Saturday, November 8, 2008

An Acid Blotter of Psychedelia - New Psychedelic Sounds to Fill Your World

First Band From Outer Space - Impressionable Sounds of the Subsonic

Riding some freakish cosmic supernova from their home planet in Alpha Centuri to the relative safety of earth's atmosphere and the terra firma of Guttenburg, Sweden, signed by some secret intergalactic pact to the Transubstans label, The First Band From Outer Space do everything humanly and extra-terrestrially possible to live up to their name. Wildly freaked out, stoned out, spaced out progressive/psychedelic rock, FBFOS sound pretty much like no other band I've heard in this galaxy. Fusing jazzy prog structures a la Camel with the buttressed heaviness of Hawkwind all played in stratosphere sweeping extended jams, Impressionable Songs of the Subsonic quickly went from being an oddity on the Ripple desk to a non-stop player in the Ripple stereo.

Starting off with the space ambience of "Rovaja Zemelija," the songs quickly builds in cosmic majesty as if we're witness to the birthing of a new star. The only vocals being the gasping cries of a newborn add to this effect, the stark realization that we're privy to some monumental cosmic event. From there, each song is a manifesto in prog-space rock. Beautiful use of the flute hearkens thoughts of very early prog Jethro Tull, while sweeping synth fills and celestial effects keep the album floating forever free of gravity's pull. "Utan Att Veta," alternates true spaciness with heavy '70's psychedelia. "Mean Spacemachine," is just that, charging across the night sky in a blistering shock of jet fueled riffing. "Impressionable Sounds," lays on the flute in inspired moments of beauty, riding a Pink Floyd experimental vibe, while "To Be Seen as the Underdog," brings on the acoustic guitar, as soft and delicate as stardust. With each track clocking in at over 5 minutes and only three shorter than eight minutes, this is an album as vast as the cosmos, riding whichever extraterrestrial groove they find through extended jams and improvisations. None of which fail to achieve blast off.

Overall, an intensely beautiful, rocking, moving and definitely spacey album. God bless the solar system.

Buy the CD

Steve Wynn - Crossing Dragon Bridge

Steve Wynn earned his merit badge in psychedelia years ago when he led the Dream Syndicate and the entire Paisley Underground movement, nearly inventing indie rock in the process. Over a long and illustrious 25 year career, Wynn has tried on many different musical hats, from his underground roots to garage rock to his current wandering troubadour, vagabond storytelling, singer-songwriter without a home. And he's managed to do all of them well, becoming one of rock's true heroes of the underground.

Recorded while living in Slovenia, Crossing Dragon Bridge, reflects the loneliness and isolation of a man living out of his own country, surrounded by people he doesn't know and can't speak with. In such a situation, I think we'd all fall back to meditating on our lives, reliving our mistakes, rethinking our choices. And that's exactly what Steve does here, a deeply introspective album about growing older, relationships and mistakes. While certain tracks stray away from anything we'd be likely to call psychedelia, Steve proves that he hasn't lost track of the swirling, effect-laden guitar work that he's mastered over his career. "Love Me Anyway," rocks as a shimmering statement of psychedelic pop. "When We Talk About Forever," rides across a river of strings to ascend to majestic heights. "Wait Until You Get to Know Me," drops back into a neo-psychedelic garage for a beefy rave-up of self-depreciating humor (I'm a finger of scotch in a dry Manhattan/I'm a car wreck that's just waiting to happen,") told over a rolling standup bass line. "Bring the Magic," does exactly that, accompanied by the Appollon Chamber Orchestra.

A snapshot of a man out of place. A tale of loneliness while surrounded by thousands. Either way, it's another beautiful step in an unparalleled career.

Buy the CD

The Divine Baze Orchestra - Once We Were Born

Swirling, beefy-organ laced rock, The Divine Baze Orchestra from our good friends at the Transubstans label come on like early Deep Purple after one too many trips to the mushroom fields or Uriah Heap after visiting uncle Acid. Once We Were Born is rife with massive organ riffs and soaring, high-pitched a la Heap backing vocals, all wrapped up in the massive riffs of the '70's as filtered through a love of jazz and prog. Got that?

"Dance," summarizes best this swirling, pounding neo-Heap fest, sounding like a lost Heap outtake from that one party where no one managed to stay awake til sunrise. Massive riffs melt into swirling organ runs, screaming backing vocals all taking the song to the sudden jazzy middle breakdown, before it builds right back up in a prog/psychedelic feeding frenzy at the table of the Crimson King. Wild? You bet! "Trota Di Mare," boogies out a space-rock vibe like Bolton-era UFO. Psychedelic touches flourish throughout the guitar work of "In Search," and " Little Man," while "Choose Your Green," is a massive, theatrical organ-fed jam, all wrapped up into 3:53 seconds. The Divine Baze Orchestra doesn't break any new ground on this feast of progged out boogie, but then, they aren't trying to write the book over again. This is massive, heavy prog, sure to satisfy the empty belly of hungry early rock fans everywhere.

Buy the CD

The Egocentrics - Mystic Invitation (demo)

I didn't know what to expect when this disc was first plopped onto my desk by our friend postman Sal, but once I saw the Romanian return address and the letter that accompanied it, I couldn't help but smile. The note was addressed "Hello Ripples!" How cute is that! Now let me tell you a secret. If you ever want to ensure that the Pope or I give your disc a listen, addressing the letter "Hello Ripples!" is about as good a way to catch our attention as any.

Wiping the smile from my face, I moved The Egocentrics way up in our rotation to give it a spin and immediately was glad that I did. Calling their music "soundscapes," is about as fair and true as any description I could come up with for this effect-laden sweeping statement of guitar-fueled, stoned out psychedelia. Worshiping at the Poobah alter, these guys loose themselves completely in the bliss of their playing. Citing love, fear, choices and astronauts as their influences gives you some glimpse into the mindspace of this instrumental three piece, but what they play is beyond description. Seriously guitar heavy, stoner grooved post metal. My best advice is to pop over to their myspace page and see what the best of the Romanian rock scene has to offer. This one you won't regret.

"Hello Ripples." God, I love it!


First Band From Outer Space

Steve Wynn

The Egocentrics


Subash S L said...

Hello Ripple,

Loved First Band from Outer Space. Nice oldy sound too. Keep up your good work. Great going guys.


The RIpple Effect said...

Thanks, Subash. I thought you might like that one. It definitely grew on me.

Keep up the good finds at Great Anonymous Albums also.


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