Tag Archives: Psyche

DEAD ACID PEOPLE: ‘Earth, Weed & Fire.’

Dead Acid People are a four-piece Stoner rock band from Paris, France. Initially formed as a duo back in 2014 by guitarist Stéphane and drummer, Guillaume , they were shortly thereafter joined by Alain on bass. Agreeing then their sound could be further enhanced by the addition of a vocalist, he services of Mathieu were then enlisted.

Their first album, ‘Mocker Fuzzers‘ was released in 2016. I’ve had a quick run through that one and while it is worth checking out, to me it has more of a gothic, Gary Numan feel about it rather than ‘stoner.’

However, ‘Earth, Weed & Fire,‘ far better fits the description. It’s very bass-led, and an early indication of this comes in the opening ‘Intro’ track, The seven minute plus title track follows and immediately the difference between this album and the band’s debut becomes apparent. The production is definitely geared towards their vision, with the vocals sort of choked back into the mix more than the first album. Being the length it is, the track moves through a couple of distinct phases and incorporates a (too) short guitar wigout around the mid point.

‘Never Ending‘ unfortunately does. And all too soon. Perhaps not strictly ‘stoner’ for the purists, but this one races through its two and a half minutes duration and in terms of beat and bass line, echoes those of Iggy Pop’s ‘Lust For Life.‘ A winner in my book!

Fuzz You,‘ keeps the tempo high, and chugs along with a sense that it is the most commercially accessible track on the album. It’s not inconceivable that this track could be appreciated by a wider audience – one that would normally balk at the thought of listening to anything so radical as ‘stoner.’

‘Cosmic Trails‘ returns us to what I’d consider the more traditional ‘stoner’ sound – steady, solid rhythm, pounding drums, more deadbeat vocal styles and searing guitars. ‘Beyond The Path,’ slows even further and has a kind of ethereal feel. It’s a lovely spaced-out track, predominately instrumental, but interspersed with hushed group vocals.

Light A Fire’ features some fuzzed up guitar and more growled vocal style. It has a harder edge than the other tracks.

Closing track, ‘Wrong Faith,‘ is a heavy-riffed, brilliantly dark, nine-minute end to the album. Arguably the best of the eight racks, in my opinion.

Earth, Weed Fire’ is definitely an album well worth exploring, and at only 15 Euros (or more if you feel it worthy – and I’d say it is) for the vinyl copy via Bandcamp, then, you know, go for it!

KAL-EL: ‘Witches of Mars.’

Music doesn’t get much heavier than this! Norwegian stoners Kal-El are set to unleash their storming fourth studio album, ‘Witches of Mars.

OK, it’s a few months away, on October 4th, but the title track has been made available as of now. And it’s a doozy!

Heavy touring schedules over the seven years since their inception have seen the band’s stock rise, release after release, and ‘Witches of Mars‘ is set to continue the trend.

Build on a foundation of heavy (very heavy) bass, Kal-El surround themselves with massive walls of sound that incorporate doom, blues rock, psyche and space rock. Basically, all the good elements of Rock in general! The result is a slow moving juggernaut of noise – monstrous on one hand but oh so sweet on the other!

(‘Witches of Mars‘ – the album – will be released on 4th October via Argonauta Records.

WOLF PRAYER: ‘Desert.’

German based band wolf prayer release their debut album, ‘Echoes of the Second Sun’ this coming Friday, July 5th.

From the sound of ‘Desert,’ the recently released ‘sampler’ track from the album, one could be forgiven for describing the band as being of ‘stoner’ persuasion. But wolf prayer won’t commit to this tagging, although not completely denying it either. The album, I’m assured, contains some surprising tracks. I’m intrigued.

For now though, I’m happy to have ‘Desert‘ on repeat-play. It has a really expansive feel to it, incorporating as it does, elements of stoner (yes) psychedelia, space rock and heavy blues.

Our second single ‘Desert’ reflects the feeling of being alone and wandering through an empty desert with no specific destination in mind.” the band explains. “Friends and family members would like to help you, to find back onto the “right path”, but you keep asking yourself: “Is this really the right path for me?” Everybody can identify itself with this situation or mindset at some point in life: the feeling of being the only one getting beaten down, to lose your grip. But in the end you are not the only one experiencing this, and you are never totally alone.”

That, my friends, is a quick five and half minutes!

(The album ‘Echoes of the Second Sun,‘ is released on 5th July 2019, via Barhill Records.)

ELSON: ‘Closer to.’

(James) Elson, is a Leeds based, Merseyside born, singer / songwriter, who first came to prominence as one half of ENGINE, a band that started out as a psychedelic rock outfit but eventually morphed into an electronic production duo.

