released September 1, 2014
Review from Loud & Quiet (Album Of The Week)
Os Noctàmbulos, while distinctly in the camp of ‘retro’, manage to cast a wider net than most. The smooth rounded production nods as frequently to fifties RnR licks as it does the more honed, pristine sound of ‘golden age’ Bristish & American rock, whilst also taking in country tinged flavours of groups such as Big Star and the Flying Burrito Brothers.
A gentle undercurrent of psych carries the records pace, ebbing and flowing, weaving between the hypnotic and the upbeat garage surf propulsions. Whilst there are plenty of explosive moments, the record feels less focused on scrappy ramshackle ruggedness and more focused on controlled, well crafted and masterfully recorded songs, allowing the Them-era Van Maorrison vocal growls to tear through and elevate above the music.
Craggy DIY production methods favoured by many similar groups are ditched in favour of making a record that sounds like it came from a timewhen large scale recording budgets were still a commonality, creating a record that feels effervescent and gutsy yet considered and poised.
By Daniel Dylan Wray
Review from Bananas Fanzine #10
Corsica Garden + Split 12"
This band based in Paris, has a portuguese name (The Sleepwalkers), an English singer and an album named after an island in the Mediterranean. But rhere's nothing confusing about these two records, which are both terrific and some of the best new stuff i've heard in the past six months. This is moody garage with surfy guitarsand organ but what sets it apart is the topnotch songwriting and vocals.
Songs like 'One Mistake' have such great lyrics that you'll swear they're familiar even though it's brand new; songs like 'Forget Everything' are plainative cries for help that you won't be able to get out of your head. This band only ocassionally rocks very hard or frantic, preferring a dark midtempo beat. I didn't notice that the first few times i listened though, it's all so well accomplished. The only thing that isn't perfect on these records are the intermittent surf instros, which just seem redundant when set next to songs this well written and executed. More, please!
Review from Rock & Folk
Malgré son nom à conosonce ibérique, Os Noctàmbulos est un groupe français qui officie dans la scéne garage parisienne depuis presque deux ans. Dotés en Nick Wheeldon d'un chanteur anglais,le quator propose sur son premier album une dizaine de chansons psychédéliques courtes et efficaces.
On pense aux Seeds ('Devil Don't Hide'), à We The People ('It Scares Me'). "Corsica Garden" brille par qualité de son interprétation - mention spéciale au jeu de guitare sinueux de Valentin Buchens - qui fait de cet album un disque vivant et emballant (et non un vain exercise de styme retro).
By Eric Delsart
Review from Sloucher
Listening to Corsica Garden made me laugh and made me cry. “Why?” I hear you ask. Well in my early years, my constant companion was a tiny transistor radio with an ear-piece (no stereo in those days). The radio was hidden under my pillow and in the depths of the dark early 1960’s night I could pick up Pirate Radio and Radio Luxembourg, listening until I would fall asleep and wake with a signal hum ringing in my ears.
Although the signal would fade in and out with the weather conditions or the strength of the battery, my young ears were filled with garage rock, rock and roll, blues and jazz. So listening to the latest release from Os Noctambulos took me back in time with those emotions. Twangy guitar, all reverb and fuzz, vocals with attitude, throbbing bass and uncomplicated songs.
Please don’t be fooled into thinking that this is a bad thing. Yes, the band wears those Nuggets influences proudly on their sleeves but why not when you can do it this good?
From the word go be in no doubt that this is quality garage psychedelia .Uncomplicated stripped down FREAKBEAT that cannot help to put a smile on your face. From the opening bars of ‘Forever you’ are in no doubt that this is classic Garage/Surf. Even a Dick Dale-ish instrumental ‘Polly’ helps to complete that authentic feel. From The West Coast via Sheffield and Paris!
Corsica Garden may have its roots in the past but the album is fresh as a daisy.
Buy it. 5 /5.
By Keith How
Review from Styrofoam Drone
OS NOCTÀMBULOS released their debut album, Corsica Garden, Septemeber 1, 2014. The promising Franco-British newcomers boast a distinctly 60’s style that combines garage rock, surf, psychadelia and shades of country. Corsica Garden is available on limited edition vinyl from Evil Hoodoo Records in Sheffield.
