Review & Full Album Premiere: The Age of Truth, Threshold

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on October 17th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

the age of truth threshold

[Click play above to stream The Age of Truth’s Threshold in its entirety. Album is out Nov. 1 via Kozmik Artifactz.]

Philadelphia heavy rockers The Age of Truth make their full-length debut via Kozmik Artifactz with the eight-track Threshold. They are a four-piece comprised of guitarist Michael DiDonato, standalone vocalist Kevin McNamara, bassist/vocalist William Miller and drummer Adam LauverEric Fisher played on the album, which was recorded and mixed by Joseph Boldizar at Retro City Studios in Philly — and all of these details become crucially important to the record itself when one actually digs in for a listen. This is because The Age of Truth so quickly establish a range of influence that veers well outside the City of Brotherly Love. Songs like “Supernatural Salesman,” the verses of eight-minute side B opener “Caroline” and “Oceanbones” find the singer very much out front on vocal duties as the backing progressions bring to mind Clutch, but Maryland isn’t so far from Eastern Pennsylvania if we’re thinking of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, and the bulk of Threshold gives a far more European impression.

Enough so particularly in the performance and production around the vocals that one might be tempted to look at their lineup and wonder if there’s any way McNamara could be interpreted as a Swedish name. From the moment the frontman begins to top the semi-prog chug of DiDonato‘s thick, layered guitar in opener “Host (Demon in Me),” and certainly in subsequent cuts like “Come back a God,” “Holding Hands Like Thieves” the soaring chorus of “Caroline” and the winding closer of a title-track, McNamara‘s performance has enough gut-tightened lung push push to recall the likes of Janne “JB” Christoffersson during his time in Spiritual Beggars, John Hermansen‘s work on The Awesome Machine‘s underrated Soul of a Thousand Years, or even the classic presence that Magnus Ekwall brings to The Quill.

These comparisons are compliments not made lightly when it comes to what McNamara adds to the 44-minute album, which tops 50 minutes when the bonus track “Honeypot” is factored in, but the band is by no means only about this one element. Rather, the varied impressions of the songs are bolstered through a clearly diverse writing process — one suspects but has no confirmation of multiple contributors — and given further depth still by being drawn together through the fullness of the production and an edge of noise rock that seems to infiltrate the sound no matter where The Age of Truth are ultimately headed. It’s not just about intensity of delivery, either. True, “Come Back a God” wants nothing for energy behind its densely-packed fuzz tones and blown-out hook — one of several landmarks throughout Threshold — but even in the more laid back “Holding Hands Like Thieves,” the blues-driven “Caroline” or the rolling burl of “Honeypot,” where DiDonato‘s tone seems to singularly shout out toward The Resurrection of Whiskey Foote-era Scott “Wino” Weinrich, there’s an almost intangible aspect to The Age of Truth that draws from punk-based roots.

the age of truth photo useless rebel

The production around Miller‘s low end and the crispness of Lauver‘s drumming are big factors as well. One can hear it in “Supernatural Salesman” as much as the initial thrust of “Host (Demon in Me),” which launches Threshold in medias res and ties together with the finale title-track in underscoring a further complementary enrichment of the band’s sound: the previously-alluded-to progressive underpinning. They’re not engaging anything technically showy or anything like that but neither are their arrangements or progressions unthinking, and that’s shown in the two longer tracks — “Host (Demon in Me)” is 7:42, second only to “Caroline” at 8:11 — as the opener breaks into an open midsection before delivering its parenthetical title line as it builds toward its second-half apex and ends in feedback, and likewise, as “Caroline” moves from its blues to boogie shuffle, there’s an echoing space set in motion by DiDonato‘s dual-layer solo that, as it leads into the final slowdown, brims with enough complexity and purpose to resonate as progressive fare.

A further degree of nuance shows itself as “Threshold” seems to directly answer the spirit of “Host (Demon in Me)” in unfolding its own guitar-led movement, more patient and less aggressive in its charge than the opener, but still rich in its presentation and how it ties together sundry pieces of the record that bears its name. McNamara seems to underscore the representative point by referencing the band’s moniker in the chorus even as he draws upon another previously unheard influence, topping the last bit of shove with a series of repeated “Come on!”s that one half expects to be followed by an invitation to go “Space Trucking.” Sadly (maybe), that invite doesn’t come, but “Honeypot” as a bonus cut does offer a more classic feel to its roll that stands it out somewhat from the bulk of Threshold, though in its comfortable mid-paced fluidity, one finds again an impression drawn from European fare in terms of the vocals.

