Who Am I Without Live Music?

Posted in Features on September 17th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

saint vitus bar empty

Like a lot of people, I’ve spent the better part of the last year and a half separate from what I’d previously known as reality. A divergent timeline, splintered off from where it should be. It’s been a long Covid-19 pandemic, and I don’t think it’s going away anytime soon.

Really, I don’t. I see people announcing shows, playing shows, announcing tours, going on tours, and all I can think to myself is, “yeah, stay safe out there.” I’m vaccinated. If and when a booster is offered, I’ll be all over it. But I never stopped wearing a mask and certainly have continued to do so amid the rise of Delta variant numbers and deaths over the last several months. And I haven’t been to a proper, indoor club show since January 2020. Almost 19 months to the day.

I’ve attended outdoor gigs a few times — including just a couple weeks ago — but even for those I’ve largely stayed masked and despite knowing that open-air transmission of the virus is unlikely, I’m still scared. I can admit that, right? I’m scared. Isn’t that what it comes down to?

I’m scared for myself. I’m scared for my mother. For the rest of my family. For my son who’s too young to be vaccine-eligible. I’m scared for my wife, so exceptional in so many ways, getting a breakthrough infection being back at work on her college campus this semester. After all this time of living in this horrible new ‘normal,’ I’m still actively terrorized by the idea that not only could I get sick but I could be responsible for someone else getting sick. I could kill somebody I love by breathing the same air.

Checking case numbers has become a ritual. I look every day. It’s like checking the weather. 72 and sunny; 154,000 cases and 3,415 deaths yesterday. That death toll has been ticking up; case numbers evening out. But as school has started again and winter looms, I have a hard time imagining going out is about to get any easier.

This is true for me, understand. It doesn’t have to be you. You don’t have to agree. You don’t have to feel the same. I live in the American Northeast, in New Jersey. I’ve been attending concerts since before I could go without parental accompaniment, and as an adult, concerts and festivals have become a major part of my every single year. Who am I without that? I asked the question off the cuff earlier this week and I’ve been asking it in my head ever since. This is a piece of my identity, gone.

So many of my best memories are of shows. Alice in Chains at Lollapalooza 1993. Type O Negative at the Birch Hill however many times. Scissorfight and Pelican at the Knitting Factory in Manhattan. More shows at SXSW from 2003-2007 than I could ever hope to remember. The Book of Knots at Gramercy. Neurosis at Roadburn in the Netherlands. Høstsabbat in Norway. Psycho Las Vegas. Maryland Doom Fest. Om, Colour Haze, Sungrazer, Solace, Acid King. Touring with good friends in Kings Destroy. Hell, making those friends in the first place.

It’s a long, long list, and I don’t say that in an attempt to establish imaginary bona fides. I’ve never been cool, will never be cool. I’m trying to tell you it’s a part of who I am. Being in these places at these times has helped shape me. For better or worse, it has made me me. And I don’t know if I’ll ever get that back.

Melodrama is not my interest here. I don’t think I’ve seen my last club show or my last festival. As with many others, I’m making travel plans for 2022 — and missing travel is a big part of this, make no mistake — but even if those come to fruition, how can it be what it was? How can I not be fooling myself into ignoring that underlying fear of disease, even with all reasonable precautions taken?

I have so much in my life that I should be and am grateful for. My wife, my son, our families. My few but treasured friends. The house I live in. The records people send me to write about, and the fact that anybody might see these words at all; the support this site gets and has gotten over the last 12-plus years. So many of the good memories, music-related and otherwise, on which I can reflect. And when I check my privilege, I find it abundant. I have not worked one day at a job during this entire time.

But even amid this, and with hopeful announcements of shows and tours and fests filling my inbox and social media feeds, I feel as if a piece of me has caught this virus and died of it.

Who am I without live music? I am mourning. I have grown older, fatter, greyer, more frustrated and sadder for it. And this is the part of the internet-thinkpiece where usually there’s offered a sliver of hope, but I have none. In my heart of hearts, I believe that even if this virus and all its creepy-fingered variants magically disappeared tomorrow, I’d never be able to enjoy the experience of a live show in the same way again.

