Sunday 13 August 2023

Nadja – "When I See The Sun Always Shines On TV" (The End Records – TE134) 2009

As it says on the sticker on the front......"Toronto ambient/shoegaze/drone duo NADJA illustrate their diverse roots by covering some of their favorite artists: My Bloody Valentine, The Cure, A-ha, The Swans, Codeine, Slayer, Elliot Smith and Kids In The Hall. This album contains eight carefully-selected covers re-imagined through NADJA's unique sonic blueprint." 

Oh How they try....I love this sentence from the promo sticker..."carefully-selected covers re-imagined".Right. 
When a musician has lost their Mojo,and are scrambling for ideas,they either steal them from lesser mortals and claim them as products of their undoubted genius, or they stoop to the 'Covers Album' reset mode and claim they are paying a humble tribute to the artists who inspired them in their formative years. David Bowie is one of the few artists who have done both in their lauded career,always being seen around where the action is before releasing another album in the series before the person he stole from,and even having them in the band,which made it easier.He also made "Pin Ups",his covers album,when he was devoid of ideas, and use his star power to cajole any gullible chums to nick the odd riff off;with no credit of course.
They've all done it those genius's, even the magnificent Duran Duran,with their sickeningly disingenuous "Thank You". Voted the worst album of all time by the equally sickening "Q" magazine,which included the famously cloth-eared recording of "911 is a joke" as made by  millionaire white guys making a joke out of the rap classic about systemic racism.Don't you just love 'em.....I do and I ain't joking.
Last years bogie man Nick Cave ,when failing to find a way to not sound like every solo album he's ever made, tried to show us ignorants his impeccable taste by predictably recording tastefully selected forgotten country classics and crooning blues dirges;but also joining Duran Duran in fucking over a Velvet Underground number......that at least deserves some respect......not a lot....but some?
Elvis Costello did a drearily dreadful album of Country classics did he not? Another burk in the impeccable good taste club.
An accusation  we can not repeat about Metallica whose consummately terrible taste, is responsible for wiping their arses on classics from Killing Joke, Motorhead and Black Sabbath? No clever reconstrustions of  non-rock tunes done with a splash of humour like The Melvins' borderline 'good' "Everybody Loves Sausages" from 2013, when Buzz must have hit a creative wall.Notable high spots were a Throbbing Gristle Cover which is not actually a cover but an "interpretation", and a not to be missed version of 1st album Jam's "Art School",where the boys show off their finely honed English 'Oi' accents......I don't remember Dick Van Dyke being in The Jam,but apparently he was? I suppose I should name a cover versions collection that doesn't suck balls in any way whatsoever hadn't I,or you might think me a right cynical ol'Bastard twat Cunt?......The answer is not a musical version of 42, even though it certainly is.....i'm gonna have to say that "For Ladies Only" by the beyond great Killdozer is indeed the best covers album ever made.....go on,change my mind!.
It's all just a bit of fun innit,we all wanna make a covers album don't we?'s one for the boys.....what would you put on your covers album? 12 tracks limit, answers on a postcard,entries arrive no later than the moment Putin's successor activates the Nuclear codes.

Although I could write about cover albums by narcissists 'til the cows come home, we are being distracted from the subject of this post,about the Covers album by Canadian Dreamsludge duo Nadja.
A duo whose sub-genre definition falls between many stools,but on this occasion, maybe just Shoegaze is appropriate,and cleansing in its simplicity.Especially as it opens with a crawling "My Bloody Valentine" cover dowsed in treacle played at 16rpm (why do these modern record players no longer have 16 or 78 as an option?).In fact if there is one criticism, it's that it's not slow enough.
Underrated Norwegian Pop Trio, A-Ha, get dragged through the sludge to great effect, as,predictably,does Swans.Maybe a Swans cover played in the style of The Wedding Present would have been a better idea methinks.....we know very well they're influenced by Michael Gira's slothful combo,and we know what they sound like too.
I had to look up Elliot Smith(track 6)......a dead bloke,who plays fragile minimal acoustic numbers. I suppose it makes a change from Syd Barratt?.......although one would have loved to hear a Dreamsludge version of "Dark Globe" one must admit.
Alas, as with all these cover albums, one,as the listener, is rapidly titillated at what these crazy katz are gonna do with your favourite songs,that it very quickly fizzles out then fades away,and we return to the original versions with a new vigor,'cus cover version are crap aren't they?
So as 'pop' music becomes the new Classical,and we all run out of tunes and new ideas, and music returns to the art of Interpretation only, as it has been in the Classical music world for the last two hundred or so years. No-one can berate the ol' Ludwig Van for having no new material anymore, except via those in the medium community of rip-off merchants and exploiters,who regularly channel new Beethoven pieces from the spirit world......even though some Pop Stars,musicians and their like, evidently think that they ARE Beethoven reborn.
Still waiting for that 10th Symphony Lud.......if possible an Ambient Doom version please Vielen Danke in advance.


