Monday, 29 February 2016

UK PREMIERE: Vampire Blow - Real To Me

Article by KevW

Denmark has become quite well known for its psych scene in recent years, although the sounds that have drifted our way have generally been deep, fuggy psychedelic rock rather than the sparkling rainbow-pop that Copenhagen's Vampire Blow offer up here, as something of change in direction from their earlier garage sound. The trio are building themselves a good reputation too, with last year seeing notable festival dates and, strangely, a tour of Columbia. Footage from that trip (where they "got healed in the jungle", as you do...) looks suitably exotic as the backdrop for new single 'Real To Me'.

With crisp reverberating notes, a casual beat and vocals that come filtered through a misty twilight, 'Real To Me' feels lazy in the best possible way. With talk of the sun rising and brass interludes, there's plenty of dreamy escapism on display, but they're not done yet. As the track continues, soft harmonies are introduced and the richness of the song develops even more until the joyousness starts to reach similar levels to that shows by Edward Sharp & The Magnetic Zeroes or early Polyphonic Spree. This kind of stuff is built for reducing stress levels.

Vampire Blow's website

Buy: 'Real To Me'

The Sound Of Confusion on Twitter and Facebook

Singapore Sling - Psych Fuck

Article by Del Chaney

Formed in Reykjavik back in 2000, persuasive psychedelic explorers Singapore Sling have spent 16 years creating impressive ripples within the sonic ether. Their influential brand of experimental, fuzzy psychedelic rock has touched nearly every fabric of this modern-day underground psych scene and their sound continues to inspire up and coming young talent with its swirling infectious and heaving soundscapes. 'Psych Fuck', the band's eighth release to date via the immense UK-based Fuzz Club Records, was unleashed back in November 2015. This twelve-track monolith of immense proportions is stunningly sublime from start to finish.

The opening track, 'Dive In', is a dark chunk of infectious psych rock. Its shuffling drum patterns, driving guitars and that highly addictive dual vocal attack will floor you. The track shifts through its sonic gears with ease, building into an intense swirling whirlwind of beautiful hypnotic noise as it goes. Track two, 'Let It Roll, Let It Rise', heaves and trips through its musical progressions with ease, reminiscent at times of early Jesus & Mary Chain but with an injection of '60s surf-psych. Those dark, repetitive jangling guitars, impressive drum sequences and that insanely addictive tambourine seems to protectively circumnavigate the vocal lines, thus keeping them held in a sonic stasis! Up next 'ÆJL' is a fuzzy, melodic ball of noise and reverb that just makes sense, whilst 'Na Na Now' is a slice of '60s psych goodness with its shimmering tambourines, repetitive drums, jangling reverberating guitar progressions and those highly addictive vocals. 'Try' is a distorted, dark, crawling soundscape with a hypnotic guitar line that grabs you by the throat and makes you listen intently to it, while 'The Underground' is a serene slice of electronic drums, throbbing bass frequencies and infectious vocals that are all intertwined with that melodically creepy guitar line (think country-psych, if that's even a musical genre?).

Track seven, 'Dying Alive', stalks into audible range on a wavy bed of sequenced electronic drums, awkward synth stabs and sampled voices before building to a sublime cacophony of sonic sound waves. 'Give Me Some Other' is a throbbing, repetitive, psychedelic beast, whilst track nine, 'Glitter', shimmers and rotates on its sonic axis as it works itself out of a coiled state to unleash a sublime slice of '60s-infused psych rock. 'Astronaut' shakes and shudders as it rumbles through its psych tendencies until we're introduced to the mellow opening tones of 'Shithole Town' and those reverb-laden guitars, delayed vocals and electronic drum patterns brilliantly reminiscent of The Velvet Underground. The album's closing track, 'The Shadow Of Foronicity', is a glitchy affair, full of distorted frequencies that swirl around the droning vocal line, stunning organ progression and that shuffling percussion track. A fitting end to a fantastic album. Recommended listening from this new fan.

Singapore Sling's website

Buy: 'Psych Fuck'

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The Sound Of Confusion Radio Show - 28th February 2016

Sundays at 8pm UK, repeated at 8pm EST on Primal Radio


Wild Nothing - To Know You  

Buy: 'To Know You'

The Raveonettes - This World Is Empty (Without You)  

Buy: 'This World Is Empty (Without You)'

Matthew Logan Vasquez – Personal  

Buy: 'Personal'

Timeslides - Now Repeat After Me  

Timeslides' website

Jack Shriner - Slow Shadow  

Buy: 'Slow Shadow'

The Manhattan Love Suicides - Deserted Coastal Town/Action & Memory/What Am I Supposed To Do?

Buy: 'Deserted Coastal Town / Action & Memory / What Am I Supposed To Do?'

