Review + Q&A: Opossum Sun Trail- Mojave/Klamath (2022, Echodelick Records)

We are out in the Mojave desert, a rocky and dry place with the characteristic Joshua Trees throwing their silhouettes on the barren grounds. Somewhere far out in that deserted area, away from the occasional tourist or drug weirdos, a trio of musicians is channeling their surroundings. Vibing on the pale desert floor, the stern rocks and the worn trees they play a music that could have only sprung here. This is Mojave, the first side of the new album by Opossum Sun Trail.

For you can hear the American-ness oozing out of Opossum Sun Trail, channeling Cash, The Doors, Jefferson Airplane, and more modern bands like Reverend Horton Heat or Woven Hand but there are a more ancient roots showing too. Somewhere in this weird hodgepodge of psychedelic rock ’n roll styles there is a basis of profound respect for the earth, its environment, and its previous peoples as well. Without any trouble they drop their twang-y noise making to explore the mystical side of the desert, brooding, still, as if they are listening to the night and emulating the sounds it makes.

The second part of the album is called Klamath, and it was recorded in the Klamath mountains of California. It is a forest-y area, extremely rugged, and lowly populated. OST’s music reflects this environment as well, at times pushing their jams to mountain wall proportions, and at other times bringing it down to serene mountain lake reflection. Singer Nola’s voice shines on this side, in a beautiful shamanic lament.

It is a beautiful, interesting, and versatile journey that we are asked to join by Opossum Sun Trail. The songs never linger too long, and before you know it the band is showing you a completely different vista, in that way they made me think of a wilderness guide showing me all the cool places of his surroundings. I am a lover of nature and hiking, but OST does not require it, you can perfectly enjoy the journey in your most comfortable chair without leaving the house, and let them show you the beauty of Mojave and Klamath.

I talked to Michael Dieter about his band, how the record came into being and the trio’s musical background. This is what he said:

Hi guys, how are you these days? And how have you been during the pandemic?

We are doing well! Nola and I spent a lot of time boondocking in the desert in our 1999 Ford Econoline during the early part of the pandemic, and then eventually moved up north to the woods. Our drummer John spent this time in Los Angeles.

Can you introduce yourselves? What are your musical backgrounds?

My name is Dieter, I’ve spent a lot of time playing pretty diverse types of music and instruments including jazz, country, afro-beat, funk, psych, salsa, etc… I think we all are very eclectic which is why our music is probably so all over the place haha. John Daren Thomas was a percussion performance major in school and has also played in a diverse variety of projects. Nola has a lot of experience doing eastern european and afro-cuban acapella music as well as singing jazz before jumping on keys for this project. 

What can you tell me about the beginning of Opossum Sun Trail? How did you find each other and decide on the music?

It started as a home recording project in 2009 or so and I’d just kinda layer instruments and play everything. I quickly started to incorporate other musicians. I don’t think a live show happened until 2015, and that was also the first year we released any music. it wasn’t until this last record where we are playing live as a band on the recorded music with minimal overdubs. 

It seems to me that the music is very much influenced by your cultural background and the environment, right? The Mojave desert? What can you tell me about that? 

The music has always been influenced by desert type of vibes and of course Ennio Morricone and his western soundtracks are a huge influence. We are really drawn to the sparseness of that environment and I think that comes through in the tunes. 

The abbreviation OST makes one think of Original Sound Track, was that intentional? What is your relation to movies and soundtracks?

That OST thing was not intentional, but I wish it was! It’s a nice coincidence since the music is written with a cinematic approach. A lot of pieces are short. Texture is often a focus. We’d be thrilled to work with someone making a film someday and provide a soundtrack. 

What can you tell me of the album, or are they albums? They are two separate entities, right?

They are two sides of one album, about 20 minutes each. There are recurring motifs, chord structures and tonalities for each side. I think they could stand on their own but end up together for the sake of a vinyl release. The first side was written in the vast Mojave desert of southern California and the second side was written in the twisted Klamath mountains of northern California. We tried to let the depth and extremes of the landscapes inform the music. I’m not sure how well that came through but that was our intent.

