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GOD?

Axis: Sova

Blinded By Oblivion

    Chicago’s Axis: Sova hit the beaches of Southern California with Ty Segall to make a total hi-fi classic. Often feral and consistently catchy, ‘Blinded By Oblivion’ is lit up with interlocking drum kit and drum machine, adventuresome guitar, bass, and harmonic vocals on every song. Icy lyrical perspectives, rendered in a sunshiny natural paradise, transmit the fun and fraud of human polarities with urgency and an occasional eye roll.

    In the bright opening moments of ‘People’, ‘Blinded By Oblivion’’s first cut, an induction of dreamy guitar textures from all corners set up the immortal opening couplet, “People will be the end of people / People will snuff the light.” Dark humour never sounded so bright. From there, the accelerated, percussive thrust that begins ‘Hardcore Maps’ launches a sequence of quick-hitting singles, each demonstrating a melodic attunement previously only touched upon in the Axis-verse.

    Making for an undeniably good/bad time, streamlined and more reflexibly physical than previously known, ‘Blinded By Oblivion’ begs the universe to bring back rock and roll radio. All the elements are there: compassion for our collective fallibility, rebuke on the tip of the tongue, all rolled tight with hook-laden, high-energy construction.

    TRACK LISTING

    People
    Hardcore Maps
    I’m A Ghost
    Trend Sets
    Plastic Pageant Show
    Metallic Hearts
    Join A Cult
    Persuasion
    Writing Blind
    That Dream Again

    Flat Worms

    Witness Marks

      Hitting flat and hard with their bass-drums-guitar and vocals alignment, Flat Worms use a buzzing combo of blunt force and surreal lyrics to hammer the absurdity of the status quo, as it deserves. Our social experiment continues to implode before our eyes; Witness Marks offers both critique and compassion, with songs that corkscrew through shades of exhilarating, dizzying and ambiguous spaces in between times of crisis and complacency.

      Four years after they went all the way to Antarctica, Flat Worms are back in gen pop with the rest of us — but, as intoned on the album opener “Sigalert,” “back again like I never was.” Is this a nod to the way time passes over our sorely vexed synapses? Or are we to believe that there’s hope to be found in this broken world? Kick back with Witness Marks and see what other traces Flat Worms have left us in the dust.

      The album title alone leaves a foreboding impression. But look closer — “witness marks” aren’t something out of a forensic analysis — they’re actually practical; scratches placed in old clocks designed to aid continued maintenance further in time.

      Sure, there’s big questions and more on the board; primarily if we’re at all distinct from the absurdity coming down around us, or just another character in the mirror? Flat Worms are looking inward this time, outlining personal space in relation to themselves and others — sometimes even people they barely know. Among the slabs of slategrey outrage, the flowers of compassion are blooming, and the simmering power of their trio grows exponentially.

      Working once again with Ty Segall, Flat Worms continue to find new answers by digging into themselves and playing their kind of rock: hard and flat, bass and drums thrusting stalwartly forward with conviction, guitar twisting and spinning in outrage, deadpan vocals decrying a dire set of circumstances.

      The democracy of working together, so often messy and frustrating, was found to be a powerful release for Justin, Tim and Will. Acting as one, Flat Worms navigated challenging times by coming together, finding release in the clockwork repetitions of practice and the shared creative space they occupied together against the encroaching world.

      In the short century of their existence, Flat Worms have agitated against the status quo with a disquieting lyric bent, to emphasize the psychosis of the times. These are positions taken within songs, sung out to individuals in the world. As evidenced by the lyrics,

      “But I know I can always see you at the show Even though it’s only temporary and it’s time to go.”

      . . .Witness Marks surveys an evolving sense of community. Flat Worms are dedicated to persevering and using the power of their collective. Come witness!

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Martin says: A scathing blast of punky power chords and snappy basslines, reminiscent of the atonal dirge of post-punk, but brightened with a syncopated groove and wry vocal leaning.

      TRACK LISTING

      Sigalert
      SSRT
      Time Warp In Exile
      Suburban Swans
      Orion’s Belt
      Gotta Know
      Sick Of My Face
      16 Days
      Wolves In Phase
      See You At The Show
      Witness Marks

      Oog Bogo

      Plastic

        The wiggy wanderings of Oog Bogo wind up on the same island of lost joys all at once, manufacturing a virtual jukebox of singles and side flips that won’t unplug, and just keeps reeling and raging on instead. A bright metallurgy of guitar pop, psych, post-punk and apocalypse disco embosses the sleek, multicoloured flash of ‘Plastic’.

