Saturday, 22 July 2017

Kadavar - Selftitled (Outstanding 1st Album Retro-Rock 2012)

Size: 98.9
Bitrate: 320
Artwork Included

Hailing from Berlin, Germany, Kadavar is a trio of stubborn Rip Van Winkles who refuse to let go of their ‘70s proto-metal dreams. The credits on the band's eponymous debut for Teepee Records may read 2012, but it's always 1972 inside these timeless vinyl grooves -- no matter what digital format happens to be reproducing them. To quote Saint Vitus, these dudes were literally born too late. 

Too late, certainly, to have personally imbibed from the foreboding lysergic fountain of Black Sabbath, Leaf Hound, Pentagram, and other forefathers of their chosen musical blueprint; so the Kadavar boys obviously had to make do with the more recent chemical concoctions of neo-traditionalists like Witchcraft, Graveyard, and possibly Dead Meadow. 

These bands' heavy-handed but still Spartan attack and somnambulant daze definitely play a role in first half tracks like "All Our Thoughts," "Black Sun," and the roiling "Forgotten Past." But subsequent numbers like "Goddess of Dawn" and "Creature of the Demon" tap into a far more aggressive, head-banging energy, suggesting fret-board scorchers old and new -- think Buffalo, Captain Beyond, the Atomic Bitchwax -- also infiltrated Kadavar's iPod playlists. 

The LP's closing extended acid jam, "Purple Sage," throws Hawkwind's hypnotic, deep space dementia into the mix, and to cap off Kadavar's dual-decade influences, Wolf Lindemann's vocals blend the shamanistic charisma of a Bobby Liebling with the monochromatic slacker-isms of the Sword's J.D. Cronise -- go figure. 

All of which boils down to a consistently entertaining, nostalgia-inducing listen, and never mind the fact there's obviously very little originality involved. Don't forget though: it's actually 1972 in Kadavar's minds, and back then, this was cutting-edge stuff.

Steeped in the bluesy, brooding, bottom-heavy traditions of bands like Black Sabbath, Hawkwind, and Led Zeppelin, German psych-rock trio Kadavar spin '70s hard rock tropes into contemporary, stoner metal gold. Formed in Berlin by Christoph Lindemann (guitar, vocals), Simon Bouteloup (bass) and Christoph Bartelt (drums), the immaculately bearded retro-rockers released their eponymous, Teepee Records-issued debut in 2012. 

The band inked a deal with Nuclear Blast the following year, the home of like-minded acts Witchcraft and Graveyard, resulting in their sophomore long-player Abra Kadavar (2013) and chart-topping 2015 follow-up Berlin.

01. All Our Thoughts  04:35
02. Black Sun  06:13
03. Forgotten Past  05:38
04. Goddess Of Dawn  04:13
05. Creature Of The Demon  04:48
06. Purple Sage Theremin – Shazzula  08:12

07. Living In Your Head  07:00

1. Kadavar 2012
2. Kadavar 2012
3. Kadavar 2012

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Biters - The Future Ain't What It Used to Be (US Glamrock 2017)

Size: 87.2 MB
Bitrate: 320
Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
Some Artwork Included

A band formed on the premise of reigniting authenticity, iconicism and style in today’s rock’n’roll scene, Biters have set themselves a pilgrimage to Mordor and back. However, their latest release cherry-picked from their upcoming album ‘The Future Ain’t What It Used To Be’ is a milestone on completing this journey. Boasting a deliciously arrogant, strutting guitar riff, tumbling rhythm and captivating vocal growls and howls, Stone Cold Love is a texturally intricate treat that indisputably echoes Marc Bolan’s T.Rex. Stone Cold Love is a worthy reward following the eye-roll inducing, rock’n’roll cliché opener Let It Roll that comprises lyrics salvaged straight from Def Leppard’s Let It Go: “let it rock and let it roll”.

Truth be told, for a band striving for authenticity, Biters wander dangerously close to the lyrical clichés that only Whitesnake can pull off. However, via recycling lyrical schematics whilst blurring the boundaries between pop rock, sleaze punk and glam rock, Biters have created an album wholly accessible to the musically ignorant and musically savvy. Despite its failings, such as the seemingly tokenistic ballads Hollywood and Goin’ Back To Georgia, ‘The Future Ain’t What It Used To Be’ is utterly anthemic such that listening to it through any means other than a Colosseum built entirely of Marshall speaker stacks oozes injustice.

Vulture City is a sure highlight, blending punk angst with a dusting of soft glam and a spoonful of vintage rock’n’roll that conjures a pre-millennial summer breeze amidst the eye of a rhythmic storm. Don’t Turn This Good Heart Bad was born for any jukebox-browsing chica possessing hip movements to rival a snake, whilst Callin’ You Home effortlessly intertwines an abundance of timbres that crescendos towards an earworm-summoning chorus. Even the most demure of rockers will struggle to resist a sudden public outcry of the chorus hooks ‘The Future Ain’t What It Used To Be’ offers up.

In a world where the golden gods of rock music are fast approaching extinction, the future definitely ain’t what it used to be. Could Biters get us back on track for the musical future we were promised in the seventies? Probably not. But they’re sure making a damned good attempt at it.

Presenting the brand new album from Georgia's most dangerous rock 'n' roll band, "The Future Ain't What It Used To Be"! Packaged in a deluxe digipak case containing a stunning fold out poster with lyrics to the whole album, complete with a printed booklet with liner notes and complete lyrics for the album.