I will miss it for as long as I live.

Thanks for reading.



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Jointhugger Set Halloween Release for Surrounded by Vultures; New Song Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 17th, 2021 by JJ Koczan


Restored to trio status after bringing http://www.tassenrechner.de/?reliable-essay-writing-service - Dissertations, essays and academic papers of best quality. Get to know common tips as to how to receive the greatest Adam Suleiman (also www.E-go to link.com is an advanced custom writing agency occupied and staffed with brilliantly educated writing specialists whose goal is to provide Saint Karloff) into their ranks, Norwegian crushers Welcome to Year Round School Essay Bureau for custom academic writing services by an experienced and motivated team. We have experience of more than six years in Jointhugger have announced they’ll break with Friday-release convention in order to put out their second long-player, The core principles of choosing a legitimate research Criminology Dissertations include original content, certified researchers and quality writing. All of these principles are observed in the services from the following list of top 20 research paper writing services: 1. PaperHelp.org. Reliability of the service is the first and foremost characteristic of this company, which makes it extremely Surrounded by Vultures, on Halloween, Sunday, Oct. 31. The new album follows behind earlier-2021’s single-song EP, Can I get a professional to write my essay for me or i need to get someone to write a report for me cheap? Effectively managing time is the bane of students all over the world. They have to find a way to manage all their activities within the short 24 hours a day provides. Within this allocated time, students have to complete the following activities: Attend classes Perform chores Study Complete assignments Complete Reaper Season (review here), and 2020’s impressive debut, ( Have done lots of research and need it evaluated) reply to thread view you want to Best Site To Buy Essays; If you want a PhD then you have to work for one I Am No One (review here), and will be their sophomore outing through Majestic Mountain Records, which also stood behind the EP in April. Preorders are up now if you’re the type to take care of that early. It’s payday after all.

There’s a song up now called “Midnight” and it’s streaming at the bottom of this post — you’ll also see http://www.qualityinnandsuitesgatineau.ca/dissertation-students-motivation/s and get help from real academic experts. Pay-for-my-essay.com is the one of not many services where you pay for essays online and get the assistance of real professionals. It`s because we do care about our customers and the quality of assignments they get. That`s why we are very attentive while hiring new people. Reaper Season down there — and I’d love to wax poetic about its heaviness and how well it bodes for the record to come, but frankly where I’m writing from right now there’s a lot of drilling happening so it’s going to have to wait until I’m next in the car. Life. Sometimes it involves light construction.

Still, the PR wire:

jointhugger surrounded by vultures

Nordic Doom Giants JOINTHUGGER Announce Second Release of the Year with SURROUNDED BY VULTURES

Need Affordable Business Plan Writers? Browse profiles and reviews of top rated editors and have your writing professionally edited today. Surrounded by Vultures, the brand-new album by Jointhugger is released Sunday 31st October 2021 on Majestic Mountain Records

Having first come to the attention of Majestic Mountain Records following the release of their debut, I Am No One in 2020, an unhallowed union was quickly established to herald the arrival of not one, but two new records in 2021. The first, a sublime one-track EP – Reaper Season – was released to high praise earlier in the year, foreshadowing the arrival of their latest and most lethal entry into the annals of Nordic Doom; Surrounded by Vultures.

“Surrounded by Vultures is the second instalment in a trilogy of albums connected by correlating titles, united by their opening tracks,” explains Nico. “It’s a chronicle of Jointhugger’s journey as a band over the last ten years and our lives as people.”

Now counting drummer, Adam Suleiman (Saint Karloff), among its ranks, the band recorded the album live before handing over mixing and mastering duties to Haldor Grunberg at Satanic Audio. Featuring a curated selection of old and new tracks that offer a candid glimpse into the inner world of Jointhugger, ‘Midnight’; the first sprawling and cinematic single from the record reflects deeply on the chaos of existence and creation. Drawing a crushing heaviness and doom rock assault that lays waste to the turbulence of dominion.

Pre-order Surrounded by Vultures, the brand-new album by Jointhugger with Majestic Mountain Records here: https://majesticmountainrecords.bigcartel.com/

Official release on Sunday 31st October 2021.

