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I put up a podcast last year on the day before Thanksgiving as well. At least I’m consistent. In the US, today is the biggest travel day of the year, and I continue to feel like there are few things better in this universe than hitting the road accompanied by good music. Whether you’re driving alone on your way to see family for the holiday, commuting to work (that one doesn’t necessarily have to be by car, I suppose), going to stand on line for some silly discount item or whatever it might be, I hope you find something here you consider worth bringing along for the trip.
The holidays are always a pretty stressful time — when isn’t? — so once it gets past the initial burst of heft from Tombstones, this one stays pretty mellow for the most part. Deville and Kind rock pretty hard, but once it moves into the Dirty Streets and Old Man Lizard and so on, it’s more nod than headbang, which is accurate to where my brain is at. Looking for something chill in the face of miles to cover and meals to consume. If you’re in the US, a very Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, and if not, I hope you enjoy just the same.
Track details follow:
0:00:00 Isaak, “Fountainhead” from Sermonize
0:03:58 Tombstones, “Pyre of the Cloth” from Vargariis
0:13:30 Hound, “Over the Edge,” from Out of Space
0:17:44 Deville, “Mind on Hold” from Make it Belong to Us
0:21:17 Kind, “German for Lucy” from Rocket Science
0:28:26 Dirty Streets, “Save Me” from White Horse
0:31:55 Old Man Lizard, “Craniopagus Paraciticus” from Old Man Lizard
0:40:43 Across Tundras, “No Roads in any Direction” from Home Free
0:46:52 Niche, “On Down the Line” from Heading East
0:52:11 Wired Mind, “Road” from Mindstate: Dreamscape
1:03:07 Seedy Jeezus, “Echoes in the Sky” from Echoes in the Sky
1:19:03 Dorre, “One Collapsed at the Altar” from One Collapsed at the Altar
Posted in Whathaveyou on November 30th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
By the time Ripple Music labelmates Wo Fat and Mothership hit the shores of Europe together next April, they’ll both have new records out. In the case of Wo Fat, that will be Midnight Cometh, their first full-length for the label — they also have a limited self-released split 7″ out in Dec. on which they cover Betty Davis‘ “They Say I’m Different”; already sold out — and for Mothership, it’s the Live over Freak Valley LP due Jan. 15 that captures their last voyage abroad. In any case, it will no doubt be a trip to remember, including as it does stops at Desertfest Berlin and London and world-famous venues in Austria, the Netherlands, Denmark and elsewhere.
You might recall the first Texas Takeover with Wo Fat and Mothership, in addition to Mothership‘s impending live album, also resulted in Wo Fat‘s Live Juju at Freak Valley (review here). We’ll see if 2016’s tour is similarly productive.
We are pleased to announce the tour dates for our 2016 Texas Takeover II Tour with our Texas Riff Brothers, Mothership. Dig the rockin’ poster from David Paul Seymour.
Throughout their sonic odyssey spanning five studio albums, a live album, and two splits, beginning in 2006 with The Gathering Dark, Wo Fat have stayed true to the deep, dark blues that wail from within and have continually forged their riffs with a primal groove. Going stronger and rocking harder than ever before, the band are currently readying their next chapter – and first with Ripple – with the release of their brand new album Midnight Cometh. Looming on the horizon and due for release in Spring 2016, this newest slab of riffage lurking in your future is easily their most daring and psychotropic exploration of heaviness to date.
Since 2013 Mothership has traveled non-stop, playing live across the USA, Canada, United Kingdom and Europe; taking to festival stages, nightclubs, and under the sun at whatever motorcycle parties they could find. They are for all intents and purposes a heavy rock juggernaut that has only just begun to tear a hole in the cosmos. And guess what? They have no plans of slowing down for anyone.
