Parallel is the second album from the Milan based duo PINHDAR, released on March 26th 2021 for the English label Fruits de Mer Records. Announced in January by its title track chosen as the first single, the album was entirely recorded during the lockdown caused by the COVID-19 epidemic and subsequently co-produced by Howie B (Björk, Massive Attack, Tricky, Everything But The Girl, U2 …) It’s a concept, a journey through human fears and frailties, going up from song to song as in Dante’s Circles of Hell, from the fear of death up to an escape route, represented by the infinite coda of the last song.
Since exploding onto the music scene in 2019 with their self-titled debut PINHDAR have further refined their brand of Psychedelic dark Pop on this latest album. The duo have made a name for themselves on both sides of the Atlantic when in the band Nomoredolls; relentlessly playing New York venues like CBGB’s, Knitting Factory & Arlene’s Grocery and established a loyal US fanbase before moving on to establish PINHDAR. Under the new name and armed with a new sound it wasn’t long before they’d won over the ears of legendary British critic and Rock Music Biographer Kris Needs.
So impressed with the band’s unique sound, Kris invited them to play at the launch of his new book in London, all the while ‘TOY’ was starting to gain critical acclaim across the world with VICE/Noisey listing it in their top 10 tracks of 2019 and legendary station KEXP adding it to their repertoire.
PINHDAR are currently touring Europe as a trio, joined by drummer/multi-instrumentalist Alessandro Baris, while demoing new songs for a new release planned in 2023.
Clustersun Avalanche Labels: Little Cloud Records (US) // Icy Cold Records (FR) Release date: May 20th, 2021 Format: vinyl 300 copies limited edition translucent red with rainbow splatter, cd digipack, digital Artwork: Marco Baldassari Mixing and Mastering: James Aparicio
Tracklisting: Desert Daze, All Your Pain, Closer/Deeper, Juggernaut, Avalanche (Legion 5), Barricades, Sinking In to You, Scar
“At the beginning there’s silence, a deaf sound and the spell of the forthcoming uproar. Then, vibrations cover what is actually hiding beyond the avalanche, while the sun struggles to warm and melt. In the end, the chemical of sounds reveals itself through the chemical of pictures.”
These words by Marco Baldassarri, painter and founder of Sonic Jesus, perfectly describe what Avalanche stands for. Marco realised the album artwork, that’s a real painting called Avalanche too, following the creative flux inspired by the listening of Clustersun’s new sounds. Avalanche departs from dreamy shoegaze, reaching at high speed desertic and acid sideways. Dark and shiny, disturbing and glorious, straightforward and ambitious, it’s an album that will fit well in a playlist featuring The Black Angels, The Lucid Dream, The (early) Telescopes, Dead Skeletons. The mix and mastering have been in charge of James Aparicio, a real scene’s guru, thanks to his work for The Cult Of Dom Keller, Dead Vibrations, Piatcions / Throw Down Bones, Rev Rev Rev. Avalanche was released on May 20th, 2021 by a joint effort between Icy Cold Records (FR) and Little Cloud Records (US), two labels that don’t need any introduction for space rock and psych lovers.
CLUSTERSUN have established themselves as a solid reality in the international panorama of fuzz & reverb purveyors. Their cosmic and 3D signature sound delivers massive walls of fuzz, otherwordly reverberations and psychedelic trips. The trio formed in 2013 and debuted with a self-produced single, Be Vegetal, that was noticed by Dave Allison of US indie label Custom Made Music and featured in the compilation CMM Summer Sampler. The first album’s lead single Hipgnosis was featured in REVOLUTION – The Shoegaze Revival, massive international compilation out in 2015 via Raphalite Records (UK/Canada) and Gerpfast Kolektif (Indonesia). CLUSTERSUN supported Out Of Your Ego extensively with a tour that also reached the US, with gigs in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and other cities of the East Coast. They also contributed to the compilations Rock Back For Nepal Vol. I (2015) and Rock Back: Stronger Than The Storm (2017), both issued by via Philadelphia based label Patetico Recordings, and to The Blog That Celebrates Itself’s tributes to Echo & The Bunnymen (Gods Will Be Gods, 2016) and Slowdive (Just For A Life, 2017). On 19th May 2017, CLUSTERSUN released the sophomore album Surfacing To Breathe, again via Seahorse Recordings, with singles Raw Nerve and Lonely Moon receiving up to 40k views on YouTube.