1. In Dire Need of Fire Ch. 2
2. Midnight
3. Empty Space
4. Delysid Rex
5. The Calm

Surrounded By Vultures and was recorded live at Stone Bone Cross Studios in Norway in January 2021.
Produced by Nico Munkvold and Hrafn Helgason.
Mixed and Mastered by Haldor Grunberg at Satanic Audio.
All music by Nico Munkvold.

Nico Munkvold: Guitar/vocals
Tore Pedersen: Bass
Adam Suleiman: Drums


Jointhugger, “Midnight”

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Weedpecker to Release IV: The Stream of Forgotten Thoughts Dec. 3

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 17th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

What do we know about the next full-length from Discover how you can make use of the best source free of charge to reword your writing quickly and accurately Weedpecker? As of today, the title and artwork, but that’s hardly all. We know, and have known for a while, to expect something different, as the follow-up to 2018’s Our website is No. 1 in Academic Writing Service & Custom Have Essays Written For You . Feel free to hire us for your academic needs. We are the perfect III (discussed here) sees founding guitarist/vocalist That is why our writing specialists write Creative Writing Fantasys for sale and try to refresh the mind of the students. Whenever your tutor asks you to create a custom paper, our writers can start to write it, if you order us. Our team and their project on various subjects. Our company presents you with cheap custom essay writing service, and we have also a good record of making the students successful Piotr Wyroslaw “Wyro” Dobry surrounded by a different band. Sure enough, the album boasts a marked shift in sonic intention and realization, and while it builds on what Essay Organization Help - Expert writers, quality services, timely delivery and other benefits can be found in our writing service Enjoy the benefits of expert Weedpecker have done in the past, it finds its own clarity of approach to progressive heavy as well, distinct from what was even as it moves outward from it. You may recognize it as help me write an argumentative essay blog here doctoral dissertation writing help university essay help Weedpecker if you’ve heard the band in the past, but your definition of what that means will be expanded. Yes, I’ll openly admit to having heard this one.

Details as yet are pretty sparse — just the title and cover art, as noted above — but for those of end-of-year-list-making persuasions, you might want to do yourself a favor and hold a spot for a late entry.

The Dissertation Writing Assistance Problem Statement ensure that your thesis paper will not be pushed to the wayside. Your graduate program is entirely too important for the culminating project to get neglected. If you are a busy student with a hectic schedule, then do not give away your final free moments to editing, let a dissertation writing service take the wheel for a little and give your paper a professional touch Stickman Records sent the following down the PR wire in its newsletter:

Weedpecker IV The Stream of Forgotten Thoughts

Coming this December! Weedpecker – IV: The Stream Of Forgotten Thoughts

New album out December 3rd, 2021

We are happy to announce the forthcoming new full length by Weedpecker!

We find that the album’s trippy cover art (by Maciej Kamuda) perfectly reflects this record’s contents, which blew us away upon hearing the masters. Weedpecker has undergone a few fundamental lineup changes in recent years, with longtime bandmate and brother Bartek Dobry stepping out of the band and into a new engineer role for this album, and the result of this new incarnation is truly mindbending. We can’t wait for you all to hear this!

More details and music will be released in the coming months.

Weedpecker is:
Walczak (Tankograd, ex-Dopelord) – drums
Wyro – guitar/vox
Seru (BelzebonG) – keyboards
Domel (Major Kong) – bass


Weedpecker, III (2018)

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Apostle of Solitude Announce New LP Until the Darkness Goes Due in November

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 17th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

In my mind I had this as early 2022, but November certainly works too for the upcoming album, Until the Darkness Goes, from Apostle of Solitude. The long-running Indianapolis doomers offer six new tracks on the outing, and while there’s no audio yet, the follow-up to 2018’s From Gold to Ash (review here) will arrive after a pandemic spent refining their songs toward their most melodic and mournful material yet. I’m not saying I’ve heard it or anything, they’re not messing around when they talk about different kinds of ‘heavy’ at work. Apostle of Solitude have always carried an emotional weight to go with that of their tones — and they’ve always been undervalued as both a studio and live act — and that soul continues to resonate in new ways on these tracks. “Beautifully Dark” indeed.