Recording in the Mojave desert

Can you tell me any stories from writing and recording the album? You guys out there in nature? It’s very different from any other recordings I reckon 🙂

When we started writing, Nola and I were out in the Mojave Preserve boondocking like I said. This was early covid after returning from a Baja, Mexico road trip. We would isolate for a few weeks until we ran out of food and then drive a hundred miles each way for more supplies. During this time we’d work on writing music for the Mojave side. 

The Klamath side was written in rural northern California, a drastically different landscape, much more dense and dark. We ended up rehearsing both sides with the aid of solar panels in Death Valley in the spring of 2021. We picked up John and practiced with him for a few days in LA before heading up to record with Tim Green in Grass Valley, CA. Our friend Anthony Taibi, a former bandmate of mine in White Manna, added a few tasteful samples throughout the recording as well. 

What are your future plans? And how about your other bands and projects?

I’m headed back to the Mojave desert pretty soon where I work seasonally as a soil scientist. Nola and I are looking to eventually get a cool spot to set up for recording, maybe get a garden going. We just finished a tour, but hope to get some more short runs going in the near future. Nola and I also have a pared-down twangy, cosmic Americana duo project that we do shows with called Landers Drifters. John’s always up to random music things like drumming and drum tech gigs for all sorts of different LA projects. Plans are pretty loose at the moment but we have our goals!

What should the Weirdo Shrine reader do after reading this interview?

Go camping! 


Review + Q&A: Staraya Derevnya- Boulder Blues (2022, Ramble Records)

Weird. The word has gotten a certain negative connotation about it over the years. Like standing out and being different from the group is a bad thing. Here at Weirdo Shrine we do not think so. We worship the weird. The dare devils. The genuine weirdos that proudly wear their weirdness on their sleeves. Relish it, push it, twist it and turn it, not resting until minds are boggled and skin is crawled. Boulder Blues is doing all that and more. This is some weird shit, and boy is it good.

There is little you can do to prepare you for what Staraya Derevnya has on offer for your ears. The international collective creates songs telling strange stories with vocals but without words. Well, not words that are found in any language any way. At times they are pure “dada”, kicking your shin anti art style. But once you are fully immersed and over their initial edginess there is a whole world of depth opening up, revealing truly undiscovered places. The German sound pioneers Can come to mind, the way they always went for the original groove, and put everything in its service, human vocals included. But if possible, band leader Gosha Shtasel’s vocals are even more unhinged and “free” than Damo Suzuki’s. He repeats his fantasy incantations to full on hypnotism, guiding the listener into a trance leading to nobody knows where…you’ll have to find out for yourself.

The music is a blend of anything the groove needs to get going, a bit of jazz, a bit of underground blues, some freakish folk, a touch of kraut…but never an imitation, always at most just an echo of something you ever heard before. True weirdness then. A thing to be cherished. I wish you all a very open third eye when you dig in. Don’t give up easily, and Staraya Derevnya will show you places you did not know existed.

Steraya Derevna

We talked to band leader Gosha Shtasel about his strange collective, because it really is worth ask questions about. Here is what he had to say…

How are you doing these days?

Just released a new record and played in Cafe Oto and Supernormal festival. Enjoyed every moment of it!

Can you introduce your band and tell me more about why you started it?

We went through various stages, being a live band, then a studio project, then a live band again. Over the years many people came and went, but I feel that the current lineup is truly like-minded. They also happen to be some of the kindest and most talented people I know.

Where are you from and how did it influence your music do you think?

I was born in Ukraine, grew up in Israel and moved to the UK in 2000. I would say it had hardly any influence on our music. 

I am sorry to say I could not really make much of the lyrics, which language are they in and what are you singing about?

There’s a mix of Russian and a made up language. It is more about loose associations and intonations than “a message” or “a meaning”. Therefore, I think listening to the music will give a much better understanding than a literal translation.

I have to say Boulder Blues is really something else, it is unlike anything I ever heard before. Sometimes the vocals and music are really quite out there, and made me think of a theatric production, perhaps a puppet play 😉 Do you have a theater background or do you recognize this influence?

Not me personally, although many of my friends are involved with theatre. We try not to pay much attention to genre boundaries and just do what feels right. Saying that, we try very hard (with various degrees of success) not to sound “melodramatic” or “theatrical”. 

Will there be visuals to accompany the music in the future? I think that would really fit!

