Small Stone Records Updates on Flood Cleanup; Fundraiser Continues

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 28th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Thee basement.

As you can see in the photo above, the flood that ravaged Small Stone Records‘ offices two weeks ago (if you missed that news, see here) is being dealt with. Progress is being made, but of course there’s still a ton to do. The fundraiser has gotten an awesome response and has been about as visible as anyone could ask, so thanks to everybody for helping to get the word out and of course for donating. Please keep it going.

http://www.youcaring.com/helpscott

Label honcho Scott Hamilton took some time out and sent some pics of the damage being repaired and updated on the progress being made:

Says Scott:

We would personally like to thank everyone who has generously kicked in… It has been beyond helpful (lifesaving) and we are very thankful to any and all involved. We are now finally clean and dry… We still have a long way to go in terms of getting this up and running again, but here is a quick pic of the progress thus far.

90% of my time has been taken up with restoring all the above… i think i have been to home depot over 40 times in the last 2+ weeks

bottom line… this fundraiser has been saving my ass… the last time i was at home depot like this was 14 years ago when we first moved in… holy shit is everything way more expensive then it used to be!

So there you have it. A lot of work being done and a lot more still to come. It’s been amazing watching this community come together to support Small Stone and help Scott get back to where he needs to be, and thanks to folks like Ripple Music for hosting a charity auction, The Heavy Co. for donating all the proceeds of their new live album, and Seb from Abrahma for putting together a series of charity auctions as well. All of this is huge and it shows Scott there’s a reason all the work he’s putting in is worth the effort.

Once again, please keep it going.

http://www.youcaring.com/helpscott

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Against the Grain Announce US Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 1st, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

against the grain

Just a couple weeks out from losing gear in the same Detroit-area floods that took out the Small Stone Records offices, heavy rock troublemakers Against the Grain have announced they’ll hit the road in October alongside long-running punk outfits Guttermouth and Voodoo Glowskulls. To be perfectly honest, neither is really my thing, but I have no doubt that Against the Grain‘s high-energy thrust will do well on tour with them, and it’s yet another in the four-piece’s continuing series of runs that seems to be geared toward their perfecting their craft, rugged and dirty as that craft might be. I’m glad they’ve gotten their gear back and I’m glad they’re getting out again.

The PR wire puts it like this:

against the grain

Against The Grain announce West Coast tour with Guttermouth/Voodoo Glow Skulls

Detroit’s speed rock machine Against The Grain are hitting the road with punk rock veterans Guttermouth and Voodoo Glow Skulls in October for month long west coast scheduled to start in Fresno, CA and end in Corona, CA. It will be the third 20+ date haul they’ve done this year and first packaged tour they have been a part of since their run with long time running Japanese doom/stoner band Church Of Misery in Fall 2013.

Dates include:

Sun Oct 5 – Fresno, CA – Strummers*
Mon Oct 6 -San Jose, CA – Blank Club*
Tues Oct 7 – San Francisco, CA – DNA Lounge*
Wed Oct 8 – Sacramento, CA – Assembly Hall of Music*
Thurs Oct 9 – Sparks, NV – The Alley*
Fri Oct 10 – Bend, OR – Domino Room*
Sat Oct 11 – Tacoma, WA – Jazzbones*
Sun Oct 12 – Seattle, WA – El Corazon**
Mon Oct 13 – Missoula, MT – The Top Hat Lounge**
Tues Oct 14 – Boise, ID – Crazy Horse**
Thurs Oct 16 – Laramie, WY – Cowboy Saloon **
Fri Oct 17 – Salt lake City, UT – The Loading Dock**
Sat Oct 18 – Grand junction, CO – Mesa Theatre**
Sun Oct 19 – Denver, CO – The Marquis**
Mon Oct 20 – Colorado Springs, CO – The Black Sheep**
Tues Oct 21 – Kansas City, MO – The Scene Rock Bar**
Wed Oct 22 – Fort Worth, TX – Lola’s Saloon**
Thurs Oct 23 – Midland, TX – Blue Max**
Fri Oct 24 – Rio Rancho, NM – The Damn Bar**
Sat Oct 25 – El Paso, TX – Lowbrow Palace**
Sun Oct 26 – Flagstaff, AZ – The Museum Club**
Tues Oct 28 – San Diego, CA – Brick by Brick*
Wed Oct 29 – Long Beach, CA – Alex’s Bar*
Thurs Oct 30 – Corona, CA – M15*
* = w/ Voodoo Glow Skulls
** = w/ In The Whale

Against The Grain suffered a major blow as a band when their gear was destroyed by flooding in their practice space due to freaks thunderstorms occurring in Detroit in early August but due to support from all over (including a message of assistance from the Valient Thorr/Revolving Beast camp), they managed to successfully raise the money needed to assist them in getting new gear to get back on the road. On September 12th, they will be a part of a benefit show being held at The Corktown Tavern in Detroit with Axe Ripper, Rawdogs and Mud Falcon playing as support to Against The Grain. Tesco Vee has signed on to be MC’ing for the night and to host a silent auction of vintage Meatmen/Touch and Go items.

In what has been an extremely active year of 2014 A.D. for the band, Against The Grain has toured all over the states in support of their re-release of Motor City Speed Rock that Self Destructo Records put out on 10” vinyl. They’re in the middle of writing new songs for their upcoming record that will see the light of day in mid 2015 with touring plans already solidified for January 2015 with a Detroit favorite of the underground scene, more of that plus other news in development in the following weeks.

Motor City Speed Rock and Surrounded By Snakes vinyl are available at http://www.shopturbojugend.com and all digital streaming/download services (i.e. Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Mp3 and more) worldwide.

