Archive for October 31, 2015

Frostlake – “White Moon, Black Moon” (Discus Music 2015, CD)

Frostlake is singer and multi-instrumentalist Jan Todd, who is also part of Orchestra Of The Upper Atmosphere whose outstanding 02 set I reviewed earlier this year. Frostlake plays electric and acoustic guitars, viola, synth, electric piano and electronics, with assistance from other musicians on bass, flute, synth, piano, clarinet, glockenspiel, drums and various forms of percussion.

The dozen songs on White Moon, Black Moon are singer-songwriter Folk-Prog at their core, through with a beautifully dreamy Psychedelic and Space-Ambient quality. Throughout the set I was impressed with the way ambience, effects and field recordings are deployed, being a powerful presence or embellishment, but always contributing to the larger picture that is being painted. I like the spacey atmospherics and effects, ambient bass and Celtic quality on No Looking Back. Similarly, the bass clarinet adds a dreamy ambient flavor to Night Watch. The accordion does the same for Quiet Storm. And ditto for the E-bow on the title track, plus slide guitar which injects a spaced out Dave Gilmour feel. Songs like Snowlight, that seem instrumentally sparse, actually speak volumes with their spectral moodiness and cautious but effective use of percussive effects and melodic ambience. Falling Through Shadows has a dreamily eerie Psychedelic orchestral Folk flavor that I enjoyed. I like the drifting, cosmic jazzy feel of Connection. Dark Winds and Endless Rain struck me as Space-Ambient takes on the Trespass era Genesis sound. And Thin Red Line is similar but with the bonus of some of the most exquisite compositional/instrumental arrangements of the set.

Frostlake’s vocals are beautiful and ideal for the supporting music, and her lyrics are variously introspective, poetic, and fairy tale narrative. If your tastes cover the gamut, and in this case convergence, of Folk-Prog-Psych-Space/Ambient, then you’ll find much to enjoy and discover over repeated listens to White Moon, Black Moon.

For more information visit the Discus Music web site at:
White Moon, Black Moon is also available through Amazon UK

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

Unimother 27 – “Frozen Information” (Pineal Gland Lab 2015, CD)

Italian musician Piero Ranalli has a varied background, being a member of Space/Psych/Stoner band Insider, and was also in the now defunct heavy Prog ensemble Areknames. Unimother 27 is the solo vehicle he began in 2006 to explore his diverse Space Rock/Psych/Kraut/Prog interests. Frozen Information is his fourth album and the first since 2008. Ranalli plays guitars, bass, synths and the occasional voicings, with drums and percussion credited to “Mr Fist”.

The set opens with Moksha (to Huxley). After a dark Goth-Psych intro we skip through a brief Prog styled segment before launching into a jamming Psych rocker with a cool combination of dual acidic and spaced out guitar soloing, haunting church organ and a commanding rhythmic pulse which trips along until returning to the opening theme for the finale. Parts of this sound like the Bevis Frond gone Prog Rock. Dancing Thought is a bit different, exploring some contrasting but interesting King Crimson and grungy Psych Rock ‘n’ Roll territory. The Oblivion’s Cage is a thematically fluid mixture of spaced out synth work and effects, grungy but pleasantly melodic tune, tribal grooving rhythms and Prog-Psych guitar soloing. Clear Light Healing is an easy-paced melodic spacey Prog instrumental with a fun freaky factor injection in the form of oddball efx’d speaking in tongues alien/chant language, plus more tasty Psych guitar soloing. For Mad Stray Dogs Only is a welcome surprise, being a dynamic Acid-Punk Hawkwind styled space rocker with a motorik pulse. Hymn To The Hidden God begins and ends with a part doomy and part electro sci-fi soundtrack feel, and sandwiched between we’ve got soloing Psych guitar in a cool sorta jam-composed Space-Prog realm. A nifty blend of space theater narrative and trippy exploration. Finally, Brief Moments Of Eternity is a continually gear shifting avant-Prog workout with cosmic atmospheric passages, spaced out Jazz-Fusion meets Zheul vibes orchestrated by Zappa gymnastics, and is the most compositionally disorienting track of the set. Though very different from one another, this and For Mad Stray Dogs Only are my favorite tracks of the set.

