moan about conditions. It’s packed with riffs and has a nice wig out at the end, it’s fairly representative.”

2. Eat the Etiquette
“I thought this one was the big hit, it’s pretty concise and has that repetition thing. To me, it sounds like pop music but actually ‘Revising’ took off a lot more. Thematically it’s a bit of an attack on the ‘common sense’ and maybe the centre ground. Apparently, it sounds like fast Devo, which I can live with.”

3. Existential Dread
“For about ten seconds this is the closest we ever got to sounding like the 60’s, then it goes all grunge and 90’s. Lyrically does what it says on the tin.”

4. Coronation Chicken
“Important point of the record for me. This is when is throws a curve ball and starts to go a little off the rails. Gets a bit groovier and different sounds introduced. It’s a bizarre track musically, very busy, backwards guitars snuck in at points. Song is about public scrutiny and toffs.”

5. Island Mentality
“Can’t be bothered to talk about the content of this track anymore and it doesn’t take much unpacking. Musically it was fun as we chucked a synth and a saxophone on.”

6. Fruits of The Happening
“Song’s about friends, addiction, inevitability of things. Nice change of pace on this one, some nice violins too.”

7. Hey Gammonhead

“Probably the most slacked out track on the record. Lyrics very silly and tongue in cheek. Found the term Gammon to be very amusing and articulate lot of things in a single word. Inevitable I would write a song about it.”

8. 3D Routine:
“Can’t articulate exactly what this means but it makes sense to me. More on the abstract side, kind of about the obscurity of day to day routine. Musically the most ambitious on the record all sorts of stuff going on.”

9. Gig Economy
“Recorded a new version which felt the right thing to do. Hopefully people like it as much. It has a new guitar solo and added tambourine courtesy of Phil. It’s about austerity and job security.”

10. Poverty Pornography
“Straight down the line punk tune. About representation and exploitation of the so called ‘underclass’ in the media.”

11. No Signal in the Paddock
“This song is about existing in an echo chamber. We lost our shit in the studio on this one and started doing some random Beck type keyboard sounds all over it. Time will tell if we regret it, even some auto tune antics.”

12. Alternative Facts
“The song that made us ha! Marc Riley played this on 6music when about five people had heard of us. Only felt right to stick it on the record. Had to go last due to the length. Songs a fairly known entity at this point but it’s a new version so hopefully people enjoy.”

Thank you guys for guiding us through 3D ROUTINE.
Mat the road rise with MUSH!

Album also on Spotify

You can listen and/or buy the album right here.

You want to know how they sound on stage? Check this razzle-dazzle footage…

MUSH: Facebook / band photo on top by Broth Tarn

Psych-Pop Act ELEPHANT STONE Released A New Gloomy Concept Album – Discover ‘HOLLOW’ Here Track By Track…

17 February 2020

Last Friday, on Valentine’s Day, Canadian psych-pop outfit ELEPHANT STONE – formed in 2008 – launched their sixth album, titled HOLLOW. An intriguing and fascinating concept lonplayer with an overall spellbinding and spiritual resonance despite the gloomy context of the LP, making me think of George Orwell‘s brilliant dystopian novel 1984 but npw with the social media as Big Brother. Mastermind, singer/songwriter, and renowned sitarist Rishi Dhir, worked, in between creating his own work, with legend Beck and cult bands such as The Brian Jonestown Massacre and he started recently new projects the Acid House Ragas and the wonderful MIEN, with members of The Horrors and The Black Angels.

About the new Elephant Stone record Dhir said: “I’m sure I’m not alone in this sentiment. If social media has taught us anything, it’s that there are a lot of unhappy people out there who are trying to find a way out. They are looking for meaning and something to believe in… or nothing to believe in. We all want the same thing but are trying to achieve it in different ways. With this in mind, we wrote and recorded this new album. I set forth writing a song-suite telling of a world of unhappy souls who have lost connection with each other.” He also revealed that he was inspired by The Who’s rock opera ‘Tommy’, Pretty Things’ fourth album ‘S.F. Sorrow’ and the second side of The Beatles’ classic ‘Abbey Road’ LP.

As a devoted Elephant Stone myself, having seen the band playing live several times,
it’s a great pleasure to have Rishi Dhir guiding us through Hollow track by track…

The songs

Here’s Rishi‘s track by track breakdown

1. Hollow World
“This was the trickiest song for the album as I knew it was to be the opener and I wanted to make sure it pulled the listener in. And it’s the beginning of the whole Hollow concept. I rewrote the track a few times before arriving on this version. I think having my 9-year old daughter sing on this really helped elevate the song.”

2. Darker Time, Darker Space
“I had a Pete Townshend-ish guitar riff lying around and messed around with some
weird vocals sounds with a Neu!-ish back beat. This is where things really start
going bad on earth…”

3. The Court and Jury
“This began with a sitar riff and was initially just an intro for Land of Dead. I decided to make it it’s own thing telling of the court system who decides who will leave for New Earth.”

4. Land of Dead
“Building on the same musical scale used in Court and Jury (bhairavi scale in G) I wrote
this riff on sitar as well. I injected with some Pretty Things/Sabbath stoner rock:) New earth is also dead.”

5. Keep the Light Alive

“The last of humanity arrives on new earth to find it devoid of life. The children ask the parents for guidance and support. I brought in my daughter and a couple of her friends
to sing. I love this song!”

6. We Cry for Harmonia
“The adults begin worshipping Harmonia (spaceship) as their god and saviour. They
lack skills for living in such a harsh climate. Musically, this song was an extension of
the choruses of Keep the Light Alive… I like the folky/Dylan-esque verses which then
go into an Everly Brothers-ish part and then into outer space.”

7. Harmonia
“This is the comedown/epilogue of side A. The last of humanity turn against their new god
Musically, amazing tabla performance by long time collaborator Shawn Mativetsky and my lovely wife Kirsty on backing vocals. I really like the middle 8 on these tunes.”

8. I See You
“This is one of the older songs writing for the album. Very proud of the middle 8 on
this one too… got this gothy vibe to it…”

9. The Clampdown

“Wrote this track on piano. Interesting fact: My piano was tune to 443hz rather than the standard 440hz. So, I had tuned all my other instruments to 443… was tedious but very rewarding in the end! Love Robbie’s guitar tones on this one.”

10. Fox on the Run
“Another older track from the album… the final version is built on a solo demo/jam I did
in my old studio in 2017. I couldn’t see how I’d be able to improve upon the demo, so just kept as is and layered tracks on top. A definite highlight of the album for me.”

11. House on Fire
My family had a fire at our house in late 2017 and then I went on tour supporting
the Dream Syndicate two days later. It was really hard on my wife and kids… this song
is pretty much me saying I’m sorry and that should’ve stayed home to help them.

12. A Way Home
An extension of the last song…. me returning home after leaving my family to fend for themselves… also ties in well with the album concept.

Thank you, Rishi for guiding us trough ‘HOLLOW’.
May the road rise with Elephant Stone!

Listen and/or buy HOLLOW right here.

ELEPHANT STONE: Facebook – Instagram

Erratic Combo ELEFANT Released Their New Sturm Und Drang Album – Discover ‘BEJAHUNG’ Track By Track

14 February 2020

After their gloom and doom debut album Konark Und Bonark, a nightmarish psycho opus remarkable for its both otherworldly and creepy metallic sludge disorder, Belgian erratic combo ELEFANT returns with the synthtastic motherrocker called BEHAJUNG.
A more accessible work, except for the schizophrenic and hair-raising moments which make me think of longtime weirdos The Residents. Anyway, the experimental misfits
have entered another bloodcurdling sound area with layers of special effects, some
steamy knockouts, some puzzling razzmatazz, and an overall arresting new Sturm Und Drang sonority of which, even after several spins, you still haven’t a clue how to define it. Therefore we invited Herr Wolllf, the band’s musical maestro to tell us more about their second electroshock longplayer.

The tracks…

The anecdotes by Herr Wolllf, track by track…

1. Ultra Plus Ultra
“This one was bound to be the first song of the album. Lyrically it’s about the heroic
deed of walking the dog…”

2. Rechtschreibe
“This one I wrote like in 10 minutes and I really love it. It’s pretty complex rhythmically and dissonant as fuck! The lyrics go back to Robert Frost‘s poem ‘Lodged’ showing humanity who’s in power.”

