La Route du Rock 2019 Review

It could have been the copious amount of Staggeringly Good beer, trying to play a £3 budget version of Jenga on the choppy seas or heading to a festival where you have no idea of what to really expect, but there’s something utterly exciting about hopping the English channel on a ferry despite a 9 hour journey. My intended destination from my hometown of Portsmouth, where the ferry departed from was taking place at Saint-Malo and attending the 29th edition of the forever forward-thinking La Route du Rock, which boasted one of the mightiest line-ups of the 2019 festival calendar.

Kicking off the first day (well early evening as the main site opens at 6 pm) after the long, yet fun commute came Australian psychedelic space-pop juggernauts Pond. Spearheaded by Nick Allbrook, the Perth outfit transported La Route du Rock into another star-system with a cosmic voyage that consisted of their beautifully bludgeoning psychedelic-rock and a little coat of glistening glam-esque sounds. 

I found very early on that one of the many reasons that La Route du Rock is utterly special is the programming of the line-up that allows for a total of zero stage clashes throughout the festival with the two predominant stages taking place at Fort de Saint-Père being back to back with one another. That being said, straight after Pond came Dublin up and comers Fontaines D.C at just a mere a 180-degree turn and a few yards up. A sonic-boom of frenetic punk with faint touches of krautrock, Fontaines D.C create an urgency of anxiety fuelled by political angst that might be the soundtrack to a younger generation.

The politically-charged storm of impassioned punk in these times of austerity wasn’t over yet as Bristol’s Idles tore through a set that whirled up a sweat-soaked mosh-pit with their riff-riot and an unapologetically scathing tirade of the current political climate of Great Britain.

Sadly I missed Stereolab due to a 50-minute wait for much-needed food but luckily psychedelic cosmic-pop alchemists Tame Impala were there to make up for it. Delving into their most recent album ‘Currents’ along with their arguably much stronger back catalogue from the likes of ‘Lonerism’ such as ‘Apocalypse Dream’ (which always feels like a door into another realm), the outfit who have helped spearhead the modern psychedelic movement were once again, a sensationally stunning celestial odyssey that was nothing short of otherworldly.

Not long after Tame Impala came the experimental outfit Black Midi. The South Londoners ripped into their jarring, maniacal math-rock meets heart-palpitation inducing post-punk. Black Midi were such a sonic force, that the seemingly imperishable Saint-Malo looked like it may fall once and for all. 

Day two’s first set was with the exquisite Le Super Homabard at the beach outside the fortified walls of the picture-esque city of Saint-Malo which is a 20-minute bus journey from the main site. Serenading us all on Saint Malo’s luscious golden beach, the quintet was stunning on a warm summers day with their vibrant, kaleidoscopic sixties-psychedelia meets sun-soaked ethereal, dreamy synth-pop in the vein of fellow French native cosmonauts Melody’s Echo Chamber, Biche and Moodoïd.

The lack of shuttle buses from the town back to the main festival site meant that White Fence was sadly missed, but fortunately I made it in time for Netherlands’ psychedelic outfit Altin Gün. It would be utterly redundant and unfair to call Altin Gün a covers band as they pay homage to 70’s Turkish psychedelic legends such as Selda Bağcan and Erkin Koray with a melting-pot of fuzzed-filled gems allowing a modern-era to see where the likes of current psychedelic royalty such as King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard and Goat possibly pull some of their influences from. Overall the Dutch rippers were a tour-de-force and one of the highlights of a festival filled with sensational live performances. You can witness the performance for yourself here.

London’s Crows a couple of hours later though were also pulling no punches and rivalled Altin Gün for one of the standout live performances of the whole weekend. Cacophonous, visceral and absolutely intense, the gloom-laden beastly colossus that is Crows brought a monsoon of searing sinister-sounding post-punk, garage-punk and psychedelia. Like a cauldron mixed cocktail of The Cramps, Joy Division and The Black Angels, Crows were as enthralling live as they have ever been to a monstrous crowd.

Playing a late-night slot of 1 am was Canadian outfit Crack Cloud who were utterly mind-boggling with their frenzied, skittish post-punk orchestra meets art-rock. Totally exhilarating and blistering, Crack Cloud offered an unrivalled furiosity at La Route du Rock.

On the last day of the festival, I was treated to the wonderful sun-soaked, psychedelic space-pop stylings of Laure Briard. Alluring and enchanting, Laure Briard’s gorgeous and bewitching sounds were beyond fitting for chilling out at the beach.

After a bus journey back to the main site, Deerhunter were every bit as great as I had anticipated and then some. Psychedelic-rock, dreampop and shoegaze, Deerhunter are a joyous collective and like Tame Impala, offered our unworthy earthly bodies wonderful celestial soundscapes that could have been pulled from a heavenly realm. From a heady whirlwind racket of feedback to their danceable art-pop, Deerhunter are perfect for the mind and soul.

