Psychotropic Caravan II: One More Reason to Visit Finland in 2010

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 30th, 2009 by JJ Koczan

The PR wire has gone international, it seems, and that rules because it only just occurred to me the other day that, potentially, there are people reading this site not in the greater Jersey area. Jukka H?tinen, organizer of the Psychotropic Caravan sent over a press release about the second installment of the festival, set to take place in Helsinki, Finland, in February 2010 (that’s the future!) with none other than the British bastards of doom Orange Goblin headlining. Looks like it could be a pretty cool gathering, so I figured I’d share the news. One assumes updates will be available at the fest’s MySpace going forward. Meantime, here’s this:

Boobflier.The first and nearly sold out Psychotropic Caravan was held at Nosturi in February 2009, featuring live performances from Circle, Lord Vicar, Vibravoid and Dark Buddha Rising. The next festival celebrating heavy and psychedelic music will be held on Saturday the 6th of February 2010 with Orange Goblin, The Heads, Litmus and Pharaoh Overlord as the main acts.

The headliner for Psychotropic Caravan II is the stoner rock/biker doom act Orange Goblin. The psychedelic fuzz rock band The Heads and Rise Above Records? 21st century space rock elite Litmus play in Finland for the first time. Pharaoh Overlord consists of members of Circle and play hypnotic stoner rock.

Temples, Mr. Peter Hayden and Tuliter? will play at bar Alakerta on the ground floor of the venue in between the main stage bands. Psychedelic visuals and cosmic projections will blow your mind on both floors. Psych rock fest veteran DJ Kozmik Ken will spin vinyl at Nosturi, while Psychotropic Zone and Club Planet Caravan DJs are present at Alakerta.

Psychotropic Caravan II Warm-Up is on Friday the 5th of February at Alakerta. Big Naturals – a loud psych rock duo – and Semtex – green smoke reeking sludge – play gigs and the night culminates in an Open Stage Deep Space Jam Session.

Merchandise and distros will be present on both evenings.

Tickets for Saturday are 26 ?, pre-sold at Tiketti ( and Lippupalvelu ( Warm-Up tickets are 7 ? and pre-sold at Tiketti. Pre-sales start on Wednesday December 2nd. The age limit for the festival is 18.

Psychotropic Caravan II
Sat 6.2.2010 19:00
Nosturi & Alakerta
26 ?

Orange Goblin (UK)
The Heads (UK)
Litmus (UK)
Pharaoh Overlord
Mr. Peter Hayden

Psychotropic Caravan II Warm-Up
Fri 5.2.2010 20:00
7 ?

Big Naturals (UK)
Open Stage Deep Space Jam Session

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The Hour Strikes for The Resurrection Sorrow

Posted in Reviews on November 30th, 2009 by JJ Koczan

Art by Seldon Hunt.In a word: Ballsy.

As much as I?ve tried to come up with other descriptors for Hour of the Wolf, the self-released (through their own Midnight Dreams Productions) full-length debut from New York?s The Resurrection Sorrow, they all boil down to the same thing. This is testosterone driven doom rock that stands out like a high five across the table at a fancy restaurant. Think C.O.C., BLS, Crowbar, some Borgo Pass-style sludge, etc. So yeah, like I said: ballsy.

Bassist Alex Coelho (Tides Within) and vocalist Alex Dementia (After Dark) form the songwriting core of the band, and work tightly together. There is rarely a moment wasted on Hour of the Wolf; a well-suited straightforward approach gives the album an aggressive feel without being silly losing focus. The catchy opener, ?Resurrect the Sorrow,? walks a thin line between heaviness and accessibility that makes it clear audience is a consideration for The Resurrection Sorrow, however there is no real pandering to be found there or elsewhere. Likewise, ?Buried Dreams? and slower-paced later cut ?Plague of the Dying Sun? don?t feel dumbed down or like they should be doing more than they are. They?re well-written pop songs, and they accomplish everything they should on that level.

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You’re Damn Right I’m Reviewing the New Slayer CD

Posted in Reviews on November 30th, 2009 by JJ Koczan

This is the regular edition. There's a special one too, but I like this better.After the stink I made when my first copy of Slayer?s World Painted Blood was stolen out of my mail, a review of the album seems the least I can do since Columbia was kind enough to send over another watermarked copy. Even if the review is about a month late. To whatever bastard took that original, first off, thanks for not ripping it and spreading it online, second, screw you anyway and third, I hope you got as much of a kick as I did out of the medical waste bag the disc came in.

World Painted Blood is Slayer?s 11th full-length studio album, and finds the original Bay Area thrashers working well within their element while adding just enough of the (relatively) unexpected to keep things interesting for themselves and anyone in their fanbase who might want to see them step outside their prescribed formula. The opening title track, for instance, shows some signs that the songwriting might be trying to reach beyond the fast-as-hell riffing and soloing. There?s a surprising amount of melody and the general feel more of a Slayer closing track, especially since at 5:53 it?s the longest song the band has put on a record since the title cut of Seasons in the Abyss in 1990.

If there?s one thing Slayer are at this point, though, it?s aware of what?s expected of them. They are workman metallers in the sense that they deliver what the fans want and offer their progressions almost on the sly. While ?World Painted Blood? is surprising in how up-front it is ideologically and in its actual placement, ?Unit 731? is not much more than an affirmation of Slayer?s influential and long-established methodology. This is the case for several of the cuts throughout, where it?s ?Slayer being Slayer.? ?Snuff,? the catchier, faster third track, does little to innovate, but satisfies on the grounds that it?s got Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King solos, psychotic Dave Lombardo drumming and Tom Araya?s vocals. It?s cookie cutter, but nearly 30 years later, it?s also still pretty badass.

