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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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The Deli's SXSW Issue 2014 is online!

Read it digitally here.

P.S. 10k free copies of this issue hit the street of Austin during SXSW Music week!


L.A. Jeff Release Holidaze Inn

LA Jeff’s newest record, the aptly titled Holidaze Inn, is the perfect remedy for those late-night, (or anytime) fuzzed-out, psych rock cravings. 
My favorite track is “Sailor”, with its churning, hypnotizing chords and mesmerizing vocals. If I were to write a movie, I’d probably write a scene with a sailor having an acid trip on a boat just so I could put this in the soundtrack.

The band are currently preparing to hit the road for a 10-day, cross-country tour. For more info about the LA Jeff crew (including tour updates), click here.

-Dan McMahon (@dmcmhn)
Photo credit: Strange Majik

 

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Boston Calling Recap: Krill and The Ballroom Thieves Showcase Wide Range of Local Talent

This past Memorial Day weekend, City Hall Plaza in Boston transformed once again from concrete wasteland into a vibrant music festival. Nestled-in among the marquee acts (Pixies, Tenacious D and My Morning Jacket, to name a few), Boston locals Krill and The Ballroom Thieves left quite an impression on the early-afternoon festival-goers.


Click here to view the rest of The Deli's Boston Calling wrap-up.


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Boston Calling Recap (con't)
- by Dan McMahon (@dmcmhn) and Paul Jordan Talbot

Krill started things off on Saturday with a short, straightforward set. At just around twenty-five minutes, the band looked very unassuming as they moved through their songs. Sonically, they brought their tight rhythms and freaky vocals out in full force, but the band seemed skeptical of the oversized venue. The awkwardness was summed up by bassist/lead vocalist Jonah Furman’s comment, “Thanks for watching, Tenacious D is up next”, just before they walked off stage. From someone familiar with their natural habitat of dive bars and DIY house shows, it was a bit like watching a fish out of water. Audience/band chemistry aside, they were one of the only down and dirty rock band’s to play a very pop dominated festival, and I like to think the Pixies would name them their pick of the festival.

 

The Ballroom Thieves opened up the final day of the festivities and were immediately welcomed with cheers and a large crowd singing along to most of their set. I was most impressed at how tight their songs were--starts, stops, changes in dynamics, rich vocal harmonies, everything was executed smoothly and deliberately. There were several moments throughout the set where it was quite obvious the band was genuinely enjoying being a part of such a high -profile event. Smiling out at the crowd (and back at one another), it was nice to see a band enthusiastic about performing (and listening to their harmonies wasn’t bad, either).
 

The day before their set, the band was kind enough to offer me a cup of whiskey and talk a little bit about their upcoming performance and recent tour. When asked about their reaction to being added to the Boston Calling lineup, drummer Devin Mauch remarked “[w]e have a very loyal team, built from the ground-up, that have helped to lay the right tracks. We’re really honored [to play Boston Calling].” Lead vocalist/guitarist Martin Earley echoed Mauch’s thoughts. “The [Boston] music scene is so loyal,” says, Earley, “[so many] people will support you.”

The band unanimously agreed that their most recent tour was by far their most successful. “It’s nice to see organic word of mouth pay off”, says cellist/bassist/vocalist Calin Peters. In the past, according to the band, lots of tour stops would have fairly low turnout, but this time around, attendance has increased. “At this point as a band, we’re vulnerable,” says Mauch, “it’s nice to have that support.”

Photo credit: Brendan Bowen (@BrendanBowen)

 

 

 

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Martin Earley (left) and Devin Mauch, The Ballroom Thieves

 
 
 

 

 


Calin Peters, The Ballroom Thieves 

 
 
 

 

"A Smiling Parabola of Excitement": An Interview with Jonah Furman of Krill

Boston Calling returns for yet another impressive festival this May and of course, the lineup is brilliant. Along with continuing the trend of attracting incredible big-name talent--this spring’s headliners include: Beck, My Morning Jacket, Tenacious D, and Pixies--Boston Calling has also booked two powerful local opening acts in The Ballroom Thieves and Krill. Recently, I had a chance to exchange a few emails with Jonah Furman, lead vocalist and bass player for Krill. Though the group is known as a “Boston band”, Furman and crew are actually all originally from the suburbs of Chicago. Currently, Furman is the only member who resides in Boston (drummer Ian Becker and guitarist Aaron Ratoff moved to NYC in 2014). Despite the distance, Furman says it hasn’t been difficult to keep the band going.  “It's not tough to practice when you play shows every ten days or so!”, writes Furman. “It’s kind of weird doing a LDR [long distance relationship] band, [but] I don't plan to move to NYC anytime soon.” 

Click here to read an abridged version of the conversation. If you're too busy scrolling through pictures of food and cats on Instagram and want a synopsis: highlights include being offered to play Boston Calling, dealing with unexpected success, and the debilitating effects of consumerism on the world.

Main page photo credit: Ethan Long


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