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November 2013
Wooden Shjips
"Back to Land
"
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Hailing from San Francisco, psychedelic group Wooden Shjips, has just released their newest album Back to Land. The album brings together a sound crafted from inspirations that range from psychedelic music to classic rock.

The album is an entire trip in itself.  One can hear hints of 80s music, classic rock, and modern garage rock styles in the record, but they always resolve back to their classic psychedelic sound. With tracks like “In The Roses,” which brings a very spacey, low volume vocals, and a lo-fi sound that is not too cheesy or under produced. to “Ghouls,” which is a much faster, much more psychedelic rock sounding song that takes influences from classic rock guitar chords, while still utilizing classic psychedelic synthesizers.

Most songs on the album carry a jam-band sound, without becoming too abstract or getting too carried away. And in some cases, the music is so vast in genre diversity, one is surprised at the resulting sound, such as in the track, “These Shadows”, which starts off with an extremely catchy intro guitar riff and carries a vague David Bowie meets Velvet Underground sound.

“Back to Land” is a great piece of work that utilizes the potential of each member of Wooden Shjips effectively and thoroughly.

Most importantly, “Back to Land” is an experimentation of how far the psychedelic genre can stretch while still successfully staying true to its roots.


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Swahili Blonde finds newfound autonomy on upcoming full-length And Only the Melody Was Real

Despite featuring an impressive cast of musicians, Swahili Blonde has always been, at its heart, the project of Nicole Turley. Turley is no stranger to the local scene, having been part of bands like Kimono Kult and WEAVE!, though now she's retracing her steps and beginning anew by taking full command with her upcoming full-length, entitled And Only the Melody Was Real. Featuring the entrancing, dub-tinged first reveal "Rose My Emperor", Turley is exorcising herself from the pain of a failed marriage in the best way she can - implementing sonically adventurous bits and bobs that appear to be simple, though are carefully layered, with arrangements that only reveal themselves in an impromptu way.

And Only the Melody Was Real is out on January 22nd via Neurotic Yell Records. 

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Live Review: Drab Majesty at Non Plus Ultra 12/20

We were an hour overdue and loudness was all we could hear. Black metal and small talk warmed the atmosphere as the trio Exray's lined the stage — well it wasn't really a stage, but the gap made it seem otherwise. The intimacy of Trust a Robot and Jon Bernson's continued beckoning tightened spaces between the crowd and them, if only for the last two songs. And the crowd only got tighter as Naytronix followed, with an efficacious live set of Mister Divine — a medley of tambourines, cowbells, Costa Rican-inspired drumming, and Nate Brenner's resonant basslines.

Headliner Deb DeMure came forth with a bust of Apollo to bless the set, wearing a pink changshan to juxtapose. Drab Majesty showered the Non Plus with piercing guitar tones redolent of '80s wave, and we stood transfixiated in darkness. Up last, Creepers thanked those who stayed for the end — it was just us, friends, and the Non Plus residents. Their hard-hitting lysergic psych filled the near-empty space and burrowed deep into our ears. Shiv Mehra's SG came untuned, but even the discordant yaws felt at home as the last of the audience nodded on to synthetic screams and cacophonous overlays of Lush — loudness was all we could hear. And it was glorious. Check our Instagram @TheDeliLA for more pictures of the night. - Ryan Mo, photos by Michelle K. McCausland


NoHo quintet The Knitts plays at Skinny's on 12.28, unveils new single "Get Up Get Out"

Rhythm and attitude is what fuels The Knitts, a quintet that brings that indie-dance crossover that should sound pretty famiiar to those who enjoyed the post-punk revival of the early 2000s. "Get up and get out", lead singer Charlie Volkens snarls as those fuzzed-out, unhinged guitars and steady hi-hat patterns mark every beat with increasing momentum. Having been playing around the NoHo scene for a good few years now, the band is finally hitting its stride with an upcoming debut full-length recorded by jazz specialist Michael Leonhart.

Be on the lookout for the Knitts' debut EP sometime in early 2016, and catch them shortly at Skinny's on December 28th. 

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Get lost in The Human Machine's sophomore LP "Patterns", release party tonight

From the twinkle of emo-tinged post-rock to the suffocating gravity of drone, OC's trio The Human Machine wields an amorphous sound that is undeniable in its grandeur and technique. Displaced by geography — Jake Ingalls (bass) and Patrick Whitehill (guitar/vocals) lived in the Bay for a time, while Jonathan Modell (drums) stayed in the OC — the three built the "Contrashiva" EP on modulating textures, down-tempo rhythms and chordal intricacies — stuff that would make Don Caballero and American Football fans ecstatic. Following a split EP with Oakland's Stars Are Projectors (now Valley Girls), THM released their 2014 self-titled debut album. Tonally rich and unapologetically honest, the seven-song album immersed listeners in jazz cadences and psychedelic atmospheres.

Their newest album Patterns is the second body of work (following January's "Palimpest") that the trio have had the luxury of working on at length — "All material up to "Palimpest" was done under time limitations and living throughout different parts of California," says Modell. Shedding some shoegaze and post-rock influences in favor of improvisational and functionalist grooves, Patterns welds textures of Duster and Can with the thrum of Earth into titanic passages. "My inspiration behind Patterns was to make music that sounded desolate," says Whitehill. "Music that makes you anxious; music that makes you feel like you are moving slowly through a desert."

Modell adds, "THM's progression as a band has been a very natural arc that shifted with our influences. I wouldn't call Patterns a hard shifting point. It was the natural step for us after "Palimpest" — focusing less on the technicality and more on the textures and grooves that can be carried for extended lengths of time."

Tonight, The Human Machine celebrate their newest album Patterns with a release party at Beatnik Bandito with New Balance (of Canyons), Dead Recipe (Santa Cruz), Young Jesus, and Known Bird Sightings. - Ryan Mo


Creepers, Drab Majesty, Naytronix, and Exray's welcome Winter Solstice @ Non Plus Ultra

To be clear, the Winter Solstice is happening on December 22. But that shouldn't stop you from celebrating the darkest night of the year (in advance) with the Non Plus crowd this Sunday. The illustrious Deb DeMure, aka Drab Majesty, performs its last show with some novel Bay-area lovelies. Exray's conjure their signature grainy sci-fi sounds, followed by the experimental pop project Naytronix (of tUnE-yArDs), whose live set is rumored to reimagine songs from his latest album Mister DivineCreepers will end the night, drawing out some drug-addled psych visions. Guest DJs Kerry McCoy and George Lesage IV of Deafheaven facilitate our journey into the dusk. - Ryan Mo


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