TONY REED ‘Funeral Suit’ LP Review

Words El Jefe.

So I acquired a copy of Songs For Future Gods by Tony Reed’s longtime band Mos Generator back in ’07. Good, heavy-duty riffrock with some tidy guitar work, vocals and some cool tunes. I’ve being keeping on eye on the band ever since, picking up numerous releases along the way. Reed is a busy man though and has a bunch of side gigs too, Stone Axe, Treepeople to name a couple. He’s also a skilled engineer and has been at the helm a countless records, including an old fave of mine, The Hitch and their self-titled debut LP.

So in light of all this, when news of Reed’s solo acoustic album trickled through, I was automatically interested in hearing what he would conjure up. Let’s just say upfront that “acoustic” releases can often be terminally riddled with an insipid folk whine “and with me rum tum tiddle dee dee blah blah/folk music nonsensical phrasing” and the like. But that isn’t the case with Funeral Suit. Whilst the vocals are generally a lot more restrained in delivery compared to the smoky blues howl that colours Mos Generator songs, Tony’s distinctive tones are still at the forefront. The guitar work also, has a rustic, “older than the earth itself” skeletal framework that that pulled the melodies and lyrics together as Reed spins his yarns.

Start to finish, from the bluegrass-vibed ‘Waterbirth’ through to the piano-based reworking of ‘Wicked Willow’, Tony Reed has created on Funeral Suit an album full of liquid poignancy, and also a cool new facet to his musical legacy.

Tony Reed Funeral Suit is out now on Ripple Music HERE.

Tony Reed: Bandcamp.
Ripple Music: Site // Bandcamp // Facebook // Instagram // Twitter // YouTube.

CRYSTAL SPIDERS ‘Molt’ LP Review.

Words El Jefe.

Molt starts with a primitive, grinding bassline that creeps outta the speakers, and oozes across the floor. The sound is akin to a huge, lurching monolithic machine that gently crushes all in its path, like some kinda doom-powered Sandcrawler.

Crystal Spiders is a side-side project of Brenna Leath (The Hell No, Lightning Born) who handles the low end, guitar and vocals. Tradd Yancey (Thirsty Curses) beats things with sticks, contributes some vocals and also plays drums in this dynamic duo. The band play some hefty, Sab-influence lo-fi doom. But then again, who hasn’t been influenced by Tony and co? Well. Maybe Patsy Cline, but let’s not hold that against her. She’s alright! The songs are eclectic, potent and charged with a liquid maniacal edge that easily drew me into its’ shimmering web.

‘Trapped’ is some meaty grind, and a classic opener, although title tune ‘Molt’ does kick things up a notch, touching on a slightly more Detroit-ish kinda riffarama. Across the whole shebang, the playing is tight and effective, with a plethora of chunky riffs and squalling guitars to add flesh to the bones. With Brenna’s roaring vocals, you have the final piece of the puzzle to bind the sound together.

Brenna lured Lightning Born co-conspirator Mike Dean (Corrosion of Conformity) in to lend a hand on the production of Molt, and the result is thick, fuzzy and with a distinctive primal, lo-fi howl. Throw in some spooky, ethereal tracks like ‘Fog’ and the drum and vox ‘Headhunters’, and you’ve got a cool timewarp back to the ‘70s for your next nude Twister on acid shindig. It’s a whole bunch of fun, and just to keep you on ya toes, got more sides than that Gemini ex who keeps stalking you. Go on, if you try it, you’ll like it!

Crystal Spiders Molt is available now through Ripple Music HERE.
Crystal Spiders: Facebook / Bandcamp // Instagram.

BISMUT ‘Retrocausality’ LP Review.

Words El Jefe.

So Dutch band Bismut were a completely new unit to me prior to this but a live stream of ‘Obscuramento’ piqued my interest. Long songs, no vocals, played by a power trio who seem to have locked horns in some kinda deranged psychic rehearsal room cage match. Last man playing wins the jackpot! A serious project to undertake, I’d say.

Retrocausality is, as you’d expect from the premise, a hefty, liquid soundscape. Each track is finely crafted, and the band themselves can play like absolute motherfuckers, and throw into the cauldron some red-hot effects wizardry, you got in ya hands one of the most interesting records of the year. Continue reading

KITCHEN WITCH ‘Earth And Ether’ LP Review.

Words El Jefe.

Born and bred in South Australia back in ‘13, Kitchen Witch are a solid, dirty little stoner-blues quartet, fronted by vocalist Georgie Cosson.

Together they lay down fat and trippy riffrock grooves, and some ripping, fuzz-drenched guitars unleashed by Conor Kinsella. Simon Elliott and John Russo (bass and drums respectively) provide a rock solid backing for these seriously hefty stoner doom tunes.

The songs on Earth And Ether have a deeply eclectic Aussie tone to them as well.

‘Cave Of Mischief’ could provide an excellent soundtrack for when the band is cruising into the Jerramungup Roadhouse for a gig whilst the amazing ‘Sunrise’, with it’s lumbering, behemoth riffs could steam roll the earth with it’s creeping momentous peak. Continue reading

BUTTERFLY ‘Doorways Of Time’ LP Review.

