Lee McKinney – Infinite Mind

Instrumental music is an incredibly niche market, to say the least. For the vast majority of the music-listening population, instrumental music sounds incomplete and lacking that human touch in a way that only the human voice can provide. In the Metal genre in particular, guitar-led instrumental music can often come across as showing off how virtuosic the guitarist is without any care given to musical creation and taste in general. There are a few exceptions to this rule with Steve Vai’s Sex and Religion (Relativity) and Buckethead’s Electric Tears (Metastation) coming to mind. Continue reading

Advertisements

Insect Ark – Marrow Hymns

The thing that everyone always forgets about “Post-Rock” is that it was never intended to be a defined style of music. Essentially journalistic shorthand for “I don’t really know what this is, but they use guitars”, it was a useful semi-label for the otherwise unlabelable until someone decided that it was a genre defined by stroke-inducing levels of boredom and its use in a review became the Touch Of Death for all right-thinking people.  Continue reading

REVIEWS ROUND-UP: Ghost, Lovebites, Babylon Fire, HammerFall and more…

 

The beauty to last weeks’ beast, the Ghost Cult album round-up is back for your vulgar delectation, and our final compilation of 2017 captures albums most Metal and most Melodic, shining a light on last-minute stocking fillers that St. Anne, rather than St Nick, would approve of… Continue reading

Ex Eye – Ex Eye

Ex Eye’s self-titled album (Relapse) is something extraordinarily different, so hold on to your hats and brace yourself!  The soon-to-be-legendary group consists of renowned, experimental saxophonist Colin Stetson, Greg Fox on drums, Shahzad Ismaily on synths and Toby Summerfield on guitar and these dudes will literally blow your mind! Continue reading

Davie Allan/Joel Grind – Split EP

Davie Allan Joel Grind - Split EP cover ghostcultmag

For those of you who are unaware (and I dare say there will be a few), Davie Allan is a Californian guitarist probably best known for his work on a variety of biker movies in the 1960s. Taking the traditional surf guitar sound, he twisted it into something entirely different using the newly invented Fuzzbox. Allan’s fuzzed up guitar tracks have been used in many films over the years, most recently in Quentin Tarantino‘s Inglourious Basterds.

Joel Grind, on the other hand, comes from a completely different arena. His band Toxic Holocaust have been tearing up the Thrash scene since their inception in 1999. Their (or rather his, as Grind played all the instruments on the band’s first few releases himself) brand of Punk/Thrash relying more on creating sweaty, violent carnage in the moshpit rather than any kind of bizzaro Surf Rock atmosphere. Grind is no stranger to his music being used on soundtracks either though, having ‘Bitch’ from ‘Conjure and Command’ (Relapse) blasting out during a car chase in a Season 5 episode of Sons of Anarchy.

An entirely instrumental affair, this split four track EP (Relapse) consists of some seriously dirty hard rockin’ surf music with a greasy ’60s/early ’70s vibe. From the moment the motorbikes cease their revving at the beginning of Allan’s opening track ‘Recycled Too’ you are immediately thrust into a world of psychedelic, violent biker movies like Devil’s Angels, The Wild Angels or even Werewolves on Wheels where Hell’s Angels smoke weed, drop acid, have hairy, leathery sex, and beat up anyone who looks at them in a funny way. And all this happily continues with his second track ‘Buzz Saw Effect’.

Unsurprisingly, Grind’s contribution is somewhat heavier than Allan’s. ‘Peacekeeper’ kicks off his side of the disc enthusiastically, while second cut ‘The Invisible Landscape’ is driven by a more traditional clean surf guitar tone. Also, being instrumental tracks only, people who aren’t familiar with, or don’t usually care for, Grind’s Dalek-receiving-a-proctological-exam vocals don’t have to worry here.

If Rob Zombie directed a movie about Hell’s Angels on acid fighting a gang of machine gun wielding Go-Go dancers on the back roads of Hell, then this would absolutely be the soundtrack.

8.0/10

GARY ALCOCK

[amazon asin=B01B696SIQ&template=iframe image1]

Alright The Captain – Contact Fix

tumblr_inline_nir03dODf61qztcot

Right off the bat, let’s be honest with each other. Everyone likes honesty right? This is a complete re-write of the review. Whilst that isn’t completely unusual, this is a complete re-write in the fact that the sway from negative perception towards positive has been massive. This is because Alright The Captain with Contact Fix (Independent/self-released) have created an album so bonkers and eclectic at points the only way to give it any real justice is to ensure you give it proper time.

The album is wholly instrumental, and like with so many other bands that have chosen to go down this unconventional route, the music simply HAS to be good. There’s no hiding behind the growls and screams of a big personality front man, instead there needs to be enough to grab your attention and maintain it – and one thing is for sure they’ve done this very well. The album is seven tracks long, and runs for just under 30 minutes. This compact running length encourages numerous playbacks, as you begin to listen intently for some of the smaller intricacies contained within each track. If you buy into the ‘Math-Rock’ subgenre title, then this is Math-Rock at its best. We’ve got synths galore amongst a combination between punk fuelled riffs and heavier moments.

At the absolute core of this music though is an unbelievable jazz influence. The drums in particular are testament to this, with both the opening track ‘Toaster Mouse’ and ‘French For Gnome’ the best examples. But this jazz influence isn’t solely contained within the music itself, but more the whole idea behind the album. You never really know which direction it is going to go, it sounds like an impromptu jam but it is actually a very well calculated beast. To be able to create this kind of impression is a skill in itself.

 

8.0/10

Alright The Captain on Facebook

 

TOM DONNO