Tag Archives: Psyche

SAILOR POON: ‘Sailor Poon’s First Album.’

The trouble with finding bands on Bandcamp, is that it can be difficult to find out much about them.

The beauty of finding bands on Bandcamp is that you have no preconceived notion of what to expect; no inflated PR description to influence your thoughts, often leaving you on the distinctly underwhelmed side.

So here’s what I’ve got:
SAILOR POON are a five-piece, all girl group from Austin, Texas. They sound to me like a really interesting, fun and vibrant amalgam of old skool punk, mixed with a growling horror-pop undercurrent.

If doing that really annoying pretentious ‘wine tasting’ thing that not-very-good-music-writers often resort to, I’d say I could hear influences such as X-Ray Spex, The Stooges, The Horrors, The Cramps. And given the excellent and manic use of saxophone at various stages, you’d have to throw into the mix, the likes of The Comet Is Coming. It’s the law, apparently.

SAILOR POON have been around a good few years, initially as all bands do, messing around in their bedrooms and garages, before graduating to the local Austin punk scene.
Not long after, their demo was picked up on by King Khan, who invited the girls to join him on tour.

In 2016, a digital EP was released, (‘Yeast Pigeon‘) and the following year saw the album CD / digital release of ‘B-sides and Rarities.’ No – I’m not sure how that works, either.

I can find no other releases until this year, when February’s ‘Moneysnake Rising‘ digital single was the precursor to the free download of the lead track to this, ‘Sailor Poon’s First Album,’ – ‘Be My Dog.’

The music throughout the album’s thirteen tracks is high energy; frantic. Only the final track, ‘Fly in the Attic,’ tops three minutes in duration, which is just perfect for their spiky delivery. This particular track does hold back slightly on the tempo compared to the others, but does still climb to frenzied peaks with the discordant sax giving a bit of early Roxy Music feel, while the swirling keyboards and pounding drums reflect shades of Inspiral Carpets. There is also still that threatening, gothic growl underpinning the whole thing.

It’s an eclectic mix, for sure, but one that works so well. And as I’m now onto my 4th listen to the album, I’d say it has become my favourite track.

Too Many Boyfriends,’ is the direct antithesis – at only fifty-eight seconds and as fast as it’s furious. ‘Neglect Attraction‘ has a cult comic book feel to it – I think perhaps because the organ and bassline sound remind me a little of the B-52s.

And maybe the comic book reference is not too far from the truth, as the girls obviously have a wicked sense of humour, with a song titles like, ‘She Farts Like A Motorcycle,’ and the fourth track, (thirty-one seconds long) ‘New York’s All Right If You Like Saxophones.’


I’m conscious that throughout this wee piece, I’ve referenced several other bands. This is not something I generally like to do. But I think it fantastically exciting that I have been able to reference some of favourites and write about a band that can meld so many different sounds into something so fresh and vibrant – and importantly, without losing that defined punk sensibility.

SAILOR POON’S FIRST ALBUM – definitely worth checking out!



STONEGRASS: ‘Stonegrass.’

You know what? I actually know very little about the band STONEGRASS, or indeed this, I believe, their debut eponymous album.

See, I was skipping through Bandcamp again today and stumbled upon the pre-order page. Mention was made of ‘psychedelic,’ and ‘acid’ and ‘big bold psyche jams.’ And I guess that’s the importance of keywords, right there kids!

I was hooked and reeled in pretty quickly!

From what I can make out, STONEGRASS are essentially a duo from Toronto, Canada. Comprising bass / guitarist Matthew ‘Doc’ Dunn and drummer Jay Anderson, they hooked up again after previously working together on their Spiritual Sky Blues Band project.

As I write, having just bought the album on pre-order, only two tracks of the seven have been made available:
Tea,’ is a thirteen minute long , stoner guitar wig-out; lots of wah-wah underpinned by a prominent bass line and crashing cymbals and drums. This was composed to be played LOUD, that’s for sure.

‘Frozen Dunes‘ to me has more of a desert rock feel to it. It’s certainly more laid back and dreamy / spaced out in its delivery. Jay’s rolling toms and bongos (says the writer with absolutely no musical experience!) lead the track through its seven minute duration, while effects-laden guitars cry and drift over the top.

I don’t think I’d be a million miles away in saying this track reminds me a bit of early Sleepy Sun, from back in the day.

Whatever – these two tracks on their own are well worth shelling out for, and with the other five being made available on release day, 22nd May, what’s not to like?

(The album will also have a limited edition – 300 – vinyl run. If the costs of importing from Canada to Scotland was not so prohibitive, I’d be right in there myself.)

