In the same vein of truly unique and completely bizarre bands like Diablo Swing Orchestra and the Leningrad Cowboys, today we have Austria’s Russkaja and their latest release “Energia!”. Featuring 12 tracks of ‘Russian Turbo Polka’ music as the band describes it, any fan of truly experimental and very unique music will be creaming their pants with this bizarre musical output. Combining Polka, Metal, Ska, Rock, Jazz, and Funk, this release is anything but standard and predictable.
Open the release wide open we have the catchy “Energia!” a track so engaging that we are sure some people will immediately start dancing. The band’s sound resembles some of the Ska we have listened to in the past, but with a higher intensity and heavier guitars. “Barada” sounds like old Russian Rock songs that we had the misfortune of listening to on the net, but the band adds the wind instruments to keep it interesting and very catchy.
Arriving from Moonlight Records, today we have another solid Stoner Rock/Metal release that hails from Italy. We have seen a surge in Stoner Rock/Metal releases in the last few years and luckily for Prehistoric Pigs, they fall under the ‘better than average’ category. Cranking out 55 minutes of catchy music, “Wormhole Generator” is a quite a solid release from any fan of the genre.
Starting the release with the trippy “Swirling Rings of Saturn”, the band showcases their very simplistic approach into creating catchy and trippy music. There is nothing very fancy about their sound or event extremely technically proficient, it is just straight up effective riffing and traditional song structures. The fact that “Wormhole Generator” is fully instrumental makes it even better since you can enjoy the hard-rocking tracks without the need of putting up with a (maybe) bad singer on top.
The kings of catchy Black ‘n’ Roll have returned with another killer release in “Welcome Farewell”. Continuing to push the boundaries of Black Metal mixed with old-school Metal, Vreid shows that they can only keep improving their very unique and aggressive musical approach. For over 40-minutes the band delivers waves of uber catchy riffs paired with hellish vocals and a knack for ridiculously entertaining song arrangements.
Immediately pounding away with “The Ramble”, the band shows that they haven’t forgotten their Black Metal roots, but they deliver them on their own terms. There are very typical BM riffs here, but they are given an old-school vibe that makes them as addictive as heroin. Tracks like “Way of The Serpent” and “The Devil’s Hand” are excellent examples of riff-a-thons that are the staple of this band’s excellent song writing skills.
Delivering a small dose of catchy Hard Rock with some Metal elements, today we have Finland’s The Psycho Season and their EP titled “Unwilling”. In this superbly catchy four song EP, the band captures the listener attention by playing straight forward music that instigates some heavy duty headbanging.
The album opens with a wave of powerful guitar riffs and catchy vocals in “Unwilling”. This track has a vibe very similar to bands like Chrome Division and similar acts that have that Hard Rock edge with some Southern Rock/Metal influences. The band’s vocalist does an excellent job in providing a staple sound to The Psycho Season. “Preposterous War” delivers more catchy riffs and tight drumming that shows the band’s musical maturity and excellent skills in writing simple yet effective music.
After blowing us away with their self-titled debut album last year, today we have Jess and the Ancient Ones and their follow-up EP titled “Astral Sabbat”. In this release the band further refines their amazing Psychedelic Occult Rock/Metal music and presents three very engaging tracks that will satisfy any fan of the band and of the genre. With so many bands playing this genre nowadays, it is refreshing to hear this band excel at it.
The band immediately jumps into things with the highly intoxicating and playful “Astral Sabbat” song. We got immediately transported into psychedelic times with the crazy keyboards and super catchy song structure. Jess’s vocals are as amazing as ever and carry this song with a dramatic performance. Immediately following we have the band’s cover of Shocking Blue’s “Long and Lonesome Road”. While imprinting the band’s unique sound to this song, they also managed to say very true to this highly addictive song. Look it up on YouTube so you can judge for yourself.
Delivering one of the most unique and sonically crushing releases of 2011 (and we missed it then!), today we have Italy’s TalismanStone and their monumental “Lovecraftpolis” release. Comprised by 3 musicians, this outfit delivers a Sitar induced double-bass guitar aural assault that combines Pyschedelic Rock elements with Doom and Sludge into four tracks of biblical proportions. If you think this combination is weird, TalismanStone manages to pull it off graciously and crank out over 45 minutes of hypnotic music.
Opening with the Stoner/Southern Metal sounding “By The Sun of The Light Keeper”, the band establishes a very mellow and sludgy atmosphere. The bass guitars (yeah, that is right, TWO of them) replace all guitars in this track and they perfectly create that thick distortion that one would expect from a Sludge/Stoner Metal release. The female vocals courtesy of Erica Bassani are both haunting and intoxicating. However, the best part is when the trippy sitar makes its entrance to this already excellent song.
Arriving from Norway, today we have the melancholic Norwegian rockers of Acelsia and their debut full-length “Don’t Go Where I Can’t Follow”. With the band down to a two-piece outfit comprised of Malene Markussen on vocals and piano, and Odd Henning handling guitars bass and synth, they have moved away from their Gothic/Doom Metal roots and they now play very emotion-filled Rock. With 11-tracks this release is very diverse, showcasing the duo’s excellent songwriting skills.
Opening with the haunting vocals or Malene, the band moves the listener with the powerful “Roads”. This song immediately shows the band’s more Indie/Alternative rock sound with catchy guitars and soaring vocal lines. The Post-Rock touches of “Stitches” and “Up On The Roof” greatly enhance the songs and adds an extra dimension to the band’s already unique sound. “Up On The Roof” greatly reminded us of the band Shellyz Raven and their super depressive music.
As the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Michael Kushner, today we have Born of the Stars and their/his self-titled EP. Mixing elements of Progressive Metal, Alternative Rock and Post-Rock, the ‘band’ manages to craft very emotional and melancholic songs that are actually very appealing and engaging.
Opening with powerful Groove Metal-style guitar riffs, “One Day” immediately morphs into a more melodic and diverse track. Michael delivers a solid vocal performance, but we are more surprise on the quality of the instrumentation behind the song. Particularly the drums are quite good, which are usually the pitfall of one-man bands, and most of the time sound like very evidently programmed ‘robotic’ track.
Delivering nine tracks of exquisite and playful instrumental Rock, today we have France’s Lovely Girls Are Blind and their third full-length release “Brésil”. Combining elements from Instrumental Rock, Post-Rock, and Progressive Rock, this French quartet manages create their own unique sound while reminding us of bands like Mogwai, God Is An Astronaut, and the more refined parts of Russian Circles.
Opening with the very eerie “Catatonie”, the band sets the mood with dreamy guitars and very well paced percussions. The band does a great job in crafting beautiful passages in this song (and the rest) that allow the song to fully develop in a natural fashion. With a shorter duration and a more direct approach, “Robotnik” shows a heavier side to the band that nicely changes the pace of the release very quickly, just before going back to more dreaminess courtesy of “Cochise”.
Returning after his very solid and enjoyable 2011 release “It's A Beautiful World”, today we have Bradley Tatum and his uncompromising old-school Punk Rock. Filled with catchy melodies and interesting combination of elements, “Punk Eternal” delivers thirteen tracks of back-to-the-basics music that is both enjoyable and very well crafted.
With a very traditional musical approach, Bradley Tatum immediately grabs your attention with the opener “The Realm of Silver” and its super catchy riffing and warm vocals. Song after song, this release is filled with little details that break the monotony and make each song memorable, for example the subtle keyboards of “Life Returns” or the hypnotic female vocals in “Terminal Love”.