|More Fiend Reviews
(Released 3/09 by Drigh Records)
The Big Takeover
Although this Columbus, Ohio outfit formed in 1997, this is only their second album, following 2004's "What the Buzzing". And despite the long gap between albums, Floorian have seemingly not altered their trademark sound one iota. They still play ominous, trance-inducing space-rock, with hints of metal, psychedelic, and Eastern influences ("How Far, How Fast" even recalls Pink Floyd). Sinister, looming guitars threaten to burst through the calm at any moment, while distant, ghostly vocals occasionally add to the tension. Tracks such as "The Lower Room" build methodically and portentously, while "Écoute" (part of the album's closing six-song "Séance" suite) has sounds darting in and out from every corner. Like the soundtrack to a nail-biting, suspenseful horror flick, the LP's dark, creepy ambience makes for an ideal late-night listening experience.
All Music Guide
Floorian's second album wears its heart on its sleeve just as it does with its punning name. The moody psychedelic false colors of the photo suggests the queasily pretty work enclosed -- as do song titles like "The Lower Room" and the motto "keep music evil." Having established a serviceable bad acid trip sound on their debut, it's encouraging to hear the group taking more chances here on this mostly instrumental effort -- the slow, stretched out sections of the opening "Never Even" establish an appropriately unsettled feeling which the band then explores in a variety of ways within their general aesthetic. Sometimes the sound is stripped down to almost pure suggestion, as on "Missed," more silence than sonics, while the ominous keyboards on "How Far, How Fast" suggest the Legendary Pink Dots as much as Pink Floyd. The most praise belongs to the concluding songs, though -- a six-part effort (the initial letters of each song spell out "seance," which about sums it up), it moves from the thoroughly unsettled to the exultant over its length, finding a stirring beauty as it continues.
Floorian’s cleverly titled release has despite its very dark overtones and occasional “Sabbath-ness” some very shining moments of beautiful noise. I don’t mean to suggest at all that they are a noise band. It is much too melodic for that label. The noise they make is not hard on the ears and not at all bad if one decides to drop anchor in a field of purple and yellow flowers for an afternoon. Who doesn’t want to spend an afternoon cloudbusting in a field with vivid color perched against a waving green background of grass and trees?
Then along comes Track 4, “How Far, How Fast” when the peaced-out field vibe feels as if it might derail. I wonder if Floorian went to the Boris show in Columbus, OH not long ago. Great show. Boris knows how to come off the tracks and then hop right back on without even a blink. I think I can see Floorian becoming master at this very same thing. Again their influences are a bit more than apparent but I can’t cite that as a negative. What is it like to be influenced by Pink Floyd and to allow your guitar to wail away like a Bean Si? It isn’t a bad thing that anyone is inspired by another to do something that (for me at least) always sounds like the creation of myth and life.
It is obvious that I hear many of the bands that Floorian has listened to in their music but I do not find any fault in that because the result is a solid body of work that borders on pleasant, haunting and destructive without ever crossing too far into any of those directions.
It reminds me of a night I spent in an old church listening to guitars echoing through the rafters filling the large sanctuary hollow amid strange artist-rendered crosses and crumbling walls. I loved that night. It prepared me for my first Terrastock. From that experience, I knew what I was getting into. I’d love to see Floorian in a similar setting. Maybe the next Terrastock. It’s really too bad that old church isn’t available.
Floorian is a band from Columbus, Ohio, playing rather slow, hypnotic, druggy and dark psychedelic rock. I’ve also got their marvelous debut album called What the Buzzing and this new album includes a similar kind of, although more evolved, gloomier and even somehow occult music. The musicians on the album are T. Fisher, J. Godshalk, B. Spiropoulos and C. Volpe.
The dark, almost instrumental ”Never Even” begins in a very strange manner apparently including some palindromes. The track creates an almost frightening, mystical atmosphere that is maintained for the whole duration of the album. Also including some acoustic guitar and keyboards, “The Lower Room” is one of my favorites on the album and it has a very narcotic, spellbinding riff that is enhanced by the treated, hypnotic vocals. The track gets heavier towards the end and there is also a great guitar solo in there. Amazing! “Missed” is a more experimental, keyboard-driven drone/ambient piece, the lengthy and pretty psychedelic ”How Far, How Fast” a heavy, melancholic and heady number with dreamy vocals. The album is finished with a work including six different sections and the first letters of the sections form the word SÉANCE, so I guess this is all about some kind of communication with the dead… “Samadhi” starts off in a quite minimal way and then they go very peacefully and instrumentally into gloomy, powerful emotional charges. There is some buzzing fuzz guitar in there as well as some hallucinatory narration and psych bubbling in the end. The ultra hypnotic ”Écoute” continues the slow and mystical going in a fine way and the couple of minutes long “Avatar” brings to mind King Black Acid. “Namaste” is at first very repetitive and evocative until it starts to move slowly with a guitar solo. “Contact” is an under one-minute-long piece including soft vocals and heavy guitar and the last part “Edenic” is laid-back comatose music in one chord including some nice keyboard melodies.