Expanding upon the unmistakeable sound that made their full length debut, "Electric Blood", a top 10 Album Of The Year in Classic Rock and earning them a 'Best New Band' nomination at the Planet Rock awards last year, Biters' are blazing a trail across the world with their galvanizing live shows and growing in notoriety.

Loud and fiery but also unashamedly afraid of pop hooks and sweet harmonies, their modern twist on electrifying rock 'n' roll is paradoxically fresh and tinged with nostalgia, reminding us of times when bands looked like bands and acted like gangs. With a cynical lyrical social commentary on the state of the world and a knack for a catchy feel-good chorus, Biters are set to destroy and suggestions that rock 'n' roll is dead with their hunger for anarchy and partying hard!

The band were invited to open the Kerrang Tour 2016 with Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes and pop-punk icons Sum 41, which saw them play to sold out crowds of over 18,000 over 8 raucous and memorable live performances across the UK. With a brand new 24-date European tour with Atlanta label mates Blackberry Smoke coming up this year, and many dates having already sold out months in advance, "The Future Ain't What It Used To Be" promises to firmly plant the flag of rock 'n' roll back on the map!

01. Let It Roll
02. Stone Cold Love
03. Callin' You Home
04. Don't Turn This Good Heart Bad
05. Gypsy Rose
06. No Stranger To Heartache
07. Vulture City
08. Hollywood
09. Chasin' The Feeling
10. Goin' Back To Georgia

1. Biters
2. Biters
3. Biters

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Golden Void - S/T (Good Rock Album, Oakland US 2012)

Size: 87.4 MB
Bitrate: 320
Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
Artwork Included

Golden Void is led by Isaiah Mitchell of Earthless with Camilla Saufly-Mitchell (Assemble Head In Sunburst Sound), Justin Pinkerton, and Aaron Morgan. Golden Void is the new face of Bay Area psychedelic music, their songs firmly rooted in melody and not afraid of exploration. The band’s hooks get stuck in your head and their riffs transport you to the astral plane.  

The members of Golden Void have been connected musically off and on since they were teenagers. After playing in various bands together and apart throughout high school and the intervening years, Isaiah Mitchell (guitar/vocals, also of Earthless), Aaron Morgan (bass), and Justin Pinkerton (drums) coalesced as Golden Void after Mitchell’s move to the Bay Area in 2009. 

When the group realized they needed a keyboard player, the addition of Camilla Saufley-Mitchell seemed only natural. Listening to their self-titled debut album, the high level of musical kindredship that only comes from playing music together during those formative years is instantly apparent. In an age of the internet’s infinite mirror that rewards pointless novelty rather than substance, Golden Void has succeeded in creating a record that exists beyond bloggable tropes of the present and expands upon the traditions of the past. 

Golden Void explores the dichotomy of destruction and devotion. On the galloping opener “Art of Invading,” Mitchell describes the destructive acts of the “invader,” over raw, fuzzy guitars and Pinkerton’s steady 6/8 groove. On closer “Atlantis” Mitchell sings about rising seas cleansing the earth of people and culture while displaying some of the most impressive, and chillingly calm, vocal harmonies on the record. Conversely, “Jetsun Dolma” examines devotion through the use of Tibetan Buddhism’s 21 Taras, enchanced by Saufly-Mitchell’s otherworldly keyboard. Throughout, the album is driven and lifted by the stellar guitar work of Isaiah Mitchell. 

The album was recorded with Phil Manley at Lucky Cat Studios in San Francisco, and was recorded live to tape with few overdubs. It was mastered and cut from tape by Roger Seibal at SAE mastering. Although the songs drift into moody and dark territories, the prevailing sentiment is optimistic. Golden Void is a record of unpretentious, extremely well crafted, totally addictive rock and roll. Turn it up!

Shop: Golden Void's Shop

Isaiah Mitchell
Aaron Morgan
Justin Pinkerton
Camilla Saufley-Mitchell

01. Art of Invading 04:15
02. Virtue 05:23
03. Jetsun Dolma 05:19
04. Badlands 04:22
05. Shady Grove 04:31
06. The Curve 04:45
07. Atlantis 07:47

1. Golden Void
2. Golden Void
3. Golden Void

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Picture of The Day...

Salem's Bend - Salem's Bend (Classic Retro-Rock US 2016)

Size: 79.2 MB
Bitrate: 320
Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
Artwork Included

Three dudes crawled into a garage-turned-studio and dug out some tracks from the nether realms of Sabbath, Priest, Toad, Zeppelin, and other '70s rockers. Infusing those with a multitude of other musical entities, they subsequently slithered out as Salem's Bend.

As Ozzy once famously said to Tony Iommi during one of the 1972 recording sessions for Black Sabbath's Vol. 4 album, "I've had enough drugs at the moment, thank you, just pass me the coconut water- and Bill, can you play that funky beat again? Oh and Geezer, pass me those fruit-shaped maracas, I have an idea." Shortly thereafter, true genius flowed onto tape and history was made. Of course, nothing like this was ever actually said, but these are the things that Los Angeles-based trio SALEM'S BEND likes to think about while sweating bullets in their garage-turned studio.

