Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Guerilla Toss: "Meteorological"

I was elated to find out that Guerilla Toss will be releasing a new LP this September called Twisted Crystal. Last year's GT Ultra spent many days and nights at constant rotation in the confines of my car's CD player. GT Ultra made my top 5 favorite records for 2017.  

You can find GT Ultra here via Guerilla Toss' Bandcamp for preview or purchase. I recommend the purchase option.    

"Meteorological," the lead single from Twisted Crystal, continues the band's foray into funk and electronic dance modes, moving from the noisier output of prior releases (i.e., Eraser Stargazer) to more accessible, albeit characteristically odd, territory, a modern homage to the mutant disco and synth pop that flourished beneath the post-punk umbrella in the early 80s. The video premiered at Stereogum, but you can check it out below.

Twisted Crystal is releasing September 14th via DFA Records. All info, links, music, and tour dates come courtesy of Force Field PR.  

Guerilla Toss announces new DFA LP, Twisted Crystal, shares new track / video via Stereogum, plus fall tour dates

Today Guerilla Toss announces its third LP for DFA, Twisted Crystal, due Sept. 14 (pre-order it now). The video for the album's first single, "Meteorological" was made by Giraffe Studios and is up now at Stereogum, who praised the song's "disorienting forward momentum and catchy hooks." The band has also announced a full North American tour for the fall - see full dates listed below.

Analog synthesizers give tangible life to the works of Guerilla Toss. Whether it be the sound of a rocket ship, a kitten-with-a-wah, distorted dolphins, or a clavichord made out of honey-baked ham, the band consistently finds new ways to bring together the many ideas that combine to shape each new batch of art-rock puzzle pieces.

Twisted Crystal, Guerilla Toss’ new LP, feels more personal than ever for the band. Angular yet irresistibly catchy, this collection of pop songs pulls influence from powerful groups like The Slits, ESG, Gina X, and early Madonna, with sing-speak vocals from Kassie Carlson nodding to legendary artists like Laurie Anderson, Grace Jones, and Lizzy Mercier Descloux – combining this all into a twisted, crystalline concoction.

Oracles and enigmatic egos are common lyrical themes, but charismatic instrumentality springs the listener back to extraterrestrial comfort. Old favorite sounds ring true from the trusty Sequential Circuits Six Track Synthesizer and Clavia Drum Machine. New, more refined sounds are molded and polished by drummer/producer Peter Negroponte, whose passion for perfection and creation goes far beyond an all-consuming Tetris effect. Peter has truly excelled on this new recording, creating a complex networks of beats and sound that become easily intertwined with the rhythmic fabric of life.

Raised in a devoutly religious family, vocalist Kassie Carlson started performing at the age of five. She often participated in large pastoral choral performances, as well as her family’s four-part harmony gospel quartet, making her no stranger to the stage. Growing up under the fear of God leaves a distinct footprint on your perception. An omnipresent male dictates not only your present waking life but also the rest of your eternity. Discovering a rock band was more than self-expression for Kassie, it was a manifestation of a self-healing temple, a personal pipeline for power. What better way to part the waters of toxic sludge than a matriarchal shout?

Arian Shafiee, Guerilla Toss’ resident textural-guitar guru, is inspired by aspects of non-Western tuning and extended techniques. He designs moments of dense, glistening, pitch-shifted harmony and measured strumming that link classical impressionism to no-wave and early minimal music. His recent solo work truly comes through on this new record, as he tethers fantastical surreality to noise rock to deconstructed Middle Eastern pop music.

Keyboardist Sam Lisabeth paws the keys with distinct virtuosity and expressive sass. A new member, Stephen Cooper (of the band Cloud Becomes Your Hand), binds the group with an urgent, disciplined, and melodic style. The hypnotic, ostinato-like basslines and up front rhythm tracks guide and grip each song like gravity, keeping the listener from swirling off into the cosmos.

In albums past, Kassie’s performances resembled more of a manic, possessed high priestess; humming at the gates of hell, hacking telepathy and tugging the strings of every audience member.
Twisted Crystal goes beyond this familiar darkness, leading us into a rhythmically calming charm with deep wisdom, serenity, and understanding. What is a twisted crystal? And who told you it would heal?

At times the listener wanders through mazes of dizzying, alternately pulsing time signatures, but the roads always bounce, meet and magically snap back together. That meditative groove, both live and in the studio, has become signature for Guerilla Toss, drawing deep influence from 70s krautrock and experimental rock music like Tom Tom Club, Talking Heads, Brian Eno, Neu!, Cluster, Todd Rundgren, and La Dusseldorf.

A constantly evolving, living breathing entity, the band now presents the album
Twisted Crystal. Enjoy the same surrealistic, kinetic healing energy of live Guerilla Toss, today in your own home.

“Magic is Easy. Hypnotize yourself well.”

