Posts Tagged ‘Sonic Cathedral’

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The Vacant Lots “Night Nurse” taken from the Endless Night LP .Our debut album Departure out July 1 via Sonic Cathedral & mixed by Sonic Boom, The key element of The Vacant Lots’ minimalist, primitive rock’n’roll songs is their boundless energy, which tears up the psych template with a genuine punk spirit.

Spectres‘ second album, “Condition”, is said to be louder and more abrasive than their loud and abrasive debut “Dying”. What it actually is, is astonishing.

Over nine tracks, Joe Hatt, Adrian Dutt, Darren Frost and Andy Came are just brilliant at everything. I list them by name because this record works so well because they work so well. Dutt and Hatt are the guitar torturers. Their parts often clash with each other (as on opening track The Beginning Of An End) but they can also slam into all-out attack together (Rubber Plant). Like Sonic Youth, they can do harsh noise and ambient noise. Their guitars can sound like drills, power tools, elephants, anything. As well as Sonic Youth they also remind me of William Reid on the more insane parts of Honey’s Dead and Keith Dobson of World Domination Enterprises.

However, the unsung heroes of the show are Darren Frost on bass and Andy Came on drums. As with Loop, it is really the rhythm section that lifts the band above their contemporaries. They are particularly good on Dissolve and Coping Mechanism, where they start out Motorik and end up slamming away at an insane waltz that then abruptly stops. And when an all-out guitar assault breaks out during Neck, the rhythm section keep it all together. Hatt and Frost’s vocals are interesting throughout and stop Condition from just being a noise album, there are songs here and arrangements. Hatt and Frost often sing totally unrelated lines at the same time or break into call-and-response.

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When The Telescopes’ Hidden Fields came out in 2015, I felt that I had been waiting decades for someone to make that album. I have only had to wait about 18 months for the next album that made me feel the same way. Finally there is a band that has taken what Sonic Youth did with guitars and run with it. Not only that, as with Sonic Youth and Loop, they also have the kind of rhythm section that really lifts a band. Excuse my language, but Condition is an absolute motherfucker of an album. Anyone who still believes that new sounds can be drawn out of guitars and that loving noise doesn’t mean hating melody or structure should be all over this like a hungry octopus.

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Spectres release their second album ‘Condition’ via Sonic Cathedral on March 10th. The follow-up to their acclaimed 2015 debut, ‘Dying’, it was recorded by Dominic Mitchison in the band’s adopted home city of Bristol and mastered by Frank Arkwright (Mogwai, 65daysofstatic) at Abbey Road Studios in London.

‘Condition’ is louder and more abrasive than their debut, but also a real progression. It sounds huge and adds a genuinely innovative and confrontational edge, partly inspired by last year’s remix album, ‘Dead’, which saw everyone from Factory Floor to Richard Fearless instructed to “kill” the songs from ‘Dying’.

“There were discussions about experimenting with electronics, but the idea soon petered out when we realised we still wanted to experiment with guitars,” reveals singer and guitarist Joe Hatt. It’s true that a track such as ‘End Waltz’ has a relentlessly pounding, almost techno structure, in contrast to the kinetosis inducing dirge of ‘Dissolve’ – the first single from the album which appeared as an edible tablet download with a suitably stomach-churning video to match late last year. Elsewhere the almost restrained (by Spectres’ standards) white noise and wordplay of ‘A Fish Called Wanda’ and the sprawling ‘Colour Me Out’ are counterbalanced by brutal assaults such as ‘Neck’ and ‘Welcoming The Flowers’, which keeps threatening to drown itself in its own roiling diamond sea.

“On this album we became even less interested in actually playing guitar,” explains Hatt, “which meant that we got more into experimenting with the sounds we could get out of them when brutalising them and letting the feedback do the talking.”

