=  November 2023 =  
 Sand Pebbles
The Far Outs
Edsel Axle
The Garment District
Thought Bubble
Fallows and Treffel
the Bevis Frond
The Fish Heads



Available on Career / Kasumuen Records

Twenty years ago our dear departed friend Tony Dale introduced us to a local, to him, (Melbourne, Australia) psychedelic juggernaut called Sand Pebbles via his Camera Obscura imprint, a release prompted by Phil McMullen championing the young band in the pages of the Ptolemaic Terrascope. The ragamuffin quartet even provided their own self-deprecating track annotations, handholding us through an eclectic set of soundtrack-ready orchestral pop, krautrock, lounge room experiments and “mogodon pop.” Although not generally known at the time, most of the members were slumming it from their day jobs as staff writers on the Australian award-winning soap opera Neighbours, and they repaid McMullen's confidence by incorporating into one of the scripts a name-check for a band his daughter was involved in at the time, a nascent version of Thought Forms.

        Over the next two decades the band would add and lose members, tour with their heroes (Arthur Lee, Primal Scream, The Church, et.al.) and enjoy contributions from like-minded mind-surfers including members of Death In Vegas, Spacemen 3, Spiritualized, and Luna. They even released an album on Luna’s Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips’ Double Feature Records and have a music school named after them. Quite the pedigree!

       Their ninth album (including a self-released instrumental debut and the introductory compilation on Dean and Britta’s imprint) is their first set of all-new material to receive a US/European release. It continues their quirky psych explorations with proggy overtones, the occasional brassy outburst, a touch of cello and clarinet, and a wall-rattling three-guitar attack. ‘Field Of The Lord’ combines rock opera-era Townshend histrionics with a boot-stomping, fist-pumping melody that encourages audience participation fired with a few tipples.

     ‘The Light (Slow Reveal)’ is a dreamy cinematic diversion with a Morricone-esque groove, the title track is an ominous stalker that raises the hairs on the back of your neck courtesy Murray Ono Jamieson’s squawking clarinet and Kath Dohelguy’s petrifying “beats.” ‘Sweet Tenderloin’ is pure Stonesy funk, ‘Self Talk’’s glassy-eyed thousand yard stare suggests they picked up a trick or two from their Spacemen 3 and Luna contacts, and Phillips herself coos encouragingly throughout ‘Russian Ending.’ And compact disc purchasers will enjoy the sun-kissed bonus instrumental ‘Barry Michael Takes A Train’, a glistening pop confection with library music influences that begs for an accompanying visual to wrap its arms around.

(Jeff Penczak)


(LP, CD on Ripple Music/Rebel Waves Records)


Staying in Australia, from Brisbane comes garage throwback band The Far Outs with this fun debut.  The band’s comprised of Phil Usher (guitar, vocals) and Jonny Pickvance (drums), both long-serving veterans in good standing of the Brisbane pub scene, and grew out of the ashes of a previous band they were in, Grand Atlantic.  Yer internet can’t decide whether it’s The Far Outs or The Far Outs!, or it’s likely the latter moniker refers specifically to the album title, but that’s what’s on the cover so The Far Outs! LP title shall ye be.


The record practically leaps out of the speakers at you with snotty mid-Sixties garage sounds redolent of The Sonics, The Seeds, just about anything produced by Shel Talmy, or modern purveyors such as The Hives, et al.  Lunging from the gate, lead track “Last Night” sets the mood perfectly.  It’s raw, punchy, and full of sweat.  The rest of the tracks fall perfectly into place behind it.  All the songs are around three minutes and the album’s 32-minute running time is just right.


Lyrically, most of the songs are pretty standard fare about that woman (women?) who done our heroes wrong, or are about to.  Lines like ‘you’re a night in the darkest tomb’ from “Hey Little Girl” – ouch!


Lest things get too homogeneous, the guys throw in a couple of nice instrumental variations.  “Get Off My Shroud” is what I’d call ‘Spaghetti Western à la Garáge.’  The merger & acquisition works quite well, right down to the tongue-in-cheek “ooh! ahh’s.”  “El Diablo Del Mar” is crunchy garage surf.  Usher and Pickvance turn in a particularly ferocious performance on this one; Dick Dale would be proud.


