The ever prolific Devin Townsend has announced a series of new releases that he says will be “interesting” but not necessarily something he’d want to present as “a major release”. The Devolution Series will give fans access to various live materials and more and begins with with an acoustic live set from 2019.
Things are busy behind the scenes with The Fierce And The Dead. The British post-rock band have had live shows cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but they’ve taken a lot of time to work on home demos and ideas for album number 4, which they’ve more than hinted will be as different from ‘The Euphoric’ as that album had been from 2013’s ‘Spooky Action’.
While it may not always be seen as favourably as some of 1970’s heavyweight hard rock discs, ‘Very ’Eavy Very ’Umble’ marked a more than credible beginning for British rockers Uriah Heep. While the release never troubled the UK album chart, its mix of blues, rock and occasional psychedelic leanings met with a devoted group of music fans. Having found an audience, it would have been easy for Mick Box and his merry band of musicians to knock out a near carbon copy for their second release, but the album that eventually emerged in February 1971 couldn’t have been any more different.
Despite only spending a small amount of time in a recording studio during his lifetime, Syd Barrett became a cult hero. His whimsical songs about bikes, scarecrows, transvestitism and gnomes became part of English psychedelia’s core; his distinctive musical vision set (The) Pink Floyd on the road to stardom. So much was the love for the Floyd’s 1967 debut ‘Piper At The Gates of Dawn’ and associated singles, that Barrett’s two proper solo albums ‘The Madcap Laughs’ and ‘Barrett’ (released in January and November 1970, respectively) also found an audience, despite being very difficult listens.
For most people, British progressive rock band Curved Air are known for two things: being the first band to ever issue a picture disc and for the having the legendary Stewart Copeland having occupy their drum stool in the mid 70s. Considering that vocalist Sonja Kristina had previously been an important part of the London theatre scene in the late sixties – appearing in Hair – and Curved Air actually scored a UK top five hit single in 1971, you’d expect them to be more widely celebrated. Perhaps the reason they aren’t is due to lots of their classically- and jazz-derived music being very hard going. Their earlier work often values complexity over obvious hooks – something that makes the funky ‘Back Street Luv’ single seem like something of an anomaly – and the way they switch between different moods from track to track can, at first, be disorienting. They are very much a band that requires a lot of time and patience before most of the listening rewards become obvious.