The Upland Band “Living In Paradise”

Artist: The Upland Band
Title: Living In Paradise
Format: LP, CD, Digital
Label: Kapitän Platte
Distribution: D/AT: Cargo Records, Benelux: Sonic Rendezvous FR: Differ-Ant, CH: Irascible, IT: Goodfellas 
Genre: Psychedelic Guitar Pop

Release Date: 12/05/2023

The Upland Band is the one man band of Michael Beckett (aka kptmichiganSuper Reverb and ex- Tuesday Weld) who also produced, recorded and mixed the album, aided considerably by Dirk Kretz (Old Men Group, ex-Tuesday Weld) and Christian Obermaier (Eagle Boston, ex-The Innits). 

A small village, somewhere in the soft hills of Germany`s East-Westphalia, is where the stories from Living In Paradise take place, with the lyrics being informed by historical facts, objective observations and good old down and dirty village gossip. A concept album so to speak. 

The cast of characters ranges from a poorer than poor ragpicker, to a retired cop, nazi neighbours and the ghost of an unknown, downed Canadian bomber pilot to name just a few. The stories told involve, among others, a historical paper mill which was used for Methamphetamine massproduction, the hardships of life in the 17th century, a steam powered train on which you can eat Kale and sausages and get wasted to pleas for the villagers to try just a little harder. 

Howlin’ Sun “Maxime”

Artist: Howlin’ Sun
Title: Maxime
Format: LP, CD, Digital
Label: Apollon Records 
Distribution: Plastic Head Distribution
Genre: Southern/ Blues Rock
Release Date: 05/05/2023

Howlin’ Sun is finally back with their highly anticipated 2nd album. The sound is familiar for fans of the first album, but this time it is crisper, darker and bigger. The dark and heavy title track Maxime – a homage to a legendary former venue in Bergen, sets the stage for the album.

Maxime is a broad exploration of the rock genre going from southern country rock to gritty garage, complimented by the indie intermission Jayne and the americana album closer Bittersweet Morning Sun.

Dez Dare “Critical Mind Dump EP”

Artist: Dez Dare
Title: Critical Mind Dump EP
Format: 7″, Digital 
Label: Six Tonnes De Chair (under exclusive licence from CH!MP)
Genre: Garage Punk 
Release Date: 05/05/2023

A fuzz beast clawing out of a pit of noise, riffs and existential joy.

Critical Mind Dump EP is the follow up release to the current album Perseus War. Veering further into the existential than the album’s anti-authoritarian bellowing, it lingers in the electric realms of the mind’s purgatory. Like a dream, good, bad or forgotten, it is critical to relieve yourself of whatever shackles tie you to convention. A life dump. This release is the unburdening of thought before the next release…

Dez comments: “Vinyl is what I grew up with. 7 inches were how we all experimented with new bands. Saving up the spare cash we could find, some borrowed from my unknowing Dad (sorry!), me and my mates would take the train to Melbourne to Au-Go-Go or maybe stay in Geelong at Caveman Records. We would buy as many records as we could, get as many different bands in our bag… try and outdo our mates on nerdiness. It’s a format I love.”

Chris Staples “Cloud Souvenirs”

Artist: Chris Staples
Title: Cloud Souvenirs
Format: LP, Digital
Label: Hot Tub Recordings
Genre: Singer-Songwriter/ Indie
Release Date: 26/05/2023

Cloud Souvenirs is the sixth full length album by American songwriter Chris Staples, ten songs spun from accumulated memory and flashes of insight into the hidden corners of life. Recorded in the midst of travel back and forth to Florida to deal with his mother’s declining health, Staples built an unselfconscious masterpiece, a cathartic and complete expression of his craft. Cloud Souvenirs is a parade of sculpted moments, some light and airy, some gray and heavy with rain– variations on beauty, tenderness, grief and unexpected joy. 

What is gone is all still here. Florida is a place steeped in memories and significance for Staples, landscape, humidity, shapes in the sky, intangible tokens of youth. He worked on the album intermittently during these visits, but had to cancel recording sessions to take his mother to the hospital. Her ever present piano playing around the house was a key to finding music. Her loss is a reality impossible to express. 

Cloud Souvenirs is laced with insistent phrases and melody lines that linger long after listening. Songs that hint at narrative without being weighed down by unnecessary detail. Evocative and economical, melancholic and magical. Songs that nourish life and encourage self-reflection. Pulsing electronica, acoustic strummers, synth stabs, dry snare drums setting the pace, clear melodies fill the sky, no rain for days. 

Seven Impale “Summit”

Artist: SEVEN IMPALE
Title: SUMMIT
Format: LP, CD, Digital
Label: Karisma Records
Distribution: Plastic Head Distribution
Genre: Progressive/ Heavy Jazz Rock

Release Date: 26/05/2023

We’ve waited long for life signs from SEVEN IMPALE, meanwhile the members have been busy with life. Vocalist/guitarist Stian graduated from the Grieg Academy as an opera singer and launched an international career. Keyboardist Håkon joined Enslaved. Some got kids, and some finished their education. Life happened. Though, truth being told, the guys have kept the band, if not warm, at least lukewarm. And now, the long-awaited third album from SEVEN IMPALE is finally here, seven years after Contrapasso

Big Red Fire Truck “Trouble In Paradise”

Artist: Big Red Fire Truck
Title: Trouble In Paradise
Format: LP, CD, Digital
Label: Bird’s Robe Records
Distribution: MGM
Genre: Hard Rock
Release Date: 04/08/2023

Australian hard rock group Big Red Fire Truck have announced their new record Trouble In Paradise will be released on August 4, 2023.

