Posted in Whathaveyou on October 26th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Moody and atmospheric Dublin-based heavy progressive rockers (you sure that description’s long enough?) Mother Mooch have issued their debut album, Nocturnes, on vinyl through Krauted Mind Records, and next month they’ll head to Mainland Europe for the first time to mark the occasion with a couple shows in Belgium and the Netherlands. Testing the waters for more action in 2017? Perhaps. They’ll look to tour the UK at least next year, and since the album has only continued to garner a positive response since it first came out late last year as a digital self-release, one can only imagine they’ll keep making the most of the momentum they’ve built, however that realizes itself.
The PR wire has info for the info-hungry:
MOTHER MOOCH RELEASE ‘NOCTURNES’ ON VINYL
Dublin psychedelic doom-grunge five piece Mother Mooch self released their debut album Nocturnes in digital format on Friday 13th November 2015 to critical acclaim throughout the international stoner/doom/psych underground. Always intended for vinyl release, the band were on the verge of pressing a vinyl edition of the album themselves when they were contacted by Henry Fauser of Germany’s Krauted Mind Records who had discovered the album on Bandcamp and offered a vinyl release through his label. Aware of the fertile stoner/doom/psych scene in Germany and the rest of mainland Europe, Mother Mooch jumped at the chance to get their music heard by a wider audience.
The marbled orange vinyl limited edition comes in a gatefold sleeve with a new interior piece from Illustrations by Emmet Mulligan to accompany his beautifully rendered cover art, and will also shortly be available in the US through Ripple Music’s Heavy Ripples Distribution.
Earlier this year, Mother Mooch recorded and released their darkly cinematic ‘Hive Mind’ video – which was nominated for Dublin Underground Cinema’s Best Music Video Award 2016 – and recruited new bassist Léon Ó’Gríoffa before a setting off on a successful September tour of Ireland’s major cities with an inspired cross section of Ireland’s rising stoner/doom/sludge/psych bands.
Mother Mooch are set to play their first ever European shows in November with dates in Netherlands and Belgium and have plans to tour the U.K. in early 2017.
Mother Mooch live: Nov 11 DESR Presents Cities of Mars + Echelot + Mother Mooch w/ Cities of Mars Naaldwijk, Netherlands Nov 12 Antwerp Music City w/ The Progerains Antwerp, Belgium Nov 19 Legend (Iceland) + Mother Mooch Dublin, Ireland
Mother Mooch is: Vocals – Chloë Ní Dhúada Guitar and Vocals – Sid Daly Guitar – Farl Drums – Danni Nolan Bass – Jack Dandy
Posted in Reviews on October 25th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
“[Note: Devil to Pay’s Oct. 2016 tour dates used in place of the NSFW cover for A Bend Through Space and Time. To view the art, click here.]
The top feature of Devil to Pay‘s work has always been the songwriting. Certainly the Indianapolis-based four-piece have evolved in sound since they made their debut 12 years ago with Thirty Pieces of Silver, and found a niche for themselves in a style following two guitars that play metal and heavy rock elements off each other fluidly, but even that has always come at the service to a notion of craft. Consistency and reliability, without redundancy, can be hard to come by over time, but as Devil to Pay showed on 2013’s Ripple Music debut, Fate is Your Muse (review here), they were still moving forward as a band. A Bend Through Space and Time is their second offering through Ripple and fifth overall, and underscores similar growth.
Its 10-track/43-minute span comes encased in well-painted/politically-debatable art from W. Ralph Walters and feels more efficient than its predecessor, leaner and crisper in its style, as guitarist/vocalist Steve Janiak, guitarist Rob Hough, bassist/backing vocalist Matt Stokes and drummer Chad Profigle continue to refine their methods, but a big shift can be heard in the production value throughout. Janiak, of course, splits his time in doomers Apostle of Solitude, and so a recording/mix/master job by Mike Bridavsky at Russian Recording in Bloomington, Indiana, should be recognizable to those who caught that band’s 2014 album, Of Woe and Wounds (review here), and one can hear a similar sense of room in side A’s “Laughingstock” here, as well as a likeness in the presentation of the drums.
