WHETTMAN CHELMETS - "Annihilate Your Masters"

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WHETTMAN CHELMETS - "Annihilate Your Masters"

(WEATNU Records) 

With the title and cover, you would expect a screeching, noisy diatribe against the powers that be, exhorting the proletariat to rise up and slay their exploitative masters.

Indeed, the opening track Preparation (Thesis) sets you up for the riotous screed as the foreboding noise and music builds with intensity along with the sampled monologue about job cuts and barely scraping by.

The title track keeps building before delivering the rowdy goods by breaking into a dirty guitar riff and drum beat. However, just when you expect the shrieking rants against the capitalist overlords to drop, the next cut New Masters, Same as the Old explodes into a post-rock, shoegaze smorgasbord of effects-drenched instrumentation and ambient splendor.

Like all of Whettman Chelmets’ work, Annihilate your Masters defies expectations and challenges assumptions about genre and style. Although this EP takes an ambient turn about midway through, it still subverts the status quo and stays true to its Marxist theme.

Both proles and the bourgeois alike can enjoy.

https://whettmanchelmets-weatnurecords.bandcamp.com/

P.S. Check out our review of some of Whettman Chelmets’ other work by clicking below.

http://houdinimansions.com/magnetic-heart/2018/6/28/whettman-chelmet-miniforms-1-movements-and-miniforms-2-ten-pin-alley-free-codes

Theron Willis

NIKMIS - "#17"

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Nikmas - "#17"

(Third Kind Records)

Japan-based classitronic composer Nikmis adds another solid release of synthesizer work to their outstanding discography. #17 is a lighthearted journey through a mystical land far away. In the opening pair of tracks, Cold Heaven and Hot Blood, a story is introduced through quirky electronic instrumentation - perhaps the story of Toothy Boy - who awakens one bright morning and gets out of bed by walking one step to the right.

Emerging from the covers fully dressed, Toothy Boy goes downstairs to find his mother making a pie. She chides him for sleeping in and tells him that it is important for him to head to the castle right away, because the king has had another dream.

All along the way to the castle, various villagers comment to Toothy Boy about how the king has had another dream and that Toothy Boy should definitely head to the castle right away, and not rummage through the unattended treasure chests found in the houses of the townspeople. At one point, he becomes annoyed with the villagers and tries to leave town, only to be blocked by a shrubbery. 

At last arriving at the castle, Toothy Boy is summoned to the throne room where the frantic king awaits. "I've had another dream!" He shouts, "You must interpret my dream!"

The music on #17 is that dream. We are welcomed to a distant land filled with enchantment, wonder, and all the classic electronic tones your heart could hope for. Don't be fooled by the cute approach! There is some serious composition in these pieces - definitely worth a listen. From the opening track's cathedral/organ overtones to the unusual children's choir at the end, #17 is full of fascinating musical zones and weirdo electronica. The deal is sweetened with a cassette release that comes to us courtesy of  Third Kind Records and features some striking reversible cover art. 

 

Gray Lee

https://thirdkindrecords.bandcamp.com/album/17

Here’s the latest from Hoodoo Music Podcast. And here’s my jaw dropping to the floor!

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Well, faithful Houdiners, last week you saw Boo Hag kick ass and take names with their blistering live performance. (Just in case you missed it, click here.)

Now, listen to this power duo sit down and explain the methods behind their madness as well as play more of their hauntingly groovy music!

Check it out below or better yet subscribe to The Hoodoo Music Podcast on your podcast catcher of choice.

http://www.rootdoctormedia.com/hoodoomusic/2018/8/13/049-boo-hag

ILLUMINATI HOTTIES - “Kiss Yr Frenemies”

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Illuminati Hotties - “Kiss Yr Frenemies”

(Tiny Engines)

L.A. studio whiz and multi-instrumentalist Sarah Tudzin has created an indie jewel with its very own fun and fresh sound.

Kiss Yr Frenemies fuses sounds from complimentary genres like pop punk, lo-fi pop, and skater rock in order to take standard indie fare and make it a cut above the rest.   

