What We've Been Listening To This Week...Osees, Sunstack Jones, The Asteroid Number 4, TRAAMS, USA Nails, Melody Fields
By Jon Milton
Another week, another Osees album...Friday saw the release of the second album in as many months by Osees, ‘Levitation Sessions’ with another album scheduled for release next week and a further album due in December. Phew - that's certainly one way to fill your time when you can’t tour! Levitation Sessions is a live set featuring a handful of tracks from the bands’ latest album Protean Threat plus ‘lots of old favourites and 7 never before performed live hits from the crypt...its raw and shreddy with a bit of elastic improvisation thrown in’ says John Dwyer on his Bandcamp notes.
It is a thoroughly enjoyable run through of the band’s back catalogue, with ‘Block of Ice’ extended into a 12-minute masterpiece, ‘Chem Farmer’ fused with ‘Nite Expo’ and tunes like ‘I Come from the Mountain’ and ‘Static God’ pummelled in a very pleasing way. Placing the older songs side by side with tracks from the new album does highlight the weakness of Protean Threat though which hopefully they’ll move on from with next year’s crop of new releases.
Far less frantic and noisy is the new album by Sunstack Jones, ‘Golden Repair’. ‘An album to be played on balmy nights, winter nights, any night really and enjoyed with a glass of wine in your hand’ said we in our review, which you can read here. Sunstack Jones draw from the sixties, early seventies and nineties on Golden Repair, whereas The Asteroid Number 4 liberally borrow from the eighties on their new album ‘Northern Songs’. ‘It’s a fine collection of songs and sure, it’s derivative. Which does not matter a jot’ we wrote in our review, and said that it was the quartet’s best album yet. You can read the full review here.
Staying with psychedelia, Sweden’s Melody Fields sent through their new EP yesterday which is eminently pleasing. The EP was recorded in Studio Parkeringhuset, where other notable psych artists such as Goat, Hills and The Movements have recorded and features four tracks, the sitar driven ‘Langsam Dod’ and ‘Rhymes of Goodbye’ which kind of meld together as one, the Byrdsy ‘Broken Horse’ and the trippy ‘Painted Sky’. It’s all pretty chilled stuff, and no doubt well suited to listening to in a mind altered state.
If after all that you need to wake yourself up with a bit of noise, look no further than ‘Character Stop’ the new single by USA Nails, taken from their new album of the same name due out on the 23rd of this month. ‘On it they explore identity, like the online personas of aggressive twitter users, influencers and vloggers, as well as takes on mental health, giving up on dreams , the joy and (despair) of being a part-timer, and contemplating who they would be if they decided to hang up their guitars for good’ says the press release. All very relevant given what Rishi Sunak is currently proposing. This is another strong single from the band following on from the excellent ‘I Don’t Own Anything’ so the album should be one to look forward to.
Last but not least this week is ‘Intercontinental Radio Waves’, the new single by TRAAMS and the highlight of the week. After their last two singles ‘A House on Fire’ and the magnificent song of the year contender ‘The Greyhound’ you’d be forgiven for thinking that all their songs would be running at around the 9-10 minute mark, but IRW is a measly 3 minutes long. Driven by a chunky bass line, it also has some pretty sweet feedback and its another tune that recalls the World Domination Enterprises classic from years ago, Asbestos Lead Asbestos. We’re looking forward to more from TRAAMS, they rule.