1. Only Shallow 6:35
2. Pea 4:09
3. No Cure For The Lonely 6:56
4. Dead Skin Mask 10:06
5. The Sun Always Shines On TV 6:01
6. Needle In The Hay 4:45
7. Long Dark Twenties 6:35
8. Faith 12:47

Friday 11 August 2023

Nadja – "Radiance Of Shadows" - (Alien8 Recordings – ALIENCD72) 2007

One day we will look back at the CD era with fond affection for the times we selected a CD from the endless racks in HMV or Virgin megastores ,endured the minuscule text,and proceeded to listen to an hour and twenty minutes of whomsoever the lucky band were,but pressing stop on the remote at around the  40 minutes mark whilst stifling yawns .....ironically, the length of two sides of a vinyl LP. A natural ending point for any album in the modern age of pop.
There was a compulsion for artists raised in the Vinyl era to put as much material as possible on this new extended format,even if it was the shite usually reserved for the 'Bonus Disc' of  an anniversary remaster.
So what we have here is an artist determined to fill up every nano-second of memory space provided by the aforementioned Digital Compact Disc format,rather than just satisfying the ever shortening Human attention span. Mine is currently about twenty minutes max of anything.A limit I have always adhered to in the live arena. Twenty minutes, then its off to the bar.
First wave Ambient Doom originators Nadja, are very typical of the CD age .Releasing a dumpster full of very similar sounding drone metal versions of wonky airport noises that very rarely clock in at less than twenty minutes a track,like a fuzzy Tangerine Dream fed through a cheap Flanger.
One of  those unfortunate groups who sadly fall between several stools of the 'Metal' category,so frequently get labeled as any one of the following: Doom Metal.,Ambient Metal,(my personal favourite) Dreamsludge (?), ambient-doom, and shoegaze-metal.
Sounding more like My Bloody Valentine rather than Sunn O))) , the Metal label is becoming a more and more tenuous a description for any experimental Rock band,but if it contains any hint of a 'Heavy' riff it's 'Metal',filtered through a barrage of pro-nouns ,prefix's and suffix's.
Topical Oppenheimer references aside, It has it's quiet moments,so Ambient Doom is arguably the most accurate sub-genre of the available choices? Not a large section in your resurgent vinyl store, but I'm sure it exists somewhere?

Am I getting too mainstream?


1 Now I Am Become Death, The Destroyer Of Worlds (23:26)
2 I Have Tasted The Fire Inside Your Mouth (27:26)
3 Radiance Of Shadows (28:59)