3. Eazy
“Eazy’ is balancing between Minor / Major, Happy / Sad, Annoying / Soothing.”

‘I will make you go, take a step forward
Let’s take you home, enjoy the walk
I will help you cope, take a step inward
and take you home, enjoy the walk’

4. Water Always Flows Down

“I’m a sucker for choir and vocal music. In Elefant most of the lyrics are pretty upbeat
(no irony) and here i’m trying to put stuff in perspective: humanity might have wandered off its path, but hey, water still flows down. We might destroy ourselves and everything around us, but atoms will survive!”

4. Stillleben
“This is one of my favourites! It’s not sexy. It’s too sad and too slow, but I love
the drama. The title is also the most beautiful word with ‘lll’ consecutive lll’s!”

5. Welcome To Life Sonny
“A fond welcome to my son Elko, the destroyer of death. Musically it turned
out to be our take on 80’s wave boom tchak-ing all the way through…”

6. Bejahung
“A Meeting with Death: Sit down, loosen up, have a cookie. The whole album deals with life/death in a direct or indirect way. Do you choose life or death? It’s got a great oriental vibe provided by our lord of oud: Dr. M. Flamand.”

7. The Dooor
“Tony Clifton in the house! I think in 2019 I was half Wolf, half Tony and this song reflect that. Soundwise to me, it’s Slayer performing in a Bollywood movie.”

8. 3-3-3
“This song was also sung by Tony. Musically, it was inspired by Mariachi music,
but it mutated to this thing called 3-3-3.”

9. A Conversation In A Room
“I needed a little pause before the last track and I remembered this canon.
It’s an invitation to a conversation if the occasion would arise.”

10. My Race Race is Better Than Your Race
“This one’s a bitch to play, but what a lovely squeaky bitch! It’s a reaction to the fear/propaganda that has been pumped in our veins by the press and politicians.”

close your doors for they are coming
close your borders, the water’s rising
close your eyes, the sun is shining
shine your light ’cause all are hiding

forget your rights for they are coming
sell your profile, the water’s rising
shut your voice, the sun is shining
buy a choice ’cause all are hiding

close your doors
close your eyes
they are coming
the sun is shining

Thank you Herr Wolllf to guide us through
Behajung! May the road rise with Elefant!

The album is available digitally via Bandcamp and iTunes, streamable via Spotify

ELEFANT: Facebook

One more thing. From day one the Elefant squad, on stage, dressed as deranged scientific engineers in white outfits and their faces smeared with white chalk, but that’s over now. The band burned their camouflage and look almost normal now.

Discover ‘IMPOSSIBLE JOURNEY OF MY SOUL TONIGHT’ The New Album By Wondrous Songstress LADY LAZARUS… Track by Track

23 October 2019

LADY LAZARUS is the solo project of California-based singer-songwriter Melissa Ann Sweat. A stirring and compelling artist with an alluring vox who released her first album Mantic back in 2011. And now here’s her fourth LP, titled ‘IMPOSSIBLE JOURNEY OF MY SOUL TONIGHT’. An intriguing and genuinely moving, cathartic work covering some of her darkest experiences and most profound emotions. All her heart-whole and soul-touching musings, mostly voice & piano, will make you silent as Lady Lazarus‘ intimate meditations have a universal, recognizable dimension most of us can relate to. Here’s the artist herself shining a light on all nine, bewitching tracks.

The music

The track by track guide

“This first track really set off the whole tone for the record and was the linchpin that started to bring all these songs together as a whole in my mind. It is the introduction to the “dark night of the soul” and is a song of empathy, holding space for, and relating to another’s deep pain. I truly feel that empathy, understanding, and compassion are going to become even more essential human currencies as we evolve, and we need these expressions of – what are essentially love – now in our world more than ever.”

“Unlike all the other songs on the record which came to me at the keyboard or piano,
this song came to me when I was waking up from a dream. The melody was right there, and all I did was stumble down to my keyboard and pluck it out. It’s a song about home, but moreso of not being able to go home again because it and you have changed so much… and you feel like a ghost driving the streets of your old town. I can’t help but
feel that way myself, though I’m sure many other wandering souls can relate.”