This may be a source of novelty or intrigue when it comes to early listens of Threshold, but between the record’s art drawing from the theme of the alleged C.I.A. murder of Frank Olson (a scientist experimenting with biological agents who was also dosed with LSD without his knowledge as part of the MK-Ultra project) and the fact that the band’s range is nonetheless presented as a cohesive and well-developed sonic persona of their own rather than simply a series of pieces sourced elsewhere, their debut hits with a marked impact that more than earns multiple revisits. Indeed, “Holding Hands Like Thieves” and “Oceanbones,” which might seem easily digested or overshadowed by compatriot tracks in some way, stand themselves out further on going back through Threshold again, and ultimately do much to tie together the flow that emerges throughout this impressive and thoughtful-but-not-overcooked debut. That The Age of Truth would strike such a rare balance their first time out of course speaks to the forward potential for what they might go on to accomplish craft-wise, but that shouldn’t be considered in place of the achievements they’ve already made in this material, which are significant.

The Age of Truth on Thee Facebooks

The Age of Truth on Twitter

The Age of Truth on Bandcamp

Kozmik Artifactz website

Kozmik Artifactz on Thee Facebooks

Kozmik Artifactz on Twitter

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Godhunter Announce Breakup

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 17th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

In no small way, the end of Godhunter is made even more of a bummer by the recent release of what will apparently serve as their swansong EP. That offering, the seven-track Codex Narco (review here), came out earlier this year via Battleground Records and Baby Tooth Records and marked a distinct broadening of aesthetic on the part of the band, who were once based in Tucson, Arizona, but who according to founding guitarist David Rodgers (interview here) had relocated as far as Washington and Georgia.

Likely that geographical challenge played a role in bringing about the band’s end, but either way, what Codex Narco represented in sound was a manifestation and further realization of the experimental impulse that Godhunter had previously shown on releases like their 2015 Endsville split with Destroyer of Light (discussed here) or their 2014 Gh/0st:S split (review here), distinct from the aggressive approach fostered through their 2014 full-length, City of Dust (review here), or their 2011 debut EP, Wolves (review here), but not entirely separate in its sense of atmosphere. Marked out by the inclusion of guest appearances by Nick Genitals of MethraCHRCH vocalist Eva Rose and Josh Thorne of Thorne, among others, it found the core three-piece of Rodgers, guitarist/keyboardist Matthew Davis and drummer Andy Kratzenberg bringing to life a sound that was as much ambient as it was scathing, and though the mood was persistently grim throughout the release — even the poppy cover of Tegan and Sara‘s “Walking with a Ghost” (video posted here) had a darker edge — it was hard not to be hopeful about what the band’s future might bring, distant though they might be in locale.

Codex Narco was already on my list of 2017’s best short releases, but it becomes especially poignant as the final offering from Godhunter (if in fact it turns out to be that; never say never in rock and roll). The band wasn’t going to make any kind of announcement, but I chased down Rodgers and basically bothered him into doing so. Sorry about that, but as a group whose creative potential it seemed was only beginning to really be explored, it seemed to me that the very least they deserved a proper sendoff. I’ll miss having the chance to hear how Godhunter might’ve followed up Codex Narco, but Rodgers has a new, extreme black metal outfit going called Taarna in Portland, OR — they recently shared the stage with righteous death metallers Vitriol — and their first demos are available now to stream. So there’s future productivity to look forward to, one way or the other.

Here’s what Rodgers had to say about the end of Godhunter:

godhunter codex narco lineup

David Rodgers on the end of Godhunter:

‘Ichi-go Ichi-e’ is a Japanese idiom that describes the idea that when people meet together for something, even if they see each other regularly, that meeting is unique and can never be replicated. It’s often translated as “for this time only” or “one chance in a lifetime.”

Since day one, back in 2009, this is something that Godhunter has always embraced both consciously and subconsciously. We have always tried to keep each musical release unique from the previous release, each piece of album art or each t-shirt design unique from that which came before.

In keeping with this idea, we have decided that this unique meeting of friends, this once in a lifetime experience, is over now. Over the past eight years we’ve given our most sincere effort to bring the world something unique, and now that we have said all that we had to say, our time as a band is over.