Os Noctàmbulos is a Portuguese/Spanish name meaning “The Night Owls” or “The Nightwalkers”. The name is derived from the James Ellroy neo-noir novel, “L.A. Confidential”, which features a bar called The Night Owl. Os Noctàmbulos is an extension of Nick Wheeldon’s (guitar/organ/vox) solo project, also influenced by Ellroy. Corsica Garden is surprisingly complimentary to the dark subject matter and notorious staccato sentence style of Ellroy.
Corsica Garden’s sound is based in the primitive beginnings of psychedelic garage rock, heavily influenced by surf rock and early rock n’ roll as evidenced by the rapid staccato picking technique and appealing pop melodies. It’s a difficult movement to replicate; these proto-psych artists were innovators still developing and experimenting with their newfound craft. At times the blossoming genre came off somewhat hodgepodge and chaotic but the vigor exhibited added to the appeal of the emerging sound. Corsica Garden has refined their predecessor’s wide-ranging influences into easily digestible Freakbeat bangers. The lo-fi recording style keeps the release in the realm of “rare psychedelic nugget” instead of coming off as an overproduced imitation pyrite.
Standouts from the debut release include “It Scares Me”, “Forget Everything” and “On The Run”. However, Corsica Garden is stacked with soon-to-be favorites of for fans of psychedelic garage rock.
By G Chivalry
Review from Caustic Whimsy
Some things in life are so good they hurt to consider. Is it safe to believe in magic? If I'm being completely honest, the idea of a modern Franco/Anglo band sounding as if they came from mid-late '60s garage/surf/psych pop era isn't quite impossible to fathom. Plenty of bands try for this sound, but when one seems to nail it so precisely, it seems unreal, and the initial shock upon first listen is considerable. Is every instrument actually played so stylistically as to sound era-specific or era-authentic? Even for myself, it's bit hard to imagine this perfect sound existing in 2014.
"Take my hand. Take my wrist. 'Cause it scares me, what I might do." sings Nick Wheeldon on, perhaps, the best track on Corsica Garden, 'It Scares Me'. Those are convincing words considering Os Noctambulos have pretty much perfected their sound. Nothing on Corsica Garden feels the least labored. If this band can write such masterful pop tunes so seemingly effortlessly, is there any limit to their potential? It scares me to think of what the hell else they "might do". Os Noctambulos belong on a Wes Anderson film's soundtrack. I can undoubtedly state that they have the same chops as any heavy-hitting '60s pop band that I can name-drop. Not only that, but I will, from today forward, rank Corsica Garden among the best albums from any of that era. I don't think it's crazy to set this album alongside the greats.
For music lovers, Corsica Garden is nothing short of beguiling. Os Noctambulos have set a new, bold standard for all modern garage pop bands.
By Mike Monrouge
Review from Sly Vinyl
We did a write up on Anglo-French Paris-based garage/psych revivalists Os Noctàmbulos brilliant split LP with Plantains (now re-named Heaters) on Stolen Body Records earlier this year, and now we see the release of their proper debut-album “Corsica Garden” via Evil Hoodoo Records on September 1.
These guys sound like they come straight out of the 60′s, with their classic, surf-inspired garage rock. Great licks, roaring organs and vocals that makes you wanna start a riot with it’s tense and edgy attitude. This album is really a killer, and grabs a hold on you directly from you drop the needle on “Forever”, and doesn’t let go until it’s way past “Walk On” and has been popping dead centre on side B a dozen times! Jeez, this is some genuine soulful stuff..
Check it out underneath, and be sure to pre-order it asap, as all orders thrown in before release are included in the draw to win a one of a kind signed Test Pressing!
This Limited Edition 12″ Vinyl also comes in official Evil Hoodoo handmade cotton sleeve. (Only direct orders from Evil Hoodoo)
By Sindre Ernst
Review from The Active Listener
Back in 2012 Sheffield's 39th & the Nortons released a "Blonde on Blonde" inspired piece of excellence that I raved about (review here). Since then Nick Wheeldon has relocated to Paris, and his new outfit there, Os Noctàmbulos, have moved onto greener pastures (of a similar vintage).