WO FAT & MOTHERSHIP: Texas Takeover II Tour: 04.18 Mephisto Hannover DE 04.19 Schaubude Kel DE 04.20 TBA 04.21 Pokalen Oslo NO 04.22 Loppen Copenhagen DK 04.23 1000Fryd Aalborg DK 04.24 Rock Cafe Hamburg DE 04.25 The Vortex Siegen DE 04.26 Feierwerk Munich DE 04.27 Arena Vienna AT 04.28 Desertfest Berlin DE 04.29 Dornrosje Nijmegen NL 04.30 Pre-Roadkill Festival Party Waarschoot BE 05.01 Desertfest London UK
Posted in Whathaveyou on November 30th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
Hamtramck, Michigan’s Bison Machine issued their Hoarfrost (review here) full-length through Kozmik Artifactz earlier this year and have already toured considerably to support its arrival, but it’s looking like they’re ready to move forward as well. The New Year will bring a new split offering with Detroiters SLO and Wild Savages, a tape limited to 150 copies that will mark the first new music from Bison Machine since the LP, and just prior to the cassette’s release, a quick tour alongside speedfreaks Against the Grain that will no doubt find both bands getting their feet under them as they plan out a vigorous 2016 filled with road time and recording.
Bison Machine have a Sabbath-reference shirt on offer and the cover art for the new split and poster for the tour can be found below. Click any and all to enlarge:
Bison Machine and fellow Michigan speed rockers, Against The Grain, hit the blustery winter road for a string of dates sure to heat up the tundra that is the northern Midwest. Both bands are still touring on their 2015 releases and Bison Machine is preparing to release a new offering as soon as they return from the road, a split album with two other of Detroit’s finest rock and rollers, Wild Savages and SLO. The album will be self-released, January 23rd, on tape limited to 150 copies and will feature previously recorded material that has never been released by Bison Machine as well as brand new tracks recorded by Wild Savages and SLO. Entitled, “Sweet Leaves!”, the album is sure to be a mind pleaser. Check out the album art and track listing exclusively on The Obelisk!
Bison Machine are also taking tour fundraising orders for a one-off shirt based on the “super fan” shirts in the Black Sabbath Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert footage. If you’re interested in helping with their tour fund you can order a shirt for $15 shipped, by including your shirt size and address in a paypal gift sent to email@example.com. You will also receive a free small gift with your order as a thank you! Sorry only sales in the USA will be accepted.
Against The Grain / Bison Machine Winter Tour “Mid x Midwest” 1/13 Green Bay WI @ The Lyric Room 1/14 Milwaukee WI @ The Cactus Club 1/15 Fort Wayne IN @ Skeletunes w/ River Bottom Nightmare 1/16 Lafayette IN @ The Doom Room w/ Mound Builders 1/17 Grand Rapids MI @ Tip Top w/ Bonehawk (matinee show. Doors 2pm)
Not really a surprise that the video for “Fuller,” taken from Chron Goblin‘s newly released third album and Ripple Music debut, Backwater (review forthcoming), would be a good time — that’s kind of the band’s thing — but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable. The new clip from the Calgary-based heavy rock foursome chronicles a freaked-out day in the life of a pizza deliverer, and that includes a guest appearance from the Gimp or otherwise some dude in a wrestling mask, doing stoned doughnuts in an empty parking lot, and dropping off lunch at the Breaking Bad trailer out in the middle of nowhere. I’ve never delivered pizzas professionally, but I imagine it’s pretty accurate to the reality of the situation.
The final stop? To Chron Goblin‘s rehearsal space, where the band awaits two pepperoni pies. As to whether or not they actually get them, I won’t spoil the video entirely, but as ever, it’s more about the journey than the destination, and “Fuller” makes for a fun trip along the way. A catchy, upbeat riff-and-hook approach is cut into a couple times for video/sound effects — the squealing tires into the guitar solo is particularly effective — and the song stands up well to the comedy, which it would have to for this kind of thing to work. Tension builds as the groove thickens later on, but though the stakes are high, e.g. pizza en route, but Chron Goblin never lose sight of the party they’re throwing sonically, and coupled with the songcraft they display throughout Backwater‘s entirety, that’s more than enough to hold even the most fickle of attentions for four minutes or so.
If anyone needs me, I’ll be ordering a pizza.
Chron Goblin, “Fuller” official video
We are proud to present a new music video for “Fuller”! Check out the ill-fated pizza delivery action adventure featuring the lovely and hilarious CJ. Directed, edited, and shot by our very own Josh Sandulak.
