Moll & Zeis by David Long & Shane O’Neill

Both of these musicians were the singers and main songwriters in two separate Irish 80’s post punk / indie / rock bands. David Long was part of ​Into Paradise​, who released two albums and a few EP’s on the legendary British independent label Setanta Records and the major label, Ensign. Shane O’Neill was part of ​Blue In Heaven​, who released two albums on Island Records.

They both come from the same part of Dublin and have known each other since they were about 6 or 7, when they knocked over Shane’s TV set, rolling underneath it, fighting over which channel to watch. Their first band was a three piece group called “amuse” (small a), David on bass and vocals, Shane on guitar, and Dave Clarke (now Hothouse Flowers) on drums. They played some gigs around Dublin, including one gig where David put down his bass and walked out the main door and got the bus home. After playing on for five minutes, the other two realised he was probably not coming back. For some reason, after taking up a fan’s offer to come stay with her in Oxford for a few months, the band split up. They both did their separate thing, and later around 1996 they recorded an album as Supernaut. This is their return to working together.

Review: January Sounds – Cannell & Ellis by K A Laity

Brawl Records has begun a new year long series These Feral Lands, growing out of last year’s release of the same name.

Brawl Records is proud to present JANUARY SOUNDS from UK and Ireland based musicians Laura Cannell and Kate Ellis. Featuring Cannell’s signature evocative overbowed violin alongside Ellis’s deeply expressive cello playing.

This release is the first in a series of twelve as part of a major new project:

THESE FERAL LANDS – A Year Documented in Sound and Art. An ambitious and exciting creative documentation of 2021 from two innovative and highly acclaimed instrumentalists with new music released monthly, and bespoke films published at Caught by the River.

Cannell has been on my buy immediate list for some time and this EP is a good showcase of why that is. January Sounds features three tracks by Cannell & Ellis that capture those twin threads of strangeness and beauty that arise from the land. Folk horror has become such a powerful trope in recent years across so much media, but folk beauty has sometimes been more elusive. These two extraordinary musicians manage to convey both.

‘Wastelands’ captures that windswept bleakness with all the surging power lying under it, waiting to break free in something unexpected. Violin and cello have long been a beautifully expressive pair whether in folk or classical music but there’s something so knit together in the sound here that it’s mesmerizing.

‘Sea Tower’ conveys the liminal coastal space so evocatively that you will swear you can smell the salt water and wind. It sends me back to Galway but you’ll doubtless have your own windswept memories evoked by this track.

‘Harts Blood’ conjures up medieval tales for me; hunting has so much lore and tradition and, often in the stories, magic involved with it. The hunt was a matter of prestige as well as valour. But there’s also a blood red dahlia called Harts Blood so it might just as well be a tribute to those vivid petals. This is the kind of music that lets your mind soar.

The cover art captures the mood too: inspired by medieval graffiti, simple and stark. I wholeheartedly recommend the entire catalogue of Brawl Records and I can’t wait to see what February brings.

https://brawlrecords.bandcamp.com/album/january-sounds

Out NOW! Pax Victoria by Liz Davinci

Pax Victoria is a concept album about a fictive character named Victoria whose mundane Californian life was interrupted by an all-consuming love affair that led her into the world of underground crime and having to choose between right and wrong.

The songs describe Victoria’s struggles as she faces realities she doesn’t want to believe possible and finds a strength she never knew she had.

Credits

Released January 23, 2021

All tracks composed by Liz Davinci except “10:23”, “The Club” and “Deserted”, which were composed by Underhatchet. All tracks recorded at Liz Davinci’s house. All tracks mixed and produced by Liz Davinci and Underhatchet except for “Oh God”, which was mixed and co-produced by Simon Bartz and “10:”3”, which was mixed by Liz Davinci and Simon Bartz.

Thank you to Underhatchet, K.A. Laity, James Shaffer, Mark McConville and Paul D. Brazill for providing beautiful and inspiring texts for the five album trailers. Thank you Underhatchet , K.A. Laity and James Shaffer for your additional contributions to the mini-chapters (which can be read here and comprise the whole story of Victoria: www.lizdavinci.com/blog).

ACID ZOO EP – Bomb Sniffing Dogs by K A Laity

Artwork by Jason Vaughan

From the press release:

Through the bars of ACID ZOO you will hear 3 tracks – THE ICKE AGE, BLACK POOL & THE NATIONAL + – and 4 remixes by Leyland Kirby (The Caretaker), Richard Fearless, Lille Cykel (Posh Isolation) and Christoph de Babalon.

Tragically fractured like the screen of a dropped phone, THE NATIONAL + is a 7-minute symphony of absurdity and raw imagination set outside WILKO and inside TESCO’S CHAINSAW MASSACRE. 