09/17 Winooski, VT @ The Monkey House
09/18 Montreal, QC @ l’Escogriffe Bar Spectacle
09/19 Toronto, ON @ The Baby G
09/20 Cleveland, OH @ Mahall’s
09/21 Athens, OH @ The Union
09/22 Chicago, IL @ The Hideout
09/24 Milwaukee, WI @ Cactus Club
09/25 Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St. Entry
09/26 Omaha, NE @ Reverb Lounge
09/27 Lawrence, KS @ White Schoolhouse
09/28 Denver, CO @ Hi-Dive
09/29 Salt Lake City, UT @ Diabolical Records
09/30 Boise, ID @ Funky Taco
10/02 Butte, MT @ Covellite Theater
10/03 Spokane, WA @ Bartlett
10/04 Seattle, WA @ Vera Project
10/05 Portland, OR @ Bunk Bar
10/06 Eugene, OR @ Lorax
10/07 Arcata, CA @ Outer Space
10/09 Redding, CA @ The Dip
10/10 San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill
10/11 Los Angeles, CA @ Zebulon
10/12 San Deigo, CA @ Whistle Stop
10/13 Tijuana, MX @ Moustache
10/14 Phoenix, AZ @ LBX
10/15 Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress
10/19 Austin, TX @ Hotel Vegas
10/20 Denton, TX @ Dan’s Silverleaf
10/21 Fayetteville, AR @ Smoke & Barrel
10/23 Nashville, TN @ The End
10/24 Asheville, NC @ Mothlight
10/25 Durham, NC @ Wicked Witch
10/26 Richmond, VA @ Gallery 5
10/27 Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
10/28 Cambridge, MA @ Elk’s Lodge
10/30 Providence, RI @ Columbus Theater

Guerilla Toss
Twisted Crystal
Street Date: September 14, 2018
Purchase here

Track List:
1. Magic Is Easy
2. Jesus Rabbit
3. Meteorological
4. Hacking Machine
5. Retreat
6. Come Up With Me
7. Walls Of The Universe
8. Jackie’s Daughter
9. Green Apple


Letters From A Tapehead

Thursday, June 28, 2018

What's (Re)New? — Sunn O)))'s White1 and White2

Sunn O))) is now twenty years old. For those of you who've breathed the frequency all these years and accepted that maximum volume does indeed yield maximum results, the story begins with the LA Rehearsal/Rifftape March 1998 demo, which was recently issued and quickly bought up from Sunn O)))'s webstore. 

Following that release, the band's WHITE1 and WHITE2 albums have been reissued.  Myself a fan of both albums, I am very excited about these reissues, which have been repackaged as 180-gram white vinyl double-LPs with posters.  Both are now available to purchase from the webstore.  

Please leave me a couple of copies: I have to wait a full week until payday.

If you're interested, you can find more Sunn O)))-related stuff here:

• A review of 2009's Monoliths & Dimensions 
• A review of the 2011 reissue of ØØ Void
• A review of Soused, Sunn O)))'s collaboration with Scott Walker
• A review of 2015's Kannon from Daughter of a Tapehead
Sunn O))) w/ Dead in the Dirt and T.O.M.B.: Live at Union Transfer — 9.5.12

All release info, links, and tour dates were provided by the kick ass people at Earsplit PR.

SUNN O))): Southern Lord Is Pleased To Present Both Historical WHITE Albums In Their Fundamental And Proper Forms, Coinciding With The Label's 20th Anniversary

Photo by Kerry O_Sullivan
SUNN O))) is reissuing both WHITE albums this summer, coinciding with Southern Lord's 20th anniversary.

For these reissues SUNN O))) took the original full-length unedited premasters/final mixes to Matt "The Alchemist" Colton at Alchemy Mastering in London for a complete high resolution 88K/24bit mastering and, crucially, cut the lacquers using Alchemy's half-speed method on their Neumann SX 74 cutterhead. The outstanding results allow the original full-length mixes to be pressed at high fidelity on the vinyl format. The new
WHITE masters reveal a broader frequency response, the bottom end is deeper and more intense, low mids are lusher, high frequencies are smoother, and the stereo image is vastly improved, seeming more three dimensional and more dynamic. The sound is clearer, sharper, more direct.

SUNN O))) co-founders Stephen O'Malley and Greg Anderson originally conceived the
WHITE albums to be "acoustic" but the sessions at Fontanelle's Magnetic Park studios in Portland Oregon quickly took a far different route toward the psychedelic and the electronic/synthetic, with trance and drone experiments.

WHITE1 was originally released in 2003 by Southern Lord as a CD and very limited three-sided LP edition of 540 copies in a white sleeve with a sticker, packaged in an embroidered pillowcase and containing a sleeping pill. The WHITE1 album was a great step forward into the experimental and highly collaborative area which SUNN O))) has metamorphosed via and travelled since. Together with the generosity and talent of the unique and great guest artists Julian Cope, Joe Preston, Rex Ritter, Ulver, and Runhild Gammelsaeter, the concept of SUNN O))) was brought forth from the shadows of the earth unto the broader cosmic spheres.