Thank you to everyone that shared this beautiful experience with us. You remain in our hearts forever.

http://www.facebook.com/godhuntersludge
https://battlegroundrecords.bandcamp.com
http://www.battlegroundrnr.com
https://twitter.com/BattlegroundRNR
http://instagram.com/battleground_records
https://babytoothtucson.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/babytoothtucson

Godhunter, Codex Narco (2017)

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Interstelar Set Dec. 8 Release for Resin via Kozmik Artifactz

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 17th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

interstelar

Los Angeles heavy troupe Interstelar released their Resin album last year independently and will follow-up with a reissue via Kozmik Artifactz on Dec. 8, all official-vinyl-like. The cover art alone justifies an LP pressing, but one finds Resin a work of professional-grade production and songcraft — heft and melody coexisting fluidly in material that borders on the psychedelic without necessarily losing itself in a structureless void. Plus, if you ever wanted to spend the rest of your day walking around with the word “resin” repeating in your head, well, look no further than the title-track. That always helps too.

The original version of Resin can be streamed in its entirety at the bottom of this post via the Interstelar Bandcamp page, and the following info came down the PR wire:

interstelar resin

Introducing INTERSTELAR: Los Angeles-based rockers to officially release Resin worldwide on Kozmik Artifactz

Resin by Interstelar is released on 8th December 2017 through Kozmik Artifactz

Since 2005, Interstelar has been grinding it out on every filthy, neon splattered stage in Los Angeles. Honed razor sharp by the laws of the concrete jungle and piloted by founding member, singer/guitarist Jason Kothmann.

Originally enlisting the help of friends Gio DalMonte on bass (replaced shortly afterward by Earl Houston) and Kiko Montecillo on guitar, the trio eventually found Jeff Murray – who now tours with world beating psych thrashers The Shrine – to play drums. With that line-up Interstelar recorded and released their debut EP React in Silence in 2006 and continued to play live in and around the Los Angeles area, making inroads wherever they could.

Following numerous line-up changes, the band entered Total Annihilation Studios in East LA in 2011 with engineer Eddie Rivas to record a follow up EP, On Black Waves. The band’s first full-length album, Resin, swallows everything in its path from the underground skyward, pulling monstrous, stoner rock riffs high above Terra Firma and into realms of sweeping and celestial post and progressive rock. It’s arguably their finest release to date.

After countless recording and re-recording sessions, endless mixing and that usual dose of intermittent drama, Resin was self-released digitally in August 2016 and featured the current line-up of Kothmann on vocals and rhythm guitar, Gary Gladson on lead, PJ McMullan on drums and Joe “Pooch” Puccio on bass.

Out this December for the very first time on vinyl and at last scheduled for a worldwide release on 8th December 2017 through Kozmik Artifactz, the official arrival of Resin marks a giant progression for the band and one that will raise them up from the underground.

Interstelar:
J. Kothmann – Vocals, Guitar
Gary Gladson – Lead Guitar
P.J. McMullan – Drums
Joe “Pooch” Puccio – Bass

Resin tracklisting:
1. SiL0
2. Resin
3. High Horse
4. Hold It
5. Opposite Daze (II)
6. Armada (II)
7. Behold
8. Sequoia

http://www.interstelar.com
http://www.facebook.com/interstelarLA
http://www.twitter.com/interstelarla
http://www.interstelar.bandcamp.com
http://kozmik-artifactz.com/

Interstelar, Resin (2016)

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ELM Premiere “Mayhem” Video; New Album Dog out This Week

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 17th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

elm

There’s a fate being met in the new video from Italian noise rockers ELM, and not to spoil the plot or anything, but it doesn’t exactly involve winning the lottery. The four-piece will issue their live-recorded debut album, Dog, on Oct. 20 in their home country via Bronson Recordings with a wider release to follow on Dec. 12, and though they may be a long, long way away from Texas, the brash three-piece demonstrate a curious obsession with the Lone Star State, whether it’s in the sparse prairie-looking cover that stands out front of Dog, in claiming it as their home in the various strains of social media or in references like the song “Waco” that appears late on the record.