The wandering clip

“I wrote this song in Austin during a summer storm, and the lyrics recall a stormy relationship that reached a sudden culmination and breaking point, though the good times and the love we shared live on in memory. It’s wistful, romantic, but also grateful for experiencing this kind of love: “If I called you up / would it be enough / to accept my love?“. Haven’t we all wanted to call the one that got away and maybe say, thank you?”

Give A Little Bit” is my sexiest song on the record, in my humble opinion, and is meant to honor my post-breakup phase of re-exploring my sexuality and letting my appetite run wild. It’s also meant to encourage intimacy in myself and others, opening up to other people in meaningful ways, and not being afraid to show your truth and who you really are.”

“Conversely, this may be the sweetest song on the album. It’s inspired by one of my past partners and our relationship in which I truly felt unconditionally loved, perhaps for the first time in my life. I’m still searching for that “golden hearted” person again, but I’m grateful to have a lot of heart and hope.”

Golden heart in motion

“I’m really fond of the 60s/70s British folk feel of this song, and perhaps even evoking a time before that… there’s almost a chamber music quality to it, and the composition is very odd. After I wrote it, it reminded me of Fairport Convention‘s classic, “Who Know
Where The Time Goes
,” in its themes of time and how it so mysteriously passes in this life.
I, unfortunately, had several young, female friends and acquaintances pass away in the last few years before writing this song, and I feel I subconsciously wrote it in honor of them: “A rose is all that life shows / how it grows nobody knows / but when it goes, ohhh…

All Right” is the oldest song on the album, dating back to 2014 when I wrote it. I feel it has a timeless quality, and I’d like to think Tom Waits might enjoy the melody and singing and playing it sometime. Like many of mine, the song has some dark themes of feeling lost in life, but is meant to be a comfort and a kind of existential lullaby.”

“This more folky track played on upright piano contains my first swear word ever in
one of my songs… f*ck yeah! My grandfather was not so keen on it after I warned him,
but I personally felt very proud to see that explicit label on the album. This is a song about being fed up with emotional abuse, going out on your own, and embracing your new path, still with love and courage in your heart – and sometimes you just need to curse about all that.”

“The final song on the album is my version of what a soul sounds like after many lifetimes of reincarnation on this earth having finally broken the karmic bonds and liberated herself to freedom. Soul freedom. Kind of like what a rainbow would sound like bursting through the cosmic dark. The incredible sax played by my friend Tony Devincentis is the embodiment of that emancipated spirit, and it has brought me to tears of joy and relief upon many listens.”

Thank you Melissa Ann for guiding us through your
new album. May the road rise with Lady Lazarus!

is available on Bandcamp and iTunes
You can stream it also on Spotify

LADY LAZARUS: Facebook – Instagram – Website

Discover Impassioned Noise Trio DOWN THE LEES’ Steve Albini Recorded Album ‘BURY THE SUN’… Track By Track

1 October 2019

DOWN THE LEES is a red-hot-blooded Belgium based noise rock trio, led by impressive Canadian vox and guitarist Laura Lee Schultz. The band just released their tense and high-strung album, called ‘BURY THE SUN‘ recorded by Chicago‘s legendary noise expert Steve Albini. Here Albini shines because of the perfect way he gives space to Schultz’s voice, the prominent heroine of this striking record, and because of the flawlessly balanced way he surrounded the vocals with the scorching quiet/Loud/quiet power of guitar, bass, and drums. But, again, the poignant force in the middle, is Laura Lee Schultz. She not only wrote all the songs but gave them all a vivid soul and a beating heart with the powerful and arranging assistance of her great band. She will tell you more of all of her babies, right below, Track by Track

Here are the songs

Here’s Laura Lee

1. Bury the Sun
“This was the first song that was written for this album, so naturally it comes first. Also, it should be on top of the pile of immediate action. Climate action. It speaks of the climate crisis we are facing and how a lot of people are so blind to it. It makes me so sad and worried for our planet. “When will we wake up?” We may just wake up to nothing.”

2. A Cynical Age
“Have you ever noticed how many school shootings are happening? One is too many. “Amazing Machine, put your hands into the air, only 17”. I like that this upbeat tune turns dark and ominous on a dime. Which is what it must be like to be one of those kids. Going through your school day then all of sudden you “are hiding under tables in the library”.