‘Dissolve’ is the first single from Spectres’ new album, ‘Condition’, due out on March 10th, 2017

Spectres were formed in Barnstaple, North Devon in 2011. After moving to Bristol a couple years later they self-released a few EPs and singles on their own Howling Owl label, before joining forces with Sonic Cathedral for 2015’s ‘Dying’, their incendiary debut that they promised would “snap people out of their comfort zones. We want our noise to smack the spoon out of their mouths that is feeding them the warm diarrhoea that is served by start-up PR companies”. With the resulting largely positive coverage everywhere, The Times and The Guardian to BBC Radio 1 – not to mention people fleeing their gigs, hands pressed tightly over bleeding ears – would suggest they went some way to achieving this aim.

“We’ve managed to get way further than we ever should have considering the music – and enemies – we make,” admits singer and guitarist Joe Hatt, “so now it’s just a question of enjoying things until the van finally breaks down and we can’t afford to get it fixed again. We’ve all somehow still got the same jobs as two years ago, we still rehearse and record in the same spaces, we write music in the exact same way, so even though things have grown in terms of gigs and our audience, we are still the same horrible lot. Lack of success will never change us.”

(Please note: we have sold out of our allocation of limited-edition cream vinyl already, but it might still be available from Rough Trade, Piccadilly, Norman, Resident, Drift, South, Recordstore.co.uk, Rise and other independent retailers)

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Not all Psych is good Psych. But Like gluttons we’re feasting on a bounty of Psychedelic platters of recent months. .

Just as well for The Early Years then, who rather than waiting for a gap in the market, have returned 10 years after their debut with an album rife with prime, tender Psych. What differentiates this from other Psych is that it’s really, really, really good . Following the long-awaited release of The Early Years‘II’ .

The Early Years’ was released on November 11th as a limited-edition pressing of just 300 copies on transparent orange wax. It’s a brand new vinyl cut by Noel Summerville, who has previously worked on a number of My Bloody Valentine and Warp archive reissues.

Initial orders from Sonic Cathedral will come with a bonus CD replica of the band’s first demo, which they sent to us in 2005 and contains early versions of ‘All Ones And Zeros’, ‘Things’ and ‘High Times And Low Lives’.

‘The Early Years’ was originally released on Beggars Banquet on September 25, 2006 and includes the singles ‘All Ones And Zeros’ and ‘So Far Gone’. It also features the live staple ‘Simple Solution’, which closed the band’s incendiary set at Liverpool International Festival Of Psychedelia last september. On its release, it received glowing reviews from the likes of NME, Uncut, The Fly (RIP), The Independent (RIP) We think it’s an underrated classic that will appeal to fans of ‘Sowiesoso’ and Spiritualized alike. It also comes with the seal of approval of Brian Eno, The Horrors and Damo Suzuki, among others, and we are incredibly proud to be making it available on vinyl for the first time in a decade.

 

Mexican duo Lorelle Meets The Obsolete return with their fourth album, ‘Balance’, which was released in September via Captcha Records and Sonic Cathedral. ‘Balance’ was recorded by the band at their home studio, before being mixed by Cooper Crain (Cave, Bitchin Bajas) at MINBAL in Chicago and mastered in Melbourne by Mikey Young (Total Control, Eddy Current Suppression Ring).

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The title track and opener blows away the layers of dusty psych from 2014’s ‘Chambers’, the duo’s previous album, to reveal a sparse and spare sound, embellished with new wave keyboards that wouldn’t sound out of place on one of the early Magazine albums; ‘The Sound Of All Things’ is a mini-epic, opening with a two-and-a-half-minute soundscape, before roaring into life; ‘La Distinción’ is a driving drone-rocker, not dissimilar to ‘What’s Holding You?’ but with the addition of a surprisingly soulful chorus. Lorelle Meets The Obsolete count Robert Smith, Mani and Sonic Boom among their fans, but the most enthusiastic is Henry Rollins. Here’s what he said about ‘Balance’: “It lives up to its name by achieving a balance between fuzz and clarity, nuance and throttle. The mix, which is incredible, utilises the brilliance of the component parts of each song, with a subtlety and dexterity that is not nearly as frequent in the albums that came before. It feels more like there was such an accumulation of captured dreams and their interpretation, that eventually it filled an album.”

