Sunday, April 29, 2012

Forgotten Million Sellers

There is something disturbing about Roy & The Devil's Motorcyle Forgotten Million Sellers.  Originally released back in the days of despair that was 1997, this oft-described "psychedelic blues punk" was either ahead of its time or a troublesome disc of problems that included fucked-up sounds and listener confusion.  When Voodoo Rhythm released it back in the day, copies were sent back to the label with complains that the sound quality was off.  Today it is a collector's item.

Again, disturbing.

Voodoo recently re-released it along with the new CD. What can you really say?  You either get it or you don't.  It is far more experimental than the latest release.  It's fourteen songs often sound like one large composition.  It seems designed to alienate listeners rather than draw them in.  It was then, as it is now, ahead of its time ... only today's audiences may be more forgiving of this sort of thing.  Even the cover art harkens back to the Eerie Materials days, and this would kind of fit right in with the stuff that label was doing.  Though, if you want to think of something really scary, the Eerie Materials releases were far more coherent.

By now you have a good idea of whether or not you want this CD that defies description.  If you manage to find it, the intro will give you a good idea of what you are in for.  If you can make it past that and through the other 13 tracks you can consider yourself one of the few, the proud, the initiated.  This is not everyone's bag, and it is rare when you will come across something that does its best to eliminate all listeners.  For that along it deserves respect.

Mandatory FTC Disclaimer: I received this to review, and clicking on a link may earn me cash.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Roy and the Devil's Motorcycle -- Psychedelic Drunkeness

Tell It To The People is bound to become another cult classic, much like Roy and the Devil's Motorcycle's first release.  There is something about this bluesy, garage, psychedelic and demented band from the Swiss Alps that appeals to people.  It doesn't embrace too much of any one genre, but takes the best bits from all to create a sound all its own.

There are nine songs on this release, and each one sounds like it could be from a different band.  If all you heard was "Piggy Bank" you'd get one impression of the band, but if you listened to "Six Pink Cadillac" you would have another.  "Casey Jones?"  Yep, another impression.  Schizophrenic or brilliant?  That's purely up to the listener.  Some people can't handle things like that, others point to that as a sign of musical genius.

Tomorrow, 4/17/12, the band plays Nambucca in London.  They have four more dates set after that (not in the US).  If it's like earlier shows, the band will do the unexpected.  It will defy expectations.  The music it makes may leave you scratching your head, especially if you go into it expecting not to be challenged.  Voodoo Rhythm doesn't put out records like that, though.  Voodoo treats its bands with the respect they deserve.  Things like demographics and target markets mean nothing to the company.  I've called it music for musicians in the past.  This release is music for all artists.  Catch these misfits if you can.  If not, good luck hunting it down.  I don't think it will be easy.

Mandatory FTC Disclaimer: I received this to review, and clicking on a link may earn me some cash.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Rock the Tabla

Rock the Tabla features Egyptian mainstay Hossam Ramzy and a gaggle of "special guests" on a mission to ... rock something or other.

Aside from the song "Six Teens," this is almost instantly forgettable as it lacks soul.  What is supposed to be a release full of "electrifying rhythmic collaborations" is nothing more than an extended jam session with artists who are better off as background musicians.

Harsh words?  Yes.  But true.  Ramzy can sometimes create some magic.  I've heard it on other releases.  Here, however, his music is background material, as is that of the music of his special guests.  This is surprising when you realize the idea behind this release was floating around for a decade before it ever got made.  Perhaps ten years ago it seemed like a good idea.  Now, however, it falls far short of anything that could even be considered interesting.

Mandatory FTC Disclaimer: I received this to review.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Psychedelic Pirates

I am not a fan of psychedelic music, but I like this.  First there's the band's name: Pirate Love.  Than there's the album title: Black Vodoun Space Blues.  Birthed from Oslo.  Inspired by the Seeds.  A previous release called Death Surf Negro Instrumentals.  I didn't have to hear it to know it would be good.  What I didn't expect, however, was how much bite it would possess.

When I think of psychedelic music (space blues or not), the word that usually comes to mind is swirly.  It just reminds of kaleidoscope visions and lollipops.  This is more like an acid trip and switchblade knives (blades out, motherfuckers).  Lots of effects.  Lots of guitar.  Lots of wailing.

Voodoo Rhythm, of course, has released this 12 song monster to some great press.  "In A Dirty Cellar," "Sick of You," "Death Trip," "Laughing Gas," "Broken Soul #2" -- these are songs designed to not only set a mood but to teleport you to another time.  A place where werewolves smoke hash and don't care who they sodomize.  Yeah, it's a little eerie and not at all the kind of happy thing you'd expect to hear in an elevator, but it does one thing a lot of music fails to do: it works.

Don't expect to find this release too easily in your local record shoppe.  I'm pretty sure that if you ask for it you are going to get some of those infamous blank stares meant to convey a level of cool you can never hope to obtain.  Don't let that high school grad (barely) bring you down.  Go to Voodoo.  Go to Amazon.  Whatever.  Obtain it.  And stay the hell out of that record store.  That was yesterday's news.

Mandatory FTC Disclaimer:  I received this to review.  I may earn a commission from any of your clicks.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Hot Sauce From Haiti and Indian Ragas

Sunday found me cooking up a batch of Haitian hot sauce (Sauce Diabolique) for yet another office potluck. As I prepped the habaneros, I had Baluji Shrivastav's Classical Indian Ragas -- Shadow of the Lotus playing on the stereo.  I know, I know.  It's that Baluji Shrivastav.

As I've noted on many occasions, my taste in music is pretty varied.  I either really like world music or dislike it.  I don't have many in-between spots.  This release fell into the "don't like" category, but not because the sitar-fueled, overly long songs (the shortest is eight-and-a-half minutes long, while the longest is pushing a half hour) didn't deliver the level of classic that was promised.  No.  It was because I didn't even know it was on.  The music here is more subtle than what you would find playing in some New Age book/crystal cleansing store -- as if such a thing were even possible.  Background music has a place, but music you can't even perceive on the most minute of levels?  That's not good.  In the beginning I even had to check to make sure the CD was working properly.

I know there will be someone out there who likes the five songs here.  Perhaps they can go into great detail as to why this release is one of the most underrated of all time.  I'd love to hear that argument.  I'd love to be swayed by it.  I don't think it will happen, though.  Anyone attracted to this is bound to have a personality as nearly as non-existent as the music, and that doesn't bode well for the swaying.

Mandatory FTC Disclaimer: I received this to review and clicking on a link could earn me a commission.