For us, the music and visuals are interconnected. Like the two dimensions of what we do. It is less obvious when listening to the album, but becomes more apparent at the live shows. 

It made me think of Captain Beefheart, Tom Waits or Mike Patton at times, what music were you influenced by?

Everyone in the band has their own, very distinct influences, but since I do the mixing, mine are more obvious 🙂 

What happens when you create music? 

The recording is fast, usually quite intense and mostly improvised. The mixing/editing stage is a complete opposite – slow and meticulous. 

Zone Six- Beautiful EP (re-release 2022. Sulatron Records)

A long time ago, in December 1997 to be precise, a couple of gifted musicians found each other and started jamming. They jammed for hours and hours, and decided that they would name themselves Zone Six. At that time the band consisted of a couple of ex-Liquid Vision members (Dave “Sula Bassana” Schmidt, Hans-Peter Ringholz, and Claus Bühler), a keyboard player named Rusty, and an amazing female singer from Australia by the name of Jodi Barry. The EP pretty much revolves around her Portishead-like story telling, while the band anticipates and weaves its patterns of psychedelic triphop jamming.

The EP starts off with Something’s Missing, a mysteriously spiraling thing, that strangely resonates the lyrics “Beautiful” throughout its ten minute haze. Jodi Barry’s vocals are of a mystique subdued beauty that fits the mystery. The lyrics forbode the next song Beautiful, which is a twelve minute triphop piece revolving around Jodi Barry telling her creeped out story about Jack and Jill. It is quite a different piece to anything Zone Six did before or after, but that’s also the cool thing about it. It makes you wonder what this amazing vocalist did after Zone Six, apparently she moved back to Australia but I cannot find anything else…

I guess it is a fitting final mystery for this hazy little gem, which will be released on “beautiful” green vinyl by Sulatron Records. An obligatory buy for later krautrock completist to say the least.

Review + Q&A: tAngerinecAt- Glass (2022, self-released)

While the album was written well before it began, Glass by the UK based duo tAngerinecAt seems in everything to breathe the caustic anxiety and darkness of the current war in Ukraine. Glass shatters to the floor throughout the album on more than one occasion, symbolizing destruction and death, while the eerie post-goth atmosphere on the album smells of bombed buildings and cities emptied of all humanity.

It’s not so strange that an album by tAngerinecAt would have a Ukrainian vibe, both members Eugene and Paul have strong ties to the country having either been born there or lived there for a long time. They have also toured the country and region extensively. Vocalist Eugene has a distinctive accent when he sings, which gives the album its character.

The music is very hard to pinpoint exactly, but it balances somewhere on a tightrope between electronic goth dance like Anne Clark, dark ritualistic music, dark action movie music, and absolute self-minded avantgarde art rock. The main atmosphere is quite bleak, but there is also room to dance, to ponder, and most of the songs are actually quite catchy.

Glass is a unique experience, and an album with a strong urgency and feel for current times. Adventurous minds are highly recommended to take a peek…

Once again, I had the pleasure of talking to Paul and Eugene. I just had to ask them about Glass and the connection to current events. This is what they said:

-The album feels strongly like a concept album, can you describe what glass, and especially the breaking of glass represents for you? What is the overall feeling you got when creating the album?

Paul: The concept for Glass came after we created Something Broke Inside. In this song we used a breaking glass sound that we had recorded while smashing a bottle on a stone floor. The concept of shattered glass fragments came to represent Eugene’s story of struggling to survive, heal and thrive. 

Eugene: Glass is a human’s life and self shattered into shards. Every song on the album is a different story and like another razor-sharp shard of glass.

Each track is saturated with different, sometimes contradictory, feelings. But the general background could be described with the words (translated by us) of the Ukrainian poet Vasyl Stus:

You were raised on rage. Now

You won’t find peace from it,

It will grow and grow, until

The prison doors fall.

I feel like his words echo the lines from the last song of the album Spell. This incantation is the essence of protection and solidarity, glorifying the survivors of state persecution, war, famine, severe trauma, repression, and other forms of ghastly suffering:

Not to burn in the fire

Nor freeze in the chill

Nor be soaked in the rain

Nor lost in the fog

To see in the dark

Like a bird take flight

And not to die.

