Back in a dim and distant past I began this music reviewing thing and one of the first bands I got to review was a band called “One Soul Thrust” a Canadian band that even had Glenn Hughes guest on the LP, I got to know the band through the magic of the internet and always wondered why with the current surge in rock and metal they never got into the major league, because if you’re a fan of classic rock/metal this should be right up your street. As a front for the band Salem Jones has that classy vocal and after time spent building her range and working with Judy Rodman what we have is an instantly recognizable sound, grounded in a whole range of classic female vocalists.

 

Now after a long period of Soul searching, the band re-launched through Patreon pulled away from the music business and have produced a better body of work because of it, there’s a real sense of experimentation and downright enjoyment throughout the LP and an almost playfulness with the material presented, almost a fck you to the music mainstream.

 

Opener “full circle”, leads you in via a cracking guitar riff before we have a very different vocal, Salem leading and sitting on top of the music, before that playfulness is really brought to the fore in “Black Frank”. As we move through the next couple of tracks ‘One true flame” and “Hey Man”, the Lp settles the vocals drawing you in and then you begin to follow that classic guitar sound, understated, supporting the vocal giving a very definite base layering the music.

 

‘Fight for love” contains a real powerhouse of a vocal, caressing and lulling you into a false sense of security, before the guitar solo’s and your drawn into the body of the track, this is a seriously good ballad, would make a great single!! The chopping and stuttering guitar that drags you into “yes” again really sets the tone and the vocals that flit through the lead again draw on that sense of playfulness.

 

As we weave our way through ‘The sacred and profane” and “Nitric Oxide” my thoughts are again drifting to why haven’t these guys moved into the mainstream? Or more to the point nowadays do they want to? This LP I think has been their strongest, with the pressure off trying to attain sometimes we really deliver our best. Alongside the musicianship and vocal dexterity, the production really sets the bar high for the classic rock genre. Of the tracks that follow “Hunger and Sweat” contain a great vocal line showing real dexterity, “Golden souls” builds and drives the LP towards an ending, I think this has to become a set closer before final track “Summers over” with its picked acoustic guitar and vocal lead the LP out on a real high.

 

For all the classic rock fans out there, you really need to give these guys a like on whatever social media platform you frequent, introduce yourself and maybe check out those earlier LP’s, probably the best LP I’ve heard in this genre for quite some time!!!

Author: Nev Brooks

In this world of Lockdown bereft of live music, who’d have thought it, how many of us are searching the internet picking up on new stuff due out, or stuff in different genres we’d never have contemplated before? With that in Mind I got bounced an email from Church of the Cosmic Skull’s main man Bill Fisher with an invite to join the Billuminati and a link to a mysterious new LP (the one in my title Mass Hypnosis and the Dark Triad). With said LP duly ordered, the first press sold out in under24 hours!!! Really makes you wonder whether record companies are interested in old school promotion in music or is just the endless clicking on streams or downloading single songs for playlists that spark their interest.

 

As is the want after reading the blurb I was expecting a heavier offspring to the Church of the Cosmic Skull and fair play it’s been duly delivered. Opener “All through the night” took me right back to the 70’s and early Sabbath/Black Widow era, but the vocals link it to the Church inexorably, it’ll hold on to and satisfy the fans of “The church of the cosmic skull, the heavy intense riff overlaid with some great guitar work leading us throughout.

 

Next up “Mirror of tomorrow”, opens with that down tuned riff that we all appreciate, but heavily distorted evoking some of the heavier elements of Alice in Chains, moving the LP in a very different direction, held in sway by those un-mistakable vocals.

 

Moving on into “Celador” led through the opening by the vocals, the incessant guitar picking at you before it shifts up a gear, the riff rising and falling building throughout to a crescendo.

 

“The Dark Triad” again harkens back hitting that intense Sabbath style riff, led by the vocals again guiding you through the song, Then we move into a personal fave “Psychopathy” this is all over the place up a gear, with the bass starting to step in and take a lead, I think this is the song that pulls all the influences together, crystalizes the difference between this solo venture and the main band guitar and solo vocal replacing and leading rather than harmonizing through multiple vocal lines.

