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keskiviikko 22. marraskuuta 2023

The Fishheads - Lobster Basque Replica

 Fruits de Mer Records (crustacean 100)

This is the 100th "Crustacean" release  so congratulations seem to be in order! The Fishheads is a crazy project started by Marc Swordfish with other Astralasia members and friends and they have previously released a 7"/CD package on Fruits de Mer (check out my review over here). Anton Barbeau is featured again as well as Icarus Peel. but the legendary Simon House makes his debut in the project! Not sure what he plays though, maybe some violin. This time we'll get an LP plus CD. I'll have to wait for my order from Shiny Beast to be able to say much of the remix CD with one bonus track, since this promo pack only includes a CD-R of the LP, so let's concentrate on that.

The first three songs are early Pink Floyd covers and who can ever get enough of those? Not me, when they are done in such an elegant and wonderful manner, that's for sure. It's great to hear my pal and Astral Magic collaborator Anton Barbeau sing "See Emily Play" and "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun", both among my Floyd favorites. Amazing versions too, love the Mellotrons etc.! "Set the..." is as hypnotic and mystical as ever. I guess Icarus sings the other two songs on side A, another great singer or course. "Remember a Day" is a brilliant tune too and ah, so beautiful, and this version is a great homage. Mighty Baby's "Egyptian Tomb" ends the A side of the album in a groovy way. The B side is filled with an over 20-minute "Oops! Something's Coming from Another Planet", what a cool title... It starts of with a theme from West Side Story but then turns into a monstruos jam session like only Sworfish and his friends can achieve. Phew, what a trip... Warmly recommended! 

The Bevis Frond - An Introduction to The Bevis Frond

 Fruits de Mer Records (intro 3)


The Bevis Frond from the UK has been one of my favourite bands for 30 years, so all new releases by Nick Saloman & co. are always a big deal for me! Fruits de Mer Records are celebrating their 15th year of existence this year and launched a new series of introductory compilation releases of some of the most well-known and best artists they have worked with along the years. These are actually CD-R's, so not real CD's and unfortunately no vinyl releases of these exist at all. But these are great way to put together many of the tracks by the artists that have been released on Fruits de Mer albums and singles plus some! This time we also get three previously unreleased Bevis demos which of course make this album a must-have for all Bevis fans out there. But I have to say that even without those this is a one killer compilation!

The album includes 16 tracks in total including six covers and 10 Saloman originals. The longest one is the almost 24-minute guitar freak-out "China" from Sideways compilation, other covers include Sky Saxon song "Creepin' Aroun" and "Glass Onion" by The Beatles.  Besides the three unreleased demos the only ones I did not have before were "Condition Blues" and "Not Until I feel It", both from the rare Friends of the Fish III 7" lathe-cut that was only sold at The 19th Dream of Doctor Sardonicus Festival in Wales this year. The only goddam Bevis Frond single along with the previous Bevis 7" from the 2019 festival I'm missing from my collection... So I'm definitely happy to have the tracks here! Cool, rocking home demos, I love them. I used to be able to get all the Fruits de Mer Records (and The Bevis Frond too) releases but with these festival-only rarities it has been impossible for several years which is sort of sad... Well, on the other hand it is maybe healthy to just realize your collector ambitions can't be fulfilled anymore, maybe it's time to focus on other things! Sorry, I seem to be rambling here... Anyway, this is a great compilation for both die-hard fans and maybe even those new to the sounds of The Bevis Frond so just go and order it! Shiny Beast is your place in the EU, in UK Fruits de Mer still delivers the goods. Oh by the way, if you happen to be in Germany this week, The Bevis Frond plays at Cairo, Würtzburg on Saturday.

maanantai 20. marraskuuta 2023

Sendelica - Man, Myth & Magic

 Fruits de Mer Records (winkle 49)

I bet Welsh psychedelic space rockers Sendelica don't need much introductions here. I have reviewed at least half of their vast output before. Their previous studio album "One Man's Man...", the second in the man themed series was an exception. The reason for that definitely was not that it was not good enough, it was bloody brilliant. I just had this principle not to review stuff that I'm playing on, and I played some synths and keyboards on that one. Well, I also do on this new one, but better write a review this time so they might ask me to collaborate again!

It seems to be a new standard for the band to put extended, longer and longer instrumentals to their albums nowadays. This time they have just four, side-long pieces for the 2LP and CD release. That way there's plenty of time to evolve and psych out, which is great! "Wheel of Fortune" has an ominous tritonus vibe going on since the beginning. At 2:22 the hypnotic rocking begins! What a great, mesmerazing track. The jazzy sax offers some Gong vibes, I think. "Neptune (The Hanged Man)" is more atmospheric at first and you can hear a lot of my Moog Grandmother on this one. The piece grows gradually into sort of krautrock and some heavy psych rocking follows later on after the quiet middle part. I just love this track! "Magician Dawn" is a magical and majestic ambient number with some field recordings and makes you fall into a hazy trance-like state. Wonderful! "Tower of Chaos" is another pretty ambient, more experimental piece with some studio wizardry. Quite weird and trippy stuff, actually... All in all, another master piece by Sendalica, and I'm so happy and proud I could join them in the process! There is also a limited edition version of the LP with a bonus disc and a set of tarot cards but that is already sold-out. The standard version with cut-out sleeve, printed inner and poster will be very cool too for sure! The release date seems to be postponed to December now, but this will be worth the wait I tell you...

Jeremy and the Lemon Clocks - Side-by-Side

 Fruits de Mer Records (crustacean 99) 


I'm a bit late with my review since this marvellous double CD-R album was released already last month. It seems to have sold pretty well, since Shiny Beast in Holland is at least temporally all out already. Jeremy is Jeremy Morris from Kalamazoo, Michigan and he operates Jam Records and obviously loves psychedelic music from the 60s. He has released tons of stuff, as solo artists and also with his bands like The Lemon Clocks.

On this release he offers 19 cover versions of classic 60s psych rock songs. On the first disc he extends them with cool jams and even motifs from other pieces etc. which makes them much more interesting than just strict covers. "Green Tambourine" lasts for over 18 minutes with some killer fuzz guitar soloing etc., for example. "Pictures of Matchstickmen" is "only" 5:07, but Norman Greenbaum's "Spirit in the Sky" is even 24 minutes in lenght! Phew.

The second CD has shorter tracks, several of the originally by The Beatles but also two or three by Pink Floyd, The Pretty Things and The Byrds each among other cool songs. All are done in a pretty unique and marvellous style and I really enjoy the whole release. It's a pleasantly trippy and interesting, warmly recommended album as a whole. I love the vocals and musicianship is top-notch. Too bad the era of vinyl boxes seems to be over since this would have made a superb 4LP, but what can you do. Still cool to have this on physical media rather than just downloads! Wonderful stuff.