Posted in Whathaveyou on November 30th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
If you haven’t seen the name around yet, The Loranes is the new band from former Kadavar bassist Mammut. The newcomers are one of five bands in the latest batch to be announced for Desertfest Berlin 2016, which still has Electric Wizard, Truckfighters, Crowbar and Elder at the top of its bill. If no one else joined, they’d probably be ready to roll out a three-day fest as is and call it square, but I have the feeling we’re still in the thick of it as The Loranes and other local Berlin outfits like Rotor, Coogans Bluff (they’re from Rostock, two hours north), Samavayo and Dÿse are added.
Hard to argue either way, and I’m not inclined to try. Here’s the newest update from the festival:
Desertfest Berlin 2016 – ROTOR, DYSE, SAMAVAYO, COOGANS BLUFF, THE LORANES added to the line-up!
It’s time for a DESERTFEST special BERLIN announcement! 5 Years DESERTFEST BERLIN – 5 amazing Berlin bands added to the lineup! We are thrilled to welcome aboard instrumental stoner prog pioneers Rotor, incredibly entertaining experimental duo Dÿse, fast forward stoner rockers Samavayo, “Contemporary retro” songcrafters Coogans Bluff and the brand new power trio of ex-Kadavar bassist “Mammut”, The Loranes!
These 5 acts join the first 13 bands previously announced Electric Wizard, Truckfighters, Crowbar, Elder, Wo Fat, Egypt, Monolord, Death Alley, Monomyth, Mothership, Desert Storm, Kaleidobolt and Somali Yacht Club. Our fifth edition might be the trippiest experience of your life, so join us… take the ride and buy your ticket now! (tickets’ links below).
Regular HARD TICKETS or E-TICKETS can be purchased on our WEBSITE! Our ticketprices remain the same, that’s 85 Euros for all you newbies! But remember that we were sold out last time about 7 weeks ahead, and we think we may top that this year!
By ordering a HARD TICKET, you get a free Desertfest patch!
I’ve made no attempt to hide my fandom for Los Natas over the years. Their 1996 debut, Delmar, has closed weeks on two separate occasions (see here and here), and stands among my personal favorite records, period. House burning, only time to save the Kyuss or the Natas, I pick the latter every time, and not just because I can re-buy the Kyuss records either. I was fortunate enough to see them live at Roadburn 2010, as much as one could see anything with the room so dark, and between chasing down their rare-cuts offerings like Rutation (review here) and putting their last album, 2009’s Nuevo Orden de la Libertad (review here), among the top of that year’s best — a trend that has continued as guitarist/vocalist Sergio Chotsourian has gone on to release three albums with his new band, Ararat, in the years since — the nerding-out has really only continued. As I check the mail to look for a Sergio Ch. solo record to review, I doubt it will abate anytime soon.
So when I tell you that 1999’s Ciudad de Brahman is a special album, understand I’m speaking as a fan of the band’s work front to back. Progressed from the laid back desert sands of Delmar to something harder-edged but still offering plenty of serenity, the 14-track offering would set up the rawer heavy style that began to show itself from their third record, 2002’s Corsario Negro, through the subsequent 2006 outing El Hombre Montaña and of course on El Nuevo Orden de la Libertad as well, the quiet, jammy explorations having found an outlet in the interim in other releases like Toba Trance I and II and München Sessions, all of which were issued between 2003 and 2005.
Like its predecessor, Ciudad de Brahman was put out in North America by Man’s Ruin Records, and between its instrumental stretches, songs like “Brisa del Desierto,” “Meteoro 2028,” the stomping “Alohawaii” and its eight-minute instrumental/longest track opener “Carl Sagan,” Natas‘ second (also their final before adding the Los) full-length is a rich summary of the varied sound they’d come to hone over their years together, Chotsourian and drummer Walter Broide working with a couple different bassists, including Miguel Fernandez here and Gonzalo “Crudo” Villagra in the band’s final (to-date) incarnation. As always, I hope you enjoy.