Hey, everyone has their thing, I guess. Wherever their infatuation might stem from, the Cuneo-based outfit manifest it as a brash heavy punk throughout the 10-track/35-minute Dog, letting under-three-minute cuts like “Scum,” “Lamn,” “Mayhem” and the aforementioned elm dog“Waco” give the album a full sense of thrust while the chug of “La Kiva,” the opener “Banister” and the midtempo abrasion of “Swampland” bring to mind something a screaming Nick Oliveri might conjure in blown-out, thickened punk. Following a fierce salvo of “Banister,” the start-stop chug and bass-led verses of “Ed’s” and the aforementioned motor-charge of “Scum,” a cover of Johnny Cash‘s “Folsom Prison Blues” comes through sounding like it’s just been through a jailhouse riot, or else is looking to start one, and “La Kiva” and the all-out blaster “Lamn” set up “Mayhem” as a lead-in for the finishing trio of “Swampland,” the swinging “Waco” and the six-minute closer “Boogie,” which might actually be the same structurally as all its shorter companion pieces and just played at half-speed. Either way, nice turn.

The video in which somebody gets their ass handed to them is for “Mayhem,” and it’s about as fitting a representation as the bruiser of an LP could ask for. Like much of what surrounds on Dog, there’s little use for frills with such an aggressive core to present, and though they supposedly tracked the album live in their rehearsal space — maybe it’s a really nice rehearsal space? — the rawness does nothing to undercut a full impact of the song and instead becomes an essential aesthetic component, not just there but for the album as a whole, which seems to dwell in a “Swampland” of its own making. They may not be from Texas, but ELM definitely manifest that “Don’t Mess With…” ethic one sees on so many bumper stickers from down that way.

Maybe that’s the mistake our chased protagonist made in the video for “Mayhem?” I guess we’ll never know.

Dog is out Oct. 20 on Bronson Recordings. More info follows the clip below, courtesy of the PR wire.

Please enjoy:

ELM, “Mayhem” official video premiere

MAYHEM by ELM – taken from the forthcoming album DOG
Director: Andrea Cavallari

This is a story of due punishment: you know you did something wrong, so now you know you have to be punished, it’s that simple… but even if you agree with your executioners, in the very end you’ll try to avoid the punishment. Obviously, there is no way to escape: it’s time to meet the Mayhem.

The video was shot in one day in the heart of Pianura Padana, more precisely in the fields surrounding the small town of Pagazzano (near Bergamo), by Italian director Andrea Cavallari (andreacavallari.net) – who already shot Elm’s first video “King of Mormons.”

DOG is out November 20th on Bronson Recordings.

Dog was tracked live at ELM’s rehearsal studio in April 2017 and includes a cover of Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues.” Holed up in their den, they used no outside producers or studio trickery. Dog is dirty, sharp, crushing, no frills rock ’n’ roll, constantly overloaded never underestimated. Mastering was taken care of by Ettore Dordo from Hubsolut Studio in Cuneo, Italy to bring the sound over the maximum impact level.

Dog will see release via Italy’s Bronson Recordings on CD, LP, and digital formats on October 20th in Italy and the rest of Europe and December 12th worldwide. The vinyl edition will be limited to 500 copies with 100 on marble wax and 400 on standard black. For CD preorders visit THIS LOCATION, for black vinyl go HERE, and for marbled vinyl go HERE.

ELM is:
Trtrl: voice
Mrtns: gtr
Mnr: bass
Rt: drums

ELM on Thee Facebooks

ELM on Instagram

ELM on Bandcamp

Bronson Recordings on Thee Facebooks

Bronson Recordings website

Bronson Recordings on Bandcamp

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Suma Announce November European Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 17th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Not that Suma were lacking for quality associations when it came to their 2016 offering, The Order of Things (review here), between releases through Argonauta and Init Records (CD), Throne Records (vinyl) and Tartarus Records (tape), but if you want to add the Netherlands’ Doomstar Bookings to that mix for presenting the Swedish band’s upcoming November run in support of the album, go for it. The Eindhoven-based booker also works with the likes of Primitive ManToner LowAgoraphobic Nosebleed and a host of others in a swath of various forms of extremity, so Suma are on yet another level keeping good company. Seems to be a thing they do.

Another thing they do? Well, on this tour they hit Belgium, Germany, France the UK and the Netherlands — so that’s a thing. If you didn’t hear the things in their proper Order, you can check out the full stream of the Billy Anderson-helmed record at the bottom of this post, and you probably should do so, because it absolutely destroys.

