Saturday, 16 December 2017

The Garden Of Earthly Delights

Howdy Doody and welcome to the latest Garden Of Earthly Delights feature. Four bands that you should love and will spend the rest of the day wondering why you hadn't heard them earlier.

The Galileo 7 - Tear Your Minds Wide Open!

Medway would appear to be centre of all things Psych Pop at the moment. The storming amount of great mid to late 60's Pop that blasts out of Kent lately is vastly encouraging.  Tear Your Minds Wide Open! is splendid Organ driven Psych Pop.

Many can do this, few can do it well, The Galileo 7 have mastered the genre. They even sound like the live version Of The Move on The Habit Machine and Baggy Madchester on Nobody Knows Anything.

However, it's the Syd Barrett esque Psych that makes most of the dents and this is beautifully done with all four band members driving the sound forward. Particular mention should be made to Allan Crockford for some great guitar riffing and sterling vocals.

You can listen to and buy the album here.

The Green Ray - Half Sentences 

Fans of the magnificent Help Yourself will know that Ken Whaley and Richard Treece formed The Green Ray in the Nineties. I love Help Yourself and their connections with Brinsley Schwarz and Man in the 70's.

The Green Ray carried on that tradition and there is a sadness in these recordings. Ken Whaley died in 2012, a year before the sessions started and Richard Treece passed away in 2015, so his final recordings are here. Ken's brother, Simon switched to Guitar to finish Half Sentences.

The result is the band's fourth album and it is a fine affair. Coming in as a sort of laid back Man or a less trippy Jefferson Airplane, at times pre AOR Journey, it's a cracking chilled listen. It centres around the 10 minute opener, Planes Crashing Into Birds, it's the other 7 songs that set the direction. Some wonderful low key Guitar rounds everything up.

This is another release on the fantastic Sugarbush Label, setting the standard again in Vinyl releases. You can buy the album from Sugarbush here or listen to and buy the album as a download here.

The Red Plastic Buddha - Songs for Mara 

Songs For Mara isn't a new album, it was released in 2014, but it is the magnificent The Red Plastic Buddha's current album and this Chicago quartet show that the Psych excellence isn't limited to these shores. The band give a modern slant on Psych Rock, very much in the vicinity of The Luck Of Eden Hall.

So it's no surprise that Curvey guests as does Phil Angotti, so you are catching a drift of the quality here. The depth quota is high and although Psych Lovers will thrive on this, there's plenty for everyone else.

Cosmonaut is like Space Power Pop, A House Is Not A Motel could be Madchester, Stuck on Zero is Trippy to extreme. But it's the Psychedelic wonder that grabs you. She's An Alien is a fine opener, but it's the trippy splendour of Little White Pills that gets hold of me most. This is an ace album, a bit darker than the previous, All Out Revolution, but all the better for it.

You can listen to the album and buy it here.

The Warp/The Weft - Mapping An Absence

Poughkeepsie's The Warp/The Weft are not like any of the New York Bands that I normally cover. I suppose you'd call it Acid Folk, as though we need another label, so imagine that Fairport Convention had joined a coven and you get the drift.

This is wonderfully dark Electric Folk. The album even closes with a spot of Dylan Thomas. Some of the song structures compare to the likes of Renaissance, there's a lovely mix of the Electric and Acoustic.

Mapping An Absence isn't a laidback listen, but these eight songs are both gripping and intensely rewarding. It's almost like the 80's Indie Brigade have got hold of Folk and given it such a shaking that it thinks it's Psych. This is a really really good album. Well worth taking a chance on.

You can listen to and buy it here.


  1. I saw the image of the Green Ray album before I read your description and INSTANTLY thought of those early Help Yourself albums so it was gratifying to learn that there is more to connect them than similar tastes in artwork. I must admit that, despite being a fan of Help Yourself, Man, the Brinsleys etc. back in the day, I did NOT know about Green Ray at all so many thanks for bringing them to my attention; I have already listened to enough of this album to know that I'm going to get hold of it, even though listening to it could, as you suggest, be something of a bitter sweet experience.

  2. A lovely comment John. Vinyl Wide, Sugarbush release some lovely stuff and if Vinyl isn't your thing, it's worth investigating many of the bands further