Tuesday, 21 April 2009

shaping up nicely

Half finished digipaks!! Half finished digipaks!! Half finished digipaks!! Half finished digipaks!!


havent updated this in a while, this is because im so slack.

here's a nice review of our cd:


'CASTROVALVA (mini-album)'

- Label: 'Brew Records'
- Genre: 'Rock' - Release Date: 'May 4th 2009'- Catalogue No: 'BRW006'

Our Rating:
Written and recorded within one week, this eight track CD will be smuggled out of gigs for not much money and then treasured by its purchasers for a long time to come.

Its 25 hectic minutes are a bit of a mess. Which is pretty much the point. Anthony Wright (Ant) and Daniel Brader (Dan) are bass and drums respectively, with each as culpable as the other of wedging in plenty of additional distortions. eruptions, squeaks and dysfunctional aural blemishes whose origins cannot (and probably should not) be guessed.

One way to imagine how much you might love it would be to start somewhere like Fripp and Bruford on a good day. Get Bruford to play bass, Put Fripp behind the drums without a stool and let them play to a punk audience for an hour and then send then home while the audience nominates two unlikely candidates to emulate what they have just heard without rehearsal.

Maybe I exaggerate a little. CASTROVALVA are a fresher and newer breed than KING CRIMSON, and are probably much more influenced by later generation's post-punk reformulations of rock's primary sources.

But whether I exaggerate or not, it's that joyous recklessness that makes CASTROVALVA what they are. A visceral, outrageous experience of sanity refusal. Very big, not very clever, but intuitively right on the ley line joining Hawkwind to the imagined senescence of Melt Banana.

The main voice is damaged-sounding cymbal splashing and dry hi-tom battering competing with an outrageously disintegrating bass sound. The energy and the tempo keep it moving and there are moments of deeper cunning for variation (and humour's) sake.

"London Kills Me" adopts some atypically well-ordered electronica to unsettle listeners midway through the programme. And then "My Father Bleeds History" restores the belching heaviness to everyone's huge relief. It's more or less the same riff as the earlier (improvised) "Dream Carpet", but louder and a fraction slower. With lashings of pitch-bending noise to puncture (if not punctuate).

"Bellhausen" Germanifies label owner Tom Bellhouse and includes some worrying falsetto voices in space rock style (but not as we know it).

My favourite part is the exchange of punches that open final riff "Triceratops". It seems to be the very Jurassic Beast itself, engaging in some kind of self-mutilating identity crisis, flailing around to rip itself apart one spasmodic thrash at a time.

With music like this being churned out on wing-and-a-prayer labels of love like Brew Records there is absolutely no danger of expressive, rule-breaking, impassioned music ever going away. Three cheers.


Author: Sam Saunders

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

anooooooooooooother review

yep yep yep, another review!


Castrovalva - Mini Album

By Dudley Baker

Even before you’ve began listening to Castrovalva there is already a vague sense of enormity in the coming experience. Like trying to steer a boat across an ocean, there always the possibility of a massive wave about to hit which slams your little boat and leaves you clinging to an oar. Song titles such as ‘Triceratops,’ ‘Bison Scissor Kick’ and ‘Belhausen’ all help conjure a sense of scale, which is probably why they made this a mini album.

When you put the album on though you see why, and your suspicions are all confirmed. A brief wireless broadcast lulls you into a false sense of security, before pummelling you with ‘Max Rhodes,’ a sort of fuzzy stoner workout reminiscent of that most epic of epic bands Kyuss, praise indeed. But it’s not all mega riffs and fuzz, not ALL… And this is where that illusive and tricky term 'prog' pops up. I don’t mean prog as in Rick Wakeman in a silver cape playing and Minimoog, more the sort of jazzy obscure time signatures that always keeps things fresh. Thankfully, after a brief four numbers we get an interlude of sorts in the way of ‘London Kills Me.’ A sort of ambient respite on a treated organ, a good way of calming your ears down and letting some of those images of erupting volcanoes fade away.

But they’re back again all too soon, and your boat is being thrown about once again in the storm. This time though, you’re clinging to the mast with a massive grin on your face.


Tuesday, 24 March 2009

time to rest

Hey hey, so our March mini tour is pretty much over, was great fun playing with the horses and shark guys for a few days - met some great people, saw some awesome things, now its time to sleep loads until our slot at the British Wildlife Fest in Leeds on Sat March 28th, more details on that will be posted soon.


p.s pictures and things of our few days of fun will be up soon.

another cd review to check out


"Castrovalva – Castrovalva

Like, woah dude. This bass-and-drums duo may hail from Leeds (home to many other wonderful experimental rock acts like Bilge Pump, That F***ing Tank and big-new-things in waiting Pulled Apart By Horses), but it’s the sounds of the American underground that Castrovalva pay homage to on their debut mini-album. Using the sonic arsenal of Lightning Bolt to power Melvins-esque sludge riffing, in under half an hour Castrovalva manage to conjure up the sound of the Earth’s bowels loosening in terror: short, sharp noise bursts like “Bison Scissor Kick” and “Triceratops” boast a primeval stomp whose visceral impact most certainly isn’t for the faint hearted. Although there is a tendency for the tracks to blur into one mass of stampeding sonics (only the mercifully short ambient interlude “London Kills Me” and Leemun Smith’s insane wailing over “Bellhausen” alter the formula at all), for a record of this length it’s hardly an issue – and frankly, when it’s a sound this powerful, it’s not much of a complaint to begin with. With a full-length due later in the year and a variety of support slots lined up (including one with doom-gaze maestros Nadja), 2009 looks set to be a good year for Castrovalva, and this mini-album starts things off very un-nicely indeed.

Review by Mark Corcoran-Lettice"

Friday, 20 March 2009


had a SUPER gig in newcastle last night, mega props to the get involved crew for sorting out an awesome night.

pulled apart by horses sweated like real men, the night was fun and we versus the shark were great! we're playing with canadian drone monsters nadja on saturday and back with the horsey and sharks for sunday and monday, pictures and love to follow! xx

i split my jeans right up my arse in newcastle xxx

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

followed by...

another review:


CASTROVALVA: "Castrovalva" (Brew Records)
4th May.
Hard rock,
modern, inventive, violent and
subtle. Technology is deployed
with wit and skill so we get sliced
as well as battered. The guitars
are magnificent, the opener, "Max
Rhodes" being a glorious
headfuck of metal wah-wah and it's
all good to great from there on in
as they cheerfully and smartly gut
art-rock, prog-rock, math-rock and
late 60's psychedelic rock to make their own seamless Frankenstein.
IS IT ANY GOOD? This is fucking brilliant, twelve out of ten, if it's not the rebirth it's certainly the tasty fried afterbirth of hard rock.
WHERE IS IT? www.brewrecords.net