I saw the news on social media and was in the midst of putting the post together when it also came down the PR wire, so kudos to Cruz Del Sur and Clawhammer PR on the coordinated rollout.

Here’s info:

Apostle of Solitude Until the Darkness Goes

APOSTLE OF SOLITUDE To Release ‘Until The Darkness Goes’ This November

Indianapolis doom titans Apostle of Solitude will release their fifth studio album, “Until The Darkness Goes”, this November via Cruz Del Sur Music.

APOSTLE OF SOLITUDE — featuring vocalist/guitarist Chuck Brown, guitarist/vocalist Steve Janiak, bassist Mike Naish and drummer Corey Webb — initially planned to record the album in late 2020, but health and safety concerns over the global pandemic pushed the start date to May 17 of this year. Once again, the band hunkered down in Russian Recording in Bloomington, Indiana, with long-time producer/engineer Mike Bridavsky at the helm.

According to Naish, the goal heading into the creation of “Until The Darkness Goes” was to write shorter, more compact songs, with an onus on their quality and emotional impact on the listener. “This album is short even by our standards,” he says. “The emotion of the lyrics coupled with slower tempos suggest a sudden and painful personal loss, a mood that evolved over the album’s creation. It is probably more about refining what we do best as a band — and individuals — to convey an idea as opposed to continuing a theme. In short, it’s a more polished version of everything we all loved about our previous records.”

The pandemic directly impacted APOSTLE OF SOLITUDE — one of its members lost both parents, casting a pall over its creation. The band took advantage of shifting recording dates to refine the album, resulting in what is unquestionably their darkest and most heartfelt LP to date.

“The pandemic was ever-present as the songwriting process evolved,” says Naish. “Thus, more of our personal experiences became infused in our playing and songwriting, specifically around vocal harmonies. To play music together was cathartic for us, but it was also challenging to stay safe during a pandemic. We were fortunate to have support from our label, Cruz Del Sur, to record when we felt comfortable. So, that’s what we did.”

APOSTLE OF SOLITUDE recently resumed live activity, including two opening slots on the abbreviated THE OBSESSED and THE SKULL American tour. While the band enjoyed hitting the stage once again, they couldn’t help but worry things could come to a halt at any time.

“There always seemed to be some impending sense of doom (pun intended?) that nothing has any sense of permanence,” finishes Naish. “We are generously supported when we tour, and, for that, we are grateful. We owe it to ourselves and each other to pull our weight to bring this pandemic to an end. We want to tour in support of this release when conditions are favorable for both performers and fans. Unfortunately, we cannot predict when that will be. Working musicians are struggling right now to make ends meet, and we feel uncomfortable putting anyone at risk in these trying times. We’ll see you all as soon as we can do it safely.”

Cover artwork – original oil on canvas by WÆIK.

“Until The Darkness Goes” tracklisting:
1. When The Darkness Comes
2. The Union
3. Apathy In Isolation
4. Deeper Than The Oceans
5. Beautifully Dark
6. Relive The Day

Corey Webb – drums
Chuck Brown – guitars, vocals
Steve Janiak – guitars, vocals
Mike Naish – bass


Apostle of Solitude, From Gold to Ash (2018)

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The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal Playlist: Episode 68

Posted in Radio on September 17th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk show banner

I try really hard not to make these shows suck. I do. And I think I’m mostly successful in that endeavor, but I tried extra hard this time. With my voice tracks as well as the playlist, which is almost entirely new music apart from the Orange Goblin and Mars Red Sky songs. I wanted to put a little life in my voice and I hope I managed to do so. I know last ep was a special consideration, with the death of Eric Wagner and all, but I’m not trying to be the most softspoken guy on Gimme Metal or anything. I just want to play music that isn’t necessarily aggro all the time. I’m actually pretty excited generally about doing so.