WHITE2 was originally released in 2004 by Southern Lord as a CD and limited double-LP edition of 1000 copies in a tip-on gatefold sleeve in various vinyl colors. The WHITE2 album was notably the first collaboration with the Hungarian legend and singer Attila Csihar, which has since begat a long and fruitful creative story of the O))) ethos. With the WHITE albums SUNN O))) took a bold step the experimental and highly collaborative path the concept of the group has traveled since. Together with Attila, WHITE2 featured the extraordinary talents of special guests Joe Preston, Rex Ritter & Dawn Smithson. Along with WHITE1, the album brought the concept of SUNN O))) further forth, arriving at a truly transcendent note with the pairing of the "Decay" tracks featuring Attila. And, the sky cracked open.

Southern Lord is offering each these reissues on 180-gram white vinyl, housed in Stoughton Printing old style gatefold tip-on sleeves. Each includes an A1 poster with classic portraits of the band from the period by Kerry O'Sullivan and Glynnis McDaris. T-shirts and other exclusive packages are also available. Limited to 1,000 copies, these shall be made available exclusively via and Other vinyl colors will be available through all outlets later in July.

For twenty years, SUNN O))) has been challenging the way we think about music. From 1999's
The Grimmrobe Demos to 2015's Kannon, core members Stephen O'Malley and Greg Anderson have forged connections between the worlds of metal, drone, contemporary composition, jazz, and minimalism with startling results while remaining true to the eternal principles of volume, density, and weight. In 2015, SUNN O))) released their first full-length LP in six years, Kannon, with its roots in recent collaborations with Norway's Ulver (Terrestrials) and Scott Walker (Soused).

SUNN O))) will perform live at the Psycho Las Vegas festival on August 19th alongside Godflesh, Goblin, Enslaved, All Pigs Must Die, Wolves In The Throne Room, and many more.

SUNN O))) Live:
8/19/2018 Hard Rock Hotel & Casino - Las Vegas, NV @ Psycho Las Vegas [info]

Letters From A Tapehead

Monday, June 25, 2018

Notes from The Record Room: Confessions to the Hip Priest — Fall Poseur’dom (or, Being Late to The Fall)

Back in 2006, Henry Rollins exposed me to The Fall via his Harmony In My Head radio show at the now-defunct Indie 103.1. For a while, each episode would feature at least one Fall track and his fanaticism with this band was enough to convince me to run out to the sorely missed Tower Records in King of Prussia and pick up A Part of America Therein, 1981, which is a compilation of live performances. I was not immediately taken with the album, nor the material per se, so I chalked this venture up to just being at odds taste-wise with a diehard fan. The Fall just wasn’t for me.

The first time I listened to Get Up With It, an electric era double-LP from Miles Davis, (I’ve written about the record before, so sorry being redundant), I couldn’t get through the first track. “He Loved Him Madly,” which was written as a meditation on the life of Duke Ellington, was over 30 full minutes of ambient sound and icy guitar notes, scattershot snare rolls arbitrarily placed throughout till an eventual, albeit muted, stride enters well beyond the track’s halfway point. I picked up the CD because it was Miles Davis and it was cheaply priced, ignorant to this phase of the artist’s evolution and expecting something other than what I was hearing. I grew bored and I pulled the CD out of my car stereo, annoyed at the purchase.

But, as the story goes, if something you’re exploring doesn’t resonate right away, you try again. And, if you’re compelled to do so, you try some more. It’s probably not a surprise to say that Get Up With It eventually became one of my all-time favorite records and I spent a healthy portion of time with it, learning to appreciate its subtleties as well as its more abrasive moments. “Rated X” is a contained anxiety attack. The emotional state of the artist is bare and as honest as we all hope our interactions are with the people we know, love, or trust. It’s the sort of truth that you hope to find in any form of art.

We forget sometimes, especially in this reality of media plentitude, to stop for a second and listen. Or watch. Or absorb. Even the simple act of chewing before you swallow seems like a lot to ask of us in this day and age. Immediate gratification is the goal. If whatever you’re devoting your dwindling attention span to doesn’t excite every sensory receptor in the space of five seconds, you’re likely to focus on something else. These are not new observations, but they’re applicable to my relationship with The Fall’s music.

Before Mark E. Smith passed away earlier this year, I’d finally begun to understand and appreciate what he was doing. It took 11 years of occasional listening and it’s because, at some point, I’d made the mistake of making up my mind and deciding that one uneven live CD could sum up a band as prolific and varied as The Fall were. I won’t go into a lesson about how sticking to one’s convictions can limit experience or perspective, (because honestly some things necessitate being treated with an unmoving yes or no), but my stubbornness did me no favors in this case.

And, I’ll admit to some laziness as well. Coming at a band like The Fall so late in the game, it’s an overwhelming discography and history to digest, especially when you consider the band’s numerous line-ups.

So, I’ve been slowing acquiring Fall LPs for the last year or so, beginning with The Fall’s second release, Dragnet. A friend of mine burned a copy of 1996’s The Light User Syndrome for me some years ago, and I’ve been reacquainting myself with it. A posthumous convert or poseur, I’m reconciling with failing to recognize the importance of a sea change level band. Paying penance in the name of the hip priest. 


Letters From A Tapehead

Friday, June 22, 2018

New Selections — DEAFKIDS, Marisa Anderson, Circuit des Yeux, Moaning, Here Lies Man

Some new and not-so-new selections for June. 

