The Symmetry Of Autumn Leaves
Howling Frequency Records
Perennial are a Connecticut trio that has risen from the ashes of the now defunct outfits Lion Cub and Aeroplane, 1929, and now the three piece have released their debut album, The Symmetry Of Autumn Leaves, but you need to leave any preconceptions that the album’s title may conjure up at the door. The Symmetry Of Autumn Leaves might sound like an album title that the likes of Muse would employ, but this is no self indulgent progressive rock album, Perennial have delivered an eclectic, unpredictable and above all experimental album that is built around a core of distorted discordant punk rock.
The album’s title track opens with a squall of jazz sax before launching into short sharp blast of hardcore infused punk, The Symmetry Of Autumn Leaves is not a predictable album, elements of punk, hardcore and indie, and even jazz, blues and psyche, are blended together in a bewildering twelve track release that defies description. For me tracks such as Hippolyta!, that brings a brash frantic garage rock infused thrash to the album, and the brief intense referential number Dissolver are the standout moments, but anyone who listens to this will find there own personal highs… and lows.
This is by no means an easy listen, an album that melds as many influences and styles is going to include moments that aren’t to everyone’s tastes, but that’s the price that you pay for producing something that is original and experimental, and as far as I’m concerned it’s a price that’s worth paying. There are moments, in particular the more avant garde instrumental elements, that had me skipping and editing some of the tracks, but that’s a small sacrifice to make. Pernennial have taken punks chaotic spirit and blended it with pretty much everything else to create an album that is unlike anything else I’ve encountered in 2017.
The Symmetry Of Autumn Leaves can be streamed and purchased here
Carpark Records / Buzz Records
What can you say about an album whose choice of cover art is the same as your great aunts choice of wallpaper? Warm Shadow is a strange beast of an album and is a companion piece to Greys’ acclaimed sophomore album, Outer Heaven, that was released back in April. Warm Shadow is comprised of original material by the band, as well as elements from the Outer Heaven recording sessions. The album was released via Bandcamp on October 5th, via Carpark Records and Buzz Records.
Warm Shadow is a sprawling experimental album that combines elements of garage, psychedelia, punk, and pretty much everything else that’s from the dark underbelly of the music world, to create an experimental soundscape. The album opens with Minus Team, this is a dark Sonic Youth inspired noisefest that opens proceedings nicely, UberEats starts as a piece of minimalist power pop, before exploding into fully fledged storm of grungy distortion that in turn abruptly turns into a surreal ending of tape loops and effects. I’d Hate To Be An Actress is a dark lo-fi slice of melancholy discord, and that’s only over the first three tracks. The album continues to change constantly, veering madly between styles and retaining a level of unpredictability that makes this a truly original and challenging album.
An album this varied and unusual is never going to be everyone’s cup of tea, it’s doubtful that even their die hard fans would admit to liking everything on this album, every single track is unique and unusual, and a lot more experimental than it’s sister album. Warm Shadow is the perfect companion to Outer Heaven, whilst that album could never be described as mainstream or in any way, shape or form pop, that is what it sounds like compared to Warm Shadow, this is the sound of a band exploring their dark and experimental side, and they do it well. For anyone who likes their albums to be unpredictable and mind expanding then this this is something you need to explore, for me it’s best enjoyed alongside Outer Heaven but it works equally well as a separate and dark entity. Warm Shadow will be available as a Pay What You Can download on Bandcamp through October 12th, and all proceeds during this time will be donated to Toronto non-profit Sistering. Sistering is a trans-inclusive agency supporting women from across Toronto who experience first hand the impact of marginalization and poverty.
Warm Shadow can be downloaded here
Acclaimed Toronto noise rock band Greys surprised fans today with the release of Warm Shadow, a ten track companion album to their celebrated sophomore LP Outer Heaven, released earlier this year on Carpark Records and Buzz Records. Warm Shadow features the track Fresh Hell which Greys released earlier this month via Bandcamp. Warm Shadow will be available as a Pay What You Can download on Bandcamp through October 12th, and all proceeds during this time will be donated to Toronto non-profit Sistering. Sistering is a trans-inclusive agency supporting women from across Toronto who experience first hand the impact of marginalization and poverty. Greys will also embark on a slew of tour dates this fall, doing both headline shows and also supporting Bully, Japandroids and White Lung among others. A review of Warm Shadow will be published shortly on The Punk Site.
