Articles by Martyn Coppack
This is the sound of transgressive art in all its full glory, and album that takes your moral ideas and spits them right back at you.
Instrumental heavy psych bands are ten a penny these days, few are as vital as Shooting Guns.
It should come with a warning that only true psych heads need apply but that would spoil the fun for those wishing to dabble.
With the recent 50th Anniversary celebrations, a new documentary showing on Amazon Prime, and the remaining core of the band selling out arenas across the US, Grateful Dead’s stock has never been higher. The strangest of bands in that they are cultural cornerstones of the hippy movement, and form an integral part of musical history, they nonetheless remain a cult band.
Rarely has an artist of such longevity sounded so invigorated as Chris Robinson does on this album. Behind its laid back feel is a bunch of songs which touch on all the tenets of Americana and in another time this album would be huge
On paper it shouldn’t work, instead it becomes one of the best releases this year. A stunning release which proves the psych genre still has much to offer.
‘Maneuvers’ may well find itself at hovering in a few end of year lists, especially amongst rock fans and for that we can be glad.
Whilst this is an unusual release, it does tie together the disparate strands of the bands music and we can start to build a wider picture of them. For those who have succumbed to their charms this is an excellent if inconsequential (at times) release
The dual quality of intimacy and spaciousness becomes a theme throughout Amerikana as it seeks ever more spiritual paths. It’s unusual to see a band strike such fervosity without becoming overtly religious.
Whilst the industry will no doubt dither and perhaps continue to moan the lack of decent rock bands in the UK, Hair Of The Dog have proved with ‘This World Turns’ that there is still life in the old “dog” yet.
Get those battle jackets back out and let’s return to a more innocent time, of only for the forty or so minutes of this album. Bow down before the riff and relive your inner metal star.
‘Revolution Come. Revolution Go’ sits well amongst their other releases, and may actually be their most fulfilling studio release so far.
Whilst his day job may attract all the plaudits, Sjöblom’s Gungfly music is nothing short of remarkable and anyone with a passing interest in him should take time to explore this album.
They are a band who deserve all the success they get and this album certainly does them a lot of favours. Not as noisy or as urgent as in the past, Hey Colossus just staked a claim for a wider share of the spoils, and for that we celebrate them.
Thematically it continues to dissect and engage in a political manner, always intelligent, forever questioning. Musically, it’s probably their most interesting yet with the sparse nature allowing for the instruments to breathe. White Hills have always been a great band, here they become essential.
If you have ever felt that burning heart of rock and roll then Ecstatic Vision have delivered a treat, a sermon if you will.
Pond may be old hands at this game now but on the basis of The Weather they’re certainly not finished yet. An album of sweet highs and delicious lows, they avoid the over sickly psych that is prevalent with this kind of sound and deliver an album which may well be recognised as the defining sound of the summer.
Pour yourself a drink, stick your headphones on, and lose yourself in the story for a while. You’ll enjoy it.
Martyn Coppack saw Steve Hackett on his Genesis Revisited tour. “Nearly three hours later, we have been taken on a journey with the Hackett being the thread that has bound us all together. It’s almost too much to take in at first and its only later as the energy drifts off, that you realise what an astonishing show you have just seen.”
It’s a work of tripped out intensity and ticks all the boxes for the discerning psychonaut. An impressive and far out album.
On this album they create urgent spikes of electro mixed with a heady rock and roll, the kind that’s missing so much these days. They keep it minimal which works in their favour and over its brief life, this album takes you to the dark underbelly of the city.