Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Woodcreeper News

 Wanna know why I've been so quiet? Check out the brand new single by Woodcreeper, and that will be a slight indication as to what I've been up to for the past couple of months....

 

 

 https://woodcreeper.bandcamp.com/track/orchid-gore

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Bandcamp Blitz February/March, 2021

I want to jump in here really quick, Just to make sure I don't completely disappear into the ether. The music really hasn't stopped, and I just really haven't found a way to keep up. So I am going to start this year off slowly and hope that I can get things back to normal again. The music is still coming in and I have so many reviews that I am being asked to write or I want to write. But I'm going to start off with a handful of reviews, hopefully once a week, until I can get a rhythm going again and start getting all wordy and stuff.



(Songs that get stuck in my head for days and days... all gluey and sticky-like. I love and hate Jason Bieler for making such an impressive album full of oh-so-Jason-ness. Every tune is a binding contract, signed by your brain for the next week as they constantly bombard your senses and map out your walking pace. Dirty, dirty mad wizard!! As a fan since the first SK LP, this is simply Jason being Jason at his finest, doing poppy, criminally catchy prog pop rock that'll alter your brain forever. Having this on Spotify and only a private link on Bandcamp makes me sad, but whatever.)
 

 
 
(Don't even mess around. Just listen to this now. We're talking one minute you're being serenaded by poppy hooks and mellow grooves, and the next minute you're swept away into this jammy, trippy psychy atmosphere. HUGE vocals, blistering guitar leads, fantastic unique riffs (without being noob-y). This is alt-stoner/alt-pop at its absolute finest, and there will be no qualms about adding this to the best of the year list.)


 

       

 (Tim Pritchard and company are back with a whole new slew of madcap anthems. Americana/alt-rock, heavy on the songcraft, x-tra light on the cheese. Some of these tunes are so clever, you'll wonder where they even come up with this stuff. Jangly Paisley Underground-y numbers, uncluttered and to the point. The guitar tones once again rip it up on this LP, and the vocal harmonies are spot on (I'll say it again: This band shines when they get those HUGE vocal harmonies snaking around the riffs), and the arena-shakers are once again slapping you around. Highly recommended if you want a shakedown.)


 
(In a year of madness, we were treated to a few nuggets of Gloria tunes, all snugly tucked into a couple of singles peppered around. This new full length takes everything they were already good at, and makes it even better. Lovely, female-fronted psych rock, with tunes all decked out in vintage go-go dancer vibes, Austin Powers-esque naughtiness, and reverb-y tales of love and espionage, and crackly, candy-like harmonies, scented with strawberry flavored incense. Honestly, it was my lucky day when this album dropped. I love this band bunches.)


 
 
(Quite easily one of the best things 2021 has given us yet. This is one of those albums I toss around with the pals and make them listen to it. Gives me the early 90s vibes. Accessible, yet still blatantly snarly enough to make the grade with the grimier stoner rock brethren. If you don't give this a try, you might be stonophobic.)


(Whoa. Within a half parsec, I was done in by the flattening Force. Fine instrumental stoner doom! Some dry, desert-y Tatooine mixed in with the cold, doomed Hoth & raised by Felucian flora and fauna...) 

 


(Iowa native makes music. I rarely hear such good lyrics, or such perfect pitch without techy messy. This country singer is the real deal, and her songs will make you weep uncontrollably... the water flows under the bridge, but all you can do is try to fill your cup with it...)



 Thanks! I'll be back around soon-ly!
- Andy

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Best Of 2020...

 HA! I fell asleep for a while. I still feel like slacking off...

 This is my Best Of The Year list for the crapload that was 2020. It's nowhere near complete and never will be, nor is this in any order of importance! Few descriptions, just the list and some links. 2020 was a year where music just kept coming out. People were super bored and frustrated. 

I, myself, was one of those people...

 Best Of 2020 list: 

 (Well... all it took was two-and-a-half songs to seal the deal on this one. Easily going to be a contender for the Best Of The Year List. Not one single bit of nonsense going here. This WILL rock you. Little chunks of Soundgarden, Kyuss, some peppered-in Foo-ness. HIGHLY blast-worthy stoner rock, spicy little melodic interludes, caustic axe-wielding, incendiary vocals, a dibble dabble of tasty keys, yes, brothers and sisters, this WILL surely rock you all.)  