More Fiend is in every aspect a great, dark and mesmerizing album that can be recommended for all those who like hypnotic, psychedelic rock, gloomy shoegazing stuff and slow, King Black Acid styled comacore.
This release from 2009 features 50 minutes of dark progressive music.
This tuneage explores the darker side of spacerock, delving into the void inside the head, where events are not limited to physical laws.
The guitar shows several sides, sometimes guttural, sometimes searing, other times sparkling. Scraped strings release industrial noise. Strummed strings express exotic flairs. Brutalized strings issue sounds of unearthly disposition. While a gloomy rhythm guitar sets up a sepulchral air, a lead guitar snarls with bestial hostility as if searching for a victim.
The electronics maintain a spooky presence that oozes with demonic temperament, establishing the promise of evil just around the corner waiting to pounce. Industrial sentiments are applied in tandem with astral qualities, resulting in an engaging undercurrent of foreboding.
The pounding percussion tends to be rather conventional, providing a marked contrast to the music's overall haunted sound.
The vocals are highly treated to the point where diction is often barely discernible. Which only enhances the basic dark character of this fiendish tuneage. And in the instances where the vocals are coherent, they croon with rich angst and forlorn emotion.
Passages of smoldering torpor lead to surprise eruptions of dire scope. Abysses of despair yawn wide and spit forth melodies of grinding intensity.
These compositions are a strange mix of goth and space and industrial, all exhibiting a progressive cohesion that tends to defy any of the previous classifications. Ominous stylings remain at the forefront, though, mirrored by the background's threatening demeanor.
I'll always have a soft spot for Floorian. Not long after I wrote up a stellar review of their self-released debut, What the Buzzing, it got re-released on Bomp Records. Issues of causality can be debated, but there's no questioning the fact that this is one solid group of musicians, capable of both stunningly pretty melodies and pulverizingly heavy passages.
On More Fiend, Floorian brings on the dense, weird jams just as you crave them. Set the volume high and expect to be buried alive by the hazy riffage of opener "Never Even," whose heavy stonedness will simply bowl you over. This is a heavy psych album, for sure, but it's distinctly weird - most of the tracks are moody and hypnotic, with a willingness to wander and drone at will. Heavy sonic exploration is the name of the game on efforts such as "Samadhi" and stellar acid-rock instrumental "Edenic". Yet, as alluded to earlier, the band is also capable of moments of pristine beauty amid the chaos. "The Lower Room" plants a fluid, modulated vocal melody over an entrancing bed of drums, guitar, and synths; there is a striking Brian Jonestown Massacre influence present on it - which is possibly related to the fact that BJM are big fans of the band, having helped distribute both of their records thus far.
I'll lay off the superlatives for the time being, and instead urge all heavy psych lovers (or likers, or even those curious) to give More Fiend a go.
Floorian is an Ohio-based band that has released a few things. This is the band's latest release and it features some really cool psychedelic rock and drone music. Nice glossy slipcase for this dark musical journey to the parts of your mind you might not go yourself without being dragged. The opening track, Never Even, features a quite tortured guitar, some nice effects and quite a psychedelic feel as you get pulled back and forth with the sound. The Lower Room starts off with some acoustic guitar in the left and electric in the right speaker. This is a great psychedelic rocker with some cool guitar solos, a bit in the background though. Missed starts very droning and is a big contrast to the last track. Quite a lot of deep end on this track. How Far, How Fast is next and begins with a loud distorted guitar before the drums and the rest of the band kicks in for this slow heavy and psychedelic track, which reminds me a bit of some of the UK psych stuff from the 80’s. The CD ends with a long 6 track suite called Séance. I got totally sucked into this record. Really cool music. Oh yeah... it is not all instrumental, the bass player also does some singing but it is usually mixed quite low and not really meant to be in the forefront. (Recommended if you dig: Bardo Pond, Spacemen 3, Dead Flowers)
We here are suspecting that’s some kind of wee pun or play on words - ‘more fiend‘ - morphine(d) - okay maybe it's down to the fact then that we’ve had too much sun today - and yes you read right - I said sun - yellow thing, sits in the sky, kinda warm, a bit bright - you know the thing though to be honest with you over here in dear old Blighty such is it a rare occurrence that when it does come out people think it’s a UFO.