The tour dates can be seen below and the album can be downloaded here Read More…
, Noise Rock
, White Lung
In the blue collar hallows of Pittsburgh a rock n’ roll monster has been born. Pet Clinic form experimental waves of sound from a Leslie cabinet and stereo guitar amps backed by a solid rhythm section. Formed by David Bubenheim, John Henderson, Ian Edwards, Kenneth Nelson and Mike Arendt, Pet Clinic authors a powerful portrait of what an experimental rock band can do.
Pet Clinic‘s music and merch can be purchased here
Sick Witch is the new video from Pet Clinic and it can be viewed below Read More…
Big Naturals & Anthroprophh
Big Naturals are a pulverising noise rock duo that is comprised of drums, Jesse Webb, and bass and electronic strangeness, Gareth Turner, that brings warped thunderous bass riffs accompanied with a relentless percussive bombardment. Anthroprophh is Paul Allen, who through two albums on Rocket Recordings and a previous EP on Cardinal Fuzz has shown that he is pushing the boundaries of psyche music to its most avant garde and experimental limits.
Big Naturals contribution to this EP is just one track, but it’s something of an epic, clocking in at twenty one minutes God Shaped Hole is an extended and relentless instrumental that features a driving and fuzz heavy riff, the pace and intensity of this track ebbs and flows constantly. This isn’t an accessible or easy listen but it is one that’s well done and reminds of me of stripped down heavier Hawkwind when they were at the peak of their substance misuse.
Anthroprophh carry three shorter tracks that come from the same experimental stable, initially this would appear to be a much accessible beast that is more reminiscent of the likes of Kyuss and early Queens Of The Stone Age, but it then heads off into unexplored territory. The ten minute Farce Without End is a heavy and demented instrumental that sounds like the soundtrack to a being spiked with LSD, Narwhallian Social Purge is easily the most demented track on here, and is the closest thing I’ve heard to someone capturing the mania of early psyche pioneers such as The Edgar Broughton Band. The EP closes with Anthroprophh‘s final number, Chubbock’s Last Tape, which is another journey to the centre of the mind that defies description.
To say this is an experimental and adventurous EP would be an understatement, Big Naturals & Anthroprophh carries three epic soundscapes and one four minute slice of dementia, this is not easy listening by any stretch of the imagination. It is a fiercely original and complete and utter headfuck of an EP that would be an ideal soundtrack to late night intoxication.
Big Naturals & Anthroprophh can be ordered via Cardinal Fuzz here
Still. Moving. Pictures.
Hilliat Fields is the work of lone multi instrumentalist covering a wide range of genres. On his latest project, Still. Moving. Pictures. he uses one guitar and vocals. This is a quiet reflective and moody release, but also one that is quite haunting and beautiful at the same time.
Opening track RAM provides an atmospheric introduction to the eight tracks that make up Still. Moving. Pictures. Whispered vocals and sparse guitar populate the song and lead into one of the trilogy of songs that make up the album title, Pictures. This is another minimalist number full of carefully chosen, almost ambient, guitar structures. All eight tracks carry on in this nature to make a mellow forty minute journey. The fact that this is the work of one person means that their vision of how this album has emerged is undiluted, the downbeat nature of the album can become slightly dispiriting if you listen to whole album in one sitting, but having said that this is a album that will sound perfect should the time and place be perfect.
This is not an album you’d ever play to get you amped up for a night out, it might however be the perfect soundtrack for when you arrive home as the sun is threatening to rise. This is a unique collection of linked soundscapes, it is deeply personal, original and individual. Would I play this on a regular basis? well no, music of this nature isn’t something you’d listen to for the day to day, this is an album that you’ll be glad you own when the time is right.
Still. Moving. Pictures. is released today and will be available from Amazon, iTunes and the usual sources.
You can stream the first single, Broken Bridges, from Still. Moving. Pictures. here
Hilliat Fields can be found on Twitter, where you can also view his artwork, here
Juniper is the new full length from experimental instrumental trio Square Peg Round Hole. I have no idea where to start with this, the drumming ranges from sparse to frantic, this underpins the obscure instrumentals that overlay the beat. This isn’t just a band that haven’t found a singer, their compositions wouldn’t work with vocals, they include obvious instruments, but mainly there are keyboards, vibraphones and even the inclusion of found or discarded objects they have utilised to broaden the depth of their soundscapes.
Juniper is a certainly a bold artistic statement, this is not an album that has been made with any commercial intent, it is the sound of a band making the music they want to make with no compromises. The album has been superbly mixed by Copeland‘s Bryan Laurenson, he balances the multiple sounds and instruments to make a unique soundscape, it is one that shifts randomly between the discordant and frantic to the intimate and comforting. This is an album that stand firmly on it’s own and defies being pigeonholed or attached to any recognisable genre, they are vey much a square peg in a round hole.