Took a full day off yesterday, which is something I don’t ordinarily allow myself to do, but there was a lot of travel involved. In the morning, The Patient Mrs., the little dog Dio and I rolled down from Massachusetts to Connecticut to do her family’s Thanksgiving dinner, and last night, from there, down to New Jersey, where we’ll essentially repeat the process today. Back north tomorrow.
It would be fine, but I’m having a flareup in my right ankle — you might recall I fell early this year, but that’s more a symptom than the root cause — that is remarkably painful and has kind of played havoc on the idea of walking, which, you know, one might do on a family holiday occasion, even if it’s just to the kitchen and back. Yesterday was an adventure, I expect today will be likewise. Every day is in one way or another.
I guess that’s my way of noting why I’m closing out the week early today, because basically I’m on my way out the door and over to see my family, with perhaps a quick stop off for a coffee and an ace bandage along the way. Monday, check back for Chron Goblin‘s new video, which I’m sure you’ve already seen but is fun nonetheless, and a full-album stream from We Lost the Sea. Tuesday, the Readers Poll goes up, so I guess it’s the kickoff for list season. Might try to do year’s-best-art in the next week or so. Still have a bunch of reviews waiting as well for Bevar Sea, Kind, Bedroom Rehab Corporation, and so on. I’ll do my best to squeeze in as much as I can when I can.
Thanks for reading, have a great and safe weekend, and please check out the forum and radio stream.
Posted in Whathaveyou on November 27th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
Next weekend in Houston, Rudyard’s Pub hosts Doomsgiving IV – The Krampus Hunt, and while I have no idea what a Doomsgiving might entail as regards the traditional meal — turkeys made of riffs! — it’s a killer lineup with Project Armageddon, Linus Pauling Quartet, The Dirty Seeds and Serpent Sun, and that’s usually enough to pique my interest.
Linus Pauling Quartet, if you missed the news, had the Jan. 15 release date for their new album, Ampalanche, confirmed earlier this week by Vincebus Eruptum Recordings. Meantime, Project Armageddon will headline the evening in support of their earlier-2015 offering, Cosmic Oblivion (review here), which was a Doomsgiving feast unto itself.
Show details and whathaveyou:
Doomsgiving IV – The Krampus Hunt
December 5th at Rudyard’s Pub, Houston, TX.
Lineup: Project Armageddon Linus Pauling Quartet The Dirty Seeds Serpent Sun Doors at 8:00 $8
Spawned of Doom Metal, with open minds & experimentation; Hailing from the northern outskirts of Houston, TX-Project Armageddon consists of members: Brandon Johnson – guitar, Raymond Matthews – drums, and Doomstress Alexis – bass and vocals. February 2010 saw the release of Project Armageddon’s debut full length cd “Departure”: a self released, 45 minute record that stays true to P.A.’s no holds barred stylistic approach, running the gamut from straight out doom to somber acoustic tracks to full out effects laden psychedelic guitar tracks, dealing with super-genetic beings, nuclear holocaust, natural devastation, and religious intolerances.
Project Armageddon continued on an extensive show schedule from 2010 to mid-2011 both in the local clubs and around Texas. In the summer of 2011, Project Armageddon returned to Dungeon Manor studios to record their 2nd full length record: “Tides of Doom”. This was then sent out to be mixed by Supernatural Sound in Kultland, OH. “Tides of Doom” was released in March of 2012 followed the “Tides of Doom – Texas Tour” to support & promote the record. Demo work resumed after touring the Summer of 2012, and amidst a slew of many local shows supporting the local metal scene and touring acts both national and international. Project Armageddon rocked Austin during the SXSW festival and plans additional shows in Dallas/Ft. Worth and San Antonio. The touring schedule has recently been set taking Project Armageddon around the state and to some new areas as well as supporting more international acts.
Pure guitar muscle and Texas Stoner Metal Psych insanity with universal themes like drugs, beer, sci-fi/fantasy, and Bongs of Power. If you like your riffs heavy, the solos unyielding, and the smell of the bong to billow out of your stereo, the LP4 is your band.
