pop music

Der Blutharsch And The Infinite Church Of The Leading Hand * The End Of The Beginning (cd 2012)

Well, the new cd does sound somewhat different from what I expected. The album did not become slower and more sleasy, but the music actually sped up somewhat and become more psychedelic rock than psychedelic doom. The tempo is about that of the good days with Bain Wolfkind, but the sound is more that of the later releases with simple organ playing, stretched guitars and a bit of psychedelica. Of course there is a range of guest musicians and singers. “The End Of The Beginning” is, like all of the latest releases, nice, but not great. The length did improve, by the way, almost an hour this time.
Link: Der Blutharsch And The Infinite Church Of The Leading Hand/WKN

Seven That Spells ‎* Superautobahn (cd 2012)

Actually it is funny that Hau Ruck releases this album. I am recently listening a bit more to guitar-oriented music in quite a variety. A while ago I was searching a bit through the local rock-scene and was listening to the 35007 “radio” at Last.fm. Expecting ‘space rock’ and related, I was soon presented with funeral / sludge / stoner / etc. doom, a style that seems to be upcoming and which sometimes produces some nice music. The more stoner / psychedelic style seems to be the genre that Albin Julius himself shifts towards. Then I heard that Hau Ruck! would release an album of a band that I do not think I ever heard of. Looking into Seven That Spells, this also appears to be a quite sleasy, instrumental sludge band, not uninteresting either. The “Superautobahn” album on Hau Ruck!, though, is not so sleasy and doomy, but more psychedelic rock. Three long tracks of which the first is somewhat faster, the second more doomy and the third seems to hold the middle. Not bad at all. More interesting than Der Blutharsch And The Infinite Church Of The Leading Hand actually, but of course with Albin Julius releasing this material, and also White Hills, this ‘Roadburn scene’ might grow a bit towards the more rock-oriented side of our own scene. Perhaps that will lead to more interesting things and lead me to bands that I did not know.
Links: Seven That Spells, Hau Ruck!

Dream Into Dust ‎* So Beautiful And So Dangerous (cd 2012)

Nine years after “The Lathe Of Heaven” I had never expected another album by Dream Into Dust. Then a while ago I ran into the band’s Facebook page and there was an announcement for “So Beautiful And So Dangerous”. Exited I sent some money to Derek Rush and yesterday the cd fell in the mailbox. The new album opens unexpectedly with a technoish rhythm going over in some kind of industrial rock (or actually drum’n’bass rock). That is not how I remember DID! Would the sound changed that much? The next tracks are more like earlier material. Soft, somewhat poppy rock music with a lot of electronics in the background, dreamy atmospheres and a complex set of layers to the music. There seems to be more IDM this time and there even are elements of synthpop and other (too) catchy sounds. The larger part is either dark or darkly melancholic. Dark ambient soundscapes alternating with shoegaze songs and whatever you (did not) expect from DID. The album certainly is mature and well-structured, but it does not grip me like its predecessor does. Still a very interesting album not following any of the scene’s trends. Dream Into Dust keep doing their own thing and they do it well.
Link: Dream Into Dust, Chthonic Streams

Der Blutharsch And The Infinite Church Of The Leading Hand * The Beginning And The End (7″ 2012)

This 7″ was released for the 2012 tour and is undoubtely highly limited, etc. Previous tour-singles prove to be available for quite a while and from different sources. Apparantly Herr Julius’ releases are not (always) as popular as they used to be these days. When you have heard the latest cd, this 7″ will come with no surprises. With the church added, Der Blutharsch makes dirty and slow psychedelic rock and that is exactly what you hear on this 7″. Nice, but since Der Blutharsch moved to the rock sound, I must say that they become more interesting live and less interesting in the living room, but I am certainly not against the new directions of Julius’ musical outlet.
Link: Der Blutharsch And The Infinite Church Of The Leading Hand/WKN

Bain Wolfkind * Lone Wolf (mcd 2012)

No surprises on this special tour mcd. Six tracks of Wolfkind’s slow bluesrock sound. Perhaps it is a bit less dirty than before, but no changes in the approach. The drums sound computerised (however Wolfkind is drummer in Der Blutharsch And The Infinite Church Of The Leading Hand) and, at least on stage, the guitars also come from a computer. Not as good as his classic albums, but “Lone Wolf” is another nice Wolfkind release.
Links: Bain Wolfkind, Hau Ruck!

