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Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Ape Machine - Darker Seas (Heavyrock US 2018)


Size: 106 MB
Bitrate: 320
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Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
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Portland stoner rockers Ape Machine throw a bunch of heavy rock and stoner influences in a blender on Darker Seas, and the end result is a catchy collection of heavy rock tunes that has something for just about everybody. From the shimmering, acoustic picking and soft vocals of “Nocturne in D Flat” to the bluesy, almost doomy, heaviness of “All Hands To The Mast, We’re Going Down” to the emotive soloiong throughout Darker Seas, Ape Machine are comfortable darting around the spectrum without forcing it.


“Darker Seas is a culmination of life events and different musical influences all fused into love and rage,” guitarist Ian Watts muses. “I think all of us would be in dark places, if it weren’t for the music we make. So this album, for us, was born more of necessity than sport. Musically, it’s the ApeMachine blend of heavy, progressive, soulful and melodic music with the addition of new twists that we’ve learned along the paths of our journey.”


Portland, OR power rock band, Ape Machine, will release its new LP, Darker Seas, on September 7 via Ripple Music. The group’s fifth and latest album was recorded with punk legend Steve Hanford, producer and former Poison Idea drummer, who has since joined Ape Machine on drums. Darker Seas is described by the band as “heavier and more progressive than previous records but also more structured and cinematic.”

Along with fellow Portland, OR-based heavyweights Red Fang and Danava, the high-powered quartet Ape Machine has been making its modern take on vintage hard rock for the better part of the past decade. Formed by singer Caleb Heinze and guitarist Ian Watts, the group self-released their first album, entitled This House Has Been Condemned, in 2010. The name APE MACHINE is a nod to the days of reel-to-reel magnetic tape audio recording; a fitting moniker as the band plays through vintage tube amplifiers and lays down its songs using exclusively throwback quality studio equipment.

The making of the new album, Darker Seas, saw the band experience death and rebirth in more ways than one. During the making of the record, Caleb and Ian lost a mother and father respectively, and Brian experienced the birth of his first child, a son. The band went nearly bankrupt from relentless touring and untimely vehicle failures, but ultimately developed an unshakable determination and resolve to deliver the message of the music. Musically, Darker Seas reflects the personal struggles of the band and its members but also the patience developed by living through it all.

“Sonically, ‘Darker Seas’ takes on new territory for the band with use of vocal harmonies, melodic guitar harmonies and even some Cello on “Nocturne in D Flat (The Jester),” says Watts. “The songs paint a picture of trial, hardship, pain and optimism all at the same time.”

01. Damned, Their Bones 
02. Into The Shredder 
03. Piper’s Rats 
04. Watch What You Say 
05. The Fall 
06. Nocturne in D Flat (The Jester) 
07. The Contract 
08. All Hands Gathered To The Mast, We’re Going Down 
09. Bend Your Knee 
10. Push It Away 
11. A Many Things

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Heat - Old Sparky (German Retro Hardock 2012)


Size: 107 MB
Bitrate: 320
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Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
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I struggled a long time about what to say for this album. I listened to it over and over and I knew I loved it and wanted to do a write up, but what the hell would I say?  This isn't the kind of album that inspires me to think, it's the kind of album that inspires me to stomp around the house like a 30 year old idiot and Rawk Out.


"Daymare" is a sprawling opener that sets things off on the right track, good riff, solid playing, competent singing, all the ingredients are there for a straight-forward hard rock ass-whooper of an album.  The song gets dark and quiet in the middle, and by the time the accents fall back into place and the riff comes storming back in your face, you will swear this is an unreleased classic from the 70s.  Zeppelin writing tunes for AC/DC or something.


"Warhead" is like a rock cliche and I mean that in the best possible way.  It's a blistering track that takes the best moments of Ted Nugent, AC/DC, Kiss, Led Zeppelin, Thin Lizzy, Leaf Hound, Black Sabbath, The Stooges, Judas Priest, etc. and boils them down into five minutes of fury.  It's a strong contender for song of the year.