3. Just a Kid
“When we started on this song, it was a poppy number. Then Kwinten laid his bass magic on it and it is now a stand out track. Imagine never knowing who your father was. Imagine having a mother who kept that information from you. Imagine having to live through a war. And now, imagine never being able to talk about it. “Do you even remember? Now
we all forget his name

4. War Torn
“Another song about war! It’s like there is a theme. And yes, this album has a theme. Death. A song about missing your loved ones who were lost in senseless acts. “I’ll make believe that you are here and not lost like all the daughters.”

5. Penny Straight
“The most energetic song on the album! We love playing this one live. A cheeky number about straight women breaking gay women’s hearts. Awww.”

6. We All Belong On This Surface

“We are in a very interesting and scary time right now. There are many people coming out from under their rocks, belittling and threatening the well-being of others. “God willing they say, killing all whose different” I know it sounds cliche but it’s so true, can’t we all just get along??!!! Ugh.”

7. Antiseptic Heart
“This song is about artists feeling vulnerable and trolls throwing negative, hurtful comments at them. We, as artists, have to have a thick skin, and sometimes, the skin
isn’t thick enough. Forcing them to quit making their art or worse, quit living. There is something inherently wrong with someone who takes pleasure in ripping someone
else’s livelihood apart. “It’s too late to eviscerate the tragically unkind.”

The video for ‘Antiseptic Heart’

8. Please Pain
People like to ridicule. The pleasure pain of being cruel.” Some people
get a kick or a high out of hurting people. I just don’t get that.”

9. Coda
“The album comes to an explosive end, which is how we like to end our shows.”

Thank you Laura Lee.
May the road rise with Down The Lees!

BURY THE SUN is available on Bandcamp

DOWN THE LEES: Facebook 

(promo photo on top via band)

Chicago’s Trio SHE RIDES TIGERS Tells You All About Their Debut Album ‘SCARS’ Track By Track…

14 June 2019

Chicago‘s SHE RIDES TIGERS describes themselves as a fuzz guitar riff-laden power-trio blurring the lines between psychedelic rock and power pop. They just released their debut album titled SCARS. A multifaceted work with changing tonality matching changing moods. From the lifelike human touch of ‘Scars Of Allegory’ to the jangly tension of ‘Should’ve Known Better’ and lots of other amplified sentiments in between to discover. Guitarist and vocalist Joe O’Leary will help us out and guide us through the record track-by-track…

Here are the songs

Here are the stories

1. Scars of Allegory
“This song started with some big open chords and a breakneck drum beat in a basement jam. It was originally going to be a hard-hitting punk song until I accidentally hit the ‘shimmer‘ effect on one of my pedals. Suddenly there were octaves and overtones that made the melody more sad and spacious. We were led to this melancholy feeling and the lyrics ended up being centered around the challenges we go through as individuals and within relationships, where each person takes on damage throughout their lifetime. That damage becomes a defining feature of who they are, so why not feel proud about showing our scars?”

2. Perfect Crimes
“This gigantic fuzz pedal riff landed with a thud during the first or second jam we had with our then new drummer, Ryan. It just felt like us, and the timing of where the riff and drum beat met had a lot to do with our collective obsession with Led Zeppelin. The lyrics were a cathartic exercise in acknowledging some past romantic relationships and then letting them go. This song was one of the first we wrote together and, to us, it serves as a stylistic transition between the EP ‘Standing On The Edge‘ and the new album.”

Led Zep: obsessional influence

3. Take a Bow
“We all have points in our lives where we know we weren’t at our best but we somehow achieved a kind of sloppy grace and kept going. There’s a 70’s glam feeling of debauchery in general, which we channeled with pride on this song. When you’re on a roll partying and sleeping around, it can become a spectacle to the people around you, almost as if you’re putting on a performance. This song explores the mentality of doing all the dirty things no matter who’s watching, and to drunkly yet charmingly take a bow for whomever catches the show.”

4. Heart Worth Breaking
“Here we are again with a song about relationships. It flips the idea of relationship aspirations on its head and explores the perspective of measuring the strength of your relationship with another person by way of finding out how deeply each person can break the other’s heart at any given moment. Sometimes the vulnerability we reveal when we open ourselves up to someone else can make it feel like a piece of ourselves is slipping away and being swallowed up by the other person with regards to the affection, lust, and self-disclosure that occurs.”

