Singles Review: Wampire, URSS bajo el Arbol, Ummagma, Painted Palms, Me You and Thomas, Landing

Greetings, readers eating apple jam filled doughnuts (via Dunkin Donuts)!  Welcome to another edition of our “reviewing releases late again” single reviews column.

This week’s singles come courtesy of a lifelong depression triggered by that bad ending I got in S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl. Shit, that was depressing, son.

Ah, singles, right:

Wampire – The Hearse / Das Modell

This 7″ single (in purple vinyl, natch) finds Wampire taking us back to a trampling side of the 80s with ‘The Hearse’, which finds the band doing the rounds in a Dragula, taking names and creating a peppy, upbeat track that both hugs the post punk sensibilities of yesteryear while adding some technology of today. It’s a cybernised luddite and I’m in love!

B-side ‘Das Modell’ is a cover of the clinical Kraftwerk. The eerie mood complements the darkness of the original track, without fully embracing the darkness like Rammstein did on their cover. -Orestes “I was playing Zaxxon while reviewing this” Xistos.

URSS bajo el Árbol – Los Hilos de Dios

About ruddy time! URSS bajo el Árbol, México’s own psychedelic prog band is back in business after carefully weaving new music in their magic loom. ‘Los Hilos de Dios’ has that magical realism sound that the band adores to peddle to the both the converted and the heretic. With a crescendo atmosphere that messes with your breathing and that sexy, mournful sax solo, the song is great, with an abrupt ending that leaves you wanting for more. It’ll probably segue into another ripping track. – Sam “I was playing Vigilante while reviewing this” Valdes

Ummagma  – Lama (Jane Woodman remix)

The thunderous sounds of a beached whale on its last breaths are channeled through the gorgeous swells that Jane Woodman has added to Ummagma‘s ‘Lama’. And… there’s nothing that I could say that could make it justice, as the otherworldly sounds abandon the kingdom of dreamy and go into something else, an Outer Plane where Celestials freely roam to the drum sparsely populating this song. Gorgeous. – Sam “I was playing Flicky while reviewing this” Valdes

Painted Palms – Carousel / Click

‘Carousel’ is the infectiously dancey track by Painted Palms, the upbeat happy go lucky dudes that chase ghosts in digital mazes (just like Pac Man!) While you probably won’t be doing any calisthenics to this, you could listen to this while winding down on the threadmill or by walking on a Sunday afternoon in a place where it’s not friggin’ -8 in March (send sunshine, Painted Palms, you’re quite warm!)

‘Click’… hey, you can do some calisthenics to this! Seriously, this one is even more upbeat, with a dreamgaze demeanour that adds a piña colada to the warm audioscapes the band offer. Bubbly synths, heavy reverberation and a drum machine that goes from Charleston to Jitterbug without warning. – Orestes “I was playing Dig Dug while reviewing this” Xistos.

Me You and Thomas – Eventually / Stop Here / Boundary

Oooh, a triple serving of noisy lo fi Rock! ‘Eventually’ is punky, the perfect soundtrack for you to skateboard to the grocery store/convenience store/7-11, with enough punch to keep you going and enough noise to emulate those crappy earphones with orange sponge-like covers. If this isn’t on tape, then I shall put it on tape, dammit!

‘Stop here’ is not as fast, with a slower but decisive groove that feels slightly ominous, sort of a lost transmission from the 90s, with a lot of attitude and enough mysticism to feel magick in nature. ‘Boundary in Eventually’ feels like a rainy afternoon; the smell of dry soil getting wet, that ozone-rich atmosphere that makes you remember a place that no longer exists, but resides in your memory banks. Thanks for the flashback, now I’ll go get my flannels… wait, I’m still wearing them! .- Sam “I was playing P.O.W. while reviewing this” Valdés.

Landing – Watching you without me/The drowning man

Landing are back in action (well, they also have an album out now!) and this lil’ single is a double whammy of awesomeness. Why? Because you get two nice covers of legendary bands. First, the band tackles Ms. Kate Bush in an almost tribal version of ‘Watching me without you’, where the delicate ambients molded by their dreamy shoegaze elevate you to heights hithertho explored.

‘The Drowning Man’ (The Cure!) is turned into a creepy John Carpenter-esque drone, with an almost ghostly female voice whispering the voices, lulling us into a false sense of security. I smell a trap, but then again, I’m paranoid. Lovely covers, download as “pay what you want”. Give em some moolah. – Orestes “I was playing Galaxian while reviewing this” Xistos.

And that’s that. Thanks for reading us.

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