MOLASSES You'll Never Be Well (Fancy) cd 15.98
The description of sparse is the only connection between Molasses and Godspeed You Black Emperor, in spite of both bands sharing members. Slow-motion alt.country meanderings sort of like Songs:Ohia and Mazzy Star playing Tom Waits songs.
MOLDY PEACHES s/t (Rough Trade) cd 14.98
The Moldy Peaches are the latest purveyors of indie slapped-together slop rock brimming with the irony of "talented" musicians playing badly (lack of rhythm, juvenile poetry about cartoons and indie boys in tight pants, stupid guitar solos, and just barely able to sing, let alone harmonize) on line with Free Kitten and Beat Happening. Kind of cute, in that "look what I made in kindergarten" way, but released very strangely on Rough Trade (UK) and licensed to some major label conglomerate. Really irritating.
"Lucky Number Nine"
MOLECULES/RUINS/ALBOTH/BELLY BUTTON/MUG (Pandemonium) 7" 3.99
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. R: Hyper kinetic bass/drums prog. M: Bay Area jazz prog. A: Swiss Young Gods style arty bombast. BB: Noisey post rock. M: Jazzy art brut funk rock.
MOLEHILL Comfort Measured In Razored Lines (Rage Of Achilles) cd 9.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. UK label Rage of Achilles again dredges the depths of America's metal underground and comes up with a winner. Alabama's Molehill are slow and dirty and dirgy and ultra heavy. Oh, and did I say slow? Screamy slow-motion southern dirge-rock with plenty of feedback, rumbling bass and screamy vocals. Think Eyehategod, Noothgrush, etc.
MOLES On The Streets (Wishing Tree) 2cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Not sure how many of you remember Richard Davies, but on his own and as one half of the duo Cardinal with Eric Matthews, he made some of the most totally brilliant, lush and orchestral pop records of the late nineties (even touring at one point with the Flaming Lips as his back up band!). Even those of you, like us, who totally loved all that stuff, may not remember Davies' first band the Moles. Originally from Australia, Davies quit law school in the late eighties to play music. The Moles moved to America but broke up in 1993 remaining relatively unknown. Their two albums remain masterpieces of shimmery, jangly indie pop. This collection includes cuts from their classic Untune The Sky record as well as several singles. The sound is sweet and spacious, dreamy and melancholy. Warbly organs, jangly rickenbacker guitars, sunny, reverbed harmonies, Davies' strange Robyn Hitchcock-sh vocals, all sorts of psychedelic production, and of course perfect, perfect pop songs. Fans of Belle And Sebastian, and similarly bittersweet pop should definitely check this out. Includes a bonus disc of rare and unreleased songs.
"What's The New Mary Jane?" MPEG Stream:
"This Is A Happy Garden"
MOLES Untune The Sky (Flydaddy) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Does that voice sound familiar? It should. It's Richard Davies, half of AQ faves Cardinal as well as producer of some mighty fine orchestral pop on his own. But this is way before all that, in fact 1991 to be exact. This is a reissue of the first Moles record, and while some of Davies' future sound shines through, it has way more in common with late 80's/early 90's Flying Nun style experimental pop. Droning and hypnotic, with lots of jagged unfinished edges, weird almost industrial noise, Brit pop jangle and an almost Morrisey drawl. Nice.
MOLES Untune The Sky (Kill Shaman) 2lp 19.98
The Moles are definitely not a household name, at least in most normal households, which is definitely a shame. Not sure how many folks remember the band Cardinal, they only released one proper full length, back in the nineties, but to this day, it remains quite possibly one of the most perfect orchestral pop records ever released. But before Cardinal, there was the Moles. Untune The Sky is the debut from New Zealand poppers The Moles, the band that Richard Davies called home, long before Cardinal, and while not nearly as lush or orchestral, it's a classic slice of primo late 80's/early 90's Flying Nun style experimental pop. Droning and hypnotic, with lots of jagged unfinished edges, weird almost industrial noise, Brit pop jangle and an almost Morrissey vocal drawl. But for as experimental as the Moles were, all of that experimentalism was wrapped around some incredibly catchy pop, hooks galore, not always proudly on display, sometimes nearly totally obfuscated, but just as often, set up right in front, and allowed to shine, an approach to pop that to this day still seems distinctly New Zealand. Fans of the Tall Dwarfs, the Bats, the Clean, the 3Ds, the Chills, Straightjacket Fits, the Verlaines, could have easily missed out on the Moles, they were sort of underground even among the already underground, plus they were definitely a bit weirder, but now's the time to right that wrong, this stuff is timeless, sounding as good as ever, some incredible pop songs can be found within Untune The Sky, and half the fun is digging for them.
"Breathe Me In" MPEG Stream:
"Bury Me Happy" MPEG Stream:
"Tendrils And Paracetamol" MPEG Stream:
"This Is A Happy Garden"
MOLINA & JOHNSON s/t (Secretly Canadian) cd 14.98
MOLINA, JASON Let Me Go, Let Me Go, Let Me Go (Secretly Canadian) lp+cd 13.98
Between this new album from Lambchop and those from Jason Molina and M. Ward, whoa, this is quite the week for country rock excellence! Mr. Molina doesn't want you to be caught empty-handed... without his music! He's released his latest album as a cd/lp combo (same music on both vinyl and cd packaged together in an lp sleeve. The music is absolutely solid Molina fare of his more hushed and stripped down variety rather than his bootstomp tavern rock. Let Me Go, Let Me Go, Let Me Go is composed of nine timeless stark arrangements of just his voice, some piano and guitar. Really, the only unfortunate thing about this release might be the choice of cover photo -- a sort of Alfred E. Neuman 'what me worry?' shot of Molina and his guitar. Pssst, want more Molina? A Magnolia Electric Co. album is comin' REAL soon.
"Alone With The Owl" MPEG Stream:
"It Must Be Raining There Forever"
MOLINA, JASON Pyramid Electric Co. (Secretly Canadian) lp+cd 13.98
Finally, goshdarnit! We alluded to this record in our review of Songs: Ohia's album Magnolia Electric Co. last February, and then we waited and waited... and now almost a year later here it is, the actual companion release to said album. Easily the most brutally personal and gorgeously melancholy record yet from Jason Molina, aka Songs: Ohia. And that's saying a lot, since everything we've heard from him so far has been intense, intensely sad, musically compelling and completely brilliant. This Pyramid Electric Co. is all minimal and spacious, spare and haunting. Guitars shimmer and drift lazily through darkened rooms and ghostly winter evenings, single notes ring out only to settle back to earth after hovering in the dark cool air for what feels like forever. The piano is heard from the street outside the loneliest bar, in a town where nobody lives anymore. Chords and melodies escaping through a crack in the window like tendrils of smoke from recently extinguised cigarettes. Molina's voice still sounds a bit like Will Oldham, but the more time you spend with him, and his songs, and the more you actually let yourself get lost in his music, the more he sounds like no one else in the world. A high lonesome, aching heartbroken croon, that can turn into an anguished wail in a split second, but return to a hushed lover's whisper before you know it. This is the perfect music for two in the morning, home alone, drunk and lonely, snow outside, too sad to sleep, to tired not too, afraid of dreaming about her, wishing the morning would never come, but praying you can make it through the night. So fucking good. It's ostensibly LP only, BUT the LP comes with a cd version as well for you poor turntable-less bastards!