Following the explosive “Desert Daze”, whose video reached more than 50k views, All Your Pain is the second single anticipating Avalanche, the third album for Clustersun, to be released on May 20th, 2021 onIcy Cold Records (FR) and Little Cloud Records (US).All Your Pain is a majestic kraut psychedelic ride, hitting a grand 7′:45″ duration. Hypnotic, ravishing, fiery, All Your Pain sounds like ice being cut by white-hot fuzzy blades, held through a ritual dance. The video, produced by Clustersun’s drummer Andrea Conti, pictures the different stages of a relationship’s failure, through the rollercoaster of an adult couple, turning from sweetness and eroticism to estrangement and nihilism, under the menacing shadow of their young alter-egos in bridal dresses. All around, a blue cold and hostile landscape, freezes their love as winter does with nature: “You know me, not what I feel”.
“I got fire in my hands” This is Psych. Yes, this is the kind of sound that will make you crave for being squashed in a massive crowd at a festival, eyes closed, ears exploding, mind tripping, legs dancing and head banging, lost and found, flooded by the fuzz, the reverb, the tune. Released November 18th, 2020, Desert Daze is a refreshing cauldron and marks a huge comeback for Clustersun, four years since their last effort Surfacing To Breathe (Seahorse 2017), a classic shoegaze album that brought to the trio from Catania massive attention and airplay worldwide.
The Backlash formed in Milan during Spring 2013. Being the winners in a new bands music contest, they got immediately the chance to play big stages like Tunnel and Alcatraz, establishing themselves as a solid name in Milan’s underground music scene. Spotted by “Dj Henry” (aka Enrico Lezzeri, a well known name for Italian Northern Soul and Mod fans), they got signed by his own RocketMan Records. “3rd Generation”, their first EP, was a collection of six tracks already popular with live audiences. It got rave reviews, and earned to The Backlash several live dates, in Italy, Spain, France and the UK, enclosing a support for The KVB. In August 2016 the band decided to take a break from touring, to record their debut full-lenght “Mindtrap”, released in 2018, and promoted with support slots in Milan for We Are Scientists and The Academic, plus several appearances at In A State Of Flux, the leading itinerant festival for italian shoegaze scene. Wanting to be more in control of their schedule, and to reduce the timeframe between recordings and release, The Backlash then concentrated on building their own space and studio, named “Right Bright Side” (RBS), that’s where they recorded a new EP, “Passing By”, released early 2020. The EP features 4 tracks which are shiny jewels, speaking loud to the hearts and ears of everybody who is or has been in love with this ’90s British Sounds.“Everybody But Me”, the single, has been mastered by Frank Arkwright (The Smiths, Joy Division, New Order, Oasis, Primal Scream, Blur, The Charlatans…) at Abbey Road Studios in London. “Right Bright Side” is a line from one of their songs, but it’s also a manifesto, pointing at where their sound belongs: luminous reverberations, vocals hovering above textured and coarse guitar chords, technicolor laser rays and spirals. The Verve’s A Northern Soul, early Oasis, the La’s, Ride’s Nowhere.
Unfortunately pandemic and lockdown made impossible to promote the release live, in spite of all the positive reviews and airplay The Backlash were getting. After a first reaction of despair and frustration, the band concentrated on writing new songs, now at the stage of final mixing and mastering. The single “Rise” was released on November 16th, 2021. The Backlash are ready to play finally live, and to label-scout for a due proper release in 2022.