They have an open slot for Nov 9, so if you can help out in France/Belgium, do that too. Dates and info from the social medias:

suma-tour-poster

SUMA – November Tour

It is with great pride we announce the fall tour for Sweden’s cult spacesludgers SUMA. After their successful run with Unearthly Trance around Roadburn earlier this year they will take to the West European roads this time in support of their latest album The Order Of Things. We still have one TBA available for France/Belgium, anyone interested get in touch!

11.03 MTS Records Oldenburg Germany
11.04 Baroeg Rotterdam The Netherlands
11.05 The Pit’s Kortrijk Belgium
11.06 Underworld London UK
11.07 Le 3 Pieces Rouen France
11.08 La Scene Michelet Nantes France
11.09 TBA
11.10 The Jack Eindhoven The Netherlands

Hailing from Malmö, Sweden and formed in 2001 : SUMA has been spreading the plague of their sonic weight, noise-ridden hallucinatory doom metal on the world for the past decade and a half. Through these years they’ve lured hordes of humans into the lair with their devastatingly heavy, one way trip into the vortex live performances and crushing delivery on their recorded matters.

In 2016 they recorded their fourth album – THE ORDER OF THINGS – with legendary engine-ear BILLY ANDERSON (Pallbearer, Black Cobra, Agalloch, Tragedy) once again at the helm of the recording. This is the imminent evolution from the past’s behemoths of albums, LET THE CHURCHES BURN and ASHES.

SUMA:
>P. guitar
>J. bass/vocals
>E. drums
>R. samples/noise

https://www.facebook.com/sumanoise/
https://sumanoise.bandcamp.com/
http://www.argonautarecords.com/
http://www.initrecords.net/
http://tartarusrecords.com/
http://www.thronerecs.com/
https://www.facebook.com/doomstarbookings/

Suma, The Order of Things (2016)

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The Decemburger 2017 Lineup Announced; Promises “Medium-Rare Mayhem”

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 16th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

As someone who’s worked professionally to produce them, I know how difficult it can be to come up with a good tagline, headline, whatever you want to call it. As simple as it is to receive the directive, ‘Oh hey, just go ahead and give me something concise and maybe astoundingly witty that nonetheless sums up an entire idea/story/product/anything in three or four words,’ materializing that is much, much harder to do.

Accordingly, I tip my virtual hat to Dust Presents and The Decemburger 2017 for coming up with the tagline “Medium-Rare Mayhem,” which not only conveys the fact that, yes, the event will feature a hamburger-eating contest like it did last year, but captures as well the humor and good nature behind the festival as a whole. “Medium-Rare Mayhem?” Pink in the middle, maybe a little bloody? Fucking delicious? Probably. Sign up to eat a bunch of sliders and find out.

Show is at the Hi-Dive in Denver, Colorado, on Dec. 16 and will be headlined by Bongripper and also feature sets from Call of the Void, the Primitive Man-related projects Nightwraith and Vermin WombSerial Hawk and Weeed coming down from Washington, AbramsThe Munsens and Sceptres. Killer show. Once again, looks like it’s gonna be a great time. If you’re in Denver or you can get there, it’s a pre-holiday blowout that I only wish I was involved in presenting.

Info follows from the PR wire:

the decemburger 2017

DUST Presents: THE DECEMBURGER 2017

“Medium-Rare Mayhem”
Denver, CO

The second annual installment of DUST Presents’ The Decemburger returns to Denver, Colorado, Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017 at the Hi Dive, a staple for good times in Denver’s South Broadway neighborhood. The 2017 lineup leans more toward the metal spectrum of “heavy” in comparison with last year’s event (featuring The Shrine, The Well, Zig Zags, Malahierba, and more).

Chicago’s crushing doom-metal legends, Bongripper, will headline the sophomore iteration of The Decemburger, supported by a prime selection from Denver’s booming metal scene, including Call Of The Void, Vermin Womb (featuring Ethan McCarthy of Primitive Man), Abrams, the Munsens, Nightwraith (current and former members of Primitive Man, Vimana, Black Sleep of Kali, Rottenness, Collapse, and more), and Sceptres.

The 2017 bill also features a pair of standout acts from Washington. Serial Hawk, a hypnotically heavy three-piece metal group from Seattle, whose 2015 full-length out on Bleeding Light Records achieved global recognition, will join Weeed from Bainbridge Island, WA and their energetic brand of heavy, psychedelic rock in rounding out the bill.