"Pyramid Electric Co." MPEG Stream:
"Red Comet Dust"
MOLINA, JUANA Segundo (Domino) cd 17.98
MOLINA, JUANA Son (Domino) cd 15.98
Juana Molina hails from Argentina where she was once a sitcom television star until she gave it up to pursue music. And we're so happy she did 'cause over the last few years she's made some really beautiful records. With a remarkable seductive voice and sparse interesting instrumentation beneath, she creates a sultry and inciting mood that totally wraps you up in its womblike warmth. With a voice that has the same melting beauty as sonic seductresses like Astrud Gilberto, what's so great about Molina is that while her voice is breathtaking, there is so much more to her music. Evoking much emotion but never hitting the listener over the head with overly maudlin sentiments or romantic drivel. Subtly experimenting with delicate sounds and electronics yet keeping songs strong and in tact. Creating a sound that is both very modern and totally timeless. It would be so easy for someone with a voice as beautiful as Molina's to just push her vocals way out in front of the mix and make polished straightforward pop records, but luckily she chooses to create interesting and textured songs using her voice as another element, no more important that some swoonsome guitar or shuffling rhythm. Another fantastic album. Highly recommended!
"Malherido" MPEG Stream:
MOLINA, JUANA Un Dia (Domino) cd 15.98
It would be so easy and profitable for Juana Molina to simply streamline her sound, to make things nice and easy and to compete with the likes of Feist and Beth Orton for permanent cafe stereo time, but lucky for us, she keeps pushing and challenging herself, creating original and challenging music while still managing to weave a sensual and seductive spell with her sounds. Her voice is the main instrument, and it's her voice that carries Un Dia, with its seamless mix of organic instrumentation and subtle electronics. It's hard to believe that someone this creative and musically talented was once a bigtime sitcom TV star in Argentina. Makes so much sense how committed she seems to her musical vision as she already enjoyed a kind of mindless popular culture celebrity so she doesn't need to pander to commercial blandness with her music. It's not to say that this is difficult or unpleasant music because its not, quite the contrary but similar to folks like Bjork and Brigitte Fontaine decades earlier, Molina belongs to a strong brigade of visionary women who know how to blend experimentation with melody and pop sensibilities for music that is both rewarding and pleasurable. This might be her finest moment yet!
"Los Hongos De Marosa" MPEG Stream:
"Vive Solo" MPEG Stream:
MOLINA, TONY (OVENS) Dissed And Dismissed (Melters) lp 12.98
Fans of local pop geniuses the Ovens, which are a whole lot of you, but should really be ALL of you, rejoice, and enjoy another incredible blast of noise pop songsmithery courtesy of Ovens mainman Tony Molina, whose solo sound is essentially, and really EXACTLY like the Ovens, fuzzed out pop, metallic chugging, soaring harmonized guitars, a dreamy croon, and ridiculous self deprecating lyrics, INCREDIBLE hooks, and the sort of poppiness that will get lodged in your head forEVER. SO yeah, anyone who bought and loved the Ovens cd Andee released on his tUMULt label, well, you're gonna want, nay, NEED this. As always, Molina's songs (and by extension, the Ovens' as well) are equal parts Weezer, Thin Lizzy, the Beatles, Guided By Voices, Dinosaur Jr, Teenage Fanclub, and pretty much every other fuzzy jangly pop band you ever loved, but all that boiled down and rendered into ultra brief, fragmented blasts of micro pop brevity, and we're talking boiled down as in thirteen songs in twelve minutes! One of those records you'll no doubt play over and over and over. There are tracks like opener "Nowhere To Go", which sounds like it could have been plucked right off the Ovens cd proper, so much crammed into so little time, soaring harmonized guitars, the occasional metallic chug, the fuzzy main riff, the laid back vox, the melodies impossible to resist, and like many Ovens songs, blink and you'll miss it. None of that verse chorus verse shit, if you're lucky, you'll get verse chorus. Sometimes just verse! Like on tracks like "Sick As Riff", where you don't even get a riff, more like a dreamy little acoustic guitar interlude. Check out "Change My Ways", which should most definitely have J Mascis looking over his shoulder, the Dinosaur Jr vibe HUGE, right down to the guitar tone. And like we've said before, if Tony wasn't so brilliantly ADD, and could make a song longer than 90 seconds, he and the Ovens could/would/should be HUGE. But we're not complaining, it's part of their charm, the barrage of crazy hooks, perfect melodies, definitely pushing a lot of the same buttons Guided By Voices do. So yeah, needless to say, these 12 minutes the probably gonna be our favorite 12 minutes of pop music this year, so grab one of these before they're gone, and leave a little space at the top of your 2013 year end lists, cuz even only two months in, and we're pretty sure, unless there's a new Ovens record that somehow pops up, this one's gonna be tough to beat.
"Nowhere To Go" MPEG Stream:
"Change My Ways" MPEG Stream:
"Can't Believe" MPEG Stream:
"Spoke Too Soon" MPEG Stream:
MOLJEBKA PVLSE Lvde Dings (Drone) 7" 5.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. **SALE **SALE* *SALE** Probably the most well known of the groups contributing to this most recent collection of limited 7" singles from Germany's Drone Records. Gorgeously packaged, matte black ink on gloss black sleeves, pressed on black vinyl, black on grey cardstock insert, the first edition and thus limited to ONLY 300 COPIES! Two short tracks, the first an ominous ambience of deep rumbles and hushed atmosphere, haunting minor key melodies stretched into blurred streaks of sound, after drifting through a little cloud of percussion at the beginning, only to emerge into a bleak expanse of slowly unfurling low end and soft black shimmer. The flipside picks up right where the A side ends, growing less and less ominous, becoming more and more dreamy and blissed out, the ominous black clouds slowly parting to reveal a sprawling expanse of steel grey winter sky. So nice!
MOLJEBKA PVLSE Sadalsuud (Some Place Else) cd 15.98
Latest disc of sonic exploration from this Swedish dronescaping ensemble. With such a darkly minimal sound, it's amazing that, at least for this recording. Moljebka Pvlse included ten members! Credited, with among other things, sounds (yep, just 'sounds'), no-input mixing board, synthesizers, melodica, field recording, cymbals, guitar, voices, flute, electric piano, text, didgeridoo, mbira and supercollider(!), this expansive ensemble takes all of that and manages to distill it into the darkest and simplest of sounds. A nearly seventy minute single piece, slowly sprawling out from a stretch of barely there shimmer into gradually more and more active low end minimalism. Long drawn out tones, mysterious bits of glitch and click, haunting voices, moaning and mumbling, chanting and intoning, bits of creaking and tiny swirls of FX, deep swells of synth and barely discernible rhythms, everything constantly shifting and gradually changing shapes, some parts almost coalescing into fragmented bits of actual pop (albeit stripped down and smeared), while others are mostly melody free, remaining stretched out and abstract. Quite sinister and lovely, dark and subtly intense, not all that far removed from the sounds of Troum and Thomas Koner and other practitioners of the drone and drift. Which as avid AQ customers should realize, is indeed a very good thing.
"Sadalsuud (excerpt 1)" MPEG Stream:
"Sadalsuud (excerpt 2)"
MOLJEBKA PVLSE Tamon (Segerhuva) cd 9.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. **SALE **SALE* *SALE** Unfortunately we've somehow missed out on Moljebka Pvlse until now, although this Swedish dronescaping project has produced some exceptional work for Cold Meat Industies and Eibon. Tamon is a bit of a detour for Moljebka Pvlse which has typically offered somnolent, hypnotic sounds on par with Troum and Thomas Koner. Here, Moljebka Pvlse quite literally shatters the lulling atmospheres with two monstrous slabs of digitized noise surrounded by extended passages of eerie electric hummings. The juxtaposition of the calmer pools of sound and the infernal noise is purposefully jarring, as they simply butt up against each other. As good as Moljebka Pvlse has been at creating the sublime drone, he's equally proficient in noisemaking, on par with Merzbow's recent headcleansing output. Well worth checking this one out!
