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Acid Moon and the Pregnant Sun- Speakin’ Of The Devil (2021 Tonzonen Records)

I know, I know, this record came out last year’s summer already but it totally flew under my radar and Tonzonen Records is just now releasing it on vinyl so that’s more than enough reason for me to talk about it. Aside from the fact that it’s a delicious piece of modern 60’s inspired psychedelic rock of course.

Acid Moon and the Pregnant Sun

Acid Moon consists of eight(!) musicians out of Israel, some of whom already gained international recognition in stoner rock outfit The Great Machine. On Speakin’ Of The Devil they play a lovely brand of vintage style acid rock reminiscent of bands like Jefferson Airplane, CCR, The Rolling Stones, and more of your parents’ records that ruled. The way they rock and roll, it’s almost effortless, just jamming and having a great time enjoying the oldies while creating some thrilling new music that deserves to be heard.

I really like the way the band dares to be weird. A catchy pop song like I Love You seamlessly flows into the eight minute jam beast that is the title track, which in turn topples into the weirdo psychout pop of Creatures Of The Abyss. This is a band that defies conventions and plays with their heart, and with their tongues firmly planted in their cheeks.

The replay value of Speakin’ Of The Devil is pretty high with its catchy songwriting and acid test jams. A final shout out is in place to the brilliant variation between male and female vocals which give the record a brilliantly varied color palette of sounds from all different angles of the 60s universe.

Obey Cobra- Oblong (2021 vinyl release, Box Records)

Box Records is a record label I got to know about through weird pop collective Dorcha (reviewed here on the blog) whose debut album Honey Badger was seriously weird and seriously awesome at the same time. Above anything else it was impossible to categorize, which a quality Weirdo Shrine is always looking out for. Lucky for me Box Records did not leave me hanging for too long, because their new signing Obey Cobra does the weird and unfathomable thing again (and then some!) on their terrific debut album Oblong.

Oblong starts off with the majestic OK Ultra, a song like the ouverture to a sinister space abduction opera. It’s got angelic choral vocals, heavy doom-laden riffs, noisy guitars, and a whole lot of of spacey atmosphere.

Next is Capita, a completely different world now, much noisier, chaotically produced, noisy racket song. Like The Mae Shi and Savages got into a horrific bloody catfight or something. Followed by Sunflowers, which sounds more 90s shoegaze oriented, and forms a nice breath catcher after all that violence. Obey Cobra displays an impressive feminine vocal palette, basically allover the place and still all in service of the atmosphere of the song whether it’s spooky background choirs or distorted yelling. The overall atmosphere is dark, and abrasive, yet exciting and adventurous, without a dull moment in sight for miles…

Sophia Can’t Walk is a song that picks up the pace a little, with an anxious contemporary postpunk feel fitting right in with bands like Dry Cleaning, Drahla, and the likes. There’s a brooding tension in this song that builds up and up and eventually erupts in a magnificent shout fest catharsis. You just got to love the level of emotion and guts that are poured into it.

Which goes for Oblong as a whole: this is an album that does not give two cents about being hip or trendy or how high you should wear your trousers at the moment. It’s completely self-centered in the best of ways. Whether playing dark shoegaze, noisy doom pop, or jumpy postpunk, this band is completely in a world of their own. Be glad you are invited in…

K. Wood

I had the pleasure to be able to fire a couple of questions at the band, which were fired back by the band’s lead singer K Wood. Check out the result right here:

How are you right now, and how have you been doing the past Corona period?
Hi Jasper, we are all doing fine, individually busy over summer but it’s good! The past year
and forever has been a strange time but in relation to the band especially due to having
released our debut album ‘Oblong’ in April 2020 – pretty fresh into the first lockdown and not being able to travel outside of your own house let alone gigging and having the opportunity to perform the album further afield. It blows my mind that our last gig was Dec 2019?! Thankfully we have had a huge amount of support from both Box Records, who has just released the album to vinyl, and local music heroes at Buzz Magazine, Cosmic Carnage and Adam Walton on BBC Radio Wales. And it gave us a chance to be creative in different ways where we’ve made our own music videos for a lot of the tracks on the album which you can find on our YouTube channel.

