The Black Ryder – ‘The Door Behind The Door’

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The Black Ryder‘s second studio album ‘The Door Behind The Door’ is out this week via their own label The Anti-Machine Machine. The Australian duo (Aimée Nash & Scott Von Ryper) relocated to Los Angeles following their 2009 debut LP ‘Buy The Ticket, Take The Ride’ and in the process, have re-invented themselves for album number two. ‘Buy The Ticket, Take The Ride’ is considered a modern classic among shoegaze fans, but they also had their critics at the time. The diversity and depth of ‘The Door Behind The Door’ should change that this time round, there’s enough dark and hazy textures for existing fans, and plenty of lighter moments for new ones.

Lead single ‘Santaria’ is the perfect bridge between albums, it pays homage to their roots and introduces a country tinged underbelly that sits behind the album. The ‘Rhinestone Drone’ Soundcloud tag is fitting. ‘Santaria’ is also the most shoegaze sounding track on the album. The other singles ‘Let Me Be Your Light’ and ‘Seventh Moon’ are stunning dreamy psych numbers, its mesmerizing listening. The Black Ryder benefit from interchanging lead vocalists, Aimée nails the smoky dream pop sound while Scott finds his own voice on ‘The Going Up Was Worth The Coming Down’. It’s a turning point on the record, where the reverb heavy sound is stripped back to its essential parts, proof that The Black Ryder don’t need to hide song writing behind effects boards. ‘Throwing Stones’ is another one of these ‘light’ moments, with a gospel feel that reminded me of Spiritualized’s ‘Let It Come Down’ LP.

‘The Door Behind The Door’ is a big step forward in terms of depth and maturity. Instead of indulging in genre trademarks (or repeating themselves), they’ve added more of their own character and the album is richer for it. It’s a sombre listen, and I expect it’ll be more popular with older listeners. There’s an avoidance of higher energy songs which may be a criticism by some, but that’s not really what ‘The Door Behind The Door’ is about. Instead, it’s every bit the many roomed house they promised, and with most songs running over six minutes there’s plenty to explore. The Black Ryder kick off their stateside tour this week, which heads to the UK and back again next month (see the full dates here).

Visit The Black Ryder @ The Anti-Machine Machine @ Facebook.

The Black Ryder - 'The Door Behind The Door'
SONGWRITING
SOUND & PRODUCTION
REVERB RATING
PRO'S
  • The Black Ryder re-invented!
  • Diverse album with depth
  • Guy/girl vocals
CON'S
  • Lower energy may turn off some fans
4.0Overall Score
Reader Rating: (4 Votes)

Vaadat Charigim – ‘Ein Li Makon’

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Vaadat Charigim will deliver their second album ‘Sinking As A Stone’ on May 5 through Burger Records, with the lead single ‘Ein Li Makom’. It’s a brilliant reverb rocker, already praised by Brooklyn Vegan and Noisey. The Tel-Aviv trio turned heads with their debut LP ‘The World Is Well Lost’, a mix of post punk and shoegaze. Vaadat Charigim emerged from the Israeli rock scene in 2012, with a trilogy of albums planned. Catch them on tour this May (check Facebook for details).

 
Vaadat Charigim – ‘Ein Li Makon’

Visit Vaadat Charigim @ Burger Records @ Facebook.

Star Tropics – ‘Summer Rain / Swept Away’

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Star Tropics return with a beautiful twee dream popper called ‘Summer Rain’, backed by ‘Swept Away’ (download). The Chicago-based foursome capitalize on guy/girl vocals, jangly guitars and sugary melodies. Thumbs up!

 
Star Tropics – ‘Summer Rain / Swept Away’

Visit Star Tropics @ Bandcamp @ Facebook.

Cheatahs – ‘Sunne’ [EP]

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This week Wichita Recordings give us ‘Sunne’, the latest EP from Cheatahs. The four track release follows their much loved 2014 LP (I couldn’t say enough good things about it), so how does this offering shape up? ‘Sunne’ hangs it’s hat on the commanding ‘Controller’, which is a welcome slice of fresh material from the London-based quartet. Somehow their songwriting continues to become more and more intricate, with so many ideas and sounds packed into three or four minute songs. ‘Controller’ pushes and pulls with a strong vocal melody against a frenetic rhythm section. It breaks free in the mid section with a dirty sounding bass line and sloshy drums, the EP’s highlight.

But the truth is that ‘Sunne’ plays out more like an extended single rather than a bona fide EP, running at just over ten minutes (and with a bonus remix). The title track ‘Sunne’ is an upbeat rocker with a seasick shoegaze feel, it’s an instantly likeable precursor to ‘Controller’ whereas the remaining ‘Campus’ and ‘No Drones’ are less convincing. That said, the ‘Sunne’ EP is what it is, a short stab in the arm of colourful rock n’ roll while we wait for Cheatahs sophomore album. In the meantime British fans can catch them on tour, leading up to their spot at Primavera Sound this May (details).

Visit Cheatahs @ Wichita Recordings @ Facebook.

Cheatahs - 'Sunne' [EP]
SONGWRITING
SOUND & PRODUCTION
REVERB RATING
PRO'S
  • The stand outs 'Controller' and 'Sunne'
  • Intricate songwriting
CON'S
  • Short EP (four songs)
3.3Overall Score
Reader Rating: (3 Votes)

Ulrika Spacek – ‘I Don’t Know’

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Regular readers will be familiar with the work of British solo artist Rhys Williams, aka Viscous Liquid. Last year he delivered the EP ‘Songs For Jealous Lovers‘, a spacey pairing of surf rock and shoegaze. This week we can reveal his new project, Ulrika Spacek. The duo’s debut single ‘I Don’t Know’ is a lo-fi psych rocker with dreamy vocal harmonies and liberal phaser use! Ulrika Spacek have already recorded much of their debut album, more soon.

 
Ulrika Spacek – ‘I Don’t Know’

Visit Ulrika Spacek @ Soundcloud.

Magic Potion – ‘Deep Web’

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Introducing Magic Potion, a slacker pop outfit from Stockholm, Sweden. Their debut single ‘Deep Web’ is all about “internet luuuv, eating pizza and feeling alone :(“. Tracked on quarter inch tape, it’s a got an analogue warmth and melted vibe that’s hard not to like! Magic Potion will deliver their debut EP later this year.

 
Magic Potion – ‘Deep Web’

Visit Magic Potion @ Soundcloud @ Facebook.