The Dirty Seeds. No gimmicks, just four strangers gathered together by an ape-like stoner prophet from the future to save humanity with loud rock n roll. Face melting stoner rock with enough of a groove to trick white people into thinking they know how to dance.
Event will feature the traditional Doomsgiving table set w/club decor by artist Chuyz Beard. Also photo gallery display by Goon73 Photography.
Posted in Whathaveyou on November 27th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
Italian three-piece newcomers Deadsmoke make a fitting complement to the already-announced early 2016 release list for Heavy Psych Sounds, whose expanding roster over the course of this year has made it one of the most up and coming heavy rock imprints in the US or Europe, even if the albums are just starting to materialize from the likes of Ape Machine and Isaak. The momentum will continue in Feb. 2016 with Banquet and Duel, and in March, it’s Holy Grove and Deadsmoke, who’ll be making their self-titled debut late in the month.
A teaser trailer has been posted for the record that’s basically just 50 seconds of a riff, but it says plenty about the band’s mindset and tonal density, and about the largesse of groove that will be on offer at least somewhere on the album when it arrives. Other details, presumably, are forthcoming, but here’s the announcement from the label, who can’t seem to let a week or two slip by these days without adding a new band to the roster:
HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS RECORDS is stoked to announce a new band in the roster: *** Deadsmoke ***
Deadsmoke is a doom sludge Italian band sounding like deep entombed amplifiers and downtuned monolithic guitars scraping the soil down to the core of the sphere. Slow hypnotic not-harmonic cadences refresh the eternal need of isolation and the atavistic fear of nothingness. Sub lowered frequencies corrode the one last trace of human cognition, apprehension and judgment. Your soul already burned, smoke is what remains.
They already played at the mighty Duna Jam last summer and you will have the chance to see the band live at the HPS Fest Vol 2 in Rome December 12-2016!
Posted in Features on November 27th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
Let the speculation end: Asteroid are back together. New material is in progress for a 2016 release and they’ll hope to tour next year as well.
The Swedish heavy psych rockers ended on a fade after Move a Mountain/One Foot in the Grave (review here), a final 7″ single that followed what remains one of the finest fuzz-jam releases of this decade, 2010’s II (review here), and about two months ago, the Örebro-based trio of guitarist/vocalist Robin Hirse, bassist/vocalist Johannes Nilsson and drummer Elvis Campbell began to tease the prospect of a resurgence via social media, posting on Thee Facebooks vague notes like “Is there anybody out there..?” and photos of setlists, and so on.
This week, news came of their first-announced show as a reunited band, which will be Feb. 27 in Athens, Greece, supporting the inaugural European tour for All Them Witches, and today I’m pleased to bring confirmation that will be the first of hopefully many to come. Five years after II basked in warm tones and the ultra-natural chemistry of Hirse, Nilsson and Campbell on tracks like “Edge,” “Garden,” “Towers,” “River” — hell, all of them — Asteroid have begun work on a follow-up. Whether that will be a full album or something else by the time it comes out, it’s early to say, but when Asteroid start jamming, good things happen. They’ve got one new song done and more taking shape.
Fuzzorama Records — the label helmed by fellow Örebro fuzz specialists Truckfighters — released II and the 2007 self-titled Asteroid debut (discussed here), may or may not continue to handle their work when the time comes. In 2012, the band signed to Small Stone on a deal that ultimately fell through, so it’s entirely possible they could wind up working with their neighbors again or with someone else. Maybe that’s putting the cart before the horse, but it’s easy to be excited about the prospect of a third Asteroid LP, both because the second was such a landmark and because it showed so much potential for them to move even farther forward, and I’m thrilled to be able to bring you the first interview they’ve done to confirm the reunion is taking place.
It’s a quick Q&A and it follows here. Please enjoy:
Alright, let’s do this. Take me through the story of getting Asteroid back together. How did it happen? Was it always going to happen? Was it never going to happen? What came together that allowed a reunion to take place?
Yep, let’s get to it. First off, we never said: “This is it, it’s over!” So there was always a chance that it was going to happen. Even more likely than not. We’ve been good friends all along so there were no burnt bridges or anything like that. One day I just called up the guys and asked them over for coffee and said something like, “So, what do you think, do you wanna give it another go?” And they said, “Yes of course.” I think the thought had crossed our separate mind at least a thousand times since we “parted ways.”
