Finnish outfit Pink Chameleons have quite a unique sound; they claim to have an affinity for garage and psychedelia, not to mention their love for Waylon Jennings, so you can see where things get a little bit muddy. Here, they definitely have a middle section of garage swagger beneath this heavy psychedelia…but what hooked me, and it’s looped in twice in the track, is this playful balance between male and female vocals in the chorus. It seemingly works against the driving pulse of the music beneath the surface, sort of raising the song’s spirituality before the effortless swagger of the verse comes into play; I like a good juxtaposition, in any form. This tune will appear on the group’s new EP, which is slated for release later this Fall via Soliti Music.
When you first hear the heavy country vibe from the new Pink Chameleons tune, you immediately feel the weight of the song; it’s a nod to a classic sound where ballads ripped emotions from your soul. But, here you find the band turning a slightly brighter corner during the chorus, almost lifting the listener out of their chair…spiritually of course. It’s a pretty high standard the new group have set for themselves, but with a debut album on the horizon, it seems this tune could be a benchmark for the greatness that is to follow. The current single is available from Finland’s finest, Soliti.
Finnish rock band Black Lizard has long been a staple here on the pages of Austin Town Hall. It’s certainly easy to post about the group when they deliver singles like this one called “Window in Time”. The track has this great, late 60’s/early 70’s psych rock vibe complete with some impressive buildups and breakdowns in the chorus. It’s a pretty easy song to get into really. I suggest you check it out now.
Black Lizard will release new album Celebration of a New Dawn on February 23rd via Fuzz Club Records.
Soliti Records is one of my favorite labels I’ve been able to befriend through running this site, and the label is celebrating five years as a label by releasing a combination wherein the band’s on the label cover other releases. For me, the highlight, at least from what I’ve heard is this great little cover of “Good Night” by Black Lizard (the original is from Cats of Transnistria). It holds onto the original’s soft beauty, but fills it out with a little more fuzzy distortion…leaving you with good things. The Soliti Five Years: My Brain Hurts A Lot Comp will come out on November 25th.
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I’ve been aware of Paltsa-Kai Salama and his work with Black Lizard, but I didn’t expect him to spin out a solo effort quite like this one. His first single on his new record, slated for a release on Soliti later this year, definitely looks back to the remnants of 70s folk influenced rock. Interestingly, I can still hear a modern day relevance, and can even imagine the likes of Ty Segall pulling off a similar sound if he decided to go unplugged. This should make for an interesting outing, and I’ll keep you posted as more information comes our way.
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At this point in the history, albeit a short one, I’m not really sure what to expect from Black Lizard. The band changes directions, though they’ve always flirted with a darkened tint that’s really kept me enraptured. Listening to their latest single from the forthcoming Solarize, it sounds as if they’ve taken the old formula of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, or even JAMC, and made it entirely their own. That’s what I love about the group: no matter what they do, they own it, giving it their all for the betterment of our experience. Check out a video for the new single HERE. The LP will be released by Soliti this Spring.
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We’ve got a pretty good relationship with the Finnish super-label, Soliti Music; they always give us a heads up when something is happening with their bands. So, they sent over this great little video from Black Lizard, who are running this beautiful cinematic video to go with their latest single “Turquoise.” This song features on the band’s recent Burning EP, but I think the sound differs a bit from the group’s previous tunes; there’s this underlying beauty that resonates with the emotional textures. You should check out the group’s video HERE. And then go grab the EP from Soliti![audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/BLACK-LIZARDS-TR3-TURQUOISE-SONIC-1.mp3]
We had good things to say about Black Lizard‘s self-titled album from last year, so it’s good to see the band back with some brand new tunes. The title of this tune is “Burning,” which fits perfectly, as the tune seems to be a slow moving psych version of “Satisfaction,” at least in some of the chord progressions. There’s no real rush in the song, choosing to let the musicianship be the showcase here; the vocals are buried deep in the mix. You’ll be able to grab the Burning EP from Soliti Music, and expect a full length to come from the group at the beginning of 2015.
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In my mind, it’s got to be hard to start to craft your own sound, unburdened by the music one consumes, unless of course you’re in a semi-remote area, such as Finland. It’s clear when listening to Black Lizard that they bear the touchstones of many acts, but their self-titled debut sees the group creating something entirely their own; it’s an album with diverse sound that will please any listener.
Sonic exploration seems to be the key to the album’s opener, “Honey, Please.” Like a storm, it rolls in quietly on the back of a ringing guitar, with happily haunting vocals drifting atop. For me, the marvel is the restraint show on the tune, as Black Lizard seemingly stay in one mode for the entirety of the track; I’d be apt to just let go with a wall of noise. However, the band moves into more psychedelic territory on the following “Boundaries,” which is in danger of having some of the atmospheric guitars bleed all the way through your speakers. Percussion on this tune takes a more tribal approach, while the vocals still have that foggy coating, even with a bit of clarity opening up briefly before the song fizzles out in a haze.
Even though the more broad reaching tracks on Black Lizard definitely hold a spot on my weekly playlist, I think that one of the facets that works best for the band is when they go for simplicity, such as on “Dead Light. Sure, the pacing in the beginning has that slow opening, but when the chorus lets loose with distorted guitars and vocal swagger, it’s perhaps one of the best moments on the album: a sure hit. “Forever Gold” is similar, especially in the realm of length, but it’s a quick banger that allows the band to tightly weave their sound into a neat little package for listeners. It’s not that the group gets too expansive, I just enjoy when they get a bang-on chorus that makes me bob my head, and that’s present in both these tunes.
If I were to counsel the group, I think my advice would be to allow for the vocals to shine through a bit more though, just a bit. “Love is a Lie” is one of the most memorable tracks on the album, and it’s success is that it combines that stomping rhythm, bits of distortion, but also vocals you can attach yourself to, allowing listeners to fully invest themselves in the record. But, aside from that small slight, Black Lizard clearly are defining a sound all their own, making this an effort worthy of your time. You want post-rock? Shoegaze? Psychedelia? It’s all here, and it’s all execute with a style that perhaps could only be captured in the land of Helsinki.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/BLACK-LIZARD-Love-Is-A-Lie.mp3]
Download: BLACK LIZARD – Love Is A Lie [MP3]
Black Lizard is out now on Soliti Music.
Late last year I brought you news of the great signing by Soliti Music, Black Lizard, offering us a dark bit of psychedelic folk. This time, the group returns with a new single for their self-titled album…and it’s got a similar sound, though one that has a little bit more of a hazier coat of noise atop it. Their album will be available from the label on April 5th, and it even has a little help from Anton Newcombe. I have a feeling that once this is out, it’s really going to make its way overseas and create a huge stir in the States. Good thing we were here first![audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/BLACK-LIZARD-Love-Is-A-Lie.mp3]
Download: BLACK LIZARD – Love Is A Lie [MP3]