Saturday, December 21, 2013

Grel Reveals Tales from the Road - Merlin - The Magicians Alliance

My band, Grel, played with Merlin at Davey's Uptown Rambler in KCMO on tour to Stoner Hands of Doom. They put on a good show. Their cd's were burned from home, put in cheap packing envelopes, with hand drawn cover art. Cool. I picked one up. Live show was cool, lots of fake blood, and noise. Slow psych/doom stuff, very much a mix of Sabbath and Pink Floyd's early-post-Syd stuff. It was very fun to watch. 

This is about the CD though. So, it's good. Well produced for something they were very obviously DIY about. The vocals are sparse, more sparse than their live show. Think: all the sludgy goodness of Ozzy's early stuff with hoots and howls ala bands like Suicide thrown in for savor. The music usually feels understated, almost eerie in its execution. A lot of the reason for that is that the album is recorded in such a way that all the sounds blend together at times, nothing too crisp (except the occasional guitar solo) or clear to cut through. Just a tapestry of color and foggy sound. 

Most of the album is drone-like. The songs meander some, but it makes for a unique psych trip. It sounds like they're figuring out the songs as they go, much of the time, which isn't a bad thing in my books. You don't hear enough of this kind of underground doom. There's this cool 60s garage/Hasil Atkins feel to a few of the songs. It's like if Sean Jovi's project "Nazi Drugs" took mescaline and turned up the fuzz. 

Much goodness. 


PS: I'll be reviewing more CDs from bands we met on the road. Look out for them. 

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