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Frydee Sasquatch

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 27th, 2009 by JJ Koczan

Yeah, I know a bunch of videos just went up on Wednesday, but that was pre-Thanksgiving, and this is post-Thanksgiving. Plus, it’s Friday, and I’m trying to work up a tradition here. Anyway, this week we’ve got L.A. rock bringers Sasquatch live at Harper’s Bar and Grill. No, I don’t know where that is, but the band will have a new album out next year on Small Stone. And the video rules. Good for anyone still so full from last night’s dinner that they feel like they can’t move. Yes, I mean me. Gonna go take a nap. Hope the weekend brings recovery.

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On the Radar: Wiht

Posted in On the Radar on November 27th, 2009 by JJ Koczan

One has to assume that newborn UK stoner jammers Wiht pronounce their name “white,” like the color, though to my eyes the way they spell it looks more like it should be “wit.” Throw a ‘g’ in there and you might get Wight, which works, but To be fair, it is a nice logo.looks kind of silly. Come to think of it, so does Wiht.

But whatever. They’ve got a logo, a guitarist, drummer, bass player and a few rough sample recordings on their MySpace page, ergo they are a band. And a riffy instrumental one, too. Chris Wayper, Rick Contini and Joe Hall (guitar, drums and bass, respectively) don’t screw around with adding flash to their songs and they don’t bother with vocals. Wayper‘s guitar leads the charge, and Contini and Hall keep up ably across the MySpace tracks, dooming out on “Into Ruin,” stoning it up on “…And the Thunder Rolls” (let’s assume that’s not a Garth Brooks reference) and adding some appropriate largess to “Vasta.”

Things are almost a little too by the book in listening to these samples, but I don’t doubt Wiht are doing it with conviction. They don’t have CDs available yet, but they’re working on it. In the meantime, judging by what they’ve got on offer so far, they’re probably worth keeping on the radar.

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New Orthodox Fuzz for Your Head

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 27th, 2009 by JJ Koczan

Whilst trolling the message boards, I came upon the following update from guitarist Brian Harshaw of Fort Worth, Texas, rockers Orthodox Fuzz. When last I checked in on them, they were looking for a singer and drummer. Guess they got that all worked out.

New song called “Black Goat” has been uploaded to the MySpace site, we still want to mix this a bit more but its getting close. Also, a new recording (with new vocalist and drummer) of an old tune called “Don’t Preach.” I left the original up there for comparison.

Anyone in the DFW area who wants to catch Orthodox Fuzz live can do so tonight, Nov. 27, at O’Riley’s. It’s their first gig with the new lineup. Here’s the flier:

It's a show. You could go to it.

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Trippy Wicked and the Cosmic Children of the Knight Interview: Gotta Keep Moving

Posted in Features on November 27th, 2009 by JJ Koczan

There's only two cosmic children. They're in here.The UK has a long, storied love affair with blues-based rock and roll, and stepping right in line with the tradition are Trippy Wicked and the Cosmic Children of the Knight, a passionately independent trio from St. Albans whose latest full-length, Movin’ On, was recently reviewed here. Comprised of Pete “Trippy Pierre” Holland on guitar/vocals, Dicky King on bass and Chris West on drums, Trippy Wicked harnesses a totally live feel on record while balancing it with clarity of sound and a modern production. Similar to the criminally underappreciated Shovelhead, the dynamic between the three players is as much a part of their sound as the guitar tone.

West was kind enough to take time and field some questions via email about the band, their experience recording at Chuckalumba Studios (Electric Wizard), self-releasing albums in the digital age and bringing the blues into a heavy context. Q&A, as ever, is after the jump. Please enjoy.

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Pre-Thanksgiving Media Blitz

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 25th, 2009 by JJ Koczan

It is hour three of a football game about which you couldn’t care less if they paid you. Your family is just approaching the line of intoxicated where the passive aggression is activated. Your little cousin has just asked you where he or she can score some pot. You were hopeful this Turkeyyear would be different. You need an escape.

Suddenly, you remember The Obelisk posted a buttload of videos for just such an occasion, called it a “Pre-Thanksgiving Media Blitz,” figuring that maybe on this most familial of holidays, heads might need a break from everything, if only for a couple minutes. And is there a better way to spend that break than watching high quality live videos from Kyuss, Dozer, Colour Haze, Alabama Thunderpussy, Dixie Witch, Black Pyramid and — for those whose day is even a little more stressful — Acid Bath? You’ve already hid out in the bathroom long enough to do all the crossword puzzles in that book. Relax and enjoy the entertainment. At least catch your breath.

Truth be told, this is as much for me as it is for any of you who might see the benefit of it. Being the pajama-clad social misfit I am, even the thought of bringing my family together with that of The Patient Mrs. is enough to make me want to crawl into a hole. I fully anticipate excusing myself from the before-dinner goings on to come upstairs and watch at least one of these clips. And to make it holiday-special, I tried to find the best quality stuff I could. The Colour Haze video from DunaJam alone gives me a sense of inner peace, which I anticipate needing on Thanksgiving as much as another glass of wine.

If you’re like me (and if not, congratulations on your well-adjustedness), please enjoy the videos after the jump and remember, no matter what the tv tells you, you don’t actually have to get up at five in the morning to go shopping at Target.

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