Last weekend, the Archdrude’s family was joined by (L) Simone Caltabellota, author of the Sardinian novel SA REINA, and (R) Thomas Fazi, author of Pluto Press’ THE BATTLE FOR EUROPE. Charming company, gentlemen! (Photo: J. Anonymous)
I’ve finished my novel and I’m free free free! The fall of the leaves, the end of the summer, the slow crawl towards Christmas: I thought I’d be done ages ago but those fictitious characters just kept on at me tugging away, needy fuckers every one of them. Suffice it to say I’m back. I’m back. Shee-it!
SNAKEWEED by Bibilic Blood
Okay, over at the Reviews Section, let’s kick off this bright November with the extraordinary SNAKEWEED, the latest performance of opaque auto da fé from that magnificent Doom duo Bibilic Blood. You want psychedelic dislocation? You want Kim Fowley producing Death Comes Along? This is the best Bibilic Blood album yet, and I fucking love all the previous ones with a passion. Clad in their usual DVD packaging and chock full of stuperb ‘tween time titles – ‘Alien Autopsy’, ‘Bloodnomicon’, ‘Severed’, ‘Disruptor’, ‘Night Clown’ and the like – SNAKEWEED is performed as one riotous segueway of screeching, raging rituals: imagine walking through that Tokyo Park where all the bands set up next to each other, only this nightmare park is just umpteen incarnations of S. Psycho and her hooded consort. Nice. Released on their own Goatskull Records
, SNAKEWEED is one to play over and over and fucking over again, kiddies.
THE ELEMENTS' RAGE (A CLASH OF THE STARS AND MOON) by Urthona
For true inner space travel, I’d next like to suggest THE ELEMENTS’ RAGE (A CLASH OF THE STARS AND MOON), the remarkable new album from Urthona, whose sole 38-minute title track pitches Devizes’ favourite axe wielder several strata further down into the Underworld. Gone are the Townshendian refrains, the recurring epiphanies, all replaced herein by a netherworld of near theta experience, a welling up, a grand bubbling throughout, Yeats’ ‘little foam upon the deep’. Those of you who are feeling scattered at the end of this long year might seek to relight your Mithraic fires in the heat of Urthona’s THE ELEMENTS’ RAGE. Released on Further Records
, and in colossal new packaging itself worthy of investigation, this is a masterful record throughout in which the artist reaches Odinlike into the Underworld and retrieves from its fountainhead enough blissful outpourings of energy to satisfy both himself and his whole community. If you’re strapped for cash and all the bath houses are pre-booked, just bathe yourself in Urthona’s Psychic Fountain, kiddies: His is the finest show in town!
SCARAB by Queen Elephantine
Next up, please check out the enormously useful SCARAB by New England doom quartet Queen Elephantine, whose four epically funereal pieces contained herein entrap us from the first instant with the sheer ritual of their sound, the sheer multi-levelled drama of their experience. What’s it sound like? Like largactilled earthmovers aping human metal culture while the cities burn on the horizon. Unlike most Doom, Queen Elephantine transcend all regular description by their simple deployment of highly irregular personnel: bass guitarist, drummer, permanent droning glissando slide guitarist and percussionist. The weighty overall effect pulls the listener down and down, as the twin drummers and monolithic bass riffs wreak brutalistic havoc over the unsweetest of drones. Indeed, so singular are some of these riffs that they remind me of DRAIN’D BONER-period Brain Donor, pulling back into themselves, twisting chromatically, sonic ingrown toenails of bassism. Marvellous. Released on the excellent Heart & Crossbone label
, this Queen Elephantine statement is one awe-inspiring Taliban talisman that demands purchase, my brothers’n’sisters.
MASTER by Teeth Of The Sea
I’ve also been enjoying the hell out of MASTER, the brash new release from London’s Teeth Of The Sea that floors listeners with its movie soundtrack massiveness. Themes and moods abound herein, the brutality of the drum programming and crassness of the sounds placing the record in the same post-Krautrock territory as Boney M’s classic title track ‘Night Flight To Venus’ and Tangerine Dream’s experimental post-STRATOSFEAR forays into ‘proper’ rock, but still featuring all those band’s typical elements – the souped-up Kling Klang crunch of their driving music, the hanging spoken commentaries over bleak urban dystopian musicscapes, the parched Spaghetti Western trumpet themes – then subsumes them into the kind of vast panoramic listening experience that makes you wanna go out and drive all night. Released on Bristol’s excellent Rocket Recordings
, MASTER is a very intense listening experience and comes in a beautifully ornate digipak that only adds further weight to this band’s already weighty canon.
GRID by Circuit Breaker
Who of you out there share my jones for stark, tripped-out songs, alienated lyrical content and old synthesizer technology? You know Todd Clark’s INTO THE VISION, that kind of thing? Well then, just check out GRID by S. London’s Circuit Breaker and experience some truly outcast broadsides. Driven along by the guitar and querulous alienated outsider vocals of Peter Simpson and perilously assisted and/or interfered with by all manner of analogue ramalama, these uncontrollable gremlins in Circuit Breaker’s machine – those elements that most musicians would seek to extinguish – are the very elements that make this band. Indeed, the joy of this ensemble lies in their desire to celebrate all of those random events. So while a song might be terribly sad in its delivery and content, still the technical blips pour forth inappropriately and monolithically. Superb. Released on their own Tombed Visions cassette label
in a highly attractive large-size cardboard package, somewhat in the lavish style of Joy Division’s STILL, this is an item to grab, kiddies, and fast.
JOVEM EXCELSO HAPPY by Putas Bêbadas
Finally, Vinyl of the Month must most serpently go to Spain’s Putas Bêbadas for their spectacular debut album JOVEM EXCELSO HAPPY, which cleaves skulls in two with its disjointed anti-rhythms and layered rackets, and has this past month occupied in my head the larger place. Coming on like Flipper plays July 4th Toilet coming on like the bastard offspring of Grady Runyan and Reuben Fiberglass’s ‘Model Citizen’-period Monoshock meets Kramer’s ridiculous spiders-on-vaseline trio Shockabilly, this quartet of Spanish reprobates inhabits an unfathomable and perpetually mystifying musical place in the foreground and background simultaneously One track involves speeding the chorus up to 45rpm. The final track ‘Long Live The Mullet’ attains the same kind of Nirvana as Les Rallizes Denudes’ heady classic ‘Smokin’ Cigarette Blues’. True psychedelic states this band occupy; no obvious boundaries other than the perpetually mystifying. Find these fuckers now via www.facebook.com/cafetrarecords
and tell them we know what they’re up to, but we won’t tell so long as they send us our own copy.
Right, that’s me done for another month. I’m not psychotic from being in front of a hot computer for months, honest. In fact, I’m going out soon, maybe even down the recycling. Okay, my Brothers, my Sisters, My Lovelies All. I’ll check in next month.
Love reign upon y’all,