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SPECTRES – DEAD
Spectres release their new album, ‘Dead’, on Sonic Cathedral, and it sees the songs from the Bristol band’s hugely acclaimed debut ‘Dying’ nailed to the cross by Mogwai, Factory Floor, Hookworms, Richard Fearless (Death In Vegas), Andy Bell (Ride), Robert Hampson (Loop) and many more. The only instruction was “kill our songs”, and so here are the remains, served up on two mortuary slabs of vinyl (and CD and download) as a stunning, 13-track album that builds on the original’s feeling of claustrophobia and dread, but recasts it across everything from brutal techno (Blood Music’s ‘This Purgatory’) to New Order-meets-Animal Collective euphoria (Andy Bell’s ‘Sea Of Trees’). It’s an occasionally punishing, but always rewarding listen that begins somewhere in the depths of a K-hole, courtesy of Vision Fortune’s ‘Drag’, and ends somewhere rather beautiful, with the celestial synths of Mogwai’s ‘This Purgatory’. (It’s worth noting that Mogwai’s classic ‘Kicking A Dead Pig’ was a big inspiration here.) “We see Spectres as something that can work in a variety of contexts,” says frontman Joe Hatt, as he explains the motivation behind ‘Dead’. “Our musical interests spread out in different angles and we are always thinking of ways for what we do to evolve and mutate. We put together a list of artists who we admired, and thought would deliver a varied and eclectic mix. Some were close friends who are conveniently making some of the best music around, and others were pipe dreams that we thought would never happen. It was both nerve-wracking and fun waiting for each of the artists’ versions to arrive in our inbox, and some definitely surprised us; but none disappointed.” ‘Dead’ serves as an important reminder of what a special band Spectres are, something that can be easy to forget with their anti-industry stance and extra-curricular activities often grabbing the headlines more than their music (“We’ve always been like this, and we won’t cease,” threatens Hatt).

BOB MOULD  – PATCH THE SKY
Bob Mould returns with his next solo album titled ‘Patch the Sky’ via Merge Records. It is both his darkest and catchiest work. While written in solitude, Mould is backed on the record by longtime drummer Jon Wurster (Superchunk, Mountain Goats) and bassist Jason Narducy (Split Single). The first side of the LP is simple and catchy whilst he back-half of the record heavier in spirit and tone.
CD – Digipak (blue foil) plus poster insert.
LP – Standard black vinyl LP in Blue foil sleeve with full album download coupon.
LP+ – Lmited Clear coloured vinyl LP in Blue foil sleeve with full album download coupon.

WHITE DENIM – STIFF
A return to the fiery cauldron of ‘Fits’ for the new look White Denim, stuffed with sprung-steel riffs, quicksilver solos and scudding swamp boogie. Plus a couple of cool R&B interludes from James Petralli’s inner soul man. ‘Stiff’ is White Denim’s sixth record and they teamed up with the legendary Ethan Johns (Paul McCartney, Laura Marling, The Staves) to produce their first truly live record.
LP – 140 Gram Vinyl housed in Gatefold Sleeve with CD Version.
CD – Digipack.