"Arizona Recursive" MPEG Stream:
"A Bird Is Not An Animal" MPEG Stream:
MOLLUSK Accretions (The Foundry) cd 12.98
While Malcolm Bly's ambient project Mollusk is conceptually grounded within the biology of ancient sea creatures, his "Accretions" album holds a lot of similarities to the deep space music found on Hearts of Space or just the backing ambience that would go along with a Carl Sagan narration about "the billions and billions of stars that span the night sky." Sure the case could be made that there is a connection in design between the microscopically small and the universally grand (i.e. the shape of a single cell organism vs. the shape of a galaxy), but the music's spatious reverberations and tinkling declinations do imply a large cavernous sonic arena.
MOLOCH Depression Of Surtr (Blackmetal.com) cd 13.98
Finally, the first proper full length from Ukrainian one man black metal horde Moloch. As we mentioned in our review of the split tape from a while back (the only thing we'd been able to get in sufficient numbers to list), we have been totally obsessed with Moloch, doing whatever we could to get a hold of everything and anything he's recorded. Which is quite a feat as he's released about 40 records, many of them box sets, and making it even more of a feat is the fact that most were limited to between 10 and 40 copies. Argghhh. Andee has even been emailing with Moloch about possibly releasing something on tUMULt, all in the interest of making these gorgeously grim sounds available to more than a handful of connected diehards. So in steps the fine folks at BlackMetal.Com, who have released Depression Of Surtr, a best of compilation, gathering up various tracks from a handful or releases, as well as a bunch of unreleased tracks (although since barely anyone has heard most of this stuff, they're essentially ALL unreleased). So what has got us all in a tizzy about this Moloch character? Hard to explain, but with most black metal, it's as much about vibe as it is sound, and these tracks, besides sounding amazing, are so weirdly haunting and mysterious, the guitars so saturated and blown out, the drums buried in the mix, more of a pulse than a beat, and the vocals, somewhere between Weakling and Silencer, howled and wailed and utterly anguished. So tortured and over the top, again simultaneously adding to the vibe and mood as well as the sound. But besides the vibe, which is about as harrowing and haunting and GRIM as can be, the sound is fucking epic, Burzum by way of Abruptum, mostly midtempo, even the blasts are only slightly faster, the guitars are super distorted and droney, the sort of trance-y buzz that has us immediately entranced. There are also some long stretches of black ambience, of shimmery drift and rumbling dronemusic, which makes sense, as Moloch has also released 10 or 15 entire discs full of ambient music, but here they nicely balance the blown out grimnity of the more buzzy blown out tracks. There's even a couple covers at the end, one a Burzum cover, all pianos and synths, lilting and minor key, the other a Darkthrone cover, which is totally bizarre, swooning synths over an awesomely cheesy drum machine (which sounds remarkably similar to the one built into the boom box in the back room). Not sure what to even make of it, so strange, and a little bit silly, but once you get immersed in it, it does seem to sound a bit more haunting. But only a bit. But then that's what we were talking about, the vibe, and the mood, and Moloch creates such a strange unpredictable vibe, with his skewed perspective on black metal, which is what makes his sound, and his records so amazing. And which is exactly why we're so obsessed...
"Ljosalfaheimr" MPEG Stream:
"Throught Halo Of Fire-Brands" MPEG Stream:
"En As I Dype Skogen (Darkthrone Cover)"
MOLOCH Ein Dusterer Winter Kommt (Legion Blotan) 7" 12.98
MOLOCH Ein Dusterer Winter Kommt (Legion Blotan) 7" 12.98
MOLOCH Illusionen Eines Verlorenen Lebens (Glorious North) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Illusionen Eines Verlorenen Lebens is the latest from ridiculously prolific Ukrainian one man black metal horde Moloch, one of THREE new full lengths in 2011, so far! Thankfully, everything we've heard from Moloch has been pretty incredible, and perhaps in this case also thankfully, of the SEVENTY ONE releases since 2004, we've only managed to get a tiny handful, so it's still exciting to get our hands on anything new from Moloch, whose sound is a dark, depressive mix of haunting dark ambience, and murky buzz drenched blackness, definitely the sort of thing that should appeal to fans of Xasthur, I Shalt Become, Burzum, Striborg, Nortt, Velvet Cacoon, which we would imagine is probably a whole bunch of you. And if you've yet to discover Moloch, this is as good a place to start as any. Beginning with a mournful ambient drift, all swoonsome strings, haunting piano and softly layered chordal thrum, very cinematic and quite beautiful, which leads directly into the first half of "Ein Dusterer Winter Kommt", the swirling synths carrying over from the last track, here drifting over big drums, with strange spoken vox, and a slowly intensifying black buzz, the song never truly exploding, instead, pounding along hypnotically, with the vocals becoming more and anguished. It's the second part of the song where the buzz is let loose, the song still a meandering creep, but wreathed in some seriously thick crumbling superdistorted buzz, which is the MO for the next few tracks, the songs lumbering and lurching, through clouds of corrosive buzz and strange vocals, on "Weg Von Dieser Welt Voller Traurigkeit", the riffing grows distinctly blacker, frantic picking, soaring majestic melodies, but still wrapped around Moloch's depressive doomy plod, with some of the most hysterical vocals on the record so far. Two brief ambient interludes, all synths and strings and whirring shimmering droney drift, lead into the 22 minute closer "Abgrund Meines Wesens", which one might expect to be a crushing buzz drenched finale, but instead is something much more subtle, a sprawling synthscape in multiple movements, like some lost soundtrack for some old art film, lush chordal swells beneath streaks of muted melody, deep sonorous thrum and hushed washed out shimmer, there is a stretch, where the ambience is augmented by a thick layer of buzz, but beyond adding some heft, it doesn't blacken the sound so much as make it more intense. The sort of soundscapery that can easily whisk you off to some other world, some alternate universe. Gorgeous stuff. Definitely heavier on the atmospheric drift than on black buzz, but overall, a pretty fantastic slab of ambient blackness...
"Ein Dusterer Winter Kommt I" MPEG Stream:
"Ein Dusterer Winter Kommt II" MPEG Stream:
"Dissonanz Tropfen Eines Gluhenden Schmerzes"
MOLOCH s/t (Choking Hazard) cd 13.98
Not to be confused with the Russian black metal Moloch, this Moloch is something much grimier and grittier and doomier, treading a path closer to Eyehategod, and of course the current crop of ultra doomlords like Moss, Bunkur, Monarch, and of course Noothgrush and Corrupted. In fact, if it sounds like we just described your collection, you might as well stop right now and grab one of these, cuz if sloooooow, ultra heavy, doomic crush is your thing, then Moloch will definitely hit the spot. Four songs, 25 minutes, this UK foursome offer up some pretty fearsome heaviness, slipping easily from plodding lumbering slow motion, to swinging stonery groove and back again, the guitars thick and viscous, the drums pounding and pummeling, the vocals a wild shriek. The more we listen to this we're also hearing plenty of Grief and Bongzilla, the riffs like 16rpm Sabbath, the band's crawl druggy and dissonant, but laced with some super swinging NOLA-esque grooviness, and some surprisingly Pantera-ish vox, which makes some of this sound like Down, but only if Down were WAY crustier and filthier and DIY and lo-fi. Which is most definitely not a bad thing. Heartily recommended for you drugged out, stoner rock, ultra doom, slow and low misfits, some seriously crushing black hole brutality, with just enough swing to keep it interesting. Released on the same label that did that kick ass Ghast / Yoga split!
