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Friday Full-Length: Cactus, Cactus

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 20th, 2017 by H.P. Taskmaster

Cactus, Cactus (1970)

Quite simply one of the best heavy rock records ever released, and more likely than not you don’t need me to tell you that. The 1970 self-titled debut from Cactus, with the classic lineup of vocalist Rusty Day (The Amboy Dukes), guitarist Jim McCarty (The Buddy Miles Express), bassist Tim Bogert (Vanilla Fudge) and drummer Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge) stands among the all-timers. Put it up against SabbathLed Zeppelin, Cream, I don’t care who. The first in a heavy rock holy trinity of original-lineup Cactus releases with 1971’s One Way… or Another (discussed here) and Restrictions behind it, it was originally issued on Atco Records and retains a country-blues swagger the better part of half a century later that utterly distinguishes them from their peers, and from the manic thrust of their take on Mose Allison‘s “Parchman Farm” which opens to the harmonica-laden swing of “Bro. Bill” on down through the rush of “Let Me Swim” and the finale drum showcase of “Feel so Good,” there is not a fuckwithable second to be found herein. Hyperbole? You bet your ass.

Among the many elements Cactus‘ Cactus boasts over its heavy ’70s peers from outfits like DustMountain — both also Long Island bands — as well as groups like Atomic RoosterLeaf Hound, and so on, is that it’s unabashed, unashamed fun. Even the wistful “My Lady from South of Detroit,” which is an immediate and bold departure from the opener into acoustic balladry, is basically a song about getting laid. And then they move into “Bro. Bill,” which remains one of the best heavy rock hooks ever conjured, and through Willie Dixon‘s “You Can’t Judge a Book by the Cover” — listen to Bogert‘s bass! — revive the thrust with “Let Me Swim,” blues jam on “No Need to Worry” with McCarty‘s astonishing lead work, tie the blues and the rock together on “Oleo” (again, the bass, this time in a well-earned solo) and then wrap with the aforementioned “Feel so Good,” which, yes, does pull back from its drum solo to give the record a proper ending, and god damn, it’s just perfect. There’s no other word for it. It’s everything a classic American heavy rock album should have been and should be in its attitude, energy and execution. No pretense, no posturing — only 40 of the most efficiently killer minutes ever put to tape. Though I’ve always kind of associated it as a summer record, it remains an utter joy to revisit year-round, and seems to heat up any room in which it plays from the inside out. Fire on a platter.

As will almost invariably happen, the history of Cactus post-original lineup becomes more complicated the farther one follows it through the years. After Restrictions, the band split with Day and McCartyBogert and Appice brought in keyboardist Duane Hitchings, guitarist Werner Fritzschings and vocalist Peter French (Leaf Hound) for 1972’s ‘Ot ‘n’ Sweaty, which opened with a redux of “Let Me Swim,” and though Hitchings would soon lead the short-lived The New Cactus Band and Day had his own version of Cactus prior to his still-unsolved murder in 1982, it would not be until 2006 that Bogert, Appice and McCarty played together again, joining forces with ex-Savoy Brown singer Jimmy Kunes for Cactus V and playing reunion shows.

They’ve done gigs off and on in the decade since — bassist Pete Bremy replacing Bogert in 2008, Fritzschings once more stepping in on guitar for a time — but in 2016, Cactus released a sixth full-length, Black Dawn, with Kunes, McCarty, and Appice alongside Bremy and harmonica-ist Randy Pratt, and toured to support it as well. Not that one needed proof of the continued relevance of the original lineup, but the final two cuts on Black Dawn, “Another Way or Another” and “C-70 Blues,” are lost cuts featuring Day, McCarty, Bogert and Appice, and well, if those don’t qualify as bonus tracks, nothing in the universe does.

