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
(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
(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
(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 
(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' 
(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 
(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

Monday, June 15, 2020

Update 6-15-20

Hey all! I wanted to poke my head in once again and give everybody an update on what's going on.

I'm sure you've seen the lack of posting anything. It's not for lack of material, or lack of music coming in. It's not because I don't like anything, either.

I've been super busy with a few projects. Things I have kept lying in wait for so long, I thought I would die never having done them.

I started building a greenhouse. This is big deal. I've spent a lot of time collecting materials, glass, lumber, etc. During Covid lockdowns, etc. this was not an easy task at all. It took up all of my time thinking about how and where to get stuff. I've now collected enough of the things I'll need to get this underway.

Why a greenhouse?

I'm into plants, and having a greenhouse has been a dream of mine for most of my life. The cost of some of these fancy pre-builds was too much for my wallet to think about. If I build my own, I can have it the way I want it, and hopefully save some dineros. Now I can grow some of these crazy things that I normally keep cooped up indoors all year long. I've got a house FULL of carnivores, super rare anthuriums, philodendrons, weird orchids, cactus species of all kinds.. and they all require the utmost in care and upkeep. That's the simple answer.

So, meanwhile, all I've been doing is making sure I don't fuck this up.

I'm no professional builder, but I've gotten adequate experience over the years. Adequate was just not enough. So I've been learning as much as I can so this whole thing does not come crashing down in the end.
The building starts in the next couple of months, and I can't wait to see what kind of drama I can create on the property with such a killer addition.

I'm still around! Expect to see some new posts in the coming weeks! Man, it's been a weird few months, and I certainly don't want anybody to think we've fallen off the map. On the contrary.... just living the dream, literally.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Nerve Salad is on a little vacation. As things have slowed down due to virus and other uncontrollable stuff, I've just put the brakes on reviews and other things for a short time. I'm sure you've heard the crickets chirping. I just want to let everyone know that Nerve Salad will be back.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Bandcamp Blitz February 25th, 2020

Overwhelmed... music keeps coming at me. I've really been in the quagmire as of late. Up to my knees in riffs. This Blitz is a way to get this all out there so I can get moving on the next one. Apparently, I need to get myself in gear better than other times I was trying to get myself in gear. 

The year is still new.

God help us all...


The Swell Fellas - The Big Grand Entrance
(Let me just start by saying I had NO IDEA what I was in for when I hit play. This, quite effortlessly, blew my feeble mind into a slushy, greasy mess. Now I love this band. Yeah, man... play it again. Alt-rock/stoner/prog. Solid guitar work, obliterating bass tone, sharp melodies, often relaxing, often biting, watery, wintery creations.... Songcrafters, crafting songs. I'm sold, dudes.)

The Leif De Leeuw Band - Where We're Heading
(Considering the amount of praise I gave this band back in 2017 with their previous LP came out, it would be safe to say this album would be no different. Quite possibly the best stuff I've heard since.. well.. their LAST album. Some of the best Southern Rock you've ever heard, with world class musicians making these complex tunes look and sound effortless.)

Loud Silence - Elements
(Strap yourself in for this one. Loud Silence demands silence to play this album as loud as we can. Here come these young dudes from Greece, with fuzzy, riffy, hooky monsters in tow. A very impressive effort. Toss in some stoner elements, some post rock-ish touches, a few heavy psych flourishes, a portion or two of grunge, and a heavy dollop of alt-rock. That's some real stick-to-your-ribs ingredients, and they mix it pretty well. Bravo, gents.)

The Revenants - The Gift 
(One of my favorite unknown artists releases yet another awesome collection of tunes. Alt-rock, countrified, folk-sy, new wave-y, pop tunes. A total gem in the rough, Revenants/Eliot Wilder continue to wow me by being a constant force, always putting out new music, often several albums a year. A fine example of a truly gifted person.)

Praÿ - Praÿ
(Fine instrumental dark stoner doom from France. Each of the 4 tracks almost hits the 12-minute mark, so you know this is going to be a drooler. Kinda proggy, a little gloomy. Neat!)