This is a cracking debut, full of energy, piss and vinegar.  Usher and Pickvance make a lot of sound for just two guys.  Phil Usher’s vocals are in your face, and the touch of distortion on them makes his singing seem that much more menacing.  There may be one or two overdubs amid the guitar ‘n drums sound, but if so, the album’s better for it.  Rock on, gentlemen.


(Mark Feingold)


(LP from Worried Songs)

This is an unexpected delight; a solo guitar album recorded down home on a four-track cassette deck which explores some entirely different avenues to that which one might expect. Rather than dazzling displays of finger tangling this one teases the outer limits of our comfort zones with often melancholy, off-key blues guitar improvisations, enveloping the riffs in billowing clouds of ambience.

The opening number ‘Some Answer' is a solo guitar lament which I’ve seen described as sounding like a Bill Orcutt 45 played at 33, with tears wrung out of every distorted note. The title track Variable Happiness' shimmers with electric folk nuances, and sandwiched between the two is ‘Present Moment’, a strong favourite hereabouts, almost ten minutes of meditative bliss. My only complaint about the album would be that it’s next to impossible to tell side A from side B at first glance (both even have the same matrix numbers stamped into the run-out groove, and if there’s a clue in the labels, the design of which replicates the cover art, it’s beyond me), so another point in favour of ‘Present Moment’ is that the side with the longer band in the middle is side A. ‘Present Moment’ serves as a beacon therefore in more ways than one.

Another personal favourite, ‘Come Down From The Tree Now’ which opens side B, is a tumbling stream of psychedelic electric guitar, tossing around variously distorted notes like leaves caught in a torrent. The guitar on ‘Her Wind Horse' sounds as if it's a cry for help from an echoing cavern, and 'Singular Grace' that closes the record layers guitar upon guitar, note by shimmering note.

Variable Happiness' is a beautifully engineered album, one that’s been lovingly realised and which captures the immediacy of the guitar work without sounding over-complicated or congested. No surprise (to me at least) that the artist at the heart of it all is the wonderfully talented Rosali Middleman, whose band we featured in Terrascopædia issue 19. More of this sort of thing, please!

(Phil McMullen)


(Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records.  Limited to 500 x vinyl copies www.hhbtm.bandcamp.com )

The Flower District wakes at dawn, musicians stumble out of the loft into the streets to find sleep. Long shadows of November are here casting their doubt on neon marquees, stood at the window, fixing his lens, clutching a camera through the haze.

The Flower District is essentially Jennifer Baron who plays a whole host of instruments, including synthesizers, keyboards, guitars, glockenspiel, melodica, bass, drums and percussion. Jennifer sings, writes and arranges the songs. On this record Jennifer is joined by her cousin Lucy Blehar on lead vocals, with Don Koshute: guitar, Corry Drake: bass, Sean Finn: drums, Shivika Asthana: drums, plus additional instrumentation and vocals from Greg Langel, David Klug, Alex Korshin, Gary Olson, Kyle Forester and Nate Musser.

Jennifer was part of the pop group The Ladybug Transistor a mid nineties group from Brooklyn who were part of the The Elephant Six Collective. They released seven albums beginning with Marlborough Farms in 1995 and were well liked by us at Terrascope. The album was fashioned at a friend’s home studio in hills of Pennsylvania during the tumultuous times of the pandemic and is a rich sounding record full of dreamy synths and crunchy guitars overlaid by the twin vocals of Jennifer and Lucy.

The album kicks off with the plangent strum from a lone electric guitar, which is swiftly joined by vintage analogue keyboards and builds from there for album opener ‘Left On Coast’, released as a single earlier this year I believe, it has some fine, fuzzy guitar and a distinctly 60’s vibe filtered through a modern lens. This is followed by the heavenly, indie pop of ‘A Street Called Finland’, it’s a terrific song in which I hear a whole host of influences from classic girl groups like the Shangri La’s through to more modern English bands like Broadcast and the Soundcarriers. It’s very inventive, Jennifer obviously has a wide ranging musical taste, this is particularly evident on the next song ‘Following Me’, which also has more of that lovely, fuzzy electric guitar to the fore, over a loping rhythm, it just oozes class. The first side of the album ends with ‘The Starfish Song’, which begins with hand claps and throbbing bass, before opening up into a crunchy, widescreen pop nugget. It’s a gauzy late summer delight, a walking guitar line infused with plenty of churchy organ and lead guitar on the fade. It just makes you want to flip the record over.

