September 23, 2021

Absolutely Free: Aftertouch

Changes are that Canadian electronic neo-psych band Absolutely Free have carefully studied the handiwork Can drummer Jaki Liebezeit, using his steady motorik as the foundation for the tracks on their new album Aftertouch. Their dreamy post-punk musings are pessimistic, with a glimmer of hope breaking through every now and then.

Painting with broad strokes is their forte, but by adding a dash of colour with a few choice notes to their soundscapes they made it a highly enjoyable sonic experience. Remaining Light is the album's highlight, with an old school keyboard pushing the track forward as they sing about police brutality and ethnic profiling that happens on a daily basis on the wrong side of the tracks. Gary Numan fans will love Are They Signs?, a hectic excursion with tons of echo on the vocals. Aftertouch is monolithic at first, but it worth to persist and discover the hidden layers and lines that come to fore after each replay.

Johnny Dowd: "Virginia Beach" video

Dave Casey has made a video for Virginia Beach, a track from the Johnny Dowd album The Pawnbroker's Wife. It is an amalgam of live footage, vintage movies stills and, of course, busses.

His new album, Homemade Pie, will be released later this year.

Live dates:
  • 09/24 Oxford, MS @ Oxford Blues Festival
  • 09/25 Nashville, TN @ Andy’s Americana Mitzvah
  • 09/26 Memphis, TN @ DKDC
  • 09/27 Memphis, TN @ House Concert (get in touch)
  • 10/22 Metuchen, NJ @ The Old Franklin Schoolhouse
  • 10/23 Washington, DC @ Lucky Penny House Concert
  • 11/03 Bloomington, IN @ The Orbit Room
  • 11/04 Cincinnati, OH @ MOTR Pub
  • 11/05 TBA
  • 11/06 Black Mountain, NC @ Roadmaster Stage

» johnnydowd.com

September 22, 2021

The Zephyr Bones: Sparks

photo: Marc Cusco

Spanish/Chilean quintet The Zephyr Bones mix their psych-rock with eighties New Wave synths, a combination that works quite well on their latest single, Sparks. The dry sound of the keyboards gives an edge to the soft spoken lead vocals.

It is a taste from their forthcoming new album, Neon Body, due for release on October 22 via their own label La Castanya (vinyl, CD, cassette, digital). The video was directed by Artur Tort.

The Speed Of Sound: "Opium Eyes" video

Manchester psychedelic power pop veterans The Speed Of Sound have made a video for Opium Eyes, a track from their new album Museum Of Tomorrow: "[They] can make a visit to the Shadow Factory an enticing prospect. Drugs offer only a short reprieve (Opium Eyes) from the horrors of living in the Zombie Century. John Armstrong, the band's songwriter, has found a way to set the post-apocalyptic imagery of writers like John Wyndham to music. The dreams of a better future have become nightmares, but somewhere hope is still on display, waiting to be reappraised and rekindled".

» thespeedofsounduk.com

HCTF review of Museum Of Tomorrow.

September 21, 2021

Wildgroei: Milde Klachten

Dutch experimental pop act Wildgroei are now a trio, with the addition of Rick Weren on bass and more. Stefanie Janssen and Martin Boorwater have welcomed their new member with open arms, allowing them to add a bit of rock to their mix of new wave, opera and trip hop that made their debut EP Ik ging er op staan so special.

On Milde Klachten ("mild symptoms") they tackle bugs (De Mot, health scares and unwanted advice (Hartkliniek, internet connection issues (Netwerk and the current clusterfuck (Warboel). Janssen puts her classical vocals training to good use, making each word count and projecting emotions like they are going out of style. Boorwater and Weren are adamant to make their marks as well, providing an adventurous mix of licks, beeps and purrs. Don't be surprised when the main synth motif of Netwerk gets sampled a lot and finds its way to the dance floor.