Sugartape - Chandeleidescope
(Really nice work happening here. Some '70s-smacked/classic rock meanderings. These lads are simply killing it. Their first EP had tons of promise, and this full-length delivers on that promise ten-fold. )


The Hanging Stars - A New Kind Of Sky
(As with any of their releases, I can only describe them as perfect. London's Hanging Stars touch on every part of music that makes me go "oooh!". Only a few handful of bands actually have this much panache and style. Lush alt-country/cosmic Americana done so well, you may be hard-pressed, like me, to find many other bands to compare. Fan-freaking-tastic.)

Daniel Mandrychenko - Anti
(High-standard Jazz from a whacky guitar player. If you even "kind of like jazz", this is worth a listen. Lots going on with this one. Some stellar sax playing, and even better interplay between lead instruments. A neat little jaunt into realms beyond Sunday jazz, more akin to uneasy listening made easy. Some moments of true musical wit shine through like beacons.)

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Friday, January 24, 2020

Bandcamp Blitz - January 24th, 2020

THE BLITZ-O-MATIC 2.0 has arrived

Some new stuff, some not-so-new stuff. A slight theme with some of these older releases. I was going for a certain sound, and each one of these has that going for it. I needed some FNM-inspired, whacked-out bananaslammarama, of which Bandcamp was happy to supply. On with the madness!

Big Scenic Nowhere - Vision Beyond Horizon
(So far, one of the best albums I have heard all year. I know the year is just beginning, but this one whipped me into a frothy fury.Highly recommended melodic stoner/alt-rock. If melodic, psych-y alt-stoner is in your neighborhood, this is right up your alley. Each track is a little adventure closer to that eye you see on the album cover. Awesome vocal melodies, crafty tunes. Stick this in your ear and leave it there.)

The Huntsmen - Mandala Of Fear
(Maddeningly good prog metal with a dastardly Yes-like overtone.)


Black Burned Blimp - Crash Overdrive
(Annoyed that I missed this release when it came out. Had I heard this at the time, I would have been all crazy and wordy about it, and still am. This is something worth checking out in any year. Whacked-out, spacey, punky, wild and weird. Like a Faith No More/Kyuss sandwich with '90s underground alt-rock as a condiment. )

School Disco - School Disco
(3-piece noise rock madness from UK. Some Psycho Bungle-esque swaddlings. A few punchy new wave smatterings. Psychy noisy brainwave-interrupting punk stoner noise. Gimme!)

Flux Amuck - The Alternate
(The most Patton-y of the FNM-inspired bands on the list. Nebraska's Flux Amuck come in with a Vernon Reid-styled solo, a Patton-tinged vocal, and a hollowed-out snare slap, creating a proggy environment. I mean, if there was ever a way to hear how Faith No More would sound if they got Buckethead as a guitar player, this is it. I love this. Not sure why this does not have more love. Well, poke your head in. This is worth your time. If you even claim to love FNM or Bungle a little bit, you might owe it to yourself to check this out. It's very busy, and really opens up the floodgates on all tracks...)

Rafael Denardi - Two Handfuls Of Rock
(Like Tight Phantomz meets Truth And Janey with a noggin-smacking retro vibe. A wild, raucous ride. Smoking hot riffs!! Easily one of the best albums I've heard this year! A contender for the end of the year list, as well. A stunner.)

Ritual - Operation Copacabana And The Punch Drunk Blues
(Dark, down-tuned, experimental rock with a bit of Patton mixed in for good measure. Ritual stands on their own with a fuzzy, groovy feel. Some electronics, some riffs, some more groovy feels. 3 tracks, all a bit different than the last, but never straying from the groovy feels.)

Magnolia Red - Ancient River
(A band that grew into their shoes really fast! Norway's Magnolia Red have released a real treasure. Americana, alt-country/rock done so well, it sounds like it ain't their first rodeo. Been a big fan of these guys for a while, their first EP being a real keeper. Of special note is Mountains Of The North. What a beautiful tune! Every other track is quite awesome. These guys have been growing into quite an Americana powerhouse as the years go by. Quite excited for them to have released such a killer album with so many good tunes! May this one accompany me through the year....)

Øyvind Holm - After The Bees
(Sugarfoot's (among other bands) Øyvind Holm creates a solo album out of air and dust and clay and fire and water. Øyvind crafts some seriously good psych pop with all of the brilliance one would expect from him. Deftly-hewn tunes, genius modulations, complete with an all-star cast which includes the likes of Alexander Pettersen and Ida Jenshus. Not to be missed! This WILL be in the Best Of The Year List. My bias is strong, but the music speaks for itself. )

- Andy B.