Sageness delivers third full length, Tr3s

Tr3s was released on May 15, 2022

Sageness is an instrumental psychedelic rock band from León, Spain. The power trio treats their music with an infusion of post-rock and shoegaze guitar work, and live recording in the studio gives them a fresh, raw sound. The group has just released their third album, the aptly titled Tr3s. It’s a mature, well-developed follow-up to 2019’s Akmé (Full review here) and their Self-titled album from 2017.

1. The Effect of Colours 9:45
2. Greenhouse 8:04
3. Spirit Machine 6:16
4. Event horizon 12:22

Tr3s is composed of four tracks, clocking in at 37 minutes. Throughout the album, muscular riffs and sensual guitar textures, infused with plenty of wah-pedal and shoe-gaze FX, are underscored by a crisp, clean bass sound, and solid drum patterns. Subtle, spacy synth sounds add to the atmosphere. The album is a further testament to Sageness’s skill as a well-rehearsed jam band. The long, creative arrangements at times remind me of Elder, in the vein of their instrumental album, The Gold & Silver Sessions, but with more of the muscle of Dead Roots Stirring. Whether you’re on a road trip or sonic tripping on the sofa, Tr3s is an ideal soundtrack. It’s got plenty of headbanging as well as spacy post-rock introspection.

You can find Sageness on Bandcamp. The digital album is available for download for $7. Tr3s is also on CD for $9 or vinyl for $25. Ceck out the band’s social media and merch pages for vinyl/t-shirt bundle deals, and don’t forget to check out the music videos for The Effect of Colours and Spirit Machine.

The Dry Mouths release new psych album, Thödol

Thödol was released on May 13, 2022

The Dry Mouths are a psychedelic instrumental power trio from Almería, Spain. The band specializes in creating sonic landscapes of hypnotic, psychedelic soundwaves, laced with occasional heavy stoner rock sections. Active since 2006, the group has six full length records, with the release of 2022’s Thödol.

Released in May, Thödol is inspired by the Tibetan Book of the Dead. The band elaborates on their interpretations with 10 tracks, ranging from two-seven minutes. According to a statement from the band, “The album is a work of fantasy and extra-sensory experiences, of life and death, of both peaceful and dark visions, of self knowledge and of the fight against the fears that our own minds create. The album is a mental journey in which consciousness separates from the physical body and tries to gain enlightenment and ascend above, through the act of listening.” For the best effect, Thödol should be listened to start to finish, as a single composition, to fully induce the trance.

1. Den-Dro Sum 3:40
2. Hinayana 6:29
3. Kyenay 4:26
4. Milam 2:49
5. Dhyana 3:34
6. Ngen-Dro Sum 5:20
7. Chikhai 3:40
8. Dharmata 5:37
9. Zhi Tros Lha 7:10
10. Chönyid 2:01

Opener Den-Dro Sum sets the mood for the first three quarters of the album with soothing guitar leads that more than take the place of vocals. It’s easy to get lost in the hypnotic drum patterns. Hinayana introduces a fat bass tone, bordering on dub, and listen for some creative percussion throughout and a kettle drum sound at the end. Kyenay features a groovy rhythm section and some cool post-rock guitar leads, while Milam has some creative Middle-Eastern sounding guitar that gave me Babylon Tree vibes. The ethnic sounding drumming and sitar on Dhyana made it a stand out track for me. Another stand out was Ngen-Dro Sum, which changed things up with one of the heaviest riffs on the album. The last four tracks of the album mostly replace the guitar melodies with spacy synth layers. Chikhai features a chill transition with layers of keyboard tones building up throughout. The heavy synth tone on Dharmata gave me some low-key Dimetrodon vibes. Listen on Zhi Tros Lha for a spacier synth sound and groovy, fx-heavy bass tone, while Chönyid closes out the album in a satisfying, low-key way.

The record, a follow-up to 2019’s Lo-Fi Sounds for Hi-Fi People, was recorded at Desert City Studio between October, 2020 and June, 2021. The artwork was disigned and created by Iván Carreño. It can be downloaded on Bandcamp for under $7. The vinyl record, co-released by Spinda Records, Aneurisma Records, Violence In The Veins, Discos Macarras, Zona Rock Productions, Bandera Records, Quebranta Records and Odio Sonoro, can be ordered for $20. Check out the band’s merch page for current and back releases and find the band on social media.

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.

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.

Eastern Tales, the debut album by Babylon Tree

Babylon Tree is an instrumental heavy psych band from Athens, Greece. The six member band recently released their debut album, Eastern Tales. On it, the band attempts to capture the aesthetic of the Far-East. Their music is positively Middle-Eastern sounding, employing the use of Persian scales. The album art, created by Manster Design, adds to that feel, with the incorporation of dunes, a snake-hosed hookah, a spired city in the distance, and an Eastern motif.

“…a richly layered composition…”

The album is made up of six songs, each around 8-10 minutes, and each is a richly layered composition. There are the usual modern instruments like keyboards, electric and acoustic guitars, bass, and drums, but the band also adds in older, more traditional instruments, such as the ud, lute, and hammered dulcimer. The band’s sound ends up having many qualities of world music, but with the heavy groove of stoner rock. Their music is unique, but perhaps carries echoes of albums like Microtonal Flying Banana by King Gizzard.

The opening track, Anatolia (8:44), sets the tone with some tasty hand percussion and a nice clean guitar melody, and then we’re introduced to the deep, rich tones of the bass, which stand out consistently throughout the whole album. The song has a great oriental vibe and includes a creative organ section, guitar solos with some nice wah pedal and effect work, and some heavier breakdowns of the riff in the last half. The style, with its slow and contemplative Middle-Eastern themes, is almost like proto-surf music. The only complaint I have is that there are some organ tones toward the beginning which hit some volume peaks and sound like they are a little hot in the mix.

Dunes and Wind (10:17) introduces a psychedelic tremolo effect on the guitar, and features some great interplay between the bass and organ. There several transitions throughout the song that keep things interesting. The real highlight of the song is the extended use of the unique sounding hammered dulcimer at the end of the song.

Alawith (9:51) opens with a heavy bass-led rhythm section, laced with bells and hand percussion. The sound is very cohesive, with string-orchestra sounds on the keyboard. About halfway through, at the 5:15 mark, the song becomes more driving and heavy and the song features an awesome oriental sounding guitar solo complemented by a cool triplet pattern on the ride cymbal.

Sphinx (8:15) has a very authentic sounding opening with rich, blended layers that create a darker tone for the track. The song is very psychedelic and includes authentic instruments like the ud and lute, lots of hand percussion, mind-bending organ solos, and some funky wah-pedal action.

Bedouins (9:15) opens with a calculated guitar line leading into a groovy rhythm section which includes some beautiful guitar layers and heavy bass. The track features a syncopated, progressive section, some interesting stereo effects, and a classical sounding guitar solo. However, the song is hampered a little bit by some overly dissonant guitar notes and a meandering pace.

The closing track, Red Snake (8:40), is consistent with the rest of the album. It does change things up slightly by adding a trippy, spacier psychedelic section after the introduction, as well as several cool transitions throughout.

“…get lost in the rich layers and infectious groove patterns…”

Eastern Tales is a fantastic debut album for Babylon Tree, and consistently provides an intriguing mixture of Middle-Eastern themes and stoner rock. It’s easy to get lost in the rich layers and infectious groove patterns. The album is a solid debut release for Babylon Tree. Although there is no physical copy of the recording, you can buy the digital album on Bandcamp, and definitely keep an eye out for more great music from Babylon Tree.

Album Review: Brant Bjork’s Jacoozzi

Brant Bjork is a name that is almost synonymous with desert rock. He’s a multi-instrumentalist from Palm Desert, California, so prolific that he has an entire wikipedia page about his discography. He was a founding member of Kyuss, playing on seminal albums such as (Welcome to) Sky Valley and Blues for the Red Sun. He also played for a time in Fu Manchu, recording albums such as California Crossing and No One Rides for Free. In addition to his work with other bands, he also has an impressive lineup of solo releases.

His newest album, Jaccoozzi, was released on April 5, and is being advertised as a sort of lost album. The album was recorded in 2010, but immediately shelved. This was because Bjork had decided to tour with John Garcia and Kyuss Lives, but also because Bjork’s time in the studio did not go as expected. Bjork had gone to a house in Joshua Tree, CA to record material for his next solo album, but personal life changes as well as feeling burned out from extensive recording and touring caused him to change his plans. Bjork decided to scrap his original project and focus on creating improvised jams. While his sound engineer ran tape, Bjork laid down his drum beats first and then layered the songs with bass and guitar tracks, as well as occasional organs. The whole album is swingy and groovy and except for the final track, completely instrumental. There are plenty of jazzed up, psychedelic, desert-rock patterns that serve as jam tracks for Bjork to creatively elaborate on and explore. The album features some driving tribal beats and percussion, crunchy extended riffs, tasty guitar leads, and a fat bass sound. Whether you’re out grilling in the backyard, road-tripping through the desert, or chilling in the hottub, Jacoozzi will make for an awesome summer soundtrack.

The first track, Can’t Out Run the Sun, is a nearly eight minute song, built around the concept of a driving, tribal drum beat and heavy delay effects on the guitars. There are plenty of psychedelic, trance inducing patters that develop as the song adds guitar layers throughout.

The second track, Guerilla Funk, introduces hand percussion and a crisper bass sound, and funking it up as the name implies. Bjork’s heavy cymbals, completely allowed to ring out on the recording, sound so good, paired with the huge, ringing drum sound. The track clocks in at 7:20.

At half the length of the first two tracks, Mexico City Blues is a smooth, 12-bar based song that features drums beats with a slightly Latin feel. The tasty guitar leads make this one perfect for a twilight drive through the high desert.

Bjork explores a solo instrumental drum track on Five Hundred Thousand Dollars. It’s a 43 second bash fest on the drums that completely grooves. Black and White Wonderland slows things down with a very solid rhythm pattern between the drums and bass, paired with a very listenable guitar riff.

Oui picks up the pace with plenty of wah pedal and driving, tribal patterns on the drums. The whole track plays like a psychedelic surf song. Mixed Nuts follows it up in a laid back, jazzy way. There are some tasty bell taps on the cymbals, and some great harmonies between the bass and guitar.

Around the half minute mark, Lost in Race features a heavy bass riff, a great return of the hand percussion, and a huge drum sound. Organ tracks add a cool counterpoint melody throughout the song, sometimes dissonant, but adding to that improvised, jazzy feel.

The four minute track, Polarized, brings in several cool heavy psych elements, including, a backwards drum track, very fuzzy, feedbacky guitars, and a detached sounding piano line, that lays down the palpable rhythm melody of the song. The high pitched piano and guitar tones contrast nicely with the deep bass and dub-like drum beat.

Do You Love Your World? is the only track on the album with vocals. The song has a great classic rock sound and Bjork’s vocals, though a little quiet in the mix, sound clear and heartfelt. Perhaps this bit of vocal musing was a remnant of Bjork’s original material that carried through to, or maybe it was just something he came up with at the moment.

The important thing to remember is that this is an improvised jam album, halted before fruition, and presented in raw form, so if that sounds good to you, check out Brant Bjork’s Jacoozzi and get ready to groove.

Tour Dates

May 25 Pappy & Harriet’s – Pioneertown, CA

June 19 Hirsch – Nuremberg, Germany

June 24 Musikbunker – Aachen, Germany

June 25 Centralstation – Darmstadt, Germany

June 26 Musik Zentrum Hannover – Hanover, Germany

June 29 Austria Rockhouse – Salzburg, Germany


Akmé, the Sophomore Heavy-Psych Album by Sageness

Akme, by Sageness

Sageness is a heavy-psych trio that hails from Leon, Spain. The band produces instrumental, psychedelic music with healthy doses of stoner and post-rock. Akmé, their second full length after their self-titled album in 2017, was released on February 23rd. Rich textures and complex arrangements characterize the songs. Ethereal guitar parts overlay in-the-pocket drum and bass grooves. Parts of the album have progressive qualities, and everything on the album is listenable and enjoyable, with the haunting guitar melodies more than taking the place of vocals. Akmé is a great example of a band whose members are synced together and really listen to each other. Their album features beautiful art by Diogo Soares and you can buy the digital album or CD on bandcamp.

“plenty of full-blooded riffs”

Andromeda, the first track, is an easy flowing opener that clocks in at just above seven and a half minutes. The song takes its time to develop up and take form, exploring arpeggiated guitar leads early in the song before developing into plenty of full-blooded riffs later on. Fans of the album Dead Roots Stirring, by Elder, will appreciate the rich guitar tones on this song.

The second track, a nine minute composition entitled The Thought, opens with heavily driving bass, spacey effects and ethereal guitar sounds, while the drums lay down a lively, funky beat that holds the song elements together. The band alternates between jams that allow the song to breathe, and moments of progressive syncopation. Great use of the wah pedal is made later in the song, and there are moments when the guitar leads even have a surfy vibe that is just fun to be carried away on.

Sizigia is the shortest track on the album, clocking in at four minutes and 19 seconds, but what it lacks in length is made up for in catchy guitar hooks and pleasing tones. By contrast the next song, Ephemeral, is the longest song on the album, clocking in at nearly 10 minutes, and is a sprawling track that really should be thought of more as a complex composition, with many transitions, than simply as a song.

“a progressive, post-rock journey”

A thought that crossed my mind continuously while listening to this album was how tuned in the musicians of Sageness are with each other. The next track, Mindbender, is a great example of this. The group takes us on a progressive, post-rock journey. Don’t miss the last half of the song when the track makes a swift turn into a galloping stoner rock riff to finish things off.

The album wraps up with Hydro. Wonderfully melodic guitar leads more than take the place of vocals on this one. The end of the song features some tight drum and bass progressions, over laid by heavy effected guitar lines, with amazing results.

Overall, the album really is a good showcase for these proficient musicians, who are in tune with each other and their craft. It’s tempting to think that on a 42 minute album with no vocalist (not to mention three songs that are over the seven minute mark) the songs might tend to be drawn out and boring, but this can’t be less true. There are plenty of transitions to keep things moving and interesting, and the guitar dramatically takes the place of vocals. Akmé is well worth repeated listens.

March 23 Babylon Leon – Leon, Spain W/ Raw Colors