Ixthuluh - Smash LP - Noise Appeal Records

Ixthuluh – Smash LP (Noise Appeal Records)

Ixthuluh - Smash LP - Noise Appeal Records

Noise Appeal Records is the best place to start your journey if you’re curious about the Austrian alternative and underground music scene. These guys proved this many times, and if you ever had a chance of holding any vinyl or CD published via Noise Appeal, then you know they’re not joking around. From the sound quality and visual aesthetics to packaging and taking care of their records, you’ll hardly find anyone who invests more effort than them. Take Smash by Ixthuluh as an example. This particular release serves as a perfect example of how reissues/special editions should look and sound. Noise Appeal are not only taking care of upcoming releases, but they’re good at paying homage to some vital, older, household names of the Austrian scene.

They took a reissuing game on an entirely new level with Smash. You’ll be surprised by the visual appearance of this release because it looks divine. The album comes in a high-quality cardboard record sleeve decorated with an obi strip. The front cover contains a photo-manipulated image of a Buddha, while the back carries a tracklist, necessary information about the label, and a background photo. Still, the pure gold is actually inside this excellent reissue. Noise Appeal included an eight-page booklet with the history, origins, band photos, and all the information about this Austrian psychedelic/progressive rock band. It holds everything you need to know about Ixthuluh’s beginnings, activities, and sessions. Smash vinyl is probably one of the best reissues/special editions I had a chance to review at Thoughts Words Action. Considering how other labels treat their reissues, some time will pass until I stumble upon this quality again.

Smash captures sound of the times when Ixthuluh were active. The album consists of four compositions that explore the fundamentals of progressive rock, psychedelic rock, jazz, and other similar music genres. However, instead of working like many other bands at the time, Ixthuluh caught their studio session in one take without producing, mastering, polishing, or taking care of sound in any other way. It’s a confident, sincere, raw performance that showcases the way you could hear this experienced band performing somewhere on the stage. Bands with confidence like this are rare nowadays, but Ixthulu handle their numbers pretty well and without any mistakes. Perhaps this album will sound like a demo to some listeners, but that was the whole point of this release, to capture the skillful musicians in their prime.

Of course, the band members thought like a singular organism while performing these tracks. However, they never hesitated in exploring the depths of the mentioned genres and experimenting with particular segments of their compositions. Ixthulu never competed for the best prog band of the 70s. Quite the contrary, they usually explored psych rock more than progressive rock, but there are many free improvisations, experimentations, virtuosities, and other sonic delicacies included along the way. This material will be right up your alley if you’re also into the jazz sessions because the band incorporated some of the finest sonic maneuvers and acrobatics into these numbers. Still, the melodies and harmonies resemble something psych and prog rock band would eventually record throughout their careers, rather than jazz musicians. You’ll also notice some proto avant-rock, proto noise rock, krautrock, and straightforward rock instrumentations, so Smash resonates with all interests these musicians had at the time. You should grab this fine reissue because it’s a well-done vinyl packed with useful information that could improve your understanding and knowledge of the Austrian psych and prog-rock scene. Head to the Noise Appeal Records for more information about ordering.





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