Staccato Du Mal * Sin Destino (cd 2011)

I never heard of Staccato Du Mal until Last.fm presented a great track of this project (just before the Thorofon track that I did not know). I looked around a bit and this project appeared to have just released the first full-length on a label unknown to me. With the help of Discogs I had my copy quickly. Staccato Du Mal is a project that defines the term “minimal wave”. The music is created with analogue synthesisers and drum-machines so you naturally get this “vintage” sound. The music reminds of Karl Runau, but is more ‘electropoppy’. Agent Side Grinder is another name that comes to my mind, but Staccato Du Mal is softer. It does have the ‘wavey’ sound and vocals though. The weird sounds that come from a label such as Enfant Terrible is definately a way to describe Staccato Du Mal. After the relatively danceable first tracks, the sound goes more towards what is almost “angstpop“, indeed, the sound of some Galakthorrö releaes, but more especially of the Dutch project Distel whose “radio” I was actually listening to when running into Thorofon and this project. Indeed, “Sin Destino” is a wonderfull release. Perhaps too light for people who like the sound of Galakthorrö and perhaps a bit too dark for people who like the “minimal wave” sound or “oldstyle EBM”, but a wonderfull release for my ears.
Links: Staccato Du Mal, Wierd Records

Der Blutharsch & The Infinite Church Of The Leading Hand * The Story About The Digging Of The Hole And The Hearing Of The Sounds From Hell (cd 2012)

The package alone is a reason to buy this new album of the reformed Der Blutharsch. Great artwork in embedded gold on a black digipack and a booklet in the same style, nicely psychedelic, well accompanying the music. And about that music, it remained in line of the previous cooperations with White Hills and Aluk Tolodo, so what you can expect is slow psychedelic rock with organs. Not really surprising anymore when you keep up with Herr Julius and friends. Perhaps it is time to reinvent Der Blutharsch again? In any case, this new album is not bad or boring, but not great either, nice as background music. More amusing is the new website though, check it out by clicking on the link below.
Link: Der Blutharsch ATICOTLH, WKN

PRE * Third Album (cd 2011)

So there are still nowave/artpunk bands that release cds. PRE is an early incarnation of this weird and noisy side of punk releasing material only since 2006. They have an energetic and chaotic sound with a manic female singer and sometimes noisy guitarwork, sometimes more punky. This “Third Album” is very nice. Contains 13 things and lasts for……….. 23 minutes?!? Damn!
Links: PRE, Skin Graft Recordings

Amy Winehouse * Lioness: Hidden Treasures (cd 2011)

  • pop

Before she drank herself to death, Amy Winehouse nearly finished her new album. Fortunately the family thinks it is as good as “Frank” and “Back To Black” otherwise we might have never heard it. I do not agree with the family, but I am glad that the album is released anyway. “Lioness” is different in style from “Back To Black”. The new cd is softer, more soul and jazz and a lot less recalcitrant than her previous album. I suppose Amy matured in her music. There are two songs that we already knew, “Tears Dry” and “Valerie”. I tend to dislike new versions of songs that I already know and also this time the alternative versions are less interesting than the versions that I first heard. The other songs are soft and soulfull, one unfortunately has a rapper. The songs are nice, but they do not grab me like the troubled-lady songs of her previous album. For a pop cd “Lioness: Hidden Treasures” is not bad, but I think “Back To Black” will find its way into my player a lot more frequently than this post-mortem album.

Links: Amy Winehouse, Island Records Group

Peter Pan Speedrock * Speedfreak Manifesto (dvd 2006)

I got a copy of this DVD that comes in a nice digipack for only 4 euros. I thought it was some kind of recent promotional DVD, but is is already 5 years old. The DVD has about 135 minutes of material going from live footage, videos (three of them), backstage footage and a lot of Jackass humour. The result is an extremely amusing watch with a lot of heavy rock and roll music, crazy guys beating eachother up, hotrods, dragraces, drinks and of course Dikke Dennis (‘Fat Dennis’) as mascot and occasional singer. For those who do not know this Eindhoven rock and roll outfit, the music sounds like Motörhead, but heavier and they have been around for two decades. It looks like if you do not care about commerse and just keep doing what you like (quite like Lemmy actually) succes will come eventually. Peter Pan Speedrock have toured the USA and Canada and the biggest festivals in the Netherlands. They now even have their own festival Speedfest. A great DVD!
Links: Peter Pan Speedrock,