It was the release of a well received EP, ‘Cucumber Water,’ that brought ENGINE to the attention of Leeds’ promoters Odd Job and they were so impressed they moved quickly to get the band onto the line-up of one their gigs. The relationship was maintained, plans to work together were knocked about and it was Odd Job who subsequently gave Elson his first solo gig in November, a support slot in a sellout event featuring another act hailing from Merseyside, The Tea Street Band. The next step was to collaborate on the release of some of the songs James has been working on as a side project over the last few years.

Closer To,’ is the result. This is Elson’s third release, one that began life with Engine. The psychedelic elements are still there and from a gentle, electro opening, the song quickly develops into a classy psyche-pop wig-out. The keyboards and syth dance away in the background, while the buzzing , frantic guitar sounds contrast with James’s more laid back vocal style.

Radio 6 Music’s Gideon Coe recently gave Elson a spin, and in early May, James also played a set at his home city’s prestigious Liverpool Sound City Festival.

As Harry Nilsson, (one of the artists James draws inspiration from) once said: ‘Let The Good times Roll.”

THE GOA EXPRESS: ‘The Day.’

Helpful Hint #1 for any budding music scribe: “where does your name come from?” is not a particularly good opening gambit when interviewing a band. In fact, it’s probably best avoid the question altogether. So I’m just going to dive straight in.

The name of this five -piece band from Burnley is actually a bit of a dichotomy, because nothing goes fast in Goa. OK – the scooters and cars do, but definitely not the trains.

Of course, ‘Express’ could refer to a newspaper, but that would put a real kybosh on my planned introduction to ‘The Day,’ the latest single release from The Goa Express.

Now based in Manchester where the lads are studying at Uni, Goa Express have honed their music and style over a number of years. And since moving to the ‘big city’ their development has benefited with support slots for the likes of Cabbage, Yak and The Orielles. They have also played with one of my favourite psyche bands, Moon Duo.

I absolutely love this track. It’s one of those instant songs. No build up, no faffing about – it’s in your face immediately. The vocals sound real snotty, with a ‘couldn’t give a tu’penny f***’ attitude to them; like a sleep deprived and caffeine overdosed Bob Dylan. Whirling Inspiral Carpets type organ, shrieking guitar and crashing cymbals prop up the song, which jumps out the speakers, shouts at you, then runs away. Just like that. Two minutes and fourteen seconds.

It’s a glorious hark back to the early days of punk. We need more of this.

(These lads have just taken over the mantle of my ‘new favourite band,’ from The Naked Party.)

Here’s a wee bonus to this post – a track from the 2018 EP ‘Use Your Brain.’

(‘The Day’ is released on Friday July 5th.)

Leon Redbone and Roky Erickson

I was saddened to hear last night about the passing of two musical legends.

I first came across the music of Leon Redbone when he appeared on The Old Grey Whistle Test. It must have been around the time his ‘Double Trouble’ album was launched, so that would put it around 1977. Back then, of course, I was right into my punk music, so it was strange that I should find an attraction in the off kilter jazz style of some really uncool looking dude in a Panama hat.

The following day, I recall going into the tiny, old-time Virgin Records shop in Cambridge Street, Glasgow and buying Leon’s new release. I loved it so much that a few weeks later, I asked the store to order me a copy of the 1975 release, ‘On The Track.‘ Both still grace my record shelves.

Looking back, I think that quite perversely, I took to Leon Redbone‘s music and character because he was so different. He didn’t conform. He had an individual style of dress and music.

Perhaps he was more 70s original ‘punk’ than we could ever have thought.

******



I was a bit of a late-comer to the psyche and psychedelic scene. But when i finally arrived, it was the music of The 13th Floor Elevators that convinced me I’d been a bit of a pratt for ignoring this style of music for so long

Roky Erickson founded the band back in 1965 and is regarded as one of the instigators of the psychedelic rock genre. Sadly, he endured years of mental health issues, at a time when enforced electroconvulsive therapy was considered a ‘cure’ for paranoid schizophrenia


Arrested in 1969 for possession of marijuana and facing a possible ten year stretch, he pleaded guilty on the basis of insanity in an effort to avoid jail. The authorities though, were keen to punish Roky, and indeed the band, for their outspoken views and use of hallucinogenic substances. He was promptly sent to Austin State Hospital, from where he escaped several times before ultimately being incarcerated at Rusk State Hospital for three years. It was here that Roky was again subjected to more electroconvulsive ‘therapy.’

Roky suffered mental health issues for many years, but in 2007 he managed to wean himself off his medication and started playing again, and a year later he toured the American West Coast with The Black Angels as his ‘backing band.’

In May 2015, the circle was completed when Roky played the Levitation Festival in Austin, Texas with the original members of The 13th Floor Elevators.

Footnote: Four years ago this month, when I was still ‘small-time dealing’ in records, I sold an 8 x 7″ singles box set, on multi-coloured vinyl, for £39. This is now selling for around £150.
I’m
STILL a pratt!