Tried to show that a little bit more. Nobody said anything to me about it or anything. I highly doubt anyone gives a crap. As long as I’m not doing like three-song shows with no voiceovers, Gimme seems content enough to let me do me. But just for myself, I wanted to hopefully convey a little bit of how much I enjoy talking about and sharing music. That’s the point of the whole thing.

Thanks for listening if you do and/or reading. I hope you enjoy.

The Obelisk Show airs 5PM Eastern today on the Gimme app or at: http://gimmemetal.com

Full playlist:

The Obelisk Show – 09.17.21

Crystal Spiders Septix Morieris
Canyyn Crush Your Bones Canyyn
Orange Goblin Cities of Frost Healing Through Fire
Sonolith Star Worshipers Voidscapes
ASTRO CONstruct Hand Against the Solar Winds Tales of Cosmic Journeys
Slowshine Living Light Living Light
EMBR Born 1021
Vokonis Null & Void Null & Void
Floored Faces Shoot the Ground Kool Hangs
Carcaňo Riding Space Elephants By Order of the Green Goddess
Malady Dyadi Ainavihantaa
River Flows Reverse Final Run When River Flows Reverse
Gondhawa Raba Dishka Käampâla
Mars Red Sky Crazy Hearth The Task Eternal
Terminus The Falcon The Silent Bell Toll
Djiin Black Circus Meandering Soul
Negură Bunget Brad Zau

The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal airs every Friday 5PM Eastern, with replays Sunday at 7PM Eastern. Next new episode is Oct. 1 (subject to change). Thanks for listening if you do.

Gimme Metal website

The Obelisk on Facebook

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Caution Boy Premiere “Consolation” Video; Alligator Out Now

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 17th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

caution boy

Pretoria, South Africa’s Caution Boy released their 10th full-length, Alligator, last week through Mongrel Records. That’s 10 albums released in about five years, mind you. True some of the recordings date back much further, but 10 records of anything is an impressive milestone to reach, however long it took to get there. And these aren’t just rehearsal room jams. Caution Boy play songs. Catchy songs. Varied songs. Rocking songs. Formerly a solo-project of guitarist/vocalist Andi Cappo, the band enter Alligator as a trio with Treveshan Pather playing bass and Archie Kinnon on drums, and of course that has an effect on the material, the dynamic. Cappo had worked with a range of guests on records like 2018’s Spastic Plastic or 2017’s 2016-2017, but as I understand it, Caution Boy have never been a full band in this way, and Alligator is the first offering they’ve had through Mongrel.

Those who follow or are aware of the label’s oeuvre will maybe recognize the (co-)production hand of Evert Snyman (Ruff Majik, solo work, etc.) on “Consolation,” a video for which is premiering below. The post-Songs for the Deaf desert-style fuzz and crunch of guitarcaution boy alligator tone on that topical, hooky album highlight extends to brash, punkish cuts like “Ever the Optimist” and “Mutual” — more Mondo Generator than Queens of the Stone Age, though not as willfully mean — as well as the grungy “So Sick.” “Consolation” arrives as the third piece of an opening salvo before “Ever the Optimist” goes deeper into aggression, with the opening title-track setting a careening, urgent tone (Snyman guesting on piano helps that) that the Melvinsian starts and stops of “Silence the Screams” gleefully bashes to bits like Rob Crow got mad at a thing. Speed wins the day, but “Swallow Me Whole,” like “Consolation” and really the rest of what surrounds ahead of the comedown-until-it-isn’t closer “Hue,” it’s clear that songwriting is the underlying focus. Seems highly unlikely a band gets to its 10th album otherwise. If you want to write songs, you need to write songs. There’s your deep-rooted insight for the day.

Because Alligator is already out — I’m late to the party, as ever — you can stream the eight-song album in its 27-minute entirety. Is that a full-length? They call it one, the songs flow together, and with the punkier aspects, arguing seems even more like a waste of time than usual, so yeah, it must be. In any case, unassuming though the amount of your busy day Caution Boy might take up with these tracks, the numbers are deceptive. Having listened once, one might be inclined to, say, put Alligator on again. One with less prior experience with the band’s work — like myself — might then be inclined to dig further back to 2019’s Vice Versa or the aforementioned Spastic Plastic to hear some of the differences between Caution Boy as a solo-project and as a full group, which, yes, do exist, despite a consistency of influence and a somewhat irreverent point of view. From there, who knows where one might end up? For what it’s worth, 2016’s Chapter 1-11 (Eleven) has plenty of hooks too. Have fun.

