The Mercury Tree – Spidermilk
Spidermilk is the first album from The Mercury Tree as a full-blown quartet. This experimentation started with the Cryptic Tree EP with Igliashon as a guest, but the result was so mind-blowing that they ended up joining the band altogether! The entirety of Spidermilk is in 17 tones per octave, which lends a radically different sound to their music. At the moment, there’s nothing quite like The Mercury Tree, they are a brand new burgeoning branch of progressive rock.
Oort Smog – Smeared Pulse Transfers (Sweat Band)
Oort Smog is the collaborative output of saxophonist Patrick Shiroishi, of Corima fame, and Mark Kimbrell, both of which also play in Upsilon Acrux. Needless to say, the release of this twenty-minute EP is long overdue! Coming out on 26 April, Smeared Pulse Transfers sees the duo at their best—performance- and creativity-wise—and it’s a most satisfactory snack while we wait for the next full-length of their main band(s). You can have an avant-goût of the [incredibly good] album with this live video, just imagine this with much better production value and some layering, which gives the feeling of listening to a trio or quartet at times! I don’t need to reiterate it, but I’ll do it anyway: this album is insanely great!
Pixvae – Cali (Compagnie 4000)
Ahh, yes! Ever since I saw the first signs of a new album by the French-Colombian collective Pixvae, I became ecstatic. Their previous, self-titled album is still a favourite of mine, and the new one follows suit and improves on it. Pixvae is a bit tough to describe to the uninitiated. They definitely are playing metal music—the distorted guitar suggests some influence of djent or metalcore—but everything else points away from them being actually metal. Their songs include infectious Latin grooves, stellar vocal performances from one main singer and a brilliant backing choir, providing ample room for harmony and counterpoint, and plural folkloric instruments. It is undeniably one of the highlights of the year. Marvellous release!
Poil – Sus (Dur et doux)
Sus is far from Poil‘s first gross indecency. However, I must say that I think it’s their best so far. The French trio has carved a name for itself by playing eccentric, off-kilter, psychedelic, and complex prog, and it’s evident as to why when you take a slight listen to their upcoming effort. Eclectic and surprising, Sus is a stellar record that belongs in any avant-prog shelf. Out on April 26.