Monday, 18 March 2019

Frankie and the Witch Fingers "ZAM" 2019 US Heavy Psych Garage 2x12" Clear-Red Vinyl LP Limited to 200 copies


Frankie and the Witch Fingers "ZAM" 2019 US Heavy Psych Garage  2x12" Clear-Red Vinyl LP Limited to 200 copies

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Frankie and the Witch Fingers’ latest LP, ZAM, bleeds beyond borders and boundaries. Its opening preternatural sounds bubble up out of the primordial soup, spilling into our world, invading the inner recesses of the listener’s mind. Like a two-headed snake wrapped around the skull, the album pendulates between winding instrumentals and dancey riffs that pop like supernovas out of the black void. Just when a song goes one way, it propels another through long stretches of a cosmic inferno. 

Bringing glimmers of krautrock and funk, its eleven tracks unleash a versatile and tenacious weight, slithering between the sexy, the aggressive, the vivacious, and the disorienting—until the living invasion is felt—ZAM—a supernatural entity summoned by four madmen obsessed with tearing open a gateway to dark space. After being pulled apart atom-by-atom, the listener is reconfigured on the other side, born unto starry wasteland. Where head is separated from body. Where music is seen and apocalyptic soundscapes flow to revelation. A funhouse undercurrent pulses through the album’s epoch, reflecting a carnival mosaic shrewdly lulling and doggedly brutal. As one track bleeds into the next, that hour of running time becomes wormhole travel, until the listener returns earthbound, transmuted, craving more odyssey. .....~



Los Angeles garage-psych rockers Frankie and The Witch Fingers have announced their new album, ZAM, out on March 1 via New York City’s Greenway Records. Today (Jan. 31), they’ve also shared a new single, “Realization.” 

“Realization” is the kind of super-charged garage track that requires a loss of inhibition to appreciate, but once its frantic zip finds a home in your brain, you’ll let it stay for as long as it wants. There’s an unavoidable hypnotism in its funky guitar interludes, and after its rhythm-driven sonics and meddlesome lead vocals have left the station, there’s no chance of halting or derailing the psychedelic steam train. 
The band said of the track’s inspiration, “Realization is about the fleeting moments of clarity that are revealed as you begin to unravel the mundane constructs of reality, set to a Sly and The Family Stone kind of pulse.” 
“Realization” hardly even scratches the surface of what ZAM has to offer. The album leans on everything from krautrock, funk and psych to prog and garage rock, ensuring an adrenaline-pumping trip no matter what. According to a press release, “its 11 tracks unleash a versatile and tenacious weight, slithering between the sexy, the aggressive, the vivacious and the disorienting—until the living invasion is felt.”.....~




From the outset of ZAM, the new album from Frankie and the Witch Fingers, it’s clear that the psych rock outfit have been knocking back the black milk. Scan the track titles here and it reads like serious voodoo shit has been going down. 

‘Dracula Drug’, ‘Cobwebs’, ‘Dark Sorcerer’, ‘Head Collector’, (and okay another) ‘Purple Velvet’ make clear a path that subjects explored are often fantasy, and fantastic in scale. Weighing in at just over one hour long, ZAM is not an album that hurries to make it’s point. 

Psyche and garage rock are always inclined to be fuzz-heavy. That’s true here. There’s not an item in the landscape that isn’t filtered through, or touched by a gravely pedal of one kind or another. But wait, the texturing here isn’t all left to just one perspective. There are undulations through this album, where guitars suddenly shine through the mist, where snares suddenly snap with precision. Beneath the shimmering sludge there is a structure that leans heavily on funk. None of the hypnotic value is lost, but rather added to for the strutting angles on display. 

Title track, ‘ZAM’ is the third-longest track on the album. It’s over eight minutes long – so yeah, you kinda know what to expect elsewhere. This thing thrusts itself along. Like much of the album this song is driven like it’s stolen. The pace is almost too incredible. Spiraling guitar licks, splash cymbals that barely hold it together, but at heart there’s funk. There’s shapes here that come from the ’70’s and throw weird shadows into the contemporary sound. Vocals arrive at around the four minute mark – but they do nothing to temper the fever. Things simply escalate until we’re flailing around. It’s wonderful deranged stuff. The perfect flourish.

