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Kaseciarz - Motörcycle Rock And Roll

Two years after the release of their debut Surfin’ Małopolska, which took the Polish underground by the storm, the boys from the self proclaimed “low budget rock and roll band” Kaseciarz (which loosely translates to “cassette fan” or “cassette maniac”) took their guitars to another level and released a truly (kraut)rocking piece of motorik bliss filled with ugly fuzz and foot-stomping power. There’s definitely much charm in the band’s low budget, resulting in the uniquely lo-fi (maybe not as much lo-fi as the band’s debut album) sound filled with delayed vocals and infectious, wasted riffage. Kinda like a compressed, shortened version of Pharaoh Overlord. Highly recommended for all fans of garagey psych/krautrock!

Warm Climate - Pigeon Brides Weigh In

The digital version of the 2011 Stunned Records cassette release by Warm Climate, the freewheeling Los Angeles psych rock trio of Seth Kasselman on guitar, Caitlin C. Mitchell on drums and Jake White on bass. Taking cues from sunkissed, organ-driven flowery tunes of original 60’s lysergic assault and upsetting them by injecting a dose of anarchic, semi-improvisational strain of headrock, Red Krayola style. Although the style of Warm Climate can range from almost progressive structures to airy, poppy tunes and deep, convoluted guitar mandalas, their style is engaging and hypnotic, making one stick to this music playing around, breathing an air of proto-punk weirdness. Highly recommended!

Vehicle Blues - Letter Writer

Sometimes you just look at the cover of some loser rock EP before even listening to it on Bandcamp and you think: “I think this may have some promise, but I bet it will suck in the long run”? Well, I had it the same way, but then as I was sinking into the first track’s dreamy, smokey facade, I realized that it was something pretty cool, that the somewhat grand statement “This is one of the most solid 12 minutes recorded to tape" added to somebody other than me (turns out there are other people visiting Bandcamp as well, what a surprise!). The dirty, echoed riffage reminds me the similarly short and raw cassette by Storm Shelter released by Texan label Monofonus Press, although this one is even shorter - only 12 minutes long. Size matters, they say. This carries quite a lot in this small package. Good garagey rock.

Review: Psychocukier - Diamenty

(CD, Nowe Nagrania, 2013)

Is rock’n’roll dead? Every once and then some concerned music journalist will write a lengthy analytic piece of how the rock music idiom got gradually softened and/or replaced with a solo artist who needs little more than a laptop and an Internet connection to achieve success. But at the same time, every one and then a bunch of rock destroyers like Poland’s Psychocukier (translated as “Psychosugar”) will pop out, blow a cloud of smoke in everyone’s faces and say: “Hey, I’m still here, you motherfuckers!”

No, seriously, these guys rock. They don’t only rock, but they are rock. Their sound, their image, their everything - it’s just the epitome of the good ol’ “sex, drugs and rock’n’roll”. They’ve got booze, they’ve got smokes, they’ve got naked chicks rolling with them in beds (check out the photo session they did for Diamenty on the band’s website). They got the rock’n’rollin’ image down to a fuckin’ T, even with the fishnet wifebeaters and Holger Czukay moustaches. And while Diamenty is Psychocukier’s fourth full album, it might very well be also their best.

The first track on the album is usually the most important - this is where the listener begins their journey and where (when) they decide whether it’s worth to continue that journey - and the opening “Mgła” (“Fog”) couldn’t have been a better choice. It’s a churning, motorik blast of badassery, featuring hypnotic bassed accompanied with scorched, stoned guitar. It keeps the perfect groove for three minutes - it’s like everything you might ever expect from good psychedelic rock packed into a pill. It sets the mood perfectly and leaves yearning for more, more, more! The album is steeped in the sort of garage sleaziness that makes the greatest rockstars - there’s a lot of Velvet Underground spirit floating in the air, like opium smoke, with the ghost of Lou Reed watching everything - and approving of what he sees.

The lyrics themselves are equal parts humorous, dark, absurd and sexual - and in Polish, a refreshing (and patriotic) move when many Polish rock bands record in English. Like the lyrics to “Tonę w jeziorach” (“I’m drowning in lakes”), which features some serious “what the fuck did I just hear!?” moments - “I’m drowning in the lakes of your / I’m drowning in the lakes of your eyes / I’m drowning in the lakes of your / I’d like to fuck you your eyes” as an example. The smoky, groovy bass adds a sensual, slightly dangerous on the whole album while the guitar spews forth some of the crispiest and delightfully fuzzy sounds on all songs. Psychocukier are like a bunch of sailors who just came back from a long cruise and have stepped on land to raise hell and fuck bitches - a fact many reviewers pointed out, further supported not only by the rebellious, freewheeling sound, but also by marine-themed song titles, like “Dryfowanie” (“Drifting”), “Żeglarz” (“Sailor”), “Tajemnicza wyspa” (“Mysterious Island”), or “Laguna” (“Lagoon”). Diamenty touches on many moods and styles - there are some nuggets of melodic, indie rock songwriting (like the almost radio-friendly “Zło niesie wiatr”), and on the other side of the spectrum there is frenetic, overblown kraut-noise madness on “Ty”