"Thy Grief" MPEG Stream:
"Who Is This Who Is Coming"
MOLOCH / THOU Tears That Soak A Callous Heart (Perpetual Motion Machine / Feast Of Tentacles) lp 12.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Doesn't get much heavier than this. Louisiana sludgelords Thou matched up with UK ultradoom heavies Moloch (not to be confused with the Ukrainian black metallers Moloch). By now, like us, you're probably pretty obsessed with Thou, of the multitudes of practitioners of the incredibly slow and low, Thou probably come closest to capturing the spirit of the bands who got us into that sort of heaviness in the first place, Eyehategod, Bongzilla, Weedeater, Noothgrush, disEMBOWELMENT, Winter, Sleep, 16, Buzzoven, the Melvins, but they do it so well and they do it in a way that few others can, and that's by infusing some serious pop into their sound. Fear not, it's not obvious, not at all, and most folks might not hear it, but it's there, and it transforms their sludge entirely. The first track is the perfect example, sludgy and sour, everything wrapped in a warm distortion blanket. Great vokillz as always. The drums pounding away mercilessly, the guitars sounding like they're in slow motion, churning and chugging, the tone insanely corrosive and blown out, but then there are these intense chiming melodies, that change the vibe completely, some weird hybrid of the Melvins, Nirvana and Eyehategod, slipping from NOLA style Southern sludgey groove, to full on ultradoom plod, to what sounds almost like death metal slowed down to a crawl, to what sounds like their cover of Nirvana's "Sifting", which finally answers our prayers, whenever a killer band does a cover of another band, and it's amazing, and we can't help but wish there was just a band that sounded LIKE THAT, not just when they were covering songs by other bands, well, here you go!! The second track offers up more heavy bliss, opening with a riff like Sleep's "Jerusalem" before the rest of the band kicks in and things get all tense and dark before breaking out into some melodic serpentine riffery. So grim and doomy and sludgy but you can still hear all the definition of the song, before it eventually builds into an ultra depressive lament. Fuck yeah. Moloch counter with some of their own filthy crusty sludge. Opening with a glacial squall of barely moving but steady black buzz riffage. Hardcore vocals and Neanderthal drum pound and knuckle dragging amp buzz that rides out with seemingly infinite sustain, evolving into an abject midtempo sonic beatdown. The second track introduces some groove, but Moloch's idea of groove is way less groovy and way more menacing, the lurching lumbering crush laced with hateful throat shredding howls, and some super harmonic riffage. Super nice woodcut style packaging with a heavy printed inner sleeve and nice thick jacket, pressed on cloudy clear vinyl, LIMITED TO 1000 COPIES.
MOLOTH Scent Of Blood / Rehearsal 2003 A.B. (Lost Reich) cd 13.98
MOMUS 20 Vodka Jellies (Le Grand Magistery) cd 16.98
MOMUS Folktronic (Le Grand Majestery) cd 14.98
The prolific, inventive, and cheekily clever Momus is at it again. The last time we heard from him was 1999's Stars Forever on which he performed songs of "patronage pop" (thirty patrons paid one thousand dollars each for the privilege of having a song written specifically about them). Now Momus presents Folktronic. Well, what are you expecting? His trademark fey Scot-boy crooning heavy on the baroque and melodrama but thrown into a hillbilly mountain goldrush-era scene? Well, sort of. Ever-inquisitive, Momus muses over the juxtaposition of the seemingly disparate worlds of folk and electronic to create as he calls it "plastic folk". Always a man with a crazy, novel idea brewing, back in October/November 2000, Momus held court at Folktronia his art installation in NY. It included opportunities for exhibition visitors to sing their own versions of these songs karaoke-style. And as usual he's included complete lyrics so you too can sing-a-long with Momus.
"Appalachia" RealAudio clip:
"Folk Me Amadeus"
MOMUS Ping Pong (Le Grand Magistery) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
MOMUS Slender Sherbet (Cherry Red) cd 16.98
... in which the fine dandy Scot known as Momus remakes his dazzling downer album Tender Pervert. The result a new perhaps odder beauty that can be admired all on its own.
MOMUS Stars Forever (Le Grand Magestry) 2cd 14.98
Yet another step in Momus' quest to be the Jeff Koons of indie rock. This post modern putz somehow convinced 30 suckers that it would be worth $1000 to have a crappy electro-pop song with inane lyrics written in their honor. There is some history behind it, like he got sued for ripping off somebody else's song, or something equally as lame. The patrons of this collection include a few stores (Other Music, Reckless Records), a few indie establishments (Team Clermont, Minty Fresh), the aforementioned Jeff Koons, and a bunch of dilletantes we've never heard of. That said, Cup, a Momus fan since the days of 'Tender Pervert' must raise her hand in defense of Momus. Although she too balks at the lofty price tag, she admires Momus' musical diversity, and thinks the idea's pretty darn clever and funny. By the way, the $30,000 went towards his legal bills 'cause he got sued by Wendy Carlos. Oh yeah, and there's also a 'bonus'...eight Momus karaoke parody contest winners' tracks.
MON COUSIN BELGE Quelle Horreur (World Famous in San Francisco) cd 14.98
Over the last couple years San Francisco's Mon Cousin Belge have earned quite the reputation for their raucous, theatrical and dazzling live performances. And in a city that's got such a great history for campy, subversive and wonderfully queer art and music it's actually kind of sad to say that it's becoming more rare to find a really good charged and dazzling homo-rock band around these parts lately. Luckily Mon Cousin Belge have been filling that void quite nicely. With a sound equally influenced by glam-rock, torch songs and the sparkling seedy side of high octane pop, Quelle Horreur is an action packed flamboyant and proud album that fits perfectly in any record collection containing the soundtrack to Hedwig & The Angry Inch, Ziggy Stardust era Bowie, Sparks, B-52's and Nina Hagen. With song titles like "Tweaker Bitch", "Sodomy" and "Pigdog" and the trashy chops to back it all up, someone really needs to get this in the hands of John Cameron Mitchell and John Waters as this could be their new favorite band!
"Unicycle" MPEG Stream:
"Sodomy" MPEG Stream:
MONADE A Few Steps More (Too Pure) cd 13.98
Previously a side project collaboration between Pram's Rosie Cuckston and Stereolab's Laetitia Sadier, Monade has blossomed into a full band fronted by the dulcet-toned Ms Sadier, and well... they reeeeeeally sound like her other band! Her legions of fans probably knew that this release was on its way eons ago, and therefore don't need us to tell them that it's finally arrived. For those less rabid, we'll let you know that this is the group's follow-up to their 2003 debut Socialisme ou Barbarie (The Bedroom Recordings), and as can be expected, it's a much more fleshed out and polished affair. Back-to-back listening of this and the recent reissue of Stereolab's 1992 debut Switched On makes for a dreamy, sunny afternoon double scoop! Sure to please Stereolab and Sadier lovers everywhere.
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MONADE Monstre Cosmic (Too Pure) cd 13.98
Oh, Latetitia Sadier you can sing in our ear anytime! Of course best known for her main groop, Stereolab, Sadier has also kept busy over the years with her project Monade, an outfit that leans much more toward the laid back elements of Stereolab. Monstre Cosmic finds Monade in top form, with rich and lush instrumentation, a range of tempos and of course Sadier's trademark suave vocals, in French and sounding so damn irresistible! The color palette that Monade's songs invoke are just as wide and dazzling as those of Stereolab with enough highs and lows to keep you on your toes but with just the right feeling of comfort to makes you want to just dive into these sounds and stay forever, and bask in their swirling melodies and groove filled charm. Like so much of her best work, we love how the songs unfold and reveal more of themselves with repeated listens. Monstre Cosmic sounds great on first listen but it's when you begin to get hooked and are listening over and over again that you really begin to fall in love with this batch of musical goodness. Laid back without being lazy, driving and catchy without being too perky. It's just the right ingredients mixed and made with total pop perfection. Highly recommended!