All that shuffling of personnel makes CactusCactus seem even more like simpler times, and getting lost in the languid blues flow of “No Need to Worry,” one not only misses Day‘s raw-throated whiteboy soul, but can’t help but imagine what Cactus would’ve gone on to do had they held it together following Restrictions, which offered some jammier stylistic expansion. But maybe that’s being greedy. Any way you want to approach, the self-titled Cactus is a special, special album, and there’s nothing else — nothing they did after, nothing anyone else has done — quite like it. Classic. Essential. The words seem pale.

As always, I hope you enjoy, and I’m quite confident you will.

If you’ll forgive me, I’m going to try to be somewhat expeditious in wrapping this up. Not out of any particular hurry to be done with it so much as a hurry to get to work on the ‘Tomorrow’s Dream’ post of 2017’s most anticipated albums. There are, according to my half-assed count of the list, over 150 of them, with 35 of the year’s biggest upcoming releases highlighted and the rest listed under three categories of likelihood that they’ll happen — from ‘Gonna Happen and Likely Candidates’ to ‘Definitely Could Happen’ to ‘Would be Nice’ — and like the complicated history of Cactus, it’s a lot to sort through.

My hope is basically to write that all weekend and get it posted on Monday. Here’s how the rest of the week is shaping up so far:

Mon.: 150+ Most Anticipated Releases of 2017 list. Also some news from Bison Machine and others.
Tue.: Track premiere from Altar of Betelgeuze, video premiere from Pater Nembrot.
Wed.: Either a PH track premiere or a Hymn review, and a Dr. Keyboardian video.
Thu.: Either a Hymn review or a PH track premiere.
Fri.: All Them Witches review.

Obviously all of that could change, and the day for that PH premiere is still TBA, but I’m hopeful it will be one or the other.

Quite a week this week. I had Monday off and left work early on Wednesday and was out yesterday just for being kind of wiped out, but still plenty beat. Family coming up this weekend though from Connecticut, and the universe seems to be in a pretty constant state of chaos, so I’m just gonna drink my coffee and try to get by. That’s what I’ve got.

Of course, I wish you a great and safe weekend. Please have some fun, be safe, and check back Monday for that mega-list and more besides.

And don’t forget the forum and radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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Ceremony of Sludge VI Lineup Announced: Witch Mountain, Disenchanter, Year of the Cobra, Lamprey and Troll to Play

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 20th, 2017 by H.P. Taskmaster

It’s been my pleasure to write about the Portland-based festival Ceremony of Sludge in various ways over the years, from posting lineup news as you see below to videos afterwards, to basically just being entranced by Portland’s commitment to supporting its own underground, wishing I could be there, blah blah blah. Lots of the latter, of course. This year’s lineup, for Ceremony of Sludge VI, feels even more special. Witch Mountain are arguably the biggest band to have played the fest, and they’ll headline a no-filler five-band single-night bill with veterans Disenchanter, a Lamprey reunion (!), newcomer doomers Troll, who released their self-titled debut back in October and are waiting to be picked up by this or that label in three, two, one, and Seattle duo Year of the Cobra.

Though they’re playing in the middle of the lineup, I mention Year of the Cobra last to highlight the fact that the two-piece showcase Ceremony of Sludge VI reaching outside the confines of Portland itself, something I can’t say definitively off the top of my head it’s never done before, but which is certainly rarer than not — one of five, in this case. Add to that the fact that the show is a benefit for the ACLU and Planned Parenthood in Portland, and fuck yes, it’s worth supporting. If you happen to live in that corner of the world, attendance is absolutely a no-brainer.

Info follows:

ceremony of sludge vi

Ceremony of Sludge VI Comes to High Water Mark, Portland

CEREMONY OF SLUDGE VI: Benefit For Planned Parenthood and ACLU Of Oregon
MARCH 11th at High Water Mark | Portland, OR
$10 – $20 sliding scale

Portland Heavy Seen, Cravedog,Inc. and Soundcontrol PDX present Ceremony of Sludge VI, to be held March 11th at High Water Mark in Portland, Oregon. This year the annual heavy-music fest is donating 100% of proceeds to local branches of Planned Parenthood and The ACLU of Oregon. The show is 21+ and $10 – $20 (sliding scale) at the door.