Not to be overshadowed by the sonic mania, the burger-eating contest for which the event is named will also return, with heightened competition (following 2016 champion Andrew Renfrow’s crushing victory) and a larger purse – cash, trophy, merch, framed prints and more. Contest entry can be purchased as a separate ticket that includes festival entry. (Burger-eating contest limited to 10 contestants!)

Tickets: www.thedecemburger2017.eventbrite.com
Doors 3pm, Show 4:30pm, 18+

Flier by Sam Pierson

https://www.facebook.com/events/297498814060287/
https://www.facebook.com/dustpresents/
https://www.instagram.com/dustpresents/
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-decemburger-2017-tickets-38128648815

Bongripper, Miserable (2014)

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Greenleaf, The Atomic Bitchwax & Steak Announce Dec. European Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 16th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

True, the Fall festival season will pretty much be over by the time December rolls around, but that doesn’t mean that enviable package tours still can’t kick into gear all over the European continent. It never stops, folks. Just as they make ready to issue their new album, Force Field, via Tee Pee Records, my beloved Garden State’s own The Atomic Bitchwax will head abroad once more to team up with Swedish mainstays Greenleaf — who last I heard were planning a new record of their own for 2018, though it’s been a minute since I last harassed guitarist Tommi Holappa with a, “When’s your next album coming out?,” message on Thee Facebooks; should get on that — and London desert bruisers Steak for a 16-date run beginning Dec. 1.

The tour is presented by Sound of Liberation — of course — and if you need me to tell you that it’s a killer mix of acts, you probably shouldn’t. There’s really no letup between the three of them. I’m not saying I’ve heard the new Bitchwax or anything, but word on the street is it’s an absolute supercharged monster, bringing to life the ethic of “Coming in Hot” that 2015’s Gravitron (review here) proffered. That’s the rumor. All the better for them to be on the road heralding new material. Greenleaf meanwhile head out once again supporting 2016’s ultra-righteous Rise Above the Meadow (review here), and Steak go on the heels of 2017’s Ripple Music debut, No God to Save (review here), which brought them to new levels of accomplishment in aesthetic and songwriting alike. Bottom line? You can’t miss with this one. If you’re in its path, consider yourself lucky.

Poster and dates follow, as seen on the social medias by Sound of Liberation:

greenleaf-the-atomic-bitchwax-steak-tour

Greenleaf – The Atomic Bitchwax – Steak – Hail the Hounds Tour 2017

We are proud to present the “HAIL THE HOUNDS” Tour 2017, with Greenleaf + The Atomic Bitchwax + Steak!!

01.12.17 – London | Underworld
02.12.17 – Brussels | Magasin 4
03.12.17 – Hamburg | Markthalle
04.12.17 – Cologne | Luxor
05.12.17 – Wiesbaden | Schlachthof
06.12.17 – Leipzig | Werk2
07.12.17 – Munich | Feierwerk
08.12.17 – Olten | Schuetzenhaus
09.12.17 – Linz | Posthof
10.12.17 – Vienna | Arena
11.12.17 – Stuttgart | Universum
12.12.17 – Saarbruecken | Garage
13.12.17 – Nijmegen | Doornroosje
14.12.17 – Paris | Glazart
15.12.17 – Dortmund | JunkYard
16.12.17 – Berlin | Bi Nuu

It’s gonna be hot in December

https://www.facebook.com/greenleafrocks/
https://www.facebook.com/The-Atomic-Bitchwax-86002001659/
https://www.facebook.com/steakuk/
https://www.facebook.com/Soundofliberation/

Greenleaf, “Howl” lyric video

The Atomic Bitchwax, “Hope You Die” live in West Virginia, Sept. 12, 2017

Steak, “Living Like a Rat” official video

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The Road Miles Premiere Video for “The Third Man”; Ballads from the Wasteland out Oct. 23

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 16th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

the road miles

Athens-based rockers The Road Miles are preparing to release their new full-length, Ballads for the Wasteland, later this month. Their second long-player, it’s also the second offering from new imprint Archaeopia Records, which just last month introduced itself with the limited compilation The Sun, The Moon, The Mountain: A Passage Through Greek Psychedelia (review here). You might recall The Road Miles were featured on that release as well and made an immediate impression with their track “600 Miles.” That song shows up among the seven inclusions on Ballads for the Wasteland too, and proves to be part of an overarching narrative drawing from Western storytelling traditions and specifically the otherworldly thematic of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower.

