Saturday, September 12, 2009

Dragontears (#2, 2008)

O Denmark - Land of Hamlet, Baby Woodrose and... Danes.
Let your Dragontears flow!

"Sunrise" from Tambourine Freak Machine (2008)

Baby Woodrose play '60s garage revivalism to the Stoner Rock crowd. I'd missed out on them, but last year, side-project/supergroup Dragontears released "Tambourine Freak Machine" (their 2nd). Instead of sharp and punchy, the psychedelics found here expand and sprawl out on a languid flying carpet. Dynamics are parsed out sparingly, in favor of ecstatic repetition and geological layers of guitar texture. It's a trip.

Most of the album can be described as a tuneful, restrained squall. Is a Minimalism of guitar wank possible? It is. "The River" sets the course - slow eddies of delay carry the lead guitar, and the vocals, and chimes, and subtle environmental water-sounds. The drums must wait until the next track, "Sunrise" [embedded above] - the most (relatively) direct thing on display. I was surprised to find a cover here at all, much less Bob Dylan's "Masters of War" - delivered with unexpected stridency, and an almost Spaghetti Western tone. That's right: in 2008, a Danish rock band mixed Dylan and Ennio Morricone with peyote-vision acoustics, and made it work! "The Freedom Seed" is another epic expedition, doing for the flowering of Third-Eye superconsciousness what "The River" did for the flowing of Seventh Chakra life-force energies. The final two tracks could be legitimately called an epilogue (short, instrumental, outro-esque) and a bonus track (significantly different in tone, lesser), but who knows what to think anymore...

2,000 Micrograms From Home
Last year also saw a great 2-song single "Hadron Collider," which I went ahead and bought on iTunes (I think the 7" wasn't available anywhere). It's as good as the album, in much the same way, and maybe even the right place to start.

Still trying to get the debut "2,000 Micrograms From Home" - then I'll circle back around to the origins: Baby Woodrose, On Trial, the Raveonettes, and maybe even Alive with Worms. Looks promising, but the album and single alone would merit #2 on my own personal
Top 10 discoveries of 2008.

Bonus! Apparently, covering 13th Floor Elevators is a Scando psych rite of passage. Here's Dragontears doing "Slide Machine" at this year's Roadburn Festival:

Bonus bonus! Just yesterday, I got fellow Danes Causa Sui's "Summer Sessions, Vols. 2 & 3" in the mail, along with Space Debris' live dvd (from the 2006 Burg Herzberg Festival). Only appropriate to post Denmark's primary jamband, live at this year's fest:

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