Gone then are the thin wild mercury sounds of "On Trial", with "Corsica Garden" focusing on quality vintage sounding garage psych which sits firmly in the Seeds / Dovers camp ("On Trial"s "Don't Look Back" showed that Wheeldon already had an affinity for these sounds). Os Noctàmbulos first release - a split album with Plantains a few months ago, proved that he could sustain the style over a lengthier run, and now debut full length "Corsica Garden" is the fulfillment.
The first thing that struck me about "Corsica Garden" was that his three bandmates are on exactly the same page as Nick - particularly successful is the way that Valentin Buchens' spidery guitar leads wind their way around Wheeldon's spooky organ runs, especially on moody slow-burners like "It Scares Me".
Wheeldon's vocals are equally visceral, with palpable anguish in his delivery of the refrain "...I don't understand..." on "Bad Man" which perfectly captures the sense of frustration, brattiness and angst that's long been at the heart of garage-punk.
Elsewhere there's an effective surf guitar instrumental (Polly) which given the gritty, vintage production aesthetic has a hell of a lot more balls than most of the original surf / rockabilly guns, and gives the kings Dick Dale and Link Wray a run for their money.
Vintage garage collectors who wrinkle their nose at the new stuff need this one.
Coming on vinyl September 1st from Evil Hoodoo Records.
By Nathan Ford
Review from Distorsioni
Esordio col botto per questa band che, nonostante abbia un nome che suona portoghese, proviene da oltralpe, precisamente da Parigi. Il loro primo album, dopo uno split con gli americani Plantains (poi diventati Heaters) uscito sempre nel 2014, è una delle novità migliori ascoltate in ambito garage-surf negli ultimi tempi. Gli Os Noctambulos sono il progetto di Nick Wheeldon, chitarrista di origini inglesi ma residente in Francia, già attivo con numerose band di genere garage-psych, come The Heroin Love Jesus Band, The Sparkling Fountains of Magic Reality, The Creep Outs, e 39th & The Nortons. L’album “Corsica Garden” contiene dieci brani, ognuno dei quali potrebbe a pieno titolo rientrare in un volume di “Nuggets”.
In tempi in cui anche le definizioni dei generi musicali sono diventate liquide, e con termini come garage o psichedelia si trovano etichettati album che neanche lontanamente hannoos a che fare con i Sixties, scoprire un album di genuine sonorità anni ’60 è sempre una piacevole sorpresa. Se possiamo individuare nel genere garage due attitudini, quella più punk e quella più rock/R’n’B, l’album degli Os Noctabulos rientra a tutti gli effetti nella seconda categoria. Non di punk urlato si tratta quindi ma di quel garage delle origini che affonda più direttamente e profondamente le sue radici nel rhythm’n’blues, con l’aggiunta della giusta dose di ritmiche surf, quanto basta per rendere Corsica Garden un lavoro molto interessante.
By Rossanna Morriellio
Review from The Garage
So we don't get to hear of many rock bands that came out of Paris in the 1960's. There should be given it's bohemian backstreets were at the heart of so much European culture then. Film directors, actors, singers, artists, poets, jazz clubs, and then there were the student rally's and riots ! Now if that isn't a breeding ground for raw rock and roll nothing is.
Actually after all that the most obvious name to spring out when 1960's Paris is mentioned is Jim Morrison, although he moved there just after the decade was over, along with Jim's interest in rock and roll and his life. No, it has to be said the age of Paris beat groups are filed under 'obscure' in rock history.
Today many major cities in Europe, like Paris are suffering from the financial meltdown that arrived at the end of the last decade and now those Paris backstreets are looking rather worn. There is unrest too, There are undercurrents of some unpleasant political views in the air. These are tough times for Paris.
So maybe that's why Os Noctàmbulos have appeared with their raw 60′s garage psych. It's a sound that should have been bred out of the 60's backstreets but here it is alive today.
Just listen to this surf rock and roll guitar matched with the vocal style backed with a classic 60's farfisa organ or something near and you can very nearly hear the riots going on in the background. What a record this is, and least Parissienne of all it's sung in English. Blimey m'sieur what's happening over there.
Even more oddly their record label 'Evil Hoodoo' are in Sheffield, UK.
Os Noctàmbulos and their superbly named 'Corsican Garden' album is on limted edition vinyl out in September. Advance orders from The Evil Hoodoo website only. But you can hear it all right now.
