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Album Reviews

Mini-Review: Ides of Gemini – ‘Constantinople’

‘Constantinople’
Ides of Gemini

[Neurot Recordings]

The way the two Sera Timms-fronted bands are set up, it’s hard not to compare the dormant (currently writing) Black Math Horseman and this new release from cerebral trio Ides of Gemini. Each share her soothsayer’s vocals that are tempered and resonant and they are most importantly, instantly, recognisably unique.

The similarities don‘t stop there; stripped down compositions with little embellishment, cymbal adverse heavily rhythmic percussion and a plough-like pacing, letting the music dig in thoroughly. Yet where Black Math Horseman are the doomsayers and deerslayers with their more prominent Om-isms and Tool riffs, Ides of Gemini are more perilous, there’s a leaner edge to their stargazing in comparison to the former’s earthenware.

They retain the weight-baring percussive strengths, this time provided by Kelly Johnston, but they don’t vent as regularly, the pacing is still a walk. It is when J. Bennet’s jangling riffs sear with a more blackened tone Constantinople steps up in to a rare gallop that they sound at their most ominous and threatening. ‘Reaping Golden’ heaves a great magnitude of heavy and Sera Timms’ gloomy divinations complement handsomely. It is without doubt that Timms is the centrepiece of this trio. Her bass works well in tandem with the sparse percussion forming a strong rhythm section of which everything relies, BMH and IoG are more rhythm than anything else. Her vocals are achingly beautiful and makes Constantinople stand out as a contender for a few year end lists. The end of the world never sounded so exquisite.

They only have their first EP up on Bandcamp, but it’s a good taster of what makes this record so good.

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The Songs of Townes Van Zandt

Steve Von Till, Scott Kelly, and Wino

Written By Ian Gerber for The Soda Shop

From the beginning of my foray into writing for The Soda Shop I have had a compulsion to try and point out the kinship of various artists and singer-songwriters with our modern “doom” and “stoner” scenes.  Conveniently, three monolithic figures of the scene have made a record that brings this idea directly to the table with the new tribute to Townes Van Zandt to be released on Neurot Records. (more…)


Review-Satellite Beaver-The Last Bow EP

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Satellite Beaver. Great fucking name. Great fucking EP.

Formed in Warsaw in 2008, Satellite Beaver is a hard rocking stoner band that needs to make an LP after hearing this 4 song EP.

All the way from Poland, never knew of em, so I checked out their facebook page. Instant connection because the band used the Oregon State Beaver mascot for a “Worship Satan” jpeg. Love it because I (more…)


Review: Weathers – Heavy Truck

Greece might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of sludgy stoner metal… or the second, fifth, or tenth. But Weathers is out to change your mind about that. They might come from the windswept isles of the Mediterranean, but listening to their debut EP, you’d swear the trio were raised inside the hollow of a petrified sequoia tree by a pack of ancient dire wolves.

The sheer heaviness of Heavy Truck is truly something to behold. It manages to be completely thundering at its low end, while not sacrificing the searing buzz saw guitar lines that so often are thrown out the door for such bottom-heavy production. Nothing comes out muddy–just fuzzy, and deliciously so. Reminiscent of the sound of their European brethren, Sweden’s Truckfighters, the Greek three-piece wear their influences on their sleeves (I mean CD sleeves–that’s not a maple leaf there) and make it easy to forget that they’re exactly that: a Greek three-piece. (more…)


Review: The Dirty Feathers – Midnight Snakes

According to their Twitter, The Dirty Feathers eat more BBQ than any other band, but after listening to their newest release, Midnight Snakes, it’s plain to see they’ve been chompin’ on the other white meat as well: Jack White, that is.

The band has just (and I mean, just as in like, a week ago) released a new single dripping with sixties psychedelica, but Midnight Snakes is their latest full-length offering and is not to be missed–for fans of The Dead Weather or The Charming Snakes or The Holy Ghost, especially. There’s some consistency in that whole “The Adjective Noun” front, it seems. ,But really, who can’t get down with a ripping rock album full of reverb-drenched guitars and wailing Hammond organ? If you just raised your hand, you may now turn in your license to rock, because you won’t be needing it ever again. (more…)


Current Rotation – 5/3/2012


Born To Hula have recently released a new album titled Tales of Love. I like this album because of the diversity. I remember with their last release all I could help but think was Queens of the Stone Age. I still think that with this album big time but it appears they’ve reached down and pulled a little Jimi Hendrix and other late 60’s, early 70’s psych rock in. There seems to be a little ode to Songs For The Deaf in the beginning of song 3, “No Regret” with the tuning of the radio to a station before the song starts. Tales of Love isn’t as heavy as their previous release but rocks out pretty hard. The desert rock like tunes keep you moving and grooving to the beat from start to finish. Look for a vinyl release this coming October.

(more…)


Review- Naam-The Ballad of the Starchild EP


Naam is a Brookln based psych stoner band that is releasing a trip of an EP, The Ballad of the Starchild, on May 8th through Tee Pee Records. It’s a ambitious journey of psychedelic sounds and musical gentleness. It is something to get lost in.

“Sentry of Skies” is chill and stoney. The music trickles with a constant beat and gentle guitar that lifts me off with great care and ease. Relaxing. “Lands Unknown” sends rings of Saturn around my (more…)