Against The Grain:
https://www.facebook.com/Againstthegraindetroit
http://againstthegrain-atg.bandcamp.com/

Against the Grain, “Sirens” Live Aug. 23, 2014

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Snailking Stream “Slithering” from New LP Storm

Posted in audiObelisk on September 1st, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

snailking

Swedish trio Snailking will release their new album, Storm, Sept. 15 through Belgian imprint Consouling Sounds. It is their second offering behind a well-received 2012 demo/LP, Samsara (review here), and greatly widens the scope from that offering, holding onto some of the cosmic doom sensibility showed then but adding an almost Godfleshy timekeeping stomp to the drums of Karl Jonas Wijk on songs like “Premonitions” and burying guitarist Pontus Ottosson‘s vocals deep within his and bassist Frans Levin‘s collective glug of tone so that he seems to be shouting like he’s trapped underneath his own band’s cacophony.

Three of the five tracks on Storm top 10 minutes long, including the opening duo of “To Wonder” (11:03) and “Premonitions” (10:57), so it’s clear Snailking are still going for an expansive sound. As one might expect, they owe a bit of a debt to their namesake Ufomammut, from whose 2004 landmark LP they take their name, but more than on Samsara, Snailking establish themselves on Storm as a progressive unit engaged in their own evolutionary process. The onslaught of “To Wonder” and “Premonitions” isn’t to be understated — it is a doomed psychedelia to which they’re committed, even in the quiet reaches of the second cut — but the shorter “Slithering” (6:32) introduces a post-metallic feel to the well-bearded three-piece’s lumbering groove, less indebted to YOB than was snailking stormtheir last time out, but still showcasing a touch of that churning in its riffs.

Primarily, what Snailking do well on Storm is create a sense of the space in which the album unfolds, and in terms of individual pieces, it’s almost inevitable they’d do it best on “Requiem,” the longest song here at 16:57. In the YOB tradition, it begins with minimal, slow-weaving effects-laden guitar and gradually unveils its full push over the first several minutes, a slow rollout of doomed gravity that will encompass the remainder of the runtime. Hypnotic for its repetition, but crushing, its distinction comes through low, atmospherically mixed growls, screams and shouts, as much black metal as Neurosis, that serve to remind the listener that somewhere in this morass of chest-vibrating low end there is in fact a human presence. If you’re not too quickly swallowed by “Requiem” and can keep your consciousness about you, it is a stirring highlight for Storm and a moment where Snailking‘s plod is most their own.

The closer, “Void” (8:00), holds to some of this same mentality, beginning quiet and ambient before moving into a dense sonic pummel, but as Snailking finish out, Ottosson leaves out vocals and substitutes an extended, drawn-out solo instead, lending the finale a dirge-type feel, less thunderous than “Requiem” before it but all the more mournful in a European doom tradition. That lead holds firm as the other elements crash to a finish, and it as a couple seconds of feedback stumble Storm to its end, they serve as a reminder of how early into the band’s development they actually are — with the confidence of their delivery and the wide ranging feel both sides of the album present, it’s easy to forget. If this is just the beginning, then even better, since as much as Storm works to create its own space, so too do Snailking set themselves up to be that space’s sole inhabitants, working toward an individual approach that one hopes they’ll continue to forge going forward.

I have the pleasure of hosting a stream of “Slithering” today for the record. Please find it on the player below and enjoy:

Snailking‘s Storm will be out Sept. 15 on Consouling Sounds and is available now to preorder in colored vinyl (black, blue and clear; 100 copies), black vinyl (200 copies) and CD. More info at the links.

Snailking on Thee Facebooks

Preorder Storm at Consouling Sounds

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Ice Dragon Release New Album Seeds from a Dying Garden

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 1st, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

It was late Friday night when, in their usual fashion, Boston doom experimentalists Ice Dragon posted a link to their new album, Seeds from a Dying Garden, available to stream and download on their Bandcamp. This was surprising at first — not because it’s a new Ice Dragon; they’d said they were working on material and they’ve been almost maddeningly prolific over the last several years — but because it wasn’t free. A $7 download. Quite a jump from their usual “here, take it” name-your-price methodology.

I assumed at first there was something they were raising money to buy. Some piece of ancient and obscure recording or synth equipment, a Moog that George Harrison once looked at in a store or something like that, but nope, apparently they just ran out of free download credits on Bandcamp, which is apparently a thing. I’d never heard of it, but I don’t have a Bandcamp, so there you go. They’ve since lowered the price to a measly buck, and I think once you check out Seeds from a Dying Garden itself, you’ll find it worth the investment.

ice dragon seeds from a dying gardenFor their latest and umpteenth outing, Ice Dragon dive deep into classic psychedelic pop rock — as their Beach Boys-esque cover indicates — and emerge with Beatlesian characters like “Mr. Merry Melan Man” and the winking weed puns of “Mary Wants a Sunset” to craft a sound still characteristically their own, shades of doomed march working their way into languid progressions, an abidingly stoned sensibility arriving with the eight-minute dream-out “Your Beauty Measures More.” Front to back, it is a consuming journey into psych-ic expansion, but as ever, Ice Dragon maintain the penchant for songwriting that has made them forerunners among garage doom and the unflinching creative will that sees them so constantly broadening their style.

And while they often toy with biting metal tones and lunkheadedly badass riffing, Seeds from a Dying Garden feels more like it’s working to push the boundaries of last year’s Born a Heavy Morning (review here), and it does so even unto its ambient interludes “To Everything that Was” and “To Everything that Might Have Been,” which appear three tracks in and three tracks from the end to draw a linear thread through the album’s widely varied course. No doubt Ice Dragon will tackle their metal side again at some point, but for the boldness with which they approach psychedelia when they choose to do so — their sound also isn’t necessarily limited to one or the other — I tend to find this path even more engaging. The title may hint at some sense of loss or foreboding, but the general mood is more suited to the bright nostalgic wash of the cover photo, though of course if Ice Dragon only did one thing all the time, it just wouldn’t be them.