By The Garage
Review from Optical Sounds Issue No.6
OS Noctàmbulos – Corsica Garden
Following of from Evil Hoodoo’s ace 39th & The Nortons cassette release from last year, we find main man Nick Wheeldon in fine voice with his new Anglo-France beat combo Os Noctàmbulos. Wheeldon seems to have an effortless handle in knocking out nuggets that would make The Seeds in their prime proud.
There is something about Os Noctàmbulos that is both effortless and classic, without ever feeling like winklepicker-ed corny 60’s parody. No filler on here what-soever. Check out ‘Song For Olivier’, which no doubt is a nod to the Shakespearan actor, and a masterclass in soulful psych.
By Brett Savage
Review from Space Rock Mountain
The Anglo-French psychedelic garage rock band Os Noctàmbulos are a band that I believe Amazing Larry had put in for our podcast before, and I think I wrote up a band featuring a member of this group previously, called 39th & The Nortons. Beyond being a band that is British and French musicians with a Portuguese looking name, the group sounds like they're ardent listeners of early garage rock, surf and psychedelia of the 60s. Bearing the unmistakable influence bluesy garage that period such as the Animals, the Monks and the Sonics along with some tracks showing an affinity toward the reverberated style of Dick Dale. Corsica Garden is a fine distillation of the era's sound, almost eerie how much the songs sound like their out of time having just come out this year.
I not only liked the album but I am prepared to defend the fact that it sounds so spot on like 60s groups. Of course that would be impossible to have an absolutely unique style, as all music, and literature and visual art for that matter, is derivative. Yet it is fair to say Os Noctàmbulos aren't derivative as much as purposefully retrospective. Garage rock hasn't been stagnate, for every now and then something like punk comes along and infuses itself into everything, and not the least into garage rock, but it doesn't shift completely otherwise it would cease to be garage rock at all. That said, why can't a modern band play like a band from the 1960s, but perhaps better or more interestingly while leaving out the punk and shoegaze that came later. Especially considering that the actual music from the period was so studio-driven with many hits being written by songwriters from bands that failed to make it big, yet got to see other bands ride to fame with them (I am thinking of the Buckinghams here, who were from Chicago and took that name to seem British and whose hit was written by another Chicago band, yet they're still great).
So some dudes from the United Kingdom and France got together and wrote something that reflects a particular time and place in musical history, but still did a fucking amazing job at doing it and deserve credit for such masterful songwriting. I wholeheartedly enjoyed Os Noctàmbulos and would recommend the album to anyone that is a fan of late-60s garage. Finally, Corsica Garden is being put out by Evil Hoodoo Records, along with a slew of other cool releases.
Review from The 405
Although Corsica Gardens is their debut album proper, Anglo-French Paris-based quartet Os Noctâmbulos are hardly strangers to the world of touring and recording: last year they put out their 39th & The Nortons cassette via Evil Hoodoo, played an amazing set at Liverpool Psych Fest, and recorded what is now their first LP (according to their Bandcamp, the album sessions only lasted two days!).
The album opens with 'Forever' - a beautifully haunting tune that showcases how visceral and incredibly nostalgic Nick Wheeldon's voice can be. 'Song For Olivier''s lo-fi guitars places the band's influences a couple of decades later with its slightly grungy, proto-punk nature. And if 'It Scares Me' appears as one the album's weakest links (its immediate, uninventive structure sounds a bit like a B-side filler, although the keyboards during its second half are a pleasant surprise), we clearly understand why 'Forget Everything' was chosen as one of the release's preview tracks: featuring a very subtle surfy beat (developed later in the album by tracks like 'Polly'), the tune is memorable, dramatic, contagious, and overall stunning - something that you'd expect to see on a Nuggets compilation. Oh, and that organic ending with the lingering keyboards? Beautiful.
Instrumental, Dick Dale-ish track 'Polly' closes the first half of the album: we've now been transported to the Pacific Coast's most perfect wave and the sun is setting smoothly, softly burning your skin. Back to the garage-coloured side of the fence, two more forgettable tracks 'Devil Don't Hide' and 'On The Run' give room to another '60s underground-inspired gem - a fabulous song titled 'Wild' whose desperate undertone oddly makes it something The Wytches could have recorded. Another great garage-sounding track ('Bad Ma') follows, and the half hour of Corsica Gardens ends with the smooth, lullabyesque 'Walk On'.