Surprisingly, the band owes much of its crisp, energetic sound to Mikołaj “Noon” Bugajak, who achieved a legendary status with his hip-hop beats (and his work with such Polish hip-hop lumiaries as Pezet or Grammatik). Noon himself stated that Psychocukier were influential to his own work, so making an album together was just an extension of this influence. Despite coming from different scenes, the four gentlemen felt incredible chemistry and produced an exciting, simple yet ass-kicking album, recording with simple mics and a basic set-up, without resporting to overdubs, digital editing or any sort of polishing to make the sound pristine. Diamenty is a dirty, slightly kinky record that doesn’t give a fuck what other people think and simply has the time of its life. Looks like it’s time to say the truth: Psychocukier are the kings. And all hail the Kings.

The Oscillation - From Tomorrow

If you’ve been browsing Weed Temple lately and thought to yourself, “Gah, I’m so tired with all this weird experimental bullshit, throw some good ol’ psych rock already!”, then maybe it’s high (wink wink) time to listen to the newest album by the UK drug rockers The Oscillation. On From Tomorrow they give the listener everything one should expect from a nice, trippy record: deep, groovy basslines that carve their way into one’s brain, scorched and snarly guitar licks treated with more effects than you can count and old-school organ workouts. If you’re looking for more musical reference, it’s best to quote the band’s own Bandcamp page: “it is perhaps fitting to reference the musical otherness of Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd, the absurdist punk attitude of The Stranglers (‘The Raven’ and ‘Men In Black’ eras), the garage dementia of Helios Creed with the odd snarl of ‘Sabbath Bloody Sabbath’”. Don’t know how about you, but I was sold at Syd Barrett. Get ready for some serious interstellar overdrive with this. Highly recommended!

"Toe Cutter/Thumb Buster" by garage psych unit Thee Oh Sees makes serial killing unhealthily fun with its insanely catchy, distorted riffs and pure, raw energy. Instead of being disturbed and shocked by the video, one gets drawn in by great cinematography and the “badass” factor of the music and wants to just throw everything away and go on a killing spree, like the main character. Oh, and there’s one hell of a twist at the end. Grab their album Floating Coffin on Castle Face Records if you haven’t yet.

Al Lover - Distorted Reverberations: Psychedelic Reinterpretations of Contemporary Rock ‘n Roll

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Let’s say that, being a reader of Weed Temple, you love psychedelic and garage rock - the fuzzy, lo-fi, scuzzy kind that burns holes in your skull and leaves you wanting more. And let’s say that you also like hip-hop. The instrumental, stoned beats that make you want to get into your car and do some astro travellin’ through your neighborhood.

Now, let’s say there’s a San Francisco producer Al Lover who Last.fm brilliantly describes as “equal parts 13th Floor Elevators and DJ Shadow”, and you’re pretty much ready what to expect. A fucking psychedelic hydrogen bomb applied directly to your brain, that’s what. Boombastic beats constructed from some of the hottest, fuzziest riffs and guitar solos taken from songs from various rock bands around the US, including Thee Oh Sees and Ty Segall. Come on and visit the man’s website. Browse his entire Bandcamp catalog and strictly haze for days. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!

Distorted Reverberations: Psychedelic Reinterpretations of Contemporary Rock ‘n Roll (download)

Trupa Trupa - LP

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A bite of organ-driven garage rock goodness from Gdańsk, Poland based group Trupa Trupa who deliver some catchy, yet hi-energy songs. LP is their debut studio album from 2011 (following an 2010 EP, available for free download), where they show penchant for all-killer no-filler rock’n’roll anthems with a bit lo-fi infatuation. Available for “name your price” option.

If you enjoy LP, make sure to check out their fresh new album mysteriously entitled ++, on which they further refine their sound to make it more atmospheric and hi-fi.

Mystic Braves - Mystic Braves

Los Angeles based quartet Mystic Braves dig into the sundazed, Technicolor legacy of their hometown’s once flowering psychedelic pop scene (Love, for instance) and bring out a set of 60’s-influenced garage killers with surfy guitar licks and a head nod inducing melodies. Each song is like a Polaroid from the past, somewhat worn out, yet still awe-inspiring. For those who are into gentler side of psychedelic rock.

