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"Kontiki Suite proudly flies its Byrds banner via some obvious stylistic hat-tips to 1968’s "The Notorious Byrd Brothers". This time out, the band boasts a batch of impressive new Rickenbacker-based janglers (mainly from the pen of guitarist Ben Singh) and a tougher sound from the rest of the band (Jonny Singh, lap steel guitar; Marcus Dodds, guitar; Mario Renucci, bass; Chris Brown and Craig Bright on drums and percussion respectively). The result is a cohesive, 50-minute flight high above exquisitely atmospheric psych/country-rock/chamber pop soundscapes.
The opening moments of guitar/rim shots in the rousing, Golden Smog-like opener “Bring Our Empire Down” recall David Crosby’s serene “Dolphin’s Smile,” after which some Neil Young-like crunch is thrown in as the song gathers steam. “My Own Little World” features the kind of textured ‘n’ trippy triple-guitar interplay (including lap steel and 12-string Rickenbacker) that characterizes the overall tone of the album – tone that is often upended by deliciously abrupt shifts in tempo: the lads in Kontiki Suite are more than happy to jolt you out of the hypnotized state in which they deftly placed you. Occasional, judiciously chosen blasts of harmonica tug on the same heartstrings as in Big Star’s “Life is White.”
“Free From Sound” and “Here for You Now” are tremendous pop songs, the kind of tracks that, back in the day, would’ve jumped out of an AM radio and grabbed you by the throat. The former features a keening pedal steel hook that’s hell-bent on becoming your next earworm. The latter blends a “Ticket To Ride” beat with power-poppy rhythm reminiscent of Gene Clark’s evergreen “I’ll Feel A Whole Lot Better.” Remastered and re-cut for this new vinyl edition to offer an improved sound spectrum!
So if you dig extremely catchy pop-music with a fat, rockin' guitar sound, well executed vocal-lines, ridin'-on-the-waves drums and a crunchy punk feel to it, the music of the Yum Yums, Paul Collins Beat and the Kurt Baker Combo, this one's a true must have for you!! Only £17.99 including worldwide postage.
The music Trapped Afterland create is very hypnotic and rich and, while I just sort of look around when they have an abundance of lyrics such as: “I feel like a sketch... lalala... Without any shading”, the understated richness of the multitude of odd and compelling vocals and instruments makes it all work.
Don’t pass Trappist Afterland up if you truly want a heavy, melodic dose of authentic modern psychedelic music. While they advertise themselves as producers of spirit music for the dispossessed (Not exactly the target audience for great financial reward...), they have a marketable musical product here which is well worth listening to by any fan of late 60s pop music at its purest. " £21.99 including postage anywhere.
Here are some of the nice things people said about the first album:
Highlands-based combo The Carousels echo the likes of Teenage Fanclub or Whiteout with a dose of The Beatles' 'Please Please Me' thrown in for good measure on countrified rocker 'Call Along The Coast'.' Drowned In Sound
'The Carousels deliver an important reminder that it's quite possible to be psychedelic without overloading the eardrums, opting instead for a Byrds-flavoured twelve-string jangle.' Louder Than War
'Melodious and up-tempo, the Live Revolution rendition of The Carousels' Mayflower blows its studio recording out of the water. With vocals perfectly spun among sunshower guitars and heady percussion, intricacy is intensified in the live arena yet made to sound effortless.' Britpop News
'Moving more in to the more pop arena, the octahedron of sound is squared up with The Carousels, whose song craft is very reminiscent of the Liverpool band Shack in their pomp around the release of the HMS Fables album.' Qromag
The Carousels take influence from Gene Clark, The Byrds and Gram Parsons and have been compared to fellow Scots Teenage Fanclub, Whiteout and the Cosmic Rough Riders. They have received multiple plays and Song of The Day on KEXP Radio for Marianne and have received airplay by Steve Lamacq on BBC6 Music.
1. Josephine 2. Lord Speed My Hurricane 3. Silvio 4. Wishing Well 5. Lake Eloise 6. Little Darlin' Side B 1. By Your Side 2. New Morning 3. Here In Time 4. Like A Loaded Gun 5. Man Out Of Me
Gems abound, but my favorites are "See You In The Morning" which mixes the twelve string jangle of early Byrds with their more easy-going psychedelic country rock shamblings of the late sixties even better than the Byrds themselves managed and "Hollywood" which sounds like Candidate produced by Jonathan Wilson.
And where a lot of otherwise excellent albums tend to taper off at the end, Kontiki Suite have saved the best for last with "Music Man" a lush piece of canyon rock with subtle mellotron touches, and "Magic Carpet Ride" which is aptly named, feeling just like one with it's hypnotic psychedelic coda." (Review by Nathan Ford)
£19.99 (no extra postage charged)
A founder member of both The Soup Dragons and BMX Bandits, McCulloch also lent his sublime guitar skills to the ill-fated Superstar, fronted by his friend Joe McAlinden (ex-Groovy Little Numbers) and in recent years has played and toured with Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan as well as playing on and contributing songs to Campbell’s albums. McCulloch is also a current member of BMX Bandits and is the songwriting force behind folk-rock outfit Snowgoose, fronted by the exquisite vocals of Anna Sheard.
With liner notes by Pete Paphides, ‘Retrospectively Yours’ is a stunning overview of a bafflingly over-looked trio of albums. From the 60s folk-pop of ‘Angel Angel’ to the cinematic swoon of ‘Shabby Horses’, there is a depth and range to McCulloch’s deceptively subtle song-writing that reveals itself with repeated listening. The eleven selections here will steal into your heart and nestle in your soul; take the time to explore these songs and they will stay with you forever."
£19.99 (no extra postage)
LUNAR LAUGH - "MAMA'S BOY", another volume in our "special imports series" (IMP 035) buy it here on vinyl
£19.99 (no extra postage!)