Ceremony of Sludge VI lineup:

March 11th
Witch Mountain
Disenchanter
Year Of The Cobra
Lamprey
Troll

Limited edition show posters by Sarah Crosley and merch provided by Cravedog, Inc. will be available for purchase, with all proceeds going into the donation fund.

https://www.facebook.com/ceremonyofsludge
https://www.facebook.com/soundcontrolpdx
http://www.cravedog.com/

Witch Mountain, Live at Saint Vitus Bar, Oct. 7, 2016

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Troubled Horse to Release Revolution on Repeat March 31

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 20th, 2017 by H.P. Taskmaster

troubled horse photo oskar omne

Seemed like Swedish classic heavy rockers Troubled Horse kind of went to ground after the cycle ended for their 2012 debut, Step Inside (review here). They played a few fests, some shows besides, and put out a video for “Bring My Horses Home” (posted here) in 2014, but half a decade is a considerable span between a first and second album, so their return is a welcome one. Revolution on Repeat, the Örebro natives’ second long-player, will be out on Rise Above Records March 31, and for anyone who’s been missing the frenetic upbeat shuffle of Graveyard, or perhaps wondered what might’ve been had that band been able to pull that rhythmic thrust into a more modern production context, songs like “The Filthy Mob” should provide a fix, while the doomier vibe of “Track 7” does likewise for Witchcraft fans rendered bereft by that outfit’s current direction.

That’s not to say Troubled Horse don’t have their own direction — see the punker intensity of “Peasants” or extended scope of nine-minute closer “Bleeding” — but that their Örebro roots come through along with that. In any case, Step Inside certainly warranted a follow-up. Good to have Troubled Horse provide.

I’ll hope to have more to come, but in the interim, the announcement from the PR wire brings plenty of background:

troubled horse revolution on repeat

Troubled Horse To Release Revolution On Repeat March 31st on Rise Above Records

Artwork and Track Listing Revealed

Like anything worth a damn, heavy music only thrives when it aims to keep moving. Whether growing through crazy acts of evolution or simply by letting the cultural winds drive countless small, incremental changes, the greatest bands are rarely accused of letting the grass grow under their feet. And in the wild and wayward world of undiluted, old school heavy metal and rock’n’roll, Sweden’s Troubled Horse are a living, breathing, balls-out example of how change must always be harnessed to make things bigger, better and more exhilarating.

Formed in 2003 in their hometown of Örebro (also home to Witchcraft), the Horse crew erupted into the consciousness of riff-worshippers everywhere with a low-key seven-inch vinyl release in 2010, and then their debut album Step Inside, which was released by Rise Above Records in 2012. An invigorating whirlwind of spiky garage rock, propulsive psychedelia and thunderous, overdriven soul-meets-doom riffing, Step Inside showcased a band with little interest in current or nostalgic trends, instead revelling in a consciously classic but undeniably fresh new take on the most revered and ageless of musical components.

“We’re not locked into a certain genre,” says frontman Martin Heppich. “We allowed ourselves to explore all kinds of music for inspiration, and then we mix down all ideas into the Troubled Horse grinder! I have always had an idea of what Troubled Horse should be musically since I started the band many years ago, so maybe I come across as some kind of a dictator! What makes us unique in this genre is that we don’t really care if we’re accepted into the type of “exclusive retro rock community” which a lot of times is just ridiculous with all their rules of what’s considered ‘true’ and ‘cool’. If we want to mix doom with punk rock and country music – we’ll do it! We want to create something new, not stare too much into what’s already been done.”

