This time the reviews range from the second epic metal EP from Below The Stones, the recent album from ‘Fuzz Beast’ Dez Dare, the reissued second classic indie album from Heavenly and the Dark Cinematic Rock of Mushroom Giant. Read what we thought below.
Below The Stones
This is only the second EP that Coventry’s Below the Stones have released and it’s a shifting bag of metallic wonder. Three tracks, the first, Heathen, is a battering anthem that drenches you in guitars, shakes you up with skittering drums and the low regal vocal makes you shiver. This is proper metal and I know what I’m talking about, my first gig at 13 was Saxon. Below The Stones stand up against the best I’ve heard. This is a throw yourself and your mates around down the front track. Gross Machines is slower, harder and heavier. It’s measured, precise and is matched perfectly with the low vocal. The restraint inside the music holds your attention, it’s a massive massive sound. Solar, in contrast, is a slow drone rising up with strings and the sound of rain falling. The slow drawn out notes and the piano playing make this a beautiful song of restrained elegance.
You know your really enthusiastic mate that rants at you about punk and grunge and all sorts of bonkers music, you know the one, he’s got unkempt long hair, a band tee-shirt and a lunatic glint in his eye. I am well aware I am describing myself so you don’t need to comment. Well this is exactly the album he will have been ranting about for the last month since it’s been released.
Fuzzy guitar and rudimental infectious rock’n’roll drum beat. Simple patterns and tunes repeated over and over until your brains run out of your ears. Strange sounds at random placed on top of the music. Aussie accented weirdo singing, talking, ranting, making noises over all of the above. Songs about overcomingThere you have Perseus War by Dez Dare in a nutshell.
It is a real distorted deliberately fuzzed out treat. I reckon he’d be ace live too.
Le Jardin De Heavenly
Heavenly meant an awful lot to an awful lot of people, they are a quintessential indie pop band who were one of the bands to define what indie pop was and continues to be. This is a rerelease of their second album. It’s a mixture of fey, gentle songs and darker feeling jangling rock’n’roll. There are happy bouncy songs, slow bruised tender delicate tunes and a wonderful doo-doo drenched pop number. They’re the sort of band I feel I can say have numbers and tunes and not feel like a radio 1 dj. It dispels the myth that indie was for stripey tee-shirted depressed boys with fringes and beatles caps. Although I knew a fair few in my time. This sort of album helped a fair few kids find their feet, find others that they could identify with and dance alongside. It is a scene that cares and that’s why it’s seen as depressing.
It’s twelve slices of youth, vitality and an edge, songs about stuff that mattered to them and eventually to lots of others. It’s of it’s time, but then wasn’t everything vital and essential. It’s time will be now for another bunch of kids looking for an indie pop identity.
It’s music to care about, and we do.
In A Forest
Bird’s Robe Records
Australian Cinematic Rockers Mushroom Giant have unleashed a stoned and beautiful widescreen power filled expanse of music. They don’t need words, it’s all about the music. It flows around and through you and makes you feel like you are floating over an unknown stark landscape far up in the air, as massive beasts roam across the ground below you. The groove ebbs and falls but comes back stronger than before. When they play slowly it is measured, spaced and loose, when they speed up, it’s obliterating.
This is a magical record, one that transports you inside your imagination to places far away and lost. It’s powerful and with volume crushes anything else on your mind, but lie down, put this on and leave, drop out, it’s a trip. Seriously, it’s worth disappearing into.
All words by Adrian Bloxham