1. PAVLOV'S DOG - Paris (4:41) Album
: Prodigal Dreamer (2018) Label/Distribution
PAVLOV'S DOG, the changeable band around falsetto singer David Surkamp, surprises with a strong album, which not only connects with the poor Wauwau on the cover, but also with highly atmospheric songs to the album classic "Pampered Menial". "Paris" is a violin ballad for all old "Julia" lovers.
2. BLACKBERRIES - Sphinx II (5:36) Album
: Disturbia (2018) Label/Distribution
: Unique/Groove Attack/Rough Trade
BLACKBERRIES breed their psychedelic herbaceous plants according to the best 60s recipe, refine them on "Disturbia" but also in good doses with more up-to-date indie/reampop vibes. In "Sphinx II" the Solingen musicians show their mystical side, with oriental guitar melodies and flickering keyboard sounds.
3. OVERHEAD - Count Your Blessings (4:43) Album
: Haydenspark (2018) Label/Distribution
: Overhead/Just For Kickswww.overhead-band.com
OVERHEAD from Finland let it crash a bit more than usual without a keyboard player. Modern guitar-centered prog, also for young listeners. The exciting texts create a gloomy vision of the future in which artificial intelligence on earth takes over. "Count Your Blessings also offers unusual Spanish sounds.
4. KARCIUS - Goodbye (9:25) Album
: The Fold (2018) Label/Distribution
: Karcius/Just For Kickswww.karcius.com
The Canadian band KARCIUS combines highly melodic art rock with slightly progmetallic noise bombast without pathos or kitsch. Instead, a thick portion of Seventies charm gives the pieces, sometimes reminiscent of Pink Floyd, sometimes of Porcupine Tree, a bit of sugar, of which "Goodbye" is one of the most fascinating.
5. LORD KESSELI & THE DRUMS - Wizard (4:57)
Album: Melodies Of Immortality (2018)
Not only does everything sound very pathetic here. It is, too. LORD KESSELI & THE DRUMS are the Lord Empire & The Suns of dramatic artpop, while the "Melodies Of Immortality" also become such. The duo from St. Gallen make themselves immortal with their second album. And the drums in the "Wizard" have weight!
6. ART AGAINST AGONY - Lemon Tree (4:50) Album
: Shiva Appreciation Society (2018) Label/Distribution
In view of the complex song structures and the demanding style mix between jazz and tech metal, it doesn't hurt at all that ART AGAINST AGONY hide behind masks. Once trapped in fascinating song labyrinths like "Lemon Tree", neither space and time nor faces and names play a role.
7. NEKTAR - Selling The World (5:43) Album
: Megalomania (2018) Label/Distribution
: Sireena/Broken Silencewww.nektarmusic.com
That's how you know NEKTAR, that's how you like nectar. Maybe this is the biggest compliment you can pay the band after the death of frontman Roye Albrighton. That's skillful, sovereign and fresh. This album shows that Nektar are ready for a new chapter in their career - with the past in their hearts.
8. VIOLETTE SOUNDS - Saruman (6:41) Album
: Wild And Blue (2018) Label/Distribution
: Hänsel & Gretel/MIG/Indigowww.violettesounds.com
A band from Aachen with colorful sound and uncompromising attitude. VIOLETTE SOUNDS can be described as a men's balancing act between free improvising old Krautrock and Seventies-Prog of the brand Yes. "Saruman" stands with his typical keyboards and the Chris-Squire-Bass-Sound for the prog side.
9. JACK ELLISTER - Mind Maneuvers (4:48) Album
: Telegraph Hill (2018) Label/Distribution
: You Are The Cosmos/Guerssenwww.jackellister.com
JACK ELLISTER uses the EP between two albums to devote himself to a quiet singer/songwriter style that scores with a brittle charm and psychedelic moments. There is still room for surprises such as the luxuriant "Mind Maneuvers" with its percussion and synthesizer solo.
10. KING BUFFALO - Morning Song (9:47) Album
: Longing To Be The Mountain (2018) Label/Distribution
On the second album of the US trio KING BUFFALO almost everything is right. An unobtrusive, reclined Atmospheric Rock that can rock pretty solid at times, but has reduced the stoner factor and instead relies on song compatibility. And the famous melodies and casual grooves create en masse.