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Artist of the Month
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July 2015
Ecstatic Vision
"Sonic Praise
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Heavy-psych three-piece Ecstatic Vision conjures cosmic soundscapes with their debut LP Sonic Praise (Relapse Records). Self-ordained as “primal,” the group’s orchestration is undeniably gripping and visceral, altering the embodied state of its listener at an instant. Pressing past the tropes of genre, Sonic Praise is a hypnotic example of the outfit’s versatility. The release of Ecstatic Vision’s tripped-out LP is hopefully the first of many.
 
Beginning with the well-titled “Journey,” Sonic Praise’s opening track unfolds like a swirling chant that gradually builds to bawdy, passionate dirge filled with buzzing riffs and drums. The song’s lyricism is straightforward yet amplified by the unrelenting progression of its instrumentation. The declaration of “Journey” is unapologetic. It’s not a conversation; it’s an invitation. At its climax, the resonance of the recording brings to mind similarly transcendent tracks like Moon Duo’s “Free The Skull” or Ty Segall’s “I Wear Black.”
 
“Astral Plane” is a tentative tip of the hat to the iconic Sun Ra’s masterpiece Space Is the Place, unfolding with driving riffs and drumbeats that elicit the sensation of being transported into the ether. By the two-minute mark, “Astral Plane” is in full swing, impressive guitar work resounding as the track’s earlier established foundation persists. Each component of the song’s structure expands as frontman Doug Sabolick’s vocals urge listeners to “Look in the mirror and tell yourself/this is the place to be.” Undoubtedly indicative of the cosmos (metaphorically or literally), “Astral Plane” is trancelike, with its instrumentation possessing the power to cast a psychedelic spell that lingers well past the song’s end. Nearly thirty seconds shy of thirteen minutes of length, the temporal duration of the recording is as well warranted as it is executed. “Don’t Kill The Vibe” is equally shamanistic, with riffage that feels psychotropic. The LP’s title track, “Sonic Praise,” begins with primeval distortion comprised of oscillating tempos and forlorn chants. The effect of its prelude is mesmerizing, dark, and strangely beautiful. Thematically cult like, “Sonic Praise” is satisfyingly otherworldly, seducing its listener to give in to Ecstatic Vision’s melodic ethos without hesitation. 
 
Sonic Praise’s final anthem “Cross the Divide” extends the mysticism of the album’s narrative, ending Ecstatic Vision’s debut on a plane similar to where it began - one of enlightenment and pure rock 'n' roll. - Dianca London Potts

 

 

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Weekend Warrior, January 25 - 27

Weekend Warrior, January 25 - 27

Yeah, it’s effin’ cold out! That’s why this Saturday you can find a whole evening’s worth of entertainment all under one roof at Kung Fu Necktie. The night will kickoff with a solo set of panty-dropping vocals from Sun Airway’s Jon Barthmus. Then prepare to be engulfed in sonic waves when Nightlands, a.k.a. The War on Drugs’ Dave Hartley, hits the stage to share some new tunes from his latest album Oak Island. (You can check out our recent interview with Hartley HERE.) And you don’t have to leave after his performance because you can either stay downstairs for Sugar Town’s 12th Anniversary and benefit show for Ladyfest Philly with Radiator Hospital, Bike Crash and Batty, or head upstairs and pretend like you are at a house show with Catnaps, Roof Doctor, Tutlie and Incorporated Village of the Ghost. See - there is no need to go anywhere else. Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St., 7:30pm, $10, 21+ - H.M. Kauffman

 
Other places to hideout from the cold this weekend…
 
Johnny Brenda’s (1201 N. Frankford Ave.) FRI It's a King Thing, Windsor Park Walkers, Clamfight, SAT It’s the Year 2007 w/Reef The Lost Cauze
 