Side two begins with ‘Seldom Seen Arch’, an instrumental, psychedelic pop song which is split into a few distinct parts, it has a luminous quality and also sounds great, perfect for a moonlight drive through verdant, dripping forests. ‘The Islands of Stability’ follows; this song has male and female vocals and is propelled along nicely on an edgy melodic rhythm section, another psychedelic, crunchy pop nugget. ‘Moon Pale and Moon Gold’, appears next, a lilting, slightly distorted electric piano line is woozily joined by some dramatic vintage analogue synths, it has a looser feel, heavy with bass pedal and clanging, clattering percussive sounds. Another instrumental arrives next with ‘Cooling Station’, this has everything chucked at it, from melodica, mellotron and whistles and has such a textural feel to it, another delightful song which wheezes along quite merrily.

This superb album ends with the wonderfully titled ‘The Instrument That Plays Itself’, which provides a suitable end to the record, being a sum of everything that has gone before, luminous, melodic keyboard parts, crunchy angular guitars and dreamy vocals. I have played this album plenty of times before writing my review and like it more and more with every listen, it is a fabulous album and comes highly recommended.

(Andrew Young)       

(CD/CASS/DL from Music | Moolakii Club Audio Interface (bandcamp.com))

Veterans of the Spacerock festival circuit, Chris Cordwell and Nick Raybould, late of Glowpeople (whom we’ve been known to give some oxygen to here) hail from not much further than a stone’s throw on a following wind from where I currently sit and speculate. The self-description of their sound as ‘alt-electronica’ is a broad one and possibly doesn’t do justice in describing the varied moods and textures herein. There again, when you are as desperate to find a pigeonhole to fill as we ‘hacks’ so often are, then any old port(al) in a storm will do.

Motorik repetition has by now all-too often become a substitute for imagination and creativity. Not so, ‘Eclipse of Reason’, a Beak-like opener and which makes good use of what elsewhere has largely become a tired and overworked medium. The sprightly ‘Layer Cake’ with its sparklingly melodic guitar lines (supplied by Shaun Bailey from Monkey Trial, with whom Raybould has also played) and equally restorative ‘Re-entry’ supplemented by guitar guest Joseph Cave lift pace and mood. Despite this deftness and agility, you may be forgiven for thinking that this is shaping up more like Shropshire’s Mild Bunch than Bristol’s Wild Bunch. Well, not quite, as ‘Take One Soul’ proves to be something of a more feral ‘Unfinished Sympathy’, with vocals packing attitude a plenty, courtesy of no-doubt aptly monikered Pure Mischief (probably not what her mum calls her, but when did that ever matter). ‘Outside’ drifts beautifully, channelling those ambient lounge vibes while up-tempo ‘Sea Flower’ has Raybould’s stamp all over it not only because of the busy percussion but via his spoken word contribution. For yours truly, though, the best is kept back until the very last. ‘Forge’ is a mini masterpiece of spaced tranquillity, wherein synthesized string arrangements and sympathetic percussion makes for blissful, repeated listening. The lightly symphonic feel and gently lobbed space drips and washes have the floaty feel of a lost, gentle Hawkwind jam from circa Warrior/Astounding Sounds, one with Simon House’s dextrous dabs all over it.

Relaxing and redolent of sunny days and heady ways, Beguiled, means just that, raising a smile from your curmudgeonly old reviewer (it could be wind, I grant you). At the risk of damning with faint praise, this would make a thoroughly decent gateway drug to the kind groovy atmospheric ambient swathes often used to soundtrack and indeed enhance the more tasteful televisual programmes on nature or the arts. At times it puts one in mind, of a punchier, more cosmic yet stripped down Zero 7 or Leftfield, and is most gratifying in the same way as you might enjoy listening to Davis or Brubeck as an antidote to something more acerbic of that genre. Ironically given credentials the sound is often more hipster than hippy, so pass me the mocha and a craft beer and chalk me up a slate. But seriously folks, this is a very accomplished and rather lovely bit of kit, indeed. File under ‘job’s a good ‘un’.