On the one hand, Tudzin fills the album with tracks that that are peppy, straight-up indie pop like the hit single (You’re Better) Than Ever.

On the other, tracks like Cuff and For Cheez(My Friend, Not the Food slow burn with ambient, shoegaze guitar work and gentle, whispery vocals before bursting into fiery conflagrations at their respective choruses.

Pressed 2 Death keeps you guessing with fun breaks and surprising musical twists and turns.

Lyrically, her songs deal with the growing pangs of reaching adulthood and finding out no instructions are included. She entertains love interests and struggles with feeling rudderless all the while having a blast with parties, couch surfing and skateboarding.

Illuminati Hotties occupy a special level above most indie bands today thanks to Tudzmin’s fertile musical imagination and studio wizardry. She will keep us waiting with bated breath for her next studio release.

Theron Willis

https://illuminatihotties.bandcamp.com/album/kiss-yr-frenemies

Check out Illuminati Hotties' Hit Single!!!

TOON - "Cudighi"

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TOON - "Cudighi"

(Cudighi Records) 

Blending drones, field recording, and other mysterious methods, sound artist Benjamin Van Howe performing under the name, Toon, creates a dense, atmospheric ear tapestry that permeates the senses. 

Cudighi is as complicated and hard to explain as the awesomely bizarre cover art (designed by David Frazier) that represents it.  Going by this cover art alone, Cudighi a story about how three people in a mint condition 1988 Chevrolet S-10 embark on a journey to deliver a load of sound equipment. Along the way, they all face challenges and triumphs, learning lessons about life and love. Before the story can conclude in a heartwarming way, with time left over for commercials, an evil, lamprey sort of thing, (which the locals have nicknamed The Cudighi,) attacks them and attempts to complete violence upon them. After some intense amount of struggle, and the heroic self-sacrifice of one of the three protagonists, success is had! The giant lamprey creature is defeated and the sound equipment is delivered safely to the starving schoolchildren, who can now make unusual, hard-to-classify tapes and release them in limited quantities for the world to hear! The school is saved! Everyone laughs wholesomely! All except for that one dead character whom they rename the music room in the school after.

Fantastic cover art aside, I really enjoyed this release. There is a fun interplay between the glitchy noises and fuzzy tape loops, against the more rhythmic backdrop of percussion and synths. The result is a clean, easy-to-listen-to sound that packs a lot of detail for those repeat listens. Next time you take your Chevy across the country to deliver music gear to starving kids, make sure you take your Cudighi tape along! It's a great listen.

Gray Lee

 

 https://cudighirecords.bandcamp.com/album/cudighi

FINDING FREEDOM-"Genre is a Social Construct" [Video Included!]

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Finding Freedom - "Genre is a Social Construct" 

A few months have passed since the release of Finding Freedom’s debut EP, Genre is a Social Construct. Three months, two drummers, and one vasectomy later, they are in the planning stages for a full length record, but their April 2018 release remains strong and is appropriately titled.

From the country-tinged Nowhere I Belong, to heavy modern rock numbers like God of Your Own World and Wasted, the band lives up to its name; the EP freely explores diverse sounds, showcasing the band members’ talent and skill. Each track, while unique, still manages to sound like the same artist. The album delves into both musical concepts and lyrical ideas, treating the listener to honest introspection blended with lighthearted storytelling; the perfect garnishes for a meaty musical entrée.

I dig this record and this band. They are some of the kindest people I have ever met, and they pretty much ooze creativity and DIY spirit from every one of their orifices. That statement is probably a bit gross, but… #sorrynotsorry. They won’t be tied down by a genre and I won’t be tied down by decency.

Mark H. Jones 

Visit the band's official website for more information on this exquisite EP.

http://www.officialfindingfreedom.com/

Watch Finding Freedom perform the tantalizing track Waiting on the Wizard from their EP Genre is a Social Construct!!!

P.S. Catch a special interview and live performance by Finding Freedom with The Hoodoo Music Podcast. 

http://www.rootdoctormedia.com/hoodoomusic/2017/11/19/030-finding-freedom

 

[Video] After you watch this, you’ll never want to play guitar again!