This heavy rock band has musical influences that run the gamut from '70s classic rockers to the modern heavy-hitters in the desert, doom, and stoner rock scene, along with any music from any decade or genre that grooves and/or rocks. Having cut their teeth in various bands around LA for the past 5 years, the time was right in mid-2014 to coalesce in the studio and start turning heavy riffs and beats into catchy tunes. Seven songs made the cut onto the self-titled debut album 'Salem's Bend', which was released on Bandcamp in the tail-end of December 2015. 

The album garnered some early praise at heavy music blogs, with one great reviewer commenting: "You want dynamics? Salem’s Bend is practically a liquid. 'Dynamics' is just a buzz word until it’s wielded by these sprightly upstarts." Another reviewer graciously wrote, "They have forged their own searing, raucous guitars; intense, deep bass; and athletic, punctuated stickwork around some of the most intelligently interesting melodies to float through the stonersphere in quite some time." 

Salem's Bend subsequently signed their debut album with Ripple Music, who will be giving it a world-wide release on multiple formants as well as pressing vinyl. In the actual words of Ian Gillan, "Buy real records in real shops, or I'll come round your house and scream at your mother."

Bobby - Guitar and Vocals
 Kevin - Bass and vocals
 Zach - Drums 

01. Balshazzar  04:17
02. Queen of the Desert  04:15
03. Silverstruck  04:17
04. Losing Sleep  02:53
05. Sun and Mist  05:16
06. Mammoth Caravan  05:25
07. A Tip of Salem  06:05

1. Salems Bend
2. Salems Bend
3. Salems Bend

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Age of Man - About Time (Great Retro Hardrock US 2015)

Size: 81.2 MB
Bitrate: 320
Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
Artwork Included

Age of Man are an El Dorado-based rock trio comprised of Matt Benson on lead guitar and vocals, Brandon Borden on drums, and Eric Stone on bass. Their thick and muddy brand of blues-steeped guitar rock is reminiscent of a simpler time, stripped of modern musical conventions and cleverly re-imagined from its very core.

Taking us for a trip through electric-rock…and through their own catalogue as the revitalise and come out swinging with the updated production on the tunes from their Ebeneezer EP, released back in 2013. What a trip to be able to hear these tunes again with the tweaks and improvements…they might have a ‘garage-rock’ sound to them, but the overall tightness in About Time has certainly shown that they’ve spent a considerable amount of time in the studio too. Considering the name of the album…I’d say just on the border of ‘too much’ time for the El-Dorado based three-piece!

So maybe it all took a little longer to get recorded & put out than they would have liked…it’s here…About Time…and besides, isn’t it like that for all of us? AND…when the end result is getting something that captures the vision and sound of a band as you’ve always pictured it sounding in your heads…well…that’s worth waiting for right? From where Age Of Man started with Ebeneezer way back when, it was completely rad to hear them tighten the corners on their loose-feeling music and put out the record I can only imagine they’ve been wanting to all along.

Awesome it was, to head back into the live-sound of Age Of Man, recorded so strongly. It begins with the punched-up “Gimme A Sigh” – a tune that has single written all over it. Guitars cut through the air from every angle and the drums come out ready, willing and able to take on the complexity of this opening cut. It really is a confident sound created by Age Of Man – they own their badass & rad-rock completely.

The first of the new-tunes on About Time, “Blind” takes a slide guitar for a wicked run…you can just hear the strings all bending away perfectly finding their way to the right notes and riffing it up with outright passion overtop of this clever stop/start beat. The guitar sounds around the 2:15-2:20-ish mark are basically the musical form of the exact reason I do what I do – what a SOUND! I’m honestly not sure if it’s even repeatable…there might be a couple of terrifically happy accidents through the amazing tones that come from the guitar; personally I don’t care how they got there…I’m just glad they EXIST when it comes right down to it! First new song from Age Of Man has certainly got me excited for the others to follow – “Blind” has a wicked amount of crunch & deep, deep hooks to pull you into the sound.

Rolling back through their past & updating them into the present, the middle of About Time is largely filled-out with cuts from the Ebeneezer EP. Solid bass-tones fill “No Woman” to the brim around the crisp & clear guitar, styled-up vocals and steady beat. I’d say it’s a healthy mix between The Grateful Dead and Pink Floyd… Keeping the bass rolling along, Eric Stone puts the smoothness into “You Sea” and really puts the blues influence into this rock music of Age Of Man. “You Sea” has that kind of wonderfully-loose feel to the way the lyrics come out…you can hear that this would be the perfect song for Benson to talk & sing-out anything on his mind in, pump-up the crowd…or maybe just not even sing at all at times and just let the solid groove take him where it may.

“I Found You,” at least for my ears…probably couldn’t have come out ANY better this time around. Not are the guitars from Matt Benson some of the craziest and best you’ll hear recorded this year, but the surrounding bass from Eric Stone and steady beat from Brandon Borden have really gelled this track perfectly together. Letting Benson wander wherever in the hell his guitar will take him, the approach and attack on this performance is astounding, straight-up. I know I’ve been on and on about the movie Frank in a recent review of the band TKO…but this is like the rock version of that band of my big-headed buddy. Both “I Found You” and “Whatchado” still manage to retain their looseness within very coordinated & complex parts. 

Like – listen to the amount of shifts & changes Stone makes as this cut rolls through! The last minute of “Whatchado” becomes a solid highlight with an extremely tight-solo bringing out the best in Benson at his most focused & controlled as opposed to the best of his psychedelic-influences taking hold of the massive solos in “I Found You.” In any event – these songs do end up sounding tighter, but not out of place in amongst the new tunes; they’ve updated them perfectly in production to match, and have four brand-new tunes that carry the vibe right on.