Around the day in eighty worlds, we have caught the wrong train to a new neurotic terrain.

Come back to bed. We won’t make love. Love will make us.

Review:

From the wilds of Salford, land of bards, poets, and other non-conformists springs this EP that offers a collage of words, music and sounds that you might imagine muttered by a character from a lost Ballard novel who has gone in search of Blake’s Jerusalem only to find themselves shoved into lockdown in the midst of the spreading virus. We’ve all been discombobulated by the quarantine life but this EP speaks to fractures that were already there. Late stage capitalism blows (meet me at the meat queue) and people who find solace in paranoid fantasies of lizard overlords (is this Cafe Latte/the work of the Illuminati?) have only themselves to blame but they poison the world for the rest of us, too.

Neither waving/Nor drowning/Nor swimming/Into the world of the future.

Liam Power is the main songwriter and Austin Collings also has a hand in all the songs, co-writing ‘The Icke Age’ with Nick Power AKA BEAT LES, and ‘The National’ with Eleni Poulou & Sophie Sleigh-Johnson. ‘Black Pool’ is all Collings own and offers up a tone of reminiscence without sentimentality. In contrast to the opening track with its scathing observations of the follies of those who seek easier answers producing idiot winds, ‘Black Pool’ creates a collage of memory that captures that sense of dislocation childhood leaves behind: Everything was forever/Until it was no more.

‘The National’ is a textured soundscape that bottles the strangeness of 2020 and all its betrayals and lies and death and horrors while keeping a sense of humour about it all: the bold will define the new normal/like a load of paracetamol, falling from a drone. It spins and reels between images and ideas and voices, Collings alternating with Poulou: The revelations of the conversations I have daily/ are so different/nobody does small talk anymore. While the title invokes both the French anthem and the self-harming isolationism ripping through COVID-infested Britain, it’s really an international piece that works to evoke the strangeness we all recognise even living in our isolated spheres.

The remixes are great, highlighting passages and bringing them to new prominence in the mix as well as taking different paces and rhythms. Kirby’s remix in particular has a truly chilling effect with its lugubrious pace and manic laughter.

Or maybe I’ve just been in lockdown too long…

Buy the EP at Bandcamp and find the band’s social media links and other recordings there.

The Fool by BRUCH out FRIDAY 30.10!

The new, 4th album by “Sir of the Vienna Underground” BRUCH, The Fool, is out this FRI, 30.10. on LP // CD // digital.

THE FOOL unveils the beauty of Vienna-based Philipp Hanich alias Bruch’s versatile persona that takes us deep down into personal battles and witnesses the soul of a true rock’n’roll maverick. Big range of emotions are blended in rough and minimal synthwave rock that gets under your skin and sets your nerves tingling. 

“This is the essence of archaic rock ’n’ roll reverb in synthetic cathedrals. Hypothermic, mannerist super album. // 14 hymns between destructive, dark rock’n’roll and world-hugging pop, nervously flickering new wave and repetitive post punk.” – Radio FM4.

Black 12″ vinyl LP (incl. insert /w lyrics ). 12 tracks. Includes digital pre-order of The Fool. You get 3 tracks now (streaming via the free Bandcamp app and also available as a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more), plus the complete album the moment it’s released.

CD version of THE FOOL +++ incl. 2 more tracks (!!!) +++ than the LP version. Comes in shiny gatefold card case + inlay /w lyrics. Includes digital pre-order of The Fool. You get 3 tracks now (streaming via the free Bandcamp app and also available as a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more), plus the complete album the moment it’s released.

Digital Album. Pre-order of The Fool. You get 3 tracks now (streaming via the free Bandcamp app and also available as a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more), plus the complete album the moment it’s released.

https://www.facebook.com/BruchVienna/

Bishop Rider Week: Monday – Fire In The Hole by Beau Johnson

This story is part of Rider’s early days, before he finds a certain video and tracks down the men who killed his mother and sister. This is also Batista’s first appearance in a Rider story, and as you’ll see, the Detective isn’t as onboard with Bishop’s brand of justice as he’d come to be. Either way: the struggle begins.        

FIRE IN THE HOLE

I push the steel harder into the back of Terrance’s shaved head. 

            “C’mon,” he says. “You and me, Rider, we’ve similar goals.”  The scum was right as well as wrong.  Where I saw him and his kind as a means to an end, he only wanted atop the pile.  “We’re businessmen, you and I.  Way I see it, the info I’m givin’ you, I should be gettin’ a free pass.” 

“Anne-Marie Shields.  Did she get a pass?”  Terrance was smart, played dumb, but I already knew.   Put a bullet in his crotch to make him understand.  I unloaded the remaining five just to let off steam.