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"Tout En Tour Est Un" MPEG Stream:
MONADE Socialisme ou Barbarie (The Bedroom Recordings) (Duophonic) cd 14.98
Monade started as a 1996 joint side project of Stereolab's Laetitia Sadier and Pram's Rosie Cuckston, with Sadier making the bulk of the tracks in more recent years. Here then is Monade's debut full length, licensed from Duophonic by Drag City here in the US, which includes the impossibly rare tracks and other out of print gems, along with new material. As expected, the music is akin to Stereolab's bubbly, melodic electronica albeit with a bit more of a lo-fi bedroom feel, with strummed guitars, a light touch on the synth effects, and Sadier's comforting French croon.
"Enfin Seule" MPEG Stream:
MONAE, JANELLE Archandroid (Bad Boy / Wonderland) cd 14.98
Ambitious album that goes in many different directions form spiritual jazz to classical to folk and dance floor excursions. There are some really amazing moments on here, but there are some misses as well.
MONARCH A Look At Tomorrow / Mass Death And Destruction (Heathen Skulls) 7" 11.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Disclose and Discharge covers!! One sided, and etched!
MONARCH Dead Men Tell No Tales (Crucial Blast) 2cd 14.98
For a band who supposedly broke up, Monarch sure have managed to put out a whole bunch of music, post mortem. And while this is funeral doom and everything, we're not talking some Biggie Smalls / Tupac Shakur music from beyond the grave thing (although you never know!), it seems the announced breakup was premature, and lucky for all the doomongers among you, the Monarch is alive and (un)well. Avid readers of the AQ list should need no introduction to French downtuned slow motion sludge doom trio Monarch. A band truly worthy of many multiples of 'o's (dooooooooooooooooooooom), whose plod and crawl is so slow it often veers near static drone territory, and who also manage to deftly mix in a bit of subtle loveliness into their harsh metallic trudge, AND whose peculiar sense of humor, and album art, and unlikely front woman, definitely make them stand out in an increasingly crowded field... For those new to Monarch let's recap shall we? Quite possibly the world's only female fronted deathdoomdronedirge outfit. An unholy mix of Khanate, Corrupted, Bunkur and Moss, but with a petite young French woman on lead vocals, usually clad in Converse hightops, a skirt and a sweater, hair in a pony tail, no tattoos or spikes or leather, but when she opens her mouth, out comes the foulest demonic shrieks and hellish gurgles you have EVER heard. Certainly from a woman, maybe from ANY one, man, woman or beast. Then there are the record covers, always covered in grade school like doodles of cute big eyed skulls, puffy ghosts, burning churches, and hearts all over the place. They're like a Sanrio doom band. And not surprisingly are obsessed with Hello Kitty (their email address is sanriosabbath!!). But eyes closed, and these guys and gal can most definitely hold their own amongst the slow motion elite. With the added bonus of a singer who can actually sing and does occasionally, adding a definite creepy melodic moodiness to the music. So this double disc collects two ultra limited lps (the band seem to lean toward lps, AND double cds, with songs clocking in at 10, 20, sometimes 30 minutes), one that we carried a while back and sold out in the blink of an eye, the massive and amazing Speak Of The Sea, and weirdly enough, another 2 song lp, that's not really out yet entitled appropriately enough Die Tonight. So what has us so smitten with Monarch? Besides the above that is? Let's start with Speak Of The Sea, a massive pummeling wall of headsplitting ultra doom, an impossibly glacial plodding thud wrapped in ear shredding sheets of corrosive feedback that will tear your insides out and fill your ears with black tar. A gorgeously dense. ultra caustic and corrosive funereal doom that manages to be dreamy and darn near pretty while it's pummeling you to death. Easily one of the slowest heaviest dooooooooom records ever, three looooong tracks. Each so slow it's almost ambient. It's a bit like listening to SUNNO))) or Earth 2 when some caveman drummer decides to crash the party and start drumming slowly along. Riffs stretched out into huge droning smears of black rumble, ringing and reverberating, pulsing and wavering unsteadily before the next ten ton riff drops. Each track is a slow plodding ultradoomscape, like the ultimate doom metal intro stretched into actual songs, smeared across nearly an hour. The vocals don't even come in until the first song is almost over, a shrieking black coda, after twenty minutes of slow burning doom drone tension. The second track features some distant Ozzy-like crooning way off in the distance before the scowling growl kicks in. So slow and heavy. On the AQ doooooomscale, this ranks more O's than we could possibly include in this review! And for the cd release, they've tacked on a whole 'nother song to the first disc (album), a creepy, pretty near ambient crawl, nothing but the sound of the surf crashing on the shore, a thick hissy staticky sound, slowly swelling and drifting, very meditative, with hushed urgently whispered vocals hovering above the crashing sea, very strange, but quite nice. Then we get to Die Tonight, a record most of us (if not all of us) have not heard until now. And if anything it's everything Speak Of The Sea was and MORE. Heavier (as if that were even possible), slower (ditto) and more blurred out, buzzy and dronelike, with bits of the song so blissed out, the drum hits and chaotic crashes are so far apart, you can almost forget you're listening to a doom band, wallowing in the glorious shimmering drones of the drawn out chords, before a howled shriek and a massive crunch knocks you near out of your seat. There's also more singing, with gorgeous drifting vocals that hover alongside long stretches of buzzing guitar making for haunting harmonies, giving the proceedings brief moments of surprising tranquility. And the vocals continue to twist and turn, from hushed and whispery, to girlish and sing songy to inhuman demonic screech, all the while, the band trudging along dronelike, weaving impossibly pretty soundscapes from downtuned crunch and skull cracking thud. This is absolutely essential doom. If you like Esoteric, Boris, Moss, Bunkur, SUNNO))), Earth, Esoteric, Skepticism, Eyehategod, Marzuraan, Atavist, Catacombs, Khanate, Pale Horse, Monument Of Urns and you NEED this! And the drifting drone element is in full effect, so those who have yet to dabble in the doom pool, might check this out, the long drawn out shimmers and Niblock like layers of guitar rumble might hit the spot and have you digging deeper for more and more dooooom. Gorgeously packaged in a black gatefold, printed in silver ink, decorated with big eyed ghosts, a sailing ship with upside down crosses and a heart on the sail, lots of stars, some cute birdies, and an anchor with a heart on it. Inside are two silver on black printed inserts, with all the lyrics, the liner notes and a thanks list that says it all: Moss, Noothgrush, Otesanek, Corrupted, Bastard Noise, Rainbow Of Death, Nuit Noire and of course "our lucky stars"!
