Articles by Jamie Jones
‘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.
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 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.
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.
‘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.
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, 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.
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.
They say the one silver lining to our current political situation is that punk will be good again. Lawrence English’s Cruel Optimism makes a compelling case to look for dissent in less obvious, more abstract genres.
After 5 years away Grails have returned. Never ones to repeat themselves they’ve indulged their crate digging impulses and drawn from several new sources for Chalice Hymnal – not all of which may be to the tastes of the faithful. It’s their most cinematic, and least predictable, work yet.
With their latest release ‘II’ Monarch offshoot Endless Floods have released an album almost as bleak as the times in which it finds itself in. We caught up with the Bordeaux doom-mongers to ask a few questions.
Fans of horror-themed female-fronted stoner rock or straight up bluesy hard rock will find much to enjoy in Book of Wyrms. They don’t bring much new to the the table, but what they do bring is pretty tasty.
Endless Floods play a minimal, tectonic brand of doom that borders on drone-like ambience, seeped in melancholy, grief and anguish. With ‘II’ they push at the edges of what doom can do – and set a high bar for the genre in 2017.
The world is not short on instrumental stoner/metal bands. Do we really need another one? With ‘In the Beginning’ Spore Lord make a compelling case that yes, we absolutely do.
The first part of a planned trilogy, ‘Projections I’ promises us a portrait of our fractured world painted in psychedelic doom hues. What it delivers is a some pretty solid, pretty vicious doom – and little else.
Portuguese instrumental psych outfit Black Bombaim are no strangers to collaboration – but they’ve never worked with anyone quite like free jazz legend Peter Brötzmann. The results are challenging, frustrating and exhilarating in equal measure. By Jamie Jones
It’s been over 20 years since we last recieved a transmission from Terminal Cheesecake. They might not be quite as weird as they used to be, but they sound bigger and meaner than ever – and have created a psych-noise monster that sounds less like a reminder of their past – and more of a portent of things to come. – By Jamie Jones
MoRkObOt may not be the most inviting band name, but if you like your noise rock a little mathy or your math rock a little noisey you’d do well to look past it. This is some of the most downright bewildering rock you’re going to hear this year. – By Jamie Jones
Featuring members of Terminal Cheesecake, Bong/Blown Out, Gum Takes Tooth and Luminous Bodies, Melting Hand isn’t so much a ‘supergroup’ as the seemingly inevitable collision of 4 psych/noise masters at the top of their games – with predictably fascinating results. – By Jamie Jones
Jamie Jones went to the second instalment of Cardiff’s Red Sun festival. “I finished the weekend utterly spent, having been riffed senseless for 3 days, with my liver feeling battered and my brain feeling bruised.”
They said it couldn’t happen again. In this case ‘they’ were the promoters themselves – despite a successful first year bringing 3 days of gloriously gnarly rock and metal to Cardiff’s Womanby Street the Red Sun team said they simply couldn’t repeat the trick this year. Then, just as it seemed all was lost, they pulled a surprise 180 and announced Red Sun II, set to take place this very weekend. By Jamie Jones