For all the boastful length that Frankie and the Witch Fingers indulge here, there’s a tiny nugget in the mass. A golden little track ‘I am’ takes a bite of definition. It’s principled, well-defined and, whilst still driven – bleeding at both ends into previous and following tracks – it shows that this is a band that knows how to land tight blows when they feel like it. 

‘Underneath You’ follows ‘I Am’ and reveals some of the trickery that Frankie and the Witch Fingers are toying with. The sequencing here is on another level. The sprawling themes that inform each other call on references, foreshadow and flip over on themselves are rich. Instrumentally, alone, these tracks have an incredible arrogance – the good kind. The tight-trousered pouting that belongs in this kind of music, but it has some flavor of krautrock, and so a balance between elements is achieved. There are tonal signatures that call to each other through the album. Passages of lead single ‘Realization’ echo in progressions of the title track. Even in the closing ballad, ‘Head Collector’, the tones simmer beneath the surface. 

With ZAM, Frankie and the Witch Fingers continue a path that has produced a string of albums, that slowly morph from one thing to another. No two albums sound the same, and yet, they are all uniquely of this band. The quality, and intention of these artists is sound. It should be turned up....by Finnn....~



Frankie and the Witch Fingers has been a group that the Fire Note has kept on their radar since their debut, Sidewalks, impressed us in 2013. What continues to impress us is that their past three albums, Frankie and the Witch Fingers (2015), Holy Roller (2016), and Brain Telephone (2017), has all delivered so much fun, fuzz, and psychedelic consistency that you can’t help but be impressed. ZAM, Frankie’s newest outing, takes psychedelics down a dark, spiral staircase into the dungeon. 

ZAM, like the title assumes, is an album with many tricks up it sleeve. “Dracula Drug” warps us to the swampy, moonlit outskirts of Dracula’s castle. But, instead of fangs to the neck we’re greeted with a sinister monster mash and quick guitar stabs that pierce the mind like a Illithid. “Work” starts out like a standard Oh Sees banger but, midway finds new life in a dancy, hip shaking groove. “Pleasure” is the gelatinous cube of the bunch. Dylan Sizemore shouts his vocals arounds as the band bends, ungulates, metamorphosizes over top. 

ZAM, starts with a strong first half but, really saves the best for last. “Cobwebs” divides its time between a jaunty, sinister, gnashing snarl and punky, light speed wormholes. “Dark Sorcerer” brings one of the albums most satisfying tunes. The chorus is nothing but attention grabbing: “Lock the heavy door, float over to her, eternal as you are, dark sorcerer, dark sorcerer.” Before it’s all over your pumping your fists in the air. Jams, “I Am” and “Underneath You” works well to rival the best output of Oh Sees. Finally, after the dust settles, all is calm, and castle has been reduced to ruins the “Head Collector” appears to enact his sweet, gentle, malicious, and deeply sinister vengeance. 

With ZAM, Frankie and the Witch Fingers have encapsulated a time. ZAM is an album that takes the punk, psychedelics, and the psychotic sock-hop vibe and recasts it as their own. It’s the same variables that made the Oh Sees Carrion Crawler/The Dream, Putrifiers II, and Floating Coffin (2013) so successful. The big, wide open energies mixed with pacing, mood, and the fantastic come downs that were “Wicked Park” and “Minotaur.” ZAM portrays a battle ax wielding Executioner but, under the cowl lies a goofy, zany grin. If fast paced psychedelic time travel trips are your thing then this head splitter will do exactly that....by Christopher Tahy......~


Drop-Off Productions proudly presents the return of West Coast screamers Frankie and the Witch Fingers. Over the course of five years and five LP’s, the L.A. veterans have been mutating and perfecting their high-powered rock n’ roll sound. Using absurd lyrical imagery—soaked in hallucination, paranoia, and lust—the band’s M.O. strikes into dark yet playful territory. This sense of radical duality is astir at every turn, in every time signature change. Airy vocal harmonies over heavily-serrated riffs. Low-key shamanic roots under vivid high-strangeness. Rambling stretches and punctuated licks. Cutting heads and kissing lips. All this revealing a stereophonic schizophrenia that has flowed throughout their body of work: an ebb & flow of flowery-poppy horror. After savagely touring the USA and Europe, this four-headed beast has shown no signs of relenting—appearing like summoned daemons and dosing crowds with cerebral party fuel. Frankie and the Witch Fingers’ fifth LP, ZAM, bleeds beyond borders and boundaries. Its opening preternatural sounds bubble up out of the primordial soup, spilling into our world, invading the inner recesses of the listener’s mind. Like a two-headed snake wrapped around the skull, the album pendulates between winding instrumentals and dancey riffs that pop like supernovas out of the black void. Just when a song goes one way, it propels another through long stretches of a cosmic inferno. Bringing glimmers of krautrock and funk, its eleven tracks unleash a versatile and tenacious weight, slithering between the sexy, the aggressive, the vivacious, and the disorienting—until the living invasion is felt—ZAM—a supernatural entity summoned by four madmen obsessed with tearing open a gateway to dark space. After being pulled apart atom-by-atom, the listener is reconfigured on the other side, born unto starry wasteland. Where head is separated from body. Where music is seen and apocalyptic soundscapes flow to revelation. A funhouse undercurrent pulses through the album’s epoch, reflecting a carnival mosaic shrewdly lulling and doggedly brutal. As one track bleeds into the next, that hour of running time becomes wormhole travel, until the listener returns earthbound, transmuted, craving more odyssey. ......~



Frankie and the Witch Fingers is a group that gradually needs no introduction, but we will do it anyway! In the genre of garage and neo-psychedelic rock, the West Coast group stands back to back with groups such as Meatbodies and LA WITCH, and this since their debut album of the same name that came out in 2015. 'Airy harmonics about serrated riffs, drenched in paranoia' is how the band describes their music themselves, and it accurately describes the atmosphere in which we find ourselves here. In 2017, Frankie and the Witch Fingers threw no less than two albums at our head, of which especially Brain Telephone , with flaps of songs such as “Learnings Of The Light”, left an impression not to be underestimated. 

Two years later, ZAM is at the door, and it promises to be a welcome guest. The band has discovered a dim path of funky krautrock and swinging, psychedelic garage rock. It is a dark path, full of mysteries, mythical creatures and hallucinations. A path that seems to take you straight through the eye of a supernova, because it is this kind of explosive power and tension that we are talking about here: a supernova. Nothing more nothing less. The Americans have been able to enclose the live energy that typified them from the beginning in an album of barely eleven songs that might well linger for a while.
With "Dracula Drug", a nine-minute hunk, ZAM starts very gradually and quietly. Immediately there is a kind of ghostly tension about the intro of the album. You seem to be in the middle of a misty jungle where wild animal eyes stare at you threateningly. Somewhere halfway the song explodes, however, and the released impulse that sets the album in motion here, the group recovers on "Work". It is a variety-garage number that plagues your eardrums with a perfect amount of fuzz, in which especially the bass gets a very exciting role. 

" Realization " immediately sounds familiar to us as that tight, danceable bomb from a single that we received as a gift last month, along with " Pleasure ". Catchy riffs and coaggable lyrics are the spearhead of a song that by itself can also be regarded as one of the spearheads of the album. The mesmerizing coda of the song is a good example of what Frankie and the Witch Fingers do better on this album than on their predecessors: dynamics. Many groups can be loud, but creating the same excitement with modest, rudimentary passages is what seems to have been very successful at ZAM . 

When writing the title track of the album the group seems to have listened heavily to their Australian colleagues from King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard. Pumping bass line and drums? Check! Scorching wah-wahs and overdrive that suck you into an instrumental vortex? Certainly! A duration of more than eight minutes? YES! That's just rock 'n roll.
"Cobwebs", however, together with "Dark Sorcerer" and the incredible "Purple Velvet" is the backbone of the album. Three different pillars on which everything rests. "Cobwebs" convinces with its mysterious, winding yet glammy riffs, in which the subdued and highly flammable passages follow each other in rapid succession. On "Dark Sorcerer", however, Frankie really demonstrates what his Witch Fingers are capable of. It is a hypnotic garage number that sucks you into a world of black magic, with a reef storm in the coda that will make your hair stand straight on your arms. This is where the album peaks. This is the supernova. 

