Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Angel Eyes - Something to Do With Death

Angel Eyes is a tight ambient/metal/post-whatever group from Chicago -- I came across their 2005 album, "Something to Do With Death" indirectly through one of the band member's blogs (told yaz' these are good for something) back in the day, thought I would share the pie.

The album, taken from a line in Once Upon A Time in the West (upgrade your grey-matter, not your snobbery), is a thunderous four-song wall of builds and tear-downs, with excellently placed samples throughout the album. Really dig the grainy production on this album too, really suits their sound...the drums/vocals especially seem to really hit. The last track/title track is probably the standout for me, shit is just a crushing song.

But yeah, def recommend checking this out and keeping an eye out for their next upcoming full-length (which shouldn't be far off).

Something to Do With Death
mind the graves

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Voice of the Seven Woods

Voice of the Seven Woods is a folk/psych/world project of Manchester's Rick Tomlinson, known for his extensive festival performances and plethora of 7" releases. His eponymous debut album in 2007 is a collection of eclectic guitar/percussion, switching between a number of stringed instruments (sitar, acoustic/electric guitar, lute, etc) to capture his broad influence of folk/krautrock to Turkish/middle-eastern psych.

This album is a diverse sprawl of sounds, I always come back to it for tracks like, "The Fire in My Head" or the one of two songs with vocals, "Silver Morning Branches"...

A new album should be surfacing soon, with live shows functioning as a trio (Chris Walmsley on drums, Pete Hedley on bass).

Voice of the Seven Woods
mind the graves

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Velvet Teen

The Velvet Teen are a diverse electronic/alt/rock group from California, whose style has shifted with every release. Originally formed as a side project of Judah Nagler and Logan Whitehurst, the band currently stands as a four-piece, with the unfortunate passing of founding member Logan Whitehurst to cancer.

This is one of those rare bands whose material sounds individual and unique with each release, making for a solid catalog of material...their second full-length, '
Elysium', for example, did-away with guitars completely, opting instead for strings/pianos as the forefront of their sound. Their earliest material was more electronic in nature (if you enjoy these posted, def track down their EPs), with a return to that style on their follow-up 3rd album, 'Cum Laude!' -- the difference being that all of the vocals are sung with vocal distortion/effects, with a quircky/progressive flow to their songs.

Highly recommend giving these a chance; both of these albums are highly-played in my library, the latter of the two being one of the most creative and unique albums I've heard -- if the vocal-stylings don't hit initially, I guarantee they'll stick upon repeated listens.

I'd also mention their new drummer (after the departure of Whitehurst) is highly overlooked -- dude has some amazing yet subtle chops that really separates '
Cum Laude!' from other electro/rock albums...just listen to "Tokyoto" below for an example...

And as an ode to Whitehurst, check out the song "Penning The Pennultimate" from their first release/EP, 'Comasynthesis', the only song he did solo vocals for. RIP, sir.



Cum Laude!
mind the graves

Monday, March 23, 2009

Ahleuchatistas - What You Will

Yo, lessMTV cribs -- this where the magic happens

Ahleauchatistas? Cwon you please use it-enna' sentence?"

Yes --
Ahleu-cha-tistas(?) ; .....

Ahleauchatistas are a solid math-rock/jazz-influenced kind-of group from the US, known for lots of tempo changes, tight drums...the works.
Personally, was feelin' their 2005 'What You Will' album these past few days, really recommend checking it out and more of their discography...'Ahleauchatistas'."

What You Will
mind the graves

Monday, March 16, 2009

This Heat - Deceit

This Heat were a British experimental/noise-rock hybrid formed in 1975, who only released two-albums in their career. Their final album, 'Deceit', is often described as a middle-ground of prog-rock and post-punk, but I'd just say they sounded like dudes influenced by Can and Throbbing Gristle (and they were), determined to carve out their own unique sound with a patch-work of different styles...plus when the album's producer is a noted reggae producer, you know you'll pick up unique vibes.

The vocals especially can seem grating to the music sometimes, but upon repeat listens, they're just another part of what makes This Heat so unique -- going back to '
Deceit' always makes me feel like the album was so ahead of its time, and even today sounds completely untapped and fresh. Weird comparison for those familiar, but this album reminds me of what Battles were going for on their early EP's...

To the generalization that music sucked in the '80's, I present This Heat.

Deceit (1981)
mind the graves

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Last Emperor - Music, Magic, Myth

The Last Emperor is the moniker of Philly-native Jamal Gray, a college-graduate who quickly took hold in the hip-hop scene by engaging in open mic nights -- word of mouth traveled quickly, earning Emp a guest-verse on the song "C.I.A." with KRS-ONE & Zach De La Rocha. His good fortune continued to climb; hip-hop mogul Dr. Dre momentarily took Emp under his wing, but due to certain circumstances, didn't fly far (which Emp recounts on the song, "Hold On").

