The Basement Paintings from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan got together in the winter of 2011 and quickly got to work recording a full-length debut album which was released in March of 2013. The follow-up EP, titled Time Lapse City was released in March of 2014, and their next release was Mystic. The band has a mix of progressive rock, metal, experimental, and post-rock sound that they manage to pull off quite well.

The songs are all instrumental and at times have a touch of Tool in sound, but never enough to make them a copyist, just like adding a touch of salt to your food; it seasons it enough to make it tasty. This band has a lot of talent, they play with such precision and with feeling that you can close your eyes and just nod your head along to the tracks and drift away. Not saying that there isn’t some metal crunch, but the songs just flow so beautifully that you get into a trance-like state listening to it. All of the tracks except one, are all over eight minutes long, the last track is a whopping fifteen minutes long, so make sure that you have the time for this.

With such lengthy tracks, the band has a chance to go places with the listener that they wouldn’t if they were cut shorter in time. Grab a drink, pull up a chair and go on a long journey with these guys and see where you land.

FORTUNE HOWL: Earthbound: Digital Release

Earthbound cover art

Orlando, FL’s FORTUNE HOWL has put together a new album of experimental electronic music. There have been some previous releases before this one, but this one shows a bit more maturity in the songs and moods.

The album has a lot of connections to the trip hop of MASSIVE ATTACK, and some hints of ambient all mixed together to create a masterful creation that gets stuck in your head and in your music player. It also has a world music feel to it that gives the album a bit more depth to it. Even though this is an electronic album, you get warmth and a sense of emotion coming through the sounds. With the album being such a cohesive piece, I really don’t have tracks that just jump out at me, instead I took the album as a whole and let the songs wash over me and take me on a trip.

This is a great album that would be perfect for listening on headphones or putting on after coming home from a night out. It’s not mellow enough to totally chill out to, but not energetic enough to dance to, it’s a perfect relax with yourself or share with friends album.

THE PALE FACES: Another Such Strange Bird: CD

THE PALE FACES hailing from Leicester, UK are a lo-fi, experimental, noise band that mixes it all up with garage rock and runs with it. This three-piece takes a very indie feel and sound and turns the droning and dissonant sounds into a goulash of delicious delights that keep you coming back for seconds.

“Girl From The Past” has the early ’80s sound of experimentalism and noise, but creates a textured song that compels you to relisten to the sounds being explored on this track. “O Mummy O Daddy” brings out the dirty garage-rock doused in organ and a groove that forces you to move along to it in your chair and is exceptionally memorable, especially the vocals that have a ton of distortion on them and go from being kind of blase to screamed. “Eat You Alive” has an interesting keyboard sound that incorporates a little bit of gothiness with the haunting vocals that would have made a huge splash on mix tapes back in the ’80s. “No Kisses Blues” brings back a nice swaggering groove that harkens back to the ’60s and mixes it up with noise and creates a cool jam. “Sweet & Sour Sixteen” has a ’60s pop sound mixed in with the rocking groove and gets you moving along to the song and wishing that it was at least twice as long. “Island” is a very interesting slow song that has a ton of atmospheric sounds and gothy vocals that kind of make it sound like a song that would be on a horror movie soundtrack…very cool. “A Thing Called Man” has a definite post-punk edginess to its sound and then the more goth-like sound of a ’60s influenced SIOUXSIE SIOUX vocal takes over for “Soul Connection”. “Dark Lips” is a very interesting experimental track, almost trance techno-like that has some great screaming at the end. “Black Swan” begins with more screams, dissonance and noise and slips into being more melodic with returns to the sound of the beginning of the song mixed in and gives listeners a very noise filled, but complete and fitting end to the album.

The band isn’t trying to be the most proficient and technical players, but that’s the charm, noise can be just as technical as a precise guitar lick or drum fill and every bit as exciting. THE PALE FACES have given us an albums of mind-blowing textures and sounds and adds a colorful palette that should make their faces just a touch less pale.

SINDULGENCE: Recollections: CD


SINDULGENCE is an Experimental Metal band from Cape Town, South Africa that have been together since 2009. They released their debut twelve track album in June of 2012 independently and it also comes with a DVD about the band and the recording of their album.

The album begins with an instrumental called “Room 302” begins softly and with gentle music that slowly starts sounding ominous, then “Swindle” kicks in, a blistering track that has deep growling, guttural vocals from Muller Van Niekerk, and the raspy growl of bassist Byron Dinwoodie. The drumming from Michael Snyman is relentless, and guitarists Ryan Eberlin and Rodney Dosson weave the heavier lead and rhythm playing together with a deft touch. There are lots of great solos on this album, just pick a song and there will be one coming to blow you away in a few seconds, and the mixture of the two vocalists really helped break the monotony of a lot of other metal bands, the two distinct vocalists really took the songs off into a nice direction. “Thorns” is a fantastic song that has softer parts with clean vocals, super heavy parts with the guttural vocals, amazing solos, drumming that goes beyond the regular thump, thump, thump, but has energy and power that is tempered with a delicate touch, and the heavy bass gives the song its depth. For a debut album, these guys play like veterans and show a technical side that doesn’t overpower the songs, it adds to them, and the production is clear and free of murkiness that creeps up on a lot of recordings. Some of the other songs that stood out were, “Poverty and Hand Grenades”, “The March Hare”, “Wine of the Gods”, “Keith” and “Dying To Live”. You also have another instrumental called “Conventus Kharon” that is reminiscent of the first song with its ominous overtones.

For a debut album, this was a great journey that I was lucky enough to be invited on since it took me to the land of SINDULGENCE, and the tour guide was very good. If this is how the band starts off their career, watch out, because they will be out to make you their fan if it takes them one more album…that you had better buy as well as this one.