In a year where neo-psychedelia gains a new dimension and, by losing its novelty status, it becomes necessary to separate the wheat from the tare, Os Noctâmbulos have definitely shown they are not a fad. Corsica Gardens is not perfect, but it's a pretty tight record that showcases the band's potential - and if you're into early Garage proto-psych bands like The Seeds or Electric Prunes, this one is definitely for you.
By Ana Leorne
Review from Sunrise Ocean Bender
Named after their home studio in Massy Palaiseau, France, Anglo-French garage rockers Os Noctàmbulos offer a bag full of Nuggety treats on their first full-length ‘Corsica Gardens.’
Spearheaded by Nick Wheeldon (The Jesus Loves Heroin Band, 39th & The Nortons) Os Noctàmbulos are garage rock revivalists with a sound steeped in ingredients from the top-shelf, managing to sidestep being another retro retread. Sure, they’re targeting a very specific time and sound, but rather than sounding like their aping one hey-day band’s trademarks one to track to the next, Os Noctàmbulos come out of the other side of the garage sounding most like Os Noctàmbulos. That’s what makes them more appealing than just another rehash, as satisfying as that can be when done right. It’s rib-sticking rather than rib-tickling.
Recorded straight to 1/2″ tape and mastered by Matthew Johnson from Hookworms, ‘Corsica Gardens’ doesn’t try to sound like an unearthed gem, or yet another lost classic that you have to know about. All the stylings and tropes are there in the sound and production—the gritty, pebbly guitars, groovy keyboards, frenetic but economical skin beating—but to everyone’s credit involved, they have the good sense to just turn it all down a bit. It only takes a few notes into opener ‘Forever’ to know exactly where Os Noctàmbulos are coming from let alone what they’re aiming for. Unlike many outfits that have such a disciplined focus on a specific vibe, Os Noctàmbulos know as much as we do that you don’t have to hit us on the head. We get it. And we know get that they get it.
Now that that’s out of the way, get on with it. Get on with the songs … if you have any underneath all the sleight of hand effects. ‘Corsica Gardens’ has them, and has more than just one that gets redone over and over and called an album. ‘Forever’ is part yearning, part desperation and actually, a full on love song. So is ‘Song for Olivier’ in many ways (aren’t they all?) but it has its own notes and notions. It may be the same story over and over through the history of the world, but it’s unique from one jilted heart to the next. ‘It Scares Me’ plays up the circular surf guitar a bit more as well as hands over a good chunk of its character to the keys ensuring their status as anything but second fiddle in the combo. They most certainly earn their keep on the stellar and snotty ‘Wild.’ And yes, ‘Wild’ sounds just like you think it would … and should. Sexy, swaggering and desperately lustful. ‘Bad Man’ shows them equally adept at working up a fuller head of steam without resorting to phoning in the overkill to get there as much as the instrumental ‘Polly’ shows they don’t need any water-wings in the surf. Along with Coline Presley, Baldo and Valentin Buchens, Nick Wheeldon show through ‘Corsica Gardens’ that they actually have a handle on what makes all this work and possess more than just unbridled love for their era of choice.
A desirous, lustful and often hurt heart is great. It goes a little further if you got a plan. Os Noctàmbulos have one, one that seems effortless. They turned the garage into a garden without missing a beat.
By Mr Avatist
Review By Raw Power Magazine
Lorsque l'on a ouvert cette rubrique, en début d'année, destinée aux disques de groupes français, on imaginait pas que l'on aurait autant de choses à vous présenter ! Déjà un sixième volume et il est pas impossible qu'un septième acte ne voit le jour avant la fin de l'année...
Os Noctambulos c'est un groupe parisien mené par un anglais expatrié en France, Nick Wheeldon (complète le line-up, Coline Presley à la basse, Valentin Buchens à la guitare et Baldo derrière les fûts.) qui vient de sortir son premier album, Corsica Garden. Et disons le tout net, il s'agit de la belle surprise de cette fin d'année. Un album qui s'adressera particulièrement à celles et ceux qui ont biberonné aux Nuggets.