Truth be told, those hard rock comparisons apply to the rest of this disc as well.  "Hamelin" gives me more of the 'Priest / 'Maiden feel and just crushes from start to finish flowing fluidly from great riff to great riff.  "Illusion" is another great stomper the riff chunks and descends, then veers off into a great Sabbath inspired jam out.  


"Old Sparky" is like what if "Stranglehold" was written and performed by Witchfinder General.  "Ending Aging" starts as an end of the night, sweat pouring down slow blues and builds into a real barnburner.

With the amount of great hard rockin' stoner doom that floods the internet week in week out it's nearly impossible to keep up, but the effort to do so is rewarding.  I put buying this one off for the longest time, but now the thought of not hearing this album keeps me up at night.  

I know there's a strong sentimental contingent out there who feel as though the 70s were the best era for music but the 70s revival bands take the best elements and strip away the crap and we listeners don't have to live in fear that our favorite bands will try to score a disco crossover hit or awkwardly throw some unwieldy and unnecessary moog synth into the mix just to stay 'relevant'.  So you tell me what's the best era for rock.

I don't know what they're putting in the fluoride over in Deutschland these days but 'Old Sparky' makes it three absolute masterpieces from three German bands in a span of less than three months (the other two being the self-titled debuts from Kadavar and Mount Fuji).  And that's just the stuff I've heard.

'Old Sparky' exemplifies the genre of hard rock and is as good an example of what's right with certain circles of music these days.  This is one of the best straight-up 70s inspired hard rock albums of the year, every moment is a highlight.

Highlights include: "Warhead" and "Illusion"

01. Daymare  08:11
02. Warhead 05:00
03. Hamelin  05:13
04. Illusion  05:34
05. Old Sparky  05:43
06. Ending Aging  15:42

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Grass - Get in The Van (Heavy Psych-Fuzz US 2018)


Size: 97.7 MB
Bitrate: 320
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Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
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Pennsylvania's heavy jammers, Grass, retreated to the Pocono Mountains after playing nonstop shows for 3 years to record their debut album, "Get In The Van” and its finally here! 


The power trio features fuzzy riffs and grooves bringing back the days of acid rock with Andy rippin' leads and singin' the blues, Salty layin' down spaced-out, fuzzedelic basslines, and drummer, Chet, whose musical skill has been making the band tighter than ever; taking them to new heights and soaring jams since joining over a year ago. 


Along the way, their long lost saxman, Sam, returned and is featured on half the album making the band a bluesy, funky, psychedelic quartet. Recorded almost 100% live at Pandaman Studios, "Get In The Van" shows Grass as close as you can get to hearing them in their natural element of playing live without actually being there in person. So sit back, relax, and take a little trip with Grass on “Get In The Van.” 


Get In The Van is an album released on August 21, by American psychedelic/ acid rock band Grass. Forty minutes and fifteen seconds long, the record has ten tracks: Lay It On Me Brotha', Shaggy Dog, Get In The Van, Right On, Leadfoot, Where Are You Sam?, Day To Day, Grasstronaut, Big Bad Sam and Back From Space. With cool, fast and direct acid rock harmonies, and somewhat diligent, very elegant grooves, Get In The Van is an unmistakably sensitive and clean record, despite its straightforward simplicity, which comes in all honesty as part of its charm. 


With eloquent, laudatory, crispy and colorful guitar lines, framed by surreptitiously vivacious melodies, the vocals – that most of the time resembles more of a spoken word work than actually singing – are clean and sober, despite being sporadic, and definitely appear to be gracefully engraved by a sensational conjuncture of qualities, that has on its extraordinary psychedelic appeal a coherent set of merits, upon which a delusional level of originality certainly emerges as the first. 


To a certain degree, you definitely feel yourself to be in a sixties acid party. The general layout of the harmonies is simple, but whimsically delineated, and the creative mordacity of the music is a very torrential aspect of the work. The melodies do change constantly, but the group maintains a solid and cohesive style, that definitely highlight them as an exponentially genuine and groundbreaking exemplar of the genre. 