However, are you looking for the number that will stick the longest? Then we would like to put our money on "Purple Velvet". It's a bit of summer on an album that didn't seem meant for that, but it works, and how. It is a tight song that billows its way into the smallest room of your brain to stick there like Tec7. "I Am" and "Underneath You" are, as the continuity in the titles suggests, a duo that seamlessly follows each other. Where "I Am" feels more like an intro to the real thing, "Underneath You" is a nasty flash where the group turns the fuzz pedal full for the last time to make it very clear that making a lot of noise is above all experiments. where the group excels. The group closes with the rocking "Head Collitor", 

ZAM is well worth its five stars. The way Frankie and the Witch Fingers mix power, cathyness, mystery and excitement into the diverse cocktail that the album is simply testifies to great class. Nothing more nothing less. Frankie and the Witch Fingers. Write down the name, because they have definitely earned their place among the greats of the genre........dansendeberen....~





Tracklist:   

01. Dracula Drug 
02. Work 
03. Realization 
04. Pleasure 
05. ZAM 
06. Cobwebs 
07. Dark Sorcerer 
08. Purple Velvet 
09. I Am 
10. Underneath You 
11. Head Collector 

Sunday, 17 March 2019

AJ Froman "Phoenix Syndrome" 2016 US Psych Prog


AJ Froman "Phoenix Syndrome" 2016 US Psych Prog 

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“Retro” is a term that to some, applies solely to bands that are derivative, stagnant, unoriginal, uncreative, and too mired in the past to produce anything of value, like your dad’s bar band. I must say that retro psychedelic progressive rockers AJ Froman prove beyond a reasonable doubt that this is not true at all on their latest release, Phoenix Syndrome (well, not necessarily true, anyway). 

Everything here sounds like it could have plausibly been written and recorded in the 1970s. The riffs, bass lines, and synths wouldn’t sound out of place at all. I mean no disrespect by that whatsoever, as some of the greatest progressive masterpieces ever came out of that decade. Now, I know progressive rock from the ’70s encompasses a wide variety, so allow me to explain. Phoenix Syndrome lies more in the Pink Floyd school of prog- artful, epic, and psychedelic- than the mathy virtuosity of King Crimson or the esoteric bombast of ELP. That’s not to say the band sounds just like Pink Floyd; their sound is way more intense for one, but in terms of overall approach and mood the comparison is appropriate. I’m making a point that this sounds like a ’70s record because I think recent music history and the corresponding evolution of language makes it harder to talk about. I also want to call this heavy, but it’s heavy like Black Sabbath, not like Meshuggah. 

The songs are diverse, dynamic, and carefully constructed to hold your attention. The instrumental action alternates between intense, groovy, syncopated riffs and more psychedelic and chill breakdowns. Occasionally there are some vintage synth sounds and even violins and djembe used to great effect. 

The focal point of the band, and I think what makes it special, are Sarah Norwood’s powerful vocals. Her expressive voice recalls Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine much of the time, occasionally using a bold falsetto that makes me question if I’m really listening to The Mars Volta (listen to “Freedom Ticket” and you’ll see what I mean). Her performance just blows me away. 

The evocative lyrics benefit greatly from such a spirited vocal delivery. Thematically, the songs and accompanying lyrics occupy one of two poles – vivid illustrations of the alienation and existential despair of modern life, foiled by uplifting optimism for the future and the unbounded potential of humanity in spite of all that. Personally, I mostly listen to instrumental music and otherwise tend to ignore lyrics whenever possible, regarding vocals as just another instrument. Well, I didn’t find it to be possible here. It’s not that the lyrics themselves are poetic genius in isolation, but rather that they play such a crucial role in shaping the feel of the songs – the album would be much less compelling in their absence. 