Square Peg Round Hole is a well chosen band name as they are a truly unique beast, part sparse post punk beats, part demented lullaby, part obscure chemical induced relaxation and part demented movie soundtrack. It’s not often I hear a band where I have no frame of reference but Square Peg Round Hole are exactly that. There is no one else doing anything like this, and a spirit of independence is always something to be admired. I can’t imagine when I’m going to listen to this again, but there’s a fair bet I will when the mood takes me, as we all need something a bit strange and experimental in our lives from time to time.
Juniper can be ordered, and streamed, here
The Second Skumming
Musk‘s The Second Skumming is described by the band as “a delivery of hairy knuckled Oz punk with very few chord changes, that does poorly with attractive people and those who prefer early period Scientists to late period Scientists” I’m quoting their description as this is an album that defies categorisation or description, it is a unique and decidedly strange beast of an album.
The Second Skumming opens in a state of disarray, opening number, The Hidden Cost, sounds as though a jazz ensemble has been pushed down a very long flight of stairs, it then heads into a slightly more focused, but equally demented, avant garde approach to make what is a truly experimental album, and one that is genuinely unclassifiable. If pushed you could argue that they sound like The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster if they were having a nervous breakdown, or maybe The Butthole Surfers on a very bad trip, sadly unlike those two fine purveyors of the experimental Musk never find any coherence. There are fragments of punk, garage, alternative, blues and psyche spattered across the eleven dissonant jarring tracks but it never settles on a style. The primal howl of the vocals sits astride discordant guitar riffs, pounding drums and dark bass rumbles, but despite this promising description I found that the relentless cacophony quickly became quite grating.
Sometimes you encounter an album that is so far out of left field that you just don’t know what to make of it, this is most definitely one of those albums. For fans of the avant garde this may well be worth investigating but I just can’t imagine a situation where I would want to hear this again. The Second Skumming is one of the strangest albums I have reviewed to date, whilst it is furiously original and experimental this is a release that just wasn’t for me on any level.
The Second Skumming will be released on 12XU Records on the 19th August and can be purchased here
Cardinal Fuzz / Birdman Sound
The Band Whose Name Is A Symbol are little known outside of their native Canada, last year their Master Of The Molehill album was made available outside of their home country and as a result it sold out within two weeks of release. Cardinal Fuzz has now been given access to The Band Whose Name Is A Symbol‘s archive and the Elevator box set is the result of this. It contains three albums, 2010’s Versus The Purveyors Of Conspicious Authenticity, 2013’s Scrappy Little Jaw and 2014’s Pathfinder, which were only previously available as short run private pressings on The Band Whose Name Is A Symbol‘s own Birdman Sound Label.
If you are at all familiar with the Cardinal Fuzz label then you will know you are in for something unusual and experimental, The Band Whose Name Is A Symbol are no exception. Let’s start at the beginning with the Versus The Purveyors Of Conspicious Authenticity album, this album from 2010 opens with the eleven minute Sour Kraut and continues in a trippy and spacey five track album that recalls Space Ritual era Hawkwind. 2013’s Scrappy Little Jaw is a more accessible album that doesn’t contain their usual epic journey’s into the mind, this is eleven tracks of space rock, whilst it contains the same qualities as the first album in this box set it is a progression, and it is a much less self indulgent beast than it’s predecessor. 2014’s Pathfinder is a logical continuation from the first two albums contained in Elevator. If you have any fondness for psychedelia, in particular the likes of Gong and Lemmy era Hawkwind, or have an interest in the soundtrack to mind expansion then you may want to investigate The Band Whose Name Is A Symbol. My personal favourite from this triple album box set is 2013’s Scarappy Little Jaw which marries their experimental stylings with an acknowledgement that twenty minute soundscapes aren’t always going to be everyone’s cup of tea.
Housed in a foil stamped presentation box containing an 8 page A4 risographed hand stamped edition biographical document, a double sided A4 colour insert and the three albums all in spined sleeves and containing download codes. This is a time capsule that gives fans the chance to get up to speed with The Band Whose Name Is A Symbol‘s back catalogue. The box set is limited to 148 copies worldwide and each album will be available individually in limited quantities.
You can order The Band Whose Name Is A Symbol‘s albums including the Elevators box set here
Florida rock band New Cathedral is currently streaming the first single from their new album, Ghost, on their bandcamp page.
The single “Stealing Mirrors” is available for download with a pre-order of the band’s new record, which is set to release on March 6, 2014.