An admirable philosophy, then, and one that has borne dazzling fruit on Troubled Horse’s forthcoming second album Revolution On Repeat. With a refreshed line-up featuring new members Jonas (drums) and Tom (bass) alongside loyal guitar lord Mikael Linder, Martin’s vision of a no-holds-barred celebration of heavy rock in all its colourful, subversive glory has never sounded stronger. From the barrelling, high-energy thunder of Hurricane and Which Way To The Mob through to the sprawling head-rush of The Haunted and acid-tinged, lo-fi psych of Desperation, Revolution On Repeat is an instinctive and naturalistic triumph for fire, fury and feel over the forces of plodding revisionism. Throw in a sublime rendition of Warren Zevon’s death-premonition anthem My Shit’s Fucked Up, and the album amount to a bold, pertinent and subtly dispiriting statement on the state of the world, all underpinned by the loudest guitars imaginable.

“The title Revolution On Repeat refers to the history of society repeating itself again and again,” notes Martin. “[We have] revolution after revolution, with fed up people having enough and finally standing up for themselves. But in the end nothing really changes. Man’s quest for power and wealth tears all great ideas and promises of change apart… and it’s back to square one. It really makes you doubt the current system of democracy. There will be a new uprising – but it won’t take long before it all turns to shit again with a new corrupted leader. People are just too stupid and selfish.”

But despite a gloomy view of humanity, Troubled Horse are never anything less than 100% inspirational. Revolution On Repeat is a diverse, diverting and irresistible slab of curiously timely heavy rock that defies the rulebook and breathes new life into that most enduring and fecund of musical genres. As Martin himself states, it’s the simple things in life that keep us forging ahead with hope in our hearts. Here’s hoping that fire never fades.

“Hopefully people will enjoy the record and we’ll get to go on tour and play live,” he grins. “That would be really awesome! I know it’s a cliché, but playing and writing songs is a venting process at least for me. But this is a team effort, even though I always have the last word because I’m a jerk…ha ha ha!”

Revolution On Repeat Track Listing:
1. Hurricane
2. The Filthy Ones
3. Which Way To The Mob
4. Peasants
5. The Haunted
6. Desperation
7. Track 7
8. My Shit’s Fucked Up
9. Let Bastards Know
10. Bleeding

https://www.facebook.com/troubledhorse/
https://www.instagram.com/troubledhorse
http://www.riseaboverecords.com/
https://www.facebook.com/riseaboverecords/

Troubled Horse, “Bring My Horses Home” official video

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Sherpa, Tanzlinde: Dancing in Trees

Posted in Reviews on January 20th, 2017 by H.P. Taskmaster

sherpa tanzlinde

It’s a rare band who can affect a folkish sensibility, a psychedelic lushness and still maintain an underlying tonal presence to connote a heavy influence. Far, far rarer than the number of bands who claim to be able to do it, anyhow. From Abruzzo, Italy, come Sherpa, an open-minded and semi-experimental five-piece who make their late-2016 debut on Sulatron Records with Tanzlinde and throughout it gracefully play between styles of heavy psych, folk, post-rock, pop, and classic prog without ever losing that sense of presence in the material. Comprised of Matteo Dossena, Ivano Legnini, Enrico Legnini, Axel Di Lorenzo and Pierluca Michetti and featuring a range of guest contributions throughout — the back of the CD lists: Lilia on vocals “Robert W.,” Ayu Shi and Ila Maa on vocals for “Loto,” “Dubinuska,” “Sherpa” and “Big Foot,” Fabiana Giordano on vocals for “Dune” and the title-track, Fabio Duronio and Graziano Zuccarino on pipes, percussion, etc. on “Loto,” Fabio Cardone on synth and xylophone for “Big Foot” and sundry other things on sundry other of Tanzlinde‘s total 10 songs — it’s little wonder the resulting feel is so expansive.

