JAMES PIKE - ON YOUR OWN DAY YOU ARE BELIEVED
sloow 2017, edition of 70
"These recordings have the same classic private press vibe that permeates records as Terry Rojvi, Jim Collins, etc. Magical potion concocted by this Maine troubadour, channeling the elemental spirits towards inner light." - SLOOW
ON YOUR OWN DAY flickers like a late night candlelight vigil, sways like a somber god fearing congregation, lumbers like a spine tingling backwoods seance -- a fantastic offering of rural psychedelic folk rock that after having heard a game changer like JIMMY CARTER & DALLAS COUNTY GREEN and recently revisiting longtime favorite in archival texas psych gem COLD SUN's DARK SHADOWS, it wouldn't take much to convince me that these recordings are forty plus years old if not for the dust-free production, which is the most unexpected element of this SLOOW tape, well maybe other than it's apparent accessibility which to me most certainly reaches above and beyond an edition of 70
at first glance there seems a certain pretense gleaned from THE NATIONAL, OKKERVIL RIVER and WILCO - which might be selling points for some - i'm not too keen but not wholesale adverse either - in any case this tape spirals toward folks like DONOVAN QUINN and WOODEN WAND, with earliest / best SPARKLEHORSE reverence and contemporary cassette comparison to WES TIREY and fellow SLOOW phenom SPENCER DOBBS [REC #116]
ON YOUR OWN DAY goes as PIKE goes - for one there's hardly anything else driving it - but not without a just-right amount of just-right accompaniment - absolutely crucial female vocal harmonies, touches of unexpected and brilliantly understated string (synth?) fermatas for simple yet devastating effect - neat, plain production and smartly reserved instrumentation and arrangement - all hallmarks of a "good folk album" i say, at times recalling one of my all time favorite tapes in TIREY's O ANNIHILATOR
PIKE's lyrics and delivery are familiar but a bit difficult to pin down - sometimes rambling and wry like TOTH, sometimes pensive and reflective like TIREY, more often than not a bit strung out like DOBBS or QUINN - of the five, i suppose PIKE is most apt to carry a tune as he croons a seemingly deeply personal set of sobering farewell transmissions and endearing ballads of loneliness and longing - "you will dream my dream, and i will dream your dream, we will dream... away... away..."
ON YOUR OWN DAY is a real gem, an outsider's diary of drunken ballads, moody dirges and sullen sing-alongs, a country folk tinged distillation of THE ROLLING STONES, CAT STEVENS and NIKKI SUDDEN, no frills no nonsense singer songwriter moves, brooding and vulnerable, stripped of all non essential parts with just enough of an edge and off-the-beaten-path quality to it, sounding both fresh and timeless, perhaps the true testament of a "classic"
DIRE WOLVES - DRUMBAR AND BASSPEAR
sloow 2017, edition of 70
"Free-rock cosmic feedback by way of acid folk explorations. This feels like a classic West coast styled psych version of Amon Düül II." - SLOOW
favored psychedelic free rock outfit makes a triumphant return to SLOOW TAPES, a most revered label around these parts, six years gone by since THE CREATOR HAS A FASTER VAN, which seems to have been a watershed moment of sorts for DW, a crucial inflection point, both stylistically and realistically as they went on an apparent hiatus thereafter til 2015's THE BERNAL CODEX [REC #79] and since then they have established themselves as one of thee preeminent purveyors of stoner psych improvisation, providing an ever crystallizing mystic moody counterpoint to the freaked out pummel of tangential free rock contemporaries BURNT HILLS and DSDV --though magnum opus THE GRAND CELESTIAL PURGE [REC #133] is certainly more parallel to DW's trajectory-- while providing an alternate "classic west coast" interpretation of old guard krautrock opposite the peculiar strain of rural kosmische rethinkers in MENDOCINO and VON HIMMEL
DRUMBAR AND BASSPEAR is a righteous offering of two sidelong excursions, thick smoky basement jams, improvised spiritualized bliss, honed on side one like an impossible AMON DUUL II aria featuring CHRISTINA CARTER and PHAROAH SANDERS, somehow distantly yet distinctly channeling THE BEATLES "taxman" and PERE UBU "laughing", then zoned way out on side two like CAN's "yoo doo right" meets COMUS meets TONY CONRAD WITH FAUST -- sweet fancy moses, look out for side two -- hot on the heels of their vinyl debut EXCURSIONS TO CLOUDLAND (or rather ahead, as the vinyl was delayed) comes this more narrowly targeted missive of supreme third eye gazing, soothing an itch scarcely scratched - like EXCURSIONS and other recent DW works, fans of BARDO POND and HERON OBLIVION ought to take note, but for best results i say consider the more immersed vibes of HERBCRAFT and MV & EE
i kinda wanna say this is their best, but i kinda wanna say that about all their albums