If you are like us, you spent the weekend binge-watching Season 2 of the amazing Mindhunter series on Netflix. The followup to the Emmy Award-winning 2017 series is a drama based on the real events of the founding of the Behavioral Science Unit of the FBI in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Produced and sometimes directed by David Fincher (S7ven, Fight Club, Zodiac) and starring Jonathan Goff, Holt McCallany, and Anna Torv, the main characters are FBI profilers and they interview serial killers and investigate cases during the show. As they did in season one, the music of the time plays a huge role with the soundtrack, sound design, songs heard in the show. Music in season two features artists such as Blondie, The Doobie Brothers, Peter Gabriel, Talking Heads, Willie Nelson, Marianne Faithful, Pretenders, The Brothers Johnson, Boston, Joan Armatrading, Kenny Rogers, Red Rider, The Police, Patti Smith Group, Christopher Cross, Sammy Davis Jr., Gary Numan, Pat Benatar and more. Even a Charles Manson song is heard in Episode 5 which features Manson himself portrayed by Damon Herriman, who also plays Manson in Quentin Tarantino’s current film Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. Jam out to this playlist! Continue reading
For some time now, Californian Psych junkie Zach Oakley has wanted to team up with his percussionist brother Matt, and this wish has finally materialised with new project Volcano. Debut album The Island (Tee Pee Records) is a million miles away from the weird Blues of Harsh Toke, Joy, and Loom, from where the quintet has been culled: introducing African rhythms to whacked-out jams and creating an unusual yet vibrant concoction. Continue reading
Rather unsurprisingly, Rob Zombie records are much like Rob Zombie films. You either like them or you don’t. His films are nightmarish, brutal gore-soaked rides featuring masked or grease-painted trailer trash homicidal maniacs, old B-movie references (and actors), a marvelously excessive use of the word “motherfucker”, and of course, Sheri Moon Zombie. His albums are almost identical except possibly for more gasoline guzzling, psychoholic undead werewolf go-go dancers.
So, if you’re reading this review then there’s a good chance you already have more than a reasonable idea of what’s waiting for you even before you start listening. All you really want to do now is read about how fucked up it is and how much you’re going to like it.
The preposterously titled The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser (Zodiac Swan) begins with ‘The Last of the Demons Defeated’, a short intro featuring the voice of infamous occultist Aleister Crowley. The first proper song, ‘Satanic Cyanide! The Killer Rocks On!’, is a typically
bombastic assault, featuring quotes from leader of the Texas Cornerstone “Megachurch”, Pastor John Hagee (amusingly sped up so he sounds like some kind of loopy religious Minion) and author Steven Jacobson speaking about mind control.
‘The Life and Times of a Teenage Rock God’ begins slowly with keyboard effects acting like the soundtrack to a mad scientist’s laboratory, but soon hits you with a driving beat and an Alice Cooper vibe. As a bit of an unusual departure, RZ releases his inner Les Claypool with ‘Everybody’s Fucking in a UFO’. If you haven’t already heard it, just imagine ‘Winona’s Big Brown Beaver’ by Primus, but with a crunching riff, more profanity, and huge spurts of green alien jizz.
‘A Hearse That Overturns With the Coffin Bursting Open’ is a an acoustic interlude that lasts only a little longer than it takes to say the title. This is followed by ‘The Hideous Exhibitions of a Dedicated Gore Whore’ which includes a Vox organ and a creepy audio sample featuring Charles Manson family member Leslie Van Houten (taken from the same interview, incidentally, that White Zombie used for ‘Real Solution #9’).
‘Medication For the Melancholy’ is a fast and furious affair, the obligatory featured audio sample coming this time from Pam Grier blaxploitation flick, Coffy. ‘In The Age of the Consecrated Vampire We All Get High’ (come on, Rob. Really?) is a thunderously good signature Zombie tune that doesn’t sound a million miles away from long-time fan favourite, ‘Superbeast’, and ‘Super-Doom Hex-Gloom Part One’ is another instrumental interlude, but unfortunately doesn’t really do anything that interesting.
‘In The Bone Pile’ comes with bags of attitude and a surprisingly short title, while ‘Get Your Boots On! That’s The End of Rock and Roll” is absurdly catchy with its “Gabba Gabba Hey, Be-Bop-A-Lula” chorus, and album closer ‘Wurdalak’ is a slow, grinding, atmospheric tribute to Boris Karloff in the 1963 Mario Bava horror film “Black Sabbath”.