Obligatory Record Of The Week: Gliese & Kepler – Promenade  

Gliese & Kepler's website

Vangoffey – Sucker  

Buy: 'Sucker'

Lush - Out Of Control  

Buy: 'Out of Control'

Commuted - Prom Night  

Free download: 'Prom Night'

Astral Cloud Ashes - Too Close To The Noise Floor  

Pre-order: 'Too Close To The Noise Floor'

Memoryhouse - Dream Shake  

Buy: 'Dream Shake'

Pinkshinyultrablast - Mölkky 

Buy: 'Mölkky'

The Sound Of Confusion on Twitter and Facebook

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Dead Rabbits - The Ticket That Exploded (Reissue)

Article by Del Chaney

Originally released back in 2013 via Fuzz Club Records, Dead Rabbits' fantastic debut album 'The Ticket That Exploded' has had a reissuing of sorts! Full of majestic psych-gazing splendour, 'The Ticket That Exploded' is a white-knuckle thrill ride to a psychedelic world of discovery, reminiscent of  The Warlocks or The Black Angels with its layers of melodic, fuzzy guitar goodness, underpinned with throbbing bass lines, pounding drums and those utterly despairing vocal lines! The band were one of the earlier signings to the Fuzz Club stable, having first appeared on their 'Reverb Conspiracy' compilation. Dead Rabbits meld a heady mix of psych and shoegaze together to create something quite special. 'The Ticket That Exploded' was re-issued on the 26th February 2016 and is available on vinyl in standard and deluxe edition. The standard edition (500 copies) is 180g heavy black vinyl, and the deluxe edition (100 copies) is 180g transparent red vinyl. The album is also available on CD and cassette from the Fuzz Club Records online store.  

Track one, 'Heavenly Way', opens proceedings exquisitely. This is a crawling, psych-induced monster that swerves its way through the musical landscape, laying waste to every single thing that it touches. Shuffling drum patterns and a sporadic hi-hat attack mingles within the droning guitars, addictive bass lines and that impressive vocal with ease. Melodic in its splendour 'Heavenly Way' is a sonic call to arms! 'Pulling The Trigger' rides a droning wave of reverb-drenched guitars that perfectly accompany the vocal melody, whilst 'MMB' is a beautiful slice of celestial modern day shoegaze with its layers of guitars and soaring vocal lines. 'Never Fall' is spacious and airy with a vocal that hugs the acoustic guitar progressions as a swirling drone circumnavigates the entire track with aplomb. Tambourines shake and sporadic drum hits keep everything grounded. 'Before I’m Too Late' shatters the serine bubble of the previous track and I'm reminded of early Jesus And Mary Chain in its entirety, while 'Its All In Her Head' swirls and ploughs that overdriven bass line right through the sonic ether cutting a psych-induced path as it goes. Screaming vocals add weight to proceedings as a simple hypnotic synth progression follows the melody brilliantly into the swirling maelstrom of noise.

'When I'm Blue' lazily shuffles into view with sublime sonic grace, looping and arcing all over the musical canvass. If  Happy Mondays ever did psych-gaze then this is how I'd expect it to sound. Absolutely immense from beginning to end. 'It's You' is reminiscent of early Spacemen 3 with its heart-wrenching melodic vocal progressions and intense musical explorations that evoke love, loss and an overpowering sense of foreboding. The album's closer, 'Keep Me Warm' puts a lid on proceedings with a calming, golden, psychedelic hue that seems to float in suspended animation forever. A beautiful ending to a brilliant album.

Dead Rabbits' website

Buy: 'The Ticket That Exploded' (Reissue).

The Sound Of Confusion on Twitter and Facebook

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Lust For Youth - Stardom / Sudden Ambitions

Article by KevW

It's looking like a busy few months for Lust For Youth. The Danish group are currently gearing up for the release of new album 'Compassion' and will be touring on both sides of the pond in support of the record which is due on March 18th. Starting with SXSW, the trio have dates set on both sides of the US before they head back to Europe for a string gigs. The build-up to 'Compassion' began last year with the single 'Better Looking Brother', and since then two more tracks have been made available, and all come as instant downloads to anyone who pre-orders the album.

The steady synth-pop of 'Stardom' flaunts with darkwave but then adds drips of glistening electronics that lighten the tone to something altogether more ethereal. It's not too far from the excellent retro sounds that Mirrors were crafting a few years ago and sprinkles modern touches all over atmospheric '80s electro. 'Sudden Ambitions' is in keeping with this vibe, but a stomping beat and flashes of early New Order propel it that bit harder while retaining the vintage slant that the band have perfected with an almost dead-pan delivery and synths that could have been recorded thirty years ago. It had seemed as though electro-pop of this kind was beginning to fade from view again, but Lust For Youth are ensuring it stays relevant.

Lust For Youth's website

Buy: 'Compassion'

The Sound Of Confusion on Twitter and Facebook

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Scaffolder - Drink Sponge / Brick Wall

Article by Ray Brodrick

I really like the new release from Scaffolder, 'Drink Sponge' / 'Brick Wall', as it assumes two tunes in one. It has a dark, dystopian feel about it with lots of space and atmosphere faintly reminiscent of Echo & The Bunnymen. The multi-layered sounds build up to a crescendo of manic insanity, like the piped music being played once the lunatics have taken over. "Same old walls you live in". 

Each listen has your ears drawn to another aspect of the sound as it soars upward taking flight, then as it reaches escape velocity, lets you go and you fall slowly to earth, twisting and spinning in a strange and wonderful disorientation. Fantastic, give it a listen!

Scaffolder's website

Buy: 'Drink Sponge' / 'Brick Wall'.

The Sound Of Confusion on Twitter and Facebook

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Wild Nothing - Life Of Pause

Article by Del Chaney

Virginia-based Wild Nothing, AKA multi-instrumentalist Jack Tatum, has been writing, producing and releasing impressive bodies of work ever since his twelve-track debut album 'Gemini' entered the musical arena back in 2010. Fast-forward four albums and his latest melodic release 'Life Of Pause' is causing quite a stir within the synth-pop fraternity. It had its official release back on 19th February via Captured Tracks (USA), Bella Union (UK & EU), Spunk (AUS) and Big Nothing (Japan).  

