This is not an attempt to create some kind of hooky scene around completely unrelated bands but more of an acknowledgement that there is something wonky going on out there. In the past year or so several unrelated, unconnected bands have started to move off at a tangent and play music that goes beyond.

This is a music that affects the mind and doesn’t obey the rules. It could be in the great brit tradition of post indie neo shoe gaze haz like the fab rosta at Heavenly Records like Toy and the Temples – bands that play spiralling guitar music that really plays with the inner void in a subtle way or it could be the UK band that opened these new doors of perception – the Horrors who initially, were hear teased polka dot garage rock freaks before morphing into hypnotic grooves or it could be Swans with their ground breaking and stunning last two albums that create a dark and dissonant and yet ultimately uplifting music that really does take you on a trip or it could be the big sprawling italian psychedelic scene where a diverse bunch of bands from fringe metal to indie have all gone off on one and it could even be the recent Sunn O))) / Ulver joint EP of drone rock genius.

None of these groups are even probably aware of each other- this is no tidy everyone wearing paisley shirts picture postcard music scene. This is just bands that are seriously Wonk, bands that have arrived in a place where the music bends…

1. Swans ‘Lunacy’. 

From the stunning Seer album – a long and dark trip that really lifts you up with its stunningly imaginative music- the live show is even more out there with three hours plus of this stuff…new album due in May…

2. The Horrors ‘Still Life’.

The Uk band started as jLondon hipsters on the front of the NME with a great exploding hair and great exploding garage rock and managed to herald a mini goth and psych revival and opened the door for anew generation of bands before going off on their own quite different trip…

3. Toy ‘Join The Dots’.

The first of the post Horrors bands, Toy have carved their own niche with chiming and brilliant guitar songs that take you somewhere…

4. Shabda ‘Tummo’

If you are a fan of the Sunn O))) Ulver long tripped out pieces of drone rock then come this way.

Shabda are yet another great Italian psyche band – there is a whole great scene going on there and this is the latest and the most hypnotically strange with long sitar driven pieces of drone rock strangeness that are stunning and yet another band that has come out of metal and into a strange new world.f

5. La Piramide di Sangue – Complotti a Tebe.

John Zorn jams with Swans. serious atmosphere and very mind bedding- love this’ – read more.

Part 2 of the top 10 is here…

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


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