"Speak Of The Devil, Speak Of The Sea" MPEG Stream:
MONARCH Die Tonight (Throne) lp 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Back in March we made the double cd Dead Men Tell No Tales, by France's Monarch, our Record of the Week. A crushingly heavy, breathtakingly beautiful slab of ultramegadooooooooom divinity. That record just so happened to combine two lp releases, Speak Of The Sea, that we listed a long time ago, well before the cd came out, now sadly out of print, the 12" that is, and this one, Die Tonight, that in some strange rupture in the space time continuum arrived months after the cd version. But regardless, if you had been holding out, waiting for Speak Of The Sea's vinyl companion, wait no further. And heck, if you're new to the whole Monarch thing, by all means, this is as good a place as any to start. Here's an altered version of the cd review, focusing just on the Die Tonight half: Avid readers of the AQ list should need no introduction to French downtuned slow motion sludge doom trio Monarch. A band truly worthy of many multiples of 'o's (dooooooooooooooooooooom), whose plod and crawl is so slow it often veers near static drone territory, and who also manage to deftly mix in a bit of subtle loveliness into their harsh metallic trudge, AND whose peculiar sense of humor, and album art, and unlikely front woman, definitely make them stand out in an increasingly crowded field... For those new to Monarch let's recap shall we? Quite possibly the world's only female fronted deathdoomdronedirge outfit. An unholy mix of Khanate, Corrupted, Bunkur and Moss, but with a petite young French woman on lead vocals, usually clad in Converse hightops, a skirt and a sweater, hair in a pony tail, no tattoos or spikes or leather, but when she opens her mouth, out comes the foulest demonic shrieks and hellish gurgles you have EVER heard. Certainly from a woman, maybe from ANY one, man, woman or beast. Then there are the record covers, always covered in grade school like doodles of cute big eyed skulls, puffy ghosts, burning churches, and hearts all over the place. They're like a Sanrio doom band. And not surprisingly are obsessed with Hello Kitty (their email address is sanriosabbath!!). But eyes closed, and these guys and gal can most definitely hold their own amongst the slow motion elite. With the added bonus of a singer who can actually sing and does occasionally, adding a definite creepy melodic moodiness to the music. So what has us so smitten with Monarch? Besides the above that is? Well just lend an ear to Die Tonight, a heavier and slower (if that were even possible) partner to Speak Of The Sea. It's somehow also more blurred out, buzzy and dronelike, with bits of the music so blissed out, the drum hits and chaotic crashes are so far apart, you can almost forget you're listening to a doom band, wallowing in the glorious shimmering drones of the drawn out chords, before a howled shriek and a massive crunch knocks you near out of your seat. There's also more singing, with gorgeous drifting vocals that hover alongside long stretches of buzzing guitar making for haunting harmonies, giving the proceedings brief moments of surprising tranquility. And the vocals continue to twist and turn, from hushed and whispery, to girlish and sing songy to inhuman demonic screech, all the while, the band trudging along dronelike, weaving impossibly pretty soundscapes from downtuned crunch and skull cracking thud. This is absolutely essential doom. If you like Esoteric, Boris, Moss, Bunkur, SUNNO))), Earth, Esoteric, Skepticism, Eyehategod, Marzuraan, Atavist, Catacombs, Khanate, Pale Horse, Monument Of Urns and you NEED this! And the drifting drone element is in full effect, so those who have yet to dabble in the doom pool, might check this out, the long drawn out shimmers and Niblock like layers of guitar rumble might hit the spot and have you digging deeper for more and more dooooom. Gorgeously packaged in a off white matte sleeve, a simple illustration in black, and little cartoon stars in metallic silver. Also includes a big fold out poster of the record cover. And as always. EXTREMELY LIMITED. Once these are gone we probably can't get more.
MONARCH Mer Morte (Crucial Blast) cd 13.98
We've worshipped at the altar of Hello Kitty obsessed French ultradoom trio (now quartet) Monarch for years and years now, harboring a secret crush on Monarch frontwoman Emilie and a not so secret crush on their absolutely pummeling black cloud of sound. Originally released as a super limited lp on Spanish label Throne Records back in 2008, this two part doom drone dirge epic, is now available on cd, the separate sides, "Mer" and Morte" now reunited into one single sprawling nearly 35 minute opus, a glacial expanse of creeping crawling detuned drift, of psychedelic black ambience, of tarpit doomic dirge, of extreme abstract heaviness, of near static pummel. As gorgeous as it is harsh, as heavy as it is atmospheric, the drums so spare, the drummer has time to go outside for a smoke between snare hits, riffage so lugubrious that SUNNO))) sound like speed metal in comparison. Think Flood era Boris, Corrupted, Moss, Bunkur, Khanate, Orthodox, Catacombs, but then slow it down even more, take those sounds and smear them into washed out blurs, the vocals a distant mewl, an occasional shriek, the cymbals unleashed in hazy clouds of sizzling shimmer. The guitars heavy for sure, but the riffs allowed to ring out and fade to near silence, before the next one hits, more than any of the other Monarch records, Mer Morte finds the band exploring ambience as heaviness, allowing long stretches of guitar rumble to drift unaccompanied except for some hushed wordless crooning. The second half, formerly just "Morte", cranks up the tempo to a blasting (well, for Monarch at least) 10 or 12 bpm, the vocals way more intense, and in the mix the Khanate vibe is much more obvious, a pounding hellish dirge, utterly intense and cathartic and emotional and brutal, but after a few minutes, the drums drop out, and the guitars are left to drone and undulate and pulse, streaked with feedback, a gorgeous blackened dronescape, peppered with occasional drum pound, but any semblance of 'beat' has been jettisoned, the record plays out, a trancelike stretch of downtuned doomic minimalism, laced with more of those ethereal ghostlike vox, haunting and mysterious and otherworldly, and grimly beautiful. Gorgeous packaging too, a four panel gatefold Stumptown sleeve, with gold metallic ink on black matte. So cool.
"Mer" MPEG Stream:
MONARCH Omens (At A Loss) cd 14.98
The latest from these French ultra doomlords (and lady) begins all spaced out and ritualistic, shimmering clouds of metal, keening feedback, a droned out psychedelia that almost sounds like some modern take on legendary Japanese psychdrone gurus the Taj Mahal Travellers, but before long, that ritualistic drift collapses beneath the weight of crushing downtuned riffage, and pounding slow-motion drum pummel. But as with other recent Monarch records, the group have definitely managed to create a sound all their own, moving well past trudge and lumber, churn and crush, toward something a bit more blissed out, and definitely more droney. While the sound is rooted in roiling riffage, the riffs are underpinned by distant layered vocals, giving the sound a distinctly psychedelic vibe, and then the vocals proper kick in, they're feral and feminine, none of that gurgling or growling, instead a wild witchy wail, almost punk sounding, providing a strange sonic dichotomy, but one that make this way more interesting than your average dirge. Not to mention all manner of strange percussion, muted melody, and some surprisingly lush textures, wreathing everything in a softly psychedelic swirl, hazy and druggy, and surprisingly dreamy and meditative, especially the second half, which gets all blissed out, warm and whirling and super hypnotic. And that's just the first track. After a bit of an interlude, the blackened ambience of "Transylvanian Incantations", all murky voices and glimmering high end shimmer, the band finish things off with the 19+ minute "Black Becomes The Sun", the guitars gristly and oozing crumbling distortion, the sound seeming to drift toward classic doom metal, but then the vocals come in, all ethereal and angelic, and the whole sound is transformed into something much more washed out and shoegazey, almost like an ultradoom 4AD sort of sound. Partway through, the song shifts, and an avalanche of drum chaos launches a much harder and harsher second half, much sludgier, and crustier, the melodies of the first half still present, but beneath shards of feedback, and tangled howled vox, moments of true doom splintering into hellish downtuned crush and back again, the drumming mathy, the banshee vocals soaring and swooping wildly over the top, Monarch again managing to make a sound hellish and heavy, into something hypnotic, and weirdly, and grimly lovely. Killer black on black artwork, housed in a 6 panel style fold out digpak style sleeve.