Luscious spears of golden sound pierce the reverb-drenched landscape as a whirling, droning guitar progression straddles a hypnotic sequenced off-beat drum pattern and opens the doors to this album's stunningly melodic opening track entitled 'Reichpop'. Everything within this track seems perfectly oiled and well thought out as different patterns of instrumentation appear, hug the vocal line and then meld back into the sonic ether. If I was of the right age to appreciate the hazy, experimental green shoot beginnings of '80s synth-pop I'd imagine it would sound exactly like 'Lady Blue'. I mean, it has all of the components associated with that era and genre of music but with a modern day twist! Its prominent pop orientated bass and synth progressions, guitar stabs and floating, reverb-drenched vocal lines all work really well here.

Track three, 'A Woman's Wisdom', continues in the same vein. This time, guitars are brought to the fore, primarily to announce the arrival of that impressive vocal as the percussion and synths carry the entire track on a wave of impressive melody. 'Japanese Alice' is a darling of the online niche radio stations with its driving noise-pop and twee connotations and it's easy to hear why Wild Nothing has attracted the attention of shoegaze, dreampop and synth-pop fans alike. 'Japanese Alice' meanders through its verse-chorus/verse-chorus song structure and finishes with a little doff of the cap to the modern day shoegazers with a noisy, reverberating guitar progression. Wild Nothing's cult pop credentials are clearly evident within the synth progressions of 'Life Of Pause', whilst the floaty, wavy guitar lines and soaring synth swells of 'Alien' are reminiscent of mid '80s era 4AD dreampop.

'To Know You' enters the sonic arena on experimental synth lines and a driving drum and bass attack reminding me throughout of Echo & The Bunnymen. This is followed up with stunning piano stabs, shimmering acoustic guitar lines and hazy vocal progressions as 'Adore' opens its colourful sonic wings and lets fly with melodic splendour. 'TV Queen' is another slice of '80s synth-pop while the moody and experimental reverb-drenched tones of 'Whenever I' puts a different spin on the '80s pop theme. The album's closer 'Under My Thumb' is a six-minute-plus cacophony of shimmering sound waves weaving in and out of synth-orientated pop, melodic vocal lines and shimmering guitar stabs. A fitting closer to a great album.

Wild Nothing's website

Buy: 'Life of Pause'

The Sound Of Confusion on Twitter and Facebook

Monday, 22 February 2016

The Sound Of Confusion Radio Show - 21st February 2016

Sundays at 8pm UK, repeated at 8pm EST on Primal Radio

Ladada – New Psych   

Free download: 'New Psych'

Wild Nothing – Japanese Alice  

Buy: 'Japanese Alice'

Astronauts – Civil Engineer  

Buy: 'Civil Engineer'

Magic Shoppe – Redhead  

Buy: 'Redhead'

Living Hour – Miss Emerald Green  

Buy: 'Miss Emerald Green'

Plastic Animals – Demmin  

Buy: 'Demmin'

Obligatory Record Of The Week: Beverly – Victoria  

Buy: 'Victoria'

The Psychics – Molly  

Buy: 'Molly'

Prints Jackson – Ambisinister  

Free download: 'Ambisinister'

Yeti Lane – Acide Amer  

Buy: 'Acide Amer'

Phosphene – Silver  

Free download: 'Silver'

The Third Sound – You Are Not Here (feat. Tess Parks)

Buy: 'You Are Not Here'

The Madcaps – Something You Got

Free download: 'Something You Got'

The Sound Of Confusion on Twitter and Facebook

Saturday, 20 February 2016

PREMIERE: Ask For Joy – Pinprick Eyes

Article by Soul1

When I think of the state of Texas, oil wells, old cattle range traditions (likely that no longer exist) and that old evening soap opera 'Dallas' (and so many people who used to wear those "Who Shot J.R." t-shirts) are the first things that come to mind.

OK, there is also the Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators and how could I not mention the infamous Austin Psych Festival and shoegaze kings-of-now Ringo Deathstarr.

This week, I had the fortune of discovering an excellent emerging shoegaze artist who is also from Austin, Texas – get to know Ask For Joy, which is actually the solo project of Aaron Rossetto. Not only does he have an excellent new single out, called 'Pinprick Eyes', but it’s a free download via Bandcamp and you can't go wrong with a sonic gift this good.

Measuring up against his previous few singles, I'd have to say that 'Pinprick Eyes' is more centered and cohesive. It also gives rise to a sweet euphoria of the kind I would get in the mid-1990s when listening to particular college radio stations during certain cherished freeform shows where they still had the ability to pleasantly surprise me.

Ideally laced in guitar reverb, great inviting vocals and with a great catchy chorus / verse pattern throughout, Ask For Joy combines the innovation of shoegaze forefathers Chapterhouse, My Bloody Valentine and Catherine Wheel, while being perhaps a bit more accessible in the indiepop universe. This single shows Ask For Joy to be a clever, calculated ambassador of gaze.

'Pinprick Eyes' is the lead track off of his forthcoming album 'New Private Window'. The album will be released on March 4th via Infinitely Recursive Records.  