All told, Bridavsky‘s contributions become part of the story of A Bend Through Space and Time, along with the fleet-footed jumps between different sides of the band’s stylistic meld. Bend breaks evenly into two vinyl sides, and each one starts off with a raucous, fast punch — “On and On (In Your Mind)” (video here) opening the first half with an insistent push while still maintaining a sense of atmosphere through the layered harmonies of Janiak‘s vocals and a grim undertone that will continue to develop shortly in “Kobold in the Breadbasket” and the aforementioned “Laughingstock,” while “Recommended Daily Dosage” gets side B moving at a full-thrash clip, punctuated by cowbell with vocals deeper back in the mix to let the guitars come forward.
Come to think of it, though it cuts in its midsection to a doomier nod, the galloping chug of closer “The Demons Come Home to Roost” is plenty speedy as well, as is the bulk of the penultimate “Your Inner Lemmy” (video here), though that song too shifts in pace, touching on some more strutting fare in its quick and fitting tribute to the late Motörhead frontman, most if not all of its lyrics derived from just some of his many famous quotes — see, “I did it all/Whatever I did/I can’t remember/But I’ll never forget,” and so on.
Through all of this — and even an earlier rocker like second track “Don’t Give Away the World” qualifies, though its focus seems more to be its sing-along-ready hook — Devil to Pay maintain a sense of urgency that Fate is Your Muse touched on but was not defined by, and going back further, to 2009’s Heavily Ever After, one can only conclude that the band have in the years since let go of the trappings of genre concerns and instead set themselves to the goal of making the music they want to make. A Bend Through Space and Time isn’t about heavy rock, doom, thrash or metal — though it offers all of them with a fervent overarching groove. It’s about Devil to Pay writing the songs they want to write and executing them at their highest level to-date. That’s precisely why the album succeeds the way it does.
And though I’ve bounced around the tracklisting a bit, another of A Bend Through Space and Time‘s strengths is the flow it sets up between songs, which can be heard as side A develops following “On and On (In Your Mind)” and makes its way toward the gloomier “Kobold in the Breadbasket” — perhaps the closest moment Devil to Pay and Apostle of Solitude have shared since Janiak joined the latter in 2012 — and “Laughingstock” before the more boogieing “The Meaning of Life” revives both the mood and tempo with a still-spacious adrenaline surge and highlight guitar lead in its back half, rounding out on a relatively positive note and a long fade before the thrust of “Recommended Daily Dosage” blindsides the listener. Side B works similarly, with that opening cut running at a sprint until its finish gives way to the slower chugga-chugga of “Knuckledragger” — a song very clearly and very correctly named after its central riff.
I’ll call it a highlight because that riff is such a standout and so obviously the product of Devil to Pay reveling in a kind of sheer heft in which they don’t generally traffic, but with leads peppered over top of the lumbering thud and the still-prevalent vocal melodies, it doesn’t at all come across as one-dimensional in the way the title might lead one to believe. Because it is a relative pivot in approach, one imagines it was something of a task to place “Knuckledragger” on A Bend Through Space and Time, but five albums in, Devil to Pay are no strangers to structure.
It turns smoothly from “Recommended Daily Dosage” and precedes the also-charmingly-titled “Kerfluffle,” which is more mid-paced and in line with a rocker like “Don’t Give Away the World” earlier, setting up a transition into “Your Inner Lemmy” and “The Demons Come Home to Roost.” As a finale, the latter cut seems to be playing at once to the various sides of Devil to Pay‘s sound. Checking in at 7:42 as the longest inclusion on A Bend Through Space and Time, it uses that run to include shifts between harder and heavier visions of rock.