In summary, Frozen Information includes lots of very cool variety and will appeal those whose tastes span the entire Space-Psych-Kraut-Prog axis.

For more information visit the Pineal Gland Lab web site at:
The web site hasn’t been updated to include Frozen Information yet so in the meantime you can get on Ebay (CLICK HERE)

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

Plant Tribe – “Late Noon” (Space Chant Records 2015, LP)

Plant Tribe are a guitar, bass, keyboards, saxophone, drums and vocals quintet from Long Beach, California who play a 70s inspired brand of Psychedelic infused Hard Rock. Late Noon is their debut album.

Opening track Past Life features a monster guitar and organ combo, with the guitar having a Hendrix flavor at first and then going Bluesy wah-Psych. The vocals are powerful and soulful and the overall sound brings to mind the Italian band Wicked Minds as a contemporary analogy. Worlds We Never Knew is similar but pleasantly surprised me with its 60s Garage edge, while still being molten hard rocking and soulfully Psychedelic. Eternal Villainy is like Deep Purple gone Psychedelic Blues, and indeed the vocals are as potent as Ian Gillan ever was though with a more Blues/Soul flavor. I like the easy-paced saucy attitude of Fish Bowl Blues, which blends Hard Rock, spaced out Psychedelia and Soul, and I really dig the emotionally charged finale, with its swinging sax and ripping guitar soloing. Gutterland is a short powerhouse swaggering rocker with an organ sound and groove that brings to mind Booker T. & the MGs gone heavy 70s Blues-Psych Rock. I love the combination of jamming wah’d Psych guitar, 60s organ, fuzz bass and boogie-woogie Blues vocals on the heavy hip shakin’ rocker Croakin’. Finally the 11 minute Mice opens with spacey atmospherics, trippy guitar and Eastern flavored drones over a rumbling rhythmic foundation. When the vocals kick in it adds the potent Blues rocking Soul vibe that has characterized the entire set. And when the band blast off we’re in full blown Blues infused Prog-Psych and Stoner-Soul mode with all musicians jamming away wildly yet cohesively.

Damn, that’s hot. I’ll bet these guys kick serious ass live. If you want to hear how smokin’ the 70s still sound, check out Plant Tribe.

The Late Noon LP comes in two flavors: One is black vinyl with double sided lyric/picture insert, and the other is a deluxe edition pressed on “milky clear vinyl with swamp green splatter”, and also includes an “Eternal Villainy” patch and 11 X 17 poster featuring artwork by cover artist Matt Sabbath. Both come with download codes.

For more information and to order visit the Space Chant Records web site at:

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

Oresund Space Collective – “Out Into Space” (Space Rock Productions 2015, 3-CD/DL)

The latest from Scandinavian/American improvisational Space Rock ensemble Oresund Space Collective (OSC) is a 3-CD set documenting the February 20, 2015 celebration of the 10th anniversary of the collective’s first live performance. OSC have always had a fluid lineup, with the one constant being synth maestro and chief organizer Scott “Dr Space” Heller. Each CD represents one of three sets performed that evening.

The first set consists of members that started the collective in 2004. The second set consists of members who played frequently in the 2007-2011 period. And the third set consists of members who have played most recently. So many people have played with the band that it wasn’t possible to include everyone. What a problem to have, huh? Because it’s this talented array of like-minded musicians that has helped keep OSC exciting all these years.

Set 1 includes 5 jams in the 12-20 minute range. Open The Skies finds that ultra groovy point on the easy paced rhythmic pulse meets chill-out vibe axis. It rocks out loosely and dreamily in space and has a Bluesy edge that feels really nice. At times it brought to mind a Blues take on Ozric Tentacles. Tasty guitar soloing, synth melody and sci-fi electronics. Ditto for Flyby Guitar Hero, on which the bass takes the rhythmic lead along with light jazzy drumming while the guitars and synths create jamming meditative atmospherics and melodies. Has Anyone Seen Nick? has, at various times, late 60s West Coast Psych, grungy hard rock and jazzy vibes, and all within the trademark OSC Space Rock context. I love how The Man Who Ate Planets starts off like a deep space grooving Shaman call, but after a while starts to rock increasingly harder and gradually takes on an acidic intensity, eventually settling into a powerhouse space rocking groove. And the final Set 1 track, The Last Glide, opens with some lovely Gong influenced gliss guitar before developing into a heavy space rocking jam with some killer ripping guitar leads.

Set 2 also includes 5 lengthy jams, starting with Jamming For Your Mind, an appropriately titled mind-bending trip in space with the focus on acid ambience and rhythmically grooving soundscapes and effects. Stargate 7341 is a high intensity, cool grooving and totally ass kicking Space Prog jam which, as is so often the case with OSC, feels goal oriented and composed yet still loosely improv free flowing. This lineup is really cookin’ now and transitions smoothly to Circular Perimeter which starts off rocking harder with spirited uplifting intensity. I love the combination of Space-Funk guitar and rip rocking solo guitar. After a while it descends into a Space-Bluesy chill-out jam with more killer dual guitar and soaring electronic effects, before ripping it up again for the finale. Absolutely freakin’ awesome! Thankfully there is NO rest for the weary. These guys are on a complete roll as they quickly feel their way into the warp drive, Space Rock blazing Chocolate Orange Candle. The bulk of the tune is seriously heavy rocking, though it eases toward the finish with a nice extended Floydian/Space-Bluesy descent. Ditto for the final track, One More Space Out, which comes roaring out of the starting gate as a high intensity Funk infused Space Rock rocker. Damn, Set 2 is going to be tough to top, with music that stands alongside some of OSC’s all time best.

But we’ve still got Set 3, with 3 tracks, 2 of which are quite long, and the CD notes point out that due to technical issues there were two additional tracks that could not be included. But that’s ok because we’ve still got 70 minutes of music. The fun starts with the 34 minute A Long Night Amongst Friends, which quickly finds its groove as an acidic, droning, exploratory journey that gradually builds in rhythmic pace and rocking intensity. Once again we have killer dual guitars that play distinctive but cooperative roles, a hypnotic thump in your chest bassline, and electronic effects galore. And it just keeps rocking hard for the remainder, never wandering or wavering for a moment. There are of course some twists and turns which the band deftly veer in and out of. One I particularly enjoyed is a keys/synths dominated segment that has a Jazz-Fusion and even a wee bit of a Quarkspace flavor. 34 minutes of space rocking bliss. At this rate I would have hung in there with them all day. Let It Groove is next and does precisely that, with a fast paced Dub-like bassline and fiery drumming that lay the foundation for rocking guitar soloing and more ambient/soundscape guitar licks, plus a jazzy keyboard melody. Things get monstrously acid spaced out intense at times with both guitars soloing, swirling and generally circling the cosmic wagons around each other for what might be some of the most Holy Shit freaked out moments of all three sets. Finally, we’ve got the 23+ minute Find The Way Out Of Here, another high intensity space rocker (with a gorgeous cosmic lullaby segment) that brings the evening to a close.

What a night this must have been! In one of the announcements Scott says that some people came from Germany for the show and thought there was even someone from Greece. Note that the CDs come in a very nicely packaged quadruple foldout digipack with an 8 page booklet with details and photos.

For more information visit the Oresund Space Collective web site at:
Stream and purchase the CD or download at
Visit the Space Rock Productions web site at:

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

Lee Negin – “Surfing Samsara” (Passing Phase Records 2015, Download)

Though Lee Negin has been recording since the early 80s, he was a new discovery for me in 2014, starting with the tongue-in-cheek sci-fi “Technopera” Cheeze Chronicles, followed by the electronic freakiness and cerebral mind massage of Groundless, and then earlier this year he released Terminus, a 20+ minute EP described as a collection of 4 extended dreamscapes: The soundtrack for the 5D movie that “…takes place in the space between your ears.”