Friday 4 August 2023

Mephistofeles – "Satan Sex Ceremonies" (Stoner Witch Records – SWR013) 2020

Mephistofeles are Argentinians ("Argies",the Sun 1982). They describe themselves as Proto-Doom/heavy psych rock. played by..... Gabriel Ravera (guitarra & voz) Ismael Dimenza (bajo) Iván Sacharczuk (batería)....I think that's right,unless Ivan plays Bacteria, and Ismael plays the Banjo??...They don't seem to have normal Argentinian Adolf, Heinrich and Ulrich at all? Especially strange is that they play what they admit to being 'Proto-Doom'? This is the kind of Honesty sadly missing with many groups who claim to be originals,and the others are ripping them off.,the New Originals, like The Ramones are always moaning about,in denial of their Proto-Punk status.
Mephistofeles are are also unashamed to wear their Black Sabbath cred on their sleeves.They even have one of those Tony Iommi acoustic numbers on the LP,the ones that we (they) always used to skip over whilst playing a B Sabbath LP back in the days of  NWOBHM .
As Doomy as  would be the imaginary Proto-Doom Band that played on the deck of the General Belgrano as it slipped below the waves of the Falklands exclusion Zone,again back in the days of  NWOBHM.
Rock'n'the Roll is largely dead, apart from the odd gig by Blur or Arctic monkeys,and an enormous Savannah plain of migrating heavy metal Wildebeests  trampling all that block their path under a storm of thundering cloven hooves. Metal,with all its mutations are the only survivors of the great extinction that positively flourished after the Acid House asteroid hit ground Zero back in '88. Nowadays the only new guitar bass and drums based music that exists is......yep.....Heavy Metal and its illegitimate children. All things Rock have collapsed into the black leather hole of Spinal Tarp derivatives.
The cover seems to feature the corpse of a very Ex-Model,with tits like last christmas's balloons.The censored nipples is an interesting addition, but these Argie Sabbath Clones fail to compete with the rest of the Smell The Glove brotherhood for decent chicks for those malodorous smeg hording malcontents to masturbate to.
They'll be singing along to this stuff way into the 22nd and a half century,long after This Heat are forgotten.Depending on the outcome of collective Human Stupidity on the current climate crisis that no-body...repeat....nobody, is doing anything useful about???
It's 21st century folk music at its best,played by a bunch of losers with dubious Germanic family trees.Still relevant for the time in the near future when that massive ocean of crude oil under The Falkland Islands is being exploited to the max by BP,who will then rule the world, and we all live in underground cities.....,which does indeed make Nuclear conflict possible again.
I'll say it again "Collective Human Stupidity"!?


A1 Cerimone Sessuali Di Satana 15:09
A2 Profanazione 3:30
A3 Di Nuovo In Basso 4:15
B1 Overdose 3:12
B2 Siringa 6:13
B3 La Maledizione Del Coltello 5:20
B4 Catene Di Agonia 9:59

Wednesday 2 August 2023

Devil's Witches – "Velvet Magic" (Cursed Tongue Records – CTR-002) 2017

I'm supposed to be doing some obscure Doom Metal aren't I? So....
Devil's Witches from the UK, combines the melodic doomy grooves of carnality and worshiping at the altar of the female? says here!?
They have pictures of ladies Muffs on the cover (a doom obligation),living cheek to jowl with drowned pre-raphaelite nudes floating gracefully in a very clean looking Vietnamese river while Napalm strikes bloom like flowers in My Lai as a backdrop.
They certainly do seem to worship that mysterious creature.....The Lady....yet the music has me questioning the true definition of what Doom Metal actually is,and what it ain't.
No-one is pretending for a minute that 'Devil's Witches'consider themselves a proponent of the Doom idiom at all, but there are undeniable aspects present throughout this Pornadelic....,their words, vintage 70's sounding Stoner metal.....i only got it because of the cover,and it was in the Doom section.It's got a Goat and a saucy temptress facing front as the principle image to draw in the acne scarred artisans of this young male only genre.It in fact looks like one of those cheapo 'Top Of The Pops' albums so popular in Woolworths that nobody were ever seen purchasing one.Pictures of Nudie ladies sell records...Fact.
Parts of it do sound like a soundtrack for the chase or love-making scenes in an Italian gore-nasty video only release from 1981;but there are some worthy Doom elements,and scores high on the entertainment Beaufort scale, and a fair few points on the metal Bristol scale....look that one up.
'Velvet Magic' does indeed sound rather like the name of a mid-range brand of Toilet paper after all?


1 Apache Snow
2 Motorpsycho
3 Black Cauldron
4 Pornodelic Opium Dreams
5 Voodoo Woman
6 Mountain Of The Devil's Witch
7 Jupiter Kush
8 Velvet Magic
9 Requiem Pour Un Vampire