Written by: Blackie Skulless
I’m gonna be honest, I didn’t even realize that Mike Tramp had such a big catalog of solo albums until I stumbled upon his newest, Second Time Around. For those unaware, he was famous for fronting the Danish/American glam metal band White Lion in the ‘80s, before later forming Freak Of Nature, and eventually going solo. The focus has certainly shifted since then, regarding energy. Singers going solo like this can pretty much be hit or miss.
Different doesn’t mean bad, though. Second Time Around is very AOR driven, aiming itself towards songs that are more tame in nature and come from a singer/songwriter life perspective. A lot of this is built around summer-related themes, particularly the fun of highways and driving. Though that obviously leaves room for plenty of cheese, the lyrics have strength in poetic flow. This is usually what I would expect from older artists that once fronted bigger heavy metal acts.
Written by: Continuous Thunder
In the world of heavy psych-rock, the majority of influences often come from the rock bands of the ‘70s, and if we’re honest, the modern bands more resemble hard rock and early heavy metal. Ultimately, this is understandable; modern heavy psych likely comes from a desire to trace heavy music back to its roots, and the origin of heavy metal is often, though not without contention, considered to be Black Sabbath’s 1970 self-titled debut. As such, many of the sounds and aesthetics emulated in heavy psych come from the time period immediately before and after that key event. You rarely hear modern bands going for the sound of the true psychedelic rock of the mid-’60s, and that’s why The Sonic Dawn is different.
Hailing from Denmark, The Sonic Dawn completely embrace original psychedelic rock in ways few modern bands do, right down to the floral shirts and mustaches.
At Ye Olde Sleeping Village, it's a little odd for the vultures (and other carrion-feeders) to spend time occupying any locale other than the maggoty plague-pit. Thus, imagine our surprise when a Turkey Vulture rapped, Poe-esquely, on the door of our hallowed scriptorum. It presented a package before taking gangly flight--and so, here we are, new Turkey Vulture demo track in hand. How apropos. Funny how it happens, but what can we say? Music promo is an interesting world these days.
For those of you not in the know, Turkey Vulture are a duo out of southern Connecticut with little regard for genre barriers or convention. Their singular brand of metal-by-way-of-punk-by-way-of-americana is informed by a motley cast of characters--not least among them being Dolly Parton Herself. We reviewed their two-track this summer, and, despite having very few songs indeed to grasp in grubby hands, we’re always impressed with whatever Jessie May and Jim Clegg have cooked up. The latest, an acoustic cover of folk ballad “In The Pines,” is no exception to this rule.
It's been a while since The Captain has made it down to the Stoned Village,* or I mean, Sleeping Village, what's the difference? I've been up on Saturn 9 laying down some new track for the world to decimate themselves to.
Here we have The King's Pistol. These fools don't even know what they've gotten themselves into with the likes of me. The bass player, Andy, seems to be scared of my threats, and is worried I'm going to come to his work. He gave me the address, the silly bastard. Why would you give The Decimator of Worlds your location, doesn't he know I have a space ship?
I am not a child of the 60's or 70's. I am, however, a child of a child of the 60's and 70's, and that has made all the difference in my current state of musical appreciation. Not to say the hippie aesthetic is my thing--far from it--but folk and proto-rock planted a certain something, and every once in a while, it's fun to revisit. Enter Flowers, the forthcoming debut LP from Sweden's Children of the Sün.
Sonically and thematically, Children of the Sün's brand seems, at first blush, easy to place. Vocal harmonies? Check. Liberal application of hammond-esque keys? Check. Pitter-pat percussion? Check. Airy acoustics? Check. Back-to-the-earth sentimentalism? Double check. Take your favorite carefree folk rock--Traffic or perhaps Blind Faith as several examples among many--and mix, sparingly, with the modern edge and vocal prowess of MaidaVale or Halos and Hurricanes-era Avatarium. The latter may be a stretch, but Josefina Berglund Ekholm and Jennie-Ann Smith certainly share similarities in syrupy-yet-grounded delivery.
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!