            “And this piece of shit, this Terrance, he said Toomey and his men are coming in night after next?”  Batista continued to look out over Culver, the city he’d sworn to protect.  Duty and honor are the things which make up Detective John Batista; what made up most of the men he stood in line with.  That he now found himself in my world was something we rarely discussed.  It was a given, what I did.  And he’d yet to try and turn me in.

In him I see myself, a time when belief had been the norm; that this world did in fact not kick at its dead.  Detective Batista and I, we have our demons, sure, each the thing that drives us on.  But to be fair, that is where the similarities end.  No matter how much he might think otherwise.

Toomey, though…Toomey was the here and now.  And Toomey was trouble.  Aggressive. Ruthless.  Feral.  He was high end too, lacking the moral compass most considered a conscience.  Word on the street was he kept a portable wood chipper now, and that the man was unafraid to take his time if given the chance. 

Bangers wouldn’t use him, slingers either, which left me two choices, both of which I could work with.  Russians or Italians.  Little more re-con and Bobby Carmine popped into view.

“Head-shit looking to take you out, I see.”  Batista runs a hand through his greying hair, goes down about his goatee and finishes with a sigh.  Politics notwithstanding, I swear the man’s as textbook as they come.

“What it looks like, yeah.”

“And just what is it you want from me?”  I looked to the city’s lights behind him, looked down into the valley which had claimed so many.  Culver was not the place I’d been born, but I was certain it’d be the place I’d die.       

“I want unobstructed access to the south side when this goes down.  I’m not looking for collateral damage.  Ensure the night’s patrol is light.”

He looks at me, shakes his head, and then says he’d work on it: Batista-speak for yes.

“You’re going to need ordnance, then.”  I told him yes, but that it wouldn’t be coming from him.  As ever, he’d already done more than enough. 

Outside Carmine’s place I load the launcher as soon as I see Toomey and his crew are given the go through.  Ten minutes later and I light the night.  Upon entering, I can’t help but think back to men like Toomey.  Hell, to men like Carmine himself.  Lowlifes who think they deserve; men arrogant enough to believe the streets were theirs; who would rob and kill and extort and have others do the very same thing in their name.  I picture Mick the Fish, Danny Dolan, and Marcel Abrum.  They were special, each of them, all receiving a little extra piece of my time.  To Toomey I would do the same.  He of the wood chipper fame deserved no less.

As the Kevlar takes two to the chest I turn, dive, but take one in the side of the leg as I return fire.  I hear a click.  Another.  And then the gun as it’s tossed aside. 

“Come if yer comin’ goddammit!”  I did.  It was Toomey, of course.  Why men like him never died like the rest of them I will never know for sure.

Through the debris and flame and smoke I see what he’s become—intestines that stream outwards, flowing in place of his legs.  Thick, they wind around brick and plaster like pregnant string.  He gurgles, spits up, and as I approach I step on as much of him as I can.  In the end I don’t need bullets.  I only look him in the eye. 

To protect and serve, Batista says.  To protect and save, I respond.

I admit the difference is vast.

Beau Johnson lives in Canada with his wife and three boys. He has been published before, usually on the darker side of town. Such fine establishments might include Out of the Gutter Online, Spelk Fiction, Shotgun Honey and the Molotov Cocktail. Besides writing, Beau enjoys golfing, pushing off Boats and certain Giant Tigers.

Find Beau Johnson online …

Website: https://www.beaujohnsonfiction.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100007691865781
Twitter: https://twitter.com/beaujohnson44
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Beau-Johnson/e/B079MHF7RG/
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17692442.Beau_Johnson

Out Now! Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained by The Fabulous Artisans

Stereogram Recordings are delighted to announce the release of “Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained” a brand new track by The Fabulous Artisans on September 25th. It was mostly recorded prior to lockdown, with finishing touches, mix and mastering completed in July.

Founded in 2007 and named after the iconic Orange Juice track, The Fabulous Artisans is a collaboration between Glasgow based Oscar and BAFTA award winning actor, former stand-up comic and singer Neil Crossan and Edinburgh based songwriter, singer, multi-instrumentalist and producer Jeremy Thoms (also of The Cathode Ray and Stereogram label boss). “With a sound fed from Bacharach to Barry, Brel to Bowie, Cave to Collins, Magazine to Morricone and Wilson to Walker, this is timeless music for or from any era…

Written, arranged and produced by Jeremy Thoms, “Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained” is only the fourth new track The Fabulous Artisans have released since their warmly received debut album “…From Red to Blue” came out on Swedish indie label Bendi Records in 2008. It continues their lineage of mixing up the classic pop sounds of the past with a modern twist, whilst adding their characteristic big lyrical themes of life and death.

