27 August 2021

TARAS BULBA – Sometimes The Night (2021, LP Riot Season)




Label: Riot Season

Format: LP, Album, Limited Edition, Black Vinyl (Housed in a gloss finished full-color outer sleeve with black poly-lined inner bag), 300 copies

Release Date: 30 Jul 2021


In less than a year, Fred Laird (Taras Bulba), released the follow-up LP to 2020’s “Soul Weaver” (check our review here:), the 3rd LP effort is called “Sometimes The Night” and like the previous 2, it is released through Riot Season. The press release reads:

“Taras Bulba, aka ex Earthling Society head man Fred Laird return with third album ‘Sometimes The Night’. The third release from Fred Laird was recorded during the period June 2020 and January 2021 on 24trk home studio recording. It is also the first album recorded purely as a solo artist with the occasional guest and draws more from roots-style music (trad it isn’t) than previous more psychedelic releases.

In Fred’s own words: “Inspiration for the album came from listening to the self-recorded primal music of Hasil Adkins and the first solo Link Wray album for Polydor. The idea of these guys just doing what they wanted back of beyond seemed more akin to me sat in a box room during lockdown feeding off a diet of Billy Chong Kung Fu horror flicks, David Lynch, Noir crime movies, Jean Cocteau, and the works of Yukio Mishima. Musically the sound draws from early Bad Seeds or Crime and the City Solution, Gallon Drunk, Bohren and Der Club of Gore, The Cramps, Hasil Adkins, and various other trash-inspired twilight creatures. I also wanted to try and create that spooky organ sound that dominates the midnight movie classic ‘Carnival Of Souls’, so there’s Quite a lot of organ and piano going on. I also got my hands on a baritone guitar to give the songs more of a deep growly twang! Vocals are provided by Daisy Atkinson for the Jean Cocteau dedication ‘Orphee’ which is the nearest thing to a pop song on the album and the echoey almost Sister Lover’s sound of the title track. I got sick of my own shit voice and I just thought a female voice would give it a more fragile ethereal vibe. Mike Blatchford provides formidable saxophone to the album’s last three tracks which were recorded on his mobile phone 300 miles away and synched into the music. The big blasted swing blues of ‘The Big Duvall’ is a dedication to Andy Duvall of Carlton Melton – a big guy who needed a big song. “Who knows how big the song could have been in a proper studio. I could have dedicated it to John Wayne but Wayne couldn’t chop down trees with his bare hands like Andy can …”

All 9 songs (from 3:50 to 7:40 sec) were written and recorded by Fred Laird. Fred is on baritone and electric guitars, bass, piano, organ, ocarina, Alesis Synth, blues harp, various percussion, drum programming, field recordings, samples, and feedback. Mike Blatchford is on saxophones and Daisy Atkinson is on vocals. The album kicks off with “The Green Eyes Of Dragon”, a satanic laugh and a voice stating “I killed a lot of people. How can I remember? If you really wanna know there’s one way to find out, you can ask him in hell!”, a sample taken from “Kung Fu from Beyond the Grave” (Yin Ji – 1982), a distorted hazy and psych-o-active musical backgrounds unfolds widely, a haunted piano sounding (coming straight out of Murder Ballads), a cursed melody… all these pointing to just one direction… A PSYCH conspiracy is about to take place and the whole ‘musical scenario’ is filling you with extreme curiosity for what comes next… “Orphee” starts giving you the feeling of a late 50s TV theme from a series that deals with paranormal activities, a strong psych-effected tune that acts like an aberrant kind of a ballad song, strange… so strange… The haunted twisted scenery of the opening track comes back on “From The Grave”, it feels like you’re listening to the ghost of Link Wray playing his guitar, trapped in another parallel universe… What an amazing Guitar-Psych tune! On “Night Train To Drug Town” the scenery changes into some kind of Noir Crime film soundtrack directed by David Lynch, it is so hard to describe this incredible atmosphere, it’s a Fantastic Futuristic PSYCH theme, yeah that’s what it is! So incredibly spooky! “One More Lonely Angel” has a Psych dark atmosphere with a cursed piano melody that mixes with a haunting guitar sound making the song a psych-elegy that desperately searches for a climax, but in vain… The self-titled “Sometimes The Night” has ethereal female vocals dressed with a psychotic piano-oriented musical environment, full of melancholic vibes. Just imagine Enya singing with Cave and The Seeds a Brian Eno composition and you’ll definitely get the picture… The next one, “The Sound Of Waves” has a more “rooted” sound, still Psych, of course, a non-digestible tune, with a tremendous folkie pastoral Sax sounding, a track that for once more is diving into weirdness, I Love it! “The Big Duvall” is dedicated to Andy Duvall of Carlton Melton, it is a psych-blues-folkie twisted Cave-ish tune, a Psych-Swamp instrumental played on a lost faraway saloon-bar at the edge of a ghost town… Eventually, the album closes with “House In The Snow”, a loner, a sentimental tune filled with a bittersweet melancholy. Piano takes the lead creating a strong musical background but fragile simultaneously. That gentle and warm sound of the sax adds a feel of the first clear day after a heavy thunderstorm… “Sometimes The Night” is a very difficult and esoteric album, destined to be cult in a few years… And of course, is one of the best albums of 2021… TimeLord Michalis



A1 The Green Eyes Of The Dragon 5:07
A2 Orphee 4:30
A3 From The Grave 5:11
A4 Night Train To Drug Town 6:09
A5 One More Lonely Angel 4:20
B1 Sometimes The Night 7:29
B2 The Sound Of Waves 3:49
B3 The Big Duvall 7:39
B4 House In The Snow 7:28


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