Fellow labelmates of Idles and Fontaines D.C on the incredible Partisan Records being Pottery were also in contention of one of the finest sets of the weekend. A roller coaster of a band, Pottery flirt between punk, garage-rock and elements of psychedelia, where they finished with what seemed at least, like a super-fun jam giving nods to King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard in their ‘Nonagon Infinity’ era. Check them out live if you get a chance. 

‘Let’s run a train on this rain’ said the charismatic crooner Brooks Nielson buoyantly as the torrential assault of the rain turned La Route du Rock into a washout. The sun-baked Californian sounds from one of the finest bands on the planet may not have been fitting with the relentless freezing downpour, but it didn’t even matter. Delving into their more sleazed-out stylings of garage and surf-rock coated in country, Latin rock and everything else in between from their back catalogue such as ‘Chinese Fountain’ to the groove-filled disco delights of ‘City Club’ as well as some of their newest singles such as ‘Natural Affair’, the genre-bending Growlers led by Brooks Nielson’s smoky, scorched raspy vocals brought the sun-baked late nights of the American west-coast to the Brittany fort. Quite frankly if there was any justice in the world, The Growlers would be the biggest band in it.

Overall La Route du Rock was a wonderfully magical festival that offered an incredible line-up, immense programming that allowed for no clashes as well as featuring some of the nicest and genuine music lovers that you are likely to encounter (there are also mostly clean toilets too if that’s your jam) that is well worth your time and money. Just be vigilant of the wasps in the campsite…

Anyway, I’ll probably see you next year, La Route du Rock.

Pond release new track called “Daisy”

The Western Australian psychedelic pop band Pond is back with new music. They have shared a new video and track called “Daisy” wich will be on their upcoming album “Tasmania” wich will be album number eight.

The album is produced and mixed by Kevin Parker fo Tame Impale and the band.

Check them out and more on Fuzzy Sun’s psych list.

https://www.facebook.com/pondling

Afbeelding kan het volgende bevatten: 5 mensen, staande mensen en buiten

 

The Australian list

Lots of people hate lists, i am not one of those people. i always loved lists, you can find new music fast, bands you never heard of.  They are all cozy in one place so it is easy and you don’t have to search the complete internet or ask your cool hipster buddies what is good these days. Now you can be that hipster yourself. yay

so be ready to ask your friends next time you see them if they know anything about the Australian scene. They will shuffle uneasily in their chair then find confidence again and say: “well King Gizard and The Lizard Wizard is awesome”. Then you can say, well duh and make some flippant noise with your lips.

If you find yourself in company of extreme nerds you can educate yourself fast in the Japanese or Belgian lists. If they know about this too then you find yourself among fans of Fuzzy Sun and great company ofcourse.

Now, we will ofcourse begin with King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard because the band is not only fantastic live but spews out great music faster then you can tell your friends about it.

I will, ofcourse, add bands and keep this list updated. For more psych check out Fuzzy Sun’s List.

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard

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Most of you now and adore King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. The band formed in 2010 in Melbourne and have put out 13! studio albums. In 2017 they released 5 albums in that same year and each of them is diverse and wonderful. tune in.

https://www.facebook.com/kinggizzardandthelizardwizard/

Deaf Wish

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With a wink to sonic youth the Australien post-punk/noiserock band Deaf Wish released “Lithium Zion” this year wich is their Fifth studio album.

https://www.facebook.com/deafwishlegacy/

Psychedelic Porn Crumpets

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Well yes, the band with the best name (except maybe for Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard)  is alive and kicking. recently they released their 7 “inch “Social Candy” and already new music surfaced. A suberb psych band that you need to follow.

https://www.facebook.com/psychedelicprncrumpets/

Pseudo mind Hive

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This band delivers heavy fuzz with some psychedelia mixed in. The heavy psych rockers released a new album this year called “From Elsewhere”.

https://www.facebook.com/pseudomindhive/

Sons Of Zoku

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My list has only just begun and i am starting to think i may have made a mistake. Australia has a massive amount of high quality fuzz/psych/noise stuff and this will be a big job. So let’s go on,  Sons of Zöku from Adelaide has also released new music. A 5 track Ep called ‘Can Dead Dance’. Get to know them.

https://www.facebook.com/sonsofzoku/

Buried Feather

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Another band from Melbourne, The psych band Buried Feather released their latest album “Mind of the Swarm” in 2017.

