Archive for the ‘Mogwai’ Category

Chris Pearson’s Top 10 Albums of 2015

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015

The host of PBS 106.7FM’s Po-Jama People shares his top picks from 2015.

Here are 10 nuggets from a year that brought shite loads of great music from home and overseas. Five Australian albums to start:

Tangled Thoughts of Leaving — Yield to Despair
A band that can only just squeeze five tracks onto a double LP is OK in my book. Tangled Thoughts play some of the most interesting proggie art-rock around. Check out ‘Albanian Sleepover’ parts 1&2

Fourteen Nights at Sea — Minor Light
Following on from their excellent Great North, released last year, Fourteen Nights at Sea carry the bleak and moving nature of their post-rock to infinity and beyond. I look forward to seeing how their sound evolves with a new band member.
Check out ‘Chiltern Justice’.

We Lost the Sea — Departure Songs
Since the death of We Lost the Sea’s vocalist Chris Torpy in 2013, the band’s reinvention as an instrumental behemoth has been achieved with great aplomb. This album as a tribute to Chris, intended or otherwise, has a darkness and a sorrow with a little glimmer of light.
Check out ‘A Galant Gentleman’.

Seedy Jeezus — Seedy Jeezus
Seven tracks of the best 70s-inspired psychedelic rock around with a big twist of stoner. Recorded live at the iconic Tote Hotel. Great songs, huge riffs and more hair than anything this side of ZZ Top.
Check out ‘How Ya Doin’.

My Disco — Severe
Five years since their last album, this latest offering has elements of post-rock and noise, with a little post-punk sprinkled in for good measure. Well and truly worth the wait, in my opinion.
Check out the track ‘Our Decade’.

And five international albums…

Elder — Lore
Their latest album Lore added a big block of prog to the already brimming bowl of psychedelic-stoner-doom-metal. Much cleaner sounding than the epic Dead Roots Stirring, this is an album recorded by a band wise beyond its years.
Check out the title track.

Mogwai — Central Belters
The Glasgow five-piece need no introduction. A band that can do no wrong (in this Scotsman’s eyes). I am usually doubtful about compilation albums entering the arena just before Christmas, but this is an exception to that rule. Central Belters is a three CD (or six LP) monster. It’s a 20-year retrospective, above and beyond the call, 2 CDs of album tracks and one of b-sides and rarities.
Check out the 20-minute long closer ‘My Father My King’ (recorded by Steve Albini).

Papir meets Electric Moon — Papermoon Sessions, Live at Roadburn 2014
Danish trio Papir are joined here by Sula and Lulu from Electric Moon and Mogens from Oresund Space Collective. Three of the best heavy psych jam bands rolled into one, recorded two massive slabs of the best improvised space-rock this side of Uranus.
Check out the track ‘Powdered Stars’.

Sunn O))) — Kannon
A late addition on many of this year’s best of lists I am sure. An album in three tracks, clocking in at just over half an hour. It may be short on time but lacks for nothing else. This trio of tracks manages to be subtly uplifting while conjuring the soundtrack to your worst nightmare. Do not listen to Kannon after midnight.
Check out the middle track ‘Kannon 2’.

Various Artrists — Electric Ladyland (Redux)
The classic Jimi Hendrix double album is reimagined by All Them Witches, Earthless, Wo Fat, Mos Generator, Gozu, Mothership, Elder and many more. This could be the best tribute album ever.
Check out all 15 minutes of All Them Witches’ version of ’Voodoo Chile’.

Chris Pearson presents Po-Jama People on Melbourne’s PBS 106.7FM.
All the psychedelic-stoner-post-space-doom-rock that can be squeezed into the last two hours of Wednesday night.

Noiseweek: Black Sabbath, Mogwai, Lanark, Spirit Level

Sunday, June 21st, 2015

The sights, sounds and words of the week in noise.


At Breaking Point: Black Sabbath’s Sabotage Revisited | The Quietus

“It was also almost inevitable that at some point the band would reach a creative crossroads. Iommi wanted to keep experimenting in the studio and investigate new directions, while Ozzy hankered after the early years of knocking it out in a few days and then hitting the road. The spectre of the emerging American FM radio sound also looms over Sabotage as the band’s popularity in the US continued to mushroom (my favourite example of the apparent disconnect between Sabbath’s proto-doom metal and the stadium rock culture they were increasingly living inside is their performance at the California Jam show in 1974 – Ozzy implores the audience, “C’mon, let’s have a party!!” while Iommi stands in front of a giant rainbow grinding out the opening chords to ‘Children of the Grave’). All of which makes for an album that’s reaching out to more mainstream rock tastes (without fatally over-balancing yet) while also trying to pull new rabbits out of the hat – the fact that it’s as enjoyable, and at times genre-defining, as it is shows how imaginative and resilient Sabbath were even under considerable duress.”

Eric Avery Talks Selling Out | The Talkhouse

“In spite of being raised in a household financed by a struggling actor, I didn’t learn anything useful in my young life about the challenges of living on an artist’s unreliable income. In my adolescence, punk rock taught me that you never sell out. Ever. Of course, things like selling out were entirely theoretical at that point. No one was trying to pay me a salary to make music — I couldn’t even yet imagine it. Just a few years later, though, I was able to leave my last day job selling Dr. Martens boots at a small store called NaNa’s. The surprising popularity of my band, Jane’s Addiction, and the money we made in spite of the fuck-all attitude of our decision-making, enabled my youthful, uncompromising artistic worldview to extend far beyond my adolescence. I hadn’t yet found a replacement that incorporated both the creative life and its newly acquired dimension of regular employment. Artist, not yet artisan.”

Looking at 20 Years of Mogwai | Pitchfork

“We tend to believe that art is—or at least should be—an all-encompassing thing: If you’re doing it right, you aren’t doing anything else, and your identity can’t help but be consumed in the process. But Mogwai’s longevity suggests that good art isn’t synonymous with self-destruction or self-delusion; nor is it endangered by normalcy or decency—in fact, it can be built on those things.”


Spirit Level — Wanderer

There’s an intoxicating quality to Spirit Level’s simple repetition. The jangly acoustics almost recall the tinny treble of old video game soundtracks, and I can’t tell if the images of landscapes conjured on my head are of real meadows or waves of pixel green. In any case, this latest taste from Lyndon Blue and Rupert Thomas is perfect zone-out music for lazy Sunday afternoons.

Facemeat — Compliments To Your Band

Like some kind of Mr. Bungle-soundtracked Lynchian nightmare, the first track on Questions for Men induces furrowed brows, indigestion and inexplicable feelings of arousal. Facemeat are the antidote to easy listening. Questions for Men is out August 25 through Art as Catharsis.


Lanark — Mojave (Live at Foxhole Studios)

Judging by their recent live shows, Lanark’s new material has taken a sinister shift, forgoing Damian Diggs’ celestial vocal melodies for an alternating synth/guitar assault that moves from comfortably sublime to nervous and unsettling several times a song. Last month, the quintet debuted another new cut at the recently-opened Foxhole Studios, forwhich the pro-shot video has just emerged. There’s a welcome heaviness to the track, and though it’s likely a good half-year before anything’s put to wax, exciting things are ahead for one of Perth’s best-kept secrets.