07 February 2016

Kohoutek 'Curious Aroma' LP (M.I.E. Records) Review

Kohoutek 'Curious Aroma' LP (M.I.E. Records)
This being Kohoutek's third (I believe) full length LP, the band's musical telepathy has enhanced. Scott the drummer of the band told me that the LP captures two very distinct sides of the band. He would be the one to know, and it does, but my listening experience was a bit different. The more I focus on this LP, the more it seems like the entire A side 'space' is a build up to the 'rock' on the B side (with a brief intermission to flip the record). The space journey to the '(psych) rock' is very enjoyable, kind of like a big band version of Azusa Plane. The rock is very rewarding and is on par with Parson Sound (they lock in to a swirl very well) and Hawkwind. Pictured on the back is a very cool camper with a skull mask slouching in the window. This is recluse psych. While listening I picture myself living in that camper with very few possessions, maybe a guitar and some pulp fantasy paper backs with this music being the soundtrack to my very minimal lifestyle. This is an excellent psych record that deserves complete listenings of both the A and B side in one sitting. Highly recommended.

29 January 2016

Peaks of Bliss, The John Merricks

After a much longer hiatus that I had previously realized I have returned to writing reviews, and intend to do so on a fairly regular basis. So why not pick up where I left off by discussing the most recent EP by The John Merricks, Peaks of Bliss. 

This follow up to their 2014 release, Crystal Tapes, contains much of the same delightful pysch/kraut rock, but with a more concise structured approach. Clocking in at just under 15 minutes and with four songs there is little room here for the extended spacey jams of their previous release; however what Peaks of Bliss lacks in length it more than makes up for in girth. Not single seconded on this album is wasted, from the first thudding drum machine beat of “Cacophonous Peaks of Bliss” to the final spooky keyboard note of “Nosferatu” this album is packed with sweet psychedelic nectar. 

This first track comes in strong with a propulsive unrelenting drum beat and lush echoing vocals; clanging guitars are abound and that warbly buzzing keyboard cuts its way through. Here they’ve managed to take everything I enjoyed about the longer jams on their first release and compress it into a convenient two minute package. The standout track on this album for me is “Moshi Moshi” a slow eerie waltz with gentle sweeps of guitar feedback punctuated by chirrups of keyboards fuzz. This seems like it would be the final slow dance song played at a David Lynch themed prom. Next is “Gunpowder” an upbeat song with a watery synth drone running through it. There are brief respites where a solitary guitar strums a few lonely notes, then the jaunty beat kicks back in and we’re off on another lively stroll. The closing track “Nosferatu” starts with a dark reverberating guitar, builds with bell like symbol hits, and blooms into haunting triumphant amalgamation of keyboards and guitar. 

Peaks of Bliss takes a nice step forward from their previous release while still maintaining a loose jam feeling, and lofi sound. You can, and should, pick up a copy of their 10” EP from their bandcamp page; it comes in 3 different colors and contains great sounding tunes.

01 March 2015


***SUBMISSIONS NEEDED FOR PRO-PRINTED TAPE COMP*** dihd tapes accepting submission for pro-printed tape comp. Bands within these genres: NOISE ROCK, LO-FI OUTROCK, GUNK, LO-FI ART DAMAGED ROCK, SH*TCORE, NO-FI, GARBAGE ROCK etc. Noise projects & in-rock punk need not apply. THE GARBAGEY-ER the BETTER. Send wav file to tpenn000@hotmail.com for consideration. We'll work out an analog transaction later. If you can't send a WAV file and want to submit a tape or CD-r first, email me. Please share this. I'd like to get garbage from around the globe.

New Human Adults / dihd ad (pls repost)

This is the new Human Adult Band / dihd tapes ad. Anyone making a zine or blog that can print or post this, pls get in touch. tpenn000@Hotmail.com

30 December 2014

T Penn Reviews - Medication 'Home Truths'

Medication 'Home Truths' cassette 2014-ish
So from what I can gather, M. Hyde, is Medication. Sometimes his friends play with him as a band, other times he records tapes like this, alone, on his 4 track cassette machine. I was told by one of his Dead C loving band members, 'Home Truths' was made as a Medication tour tape. Dude's a pretty versatile song writer. I think some of it's like Leonard Cohen with a twist of Baltimore's At The Altar of the Cosmic Unicorn. A bit disjointed and rambling like Syd's solo records. Some of this is really powerful stuff. Some of the other tracks have a Sentridoh 'losercore' single vibe. Is this guy really insane? jk jk.

Couldn't find this tape on discogs.com,
but you can buy an Album by Medication from Scared Bones Records: Sacred Bones Records

to submit hard copy recordings contact: Tpenn000[@]hotmail[.]com

29 December 2014

T Penn Reviews - Skullflower: 'Obsidian Shaking Codex'

I'm going to start reviewing odd releases. New stuff that gets sent to me and old stuff that is important to me. If you wanna send hard copies of tapes, records, cds get in touch: Tpenn000[at]hotmail[dot]com

Skullflower: 'Obsidian Shaking Codex' CDR (RRR Records) 1993
drone rock ...noise rock....i prefer calling it noisy/distorted psych rock. all the elements of psych rock are here, repetition, some disciplined players, wild guitars, long jams. but instead of being something beautiful like In Gowan Ring or levitating like Les Razilles Denudes it's noisy as all hell. Fits in well @ the Captain Ron RRR camp. Wanna start a noisy psych rock band and have a lot of fun? listen closely!

Buy this album here: Discogs.com
More Skullflower available from RRR Records: RRR Records

Listen here (I swear that tree is moving):

02 September 2014

Crystal Tapes, The John Merricks

Anything that comes packaged in a burlap sack is great, be it potatoes or a bright red cassette. This one happens to contain the latter in the form of Crystal Tapes by The John Merricks. I’m not sure if this is simply an Elephant Man reference or his actual name, but the music certainly has a deceptively light hearted exterior concealing a bizarre and sometimes disconcerting underside.

If you enjoy psychedelia this is definitely something you should give a listen, although it’s probably more akin to Can, Neu!, and other krautrock bands than to straight ahead Psych rock. The tracks on this are composed mostly of pounding percussion, repetitious simple melodies, and clanging guitars that build to cacophonous peaks of bliss. There are fantastic moments where the music seems to take a breath; stopping the propulsive drums and letting the synths and guitars float briefly, before cutting though the haze with a few simple notes and continuing their ascent into cosmic chaos.

Behind the whimsical, often zany circus like nature of these songs is always the disconcerting and somewhat maniacal sounds of discordant guitars and warbling keyboards. The combination of playfulness with a darker uneasy edge is what I think makes compelling psychedelia, and this album thoroughly accomplishes that. I hope to hear more from this group soon. Check them out, pick up a cassette in red or blue.