-Having strong ties to The Ukraine, I can imagine you have strong feelings about the invasion and the ongoing war, what have been your experiences so far? Do you have a lot of contact with people there still?

Paul: I have been in contact daily with a number of friends and have been emotional very involved. I got up at 5am every day to check my messages to see if everyone was alive. Sometimes it’s hard to find the words to reply to people who are literally sheltering from bombs. I have been following the travels of my friends who have left the country or have been internally displaced. I try to be as much help and encouragement as I can. My friends asked me to be on watch for them because there was fighting very close to their house. We agreed they would contact me at 12 noon every day. If they didn’t contact me I had a list of emergency numbers to call so I could tell rescuers where they are located and how many people are there. Thankfully they are in a safer place now, but they had to evacuate from their home and move to another part of the country.

Eugene: I have family and friends in Ukraine. Some of them are refugees now and some are still in Ukraine and their towns are being bombed right now. One photographer that took photos of LGBTQ and anarchist protest actions that I attended in Kyiv was recently killed by Russians. I was devastated back in 2014 when Russia first attacked Ukraine and I expected that they would go further but of course I always hoped that it wouldn’t happen so this was the most terrible news for me and I feel like all my life has changed since. It’s especially painful to see photos of what was once dear to you totally destroyed and awful images of mutilated civilians, and hear about mass raping of women and children.

-Personally it mostly made me feel very helpless. Do you have any suggestions what people should do that would be helpful to the situation? 

Paul: First of all, I would like to say not to make things worse. I have seen people spreading slander and propaganda against Ukrainians. I will never forgive them for that. Ukrainians often felt abandoned by the whole world and even now when there has been a lot of media coverage they are still fighting alone against the Russian invasion. They need NATO to close the sky over Ukraine or at least aircraft to defend themselves, and this is what they are asking for constantly. 

Eugene: Ukrainians are fighting fiercely and they can’t lose. But it’s at a great cost and there is a possibility that Russia could also attack other bordering countries, so I agree with Paul. And the world definitely needs to put tougher sanctions on Russia, otherwise we can expect worldwide terrorism connected to energy dependence on Russia who are trying to reach their imperialist goals threatening the world with nuclear weapons. 

-Will the conflict (War-ed.) have a great influence on yourselves as a person or on the band as a vehicle for your feelings and thoughts?

Paul: It has definitely changed things. There has been a long shadow looming for sometime but still I never expected the scale of what happened or the amount of indiscriminate war crimes by Russian soldiers against civilians and soldiers alike. A lot of people in UK have shown their solidarity with Ukraine but many surprisingly haven’t and there has also been a lot of propaganda directed against Ukrainians. I was also shocked by both the lack of reaction and total lack of empathy from Russians and by how many actually wholeheartedly support the destruction of Ukraine. After this it isn’t possible to just go back to how things were. It really made me realise who my friends are.

Eugene: It’s a war, not a conflict. In a conflict there is equal responsibility between the two parties involved. But there is only one outside aggressor and it’s Russia. Protest against Russian imperialism and genocide of Ukrainians has always been integral to our music. I wrote poetry against Russian imperialism from ten years old. We searched for witnesses and interviewed Ukrainians who were in Gulags. After and because of one of these interviews tAngerinecAt was born. Also there are a lot witnesses from my family. So, it’s always been something very personal for me and it is a central theme to all our creations. Unfortunately, I didn’t find much solidarity in the UK, and this speaks of how little people know about the part of the world where I was born and raised and we need the voices of Ukrainians to finally be heard. Of course, isolation, lack of solidarity, silencing and even hate on the grounds of my nationality lead to re-traumatization and this made our music even «darker». Despite all the tracks on Glass being written before the full scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, it could be called a prelude to the catastrophe that we now face and in some way a prediction of it. There is a track called Hereafter. It has a more global context but was produced recently under the shadow of feelings about impending war. We wanted to call it Forthcoming originally.

Eugene Purpurovsky and Paul Chilton

Studio Report: Giöbia

Sometimes you just have to be bold. So when I saw my Facebook friend Melissa Crema was in the studio with her band (and one of my personal favorites) Giöbia, I couldn’t help contacting her. She has been the driving force of these Italians behind the keyboard, and to my absolute delight she was willing to answer my questions and even add some pictures. The result is a cool “look over the shoulder” of these great psych artists while they do their thing recording the new album and unveiling some details about one of the albums I most look forward to in 2023…

Hi guys, how have you been this pandemic period?