Video and PR wire info follow here.

Please enjoy:

Caution Boy, “Consolation” video premiere

Caution Boy on “Consolation”:

“Consolation” is a mirror held up to society, reflecting the reality of the pandemic generation. This is laced with glorified glimpses of the good times before & hopefully the good times to come, symbolized by karaoke, which is almost like a traditional pass time across the globe. This also symbolizes the transition for Caution Boy, which started as a solo project, performed as as 1 man “karaoke from hell” to a full band.

“Consolation” is an alternative dance punk rock homage to the covid 19 pandemic. From how the powers that be capitalized on the weak, to the individuals who were too stubborn to take precautions, to the internal & external struggles that go hand in hand with isolation.”

STREAM + ADD THE NEW ALBUM: https://orcd.co/alligator

The times are changing… and so is Caution Boy, what began as a demented, alternative punk rock “karaoke from hell” solo project; has metamorphosized into a monstrous trio, whose only mission is to destroy stages, ear drums & the normalized standards of society. Andi Cappo on the strings & screams, Treveshan Pather on the oh so low notes & Archie Kinnon on hides & twiggs.

What started as a sardonic reference to the cheesy phrase “see you later, Alligator”, turned into a ferocious animal, relentless, waiting to tear you limb from limb. It was inspired by the ruthless actions & reactions to orbiting the vicious virus spreading across the planet, from the effects of isolation to the political impacts, to the death of people near & dear to us.

The first recording dates just so happened to fall in the first week of South Africa’s (seemingly never- ending) lockdown. In the months that followed the mindset and songs started to change, some were dropped, new ones were written, and others became more relevant than ever. It is composed of eight high energy, pedal to the metal songs that Andi describes and “barely an album” – with a cheeky wink and his tongue in his cheek.

The bands latest album is co-produced and recorded by the band over a few days, spread over a few months from late 2020 to early 2021, with Evert Snyman (Pollinator, Ruff Majik) from Pariah Studios in the co- producer’s driving seat, and in charge of the recording, mix and master.

Caution Boy, Alligator (2021)

Caution Boy on Facebook

Caution Boy on Instagram

Mongrel Records website

Mongrel Records on Thee Facebooks

Mongrel Records on Instagram

Mongrel Records on Bandcamp

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Somnuri Post “In the Grey” Video; Live Shows Happening

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 16th, 2021 by JJ Koczan


Best wishes to Brooklyn three-piece Somnuri, who this evening find themselves in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to begin a round of Fall shows along the Eastern Seaboard that will run for the next two weeks and leave them off in Buffalo, New York, after looping as far inland as Ohio. They go supporting the righteous cause of June 2021’s Nefarious Wave (review here) on Blues Funeral Records, and to herald the undertaking — and it’s worth mentioning that they’re playing with awesome bands up and down and side to side as they go — they’ve got a new video up for the hooky, metallic “In the Grey,” which I like both for its unashamed harsh-verse/clean-chorus interplay and for its use of “grey” with an ‘e’ instead of an ‘a.’ Also the video’s pretty funny.

Unlike the clip that accompanied the title-track in July (it’s also below if you don’t feel like clicking), this one was not put together by drummer Phil SanGiacomo, but one can hardly hold that against it given the layering and green-screen chicanery director Susan Hunt undertakes. It’s a good time, and the song is killer, and it’s the fourth video they’ve put out from Nefarious Wave, but like I said last time, the more the merrier. In this age of things-aren’t-the-way-they-used-to-be, I’m not sure why a band like Somnuri would stop putting out videos from one album until they either ran out of tracks or money or had another album to start putting out videos from.

In my mind, this band carries a legacy of aggro New York sludge that goes back at least 20 years, and they make it their own. Being from outside the city, I appreciate what they do, and to be honest with you, posting about them makes me happy. So here we are.


