Akkah “Wash Me Alive / Rage of Daylight” E.P. (akkah.bandcamp.com)
Stockholm, Sweden’s Akkah create an intriguing and ethereal mood on their debut two song E.P. “Wash Me Alive” stirs things up with it’s cinematic tones and gorgeous vocals. The dynamic guitar work and big open production work really well together and give you a feeling like you are right there in the room with this duo while they are making the song. “Rage of Daylight” is more primal and ominous and surrounds you like a warm blanket on a cold winter night while you are sitting in the dark watching footage of the first moon landing. It’s menacing and mysterious and truly one of the most captivating songs I’ve heard in some time. An incredible debut sure to turn heads and open ears around the globe.
Bledi Boraku “Tha” LP (bledarboraku.bandcamp.com)
Albanian multi-instrumentalist Bledi Boraku hits a home run on his breathtakingly beautiful and highly innovative debut album. The hypnotic beat of “koha.1” draws you in right from the start and offers an array of tones, soundscapes and colorful textures that are as thought provoking as they are irresistible. It’s a sonic journey that never let’s up and keeps you guessing at what will come next. “Ndalese_1” has an orchestral vibe to it that echoes the spirit of Philip Glass. It’s constant manipulation showcases what experimental music is all about while the rich guitar playing and sturdy backbone of “koha.2” shows off a completely different side of the album. The 14 plus minute “koha.3” is like a 3 dimensional sound collage or the soundtrack to a lost Alejandro Jodorowsky film. It’s subliminal tones and ever evolving movements are inspiring from beginning to end. “Tha” is a truly remarkable achievement that should be enjoyed in it’s entirety to guarantee the best listening experience possible. Highly recommended.
CITE S/T E.P. (citemeout.bandcamp.com)
Who’s ready for some punishing psych driven rock n roll? That’s exactly what you get on this debut E.P. from Oakland’s CITE. Opening number “Clipping” is a crushing blast of guitar mayhem mixed with well planned hooks and a brilliant sense of arrangement. This is soon followed up by the speedy paced “I’ll Let Go” which keeps the energy level on high with it’s pounding drums and frantic mood while “Tangle” blends angular guitar work with a relentless attitude that never lets up. The record is rounded out with two more heavy hitters in “Captured And Vibed” and “No Fun”. CITI perfectly blend the ruthlessness of punk with a late 80’s early 90’s post punk slant and plenty of psychedelic undertones to form a sound that’s absolutely incredible. Do yourself a favor and GET INTO IT!!!
Cold Cold Nights “(The) Last Summer” E.P. (coldcoldnights.bandcamp.com)
I sense a very welcoming spirit and mood when listening to this latest offering from Czech Republic based outfit Cold Cold Nights. Opening piece “Prologue” sets the pace as it’s breezy, wash of light guitars and soothing atmospherics create a blissful and warm setting that I really love. The charming almost droney style of “Football part 1 & 11” and “Football Part 111” makes me think of Pavement covering Dinosaur Jr. but with guest vocals from Wlico’s Jeff Tweedy. The harmonies and way the track builds is both beautiful and inspiring while the looming bass line and stoic stance of “Never” gets more and more enjoyable with each listen. It’s the type of track that grows with you in time. The vocal performance on “Joie” is truly impressive and is sure to draw you in and make you an instant fan of this band. Overall “(The) Last Summer” is a highly impressive collection of unbelievably well put together songs that leave me longing for more.
Last Hyena S/T E.P. (lasthyena.bandcamp.com)
There’s more happening in the first minute of this new E.P. from U.K. based instrumental math rock outfit Last Hyena than what happens on entire albums by so many of today’s new bands. After a quick flash of pulsating noise, soothing layers of gliding guitars quickly give way to a greatest hits like flourish of odd time changes, sporadic rhythms and general music geekery that features a sturdy rhythm section and pristine musicianship all around.What more could you ask for from a song titled “Panzerschreck”. Jazzy chords and frantic bursts of sonic energy run throughout “Savannah”. It’s a really colorful number that grows with intensity by the second while closing piece “Viceroy” drives everything home with it’s infectious beats, unpredictable cadences and at times orchestral guitar work. A fabulous E.P. that harnesses the spirit of Mahavishnu Orchestra, King Crimson and Gentle Giant but expands on the genre and has the capability of inspiring future generations of musicians with their uncompromising chops and brilliant execution.
The Jesus And Mary Chain “Always Sad” Single (thejesusandmarychain.uk.com)
“Always Sad” is the 2nd single from the new Jesus And Mary Chain album “Damage And Joy”, their first in 19 years. It’s full of the bands familiar hooks and has a fun uptempo beat that is sure to make long time fans smile. Jim Reid shares vocals with an unconfirmed female vocalist which reminds me of the amazing Reid family side project Sister Vanilla from several years back. I’m certainly excited about this new album as there can never be too many JAMC songs in my world. “Damage And Joy” is available today in fine record stores throughout the world.