Ask For Joy's website

Free download: 'Pinprick Eyes'.

The Sound Of Confusion on Twitter and Facebook

Friday, 19 February 2016

Flowers - Everybody's Dying To Meet You

Article by Del Chaney

London-based noisy indie-poppers Flowers have just released an eleven-track monolith entitled 'Everybody's Dying To Meet You' via the marvellous Fortuna Pop Records (UK) and Kanine Records (USA). Flowers have a sound that magically leans towards those shimmering, hazy days of early 4AD, with a late '80s dreampop-era vocal arrangement underlined by noisy, reverberating guitar structures and pounding drums. Collectively they have perfected a beautiful and effortless sonic synergy between the light and shadier moments on this release, with each track constructed perfectly to peak and trough at just the right time.

'Intrusive Thoughts' is simply stunning! Its opening melodic salvos remind me of Welsh dreampop outfit Golden Fable and indiepop favourites Tuff Love but it's that dual vocal attack that has me hooked. Up next, 'How Do You Do' is a glorious indiepop standard melded with layers of fuzzy, hypnotic guitars! Pounding percussion hits announce the arrival of 'Tammy' and we're back, vocally, into dreamy 4AD territory but with added layers of distorted guitars and throbbing bass. 'Russian Doll' screams PJ Harvey while 'My Only Friend' is beautifully melodic with its shimmering guitars, steadying drum pattern and intense, in your face, vocal lines.

The album's closer is a slow melodic bruiser that crawls within a whirlwind of  stunning sound. 'Bathroom Sink' uses its quieter moments to showcase the seemingly impenetrable vocal abilities that Flowers seem to have whilst controlling the distortion just enough to lift the track when needed. 'Everybody's Dying To Meet You' is a thoroughly enjoyable jaunt through noisy, reverberating indiepop. Recommended listening for fans of Cocteau Twins, Golden Fable and Tuff Love.

Flowers' website

Buy: 'Everybody's Dying to Meet You'

The Sound Of Confusion on Twitter and Facebook

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Mats Wawa - Classics EP

Article by Del Chaney

Wavy grooves and trembling reverberating guitar stabs herald the opening bars of track one on this impressive debut EP release entitled 'Classics' from Norwegian-based psych-pop aficionados Mats Wawa released via Oslo-based indie label Ville Vesten Platforening. The opening track, 'Lord Bisnis', is a melodic slice of psych-pop with beautiful vocals and a multitude of instrumentation that all seem to hang in suspended animation within a beautiful ball of sonic light. Up next 'Worries' is a psychedelic rock and roller with hints of syncopated blues progressions holding court within its inner core during the chorus breaks. During the verse parts I can also hear some subtle '60s surf impressions intertwined within the shuffling drum beat, melodic guitars and addictive vocal lines.

Track three, 'Bed Of Love', slows proceedings right down with its lounging hotel lobby-esque synth/piano line gracing my ears, melded with another beautiful jangling guitar line that seems to shimmer atop of those piano hits! Its only when we get to the break that I really understand this track. It breaks free of its lounging hotel psych sound and erupts into a groove so sweet that it will have you rewinding the track just to hear it all over again! 'Bed Of Love' is possibly my favourite track on this whole release. Bloody brilliant. The EP's closer 'Planet Of The Grapes' is a full-on melodic psych-pop explosion with shimmering guitars, another beautifully produced vocal and a sound so 1960s that it will have you grooving along with ease. Overall, a wonderfully refreshing EP.

Mats Wawa will be playing at By:Larm festival in March and the EP gets its official release on the 19th February 2016.

Mats Wawa's website

Buy: 'Classics EP'

The Sound Of Confusion on Twitter and Facebook

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Yeti Lane - L'Aurore

Article by Del Chaney

Parisian experimental electro-psych duo Yeti Lane return with their latest eight-track opus entitled 'L'Aurore', released via London-based Sonic Cathedral on March 4th 2016. The band, consisting of Ben - vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards and analog synths and Charlie - drums and percussion, analog keyboards and synths, laptop and loops, have been garnering some serious radio and press attention as of late with with their latest track 'Acide Amer' recently receiving airplay via BBC Radio 6 Music's Lauren Laverne.

Exquisitely-sounding, reverb-drenched, jangling guitars (echoing some dystopian spaghetti western soundtrack) announce the arrival of 'Délicat', the album's stunning opening piece! Atmospheric synth samples and wailing cinematic-style guitars carry the intensely brilliant vocal track throughout this experimental slice of impressive psychedelia. The drum patterns are sparse but effective nonetheless as we journey through a world of reverberating joy.

'Good Word's Gone' explodes onto the musical canvass with reckless abandon. This fuzzy, layered monolith floats on waves of shimmering sound with addictive guitars, jittery drum patterns, affected vocals and synth swells to die for. Thoroughly enjoyable! Track three, 'Acide Amer' is a dark, swirling, synth-affected monster that juggernauts along its cinematic, psych-infused axis with aplomb. The highly addictive vocal lines and wailing guitar breaks keep it all interesting to a point but at times this track can be overbearing. Up next are the wavy cinematic qualities of 'Liquide' and boy are they mesmerising. There's a lot going on within the inner confines of this dark, crawling, maelstrom of layered sonic waves, but it is stunning! Probably my favourite track on this entire release.

