King Gizzard releases three live albums; 100% percent of proceeds to help Wildlife Victoria

Photo Credit: Public Radio International

The 2019/2020 Australian bushfire season began in November and has continued to rage on into 2020. As of today, 29 people have been killed. An estimated 2,683 homes have been destroyed in the blazes. Around 18,626,000 hectares (46,000,000 acres) have been incinerated. Nearly one billion animals have died in the fires with some unique Australian species being driven to the brink of extinction.

Photo Credit: Aljazeera

If you’re looking for a way to support causes that will benefit Australia during this difficult time, consider King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. The Melbourne multi-genre group has always been conscious and vocal about climate change and environmental causes and now they have released three live albums with 100% of the proceeds going to support Wildlife Victoria. The mission of the organization is to protect animals through rescue, education, and advocacy.

Photo Credit: The Verge

The three live albums by the band are each listed for $10 AUS ($6.90 US). Each album is accompanied with the beautiful, unique art by band artist Jason Galea, and packed with over an hour of live music. Since January 10, the band has released Live in Paris ’19, Live in Adelaide ’19, as well as Live in Brussels ’19. Again, consider supporting Wildlife Victoria by buying one or more of these high quality live albums from King Gizzard. The albums can be bought on Bandcamp by following the links on this page.

Debut album by The Lancasters is filled with 60’s style heavy-psych goodness

The Lancasters are a psychedelic rock trio from Brescia, Italy. They just released their debut, The Lancasters, on November 1st. The self-titled album was independently released and is being promoted by Fuzzy Cracklins Presents while the band looks for the right label to release their work on vinyl. The album was recorded to tape and professionally mixed and mastered, giving it a warm, vintage sound. The album is smooth and groovy, evincing the sound of bands like Led Zeppelin and the lyrical sensibilities of groups like The Beatles.

1. Howitzer 3:04
2. Sharp 683 4:09
3. Get a Good Lawyer 3:00
4. Mata Hari 6:40
5. Powder 4:59
6. Stellar 3:07
7. Reflectors 5:00
8. Northern Road 3:49
9. Sweet Cross 4:13

The nine tracks on the album cover a dynamic range of sounds and styles that flow over you like a warm, fuzzy blanket. Tracks like Mata Hari, Sharp 683, Stellar, and Reflectors rest in a pocket of psychedelic electric rock filled with catchy guitar hooks and vocal melodies. The band explores a softer acoustic side on Get a Good Lawyer and Northern Road, while Powder takes the band into the riffy realm of heavy blues with its thick bass and chunky guitars. In addition to the album, don’t miss the trippy music videos for the tracks Howitzer and Stellar.

The Lancasters is available on CD and digital download on Bandcamp. You can also stream the album on Spotify. Make sure to check out the band on Instagram, as well as YouTube. For a whole lot more great music on Bandcamp, check out Fuzzy Cracklins. As always, thanks for reading The Sonic Sofa. Go in peace and rock on, Sofanauts.

The Gig Experiment provides surfy wah pedal and heavy riffs on new EP, Shark Attack

Shark Attack was released on October 29

The Gig Experiment is a three piece rock band from São Bernardo Do Campo, Brazil. The band is made up of Matheus Longhi on guitar, Marcus Moraes on bass and Demian Meneses on drums. They produce a surfy blend of instrumental heavy-psychedelic music with stoner-rock influences. Imagine the surfy flow of bands like Satan’s Pilgrims or Snake Mountain Revival, mixed with a light dose of the heavy riffage of Black Sabbath, and you get the idea.

Their new EP, Shark Attack, was released on October 29 and follows a live album called 220V Ao Vivo which is available to listen to in full by following this link to YouTube. With just three tracks on their new EP, Shark Attack is a short but very sweet ride. The guitar, bass, and drums sound raw, stripped down, and dialed in to deliver the grooves for the entire 10 minutes of the EP. It’s available for digital download on Bandcamp.

The first two tracks, Shark Attack and Poucas Ideia, are driving, wah pedal drenched barrel rides. The bass sounds thick and does several octave drops at key moments in the songs that really add to the beefiness. The drums have depth and come through really well in the mix with crashing cymbals and a full snare sound.