5. Out of My Mind
Ryan began warming up one night at Populist Studio, where we rehearse and write, and James [Scott, bass and vocals] and I both looked up as we heard this strange drum pattern he was absentmindedly doing. We both grabbed up our instruments and just started bashing away to it. That became the verse of the song. The melody inspired a sense of longing in me and chorus lyrics began to surface about the anxiety of leaving [and being] left behind. The verse lyrics are like a character (poorly, but charmingly) pitching the reasons why they shouldn’t be left behind while also revealing a general dissatisfaction with the average “work-eat-sleep 9–5″ lifestyle many of us feel trapped within. This is my favorite song to sing on the album, and my favorite guitar solo to play live at the moment.”

6. Something to Believe In
“We grew up playing punk shows in Midwest basements, garages and VFW’s in the 90s. Each band member carries an underlying punk ethos, and this song simply let that bubble to the surface without trying to dress it up in something clever. The lyrical theme follows suit with a nostalgic look into my punk rock past as a teenager and the simple reality that it was. It’s another song about being cool with where you came from and what shaped you, and letting it go so that it no longer has any hold on who you may grow into.”

7. No Way Out
“The MC5 will always be a source of inspiration to this band, just as much as desert rock bands like Queens of the Stone Age. Sonically, we smashed these two styles together and a song about the consequences of our actions took shape. It’s another one about glorious debauchery, where you do all the wrong things even though you know it’s wrong, and you just go down in a blaze of glory. We’ve all been there.”

MC5 forever

8. Should’ve Known Better
“This song poses a possible reality where the fanatical supporters of Donald Trump (and others like him) suddenly wake up and realize they were fooled. We didn’t want to make it sound angry, it’s quite fun to play. The instrumental section in the middle might be one of my favorite on the record.”

Thank you for the track-by-track breakdown, Joe.
May the road rise with SHE RIDES WITH TIGERS!


(Photos Led Zep & MC 5: AP Press / Getty)

Guitar/Synth Pop Brothers ALCABEAN Released Debut Album ‘CONFESSIONS’ – Explore It Track-By-Track…

20 March 2019

ALCABEAN is the musical vehicle of young Danish brothers Julius & Victor Schack.
They create melodious guitar synth pop colored with dreamy duet vocals that take
you to a blissful state of mind. They know pretty well how to write about daily life experiences and personal stories and wrap them neatly into modern-day tunefulness spiced with New Order and Tame Impala echoes. They just released their enraptured
debut album ‘CONFESSIONS’ and Julius & Victor will tell us all about it track by track…

Here’s the music

Here’s the track by track guide

“‘Athens‘ started out as a synth based song back when it was in its early demo form.
We really loved the vibe of the song and we decided to reconstruct it and record it on
our respective instruments. The synth bass line from the original demo also became the main bass line on the finished demo. We really kinda went nuts on this song and we didn’t care about the length of the track. We just wanted to create a song on our own terms.”

“We knew right away that confessions had to be the title track of the record. The lyrics and the vibe of the song really encapsulate what this record is about: the hardship of looking into your own fragile and yet egotistical psyche and realising you’ve become something that you never intended to be.”

“‘Tsukuyomi‘ was the first demo that we wrote for the album. ‘Tsukuyomi‘ is the song that opened us up to a new musical direction and from that song we kinda had a faint idea of how we wanted the album to sound and be aesthetical. This song actually started out really slow, as a downplayed almost acoustic demo. We then had the idea to speed it up, write a synth part and put an electric guitar on the song.”

” ‘Itchy Skin‘ is an amuse bouche on the album. Compared to other songs this was really easy to write. We gave ourselves a creative free-pass on this record and the song is a result of that. It stands out as a little different compared the other songs, yet it still fits the overall vibe of the album. This song was one of the least serious songs on the album and the solo at the end really embodies that. The slide solo was actually recorded with a small glass and not a guitar slide.”