L'ombre de Sky Saxon et des Seeds plane sur ce Corsica Garden inspiré ("Wild" ; "Devil Don't Hide"). La section rythmique est impressionnante de justesse ("Bad Man"), offrant une assise remarquable permettant toutes les fantaisies à la guitare (jeu brillant de Valentin Buchens) ou à l'orgue, tenu par Nick Wheeldon.
Un Nick Wheeldon qui par sa gouaille, vient trancher avec ce que l'on a l'habitude d'entendre dans le genre et place le groupe au niveau des meilleurs, dans un style où la concurrence est particulièrement rude.
En sus, les Os Noctambulos s'avèrent aussi à l'aise sur les ballades ("Walk On"), les titres plus mid tempos ("Forever"), les envolées psychédéliques ("It Scares Me") que sur les morceaux plus enlevés ("On The Run"). Ils peuvent même se permettre un petit instrumental surf histoire de varier les plaisirs ("Polly").
Là où moult groupes auraient peiné à rendre une pâle copie de leurs illustres aînés, les Os Noctambulos offre un disque brillant, rétro mais jamais passéiste.
By Franky Stooge
Review By Longeuer Dondes
Quand le vibrato est là, tout va… Ici, cet accessoire légendaire de la guitare électrique est à l’honneur. Normal, on est dans un bon vieux rock garage avec chant exclusivement anglophone, on naviguerait presque dans les années 80, le rock poisseux de l’époque, lorsque les derniers rescapés du punk ne voulaient rien lâcher, et que les jeunes loups qu’étaient Gun Club et Real Kids – entre autres – amorçaient déjà un premier revival de ce style apparu vingt ans auparavant.
Puis en rencontrant « Polly », on prend un trou de ver pour se retrouver justement dans ces glorieuses années 60, où les tempos s’accélèrent pour une virée surf, histoire de varier les plaisirs. À noter également, la présence d’un orgue, ce qui est indéniablement un plus. La voix a un petit côté Tom Verlaine dans le timbre et la générosité, éraillée à souhait, émotive. Psyché, rock, surf, garage, ceux qui en veulent, allez-y ! soundcloud.com/os-noct-mbulos
By Mathieu Fuster
Review by Long Player / Late Blogger
Au risque d'avoir l'air de l'idiot du village, j'ai une idée fixe qui tout le temps me chatouille : un album, c'est tout ou rien.
Soit épique soit fiasco, insurrectionnel ou alors sirop, c'est ça un album, ça doit être ça et rien d'autre.
Os Noctambulos avec Corsica Garden ( Evil Hoodoo Records GB), dernier des projets de Nick Wheeldon ( The Jesus Loves Heroin Band et 39th & The Nortons) tombe à pic pour remettre en question ces certitudes adolescentes.
Corsica Garden c'est un palmier au milieu des pins, ni pasteurisé ni pyrotechnique, et pourtant plus fort qu'une toile de maître, une toile éminemment abrasive, qui vire toupie et train électrique parfois pour qui a connu ça. Pas de raz de marée, juste une putain de ballade sur la grève entre houle sévère et soleil brûlant, mais une ballade de gosse de riche, les pieds nus survolant les rochers, entre baignade intrépide et écorchures d'escalade.
Intègre et passionnant, c'est ça aussi un album, un vrai. L'album sort le 1° Septembre, en vente sur Evil Hoodoo Records.
By Lester Bangs
Review from Is Your Clam In A Jam
Os Noctambulos are from Paris, and for a city whose psychedelic scene seems to be moving more towards the pop side of things (Melody’s Echo Chamber, Moodoid etc) they take things deep into the gritty night. Equally inspired by 60s US garage as its current revival, their reverb drenched moonshine music strikes a chord (or three) in a way that most nostalgic revivalists can’t, in the sense that they manage to keep things interesting and fresh.
A Song For Olivier is a sleepless night, lying in bed with a lamp-post’s light shining dimly though your shutters. You roll around in bed trying to sleep but all you can think is what your former lover is doing without you. All you need is to be together, but all your thoughts are directed towards what they are doing without you, you try and get high but your loneliness would only make matters worse. You’ve tried to put your love across but their indifference, the constant worry in your mind, keeps your mind on pins and needles. As you hear a click the light outside turns off, you stare at the white ceiling and wake up in the daylight. There’s a message on your phone and you realise that maybe it’s only the spiders in your mind that won’t leave you alone.