DEAFKIDS: "Espiral da Loucura"
(via Rarely Unable / Bandcamp)

Via Rarely Unable:

Brazilian trio DEAFKIDS share a new track "Espiral Da Loucura" ahead of widespread touring this June. This new track was recorded live at Red Bull Studios in Sao Paulo/Brazil on April 2018 - listen below.


Marisa Anderson: "Lift"
(via Thrill Jockey Records/YouTube)

Via Thrill Jockey:

Just after the release of her debut Thrill Jockey album Cloud Corner, guitarist Marisa Anderson has released the video for album single "Lift," directed by Christopher Kirkley and featuring Anderson playing the charango. Anderson kicks off her North American tour tonight in Seattle with Joan Shelley, and will be performing throughout the summer with the likes of labelmates Sarah Louise and Glenn Jones, as well as Tara Jane O'Neil and Nathan Bowles.

Cloud Corner, Anderson’s music is boundless. Rooted in American folk music, her pieces are inspired by 20th century classical and West African guitar techniques. The results are revelatory. Written and recorded in a period of political and personal upheaval, the album was created as a refuge, an ode to stillness in an era of ceaseless noise.


Circuit des Yeux: "Falling Blonde"
(via Rarely Unable/Drag City/YouTube)

Via Rarely Unable:

Haley Fohr, of experimental folk project Circuit des Yeux, presents new visual imagery to accompany her extraordinary long player Reaching For Indigo; a broadcast for the fourth single "Falling Blonde".

The video presented is a super 8 film edited, directed, and starring New Zealand based video artist Veronica Crockford-Pound. It is in response to the song "Falling Blonde", our discussions about the action of falling (the most natural state of all things), and our bodily relationship to gravity. Gravity has the ability to keep us together and depending on our alignment, can result in suffering or balance, both of which we all experience during our time on Earth.


Moaning: "Misheard"
(via Sub Pop/YouTube)

Moaning's self-titled LP is currently available from Sub Pop Records.


Here Lies Man: "Taking The Blame"

(via Us-Them Group/RidingEasy Records/YouTube)

"Taking The Blame" is featured in the new album from Here Lies Man, You Will Know Nothing, which is available now from RidingEasy Records.  

Letters From A TapeheaF

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Online Sounds: The Young Mothers — "Black Tar Caviar" (Single Premiere)

The Austin-based experimental sextet known as The Young Mothers are releasing their second album this week, Morose.  

Currently based in Austin, The Young Mothers tie together backgrounds as regionally varied as Texas, Chicago, New York, and Norway, engaging their multiple influences into a cross-genre synthesis of protest music and aural turbulence.

As if to illustrate this perfectly, for the single "Black Tar Caviar," The Young Mothers compose a discordant, rhythmic tug of war that attempts to merge jazz-based improvisation with the bare-knuckle assault of hardcore or powerviolence.  Somewhat akin to the avant sonics and noise-fetish brass explorations of John Zorn, especially for its frenzy of a finale, "Black Tar Caviar" pairs confusion and aggression in a compelling way, pitting the avantgarde against the underground and reveling in the forms' rejection of each other.  Those opening Albert Ayler-styled sax notes almost seem like a red herring, the steady pulse of a hi-hat sounding tin-like against the phrases of wailing brass that stretch for more than half the track until vocalist Jawwaad Taylor finds his cue.  "No rest for the weak/No power in the streets," Taylor speaks, a throbbing bass riff and percussion section emerging and remaining locked into its pattern despite the scream-laden sections of high tempo violence. 

"Black Tar Caviar" is featured on Morose, which will release this Friday, June 22nd via Self-Sabotage Records.  The album is currently available for pre-order at this link:

You can listen to the track below:

All links, images, and information come courtesy of Us/Them Group. 

On the Web:

Artist: The Young Mothers
Album: Morose
Record Label: Self Sabotage Records
Release Date: June 22nd, 2018

01. Attica Black
02. Black Tar Caviar
03. Bodiless Arms
04. Francisco
05. Untitled #1
06. Jazz Oppression
07. Morose
08. Osaka
09. Untitled #2
10. Shanghai

Letters From A Tapehead

Monday, May 28, 2018

No Ripcord: Lithics

Mating Surfaces, the newest album from Portland rockers Lithics, is out now at Kill Rock Stars.  You can find a review of the album at No Ripcord.

Mating Surfaces
Kill Rock Stars
Released: 5.25.18

Letters From A Tapehead

Thursday, May 24, 2018

New Selections — Oh Sees, Spectres, Lithics, Covet, Wooden Shjips

Here are a couple of weeks' worth of songs to enjoy. 

Oh Sees: "Overthrown"
(via Castle Face Records / Bandcamp)

This track is to be featured in an upcoming new Oh Sees album, Smote Reverser.


Spectres: "End Waltz (Mun Sing Remix)"

From Spectres' upcoming remix EP, WTF.  It's available for pre-order at Spectres' Bandcamp page.


Lithics: "Glass of Water"
(via Kill Rock Stars/YouTube)

From the upcoming new Lithics LP, Mating Surfaces.  The album is scheduled to release, 5.25.


