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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Zac's "Double Dose": KATLA / New Keepers of the Water Towers


KATLA: "I Will Hunt You / Foaming Waters" 

Surprise, surprise, surprise... More excellent tunes from Sweden. Here at the 'Dose this Wednesday we have a shot from Sweden, Stockholm centered and swelling with dark psych, acid blues, and a touch of folk inspiration. This is KATLA, a quartet layered with distortion, fuzz, loads of melody, and topped off with a gorgeous set of female vocals. The group describe their sound as, "...like having your brain smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick". Although I do agree with the gold and the lemon, I do not get the "smashed out" sensation after jammin' to their latest 7" release entitled I Will Hunt You / Foaming Waters. Here KATLA's attack is covert and clandestine. This isn't your smash and grab, get pummeled style of rock. Within moments of spinning side one,the I Will Hunt You single side, your ears are quickly aware of this dragon's cunning intellect. KATLA aren't here to overpower you and take you against your will, (no smashing necessary) they are here with a sonic lure that will have you freely walking into their lair. This attraction, through seduction, begins with a beautifully toned blues guitar measure. There is a slight surf rock vibe coming from the electric guitar once the enticement has initiated and before you know it you've been struck powerless in the sonic field reverberating from the vocals. Flip the 7" to the opposite side and you will immediately notice more of that appealing guitar tone. This mated to the perfect lo-fi, analog style production bring an authenticity to KATLA's sound. Here we are now fully immersed in Foaming Waters, and that rich guitar tone is really what drive KATLA's fruit deep into my conscious. The track is elevated in grandeur as the dark and reminiscent strings of a violin enter the room and graze your mind. This classy and tasteful addition to Foaming Waters soon disappears as that tonal guitar steps to the fore-front with what is quickly becoming my favorite guitar solo of 2013. The violin appears again only this time joining the guitar for a rich, indulgent outro. Awaking now in silence you are fully aware that KATLA have vanished leaving you with little but a memory, just enough to hold onto until you meet again. So, in the end we return to KATLA's own description... the sound is gold, priceless and the lemon (fruit) we can only hope will multiply in the form of a full-length album in the near future. Get your copy from Who can you trust? Records... NOW!




New Keepers of the Water Towers: Cosmic Child 

New Keepers of the Water Towers aren't new to the 'Planet. I reviewed their sophomore release The Calydonian Hunt back in the summer of 2011. There we found a young band, full of aggression and spewing some heavy stoner-focused sludge metal. With this latest release, entitled Cosmic Child, New Keepers... have dropped the sludge moniker almost entirely, all while opening the gate-way for their music to drift into a psychedelic and much more progressive spectrum. It is truly magnificent to see a group of musicians grow so much over the course of a few years. Here Cosmic Child has taken what was good song writing and arrangements within the confines of The Calydonian Hunt and transformed those basic characteristics into genuine brilliance through more concentrated song writing and a spacey atmosphere. 

Cosmic Child begins with opening song, and the albums first single, The Great Leveller. This opener acclimates previous listeners gradually into the Keepers... new sound. All you first time listeners out there, just enjoy the ride. The Great Leveller sounds most like its predecessor through the thunderous and tribal stomp of the percussion and the shear mass of the rhythm section. The chanting styled vocalization brings an eerie sensation upon you while the guitars taunt you to come just a step closer. The Great Leveller disperses abruptly through a swirling flush and is soon all but a memory. Here the music doesn't only transform, it is revolutionized with the entrance of track two, Visions of Death. Greeting our ears is a much softer and lighter side of Keepers... The band chose to deceive us through the inviting sound of an acoustic, or possibly even classical, guitar. This very European inspired, medieval folk touch erodes away with the build of a dominant electric ether. That heavy RIFFING clashes with the cleanly sung lyrics creating a beautiful emission, something that reminds me of Alcest, although by a completely different musical path. With the close of Visions of Death we find ourselves evolving with the band once again. Now, in a very melancholy and retrospective state the Keepers... carry us through the dark by careful acoustic plucking and some murky notes played on a piano. Welcome to Pyre for the Red Sage. Full of some of the most textured Pink Floyd style soundscapes Pyre for the Red Sage further unfolds by the wailing of a pained guitar. The final twenty minutes will transport you higher into Cosmic Child's astral plane and leave us return listeners bewildered at the fact that this was the same band that crushed us with the weight of The Calydonian Hunt. Be sure to check out the full album stream of Cosmic Child over of at Metal Hammer and if you dig it a CD copy can be ordered from Listenable Records.


Adam Forsgren - Live Synthesizers 
Björn Andersson - Bass // Vocals 
Rasmus Booberg - Vocals // Guitar // Moog 
Tor Sjödén - Drums 
Victor Berg - Guitar


  1. KATLA is sick, but the description of the tunes (lemons and gold bricks) is originally the description of the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

    1. Thanks for the info Will. I learned something new today, I guess I need to dig into that book... and yes KATLA is sick. I'm looking forward to their next move.


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