Can you tell me what Obey Cobra stands for, who you are, and why you started a
band?

We like to view Obey Cobra as a collective, it’s heavily influenced by blending art and music.
We’re not rooted in one thing and people involved can change. When we first started, myself (K Wood) and Rory joined Gareth & Steveo and were called ‘Oblong’ – we were interested in mixing doom with synth pop. We used to play a lot of house shows across Cardiff and it was mainly an improvisational band. When Obey Cobra was formed with the addition of Rosie and Ian we were already more clear on what the debut album was going to be like.

Can you tell me about your musical backgrounds?
Everyone is deep-rooted into the South Wales DIY music scene coming from bands such as
Made of Teeth, Boris a Bono, Inanna Meets the Dawn

Who would you consider your creative kindred spirits?
Hugely – I think most of us are driven by creativity in most that we do, we’re made up of film
makers, artists, music producers, and a blacksmith (?!) & it feels like we really elevate each
other.

Did you start Obey Cobra with a set plan on what it would be, or is it more fluid?
Also; who or what decides what the direction is going to be?

We all have a say in what direction it goes in but it is very fluid, everyone writes music or has
a role to play and we constantly try to push our boundaries through improvisation and
developing ideas until we have something solid. Most of us take on the bedroom producer
approach with structures or first draft ideas and then bring it to the band where we then
rework the songs to suit us as a whole.

What was the best experience you have had as a band so far, and what are you still
looking forward to?

We have a lot of fun in most things that we do but when we recorded ‘Oblong’ we got the bare bones down at Foel Studio in Mid-Wales in a really remote cottage and studio space which was really amazing. We then used Rory’s family house to record the rest over a few
days and it got really experimental and weird where we were recording beat up cymbals
being thrown down stairs and wonky saxophone solos!

What are you guys talking about when you are not making music?
We can talk about everything, we are all really close friends but we often like to be creative
together and share things that have inspired or interested us.

What are your dreams about?
Too many bizarre, nightmarish things! We are working on writing a psychedelic short horror
film that is based around our dreams which we will film and do the soundtrack to so hold
tight and you’ll be able to delve right in.

What should Weirdo Shrine readers do immediately after reading this?
Go float in the nearest natural body of water to you.

Le Grand Sbam- Furvent (2020 Dur et Doux)

Like being attacked by a swarm of nightingales during a grand piano masterclass, I can positively say Le Grand Sbam is the most surreal listening experience I have had in a long time. The nightingales being the choir of singers that form Le Grand Sbam, capable of many things, most importantly the ability to stun audiences by doing unexpected things with vocal chords. I don’t even like vocal groups very much, but this one is different, much different. This one lures its listeners in, enchants them with weird spells, gibberish language, and beautified hymns, only to attack later in a mouth-frothing frenzy. Catching the listener completely off-guard, losing all sense of space and time.

The music that accompanies the choir is mostly piano of the most avant-garde kind, with sparse spots of percussion and spacey sound effects for added off-kilter weirdness. The whole record breathes an otherworldly atmosphere, the stuff of bad dreams and bad acid trips. Who on earth came up with this and what were they thinking? I have absolutely no reference when listening, which is a good thing I guess?! The name of the band Sleepy Time Gorilla Museum pops up at some point, in their avant-garde creepiness and utter disregard of genre or form, but they make pretty conventional rock songs compared to these French crazy people.

And yet you keep on listening, keep on listening, keep on guessing what those strange voices are saying, even when you will never understand them, or figure any of it out. Le Grand Sbam intrigues to no end, which is the magic of this journey called Furvent. You might argue their sanity, and question their inspiration -again: who on earth makes this up?- but you cannot argue their absolute musical skill power. These are world class musicians making this alien music, this absolute mind-implosion of creativity, this brilliant outer-edge of what humans can do when they decide to make sound together.