 ( If you liked the first EP as much as I did, then this one will blow your mind. Dark alt-psych with a touch of something that smells like the '80s. New singer = new sound = best stuff yet.)

 



 (Everything Cloudkicker is an insta-buy. Ben's back in full force. This is easily some of the best Cloudkicker stuff yet. Busy and heavy, just the way we've come to expect it. This album will plow you into the soil and offer no apologies.)

 


 

 (Insta-buy. Anything Botanist releases goes right into my record collection. I doubt I have as much of a connection with a band's concept as I do with Botanist. Avant garde black metal-ish with a totally unique sound, and lyrical content I can get behind. Dark elemental metal, showing signs of growth. This sprout is becoming a massive tree.) 

 

 (Almost embarrassingly good. Laughably good? Southern-tinged rock, light years better than their previous album, and that's saying a lot. Heavier on the instrumentals this time around, jazzier, yacht-rockier, groovier, smoother, tighter, & more vivid. THIS album is a modern classic of mixed soundscapes and brilliant soulful rock with Southern feelies, made just for you. And me.)

 

 (Gave this a good run-through a number of times. It gets better with each listen. Djent-y stoner doom with some true grunge influences. Rare with the aggressive vocals, the Staley-esque delivery makes itself the most apparent in this mish-mash of brilliance. I have a strange feeling these guys will make a few fans. Up and running for the Best Of The Year list.
You'd best grab onto something before you hit play.)

 

 (Everything I had hoped for. The last album made it into my All Time Best list. This album comes back full force with some of the niftiest power pop you're likely to hear. Everything these guys touch turns into pure, unadulterated gems. If you miss this album, you're just weird.)

 

 



 

 (Holy ballsnuts! A nice little slap in the face for me. I LOVE THIS! Tunes that rarely dare to break the 3-minute mark, hitting you square in the jaw with slaughtering bass tone, thrashy alt-stoner riffage, sneering punk/noise rock attitude, and a genre-defying sound. I checked this out with the Mohs Hardness Scale, and nothing could scratch this rock.) 

 





 



 


 

 (Smoothed out Yacht-y Sunday Jazz Vapor-Rock. A sensitive, juicy little EP, dangling in the cool Summer air, ripe & just waiting to be plucked. Really worth a listen if you want to hear some fine songwriting and a few oddball twists and turns to keep you silky until the end.) 


 

 (Quite easily the MOST destroyed LP I own. Arrived in such bad shape, I've never really gotten over it. I get LPs from all over the world, they show up pristine... this one comes from one state away, and it's total garbage, remnants of a tattered and beaten cover spreading cardboard dust and shavings everywhere... great album, though.)



 - Andy

Friday, November 20, 2020

Fear Not...

 Fear not, bands and friends.

I won't be gone much longer. 

Things are quiet on the Nerve Salad front. I'm taking this year to reassess it all and get a fresh start. I have been pretty busy with starting a new venture in life, playing with plants, creating a more positive future for myself and Nerve Salad in general. What better way to get past the suckass year but to simply work at improving one's life from both the inside out AND the outside in. I'm still doing reviews, just more slowly until the year wears itself out. Thanks for sticking with me. I'm still listening...

I've taken on another responsibility, along with being an educator and Naturalist for the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium. I now am the co-manager, maintenance, and education coordinator at Crystal Lake Cave (in Iowa). I spend my days 100 feet below ground, playing around with crystals, getting dripped on by carbonic acid, calcium carbonate, & hydro-silica. All good stuff. Now, this does NOT mean I am out of the review game. Not by a long shot.

I'm merely making merry with rocks and cave crickets until the year decides to quit being this year. I was due for a change.

My band Woodcreeper is currently working on our last few touches of the tunes before we hit the studio.

Nerve Salad Records has a few things in store for next year. But as always, we only do one or two things a year. No big hullabaloo here.

Beyond that.. I do wish everyone a great rest of the 2020 year. I will likely do a couple more posts before the year is up, but next year we're back as usual.

Thanks, again!

