The latest EP from Denver’s Woodsman sees the psych rock outfit continuing the development of their sound that took place on their previous release, the excellent Rare Forms. Woodsman’s earlier albums were dominated by winding instrumental pieces that were somewhat minimal compared to the expansive sounds the band now creates. Track titles such as “Parallel Minds” and “View From The Vision Hand” give a good indication of the level of mind bending psychedelia occurring here; the highlight being the epic closer “Tone Cloak”, a dark journey into the recesses of modern tribal psych rock.
Bow Arrow is the solo project of New Zealander Matt Scheurich, a talented musician who has performed as part of a variety of progressive rock and electronic acts. Σ Of An Aftermath is his reflections on a traumatic episode in his life-it was created while he was recovering from being attacked by tribesmen in the jungles of Papua New Guinea. The heavily distorted vocals on these synth heavy tracks create an ambiguous tone that is at times disorientating but always intriguing. Despite the dark themes and murky atmosphere conjured by the sound, an element of hope pervades throughout.
Distinctly New York flavoured, Inside The Crystal Palace is a fine collection of frenetic, guitar heavy rock and roll from Corrupt Autopilot. “I Am” is a brief introduction of droning guitar and chanting vocals before “Oh My Eyes” really ignites proceedings, a riff heavy powerhouse of a song that explodes like a psychedelic reincarnation of Joy Division. From there on the album has it’s pop tinged moments (“Do You Remember?” is a lovely interlude) but it is when Corrupt Autopilot turn the rock afterburners on that they truly soar.