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The Hoodoo Music Podcast brings the heat with Boo Hag-a swamp-punk duo that’ll haunt you with their incredible energy and presence!

Check out the video below and be sure to subscribe on YouTube so you don’t miss video #2 when it drops.

Theron Willis

P.S. The Hoodoo Music Podcast is well, a podcast, so don’t forget to subscribe by clicking http://bit.ly/localbandpod or searching "Hoodoo Music Podcast" on your podcast catcher. It’s just too damn good to pass up.

JANUSZEWSKI and SZLAZAK - "Split"

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Januszewski and Szlazak - "Split"

(Czaszka Records)

This release is an unusual split because the artists are not restricted to respective sides of the tape. Thus the music plays out like an elaborate call and response between the two artists, making this more of a collaboration than a split. 

Januszewski and Szlazak (credited as Nick Edwards & Stuart Chalmers) create an electronic world full of vibrant life, death, and spiritual existences. Each zone shift brings the listener to a new part of the story. For me, the story took the form of an android working in a factory. At first happy with its work, it slowly becomes full of despair and looks longingly out the window at the world outside, wanting to experience life more fully. Suddenly, a malfunction in the equipment causes a horrific accident that damages the android beyond repair. As its life blinks out of being, the android awakens in an altered state, drifting on the spectral plane. Now free to experience the universe, the android spirit wanders through infinity, taking in all that it sees.

There is a great deal of skillful electronically manipulated music here, with segments of electro-rhythmic pulses, and periods of noise-heavy grinding. Always there is a push/pull between techniques and moods, creating a highly textured listening experience. There are no titles or notes to guide the listener, so you will have to create your own words for the story Januszewski and Szlazak are telling through song.

Gray Lee

https://czaszka.bandcamp.com/album/split

INNER OCEANS BLESS VOL. 2

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Inner Oceans - "Bless Vol. 2"

(Inner Oceans) 

Bless Vol. 2 is yet another quality compilation from Inner Oceans. This one is four hours of top-quality beat tape jams! 99 tracks of great low-fi instrumental hip hop that just won't quit. 

Bless Vol 2 is a fundraiser Inner Oceans is putting on to help a variety of people. From Inner Oceans' Bandcamp page: 

"100% of the proceeds from the sale of BLESS Vol.2 will be donated to a variety of Micro Loan programs for Women, Sustainable Water and Agriculture projects, Refugees, Education, Health Care and the Arts. The funds from the Micro Loans are paid back over time and it’s our promise to the supporters of this album that we will perpetually reinvest those funds back into future Micro Loans. This way the funds can continue to support people who need it for many years ahead."

A bunch of good music that can do some good in this world, Bless Vol 2. is available in digital, double cassette, or with a curated selection of the compilation on vinyl. We recommend you go have a listen. 

Gray Lee

 https://inneroceanrecords.bandcamp.com/album/bless-vol-2

DERE MOANS - "Brain Mountain Disciples"

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Dere Moans - "Brain Mountain Disciples"

(Orb Tapes) 

Tony Lien is everywhere these days. He's the label boss over at Bad Cake Records, he's begun a new blog called Infinite Headphones, and he produces music under the moniker of Dere Moans. This new Dere Moans release on Orb Tapes is a real ripper, and you should go get this in your headspace.

Brain Mountain Disciples is a plunderphonic mind trip, where a vintage television becomes possessed by an ancient spirit that can only express itself through sound, picture, and frequencies that it has transmitted before. The television grows creepy metal legs like a spider and begins wandering around, causing general violence and havoc just like in a horror film.

No one can stop the creepy television from rampaging, until the town psychic, Madame Crepe manages to fire off a telepathic message before the television can melt her. Her last dying mind transmission reaches the Brain Mountain Disciples, who leave their clandestine mountain retreat and eerily float to the small town where all the mess is taking place.

The Brain Mountain Disciples descend upon the town, and begin an epic battle with the demonic television, who snarls at them with cartoon sound effects and bits of t.v. commercials. Some of the disciples lose their lives in the most noble ways imaginable. At the end, one brave Brain Mountain hero is able to throttle the television with a onslaught of colorful telepathy. The townspeople are saved, and the hero departs into the rising sun, returning to his mountain retreat. 

