TRACK | MIINT – Farmacopea

5/5 golden merles

Mérida, Mexico-based psych punk, with a great acuity of influence, blending many genre elements of surf, garage, shoegaze and some field-recording experimentation toward the latter stages of the album. Opening salvo “Farmacopea” stretches to what would seem a breaking point. But before you know it it’s wrapped back around, the ouroboros insatiable, the spine of bass holding steady.

In light of all that, the production is equal parts bone crunching and soaring. Change is constant and the track is always moving forward, chimeric, feinting and lacerating. These whims come naturally and compound in the cloth of the thing, all of the delirious addendums arriving to seize and gratify. Much is made from the synthesis, its hybrid and contorted form a myriad of chaoses I find to be compelling.

Proceeding to the bandcamp, the digital ghost of the record can be captured for $26 MXN ($1.29 USD).

TRACK | Goon – Angelnumber 1210

5/5 golden merles

Los Angeles’ Goon has delivered to us more hypnotically drifting, catastrophe cooing psych rock. The band is in a unique place, confidently contorting melodies and multifaceted textures around otherworldly tales. There’s much care and craft to its interlocking layers and marbled phasing.

From the first moments of the field recordings discordant rumble, then the turning into a steady spine of percussion, it carries itself forward into being with great assurance. The piece feels sculptural and fills the audible void by pushing in many directions. There’s plenty of subtle sequences and attention to detail, each caringly extracted from the aether and melded into the elaborated structure.

The language is casually cryptic or explicitly ambiguous: environmental, a gathering, on earth, belated or in dream. The point is the feeling and the sense of collaborating within a stunning phenomenon and in a world of possibility.

The vinyl is delayed a few months from shipping due to manufacturing shortages but there are digital, tapes, and assorted articles of clothing if you would like to affiliate your physical body with their audible output, all coordinated at the bandcamp.

TRACK | The Lavender Flu – Demons In The Dusk

5/5 golden merles

Experimental psych and folk rock from Oregon, The Lavender Flu’s “Demons in the Dusk” finds the lugubrious periphery of rock to be a haunting and inviting sector. And they offer great returns residing and mining this quarter comfortably immediately before collapse.

The album as a whole is consistently wailing and receding, working within its own internal logic that promptly consumes the listener. But “Demons In The Dusk” is probably the foremost hook, the crown jewel of a barb that easiest draws you in. It rewards your patience with a strange, strangled style, then an uptick of treble and trembling in the end.

As we hurtle unapologetically toward a new dark age, estranged from the storied ends, adrift and listless, it suits us well. At least the paths run parallel. Craven and composed, it saunters to the threat of annihilation, an easy going end that specifically omits a mea culpa, “The Lies that you breathe / will follow you.”

4 sides for 30 wending tracks, the double vinyl is around.

TRACK | Cut Worms – Like Going Down Sideways

5/5 golden merles

One of the strongest 2-song 7″ I’ve come across, a pair of my favorites from the buildup to Alien Sunset. “Like Going Down Sideways” is delicate and dreamy alt country. It is also an expert projection of layering a demo into a fully fledged lo-fi phenomenon.

There’s a lot of wonder to the piercing polarization of the complimentary layered vocal lanes, creeping in solemnly from the treetops of hell before the chorus raises. The track also features texturally many deliberate flourishes, like a couple of the briefest xylophone or glockenspiel cameos known to man; arriving to puncture amidst the plucking and contribute just a bit more of the percussive, glinting and gleaming.

The persistent room noise in this version is lovely. This one came out perfected and doesn’t need refining. You can still buy the split from Randy Records for all of $6.50 plus shipping.

TRACK | Wand – Flying Golem

5/5 golden merles

Psychedelic rock from LA, “Flying Golem” convincingly summons something strange and special from the inanimate. The instrumentation approximates something graceful, aloft and massive. Driving melodic guitars grind and latch to the steadfast percussion, synths delicately sprout from the structure.

I have very limited patience for guitar solos in general but this one is adequately shattering and incorporates the discordant with deliberate experimentation. Through its winding and dissolution it manages to say something new and complimentary within the context of the demolition.

Sadly the bandcamp has one selectively available track, so the YouTube link won’t show up in the hype machine. But also check out the beautiful video on youtube directed and animated by Meghan Tryon & Garrett M Davis. $9 for the digital, abridged in its preview. The vinyl’s relatively rare but can be located for the right price.

TRACK | Cotton Jones – Blood Red Sentimental Blues

5/5 golden merles

Michael Nau and Whitney McGraw have always had a great sense of production, properly documenting the smoke in the air, the curving and crashing that elevates the storytelling. This is still firmly in that tradition but a bit bigger.

When they gradually grew away from the charmed lo-fi folk of Page France, the goal seems to be to create a warm ambiance of fertile soil in which to grow their melodies.

“Blood Red Sentimental Blues” would work as a title alone. But there’s a lot more to it than that. The organ cements the foundation of the thing. The dual vocals route a pincer maneuver on the heart. When the tambourine track clicks the drum into a richer stereo around 1:23, all of this gets more tactile. It is eminently lovely stuff.

TRACK | Prison Affair – Nice Guys

5/5 golden merles

Spanish lo-fi texture god-ghouls, Prison Affair return with Demo III, a slick and bountiful repeater. Top tier sludge and melody worship, it is both sickly and perpetually fun.

The aesthetic sense is something akin to reliably nailing Jell-O/jelly/ectoplasm to the wall; take your pick. Hard to quantify and deceptively simple, spatially ingenious, modestly amuck stuff.

The excited and concurrent release among the lo dash fi pipeline was impressive, dropping last month across Tremendo Garaje, Harakiri Diat, and tagoschlucam, among others, to much outpouring of love. They are highly consistent and rightfully flourishing, short and detailed tracks hyper focused on quality over quantity yet regularly uploading great sets of EPs/demos.

TRACK | The Shivas – Beach Heads

5/5 golden merles

“Beach Heads” is a track both levitating in a vacuum and yet bound to the surf. The breadth of it’s soundscape is the width of radius between the earths crust and the outer exosphere.

With most tracks you’re lucky if you make it within a country mile of the mesosphere. Meanwhile this tune is demonstrably adrift, both pristine and coated in sand.

For the first minute exactly there is nothing but the ba’s. And they’re very fine ba’s at that, probably the finest since Ben Kweller fell through that very same aether packed envelope in the year 2000.

The views that are expressed thereafter appear to embrace uncertainty, a kind of doubt that is plotted on the horseshoe of future expectations somewhere between enlightenment and resignation. Time is rapidly expiring but panic won’t help. Calmly survey the expanse for some kind of clue as how to proceed.