Overall, I find this album a highly enjoyable listen that keeps me coming back. I can’t think of anything bad to say about it- probably because I don’t think that being retro is inherently bad. I suppose what grips me is the synthesis of the elements of ’70s rock, prog or otherwise, that I don’t think I’ve ever heard before. I mean, just because a certain approach is 40 years old and out of style in the mainstream doesn’t mean there’s no room left for innovation within that framework. After all, there are no original ideas, only original combinations of existing ideas. And who cares how old the existing ideas are? The freshness here is in the recipe, not the ingredients.....by....AJ Froman....~




AJ Froman originally started as a recording project between Albert Bowman and John Joyce, two musicians from the east coast living in San Diego who came together with similar musical interests. Recording a self-titled, 7-song EP with the help of Jeff Shaefer, the three began a latin, experimental, progressive rock project. After cycling through a variety of musicians, the band currently consists of Sarah Norwood (vocals), William Hart (drums), Albert Bowman (guitar/bass), Jeff Shaefer (guitar), and John Joyce (guitar/bass). Since then, the full band has released a 5-song EP entitled ‘Nocturno EP’ in 2014 and a full length album, 'Phoenix Syndrome', in 2016. 

'Indecorum' is the fourth album from the San Diego-based prog-rock group AJ Froman and is the band's second release of 2016, following January's "Phoenix Syndrome". The latest music is the result of the groups experimental evolution, with three tracks spanning a total of 35 minutes. The final piece - Faux Coup de Grâce - features The Mars Volta's Adrian Terrazas-Gonzalez on saxophone as well as new sonic textures and musical styles, ranging from classic metal to world music. 

With influences ranging from latin, psychedelic, progressive, experimental, and blues, the group does a fine job taking you on a musical journey through harmonized melodies and syncopated rhythms. 

“Channeling equal parts Mars Volta, King Crimson and Led Zeppelin, they deftly manuever through endless twists and turns in difficult time signatures and intricate song structures only they’d imagine.” – NBC 7 Sounddiego 

“If there was one local band who could benefit from a renewed interest in Zappa’s offbeat musical legacy, it might be AJ Froman“ – SD Reader....~





Tracklist


Intro 0:38
Phoenix Syndrome 1:51 
Stranger's Nod 10:04 
Vantage 5:21 
Freedom Ticket 8:04 
Birthday Moon 4:19 
Guarda Nocturno I-IV (live) 13:36 
Outro 2:26 

Glen Anthony Henry "Relax & Love" 2008 US Soul Funk



Glen Anthony Henry  "Relax & Love" 2008 US Soul Funk

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This album is the fruit of the meeting between a singer and a producer. Two crazy lovers of soul made in Chicago developed by Curtis Mayfield and Leroy Hutson in direct relationship with Marvin Gaye (and so of Leon Ware, Johnny Bristol, Willie Hutch, all these artists / producers of the 70s having developed a particular color of soul, very classy). 
Glen Anthony Henry comes from Los Angeles and after collaborating with Erykah Badu or Dr. Dre, he settled in Madrid. Carlo Coupé is the man behind the band The Sweet Vandals. As much to tell you that we are dealing with two sizes. 
Their meeting dates from January 2007, Carlo writes to Glenn and offers him to work together. 
Recorded in the vintage studios of the producer in Madrid, the production gives pride of place to strings, flutes and vocal harmonies. Chiselled melodies for his velvet voice, an old-time recording, the participation of more than 10 musicians from local bands (Swet Vandals, Speak Low, Funkexplosin) 
After a first 45th test, here is finally the album. A classic future. …..~


Glen Anthony Henry est un excellent chanteur de soul , compositeur et interprète, originaire de Los Angeles , anciennement connu sous le nom Aqeel. Un amoureux de la musique depuis que sa mère chantait à l'église , avant ses débuts professionnels , il a travaillé comme barbier une dizaine d'années . En 1998, il a travaillé pendant un certain temps avec Erykah Badu ….~


Tracklist 

1 Fired Up 5:31 
2 Relax And Love 3:51 
3 Doin It 2:51 
4 I Don’t Know 5:16 
5 Beautiful Vida 4:14 
6 Relax And Love ( Reprise - Instrumental ) 1:21 
7 Hope 3:54 
8 Go With It 4:16 
9 Relax And Love ( Reprise - A Cappella ) 0:55 
10 That’s My Baby 3:44 
11 I Believe 3:28 

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