“Days of old” moves back into the 70’s picked guitar and solitary vocal producing the soundtrack to a new age of Aquarius, this is the song that will ground the LP holding on to the ethos of Church of the Cosmic Skull.  This feeling of the 70’s continues into “Message from the sky” before we move into LP closer “Mass Hypnosis” a much heavier beast but finishing the LP on a real high. If you’re a fan of Church of the Cosmic Skull, get this in your collection, if your not then back track and give them a listen, but make sure you give this LP the time it deserves, Lp’s sell out that quickly for a reason, we’re working through the second pressing now, join the Billuminati!!!!

 

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Author: Nev Brooks

As we spend our days playing through our LP collections, looking back at stuff we haven’t played in a while, how about looking at things in a different way? How about exploring a style previously unheard? How about diving in and just trying something different? Well for yours truly this really rips up the rule book, “It’s Karma it’s Kool.”

 

Now this baby appeared in my inbox after one of those do you fancy giving our band a listen conversations that you have over the inter-web and whatever Social Media platform you choose to frequent. As the opening intro to “Our love is an amplifier” eases its way out of the speakers you are instantly drawn to the pop sensibilities that permeate throughout, this is undeniably catchy as Fuck, and you find yourself tapping along to it as the lyrics bounce around your brain. Now as I listen I keep thinking it’s treading a path that another band I reviewed took me down, that Band was a Brighton band called World Secret. I mean when you introduce the phrase “pop” you are looking across all sorts of era’s and all sorts of styles, this LP is very much a pop LP for now, lets not go down Brit pop or power pop or indie pop route, lets call it well crafted music that’s going to appeal across the board.

 

As I sit listening I’m drawn back to the sixties at times, I feel the ghost of Syd Barrett will be up there smiling, there’s definitely more than a hint of psychedelia, maybe a hint of Alternative country (especially on “I woke up in Hollywood” the title track that contains some gorgeous harmonies) definitely the seventies with an updated version of the Byrds sound, that can be pulled out right the way through. We have a band I feel that have their influences grounded in the past but not afraid to play around with it, update it, while at the same time creating something that is defiantly different.

 

James Styring on vocals at time’s hit’s that classic Michael Stipe sound without copying, at times moving into Counting Crows arena size sound. This LP is an LP that washes over you, hints at lots of times spent immersed in music, crossing genres but at all times keeping your interest.

 

There’s some gorgeous guitar work on “The girl who gave you everything”, it weaves it way throughout, drawing in your focus. There’s a real homage to the previously hinted at 60’s psychedelia in “New Age Eve” but not from where you expect, the almost early ska type guitar run sets the scene before the vocals lead you into a brass section led element that twists and turns the music into all sorts of directions.

 

If your not smiling by this point as you listen your way through, there’s something seriously wrong, you really need to be sat in the sunshine, preferably with mates (remember guys no more than 6 at this time) with this LP setting the scene and creating the environment.

 

There’s a return to that alt country feel with “Ghosts of Rome” before probably my favourite track on the LP “Battle of Burnt out Bliss”, it just holds you, and draws you in the flamenco guitar giving some real colour to the sound.

 

AS the band themselves say “IT’S KARMA IT’S COOL throws away the rulebook, scribbles all over the blueprints, and forges their own path. Deliciously deceiving, their melodies will wiggle their way into the empty crevices in your brain and never leave.”

 

Too quickly we’re into the final track “Sunflowers” This is an LP that could form the soundtrack to your summer, its meant to be played with friends, outside and I’m sure the band would sound fantastic on a festival stage (maybe next year) let yourself get drawn into the band, remember “It’s Karma it’s Kool”.

 

Dare to be different, don’t follow the masses!!!!

