Grails — Take Refuge in Clean Living
(Important Records imprec190, 2008, CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2009-07-01Grails are a band from Portland who have been recording and releasing music since 2003 and Take Refuge in Clean Living is their sixth release. The CD opens with “Stoned at the Taj Again,” a nod to Syd Barrett and Piper at the Gates of Dawn with its pseudo-Morse Code beeps. Then over the course of the five tracks the music develops into mind-numbing bass and drums overlaid by guitars. There are many shifts and turns in the music, from quiet electronics to massive percussive attacks! Along the way we encounter Manuel Göttsching-like sequenced guitar riffs and Ravi Shankar-like sitar jamming. The band is Emil Amos (synths, keyboards, guitars, tapes, vibes, vocals), Alex John Hall (guitars, samples), William Slater (bass, organ, harpsichord, harmonium, guitar, vocals), Zak Riles (guitars, feedback washes), and Ben Nugent (drums). Other reviewers have compared Grails to Hawkwind, Ennio Morricone, and Eno, which is quite a broad spectrum, though I don’t see the resemblance. In my opinion, these guys have studied at the master’s feet and created some amazing music that transcends Hawkwind, Eno, et. al. It is also wonderful to know that Space Rock is alive and well in the US after surviving so long in Europe. This spring Grails is on tour throughout Europe and sure to attract many more fans.
Related artist(s): Grails
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more