Check out A Song For Olivier below (you can download it for free too!) below and go get their excellent album, Corsica Garden out on Evil Hoodoo.
By Gio Arlotta
Review from Psych Insight
Every now and again you discover some music that just blows you away, it speaks to you so directly and viscerally that you cant really explain why you like it. Even more rarely comes something that completely changes your musical frame of reference and sets you off on a new path, exploring new directions which feel fresh and exciting.
This is how I felt when I first heard the, what I now know to be, famous and highly influential Nuggets compilation; expanded to cover four CDs worth of mind-blowing material. That was in 1998, a full thirty years after the originals were recorded. Not only was I amazed by what I’d heard, I wondered why it had taken me so long to come across it.
Hearing those songs, and the subsequent Nuggets II of tracks from “The British Empire and Beyond” provided me with the missing link for so much music that I already liked as well as providing me with a new touchstone for great music (as regular readers will probably have guessed by now), and a baseline from which to explore the sixties afresh.
This also planted the seed for my love of psych music, which has been germinating for the past four years or so; and has helped me to appreciate a wide variety of bands who might have otherwise passed me by. Some of these might seem abstract, but that most definitely cannot be said of Os Noctambulos whose new album comes out at a time when I’m re-exploring the Nuggets era: I’ve been listening to a lot of likes of Crystal Syphon, The David, and The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band.
Corsica Garden is the first real chance I’ve had to listen to Os Noctambulos and I must say that I like what I hear. From the first bars of ‘Forever’ there is no doubt that this is a band that locates themselves primarily in the sixties as far as influences are concerned, yet it is a testament to the power of garage/ psych/ proto-punk/ freakbeat/ surf rock (whatever you want to call it) that it still sounds so fresh today.these are songs that are stripped back of all the accretions that years and years of rock and roll deposits have left on music, it takes us back to the source. But it takes us there through great songwriting and playing.
Mastered by MJ of Hookworms, this is an album that is, itself, like a compilation because Os Noctambulos turn their collective to talented hands to many of the aforementioned genre in a way that still makes this sound like a coherent album rather than a collection of songs.
I like this album because it’s a kind of ‘one stop’ for many of the sounds that I really like. I like this album because it puts a huge smile on my face. I like this album because it reminds me of what rock and roll music is all about, and where it came from.
by Simon Delic
Article from One Good Thing A Day
Harnessing hooks not seen since bands from the Original Nuggets compilation, Os Noctàmbulos‘s take on the garage/psych-rock of that era still sounds fresh despite musically being so out of time.
It’s crisply produced (by MJ from Hookworms), which accentuates the sharpness on display from the band.
Although there are a couple of stand-out tracks, this album really needs to be experienced as a whole.
From Louder Than War
Relative newbies on the Parisian garage scene, Os Noctàmbulos have just dropped their debut album. Louder Than War’s Craig Chaligne reviews.
Os Noctàmbulos have become a fixture in the Parisian garage scene. Formed late in 2012, the quartet have been gigging constantly in the French Capital and made a successful appearance at The Liverpool International Festival Of Psychedelia in September 2013. The band headed by Sheffield born musician Nick Wheeldon was formed following his relocation to France. Coline Presley, bass player in Nick’s former outfit The Jesus Loves Heroin Band stayed on board and they were joined by Valentin Buchens on lead guitar (former bandmate of Coline in Le Mans Surf Rock combo Elvis…) and Baldo on drums (artist and an enduring presence on the garage scene in Paris).
They have just released their first album Corsica Garden recorded last year in Baldo’s home studio in Massy Palaiseau, it could have also been recorded in Los Angeles in 1965. Strongly reminiscent of bands you could find on The Nuggets compilation, it will please any Seeds fan with Valentin channeling his inner Jan Savage on most of the tracks. Nick’s powerful vocals set them apart from the legion of garage bands on circuit nowadays with the rhythm section of Coline and Baldo doing a fine job with some really nice bass parts courtesy of Coline (the one on opening number Forever for example).
The band wear their influence on their sleeves (Song For Olivier) but the execution is so good that they pull it off. There are some subtle touches like the organ on It Scares Me and Wild that show that although recorded over a short period of time, great care was put in the sonic texture of the record. The band members past endeavors are not forgotten with the instrumental Polly honoring Coline and Valentin’s former project. The album closes with a song that differs slightly in style from its companions, Walk On with its guitar arpeggios and organ “a la” House Of The Rising Sun prove that the band is far from a one trick pony and might venture in different territories on further recordings.
