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ROCKET

Having already been nominated for a Swedish Grammy with their debut EP, Diamond Waves, their full-length 2015 debut on Rocket Recordings, Horse Dance, marked out a territory in which beguiling repetition could sashay with sweet pop suss, melodic flourishes with experimental intensity, and it was summarily rapturously received on arrival, making new fans and earning them appearances at Roskilde Festival and Eindhoven Psych Lab. Their second effort Mirage, which follows a mere year after its predecessor, sees the band sculpting sprawling, hypnotic jams into elegant nocturnal serenades. “We agree on not remembering very much about how these tracks came about, that all of them were written on the road and that most of them came fully formed” note the band. “Most were really long to begin with, but we found it relieving to break away a bit from the mandatory psych jams a little bit. We also just realised that none of them were written in daylight, which might be why memory is so elusive.” Indeed, this hypnagogic approach seems to fit well with the primary inspiration for the five-piece, which centred on ‘the state where dreams, visions and the present are entwined’ .Mirage sees the band taking a chic tradition of avant-pop that extends all the way from Serge Gainsbourg and Françoise Hardy to Broadcast and Saint Etienne, and warping it mercilessly to their own darker ends. Whilst the brooding yet sultry ‘Sister Green Eyes’ is no less than a sharp slice of velveteen motorik-pop and ‘Looking For You’ reinvents three-chord garage-rock attack with mighty finesse, The Liberation are just as comfortable dealing out the heavy-lidded and electronically-driven ‘In Madrid’ or the dive in the hallucinatory deep end of ‘Circular Motion’, on which they’re aided and abetted by Lay Llamas’ Nicola Guinta. The seductive splendour of these ten songs åmake manifest a parallel world of disorientation and deliverance in which one would be a fool not to want to languish adrift . Fresh excitement for the band lies in wait, courtesy of a UK tour with Goat and an appearance at Liverpool International Festival Of Psychedelia.

STAFF COMMENTS

Barry says: Driven and mesmerising psychedelic loops, snarling basses and full on funky-psych freakouts. Sweetly sung vocals contrast perfectly to the experimental backdrop, breaking out into moments of profound serenity. A perfectly measured combination, and just another essential part of this enthralling collection.

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Coloured LP Info: Purple & Green Swirl Effect Vinyl repress.

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      From adversity can come triumph, and from catharsis inspiration. Such has been the case for Gnoomes, the threesome hailing from Perm, Russia, whose second release for Rocket Recordings, ‘Tschak!’ arrives in the wake of considerable turbulence and tumult within their personal lives and scoiety itself, all of which has only been fuel for a creative epiphany that has seen them create a deeply evocative work rich with vibrant experimentation and saturated in a widescreen sense of wonder.

      It may only have been eighteen months since ‘Ngan!’, the band’s first release for Rocket, whose self-styled ‘stargaze’ approach marked a glorious collision between melodic sweetness, skysurfing guitar experimentation and motorik magnificence, yet the band have already moved on to a sonic landscape still more adventurous and ethereal on ‘Tschak!’, not to mention an emotionally resonant approach that’s bewitching to witness. Taking in torrents of guitar noise and electronic extrapolations both blissfully kosmische and aggressively abrasive, it exists outside of all or any convenient genres, a vivid and singular work by three dreamers-at-heart forced to manifest their vision into a psychic defence to the circumstances surrounding them. Working in splendid isolation thanks to a studio space provided by their work for a local radio station, the band had time and space for the alchemical process of creating ‘Tschak!’ entirely on their own terms.

      Central to the this were a collection of Russian synths that they gathered, whose eccentric arpeggios and analogue textures form crucial ingredients on songs like ‘Severokamsk’ and the title track, arriving at a sound that forms a star-crossed and timeless marriage between the experimentation of krautrock and the lineage of Warp Records. Forging forth into unknown realms both physical and metaphysical, Gnoomes recently completed a UK tour - including an appearance at Liverpool International Festival Of Psychedelia (full European tour planned for spring 2017). Yet with the dreamlike radiance of the potent and otherworldly ‘Tschak!’ on their side, this adventure is already well on its way

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Martin says: The Russian threesome’s second album brings a fluent collage of influences, easing krautrock, ambient drone and pulsing electronica through a loose psyche blender.

      Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs

      Feed The Rats

      Playing their first gig supporting Goat at what was only the latter’s second ever show, the band have gigged relentlessly with kindred spirits including The Cosmic Dead and Luminous Bodies, not to mention gracing festivals like Supernormal and Portugal’s Reverence with their feral attack. Yet the time has come for this band to transcend the realm of word-of-mouth phenomenon and be judged on their feverish and demented collision of psych-drone dementia and riff-driven salvation alone.

      The inarguable proof is Feed The Rats, the overwhelming first album the band have created for - equal parts righteous repetition, bludgeoning brute force and Sabbathian squalor, its alchemical charge has the power to transform bleary-eyed abandon into small-hours revelation. This three-track, forty-minute monument of chaotic catharsis captures the everythingon-eleven spirit of the band’s live manifestation whilst adding a level of finesse and texture often less easily accessible in a dangerous haze of flying hair, discarded clothes and spilt premium lager. Channeling the grimy trip hazards of Monster Magnet’s ‘Spine Of God’ through a prism of kraut-derived repetition and Part Chimp style bloody mindedness, the resulting hallucinatory vortex appears constantly on the realm of breaking point. Yet for Baty, the porcine realm is less about a nihilistic quest for fiery oblivion than one might imagine.

      “You know, I think we’ve experienced it, many times. It’s those gigs where we can almost sense that everyone in the room is engaged. The energy created is so thick you can almost bite down on it and it feels like there’s no longer any barrier between band and audience. Those are the special shows, where there’s a solidarity and a very visceral bond. That, and being able to smell our amps melting”. Amps and brains alike, as these psychic omnivores bring seven times the joy, seven times the pain, seven times the dementia and deliverance. 

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: Sludgy, psychedelic walls of throbbing guitar riffs and shouted vocals, a build up of drone before breaking into a Sabbathesque single note riff, as heavy as it is isolated before being ceremonoiusly descended upon by all manner of mayhem. Heavy, sludgy indie psych madness. Brilliant.


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