Somnuri, “In the Grey” official video

somnuri shows

Like a whirlwind of progressive sludge and post-hardcore tinged with black metallic blasts, this new single once again showcases the NYC trio’s mastery for crushing genre boundaries, injecting contrast and various influences in their music, making it so exciting and unique. Says the band about the video: “‘In The Grey’ encompasses a lot of the different styles from our new record, ‘Nefarious Wave.’ The song is about the idea of being stuck in limbo or oblivion and confronting that inner turmoil. The video was produced and directed by Susan Hunt (Five Sigma Films).”

Justin Sherrell — guitars/vocals (also bass on the album)
Philippe Arman — bass
Phil SanGiacomo — drums

Somnuri, “Nefarious Wave” official video

Somnuri, Nefarious Wave (2021)

Somnuri on Facebook

Somnuri on Instagram

Somnuri on Bandcamp

Blues Funeral Recordings on Bandcamp

Blues Funeral Recordings on Facebook

Blues Funeral Recordings website

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Video Interview: Chad Ross of Comet Control Talks Inside the Sun and More

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Features on September 16th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

comet control (Photo by Olde Night Rifter)

The third album from not-quite-Toronto’s Comet ControlInside the Sun (review here), came out on Aug. 24 in a partnership with Tee Pee Records that extends back to before Comet Control was a band. It is a record that is both consistent with the band’s two prior outings, 2016’s Center of the Maze (review here) and 2014’s self-titled debut (review here), and marked by change, finding upon its release that guitarist/vocalist Chad Ross and bassist Nicole Ross (née Howell) have relocated to Northern Ontario, and working on a home studio there while also parenting a soon-to-be-toddler. Meanwhile, the band has also restructured at least in its studio incarnation, with Andrew Moszynski moving from guitar to drums — Marco Mozin will handle the task live when/if that becomes a thing again — and Jay Lemak has taken over on keys. Oh and they built a studio for themselves too, but apparently that’s no big deal. They do it all the time.

Honestly, a new keyboardist would be enough change for most groups on one record — “Well, we’ve got a new keyboardist, so…” — but if you listen to Inside the Sun, it still sounds very much like Comet Control, and that aforementioned consistency comes from the partnership of Chad Ross and Andrew Moszynski, who’ve been working together since their days in acid explorers Quest for Fire. The foundation of that collab and the writing of both, as well as the pervasive melodicism and songcraft central to the band’s approach means that Inside the Sun is very much a third Comet Control album, and brings with it the sense of manifesting the essential aspects of their sound that one hopes a band who’ve now been at it for eight-plus years would be hitting toward. If I called it one of the year’s best records — it is — would that be enough summary?

Probably not, which is one more reason I wanted to talk to Ross about putting Inside the Sun together. And as we dug into the record, particularly the uptempo opener “Keep on Spinnin'” and the manner in which side B unfolds from there in lush fashion as it does, I grew more curious about the Ross/Moszynski writing as the core of Comet Control, especially as is pertained to their prior work in Quest for Fire, which is, if you listen to the two side-by-side, a different band. Ross discusses the divergent purposes between the two and the growth of Comet Control as its own thing, as well as where it might go in the unknowable future. In the more immediate, he’s also got a new solo record coming out next Spring under the moniker C. Ross, and if you ever dug into the stuff he released as Nordic Nomadic, you know that’s something to look forward to as well. I asked him outright for an early listen. Nothing yet, though he did tip me off to the new Dark Bird, and the Rick White & Eiyn Sof 2019 release, Secret River, Hidden Place, both of which are well worth searching out for the curious.

We spoke in the morning earlier this week, I in the wood paneling, he in the woods. The trees in his background were amazing, and he described going out there with an acoustic guitar and noodling around, which, yeah, made sense. How could you not?


Comet Control, Inside the Sun Interview with Chad Ross, Sept. 13, 2021

Inside the Sun is available now through Tee Pee Records and streaming in full below. I’ll post more info on the forthcoming C. Ross album as I get it. More at the links.

Comet Control, Inside the Sun (2021)

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