By Craig Chaligne
Review from Norman Records
I'm very much enjoying this debut LP by Anglo-French psych-rock newcomers Os Noctambulos, who are obviously well schooled in the sounds of '60s garage, psych and surf rock, carving out immaculate little pop gems full of Doors-ish organ and jagged reverbed Seeds-esque guitar, with occasional diversions into countryish jangle and a healthy dose of surf rock.
They stomp their way through ten tracks in half an hour here, with plenty of good ideas of the couurse of the record. Songs like the pummelling 'Bad Man' show that they're not shy of straightforward garage punk (and not bad at it either) but they're at their best on the more mid-paced and moody numbers like 'On The Run' and opener 'Forever', which is really hitting the spot with its dreamy clouds of backing vocals and Hank Marvin-esque guitar. Surf instrumental 'Polly' is excellent too, a nicely swampy take on the likes of Davie Allen and Dick Dale. Really excellent stuff, highly recommended for those who like Nuggets/Pebbles-inspired psychedelic pop.
By Mike (Staff)
Traditional psych rock act Os Noctambulos are set to release their debut record, 'Corsica Garden', produced by genre maverick Nick Wheeldon, who's worked with acts such as the Jesus Loves Heroin Band. Os Noctambulos subvert the norms of their favourite sound, clouding the room up with a psych atmosphere but dabbling in surf rock riffs and country twang. 'Corsica Garden' is a lucky dip of weird shit and catchy jams.
From We Are The Last Beatniks
Another little gem from Paris´s Nick Wheeldon . Originally I started as a fan posting all his early bands, and now he release one of the more relevant records that came out these days. Os Noctambulos´s Corsica Garden is a very nice addition to wearethelastbeatniks diversely catalogue.
Not unlike labels-mates Los Tentakills, Heaters (formerly Plantains) or Haunted Leather, Os Noctambulos have this 60´s-garage-surf-rock-over- an-AM radio thing down to a science.
There are more than enough of these types of bands popping up all over the countries lately, and most only a handful of them will we possibly remember this time next year. Os Noctambulos is sure to be one of them,for me anyway.
Os noctambulos is the last project of a man named Nick Wheeldon ,from Sheffield althought Paris based. He’s got a few solid releases out there under The Heroin Love Jesus Band, The Sparkling Fountains of Magic Reality , The Creep Outs, and 39th & The Nortons ,he gives us now “Cosica Garden”, ten jangly,vintage radio tunes with enough insanely catchy melodies to stick to your brain for weeks at a time.
Trust me. It’s all here. Early 60’s inspired vocal harmonies- check. Washed out,surf-y guitar jangle- check. Tons of treble and reverb dripping from it all- check. Wheeldon’s spooky farfisa swirls- check. The songs possess a ardent and lonely quality that make this album luscious to any vintage garage collectors .These are paced shakers for long drives, headphones or morning rituals.
This has made this week a good one. You can download digital versions as free if you want it to be, or you can get a physical copy from bandcamp , you should probably do that . Also,check out his equally awesome split with Plantains from last feabruary on there now!
Review from Shindig Magazine
If you’ve got a wheezy-and-Seedsy garage itch, Paris-based Os Noctàmbulos (The Night Owls in Portuguese Spanish) will scratch you until you are purring. Formed bySheffield singer and guitar player Nick Wheeldon (formerly of The Jesus Loves Heroin Band) they distil the whinier side of Nuggets and stir in a swirl of surf guitar. The band has played at Liverpool Festival of Psychedelia but there’s no tendency to noodle and navel-gaze; every song is stripped down to a three minute blast.
Opening tracks ‘Forever’ and ‘Song For Olivier’ are storming; Nick’s vocals are full of despair and raw emotion, the organ wheedles away, and there’s a rolling, Them-like feel that’s comforting and familiar. That familiarity, however, works against the band a little, with songs tending to drift into predictable territory. Garage-punk like this works best when it’s teetering on the edge of insanity; a little more derangement wouldn’t go amiss.
Review by Kate Hodges