Negin’s latest is Surfing Samsara, a compilation of 11 tracks that are ‘singles’ from previous albums. We’ve got four songs from The Cheeze Chronicles: Volume V album. Loan Me a Paradigm is a mind-bending combination of Berlin school electronica and Space-Prog, with fun and freaky voice sample narratives. (Let’s Join) The Twit Parade is a robotic space-dance song that’s just as quirky as it is catchy. Just Saying is similar but more intense and spaced out, with cool New Wave cum Prog keys, soulful backing vocals and a lightshow of alien effects and voice samples. And The Cheeze Spreadz is a Techno-Funk with a Kraftwerk twist single that wasn’t on the original album.

We’ve also got an array of songs from various other albums. Masks is a masterful blend of quirkily pulsating Space-Dance, Gothic vibe, Oriental inflected orchestral elements and hauntingly weirded out voices and atmospherics. And as is so characteristic of Negin’s music there’s a wild glom of effects that are craftily mixed into the whole to ensure order among the chaos. Sterne Drek auf der Autobahn is a cosmic rug cutter that’s part Kraftwerk for the Rave set and part electro tribal dance groover. The Saga Of Cheeze is a get down with your bad alien self Soul-Funk number with raspy vocals and wild lyrics that make for a cool and strange contrast with the ripping robot Psychedelia, electro Space-Funk and multiple layers of soundscapes and effects. George Clinton and James Brown would love this. Jimi Plays Lhasa is a disorienting concoction of tribal drones, ambient waves and effects. The Dance has a cool tripped out morphing of ethnic stringed instruments, trip-hop grooves, symphonics, and (of course!) loads of fun effects. Mandala 1 features more freaky ethnic influences. I like the way Negin brings together ambient and hardcore rhythmic elements. And Piercing The Veil is similar, with cool Indian sitar and tablas and a ripping electro synth solo jamming to a pounding space-rave pulse.

With Negin’s music it’s all about the many parts and pieces and how they are stitched together, with rhythm, melody and Psychedelic/Surreal/Trip-Hop collage all playing equally important roles. Even the most danceable tunes have so much happening at once that surrendering your undivided attention and marveling at the details is your best bet.

For more information visit the Lee Negin web site at:
Visit the Passing Phase Records web site at:
Downloads Surfing Samsara and other Lee Negin albums at CDBaby:
Negin’s music is also available at iTunes and Amazon

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

Kosmose – “Kosmic Music From The Black Country” (Sub Rosa 2015, 2-CD/2-LP)

This archival set of music caught my attention because it represents a chapter in the history of Belgian musician Alain Neffe that was previously unknown to me. Neffe was a pioneer in the homemade music/cassette culture underground that emerged in the late 70s and took off in the 80s, becoming a prominent figure with his Insane Music for Insane People compilation cassettes. Neffe also founded some notable band projects, including Pseudocode (which Kosmose preceded), BeNe GeSSeRiT, Human Flesh, and others.

Throughout its history Kosmose had a fluctuating lineup, though the core was always the duo of Neffe and Francis Pourcel. All the music was improvised, with no discussion or preconceived notions of structure. Kosmose gave only 12 live performances, none occurring outside their home base of Charleroi, and these tapes exists only because Neffe recorded most of the band’s rehearsals and performances. The recordings were all made between 1973-78.