Covet: "Shibuya (feat. San Holo)"
(via Speakeasy PR/Triple Crown Records/YouTube)

From Speakeasy PR:



San Jose, Calif., May 23, 2018 – Covet, the Bay Area instrumental trio featuring Yvette Young, David Adamiak and Forrest Rice, release effloresce on July 13 via Triple Crown Records.

Giving fans and newcomers an early preview of the six-song offering, the band shares a video for “Shibuya:” The song features Dutch musician San Holo.

“Shibuya, located in Tokyo, is a bustling place bursting with energy. I feel this song captures the sensation of exploring a place like Shibuya and how the adventure can take you to a magical state of mind,” says Young, who has been heralded by Guitar Player (“Young’s impressive dexterity and two-handed tapping create undulating atmospheres and contrapuntal melodies for her math-rock band, Covet.”), Guitar World (inclusion in the outlet’s She Rocks collection) as well as a recent profile via Vans (

“On this recording, we experiment with different harmony,” explains Adamiak. “I believe this helps dictate the sonic change in mood and tone from Currents.” Currents is the trio’s self-released EP, an offering that brought the band international attention.

Covet play the Northside Festival on June 8 and follow with a two-week headlining tour surrounding effloresce’s release:

June 8 Brooklyn, NY St. Vitus (Northside Festival w/Caspian)
July 16 Portland, OR Lola’s Room
July 17 Seattle, WA Croc Back Bar
July 19 San Francisco, CA Café du Nod
July 20 Santa Ana, CA Constellation Room
July 21 San Diego, CA Voodoo Room (House of Blues)
July 22 Phoenix, AZ The Rebel Lounge
July 24 Denver, CO Lost Lake
July 25 Salt Lake City, UT Kilby Court
July 26 Reno, NV Holland Project
July 28 Santa Cruz, CA Catalyst Atrium

effloresce tracklist:
Shibuya (ft. San Holo)
Sea Dragon (ft. Mario Camarena) *
*Mario Camarena is CHON’s guitar player

Pre-orders for effloresce, which include an instant download of “Shibuya,” are available now (

# # #


Wooden Shjips: "Already Gone"
(via Thrill Jockey Records/YouTube)

From Thrill Jockey Records:

West Coast psych mainstays Wooden Shjips will release V., their highly anticipated new album, tomorrow on Thrill Jockey. Arriving just in time for summer to kick into high gear, the record exudes warmth and bright optimism, blissfully in its own world of peace and harmony. On the eve of the album’s release the band has shared a video for the new song “Already Gone,” an anthem advocating a laid back approach to turning on, tuning in, and dropping out. “Why be low? All of us are sitting here, feeling strange / Light a merry cigarillo,” sings bandleader Ripley Johnson. “Ride on.”

The video, shot in Portland, shows the band reveling in sunshine and companionship, including the band showing off their hacky sack skills, Johnson playing guitar outside, and a cameo by labelmate Dewey Mahood, aka Plankton Wat.

Wooden Shjips will be playing songs from V. on the road for the next several weeks, with their North American tour starting tomorrow in Portland, OR, before embarking on a full tour of the UK and Europe this September - full list of dates below. After witnessing a recent set at the Levitation Festival in Austin, the Austin Chronicle wrote that the band “drew as much inspiration from Northern California ancestors Quicksilver Messenger Service as it did from mantra masters like Guru Guru, lowering heart rates with more boogie than blast. Johnson’s lead guitar favors plangent tones and melodic phrases, which may have been just what the wired audience needed.” 

Wooden Shjips tour dates:

May 25 – Portland, OR – Mississippi Studios [tickets]
May 26 – Seattle, WA – Crocodile [tickets]
June 1 – Nelsonville, OH – Nelsonville Music Festival
June 2 – Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle [tickets]
June 3 – Chicago, IL – Do Division Fest
June 4 – Detroit, MI – Marble Bar [tickets]
June 5 – Toronto, ON – Horseshoe Tavern [tickets]
June 7 – Los Angeles, CA – Bootleg Theater [tickets]
June 8 – San Francisco, CA – Slim’s [tickets]
June 9 – Sonoma, CA – Huichica Music Festival

30 Aug - Zurich, CH - Bogen F [tickets]
3 Sep - Berlin, DE - Lido [tickets]
4 Sep - Amsterdam, NL - Paradiso Noord [tickets]
6 Sep - Antwerp, BE - Het Bos [tickets]
7 Sep - Charleroi , BE - Rockerill [tickets]
10 Sep - London, UK - Heaven [tickets]
11 Sep - Leeds - Brudenell Social Club, UK [tickets]
12 Sep - Glasgow, UK - St Luke's [tickets]
13 Sep - Gateshead, UK - The Sage [tickets]
14 Sep - Liverpool, UK - Invisible Wind Factory [tickets]
15 Sep - Manchester, UK - Gorilla [tickets]
16 Sep - Birmingham, UK - Institute 2 [tickets]
17 Sep - Belfast, UK - The Empire [tickets]
18 Sep - Dublin, IE - Whelans [tickets]
20 Sep - Barcelona, ES - Upload [tickets]
21 Sep - Madrid , ES - Caracol [tickets]
22 Sep - Donosti, ES - DabaDaba [tickets]