Zombie has referred to his new album (there’s no way I’m writing that title out again) as “seriously our heaviest most fucked up musical monster to date”, and although it’s clearly a beast, it’s not dramatically heavier than his last couple of releases. It’s also a relatively short album, coming in at only just over thirty minutes in length. But the truth is that it doesn’t have to be heavy as hell or longer than the average album to make an impression. Each song is a short, sharp jab of (sick) bubblegum Americana, a swift, strikingly confident punch in the face that knocks you down but makes you want to get straight back up to take more of its addictive abuse.
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Hailing from Finland, the country that gave us Nokia phones, Nightwish, and the actual home of Santa Claus, comes psychedelic sextet Jess and the Ancient Ones. Formed in 2010 initially as a seven piece, the band released their self-titled début two years later and quickly found themselves lumped in with the burgeoning occult-themed rock movement; their second full length album Second Psychedelic Coming: The Aquarius Tapes (Svart) distancing them from such casual pigeon-holing, proving there’s more to JATAO than just occult imagery with a ’60s/’70s vibe.
Beginning with a drum intro that sounds like The Surfaris performing ‘Wipe Out’ at midnight while wearing black robes and cowls, opener ‘Samhain’ (remember to pronounce that as “Sow-in”, kiddies) is basically surf music for Satan. Adding excerpts from the “Witches’ Sabbath” episode of CBS’s Radio Mystery Theater, actor E.G. Marshall‘s monologue about convocations of sorcerers, old chronicles and orgies gives the song a real White Zombie feel before hitting you with an unnaturally bouncy riff and a chorus you won’t be able to get out of your head before the next autumn equinox.
‘The Flying Man’ slows things down a little and features some nice organ work and a simple chorus. ‘In Levitating Secret Dreams’ is a catchy little number with hand claps and more surf guitars, written about Swiss scientist Dr. Albert Hofmann. Not heard of him? Well, he’s the chap who synthesised LSD way back in 1938 and took the world’s first intentional acid trip five years later.
‘The Equinox Death Trip’ is driven by a pulsing bass line and a strong beat. Singer Jess‘s vocals ring clear above everything, backed by some nifty keyboard work and lots of wah pedal during the extended solos. No album like this would be complete without the recorded ramblings of Charles Manson, and the excellent ‘Wolves Inside My Head’ uses them to great effect, accompanying the trippy surf guitar riffs and “Oh, Charlie darling. What have you done?” refrain perfectly.
If you ever wanted a song where a band throws everything they have at a dartboard to see what sticks, then the ambitious 22 minute closer ‘Goodbye To Virgin Grounds Forever’ is for you. Luckily, far more sticks than falls out, and although clearly overlong, only really drags in a couple of places.
Although not as immediate as the début, The Second Coming has a lot more going on and may take a few listens to fully get to grips with. It can occasionally feel cluttered, or conversely, need a bit of a kick every now and again, but overall it’s a more than worthy follow-up that will have you reaching for the denim flares and incense sticks to make the experience even more authentic.
Mysterious Cambridge based quartet Uncle Acid and The Deadbeats have ridden a wave of growing popularity which peaked late last year when the group was granted the accolade of opening for Metal Godfathers Black Sabbath. Prior to the main event however Leeds based doom act Black Moth impressed with a storming set showing that female fronted acts don’t need a folk aspect nor drown out their singer in order to make an impression. Harriet Bevan’s lush vocals provide a compelling foil to the colossal riffs of tracks like ‘The Articulate Dead’ and forthcoming single ‘Tumbleweave’ leaving an extremely favourable impression on the packed audience.
“This song goes out to Charlie Manson” is how Uncle Acid elect to introduce ‘Poison Apple’ following the stomping ‘Death’s Door’. Maryland groove machine Clutch are plying their trade just down the road which makes tonight attendance all the more astounding although surely some promoters have missed a trick. Blighted by a technical glitch at the beginning of their set which delayed the commencement of their psychedelic ceremony enraptures the audience with the atmosphere akin to a love in before some idiot at the front is escorted from the building following a fight breaking out during the last number. Never the less `The Deadbeats seventies horror inspired romps inspire much dancing and unbridled revelry. Even slower numbers such as ’13 Candles’ inspires much movement in the crowd who encompass people of three different generations, no mean feat considering the fickle, media driven trappings of the modern music scene. Heady and enthralling guitar work mixed with a compelling mystique tonight Uncle Acid’s swagger and cocksure attitude full justified the hype and praise heaped upon them.