It’s great to see Obscured By Clouds resurface after quite a few years, and they’ve put together a live album that has production values on par with some studio efforts. Consider This A Message is one of the darker, moodier tracks the band has to offer, but if you dive into the rest of the songs you’ll discover a diverse listen that spans the entirety of the rock spectrum.
"Recording five performances – four in Seattle and one in Los Angeles – during the Psycheclectic tour..." "Thermospheric, an eight-track live album that brings Psycheclectic to life... high-definition videos of the performance... The Blu-Ray will also feature a secret track not available on the CD."
- RJ Frometa
VENTS MAGAZINE (2017)
Hear about upcoming events, gigs, videos, reviews and album releases.
2017 PSYCHEDELIC ROCK BAND OBSCURED BY CLOUDS TO RELEASE THERMOSPHERIC OCTOBER 27TH VIA PSYCHECLECTIC RECORDS
"Pink Floyd was really responsible for my love of music, and I don’t throw that band name down loosely," says William Weikart, the frontman and mastermind behind Obscured By Clouds, a psychedelic, art-rock outfit that doesn't shy away from its heavy Pink Floyd influences. Described by Classic Rock Magazine as, "contemporary touchstones are Type O Negative and Mastodon’s artier moments… The results are exceptional and impressive," Weikart delivers a brand of stoner rock that has one foot in the classics, but isn't afraid to take charge and forge its own spacey, oft-times tripped-out path.
"I delved deeply into their music and catalogs," Weikart continues, "as I did with so many bands in an exhaustive, passionate inculcation of music and the creative process. Standing alone, Pink Floyd was everything that made music amazing, I would say. If I were laying on a beach with crashing waves in a half conscious state, there would be no better music floating across the sand than 'Relics,' 'More,' 'The Madcap Laughs,' or even early 'Tangerine Dream.' Okay, and one hundred other bands too.”
It's Weikart's unabashed love of Pink Floyd that not only named his band, but gave him the foundation for Psycheclectic, the band's eight track debut which found Progressive Magazine proclaiming that Obscured By Clouds "employs a hefty dose of Pink Floyd influence as a launching pad… into space/psych/prog realms, which also summons hints of Nick Drake, Bowie on barbiturates, and Hawkwind. The band deftly dabbles in acoustic texturing amidst flowing symphonic atmospheres."
For Weikart, however, the recording process is only a small part of the process. Weikart lives for the live show, both as a spectator and a performer. Recording five performances - four in Seattle and one in Los Angeles - during the Psycheclectic tour, Weikart's Psycheclectic Records is gearing up for the October 27, 2017 release of Thermospheric, an eight-track live album that brings Psycheclectic to life, both through an audio recording which will be released as a CD and digitally, and high-definition videos of the performance accompanying every song, which will be released on Blu-Ray. The Blu-Ray will also feature a secret track not available on the CD.
Included on Thermospheric are seven of the eight songs from Psychecletic ("Hot Little Box" is absent) and two new ones: "Miraculous" and "Bleed."
The outcome, as Weikart describes it, is "The sound of five musicians rendering their love of music through their heart into sound and the songs you hear. It is always raw and on the verge of edge of feedback or meaningful lyrical vibrance. The idea is that the vastness of our perceptions are underwhelmed by our ignorance and the only way to overcome this is to extend our attention span far into the details of meaningfulness and participation."
Of the two new songs, "Bleed" pre-dates the release of Psycheclectic, but Weikart was never quite pleased enough with the recordings, so it was excluded from their debut. However, he is very happy with the live version, and thus happy to finally see it released commercially. "Miraculous" wasn't completed by the time Psycheclectic was to be recorded, so the song got shelved — until now.
"'Miraculous' was an underdeveloped song and didn't make the cut in time," Weikart says of the song. "I was able to see through more dimension to what I wanted to say, and then later filled in the empty spaces in the process of our live performances."
Of the two new songs, Weikart decided to include them on Thermospheric because he "always likes to play new music at a gig so people can feel that they’re a part of the creative aspect of our journey. I am prepared to dare ourselves to let go and play improv, and everyone accepts the dare - we are freed in that letting go - that’s where the qubit goes musically and willfully."