Though the members of Sherpa released a self-titled full-length in 2013 under their prior moniker, Edith Aufn, it’s important to remember that Tanzlinde is their first outing in their current guise, and so it strikes as even more ambitious and even more triumphant in exceeding those ambitions. It was recorded between 2014 and 2016, brings in all these different people throughout who take part in adding to already varied material that basks in a diversity of influence, but Tanzlinde never loses its structural integrity, never gives up its sense of purpose, and at no point does Sherpa let go of the overarching mood and exploration at their core.

No small feat as they move from “Loto,” which reminds of Hypnos 69 at their quietest, to the all-drift psych-folk serenity of “Robert W.” earlier, to the space-ritualized pulsartonics of “Big Foot” and beyond, but true enough to their newer moniker, Sherpa act as a guide for their listeners through their first album’s rich and immersive course. There are a few factors that allow them to do this. First, the individual songs are relatively short. Only “Loto” reaches past six minutes, and none of the others top five — atmospheric closer “Plot” is the shortest at 3:04 — so pieces are quick to come and go, almost like flashes of different worlds being visited throughout this journey, a glimpse of a thing, enough to dive in and then move on. This is especially effective as opener “Dune” moves into “Robert W.” and “Dubinuska,” and Tanzlinde begins to unfold this process to its audience.

sherpa-photo-by-Fabio-Cardone

What allows the band to work this way, on a more practical level, is the rhythm section. Isn’t it always? As much of a delight as the shimmering guitars and dreamscape vocals of “Of Coke and Steel” are, it’s the bassline and the subtle push of the drums that hold the song together, and that’s true of just about the entirety of Tanzlinde save perhaps for the aforementioned finale, which is basically an ambient soundsape — though there’s some percussion there as well. Other tracks, whether they take place as a build à la the wallop duo of “Tanzlinde” and “Sherpa” back to back in the album’s first half or the ’70s churn of “Big Foot” and later fuzzy push of “Of Coke and Steel” in the second, Sherpa are able to enact these various movements because there is essentially no chance of their material coming apart as a result. Taken in combination with the efficiency in their sonic storytelling, and Tanzlinde emerges clean and clearheaded in its psych-prog meld and is able to hold to such gorgeousness as a defining element.

That becomes particularly prevalent on “Magnetic White Tree,” which leads off the second half of Tanzlinde and sets the ground for “Loto,” “Big Foot” and “Of Coke and Steel” to come, but is true nonetheless of the whole affair from “Dune” onward. Credit has to go to Dossena and to Umberto Palazzo, who both contributed to the mixing, because the low end is never overwhelming, and as it should, the bass and acoustic and electric guitars act in complementary rather than competitive fashion. Knowing that Sherpa worked together in a prior band helps explain some of that chemistry, but Tanzlinde benefits from a fullness of sound as much as coherence of purpose, and solidifies many of the impulses they showed on Edith Aufn‘s self-titled, so that the handclaps-into-chants of “Dubinuska” don’t feel the slightest bit incongruous as they otherwise might leading to the nodding, crashing climax that ends that song, and “Of Coke and Steel” holds to its languid, beautiful drift and affects the impression of “Plot” as more than just an outstretching epilogue.

In its breadth, Tanzlinde succeeds in establishing the progressive aspects of what Sherpa do aesthetically, but the flow they’re able to execute from one piece to the next is no less crucial in making the album as staggering as it is. Even with the formidable endorsement of Sulatron behind it, Tanzlinde hits as a welcome surprise, and one hesitates to speculate on what Sherpa might do next for fear of jinxing the magic they’ve been able to conjure on this wonderful first offering.