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Bandcamp Blitz - September 6th, 2020

 It's been a few less posts lately, I know. This year is one of those years where I simply just absorb the entire goings-on in the world. A lot can be said about things right now, and it's all been said already. 

Bands have obviously been taking this moment in time to compose a soundtrack for it all. At least the year has brought us something other than what we see on the fucking news. 

I dunno... I feel less like talking lately. I feel like being silent. It's a weird feeling. Kind of like withdrawing, a little. I see what the world has going on, and it makes me dislike it even more. I find solace in plants, the woods (when there is nobody else there), animals, soil, trees, birds, etc. I lean on the predictability of the seasons, and the simple norms of birdsong. I spend my days contemplating the internal machinations of a flower. I while away the hours ruminating over the wily ways of carnivorous plants & watch the clouds for rain. I steal away in the wee hours to internalize the growth of a cactus and attempt a living, syncopated symbiosis within the confines of the circadian rhythms...

But the band plays on....

 
 
Dungeon Weed - Mind Palace Of The Mushroom God
(Groovy, nasty stoner rock, cooked up from CA. Worth a listen if you're into stoner rock, because this is exactly that. Pretty cool, and has all the right moves and grooves and enough stanky goop to scrape off and do a dab with.)

 
 
 

Early Mammal - Burnt Ones  
(Yeah! We waited a while for this one. Some nice psych tunes presented here on  Bandcamp as two tracks, LP-style. UK's Early Mammal comes back strong with some fantastic psych rock! This album is really a gem at this point, considering how much I liked their (his) previous efforts. Bounces around from 'eavy psych, to clickety clackety whackety and back again. Give 'er an ear. You'll dig it.)
 


 
Bart Graft - For The Record
(The fact is, I've always dug this kind of electro-prog, having written much of my own over the years, and performing with Utuk Xul, Coriolis Effect and various other projects of the same type. Bart Graft is a champion at the craft, and this album just kills me. It loops and twists around like a video game at high speed. It leans and lurches like a car chase scene. You're cruising down the highway, yet encased in a futuristic force field bubble-thing. The closest you're going to get to breaching the thermosphere.)


 
 
Kampusch Klub - Flying Fish
(Man, I've been waiting a long time for this band to release something new, and this song does not disappoint! A slow burn alt-psych track, all creepy and crawly, slippery and sloshy. Some new awesome vox adding to the mystique. Kampusch Klub comes back with full force, and equal measures of grime and sheen. YES!!)



Cloudkicker - Solitude
(Everything Cloudkicker is an insta-buy. Ben's back in full force. This is easily some of the best Cloudkicker stuff yet. Busy and heavy, just the way we've come to expect it. This album will plow you into the soil and offer no apologies.)
 
 
 
(This one... yes. I dig this one. I dig ALL of his albums, but this one stands out. Gonna have to keep this one on replay. I can't believe the musical output of this one person. So much work going into writing songs, it's got to be some kind of syndrome we have yet to name. Eliot Wilder, yes sir... make no mistake. He deserves more love on Bandcamp.)
 

 
Botanist - Photosynthesis
(Insta-buy. Anything Botanist releases goes right into my record collection. I doubt I have as much of a connection with a band's concept as I do with Botanist. Avant garde black metal-ish with a totally unique sound, and lyrical content I can get behind. Dark elemental metal, showing signs of growth. This sprout is becoming a massive tree.)
 

 
 
Rafael Denardi - Adios Rick
(Jams broken down into 5 parts. Slathering on the huge stoner rock, with a mild touch of proggy tendencies, Rafael comes back at full steam ahead with this little snakey EP. A touch of the old school meets a bludgeoning of grungy stoner-riff-ic noises. This slick little charger will mulch you into perfect, wee chunks.) 