Mavo - Mavo 7”

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Some truely enlightened garage psychedelic rock from Montreal, Canada. Good vibes all over this little debut 7 inch, which you can also buy from them in an elegant packaging. Three killers, no fillers, filled with  60’s-esque vocal techniques, but with a more modern, slightly ambient influenced added. Track 2 is pure yacht rock all over the hull. Track three is optimistic jangle pop with a penchant for distant, ghostly guitar feedback. Good summer music, people. Grab it.

Lou Breed - Stoned Out Two: Morning of the Way to Love

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One look at the cover and you know for sure that summer has arrived. Born and raised under the scorching sun of Los Angeles, “Stoned Out Two” collects the hazy garage rock ballads and psychedelic pop vignettes into a perfect, vintage-tinged blend that melts rock and electronic music into a poolside nirvana. Catchy riffs meet lost-and-found samples and loops, complimented with the not entirely real vocals and voila, there you go, a great listening for the upcoming heatwave. Might take a few listens to get into it, but once it clicks, it won’t leave your  head. Recommended.

If you’re enjoying this, buy the tape from Icecapades.

Mediafire Mirror

The Glimmer Blinkken - Bernard Ruix Wedding Album

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This heavy, hard hitting piece of psychedelic nuggetry is best described as “stonerdelic” in the most classic, lo-fi sense of the word. This free rock sextet from Dubuque, Iowa featuring the folk weirdo Bobb Bucko Jr among the members takes a joyous, circus-like and a rather tongue-in-cheek ride through the history of psychedelic rock, setting shorter, more anthemic pieces against Sunburned Hand of the Man style weirdness and krautrock jams. Delicious homegrown lysergic bliss from the American midwest. Available on cassette from Ruix Records.

Crown Larks - Catalytics Conversion

It’s time to celebrate our 1000th follower with a debut album by a freewheeling Chicagoan free rock team Crown Larks. Offering a healthy dosage of calm, melodic psychedelic rock with a slightly experimental edge, this album is an answer to the growing need for string-based blissfullness after a winter of electronic, synthesized drones and ambient soundscapes. Under a modest cover hides an explosion of Technicolor colors. Kinda reminds me of an LSD-soaked version of Polish band Myslovitz.

Pool Holograph - Pool Holograph

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Straight from DZ Tapes comes a breezy and atmospheric four track bliss from the Chicago based band Pool Holograph. Insanely catchy garage pop/rock that seems carefree and happy-go-lucky at first, but has a darker, more sinister edge lurking under the smart riffs and summer party atmospherics. Plus, the tracks get really good toward the end, when the main riff gets repeated and repeated and you just keep wishing that they repeat forever and you get to live inside one of those riifs. SOLID.

Sure it’s not free for download, but damn, stop wasting your cash on drugs for once and actually buy something, you cheap fucker.

Review: Leisure Birds - Globe Master

(LP, Moon Glyph, 2012)

The Minneapolis based “sci fi garage” unit Leisure Birds brings back the hope in the existence and future of psychedelic rock. I’ve lost much track of this genre - is it because I leaned more towards experimental electronic solo projects or assorted ambient-drone alienated haze? Or is it rather because there isn’t really that much psychedelic rock these days and it just decided to kind of fade away, or rather mutate into more peripheral subgenres? The answer is ambigious, but it’s definitely harder to come by a satisfying piece of psych rock than a satisfying piece of drone or mutant techno (see 100% Silk for that kind of stuff).

The album is ripe with references to oldschool (or maybe rather mid-school?) science fiction genre, down to the 60’s/70’s cosmic imagery, filled with space rock sound effects, although recorded with a hint of lo-fi love for garage fuckery. The final mix is somewhat cavernous and heavily echoed, especially the drums - kinda reminds me of heavy krautrock of German Oak, but with a clearly futuristic edge. And no recordings of Hitler speeches, thank God. There are definitely vocals here,t too - the sort of soaring, angelic vocals you’d expect from a 1960’s worship band.

The songs on the album vary in style between droning, thumping good ol’ hippie jams, drenched in fuzz and reverb, to some more proggy elements, like the snaking, Pink Floydian organ solo on “Egyptian Ring” and even something that sounds like the more psychedelic spectrum of the post-punkers (“Guardians of Time”). The music is usually mellow, without the tendency to jump into wild, flailing guitar solos, more often focusing on atmosphere and “cosmic” effects. Sometimes, the sounds will slow down to become an almost ambient soundscapes, like on beautiful “Rediscovery of Man”, which echoes some most mystic moments of Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey”.

Leisure Birds’ “Globe Master” is a highly entertaining, hazy, fuzzy journey packed full of space rock action, some prog rock delicatessen and, most importantly, drugged up sound which works as a wayback machine, transporting us to the prehistoric future.