By no means is it the first time Devil to Pay have sought to execute their stylistic swath as a single idea, but it might be the most effectively they’ve done it yet, and in terms of a look at where their progression might continue to carry it seems reasonable to think further bridging the gaps they’ve explored in these tracks might be at least part of their story. But likely only part, because what has always typified Devil to Pay can only keep doing so for as long as the band exists, and that’s their songwriting. I don’t think they’d have it any other way, and as A Bend Through Space and Time demonstrates, they have the ability to cover a range of ground while keeping that ultra-solid foundation beneath them always.
Devil to Pay, A Bend Through Space and Time (2016)
Posted in Whathaveyou on October 25th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
I gotta tell you, I never wanted there to be a band called Yul Brynner so badly in my entire life, just so they could go on tour with Lee Van Cleef and do a poster for every single show in a Spaghetti Western theme. As it stands, I suppose Lee Van Cleef could probably pull that one off on their own and get away with it. The newcomer Napoli four-piece are streaming their debut album, Holy Smoke, in its echoed-out mostly-instrumental heavy psych spaciousness below — if it wasn’t already on Bandcamp, I’d have asked to do a stream with a review, make no mistake — and Berlin-based White Dwarf Records will have a vinyl edition out on Nov. 25. No word on a tour to support, never mind posters, but for a group who’ve been around less than a year and are already putting their first LP out, I’d say they’ve got plenty enough to go on as they get started.
Italy’s emergence as a major player in the European heavy underground continues. Don’t be surprised if Lee Van Cleef start popping up in festival lineups for 2017.
This from the PR wire:
LEE VAN CLEEF – Holy Smoke (WHD 007)
The project LEE VAN CLEEF was born as a joke at the end of 2015 and is the result of long jam sessions between Marco Adamo, guitarist (La polvere di Bodélé), Guido Minervini, drum (Efesto, Lamarck) and Pietro La Tegola, bass (Whiskeycold Winter). Influenced by bands like Earthless, Black Bombaim, Harsh Toke (to name a few) The first work “Holy Smoke” was recorded mixed and mastered in the Godfather studio of Naples. The artwork was done by Robin Gnista.
Limited edition of 150 copies on purple marbled 180 gram vinyl! Inside-out-cover, including download card!
Limited edition of 350 copies on black 180 gram vinyl! Inside-out-cover, including download card!
TRACKLIST: 1. Heckle Yuppies 07:27 min. 2. Banshee 13:18 min. 3. Hell Malo 05:12 min. 4. Mah?na 08:27 min. 5. Towelie 07:11 min.
Label: White Dwarf Release: 25.11.2016
LEE VAN CLEEF are: Marco Adamo (Guitar) Pietro Trinità La Tegola (Bass) Guido Minervini (Drums)
Wisconsin heavy rockers Droids Attack wanted to do something special with the title-track of their latest album, Sci-Fi or Die (review here), so they hid it. No, really. It’s hidden. As in you need to go and find it. Fortunately, you don’t have to go that far. If you bought the CD when it came out at the end of February, you already have “Sci-Fi or Die” whether you know it or not. It’s in the jewel case, under the disc tray, behind a false back card on a mini-CD of its own with its own special artwork and lyric liner. “Something special” achievement unlocked.
As to what you’ll find when you dig out that mini-CD, “Sci-Fi or Die” is a departure from much of the record that bears its name, moving away from the full-thrust of songs like “New Plague” into almost proggy riffing and spacious, echoing vocals reciting lyrics that not only acknowledge the listener’s success — “You have found our hidden track/Sci-fi or die” — but then immediately express gratitude for said listener having bought the album — “Thanks for choosing Droids Attack/Sci-fi or die.” Hard to beat that as far as charm goes, and the trio of guitarist/vocalist Brad Van, drummer Tony Brungraber and bassist/backing vocalist Darwin Sampson know plenty about charm, as anyone who’s actually already bought the CD can tell you.
