Album Review Saturdays 2023 Episode 8

We give you three very different bands at very different places in the music multiverse this week.  A Tucson rock band gloriously trapped in a desert sound surrounded by Latin roots, and pitched marvelously in a gothic-like nature.  Another, a music hall of fame snub for the last six years, that created their own sound against the grain of current radio, in the face of record company refusal, giving us plenty of once-in-a-sound-time recordings — and this one might be their greatest achievement of all time!  Finally, let’s head over to Norway and get into a thrown down of hard blues revival proportions!  Sound good?!  Of course it does!

 

Xixa – Genesis

There’s a tremendous connection in the Arizona area for desert latin-fused rock bands! Xixa (chicha – yes the Peruvian drink) is one of those tight “guitar slinging” six piece bands that has adopted their special place in the music multiverse along side the likes of Calexico.  This is a precision latin-fuzed blues rock that while maintaining a much more gothic delivery has not forgotten the need for rhythm and catchy leg bouncin’ design.  Genesis sticks true to their amazing sound, but leaves nothing on the table!  Yes, they’ve been downing the chicha on this one for some truly flame throwing southwestern thrill ride!  If you’re going to walk into their middle-of-nowhere rock Cantina have your headphones ready, maybe even a third eye.  You never know what’s lurking in their audio shadows to give you the feeling you might want to buddy up, grab some stakes, garlic, holy water, and some one-liners!  You’re in for music thrill ride!

The band:
  • Brian Lopez – vocals, guitar.
  • Gabriel Sullivan – vocals, guitar
  • Efren Cruz Chavez – percussion
  • Geoffrey Hidalgo – bass
  • Hikit Corbel – bass
  • Jason Urman – keyboards
  • Winston Watson – drums
Genesis Track Listing:
1.  Thine Is the Kingdom
2.  Genesis of Gaea
3.  Land Where We Lie
4.  Eclipse
5.  Soma
6.  Eve of Agnes
7.  Velveteen
8.  May They Call Us Home
9.  Nights Plutonian Shore
10.  Feast of Ascension

 

 

 

The Smashing Pumpkins – ATUM

ATUM (autumn) is a three disc, shoe-gazed, indie-rock, alternative, electronically orchestrated, rock opera masterpiece told by the genius that is the entity known as, The Smashing Pumpkins.  Don’t remember them?  Don’t know of them?  Heard them, but don’t respect it?  Don’t worry they don’t care, and why should they?  They know eventuality meets greatness, and ATUM is, absolutely, greatness!  The one problem — this is massive greatness that takes time to develop, absorb, and eventually truly appreciate!  I couldn’t believe what I was listening to, and I found myself sucked into this fantastical concept record that rivals anything ever made (yes Pink Floyd and The Who fans)!  I don’t say this lightly. The return of Zero and Glass (characters, if you will) from the ridiculously awesome, Mellon Collie & the Infinite Sadness and wickedly textured, Machina/The Machines of God are back for a two hour music multiverse jaunt through the creative space consciousness and expertise of The Smashing Pumpkins courtesy of the lyrical perfectionist, Mr. William Corgan.

There’s a starting point, it’s his vocal, and in this case — multi-vocal.  You’ll understand as you continue to listen.  It’s like he’s singing in a slightly different magnitude and a different perception, which I guess should not surprise, but it still does!  The lyrics are completely engaging, absorbing, and definitely meant to be heard on the level — and not just for Corgan himself.  This is the pouring out of story told in lyric, but also told brilliantly in emotion of the accompaniment of drums (oh the fuckin’ drums in the third act), synthesizers, guitars-guitars-guitars, and piano — and who knows what else, considering Corgan’s ability to integrate odd instruments And, the third act certainly lends and bends the record into a more prog-like environment that it was teasing with the entire first two acts.

No. I know what you’re asking.  It’s not a return to the angst or the past.  It’s The Smashing Pumpkins with a sensibility and comfort that should be a music experience for all kinds of generations, which is kind of what they are.  This wonderful musical entity that seems to soar above, swoop in, and deliver despite the risk, the sojourn and the potential Harmageddon (wink).  This is sure top 23 of 2023 for us here at Beyond Your Radio, and we certainly encourage you to give it the time it deserves.  One problem — do you play this in entirety at a live show?

PS:  There’s even more songs on some deluxe box set as mentioned in a recent interview, but the only way we’re getting that into our collection is delivered by Mr. William Corgan himself at a Meal to Music that we might be planning… (prices are in the $750 range)!


The band:
  • Billy Corgan – vocals, guitar, bass guitar, keyboards
  • Jimmy Chamberlin – drums
  • James Iha – guitar
  • Jeff Schroeder – guitar
  • Katie Cole – backing vocals
  • Sierra Swan – backing vocals
ATUM Track Listing:
Act One
1. “Atum”
2. “Butterfly Suite”
3. “The Good in Goodbye”
4. “Embracer”
5. “With Ado I Do”
6. “Hooligan”
7. “Steps in Time”
8. “Where Rain Must Fall”
9. “Beyond the Vale”
10. “Hooray!”
11. “The Gold Mask”
Act Two
1. “Avalanche”
2. “Empires”
3. “Neophyte”
4. “Moss”
5. “Night Waves”
6. “Space Age”
7. “Every Morning”
8. “To the Grays”
9. “Beguiled”
10. “The Culling”
11. “Springtimes”

Act Three
1. “Sojourner”
2. “That Which Animates the Spirit”
3. “The Canary Trainer”
4. “Pacer”
5. “In Lieu of Failure”
6. “Cenotaph”
7. “Harmageddon”
8. “Fireflies”
9. “Intergalactic”
10. “Spellbinding”
11. “Of Wings”

 

Howlin’ Sun – Maxime

Take a nice hit from the Norwegian hard blues band, Howlin’ Sun with us!  The old-school, slower bluesy riff is heavy in the camp of Maxime.  You can feel it in your bones as much as your ears.  The way the guitar trails off, the entry and rawness of the 70s vocal, and the constant devilish, Led Zeppelin style rolling flow.  The song “Bittersweet Morning” brings about a more country-rock-blues that slips close to The Black Crowes, and it’s always classic when we hear that Hammond organ gospel-pumpin’ in the studio!  If you’re a fan of the Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Black Crowes, Dusty Springfield and a guitar worship that hints at Gibbons, Kravitz, and White you’ve got all the boxes check marked for this good solid 31 minute blues rocker!

The band:
  • Tor-Erik Bjelde (vocals)
  • Magnus Gullachsen (guitar)
  • Pieter Ten Napel (drums)
  • Torgrin Nåmdal (bass)
Maxime Track Listing:
  1.  Maxime
2.  Let’s Go Steady
3.  All Night Long
4.  Jayne
5.  Be Mine
6.  Last Time
7.  Main Pretender
8.  Lost
9.  Bittersweet Morning
10.  All Night Long
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