Friday, March 7, 2014

Ripple Doubleshot! - Featuring Strings of Atlas Cage and Trippy Wicked & the Cosmic Children of Knight

Strings of Atlas Cage - Ground Zero, TX

I've written about Atlas Cage before and his first long-player  under the "band" name, Strings of Atlas Cage.  Hopefully, you took the time and explored the mad jams that this cat pumps out.  If not, here's another chance to get in on the ground floor of something pretty damn special.  Or in this case, ground zero.

Atlas is a multi-talented, multi-instrumentalist who comes on like some amped up version of Jimi Hendrix and Robin Trower filtered through the insane rock/funk of Sly and the Family Stone, Mother's Finest, and even Graham Central Station. Big, beefy basslines play along with fuzzed out, Wah'd guitar, all erupting beneath the Hendrixian sing-talk vocals of Atlas's sinewy vocal chords.   Ground Zero, Tx is 8 tracks of vicious funkified rock that doesn't just simmer, it cooks like a beefy pot of Texan gulf gumbo.  In truth, there's only 5 songs here, the other three being interludes of DJ Atlas bringing us into GZTX radio, but those 5 songs rock more than hard enough to give you your money's worth.

"UnReality" has a guitar line that drilled it's way immediately into my brain.  "Something for the Wait" with it's silky smooth bass and hushed vocal intro is about as sleek and sexy as it gets, before that wah'd out guitar builds underneath until the whole thing simply boils over in a steamy stew of rocking funk.  "Bad Day, Good Life" kicks off with a guitar riff right out of a lost classic Aerosmith cut, but is damn funkier than anything the Toxic Twins ever concocted. "Pale Horse" brings in some tasty bluey guitar and the muted jazz of a trumpet to give it a sound unlike any other I've heard.  Finally, "Valentines Cage-I'll Drive Away" brings things to a close a unique vibe as Atlas explores some trip hop vibes with what appears to be his next project, Valentines Cage.  A mellow bring down to end the night.

I've pretty much dug everything I've ever heard from Atlas and don't expect that to stop anytime soon.  The dude is crazy enough to follow his muse wherever it may take him, and talented enough to pull it off.  Check him out.  Free download (or pay what you'd like) at bandcamp.

Trippy Wicked & The Cosmic Children of the Knight - Underground

We all know Trippy Wicked.  Or at least we should.  They've been regaling us with tales of heavy, distorted psychedelia for years now, playing with some of the biggest names in the UK underground heavy rock scene and beyond.  Underground, released in 2013 is their latest piece de resistance, fuses their trademark bottom-end thickness, trippy guitar, and monstrous riffing into another delectable slab of psych heaviness.  Each song here is a coagulated treat for lovers of the riff. 

What Trippy does so well, is weld that heaviness to enough glances of light in the vocals, melodies, and swirling guitar tones to avoid sounding like so many trudging doom bands.  Textures layer upon layer and it all just builds to heavy perfection. "Enlightenment" captures this perfectly, going from a quiet rumble to earth-shaking seismic shifting over the course of 6 minutes.  Twists and turns, peaks and valleys.  It all works.

If you haven't already, pop over to Trippy Wicked's facebook or bandcamp page and treat yourself. 


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