Sherpa, Tanzlinde (2016)

Sherpa on Thee Facebooks

Sherpa on Bandcamp

Sherpa at Sulatron Records

Sulatron Records on Thee Facebooks

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Megaritual Post 18-Minute Single “Temple”

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 20th, 2017 by H.P. Taskmaster

To place Megaritual‘s latest outing on the timeline of the Australian one-man band’s work overall, a little context is needed. Context like guitarist/vocalist Dale Paul Walker noting that the recording of “Temple” goes back further than the two Mantra Music EPs compiled onto a White Dwarf Records single-LP (review here) last year, and is to the best of my knowledge the earliest recording yet posted project. On it, Walker is joined by drummer Govinda Das and Megaritual works as a jammy duo, though the impression “Temple” makes over the breadth of its 18-minute span is prescient of the blend of Eastern-inflected psychedelia and tonal weight that Walker has continued to develop in the band to this point.

I don’t mind telling you that the Mantra Music LP basically kicked my ass around the block when I heard it, so to check out some of the roots of that and the subsequent Eclipse (review here) EP is a pleasure. Temple, as a standalone release, would seem to have more in common with Eclipse, which is also a single-song offering, and frankly if Megaritual wanted to pair the two on a limited run of tapes or something like that — just throwing out ideas here — I know at least one shitheel blogger from the States who wouldn’t complain.

Release background and the Bandcamp stream follow. Dig in:

megaritual temple

Megaritual – Temple

This one song album actually predates the “Mantra Music” EP’s and is an artifact from the dawn of megaritual. Recorded during the summer of 2013/2014, this song is based around one big freeform jam between two fellow seekers, cut live off the floor and then given extensive post production collage work, very much inspired by Teo Macero’s work on Miles Davis’ “Bitches Brew” era work. A harbinger of things to come.

Released January 17, 2017.

Dale Paul Walker: Guitars, Vocals, Effects
Govinda Das: Drums

Recorded over the Australian summer of 2013/2014 at Montagne Mystica in the Byron Hinterland with additional tweaking at The Hermits Hill. Engineered, mixed and mastered by Dale Paul Walker. All music by Dale Paul Walker and Govinda Das. Lyrics by Dale Paul Walker.

https://megaritual.bandcamp.com/
http://www.whitedwarfrock.com/

Megaritual, Temple (2017)

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Radio Moscow Sign to Century Media

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 19th, 2017 by H.P. Taskmaster

San Diego heavy rock forerunners Radio Moscow have inked a deal to release their next album on Century Media Records. The trio will enter the studio soon to record the follow-up to 2014’s Magical Dirt (review here) with an eye toward a summer 2017 release. Given that everything Radio Moscow have put out to-date going back to their 2007 self-titled debut has come out via Alive Naturalsound, I’ll say this one hits as something of a surprise, and I feel like I haven’t even had enough time to process if it’s a bigger get for the label or for the band. Both maybe? I don’t know.

Either way, Radio Moscow definitely mark Century Media‘s biggest foray into heavy rock to-date in the current swing — lest we forget Fu Manchu were a Century Media band for a minute there — and as they were already one of the hardest-working — and, frankly, one of the best — live acts I’ve ever seen, I don’t anticipate this new label deal will slow their momentum any. Can it really be anything other than a win to push them further into headliner status? Not on any level I can think of.

Just off the PR wire:

radio moscow

RADIO MOSCOW Signs Worldwide Deal with Century Media Records

Southern Californian rock trio RADIO MOSCOW and CENTURY MEDIA RECORDS are proud to announce a worldwide partnership to release the band’s upcoming albums. RADIO MOSCOW already started songwriting and will enter the studio soon to release their fifth full length album in late summer 2017.

Guitarist and vocalist Parker Griggs comments: “Radio Moscow couldn’t be more stoked to be joining the Century Media family! When we met these guys we spent hours nerding out on obscure classics from our favorite era of Rock ‘n’ Roll (1965-1974)…. so we feel right at home! Excited to keep writing and working on the next Radio Moscow release on Century Media. Looking forward to 2017 with a new label and album! Peace n Love!”