Dead

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Dead is pretty difficult to find on the internet, it seems Dead is a pretty popular word and somewhere in between all the mush from the internet you can find the real Dead. The duo does not only make hardened sludge/punk/stoner i don’t know what, they are the WeEmptyRooms label to where you can find some more goodies. Play now, play loud.

https://www.facebook.com/DEADAustralia/

Mt. Mountain

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Perth psychedelic rockers Mt. Mountain are a magnificent band. These guys are experts in creating an atmosphere that fits perfectly with their desert psych sound. They will release their new album “Golden Rise” on November 30. Enjoy

https://www.facebook.com/mtmountainperth/

Velvet Elevator

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Cardinal Fuzz introduces the European edition of the Australian band Velvet Elevator. Seven tracks of heavy psych and garage sounds. The album “Prinicpium” is available since November 2.

https://www.facebook.com/velvetelevatorband/

ORB

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Another one of the rising psychedelic rock talents is ORB from Geelong. With their new released album “The Space Between” this year they aren’t exactly new, but they are rising and if you listen you will understand why. a talented band.

https://www.facebook.com/ORB-475112932588695/

apollo 80

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“Lizard! Lizard! Lizard!” is heavy psychedelic space rock by the Australian ban Apollo 80. Four tracks of fuzzed out space riffs and Astronaut samples. Space away with Apollo 80. Released July 11.

https://www.facebook.com/apollo80rocks/

Potion

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Sydney’s own doom/stoner trio Potion . Distorted vocals, heavy riffs, slow crushing doom, what else do you want!

https://www.facebook.com/potionband/

Comacozer

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This band has the ability to evoke space through sound. the trio from Sydney plays heavy psych riffs and spacerock like their own lives depend on it. The latest release is a split with Blown/Out.

https://www.facebook.com/comacozerband/

Night Goat

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Wollongong occult doom with a bluesy side. Night Goat’s Chicken Ep and Egg Ep are worth your time.

https://www.facebook.com/nightgoatmusic/

The Love Junkies

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Pretty awesome this, noisy grunge/punk by the Perth band The Love Junkies.

https://www.facebook.com/thelovejunkiesmusic/

Pond

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Pond makes psychedelic rock/pop of great quality, deeply layered music and crafted with love.

https://www.facebook.com/pondling/

The Dunes

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Super fuzzy psych by the Adelaide band The Dunes. They released their ST in october!

https://www.facebook.com/thedunesband/

Baked Beans

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The Melbourne/Geelong band recently signed to Flightless records and is some damn good discovery. uplifting psych tunes from a band i hope to hear a lot from in the future. tune in now.

 

https://www.facebook.com/BAKEDBEANSBANDD/

Nice Biscuit

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Feel good Brisbane psychpop band  Nice Biscuit. buy there album here.

https://www.facebook.com/verynicebiscuit/

Fight Ibis

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This band from Brisbane is a psych/surf/funk mix. Fight Ibis is pure fun and original songwriting. tune in now

https://www.facebook.com/fightibis

Cosmos

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Melbourne heavy psych three piece Cosmos released their new album in April, 2018. The trio mixes heavy psych and blues.

https://www.facebook.com/cosmosmelbourne/

Space Carbonara

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From the Central Coast in Australia comes the psychedelic band Space Carbonara. “Dolphin Man Returns” is the first full LP by the band and was released December 26.

https://www.facebook.com/spacecarbonara/

The Black Heart Death Cult

The Melbourne psychedelic quintet just released their debut LP. A gorgeous album filled with sitar, Mellotron flutes and other psych stuff. check them out!

https://www.facebook.com/theblackheartdeathcult/

Frozen Planet….1969

The Sydney/Canberra instrumental psych band Frozen Planet….1969 released their latest album “The Heavy Medicinal Grand Exposition” in November last year. A gorgeous album filled with cosmic vibes and solos. To make it even better they have given us an unreleased track called “The Mystery Wheel. Listen now.

https://www.facebook.com/Frozenplanet1969/

Numidia

Pretty epic stuff from Sydney here, this band is influenced by Middle Eastern/North African blues and mixes psych/folk and prog. Their new S/T album is out since January 7!

https://www.facebook.com/Numidiaband/

ZONG

A bit on the heavier side of the spectrum but very awesome. here is ZONG, the Brisbane heavy/psych doom band.

https://www.facebook.com/zongbrisbane

The Babe Rainbow

Byron Bay psychedelic pop. Tunes filled with psychedelic vibes and happiness. Listen now.

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https://www.facebook.com/thebaberainbow/

Tropical Fuck Storm

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The newborn Australian band with members of The Drones, High Tension, Mod Con and Harmony.

https://www.facebook.com/tropicalfstorm/


Khan

Geen fotobeschrijving beschikbaar.

Some really good cosmic psych by the Melbourne band Khan.  Did you listen to it yet? did you? DID YOU???

https://www.facebook.com/khanbandofficial/


Badgers

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Check out the debut video from Mebourne’s Badgers fronted by vocalist/guitarist Michael Badger – producer/mixer who has worked with the likes of King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, Amyl & The Sniffers, You Am I, SONS (Belgium) and more – .

https://www.facebook.com/badgerstheband/