Below, you can exclusively stream “Sci-Fi or Die.” It’s not available digitally anyplace else. You can’t buy it except as the CD with the CD, and you can’t download it anywhere. So if you want to hear it, now’s your chance. If my description above didn’t explain properly how to find the mini-CD in your copy of Sci-Fi or Die, Van was kind enough to make an unboxing video for the album in which he not only goes through the process, but rightly takes some time to highlight the excellent and intricate artwork throughout the package by Eli Quinn, which is already in my notes for some of the best cover art of 2016 and should be in yours as well if you’re the list-keeping type.
Van also gives some comment on what drove them to handle the secret track this way under the song itself, which you’ll find on the player below.
Brad Van on “Sci-Fi or Die”:
We were goofing around at practice, and we joked about writing a hidden track song about finding the hidden track. We came up with a bunch of elaborate ways to hide it, including really dumb ideas like hiding a treasure map in the album liner notes and actually burying a box with the song in it somewhere when we went out on tour.
We definitely didn’t want to do the typical ‘tack on 20 minutes of silence’ after the final track that people would fast forward through, and we didn’t want the track to be a senseless noise jam, or anything useless that folks would just want to skip. It’s more of a missing puzzle piece that fits right in as the final song of the album. It’s also the title-track, “Sci-Fi or Die.”
Tutorial: How to Uncover Droids Attack’s “Sci-Fi or Die”
Posted in Whathaveyou on October 25th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Seems to me that if you’re going to release your debut album in the middle of December, that better be some cold-ass doom. None of this summer doom. I’m talking classic. Metal. Misery. Fortunately, that seems to be just the order of the day from Naked Star, the new project from Seamount‘s Tim Schmidt. Comprised just of Schmidt as multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Jim Grant, at least in the studio, the band will release their first full-length, Ancient Rites, on Dec. 16, 2016, through The Church Within Records after making an impressive initial offering earlier this year with the Bloodmoon Prophecy EP, a three-song 10″ that you can hear below and which makes me think Ancient Rites will more than stand up to whatever the coldest and darkest days have to offer. Guess we’ll find out.
Info follows from the PR wire:
NAKED STAR – Ancient Rites (The Church Within Records)
Release date: 16.12.2016
NAKED STAR is the new musical outlet of Tim Schmidt (Seamount) and Jim Grant (Vampyromorpha), born in a night with a lot of booze, horror movies and a bloodmoon. In spring 2016 the 10’’ EP “Bloodmoon Prophecy” has already been released via Voize Of Azram Records, followed by a tape version from Auric Records.
After the collaboration had turned out to be very fertile, the duo began working on their full-length debut very soon and found the right label with The Church Within Records. Expect a full dose of pure and extremely HEAVY Doom in the vein of Saint Vitus, Goatsnake, Black Sabbath, Electric Wizard, Count Raven, Hour Of 13 and the likes!
In the upcoming winter season 2016/2017, NAKED STAR will plan several club performances, consolidated by two live members.
Naked Star, Ancient Rites tracklisting: 1. Purgamantic 2. Stoned Demon 3. Spawn of the Witch 4. Be My Sacrifice 5. Bound to Hell 6. Alter Ego 7. I am the Antichrist 8. Necrolust
Distribution CD: Alive (GER) & Code7/PHD (Europe) Distribution Vinyl: Voice Of Azram, Plastic Head, Clear Spot & All That Is Heavy (USA)
Members: Tim Schmidt – Guitars, Bass, Drums; Jim Grant – Vocals live force: Chris “the Amperor” – Bass Markus “Satanas” – Drums
Posted in Whathaveyou on October 25th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Good news today out of the nation’s capitol in that burl-rocking trio Borracho will issue their third full-length, Atacama, on Dec. 2 as their label debut through respected German purveyor Kozmik Artifactz. One might recall the album’s recording took place this past Spring, when the title was also announced, and found the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Steve Fisher, bassist Tim Martin and drummer Mario Trubiano working alongside producer Frank “The Punisher” Marchand (The Obsessed, many more in the Chesapeake region), in following up their 2013 sophomore outing, Oculus (review here), and their split LP with Geezer (review here) that kicked off Ripple Music‘s The Second Coming of Heavy series last year.