BABEHEAVEN  –  HEAVEN / FRIDAY SKY
Limited 7″ and tipped. West-London five-piece Babeheaven release their beautiful debut single ‘Heaven’ through Handsome Dad / B3SCI. Currently on tour with BBC Sound Poll nominee Loyle Carner, the band have already opened for Liss, supported Formation around the UK and kicked off the year playing DIY’s ‘Hello 2016’ shows at The Old Blue Last. Babeheaven were born out of a long-standing friendship between singer Nancy and guitarist Jamie, who started spending time together in earnest whilst working on the same street in Ladbroke Grove (she in her grandmother’s antique shop, and he in a soul-destroying stint at an organic farm store). Musically, Babeheaven’s tastes were similarly neighbouring: bonding over a love of trip-hop, soul and ethereal electronics (everything from Portishead and James Blake to Stevie Wonder), a typical evening spent hanging out turned into an attempt to write a song together. Their tribute to Domino’s Pizza may never see the light of day, but in finding drummer Harry, keyboard / guitarist Milo and bassist Hugo, the foundations of Babeheaven were formed instead. Debut single ‘Heaven’ is a gentle but insistent introduction, blending hazy guitars, atmospheric synths and flashes of local colour (from the steel pans to nu-soul vocal) into broader emotional resonance. Lyrically, the track was at first inspired by Nancy’s Mum – who passed away when she was young – and the different meanings heaven has for different people: it’s since evolved, say the band, into something “about the front you put up and break down in front of people, and how things might’ve been different with someone else around.”

YUCK – STRANGER THINGS
Since their 2011 self-titled debut LP much has been written about the influence of 1990’s alternative rock on Yuck – the bands Dinosaur Jr. and Sonic Youth have been invoked repeatedly on music sites and in print publications across the world. On their third studio LP, ‘Stranger Things’, the young London based quartet make it clear that they have come into their own. The 11 tracks on ‘Stranger Things’ effortlessly wrap the divergent influences of Fifties Rock n Roll, Sixties Psychedelia, Seventies Supergroup Ballads, and Dark Eighties Pop, in the warm fuzzy blanket of harmonic distortion they are known for – and to masterful effect. ‘Stranger Things’ make the case that Yuck is now operating, not under the influence of, but in the very echelon of these bands of old they have long been noted as being descendants of.
CD – Digipack.
LP – Limited White Vinyl Version with Download.

KIRAN LEONARD – GRAPEFRUIT
20 year old Kiran Leonard releases his debut album, ‘Grapefruit’ on Moshi Moshi “A boy, in his attempt to gain an elusive masculine identification, often comes to define this masculinity largely in negative terms, as that which is not feminine or involved with women. There is an internal and external aspect to this. Internally, the boy tries to reject his mother and deny his attachment to her and the strong dependence upon her that he still feels. He also tries to deny the deep personal identification with her that he has developed during his early years. He does this by repressing whatever he takes to be feminine inside himself, and, importantly, by denigrating and devaluing whatever he considers to be feminine in the outside world.”
2LP – Double LP With Download.

THE COSMIC DEAD – RAINBOWHEAD
The Cosmic Dead return with their first full length album since 2014’s Easterfaust. For the uninitiated The Cosmic Dead are a quartet from Glasgow, Scotland, making some of the best raging freak out psych right now. ‘Rainbowhead’ is a brand new LP, featuring four tracks of spaced out, heavy psych formed from insane chugging bass, trippy synth blasts, krautrock infused metallic guitar riffin’ and furious cascading drum cycles. The band’s constant positive vibes have led to them touring all over the UK and Europe, playing the prestigious Liverpool Psych Fest and the band are due to play Psycho Festival in Las Vegas in August alongside Sleep, Candlemass, Yob, Mudhoney, Death and more. ‘Rainbowhead’ follows records on Cardinal Fuzz, Evil Hoodoo, Who Do You Trust?, Sound of Cobra and some of the best underground labels around.

THE JOY FORMIDABLE – HITCH
The Joy Formidable release their third album, ‘Hitch’. The follow up to 2013’s ‘Wolf’s Law’ is released through the Welsh trio’s own label C’Mon Lets Drift. ‘Hitch’ was self-produced by the band, and mixed by the legendary Alan Moulder. The new release showcases the evolution of the trio’s sound and musicianship. The commanding guitar and lead vocals of Ritzy Bryan coupled with bassist Rhydian Davies and the stalwart stylings of drummer Matt Thomas perfectly align on the band’s latest endeavor. From the atmospheric, Twin Peaks murk of ‘The Gift’ to the woozy rush of ‘Running Hands With the Night’, ‘Hitch’ is an album that fizzes with thrilling self assurance.
CD – Digipack.
2LP – 180 gram LP Set.