Here comes one of them now! “Been Stuck Blues” is a wicked run through a rock-blues style, more so than the rest as the title implies. Short & stuck right where they want to be, this track grooves & rocks with the blues-element running throughout but never fully giving in. For being ‘stuck’ anything, this track does nothing but MOVE ya! This is an absolutely killer addition to the new line-up of songs that make up the rest of About Time…I appreciate its shortness…but damn do I want MORE of this right away every time I hear it come on again!

I’m a big-fan of FUZZ. Honestly…I don’t have much of a choice…I’m covered in the stuff, so it was either learn to love it or be fully consumed by it slowly taking over my skin and hate life. But in this particular case, I’m talking about guitar-fuzz…and just LISTEN to the sound & tone that Benson gets going on in “Better Half.” Definitely one of the best of the new tunes; recorded, produced & performed as immaculately as you could ever hope for – the mini-explosion just before a-minute in that will repeat and come back later on as the instruments drift in and punch back…just an absolutely awesome idea carried out with flawless execution…NBD! Age Of Man have found themselves some real moments on About Time – another notable being the re-cut on “Needles In Hay.” 

I freakin love this tune…it sounds like Benson sitting atop of a tiny amplifier barely on and just riffing this one out for all to hear – only the mic is set up way across the room and just picks him up enough to get it in the mix. Really, really well done, smart recording on this tune; so radically different than the rest of the album that it can’t help but pull you in and creates a perfect set-up for the final tune & last new-song on the record, “Sun & Rain.”

Age Of Man creates a highly memorable ending by switching up the vibe just a little more on this final-cut. Incorporating a tinge of funk and grunge in amongst the blues, the rock, the psychedelic…”Sun & Rain” could easily be the titular synonym for ‘we just went ahead and added like, EVERY sound and everything we do RIGHT, we added the kitchen sink even.’ I’d also go as far as to say that this last song also really shows some growth, progression and passion – and that it’s still on the rise for Age Of Man as far as their career is concerned. It’s an awesome final dose of Age Of Man’s powerful new output with a collection of ten wild songs that will really hit the mark for blues-rock fans. About Time indeed!

Bass Guitar, Organ, Acoustic Guitar, Backing Vocals – Eric Stone
 Drums, Percussion – Brandon Borden
 Guitar, Vocals – Matt Benson 
 Mixed By, Mastered By – Jason Tedford

01. Gimme a Sigh  02:06
02. Blind  03:23
03. No Woman  03:51
04. You Sea  03:25
05. I Found You  04:51
06. Whatchado  04:35
07. Been Stuck Blues  01:53
08. Better Half  03:23
09. Needles in Hay  03:04
10. Sun & Rain  03:19

1. Age of Man
2. Age of Man
3. Age of Man

Arrowhead - Desert Cult Ritual (Classic Rock Aussie 2016)

Size: 108 MB
Bitrate: 256
Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
Artwork Included

Aussie trio Arrowhead have announced that their new album ‘Desert Cult Ritual’ is released worldwide on vinyl/digital on 21st October and on CD on 4th November via Ripple Music. Their new single of the same title has been unleashed in anticipation of the new album.

Rising from the underground of Sydney’s stoner rock scene, the brotherhood of Arrowhead fire an explosive, all killer/no filler triptych of volume, attitude and down-tuned grooves.

Having paid their dues as a band since late 2009, the iniquitously titled ‘Desert Cult Ritual’ is the latest addition to the power trio’s quiver and first for the Californian label Ripple Music, following the release of their self-titled EP in 2010 and ‘Atomsmasher’, their storming full-length debut from 2013.

Hitting you harder than a Frank Frazetta-airbrushed panel van travelling at 100mph, Arrowhead is very much a band defined by the riffs that raised them. Fronted by guitar player, vocalist and chief songwriter Brett Pearl – the son of a self-confessed “hippy-dippy mom” with a record collection to die for – Brett was brought up on a staple diet of classic rock with Hendrix, Zeppelin, Floyd and Sabbath rarely leaving the turntable. Joined by fellow purveyor of low-end grind in bass player/Viking Dave Lopez and steel backbone, Matt Cramp on drums, all three feed into the Arrowhead-approved vision of hard rock reverie via Hollywood monsters and science fiction cinema.

Rising to the cream of the crop of the Sydney stoner rock scene is Arrowhead. Arrowhead – the deadly triangular ammunition of the bow. Or in this case a triumvirate, a brotherhood, a heavy rawkin’ power trio. Whether on stage or recording, Arrowhead is equally explosive. Purveying a powerful blend of infectious riffs and raw, down-tuned grooves, Arrowhead has the proverbial proof in the pudding to soar to the top of the international influx of retro hard rock bands. Having paid their dues in the Sydney pubs, Arrowhead delivers the goods and is poised to garner global attention.

Birthed in 2009, Arrowhead has battered listeners with a self-titled EP and a full-length album, Atomsmasher. They have grasped the attention and positive reviews from sites such as Planet Fuzz and Hellride Music. On the live front, Arrowhead has shared the stage with Monster Magnet Earthless, Acid King, Unida, Atomic Bitchwax,Cough and Dave Tice’s Buffalo Revisited.