CD and DL will be out Dec. 2, with vinyl to follow early in 2017, and you can stream the encouraging opener “Gold from Sand” below. Atacama marks their second album as a three-piece, and especially after that Geezer split I’m intrigued to hear where they go with it. Stay tuned for more to come as we get closer to the release date. Here’s info fresh from the PR wire in the meantime:
BORRACHO releasing new album ‘ATACAMA’ December 2nd!
Kozmik Artifactz is very happy to announce that Washington/DC’s finest powertrio Borracho signed for their new full length Atacama. Borracho is a three piece heavy rock band from Washington, DC. In the five years since releasing their 2011 debut Splitting Sky, they have become a staple of the Mid-Atlantic — and US — stoner rock scene. 2013’s follow up Oculus highlighted a band in metamorphosis, moving the band forward sonically with a leaner lineup, but continuing their emphasis on song construction and memorable melodies.
Atacama is the driest place on earth. A vast wasteland, to pass through it inevitably affects the traveler in profound ways. As the body crosses miles of barren landscape, the mind looks inward, examining itself, unsure of what is there and unprepared for what it will find. With time and distance, the harsh conditions conspire with the traveler’s distracted subconscious to present a reality very different than it is. How this new reality is interpreted can be a dangerous and powerful journey. This is the soundtrack to that journey.
Releases December 2, 2016.
Atacama was produced, recorded and mixed by Frank “The Punisher” Marchand. Tracking completed at the House of Rock in Crofton, Maryland in February and March, 2016, and mixing at Waterford Digital, in Millersville, Maryland, in March and April 2016. Mastered by Mike Monseur at Bias Studios, Springfield, Virginia.
Cello on “Flower” performed by Erin Snedecor.
Borracho, Atacama tracklisting: 1. Gold From Sand 2. Overload 3. Lost In Time 4. Descent 5. Drifted Away From the Sun 6. Flower 7. Shot Down, Banged Up, Fade Away 8. Last Song
Catch Borracho live at: Thursday, December 15 Slash Run Washington, DC w/ Freedom Hawk Friday, December 16 1984 Wilmington, DE w/ Freedom Hawk, Kingsnake & Worth Saturday, December 17 Brad Pearre/Dustin Davis Birthday Extravaganza Frederick, MD w/ Freedom Hawk, Clamfight, Toke & more TBA
Who the hell’s gonna have a problem taking a couple minutes out of their day to watch Brant Bjork roll around the desert in a primo boogie van with a soundtrack featuring a choice cut from his latest album? Obviously not me. “Luvin'” is the second video to come from Tao of the Devil (review here), which is out now on Napalm Records, behind one for “Stackt” (posted here), and it works on much the same theme vis a vis Bjork being in the desert, going to a bar with a shorty-shorts ladyfriend and ensuing whatnot. In this case, said ladyfriend swipes his van and the relationship would seem to come to an unceremonious conclusion — perhaps in part because of her propensity for littering that beautiful landscape with his maps — but Bjork gets his in the end, reclaiming the van and driving off into the sunset.
All told, it’s a cool track and a good bit of fun and I don’t think it aspires to be anything more than that or necessarily needs to. As much as Bjork has become an ambassador and figurehead for California’s desert rock legacy over the last several years — and even more since hooking up with Napalm before issuing Black Power Flower (review here) in 2014 — he’s maintained a level of cool to his persona that I think extends both to the music he makes and the visuals that come with it. Shit, at this point, you don’t need me to tell you to check out Tao of the Devil. If you haven’t already done so, that’s probably a conscious decision on your part and almost certainly your loss. Imagine being 17 years out from your first solo record and coming around with some of your best work yet. Really. Take a second and think about that. However you feel about the style or whatever, the dude is doing something special.