V. from Thrill Jockey:

Letters From A Tapehead

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

What's (Re)New? — Pain Of Mind by Neurosis

A few days ahead of its scheduled reissue, Neurosis' 1987 debut LP, Pain Of Mind, is currently streaming at the group's Bandcamp site and pre-order links for the physical releases, which include color options for vinyl, are available at Neurot Recordings

Highly anthemic, raw, and certainly energized, Pain Of Mind precedes the band's first actual steps toward the path that Neurosis would eventually cut for themselves, pioneering a version of metal music that investigated how sound could be explored and the treasures those deep recesses could hold.  Released at a time when hardcore was going through its midlife crisis, faced with either the possibility of growing musically or staying the course, Pain Of Mind is itself a crossover release, musically ahead of the lockstep one-two punch typified by hardcore's highest esteemed while adhering to the genre's speed, song length economy and aggression.  It's a blistering listen.  

Pain Of Mind will be out May 25th via Neurot Recordings. 

If you're interested, you can find reviews for other Neurosis reissues here:

• A 2010 review of Enemy of the Sun

All info and links were provided by the excellent and always accommodating Earsplit PR. 

NEUROSIS: Remastered/Reissued Pain Of Mind Debut LP Streaming In Full; Album Out Friday Via Neurot Recordings

Photos by Murray Bowles
Neurot Recordings presents the remastered reissue of NEUROSIS' debut album, Pain Of Mind. The album is streaming in its entirety ahead of its re-release this Friday, May 25th.

Stream NEUROSIS' remastered reissue
Pain Of Mind debut LP HERE.

Pain Of Mind is set to be re-released alongside CHRIST ON PARADE's A Mind Is A Terrible Thing full-length. Both initially released in 1987, these two albums will see a simultaneous worldwide reissue on LP, CD, and digital formats on May 25th. The artwork for Pain Of Mind has been updated by Josh Graham (A Storm Of Light) in the tradition of the previously-reissued NEUROSIS titles, and the album has been remastered by Bob Weston at Chicago Mastering.

Find preorders HERE, and the 1987 bundle with NEUROSIS' Pain Of Mind and CHRIST ON PARADE's A Mind Is A Terrible Thing HERE.

Pain of mind, sickness of heart...

Pain Of Mind marks the inception of one of the weirdest and most powerful bands there ever was as they begin their odyssey through the sonic landscape: thirty-three years, eleven albums and counting. These gritty punk songs bear little resemblance to what NEUROSIS would become, but the future was written here, and if you listen closely to these kids – barely out of high school at the time, you can hear their early influences: The guitars and existential anguish of Amebix and Rudimentary Peni, the passionate politics of Crass, the heaviness of Sabbath – and here, too, they lay the foundation for some of their enduring concerns: the pursuit of transcendence, and contemplation on the downward suck of despair.

As Ian MacKaye coyly suggests in the East Bay Punk doc Turn It Around, there are "a lot of holes to fall into" growing up in the Bay Area. In 1987 Dave Edwardson was eighteen, Scott Kelly was nineteen, Jason Roeder was sixteen, Chad Salter, the band elder, was twenty-one, and they had already fallen into many of them, including, of course, the great abyss of depression. Only a teenager could write the punk anthems "Black," "Grey," "Life On Your Knees," and of course the title track, "Pain Of Mind." They are songs of survival.

With Pain Of Mind, NEUROSIS sunk their claws into the hearts and minds of the East Bay scene like no one else. They were fucking dark, gazing right into the abyss and refusing to turn away. The cacophony of vocals on Pain Of Mind – Scott's unhinged screams, and Dave's guttural growl, suggested a familiar sort of internal mania: like the voices in an unquiet mind, paranoid, but for all the right reasons. And Jason Story's original cover art perfectly captures that torment.

NEUROSIS shows in the Pain Of Mind-era were like nothing else. The pit was wild; people rolled around on the floor, climbed the walls, threw themselves off the stage. Watching Neurosis play felt like a seizure that reset your brainwaves: shock treatment, an exorcism. For a few days after a show, you always felt real mellow.

NEUROSIS reminded us that maybe we weren't free, but at least we were locked up together. It sounds melodramatic, but NEUROSIS might have saved our lives. -- Anna Brown

Letters From A Tapehead

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Buys & Receipt — Axebreaker, Ultravox, Magazine, Tangerine Dream, Die Kreuzen, Paul McCartney, U.S. Girls, The Jesus Lizard, Goblin, Oh Sees, OCS, Sleep

Axebreaker: The Whited Sepulcher 

Ultravox: "Passing Strangers"

Magazine: "Vigilance"

Tangerine Dream: "Betrayal (Sorcerer Theme)"

Die Kreuzen: "Wish"

Paul McCartney: "Temporary Secretary"

U.S. Girls: "National Anthem" & "Pearly Gates"

The Jesus Lizard: "Bloody Mary"

Goblin: "L'alba Dei Morti Viventi"

Oh Sees: "A Few Days of Reflection"

OCS: "Cannibal Planet"

Sleep: "Marijuanaut's Theme"

Letters From A Tapehead

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

New Selections — Maff, Jaye Jayle, Becky and the Birds, Yonatan Gat, MIEN, Carla Bozulich, Clebs, Weathered Statues

Here are some songs to consider.  Please enjoy. 