'L'Aurore' begins with a sampled drum pattern and a repetitive guitar line before we're introduced to that beautiful vocal intertwined with shimmering synth swells and the introduction of a shuffling drum beat. 'L'Aurore' swirls and merges with the next piece entitled 'Crystal Sky', a full-on expressive psych masterpiece! Wailing vocals, swirling reverberating guitars, dark samples and pounding drums lead the charge as this track ploughs a sonic course through the musical landscape. Slow, burgeoning distortion heckles the opening guitar lines of 'Exquis', the longest track by far on this whole release. Its swirling outer waves pull you in and guide you to its psychedelic core where pounding drums beat a hypnotic, repetitive sequence and screaming guitars prevent you from floating away into obscurity. The album's closer, 'Ne Dis Rien', is electronically charged with swathes of layered synth progressions and screaming guitars all leading to that insane, almost robotic sounding, vocal line! This track builds and builds into a towering, awe-inspiring pillar of golden sound. A true masterpiece of intense proportions and a fitting end to an overall impressive album.

Yeti Lane's website

Buy: 'L'Aurore'

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Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Cavern of Anti-Matter - Void Beats/Invocation Trex

Article by Jeff Haight

Cavern of Anti-Matter, a trio consisting of Stereolab mastermind Tim Gane, former Stereolab drummer Joe Dilworth and electronic artist Holger Zapf, are set to release their debut record entitled 'Void Beats/Inovocation Trex'. This sprawling 72-minute sonic journey also features some stellar vocal work from Bradford Cox of Deerhunter and Spacemen 3's Sonic Boom, as well as sound processing from Jan St. Werner of Mouse on Mars. This monster of an album contains 12 tracks full of metronomic beats and relentless bass lines that create an amazing framework for the cascading sounds to explore. The opening track 'Tardis Cymbals' begins with pastoral, chiming, delayed guitars and is joined by a pulsing drum machine beat that carries the song along to great heights. This track is a perfect example of how masterfully this band can create complex arrangements with uncommon time signatures and make it sound effortlessly created. Tim Gane has always been a skillful arranger and these tracks absolutely benefit from the longer form, taking their time to grow and evolve into stunning soundscapes. The opening track continues for its 13-minute duration with crashing reverse cymbal washes and gorgeous dub delayed guitar shrapnel. It is easy to get lost in the trance like feel of this track and be rewarded when the enlightening bell like ringing guitars towards the outro clear the air. This is art, and a mesmerizing opening track that only hints at the brilliant journey to come.

'Blowing my Nose Under Close Observation' begins with some fantastic sputtering synth bass lines that quickly change into a dreamy arpeggio pattern and back into the established trippy groove. The echoing stereo guitars and electronic manipulation add to the amazing textures of this track. This band is all about creating rhythm and krautrock-like grooves, a completely hypnotic effect throughout the duration of the record. 'Insect Fear' brings more a more Kraftwerk-like pace and some really great repeating organ parts that blend so well with the mix of gritty electric guitars. This track has some great energy provided by the drumming of Joe Dilworth and once again the band shows off its creative muscle by easily maneuvering between differing repeating synth passages. The emphasis on rhythms and letting them breathe is a mainstay of this record's sound, and the band add an array of ear-catching textures to the tracks as they progress, certainly demanding some repeated listening. One of my instant favorites, 'Melody in High Feedback Tones', brings the emotional weight with an absolutely stunning mix of clean electric guitars, synths and bubbling sound design that almost took my breath away. This track is a dreamy adventure that covers an amazing amount of melodic ground in just under four minutes. The rhythm section keeps the pace moving along nicely even when it echoes away to reveal inspired harpsichord-filled breakdowns. Shimmering guitar leads combine with fantastic filtered synths that take off for the stars and drift you back down comfortably to terra firma.

'Hi Hats Bring the Hiss' is an eerie, almost tense explosion of sound that is at once mesmerizing as it is nearly unsettling in its relentless pace. This track features some of the record's most impressive sound design with its post-apocalyptic soundscape and metallic textures disintegrating. The mix of electronic percussion, blasts of guitar feedback and a live kit really adds to the driving feel of the track, and allows the ensuing controlled chaos to have a point to launch from. Those who listen with headphones will be treated to an awesome mix of sounds in the stereo field and some really inspired guitar work from Tim Gane. An amazing piece of music! Bradford Cox of Deerhunter is a featured vocalist on the next track, 'Liquid Gate', and he delivers a great hushed, multi-tracked performance that really fits in well as an added texture in the sound palette of the band. This track is more deliberate in its expression of melody and arrives at a perfect point in the record after the opening five longer form pieces. The synth work really shines on the next track 'Pantechnicon' with its intro of beautiful open airy chords and sublime melodies. This track was another favorite, and again felt like a sonic adventure full of ear-catching thrills. Each track is a layered masterfully to create a unique soundscape, and despite the stunning amount of creative ideas packed into a track, the mixes never feel congested or labored over. This is certainly an impressive feat with the amount of ideas this trio has to work with. Sonic Boom provides an amazing appropriately warped vocal part to 'Planetary Folklore' that harkens back to the opening track in its tonality. This track is much like a journey through space and time with little stops along the way to gander at something momentously beautiful. It is layered with little melodic excursions and carried on a wash of cymbal crashes. The harmonic tone of the effected vocal towards to end almost melts into the sound as another texture and is really something to hear. This provides an appropriate transition that fades nicely into the following track, 'Echolalia', that begins with echoing drum machine hi hats and grows into a sunny, tremolo-filled, energetic burst of sound.