Words El Jefe.

In this foul year of our lord 1347, a vile black pestilence has blanketed our land, destroyed our crops, decimated our farm beasts and carried many of our people to the other side. Our leaders have taken to behaving more like jesters whence holding court, and the frozen air we breathe rains a disease that settles in the lungs and suck life from all those exposed to it.

But all is not lost; a band of minstrels, veterans of many a campaign, have arrived, seemingly through a Doorway Of Time, in our once glorious land and taken up arms against our foes, battling all with a powerful lust to destroy the sinners and restore our paradise to its former glory.

Butterfly is the new band for a hardened handful of rock and metal veterans (members spending time in bands like Abremalin, Earth, Mass Confusion, Hobbs Angel of Death). They have a neat line in heavy rock’n’roll, with shades of Blue Oyster Cult, early ‘70’s folk music and a cauldron full of “meat and potatoes” metal, screaming dual solos and chunky vocals, this band of minstrels have got most of their bases covered. Continue reading

BLUES PILLS ‘Holy Moly’ Album Review + Elin Larsson Interview.

Words / Interview El Jefe.
Photos Patric Ullaeus.

If you’re a fan of heavy psych-rock with big, clean femme vox and you haven’t already checked out Blues Pills, I’d suggest their third LP, Holy Moly wouldn’t be a bad place to get on board.

Blues Pills are now approaching ten years old (they grow up so fast!), and, as bands tend to, have had a couple of personnel changes. Founding members Elin Larsson and Zack Anderson remain, with Zack recently switching to guitar to accommodate the departure of original guitarist Dorian Sorriaux. Long time drummer André Kvarnström now has Kristoffer Schander as his rhythm section “partner in crime” and the pair do a mighty fine line in rnr too.

‘Proud Woman’, a tune whose lyrical content is much needed in this day and time stamped a hefty footprint on the colour and tone of Holy Moly. Ripping vocals, some sweet gospel-esque b/v’s, raunchy and riff-heavy, it’s a driving thunderous tune.

Continue reading

MOTÖRHEAD ‘Ace Of Spades’ 40TH Anniversary Edition.

Words El Jefe.

Motörhead. Loud. Dirty. Tough. But fair! Led by Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister, a murderous bassist with gravel rash pipes, purebred rock and roll heart and the only constant member of the band. They had a forty-year career, and never once compromised their style or attitude.

Hearing the Motörhead classic Ace Of Spades as a teenager was a revelation. That sound! Powerhouse rockin’ metal with a hefty blues boogie spine holding the songs together. Headbangers loved ‘em; punks loved ‘em. Your neighbours hated ‘em but nothing could change the influence they had.

From beginning to end, Ace Of Spades is chock full of bruising tunes like the title track ‘Ace Of Spades’, and bookended by Lemmy’s anti-heroin ode, ‘The Hammer’, with its sledgehammer riffs, and caustic lyrics. The anthemic ‘(We Are) The Road Crew’ was Lemmy’s testament to the team who made the tours happen, and also heavy evidence as to why Lemmy was held in such high regard by all who dealt with him. Continue reading

ZENITH MOON ‘Gypsy’ SIngle Review.

Words El Jefe.

So here we have Zenith Moon, and their brand-spankin’ new single ‘Gypsy’. Zenith Moon is a Melbourne trio (who have a tendency to add the necessary members when the wind is blowing in the right direction!) with some heavy retro vibes coursing through their veins, and have been hitting the board since their inception in 2018.

While some pretty, lysergic juices are wrung from the guitars, and peppers the tune with chunky chords, the bassist lays down some Motown-driven melodic bass runs which gives front lady Kahli Rose a clear path to crank out her big, soulful rock’n’roll vocals that lift ‘Gypsy’ to the heights it deserves. Continue reading

WINO ‘Forever Gone’ LP Review.

Words El Jefe.

So here we have Scott “Wino” Weinrich’s third solo LP, the poignantly titled Forever Gone and another addition to his acoustic work from recent years. With a great interpretation of the Joy Division track ‘Isolation’ released a couple of months back as a “teaser” for the new record, it wasn’t hard to see this was gonna be another commanding album.

The move to acoustic material after decades of bulldozing doom and stoner rock may have come as a surprise to some, although something that immediately came to mind was reading of the Birthday Party, after relocating to England and having limited access to equipment, writing their darkest and most menacing material on acoustic guitars while delving into lounge music. An excellent example of how the discrepancies between influences and style in any creative medium don’t necessarily determine the output. Continue reading

WINO ‘Isolation’ (Joy Division Cover) Single Review.

Words El Jefe.

So Wino is a man who really needs no introduction (but here’s a brief one anyway!) when you’re talkin’ heavy rnr. From St Vitus, The Obsessed through to Spirit Caravan and beyond, and his more recent folky acoustic material, he is someone who has always delivered the goods, and never compromised his vision. So a cover of ‘Isolation’ by Joy Division, who also happen to be an old fave band of mine, struck me as an interesting choice. Continue reading