Written by: The Administrator
If you, dear reader, have A. frequented our humble halls with some regularity, and B., have a remarkably keen memory, you may recall prior coverage/adoration of one Rick Massie.
Over the past few years, this one-man outfit from the wilds of the Yukon consistently presents a healthy blend of rock, prog, and metal, whether in the form of an ode to Halloween, a foreboding single, or across the breadth of an expansive album. Each Rick Massie moment features a very different sonic and aesthetic backdrop, but the intentionality and sheer quality remains consistent.
For further proof, look no further than today's track in question, a largely faithful cover of the mighty Opeth's "The Moor." It officially comes out on May 20th, but until then, you can listen to your heart's content at ye olde Sleeping Village. Check it out below! As always, we'll meet ye on the other side.
This year, in an attempt to cover more music that would all-too-oft slip through the very large cracks, we're trying something new and novel around these parts. Namely, we're gonna actually publish the little one-off reviews that were previously (and arbitrarily) deemed too short for publication. In that spirit, here's a mini-review of a Very Good heavy psych single.
Written by: The Administrator
Today's mini-review is brought to you by my noteworthy inability to get stuff done when I intend on getting it done. I first heard this stellar single by Kansas' own They Watch Us From The Moon upon release back in December of 2021, and it's taken a few months to muster the wherewithal to actually put my praise to text. I apologize to the band for my tardiness. In any case, we're here now.
In a word (or rather two): holy fuck. "Return to Earth" is a magnum opus from a band that inevitably has another magnum opus in store. This 10-plus minute track is a stellar display of the mastery of craft They Watch Us From The Moon have accomplished in a relatively short time. Their heavy-psych-by-way-of-doom is heavy on atmosphere, and carries itself with a comfortable air that recalls the more cosmic sides of Slomatics and Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard, and perhaps a doomed-out interpretation of Meddle-era Pink Floyd. The multiplicity of vocal styles is a particular strong suit, with Luna Nemeses leading the pack with a simply delightful tone that sails comfortably above the instrumentation and various backing vocals. While spacious enough to leave the listener vaguely untethered, the track is ultimately grounded by the sheer catchiness of the refrain, which runs across the whole with a hypnotic consistency.
While some may find the runtime excessive for the elements presented, I'm a huge fan of the borderline meditative environment that blossoms from the repetition of the stirring chorus, particularly in the back half. If this moon crew's next project contains tracks of this caliber, we're in for one helluva treat--which says something, considering how damn good 2020's Moon Doom! was. Bottom line? This is a stunning song, and if you enjoy stoner doom, heavy psych, or any related variations thereof, I can almost guarantee that you'll find yourself kicking back and throwing "Return To Earth" on repeat.
Written by: Blackie Skulless
Two years ago, Black Sites absolutely blew my mind with their second album titled Exile. The Chicago musicians have certainly not hit the brakes on giving it a follow-up. Considering frontman Mark Sugar took on Bear Mace last year, I’d say they had their hands full. Late this year, a follow-up titled Untrue hit the scene. While played in the same traditional metal style with proggier takes and modern surface finishes, this avoids being a carbon copy.
For the most part, this record lays down the melancholic gradient heavier than before. Though it’s only slight, it’s enough to let it stand apart. Lyrical themes around life, tragedy, and modern issues certainly boost this, and I think helped the poetic flow, which is something that really stands out. The smasher “Call It By Its Name” is a wonderful vocal driven number with a smooth chorus and galloping guitars weaved in. Songs like this breathe life by relying on higher wails and dissonant, drawn-out passages to really dial in the emotion on top of everything else.
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that wakes us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry.