Things I am not an expert in… how much time do you have? While you contemplate this, I will tell you that Portland band, Supplemental Pills, released a seven track offering, Volume 1, on April the 8th. Never will I say that I am very offay with prog rock, though I have seen my fair share live. The band consists of Mark Folkrod (drums, vocals), Aron Christensen (bass, synth), Joel Meredith (guitar) and Ezra Meredith (vocals, guitar).

There is a bite to the guitars with electronic fuzz on the first track “Run On“. It is like an opus and an introduction to what will be awaiting you on this journey. “Freedom March” has a native American feel it is and also could be on psychedelic drugs it seems. With the tracks “Feel It ” and “Floating Mountains Over Rivers“, there is this yearning for the open spaces, as the guitars wend their way through the natural world, looking for passage to places unknown. “Feel It” has an angrier edge to it, meanwhile, “Floating Mountains Over Rivers” has a shamanistic texture.

What The Wizard Said” actually starts off sounding a lot like the Jesus And Mary Chain with all the feed back. The wizard could be real or a hallucination of a fever dream. It is not often an eleven minute track is chosen as a single but this is the case with “Gonna Be Alright” which is a dirty dirge number with laconic droning guitars and vocals. Last track is “Mary Marrakesh” and this track reminds me very much of the other set of Scots, Teenage Fanclub, with the great vocal backing. I think this is probably my favourite track off the album.

The band was brought into fruition due to Covid and lockdowns at the time, and it not hard to see it has cemented a bond between these musicians.There is a harkening back to the late 60s and early 70s psychedelic rock with the darkness of The Doors pervading. Not a fan of purely instrumental progressive rock but the vocals and heart injected into this make Volume 1, make this genre far more interesting , especially when you can hear a melting pot of so many styles within.

Volume 1 | Supplemental Pills (bandcamp.com)

Supplemental Pills | Facebook

In the last few years there has been a big revival of the post-punk scene, with younger bands emerging with the older stalwarts, proving they can hold their own. London’s Ghosts Patterns are one such younger band and September of 2021 saw them drop the album Infinite, which is their debut full length, after releasing the EP Oracle in 2020. Comprised of members Terry Hale (vocals/guitar/keyboards), Somrata Sarkar (vocals), Letitia Austin (bass) and James Walker (drums/percussion), they are going to lead you away with their shoegaze filled odyssey.

GHOST PATTERNS

This album from the get go puts you in no doubt of what the band is about. The almost instrumental,”Intro (Death Wish)” is the beginning of the sonic journey through reverb and sound sculpting with sighed ahhs. From there, we are launched into “Lie In Wait” where we are truly introduced to the vocals of Hale, that grace the guitars without feeling like a separate entity and the insistent idea of a person waiting to pounce and while they do, concentrating on their breathing. Intricate bass playing marks “Oracle” with the vocals of portent by Sarkar. Dark and brooding with glimpses of Siousxie And The Banshees both percussion wise and melody, as the mists of Apollo close in on you.

No one can live in a “House Of Lies” for it is bound to fall and this track wends its way as a snake would before it strikes, with it’s cold reptilian beauty. The guitar and drums are so perfectly in sync. There is the buildup of “Sway“, where the vocals waver between discordant and resolving, maybe imitating the unpredictable nature of walking between danger and safety. The guitars and drums never letting you lose your focus. A joyous exuberance in “Feel It Out” and everything screams out that one needs to twirl around to this, as the guitars sing out in such an uplifting manner.

Safe” drones away and I’m not sure if they really feel any more safe with the crashing music followed by lulls and then repeated. Title track “Infinite” has an almost languid Middle Eastern quality which makes this piece even far most interesting. A warm and inviting soundscape that seems to portray an eternal factor. The final track, “Goodbye, False Dreams” swirls and pulsates with the disappointment of lost hopes then wiping them away with the wash of melodic overload.

The band have taken the tracks “Oracle” and “Infinite” from the EP for the album and honestly they are great numbers that deserve a bit more attention. The noise-scape quality is akin to the early years of Ride or The Jesus And Mary Chain, of whom both have used wonderful melodies wrapped in sonic walls of noise. It is nice to see bands that share the vocal duties as this often can give their music a completely different sound. Ghost Patterns have an obvious love of reverb and driving rhythms mixed with ambient vocals that are wistful But nothing is infinite, so make sure you check out this album..

https://ghostpatterns.bandcamp.com/album/infinite

Ghost Patterns | Facebook

This May saw the release of Manchester’s, Rhys Bloodjoy‘s album, Human. Pattern. Repeat. In hiatus, ensconced in Spain during the height of COVID-19, Rhys found himself in a position to find inspiration to create.

Bloodjoy’s style is described as shoegaze, sophisticated electro loops with melody. With that in mind, let’s delve into this noise monster.

Instantly you are taken by the electro beat and the almost Joy Division guitar with “Death By Succubus“. The vocals are distorted and the guitar starts to wail as the song picks up speed, becoming more frenetic. And then nothing…….

Suck” has a middle eastern feel, threading it’s way though this rhythm driven piece. Like a psychedelic trip in a demented hippie van of free love and sexually driven tension.

Single, “Run From The Hunter“, draws on an almost American native rhythm and texture. Feed back upon feed back, as the guitar fuels the claustrophobic feel that you can’t get away from.

An interesting title in “Birth Canal Contemplations Blues” and like a Jim Morrison messiah from under the sheets, Bloodjoy wants to make love with that waggling tongue.

Celebration” is down and dirty rock and roll that is relentless and pulsating. Not everything is worth celebrating because life can be difficult and painful without being constantly reminded as well that you can do better.

An intense build up to “Infernal Regions” that winds around your senses. Reminiscent of The Cramps‘, Lux Interior, both vocally and suggestively in a lurid wanton manner. This lascivious and dark.

RHYS BLOODJOY

Final number is the title track, “Human. Pattern. Repeat.” It is a short explosion of screaming noise and reverb that rings out, then suddenly fades to nothing.

Death and sex are often thought of as two sides of the same coin, just like genius and madness. Bloodjoy likes to use the references of one for another or double entendre to evoke those feelings and ideas through both the lyrics and the tone of the music.

It is a clever use of off kilter psychedelic with raw guitar mixed with that industrial sensibility, which makes it a tad unusual and extremely interesting.

It’s got a little bit of everything for those that love experimental, noise and shoegaze styles. Check out Rhys Bloodjoy’s album as it is name your price for the download or you can buy the vinyl LP and remember Human.Pattern.Repeat.

https://bloodjoy.bandcamp.com/album/human-pattern-repeat-vinyl-lp-digital

http://www.facebook.com/RhysBloodjoy

http://www.bloodjoymusic.com/