Album Reviews: UK Label Catch-Up

There are countless numbers of amazing labels putting out a handful of brilliant releases every year. Globally these all add up to a massive output of music that, frankly, it is easy to drown under if you are trying to give as much coverage to as many of there as possible. In an attempt to keep up, and help you to keep up, here are a few shorter reviews of some recent releases by UK labels… one per imprint, but I urge you to look at what else they are bringing out because it’s never, ever, less than interesting.

This Can Only Lead To Chaos by Helicon (Fuzz Club)

This is Helicon’s second full length album, released on the ever reliable Fuzz Club label. It sees the band in angry mood, kicking against the injustices of an increasingly dystopian Britain. This emotion is channeled into a series of taut and tense tracks which, for me, mark a significant step up on the band’s previous output (which was by no means shabby by the way).

According to the band ‘This Can Only Lead To Chaos’ is “the rejection of mediocrity and mundanity. A shared spirit of rebellion that things can be better and the fucking balls to make it happen.” Helicon cash this cheque with an album of high quality and varied contemporary psych which, for me, sits above much of what is being put out under that guise.

Onwards… Towards The Tundra by Soden (Dirty Filthy)

This is also the second LP from Soden, a trio from Worcester, England, who have produced a languid album of instrumental guitar music which will please lovers of heavy psych, stoner and space rock alike. Delving into the dark chasms of the soul the band come up with a series of tracks which console the mind and take the true listener to some interesting and shadowy niches. Not for the faint hearted!

Tętno Pulsu by Lastryko (The Weird Beard)

If there’s a theme emerging here, it is one of sophomore albums. Indeed this is the second release from Lastryko from Gdynia in Poland. The six improvised tracks on this album collectively represent a nice collection of trippy psychedelic jams which inveigle their way into your consciousness in a rather insistent manner. There’s more than and element of Krautrock though in here too… with a number of tracks building up a fine motorik head of steam. Exciting stuff!

Health and Social Care by Grey Hairs (Gringo)

Although not a ‘second album’ ‘Health and Social Care’ acts as a fine companion to the Helicon album, both have a ‘punk’ attitude… and although the Grey Hairs’ is more obviously within that genre, both have the aesthetic. This album also looks with despair at modern Britain, specifically though the prism of the ‘Health and Social Care’ of the title.

This focus has also tightened the Grey Hairs sound and has expanded the band’s palette out into new areas, perhaps most noticeably surf rock, which you would not initially credit to a band from the East Midlands. This is used to good effect, however, and, if anything, adds to the gravitas of the album.



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