Brimstone — Mannsverk
(Karisma KAR082, 2014, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2015-01-26Brimstone (formerly known as The Brimstore Solar Radiation Band) is a Norwegian band that's been around more than ten years, though I hadn't heard them before. On Mannsverk, they operate in the same kind of psych-prog realm as their countrymen Motorpsycho sometimes do, though not in a derivative way. The opening track is "A Norwegian Requiem," and it's a real winner. There's a cool groove with jazzy drums and an overdriven bass line, and vintage-sounding keyboards provide rich colors backing the vocals. Add in a little Mahavishnu quote in the guitar solo (a line from "Cosmic Strut") and you've checked enough boxes to please lots of listeners. Other tracks are similarly successful, and while it's impeccably recorded, there's enough grit in there to keep it real, whether it's a distorted edge on an electric piano or gravel in the voice or a screaming dissonant note on the guitar. And when they bring in tubular bells or harpsichord or other unexpected instruments, it just fits and doesn't seem gratuitous at all. The rhythm section of Truls Eriksen (bass) and Thomas Grønner (drums) deserves special recognition for some amazing grooves, setting a mood that is funky, rocking, and spacey all at once. Every track is a winner, from the delicate "The Giant Fire" at just over three minutes to "Sjö and Land," which stretches past 12. Karisma Records has a real winner here — hope to hear more from this great band!
Related artist(s): Brimstone
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more