That’s my spiel. Brant Bjork and the Low Desert Punk Band head back to Europe next month, hooking up with Italy’s Black Rainbows (ambassadors in their own right) for a couple weeks of touring. You’ll find those dates listed under the video below.
Brant Bjork, “Luvin'” official video
The wait is finally over, as BRANT BJORK has released his brand new masterpiece! Tao Of The Devil is more focused than its predecessor Black Power Flower and boasts a more song-oriented and groovy stoner sound, with a healthy dose of 70s style greatness.
Low Desert Punk Brant Bjork, king of the sweetest flow and forever kissed by the burning sun of Southern Cali will be hitting the road all over Europe quite soon. Find all dates listed below:
BRANT BJORK European tour: 03.11.16 DE – Osnabrück / Bastard Club 04.11.16 NL – Deventer / Burger Weeshuis 05.11.16 DE – Erfurt / Stadtgarten 06.11.16 BE – Hasselt / Mod 07.11.16 UK – London / Garage 08.11.16 FR – Paris / Divan Du Monde 09.11.16 DE – Wiesbaden / Schlachthof 10.11.16 DE – München / Backstage 11.11.16 AT – Graz / PPC 12.11.16 GR – Athen / An Club 14.11.16 AT – Wien / Arena 15.11.16 CH – Zürich / Rote Fabrik 16.11.16 DE – Karlsruhe / Substage 17.11.16 DE – Köln / Live Music Hall 18.11.16 DE – Dresden / Beatpol 19.11.16 DE – Berlin / Columbia Theater 20.11.16 DE – Hamburg / Logo
Posted in Whathaveyou on October 24th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
The tribute show is an essential part of the rock and roll Halloween experience — bands essentially dressing up as other bands, if only in sound — and kudos to the guys from NYC trio The Brought Low for teaming up with Carl Porcaro from Kings Destroy and Sweet Diesel‘s Nat Murray (of course The Brought Low have their own connections to that outfit as well) for hooking up a gig and not just doing a set of Misfits songs like probably hundreds of other acts along the Eastern Seaboard will be doing that weekend. On Oct. 28, performing as The Rama Lama Fa Fa Fas, the five-piece will hit The Gutter in Williamsburg to pay due homage to the MC5. Maybe not the kind of thing I’d always post about, but given the personnel involved and the thought of how killer a time this one would actually be to attend, you’ll get no argument out of me.
And I gotta be honest with you, I could use another The Brought Low album. It’s been a surprisingly long six years since their Third Record (review here) came out in 2010 on Small Stone, and as early as 2012, there was discussion of a fourth, but nothing has yet materialized. Would be awfully nice, is all I’m saying.
While I go back and put on their last one again, here’s the highly exclamatory show info for The Rama Lama Fa Fa Fas this Friday:
The Rama Lama Fa Fa Fas – MC5 Tribute @ Gutter
The Rama Lama Fa Fa Fas is The Brought Low and Carl from Kings Destroy on second guitar and Nat Murray from Sweet Diesel on lead vocals doing MC5 covers. We have a show at The Gutter in Brooklyn Friday, October 28th. Here’s the info:
Friday, October 28 The Gutter Bowling and Fine Brews 200 N 14th St, Brooklyn, New York 11249
Brothers and sisters!!!!!!! It’s time to see a sea of hands!!!!!! It’s time to kick up some noise!!!!!! It’s time to get down with it this Halloween weekend and I want to know… Are you ready to testify?!!!!!! Are you ready to testify?!!!!!!
I give you a testimonial….
The Rama Lama Fa Fa Fas!!!!!!!!!! A musical tribute to the MC5 with members of Breakdown, The Brought Low, Killing Time, Kings Destroy and Sweet Diesel!!!!!!!
Join us at The Gutter Friday, October 28th to kick out the jams motherfuckers!!!!!!!!!