That focus makes the role of frontwoman Afroditi Tavoulari all the more central to the band’s aesthetic. Atop creative arrangements of guitar from Epameinondas 

the-road-miles-ballads-for-the-wasteland

Koutsoumpas and Michael Chrysos, Yannis Efthymiou‘s bass, Alex Darmis‘ keys and Anargiros Pantazis‘ drums, it’s Tavoulari who takes on the task of narrating the storyline progression that crosses through tracks like “Where I was Born, There I Will End,” “The Last Western Myth” and “Filthy Air,” serving as a steady presence in a vast soundscape of organ-laced classic heavy Western-style psych blues. Blink and you’re out in the desert amid some lost nighttime ritualism. The immersion happens quick with “Where I was Born, There I Will End” as the leadoff and longest track (immediate points), but it only builds from there across the record’s flat, sandy span, and under imagined stars, The Road Miles conjure demons a-wanderin’ and put spurs to the listener to charge deeper into the moodiness of the semi-title-track “Ballad for the Wasteland’ ahead of “The Third Man,” which provides the apex of the storyline ahead of instrumental epilogue closer “Wolves.”

A tense drum progression, sustained organ notes and jazzy guitar and bass give Tavoulari her backdrop, but come and go and come again effectively through repeated verses as the four-minute cut unfolds, not hurried but a definite pickup from “Ballad for the Wasteland” before it. The rise of a fuzzy guitar at the midpoint signals a move toward the apex to come, and sure enough, just before the three-minute mark, “The Third Man” bursts to life like a snake springing out from its coil and caps Ballads for the Wasteland with a brief but effective crescendo that would seem to deliver its poison well enough to let the audience know why exactly the “Wolves” are showing up at the end and just whose bones it is being picked.

Today I have the pleasure of hosting the premiere of The Road Miles‘ new video for “The Third Man,” which you can see below, followed by more info from Archaeopia Records via the PR wire about Ballads for the Wasteland, which again, should be out by the end of this month.

Please enjoy:

The Road Miles, “The Third Man” official video premiere

“The Third Man” is the sixth track in order from The Road Miles sophomore album “Ballads from the Wasteland”.

Composed//Arranged//Lyrics by: The Road Miles
Produced by: Alex Bolpasis
Engineered//Mixed by: Alex Bolpasis @Artracks Studios
Mastered by: Yiannis Christodoulatos @ Sweetpot Studios
Video written and directed by : Danai Simou

Here lies The Road Miles’ sophomore album. The roots of its narrative can be found somewhere between the deathly Mid-World of The Dark Tower, the mystifying Thebes of Oedipus Rex and the cursed Clarksdale Crossroads where Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil.

Ballads for the Wasteland tracklisting:
1. Where I was Born, There I Will End
2. The Last Western Myth
3. 600 Miles
4. Filthy Air
5. Ballad for the Wasteland
6. The Third Man
7. Wolves

In their sophomore album, The Road Miles adopt an almost cinematic approach to their sound, transferring the auditor straight to the heart of that very desert. Here, every twist and turn of a desert travelogue can be experienced through music: the wearing route, the mortal hazards, the otherworldly delusions. Skillfully maneuvering from electrifying blues to nostalgic Americana and explosive heavy psych to wistful spoken word, the band perfectly captures the feeling of being adrift in such vast wastelands, in a psychedelic loop of fantasy and death.

With Ballads for the Wasteland, The Road Miles unveil their own distinctive narrative. A thrilling narrative, developed through seven heartfelt, esoteric mantras. A narrative of hollow outbursts and deafening silences. A narrative built with the same raw materials as every western myth: a gun, the dust and the open horizon.

The Road Miles is:
Afroditi Tavoulari / Vocals
Alex Darmis / Keys
Anargiros Pantazis / Drums
Epameinondas Koutsoumpas / Guitar
Michael Chrysos / Guitar
Yannis Efthymiou / Bass

Produced, engineered and mixed by Alex Bolpasis at Artracks Studios
Mastering by Yannis Christodoulatos at Sweetspot Studios
Artwork/Layout by George Gkousetis www.goographix.com/semitonelabs
Recorded during the summer of 2016 at Artracks Recording Studios in Athens, Greece

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