Although they can be described as a very simplistic band – at least, in technical measurements –, Grass compensates their lack of structural virtuosity with a voracious, audacious, humorous, amazingly fun and superbly authentic level of creativity, that knows no boundaries, which is definitely a more relevant element. 


A little reminiscent of Dead Kennedys – not so much on the musical layer, but in the anatomy of its intrinsic artistic attitude – Grass certainly is a modern exemplar of a long lost line of bands, whose irreverent and sardonic levels of gracious exhilaration leaves them at the gates of an inherited youth insurrection movement, that captures their soul with a notorious flavor of The Stooges and The Strokes, which is also preeminent in the group. Definitely, they can’t deny their musical origins, although I must emphasize the fact that they present an abundant degree of originality on this work, that captivates the audience with their signature qualities amazingly highlighting them as a pretty charming, vibrant, irreplaceable and unique band. 

Even if you are not a big fan of acid rock, you will definitely love Get In The Van. This album is thoroughly captivating, from the beginning until the very end. The group has a consistent and solid musicality, that embraces not only the true spirit of the genre, but vehemently justifies the quintessential verve of its very existence. Undoubtedly, this is a fundamental record, that amplifies on the axis of its greatly monumental possibilities the true potential for the development of the genre, in the future. 

01. Lay It On Me Brotha' 04:10
02. Shaggy Dog 05:28
03. Get In The Van 03:33
04. Right On 02:54
05. Leadfoot 02:54
06. Where Are You Sam? 05:47
07. Day To Day 01:43
08. Grasstronaut 02:50
09. Big Bad Sam 06:00
10. Back From Space 04:51

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Children Of The Mushroom - Selftitled (Psychedelic Rock US 1968)


Size: 122 MB
Bitrate: 320
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Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
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Back in the mid '60s there were lots of garage/psychedelic bands, that only released one or two singles and among them there were kids that apparently found out about psilocybin very soon. Children Of The Mushroom formed in Thousand Oaks, California, which is a small town near Los Angeles. First they were called The Captives and around the summer of love they became Children Of The Mushroom. 


The band consisted of Jerry McMillen (guitar, vocals, flute), Bob Holland (organ), Al Pisciotta (bass), Dennis Christensen (drums) and Paul Gabrinetti (guitar, vocals). The band was inspired by The Doors, Iron Butterfly and similar groups, which appeared around the L.A area. In 1968 the Soho label out of Hollywood released their incredible single. 


The A-side, 'August Mademoiselle', was written by Holland while the B-side, 'You Can't Erase A Mirror', was written by McMillen and Holland. 'August Mademoiselle' is one of the best garage/psych singles of all time in our opinion and consists of wicked Vox organ playing, huge amount of fuzz and the haunting atmosphere with crazy fast tempo that really blows your brains out. 

'You Can't Erase A Mirror' is just the opposite; slow but again a very haunting number from the band. It's easy to say that the band represents the true garage spirit of the late '60s when there were tons of bands with one or two singles out. Some of them were good, some of them just OK, but the Mushroom people released one the most celebrated ones, which is a must to any psych/garage collector.
by Klemen Brezinkar

Jerry McMillen - Lead Guitar, Vocals
 Dennis Christensen Swanson - Ludwig Drums
 Al Pisciotta - Fender Bass
 Paul Gabrinetti - Fender Guitar, Vocals
 Bob Holland - Vox Organ, Vocals

01. August Mademoiselle (Bob Holland) - 2:27
02. You Can't Erase Α Mirror (Bob Holland, Jerry McMillen) - 3:02
03. Blade - 6:11
04. It Won't Be Enough - 4:08
05. Vortex - 5:05
06. Care for Me - 4:09
07. Exordium (The Mushroom Theme) (Bob Holland, Jerry McMillen) - 7:17

Music by Children Of The Mushroom, Lyrics by Jerry McMillen except where stated

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