Seeds from a Dying Garden is available now for download and follows Ice Dragon‘s July 2014 split with Space Mushroom Fuzz (info here). Check it out on the player below.

Ice Dragon, Seeds from a Dying Garden (2014)

Ice Dragon on Bandcamp

Ice Dragon on Thee Facebooks

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Friday Full-Length: The Black Angels, Passover

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 29th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

The Black Angels, Passover (2006)

Doing something a little different to close out this week in that The Black Angels is a band about whom I know next to nothing. I’ve seen their name around plenty, especially earlier this year (or was it last year now?) when they supported Roky Erickson on tour, but listening to their 2006 debut LP, Passover, as I type this is the first significant amount of time I’ve ever spent with one of their records. It sounds pretty cool. If this came my way today from a new band, I’d it’s right on heavy psych, so considering it dropped eight years ago, before a lot of this kind of thing really caught on here or in Europe, that’s all the more impressive. Onto the Amazon Wishlist it goes, right next to damn near everything else I’ve ever heard.

Based out of Austin, The Black Angels have four LPs out and a couple EPs as well, so I guess if I want to get caught up, I’ve got my work cut out for me. Stuff is a little chic and has more than a touch of Neil Young – also ahead of the game on that, apparently, though also behind it if one counts the entire decade of the ’90s – but it swings and would do well on the highway late at night, which seems to be where I most listen to music these days, the couch notwithstanding. I’ll dig further and let you know how it goes. One thing that took me so long in checking these guys out was that everything I heard about them had to do with their lightshow, which of course says nothing about the actual music. That’s something of a dogwhistle to me, mostly because The Flaming Lips suck so very hard and all everyone talks about is flashing colors and whatever other bullshit happens when they play live. Anyway, on first impression, Passover is pretty solid. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but if not, and really either way, I hope you agree.

Boogie woogie.

It was either this or the self-titled Alice in Chains to end the week, and if I’m honest that’s way more where my head has been at the last several days — as evidenced perhaps by the fact that I’ve never heard Passover before — but I closed a week with Sap back in January, and it seemed a little soon to revisit the band. To answer your next question, yes, I really do put that much thought into this crap. If you only knew… you’d probably get very sad.

Which is pretty much what I did all week. I put up a day’s worth of posts yesterday without getting out of bed, and since the Yankees were playing a day game, just stayed in bed until about five o’clock, before I made my way all the way downstairs to watch no fewer than five episodes of the Scott Bakula Star Trek spinoff — the Trek kick continues unabated; ask me about the name of the ship in the novel I’m writing in my head — as well as the fifth movie, also arguably the nadir of the film franchise, at least until the second remake. Anyway, I had some shit turn south on me this week after it seemed to not be and it kind of pulled the wind out of my sails. Not worth going into.

I’ve now been unemployed for five months. How about that?

I’m not dealing with it well, but I didn’t last time either, though last time I made this blog and proceeded to let it consume my existence. This time? More of that, I suppose, but also a lot of feeling like a useless sucker, like I sold myself out cheap a decade ago, pointless regret, the usual, very dire melodrama that eats my consciousness alive when I get like this and forces me to step back and remember how easy and how good I actually have it, little help though that is. Anyway, I have family coming north this weekend and I expect that will be chaotic enough to jolt my brain out of this very unfunky funk.

Speaking of things gnawing at my consciousness, I think I’m finally in deep enough with the YOB record to review it. I’ve been trying to get a time to interview Mike Scheidt the last couple weeks as well and it just hasn’t worked. I thought maybe tonight, but I’m gonna head to Worcester to catch a show, so maybe next week, though I’m also interviewing Soph Day from Alunah about their new record, so we’ll see. Anyway, that review will get done.

On Monday, look out for a Snailking track premiere and later in the week one for Old Testament, which is a new project from Jason Simon from Dead Meadow. I’ll also review the show I’m going to tonight and hopefully the Blackwolfgoat record too.

Thanks to everyone for donating to the Small Stone fundraiser this week. Thanks to everyone who shared the Sleep review (particularly the cats from Earthless). Thanks to everyone for reading or listening to the radio or whatever. Thanks to everyone for everything. If I believed in being blessed, I’d consider myself blessed. I am lucky.

Splendid weekend to all, and if you’re in the States, enjoy your Labor Day. Please don’t forget to check out the forum and radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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Biblical Announce Inaugural US Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 29th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

biblical

Coming down from the Great White North for the first time, Toronto four-piece Biblical have announced their first extended run of tour dates in the US. They’ll join up with Death from Above 1979, who are apparently a band again, and begin in the Southeast as they hit both coasts and a couple spots in between starting on Nov. 3. Biblical‘s debut LP, Monsoon Season, made something of a splash last year when it was released, and has continued to earn the band a following since.

The PR wire has dates and details:

biblical tour

BIBLICAL CONFIRMED FOR DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979’s U.S. TOUR!

NEW ALBUM MONSOON SEASON OUT NOW!

Psychedelic journeymen, Biblical have been announced as direct support for Death From Above 1979 (also referred to as DFA 1979) on their forthcoming U.S. Tour. This will be the Toronto based quartet’s first extended run in support of their debut full-length, Monsoon Season.

Released earlier this year via New Damage Records (Ken Mode, USA Out Of Vietnam), Monsoon Season is conjured from equal parts fuzz-pedal/ amplifier worship and meditative passages pulled from the cosmos. The album received a deluge of critical praise from U.S. outlets.

