#Shorttokes – Summer Smoke, Psych and….. Sheep?

Maid Vale

In Maida Vale, there is a famous BBC recording studio in London, and I guess this is their reasoning for the name, as opposed to just the name of the district…. This album kicks off with some swagger and strutting like Hendrix playing with Rage Against the Machine all although they sound like they could hail from Haight Ashbury circa ’68 there is a definite modernism to the vocalist’s delivery. Yet, they hail from Sweden, not San Francisco, forming in 2012. There are solid drums, and between the percussion and the vocalist the guitars lay down some swimmingly soothing psychedelic guitar licks. ‘Dirty War’ opens like Hendrix’s Voodoo Child, but soon they stamp their own moniker on the tune. And ‘Heaven and Earth’ closes the album as it opens up with exploratory expanses of guitar reverb and gently takes me by the hand and leads the way….

‘Tales of the Wicked West’ is released on June 30th on The Sign Records, just in time to be a great summer hit!
Click here for album details:


Three-piece Kabbalah deliver another super smooth occult-ish downer rock sourcing a 70s vibe with a Chrissie Hynde/Justine Fleischman styled singer bringing some street sulk to their mystical majesty. Their promo piece suggests this is for fans of Blood Ceremony and Coven, and that is completely spot on. But it is far lighter and more poppy on tracks such as ‘The Darkest End’, don’t let the title fool you, the vocals are super sweet. And even ‘The Reverend’ with its darker opening sounds still tease me like an evil Bangles, and there’s nowt wrong with that.

Twin Earth Records are releasing this super slice of summer psych on July 7th 2017, and they appear on this freebie sampler from the label: http://bit.ly/2rTFHaY


Demon Head concerned me from the start, not a name that gripped me, and an album cover with a goat’s head on felt all a bit naff. However, never judge a book and all that, by the time track 2 is away, as it is titled ‘We are Burning’! Another fantastic slab of Scandinavian styled smokin’ stoner retro rock.
I understand this is their second album, plus a few singles releases, and they are developing a sound, yearning for that early Witchcraft vibe which it seems to take the first half of this album to get comfortable with and then they let it fly. With spliff-riffs that smell of old oak tables and panelled rooms in medieval stately homes and analogue tracking….. ‘Older Now’ sounds like a Neil Young tune strained through the Scandi lens. ‘Gallows Omen’ is a stand out track for me, as it is a gloomy slow burner that smells of the early 1970s that could have easily appeared on a Uriah Heep lp.
But what is it with the sheep album covers??!
‘Thunder on the Fields’ is released through The Sign Records on July 7th. Check their bandcamp page for this and previous material:

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