Two weeks before she turned 21, my darling eldest daughter Albany qualified as a Kundalini yoga teacher. In celebration, I photographed her at Avebury’s legendary Cove. Bravo, my beautiful little duck!
Lots of local activity happening here what with important family birthdays and preparations for the impending tour of Severn-Cotswold Tombs by Black Sheep VC. A coupla weeks ago, Common Era and Vybik Jon joined me on a southwest reconnaissance mission, seeking out all best possible places of Ur-holler in the vicinity. And when such marvellous obscurities such as the Three Shires Stones and the Devil’s Bed & Bolster had been rejected, the three of us came up with the itinerary presented on our front page: Stoney Littleton, Hetty Pegler’s Tump, Wayland’s Smithy, Lanhill, West Kennett Longbarrow and Belas Knap. Anyone planning to follow the tour should be listening out for VC squarks at any times between the hours of 5am and 11pm, but please don’t plan on joining in and do remember that bootlegging of the Brotherhood is frowned upon! I must also send out my most embracing hugs and kisses to my darling daughter Albany, whose journey into Kundalini Yoga these past coupla years has sent a serpentine rocket of inspiration up the asses of my entire family. Darling, I see your qualifying as a teacher just before turning 21-years-old as Inspirational. Awl-fucking-right!
STARING BACK AT YOU by Transmontane
Okay, I’m starting this month’s Reviews Section with one singular motherfucker who goes by the pen name of Transmontane, a Chicago folk singer, nay, volk sønger of future memories and whose debut LP – highly appropriately for this Mayan informed 2012 – inhabits a pre-hysterical sub-sub-Skip Spence Old Testament-meets-Joseph Smith persona of considerable charm. ZUMA demos recorded at NASA, anyone? Songs cascade, fall and fade seemingly effortlessly, as Death C&W from the beautiful Gates of Hel transmutes Transmontane into a Kelto-Viking Doorway Character and consort of Brigit herself, got me? Mercifully, Mr Transmontane keeps his first missive brief, anymore woulda clogged my sinuses with too much grief. Released on Sick Room Records
, this fine and ecstatic venture is now available on fashionable limited edition coloured vinyl, and should be scoffed up by all of those mystified sisters’n’brethren who love to imagine how the still teenage Jehovah woulda spent his evenings. Awe!
Self-titled by Big Naturals
I’ve also been majorly overwhelmed by the Uber confident sound of Bristol duo Big Naturals, who – as represented on their epic self-titled debut from Rocket Recordings
– come across like an ambient Crass performing the Who’s entire TOMMY soundtrack in the style of MOUNTAIN GRILL-period Hawkwind. That harsh, me babbies! That sweet, me kiddies! Epiphany after unfolding epiphany, this epic just builds and builds, twisted undulating riffs all eventually plateauing into some motorik mantra before dissolving into the next Ashkenaze knees-up, as Death Comes Along-style collapses pummel listeners brains again before the next big seizure kicketh in. Sounds like these two gentlemen were joined at birth, AND all powered by the enormousness of Matamp amplification. Come on, now! And as this baby is housed in a great STATION OF THE CRASS-style fold-out cover, you really get the feeling that Big Naturals record label Greasy Truckers were totally behind them. Fabulous and useful as fuck, yeah.
DOOM IN BLOOM by Botanist
Next up, make damn sure y’all look out for DOOM IN BLOOM, the mighty third album from Botanist. Released on Israel’s Total Rust
label, this isn’t Doom Metal at all, but a heretical strain that escaped and hid (in some Medieval monastery by the sounds of it) until the pogrom had abated. However, its canny combination of hammer dulcimer and fucking massive drums is so unique, so horribly more-ish that some Wyrd atavistic tendency is set up in the listener from start to finish. Big themes hammer away in what sound like Zeusian caverns, running the gamut of alternative possibilities from Post-Punk to pure metal via TV themes and bible throwing contests. Whew! But the sheer novelty, nay, exhilarating novelty of DOOM IN BLOOM is enough to carry this album from start-to-finish. Replete with horticultural song titles and lyrics, Botanist is the work of a most thorough motherfucker. Score your own copy and you’ll be pirouetting around your mead hall in no time, know-worra-mean!
NECROSIS OF THE EYEBALL by Morbid Wizard
Then, of course, you’ll need need need to take a major bask in the utterly putrefying/purifying maelstrum of Morbid Wizard’s epically fucked barbarian classic (what an oxymoron, ya moron!) entitled NECROSIS OF THE EYEBALL. Fuck me back’erds, brothers’n’sisters, it’s like Trevor Boulder’s sidies had taken over the Spiders From Mars and – armed only with umpteen Les Paul-wielding 14-year-olds – were now intent on achieving sonic World Invasion using the end of ‘Moonage Daydream’ as a garrotte. Oh, sweet strangulation! Death Comes Along? U-Betcha! Informed by that same Vitamin Free diet as (ruddy wonderful) sister band Bibilic Blood, Morbid Wizard clearly exist by dipping used tampons into their coffee, and munching dried dingleberries for relaxation. Indeed, Medieval guitarist Scott Stearns displays such a lax attitude to sonic hygiene that he allows long and messy filthriffs to accumulate and accumulate at the back of his Orange Matamp until a kind of superbly uncharming Leigh Stephens Chorale has been set up, a defiant and tinnitus-inducing Ringing In Yer Ears: that minging, me true lovelies! Released in a DVD case on Goatskull Records
, you just gots to purchase this disc for yourself. NECROSIS OF THE EYEBALL kicks up clouds of asbestos, calls it cocaine and invites you to inhale. Just this once, kiddies, just this once.
SMOKE DRIP by Carlton Melton
Finally, Vinyl of the Month award goes once again to the fabulous free-rock burnouts newly escaped from California’s Carlton Melton, whose brand new LP SMOKE DRIP exhibits those same heat haze Branca-isms as before, those T. Verlaine Drone-o-thons whose lo-res embers die like some great youtube airliner falling in slomo out of the sky. Released on Agitated Records and available through Aquarius Records (www.aquarius.com), the music caught within the grooves of SMOKE DRIP is phenomenal, ecstatic, orgasmic and hugely sustaining. So do score your own limited ed. clear vinyl copy, and check out the gentlemen of the ensemble via carltonmeltonmusic.com
Okay, as that’s me done for yet another month, I shall take this opportunity to quit while I’m ahead and set off for Moseley Folk Festival, where I’m performing in six hours’ time. And to those of you bemoaning the lack of summer this year, drop in on any of my forthcoming September shows, and I’ll be sure to inject a little sunshine into your drab wretched lives! Yow-Tzar!
All Love Reign Upon Y’All,
JULIAN (Archdrude of Wessex)