La storia di The Backlash inizia nella primavera del 2013, a partire dal loro primo concerto, la partecipazione a un concorso per band emergenti che dà loro l’opportunità di debuttare live su palchi del calibro del Tunnel e dell’Alcatraz di Milano. Da allora, l’interesse dei The Backlash è stato quello di affermarsi come una realtà consolidata all’interno del panorama underground milanese. Proprio durante un concerto a Milano, Enrico Lazzeri “Dj Henry” (storico dj della scena Northern Soul e Mod milanese, critico musicale e talent scout) propone ai The Backlash di entrare a far parte del roster di RocketMan Records e registrare un primo EP, prodotto da Ettore “Ette” Gilardoni. Il primo lavoro discografico, dal titolo “3rd Generation”, raccoglieva sei dei pezzi arrangiati dalla band nel suo primo periodo di attività. Il lavoro ottiene ottime recensioni, ne vengono estratti tre singoli e viene promosso attraverso live in Italia (tra cui le aperture a Gazebo Penguins e The KVB) e all’estero (Austria, Spagna, Francia e UK), con due date allo storico Cavern Club di Liverpool. Nell’Agosto 2016, con le ultime due date a Pescara e nella natìa Lecce, la band chiude ufficialmente la promozione di “3rd Generation” per dedicarsi all’arrangiamento e alla registrazione degli undici pezzi inediti che andranno a comporre il primo LP, “Mindtrap”. Tra il 2018 e il 2019 escono quattro singoli, e continua l’attività live: in particolare, i The Backlash aprono le date milanesi di We Are Scientists e The Academic e vengono accolti dalla scena shoegaze Italiana, partecipando a diverse edizioni del festival itinerante In A State Of Flux. In parallelo, la band continua a lavorare su nuovo materiale. L’esigenza di ridurre i tempi tra la creazione di nuova musica e la sua diffusione porta i The Backlash a costruire ed attrezzare un proprio studio di registrazione: un covo, rifugio e fucina che diventa – appunto e finalmente – the Right Bright Side.”Passing By”, l’EP uscito a inizio 2020, contiene 4 brani che sono un gioiello, che vanno dritti al cuore e alle orecchie di chi questo sound, northern british e popolare, ce l’ha dentro da sempre. “Everybody But Me”, il singolo, è stato masterizzato da Frank Arkwright (The Smiths, Joy Division, New Order, Oasis, Primal Scream, Blur, The Charlatans…) presso gli Abbey Road Studios di Londra. Dopo il forzato stop dovuto alla pandemia, The Backlash hanno pronto nuovo materiale, fra cui un nuovo singolo programmaticamente intitolato “Rise”, pubblicato, con un nuovo video, a Novembre 2021.
PASSING BYPRESS QUOTES
Melodici, sonici, incalzanti e capaci anche di dilatare spazi e tempi. Applausi. Rockerilla I quattro pezzi del disco suonano una psichedelia che contagia anima e corpo in egual misura. Blow Up 4 brani, curati al massimo e mai banali per un lavoro ben definito e che fa di questo Ep un piccolo gioiello. RockIt Sonorità a volte scure, puri mantra sonori e cavalcate chitarristiche poderose. Shoegazin’ Your Waves Accattivanti visioni shoegaze bruciano soniche. Indie for Bunnies I Backlash sono un gruppo vero che ha le idee chiare su dove vuole arrivare con la propria musica. Shoegaze Blog Quattro brani che sono un piacere per le orecchie, un amalgama perfetto di chitarre ruvide e atmosfere, che a volte virano verso la psichedelia. 10/10 Offtopicmag 4 chansons, 4 tubes Indie pour 2020!!!! Joie! Bonheur! La Voix de Garage Grenoble
Rise is one of the 5 new songs The Backlash managed to write and record during the lockdown, and is for sure the one in which the garage rock influences of the shoegazers from Milan are more highlighted. Two guitars, a riff reminiscent of Interpol, grave psych chords of BJM’s school, a tight drumming and distorted bass, compelling and simple lyrics perfect for sing-a-longs and indie clubs. Everything was recorded and mixed by the band itself, and then mastered by Frank Arkwright (The Smiths, Oasis, The Charlatans, Blur, Joy Division, New Order) at Abbey Road Studios. Rise wasn’t born out of thoughts, but from a sudden feeling: “it’s like when you’re driving alone, playing loud music and totally lost in your own mind, away from the real world so that you cannot even remember your route. And you have a revelation, all at once you’re conscious of yourself, of where you are and how you reach that point of your life. It’s about feeling suddenly alive (again), willing to rise above all the mud.” The video clip was made by Andrea Conti, drummer for Clustersun, who also directed the latest clips for the psych trio from Sicily. He wanted to visually fix the feeling of “getting lost while looking for ourselves. A physical and mind trip taken without knowing the goal and the final destination. Are we escaping our past or are we chasing the future?“