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Alternative Three - July

  • Written by  Steven Dinnie
  • Media

Scientists have determined that the Earth’s surface will not be able to support human life much longer, due to pollution and overpopulation. In 1957, Dr Carl Garstein proposed three alternative solutions. The first was a drastic reduction of the human population on Earth. The second, the construction of vast underground shelters. Alternative three?

I’ve just got back in from two weeks walking in the Highlands so I’m approaching some sort of spiritual zenith and have completely run out of time to do this, so this will be slightly shorter than normal. Um, new Sleep track, Damo Suzuki says “Vote Yes” to Scots, and some too-cool-for-yooz indie bandcamp stuff from Betrayers, Dolmenn and Swell. That’s it, can I go sleep? I have to write more? “Contractually obliged” you say? *sigh*

So Sleep are back, after years wandering the desert as part of OM, Al Cisneros has come back to the turn-of-the-millenium San Jose of his youth to garage jam with Matt Pike, late of a Viking holiday spent swinging an axe into the faces of audiences worldwide as part of the brutal and excellent High On Fire to produce the first official Sleep track since the epic ‘Dopesmoker’ (if you haven’t heard ‘Dopesmoker’, fix that) and it’s… different. ‘The Clarity’ opens with an angular electronic fuzz, and generally taking a more chiselled and considered tone compared to their earlier work. As a Sleep megafan, I’m not sure what this latest start means. They’ve been a renewed touring entity for some time (blew my eardrums out in Glasgow a couple of years ago) and I don’t know if I want some middle-aged money grabbing from my all-time-top-fives; that’s one part of Sabbath lore I’d be happy for Sleep to ignore. If you’re still jonesing for more dope-laden riffs thick enough to spread your marmite on, you’d do worse than checking out Wo Fat’s latest The Conjuring as it’s mighty good. Also a little band called DUEL released the promising first single ‘On the Edge’, it’s neat and groovy and pleasingly Melvinsey.

Fans of underproduced ‘black sludge’ metal with grinding buzzsaw guitars and scrofulous arcing vocals (nobody?) are invited to check out the free download of 'Ancient Vessel' by Tar Hag. Barely five minutes of live-sounding South Carolinan gore packed into a download. You all ought to be ashamed of yourselves. If you’re feeling tired and in want of something that caters to your expectations, rather than subverts them, you could do worse than the free download from DOLMENN of their latest; smooth stoner grooves do little more than iterate, but life is too short to continually push the envelope.

Finish yourself off with some thudding psyche courtesy of Canada’s Betrayers. Fluffy but chugging Canadian psyche the indie fopps aren’t rubbing themselves raw over? I know, I can’t believe it either. More inoffensive indie-type stuff can be procured with the re-release (on limited edition artefact vinyl no less) of Swell’s (41 is 20). It isn’t essential, but it’s a beautiful embellishment. I’m most excited by the sounds coming out of newbies Apache Sun, ‘The Rain That Never Came’ is faux Americana psyche down the line, but that doesn’t stop it being catchier than an international angling completion. Serpently seek out these Glasgow boys and keep them dialled, I predict greatness.

Nothing grabbed me much this month, that could be to do with me being in the Highlands for two weeks listening to nothing but the Dead Skeletons' b-sides…

Please indicate to me what I should be listening to by coughing your mucous-y cough through a stencil onto my bedroom window, or just tweet, you pedantic swine you.

Act now, and you too can regret following me on twitter @stevendinnie

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