So listen to it, on your headphones. Take the “heroic dose” called Furvent. But keep a sane person close, because it’s going to be a wild ride…

Alpha Hopper: Alpha Hex Index (walkthrough)

Alpha Hopper from New York are a perfect soundtrack of 2020: crazy, hectic, all over the place, messy, relentless, and never ever boring. Their new album Alpha Hex Index just came out on the excellent Hex Records and it will show you a trick or two…Think Sleater Kinney on psychotics, think Riot Grrrl by mathcore addicts, think vocals like Harry Potter’s moaning Myrtle, think a big hodgepodge of styles with a punkrock attitude, and then think again because you are probably wrong. This is music you probably shouldn’t write about, so in stead let us just have them introduce their work to you themselves; welcome to a walkthrough of Alpha Hex Index by Alpha Hopper!

Hi guys! How are you doing? Hope you are ok in these freaky times!:

Ya we’re all doing good. I think we’ve all read/watched enough dystopian sci-fi books and movies to be mentally prepared for all this. – John

While science is cracking away at curing us of each other, now we’re all scientists of ourselves. This year everything is a window. Glass windows to look out on danger, 4K OLED windows to society and excitement, windows in our hearts to glance around at what’s hiding in there now that we’re alone. – Doug

Yeah! what Doug said! – John

I just realized I am sending you this in election times, how have you experienced the whole thing so far?:

Ugh, You don’t wanna talk about that, do ya? 1 Star review. Even having 45 lose this election still feels like finding out you brought home bed bugs after having to stay in a real sketchy place. The nightmare is far from over and we should really just throw everything out. Burn the mattress. – John

Epic slugfest between Art and The News, where making things always wore subjectivity on its shoulder, reporting just getting into the game. Broadcast media has turned its haymaker fists to interpretation, performative synthesis, an inclusive cornering of the philosophy of meaning. A lot of us making art still finding the language to offer meaningful and emotive and broadly tempting subversion in a social landscape where every voice is a closed world. – Doug

Ok, so I had this idea of a walkthrough while I was listening to your album. I didn’t quite know what to make of the song titles and the lyrics so I would like you guys to provide some feedback, or if you will, liner notes to each song. Things like: what inspired you to write it, interesting things that happened during writing/recording and/or the lyrical content. Anything goes! 

01. In The Desert In The West: 

A standoff between yourself and the unspeakable evil. I hope you win! -Irene

Horse riding song of urgency and confusion, pulling too hard on the reins. – Doug

02. Not the Universe: 

A song about offering ourselves to ourselves and accepting what we see. – Irene

03. Big Body: 

I read a science fiction story once about an alien life form inhabiting a human’s body. The way I remember it, the alien had formed eyes in the host’s fingers so the alien could see out into the world, but everything it saw was grotesque and monstrous in its point of view. However, because they were psychically linked, the human could see how the alien saw the host and other humans and it drove him crazy. Anyway, short story short, that’s the inspiration for this song. – Irene

It was lonely monstrous striding between cities to stomp, to crush and crumble, far horizons from my unmatched vantage, until lo, in that far-off dust cloud materialized another giant, a turbulent friendship of mutual hunger. Careless steps. – Doug

04. En-skin: 

A crash and tumble run from the demons that chase you, and not the kinds you’re willing to confront because these will eat you alive. -Irene

05. #592720:

This is the first of a series of instrumental segue tracks that appear throughout the record. Each one foreshadows a prominent musical theme from one of the moments to come later on, but reimagined in a robotic, computerized synthesizer vibe—kinda like what HAL 9000 might put on while cruising around the moons of Jupiter. The idea was to plant a little, weird seed in the mind of the listener that then blossoms once the actual part hits so that it feels vaguely familiar in a ghostly, haunting way. Since our songs tend to be really dense with a lot going on, we wanted to break up the record with some short interludes that give your ears a quick break and punctuate the wall of sound for a few moments before sending you back in for more punishment. #592720 takes the end theme of Glows Explodes (track 7) and sends it through the Hopper mainframe, generating a digital readout of its component parts. The title “Alpha Hex Index” was actually inspired by some of the settings in a file save dialog box while exporting digital graphics, and so each of these segue tracks is named with a six-digit hexadecimal value, the way colors are encoded for use digitally. We discovered that lots of specific hex colors actually have alternate common names, this one being “Caput Mortuum” which is an alchemical term for the useless, leftover substances from a chemical reaction and it literally translates to “dead head” or “worthless remains.” So, all of that seemed fitting for a remix of a song about exploding stars. – Ryan

