Venera 4 – ‘Eidôlon’

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Venera 4‘s debut album ‘Eidôlon’ is out this week thanks to Requiem Pour Un Twister! The Paris-based shoegazers are Morgane (on lead vocals/guitar), Annabelle (singer/guitarist), Yann (guitarist and backing vocalist), with Frederic on bass. The four piece formed in 2012 and haven’t rush released a long player. Instead, we’ve enjoyed a slow progression from their debut single ‘Seabed Terror’, to their much praised ‘Deaf Hearts’ EP in 2013. They’ve resisted the urge to include any of these foundational singles on the album, so ‘Eidôlon’ is an entirely new beast.

‘Pygmalion’ opens proceedings, (a head nod to Slowdive’s 1995 album of the same name). But unlike Slowdive’s diversion to a more ambient sound for ‘Pygmalion’, Venera 4 do the opposite, it’s a full tilt shoegaze overture with all the trimmings! It leads into ‘Red Blooms’, which could’ve been a lead single in its own right (with its danceable groove and sugary vocals), a modern take on the Cocteau Twins.

The actual lead single ‘Black Paws’ follows, which is equally groovy (for lack of a better word). The syncopated back beat gives the shoegazey guitars a poppy sway that’s infectious. This, combined with Venera 4′s vocal delivery is what makes them stand out from the rest. Of course, it’s beneficial having everybody in the band able to sing (except for Frederic), sorry Fred! Point is, the shared boy/girl vocals have long been an important ingredient for noise pop acts and Venera 4 excel at this.

It’s refreshing to hear the French language vocals come out on the title track ‘Eidôlon’. It doesn’t feel out of place and contrasts the stormy atmosphere. The latter half of the album is a more textural, cinematic listening experience. And while the catchiness of it’s opening is loads of fun, I love the quieter moments like ’3 Studies For A Portrait’ and ‘Colored Fields’. It’s difficult to find fault with this record, it’s a big achievement and one of the strongest shoegaze records of 2015 so far. Venera 4 make noise that’s so damn classy – it’s Gucci-gaze! Download a copy of ‘Eidôlon’ or pick up the vinyl through Bandcamp.

Venera 4 – ‘Eidôlon’ [Album Stream]

Visit Venera 4 @ Bandcamp @ Tumblr @ Facebook.

Venera 4 - 'Eidôlon'
SONGWRITING
SOUND & PRODUCTION
REVERB RATING
PRO'S
  • Brilliant debut album
  • Danceable shoegaze n' dream pop
  • Girl/boy/girl vocals are great!
CON'S
  • Hard to fault (score may be adjusted)
4.0Overall Score
Reader Rating: (12 Votes)

Fever Dream – ‘Serotonin Hit’

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Here’s a fresh blast of noise pop from Fever Dream‘s forthcoming debut album ‘Moyamoya’, out April 27 through the dependable Club AC30! The London-based trio go all out on ‘Serotonin Hit’, it packs the same kind of energy and melody that made Ringo Deathstarr so loveable! Influenced by alt rock, post punk and shoegaze classics, Fever Dream define themselves more by their pop hooks and noise rather than genre trademarks. Looking forward to hearing the rest next month.

 
Fever Dream – ‘Serotonin Hit’

Fever Dream UK Tour Dates:

MARCH 27th BRIGHTON: The Joker
MARCH 29th CAMBRIDGE: Portland Arms
APRIL 5th BRISTOL: Roll For The Soul
APRIL 6th NOTTINGHAM: The Maze
APRIL 7th LEEDS: Wharf Chambers
APRIL 8th EDINBURGH: Henry’s
APRIL 9th NEWCASTLE: Lit & Phil Library
APRIL 10th MANCHESTER: The Castle
APRIL 11th YORK: Fulford Arms
MAY 1st LONDON: Shacklewell Arms (Album Launch / Oddbox Weekender)
MAY 31st LONDON: The Lexington

Visit Fever Dream @ Club AC30 @ Facebook.

Panda Panda – ‘What Are You Waiting For?’

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Meet Panda Panda, a new rock act out of Norway who posted an impressive tune this month called ‘What Are You Waiting For?’. They sound like a band that should be on the Riot Factory roster alongside Dråpe and Snøskred. Same town right? So perhaps there’s a connection that I’m not privy to! Great tune, more to come.

 
Panda Panda – ‘What Are You Waiting For?’

Visit Panda Panda @ Soundcloud @ Facebook.

Weird. – ‘A Long Period Of Blindness’ [Album Premiere]

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It’s a pleasure to present the first public stream of Weird‘s forthcoming album ‘A Long Period Of Blindness’. It’s an ambient rock feast with psych swagger, shoegaze swoon and epic slow burners! The record is highlighted by some monumental tunes, namely ‘Gaze’, ‘The Sound Of Your Heartbreak’ and the single ‘Infinite Decay’. It follows Weird’s 2013 debut LP, ‘Desert Love For Lonely Graves‘ and a tour of their native Italy. The Roman band formed in 2011 with front man Marco Barzetti (guitar/vocals), together with drummer Massimiliano Pecci and Giovanni Romano (bass). ‘A Long Period Of Blindness’ will be available from March 2 via Lady Sometimes Records (pre-order here).

 
Weird. – ‘A Long Period Of Blindness’ [Album Premiere]

Visit Weird. @ Lady Sometimes Records @ Bandcamp @ Facebook.

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: (3 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.