Even though the last two years of pandemic have been very stressful because of the lack of gigs, we managed to take advantage of the bad situation to work on new songs, so that our upcoming album will be ready to be released next year. On October last year we also released a split album with The Cosmic Dead on Heavy Psych Sounds. We have never stopped making music and we can say most of the time music gave us the strength to go on.

Melissa Crema in the studio

What are the current studio plans? Is everything written? Do you leave room for improv?

We are currently finalizing the new album recordings in our third studio session. For what concerns the songs we have composed and worked on so far, we have already recorded drums, guitars, bass and organs, so right now only the vocals are missing before having everything properly set for mixing. By the way, like we did in our last albums with the songs Heart of Stone and Sun Spectre, the upcoming one as well will feature some studio improvisations. We do have a natural inclination to jam, it is something we really love to do. Besides the recordings, recently we have received several proposals for gigs and festivals, so now we are focusing both on the new songs and the rehearsals in order to hit the road soon.

Melissa Crema recording

Is there a big difference in writing and recording compared to your last record Plasmatic Idol?

One of the differences between the previous albums and the upcoming one is that now we are recording in a new studio, called Elfo Studio, based in Piacenza, Italy. We are working closely with a very competent technical staff which has been helping us to make the most of our instruments and gear. We are really happy about this and satisfied with the sound of the songs we are working on. Unlike “Plasmatic Idol” the new album will sound rawer, I mean less sophisticated and more straightforward, so that the songs will be very impactful for the listener.

Drummer Pietro D’ambrosio recording

What are the lyrical themes?

The lyrics reflect the strange period we have been living, with all the frustration it brought into our lives so far. We are used to put in music our feelings and this is what we did this time too – disorientation and confusion may blur vision, but they may also be inspiring somehow. The listeners who sharpen their ears will also notice some references to the war in our songs, being that we could not remain indifferent to the what is happening in Ukraine and our hearts ache for all those who are involved.

The band in the studio

Around what time is the album going to be finished? And which label will it be on?

We plan to finalize the new album before summer and to release it at the beginning of 2023 on Heavy Psych Sounds. It is still too early to unveil the precise date, however you will hear from us soon… stay tuned 🙂

What are your plans after recording? What is your ultimate goal for Giöbia?

Our ultimate goal is to leave a lasting mark with our music, which is our lifeblood. Our priority and what we care most about besides the recordings is to start playing again like we did before the pandemic, touring abroad and meeting old and new fans and friends. We miss the contact with people and standing on the stage in front of the crowd – that’s a unique and invaluable feeling. Our next stops will be Sideral Fest, Heavy Psych Sounds Fests in Winterthur and Salzburg, Volcano Sessions and Saalepartie. Please come and join us!

Guitarist Stefano Basurto recording

Any other projects you’re working on?

Another project we are working on is La Morte Viene Dallo Spazio. The guitar player and I we also play in this band with which we released our second album called Trivial Visions on Svart Records in March 2021, in the middle of the pandemic. We can say Giöbia and La Morte Viene Dallo Spazio run on two parallel tracks, as with this band as well we are recording the new album and getting ready for several gigs and festivals.

Crows- Beware Believers (2022 Bad Vibrations Records)

“Broken things let the light in”, and “I know that everything hurts, but I know that everything can heal”. Just two phrases from the new album Beware Believers by London dark post punkers Crows that show that no matter how dark, dense, and pounding these tunes may sound, there is actual light shining through the cracks of these leather vests.

Make no mistake, Crows so far have been the big brutish brother of bands like Fontaines DC and The Murder Capital, but slightly more goth. They still are a bunch of eyeliner wearing Donny Darkos, but on their second outlet Crows they have not shied away from writing some killer hooks into their heavy post punk dirges. This time around there might be an extra spoon of Interpol-ish songwriting to add to their modern post punk raucous.

And then there is the light at the end of the tunnel that they have written into their angry bitter music. It’s this glimmer of hope in songs like Healing and Room 156 that makes it perfect post pandemic music. It’s music made in a long dark tunnel, but it finally sees a way out in the end.