Gray Lee

https://orbtapes.bandcamp.com/album/brain-mountain-disciples

 

GNAWED - "Ruin"

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GNAWED - "Ruin"

(No Rent Records) 

Ruin is the soundtrack for the day after the end of the world. No one remains. This is the sound of empty cities filled with only echoes, vacant streets occupied by only shadows, and a creeping desolation that no one can feel. 

Welcome to the Ruin. Industrial ambient artist Gnawed creates vast soundscapes that expertly layer stacked field recording with precise application of original electronic wizardry. This masterwork of loneliness and regret, comprised of two sidelong tracks, clocks in at just under an hour, and is a powerful piece to take in.

Listen to this monstrosity and ponder the poor decisions that finally brought mankind to its end in this doomsday scenario. Buildings are leveled, smoke darkens the sky, no birds sing, nor crickets crick. This is the end, my friend. Grab it on cassette or digital at No Rent.

Gray Lee

 https://norentrecords.bandcamp.com/album/ruin-nrr75

 

[Video] This guy just starts singing on the street. What happens next will blow your mind!!!

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The Hoodoo Music Podcast is back again with a great singer-songwriter who has a soulful, raspy voice and an inspirational message about pursuing your passion!

Check the video below, and stay tuned for more on the next episode of the Hoodoo Music Podcast!

Theron Willis

P.S. Hoodoo Music Podcast is well, a podcast, so don’t forget to subscribe by clicking http://bit.ly/localbandpod or searching “Hoodoo Music Podcast” on your podcast catcher. It’s just too darn tootin’ fantastic to pass up.

FICTIONAL GIRLFRIEND - "Perfume Garden"

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Fictional Girlfriend - "Perfume Garden"

(Junk Maker Sounds) 

A good bit of the vaporwave genre tries to capture a hyper-technological retro future filled with neon-lit Tokyo alleyways and Greek statues listening to boomboxes with anime schoolgirls, but Fictional Girlfriend has something else in mind entirely - a dark, brooding dronefest in the confined service corridors of an oppressive, rusted factory.

There are certainly strong vaporwave tendencies here, such as in the intro to the opening track Double Ought Gardens, but for a larger part of the release, the focus is on well-constructed ambient drone pieces that invoke a close, anxious, boiler-room-at-night kind of feeling.  Phobes Breath would be a perfect example of this. It is a brilliantly dark piece that conjures flickering ghosts in shadowy corners. 

Despite the spooky, unsettling vibe - or perhaps because of it - Perfume Gardens is a densely packed audio experience that one finds themselves returning to, perhaps trying to unravel the mystery again., earning the Houdini Mansions stamp of: [Highly Recommend]

Gray Lee

 https://junkmakersounds.bandcamp.com/album/perfume-garden

[Video] Warning! This intense footage may shock you!

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We've got a whole lot of Hoodoo goodness for you today! 

First off, here's the link for the podcast episode with the incredible singer-songwriter Loyd Van Horn who has a message of hope and unity for this time of division and strife. Check it out below! 

http://www.rootdoctormedia.com/hoodoomusic/2018/7/30/ht5tu72bf7j6lgrsqdny1lrtgibuxm

Secondly, we have another awesome performance video of Loyd in action! Also, if you missed the first video, we've got you covered right here. 

Enjoy! 

Theron Willis

BRACE - "Live at Skronk"

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Brace - "Live at Skronk"

(MuteAnt Sounds) 

Horn-swoggler Ollie Moore and kit crusher Aidan Searle team up as jazz-flinging, note-hurling mod gouls, BraceLive at Skronk sounds like it was recorded in some dimly lit hole-in-the-wall free jazz establishment, in the basement of an abandoned bar at the epicenter of the 'jazz only' part of London. 

Brace produces the kind of mind trip one goes on once they've been drugged by the bad guys in a cheap gangster movie. Long passages of angular, collapsing jazz cascade at the listener - a calamity brought on by furious, cave-dwelling percussion and more hornwork than this reviewer can keep up with. How many people are on this record? Supposed to be two - sounds like a whole outfit. One can hear saxophones, clarinets, even melodica weaving in and out of this jazzy overgrowth.

