Bazooka Zero Hits LP Review

Single, EP and Album Reviews, Uncategorized
Bazooka; Credit Sarah

Athens-based psychedelic punk outfit, Bazooka

Bazooka shook us up last year with their turbulent psychedelic EP: ‘Zougla’ (‘Jungle’ released Nov 2017) – in case you missed it, here’s our review. Their chaotic and acidic punk 4-track EP has now given birth to this completely face-melting full-length record, Zero Hits.

Returning this January with their 3rd LP – and for the month that’s in it, it’s been the most well timed irreverent psych-punk record to lift those ominous clouds.

Their lead single: ‘Fylaki’ (‘Prison’) in the bands words: “..was born from the thought that we are seemingly free, yet we are locked up in our own mental cell. You know, we create our personal hell and we don’t even know it. And some of us even believe that it’s a place of love and happiness.”

The Athens based four-piece have irrepressible passion, and you cannot help but feed off their contagious energy. Singing entirely in their Greek mother tongue is of no barrier, sonically, you will appreciate just how ambitious and different their sound is; driving surf-rock crossed with new wave and laced with fuzzy guitar riffs. It would certainly find a fitting home on BBC Radio 6 Music – a refreshing spin for Steve Lamacq’s Roundtable we reckon!

Bazooka LP Artwork; George Chandrinos.jpeg

Bazooka LP artwork credit; George Chandrinos

Zero Hits (released via Inner Ear Records) is out now: Inner Ear RecordsiTunesBandCamp

Follow Bazooka on: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

Words: Rachael Crabtree (@eccentric_eejit)

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The Noise Figures // Telepath Review

Single, EP and Album Reviews, Uncategorized

The Noise Figures; Photo Credit; Fotis Milionis.jpg

If you’re chasing down a new Psych-Blues band to add to your playlist then we recommend checking out The Noise Figures and their slow burning offering of a third album: ‘Telepath’. The Greek two-piece, George Nikas (vocals, drums) and Stamos Bamparis (guitar, vocals) combine intoxicating guitar riffs and tribal drumming that dapples in the bluesy grittiness, echoing the brilliance of Drenge.

You are destined to enjoy their fuzzy vertigo running through the album which has paved way to a heavier album than their previous two – their manically satisfying guitar work, shifting in its patterns are best highlighted on tracks: Telepath, Taste Like Time and Lethargy. Like me, you might even detect a slight 90’s edge, circa Madchester, running through some of their tracks, at times vocally (though I might be alone on this one) I definitely detect a reminiscence of The Charlatans.

All the while, you will be quickly taken in by the dark and primitive spirit of their raw guitar and drums, sitting somewhere between The Black Angels and BRMC, giving this two-piece not only an addictive edge but essentially flagging The Noise Figures as a band to watch!

The Athens-based rock duo released their third album on March 2nd via Inner Ear Records – tune into Telepath below…

THE NOISE FIGURES: WEBSITE // FACEBOOK// TWITTER //

INSTAGRAM

WORDS: RACHAEL CRABTREE (@ECCENTRIC_EEJIT)

Tango With Lions // The Light // Album Review

Single, EP and Album Reviews, Uncategorized

THE LIGHT_DIGITAL; Tango With Lions; copyright

Nailing the mystical, and often minimal, is the Greek Singer-Songwriter, Katerina Papachristou and her band, Tango With Lions. Since we first heard their recent single: ‘Proof of Desire’ (lifted from their latest album: ‘The Light’) we were eagerly anticipating the records release. One of Greece’s biggest indie/folk bands mark their return with this third studio album, and on first listen the variation of styles strikes you as altogether madly intriguing and absolutely one of a kind.

The sparseness intensifies the records nine short stories of introspection. Darkness and light coexist steadily, sometimes more excessively than the other, better still, they are never alone, and that, is what gives it beauty – the acceptance of this reflects life itself, opposites cannot live without one another and nor can a decent record! By recognising the value and power of each other (dark and light) the listener attunes, and subsequently, bonds more closely to the music.

Tango With Lions; Press Shot; Eftychia Vlachou, copyright

Katerina Papachristou, the master-mind behind, Tango With Lions. Photographer: Eftychia Vlachou

Nine songs, each different in style, reaffirm that Tango With Lions’ music hinges on atmosphere, created through imagery and poetry. Tipping slowly on the albums eerily unsettling second track: ‘Proof of Desire’ and fully realised on the penultimate track, ‘The Go-Betweens’ is the symmetry with PJ Harvey – similarities lie within the eccentric art form of creating short stories through song craft and experimental instrumentalism.

The timing of this records release could not have arrived at a more apt time either – the light of New Year light nearly shadowed by the mid-winter bleakness until the irrepressible enthusiasm for the year ahead conquers all doubts of uncertainty: “…hush now between Winter and Spring…” Papachristou whispers on the penultimate track.

Concluding, with what sounds like, a cassette of French poetry playing alongside an accordion busker, alluring in it’s warnings and wisdom – this record grows on you as your intrigue unconsciously hits replay.

‘The Light’ was released via Inner Ear Records on 19th January 2018.

Tango With Lions // Website // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

Words: RACHAEL CRABTREE (@ECCENTRIC_EEJIT)

Bazooka Zougla EP Review

Single, EP and Album Reviews, Uncategorized

BAZOOKA_COVER by Ben Fuog

We reckon the flourishing Athens alternative music scene is something you need to keep an eye on this year. Two acts that caught our attention in particular are Acid Baby Jesus and Bazooka (both psych-punk outfits) who have been producing a constant flow of material, alongside delivering consistently excellent shows across Europe leading to significant (well deserved) recognition.

Bazooka were formed in 2008, in Volos, (native to Centaurs) and consist of singer/guitarist Xanthos Papanikolaou, guitarist Bill Tzelepis, drummer John Vulgaris, Keyboardist Panos Papanikolaou and bassist, Aris Rammos. Within the same year they moved to Athens, the Greek capital underwent a severe economic crisis. Fortuitously, a multitude of DIY squat venues had given birth to an underground musical renaissance paving way to the city’s best punk and psych-rock bands, Acid Baby Jesus and Bazooka.

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One of Athen’s best psychedelic bands, Bazooka (Photo credit: Ben Fuog).

In follow up to their second LP: Useless Generation Bazooka have returned with a 4-track EP, Zougla (Jungle). And it’s exactly what you need for January – a truly fast, psychedelic and very raw record to lift those overcast skies and inject energy into your veins. Chaotic and passionate punk rhythms suffuse with acidic rifts, tipping on the tribal, accompanied by a fiery edged delivery of Greek verse which is, all in all, manically satisfying.

The opening title track (‘Zougla’) begins with a distant animal noise as distinctive as Plant’s wailing cry on Immigrant Song, and when the exceptional progressive guitar riffs kick in, it is suffice to consider this a psych-garage cousin to Led Zeppelin’s classic. Just as the second track (‘Exailosou’) outlines a filmic terrain; atypical desert acoustic guitar with distancing whistling and brass, we are led to the dizzy heady pang of the third track (‘I Diki Sou I Sira’) where subtle parallels are to be had with equal legends, Acid Baby Jesus’ single, ‘You Had It Coming’ (off their 2014 self-titled LP)!

The record is seen out by ‘Thelo Fisi’ a pending drum solo and returning bird noises that meet their mother tongue, culminating in a turbulence of distorted spaced out guitar – let Bazooka tap into your mind here, it’s a voyage through time and space!

“Zougla” [Inner Ear Records] is out now: Inner Ear Records, iTunes, BandCamp

BAZOOKA // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram 

Words: RACHAEL CRABTREE (@ECCENTRIC_EEJIT)

 

Acid Baby Jesus // Live Review // London

Live Reviews, Uncategorized
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Acid Baby Jesus rocking The Victoria, Dalston (13/09/17)

It’s not often you discover a band that aligns with both a local show of theirs, plus an album release and, most importantly, happen to be one of the best modern bands out there. Acid Baby Jesus, a psych-garage-rock four piece from Athens, Greece, exceed (my already great) expectations onstage The Victoria, Dalston that it’s impossible to take your attention away from them; they have the audience in the palm of their hand. Playing to a sold out London crowd, up front everyone has just about enough room to bounce off one another, becoming comfortably close and sweaty, lead singer Noda plays off the audience and vice-versa, wanting to get “..everything loose and groovy” from the get go, the crowd’s response to throw some acid out, launches into the familiar footing of ‘Vegetable’ where audience participation comes easily. Tonight, older material is mixed with songs from the latest album ‘Lilac Days’ (29/09/17) which guitarist Tili eagerly wants to share with us and everyone can’t wait to get a piece of, by their set’s closure: “We only just got our hands on it today and it’s available to buy over there from our very much fifth band member, Kris”. IMG_3661

The experimental moments are tonight’s highlights, and when you attempt to pair their sound to another you’re left with so many cross references and contradictions – 60’s psychedelia to garage-punk to 70’s prog-rock, they even throw in a bit of glam-rock; comparisons to Marc Bolan’s aesthetics are natural with frontman Noda’s effervescent stage persona along with his silver glittered eyes, just about distinguishable under masses of curly hair.

There are so many off the wall moments and stand out guitar solo’s that everyone here tonight is left completely satisfied and speechless by Acid Baby Jesus’s departure. Speaking just days beforehand with drummer, Marko, he offered us a very valuable point in how modern music is so fortunate to have such an timeless back catalogue of ‘greats’ to reference: “…it’s the first time a whole generation grows up with all the history of recorded music at our disposal”. When you consider the concept of Rock n’ Roll, akin to an artist emulating another movement through their painting, Impressionism for instance, yet distinctly follows a path of their own making; as Marko continues “…rock n’ roll as an art form has strong roots in certain traditions and sounds. We try to continue on that path while bringing our own sensibilities to it”, all comparisons to other musicians becomes almost irrelevant. Acid Baby Jesus are exceptional artists in their own right, one’s that are set to become a legacy of our generation; long live Rock n’ Roll!

Acid Baby JesusWebsite // Facebook

Words and photography: RACHAEL CRABTREE (@ECCENTRIC_EEJIT)

Acid Baby Jesus Interview // Introducing

Interviews, Uncategorized
Acid Baby Jesus Profile Pic

Greek Garage-Psych-Rockers, Acid Baby Jesus

There’s an incredible feeling you get when you discover new music – one minute we complain about the amount of time wasted on social media but within the same instant a new band via Instagram, promoted by the venue you follow hits you and suddenly their post spirals into a subsequent listen to this promising band. It’s the very moment you tune in, and it’s instant love that the time spent on your phone can be forgiven; you’ve discovered an absolute gem and the world is suddenly so much better. Even better when said band are on a European/UK tour – performing today in Brighton (for you lucky few) Falmouth on Monday and Wednesday for us London folk! Let me introduce you to Acid Baby Jesus, one of the best new bands out there, alongside Ten Fé (naturally) – who we love over here at Spiral – line for line can now be recited of ‘Hit The Light’ and yet their album just keeps on giving!

Despite Acid Baby Jesus’s busy touring schedule, we very fortunately managed to catch up with their drummer, Marko, to gain a glimpse into their band ahead of their UK tour!

Can you introduce us to your music, we’re loving the psychedelic 60’s vibes coming through: Love has Left my House Today, feels almost throwback yet so completely fresh and different, how long have we been missing out on your music is really the question at stake here?

We’ve been a band since 2009, so we’ve been playing for 8 years. About our sound, we could say there’s a lot of referencing going on in modern music because it’s the first time a whole generation grows up with all the history of recorded music at our disposal. Also rock ‘n’ roll as an art form has strong roots in certain traditions and sounds. We try to continue on that path while bringing our own sensibilities in it.

So you’re from Athens, Greece, what is the music scene like back home?

It’s very active with a lot of bands and musicians from inside and outside the country moving there and doing their thing. Lately many bands have started touring more, which works wonders to get local music heard outside the country.

Very fortunately we stumbled across your music midst your European/UK Tour, and can’t wait to catch your London gig in a few days time! There’s so many small venues over here in the UK closing down rapidly, those that are left, are on the brink of survival. These venues are momentous to bands starting out, this is where they cut their teeth. Would you say there’s a decent gig circuit in Athens?

Not really. But it’s getting more alive. There used to be lots of small independent venues, but most got shut down in recent years. Now it’s picking up and things are looking better, with more things happening all around.

Really looking forward to your upcoming ‘Lilac Days’ LP can you give us a quick low down on your inspiration, any strong literary influences in the mix, and your favourite track off the album, and why?

It’s a mix of our personalities and tastes that gives our music its sound. We all have lots of musical and artistic influences that we combine in one direction that pushes and shapes our songs. Personal favorite could maybe be Love Has Left My House Today, just because it worked when we didn’t expect it to.

Lilac Days is out 29th September on Fuzz Club Records, details here

We recommend that you get yourselves down to Sticky Mikes (Tickets here) tonight (10/09) or you’ll regret it, if you can’t make it come join us at The Victoria, London, Wednesday (13/09)…Tickets here!

Acid Baby JesusWebsite // Facebook

Words: RACHAEL CRABTREE (@ECCENTRIC_EEJIT)