Dead Skeletons, Föllakzoid: The Kazimier, Liverpool

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Dead Skeletons dragged their bones to the Kazimier, Getintothis’ Mark Greenwood was frightened and amazed all at once.


After some door confusion Getintothis are relieved to enter the Kazimier to witness the long awaited appearance of Dead Skeletons and Föllakzoid in a slightly transformed venue, appropriately kitted out with white screens that cordially await psychoactive projections.
There’s a healthy audience tonight, emphasising that the psych-rock, stoner scene is alive and kicking on Merseyside.
Getintothis have to remain sober tonight which is poor preparation for a Dead Skeletons show.
Nonetheless, the band opens up with their inimitable blend of hypnotic death psych which proves useful as a diversion from alcoholic abstinence.
The band takes a while to warm up but it isn’t long before we’re swallowed up in a vortex of smouldering incense, layered choral textures and deadly vocal diatribes that sizzle in the afterglow of a debauched space ritual.
Vocalist and frontman Jón Sæmundur Auðarson resembles a slightly demonic Iggy Pop, dug-up and resurrected to bewilder and enchant the audience with a catalogue of deadly spells, while absently fumbling with a skull and keeping a watchful eye on rogue incense sticks.
Meanwhile, his accomplices aptly adhere to anti-nomistic instruction, deftly delivering a steady barrage of pulses, sweltering bass and over-driven crypto-guitars.
Dead Skeletons are conceptually intriguing, embracing the materiality of the psych genre and adding a slightly macabre twist that at times teeters on the edge of absurdity.
At times the band takes themselves a little too seriously without any hint of self-effacing irony.
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Dead Skeletons at Kazimier, Liverpool
Nonetheless, they can be genuinely frightening at times, inscribing the audience’s psyche with an assemblage of fluttering skulls and strange Nordic symbols.
The brilliantly malefic Dead Mantra soon subsumes a generous Kazimier audience, initiating a bizarre danse macabre in the venue and sending us home with a smile on our faces.
Once again, the collaboration between Harvest Sun promotions and Liverpool Psych Fest appears to be bearing ripe fruits that continue to nourish vibrant interest in a genre considered by many as essential to the character of the Liverpool music scene.
Long may they prosper in bringing important international acts to these shores.
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Föllakzoid at the Kazimier, Liverpool
Föllakzoid deliver sizable portions of epic psychedelia, driven by ominous, un-repenting drones and serial kraut-rock rhythms.
There’s a lot of repetition, though every iteration of a grooving synesthetic is augmented and peppered with stellar guitars and rambling loops of delayed analogue noise.
Föllakzoid deliberately adhere to a dark, minimalist sensibility, which despite its simplicity succeeds in guiding the listener through a litany of stark alien landscapes and a confusion of visual/ sonic realms.
Ritualistic chanting and holy incantations shimmer in a haze of scratchy visuals, emerging colours accompanying a swirl of ectoplasmic shapes and throbbing pulsars.
Föllakzoid are damn good, negotiating a fine line between space rock and the candid obliqueness of bands such as Can and Faust, where structured rhythms and oscillations allow for impromptu variations and detailed dithers that build and unfold in intensity, beguiling an appreciative audience.
Pictures by Getintothis’ Keith Ainsworth.
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