Maff: "Desfile" & "Hawaii"
(via Shameless Promotion / Bandcamp)

"Desfile" and "Hawaii" are both featured on Maff's newly released digital EP, Melaniña, which can be purchased at the band's Bandcamp site.


Jaye Jayle: "Ode to Betsy"
(via Rarely Unable/Sargent House/YouTube)

From Rarely Unable: 



Jaye Jayle, Evan Patterson’s Americana-noir project, has not only opened a new chapter for the Young Widows frontman—it’s blossomed into a universe all its own. The newest arc in the Jaye Jayle narrative has been revealed with the announcement of the band’s latest album No Trail And Other Unholy Paths, set for release June 29th via Sargent House. The album’s first single— the smoky, hypnotic track “Ode To Betsy”— is now streaming.

Beginning as a flurry of 7” singles housed in bare-bones dust jackets, Jaye Jayle has evolved into a captivating persona alterna for the Louisville-based singer-guitarist. Imbuing negative space with hallucinatory mantras, Patterson has embraced his strengths as a storyteller while trekking into thickets of unmarked sonic terrain. With his cohorts Todd Cook on bass, Neal Argabright on drums, and Corey Smith on auxiliary instrumentation, Jaye Jayle unfurls a tapestry of neo-folk economy, krautrock-esque repetition, skid row’s darkest blues, Midwestern indie rock’s nihilism, and Tangerine Dream’s analog oscillations.

Produced by Dean Hurley, David Lynch’s music supervisor of the last twelve years,
No Trail And Other Unholy Paths has transcended the album format, elevating itself to a choose-your-own-adventure experience. Patterson notes that the album bears no specific beginning or ending—Side A and Side B are meant to be interchangeable. The album could open with the fluttering instrumental “No Trail,” or the slow burning synths of “As Soon As The Night,” even the spectral push-pull of “Marry Us,” featuring Emma Ruth Rundle’s spellbinding vocals. Regardless of track sequencing, No Trail And Other Unholy Paths is an album that drives its aural dimensions to the absolute threshold — and then some.

No Trail And Other Unholy Paths is available for preorder via Sargent House here.


Becky and the Birds: "Concept Store"
(via Wilful Publicity/Soundcloud)

From Wilful Publicity:

After an avalanche of praise for her debut single ‘Holding On’ earlier this year, the highly acclaimed Swedish singer and producer Becky and the Birds has returned with her brand new single ‘Concept Store’.

Incorporating jazzy pianos and bass among classic hip hop beats, Becky and the Birds’ lush flighty vocals soar through the track alongside the samples she’s plucked straight from nature.

Regarding the new single Becky and the Birds says,
“‘Concept Store’ is about when you find yourself obsessing over what the person you love is thinking. I guess you could say that it’s about some kind of paranoia, you’re stuck with the thought and the feeling that he or she is about to leave, and soon you’ll start over-analyzing shit.”

‘Concept Store’ is the second track to be taken from Becky and the Birds’ forthcoming debut EP, which will be released later this spring. Featuring a genre-spanning blend of lush electronics, with nods to trip-hop and ‘90s R&B the result is similar to the likes of SZA, Solange and even Ella Fitzgerald.


Yonatan Gat: "Cue the Machines"
(via Tell All Your Friends PR/NPR/Joyful Noise Recordings/YouTube)

From Tell All Your Friends PR:

Yonatan Gat is a genre all to his own. His new opus, Universalists (out May 4th on Joyful Noise in US and Glitterbeat in Europe) sees the New York experimental composer honing his skills not only as guitarist and bandleader, but also as a producer. His sophomore LP sees Gat experimenting with splicing live-to-tape recordings of his genre-bending trio in ways that are as indebted to Kanye West as they are to electric era Miles Davis or Brazilian experimentalists Os Mutantes (with which Yonatan recently released a split 7-inch), pushing the envelope in ways that only a few can.

Album opener “Cue The Machines” starts with an Italo-Spanish choir – but the voices get manipulated, sampled and chopped into stuttering electronic rhythms underneath Gal Lazer’s merciless jazz-punk drums and Sergio Sayeg’s countermelodic bass. The second track, "Post-World", uses Gat's guitar to reframe a traditional work song from Mallorca into a mysterious, yearning ballad. Lead single “Cockfight” pays homage to Balinese music, and album centerpiece “Medicine” combines Gat’s sound with the Eastern Medicine Singers, a group of Algonquin Native American drummers. Along with SwansThor Harris they create a pulsating, stream-of-consciousness trance.

Over the previous decade, Gat became known as one of the world's top performers as founder and guitarist of Monotonix, hailed by SPIN as
"the most exciting live band in rock’n’roll," with concerts that quite literally destroyed the border between performer and audience, and were controversial enough to get them banned from playing their home country.