Kung Fu Necktie (1250 N. Front St.) FRI Leather, Heathen Reign, SAT (Downstairs - Early) Nightlands Record Release Show w/Jon Barthmus (Sun Airway), (Upstairs) Roof Doctor, Catnaps, Traffic Nightmare, Tutlie, (Downstairs - Late) Sugar Town Ladyfest Benefit w/Radiator Hospital, Bike Crash, Batty
 
Underground Arts (1200 Callowhill St.) SAT The A’s
 
North Star Bar (2639 Poplar St.) FRI Mater Mathu, Study Electricity, Problem Solving, SAT Hopscotch Injury, Makeshift Uprising, Easy Three & The Funky T, Ridden Fifths
 
The Fire (412 W. Girard Ave.) FRI Uptown Tone, Mazon, ANDtheNAMELESS, Feevaleo, SAT Electric Grioland, Socin Lberation Front, Leana Song, Prophecy Music Project, DJ Femstar, SUN Mean Streets, Horse Theives and Other Villians
 
MilkBoy Philly (1100 Chestnut St.) FRI Among Criminals, Kid Felix, Post Sun Times, SAT Steppin Razor
 
Ortlieb’s Lounge (847 N. 3rd St.) FRI Taggart, SUN Leana Song
 
Electric Factory (421 N. 7th St.) SAT The Menzingers
 
The Trocadero (1003 Arch St.) FRI Modern Colour, Jacob Kulick, Delco Pacers, SAT Stone, Alexander Lawrence and Sets, Outlander, In Nomine Patris, Aponic Blue, Dizzy Doctrine, Mirror Men
 
TLA (334 South St.) SAT Deep C, Speaker for the Dead
 
The Blockley (3801 Chestnut St.) FRI Tommy Conwell, Jeffrey Gaines
 
Fergie’s (1214 Sansom St.) FRI (Early) John Train, (Late) Sunshine Superman, SAT Keystone Mountain Boys, SUN Rusty Cadillac
 
World Café Live (3025 Walnut St.) FRI Tripod Trio, SAT KillerWhale
 
Tin Angel (20 S. 2nd St.) FRI Dom, Zach and Friends, SAT Aiden James
 
The Legendary Dobbs (304 South St.) FRI The Good Excuses, Stolen Rhodes, SAT Rowboat Casino
 
Triumph Brewery (117 Chestnut St.) FRI The Top Catz, SAT Natural Selection
 
JR's Bar (2327 S. Croskey St.) SAT Inkstains
 
Connie’s Ric Rac (1132 S. 9th St.) FRI Token Prospects, Midwestern Exposure, Anjuli Josephine, SAT Token Prospects, Midwestern Exposure, Anjuli Josephine
 
Rebel Rock Bar (100 Spring Garden St.) FRI Supreme and The New Experience, Grandlux (Kuf Knotz), Bong Hits for Jesus, Trayvon Dahmer, The Loose Lipz
 
The Barbary (951 N. Frankford St.) FRI Josh Wink’s Annual Birthday Bash, SUN Daylight
 
The Grape Room (105 Grape St.) FRI Left of Logic, The Formless Form, Barncat, SAT Montoj, Ghost of Jupiter
 
The Radom Tea Room (713 N. 4th St.) FRI Daniel Bachman, Paul Sukeena, SAT Daniel Ryan Belski
 
Beaumont Warehouse (5027 Beaumont St.) FRI Get Railed, Blindfold, The Adults, Casket
 
Sprinkle Kingdom (Please contact one of the acts or the venue for more details.) FRI Cold Fronts, Slutever
 
Michael Jordan (Please contact one of the acts or the venue for more details.) FRI Ted Nguyent
 
The Great Indoors (Please contact one of the acts or the venue for more details.) FRI Radiator Hospital, Adult Braces
 
The Crystal Palace (Please contact one of the acts or the venue for more details.) SAT Kite Party, Bleeding Fractals, Marietta
 
The Brown House (Please contact OMGDIY@gmail.com for more details.) FRI Coffin Dust
 
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