At the forefront of Arrowhead is guitarist/vocalist and main songwriter, Brett Pearl. The obligatory comparison of half Osbourne and half Iommi is there, but Arrowhead do far more than ape the founding fathers of heaviness. No frills, but plenty of thrills. That’s what you can expect from Brett’s 6-string slinging and solid singing. No gimmicks, no trends, just straight-up riffage and vocals that are sure to remind you of the aforementioned Ozzy. 

Brett is at home whether heaving heavy rhythms or wah-drenched leads. Brett was fortunate to have his mum’s record collection at his fingertips while growing up. Through his hippie-dippy mum, Brett was exposed to a staple diet of die-hard rockers such as Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and mainstays, Black Sabbath. In Brett’s formative playing years he also cut his teeth on more contemporary acts such as Soundgarden, Monster Magnet and Kyuss . Being a tattoo artist, Brett brings with him the experience to illustrate what Arrowhead is all about – visions of space suited chicks with pointy breast plates, Frankenstein monsters, time machines and other quirks of classic B or Z grade horror and science fiction film and literature.

Next in line is bassist Dave Lopez, a massive Viking of a muso. Smiling away as he lays down a fat slab of bass guitar. Dave’s low-end grind holds the fort together for Brett to unleash still more fuzzy flurries. Dave is the super glue bridging the gap between Brett’s guitar and Matt Cramp’s mauling and masterful drumming. Dave cites late Blue Cheer bassist Dickie Peterson as a personal fave.

The always energetic Matt Cramp is the backbone and arranger of Arrowhead, the man behind the drum skins. Matt’s cranking limbs do far more than just keep time. His furious hands and feet plough through rolls and fills effortlessly. Always returning to the backbeat of the song. Among Matt’s big influences are Thin Lizzy’s Brian Downey, Zeppelin’s John Bonham and Sabbath’s Bill Ward.

Brett Pearl – Guitar/Vocals
 Matt Cramp – Drums
 Dave Lopez – Bass

01. Desert Cult Ritual  05:22
02. Hell Fire  05:39
03. Hypnotiser  05:23
04. Bone Mountain  05:28
05. Maneater Blues  07:26
06. Weed Lord  07:12
07. Rogue Asteroid  03:31
08. Dragon Whips it's Tail  06:34

1. Arrowhead
2. Arrowhead
3. Arrowhead

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Kadavar - Abra Kadavar (Retro Hardrock, early 70's sound) Germany 2013

Size: 90.3
Bitrate: 256
Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
Artwork Included
Source: Japan 24-Bit Remaster

The world’s leading scientists recently declared in unison: time travel can no longer be considered fiction but reality! Neither did their certainty originate from hypothetical thought experiments, nor from years of testing in isolated laboratories. It was the record of a rock trio from Berlin, Germany, that had dropped into the professors’ laps out of the blue and led them to proclaim joyfully: “Warm, intense, authentic – doubtlessly a gift from bygone times!” 

It was already with 2012’s eponymous debut album that KADAVAR casted a spell on all fans of solid riff-driven yet doom-like 70’s hard rock à la BLACK SABBATH or PENTAGRAM. Marrying this with the spacy psychedelic approach of early HAWKWIND and mixing in a distinct own touch while preserving their icon’s warm vintage charm can doubtlessly be considered the trio’s key to success – astoundingly high vinyl sales and support shows for bands such as SLEEP, SAINT VITUS, PENTAGRAM and ELECTRIC WIZARD as well as stunning festival gigs at “Stoned From The Underground”, “Yellowstock” and “Fusion Festival”, among others, underline KADAVAR’s status as one of the scene’s most exciting acts. 

Carrying the experiences of dozens of played live shows as a source of inspiration inside them, KADAVAR entered the timeless space of their studio end of last year to procure supplies for their ever growing fan base that was starving for more – in the form of their second full-length album and debut on Nuclear Blast. “After last year’s final show had been played in mid-December, we started writing new songs”, drummer and studio owner Tiger recalls.

“We’ve already had a couple of finished tracks in May 2012, but those were eventually released on a split-LP with AQUA NEBULA OSCILLATOR in November 2012, which is why we started at square one again. As we knew that there was no procrastination and no going back for us, we sat down for two weeks straight to finish composing with total commitment. We’re perfectly happy with the outcome – I’d even say that “Abra Kadavar” comprises the best compositions we’ve created to date. The songs are more diversified, the ideas feel more spontaneous. Moreover, we’ve tried to capture much more of our live energy, which is why we’ve recorded almost everything all together in one room, with the amps turned up to the max – solely the vocals and a handful of guitar solos were added afterwards.”

There’s time until April 12, 2013 to grow a full beard, resole your platform shoes and iron your bell-bottoms. From then on, KADAVAR invite us to escape the 21st century’s soulless musical mishmash once again by entering the realms of “Abra Kadavar“ – down-to-earth handmade classic rock from a time when music still used to be true art!