The third track, Três, dramatically slows the tempo and adds a vocal melody to the intro. The fuzzy, overdriven guitar really kicks in as well, adding some muscle to the song, hence the Black Sabbath comparison. A nice melodic guitar lead takes over for the vocal melody, and an upbeat outro finishes up the song.

The Gig Experiment is a three piece rock band from São Bernardo Do Campo, Brazil

All in all, it’s a very upbeat, catchy EP with some heavy moments. Unfortunately, the EP is very short, but it is definitely worth a listen. Keep an eye out for The Gig Experiment as their future releases should be promising. Make sure to check them out on Bandcamp. Also, find the band on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. Thank for reading The Sonic Sofa. Go in peace and rock on, Sofanauts.

Listen to the heavy-psych sword and sorcery of Dimetrodon

Dimetrodon released II on October 11, 2019

Write about the band: Dimetrodon is a three piece instrumental rock band from Austin, Texas. Their music is a progressive blend of synthy heavy psych and stoner rock. The members of the band are Jim Lecheler on bass, Ian McKinney on synths and guitar, and Rene Moncivais on drums. Their debut album, II, was released on October 11, 2019.

According to a statement by the band, “The 12 instrumental tracks of Dimetrodon’s *II* loosely follow the story of a savage barbarian as he faces off against a wizard and his monster friends in the windswept deserts of Mars. Drawing from stoner, prog, proto-metal, krautrock, and other influences, *II* is a window into of the mind of a boomer dad describing the airbrushing on the cargo van he had back when he was your age.” The album has no lyrics, but the full-blooded song titles like are enough to put an interesting picture in your mind and the music itself will take you there. There are really heavy songs like Dragonslayer, Antimagic Field, and Bonestorm, but there are also plenty of of reflective, softer tracks like Ogre Horde and The Druid’s Funeral. The album is a virtual kaleidoscope of psychedelic sound textures, running the gamut from chunky stoner rock riffs to dreamy psychedelic synth tones.

1. Dragon’s Lair 1:57
2. Dragonslayer 4:14
3. Antimagic Field 6:18
4. Ogre Horde 5:03
5. The Druid’s Funeral 3:16
6. Finger of Death 4:30
7. Hobgoblin 2:37
8. Stalactites 2:32
9. ☠️Bonestorm☠️ 2:40
10. Dispel Evil and Good 2:19
11. Sunbeam 2:13
12. Grimlock 2:52

The whole album sounds like something that could have been produced in a garage in the 70’s. You can hear early doom influences from Black Sabbath and Electric Wizard as well as krautrock such as Neu! and Amon Duul II. You can also hear healthy doses of modern psych as well as synth-forward film score influence peppered into the mixture. Whether you’re you’re perusing Frank Frazetta paintings, playing Dungeons and Dragons, or just putting on music for a spacey drive in the car, Dimetrodon makes a great soundtrack. Purchase a digital download of the album today on Bandcamp for $7. Also, make sure to check out the band on Facebook and Instagram. As always, thanks for reading The Sonic Sofa. Go in peace and rock on, Sofanauts.

Snake Mountain Revival release surfy stoner rock EP, The Valley of Madness

Snake Mountain Revival is a three piece heavy-psych band from Virginia Beach, Virginia. They produce a blend of psychedelic and stoner rock with strong elements of surf rock. The Valley of Madness is their new EP. It’s a mature and polished follow up to their debut EP, Snake Mountain Revival, which was released in 2018.

The Valley of Madness was released on October 4. It’s made up of four easy flowing songs filled to the brim with driving guitar riffs and surfy leads. The vocals are melodic and dreamy, with healthy doses of reverb. The bass is chunky, often using phasers and a wah pedal to give it a nice heavy-psych sound. The drums keep things moving forward, often using a tambourine and lots of trashy sounding cymbals (I mean trashy in an especially good way) to produce a rolling, crashing wave sound. The artwork on the album was produced by Ryan Chandler. Both EPs are available digital download for “name your price” on Bandcamp and The Valley of Madness is currently available on translucent purple cassette tape for $6.