        Oog Bogo are a four-piece rock band from Los Angeles and their new album is ‘Plastic’, an electrifying set of songs and sounds that just don’t stop, working like a machine that makes joy and endless flips and repetitions, whether in front of the turntable or out in the real world.

        In the past several years, Oog Bogo dropped two records that previewed this explosion in wildly divergent ways: 2019’s ‘Oogbogo’ EP, with wigged-out production, its contorted fun house mirror images pulling punk, psych and new wave in and out of focus in a chaotic procession of mutant tunes. 2021’s ‘EP2’ radiates a starkly different vibe, as chilled-out guitar-pop tunes conjure a flowing medley of plaintive echoes and atmospheres in a mellow mist of hiss.

        Kevin Boog recorded these records in a largely hermetic state: at home on 4-track, playing all the parts, slowly drawing out the sounds. The songs for ‘Plastic’ were demoed this way too, as a starting point for a group interpretation - but when, for obvious reasons, logistics prevented everyone from getting in the same room to even rehearse, the planned recording session at Ty Segall’s Harmonizer Studios took on a different shape.

        Starting off with only drummer Thomas Alvarez (Audacity) to accompany him, Kevin realized that any obstacles to getting the record made were also opportunities, for something else that was also right to happen. Rather than reach for the design of the demos, he kept himself in the present moment, approaching every passage as fluidly as possible, playing what he needed to play, staying open to what he needed to know. It didn’t hurt that the laptop with all his songs crashed right after he walked into the studio! There was no way possible but forward.

        The direction was right on with the guys at Harmonizer - Ty Segall’s sense of imagination made him the ideal production counterpart to walk together with Kevin into this world, psyched to experiment and ready to get weird at any time. Ty and engineer Matt Littlejohn met all requests and requirements in the form of sounds, with gear and approaches that amazed and delighted, and an eternally ebullient spirit.

        As this was Oog Bogo’s first time recording away from home, Kevin was a kid in a candy store - where the store owner turns out to be a Wonka-esque philanthropist. As band members Mike Kreibel (Dirty & His Fists) and Shelby Jacobson (Shannon Lay) joined the session, there was a synchronicity and community with everyone involved, finding an unexpected road to realizing the songs, with all the colours and hues they added making everything pop that much harder.

        Fluidity was key: ‘Plastic’’s tunes depict a polymorphic cast of characters. As in life, they leap avidly from style to style; from pretty psych rock to new wave apocalypse disco and harsh post punk bleakness, sometimes in a verse and a half. Corkscrewing over and over like a riff-driven space-coaster, morphing in and out of each successive moment with increasing momentum and gravity, ‘Plastic’ defines and redefines Oog Bogo, with sweet tunes, barely-controlled intensity and sharp production moves - a killer first album and an equally killer evolving state of mind.

        TRACK LISTING

        Goon
        Culprit
        Cuckoo
        Plastic
        New State
        A Side
        Canary
        Interstate
        Paint
        So Well
        Idle

        Flat Worms

        Into The Iris

          6 new songs from Los Angeles-based Flat Worms, which feature Tim Hellman, Justin Sullivan, and Will Ivy. The “Into The Iris” EP follows an LP on Castle Face (s/t, 2017). Filled with anxiety and angst, Flat Worms summon perseverance in an apocalyptic era, passing through decrepit strip malls and surreal headlines. These songs were recorded by Ty Segall in his home, and are now being offered on God? Records.

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Barry says: Flat worms' eponymous debut on Castle Face was a scathing slab of thrashing punk mutes and insical riffs, where their newest outing measures that animalistic momentum with a more nuanced edge. Hypnotic bass sections and percussive change-ups pepper 'Into The Iris', upping their interest from recommended to essential. Another stunner, and a great sign for the future.

          TRACK LISTING

          1 Surreal New Year
          2 Into The Iris
          3 Plastic At Home
          4 Shouting At The Wall
          5 Scattered Palms…
          6 At The Citadel


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