Lead single Trouble In Paradise recently premiered on triple j radio to strong fan support and has already reached the ears of and earned praised from the members of Steel Panther:

Michael Starr: “I rate it. A strong 4 out of 5 Eddie Van Halens. It’s commercially awesome. The chorus is catchy, the pre-chorus is catchy, there’s a killer guitar solo in it, the backgrounds are big and juicy and wet and the guitar tone is pretty bitchin. His vocals are fn killer too. I was stoked to hear it… There’s so much 80s dripping off that track, I couldn’t get enough of it.”

Magnify The Sound “Don’t Give Us That Face”

Artist: Magnify The Sound
Title: Don’t Give Us That Face
Format: LP, CD, Digital
Label: Crispin Glover Records
Distribution: Stickman Records

Genre: Experimental/ Improv
Release Date: 21/04/2023

Magnify the Sound has been performing their unique sound since 2010. The band consists of two renowned musicians who join forces in an improvised interplay between guitar, drums, and electronics. Trond Engum, one of the founding members of the legendary The 3rdand The Mortal and The Soundbyte, brings with him his expertise in guitar and electronics. Carl Haakon Waadeland contributes with his signature style of playing, evolved over several decades of developing his drumming expression in numerous different musical constellations. 

The album Don’t Give Us That Face captures the essence of this constellation.  The result is a unique blend of improvisation and composition, creating a dynamic and captivating musical experience that is truly one-of-a-kind. 

Pam Risourié “Days Of Distortion”

Artist: Pam Risourié
Title: Days Of Distortion
Format: CD, Digital 
Labels: Atypeek Music/ Icy Cold Records/ Araki Records/ Shoredive Records/ Pyrrhic Victory Recordings

Distribution: Audioglobe
Genre: Shoegaze
Release Date: 07/04/2023 (EU)

After 3 EPs defining the contours of their aesthetic at the crossroads of influences between dream pop, slowcore and post-rock, Pam Risourié will release their first full length album Days of Distortion.

Taking the form of an underground dive, like a dream breaking apart and echoing along walls of guitars, days of distortion deepens the universe of Pam Risourié; it invites us to explore a mental landscape, through the prism of an introspective trip where feelings of absence, derealization and impersonality are put into perspective, in a sensitive and clair- obscur night.

The album opens with You Are the Sound, a tunnel-shaped track that combines the sonic influences of the band with a classical orchestration, and, as a watermark, a pop and minimalist melody. These melodies are based on naturally ethereal vocals, far from the typical shackles of shoegaze and its drowned treatment, leading the following of days of distortion to resolutely dream-pop atmospheres: High On A Wire and Spectre explore the diversity of its themes, plunging into this ocean of distortion which is, before all, mental and inner. The dancing post-punk, at the crossroads of influences between Sonic Youth and Fontaines D.C., of A Star Among The Candlesthus concludes the A-side of the record.

Hex A.D. “Delightful Sharp Edges”

Artist: Hex A.D.
Title: Delightful Sharp Edges
Format: 2xLP, CD, Digital
Label: Apollon Records 
Distribution: Plastic Head Distribution
Genre: Heavy Metal
Release Date: 12/05/2023

Hex A.D. returns with their most epic project to date! The upcoming double LP Delightful Sharp Edges is a concept album that deals with genocide. The record is a three-part narrative that takes the listener on a musical and lyrical journey into the horrors and tragedies of organized liquidation on a massive scale. Musically speaking the band has ventured into new melodic territories inspired by Thin Lizzy and Wishbone Ash, as well as having gone deeper into their doomy and progressive roots. The stories told through the lyrics have dictated much of the musical expression on this massive piece of work, and it’s safe to say that this album sees Hex A.D. show their most larger-than-life tendencies.

Never has a Norwegian band gone this far in creating a proper concept album in the proud tradition of the masters from the 1970s, and this one truly hits the mark. It has become a roller-coaster ride of emotions, from the haunting, sweet and the epic to the doomy and spine chilling. To be able to reproduce this grand new sound in a live setting, the band have added a second drummer and an additional guitar player. Both musicians go back decades with the members of Hex A.D, either as stand-ins or from associated past projects. 

Kodiak Empire “The Great Acceleration”

Artist: Kodiak Empire
Title: The Great Acceleration
Format: LP, CD, Digital
Label: Bird’s Robe Records

Distribution: MGM
Genre: Progressive/ Experimental Rock

Release Date: 02/06/2023

Australian progressive/experimental rock group Kodiak Empire will release their new record The Great Acceleration on Friday 2 June.

The record continues their successful partnership with Australian label Bird’s Robe, which began in 2021 with the international release of their Silent Bodies record.

Featuring their acclaimed singles The Difference and Animist which blend influences as diverse as The Mars VoltaSilverchair and Circa Survive, the record reveals the young group’s potential as one of the most truly exciting prospects on the world progressive music scene.

Mike Solo, Director of Bird’s Robe, says this of the record: “When the guys showed me the makings of this record a few years ago, I found myself completely immersed in the world they created. I’m so excited to share this with as many people as possible, it deserves to be heard and appreciated. They’re a lovely group of guys and have done such a great job putting these songs together. Please give it a share and a listen if you like it!”

Kodiak Empire have earned plaudits for their live shows, including performances alongside COG, sleepmakeswaves, Caligula’s Horse & more.

Tracklist
1. The Difference
2. Within the Comfort 3. Animist
4. Maralinga
5. Marcel

Links
Order: https://kodiakempire.bandcamp.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KodiakEmpire
Label: https://birdsrobe.com

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