"Blood Seeress" MPEG Stream:
MONARCH s/t (Throne) 2cd 14.98
FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY. The debut double disc from our favorite French Hello Kitty slow motion sludge doom power trio is back in print! All of you who are just now discovering you have a taste for the ultra doooooom, the slowed down filthy creep and crawl of downtuned guitars and slow slow riffage, skull cracking drum pound and harsh hellish vocals... well, don't hesitate a single second, you MUST own this. You thin Khanate is heavy? Well what if Khanate was fronted by a cute French girl with a thing for cute Japanese cartoon characters? Sold yet? You should be. Here's our review from when we had this in the first time around: In lieu of the long rumored 3cd, 3 hour, single song Corrupted record (that may be a rumor but we DID finally get the new single disc, single hour long track cd El Mundo Frio, still waiting for the triple...) all you drone doom sludge freeks can hold yourself over with this black hole heavy slab of utter crush and total annihilation. Two discs, almost ninety minutes, THREE TRACKS, of impossibly downtuned, ridiculously slow, creeping crawling funereal sludge doooooooooooooooooooom (that's right TWENTY o's, this is some serious doom). This French three piece (four piece at the time this was recorded) trudges the same long, slow and blackened ultradoom path as Khanate, Burning Witch, Corrupted, Boris, Bunkur, Moss and the like. Sounding a bit like Eyehategod, trapped in some sort of dimensional time rift, so each riff is stretched out into an entire song of chugging tarpit riffs, squealing solid state feedback and pounding percussion, each beat so far apart, it's unclear whether the drummer actually plans on coming back with another. And of course insane vocal chord shredding shrieks. Howling banshees and hellish demons ain't got nothing on Monarch's vocalist, who, it might be interesting to point out, is in fact a woman. Not that you would necessarily guess from hearing her demonic screech. But there is definitely a feminine sensibility going on with Monarch. The sort of cutesy heart album cover. The cartoony artwork and website. The random bits of Sanrio silliness, and lots of taking the piss out of black metal and corpsepaint and the whole macho metal thing. Monarch are most definitely the slow motionist, crust sludgiest, Satan worshippingest, Sanrio obsessedist, Sabbath fixatedist, cute girl frontedist band in the world!
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"Les Lumieres Have Been Blown Out"
MONARCH Sabbat Noir (Heathen Skulls) cd 14.98
We listed this on vinyl a few lists back, the most recent epic slab of slow motion dronesludge dirgery from these French doomsters. The vinyl is now out of print (though we still have a couple!), but now it's on cd, which in some ways is even better, as it's a single track, which on the lp was split in two, but here has been restored to it's singularly epic sprawl... Here's what we had to say about Sabbat Noir the first time around: Latest from these French ultra doom sludgelords and sludgelady, a single album-long track, an oozing, lugubrious, blackened slow motion tarpit crawl, and if it was even possible, Sabbat Noir sounds and feels even more abstract and spaced out than any of the other Monarchs, which is saying a lot. Sabbat Noir is also the band's first proper full length to feature their new drummer, Robert from the Grey Daturas, who makes himself right at home, his spare hard hitting style perfectly suited to Monarch's weirdly dreamy doomic drift. The record/song begins with a dense cloud of rumbles and whirs, a slow motion sub-SUNN guitar crawl, wrapped in shimmery cymbal sizzle, an epic, smoldering, slow building low end creep. Thick, almost liquid guitars ooze beneath abstract drumming, the hits ages apart, long stretches of layered guitardrone, a nearly stalled doom, that hovers and floats more than crushes or pummels. The vocals exist way off in the distance, haunting and spectral, just another layer of slow shifting sound, which gives way here and there to hushed ambience, it's not so much a song as a sound, drifty and shimmery, and nearly ambient, it's not until halfway through that things get a little mathy and metal, the riffs coalescing into black hole crunch, the drums pounding out an almost-rhythm. The song continues its tarpit creep, streaked with feedback, the vocals moving gradually to the fore, their presence more intense, the riffs coalescing into a more traditional doom, mournful and melancholy, like Paradise Lost or My Dying Bride, but slowed waaaaaay down, the now shrieked vox drifting over this lumbering swoonsome dour doomic miserablism, a gorgeous, desolate, somber dronedoom, that slowly sheds the doom, eventually blissing back out into some more blackened guitardrone dreaminess. The cd packaging, like the lp packaging, is incredible, super glossy, metallic prismatic jackets, you have to see them to believe them, easily one of the coolest looking covers ever, the front cover the Monarch logo all shiny and metallic over what appears to be hair, but follow that hair to the other side of the sleeve where you'll find a sexy evil pic of Monarch's vocalist Emilie all corpsepainted and hoTT!
"Sabbat Noir (excerpt 1)" MPEG Stream:
"Sabbat Noir (excerpt 2)"
MONARCH Sabbat Noir (Heathen Skulls) lp 32.00
Latest from these French ultra doom sludgelords and sludgelady, a single song spread out over two lp sides, a sprawling, lugubrious, blackened slow motion tarpit crawl, and if it was even possible, Sabbat Noir sounds and feels even more abstract and spaced out than any of the other Monarchs, which is saying a lot. Sabbat Noir is also the band's first proper full length to feature their new drummer, Robert from the Grey Daturas, who makes himself right at home, his spare hard hitting style perfectly suited to Monarch's weirdly dreamy doomic drift. The record/song begins with a dense cloud of rumbles and whirs, a slow motion sub-SUNN guitar crawl, wrapped in shimmery cymbal sizzle, an epic, smoldering, slow building low end creep. Thick, almost liquid guitars ooze beneath abstract drumming, the hits ages apart, long stretches of layered guitardrone, a nearly stalled doom, that hovers and floats more than crushes or pummels. The vocals exist way off in the distance, haunting and spectral, just another layer of slow shifting sound, which gives way here and there to hushed ambience, it's not so much a song as a sound, drifty and shimmery, and nearly ambient, it's not until near the end of the first side that things get a little mathy and metal, the riffs coalescing into black hole crunch, the drums pounding out an almost-rhythm. The side ends, and the song picks right back up on the flipside a la Lynyrd Skynyrd, more tarpit creep, streaked with feedback, the vocals moving gradually to the fore, their presence more intense, the riffs coalescing into a more traditional doom, mournful and melancholy, like Paradise Lost or My Dying Bride, but slowed waaaaaay down, the now shrieked vox drifting over this lumbering swoonsome dour doomic miserablism, a gorgeous, desolate, somber dronedoom, that slowly sheds the doom, eventually blissing back out into some more blackened guitardrone dreaminess. The packaging is incredible, super glossy, metallic prismatic jackets, you have to see them to believe them, easily one of the coolest looking covers ever, the front cover the Monarch logo all shiny and metallic over what appears to be hair, but follow that hair to the other side of the sleeve where you'll find a sexy evil pic of Monarch's vocalist Emilie all corpsepainted and hoTT, the records are pressed on 180 gram vinyl, and of course LIMITED TO ONLY 400 COPIES!!!
MONARCH Sortilege (Heathen Skulls) cd ep 14.98
In transit across the Pacific for months now, we had almost given up, but this grim little slab of droned out ritualistic slo-mo sludge finally showed up from Australia. Previously a tour only release from this aQ beloved female fronted French ultradoom horde (now featuring Robert Macmanus from Grey Daturas on drums), Sortilege is a single 11 minute track, and is of course everything we (and you) have come to love about Monarch, sprawling expanses of low end buzz, deep drones, minimal drum pound, blurred downtuned guitarage, but "Sortilege" is something a bit different, with the song never fully exploding into actual churn and crunch, instead, it seems to be Monarch's take on black ambience, and we have to say it most definitely suits them. The sound atmospheric and haunting, the rumbling buzz of the guitars a thick backdrop for all manner of wordless vocalizing, of warm washed out streaks of feedback, of buried melodies, and constantly shifting textures, not harsh or heavy, but still harrowing and haunting, the eleven minute running time is a bit frustrating, cuz this is the sort of jam you want to keep going and going and going. But otherwise, a seriously dense slab of hypnotic blackened drift, a sonic full moon ritual, corpsepainted and candelit, deep in the forest, in some underground cave, the sounds seeping from beneath the ground, and enveloping the listener like some grim black cloud. Awesome. Really swank reflective black digipaks, with some super striking photos of frontwoman Emilie, multiple Emilie's in fact, face painted, dagger in hand, presiding over the ritual, whose soundtrack is captured on Sortilege.