Can’t wait to celebrate the end of the tunnel with them on a stage nearby soon…

Review + Q&A: Lay Llamas- Goud (2022 Black Sweat Records)

Lay Llamas is an Italian band project featuring Nicola Giunta and Gioele Valenti (JuJu, Herself) who have been releasing records for quite some time. Their previous record Thuban was released on Rocket Recordings and featured guest artists among which Mark Stewart of The Pop Group, and members of Goat, Clinic, and Julie’s Haircut. Goud (Gold) is just the two of them though, but it definitely sounds as eclectic, if not even more.

What we get is an imaginative jungle of bird sounds, flutes, new wave synths, all kinds of percussion elements, and vocals that sound at times like Leonard Cohen at his very darkest, and at other times like the most lysergic and stoned hippie choir you can imagine. It is dreamy music, and as surprising as dreams can be as well. One moment you find yourself in a primitive hut in Peru chanting shamanic mantras, the next you’re dancing a drugged up dance on heavily pulsating dub beats.

It’s this freedom and complete creative open mindedness that is so compelling about Lay Llamas and their new album Goud. You never know what they will do next, and what sound collage or filmic scenery lurks around the corner. It’s definitely a trip, and a recommendable one at that.

I talked to Nicola Giunta, who was happy to explain what he and Lay Llamas are all about:

 Hi Nicola! How are you, how have you been doing the past years of the pandemics? What has it meant for you as a person and for being in a musician?

NG: Hi, I’m quite well, thanks! 

My past two years were been…busy! And I don’t talk about Covid and pandemic issues as usual. In february 2020 my second child were born. Just at the start of pandemic here in Italy. So I did it as full time family-man.

At the same time this never seen before situation gave me a strange and lovely feeling of peacefulness. So I did a lot of new music, art, video and projects. 

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your daily life?

NG: My daily life: family, everyday job, music, study, visual art, books, documentaries. 

Does the place where your live affect your art? And if so, how?

NG: no, I don’t think so. On a subconscious level maybe. 

I’m all the places in which I lived until today.

How is your relationship with Gioele Valenti? How have you met and how did Lay Llamas come to be?

NG: First of all Gioele is a very dear friend of mine. We met 20 years ago, in Palermo. We’re sicilian both. Gioele is an amazing musician, a real intellectual and a true gentleman.

In 2013 english label Rocket Recordings asked me to write a record as Lay Llamas, so I ask to Gioele to work on lirycs and vocals, as well as some instrumentals. 

What is the typical Lay Llamas style in your own words? When do you know a sound is fit for Lay Llamas?

NG: Basically is about something into past and future at the same time.

Something hazy but clear as well. An epiphany.

Goud actually means gold in my language (gold) Can you tell me about the concept of “gold” for your new album?

NG: The question is: what is really valuable nowadays? Time? Money? Health? Spiritual development? Environment?

So I chose that single word (Goud, gold). Of course I mean not the yellow metal. But something as meant by the alchemist from the past centuries. 

What were your most important outside influences when writing Goud, being music, or anything, really…?

NG: Nothing in particular as all is One. Music comes from the deep. And then goes out.

Do you feel socially conscious when writing lyrics? Is there a certain message you wish people heard when listening to Lay Llamas? 

Sometimes yes. I mean we don’t write protest songs or something like that. Not a proper message in Lay Llamas. A feeling of traveling circularity maybe.

What is the ultimate goal for Lay Llamas to reach? And what are your short term goals?

NG: More Lay Llamas music.

What should the Weirdo Shrine reader do immediately after this interview?

NG: Just go outdoor. Take a breath. Stop thinking. Stone thinking.

Nicola Giunta (Lay Llamas)

HifiKlub + Duke Garwood – Last Party On Earth (2021 Subsound Records)

Mark Lanegan has just passed away. I just read his memoirs and despite the hurt of the loss I can’t help feeling he was living on borrowed time already. He told his audience so himself more than once. Still, 57 is too young to die, and I spent some time mourning him and listening to a couple of the many records he made. I love his voice, and I am grateful so much of his singing was beautifully recorded and preserved forever. Some of these recordings he did with his British counterpart and similarly dark voiced vocalist Duke Garwood, and today I listen to a contemporary record of his and feel solace; the torch of dark gravelly voiced melancholy is carried on.