Anyhow ‘more fiend’ is the second full-length from the Ohio-based trio following the re-issue of 2002’s ’what the buzzing’ in 2004 - the band I believe being one of the last acts to be signed by the late Greg Shaw of Bomp fame. Between then and now - far from being work shy fops (although between you and me I’m of the belief that they are) they’ve appeared on a few by all accounts well-heeled compilations put out by the likes of Ogetti Volanti, Columbus Alive and the much-loved here first two volumes of Northern Star’s excellent ’pyschedelica’ sets (the third which we’ve had an absolute age - will get an extended review in a few days - honest).
Floorian craft out a deeply attractive and compulsive brand of psyche, not psyche of your usual frazzled sun hugging lysergic kind but rather more something bordering between frequenting the voids of hypnosis-inducing space rock and out of it stoned-styled bliss-grooved drug mirages. Braided with a subtle line of supernatural/occultist symbolism (the six-part mind flipping odyssey beginning with ’Samadhi’ and ending with ’Edenic’ that pretty much accounts for most of the set spells out ’SÉANCE’), these apocalyptic mojo-tooting preacher men trip-wire a darkly beset landscape that reveals them as possessed of a kinship to the Black Angels' dust-ridden Vietcong sound (none more so is this the case than on ‘the lower room’ where the shade adorned laid back and smoked road blues dialects shimmer and glow with the dulled opulence of a star-sucking black hole as it assumes depth and stature taking to its bosom loosely translated Arabesque dialects and wah-wah’s aplenty). Add in some finitely honed elements of Brian Jonestown Massacre, Spacemen 3 and Sunray into the mix and in some small respects a pinch or two of Cheval Sombre. But then it's equal to say that there are nodding moments within the grooves of this brooding and dislocated ten-track feast that suggest a passing working knowledge of 13th Floor Elevators, Grateful Dead and most notably Floyd especially on the parched and wasted ‘how far, how fast‘ with its swampy doom-like foreboding monolithic austerity which aside from kicking Wooden Shjips into touch also manages to pull off a neat line in Porcupine Tree compliments.
Opening ominously to the chilled introductions of ’never even’ you’re immediately left wondering what you’ve stumbled into, a disembodied childlike conversation peeled as if it were straight from a Lewis Carroll script ripples through the ether, its inviting first impression like lilt soon being replaced by something unnatural and macabre before the onset of the eerily chugging riffs begin to fracture, mooch and howl like a Lynchian nightmarish take of the Pixies ’bone machine’. ’missed’ on the other hand is awash with fuzzy drone overtures and mystical mantras seemingly carried across the voids by transcendental mistrals. That said, the defining moment of the set comes in the shape of the terra-forming six-part ’SÉANCE’ - taking up the best of 23 minutes, this head-tripping beauty begins with the desolate and sidewinding arid and sun-baked ’Samadhi’, a sprawling Tibetan-styled ceremonial beast pitched with a monastic reverence and cut with a maddening claustrophobic and sultry charm clanging spiritualist splendour. The Eastern meditative effect is continued throughout until mid-way through ‘Namaste‘ wherein the almost sedate and lethargic dronal tonalities give way to a dreamweaving-like resonance which by the parting ‘Edenic‘ manifests magnificently into something that veers into psych prog territories once ventured by Porcupine Tree’s ’radioactive toy’. Essential fringe parting ear candy for psychedelicised space cadets. Any questions?
For a band that's been kicking around since 1997, Ohio's Floorian certainly takes its time releasing albums. Debut What the Buzzing was released in 2004. Five years later comes More Fiend, the group's late to the game and long in the tooth sophomore release.
I say late to the game because, let's face it, five years might as well be five decades in this age of instant gratification, and if the band had made any inroads outside of their native Columbus, I bet you dollars to donuts that most of those fans have moved on, the band forgotten. That's a shame, because More Fiend is a solid-to-strong collection of dreamy, melancholy shoegazer psych. The overall sound implies that the band shops at the same thrift stores as Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound and has a friend who's friends with at least one member of Dead Meadow. The better songs - “Never Even,” “The Lower Room,” “How Far, How Fast,” and random bits of the six part “S.E.A.N.C.E.” - have bits of folksy passages wafting up from ethereal stretches of “Wow, man, did you see that” type jamming before being gently coaxed in a heavier direction (“heavier” being relative we're not talking Buried at Sea here; it's more of a classic Sabbath fuzz). Nothing too demanding, but satisfying when done right.
And I say long in the tooth because More Fiend tends to drag. The culprit appears to be “S.E.A.N.C.E.,” which takes an inordinate amount of time to get going. Once it does, around the point where “Avatar” leads into “Namaste” (each letter has a name, see) the band is back on solid territory (while staring blankly at the clouds), but then they sort of forget how to end the damn thing, meandering on one final time with “Edenic.” Given the overall languid pace of the album, it's not like you're going to get whiplash when the band goes too far off the rails hell, most will probably just nod along - but I'm not sure More Fiend entirely justifies the five year wait.
|Return to main Press page|