MONARCH Speak Of The Sea (Throne) lp 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. We sure are going to miss Monarch. In a black and sludgy sonic world, they were a little ray of sunshine. Errr. Well, not really. But they did manage to infuse their tarpit doomdeathdronedirges with a goofy sense of humor, without turning Monarch into an ironic pisstake. So here it is. The final missive from France's Monarch. Possibly the world's only female fronted deathdoomdronedirge outfit. Imagine Khanate or Corrupted or Bunkur or Moss, fronted by a slight young French woman, in a sensible skirt and blouse, hair pulled back in a pony tail, somehow emitting the sort of vulgar demonic yowls that usually come from some stooped hunchbacked axe wielding hairy beast. Thus is the magic of Monarch. their records are decorated with cute doodles, cartoons of burning churches, big eyed skulls, and hearts everywhere. They have an unhealthy obsession with Hello Kitty, their email name is sanriosabbath for chrissakes! How can you not help but be cuted-out by these cute little doomsters? Well, the massive pummeling wall of headsplitting ultra doom might be a start, the impossibly glacial plodding thud and the ear shredding sheets of corrosive feedback help too. However mislead you might be by the cuteness on the outside, be prepared to have your insides torn out and your ears filled with black tar by the caustic corrosive funereal doom on the inside. Easily one of the slowest heaviest dooooooooom bands in the world, this is quite a swansong. Two side long tracks. Each so slow it's almost ambient. It's a bit like listening to SUNNO))) or Earth 2 when some caveman drummer decides to crash the party and start drumming slowly along. Riffs stretched out into huge droning smears of black rumble, ringing and reverberating, pulsing and wavering unsteadily before the next ten ton riff drops. Both tracks are slow plodding ultradoomscapes, like the ultimate doom metal intro stretched into actual songs, smeared across both sides of the record. The vocals don't even come in until the song is almost over, a shrieking black coda, after twenty minutes of slow burning doom drone tension. The B-side features some distant Ozzy-like crooning way off in the distance before the scowling growl kicks in. So slow and heavy. On the AQ doooooomscale, Monarch rank more O's than we could possibly include in this review! So sad these doomlords (and doomlady!) are hanging it up. But what a way to go. Essential doom. If you like Esoteric, Boris, Moss, Bunkur, SUNNO))), Earth, Esoteric, Skepticism, Eyehategod, Marzuraan, Atavist, Catacombs, Khanate, Pale Horse, Monument Of Urns and you don't have any Monarch in your collection, get with the program! Or else we'll have Miss Monarch come over there and stomp you to death with her Hello Kitty Keds! Beautifully packaged in thick black sleeves with red text, the cover is a doodle of a big eyed skull being stabbed by big knives, over a glowing heart. Includes a big poster, a Monarch calendar, marking the dates from 6/6/6 until 7/7/7, the year of the Monarch!! Each lp hand numbered in metallic marker. LIMITED TO 666 COPIES. WE GOT 50!! It's already out of print so once these are gone they are gone for good.
MONARCH / GREY DATURAS Dawn Of The Catalyst (Throne) 12" 19.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Finally! Been waiting for the vinyl version of this for a while now. Taking the slow boat all the way from Spain, but it was well worth it, sounds awesome, looks amazing. Metallic gold and black on shimmery silver matte finish, all new artwork. SUPER LIMITED, we got a bunch, but we won't be able to get more. Here's more about the music inside: A while ago we were informed that French ultradoom combo Monarch had called it a day. We were crushed. One of our favorite purveyors of filthy slow motion doooooooooom, fronted by a woman, a rarity in doom for sure, and with a penchant for smiley skulls and Hello Kitty. A band that seemed tailor made for the very bizarre tastes of the AQ faithful, seemed to be no more. But before we could begin our campaign of mourning, black clothes spray painted with cute skulls, black Hello Kitty armbands, we discovered that in fact we were misinformed, or maybe the band had taken a break, or something, but we cared not, for whatever reason, Monarch was still alive, and would live to doom another day. And doom they did. Gracing us with more and more glorious downtuned heaviness, including their bad ass cover of Turbonegro's "I Got Erection"! So now that we're pretty comfortable with the continued existence of our favorite cute doomsters, we can wait patiently for each new, massive slab of harsh slow motion glacial dooooooooooooooooooooom. And for folks new to Monarch, don't go expecting this to actually -sound- cute. They may be fronted by an adorable French girl, who spins playfully on the beach in their videos, but when she opens her mouth to sing, it's the sound of blackness and misery, a demonic caterwaul, unrivaled by most male metal vocalists. And sure the art on their records may be cute cartoon burning churches and big eyed ghosts, but the sounds inside are slow and black as tar, guitars tuned so low they rumble instead of roar, drum beats so far apart, the drummer can probably smoke a cigarette between beats. And we're happy to report that this 16+ minute chunk of doom is all that and more. The more being the haunting ethereal female vocals partway through... Crushingly heavy, weirdly beautiful. A plodding symphony in slow motion. Essential Monarch beautiful brutality. The surprise here is the Grey Daturas track, also a 16 minute epic, that on first listen sounds surprisingly doomy, and a lot like the Monarch track. The Daturas are often heavy, but rarely doomy like this, but it suits them. And they pepper their doom with all sorts of sonic weirdness, bits of electronic fuckery, strange modulated feedback, subtle FX, until about 13 minutes in, when the song suddenly morphs into a muted wall of smeared and crumbling white noise, a blast of blurred sound that eventually fades into nothingness. Pretty amazing stuff, from both bands. Doom hounds will be well pleased.
MONARCH "Rapture" MPEG Stream:
THE GREY DATURAS "Golden Tusk The Endearing"
MONAURAL Monitor Interference (Ba Da Bing!) cd 12.98
Michigan space rockers Monaural have altered their extraterrestrial trajectories from propulsive Fuxa / Windy & Carl style drone to the dub filtered electronica of bands like Pan American and Labradford. Beautifully lazy Hammond organs, phased guitars and sleepy delay make this one of the best dreamy/sleepy/mopey electronica records we've heard in a while.
MONDE BRUITS s/t (Alchemy) cd 21.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. A collection of previously unreleased stuff from this Japanese noise maven. With Jojo of Hijokaidan on one track. For fans of Monde Bruits previous album from years ago on Charnel Music, here at last is some more of his noise-stylings.
MONDO GENERATOR Cocaine Rodeo (Southern Lord) cd 13.98
Stoner rock from this side-project of the Queens of the Stone Age/Kyuss bass player. A little more "punk" sounding than those bands, in parts, but there's plenty of extended psych guitar jamming as well.
MONEY MARK At the Little Tokyo Giant Robot Factory Studios (Giant Robot) 7"flexi 2.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. We've got some of the last few copies of the limited 7" flexi that was in selected copies of a recent issue of Giant Robot (note: not the brand new issue reveiwed elsewhere in this issue). It's 2 dollars and has 4 exclusive tracks recorded right at Giant Robot's studio.