 Until next time!
 - Andy 

Monday, July 20, 2020

Bandcamp Blitz - July 20th, 2020

The Blitz arriveth. Getting back into the swing o' things after taking a little break. I'm still working on what I'm working on, but things are slowing down enough to put fingers to keyboards and start hammering yammerings. 
So far, 2020 life has been nothing but craploads of boogery fartface garbage junk, but at least the soundtrack has been pleasant enough.
On with the madness:


Jumbee - The Smell Of Red Sunset Air
https://jumbee.bandcamp.com/album/the-smell-of-red-sunset-air
(Gave this a good run-through a number of times. It gets better with each listen. Djent-y stoner doom with some true grunge influences. Rare with the aggressive vocals, the Staley-esque delivery makes itself the most apparent in this mish-mash of brilliance. I have a strange feeling these guys will make a few fans. Up and running for the Best Of The Year list.
You'd best grab onto something before you hit play.
)


The Lees Of Memory - Moon Shot 
https://theleesofmemory.bandcamp.com/album/moon-shot
(Everything I had hoped for. The last album made it into my All Time Best list. This album comes back full force with some of the niftiest power pop you're likely to hear. Everything these guys touch turns into pure, unadulterated gems. If you miss this album, you're just weird.)




Dead Quiet - Truth And Ruin 
(Dead Quiet returns with a slick, graceful metal album full of twists and turns. Has enough Proggery to give you the feeling that this band is growing up, musically. Still the standard Dead Quiet snarl, but with a sleeker approach indicating musical maturity. A fine example of a band that grows up with you.)



mcbaise - Raviolo
https://mcbaise.com/album/raviolo
(Smoothed out Yacht-y Sunday Jazz Vapor-Rock. A sensitive, juicy little EP, dangling in the cool Summer air, ripe & just waiting to be plucked. Really worth a listen if you want to hear some fine songwriting and a few oddball twists and turns to keep you silky until the end.)



The Texas Gentlemen - Floor It!!!
(Almost embarrassingly good. Laughably good? Southern-tinged rock, light years better than their previous album, and that's saying a lot. Heavier on the instrumentals this time around, jazzier, yacht-rockier, groovier, smoother, tighter, & more vivid. THIS album is a modern classic of mixed soundscapes and brilliant soulful rock with Southern feelies, made just for you. And me.)




Joe Pernice - Richard
https://joepernice.bandcamp.com/album/richard-2 
(Joe sings to you in your kitchen, while you're making spaghetti.
He sings of joys, losses, and folks getting into things. All from the comfort of his chair with nothing but a couple of mics and some mood lighting. Makes for a fine, intimate evening of... just you and Joe.)




 Sloppy Joe And The Cruise - Keep On Cruisin'
https://sloppyjoeandthecruise.bandcamp.com/album/keep-on-cruisin 
(An unearthed classic rears its beautifully salty head. True escapist Yacht Rock at its absolute infancy in the world of smooth cats making smooth tunes. So chilled-out, you might as well take the day off.... every day. Music made strictly to celebrate the virtues of living by your own rules, not making a big deal out of life, having a good time, and being at every party, every time. Outshines good ol' Jimmy Buffett on the coolness (even though he apparently had many a session with Buffett himself). The was recorded in 1975, but is now getting its true purpose realized: To make you feel like you should enjoy the little things. Joe Flappens died in 2018, and we've got this to honor a cool guy who had a very brief moment of fame and not-so-much fortune.)





Bob Benson - Bob Benson Archives Vol. 1
https://nervesaladrecords.bandcamp.com/album/bob-benson-archives-vol-1 
(Bob Benson wrote vaporwave and chillwave before they even had a name. He spent countless hours driving for a job as an old school "IT guy" for Sears Roebuck, living in hotel rooms, eating bags of peanuts and drinking crappy coffee, all the while writing chill-out tunes to help ease the stress of being away for weeks at a time.
Bob Benson died in 2016, but these newly unearthed recordings showcase a musical view into the world of a much-loved gentleman.
Vol. 1 was found in a pile of old music, and Vol. 2 is probably laying around somewhere, too.)




- AB

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Blitz-y Blitz

I'll just set these here.
Currently working on getting my projects squared away. Meanwhile, this is some of the stuff that's playing while it gets done.
Nerve Salad is gearing back up.
Thanks for sticking around!




Wino - Forever Gone



Power Plant - Cargo




Kryptograf - Kryptograf




DeadBlondeStars - DeadBlondeStars




Wild Road Rollers - Imperial Stout Motor Oil


Black Rainbows - Cosmic Ritual Supertrip


Holy Death - Celestial Throne ov Grief

Shogun - Addendum


Pilori - À Nos Morts 

Hammada - Atmos


phOG - Whole Horse Both Barrels


Abakas - Marauders