The first CD includes 8 tracks of music which reveal that classic exploratory Kosmiche was not exclusive to Germany. Listening to this music one would think this was a German band like Ash Ra Tempel or Agitation Free. But it’s from Belgium! One track features a guitar/drums ambient-soundscape excursion which later veers into a combination of jamming rhythmic minimalism and Prog keys meet Berlin school electronica, and still later we get some really cool spaced out guitar soloing. We’ve got an intense, energetic freakout jam, though at only 4 minutes it doesn’t take the time I would expect to develop and the sound quality isn’t as good as many of the other tracks so a little disappointing in that respect. There’s plenty of wildly Kosmiche Free-Jazz drum propelled jams. I like the exploratory Prog-Kosmiche track with wild fuzzed out keys that give the music a drugged out Ra Tempel meets Soft Machine on steroids feel. Another piece features a combination of heavy rocking Free-Jazz drumming, Sun Ra blasted off into space and 50s sci-fi soundtrack keys and haunting Kosmiche atmospherics. Some of the music isn’t all that far off from Big Band era Alien Planetscapes, which makes sense because Doug Walker was a Space Rock musician heavily influenced by Free-Jazz and Progressive Rock. Another standout is the CD 1 closing track which consists of heavy freak flag flying Arabian tinged Psychedelic Kosmiche with bits of Jethro Tull and Blues-Rock twang.

The second CD includes 3 tracks, all around 20 minutes or more. The first two struggle to justify their length. The opening 22 minute piece has lots of good ideas that run the gamut of elements I described on CD 1, but lacks direction and meanders a bit too much, though there are a couple of killer segments that get very emotionally intense and spaced out. The following 27 minute jam starts off in full deep space freakout mode with frenzied synth runs, soaring pulsating space waves, stinging guitar licks and loads of effects. It’s a solid kick off but things soon mellow and the musicians wonk around in an ultimately futile attempt to fall into a groove. So again we have lots of possibilities and exciting segments, particularly some impressive rocking sound collage, effects and guitar bits, but overall it’s not sustained for 27 minutes. Much more cohesive and stimulating throughout is the 19 minute closing track. It starts off intensely atmospheric, with a gradual but steady Kosmiche Rock with Berlin school vibe buildup. The swirling deep space synth waves, organ, energetic drumming and melodic/rhythmic bass are like a cross between German Kosmiche, Free-Jazz and early experimental Pink Floyd. I love the freaky cosmic synth work within an improvisational Jazz rocking context, and with the strange vocalization and rhythms the music has a Can quality at times.

In summary, what a pleasant surprise to learn of the isolated existence of a Belgian Kosmiche band. Fans of early experimental Krautrock/Prog-Psych/Electronics would do well to check this out.

Sub Rosa has released Kosmic Music From The Black Country in 2-CD and 2-LP editions. Due to space limitations the LPs have fewer tracks. I’ve got the double CD set which is a very nice triple foldout package with a 22 page information packed booklet in French and English.

For more information visit the Sub Rosa label web site at:
CLICK HERE to go directly to the Kosmose page

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

Number Three Combo – “Retrofitting” (SlowBurn Records 2015, CD/DL)

Last year SlowBurn Records released the self-titled debut by Cobracalia, which started life as the Black Sun Ensemble album that was half-finished when BSE founder and guitarist Jesus Acedo passed away. Former BSE members plus additional musicians forged ahead and completed the swansong BSE album – Behind Purple Clouds – which was released in late 2013. The Cobracalia album was the result of the musicians who completed Behind Purple Clouds continuing to work together and consisted of a complex yet accessible brand of spacey ethnic inspired Prog-Psych orchestra.

Number Three Combo is a musically related but instrumentally stripped down trio made up of former BSE members Eric Johnson on 12-string acoustic guitar and vocals and Joe E. Furno on flute, plus Cobracalia percussionist Carl Hall on ethnic percussion. Those are the principle instruments but there is also organ and electric guitar in supporting roles throughout.

The album opens on a spacey, trippy, ethnic flavored note with The Empty Quarter. Arabian Nights and big production harem dance images are conjured up as the music rocks out, grooves joyously and Psychedelically swirls. The trio take on the Blues standard Driftin’ Blues, which is a vocal number and a very interesting piece which morphs and mixes a folky brand of Blues with dreamy ethnic vibes and potent soundscapes. I especially like the blend of acoustic Blues and floating flute melody. The 12-string soars on the lovely instrumental Sonora, supported by flute and percussion.