Tell me about bringing Elvis back into the lineup on drums.
Well, let me put it like this: No matter how many drummer we’ve had, Elvis is the drummer of Asteroid. He’s always been. When he joined we found our sound, our real groove smile. Henke [Jannson] was with us for a lot of shows and on the 7” and we love him dearly and we had Martin [Ström] in the beginning, on the split with Blowback and on the debut album. But as I said, the three of us playing together make the magic that is Asteroid. Nothing else even comes close.
What led to the breakup/hiatus in the first place?
We were just tired… Tired of sitting in that tour bus mile after mile, tired of each other, tired of all the long nights and the endless party. Don’t get me wrong, we love playing live, but it takes a toll on you. The last tour we did before the break (which was with Elvis, by the way) was really hard on all of us, mentally and physically.
It all gets very personal and close when you’ve been a band for as long as we have. And since we hang out in private too it felt like a break was the right thing to do. And that gave us time to get our heads straight and rest our souls a bit.
How did it feel to pick up your gear and jam Asteroid songs again together for the first time? Where was the rehearsal and how did it happen?
Like coming back home, I guess that would probably be the best way to describe it. Like things were beginning to fall back in to place… Honest and true, like music is supposed to feel. It was such an awesome feeling! But I won’t lie, it was a bit harder, and it took some getting used to after all that time. But after the second rehearsal the muscles began to remember the motions and our vibe began to return for real. Great fun to say the least!
We know almost all the bands in our hometown, so getting a place to test our wings wasn’t hard. And a couple of weeks ago we found a nice rehearsal space that we’ve been getting in order with all our lovely gear and all our lava lamps and Persian rugs.
Have you started to write new material? Will you work on a new album first or something else?
We had some song ideas, maybe three or four, that we began writing before the “vacation,” that we’ve started putting together now and I actually think we finished the first, an all-new one, yesterday [Nov. 25]. But you never know, we may change some things around. It’s got kind of a groovy “Zeppelin”-vibe to it… We really dig it! As for the rest of the “buried treasures,” they most certainly sound like Asteroid. Spacious, trippy, soft and heavy as hell! So as soon as we got some more song that we are happy with done, an album will be recorded. Or an EP, or a 7” or a double album… We’ll see how it goes, but we promise that new music will be released sometime next year!
It’s been five years since the second album came out. How do you feel Asteroid’s sound will progress moving forward?
I think we’ll continue to do what we’ve always done: Write stuff that we would want to listen to ourselves. And since that can be anything from soft jazz and strange whale sounds to crazy black metal from the deepest woods of Norway, anything can happen. We never ever strive to write an “Asteroid song” it’s more like all the songs we write become “Asteroid songs” because of the three of us and what we individually and collectively bring to them.
Fuzzorama reissued II last year. What do you think it is about that record that resonated so much with listeners?
I personally think people can tell when something comes from the heart. It’s heavy and fuzzy mixed with raw and fragile… We’ve always been very proud of that album, but we had no idea that it would have an impact on as many people as it has. And that’s what makes you the most proud. That just goes to show what music can do!
But it’s still weird when you think about the fact that at least one or two of those riffs or lyrics were written while I was sitting on the toilet. It’s a good place to think, you know.
You’ll be playing with All Them Witches in Athens, Greece, on Feb. 27. What else is in the works for shows? Will you tour?
That’s gonna be great fun! I really like their style. And it’s gonna be nice to meet Elina [Kemanidi, show promoter] at last. She puts on a lot of great shows there and we’re looking forward to finally seeing one.
Sadly nothing else can be said right now about what has been booked for the next year, but it’s going to be a fun year that’s for sure! We’ve got our No. 1 Dude working around the clock, so yes, we will be touring in 2016.
Any other plans or closing words you want to mention?
Well with everything that is happening all around the world right now it would be great if everyone could just try to remember that we are ALL in this together.
And of course: Long live love, fuzz and hard rock… and all that is good!