There are points at which the music departs from the natural world and swims through the dark and murky ethers of the spirit plane. The horns echo eerily as they undergo some sort of dimensional shift, the drums multiplying themselves into a cacophony of mangled rhythms. These stretches of metaphysical entanglement elevate the vibrational fever of the recording to uncharted levels. 

While avoiding abject abstraction, Brace is certainly able to let some mess hit the fan, while braiding together a sonic whirlwind like a tumbleweed of audio artistry. If you walk the be-bop path of free jazz - put Live at Skronk on your radar. 

Gray Lee

 https://muteantsoundsnetlabel.bandcamp.com/album/live-at-skronk

STORMLAND-"Songs of Future Wars"

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Stormland - "Songs of Future Wars" 

War is the father of us all...
— Heraclitus of Ephesus

If Heraclitus were alive today, he would surely be headbanging to Songs of Future Wars, the first full-length release from Stormland.

Forged in the harsh, icy climes of British Columbia, this sonic sacrifice supplicates the god of war for chaos, mayhem and a swift victory! All in screeching speed-metal style!

The opening salvo Blitz Fatality (GAT-X207) straight brutalizes your earholes right out the gate with blast beats and breathless, staccato vocals à la Slayer in their 80's glory.

Instead of a four-piece band though, all this aggression and fury spews from just one man, bedroom-metal mastermind Justin Pierrot.

Pierrot turns the intensity all the way up to 11 and keeps it there for the entire album. It thrashes from start to finish with searing, shred-a-licious guitar solos, grooving breakdowns and gravelly vocals that growl at sub-bass lows and bark at demon-shrill highs.

At the very end, the release turns soft and introspective with the metal ballad Psychic Causality (MSZ-06). Here Pierrot contemplates the hollowness of victory when the victor loses his humanity in the process.

Although speed and thrash heavy, Songs of Future Wars mixes in elements of doom, grindcore and death metal for a sound that’s 100% Stormland.

It is the perfect soundtrack for conflicts of the past, present or future.

It speaks to the warrior spirit in all of us and gives it a safe outlet that doesn’t require storming a beach head or laying waste to a city.

I still wouldn’t recommend listening to it during rush hour though. It may amplify feelings of road rage and aggression.  

Theron Willis 

https://stormland.bandcamp.com/

ALEX HUNNICUTT - "Honey"

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Alex Hunnicutt - "Honey" 

The writers here at Houdini Mansions are no strangers to The Craving; the constant, gnawing hunger for different and challenging music. This insatiable desire drives us to dig through the digital crates of the Internet in the desperate hope of discovering something rare and delightful. Sometimes, we’re looking for something visceral, other times we need something more cerebral; but occasionally, we just need something that satisfies our musical sweet tooth.

Honey is the latest release from smooth rock and blues guitarist Alex Hunnicutt. Each one of the album’s eight tracks is endowed with a funky groove that serves to underscore Hunnicutt’s soulful singing and highlight his technical proficiency on the guitar. As a collection of songs, it is extremely appealing to both pop and light rock sensibilities

This is the kind of music my dad and I could agree upon. It has a little bit of something for most musical palates. In fact, I recommend pairing Honey with liquid spirits and good company.

Mark H. Jones 

Visit Alex's official website for more information on this excellent release.

https://www.alexhunnicutt.com/

Check out a live acoustic performance of the album's title track!!!!

P.S. Catch a special interview and live performance by Alex Hunnicutt with The Hoodoo Music Podcast. 

http://www.rootdoctormedia.com/hoodoomusic/2016/11/6/the-hoodoo-music-podcast-005-alex-hunnicutt

RUNESCARRED-"We Are" [Videos Included!!!]

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Runescarred-"We Are" 

Texas-based metal trio Runescarred has hit a home-run out of the park with their first release-the three-track EP We Are.

While they describe their sound as prog metal, I would classify them as just damn good modern metal that’s accessible and enjoyable to rock fans of all stripes.

Watch Runescarred's This is Mine!!!