The last track, 'Zone Null', is simply gorgeous and a fantastic ending piece. From the opening twinkling piano notes to the emotive string parts that make up the middle section of the song, the melodic gifts on this song are numerous. The emotional weight of this song is heavy and the instrumentation floats the listener along to a serene ending. It effortlessly wraps up the amazing mix of sound that was just experienced and provides a stunning end to a brilliant record. This journey is absolutely one worth taking, simply just to behold the superb mix of sounds along the way. This record demands to be heard and easily provides one of the best musical experiences so far in 2016. A true piece of art and a sonic masterpiece in my opinion. Highly recommended!

Cavern of Anti-Matter's website

Buy: 'Void Beats/Invocation Trex'

The Sound Of Confusion on Twitter and Facebook

Monday, 15 February 2016

The Sound Of Confusion Radio Show - 14th February 2016

Sundays at 8pm UK, repeated at 8pm EST on Primal Radio


Safe Places – Reunion  

Free download: 'Reunion'

YAST - I Don't Think She Knows  

Free download: 'I Don't Think She Knows'

Ben Pearce feat. Nate Brown – Stockholm  

Buy: 'Stockholm'

The Chemistry Set - The Splendour Of The Universe  

Buy: 'The Endless More & More' (album)

Plastic Animals – Ghosts  

Free download: 'Ghosts'

Crow's Feet - Alarm Clock Bones  

Free download: 'Alarm Clock Bones'

Obligatory Record Of The Week: Magic Shoppe - Interstellar Car Crash  

Buy: 'Interstellar Car Crash'

Cavern Of Anti-Matter - Melody In High Feedback Tones  

Buy: 'Void Beats/Invocation Trex' (album)

Wild Nothing - TV Queen  

Buy: 'TV Queen'

Lorraine Leckie & Pavel Cingl - Climb Ya Like A Mountain  

Buy: 'Climb YA Like A Mountain'

Bloodhounds On My Trail - She's In My Plans  

Buy: 'Escape II' (EP)

Water District - Come Down  

Water District's website

Double Cheese - Restless Child

Buy: 'Restless Child'

The Sound Of Confusion on Twitter and Facebook

Saturday, 13 February 2016

The Sound Of Confusion Radio Show - 7th February 2016

Sundays at 8pm UK, repeated at 8pm EST on Primal Radio


The Chemistry Set - Fountains Of Neptune  

Buy: 'The Endless More & More' (album)

Then Comes Silence – Strangers  

Buy: 'Strangers'

Cavern Of Anti-Matter - Black Glass Actions  

Buy: 'Void Beats/Invocation Trex'

Living Hour - Summer Smog  

Buy: 'Summer Smog'

Tuff Love – Threads  

Buy: 'Threads'

Bernays Propaganda - Laži me, laži me  

Free download: 'Laži me, laži me'

Obligatory Record Of The Week: Postal Blue - I Always Knew  

Buy: 'I Always Knew'

Affairs – Play  

Buy: 'Play'

Pinkshinyultrablast - The Cherry Pit  

Buy: 'The Cherry Pit'

Fake War – Fluoride  

Fake War's website

Maybelleen - When I'm Right  

Free download: 'When I'm Right'

The Battles Of Winter - Wrong Port  

The Battles Of Winter's website

A Beacon House - Ash As Intro

Free download: 'Ash As Intro'

The Sound Of Confusion on Twitter and Facebook

Ulrika Spacek - The Album Paranoia

Article by Del Chaney

Formed in Berlin but now residing in London, Rhys Edwards and Rhys Williams, aka Ulrika Spacek, began their tentative first steps in what would be a two-year journey to finish their debut album entitled 'The Album Paranoia back in 2014. Employing the help of three skilled musicians and friends, they embarked on sonic journey that would reap them immense rewards. With a sound that swerves between alt-rock and krautrock whilst taking a trip through downright fuzzed-up, lo-fi brilliance, Ulrika Spacek create hazy, impressive soundscapes that are sonically worthy of your ears. 'The Album Paranoia' was officially released via 'Tough Love Records (EU) and Lefse Records (USA) back on the 5th February 2016.

The album opens up with 'I Don't Know', a fuzzy, swirling, triumphant track that loops and arcs through addictive reverberating guitars intertwined with glorious psych-tinged effects and a steadying drum progression that holds that stunning vocal aloft like a king sitting atop a mountain of golden sound. Track two, 'Porcelain', oozes alt-rock splendour with whirling repetitive guitars and another impressive vocal performance. 'Circa 1954' lives in a beautiful, shimmering, experimental ambient world, while 'Strawberry Glue' jangles and struts like a sonic peacock before opening up into a glorious fuzzy alternative masterpiece. Track five, 'Beta Male', stands up there with some of the great modern day psych tracks. Reminiscent at times of Fuzz Club Records' own 'Throw Down Bones' with its hypnotic, swirling maelstrom of sound that builds into a fuzzy, multifaceted sonic whirlwind. 'Beta Male' is probably my favourite track on this entire release. Very cool! Up next,'NK' is a slow but sludgy psych-tinged monster with a lazy Sub Pop styled effected vocal line and a very impressive break that builds and builds forever.