On The Last Party On Earth Duke Garwood finds himself accompanied by the French art rock ensemble Hifiklub and a trio of modern classic artists subtly painting the musical postmodernist palette in ways reminding of arthouse movies, smoked out student’s coffee houses and empty squares, cleaned out by Corona. It is beautiful, atmospheric music that places the listener right in the middle of the global pandemic when it was released back in December 2021.

“There’s a party down there, the last party on earth…”

And then 2022 started, a shimmer of hope and Corona subsiding. Then Mark Lanegan passing, and now, at the time of this writing, bombs dropping on Kiev and the world holding its breath for the shitstorm about to hit our collective fans. It’s time to revisit this piece of music and reflect some of the peace and eerie calm it echoes from this not so distant past. How bored we were then by it, how welcome it feels now. The Last Party On Earth is a piece of recorded historic feeling of an era that shifted a lot of paradigms, rattled a lot of cages, and, like all times of adversary, showed human resilience, and the need to make beauty out of darkness no matter what.

It is an important piece of work, that does not seem to have gotten the praise it deserves at the time. Listen to to it and know this. Mankind is capable of many atrocities, but also of creating beautiful art like this. Duke Garwood carry the torch, and may you live to record many more pieces of importance like The Last Party On Earth.

Buñuel – Killers Like Us (2022 Profound Lore, La Tempesta International)

This is a record featuring Eugene Robinson on vocals in a project named after Luis Buñuel, the famous absurdist film maker and artist. It is a combination that will guarantee large quantities of joy in left field music lovers allover the world. Robinson of course has earned his stripes with his experimental noise rock band Oxbow, but basically any project he lends his voice to (Xiu Xiu, Zu, Old Man Gloom…) instantly becomes more exciting at the very least. His style is that of the extreme spoken word artist; howling, hissing, screeching, wailing, anything to get his message across. A message that is often pretty dark and disturbing. The fact that the gun on the album cover is Robinson’s is not coincidental.

With Buñuel Robinson has teamed up with a bunch of Italian noise mongers that fit his personal style of dark expressionist experimentalism exceptionally well. Xabier Irlondo (guitars), Andrea Lombardini (bass), and Francesco Valente (drums) have all released work with several (obscure) projects and it is clear that they are equipped to serve the right “feel” for Robinson’s vocal histrionics. On Crack Shot even Robinson’s wife Kasia Robinson makes an appearance, providing even more depth and versatility to an already impressively colorful palette.

Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dali’s Un Chien Andalou (1929)

Artfulness, quirkiness, and creativity aside though, Killers Like Us is mostly a fierce and violent album that will appeal to fans of Big Black, Jesus Lizard, and other Amphetamine Reptile affiliates. Noise Rock with a capital R. Big noisy guitars, angular rhythmics, and brazen loudness. Check out the ecstatic chorus on When We Talk for further reference on where to look…Fuck.

New Song: No Man’s Valley- Strange Fruit (cover)

“The past couple of years have been weird, exhausting, and downright tricky for most of us, but being in a band was nearly made impossible. As always though, creativity finds a way, and me and my bandmates found ways to keep in touch, keep writing, and keep focussing on ways to make new things. One of those things was to build our own studio inside our practice space, and try out recording and mixing. We already recorded a couple of rough demos for our new album that way, but with Strange Fruit we found a song that appealed to us so much we wanted to polish it and release it into the open. We found Pieter Kloos willing to participate in the mixing and the mastering, and the result is something we are proud of and excited about doing more songs in this way on our road to complete the new record.”

Strange Fruit
 is a protest song against American racism in 1937, written by Abel Meeropol and performed by (among many others later) Billie Holiday. It is a subject that is still very current today unfortunately. With much respect for the original No Man’s Valley have created a new version to once again make the listeners known to this important piece of music history. Strange Fruit is the first song of the highly anticipated third studio album, which will once again be released by German boutique psychedelic music label Tonzonen Records

The song will be released digitally only on most streaming platforms. Due to legal matters streaming services will not be available in the USA and Canada. It will be available as a free download on Bandcamp for all regions. 

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