Some Japanese rock goodness for you here, something I’m not convinced I do too often.
I didn’t intend to leave it this long between posts, but time do get away, do it not? So, though they may be short of words, I am now about to post a bunch of stuff I’ve discovered lately that I think is really good.
In a completely unrelated note, my 12 year old daughter has just asked me whether or not I regularly question the nature of my existence, and upon receiving an affirmative answer, suggested that she wants to form an existential dread club. Shome mishtake, shurely? I’m sure we were late teens when we all hit that phase. They grow up so quickly these days…
I don’t even know what stoner rock is these days. I mean, it’s a long time since I was a stoner now, so I’m not the right person to ask anyway, but when I was it tended to be more brooding stuff like Electric Moon. Or maybe that was just my own preference. The only thing that opinions prove is the limitations of the beholder.
For what it’s worth, and in my opinion, this isn’t really stoner rock, it’s just really good rock music from Argentina. It’s quite frenetic most of the way through, a bit like, say, Nudity, but in Spanish, and then for the final track they start it off all bang-bang like, like they’re going to go out in a blaze of sonic ferocity and then about two thirds of the way through, it mellows and finishes acoustically. Works really well. I think they had a bit of an angle, these boys.
I think I rarely post frenetic rock music these days. I think it’s quite fitting that I start 2023 off this way, especially after the shit-show that was 2022. Here’s to a much better year for us all.
The early part of the 90s, also known as my early 20s, saw me going through what a later, more judgemental me labelled as a middle of the road phase of musical taste, although it wasn’t that MOR. I mean, it wasn’t Chicago. The dominant heavy rock thing was grunge and I liked it, but not full time. And I didn’t really have that many routes into the underground then, though I did find a few under the radar beauties (Mary My Hope were everything the Smashing Pumpkins wished they were and never got anywhere near). It was whilst I still thought electronic music was Not Very Good, so nice, jangly, adult orientated rock like Chagall Guevara, That Petrol Emotion, del Amitri, del Fuegos, River City People, Steve Earle, All About Eve and probably much else in this vein was my taste. The reason I’ve pulled those particular artists out is because they’re the ones that crossed my mind when listening to this.
The reason I bring this up isn’t to throw shade on this album I bring your way. I happen to really like this album I bring your way. The reason I bring it up is because the sound and vibe of this album puts me in mind very much of the music I was listening to in that era, particularly the way the guitars keep doing little interesting figures during vocal phases. This period was actually quite the influence on my own approach to writing and arrangement, and this album has basically reminded me of that, and told me to stop being so judgmental of younger me. Maybe he was an idiot, but what gives me the idea that I’m so amazing, baby?
So the Third Sound seem to be the main project of someone who was in Brian Jonestown Massacre, a group I never dug that deeply, if I’m honest. This is a live album containing tunes from 4 of their albums, and this is the first I’ve ever heard of them. Have I ever mentioned how on the pulse my finger is? But there are some crackers, and the overall vibe is, as I mentioned, rather wonderful.
and then, upon the album finishing, I went over and turned on the radio to what turned out to be a bangin techno set and you know what? The transition worked perfectly. It’s fair to say, my taste has evolved since then but I obviously actually still do like this approach to rock music with a slightly psychedelic tinge.
Whenever I really like a band, I start to feel a bit self-conscious always posting their new releases, like some kind of fan-boy. Having said that, I do still do it when a) I remember, and b) said release is up to the standard I expect of any Soundbergs resident.
So, The Oscillation is one of those artists. Hang on, says the odd reader who has more brain cells than me (which is to say, all of you): why ain’t you got one of dem hyper-links in the band name at the beginning of the sentence? Why does my memory not contain a record of a post about these around ‘ere?
Because I never got round to posting anything about them before, and for that I am a fule, a fulish fule.
I would say you all know who The Oscillation are, and you don’t really need me to tell you why this is good, though I should not assume anything. But, you all know… etc. They’re very good. And, because I haven’t got a whole history of Oscillation posts where I really should have, can I at least point you to the live album here? It was this that sold them to me in the first place. Brilliant collection of tunes.
As Demian has been playing with distinctly non-standard frequencies on some of his releases, I would be intrigued to know if he does that on the band-like releases. I’m curious as a fellow frequency-deviant, who does stray from the norm on all official recordings now.
Because literally everything is merely coincidence and chance, it logically follows that there is no such thing as causality.
I first discovered Dragontears back in 2010. I’d just had my then current PC for recording music die on me, and had a 9 month period without any means of recording music as the PC that was available laboured mightily with just the merest of tasks, and it was often all I could do to persuade it to let me at least surf the net a bit whilst I listened to music.
Just for the record, the album I’d just finished was Luna Takes Asylum.
During the last few weeks I’ve found myself listening to Dragontears’ three albums again, and remarking on just how bloody wonderful they are. I even found myself wondering what made me forget these albums even existed; it must be a good 6 or 7 years since I’ve listened to them. I realise that this sort of thing happens, I mean, how can it not when you have a sizeable collection of music and yet you still go looking for more? But still, this re-visit has this music really resonating with me this time, probably more so than when I first discovered them.
Imagine a jigsaw, a round, huge, perhaps even infinite, where all the pieces are unique, and make for a beautiful whole when observed from without, as is quite possible for anyone with the requisite spiritual training. So, then, let us immediately zoom in on a small piece roughly to the left of the hypothetical centre, a bit above and less to the top, capable of movement. It’s sad. It saw something about one of the other pieces over on the right, and it wants to be like the piece on the right, but the piece on the right is different, different shape for a start. So our piece, with a tremendous effort of will, gradually alters his shape, trying to be the same shape as his idol. Unfortunately, he can’t quite get to the right shape, though he keeps trying, because he thinks he just needs to persevere because some idiot wrote that if you persevere, you will get everything you want. The problem was, the effort at remaining in the wrong shape, and the continuous striving to perfect this other shape was an enormous strain, emotionally, and eventually, physically, which took its toll not just on our little piece, but on those around it too, and eventually, on the whole picture. Because those around it suddenly found that they weren’t fitting as comfortably as before, and so they thought there was something missing in what they had begun to think of as themselves. This led to a growing communal sense of dissatisfaction, the solutions to which seemed to be in following the first of the shapeshifters, who, due to a bizarre irony, was now seen as something of a pioneer and so they started trying to imitate him, and then others came up with what seemed like an original take, but was in fact their limitations making it impossible to become an exact copy, so they therefore seemed original enough for others to try and copy, all failing, of course. So the continuing result is a jigsaw of pieces where very few fit – those who have kept their original shape are now regarded as psychologically deficient in some way.
Tomorrow has broken down. Please wait with today until tomorrow can be repaired. Yesterday is currently closed for refurbishment, and cannot be opened at present. Please remain with today until tomorrow is open.
Where is my universe? I asked. Exactly where you left it, came the reply. Only it’s not there, that’s a different universe entirely, said I. Are you sure? I was asked. But it looks the same, was insisted. Oh, it’s not, quoth I, I know my universe when I see it. But what’s the difference? Oh, no difference. It’s just not the same universe. It might look the same, it might have the same constituent parts…
…but try getting in it.