Posts Tagged ‘Helios Creed’

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Heavy Rotation Vol. 25: CLT Goes to Outer Space Edition

November 29, 2009

Space Rock.

This is one of my love/hate genres (along with electro) because the tendencies of its performers is to accentuate the aggravating traits. In the case of space rock, this means bypassing the lyrical content and swooshing guitars in favor of some 18-minute rundown of the last D&D session over a flute and dulcimer digression.

When it works, it nears the worlds-away sound and escape-velocity transcendence the creators were aiming for. Hawkwind spends a lot of its time divided between the two, mainly depending on which revolving cast member was helming the songwriting.

Chrome/Helios Creed can be fun, as they eschew the 8 and 9-minute epics for 3-5 minute speed runs through waves of distortion. Of course, they also spend too much time dicking around with malfunctioning reel-to-reels making scary noises and stoner in-jokes.

And so it goes with the remaining genre practitioners. You take the good, you take the bad, etc. Monster Magnet, Pressurehed, Nik Turner’s solo work, Dinowalrus, etc. There are some bands out there that grab a small portion of the “space rock” dynamic and run with it. You’ll find hints of it in Holy Fuck, Muse, A Place to Bury Strangers, Lightning Bolt, the Fuck Buttons and Spiritualized.

But enough about me… Here’s the fucking music.

Previous volumes (with shorter intros here):
Heavy Rotation Archives

That Fucking Tank – Stephen Hawkwind
“Tell me only the good things you remember about… Space Rock.”

This is what Leeds duo That Fucking Tank does. Trimming all the excessive prog and psychedelia fat off the bone and reaching cruising altitude in mere moments. Just a guitar and a drum set surging skyward, bringing to mind everything anyone loved about Hawkwind, Chrome, Monster Magnet or even Kyuss, without the attendant wankery and occasional flute solo.

Hawkwind – Spirit of the Age
Speaking of Hawkwind… The godfathers of the space rock genre. Formed in the late ’60’s by flautist (you read that right) Nik Turner and featuring the lyrical and instrumental input of Lemmy Kilmeister (Motorhead), Hawkwind was the embodiment of all things space rock.

Conjuring up visions of time travel, alien abduction, wormholes and intergalactic travel, Nik Turner and co. engaged the imagination of a million forward-thinking hippies, who wouldn’t look out of place at a Dead show except for their excessive use of tin foil and amphetamines.

In this particular track, Hawkwind addresses the effects of cloning and cryogenic sleep on the average long-distance relationship.

I would’ve liked you to have been deep frozen too
And waiting still as fresh in your flesh for my return to earth
But your father refused to sign the forms to freeze you
Let’s see you’d be about 60 now, and long dead by the time I return to earth
My time-held dreams were full of you as you were when I left, still underage
Your android replica is playing up again it’s no joke
When she comes she moans another’s name
But that’s the spirit of the age, that’s the spirit of tha age

I am a clone, I am not alone
Every fibre of my flesh and bone is identical to the others
Everything I say is in the same tone as my test tube brother’s voice
And there’s no choice between us
If you had ever seen us you’d rejoice in your uniqueness
And consider every weakness something special of your own
Being a clone I have no flaws to identify
Even this doggerel that pours from my pen
Has just been written by another twenty telepathic men
Word for word it says:
“Oh, for the wings of any bird other than a battery hen”.

Alien Sex Fiend – Silver Machine
One of my all-time favorites with a stripped-down but incredibly effective cover of a Hawkwind classic. ASF spent a lot of time moping around with the goths in London’s Batcave scene, but they were always too, I don’t know, “madcap” to wander the darkened streets pondering the futility of existence.

They loved the Cramps and took a bit of their twisted humor, added a few pounds of pancake makeup and some deadly flashpots and called it their own. Call them “goth” if you must, but keep in mind they have praised various parts of women’s anatomy and the occasional fast car in song, which just doesn’t mesh.

Here they grab ahold of a space rock classic and send it soaring, all driving bass, searing guitars and some loverly echoey vocals, courtesy of Nik Fiend and his partner in crime/life, Mrs. Fiend (who adds some electronic wizardry of her own).

Beyond the Wizard’s Sleeve – Get Ready to Fly
Previous Heavy Rotation favorites BTWS return with a low-key take on Pressurehed’s Silver Bird.

Pressurehed were a short-lived L.A. industrial space-rock band that put out three killer albums before splintering into a million shards of noise, resurfacing as Anubian Lights Destiny (featuring Nik Turner and Robert Calvert of Hawkwind, among others). They were always more Chrome than Hawkwind, with their layers of blistering, howling guitars and tape loop experiments. But this isn’t about them, although they may get their moment in the reflected glory of Heavy Rotation later.

This is about Erol Alkan and his studio wizardry, which turns the superheated guitars of the original into a shimmering psychedelic journey, without all the usual pointless “jamming.”

Spacemen 3 – Big City (Erol Alkan Mix)
Speaking of Erol Alkan… Mr. Alkan puts his hands all over drone-rock antagonists’ Spacemen 3’s ode to Suicide. While the original version dwelled on repetition and post-punk antagonism, the remix gently coaxes something approaching transcendence from the drones and reverb, proving that not every meditation on a single chord needs to be disorienting and strobelit.

All files in one fully-contained zip file:
Heavy Rotation Vol. 25
(link opens in new window)

-CLT

[All music posted on Fancy Plans… is kick ass and too awesome to be contained. All music is also posted temporarily and, due to its high level of ass-kicking, should not be distributed without a prescription and care should be taken while operating heavy equipment or dancing around the living room (clothing optional, but do remember that the blinds are open/kids are still awake).
Should you wish to have your brilliant artistic statement forced back into confinement, please email me at 2timegrime@gmail.com. Feel free to leave a comment, as that will probably be noticed sooner.
By all means, if you like what you hear (and you will), please support the totally rocking artist(s) by purchasing some music or heading out to see them live.]
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Heavy Rotation Vol. 7

July 19, 2009

Much like the wheel in the sky, the heavy keeps on rotating. Another set of songs which will now be listed in no particular order. Feel like you’re missing out? Check out the previous entries here.

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Alabama 3 – Speed of the Sound of Loneliness
Best known for the Sopranos theme, this group of blues/country/electro wastrels turn in a superb bluesy track with some lovely steel guitar and (wouldn’t you know it) a shuffling electronic backbeat. Great for when you’re not feeling great.

Here’s a choice quote on their power:

“This is the first band I could ever dance to in the daytime hours without chemical assistance…and that says a lot.”
Irvine Welsh, author of Trainspotting

Come home late, come home early
Come home big when I’m feelin’ small
Come home straight, come home fucked-up
Sometimes I don’t come home at all

Chorus:
What in the world has come over me?
What in heaven’s name have I done?
I’ve broken the speed of the sound of loneliness
I’m out there running just to be on the run

You’ve a heart that burns with a fever
You’ve got a worried and a jealous mind
How can a love that’ll last forever
Leave me so damn far behind?

Tell me now

Chorus

It’s a mighty mean and dreadful sorrow
[Heartbreakin’s what it is]
It’s crossed that evil line today
[Let’s cross it together, hand-in-hand]
I can’t think about tomorrow
[Well now, who can?]
I ain’t got one word to say
[Now sing along]

 

deathinvegas

Death in Vegas – Dirge
Beautiful in a very dark way. Nothing but a very slow build and some haunting vocalizing by electronic go-to chanteuse Dot Allison. Has the feel of a song in search of a soundtrack, perhaps adding some impending doom to a penultimate scene, leading to a tragic denouement. Or perhaps I just like throwing around a lot of big words.

 

BRMCpicindex

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Punk Song (Whatever Happened to My Rock and Roll?)
Not actually a punk song. Full-on, actual rock from a group who greatly resemble a younger, shaplier  Jesus and Mary Chain. All tight black pants and leather, layering on cynicism and humongous riffs like the coolest friends you never had. Another nail in rock’s coffin, asking rockandroll itself, why’d you sell us out, man?

You want a part of me
You want the whole thing
You want to feel something more than I could ever bring
You want it badly
You want it tangled
I want to feel something more than I was strangled

I fell in love with the sweet sensation
I gave my heart to a simple chord
I gave my soul to a new religion
Whatever happened to you?
Whatever happened to our rock’n’roll?
Whatever happened to my rock’n’roll?

She wants it hallow
She wants it tainted
She wants to feel something more than she was naked
You want to hide away
You’re scared to touch it
I want to feel something more than I care to take

I fell in love with the sweet sensation
I gave my heart to a simple chord
I gave my soul to a new religion
Whatever happened to you?
Whatever happened to our rock’n’roll?
Whatever happened to my rock’n’roll?

You know you never decide.
Why you can’t trust their lies.
It’s so much pain you can’t describe.
There’s got to be another reason for living.

She wants your image
She wants your kiss
She wants to get inside your head and tell it like it is
You want it badly
You want it so complete
I want to feel something more cos I can’t fuckin’ breathe

 

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Echo & the Bunnymen – the Cutter
Classic British 80’s music, from back in the day when “alternative” actually meant something. Broke out late in their careers with a hit single, Lips Like Sugar and grabbed a few American fans with their cover of Jim “Van” Morrison’s People Are Strange for the Lost Boys soundtrack. This is an early single of theirs, catchy as fuck, with some tempo changes and a little string work.

Who’s on the seventh floor
Brewing alternatives
What’s in the bottom drawer
Waiting for things to give

Spare us the cutter
Spare us the cutter
Couldn’t cut the mustard

Conquering myself
Until I see another hurdle approaching
Say we can, say we will
Not just another drop in the ocean

Come to the free for all
With seven tapered knives
Some of them six feet tall
We will escape our lives

Spare us the cutter
Spare us the cutter
Couldn’t cut the mustard

Conquering myself
Until I see another hurdle approaching
Say we can, say we will
Not just another drop in the ocean

Am I the happy loss
Will I still recoil
When the skin is lost
Am I the worthy cross
Will I still be soiled
When the dirt is off

Conquering myself
Until I see another hurdle approaching
Say we can, say we will
Not just another drop in the ocean
Ocean

Watch the fingers close
When the hands are cold
Am I the happy loss
Will I still recoil
When the skin is lost
Am I the worthy cross
Will I still be soiled
When the dirt is off
Am I the happy loss
Will I still be soiled
When the dirt is off

 

helios

Helios Creed – Pigs on the Wing
Former member of Chrome and all-around good guy, Helios Creed presents a very well-done and truncated cover of Pink Floyd’s Pigs on the Wing. Not nearly as spacey as most of his hard-charging space rock, and without the tape manipulations and interminable 8-minute riffing common to the genre. From the Cleopatra compilation, A Saucerful of Pink: A Tribute to Pink Floyd, which is actually quite good and features some excellent covers of some of the more rare items in Pink Floyd’s catalog. And, if for no other reason, the only way to get another rare Alien Sex Fiend track (their cover of Echoes).

As always, all files in one semi-convenient zip. Click to open link in a new window.

Heavy Rotation Vol. 7 

-CLT

[All music posted on Fancy Plans… is kick ass and too awesome to be contained. All music is also posted temporarily and, due to it’s high level of ass-kicking, should not be distributed without a prescription and care should be taken while operating heavy equipment or dancing around the living room (clothing optional, but do remember that the blinds are open/kids are still awake).
Should you wish to have your brilliant artistic statement forced back into confinement, please email me at 2timegrime@gmail.com. Feel free to leave a comment, as that will probably be noticed sooner.
By all means, if you like what you hear (and you will), please support the totally rocking artist(s) by purchasing some music or heading out to see them live.]