“We have an ongoing joke in the band about this being the only proper rock song of the album. It’s probably the only song on the album based around a guitar riff, which is funny cause that used to be how we started writing most of our older songs. As Julius puts it: “I remember listening to Victor making the demo of the song and I really loved the riff. I asked Victor jokingly after hearing the riff “Are we now all of a sudden making Rock music again?”

“This is a pompous indie rock song about living a mediocre life and accepting that while still living in a society where mediocrity often is seen as failure and self-realisation as the
path to happiness.”

7. RED
Red‘ was probably the most fragmented of our demos when we started working on it.
We actually wrote the whole song before writing the lyrics. This gave us a chance to really write a story with narrative qualities to it. You follow the main character ‘Red’ who is feeling vulnerable and fragile and is trying to find solace in opening up to the people around him.”

Feel‘ was the first song we ever wrote 4-5 years back when we started. This song has been recorded and played live under every constellation the band has ever had. it was actually supposed to be on our EP ‘Head Down‘ but we just weren’t happy with the sound and feel of the song in that particular version. The song might be simple but it took us a long time to get it right, and luckily for the song we finally found a way to do it justice.”

“‘King The Queen‘ was reconstructed because we thought we could make it better. We
spent quite some time on this song trying to fuse the different elements of the record
into a song that had it all. The rhythm in the intro of the song was actually played on a
midi keyboard on the demo and our drummer tried to imitate it 1 to 1 when we recorded the album.”

“The magnum opus of the record. We never had a doubt in our mind that this should be the closing track of the album. This is the longest song we’ve ever made and probably one of the longest we will ever do. In the writing process, we knew we wanted something with an epic buildup that still left some room for its more fragile parts. We already have a feeling in the band that this is gonna be the best song from the album to play live.”

Brothers in arms

ALCABEAN: Facebook – ‘Confessions’ on iTunes

GIOELE VALENTI Aka HERSELF Leads Us Through His New Majestic Album ‘RIGEL PLAYGROUND’ – Track By Track…

19 October 2018

HERSELF is the moniker of Italian multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter Gioele Valenti, who’s also making psychedelic waves with his terrific Juju project. Today sees the release of his new magnificent Herself LP entitled RIGEL PLAYGROUND. An intimate and delicate record with profound reflections and gripping reveries about different puzzling aspects of mankind, about the meaning of life, about schizophrenia and karma and with one magical Mercury Rev touch. Music that warms your heart and thoughts that enlighten your soul. Of course, the only person who knows all the details about this glowing work of sonic humanity is the author himself. Gioele Valenti will reveal anecdotes and stories about all the songs, right here, track by track…

Here’s the music
Here are the anecdotes & stories

“A song I would call naive. Very strange and intimate. It’s a metaphor. We are permanently driven by our brain. But our mind, is it really our property? I think we live controlled by others, constantly. “They made me run in circle in my brain“, says the song. Christianity and all religions put an alien in ourselves. Schizophrenia is the rule.

“It’s like a lamentation or, if you prefer, a prayer… humans are a particular kind of animal. We can roll ourselves in the mud, but with good roots planted, we can take a leap in the light. This aspect of things is very interesting to me. From Jewish Qabbalah to Buddhist asceticism, the debate between matter and spirit, light and shadow is substantial. The barking of a dog, as the howling of the wolf to the moon, expresses at best an existence
in balance between nostalgia and unknown.”

“Very pop(py). I think about John Lennon, when I hear that song. The light that keeps on shining at the highest level, when you’re in a deep well. It’s about karma rule: “So at last,
all the things you gave turn back”.

“Folk, traditional, with a bit of wave underneath the skin. Phil Oach? Donovan?
I don’t know. Played in a wood.”

When I wrote this song I immediately thought about Mercury Rev and their incredible vox, Jonathan Donahue. A true poet and a magician. So I asked him to collaborate. He liked the song very much. (He. Said. Yes.). For me, it’s a miracle. Mercury Rev it’s the best band ever for me. That song is the reason I’m gonna be touring with them, so you can understand what that song means for me.

“It’s the song I wrote for all the victims of the Bataclan tragedy in Paris 2015.”

“A childhood song. Purity, clarity, softness, with a T-Rex sauce.”

T-Rex nostalgia

Thank you Gioele Valenti for the intriguing info.
May the road rise with HERSELF!

Album available here on iTunes

(photo by TUTV!)