After a few more record-label mishaps, Gray co-started his own label with his brother, distributed through Raptivism, finally green-lighting his 2003 debut-album, '
Music, Magic, Myth'.

The album intro describes the current state of affairs, specifically, the dominance of wack-MC's running rampant throughout the world, to which Emp answers the call to take the power back (Zach De La Rocha not included).

Really chill album that still shows its fangs when appropriate -- and Emp's lyricism and voice really grow on you (
you being the universal me). There's a few tracks I didn't feel as much, but some tracks are essential hip-hop ("Animalistics", "Karma", "Tiger Trail")...for his debut album, Emp proved he's up-to-snuff, and not some literate back-packer wanting to hear his own voice.

Another full-length should be surfacing this year, '
Wizard's Wardrobe'.

Music, Magic, Myth
mind the graves

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Tuna Laguna

Tuna Laguna are a fresh-sounding crew out of Norway, who play a hybrid of post-rock/alternative/experimental tones. But as the band states, "Labels are for jam jars". Good call, fellas.
Anyways, their 2007 album '
Ripples & Swells' is still in rotation with me, alongside their 2004 free-download 'It's a Fudge' EP.

The band focuses on "immediate, catchy and groovy tunes", and sure enough
, they succeed. My favorite track is easily "Arrival of the Rhino" -- cuz' when you hear that bass, you'll know the beast is coming.

Really smooth stuff, currently working on their new material, too...keep your ears open & your eyes peeled,
or else you'll be FUNKAY.

It's A Fudge

Ripples And Swells
mind the graves

This City Sunrise Sings In Unison

New EP from This City Sunrise, vox/guitar-player Alex was nice enough to send me their new stuff -- same thumpin' energy as the prior EP but tighter sounds and production. Especially dug the last two tracks (and the first)...give it a listen and show support.

1. Weird Concrete Building (4:08)
2. Pretty Much... (3:52)
3. Hansel & Gretel (3:51)
4. Duke Nukem Forever (3:05)
5. You've Got To Be Fuckin' Kidding (4:10)

This City Sunrise Sings In Unison
mind the graves

Monday, March 9, 2009

Ephel Duath

Tolkien would be proud yet again

So I was thinkin' of something to upload for you waves, when I heard Ephel Duath come on last night...

Ephel Duath is an Italian metal/experimental group that started as a two-piece, but forming member Davide Tiso enlisted more members for their 2003 full length, '
The Painter's Palette', and their 2005 album, 'Pain Necessary To Know'. Since then, the band has undergone a few lineup changes, and now function as a trio...

Really inventive stuff -- each musician brings their own sound to the table enriching the overall product, despite all the off-the-walls dynamics. It's rare to be able to follow each musician and absorb something different each listen, yet still maintain a great collective sound.

Top-notch stuff, crazy mix of punk-rock/jazz-fusion/metal...the band recently released '
Through My Dog's Eyes' in January, and I myself need a late slip, so be sure to check that out (Ben Weinman from Dillinger does electronics on "Bark Loud")...

The Painter's Palette

Pain Necessary To Know
mind the graves

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Demon Fuzz - Afreaka!

Basically the only existing photo of the group

'Afreaka!' was the only album released by Demon Fuzz (they apparently have another called 'Roots & Offshoots', but I can't find anything about it past last.fm) -- an Afro-Latin funk/breakbeat/jazz-fusion 7-piece from the UK. The group received little to no attention in their 18-month span, even in the underground British festival-scene, and only now/the past decade have they received attention from various club DJ's/artists sampling their work.

I go back to this album all the time, it incorporates so many styles seamlessly and sounds fresh each listen -- solid production, tight musicianship -- the works. The album features some cover-songs (which I think were bonuses on the re-issue), like the R&B staple "Mercy", but I always come back for their originals like "Disillusioned" -- a tight bass line, tasteful/complimentary keys, with spot-on vocals and flow.

Really great album, give it a chance if unfamiliar.

Afreaka! (1970)
mind the graves

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Maed - Untouchable Stories

Maed is the nujazz/trip-hop work of Poland's Michal Lewicki, I've been digging his '08 album, 'Untouchable Stories'. Maed starts many tracks with a sample that sets the tone for the rest of the song -- usually in the form of jazzy/downtempo beats. This doesn't mean Maed's work is predictable; some songs could be the rain on your window or the storm just ahead -- whatever the case, the album flows nicely with enough surprises to keep your attention, but isn't so demanding as to not let you unwind.

It's alright to chill, just
don't sleep -- put those free ears to use.

Untouchable Stories
mind the graves