Biblical is composed of seasoned Toronto musical vets including Nick Sewell (bass/vocals), Jay Anderson (drums), Matt Mclaren (guitarist) and Andrew Scott (guitar). Formed in the spring of 2010, their fierce and mostly improvisational performances have earned them festival and touring slots with a wide variety of artists. Some of these include hometown comrades Death From Above 1979 as well as Kyuss, The Sword, Red Fang, Danko Jones, Fucked Up and Howlin’ Rain.

Up next is an official video for the song “The Quiet Crooks” which Sewell promises to be a “creep-tastic, occult-themed affair” which was shot entirely on location in Rome, Italy by director Sean Wainsteim.

Biblical confirmed tour dates with DFA 1979
11/3/14 – Atlanta, GA @ Buckhead Theater
11/4/14 – Nashville, TN @ Marathon Music Works
11/6/14 – Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live
11/7/14 – Austin, TX @ Fun Fun Fun
11/8/14 – Dallas, TX @ Granada Theater
11/10/14 – Tempe, AZ @ Marquee Theater
11/12/14 – San Diego, CA @ House Of Blues
11/13/14 – Santa Ana, CA @ Observatory
11/15/14 – Las Vegas, NV @ Brooklyn Bowl
11/17/14 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
11/18/14 – Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom
11/19/14 – Seattle, WA @ Neumo’s
11/21/14 – Salt Lake City, UT @ In The Venue
11/22/14 – Boulder, CO @ Fox Theater
11/24/14 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
11/25/14 – Chicago, IL @ Rivera Theater
11/26/14 – Detroit, MI @ Crofoot
11/28/14 – New York, NY @ Terminal 5
11/29/14 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
12/1/14 – Washington D.C. @ 9:30 Club
12/2/14 – Boston, MA @ House Of Blues

More Info: http://biblicalband.com
https://www.facebook.com/BIBLICALBAND/

Biblical, “All Justice No Peace” official video

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London DesertFest 2015: Sleep, Orange Goblin and My Sleeping Karma Added to Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 29th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Three bands deep and already DesertFest London — which from here on out I’ll be presenting with the capital ‘f’ in accordance with their own stylization and in contrast to years past; I’m tired of feeling like I’ve got it wrong — has an enviable lineup. Sleep was already confirmed shortly after this year’s fest, and they’ll headline Koko, a place about which I know nothing but assume is sizable, as Orange Goblin celebrate their 20th anniversary. Not bad shakes. I’ve seen both of those bands, and they destroy, but I’ve never seen My Sleeping Karma and they’re on my wishlist at this point, their last several records having been so very, very good.

While I consider the finer points of starting an NPR-style pledge drive in order to cover travel expenses (no, not really), check out the announcement from the PR wire:

DESERTFEST LONDON 2015 : Sleep, Orange Goblin and My Sleeping Karma confirmed

European stoner/doom/psych festival DESERTFEST LONDON just unveiled the first batch of bands to be part of its fourth edition, taking place on April 24-26th, 2015 in Camden. Tickets are on sale now, so it’s time to make plans for next spring!

First bands confirmed are:

SLEEP (headlining Koko’s on Sunday 26th)
ORANGE GOBLIN
MY SLEEPING KARMA

For the fourth year running, Camden’s finest venues will be hosting one of the most exciting stoner/doom/sludge/psyche gatherings in Europe, for a full weekend of fuzzed-out tunes, psychedelia and partying. After they announced their long-awaited return a few weeks ago, American stoner rock pioneers SLEEP will be treating the Desertfest crowd to their twenty minutes long smoked-out sonic odysseys, with an exclusive headlining set at London’s famous venue Koko’s on the Sunday. Camden’s ground is set to tremble once again this year, with UK metal heavyweights ORANGE GOBLIN delivering their fiery metal anthems, for a one-off 20th anniversary special performance. This first announcement couldn’t be complete without a cosmic touch (because it wouldn’t be DESERTFEST if we weren’t sonically high at least once), brought to you by German psych trio MY SLEEPING KARMA.

Keep an ear to the ground as more bands will be announced really soon!

DESERTFEST LONDON
April 24-26th 2015 in Camden Town
Koko – Electric Ballroom – The Underworld – The Black Heart

3-day tickets (£99.50) available at THIS LOCATION

More infos on www.thedesertfest.com
http://instagram.com/desertfest
https://twitter.com/DesertFest
https://www.facebook.com/DesertfestLondon

Sleep, “Sonic Titan” Live in Boston, Aug. 24, 2014

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On Wax: Dean Allen Foyd, Sunshine Song 7″

Posted in On Wax on August 29th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

dean allen foyd sunshine song

Add up all the various limited editions — 50 on purple vinyl, 50 green, 100 purple/gold marble, 120 black, 30 gold/black marble — and Swedish psych traditionalists Dean Allen Foyd‘s new single on H42 Records is still pretty limited with just 350 copies pressed. Some versions are exclusive to different mailorders, and the Australian edition (the gold/black marble) has tweaked cover art, but at the heart of Sunshine Song b/w Devil’s Path are the two songs themselves, and from whatever color platter they might emanate, they find the Stockholm four-piece proffering a charming blend of garage-pop-rock boogie and heavy psychedelic dean allen foyd sunshine songflourish. Comprised here of guitarist/vocalist Francis Rencoret, bassist Fredrik Cronsten, drummer/vocalist Wille Alin and organist/vocalist Erik “Errka” Petersson, as well as guest spots on guitar and a string quartet, Dean Allen Foyd seem most geared to the beginning moments of the psychedelic era — the heavy that was pre-heavy; more Beefheart than Leaf Hound – and it’s an aesthetic they convey naturally, having honed their craft across two full-lengths to date, 2012′s The Sounds Can be So Cruel and 2013′s Road to Atlas, both on Crusher Records.

