This is a killer package containing a split 7” of totally bonkers heavy psych featuring Japan’s SPEED GURU with Kawabata from ACID MOTHER’S TEMPLE and Tabata from AMT/ZENI GEVA/BOREDOMS. PLASTIC CRIMEWAVE is outta Chicago and has been playing variants of psych and space rock since the late ’90s. The record comes with a comic book that is packaged like the old Power Records comic book LPs (Planet of the Apes,Spiderman vs. The Lizard People, etc.). SPEED GURU lays the smackdown with a ton of distortion on “Speed Guru Theme,” which is just the band saying their name over and over while fast and heavy psych plays over it. It’s essentially the same song that PLASTIC CRIMEWAVE does on their side, only with a different self-shoutout. They later get into a wild hippie/improv trip, which is much better than it sounds, I assure you. PLASTIC CRIMEWAVE’s opener also has simple, heavy fuzzedout bombastic wah-wah and the second song is even more fuzzed out and distorted to hell. Musically this isn’t punk like you know it but it’s certainly DIY, which I can dig, ya dig?
The enclosed book is a rad action comic illustrated by Plastic Crimewave (the person), which he co-writes with Kawabata. Crimewave also has done incredible work with his book-sized zine Galactic Zoo Dossier, which covers loads of psych/proto-punk/space rock knowns and unknowns, and is all handwritten and hand drawn. The cover shows Kawabata as an “electric samurai” wailing his guitar into the outworlds. The line work, especially the used of cross-hatching and shadows is fantastic. The story of various psychedelic/garage rock superheroes starts with Speed Guru not being able to draw comics after a bike accident. He goes to see Ancient Asahito (who’s drawn like Keiji Haino as a monk) at the Acid Mother’s Temple who tells him to “channel the elegant vibrations of the Cosmic Force of Electricity” (and probably the ability to release a million records). This also features some great drawings of Kawabata, who is the Speed Guru and student of Asahito. Eventually, Speed Guru and Plastic Crimewave come to blows as Plastic attempts the “Mystic Garage Punk Chop” (which is likely a nod to ACID MOTHERS TEMPLE’s love for pro wrestling and the fact that they often choke-slam guitars during shows). The story continues on with the battle of sound waves and space jams. I won’t spoil the rest as you’ll have to get this…and soon!
Second album as Oblivion Sun Stanley Whitaker (guitar and vocals) and Frank Wyatt (keyboards and horns), known to fans for their prog spent with Happy the Man Assisted by David Hughes (bass and vocals) and Bill Brasso (drums and percussion), the two give birth to another beautiful work, intense, full of intriguing ideas and solutions are never straightforward but largely descended from the ideas set out in the 70s by the band of “Crafty Hands”. If anyone still thinks that Happy the Man were basically a creature of the talented keyboardist Kit Watkins and he has not been enough evidence of reunion “The muse awakens”, should listen carefully to the two works of Oblivion Sun (in addition to the album name Pedal Giant Animals) to understand the importance, the skill and creativity of Wyatt and Whitaker. Already a cover very nice, a little ‘style fantasy, gives intriguing premise, but we think the opening words “Deckard” to start immediately the disc great with a beautiful instrumental piece in the style Happy the Man, through the jazz-rock exuberant and full of tempo changes and mood that knows how to be both structured and enjoyable, looking towards Canterbury, but without losing sight of the melody. “March of the mushroom men” is a short piece that starts with a march almost Zappa and then move towards a quality guitar rock, with hints vaguely à la Camel.The first song is sung “Everything”, a sort of semi-acoustic ballad and melancholy, while harder and closer to a hard rock class is “Dead sea squirrels”, menacing (but not too much), with a central part oriented towards a symphonic prog driven by keyboards.The highlight on the album is the eponymous suite, twenty-two minutes, broken down into 6 tracks. There is everything a fan could want prog: rhythmic variations and atmospheric, airy melodies, long instrumental moments where you feel twists and electro-acoustic solos fiery and fascinating, even steps floydiani and winks to the Genesis period 1976-1977 Romanticism … and jazz-rock go hand in hand and offer magical vibrations, showing the inventiveness of these out of the ordinary Americans still frisky and ready for a lively sound that technique and feeling are a perfect match. Bright and engaging, with a crystal clear production, “The high places” will not struggle to find favor of the listener, we are certainly not at the levels of “Crafty Hands”, but you could not expect much. Highly recommended!
Several years ago, before RUST was even RUST, we got Serpent Throne’s White Summer – Black Winter CD and it was one of the first (and many) great albums that the nice people at Prophase Music have sent us to review. So we were pleased on many levels to see the new Serpent Throne LP Brother Lucifer in our mailbox. Of course, we wanted to hear it, but we were also happy that this great band had not only survived to make another album, but that it was available on vinyl.
We had no idea when we put that delicious piece of hardened petroleum on our turntable that Brother Lucifer was not just going to be a great album, but that it was going to a legendary, amazing, timeless work of musical intensity and integrity. This album compares to the best classic hard rock and heavy metal from the best bands in their prime. And, on occasion, beats them handily.
One subject we keep bumping into at RUST is that bands get labeled and pigeon-holed into a narrow audience, and that this labeling relegates bands to second-class status. The issue is that when a band gets called a great pop band or a great metal band, that the insinuation is that they are great only within a limited space. And the message that readers of the modern diluted music press get is that you would like this band or that band IF you like this style or that style of music. It’s like there’s a built-in disclaimer that limits the public’s expectation of a new album or artist.
So what we have tried to do at RUST is to appreciate bands on their individual merits, not on a pre-established sliding scale of comparison to other bands. This is particularly relevant to Brother Lucifer as, yes, it is a heavy metal album, but it’s so damn good that it almost doesn’t matter what lineage it has sprung from and it doesn’t matter what kind of music fan a person is to be simply stunned by how excellent it is.
Musicians today struggle to be heard. We talk to them all day long and though there are financial realities and dreams of stardom still do come true… sometimes, all musicians want in this world is for people to hear them. So when an album comes out like Brother Lucifer, it defies genre classification and it’s not appropriate or fair to compare them to other bands.
Serpent Throne’s 4th album Brother Lucifer is simply amazing. The musicianship is transcendental, meaning that it is excellent on it’s own merits, and is not just a good album within a narrow style description. You could say that this one of the all-time greatest-ever heavy metal albums, and that would be true. But Brother Lucifer is one of the all-time greatest-ever albums period. It’s just plain legendary. Esse