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Author: Nev Brooks

 

 

 

 

 

Just over two years ago, snowed in and listening to new sounds I had a link bounced over to me by Pity my Brain’s main man Jamie Richards, that stopped me in my tracks, the LP was called Time the band was called Dystopian Future Movies. Looking into the background after duly ordering said LP I found that the band’s mainstays were Bill Fisher & Caroline Cawley from the rather tasty Church of the Cosmic Skull (If you haven’t discovered them yet I suggest you get a shift on!!).

For this album Bill and Caroline are joined in the band, by Guitarist, Rafe Dunn and Bassist Oisin O’Doherty. The rather stunning artwork comes from an image of an abandoned Tuberculosis Sanitorium in Caroline’s native Ireland.

Dark indeed and that’s where I want to start this review, opener “Countenance”, eases it’s way out of the speakers, at times Intense, at times sparse, leading with a dark brooding sense of decay, Caroline’s vocals adding an almost otherworldly ethereal feels. Being honest if you try and pitch a particular style of genre, you’d be wrong! Taking a stab I’d say post-Industrial at times? Highlighting a time in the future, where dark paths have been taken. There’s an underlying dread, but maybe a sense of hope?

Moving on next up “wreckage” draws you in, the discordant acoustic lead demanding attention before the vocals lift it up a gear you start to get the feel of a story being played out musically, the counterpoint vocals giving it a depth before we’re drawn into an industrial-style framework, with Bills drumming starting to become incessant, demanding almost. Before we get lost in the wreckage we’re moved forward into “Rules” almost a taking stock of what’s happening, vocally this is a powerful performance, the voice setting the tone for the at times sparse orchestration that eventually pulls you upwards and into the story unfolding. “All the Light” is a coming to terms song what’s come before and a movement away from where we’ve been. Again the vocals lead over a discordant, sparse musical background drawing you indefinitely less is more giving this track both an intensity and fragility. This fragility comes to the fore within next track “Kathleen”, a real stand out.

Moving or easing forward into “Black cloaked” and we’re drawn back into a haunted past, unable to break free from what we’ve experienced, this is a seriously good track and really pins you back, probably the most intense on the album, distorted, discordant and driving in equal measures. Before we’ve come to terms with what we’ve heard we come to a conclusion with “Ten years” we’re now the observer overseeing the whole, removed no longer part of the story.

This is a seriously good LP, bursting with ideas, and me for one will look forward to seeing it translated into the live arena.

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Author: Nev Brooks

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dropping this baby onto the virtual deck and what leaps out in opener “Stop everything” is a sound grounded in the underground, hinting at punk, fuzzed-up rock “ala” the MC5. Does it move towards the new genre that I seem to hearing about everywhere “Action Rock”, I don’t think so, even though this will appeal to anyone with more than an affiliation to the underground. No, it draws on a much richer musical tapestry, but ultimately pinning your ears back and screaming “LISTEN TO ME!!!!!”

 

Next up “No Money, No Peace”, moves up the intensity, there’s a hint of the much-missed Stiv Bator’s sneer, but blink and you’ll miss it, this ain’t prog in any way shape or form.  Moving into “How much will this affect us” and things get a darker heavier feel, that bass run holds you, before the guitar demands your attention, I really like this track it’s a real burner. “Worlds within a world” hits the raw fuzzed up psychedelia of the fuzztones, while at the same time kicking it up the arse, with that incessant punk underpinning.  “Language Lesson” comes tearing out of the speakers, that iggy and the stooges madness taking centre stage, this is a blinder, but for once I’d have liked it a bit longer!!, “Slow Shadow”, moves to a very different beat, more commercial? Dare I say? Yup, it would make a cracking single, this just drips fuzzed-out psychedelia, dropping into 13th-floor elevators territory, complete with the space rock exit!

“The Process” kicks in with a tasty Tribal drummed intro, before it takes off and moves you on a very different path, this is rapidly becoming a fave for yours truly. “Strange Melody” again revisits the psychedelic sounds of the sixties, but with an added pop sensibility reminiscent of The Only Ones.

 

It’s at this point you begin to realize how good an LP this is, crammed full of ideas, honing a musical heritage, taking hints of the past, reimaging them for a current listening audience. I’m starting to drift here but I’m as always thinking about how this will play out live and smiling to myself. Maybe these years Camden Rocks?