YIN YIN: ‘The Rabbit That Hunts Tigers.’

“We never had the intention to start a band,” says Yīn Yīn’s Yves Lennertz.  “Our idea was to just release a tape cassette for our friends.”

However, when you land on something as distinct as Yīn Yīn’s sound, it soon becomes an inevitability that more ears are going to be pricked.

The project began life in 2016 with Lennertz teaming up with Kees
Berkers. What was an experimental jam session soon became something more as the Maastricht-based pair were joined by Remy Scheren on bass and Robbert Verwijlen on keys.

I love the mix of musical cultures on this album. The base psyche sounds incorporate distinct Southeast Asia influences, combining at times with the twang of ‘spaghetti western’ soundtracks, at others, with generic funk and disco. Traces of North African Tuareg music also poke through.

The digital version, and some (now sold out) limited edition, coloured vinyl copies of the band’s debut album, ‘The Rabbit That Hunts Tigers,’ has been available via Bandcamp for a few months. But no worries, come April 20th 2020, the excellent Bongo Joe label will see that the album is more widely available, with a general release.

It’s most definitely worth checking out.

THE OCULAR AUDIO EXPERIMENT: ‘No Fooling.’

Just like the buses around here in Glasgow, you wait for ages and then two come at once!

Hot on the heels of his forthcoming new album’s lead track, Alex Pollock has also made available the following, ‘No Fooling.

The album was self-produced, written, performed, recorded, mixed and mastered by Pollock from his home apartment in Somerville, Massachusetts. During the creation of Rain, Pollock’s mother unexpectedly fell ill and passed away. While Rain is in some ways an expression of that change, it is also aspires to belong to everyone, beyond a singular, defining experience. 

Rain‘ is a new, ambitious and exciting stage in the evolution of The Ocular Audio Experiment, colored lovingly with influences like, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, True Widow, Mercury Rev, Spacemen 3, BRMC, Black Angels, Psychic Ills and others.

I’ve been a fan of The Ocular Audio Experiment from, well, the start, I suppose, but much as I enjoyed the earlier work, from what I’ve hear of ‘Rain’ so far, it shows a maturity and richness of sound. It sounds to me that Alex and his ‘live’ band have truly found their feet and there is a greater sense of professionalism in both the music and accompanying video production.

THE OCULAR AUDIO EXPERIMENT.

It’s been three years, but he’s back!
And if you were a reader of Loud Horizon back in the day, you’ll know how happy this makes me.

Alex Pollock, if I recall correctly, is from Boston area, USA, and under the pseudonym, The Ocular Audio Experiment, produces some glorious, shimmering yet dark and melodically doom-laden psyche music.

In his own words:
” Well, here we are, a whole year after I thought this project was done. Wow. This has taken me a lot longer than I had ever hoped or expected it to, for a variety of reasons, none of which are exciting or interesting. I am, however, ready to finally start putting it out into the world for good. ……….

” …. My goal with The Ocular Audio Experiment, going way back to the beginning, was to show that if some idiot like me, with no training, no label, no studio, no band, no know-how, could put together something maybe kind of close to cool, than really anybody could. That’s still the point and I still believe that.”

Rain,‘ is the lead and title track from the forthcoming album. It’s hard to quantify exactly, but I sense a distinctly more confident and professional approach from Alex on this one. The production and sound seem less cluttered and the accompanying video is quite striking in its ambiance and basic starkness.

I look forward to hearing the whole album, and sincerely hope Alex manages to get this in front of labels who specialize in this genre.

It’s a winner, I tellz ya!


ALLAH LAS: ‘In The Air.’

Los Angeles psyche-pop band, Allah Las are set to release their fourth album, ‘LAHS,‘ this autumn (October 11th) with ‘In The Air,’preceding it as a taster.

The album sees the band drawing from their years of touring the world, and experiences of recording three prior LPs. Their development as songwriters and producers is quite evident, and there are even a couple of songs sung in Spanish and Portuguese.

However, the melodies, hooks and harmonies are all still there, and on ‘In The Air,’ in particular, you would hardly need a second guess as to where the band come from. The warmth of a Californian / desert evening positively drips off this track. There’s a distinct psychedelic feel about it – a jangly, poppy psyche feel, which reminds of the less commercial catalogue of The Monkees. The video promotes that feel a little too. Ok – a bit darker than ‘Day Dream Believer,’ but you know what I mean.

(Incidentally, the album name, ‘LAHS’ is simply reference to a common misspelling of the band’s name – and once I read that I had to re-write the heading to this piece three times!)