Yamantaka//Sonic Titan UZU album review


Everything about this band is yin and yang, even the name. Two art students in Montreal with Anglo-Asian heritage created a unique new style they dubbed “Noh-wave” that blended progrock with elements of asian theatre and opera, sometimes even performing in kabuki face paint. Their sophomore UZU comes out on October 28th, and it’s a unbelievably odd and pleasant and easy to listen to from start to finish. “Atalanta” opens the album with classical piano and operatic soprano vocals, bombastic drums crashing in for the next song “Whalesong”, straight progrock with fantasy style lyrics and a very epic feel. Throughout listening to this album, I kept picturing it as the soundtrack to some massive video game, Lord of the Rings meets the Last Samurai. Eastern melodies weave in and out in “Windflower” while massive walls of high frequency sounds build up into chaos in “Hall of Mirrors”. The production is super clean on this, making me really want to see what they sound like live. The highlight of the album is the new single “One”, starting out with a traditional Iroquois tribal song, building up into a massive pile of percussion, chanting and twangy guitar that would fit in on a Quentin Tarantino soundtrack. Listen to “One” here:

The Besnard Lakes

20130407-175222.jpg album cover

The Besnard Lakes out of Montreal on Jagjaguwar have won multiple Canadian awards and been around for awhile. This husband and wife team create atmospheric masterpieces with the perfect touch of fuzz, and the latest release has just premiered the video for the single “People of the Sticks”. Best for people who like things pretty and weird. There’s a lot going on in the sound, try it with headphones.

video for “People of the Sticks”

stream the album here

tour dates