Guitarist Tim Driscoll and drummer Payton Holekamp create an positively grooving combo of crushing riffs and thunderous drums. The perfect musical backdrop for vocalist Ven Scott who effortlessly switches between clean vocals and gutsy screams with a signature rasp. All the while, Scott enunciates so precisely that you can pick out almost every single word he says.

While these Texan titans certainly possess the chops for prog, they flex them quite modestly. They display their technical prowess only in brief bursts of searing guitar leads and exciting musical breaks that will tease you with their brevity and have you hankering for more.

This musical taste and restraint creates a tight and exciting release that won’t turn off hard-rock newcomers nor disappoint die-hard metal-heads.

Theron Willis

https://runescarred.bandcamp.com/releases

Runescarred's music vid for A Darker Man is absolutely brutal!

FRENCH 75 - "French 75"

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French 75 - "French 75"

(Power Lunch Corporation) 

Set your seat into the reclined position and order another martini. It's time to take a flight on the Power Lunch Corporate jet. Your destination?

The future.

No wait! Don't go! Not our actual future! A perfectly groovy future full of funky vibes and endless vacations. Prepare yourself to be transported to the sunny shores of French 75, a resort for your troubled soul. This is vaporwave of the highest order - with plenty of chopped and screwed vintage vibes waiting to caress your mind like warm tropical breezes. 

As the jetliner lands on the runway, beats drop with impossible thump, samples converge in an intoxicating mixture of sun, sex, and sleaze. It's like being in a perpetual dream where a mop-headed, tweed wearing secret agent fires one-liners at every villain as he drives classic foreign sports cars and buys mixed beverages for freckled French beauties. 

The successful team-up of Danger.ファルコン.1989 and METAPRISE APPLICATIONS brings us this exploitave escape. Rich samples lock in with overpowered beats in all the best ways as dense distortions wash each audio channel with countless layers of disintegration, making this one of my favorite vaporwave releases of the year so far.  

Gray Lee

 

 https://powerlunch.bandcamp.com/album/french-75

ALOYSIUS SCRIMSHAW-"Kind Regards From Isaac"

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Aloysius Scrimshaw-"Kind Regards From Isaac" 

(Krooked Records)

Nowadays, many projects bearing the labels of “experimental” and “avant-garde” are nothing short of conventional and pedestrian.

Instead of breaking new ground or blazing new trails, these groups merely revisit the same old ground, falling back on the same tired, old stylistic cliches.

Not so with Aloysius Scrimshaw a.k.a. the Dead Musician!!!

In his latest full-length release Kind Regards From Isaac, he kidnaps these stylistic conventions, hog-ties them in his underground lair, and menaces them in his Hollywood Undead meets Slipknot mask; reading his bizarre yet enthralling manifesto while his truly strange and unusual music plays in the background.

  Don't struggle. Don't fight it. You are under the Dead Musician's power now. 

Don't struggle. Don't fight it. You are under the Dead Musician's power now. 

The track Scrimshaw launches this musical odyssey into the abnormal. Unsettling noises and an oddly folksy backbeat create the bewildering backdrop for Alysious’s raspy vocals that range from creepy whispers right in your ear to spoken-word screeches against our vile and broken system.

The weirdness in no way abates the deeper you go.

Blood From a Semitone transports you to a dark and dystopian version of the Wild West. A country-western band of the undead (complete with a harmonica and the clomping of horse hooves) provides the accompaniment for the dead musician’s signature vocal style and ramblings.

40 Nights of Rain Pt. Three sees our musical captor exchanging a call-and-response rap with a creepy little girl from a horror movie.

Dark, disturbing and genuinely one-of-a-kind. Kind Regards From Isaac holds no quarter for the faint of heart or those expecting a more "conventional" release from the experimental.

Aloysius Scrimshaw resides in a space all his own and those who take a wrong click on the information superhighway will find themselves under his sinister sway

 Theron Willis 

https://aloyscrimshaw.bandcamp.com/album/kind-regards-from-isaac

  Time's up. Click the link above to join the Dead Musician down below. 

Time's up. Click the link above to join the Dead Musician down below.