Jens Prueter, Head of A&R at Century Media Europe adds: “A beautiful summer night at a club in the middle of Germany, some beers, a nice chat about weird 60s stuff and an amazing sweaty show: that’s a good start for a long time partnership. I’m very happy to welcome this highly talented band that is taking the roots to the roof!”
Trends come and go, but the idea of a bunch of guys getting together in a garage and playing the kind of music that makes the neighbors call the cops – that’s forever. And it’s that idea that’s crystallized in the form of Radio Moscow who took their name from an obscure 60s garage punk novelty single. The power trio led by the Stratocaster genius Parker Griggs have found THE formula: Crunching, heavy Sabbath-style chords topped with fiery solos that earn the right to be called Hendrixian. Radio Moscow plants their flag firmly in the territory where psychedelic rock and cranked-up blues meet. The sound is unabashedly retro (think Cream, Blue Cheer, Led Zep or Jimi Hendrix Experience), so it’s easy to see how it caught the ear of the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, who produced Radio Moscow’s 2007 self-titled debut.

With “Brain Cycles”, their second album, Radio Moscow proves that they’re not a cheap time machine but a direct descendant from the golden age of Rock ‘n’ Roll. In 2011, Griggs continued his psychedelic trip with “The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz” followed by “Magical Dirt” in 2014.
Parker Griggs (vocals, guitar), Anthony Meier (bass) and Paul Marrone (drums) hit the road hard in the U.S. and in Europe, touring with the likes of Graveyard, Witchcraft, Joe Bonamassa and Pentagram, followed by an appearance on the legendary German television program Rockpalast.

Coming off of what seems like endless touring proceeding and following the recording of the double-live gatefold “Live! In California”, Radio Moscow is ready to hit the studio again. “Live!…” was recorded absolutely live with no overdubs of any kind; New York Music Daily called it the Best Heavy Psych LP of 2016, proclaiming “there’s nothing that’s been released in 2016 that can touch this.”

The band toured the U.S., Europe, South America, and Australia around the release of the live document, landing at such festivals as Desert Daze (US), the Void Fest (Ger), Electric Funeral (US), Burg Herzberg Fest (Ger), and the Orbital Festival in Santiago, Chile, to name a few.

The live album wrapped up the first chapter of the band’s career, playing highlights from their first four studio albums. As Rolling Stone’s Dave DiMartino cited, “I would be lying if I did not say I have been completely taken with this…The band actively evokes all that was great about hard-rock trios, but does it with such gleeful abandon you’ve got to admire both their spirit and whatever time capsule they rode in on. Great fun.”
The story continues with a new chapter in 2017.
Discography:
Radio Moscow (2007)
Brain Cycles (2009)
The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz (2011)
3 & 3 Quarters (2012), early demos recorded in 2003 by Parker Griggs
Rancho Tehama EP (2013)
Magical Dirt (2014)
Live! In California (2016)

RADIO MOSCOW line-up:
Parker Griggs (vocals, guitar)
Anthony Meier (bass)
Paul Marrone (drums)

http://radiomoscow.net/
www.facebook.com/radiomoscowband
www.instagram.com/radiomoscowband
http://www.centurymedia.com/
https://www.facebook.com/centurymedia

Radio Moscow, Live in Fullerton, CA, May 21, 2016

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Attalla Announce Glacial Rule out March 24

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 19th, 2017 by H.P. Taskmaster

Wisconsin-based sludge rockers Attalla — not to be confused with similarly-named Californian post-desert outfit Atala — put out their self-titled debut (review here) in 2014. That album struck a grower chord over time, and eventually earned itself a reissue through doesn’t-put-put-stuff-if-it-sucks Pennsylvania imprint Shadow Kingdom Records. The band has announced they’ll self-release the follow-up, titled Glacial Rule, on vinyl March 24, and will begin taking preorders a month before.

Art, tracks and whatnot are all still to come, but Attalla put in some significant road time last year, so it should be interesting to hear what they’ve come up with when they get there. I asked the band to tell me a little bit about the record and they were kind enough to oblige. You can see in the quote below that it’s 12 minutes longer than the self-titled while remaining the same number of songs, so seems like some definite changes in approach will have taken place. Guess we’ll find out.

