Returning to the glory of obscure 70s instrumental prog! I mentioned when I wrote up Beyond Expression, the sophomore album from Dutch prog band Finch that the scuttlebutt was their debut was more jazz-influenced, and bore some comparison to bands like the Mahavishnu Orchestra. Thanks to the mighty Discogs I was able to track down a US pressing of Glory Of The Inner Force and I’m here to tell you that yes: it IS more jazz influenced, and their ARE some comparisons to be made to the fusion giants, mainly in some of the electrifying leads of Joop Van Nimwegen (though he’s a far cry from John McLaughlin). Whatever your take, on the whole this is a rocking debut that leans on the shoulders of the giants of the day to create an enjoyable record that isn’t afraid to go bold.
Continue reading “Finch: Glory Of The Inner Force (1975)”
Back from vacation and happy to see some more vinyl coming in from Castle Face Records. This time it’s the latest from John Dwyer and his constantly rotating assortment of musician friends creating more fuzzed out space jams that emphasize rhythms and soundscapes that harken back to krautrock while simultaneously pointing to distant, futuristic horizons. Call it Gong Splat, call it whatever you like, but know that like all of Dwyer’s collaborative projects there’s an undeniable pulse that will take you to points unknown in the universe.
Continue reading “Dwyer, Sawyer, Coates, Zoby, & Renteria: Gong Splat (2021)”
At some point Castle Face Records stopped being the home of Osees (or Oh Sees, or Thee Oh Sees, or OCS, etc.) and became one of the most dependable labels for delivering rock and roll aimed squarely at my brain. Few labels are consistently knocking out great rock that slides effortlessly into psych and prog but somehow John Dwyer keeps finding them and signing them. Case in point: Grave Flowers Bongo Band, who not only embody everything I love about the label on their sophomore record Strength of Spring, but have the added bonus of being produced by another of my favorite artists, Ty Segall. For some that’s a recipe for garage rock disaster; for me it’s buzzed out sonic bliss.
Continue reading “Grave Flowers Bongo Band: Strength of Spring (2021)”
When you’re recording guitars you’re taught to keep things “out of the red” – even with the heaviest distortion, you want to keep the sound from clipping and sounding like there’s something wrong with your speakers. Another term for it is “bricking” – when you see the wav form for something recorded too hot it looks like a solid brick of sound with no dynamics. It’s a good thing no one told Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats about that, because their second album Blood Lust wouldn’t have nearly the impact it does if the guitars (and everything else) didn’t sound like all the levels were maxed out. Far from being unlistenable, it creates a lo-fi psych/stoner doom rock gem that gets better with each listen.
Continue reading “Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats: Blood Lust (2011)”