Jamie Jones

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A survivor of the nu-metal years, Jamie Jones lives in Cardiff, Wales stockpiling good music ready for the inevitable revival. “They say we could never have another Limp Bizkit or another Coal Chamber, that we’ve learned our lesson,” he says, “but people have short memories. It’s only a matter of time.”

He writes about music in the hopes of delaying the inevitable as long as possible. Primarily a reviewer of heavy music – particularly doom, heavy psych, stoner rock and post-metal – he’s also the kind of dilettante who’ll fling words at anything that can keep his attention long enough. He believes Mike Vest’s guitar tone will soon attract visitors from another galaxy wanting to know how we learned their language and that if you listen to the entire Grails back catalogue in the right order you’ll unlock the meaning of the universe and become infinitely powerful.

A keen beard cultivator, amateur curry chef/brewer of ales and wannabe boxing aficionado, his music writing is collected at his blog ghost signals. He also occasionally writes about videogames and has been known to attempt to write fiction.

Articles by Jamie Jones

Cardiff Psych and Noise Fest 2018

Womanby Street is not the be all and end all of alternative music in Cardiff but it is undeniably a truly special place and this event showcased what makes it so dear to the hearts of music fans in the city. It seems like it shouldn’t work but by golly it does. I doubt anyone left disappointed by the first Cardiff Psych and Noise Fest.

Cardiff Psych & Noise Fest Preview

On the late May Bank Holiday Cardiff’s beloved Womanby Street will play host to some of the best noisy acts in the UK today, including Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, Part Chimp, Thought Forms, No Spill Blood, Ghold, Cattle and many more. We’ve dug through the line-up and picked out some expected highlights from what’s expected to be an insane weekend of sublime noise.

Wrekmeister Harmonies – The Alone Rush

Wrekmeister Harmonies’ new album sees them playing against type, and against their own strengths, eschewing the shamanic bombast of their previous works to craft sombre ballads. It’s closer to Nick Cave than to Swans and whilst they feel lovingly crafted they sadly fail to convince.

Clawing – Spectral Estate

Clawing, the Alabama based industrial drone trio featuring spoken word artist Matt Finney, come as close as anyone to crafting horror in musical form. And not the horror of camp zombies and jump scares but gnawing, insidious horror that clings to your mind like dirt you can’t wash away.

Vile Creature – Cast of Static and Smoke

Vile Creature made some noise for their second album simply by existing, daring to play cruise-liner heavy doom whilst identifying as queer. ‘Cast of Static and Smoke’, a post-apocalyptic concept album based on a self-penned short story, proves they’ve much more to offer than upsetting all the right people.

Ore – Belatedly

Ore, aka Sam Underwood, is a ‘tuba doom’ project originally planned as a gift for his dying father. Given that genre label you might expect a mildly diverting novelty, and with that back story you may be wary of an unbearably heavy listen. Neither factor begins to tell the story contained within ‘Belatedly’.

Ghold – Stoic

Gholds latest record – the first release from London records store Crypt of the Wizard – sees them take up residence in a Leeds Chapel. It’s not short on bluster and low end carnage – and surprisingly effective ambient noise – but struggles for definition.

Charnia – Het Laatste Licht

Belgium’s Charnia follow up their promising post-metal debut ‘Dageraad’ with an ambitious, sprawling 40 minute piece combining ambient, drone and post classical elements to bolster their melancholic, stirring sound. Whilst still perhaps a work in progress ‘Het Laaste Licht’ features enough stunning moments to warrant immediate investigation for fans of Amenra, ISIS, Neurosis et al.

Khost – Governance

Birmingham industrial metal duo Khost’s latest offering is full of familiar parts – warped Arabic vocals, heaving industrial percussion and relentless crushing guitar alongside spoken word pieces from Eugene Robinson of Oxbox and Syan and cello from Jo Quail – but it’s imbued with a sense of horror and a purpose that elevates it above their earlier work.

Ufomammut – 8

Italian psych-doom masters Ufomammut’s return to action following their 15th anniversary celebrations sounding somehow more full of energy than ever. Recorded live in the studio ‘8’ sees them at their sludgiest and most furious, and is as relentless a trip as they’ve ever taken us on.

Monarch! – Never Forever

Monarch! have long reigned as one of doom’s most drone heavy outfits, utilising colossal heaviness and hypnotically slow guitar thrumming across typically epic song lengths. On ‘Never Forever’ they add a little more light to the shade and craft perhaps the most distinct album of their career.

Big|Brave – Ardor

Big|Brave don’t change their formula on Ardor, they just refine it a little, distil its essence down into 3 long tracks. The result is an incredible piece of slow, heavy, emotional metal, a landmark for both the band and heavy music in 2017.

Cloakroom – Time Well

Cloakrooms second record – and first for Relapse Records – is a happy marriage of slowcore despondency and stoner rock heft that hits the sweet spot between sad-sack mopery and soaring, fuzzed out catharsis.

Heinali and Matt Finney – How We Lived

‘How We Lived’ is the first collaboration by Ukranian multi-instrumentalist Heinali and American spoken word artist Matt Finney since the latter walked away from music in 2011. It details the dark years spent in the wilderness and makes for an uncomfortable, but compelling listen.

Ex Eye – Ex Eye

The idea of bass sax virtuoso Colin Stetson forming a metal band with Liturgy’s Greg Fox is intriguing on paper – and surprisingly fun in practice. As Ex Eye they explore the possibilities of heaviness together, pushing each other to impressive heights.

Space Witch – Arcanum

Space Witch play cosmic doom metal – and embody that concept as well as anyone else has to date. On ‘Arcanum’, their second record, they expand their palette a little, with often intriguing results.

Elder – Reflections of a Floating World

After the acclaim of 2015’s ‘Lore’ Elder return with an extra guitarist and an expanded sound. Their lengthy prog/stoner odysseys are even richer and more complex and despite a couple of missteps ‘Reflections of a Floating World’ further cements their reputation as stoner rock’s best kept secret.

Here Lies Man – Here Lies Man

‘Afrobeat meets psych rock’ is a proposition that pretty much sells itself. If you’re at all intrigued rest assured that Antibalas’ Marcos Garcia has put together a quartet that is both mind expanding and groove-laden enough to do both halves of that equation justice.

Blown Out – Superior Venus

Newcastle’s Blown Out release yet another album of intense, coruscating instrumental heavy psych for the ever impressive Riot Season Records. At this point they’re pretty much counter-cultural national treasures – with none of the fustiness that might imply.

Planning for Burial – Below the House

Planning for Burial, aka Pennsylvanian artist Thom Wasluck, makes miserabilist doomgaze for drunken shut ins and doomed romantics. On ‘Below the House’ he chronicles a particularly bleak time in his life – and mines a rich vein of melancholy for his most affecting and complete sounding record yet.

Aseethe – Hopes of Failure

Iowan trio Aseethe make their Thrill Jockey debut with a record of difficult drone-like doom that is more reminiscent of a slowed down version of cerebral metal artists like Sumac and Old Man Gloom than it is Sleep or Sabbath.

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