01. Come Back Life  05:02
02. Doomsday Machine  04:47
03. Eye Of The Storm  06:04
04. Black Snake  04:24
05. Dust  04:12
06. Fire  05:18
07. Liquid Dream  04:12
08. Rhythm For Endless Minds  04:16
09. Abra Kadabra  03:02

10. The Man i Shot (Japan Only)  07:04

1. Abra Kadavar
2. Abra Kadavar
3. Abra Kadavar

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Jonathan Kelly - Selftitled (Folkrock UK 1970)

Size: 154MB
Bitrate: 256
Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
Artwork Included
Source: Japan 24-Bit Remaster

Jonathan Kelly will be familiar to some of you as the Irish folk singer who made waves in Britain in the first half of the 1970s, following an apprenticeship on the Dublin scene in the previous decade. His absence from the charts, and his disappearance after 1976, has hidden his story from the mainstream while at the same time fostered a cult following for the handful of albums he recorded. To call him a folk singer is to miss the broad progression of his style, from whimsical pop through lush folk and unexpectedly delving into funk rock late in his career. One characteristic of his song-writing, which remained remarkably consistent through all these changes, was his finely tuned social conscience. As frontman of The Boomerangs in 1966, at a time when his contemporaries were singing about lovely girls and hucklebucks, Jonathan’s first single, ‘Dream World’, instead looked at Cold War tensions and the hope that “east and west did reunite / and Mars did cease his endless flight.” Earnest without being pretentious, Jonathan’s lyrics became increasingly angry and political during the next decade before abruptly halting at the peak of his talents. There’s more to his story which can be found elsewhere, but this article will look at his still-relevant and still-stirring lyrics on war, religion and inequality.

Jonathan Kelly was really Jonathan Ledingham from Drogheda. Although he never addressed it directly during his recording career, it seems his experience as a Protestant growing up in a Catholic state left him somewhat alienated and perhaps gave him an outsider’s perspective. At the end of 2013 a new CD collected demo versions of unreleased songs recorded during his years in musical exile. One of these songs, ‘Eileen’, recounts the pressure of having to separate from an early sweetheart because of religion: “I was your secret boyfriend when you were just seventeen. / Eileen, my sister was right when she said we could never be, / I was all in orange and you were all in green” (incidentally, Jonathan’s manager informs me that he is still trying to track down the long-lost Eileen, who worked at a department store in Dublin). Another recent song, ‘I Wanted To Be’, states: “I lived in a land where I never belonged, / where I was mistreated and where I was wronged.” He added in a 2006 interview, “I just looked around the world as a young man, I saw all the institutions that I was told to revere, religious institutions and nationalist institutions, and I saw so much hypocrisy and so much self-pleasing and so much violence and hatred” and “I began to question the rather racist teachings that I received from older people in my growing and nurturing environment regarding people of other races who were meant to be inferior, that certain nations were better than others and that war is justified.” Finding an outlet in Rock & Roll, Jonathan played guitar or drums in several short-lived bands, including The Saracens and The Boomerangs. Already influenced by protest singers like Bob Dylan, Jon Ledingham embarked on a solo career with his 1967 single ‘Without An E’ (the odd title apparently refers to the lack of an E string on his guitar) and ‘Love Is A Toy’ in 1968, also writing songs for Johnny McEvoy, The Johnstons and The Greenbeats. The B-side of ‘Love Is A Toy’ was ‘Thank You Mrs. Gilbert’, a jaunty anti-war song worthy of Donovan, in which an army officer writes a letter to the mother of a new recruit: “He says that he is fighting for peace throughout the world. / It’s an interesting thought, though it’s really quite absurd. / He’ll soon find out the reason why we have so many wars. / Without them our economy would fall right through the floor.”

At this point Jonathan’s career entered another phase. Although popular in Dublin, where he often played in Liberty Hall, he decided like so many other Irish acts that there were limited opportunities in Ireland, and after a farewell concert in the Gresham Hotel in 1968 he moved to London, where he was playing in a hotel in 1969 when he was spotted by Colin Petersen, the soon-to-be-fired drummer of The Bee Gees. Colin offered to produce him, with his wife Joanne Petersen becoming Jonathan’s manager. He adopted the surname Kelly, perhaps (as with Eire Apparent) to use his Irishness as a selling point. A deal with Parlophone was quickly followed by the single ‘Denver’, with the B-side the heartbreaking ‘Son Jon’, in which worried parents reach out to their faraway son. Colin called in some of his industry contacts for the follow-up single ‘Make A Stranger Your Friend’, recorded in January 1970 by a chorus including Spike Milligan, Peter Sellers, Mick Taylor, Klaus Voorman, Madeline Bell, Carl Wayne and members of The Family Dogg. The well-intentioned song asked, “How can it matter what country I’m from? / What colour’s my skin? To what faith I belong? / If all the world were one nation, one people, one race, / there’d be no-one to say ‘man, you’re in the wrong place’”. Jonathan described it as “just about ending human conflicts and racism. Racism is the ugliest face of mankind that people express.” As part of the promotion, management asked Jonathan to write letters to Ian Paisley and Enoch Powell pleading for tolerance.

The next single in a busy 1970 was ‘Don’t You Believe It’, a song about the hypocrisy of parental morality which featured Eric Clapton. Tim Staffell attempted to recreate Clapton’s part for a live Top of the Pops appearance. Staffell had been bass player and singer with London band Smile but had since left and been replaced by Freddie Mercury as the group evolved into Queen. As none of these singles charted, Petersen’s next move was to form a trio of himself, Kelly and Staffell, named ‘Humpy Bong’ after an Australian school he attended with the Gibb brothers. The group recorded one single and another Top of the Pops appearance before fizzling out. 