(Ian Fraser)

(CD/DL from https://discusmusic.bandcamp.com/)

Look away now if what you crave is ‘four to the floor’. Rock ‘n roll this ain’t. It is, though, an unusual, reflective, and highly intriguing work in 12 self-titled parts, largely featuring unconventional-sounding tools of trade (sopranino saxophone, baritone psaltery, tagelharpa and waterphone just some examples of instrumental irregularity).

Main Discus man Martin Archer is joined here by a small cohort that includes Terrascope’s very own Fjall guy, Francis Comyn, on an array of percussive paraphernalia (and took the cover shots, possibly while also carrying out many of the field recordings used intelligently on the album). He’s one of a pair of tappers and shunters who don’t so much get into that kitchen and rattle those pots and pans as move them around a bit in the hope of achieving the best Feng Shui ambience. And, indeed, in the more flowing movements you feel yourself wanting to throw a few gentle T’ai Chi shapes or slip into a contented meditative state.

Initially, some of the subtle energies eluded me. Blame my lumpen, rockist tendencies and distinct lack of imagination. What then emerged out of perseverance was the sense of a Pogles Wood chamber orchestra lightly limbering up for a tilt at some rugged and potentially unsettling pastoral improvisation, all the while masquerading as a partly deconstructed Third Ear Band (the merest thought of which gets my vote). By Jove, a penny had dropped. At times, such as on ‘Part 5’ when it sounds like they’ve channelled the spirit of Augustus Pablo riding (or perhaps stumbling about) a lonesome trail, or on personal favourites ‘Parts 8 and11’, the intelligent, fine-tuned gradations seem to align perfectly to create a gently insistent and flowing force. The latter, taken in tandem with ‘Part 10’ almost raises a canter, so be forewarned. Along the way we intermittently encounter melody and tarry there awhile before veering off to explore something more tangential away over in a left field only to meander back and forth in no particular hurry. 

From The Rough Hill is one of those releases best described as the sum of its many fascinating parts and listened to in one sitting where it can be approached as a continuous, seamless whole. That way you understand its true scope and purpose and make more sense of a holistic work across a broad and textured canvas. Perhaps with this in mind, Discus have seen fit to include a version of the album without track breaks as well as in individual segments. Irrespective of how you choose to approach it, if acoustic experimental improvisation is your thing, then you will be amply rewarded. Then you must reward yourself again.

(Ian Fraser)


(LP, DL on No Coincidence Records)


Goose is a red-hot young band having a moment right now.  Their festival and other live appearances are at that point where they’re just starting to become a thing of small legend.  Their individual members, all outstanding musicians, are in great demand as well, to join other festival acts onstage impromptu.  While Goose often gets lumped into the jam band genre, I’m not keen on limiting them to that label.  They’re often compared to bands like Phish, and indeed Trey Anastasio has played entire sets with them.  And while they do their share of jamming and improvising, their strong, thoughtful songwriting, singing and playing prowess reminds me just as much of bands like The Amazing, Dungen, Midlake, Fleet Foxes and Guranfoe.


So what better way to dabble your toes in Goose’s waters than this brief, but magnificent EP?  The three tracks have occasionally been part of their live act for years, known sometimes to fans as the “Travelers-Elmeg Suite,” but have defied a released studio version until now.  Singer, guitarist and band co-founder Rick Mitarotonda wrote the tracks (“Travelers I,” “Travelers II,” and “Elmeg the Wise”) all before the band’s 2014 founding.  “Elmeg” began popping up in setlists in 2016, and “Travelers” was added beginning in 2020.


Beginning with “Travelers I,” it’s an exhilarating Fleet Foxes or Midlake-like vocal track, displaying Goose’s fine vocals, harmonies and songwriting in its Odyssian tale.  But you come here for the stunning instrumental “Travelers II.”  Beginning with a solo that reminds me ever so slightly of Tony Banks’ classic synth solo in Genesis’ “Entangled” from A Trick of the Tail, it morphs into a galloping psychedelic guitar freakout you might expect from The Amazing or Dungen, set to a driving percussive rhythm.  “Travelers II” is flat-out marvelous.  The seamless suite concludes with “Elmeg the Wise,” a return to the style of “Travelers I,” with stirring choruses and widescreen flourishes.