"'Bleed,' he continues, "is a song originally written, but never fully released, and now we have a live version and this is the first time it's officially released, which works for me. People could see the new song live without a preconception of it because it's new. If I can include the audience in a truly live experience, I want to try something new in bringing out the soul of progressive ideas about music and instrumentation. It’s okay to play what you feel and not cut yourself off from the love you feel for the raw instrument in your hands: keys, strings, sticks on your fingertips can’t be too far off and away from our spirits."
That is why Weikart is so proud to bring Psycheclectic to life with Thermospheric.
The opening song, “Soft Cheeked and Worried” flows out of the introduction with the sonic imagery of drifting desert clouds holding the darkness yet unrevealed, the light on a the next horizon, and the unknown. The song begins starkly barren with only one rhythm guitar juxtaposed against thunder, then flourishing instrumental entrances prevail, the grand piano’s frenetic unleashing, and the warm tones of an endless sustain of electric guitars just on the edge of feedback, before the darkness falls and such feedback envelopes the clouds of sound. This song draws through stark verses and descending chromatic virtually atonal choruses, stop CODA’s, and concludes with a droning wall of sound of beaming e-bow guitar sustained feedback and oscillating synthesizers. The music video shots of the band on stage use so much strobing on the Blu-ray that we need a WARNING for people who may be triggered by flashbacks and seizure safety protocols.
“Zoë Zolofft” holds true as an obscure Syd Barrett-esque song in homage, a song about a girl, a sitar, and modern pharmakinetics; and concludes with the sonic imagery of the splintered spokes of a broken and wobbling wheel via Mitch Mitchell backwards Hendrix-ian backward beat.
“Faiths’ Soul” ingathers all the world’s religiosity and dogma versus meaninglessness and distortion that subdue our consciousness and participation; such capacity to think beyond these limitations and endure has it’s own source and singularity beyond ourselves, the weight of humanity, and modern cultures’ illusions.
“Consider This A Message” strikes the oceanic waves pounding the hull of the ghostly ship of fools sinking, the crew clawing climbing overtop to reach the mast and be the very last to sink. Star-crossed and untoward, the fated take the longest road.
“Cast Close the Gate" is a three-minute song with the obligatory grand ending of feedback unlike anything you may have heard before. The feedback on the guitar at the end of the song alone will reset the gauge for guitar weirdness. The guitar sounds like a space-craft crashing on a forbidden planet.
“Love’s Love” has a more mellow cadence, that ascribes the duality and simultaneity in few words with a Floydish-ly acoustic accompaniment.
Ending with "The Drip Feed (Spoken Word)," the entire album has an intriguingly measured intensity revealing the themes of modernity in all their complexity and simplicity.
If you have never heard Psycheclectic, Thermospheric takes it to another dimension for you. If you have, Thermospheric steps out from behind all veils, preconceptions, or limitations here. This album is a very eclectic amalgam holding potential for an introspective journey waiting for discovery.
"The instruments produce the thematic thermospheric elements; there's a lot of sound and instrumentation going on here," Weikart says of Thermospheric. "The lyrics are the indulgence of commentary over the complete unknown and jagged structure of the raw instruments, semi-tones, and chords. The instrument becomes a beast, a spear, a vast bow, a laser landscape set fire by a sheet of sound and feedback, a weapon of love to subdue and maybe even slay. The venue becomes the sound reflecting off the back of the room."
If one thing is clear, it's that words are unable to describe Weikart, Obscured By Clouds, and Thermospheric. One must listen to the album themselves, preferably on headphones, in a dark room, to fully grasp the entirety of Obscured By Clouds' vision.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT ALEX STEININGER AT IN MUSIC WE TRUST PR.
“…Obscured By Clouds unquestionably have immense potential.” “…The results are exceptional and impressive.” “…Contemporary touchstones are Type O Negative and Mastodon’sartier moments.
– Classic Rock Magazine (2009)