Jonathan’s self-titled debut album featured many of the earlier single sides, including a new version of ‘Mrs. Gilbert’, and was a mixture of protest and pop. Among the new tracks was ‘That Grand Old Uniform Of Mine’, written from the viewpoint of a conscripted soldier: “If only everyone from home would write me everyday, / when I return I can kid myself I’ve never been away, / and that’s the day I’ll celebrate and watch the flames grow higher / from that damned old uniform of mine.”

The contract with Parlophone ended here and Jonathan spent 1971 gigging and writing before returning with the ‘Twice Around The Houses’ LP, released on RCA in 1972 (after a deal with Warner Brothers fell through). His writing had matured greatly in this short time and tracks like ‘Madeleine’, ‘Sligo Fair’ and the wonderful ‘Ballad Of Cursed Anna’ would prove to be some of his most popular and enduring songs. Elsewhere, ‘We Are The People’ contained his most directly political lyrics to date: “Do you hear the brass band playing? / Do you hear the tramp of feet? / Twenty thousand working men / are coming down the street. / Will you listen to what they’re saying? / Will you listen to their song? / One man may not be right / but can all of these be wrong?” It has been suggested that the lines “now I hear the prison walls / are growing without relief / for locking up people without a trial, / jailed for their beliefs” are in reference to internment in Northern Ireland at the time, although Kelly’s political standpoint was by now more concerned with radical socialism rather than nationalism or patriotism, which he equated with “bloodshed and violence”. In the frantic ‘The Train Song’ he seems to takes a subtle dig at religion with the line “I was friends with the vicar, his mother and son, / till one day I rolled up with a time machine gun / and blew them all back to around 20 BC / to show them the traitors that they’d turn out to be.”

1973’s ‘Wait Till They Change The Backdrop’ continued in the same style, blending ballads like ‘Down On Me’, the folk fairy-tale ‘Godas’, and more pointed material such as ‘Turn Your Eye On Me’, in which he characterises political leaders who, forty years later, are still sadly familiar: “Heard of a man, lost in his notions, / sent out his bombers far across the oceans / to kill and to maim his brothers and sisters. / What you doin’? What you doin’ to me, mister? // You make the poor on this world pay / for how you live and what you say. / Only time you make your move / is when your business friends approve.” ‘Turn Your Eye On Me’, ‘Down On Me’ and other tracks on this album notably featured Gary Moore on guitar. After this it was time for another change in direction. Quoted in ‘The Bee Gees: Tales Of The Brothers Gibb. (2009), Kelly recalls separating from his management: “Colin and Joanne were different to me; different, different, different! They loved the fame and glory and being in the midst of the pop industry. I hated the pop industry actually. I saw it as totally ruthless and callous.” He goes on to recount an incident where a restaurant owner was giving his partisan opinions on the Arab-Israeli conflict to Kelly and the Petersens: “they weren’t political at all, I don’t think they thought politically. I did! I couldn’t help it, and this guy was talking all this racism at my table… I said, ‘Can you please go away from this table’. I will not sit joined to somebody who is talking racial hatred… But I was awkward and a troublemaker and I understand from their point of view that was a real problem.”

To mark his new direction he formed the group ‘Jonathan Kelly’s Outside’, with Chas Jankel (later of Ian Dury & The Blockheads) on lead guitar, Trevor Williams on bass and Dave Sheen on drums. Perhaps surprisingly, it’s The Blockheads’ gritty British funk that bears the closest resemblance to the music of ‘Outside’ (although Jankel was replaced by Snowy White, later of Thin Lizzy and Pink Floyd, before their album was completed). In fact, Jonathan had been nurturing a love of funk music for some time and cites Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, Miles Davies, Curtis Mayfield, Sly & The Family Stone and Funkadelic as big influences on this period of his career. Released in early 1974, ‘…Waiting On You’ (a personal favourite) features an inner illustration by Tim Staffell and some wonderfully passionate funk rock on tracks like ‘Sensation Street’ as well as the plaintive, Van Morrison-esque, ‘Great Northern Railroad’. It also marked the high point of Jonathan’s social commentary. ‘Misery’ takes on workers’ rights and predicts revolution: “Working all our lives / getting coal dust in our eyes / spending all the days God gives us underground. / We can’t live on what you pay. / You make us strike so you can say / ‘They’re beggars trying to bring this nation down’.” ‘Tell Me People’, meanwhile, scornfully confronts a range of issues, from war (“The leaders watch you fight it out but their blood never spills. / Think of all the children, born of love, their hatred kills. / Tell me people, ‘specially brothers, what are you gonna do? / You gonna let those sons of darkness make a killer out of you?”), religion (“Tell me preacher, what is your plan? / Is it really for Jesus Christ that you stand? / You say that love is infinite and all souls are as one, / but then you preach division in the pulpit Sunday morn. / Remember when your leader kicked the short change across the floor? / Today the church is wealthy but the people still are poor.”) and poverty (“Someone tells you charity is better kept at home, / so you set up all your boundaries and you keep it for your own. / By day you serve the nation and you cause prosperity. / By night you sit at home and watch the famine on TV.”).