There’s an official video of the full suite made by Will Thresher, Michael Nuchereno, and Aaron Mannes.  It puts the band’s music to arresting scenery and cinematography from nature, with some trippy psychedelic touches.  I actually recommend watching the video as the primary way to take this suite in, and go for a big screen if you can.  You can find it here.  But if it’s something corporeal you seek, look no further than the 12-inch EP on 180-gram black vinyl, with artwork by Jonathan Lovering etched into Side Two of the vinyl.  The package is hand-numbered and includes a four-page lyrics insert.  It’s available to pre-order and ships in early December.


Goose does a lot of touring.  They’ll be appearing in the UK the latter part of November, so if you’re nearby, do go see them.  You will not be disappointed.


(Mark Feingold)


(Mr Bongo)


Brighton-based Glenn Fallows and Mark Treffel are fine purveyors of cinematic library music recalling its Sixties and Seventies heyday.  This release is a deluxe edition of their 2022 Globeflower Masters Vol. 2 album, itself a quick follow-up to their 2021 debut Globeflower Masters Vol. 1.  Fallows and Treffel have added five new tracks to the original 11, including two new songs, two guest remixes by Project Gemini and Andres y Xavi respectively, and an alternate version of the original’s “Walked for Days” as a piano solo.


While many of the tracks have a downtempo chill vibe, the duo isn’t afraid to bring on the urban funk, which they do as robustly as many of their modern contemporaries such as Sven Wunder, Misha Panfilov, and the aforementioned Project Gemini.  They’ve also got an excellent handle on retro future vintage electronics, including squiggly Moogs and theremins on cuts like “Calico Suite,” “Moogs Over Jupiter,” and “Darkness Beneath.”


The versatile Fallows and Treffel can shift just as easily to harpsichords and lush, melancholy strings, as on “Darkness Beneath,” “Orquesta es Vedra,” and probably my favorite, the beautiful “Remember Empathy.”  Or to jazz, as on “Ely to Chi,” among other tracks.


Of the bonus tracks, the lively and cool “Return to Salvador” combines jazz and funky keyboards with strings into a nice bell bottom-clad shakin’ groove.  I’ll admit bonus remix tracks rarely move me, but one of them on this record actually improves on the original in my opinion.  On “A Voyage North (Into Darkness),” Project Gemini’s Paul Osborne works his magic, making the rework more vibrant and high-spirited – even danceable – than the original.


If you love UK or European library music or soundtracks from the Sixties and Seventies, this is a worthy addition to your collection.  Glenn Fallows and Mark Treffel have got the style down, and it makes for great listening.  They keep a variety of different instruments, rhythms and moods flowing steadily throughout.  For those seeking physical products, The Globeflower Masters Vol. 2 is still available on LP or CD from Mr Bongo.  However, this deluxe edition with the five bonus tracks is for now only available digitally.


(Mark Feingold)





December sees the release of three records from Fruits de Mer, the first is a collection of various tracks by The Bevis Frond recorded over the years specifically for the label, appearing on a number of different projects nearly all of which were only available on vinyl, long sold out and sought after. Now they have been assembled here on a single disc for the An Introduction To series.

In 2011 a double album of covers on the label appeared entitled Keep Off The Grass, this included the wang, dang, doodle of ‘Creepin’ Around’, a cover of a Sky Saxon song, with some nice electric piano, this song was the first to be recorded by the band for the label and was limited to about 500 copies. This was followed in 2012 by a double 7” EP titled The White EP, again like all of these tracks it sold out very quickly, from that EP we get their cover of the Beatles 'Glass Onion’. The first original song on this CD is ‘I’m A Stone’, which was released on a 7” called ‘The League Of Psychedelic Gentlemen’, this again dates from 2012 and features some killer fretwork with much wah-wah action to the fore. Taken from the ‘The Crab Sells Out’ CD, we get another fretwork drenched song ‘Not Quite Home’. In 2013 an LP of Hollies songs was released called ‘Re- Evolution’ and from that release we get a terrific cover of ‘Hard, Hard Year’.