SPRING KING  –  RECTIFIER

Limited Red Vinyl 7″. Manchester garage-poppers Spring King release ‘Rectifier’, a brand new single and the band’s first since signing to Island Records. Jumpy and fidgety as ever, it’s a track that sees the group up the ante on that early promise. Pairing shifty atmospherics with their frenetic pace, it’s a promising hint at their debut album.

Under The Arches March

On the 5th of March Fuzz Club are kicking off Under The Arches, a new monthly record label market and live music event showcasing the best of the global psych scene. Held in the railway arches of London Fields Brewhouse, the event promises to be a mecca for lovers of independent music, as it brings together an incredible selection of labels from the US, UK and Europe in a collaborative celebration of the music we love.

To take us into the evening there will be a monthly selection of the most exciting local and touring bands playing such as The Underground Youth, Electric Eye, Younghusband, Gum Takes Tooth, 10,000 Russos, Josefin Ohrn + The Liberation, Chicos de Nazca, The Third Sound and some big hitters to be announced very soon.

To top it off we’ll keep the crowds sated with street food and free craft beer tastings and tutorials.

Entry to the label market is free and tickets to see the bands are £10-£12. For March’s event both rounds of early bird tickets are long gone, but there are still some GA tickets available here. Make sure you like the Under The Arches Facebook page to be kept in the loop with all the sweet stuff we’ve got planned.

Here are the labels joining us on the day and some of the special vinyl they’ll be packing for the occasion:
Captured Tracks

NY label Captured Tracks was born in 2008 by indie-label overlord Mike Sniper. Boasting a roster that includes DIIV, Beach Fossils, Wild Nothing, Mac Demarco and loads more you can be sure that CT will bring a top shelf selection of vinyl.

Mexican Summer

Also founded in Brooklyn, NY in 2008 we’re really excited to have Mexican Summer bringing some of their extensive discography. They’ve released over 100 records across multiple formats – including releases from Best Coast, Ariel Pink, No Joy and Real Estate to name a few. They’ll be bringing the first vinyl editions of Boston racket makers Quilt’s forthcoming album Plaza on limited edition ultra clear vinyl.

Fire Records

Fire Records is a London indie stalwart. In it’s early days it released music from Spacemen 3, Pulp, Teenage Fanclub and The Lemonheads, and more recently they have Guided by Voices, Giant Sand and Surf City on the roster. They’ve also got a secret guest playing the first Under The Arches who you’re not going to want to miss.

Rocket Recordings

Rocket Recordings have been dishing out some of the best in psych since 1998. Their roster includes Goat, Ngod, White Hills, Teeth of The Sea and loads more. They’ve promised they’re going to be bring some exclusives to Under The Arches and we can expect “the odd Rocket band or two performing live” so get excited.

Fuzz Club Records

We’ll be celebrating the release of The Underground Youth’s Mademoiselle with its first much-deserved vinyl pressing, and re-releases of Haunted and The Perfect Enemy For God. We’ll also be holding stock of our highly anticipated new Black Editions, limited to 10 per release. It will also be your chance to pick up the first copies of some of our releases due out much later in March and April.

Hands in the Dark Records

Born in Desancan, France and London, Hands in the Dark have released music for The Oscillation, Housewives, Bitchin Bajas and more. On March 5th they’ll be selling an exclusive pre-release run of The Oscillation’s new album Monographic, so it’ll be your chance to pick it up a couple of weeks before official release. Available in both black (600 copies) and white (400 copies) vinyl.

Sonic Cathedral

Sonic Cathedral is a London based record label specialising in all things noisy, they’ve put out records for Younghusband, The Vacant Lots, Spectres and many more of the bands we love.

