Jocelyn Packard – Jocelyn Packard

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[ Self-released, 2017 ]

I’ve been in luck when it comes to jammy, instrumental Polish bands. After Królestwo and Produkty Rolne comes time for a band named Jocelyn Packard. Little is known about them, apart form the fact they named themselves after an influential Twin Peaks character and they play the kind of neurotic, angry post-rock that was big before it went all GY!BE-like and lost most of its balls. However, this self titled debut album doesn’t give a fuck about being sentimental and goes instead for being angry, alienated, even tortured at times, when taking a sludgy, doomy turn. The slightly lo-fi production only enhances the smoggy mood. Recommended debut!


Artykuły Rolne – Dobrze to już było

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[ Self-released, 2016 ]

Last year’s album by the Polish noise rock unit Artykuły Rolne (which could be translated as “Agricultural Commodities”) is a shackled beast, which is struggling to free itself and sometimes spews scorching fire. The amount of energy and layers contained on this LP could be given to a few albums by a few bands, and the sheer, cosmic lysergic energy is conjured by heavily effect-laden walls of guitar noise and heavy, doomy drumming. When you name one of your tracks “Kosmos”, you gotta go huge. And goddamn, they do. This amount of heady, wide-eyed psychedelia is rarely to be seen. It’s almost like an anomaly. There should be more anomalies like this. Highly fucking recommended.


Gnod – Just Say No to the Psycho Right-Wing Capitalist Fascist Industrial Death Machine

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[ Rocket Recordings, 2017 ]

When it comes to clearly state your views, few (or even no) artists this year might come close to the UK psychonauts Gnod. It looks like the tumultous events of 2016 and early 2017 shook the members to their foundations, causing them to get radical and political. Just Say No is a rebellious album, eschewing their open-form drone-psych improvisations for a more coherent effort, fusing fuzzy noise rock with protest lyrics, which sometimes makes Gnod sound like Skullflower covering XTC (at least when the vocals aren’t extremely distorted). The dirty riffs fly like the riot police bullets while the heavy, pummeling drums set the rhythm for one last death march. Resistance music for the interesting times. Recommended!

 


Matta Gawa – Tambora

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[ New Atlantis Records, 2011 ]

The free rock tradition is being kept alive and well with the Washington, DC based duo Matta Gawa consisting of the six string demon Ed Ricart and the drum demon Sam Lohman who manage to create dynamic, explosive composition with the use of just these two instruments. Tambora has a much cleaner production than Ba, which allows the duo to fully show their relentless action when it comes to their free flowing tracks which masterfully shift from the moments of silence to the fully articulated blasts of anger. Imagine psych rock, but much more basic and with less stylistic boundaries and less effects and you get Matta Gawa. Recommended!


Oneida & Rhys Chatham – What’s Your Sign?

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[ Northern Spy, 2016 ]

The spirit of no wave is very well alive on this collaborative LP by one of the no wave era’s legendary guitarists Rhys Chatham and one of the most important developments in the NYC experimental rock scene, Oneida. Their collaboration was pretty much bound to go for the weirder, more distorted and atmospheric corners of the rock genre – and boy, it did. Nervous, chopped-up improvisations  collide with freewheeling psychedelic jams involving strange tunings and avant-garde compositional techniques, all to create a way of bridging the past and the future. Definitely an album to give you your fix of the forward-thinking guitar weirdness and to make you shut up about trippy guitar work for a while. At least while you’re working this one out. Recommended!


Sierść – It’s Easy

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[ Self-released, 2016 ]

Another release from Warsaw based blackened noise metal unit Sierść and another mysterious kneeling woman on the cover. While the general sound of the album is shaped by the grim and frostbitten atmosphere of black metal, this time the band’s meanderings are more wide than ever, spanning genres such as hardcore, psychedelic rock, even evil krautrock at times. This is one malicious record: a distorted, lo-fi sounds makes perfect background for delirious, demonic guitar and frantic drumming, that manages to changes styles quite often. Add the vocalist that kinda sounds like something straight outta Operation Wandering Soul and you have a perfect mid-apocalyptic release. Recommended!


Narcosatánicos – Body Cults

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[ Bad Afro Records, 2016 ]

The Danish band Narcosatánicos make doomy, sludgy noise rock with some wonderful free jazz saxophone overtones and on the newest album they appear to create a perfect noise-jazz fusion. The album seems to switch between the more melodic moments, when the smooth sax lines up perfectly with the heavy guitar riffs and the crazy zones of narcotic and sexual abandon, where the abstract guitar work fuses with weird sax structures. Fusing the wild rock nature with equally energy-loaded saxophone resulted in the explosion of restrained energy, and Body Cults sounds like a soundtrack to a bunch of suit-wearing criminals robbing a bank with zero civilian casualties but causing hell on earth once the police arrive. Just like in HeatRecommended!