‘Night Sounds Loud’ and ‘Sand’, both date from 2014 and appeared on wonderful the 7 x 7” vinyl box set ‘7 and 7 is’, for which 8 contemporary bands covered songs by 60’s psych bands from America, these two are covers from a rare and sought after album by the band Clear Light, the bands only excellent, fuzzed out album, released on Elektra records in 1967. Bevis Frond really get to stretch out on the groovy, brain melting 23 minute song ‘China’, which appeared on the excellent ‘Sideways’ LP set from 2015 and is a seldom heard cover of a song by the obscure German band Electric Sandwich, released by Brain records in 1972, it is a belter and quite frankly worth the price of admission alone, now to try track down an original copy!

Fruits de Mer put on a yearly festival in deepest west Wales often releasing an album to coincide with it and from one of these we get ‘Nautilus’, another original track. We now delve into 7” lathe cut territory with another original song ‘Stripped Of Emotion’, this appeared on a blink and you missed it release called ‘Fronds Of The Fish’ from 2017. An album released to help raise funds for the Cellar Bar, the venue for these festivals appeared in 2020 and from that comes ‘I’m Here And It’s There’. Another extremely limited lathe cut called Friends Of The Fish 111, arrived earlier this year and sold out before I even saw the email alerting me to its existence, from that release we can now hear both of its songs with ‘Condition Blue’ and ‘Not Until I Feel It’.

Just to add some icing to the cake we get three unreleased demos ‘I Killed You In My Dreams’, ‘This Sinking Feeling’ and ‘It’s Happening’, all three are original songs, dating from 2020 and so far as I can ascertain, only available on this excellent highly recommended disc. Over 78 minutes of music for under a tenner! It’s a no brainer.

Next we have a sort of in-house supergroup The Fishheads who have the honour of putting out the label’s 100th release Lobster Basque Replica. This group of musicians include amongst their ranks Icarus Peel, Anton Barbeau and Simon House have been assembled by Astralasia’s Marc Swordfish (there’s definitely something fishy going on here) for 40 minutes of fun beginning with a brace of early Pink Floyd cover versions namely ‘See Emily Play’ and ‘Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun’, both from the Syd era.

‘Remember A day’ appears next which is duly followed by the classic Mighty Baby song ‘Egyptian Tomb. Then seemingly out of left field comes ‘Oops! Something’s Coming From Another Planet’, in which over the course of twenty minutes the well known Leonard Bernstein song ‘Oops! Something’s Coming’, from the musical West Side Story gets the Fishhead treatment. These songs were due to be released on a double 7” single, but after consideration an LP was decided upon, this will be accompanied by a bonus CD of the strange tale of Lola the lobster, entitled Lola’s Story. Great stuff indeed.

The third release in December from Fruits de Mer is a new album from instrumental band Sendelica ‘Man , Myth & Magic’, they are also somewhat of a house band for the label having released numerous albums and songs for the label. Their discography is somewhat labyrinthine in nature, groaning with one off’s, special limited albums etc, they are a bit of a completist’s nightmare really.  Man, Myth & Magic is the third part of a quartet of albums about human kind’s relationship with religion, myths and magic which started with ‘And Man Created God’ released in 2021. This will be released on a double LP containing four side long songs, beginning with ‘Wheel Of Fortune’.

The band consist of Colin Consterdine who plays the synth parts also adding beats, Glenda Pescado on bass, Lee Relfe on saxophone plus Pete Bingham playing guitar also adding some electronics.

Side one of the record is ‘Wheel Of Fortune’, a slow builder with hints of classic mid-period Hawkwind. The second side is taken up with ‘Neptune (The Hanged Man)’. This is a strangely subdued piece, with a rather dense middle section, which drifts along nicely towards its climax. Side three is the excellent ‘Magician Dawn’, this one also has slow build, ghostly at first, shot through the fog, but it does build and gloriously so, it features some fine fretwork from Pete.

The album ends with the enormous ‘Tower Of Chaos’, a gentle acoustic beginning is put through the wringer resulting in a bit of an epic, wisps of saxophone, jittering electronics, arcing bass lines which peter out half way through the song changing tack entirely for the second half which is a lot more tribal in feel as it marches towards its inevitable conclusion.

These are all due to be released in early December, so I’m giving you all a bit of a heads up.

(Andrew Young)