Sunday, January 20, 2008

Lightning Strikes Twice:

A lot of people really enjoyed the last Asa-Chang and Junray post and here is another amazing example of the wondrously weird world of these Japanese players. Tsu Gi Ne Pu is an extended ep that has a bit more of a laid back feeling than their Jun Ray Song Chang album. Every song here drips with crazy creativity...dabbling in frequencies unknown to any other group; and settling in this really unusual vibe that embraces the subtle power and beauty of the human voice, exotica, tablas, and Star Trek samples!


Italians (still) do it better:

It's been awhile since I posted some rare Italian rock here. This particular album comes from 1974 and is presented by a talented group performing under the name Quella Vecchia Locanda. The album is called Il Tempo Della Gioia and is a stellar collection of classical inspired prog-rock that brims and bubbles with inspired flourishes at every turn. What sets this album apart from most other Italian rock albums of the era is the heavy inclusion of almost all acoustic instrumentation. Hear it for yourself: violin, flute, piccolo, string bass, acoustic piano, harpsichord, drums, acoustic guitar. There are a few electric instruments used: guitar, keyboards, etc. but the emphasis remains on classical arrangements and fantastic interplay among the acoustic players.

Also--dig the crazy "I'm on acid in the Italian red light district" artwork.

Seize it!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Damn fine coffee...

Despite having a fairly ridiculous band name/album title, Metal Flake Mother's one and only full-length album is a treat for those who like weird pop songs with hooks and a slightly quirky and creepy edge. The music contained within the reels of Beyond The Java Sea is full of unconventional melodies and creative arrangements; utilizing a surf guitar sound...full of that "round" rockabilly tone and dripping with reverb. When listening to this great cd, it becomes apparent that perhaps Metal Flake Mother was influenced by Pixies in both their guitar sound and their songwriting approach...and it works wonders! because everyone has heard many bands that try to ape the Pixies style; but Metal Flake Mother pulls it off by adding plenty of their own personality and elements that make them a band on their own. The singer's vocals are great...flamboyant, tuneful, slightly off-kilter, but never over the top; aways staying to the respectful range of the song. Beyond the Java Sea is a record that I have grown intimate with over the years and remains one of my favorite albums. Discover for yourself what all the fuss is about...look past the band name, album title, and the dreadful cover art, and discover a secret masterpiece.

Drink Up

Dark Days:

A dark, epic journey in symphonic pagan metal from this American trio (not the German medieval metal band of the same name). Layers of gothic melody sweeping through these stellar compositions; with a distinct focus on a cold atmosphere and quite a bit of variation. There are five tracks with the total playing time of 44 minutes and Corvus Corax take their time; allowing these songs to unfold at a slow pace, but filling each moment with elements of beauty, blackness, and more than a few grand moment of astounding surprises. The Atavistic Triad is a monster of an album...sadly under appreciated and a document to a band ahead of their time.

Open the Portal