“Sunshine Song” is a fittingly classic A-side, both in its construction and its sound. It moves and grooves over a solid rhythmic foundation bolstered by added percussion and tosses out hooks in its verse and chorus given all the more flair via tambourine and the freakout waiting to surface. Dean Allen Foyd never go full-force into the jam, but neither would I call them restrained on “Sunshine Song.” They keep a 1967/1968-style pop sensibility to the first half of the single, if one meatier in its tonality, but still come across less stylistically retro than, say, Germany’s Vibravoid, for whom color-tinted glasses and striped pants seem to be a religion. Nothing against that, and it’s worth noting that Dean Allen Foyd and H42 released Sunshine Song to coincide with thesunshine song dean allen foyd anniversary of Syd Barrett‘s death, but there’s still something inescapably modern about their approach, and all the more on “Devil’s Path,” which even as it seems to be nodding at The Doobie Brothers‘ “Long Train Running” does so with guitar tone thicker than one finds from most “vintage”-minded acts, classic though the handclap timekeeping and direction of the song itself might be, leads swelling and receding in the background of the chorus before taking the fore about halfway through underscored by a bassline worthy of being higher in the mix than it is.

Both sides of Sunshine Song seem to be working in a building structure, but the apex of “Devil’s Path” comes across clearer than “Sunshine Song” itself, though a fadeout and the constraint of the format invariably cut short what was a continuing progression. I’d be interested to hear the longer dean allen foyd sunshine songversion of the track if there is one, but even as it is here, “Devil’s Path” satisfies both as a complement to “Sunshine Song” and on its own merits. Totaling about nine minutes, Sunshine Song is an unpretentious jaunt into the roots of psychedelic rock that keeps just an edge of modern heaviness to remind listeners to what age it actually belongs. With its foldout artwork sleeve and quick runthrough, if it’s to be your first experience with the band, it should prove an engaging one that speaks to spacious places without getting lost in them.

Dean Allen Foyd, “Sunshine Song”

Dean Allen Foyd on Thee Facebooks

Sunshine Song at H42 Records

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Roadburn 2015: Fields of the Nephilim, Monolord and Electric Citizen Added to Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 29th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

And so it begins: The great barrage of festival announcements. Things won’t really pick up until the winter — which is fortunate since nothing else will be going on at that time — but already RoadburnDesertfestFreak Valley and others have begun to leak confirmed names from their 2015 lineups, and already I can’t keep up with all of it. I’m not sure which if any of the above I’ll be able to attend next year, but the news is still relevant even if I don’t make it, so I’ll continue to do my best to stay on top of it.

In the case of Roadburn, their now-years-long push into aesthetic diversity seems to be hitting new heights via their partnership with Enslaved and Wardruna for a curated event dubbed “Houses of the Holistic.” The news that Fields of the Nephilim will take part in that event came out yesterday and was received with much appropriately gothic cooing. Also reaffirming their commitment to the riff, RidingEasy Records upstarts Monolord and Electric Citizen have also been added, so as ever, Roadburn‘s got a little bit of everything going already, and only more to come.

Snagged this off the PR wire:

fields of the nephilim roadburn 2015

FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM TO PLAY TWO EXCLUSIVE SHOWS AT ROADBURN FESTIVAL 2015

We are honored to announce that British gothic rock innovators Fields Of The Nephilim will be gracing the stage twice at the 20th edition of the Roadburn Festival atthe 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands. In addition to serving as the Saturday headliner on April 11, 2015, the band will perform a different set as special guests at ‘Houses Of The Holistic’ on Friday, the special Roadburn event curated by Ivar Bjørnson (Enslaved) and Wardruna’s Einar “Kvitrafn” Selvik, which will be held on Friday, April 10.

Currently 30 years into a groundbreaking career, Fields of the Nephilim have had a major impact on an entire generation of musicians and music fans. Led by singer Carl McCoy, the Stevenage, England band fused the darker elements of post-punk with more overtly American sounds such as blues and outlaw country, creating a sound that was gritty, grandiose, and menacing, unlike anything that was made before or since. Such classic albums as Dawnrazor, The Nephilim, and Elizium helped shape the goth subculture, but at the same time played a profound role in influencing a wide array of today’s music, ranging from indie, to occult rock, to metal. Such contemporary bands as Watain, Katatonia, Horseback, and Enslaved cite the Nephilim as a major influence.

“Fields of the Nephilim has accepted our invitation for our “Houses of the Holistic” at Roadburn 2015. Bleep! Anything I say after that sentence is going to seem insignificant in comparison, so no pressure for once,” says Bjørnson, “I’ve been a avid fan of Carl McCoy and Fields of the Nephilim since I was introduced to them during the early years of Enslaved; and they have remained a constant source of inspiration ever since (check out the song ‘Nordlys’ from our Scion-EP ‘The Sleeping Gods’, for instance). Having these absolute masters of sublime Music from the Shadows as very special guests at our curated event is as big as it gets; April 2015 just can’t come fast enough! Aaaaaarrrrggghhh!”

Comments Selvik: “The basic idea of our ‘Houses of the Holistic’ is of course about inviting bands we find interesting and would love to see perform but it is also about creating an event that at the same time says something about what shaped and inspired us on our own creative path – AND – since the authors of the poetic Edda are long since gone I personally have difficulty thinking of a more fitting band than Fields of the Nephilim to give voice to that idea.”

We at Roadburn have been huge supporters monolord roadburn 2015of Fields Of The Nephilim since the Dawnrazor album in 1987, and with their influence looming large over so many acts that have played at our festival over the years, hosting these two special performances at Roadburn 2015 couldn’t be more appropriate.

In related news: In keeping with our tradition of bringing you the finest rock ‘n’ roll ceremony of occultish, Sabbathian shades and sounds, we’re thrilled to announce that Ohio’s Electric Citizen will play on Saturday, April 11. Sweden’s hotly-tipped psychedelic stoner sludge outfit Monolord (as in lords of monolithic riffing) will bring their massive mesmeric, speaker-rumbling amplifier worship to Roadburn Festival 2015 on Thursday, April 9.

Roadburn Festival 2015 (including The Heads as Artist In Residence, Enslaved and Wardruna among others) will run for four days from Thursday, April 9 to Sunday, April 12 at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands.

http://www.roadburn.com/
https://twitter.com/roadburnfest
https://www.facebook.com/roadburnfestival

Monolord, Empress Rising (2014)

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My Brother the Wind Post Album Trailer

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 28th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

my brother the wind

Yes. Yes. More of this. Less of not this. Swedish improv psych explorers My Brother the Wind will issue their third album in October via Free Electric Sound. The cumbersomely-titled offering, Once There was a Time When Time and Space were One, has just been given a video trailer, and I put it on to check it out and not one minute had passed before I was immersed. Hypnotized. The gorgeous, lush wash of tones had me in their grips to the point that, by the time its two minutes were played out, I forgot I wasn’t listening to a full album and that was all I was going to get.

Kind of a bummer about that last part, but the trailer really makes me look forward to what the album might hold when it hits in October, which I guess is the whole point. Fair enough. The PR wire brings info and of course the video itself:

MY BROTHER THE WIND: Expansive Album Trailer For New LP By Swedish Cosmic Rock Instrumentalists Released

Sweden’s instrumental cosmic rock quartet, MY BROTHER THE WIND, will release their third full-length album this October, the opus harnessing forty-five minutes of the band’s entirely improvised, instrumental psychedelic rock, entitled Once There Was A Time When Time And Space Were One. Recorded live in the studio with no overdubs during a single day, the band used six and twelve string acoustic and electric guitars, mellotron, flute, bass, drums, congas and more to complete the task. The album was captured in full analog on 2″ tape courtesy of a 16 track Ampex from 1969 at Drop Out Analogue, in the snowy wilderness of Åmål, Sweden, with engineering duties handled by Love Tholin, who used vintage flangers, plate reverbs and tape echoes to achieve the LP’s unrestrained sound and exceptionally organic tones, after which it was mixed by Tholin and the band, and mastered by Hans Fredriksson.

A trailer for Once There Was A Time When Time And Space Were One has been released, featuring an array of photos documenting the album’s creation as well as the band performing both on stage as well as outdoors, an in-depth look at the LP’s awesome artwork, and the first audio sample to be leaked from the album.

MY BROTHER THE WIND is a fully improvisational cosmic rock collective consisting of members of widely known Swedish progressive rock acts Makajodama, Magnolia, Animal Daydream and Anekdoten, their output an inviting sound for fans of Popol Vuh, Amon Duul, Sun Ra, Ash Ra Temple, Gong and Pink Floyd, Free Electric Sound — the instrumental music division of The Laser’s Edge — will release Once There Was A Time When Time And Space Were One worldwide on October 14th. Stand by for further transmissions including preorders for the CD and deluxe LP versions as well as additional audio from the album in the coming days.

https://www.facebook.com/mybrotherthewind
https://soundcloud.com/my-brother-the-wind
http://www.lasersedgegroup.com/labels/free-electric-sound
https://www.facebook.com/TheLasersEdge
https://twitter.com/thelasersedge

My Brother the Wind, Once There was a Time When Time and Space were One album trailer

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The Obelisk Questionnaire: Christian Peters of Samsara Blues Experiment

Posted in Questionnaire on August 28th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

christian peters

For more than five years now, Berlin-based guitarist/vocalist Christian Peters has been working ceaselessly to bring his band Samsara Blues Experiment to the forefront of heavy psychedelic consciousness. From touring the West Coast of the US before they even had an album released to graphic design work to founding his own label, Electric Magic Records in order to bolster other acts — having an outlet for a collection of solo recordings released under the name Soulitude didn’t hurt either — to playing fests like Roadburn, the Desertfests, Freak Valley and many more, as well as touring, SBE has taken the harder road of getting their name out. At the same time, Peters has been at the fore of Samsara Blues Experiment‘s creative development since the start, their three albums — 2013′s Waiting for the Flood (review here), 2011′s Revelation and Mystery (review here) and 2009′s Long Distance Trip (review here) — showcasing a fluid psychedelia both creatively open and propelled by rich tonality. On both levels, the work of Peters and his bandmates has begun to pay off.

When I sent him the Questionnaire to fill out, Peters was on a well-earned vacation — no computer — but back to the grind, he wasted no time in sending back his answers, which I think you’ll enjoy reading:

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Christian Peters

How did you come to do what you do?

I started playing guitar at the age of 10. My father, more or less, forced me to learn an instrument at that time, so you can imagine how “happy” I was back then with playing Folk and Classical guitar. Every day at least one half-hour was my torment as a kid, really. I didn’t touch my guitar for one year when I was around 15 or 16, but then got finally addicted to music and so started to teach myself E-Guitar and all (or most of) the other instruments I play today.

Describe your first musical memory.

Singing tradional German Folk songs in the car with my Mom and Dad, all together. I may have been around 4 or 5 years old.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

First rehearsal with my first band, back in 1999. First professional recording, later then. Releasing a first LP record with Terraplane in 2007. Playing in San Francisco with SBE in 2009. Well, there seem to be plenty of good memories, but these are the best up to date.

When was a time when a firmly held belief was tested?

All the time, somehow.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

Happiness perhaps? For instance I am seldomly really happy with recordings. But then sometimes I am not even sure if there´s much progression left for me, haha. Then I sometimes feel like being trapped in that certain picture, even if the frame seems pretty wide.

How do you define success?

Being happy with what I do.

What is something you have seen that you wish you hadn’t?

All the things I´ve seen make me who I am, not all was pretty. I have seen sickness, poverty, lethargy, loneliness and death and more. It´s what most of us see in their fair share — some more, some less, some earlier and some later. Life isn´t always pretty, so let´s deal with it and write some songs about it to ease the pain. That´s how I try to get along.

Describe something you haven’t created yet that you’d like to create.

Much better albums. So let´s progress!

Something non-musical that you’re looking forward to?

NFL season 2014 and of course my next meal ;-).

Samsara Blues Experiment, “Shringara” Live in Athens, May 2014

Samsara Blues Experiment on Thee Facebooks

Electric Magic Records

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The Sabbathian Release Ritual Rites Sept. 3 on Svart

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 28th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

If you follow the varied work of guitarist Chad Davis (Hour of 13, Tasha-Yar, etc.), then you probably at some point in the last year or two saw The Sabbathian namedropped as a project in the making. Their debut EP, Ritual Rites, has been a while coming, and apparently the band’s new label, Svart, is looking to make up for some lost time. All the better, what with the three-track offering reveling as it does in bleak, classic doom the likes of which Davis seems to be able to so readily conjure.

Doubtless part of the delay in putting the whole thing together — if you want to call it a delay; sometimes these things just take a minute to get going — was in coordinating with vocalist Anette Gulbrandsen, who is based in Norway while Davis and guitarist Joey Downs reside in North Carolina. Whatever the case, the vinyl/download will be out shortly and it’ll look like this:

the sabbathian ritual rites

THE SABBATHIAN to release SVART debut, feature Hour of 13 member

Today, Svart Records announces September 3rd as the international release date for The Sabbathian’s debut mini-album, Ritual Rites, to be released on vinyl and digital formats. The Sabbathian comprise two fundamental elements: doom metal, and the occult forces of nature and energy. These elements brought together three individuals in the form of The Sabbathian. Taking their roots to the core of true, heavy, darkened metal, The Sabbathian draw an unparalleled ion from the likes of Candlemass and Black Sabbath, all while retaining a sound very personable to them. Formed by Chad Davis (Hour of 13), the journey is to create music for the hours of darkness and gloom.

Joined by guitarist Joey Downs (Altar Blood), his contribution adds the element of power and everything the sense of heavy. Featuring the sheer vocal beauty of Anette Gulbrandsen (Leave’s Eyes, Nattsol, Mäctätus) at the forefront, her alto/soprano vocal stylings bring forth medieval choirs and haunting apparitions that complete what is The Sabbathian: a journey into darkness, a voyage into the cosmic void unknown. With Ritual Rites, The Sabbathianhave arrived as a force to be reckoned with in the world of modern-day occult doom rock, and will remain the top contender until death. First proof can be heard HERE. Cover and tracklisting are as follows:

Tracklisting for The Sabbathian’s Ritual Rites
1. Ancient’s Curse
2. Ritual Rites
3. Nightshade Eternal

MORE INFO:
www.facebook.com/thesabbathianband
http://www.svartrecords.com/

The Sabbathian, “Ancient’s Curse”

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Alunah Premiere “Heavy Bough” from New Album Awakening the Forest

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 28th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

alunah

I don’t mind telling you I’ve been waiting for Alunah‘s new album for what feels like I really long time. The reality of the situation is that the Birmingham four-piece’s third offering and Napalm Records debut, Awakening the Forest, arrives just two years after their previous full-length, White Hoarhound (review here), but as I’ve continued to enjoy that record since first hearing it, my affection for it only growing with the passing months, it seems much longer. I’m not sure what my ideal follow-up to White Hoarhound would’ve sounded like — or, more to the point, I can’t think of a way in which Awakening the Forest isn’t it.

For those who, like me, were fans of the last one or of 2010′s Call of Avernus (review here) before that, the riffs of Dave and Soph Day retain their bounce, and new bassist Dan Burchmore falls in step thickly with drummer Jake Mason to craft a lumbering but still nod-ready groove. At the same time, there’s clear progression evident. alunah awakening the forestThe band is more patient, the pieces that make up the memorable six songs more languid. In general, they sound like they’ve been working since White Hoarhound came out, which of course is precisely the case whether one thinks in the sense of getting on the road for shows or bringing in Burchmore and solidifying their lineup. Alunah come across as more comfortable with their psychedelic side — fitting for their consistently pastoral thematic — but Awakening the Forest presents some of their most doomed material as well.

To wit, the rollout of “Heavy Bough.” At just under six minutes, it’s among the shortest songs on Awakening the Forest (only “The Mask of Herne” is shorter, and by five seconds), and marked out by the lead and rhythm interplay of Soph and Dave‘s guitars as well as Soph‘s riff-riding verse and more open chorus. On an album full of hooks, “Heavy Bough” stands out for its nature worship and for its still-grounded take, sandwiched between the more ethereal opener “Bricket Wood Coven” and the side A finale title-track, but if it’s the first you’re hearing of the album, then its primary function will be to remind of just how easily an Alunah track can get stuck in your head. If this is your first experience with the band, all the better you’ve found them at this moment.

Please find “Heavy Bough” on the player below, and enjoy:

Alunah will release Awakening the Forest on Oct. 6 in the UK and Oct. 7 in North America. The album was recorded by Greg Chandler (Esoteric) and mixed and mastered by Tony Reed (Mos Generator), and is available now to preorder. More info at the links.

Alunah on Thee Facebooks

Alunah at Napalm Records

Napalm Records

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Witchrider to Release Unmountable Stairs on Nov. 3

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 27th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Fuzzorama Records has been touting the virtues of Austrian rockers Witchrider for most of this year — even before they picked up the band for an EP release this Spring, and when it comes to fuzz, there are few parties worldwide who know what they’re talking about as well as the guys from Truckfighters, so yeah, I’ve had the name on my mind for a while. We’ll finally get to find out what Witchrider are all about this fall when their debut LP, Unmountable Stairs, is released by the label.

Not surprisingly, Truckfighters will take Witchrider out on tour around the time of the album’s release — you’d almost think these things were planned in advance — and you can find those dates and more about the release below, as well as “Black” from their EP, which will also appear on the debut.

To the PR wire:

WITCHRIDER DEBUT ALBUM AND EUROPEAN TOUR ANNOUNCED!

Fast rising Euro stone rocksters ‘Witchrider’ release ‘Unmountable Stairs’ on Monday 3rd November through Fuzzorama Records/Code7/PHD, and tour throughout Europe with Truckfighters.

When listening to Witchrider, you can not help but be drawn in by their magnetism. They have a haunting beauty that proves to engulf and ignite. As frontman Daniel Dorninger says, “the thing about making music is, there are no boundaries. It’s like a spirit of emotions that eventually passes through your body…you never know what you’re gonna’ end up with”.

Formed in 2012 and hailing from Graz, Austria, Portsmouth, Witchrider sport a mutual love for the quirky riffage of heavyweights QOTSA and Eagles Of Death Metal, as well as an affection for the dark elements of Soundgarden. Siphoning fuel from these powerhouses, Witchrider offer a genuinely refreshing take on their own brand of stripped down, fuzzed up alternative rock.

Living and breathing their music is crucial to the four-piece, and as such, they are constantly writing and honing their craft. “Being able to work on music all the time is essential for all of us. That’s why we record most of our stuff at home if we can. There’s even a freakin’ drum kit next to my bed!”, states drummer Michael Hirschmugl.

Although the songs work with each other as a collective piece of work, Witchrider’s music is diverse and has an array of influences. “I always found musical style not really that important. What counts the most is whether you can identify yourself with the music or not. I know I can and I am happy about every person who can as well. I think that’s what makes music ‘cool’”, says Hans-Peter.

As well as basking in the writing process, the band are supremely dedicated to playing live and fans will have ample opportunity to see the quintet as they hit the road this autumn supporting label mates ‘Truckfighters’. For a complete list of all European shows, check out www.facebook.com/witchriderband

In early 2014, Witchrider signed to Truckfighters’ Fuzzorama Records and they now release their new album ‘Unmountable Stairs’ on Monday 3rd November. With eleven killer cuts of low-strung scuzzy alt-rock, the record contorts and burrows itself deep into your skull. Look out for new single ‘I’m Outta Breath’, and don’t miss the band on tour throughout October and November.

WITCHRIDER LIVE (as main support to Truckfighters):
Nov 10 – Brudenell LEEDS
Nov 11 – Sound Control MANCHESTER
Nov 12 – King Tuts Wah Wah Hut GLASGOW
Nov 13 – The Basement NOTTINGHAM
Nov 14 – O2 Academy Islington LONDON
Nov 15 Hard Rock Hell – PWLLHELI
Nov 16 – Oobleck BIRMINGHAM

www.facebook.com/witchriderband
https://twitter.com/Witchriderband

Witchrider, “Black”

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Roadburn 2014: Sets from ASG, Carlton Melton, E-Musikgruppe Lux Ohr, Gozu, Hull, Mansion, Nicklas Barker & Reine Fiske and New Keepers of the Water Towers Available to Stream

Posted in audiObelisk on August 27th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

I’m always happy to post streams from Roadburn, and I think I’ve made that clear over the last half-decade, but this batch in particular features two of my favorite performances from this year’s fest, namely Brooklyn’s Hull, who played Day One, and Boston’s Gozu, who played Day Three. The two bands are pretty far from each other sonically and aesthetically, but both are fantastic at what they do and for me represent where I come from (the New York area) and where I’m at now (the Boston area). So in addition to having enjoyed watching these guys wreck up Stage01 and the Green Room, respectively, I’m happy now to have the chance to revisit those memories. Heavy riffs and fuzzy feelings.

Also cool to hear Mansion‘s set again, which was something of a sleeper, and Carlton Melton, who were so psyched out I almost broke a vinyl-buying embargo, as well as acts I missed like E-Musikgruppe Lux OhrNew Keepers of the Water Towers and ASG. As ever, all the sets were recorded by the venerable Marcel van de Vondervoort and his team, and they’ll be available into perpetuity so that future generations can know just how much they suck in comparison to the rock and roll we beheld.

So behold:

ASG – Live at Roadburn 2014

Carlton Melton – Live at Roadburn 2014

E-musikgruppe Lux Ohr – Live at Roadburn 2014

Gozu – Live at Roadburn 2014

Hull – Live at Roadburn 2014

Mansion – Live at Roadburn 2014

Nicklas Barker & Reine Fiske – Live at Roadburn 2014

New Keepers Of The Water Towers – Live at Roadburn 2014

Thanks as always to Walter and the Roadburn crew for permission to host the streams. To check out past streams from Roadburn 2014 click here, here and/or here, and to read the coverage from this year’s fest, click here.

Roadburn’s website

Marcel Van De Vondervoort on Thee Facebooks

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