From what I’ve described so far would you expect a Black Sabbath cover? There is!! Number Three Combo handle Electric Funeral with finesse as the flute takes on the main riff duties and the acoustic guitar and percussion add the expected ethnic vibe, plus organ and electric guitar adding a bit of beef to the music. Big kudos to these guys for taking a classic and totally making it their own. This may be one of the best covers I’ve heard all year. Beyond the Beyond is another vocal number with an organ, acoustic guitar, flute and ethno percussion combo that sounds really cool with Eric’s Bluesy passionate vocals. Ditto for Lonely Road, which is an Eric Johnson solo piece that puts the spotlight on his nimble acoustic guitar playing and vocals. Citadel is a power rocking Ethno-Prog instrumental that is both uplifting and intense. Last River is an equal parts acoustic guitar, flute, piano and percussion instrumental that segues smoothly into the final track, Born Too Late, which is a vocal tune that blends Eastern and Western influences and Progressive Rock elements to create a darkly intense yet hypnotic and cool grooving finale to this impressive set.

In summary, there’s lots of variety here. I agree with the promo sheet that Number Three Combo will appeal to fans of Psych-Folk and Acoustic/Ethnic Rock, though I’ll add that Progheads with a taste for ethnic influences will find much to enjoy here. And of course those wishing to follow the continuing Black Sun Ensemble legacy will be delighted.

For more information visit the SlowBurn Records web site at:
The CD and download editions can be purchased at CDBaby:

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

The Dharma Violets – “Random Transmissions” (self-released 2015, CD/DL)

The Dharma Violets are a Cardiff, Wales based dual guitar, vocals, bass, drums, keys, synths, organ, piano quintet who play a blend of Psychedelic Pop and spacey Rock ‘n’ Roll. Random Transmissions is their debut album.

I like the Pop-Psych meets Psychedelic slow-core vibe of opening track Hypnotonic Wave. The vocals are damn good and singer/guitarist Nathan Hazell could easily have paired himself up with something on the more jangly side. But not here… we’ve got floatingly assertive Psych guitars and fun spaced out effects that rock hard yet drift along on a tasty wave of hypnotically catchy melody. I like the combination of melodic song and Psychedelic aggression. Take A Look From The Inside has an equally stick-in-yer-craw melody and even gets downright dancey Rock ‘n’ Roll. Nice touch on the horn section embellishment, underlying trip guitar and cool Kosmiche keyboard lines. I really dig the sumptuous blend of wall-of-sound guitars and trance inducing drift on Butterfly In A Hurricane. The Rock ‘n’ Roll energy level gets kicked up a few notches on Meet Me In The Shadows, with crunchy guitars and spacey keys that inject an interstellar dance party vibe. Awake For A Reason goes even deeper into space, being an intense slab of Eastern flavored Pop-Psych inflected mysticism with a dose of Space-Prog keys for extra measure. The melodic rocking intensity continues on the spaced out Lights On, Nobody Home. As Far As The Eye Can See is the hit single of the set, bringing to mind a seductive marriage of Dream-Pop and 60s Bubblegum. Even the more… dare I say… Alt-Rock songs like Onwards and Upwards and Haywire include Proggy keys and freaky alien effects.

These guys can really write a song, with many of the tunes having a feels like I’ve known them all my life quality on the first spin. The Dharma Violets are a Pop band at heart, and don’t seem to be aiming purely for the Psych audience, but the various Psychedelic, Kosmiche and Prog keyboard elements provide lots for the Space/Psych crowd to enjoy and give the songs a sense of creative adventure without being in any way retro.

To stream and purchase the CD or download visit:

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

Psych Trail Mix #9 (Printed Mag, PDF Download)

The latest issue of Brent Marley’s excellent Psych Trail Mix HARD COPY zine includes 48 pages of goodies in black & white, very nicely bound, with a glossy front and back cover. Issue #9 is a Butthole Surfers special with lots of band info. We’ve got an interview with band co-founder Paul Leary, a separate interview with Teresa Taylor, a never before published 1988 band interview, band discography, an account of various bootleg concert videos and some fun Butthole Surfers comix.