We're back on a subtle alt-rock vibe with 'Ultra-Vivid'. This track is full of melodic melancholy with beautifully intricate guitar lines, gorgeous synth swells and an effortlessly striped-back vocal take. 'She's A Cult' screams "Radiohead" from its very first distorted chord structure, while 'There's A Little Passing Cloud In You' shakes the sonic ether with is psychedelic flavourings, dripping with repetitive guitars, a throbbing bass line and a brilliant drum progression that collectively leads us into a false sense of security before opening up and exploding into a massive cacophony of sound. The album's closer, 'Airportism', is reminiscent of latter day Radiohead with its beautifully delicate vocal lines accompanied by that addictively melodic guitar progression and a lazy drum pattern. A perfect finale to an overall impressive debut album. Recommended listening for fans of MBV, Television, Pavement, Sonic Youth, Radiohead and Deerhunter.

Ulrika Spacek's website

Buy: 'The Album Paranoia'

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Thursday, 11 February 2016

The Sound Of Confusion Radio Show - 31st January 2016

Sundays at 8pm UK, repeated at 8pm EST on Primal Radio


HANNAH – Star Struck  

Free download: 'As The World Turns' (album)

Safe Places – Wild Ride

Free download: 'Wild Ride'

Jacob Faurholt – Future Wife

Buy: 'Future Wife'

Yeti Lane – Good Word's Gone  

Buy: 'Good Word's Gone'

The Survivalists – Human Shell  

Buy: 'Human Shell'

Crystal Soda Cream – Rationale Arbeitsschritte

Free download: 'Rationale Arbeitsschritte'

Obligatory Record Of The Week: Living Hour – Seagull

Buy: 'Living Hour' (album)

Crash Island – Animal

Buy: 'Animals'

Warriors Of The Dystotheque – Escape From Coney

Released March 4th via Tigre Fair

Jaromil Sabor – Until The End Of The World  

Buy: 'Until The End Of The World'

The Battles Of Winter – Love's White Thread

The Battles Of Winter's website

Bridge Underwater – I Don't Know

Free download: 'I Don't Know'

This Heel – Periscope Man

Free download: 'Periscope Man'

Sauropod – Edge Of A Cloud

Buy: 'Edge of a Cloud'

Tuff Love – Duke  

Buy: 'Duke'

Rews – Death Yawn

Rews' website

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Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Husky Loops - Dead

Article by Ray Brodrick

If you like pop that's grungy and spiky and that takes you to many places you're not expecting, keeping you guessing and always surprising, then you'll love Husky Loops' latest release 'Dead'. Initially it made me think of late '70s New York punk like Television, as the guitar has a Tom Verlaine quality to it, but don't be fooled as the verse builds to a crashing chorus of angst and protest, like a voice from a seance questioning if they are indeed dead. It's music for a funeral march, but joyful like they do in the deep south, although there's no peep of New Orleans jazz here, more spiky, grungy, angry greatness.  

Husky Loops describe themselves as a London-based three-piece, notorious for being fixated with unconventional pop arrangements, and this is exactly what you get as the mood changes again to a funky middle eight section not a million miles away from Talking Heads with scratchy guitar complementing the bass and drums, then into a meandering, distorted bass solo with a haunting otherworldliness to it. Don't miss your chance to get an invite to the party you're at, but don't make-DEAD!!

Husky Loops' website

Buy: 'Dead'

The Sound Of Confusion on Twitter and Facebook

Monday, 8 February 2016

Animal City - Party City EP + Q&A

Article by KevW

"Loners, stoners, an Elvis impersonator, and a bunch of other freaks." That statement serves as an accurate introduction to the strange world of Chicago's Animal City whose 'Party City' EP sees them offer up a set of rare tracks from various sessions they've recorded in their history (although at ten tracks long this should really be considered an album rather than an EP). Sleaze and slacker vibes ooze out of every pore of this weird and wonderful collection which really sets the tone with its opening line "Will you fuck me dressed like Elvis?".

Several styles are twisted into warped shapes with loose drumming, an often lazy drawl and scruffy guitar never being far away. We're given scuzzy alt-rock on 'Wookie Mike and Sarah' and 'Water Stain', deadbeat sounds on 'Don't Gotta Guitar', a delightfully sleepy, bluesy instrumental lullaby on 'Glad Bender' and sinister undertones on 'Bad For You'. This is a dark and surreal place to be, but there are plenty of flashes of light and plenty of interesting ideas and melodies. 'Party City' is often a murky record, but very intriguing with it.

To get the inside story of 'Party City', Animal City have had a chat with, er, themselves...


HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA -- I walk out of my apartment and blindfold myself. I bend forward, put my head down, and spin around a baseball bat ten times really fast. So fast I’m sick. I take my blindfold off and walk back inside my apartment. There he is, on my couch in the living room, drinking one of my beers, co-founder of the traveling rock-n-roll outfit Animal City. His name is Salvatore “Chico” Cassato, and he’s smoking a cigarette I gave him mere minutes earlier. He’s who I’m here at my house to interview today, and he’s pointing an Airsoft gun in my general direction.

Salvatore: Shoot.

Dakota: Have you ever interviewed someone in your own band before?

S: No. But I guess I interview you a little bit every day. Writing songs with someone usually uncovers some funny stuff.

D: Well, I’m always asking you stupid shit.

S: And that’s great. It’s amazing how you can know someone for so long and still be getting to know them... Alright, ask me a question.