Released September 25, 2020

Lead vocals: Neil Crossan
Written, produced and arranged by Jeremy Thoms.

Experimental post-punk project, Abrasive Trees release three-track debut

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Experimental post-punk project, Abrasive Trees have announced the release of a three-track single Bound For An Infinite Sea on Wise Queen Records/Shapta on Friday 4th September.

The title track, a driven, layered and atmospheric song with spectral, intricate guitars – sits alongside two more ambient, immersive tracks and features vintage drum-machines, acoustic drums recorded in a Victorian rectory and an array of acclaimed musicians.

Abrasive Treesis the solo project of Scottish-born guitarist and singer Matthew Rochford.  About the release he said:

 “These songs are a bit dark, but there’s also a positive energy behind them. In essence they are about the importance of staying compassionate – whatever the circumstances.  The title track is actually about witnessing suffering and finding a way to be empowered to do something meaningful in the face of sorrow.  There is so much intensity in this world and it can get a bit overwhelming can’t it?  I wrote and recorded these three songs amidst loss so there’s heartbreak, but also something hopeful and spiritual that I hope will connect with how others might be feeling right now.

“Creating music is simultaneously a release for me and an offering to those who feel that ‘just coping’ is a good day.  I think being a musician you learn the value of being in the moment and expressing what needs to be expressed. During this strange time, it’s especially important to me to stay present in a positive way and this single is part of that.

Matthew is a former member of Jo-Beth Young’s live and studio bands for RISE and Talitha Rise as well as being in the post-punk bands Council of Giants, The Impossible Moon and a recent Rothko collaborator.

The production features an line-up of collaborators including Jo Beth Young (RISE/Talitha Rise), Steven Hill (Evi Vine), Mark Parsons (Eat Lights Become Lights) and Matthew’s brother, Sebastian (Polar Bear/Pulled By Magnets).  The single was mixed and mastered by Mark Beazley (Rothko/The Band Of Holy Joy).

All three tracks are available on limited-edition cassette or CD or download from their bandcamp page on Friday 4th September as well as streaming via all the usual platforms.  A video to accompany the release (by visual artist Jess Wooler) will premier on the day prior to release.

Bio:  Abrasive Trees is the creative vehicle for the music of Matthew Rochford. 

Matthew was born in Aberdeen to Anglo-Indian/Anglo-Irish parents and has been playing guitar since he was a child. He’s a former member of Jo-Beth Young’s live and studio bands for RISE and Talitha Rise as well as being in the post-punk bands Council of Giants and The Impossible Moon. This year he has been recording for Mark Beazley’s Rothko and Jo Beth Young.

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The approach is experimental and immersive and the sound could be described as spectral, layered and brooding with intricate, drone-drenched guitars.  The overall energy owes as much to post-punk as it does to ambient psychedelia, grunge or post-rock.

Strings, dulcimers, guitars that sound like old synths or sitars, voices in the distance and stories that take you somewhere. Esoteric bass, analogue drum machines and acoustic drums recorded in a Victorian house all help to forge the sound.

As well as writing the music, lyrics and producing, Matthew also sings, plays guitars, dulcimer, Ebow and programmes the analogue drum machine.

The debut single and video is scheduled for release September 2020 via Wise Queen Records with an album following in 2021.

An array of accomplished collaborators have contributed to the project so far, both live and in the studio:

Nadia Abdelaziz – Voice, Dulcimer

Ffion Atkinson (Johnny Powell and The Seasonal Beasts) – Voice

Mark Beazley (Rothko/Band of Holy Joy) – Electric Bass

​Laurence Collyer (Diamond Family Archive) – Shruti Box, Steel Guitar

Steven Hill (Evi Vine) – Guitars

​Jay Newton (Quiet Quiet Band)  – Keys

Mark Parsons (Eat Lights Become Lights) – Electric Bass

Ben Roberts (Evi Vine) – Cello

Seb Rochford (Polar Bear/Pulled By Magnets) – Drums

Peter Yates (Fields of The Nephilim) – Guitars

Jo-Beth Young (Talitha Rise/RISE/Yates & Young) – Voice, Guitars, Percussion, Tibetan Bowl, Recorder

Appearing on this single:

Steven Hill – Guitars

Mark Parsons – Electric Bass

Matthew Rochford – Vocals, Guitars, Drum Machine

Sebastian Rochford – Drums

Jo-Beth Young – Additional Voice

 Written and Produced by Matthew Rochford

Mixed and Mastered by Mark Beazley

Released by Wise Queen Records/Shapta

Publishing: Speegra