That quote and album details follow, as sent by the band:

attalla

Attalla on making Glacial Rule:

‘Glacial Rule’ is a huge step forward for us both musically and as a band. We really took our time working and reworking the songs on this album until they were exactly what we wanted. It is another six-track album but it’s about 12 minutes longer than our first. We were not afraid to jam on a riff until we felt it was finished.

The songs are more dynamic, have some real depth and carry an overall heavier, darker tone. Recording was handled by Shane Hochstetler at Howl Street and the production is absolutely huge. We didn’t half-ass anything on the vinyl packaging either. It is a gatefold jacket with two great pieces by Adam Burke and the vinyl is pressed on two different colors. It is an album we are truly proud of!

‘GLACIAL RULE’
Out March 24th, 2017 on vinyl, cd and digital.
Recorded by Shane Hochstetler of Howl Street Recordings.
Mastered by Carl Saff.
Artwork by Adam Burke.
Layout by the Company.
Released 100% DIY.
Pre-Orders start February 24th at www.attallawi.bandcamp.com

‘Glacial Rule’ tracklisting:
1. Butte Des Morts
2. Ice Harvest
3. Valderan
4. Black Wolf Rituals
5. Devil’s Lake
6. Glacial Rule

Attalla is:
Cody Stieg – Lead Guitar/Vocal
Brian Hinckley – Rhythm Guitar
Bryan Kunde – Bass
James Slater – Drums

http://facebook.com/attallawi
http://www.attallawi.bandcamp.com

Attalla, Attalla (2014)

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Monolord Post Video for “Lord of Suffering”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 19th, 2017 by H.P. Taskmaster

monolord photo by mike bax

Because so much of the story around Swedish trio Monolord has, since they made their debut with 2014’s Empress Rising, been about the largesse of riff they proffer, the massive nod and so on, I feel like the underlying narrative of their progression has been somewhat lost.

Don’t get me wrong, if you’re asking the question, “What do Monolord sound like?” the answer is no doubt going to be, “They sound frickin’ huge,” but across their 2015 second LP, Vænir (review here), and last year’s Lord of Suffering / Die in Haze EP (review here), guitarist/vocalist Thomas V. Jäger, bassist Mika Häkki and drummer Esben Willems have enacted a chartable sonic growth that’s been as much about expanse as volume. They still crush — or “crosh,” if you prefer the emphatic pronunciation — but both tracks on the latest EP offer atmospheric density as well as tonal.

Does that mean Monolord are moving past their foundation? Probably not, but it does mean Jäger is becoming more comfortable as a singer and as a whole they’re becoming less tied to unipolar heft. The watery effects that one hears on “Lord of Suffering” add a psychedelic flavor to what’s otherwise a pretty straightforward fuzz roll, and one gets the sense in listening that it captures the three-piece at a transitional moment, which makes the prospect of a third album — which has been hinted at for 2017 — all the more enticing.

If/when Monolord do hit the studio this year, they’ll do so as part of what will no doubt remain a busy schedule of live dates. Already they’ve been confirmed for Germany’s Stoned from the Underground (info here) in July and for SonicBlast Moledo (info here) in Portugal this August, and no doubt more announcements are to come. I haven’t heard anything to this effect, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they were on the road for the entire month between those two. That’s kind of how Monolord do.

Fittingly, the video below for “Lord of Suffering” was filmed on tour. One way or another, expect more from Monolord as we move through 2017.

March on:

Monolord, “Lord of Suffering” official video

Swedish trio Monolord premiere the first video from their new 10″ EP. The seven-minute video is culled from footage shot throughout the band’s extensive US and EU touring last summer.

Monolord’s full discography is available on RidingEasy Records.

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Monolord on Twitter

RidingEasy Records website

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