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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, February 15 - 17

Weekend Warrior, February 15 - 17

Back at it again with their brand of fuzz-driven sludge-punk, Pissed Jeans continue with their common thread of self-depreciation that has placed them somewhat on the more cynical end of the spectrum than their Sub Pop counterparts the Postal Service. Sure, they’ve grown up a bit since 2009’s King of Jeans, but the spirit of the disenfranchised can still be heard in frontman Matt Korvette’s bellowing howls. Does maturation mean they’ve gone soft? No. Not in the least. The new album Honeys is proof that maturity isn’t always industry code for a leveling of intensity. Accompanying the familiarity of lamenting screams, the thunderous sound battle of bass versus guitar versus drums remains in tandem. Be sure that you’re a part of the fanfare for the King’s return tonight to celebrate their new release at Underground Arts with support from decibel-pushing brethrens Leather and Lantern. Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill St., 9pm, $14, 21+ - Ed Newton

 
So many options this weekend and here are more…
 
Underground Arts (1200 Callowhill St.) SAT Ben O'Neill, Shark Tape
 
Johnny Brenda’s (1201 N. Frankford Ave.) FRI West Philadelphia Orchestra, SAT Language Problem, Alec Ounsworth, The Spinto Band, SUN Far-Out Fangtooth, Hound
 
Kung Fu Necktie (1250 N. Front St.) FRI (Downstairs) Toy Soldiers, August John Lutz II, (Upstairs) Great Red Spots, SAT Creem Circus, Arctic Splash, SUN Great Thunder, Nona
 
PhilaMOCA (531 N. 12th St. Philadelphia) FRI Birds of Maya, Profligate, SUN Carerra Shante Release Party
 
Union Transfer (1026 Spring Garden St.) FRI OCD: Moosh & Twist, SAT Title Fight
 
MilkBoy Philly (1100 Chestnut St.) SAT Cold Roses, Dressed Like Stolen Cars, The Rivals
 
North Star Bar (2639 Poplar St.) FRI John Francis, SAT Hoser, Nocholas Piccari, Folly Fields
 
The Fire (412 W. Girard Ave.) FRI Reef The Lost Cause, Rone, Chalk & The Beige Americans, SammyDimes, Jahn Q. Publaq, Blok Nero, SAT The Extraordinaires, Conversations With Enemies, Anjuli Josephine, Tinmouth, OhBree, SUN Smoother, Cayetana, Modern Baseball, Marietta
 
Ortlieb’s Lounge (847 N. 3rd St.) FRI Gin Canaries, SUN Cherokee Red, Bridge Underwater
 
M Room (15 W. Girard Ave.) SAT Left of Logic, Pterofractyl, Hippie Cult
 
Tin Angel (20 S. 2nd St.) SAT Ben Arnold, SUN Suzie Brown
 
The Trocadero (1003 Arch St.) FRI Bakery Boys, D. Louie, OG Cano, Myke Kewl, De'KO, SAT (All Ages) Chaos, BloodLine, Homecoming Heroes, Every Other Day, Tenth Amendment, (All Ages) FBR, Stealth Squad, Ashes of Our Sins, The Indefatigables, Post Departure, Phatboy, Making-Out With Medusa, SUN Richie Shock, DR3W
 
The Blockley (3801 Chestnut St.) FRI Chill Moody, Hank McCoy, Beano
 
Fergie’s (1214 Sansom St.) FRI (Early) John Train, (Late) Marc Silver & The Stonethrowers, SAT Sylvia Platypus, SUN Rusty Cadillac
 
World Café Live (3025 Walnut St.) FRI Jesse Ruben, SAT Winter Doldrums Folk Fest w/Brittany Ann, Elizabeth Pugh, The Pretty Dittys, Murchant (Annachristie Sadler), Brian Flannagan, & More, SUN 2nd Annual Tri-State Indie Music Awards w/Cold Fronts, Levee Drivers, Nicos Gun, Pre-party w/Aaron Brown, Cheers Elephant, The Lawsuits, Kuf Knotz
 
The Legendary Dobbs (304 South St.) FRI Murph, Zymotic Flow, Ominous Ominous Ominous, Nomad Clientele, Zer0, SAT Soraia, The Jackson Rider, SUN C Stylez
 
Rebel Rock Bar (100 Spring Garden St.) FRI Live Not On Evil, The Terribles, Noid
 
Triumph Brewery (117 Chestnut St.) FRI The Raggamuffins, SAT Dancing Days, SUN Antique Matter
 
JR's Bar (2327 S. Croskey St.) SAT Angelcrust, Castle Freak
 
Connie’s Ric Rac (1132 S. 9th St.) FRI Ghost of Jupiter, Russian Arm Candy, SAT Smacking Madison, Rail
 
The Barbary (951 N. Frankford St.) SUN Baa Ram Ewe
 
Field House (1150 Filbert St.) FRI Thee, Idea Men, On the Water
 
The Grape Room (105 Grape St.) FRI Matt McAndrew, Keystoned, Garce Bernicker, SAT Easy Three & The Funky T., The Rising Sons, Token Prospects, Mike Liberatore
 
Eris Temple Arts (602 S. 52nd St.) FRI Avataria, Tic-Tac-Oh, Kate Ferencz
 
Golden Tea Haus (Please contact one of the acts or the venue for more details.) FRI Jet Set Sail, Hurry
 
The Farm (Please contact one of the acts or the venue for more details.) SAT The Brood, No Stayer
 
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