 

“Shark Bait” again grabs you from the start, holding that crossover vibe, hinting at a more commercial line, there’s an almost gothic Guitar underpinning and extra to this track.  “Some Colours”, “No Barriers” and “The People I see” maintain the power and intensity, “No Barriers” in particular mixing up the vocal style and again rapidly becoming a favourite, while “The People I see” moving into territories held up by The Ruts.

 

Finishing up with “For Barbara Dane” an acoustic gem with an underlying message, think The Kinks meet the Subways!!! Before the lp plays out with “The American Empire”, I love this Hardcore blast and what a way to finish up a powerful LP from a band that I’ll look forward to picking up on the live scene, and definitely an LP I’ll be investing in.

 

Find Dealing With Damage at WEBSITE / FACEBOOK / BANDCAMP / TWITTER / INSTAGRAM / YOUTUBE

Author: Nev Brooks

 

“a release of intense basic frustration, anger, and aggression, especially that rediscovered by means of primal therapy”.

What better way to release your frustration and anger than at a gig, and what is more Primal than, raw garage rock, alongside a few diversions into other territories, dance, industrial, country and good old raw Rock and Roll, welcome to Primal Scream, one of my fave live entities, always sharp, always intense, always in your face with no punches pulled, hands up who remembers Bobby Gillespie, dedicated ‘Kill all Hippies’ to the massed Glastonbury ranks and not one of them realizing he was taking the piss? Priceless!!

I first caught Primal Scream in Glasgow in 2000 supporting Oasis, just after the release of probably my favourite LP ‘Exterminator’ and I’ve caught them just about every tour since and every time they’ve mutated the sound, changed direction and kept the crowd guessing to what we’re going to get. So tonight for me is a culmination of the last 20 years a set going out under the banner of Maximum Rock and Roll, a best of so to speak happy days.

Openers tonight were a brand new band to me Holy Youth Movement, as far as I can tell not a lot out there to pick up but if tonight’s performance is anything to go by they’ve got the potential to take it to the next level. Grounded in the garage rock sound we know and love, they made a great noise, reminiscent of the rawer side of Primal Scream to be fair, and a great fit, sadly this was the last night on this tour before support bands change over.

On to the main event, and opening with ‘Don’t Fight It, Feel It’ was always going to be a winner for me but to follow it with one of my personal favourite tracks ‘Swastika Eyes’, I could have left then happy. The thing is though with Primal scream they just get better and better as the set moves on, the rush hitting everyone harder and harder, no Little Barrie Cadiogan tonight but Andrew Innes, brought the MC5 influenced raw Rock and Roll sound to the plate, while Simone Butler locked the base down, there was no let up tonight and as the tracks blurred you caught that garage rock and roll underpinning, shaping everything, there were many highlights tonight including the rebirth of Rock and Roll part 2, an inspired ‘Come Together’ complete with a bang up to date Fck the tories, Fck Boris Johnson refrain interspersed in the lyrics, but for yours truly I think the tracks that sent this set into overdrive were a blinding version of Dolls, a jaw-dropping ‘Cry Myself Blind’ and a seriously rocked up version of 100% showing how good the ‘Chaosmosis’ tracks are when given a live slant. And the incredible ‘Kill All Hippies’.
Watching the crowd go mental to ‘Country Girl’, the dedication of ‘Loaded’ to the Super Furry Animals and the encore of ‘Come Together’ before the roof was well and truly lifted with ‘Jailbird’ and ‘Rocks’, 20 years of following Primal Scream nicely rounded off for yours truly. Lets kick off the next decade as usual with a new sound from the Scream (as usual) or maybe a tour playing ‘Give Out But Don’t Give Up’ (The Memphis sessions version complete with brass section) or the 21st anniversary of ‘EXTERMINATOR’ would be a good shout, but as with all things Bobby Gillespie the only guarantee is it’ll be relevant!!!

Signing out “Kill all Hippies!”

Author: Nev Brooks