06. The Goods: 

A fun ditty about good-old fashioned competition. – Irene

07. Glows, Explodes: 

This one is about moving on from things that keep you stuck in places. Life’s short (unless that recent study about the first time reversal of the signs of biological aging leads to something) so it’s important to get out there and do what you want. -Irene

Panicked typing to keep the darkness away, hopeful coding with a crystal golem deadline. – Doug

08. Wrestles Snakes: 

One of my favorite songwriting techniques is to create a female character and write about her. It’s one way I try to channel what I want out of myself. Yeah, I want to wrestle snakes. – Irene

09. #1D2951:

The second instrumental segue track on the record. Similar to “#592720”, this one takes a preview of the closing section of “Third Man” and gives it the “John Carpenter in outer space” retro-future treatment. This hex value, #1D2951, is a dark gray-blue known as “Space Cadet,” which pairs with a song about a hallucinated presence during a traumatic or lonely experience. We chose this name thinking about the loneliness of deep space, an experience that might trigger the Third Man Syndrome in a fresh, green cadet sent off into the great nothingness for the first time. – Ryan 

10. Spiral: 

A reminder to self that it’s ok to go down a spiral of emotions (am I allowed to write a one-liner for a song using the words in the song?)

11. Third Man: 

Doug and I got really into rock climbing the sport + the hallucinatory companion documented by those lost on tops of mountains. Don’t do the math -Irene

Uh oh, that whistling is not a teakettle, is not the wind. – Doug

12. #16161D:

This last brief interlude is another instrumental take on Third Man and inverts the foreshadowing model of these segue tracks for an echo of what you just heard on the preceding track. This one is just a bit of dénouement / aftercare, letting you down gently from the abusive climax as its sound waves reverberate and fade out while expanding outward into the abyss. The hex value here refers to a dark gray color known as “Eigengrau” which is a term for the color that people see in the absence of light; it’s not black, but rather the gray you see when you close your eyes or look at the spaces between stars in the night sky and you see an ever-changing field of tiny black and white dots rather than absolute black. – Ryan

Corecass- Void (2020 Golden Antenna Records)

And now for something completely different; a soundtrack to a short film that doesn’t exist (yet) by German composer Elinor Lüdde aka Corecass. The movie is about twenty-five minutes long, and takes the listener through a landscape formed by Void (I, II, and III), Carbon, Amber, and Breath.

It all starts with an angelic chorus accompanied by fragile harp play; are we in heaven? No not quite, as suddenly feedback spears through the loveliness and biting vocals tells us we are doomed. Onwards the journey goes…

Carbon then takes us underground now, into a cavernous tunnel where the wind whistles its eerie tunes. The music evokes a dramatic array of images, all balancing between beauty and decay. An actual church organ brings back the religious theme, embodying as well the ambiguity in its creepy harshness while paving the path to stillness at the same time.

Amber starts with the sea, and what seems like the sound of large vessels in a misty darkness. Something lurks and looms, but not quite makes itself known. Then we are on to another spell of beauty with more harp play and a mournful organ now, slowly building up to a crack in the dark sky through which rays of sunlight descend guided by the voices of angels. Drums roll, we can breathe.

It is the constant balancing act between darkness and light that makes Void such a compelling listen. As with actual short films, the ending feels abrupt and harsh, it forces the listener to think; what have I just witnessed? Corecass leaves it up to you.

Presenting: HAQ123

HAQ123 sounds like a computer virus, generated to summon chaos and disarray on all of your systems. Which is kind of an apt name if you listen to the music, and then find out who made it! Because the unholy racket comprised of weird noises, harsh buzzing bass, otherworldly, demonic vocals, and stomping drums is played by kids! Milly (11) on vocals and Zac (12) on drums are assisted by Zac’s dad on bass. One really has to hear it to believe it. I have listened to it several times and I still don’t believe it when I hear Milly bellowing her evil lyrics while the rest of the band goes completely ape shit. This can’t be real right? Oh wait, let’s just ask them…

Hi guys, how have you been doing? And especially in these times: how have you been holding up during the current pandemic?

Millie – Good –  I have been able to play and train with my football team most of the way through but that has now had to stop. At the start of the pandemic me and my mum started up a face mask making company that kept us really busy. I have been going on some walks with my family, doing some artwork on my iPad, learning keyboards with my music teacher and making music that is very different to Haq on garageband. PS4 is also keeping me busy – Need for Speed and Rocket League.

Zac – Lots of practicing on my drums, playing with my football team, loads of family bike rides mainly along the canals around Birmingham and doing the mountain bike tracks in the forests at Cannock Chase. When the weather was good we went out and played football and frisbee. I was able to keep in touch with my mates over lockdown by playing PS4 online games. Did a bit of reading too.

Dave – I took the first 9 weeks of lockdown off work and did much of the above with Zac, fitted a new bathroom in our house and destroyed and rebuilt Zac’s bedroom. I mixed and released our third album that came out in April then we all recorded and released the fourth one just recently. Apart from that it has been work as normal and the kids have been back at school since September.

How is life for a bunch of musicians in these times of no shows?

Z – I am missing doing shows but it does give us time to write new stuff.

M – Its ok but its a bit boring.

D- Same – we were looking forward to doing a gig with local legends Einstellung on mine and Zac’s birthday weekend in November but that just got cancelled last week due to Covid. Just keeping fingers crossed that we’ll be able to get back into it sooner rather than later.

Can you tell me how Haq123 came to be?

M – I was round at Zac and Dave’s house and we were doing some bottle flipping. I asked if we could go in their music room and have a jam. We did it and that day became a band.

Z – We recorded a few of the early jams and put them on Youtube – they are still there. Its alright for a band just starting out but we look really young.

I was especially amazed about the age of Millie and Zac! And they have been at it for quite a while too! How can you explain these kids being into this kind of heavy music so young already?

D – If I’m being honest with you, Zac usually listens to grime and hip hop stuff and Millie mainly seems to be into trap.Neither of them are particularly into heavy music – except for the stuff we do in the band. We have been gigging regularly since 2017 and have played some pretty renowned festivals such as Supersonic, Supernormal and the first ever World Metal Congress event so things like that definitely give them a sense of achievement. The kids seem to enjoy watching the other bands in a live environment. It always makes me smile when Zac leans over and tells me “They’re not as heavy as us”.

Kids – What do you like about playing heavy?

Z – Its fun to play this style because it is very loud and I get to  bash the drums really hard. I also play in a band at school but it is not as much fun because I don’t get to play in such a crazy way as the music we do is much softer.

M – Its in our blood- we are from Birmingham. It is good beacause it is different to what people expect from us.

Dave, what is your role in the band, aside from being the bass player?

Cat herder in chief, van driver, gig organiser, musical equipment provider, parcel poster,  general dogsbody. I also get a lot of help from my wife and Millie’s parents with regards to doing the merch, setting up gear at gigs, spreading the word about the band, etc.

Millie – Dave is the glue.

Millie and Zac: what are your favorite bands at the moment?

M – Prodigy, Young Knives, Big Lad, both kinds of trap music – hip hop and dance versions.

Z – JB Scofield, AJ Tracy and also Big Lad who have amazing drummer called Henri and weve played with them a few times.

What are the reactions of other kids your age when they hear the unholy racket you make?

M – Surprised and a bit shocked at how loud and heavy we are.

Z – From behind my drum kit I can sometimes see that their faces often look confused at first then they usually get into it.

What are the pros and cons of being in a band with your dad?

Z – Pros are….there is none. Not really, we can practice whenever we want in our music room.

Cons – He tries to make you practice to try new stuff every minute of the day.

D – I can confirm that this is 100% true. If it were up to me we would probably be on our 10th album by now.

M – I’m not in a band with my dad, even though people often think it… Dave is my godfather though.

Who did the artwork, and what were they thinking?! 🙂 

Z – We usually do combined artwork from all of us. Wacky, messy, creepy, weird, unusual, lots of skulls.

M – My favourite thing we did was for the third album when we got loads of paint out and splattered it around to make the backgrounds.

D – The artwork is very important to us, especially as there only seems to be a minimal amount going on in that sphere at school these days. Most of the artwork is a collaboration between the three of us. I try to get Zac and Millie to do as much as possible then try to smash it all together playful but sinister fashion. That’s not really a problem for me as pretty much every piece of art I did at school was met with a comment from my teacher Herbie Hancock (not that one) “It’s a bit macabre Kavanagh” even if it was just a drawing of some foliage. We like to have something a bit different from usual metal cover but still i keeping with that kind of vibe. If you look on our bandcamp page on a PC or laptop you can see that each track on every album has its own artwork. We have also done a few videos that are animated with our own drawings.

How do you usually write songs?

D – Usually Zac and I will work on a new song together first. I have realised over the years that he doesnt particularly like being told exactly what to play so these days he has a lot more freedom. I’ll just give him a general idea of the type of beat and  tempo and leave rest to him. It always ends up better than anything I could have thought of.

Millie has now started playing a fair bit of keys in the band. When Zac and I have got the bare bones of a new song together I will go through it with her a few times before we all try it at full volume with drums. It is a pretty recent development but things are going very well.

On our first album many of the lyrics were words that Millie had made up on the spot while we were playing but recently  lyrics have mainly been down to me due to time constraints. The kids have homework, after school clubs, football teams, instrument lessons so when we have the chance to get together we just like to make a proper racket. We have written the words for a few songs together though when we have had the chance. It is always more fun to do it this way as some very original and leftfield ideas can come into play. Just before doing this interview we were working on a new song that will consist only of words ending in -ify. There are going to be some very good words in this song.

Would you like to tell us anything else?

Z&M – Football, Brawl Stars, PS4, Among Us.

D – If you want to check us out then go to https://haq123.bandcamp.com/ where you can download everything for free. We are already deep into preparations for our fifth album and will hope to have it ready for early next year. Hopefully see you at a gig sometime soon!



https://haq123.co.uk/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbJ8s4APZ28
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpKlAyUycHo&t=19s

Gong Wah – Gong Wah (2020 Tonzonen Records)

To be in love, to sing about it, to float on that pink cloud, to feel like the world ends without it. It is a feeling everyone knows, uncomplicated, relatable. Sometimes sweet, sometimes bitter and dark, always a known, always in the front or the back of your mind. Gong Wah conjures up this feeling, plays around with it, worms it inside your ear with its catchy tunes, and then leaves you for somebody else. So you spin the album again.

On their self-titled debut album for German psych label Tonzonen Gong Wah presents itself as a versatile band capable of rocking out riotgrrrl style (I Hate You), shoegazing psychedelically (With Him), catchy fuzzpopping (Sugar & Lies) and everything in between. Singer Inga Nelke has a sweet seductive voice to immediately fall in love with. Gong Wah as a collective know how to seduce the listener as well, using their catchy tunes to draw attention, only to really open its treasures in the longer psychedelic songs like the aforementioned With Him or the washed out krauter Just Sayin’.

At its core this album is a pop album, with well written songs that stay with you quickly. That might seem fleeting and superficial at first, and if you only listen to the singles that would be your impression. Gong Wah has more in store though, and some more thorough exploring of the record is highly recommended as its true power lies in the whole picture of catchy tunes versus longer trippy tracks. It is the work of a bunch of tight musicians that know exactly what they are doing. In a just world they would be doing a truckload of touring right now, preferably with a like-minded act like Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Sleater-Kinney, or Ladytron. The world, like love sometimes, is terribly cruel at the moment though, and Gong Wah will be sitting at home, waiting for you guys to pick up their album. I won’t tell you what to do, but just so you’ll know, I’ll add the links to order that sweet vinyl below.

Moths & Locusts- Exoplanets (2020 Noiseagonymayhem/The Weird Beard)

Exoplanets are mysterious undiscovered places. Basically, they are all the planets that are situated outside of our milky way galaxy. They are so incredibly far away that we will probably never reach them, or even know if they have already expired or not. The beauty of them therefore is that you can endlessly imagine what they look like, and all your imaginations could be true. If you are a troupe of psychedelic astronauts like Moths & Locusts, you can imagine that they are a an endless source of inspiration…

For Canada’s Moths & Locusts Exoplanets constitutes their fourth full-length album. They have been around the block and back, and it shows. When it comes to reverb-drenched psychedelic rock so incredibly much has already been done since the acid days in the ’60s and yet they manage to come up with music that tickles my ears. So what’s going on here?

First of all, there is a beautifully balanced musical narrative in this album, starting off loud and abrasive with psychpunk blaster Cocaine Kangaroo, after which with each consecutive song a new world and atmosphere is explored until the song Avulsion seems to introduce the end of the world in a twisted biblical narrative that ends with the words “There will be fatalities, but cockroaches will never die”. And then Exoplanets starts.

In a genre that often detaches itself from much emotion, sometimes even literally drawing up a wall of purple smoke around itself as a guard to feeling anything, Moths & Locusts really does dare to explore new worlds on Exoplanets. The song’s sixteen minutes are so god damn heavily laden with the weight of the world (or perhaps worlds), giving the listener an intense sense of mourning with its dramatic vocal performance and cinematic soundscapes as it slowly and subtly builds up to a roaring rocket afterburner of feedback drenched heaviness. I bet Pink Floyd didn’t expect their machine would end up this way when they set the controls to the heart of the sun. It’s just beautiful really, and the unexpectedness adds to the experience, like a sudden ray of sunshine in the face while walking in the rain.

The album ends on an instrumental note with the psychedelic postrock track Fresh Red Blood, which is a welcome moment of contemplation after a full space travel experience like this. Moths & Locusts have really outdone themselves this time. They have explored their inner Exoplanets and found a fresh take on the space rock genre. For me personally it is a an album that captivates 2020 as the fucked up rollercoaster ride it has been more than any other piece of music I have experienced so far. And proof that sometimes good things do sprout from the bad.

Weirdo Shrine’s Halloween Stay Inside Party Pack

What, no trick or treat!? No dressing up?! No freaky shenanigans or zombie walks?! No way! Like pretty much every social event Halloween is pretty much cancelled allover the world, but that should not be a reason not to get into the holiday mood. Luckily there are a bunch of bands who take on the challenge of fixing Halloween in your very living room. Bands from all kinds of different genres from psych to garage and afrobeat stoner to mathcore and metal have delivered some pretty scary tunes to release this month, most of them even with a little something to watch as well! So without further ado: let’s bring on the Halloween Stay Inside Party Pack!

Death Valley Girls- I’d Rather Be Dreaming (2020 Suicide Squeeze Records)

First up in our haunted house is the magnificent Death Valley Girls and their single I’d Rather Be Dreaming. They have just released their fourth album Under The Spell Of Joy of which this is one of the quieter, more mysterious tracks. Up front in the mix is a very characteristic creepy crawly organ that makes it an excellent fit with our Halloween theme. Make sure you also check out the rest of the album, if only for the crazy amount of sexy saxophone that is on there! check it here.

Here Lies Man-I Told You (You Shall Die) (2021 Riding Easy Records)

After that tasty morsel, we are ready for something a little different; well we have come to the right address for that with the new single by Here Lies Man. They are ready to release their fourth album of their own special brand of afrobeat stoner, which is still complete and utterly unique and a very interesting listen indeed. I Told You (You Shall Die) also perfectly fits our Halloween theme, as it would be a perfect match for a terrible 70s horror flick! Keep on eye on these creeps here.

The Paranoyds- Pet Cemetery (2020 Suicide Squeeze Records)

Next in line another Suicide Squeeze band with a Halloween-sized single: LA’s The Paranoyds bring the Stephen King scariness on Pet Cemetery, which they will also release as a 7 inch vinyl on cool coke bottle vinyl. Soundwise it is a little different from their otherwise pretty cheerful 90s-inspired indie rock, being a little gloomier and campier in the lyrics department. Still great fun though, check it all out here.

Komodo- Zig Zag (2020 Komodo)

Our next stop is a band from The Netherlands called Komodo! Not unlike their fellow countrymen My Baby they are playing an exotic, danceable type of blues-y 60s rock that would be perfectly suited for a Halloween party. Just put on your monkey suit and shake your bananas on the beat! Zig Zag is not (yet) part of a bigger release. You can find the song on all digital platforms here.

Gong-Wah- I Hate You (2020 Tonzonen Records)

From The Netherlands it is only a short drive to Cologne, Germany where we meet up with Gong-Wah and their infectuous new fuzzpopping single I Hate You, which would be perfect to play loud at those annoying people that refuse you candy during trick or treating, or well, there really are plenty of people you could play it to these days, just pick one! Keep a look out for the new self-titled album out on the brilliant Tonzonen Records in November. Check out more of the band here.

Crayon Sun- Roaches (2020 Sacred Love Records)

We stay in Europe with Belgium’s Crayon Sun, a band led by Aldo Struyf who you might know from illustrous bands like Creature With The Atom Brain and The Mark Lanegan Band. Their new single Roaches is not that much different soundwise from some of Lanegan’s work actually, and singer Dave Renier also has a characteristic, gravelly vocal presence. The music is cinematic, mysterious and danceable. Quite perfect for our Halloween evening I would say! Check out more Crayon Sun here.

The Glasspack- Candy Apples and Razorblades EP (2020 FREE DOWNLOAD)

Next up is a special Halloween release by Kentucky southern stoner rock band The Glasspack who you might know from a couple of pretty cool releases on the Small Stone label. For the fall holidays they have recorded a set of Misfits songs that would turn any Halloween party into a raucous pumpkin-punch throwing debauchery. And it is also a free download overhere!

Blood From The Soul- Calcified Youth (2020 Deathwish Inc)

Something really special is next with Napalm Death’s Shane Embury’s sideproject Blood From The Soul. In the early nineties he already released an album with Sick Of It All singer Lou Koller on which both unleashed their combined industrial fury. For Embury’s second outing he asked Converge caged vocal monkey Jacob Bannon for an even gnarlier result. I am quite sure I will talk about the album more in the future, but for now check out the Killing Joke-like Calcified Youth, and make sure you don’t sleep on the release of the album on November 13!

Walt’s Frozen Head-Walt’s Frozen Head (2020 Learn Fear Records)

Bringing back the weeeiiird from Leeds, UK is Walt’s Frozen Head with an absolutely mental self-titled single. I really don’t know anything creepier for Halloween than Walt Disney’s frozen head, or it must be that the punch would be so extremely laced with LSD that the party turns into this video. Check out more about the band here.

Shadow Witch- Spearfinger (2020 Argonauta Records)

Another one right for the pumpkin season is this clip for Spearfinger by New York finest psychedelic stoner outfit Shadow Witch. Their album Under The Shadow Of A Witch came out right before the corona outbreak in February of this year, and we all know what that shitstorm meant for bands worldwide, so if you have some coins to spare,do not hesitate to order one of those scrumptuous looking brown vinyls directly from the band here.

Afterparty: Ghostlawns- Breaking Out (2020 Sub Records)

And that is all for our Stay Inside Halloween Party Pack! But no! Not yet! There is room for a little after party, isn’t there? Well, Ghostlawns straight out of Wales are here for the rescue. With an album called Motorik you might know what to expect, although the album itself has a lot more than just Kraftwerk-stylo beats on offer. The mellowed-out electronics combined with a real life drummer and shamanic Welsh-spoken lyrics are really something you should experience for yourself, Halloween hangover guaranteed! The album is out soon and can be purchased from the band here.