Slovenly Recordings

Hailing from Reno, Nevada, Slovenly Recordings are one of the best outputs for garage, psych and punk, with an impressive roster including Acid Baby Jesus, Thee OP’s, Los Vigilantes, Subsonics and more. They have a tonne of new releases in Feb and March which they’ll be selling at the market, including new vinyl from Useless Eaters, Scraper, Wet Ones, Choke Chains, Bazooka, Avenue Z, Red Mass, Andy California, The Dirtiest, Ton Ton Macoutes… and more!

Fluffer Records

Formed in Whitechapel in 2013, Fluffer Records are penchants for fuzz, releasing music from Virgin Kids and Sewer Rats, and are huge supporters of the London underground scene.

Sideman Records

Sideman Records in a side venture of Captured Tracks’ Mike Sniper. Holding a vast catalogue of rare, vintage and obscure used vinyl, they’ll be curating a selection of vintage Americana gems rarely seen by a London audience.

1-2-3-4 Records

Born in Shoreditch, London 1-2-3-4 Records show a love for the LOUD, with a tight but great quality roster including the legendary Buzzcocks, Arrows of Love and Love Buzzard.

Software Recording Company

Software Recording Company is an electronic record label whose roster includes Thug Entrancer, Co La, Ben Zimmerman and Suicideyear.

Anthology Recordings

Anthology Recordings was born in 2004 as a reissue imprint releasing rare obscure vinyl ranging from all corners of music such as surf, psych and dub.

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The Bristol-based four-piece are the loudest, most abrasive band on Sonic Cathedral to date, and one who make a mockery of those articles that crop up every now and again asking if guitar music is dead. If guitars are supposed to be dead, wrote Drowned In Sound in their review of 2013’s Hunger EP, it’s probably because Spectres have killed them.
They certainly find influences in all the best places: first album My Bloody Valentine, Sister era Sonic Youth, the Loop of Heaven’s End, Swervedriver’s Creation-days desert-gaze, A Place To Bury Strangers total sonic annihilation and Royal Trux’s squalid noise on Twin Infinitives to name just a few. The album opens with the ominous and unsettling white noise and dark found sounds of Drag takes in first single ‘Where Flies Sleep’ and is unrelenting for the next 50 minutes.
Produced and mixed by Dominic Mitchison (Velcro Hooks). Featuring Oliver Wilde on backing vocals.

 

What strikes me about this record is that I love it immediately.  I look forward to seeing the band take this out on the road. American duo The Vacant Lots release their debut album ‘Departure’ via Sonic Cathedral on June 30, 2014 . Mixed and mastered by former Spacemen 3 legend Sonic Boom and follows previous single releases on Mexican Summer and The Reverberation Appreciation Society, plus an appearance on our very own ‘Psych For Sore Eyes’ EP, now recognised as a landmark release in the burgeoning new psychedelic movement.

The key element of The Vacant Lots’ minimalist, primitive rock’n’roll songs is their boundless energy, which tears up the psychedelic rock template with a genuine punk spirit. Combine that with the use of synths and drum machines, and it’s not surprising to see why the band have won over Suicide’s Alan Vega, with whom they will be working very soon. Another famous friend is former Galaxie 500 and Luna frontman (and now Sonic Cathedral label mate) Dean Wareham, who plays guitar on ‘Tomorrow’.
The Vacant Lots recently supported Dean on his US East Coast dates and they were support to the UK as guests of The Brian Jonestown Massacre in June and July this year, 

Lorelle Meets The Obsolete’s third album was released in March.

What’s Holding You? comes exploding out my wireless. The opening track from “Chambers” is a fusion of psychedelic rock, the Velvets and Isn’t Anything era My Bloody Valentine. Quite possibly the best opening track of any album released this year. Released on the wonderful Sonic Cathedral label, “Chambers” is a full on aural rollercoaster. I Can’t Feel The Outside slows the pace down. It has a real bluesy feel to it. The Nuggets influenced Sealed Scene is another highlight. Third Wave has touches of Joy Division. A really diverse LP.”

Key tracks – What’s Holding You?, I Can’t Feel The Outside, Sealed Scene