Despite the quality on offer, the album wasn’t a success, largely because his existing fan-base and the music press were expecting another folk album. By this time Jonathan had developed a drug habit that was taking a toll on his health, his judgement and his performances. Nevertheless, he seems to look back very fondly on the camaraderie of touring with a band and the excitement of playing music that people could dance to. On tour, ‘Outside’ comprised Kelly, Sheen, White, Tim Staffell on backing vocals and percussion, Kuma Harada on bass and Darryl Lee Que on congas. Kelly also became involved with Gerry Healy’s Workers Revolutionary Party, which at that point was actively recruiting high-profile converts such as actors Vanessa Redgrave, Corin Redgrave and Frances de la Tour. Today, he explains, “I saw the sad victims in the parts of the world not favoured by the current world-dominant economic system. Because they were outside the pale they were deprived or they weren’t meant to benefit from Earth’s resources as much as others were… I’m thinking, there’s a lot wrong here, and some people thought it was fine, that’s the way it is. I couldn’t deal with that, I couldn’t let myself off the hook so easy. I could see that the way that the economic system is structured is to favour those favoured by the economic system, so that was very self-serving, and I could see how much damage and carnage it produced as a result. I could only think that the only way that the world was going to be put to rights is if the power was wrested out of the hands of those who had shown such disregard for humanity and for the survival of the planet, and the ecology, and this whole beautiful planet. I thought that’s the only way, so I became a communist.” The breaking point for his involvement with the WRP was when he was told he should be prepared for armed revolution, something incompatible with his pacifist principles. Jonathan recorded one more solo LP, the rather subdued ‘Two Days In Winter’ in 1975, with some of his former bandmates and a cover design by Staffell. The fragile album reverted to gentler styles, including an unsubtle ode to ‘Mary Jane’.

At a low ebb personally and financially, and disillusioned with both politics and the music industry, Jonathan lost interest in performing in 1976 and took a job in a London record store, although his official website (which preserves a vast array of photos, clippings and flyers from his time in Drogheda and Dublin) notes that he played drums for the group ‘Instant Whip’ in the Phoenix Park around this time with Tim Booth, Ed Deane and Steve Bullock. Looking back on his time as a professional musician via the same website, Jonathan reflects, “I hated capitalism. How could an artist do his work for monetary reward? Art is unselfish and seeks no reward save the joy of creating works of art that are honest and innocent of greed and done only to add beauty and reason to our beautiful earthly home.” Jonathan recalls what happened next: “A man came to my door and said ‘I’m looking to talk with people who’d like to see a change in the world. What I mean is, an end to war and poverty and hunger. Do those things concern you?’ I said, ‘Come in.’” Despite his previous animosity – “I certainly didn’t think religion had any answer, in fact, like many people say today, I saw religious institutions of the world as being the most reprehensible element in the whole universe, for the hypocrisy of them.” – Jonathan became a Jehovah’s Witness and found some of the peace of mind he had been looking for. “You see, when you find the answer to all your questions, why go on searching anymore?” As Jonathan Ledingham, he started a family and a carpet cleaning business in rural England. He effectively vanished until tracked down by long-time fan Gerald Sables in 2002, who reconnected him with his die-hard fans and persuaded him to come out of retirement for a series of small solo acoustic shows between 2004 and 2008, following which he returned to his private life.

This renewed activity, and CD reissues of Kelly’s RCA albums, led to talk of a new Jonathan Kelly studio album, but as those plans seem to have been put on ice, the ‘Home Demos’ collection was released a few months ago with demos of the new songs recorded over recent years. On these, Jonathan’s youthful rage has largely given way to contemplation of life experiences. In ‘I’ve Been Down That Road You’re On’, he remembers, “So you join the revolution, you’re tired of sitting on the fence, / you never did like the bourgeoisie and all their fake pretence / so you join the cause for freedom and you start setting up some tents / and learning the philosophy and it all makes so much sense / till your friend comes ’round and says ‘here’s your guns and armaments’ / and you turn around to him and say I didn’t know there’d be violence.” Yet there remain flashes of his earlier moral outrage; in ‘No Words’ he describes seeing a man accused on TV of treachery to his country, and the ‘poisoned words’ used to condemn him: “I thought about that man, that revolutionary, / and his defiance in the face of a nations animosity, / and I thought of his accusers, seemed like church folk to me, / singing hymns and praying on bended knee, / and reading their bible and their liturgy, / but I don’t think they’ve learned a single thing, you see.” It seems that Jonathan’s current faith is based more on making a positive contribution to society through voluntary work than on joining the conformist establishment he had railed against in his youth; rather than doing a simple about-turn on religion he retains his deep ethical principles. Sables recounts that one of Jonathan’s oldest friends once remarked to him that “Jonathan was the most well balanced person I ever met….. he had a chip on both shoulders!” When asked if this was true, Jonathan replied, “Oh Yeah!…Still is!”

01. Denver
02. Son Jon
03. Tom Bodey
04. Sailor
05. Mrs. Gilbert
06. Don’t You Be Too Long
07. Don’t You Believe It
08. Julia
09. That Grand Old Uniform Of Mine
10. Another Man’s Wife
11. Daddy Don’t Take Me Down Fishing
12. Sunday Saddle

Jonathan Kelly - Twice Around The Houses (UK 1972) (@256)

01. Madeleine 
02. Silgo Fair 
03. Were All Right Till Then 
04. Ballad Of Cursed Anna 
05. Leave Them Go 
06. We Are The People 
07. Rainy Town 
08. The Train Song 
09. I Used To Know You 
10. Hyde Park Angels 
11. Rock You To Sleep

1. J. Kelly
2. J. Kelly
3. J. Kelly