D: What are you doing here?

S: (Dustin Hoffman impression) I’m working here!

D: I think he says, “I’m walking here!”

S: In Drugstore Cowboy?

D: No, I meant what are you doing in LA?

S: We just shot a video for Animal City directed by our pal Josh Jolcover. It’s for the song “Friend in Florida” off our last LP Bump Head Go Home out on Sophomore Lounge Records. The two of us are about to do a quick tour up the coast in February, we’re making our way up to Oregon.

D: Yeah, we’re recording up in Portland with our homies Milk and Dust and the Making New Enemies crew.

S: That’s really exciting. Run me down the list, what else are we supposed to talk about?

D: The new EP that’s coming out, Party City.

S: Oh yeah, tell me about the Party City EP.

D: Party City is a collection of weirdos and orphan tracks from a bunch of different Animal City recordings we did over the years. They’re songs that didn’t make it onto any of our records, but they’re just too good to get rid of. We’re really stoked that these songs we love finally have a place to live. So this EP is really special to us.

S: Dude, I’ve thrown away so many songs. It’s crazy.

D: It happens.

S: Yeah, to me... a lot. So tell us how we get a copy of the Party City?

D: You buy it, at ANIMALCITY.BANDCAMP.COM, or you buy a CD or digital download from us in person at one of our shows.

S: You bet your ass we do.

Animal City's website

Buy: 'Party City'.

The Sound Of Confusion on Twitter and Facebook

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Steven McNamara - Wake Up Lie Down

Article by KevW

As we mentioned when reviewing 'Turn Around', the first single from ex-Formes man Steven McNamara, his solo work does carry over a little of the psychedelia that his previous band dealt in, but feels much more expansive, touching on haunting blues, dreampop and Americana with a spacious and atmospheric ear. That theme is very indicative of this debut mini-album as a whole, and the change in sound was in part inspired by a personal change of location, as McNamara moved to a rural part of Lancashire prior to recording this new material.

On no track is this dusky, ethereal and ambient direction more apparent than the woozy 'Lost in Myself', where an eerie, echoing and heavily affected vocal repeats the song's title over the top of a stop/start, looping bassline and twangs of guitar that conjure up images of a dusty desert wasteland in the twilight. The vibe remains light and floaty throughout the album, as if the music is gliding through you like the soundtrack to a particularly magical dream. It's almost at odds with some lyrics which detail "a particularly tumultuous" period of McNamara's life. 'So Low' clearly references this in its title, but it's more relaxing than sad as he sings "I lost you along the way" and this is surely down to the unhurried, uncrowded yet still quite rich production.

Title-track 'Wake Up Lie Down' is a great entry point into this surreal world (making it perfectly positioned as the opener) and a single contender due to it's mildly more accessible nature, not that any of these songs are particularly difficult. Again, the lyrics which seem to be about desolation, confusion and lack of motivation could be interpreted differently with their talk of drifting away into space and being in a new state of mind. Ghostly final track 'Voices' is filled with more of these cinematic, laid-back dynamics but is more electronic, even introducing a minimal beat into the mix of chilled psychedelia. Music written about difficult times and situations can often be filled with despair or anger, but this album is more introspective and seems to be using sonic escapism as a means to coping and moving on. So rather than angst or distress we're given a strange and calming land that's seems purpose-built for drifting away in.

Steven McNamara's website

Buy: 'Wake Up Lie Down'

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Night Knight – God Is A Motherfucker

Article by James Grimshaw

In the press email regarding the release of Night Knight's debut album 'God Is A Motherfucker', its frontman and lead songwriter Serafeim Giannakopoulos is described as "one of the most active musicians in the Greek underground rock scene".  A claim as bold as that usually incurs derision and an inclination to avoid – but a listen to this solo effort, with foreknowledge of his drumming duties with the notorious Planet of Zeus, led me to believe it.

'God Is A Motherfucker' touts itself as a classic rock album, parts of it filling the mandate of instant, riffy, gritty AC/DC gratification – opener 'Born Again' is a bonafide straight-up rock tune, while 'Turned Back Blues' shows its hand a little early with guitar-crunch and little else. But the album has more than a few moments of real introspection and delicate care, not to mention some monumental swerves into different genres and styles. 'Turn Back Time' is a real stand-out song and a personal favourite in this case, eschewing the precedent set by the album's outset for 'In Rainbows'-y construction and soaring instrumental mid-sections. 'Us' reminds of 'You Were A Dick'-era Idaho and 'Crystal Rivers' comprises desert-blues telecaster tone a la She Keeps Bees, and all of these tracks sit in the same palette. Often, these trend-bucking tunes show up the more classically rocky tunes of the album; its title-track doesn't offer as much by the way of dynamics or progression. The album's closer 'Set It On Fire' is another personal favourite, with humbucked warmth, fuzzed melody lines, a catchy groove and an indisputably accomplished sound that demands another listen.

Individually, or even as a full suite, there's nothing particularly "innovative" in 'God Is A Motherfucker', but this is a relief – Giannakopoulos knows the cogs and devices of each genre with which he plays, and fits them together into a perfectly functioning, at times beautiful, multiform musical machine: desert rock slotted into psych, kept churning by tender indie and all powered by an inclination to good old classic heft.

Night Knight's website

Buy: 'God Is a Motherfucker'

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