1. The Valley of Madness 3:43
2. Just a Feeling 5:38
3. Water Moccasin 3:36
4. Everything in Sight 8:30

The Valley of Madness is a great opener with a swingy, waltzy riff that recalls some of the style of Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats. Don’t miss the creative guitar and bass lead, when the two play off of each other in polyphonic melodies.

Just a Feeling slows things down, with a much softer feel and more pastoral vocals that have a lot in common with the dreamier style of Sleepy Sun. The song has a beautiful blending of melodies between the vocals and guitar.

Water Moccasin returns to a classic surf sound with that characteristic tremolo on the guitar and several tasty guitar leads. The song is instrumental, with the vocals occasionally appearing with wordless melodies in the background. The phasing, chunky bass sounds great paired with the drums which create a tumbling, wave crashing sound that adds to the watery feel of the song.

Everything in Sight is the longest track on the album. The track is driving, with fast proficient drum work and plenty of surfy changeups. The vocals are closer to the style of their first EP, with touches of Jim Morrison’s influence. The song features an extended, heavy psych ending with a tasty double guitar lead and a chunky, fuzzy bass tone.

Both of the bands EPs are available for free on Bandcamp, so make sure to download those today, and consider supporting the band. Also check out Snake Mountain Revival on Facebook as well as Instagram. Thank you for reading The Sonic Sofa. Go in peace and rock on, Sofanauts.

Take an instrumental psychedelic journey with Billy Tsounis, on Warp Delights

Based in Southern California, Billy Tsounis is a psychedelic rock guitarist who records and performs with his band, the Amazing Androids. The band produces instrumental, heavy psych music that will take you out of your mind and on a musical journey through the sonic cosmos. If you’re a fan of bands like Dhidalah, you’re going to dig the hypnotic psych sound of Billy Tsounis and the Amazing Androids.

Warp Delights is the band’s eighth album. Released on October 2, 2019, it’s a followup to 2017’s Pimped by the Gods. The album features Billy Tsounis on guitars, Aris Weathersby on bass, Lucas Marquardt on electric cello, and Will Rury on drums. The album was recorded with a mix of analog and digital equipment, and each track was taped live in order to achieve the freshest sound and energy possible. The band went with the first or second take of each song. The experimental tracks take you on a sonic voyage through layers of psychedelic guitar tones, underscored by crisp drums and a beefy bass tone. The album can be found on Bandcamp for digital download. Here’s the tracklist:

  1. Cow Lands Eats Pilot (2:44)
  2. Serene (3:13)
  3. Gone Swamp Shopping (7:51)
  4. Too Nervous to Reincarnate (6:16)
  5. Last Dance Space Boots (3:54)
  6. Babalas Lilo (9:58)
  7. Becoming Butterfly (6:08)
  8. Messy Nostalgia Machines (7:05)

The album is perfect for sinking into the sofa and spacing out with the trance-inducing rhythms. There are long, spacey tracks like Babalas Lilo with it’s driving bass and phasing guitars, and the droney Gone Swamp Shopping; each conveys the album’s live, experimental feel. The waltzy track, Last Dance Space Boots will hook listeners with its catchy guitar lead, and Becoming Butterfly is a dreamy track that will lull you away on iridescent wings.

Check out Billy Tsounis and the Amazing Androids on Bandcamp, Reverb Nation, and Youtube, as well as Facebook and Instagram. Also go to BillyTsounis.com to learn more about the artist and the work that he’s doing. Thanks for reading The Sonic Sofa. Go in peace and rock on, Sofanauts.

Album Review: Melvin’s Holiday, by Lewis and the Strange Magics (Plus Interview)

Lewis and the Strange Magics are a heavy-psych band from Barcelona, Spain. The band produces groovy, stylish, psychedelic music, with strong funk and jam undercurrents. The band just released their third full length, Melvin’s Holiday. The album is a followup to the 2015 full-length Velvet Skin, the 2017 full-length Evade Your Soul, and the 2018 EP, The Ginger Sessions.

Melvin’s Holiday was independently released on September 6, 2019. It’s a concept album made up of nine, 1960’s and 70’s inspired, sexy, velvety, groovy, shag-carpeted tracks. Even the artwork by Shaun Miller is a throwback, with its retro style and filmy look. The album tells the story of Melvin, a rich man who divorces his wife and takes off on holiday in the Mediterranean, where he seeks happiness but finds only loneliness.

Musically, the entire album is catchy and easy to listen to, with plenty of creative guitar and keyboard tones. The lyrics are melodic and catchy, roughly comparable to the style of Ric Ocasek of The Cars. The album carries echoes of bands such as Pink Floyd, The Eagles, and Steely Dan, but with the psychedelic style and attitude that makes Lewis and the Strange Magics completely one of a kind. Get ready to sink into a velvet sofa and be carried away with the smooth flowing tracks. To help me get a better idea of the band’s song writing process and influences, I caught up with band leader and multi-instrumentalist, Luis Pomés, for the following interview.

The Sonic Sofa (TSS): Can you tell us a little bit about your recording process?

Luis P (LP): For this album we recorded everything in my home studio, with an audio interface to the computer and some microphones. Everything is digital but we tried to find an old/vintage sound.

TSS: What insight can you give us about the album’s lyrics and the Melvin character?

LP: My first intention was to do an album with songs that had a common theme: a summer and decadent atmosphere. I liked this concept and then when I was working on the final steps of the composition I realized that I could connect the songs by creating a character who lives all of the experiences that the lyrics show. So, I created the rich man, Melvin, and I changed some of the words to make a kind of rock opera. I think I got the idea of this concept, among other things, from a Roxy Music song that describes the decadence of a rich person who has a mansion but no one to share it with.

TSS: What is the band’s songwriting process and how does jamming play a part in it?

LP: I write everything in my mind, then I usually record some demos, or I explain the ideas to my band-mates to make a kind of jam. This last process was the one we used in our previous release, The Ginger Sessions EP. Sometimes I record a song without a definitive demo, making the arrangements while I’m recording, and this is why some tracks can have a jam band sensation.

TSS: What are the band’s influences, both musical and otherwise?

LP: All music I enjoy can be an influence, but for this album I think there’s a lot of Roxy Music, Funkadelic, Pink Floyd, Steely Dan, heavy-psych in general, and cult movies from the 70s, both for the general atmosphere of the film or from their soundtracks. For example, the track Carpet Sun is a direct tribute to erotic movies soundtacks from those years, and the whole album is very cinematographic.

“groovy, stylish psychedelic music”

The album opens with Melvin (2:51), a short track featuring hand percussion, smooth organ tones, a crisp drum sound, and some tasty wah pedal. A Funky feel, harmonized vocals, and some jazzy brass tones make this a catchy intro track. Next up, Sad in Paradise (3:48) brings a tight, progressive, fuzzy riff. This track stands out among the others with straight up catchy vocals and a hook-filled chorus. Don’t miss the cool stereo effects of the double guitar lead.

Jazzy drums and organ set the tone for The Answering Machine (2:11), and heavy effects on the vocals and a crisp ride cymbal gives the song a San Francisco jazz feel. Fashion Siren (5:31) has a great sounding snare drum and crisp, Steely Dan-like tones on guitar. Probably one of the catchiest songs on the album, with creative keyboard lines and a funky, eclectic chorus, self-referencing the band’s “Strange Magic” in the lyrics.

Carpet Sun (2:21) features a dreamy intro, with some great layering and effects from the keyboards. Synthy and velvety, this short musical interlude is a nice, reflective break in the action. Following up, Village’s Wizard (4:32) is a nice, percussion heavy track, with easygoing keyboard tones and guitar and a smooth, Latin-jazz feel.

Driving classic-rock riffs and catchy, love song lyrics set the stage for Only a Fantasy (4:13). This track features a great keyboard lead with some interesting scifi-esque tones. Lounge Decadence (2:27) opens with a great bass line and the song employs plenty of Latin style rhythms. And closing the album, Afternoon on the Sand (6:28) starts off soft, with great sounding vocal harmonies before shifting to a swingy, bluesy style to finish off the album.

Melvin’s Holiday is an album that should be listened to straight through, from start to finish, for the full effect. The album is currently available for digital download on Bandcamp, and hopefully we’ll see a vinyl release in the coming months. Make to support the band by listening to their music and buying their merch. Thanks for reading The Sonic Sofa. Go in peace, and rock on, Sofanauts.