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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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Leather

New Leather Album Available for Streaming & Purchase

Good morning! Did today's snow and chill snap you out of your springtime daydream? Well, throw your middle fingers to the air, and bash the hell outta something to the soundtrack of Leather's lupine new record Easy! The band quietly dropped the nine-track album last week, and the release once again loudly demonstrates why the hardcore four-piece is the real deal from Philly with no need (or desire) for hype. (And Noisey's Dan Ozzi definitely slept on these guys for his half-assed piece about the Philly punk scene.)

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Leather & Residuels Opening for The Oblivians & The Strapping Fieldhands at Underground Arts Oct. 4

Hardcore outfit Leather understands the power of ferocity playing with a raw undeterred one speed-fits all determination that will shake the pillars of Underground Arts tonight and smack you in the face. The unfiltered garage reverb loaded alliance of Moon Women frontman Justin Pittney and Creepoid drummer Pat Troxell known as Residuels will also be on display creating a carnal retro feeling sound filled with raunchy guitar licks a steady-driving backbeat and guttural vocals. They will be setting the stage for the re-formed garage-punk trio The Oblivians and the forefathers of Philly indie rock The Strapping Fieldhands. Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill St., 8pm, $15, 21+ - Michael Colavita
 

Leather Debuting New Material at KFN Jan. 25

Leather is currently working on a new full-length record that will feature artwork from Philly photographer Matthew Gallagher, whose work you may have come across through releases from the band Nothing. The hardcore four-piece will be debuting material from their forthcoming album tonight at Kung Fu Necktie, and they’ll also be hosting rising Cali rapper and former Leather bandmate Antwon. Opening the evening will be Heathen Reign, which is fronted by Creepoid’s Pat Troxell. Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St., 10pm, $10, 21+ - Alexis V.

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Leather Opening for Double Negative at Vox Populi Aug. 31

Leather may only have a handful of punishing-yet-complex recordings to their name, but there's absolutely nothing ephemeral about them and the reputation they've crafted. This Philly band's muscle-bound, crazed-circle-pit-inducing hardcore has been hailed as the heir to the throne left vacant by the Cro-Mags, and they've kept themselves uppermost in the minds of hardcore enthusiasts by staying aloof: tantalizingly doling out as few solid hints about their upcoming album as possible without their more frantic fans beating a path to their door. They're showing up tonight to the sweaty lair in the summertime that is Vox Populi with Raleigh tour-mates Double Negative, who bring with them an unparalleled pedigree (members have played in Erectus Monotone and Polvo), and Long Island's Brain Slug. With a forecast of high temperatures, savage loudness and apeshit windmilling, this show is going to be painful in all the right ways. Vox Populi, 319 N. 11th St. - 3rd Floor, 8pm, $6 - $8, All Ages - Alyssa Greenberg

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