The mag also includes articles about Terence McKenna, a C.A. Quintet interview with Ken Erwin, album, book, DVD and live show reviews, including an extra detailed review of the latest Chrome album, Feel It Like A Scientist. Very well done and what a pleasure have stuff like this in a real printed mag!

Psych Trail Mix #9 is available for $8 shipping included in the U.S., $9 shipping included to Canada and $12 shipping included to the UK. Anywhere else please email Brent Marley at for a shipping quote.

I can tell you from experience that these printed mags won’t last long if you don’t purchase them but note that there is a FREE PDF download edition at the Psych Trail Mix web site.

For more information, ordering and to download the PDF version visit:
If you look at the root domain name of this address you see the Helios/Chrome reference. That’s because Brent also runs an outstanding Helios Creed tribute site so check that out too.

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

Census of Hallucinations – “Nothing Is As It Seems” (Stone Premonitions 2015, CD)

In late 2014, Census of Hallucinations (CoH) released Imagine John Lennon, a 4-song, 30 minute EP which was a precursor to the new full length album – Nothing Is As It Seems. Consisting of the four songs from Imagine John Lennon plus 5 new songs, CoH founder Tim Jones describes Nothing Is As It Seems as a book of musical short stories with a theme that links them together. Quoting from the press release, Tim explains: “I think that the key word here would be alienation. The deep sadness in the shocking discovery that this is in fact all there is. When you don’t fit into the mold and have had a lifetime of it. The constant hypocrisy both inside ‘The Game’ and out. The reality being presented to us by those that run this planet utilizing scientific ‘experts’ has us living in a Never Never Land, an illusion or even a projected holographic environment where the unfathomable beauty of the universe is denied to us. Cut off from the source of our reason for being here, we stumble around seeking guidance from fools”.

Heavy stuff indeed. But that’s Tim, one of Rock music’s most articulate, sharp tongued, tell it like it is lyricists. Musically CoH have settled comfortable into their ‘MKII’ phase, which began in 2012 with the release of Dragonian Days, the band’s first album in five years, and started to take its current shape with the addition of veteran guitarist John Simms and vocalist/lyricist Maxine Marten on the following year’s Coming Of The Unicorn. The ensuing lineup proved to be such a tight knit unit and created such a uniquely beautiful sound that a phenomenally talented guitarist such as Tim laid his instrument aside starting with 2014’s The Nine, leaving all principle guitar duties to Simms and has focused on writing and vocals. That’s a big decision for a musician. But the result has been a sound that is still distinctly and recognizably CoH while always PROGressively forging ahead.

The songs, melodies and lyrics are trademark CoH. Tim’s voice is unmistakable. Maxine Marten’s and CoH co-founder Terri~B’s backing vocals are dreamily surreal and downright lovely. The production and arrangements, both music and vocals, are accessible yet bewitchingly spaced out and even theatrical. And John Simms’ guitar imbues a cosmic Blues/Jazz style that represents the clearest new dimension aspect of the current CoH sound. I can’t emphasize enough the crucial interplay of music and vocals. Tim is “singing” in a part spoken word style with which he communicates the emotions the lyrics are trying to convey: sarcasm, mockery, whimsy, anger, pain and pure soul… you feel it all. Some of the best moments are when Tim is in full communicative mode, with Maxine and Terri as supporting vocal mystics, and John’s lusciously lyrical guitar seems to be handling the “singing” duties. The Stone Premonitions studio craftsmanship and attention to mix, stitch and arrangement detail is in full force as well, the result being the always impossible to pigeonhole CoH blend of Prog, Pop, Kosmiche, Jazz, Blues and Psychedelia. CoH excel at being wildly adventurous yet totally accessible. I haven’t called out individual songs but I’ll give honorable mention to Tim and Terri’s son James Jones who recites his poem Lost In The Lakes on In Ruins. These folks still sound like NO ONE else but themselves.

For more information visit the Stone Premonitions web site at:
Visit the Stone Premonitions web shop at:

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz