Our Daily Bread 551: OTHER LANDS, ENTER LAUGHING, YOUNG RITUAL, OCELOT… 

November 28, 2022

REVIEWS ROUNDUP FROM GRAHAM DOMAIN
A run-through of recent and new releases.

SINGLES/EPs

ENTER LAUGHING  ‘Met Me When I Landed’
(Permanent Creeps Records) 

A frantic slice of noise-funk psychedelia! A fade-in synth gives way to a funky bass and military drums before the frantic vocals come in with a mad noodling organ! “Just say when it’s over” shouts the singer, his paranoia bordering on hysteria, as the corpse of a relationship drags itself around town! The chorus breaks like sunlight through cloud with cryptic psychedelic lyrics “I’m witnessing the birth of the sun” reminiscent of a stoned Julian Cope! A great debut single from this North London Indie band – one to watch!

KROOKED TONGUE  ‘Lupines’
(Spotify, Apple Music)

Sailing in on a wave of feedback and underlying menace with thunderous bass notes and heavy chords of distortion before erupting into a chorus of chiming metal guitar and bluesy vocal melody – cue the stage diving! It could be about some nice flowering plants, a song that Alan Titchmarsh could rock out to – or it could be about wolves howling at the moon! Hopefully the former! Catchy – like covid in a cough filled club!

UNWAVERING  ‘Ley lines in the Forth’ (four track EP)
(Bandcamp)

  1. ‘Last Known Sighting’

Birdsong. The sea heard in a shell. Effect laden chiming guitar rings out – disturbed notes of discord building to a heartbeat of confusion and remorse! It could be the soundtrack to some Art House short-film! Picture the wind blowing washing on a line, someone slowly waking in unfamiliar surroundings… the jigsaw pieces of a drugged mind no longer fitting into place…

  • Dreamswell’

A figure emerges from a water-filled pothole, into a cold underground cavern. A strange, ancient folk song echoes in the darkness… a voice in the ether… “I slept through someone else’s apocalypse”… as a droning bat scream reverberates from a deep chamber below…

  • ‘A Clearing 1983’

A revolving tape-loop of bird cries and wind turbulence! The stone-tape of a terrible event recorded and played back in a triggered time-loop. Soon a strange discordant folk song emerges built in reverberating shadows of the soul. The cries of the lost heard at the cliff top edge of a rain-soaked nightmare!

  • ‘Lighthouse Portal’

The wind and the sea. A time delayed gong rings out its ominously call. Just as you think it’s stopped… holding your breath… the noise… the fear… continues to rise… death stands in the shadows, dark emotionless eyes, watching… as terror twists the insides into a silent scream!

YOUNG RITUAL  ‘Ages’
(Soundcloud)

Indie US alt-rock from Young Ritual a singer based in Nashville who sounds not unlike Greg Alexander! Big shiny guitars and effect laden chiming chords underpinned by a solid floor-tom rolling rhythm. ‘Ages’ is a song that sticks in your head with its melodic expressive vocals sitting somewhere between New Radicals and Cherry Ghost!

ALBUMS

OTHER LANDS  ‘Archipelagos’
(Athens of the North Records)

This is a pleasant Ambient / Easy Listening instrumental album. ‘So Long So Far’ sounds like Robin Guthrie (Cocteau Twins), while ‘Ambergris’ reminds me of the keyboard sounds Japan conjured on ‘Gentlemen Take Polaroids’. ‘Cave Code’ meanwhile pits reverbed acoustic guitar against keyboard brass and piano making for a nice ‘Test Card’ piece of Music. ‘Selkie Road’ uses Roxy Music drum machine, funky bass and keyboards to create a nice tune, which would definitely annoy anyone holding on a phone. ‘Landmasses’ is much better with its soft bass drone and clunky guitar chords over a nice samba drum machine and 1970’s string machine. ‘Braidbit’ is perhaps the most chilled track coming over as laid-back Mediterranean jazz pop that could easily soundtrack a holiday programme.

If this album had been released in 1971 and stocked by Woolworths it would now be considered a lost classic! So, why not buy it now while you can, and own a ‘future’ classic – set to increase in rarity and value!

LET SPIN  ‘Thick As Thieves’
(Efpi Records)

Formed a decade ago, Let Spin release their fourth album this month, Thick As Thieves. The four-piece experimental jazz group comprises of Chris Williams sax, Moss Freed guitar, Ruth Goller bass and Finley Panter drums.

Across the 10 tracks we get an album of great energy, imagination, free expression, the musical interplay creating an electrifying synergy – the music both exuberant and melancholic, combining elements of free jazz, post-rock, experimental, punk, orchestral and ambient!

The standout tracks include the melancholy ambience of ‘Ether’, the expressive ‘Mixed Messages’, the propulsive prog of ‘Waveform Guru’ and the strange ‘Theremin Gong Bath’. The album ending with the spiritual cosmic echoes of ‘Liminality’.

A tsunami of an album, great crashing (sound) waves re-shaping the (musical) landscape.

SLIM WRIST  ‘Closer For Comforting’
(Bandcamp, Soundcloud)

Slim Wrist are Brian Pokura and Fern Morris from Edinburgh – a duo who write calming electronic pop using an old drum machine and programmed synths. The resulting songs are interesting in their simplicity and naïve charm. Fern reminds me of early Tracey Thorn in her phrasing rather than vocal tone. Vocally she sounds close to Julia Holter. While there is nothing groundbreaking here, the album stands up to repeat listening and has shades of early Human League in songs like ‘Milk Teeth’ and ‘Threads’. Closing song ‘Half Light’ is perhaps the best on the album with its warm sounds and engaging vocal. A good debut – one to watch!

OCELOT  ‘Auringon Puutarha’
(Soliti)

The debut album from Finnish experimental Pop outfit Ocelot is a thing of summery beauty! Songs such as ‘Fire Season’ sound like a band that could have come out of Liverpool in 1979 – think Pink Military Stand Alone crossed with early Teardrop Explodes organ driven pop! However, what makes Ocelot sound original is the unique strange voice of singer Emilia Pennanen! She sings some songs in English and some in Finnish but the language barrier doesn’t matter when the melodies are as catchy as this! ‘Ikkunat Auki’ sounds like a slowed down Specials tune, while ‘Sydanystava’ has a 1970’s pop vibe that reminds me of the sort of songs Drugdealer did when I saw them live with Weyes Blood singing! ‘Daisy’ meanwhile sounds like a West Coast Hot Chocolate fronted by Lena Lovich! Altogether an enjoyable album. If they sang more of their songs in English they could be Big!

VENN  ‘Identity Crisis’
(Bandcamp – CD and Download)

Named after the Venn Diagram, Venn are a band who hail from Thailand and produce a sound they loosely label experimental folk! The album begins with the excellent ‘Idonno’ an exciting Arcade Fire type acoustic-electric anthemic indie song. While this is easily the best song on the album, they do show their fine musicianship throughout, on songs such as the laid-back laurel canyon folk of ‘Howling’ – part CSN with nods to Fleet Foxes and Midlake! However, the band fail to establish a firm sound of their own by diversifying too much, to produce – string quartet instrumental music (Flughaffen), oriental disco-folk sang by a robot (Steam Engine), Bon-Iver-style-folk (Infinite Fields) and Thai-language-xylophone-folk (track 8). While the album may not be cohesive, the band does show promise and if they worked on solving their ‘Identity Crisis’ by deciding which direction to take, deciding what works best for them, then they may have a chance of reaching ears outside Thailand!

Advertisement

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: