Design a site like this with WordPress.com
Get started

Review + Q&A: 23 And Beyond The Infinite- Lumen Del Mundo (2022, Dirty Beach/Stand Alone Complex Records)

Somewhere in a scorching desert outback three men in black walk the thin line between surf and postpunk. They smoke heavily and psychedelically, purple clouds permanently emanate from underneath their black rimmed cowboy hats. Among them they share a love for old bands like Joy Division, Dick Dale, and The Gun Club. And currently they are entranced by outfits like A Place To Bury Strangers, The Horrors, and King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard. Mostly they just want to rock out though, and they want their audience to dance like there’s no tomorrow.

Like their fellow Italian countrymen A/lpaca they know exactly how to make crowds sweat, and how to write the ear worm tunes that could potentially entrance the masses. Lumen Del Mundo is not easy listening though, and it is still rough and heavy enough to scare most dancing little girls back to their respective mamas. It is doubtful then that this album will bring 23 And Beyond The Infinite any popstar fame, but just might bring them to enough dark and smelly basements across Europe to achieve a steady underground status.

I for one can’t wait to join them in their dusty desert trip, as they surf the waves of sand from dystopian post punk bomb shelters to other borderline shady rock ‘n roll communities where they will reap new souls for their quest of bringing their Lumen Del Mundo to the world…

I had to have a chat with drummer Gianluca from the band, we talked about pandemics, influences, and new hopes and dreams…

Hi guys, how is 23 And Beyond The Infinite doing? And how have you managed the
past few years?

Now we’re fine, we’re playing as much shows as we can. We released our previous
record during the pandemic and had to cancel a 15-shows European Tour and all
the upcoming dates and it’s been frustrating… But luckily things seems to be going
definitely better. We hope so.

Can you introduce the band? That band name definitely screams for an explanation :))
The band was born on May 23rd 2012 and that’s the reason for the number 23 in the
name. Beyond the Infinite because we don’t want to have any kind of limit and also
because it’s a nice quote from 2001: a Space Odyssey. We started as a 4-piece band
but now we’re the 3 of us. Our music is influenced by a lot of different things like
post-punk, shoegaze, psychedelia, surf rock and we never thought about playing a
specific music genre. We just meet and play as it comes.

Can you describe your hometown/regional scene in Italy? Are there many bands you
feel connected with?

Here in Italy, probably more than anywhere else, there’s a truly shitty mainstream
scene but also a lot of cool bands and artists moving in the underground and we
love this kind of a strong contrast. There are also many independent spaces, radios
and webzines and we hope we’ll be able to create a strong independent net in the
underground one day. In some ways we feel connected with many artists. Here are
some random names you should listen to: Forever Alien, Unruly Girls, Faintin’
Goats
, Clustersun, Hate Moss, God Of The Basement, Lame, Movie Star Junkies,
Maria Violenza, Iosonouncane, Violent Scenes, The Jackson Pollock.

What can you tell me about the making of Lumen Del Mundo? What was your goal at
the start, and how did the process go?

Lumen Del Mundo is our first record as a 3-piece band. It started as an experiment
but easily became our roughest work until now. We put a lot of energies in it and we
hope we’re also able to transfer them to the listeners. The composing process has
been very natural and the live recording and the post-production (made by a
magician called James Aparicio) truly emphasize our live impact and energy and
our natural way of playing this strange mix between post-punk, garage, shoegaze
and surf rock.

What other bands in the world do you feel a connection with? Are there certain bands or
types of music that all band members agree on?

Sure there are. Spacemen 3, The Black Angels or Messerchups for an example are
bands all of us have been listening to a lot and they probably influenced our way of
playing. But we all listen to a lot of different Italian and International stuff. Recently
we’ve often been listening to King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard while on tour,
they’re crazy.

There is a certain Western/surf vibe throughout the record that gives it a warm vibe,
even though it is quite a dark record at times too…can you explain where that comes from?

It’s not easy to explain it, but for us has been really easy to mix this deep dark post-
punk sacredness with some warm desert-surf-psych waves. We really didn’t think
about how the record should play before composing it, we just met and started
playing and we wrote all the songs in a few months. Lumen Del Mundo contains all these vibes and it’s kind of a sum of our art. We feel it like a strong ray of light
coming from the deep space to rip the darkness.

What can you tell me about your upcoming tour? Any other future plans?
We’re playing many shows around Italy during this Spring-Summer and we’re also
working hard to tour Europe again during next Autumn. Stay tuned, beautiful news
are coming soon.

What should the Weirdo Shrine reader do immediately after this interview?
Obviously he has to listen to our last album and then to all the other interesting
music that is coming around.

Kaleidobolt- This One Simple Trick (2022, Svart Records)

Can’t help showing you this snippet I wrote about Kaleidobolt’s album The Zenith Cracks ages ago on the Bearded Gentlemen Blog:

From Finland hails the awesomely monikered Kaleidobolt. On their second album The Zenith Cracks they prove to be an excellent jam band, conjuring the spirit of ‘70’s rock bands like Thin Lizzy and Blue Cheer while having absolutely no regard for songwriting rules or sense of time in general. What makes their sound so recommendable is its grittiness, the feeling of being surrounded by angry hobos that have accused you of stealing their meth. A band like Bison BC is similar in this respect, only Kaleidobolt are less heavy and more expansive in their approach. Hobo psych rock jam extravaganza. A perfect soundtrack for getting “strunk”, or whatever your mates call it when your stoned and drunk at the same time.

Plenty of hardworking and hard touring years, another album (Bitter), and a couple of rounds on the grindstone called life later and Kaleidobolt present their latest version of themselves: This One Simple Trick. It is a nice and composed work, still featuring some of their wild hairs, but definitely also turning into more accessible grounds and perhaps even opening up completely new markets for these Finns.

Album opener Fantastic Corps still storms out of the gate like some fuzzed up pack of Hellacoptered wolves. First single I Should Be Running is a completely different ballgame though, with a catchy chorus and gradual built-up towards ferocity near the end. It is a song that might have been written by a bigger band like The Black Keys, if they worked out more and weren’t so stuck up their own backsides.

Open mindedness and pure rock ‘n roll joy is key here, as the record jumps up and down from surf rock to psychedelic twirls, always with heavy sixties feels. The heavy fuzzed out bass and pounding drums are pushing the album towards the present, and it is also worth noting that while the songs are a pretty varied bunch of daffodils, they all have a very definable Kaleidobolt stamp.

Here is a “stoner” band that dares to defy the mold, while maintaining the fuzzy heaviness, they explore different nooks and crannies in the rock ‘n roll spectrum. Weirdo Shrine notices and applauds this. Let’s see how the European crowds respond…

Kaleidobolt

Instrumental Triple feature: Noorvik vs. Der Neue Planet vs. Trigona (2022, Tonzonen Records/Echodelick Records, Worst Bassist Records)

Last time when I talked about instrumental music I discovered the German outfits Kombynat Robotron and Shem and did a double feature. Then Tonzonen Records and Echodelick Records sent me these instrumental records and I told myself it was time to do it again, but tripled this time. For instrumental music is a different kind of animal. It leaves something to be filled in at the dots for the listener. And it often invites its audience to dive into their minds, or out, which makes for a completely different listening experience than with their more, ahem, “vocal” brethren…

Der Neue Planet (The new planet in German) are an instrumental stoner prog band that takes full advantage of the fact that they don’t have to bother about stuff like verses or choruses, rhymes, or repetition. Opener Heavy Dream Prog describes their sound quite aptly in a song that shoots back and forth from heavy stoner walls to chilled out dungeon jazz, to stoner disco and everything in between in a near ten minute journey. It’s seriously heavy music, but there is room for tongue in cheek humor too, just like on their album title and cartoonish artwork. Area Fifty-Fun is exactly that; it’s a heavy psychedelic fun trip that rides like an amusement park.

Noorvik are the heavy brothers of this triplet. The music on Hamartia is serious, epic, and leans pretty close to metal at times, from massive doomed out postmetal, to more uptempo riffage and even a couple of blast beat volleys. If you picture a singer like Michael Akerfeldt fronting this band with a good deep grunt they would actually do a pretty good oldschool Opeth/Katatonia crossbreed.

Now, without human voice, the music forces you to use your own imagination for the imagery. The music becomes a painter’s palette picturing vast glacial landscapes, tall and impenetrable mountain ranges, but also peaceful ponds of calmness and serenity. Noorvik are a force of nature, conjuring up the rawness and beauty of our planet quite vividly.

The only non-German band that I will talk about here actually plays the most kraut oriented music of the three, and starts off with a song called Von Graf…but that’s pure coincidence of course. Trigona from Australia does motorik instrumentals like they were born somewhere between the 80s of Neu! and the 90s of bands like Karma To Burn with a sound that holds a pretty good middle ground between the motorik repetition of krautrock and the heaviness of stoner.

The strength of the album is that each song swirls away in a different inner mindset, taking the listener on six completely different trips, but without losing a strong band identity. I like it best when Trigona pumps out a Joy Division bass line, and then completely drives it into outer space with its gravitational reverbing guitar parts. It’s transcendental music, made for levitation and rising above the daily grind. Stuff to aspire to.

Lammping- Stars We Lost EP (2022 We Are Busy Bodies)

I am in love with Lammping’s guitar tone. The moment I discovered it on their previous full length album Flashjacks I knew something heartwarmingly fuzzy and special was going on. That album wasn’t one of my favorite and most listened records of 2021 for nothing after all. So I was thrilled like a little schoolgirl getting an ice cream when they announced a new EP and opener Everlasting Moor kicked in right instantly with that fat tone.

The EP pretty much kicks off where Flashjacks left us, so if you were paying attention you’d know that these Torontoans are the kings of kickin’ it back. The sleepy, “all good bro” vibes are still there, but Stars We Lost sounds somewhat more hopeful and positive, hell even damn poppy and catchy most of the time. It’s perfect Sunday morning wake ‘n bake music. Somewhere in between psychedelic stoner, 90s nerd bands like Cake (Never Phoenix), and the wavering hippie psych rock of a band like Wooden Shjips, there’s the unique amalgamation of Lammping. It’s just as quirky as their moniker, and I hope they’ll never lose their unique style of being weird and genuine.

Lammping

Too bad Stars We Lost is “just” a twenty minute long EP, but with these guys it’s like one of your best buddies just came by to chill and have a couple of beers. In other words; they are always welcome, and always a good time to hang out with. I’m glad I found their company and I can’t wait to see what their good vibes will bring home to me next time.

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.