Gat then relocated to New York City. He began recording and performing as a bandleader, and in 2014 released the
Iberian Passage EP, a debut that maintained his signature raw energy while switching the focus away from the shock-performance style of Monotonix to a more ritualistic, improvised, shamanic musical exploration. 2015 brought the genre-bending full-length Director. Composed mostly of live improvisations by his trio and field recordings made by Gat, the record was a mind-melting exploration through many different styles of music, from Brazilian psych and Afrobeat to free jazz, surf, and 20th century avant-garde.

Three years in the making,
Universalists is a conceptual and crafted snapshot of an artist evolving and experimenting, broadening his musical palette to incorporate vocals, vibraphones, horns, strings and samples, all the while remaining loyal to his live ferocity. Every recording of Gat's band in Universalists was performed (many completely improvised) live, each in a different studio, before they were meticulously edited, rearranged, reframed and reinvented by Gat.

A truly global work set to be released in the hostile political climate of 2018, the album is inevitably charged with a sense of confrontational urgency. But while it is indeed a provocative work, it goes beyond exploring the distress of our time. Universalists goes on to emphasize not the distinction between genres, and by extension cultures, but the complex similarities.


MIEN: "Odyssey"
(via Force Field PR/Clash Mag/Rocket Recordings/YouTube)

From Force Field PR:

The debut album from MIEN (pronounced "Mean") was released on Friday April 6th, 2018. MIEN is comprised of The Black Angel’s Alex Maas, The Horror’s Tom Furse, Elephant Stone’s Rishi Dhir and The EarliesJohn-Mark Lapham. Today the band shares the official music video for "Odyssey" via Clash Mag

Carla Bozulich (w/ The Night Porter): "Sha Sha"
(via Rarely Unable/Constellation Records/Soundcloud)

From Rarely Unable:

The second track of Carla Bozulich's new album Quieter, "Sha Sha" is a joint effort from the brilliant quartet The Night Porter. Consisting of Carla along with Ches Smith (drums, vibes), Jessica Catron (cello), and Shahzad Ismaily (bass), The Night Porter – which falls between Scarnella and Evangelista in Carla's extensive musical timeline – crafted gorgeously melodic earworms and "Sha Sha" is a fine example of their musical chemistry. Carla describes the group as being "thick as thieves" and one listen to this elegantly spacious yet tightly-crafted track leaves no doubt that this collaboration really is something special. Listen to "Sha Sha" on Spotify, Apple Music and Soundcloud


Clebs: "I'm Here"
(via Terrorbird Media/JASS/Soundcloud)

From Terrorbird Media:

I’m Here is the debut release from Clebs, the preternatural duo of Swiss vocalist Emilie Weibel and Atlanta-bred producer/drummer Jason Nazary. Elements of the contemporary found in Nazary’s production, embellished by Weibel’s unique polyrhythmic phrasing, filter through the lens of the non-human, forming Clebs’ uncanny & often spiritual musical vocabulary.

While the track "Homemade Bread" gives a sneak-peek into the more experimental, Laurie Anderson-esque elements to their music, the title track "I'm Here" goes more off-kilter club, with beats an addictive chorus to boot.
I'm Here is set for a May 25th release date on Brooklyn imprint JASS.


Weathered Statues: "Betrayal"
(via Us-Them Group/PopMatters/Svart Records/Soundcloud)

From Us/Them Group:

Denver heavy post-punk quartet Weathered Statues premiere a new track from their forthcoming Svart Records debut today via PopMatters.

Darkness and light: They strike an unsettling balance on
Borderlands, the debut full-length by Weathered Statues, due May 11 from Svart Records.

Across the album's ten songs, the Denver four-piece walks a shadowy liminal zone. On one side is darkwave, deathrock, and vintage postpunk; on the other is synthpop, shoegaze, and classic new wave. Vast hooks mesh with harsh riffs. Ghostly melodies mingle with industrial synths. The band draws on their formative years immersed in the music of Siouxsie and the Banshees, Killing Joke, Xmal Deutschland, Echo and the Bunnymen, Christian Death, and The Cure. At the same time,
Borderlands resonates alongside the work of contemporary groups like Wax Idols, Soft Kill, Preoccupations, and Merchandise.

The members of Weathered Statues — singer/keyboardist Jennie Mather, guitarist/keyboardist Jason Heller, bassist Bryan Flanagan, and drummer Andrew Warner — are all veterans of the underground music scene. Jason played in The Blue Ontario with members of Christie Front Drive. Jennie and Jason played in Hyacinth with members of Minsk and Lake of Violet. Jennie, Jason, and Andrew played in Cloak of Organs with members of Planes Mistaken for Stars and Wovenhand. And Andrew also serves as the current drummer of Slim Cessna's Auto Club.

Letters From A Tapehead

Monday, April 30, 2018

International Jazz Day!

If you needed an excuse to celebrate music, today is International Jazz Day.

Letters From A Tapehead

Guerilla Toss: "Meteorological"

I was elated to find out that Guerilla Toss will be releasing a new LP this September called Twisted Crystal . Last year's GT Ultra sp...