Video Premiere: Kings Destroy Unveil Clip for “Old Yeller”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 30th, 2010 by JJ Koczan

The Obelisk is proud and thrilled to be hosting the premiere of the new, first-ever Kings Destroy video, “Old Yeller.” Dig it:

For those who don’t remember, “Old Yeller” comes off Kings Destroy‘s first 7″ single, Old Yeller/Medusa. The band is guitarists Carl Porcaro and Chris Skowronski (both of Killing Time), vocalist Steve Murphy (Uppercut), bassist Ed Bocchino (Stanley) and drummer Rob Sefcik (Electric Frankenstein).

Steve Murphy had this to say about the track and the video:

“Old Yeller” was a collaboration between a filmmaker friend of ours named Dave Danesh and Morgan Nichols. It has various live footage from the Cake Shop show as well as the show we did at the Charleston with Droids Attack. Dave Danesh came up with the concept.

The idea surrounding it is pretty self-explanatory and goes hand-in-hand with the lyrics. The song is about how the media has been bought off by the US government and therefore lost its way in terms of protecting our democracy as the fourth check and balance. We don’t have a lot of political songs, however we definitely feel like this is a major problem right now.

This video has never been played before for anyone other than the band members — an official world premiere. So grab a nice cold PBR and hail the demise of our glorious nation.

Tags: , ,

First Round of Man’s Gin Due in August

Posted in audiObelisk, Whathaveyou on June 30th, 2010 by JJ Koczan

Man’s Gin is the new project from Cobalt multi-instrumentalist and Hemingway enthusiast Erik Wunder. Now residing in Brooklyn, NY, having relocated from Denver (I cannot imagine why someone would do such a thing), he’s joined in Man’s Gin by Scott Edward and Inswarm‘s Josh Lozano, and the three explore dark post-folk Americana with Wunder out front singing melodic in a huge departure from Cobalt‘s blackened ambience. I dig it.

Profound Lore, who will be releasing the Man’s Gin debut, Smiling Dogs, in August, has the title-track posted for preview-type listening. Here it is, followed by PR wire info about the record. To their list of influences, I’d add the solo acoustic work of NeurosisSteve Von Till and Scott Kelly. But that’s me. Enjoy the track:

Smiling Dogs

Man’s Gin (featuring Erik Wunder of Cobalt) have completed work on their debut album, Smiling Dogs.

Smiling Dogs is a moving musical pilgrimage reminiscent of the vibe of such acts as Woven Hand, Deadboy & the Elephant Men, Dax Riggs’ solo stuff, 16 Horsepower, Tom Waits and Bruce Springsteen Nebraska-era. With a singer-songwriter approach (obviously this is not metal in the slightest) that dabbles with southern rock and Americana folk, Smiling Dogs is a journey through the dark heart of America’s desolate, barren, and ghostly wastelands.

To be released late August, tracklisting for Smiling Dogs goes as follows:

1. Smiling Dogs
2. Free
3. Stone on My Head
4. Solid Gold Telephone
5. Nuclear Ambition Part 1
6. Nuclear Ambition Part 2
7. The Death of Jimmy Sturgis
8. Hate.Money.Love.Woman.
9. Doggamn

Tags: , , ,

Hawkwind are Out for Blood and Don’t Care if They Have to Search the Whole Universe to Find It

Posted in Reviews on June 30th, 2010 by JJ Koczan

If I were to sit you down and tell you Hawkwind’s latest studio album, Blood of the Earth (Plastic Head) is an uncharted journey into synthed out psych-osis, would you be the least bit surprised? Not if you were aware that the Dave Brock-led band has been bringing listeners on similar journeys for over 40 years now, having started in 1969 and never looked back as they sped through the cosmos, endlessly trading in members, endlessly documenting their course through studio albums, live records and archival releases, resulting in a discography well past 75 entries and showing no signs of slowing and an influence nearly as far reaching as the Milky Way itself. To be blunt: if Zeus, God of Gods, were a band, he’d probably be Hawkwind.

Joining Brock who vocals, guitar and more on Hawkwind’s first studio album in half a decade is longtime drummer Richard Chadwick, bassist/vocalist Mr. Dibs, keyboardist/vocalist Tim Blake and guitarist/keyboardist Niall Hone. Dibs, Blake and Hone represent a newer contingent in Hawkwind, the latter two brought aboard in 2008 to help fill the void of Jason Stuart, who died that year following a brain hemorrhage but appears recorded on Blood of the Earth nonetheless. The band sound dynamic and lively across the 10 tracks of the album, songs loaded with synth flourishes and psychedelia but still brought occasionally to earth with solid riffs and vocal structures, and though it’s clear Brock is leading the expedition, each member contributes ably to the material. As for what it sounds like, well, it’s Hawkwind, isn’t it?

And by that I mean Hawkwind is space rock, by definition. Very nearly every act in the genre who has come since them has worshipped – some more plagiaristically than others – at their altar. From the sweet classical keyboard and lead guitar melodies of “Green Machine” to the ambient noise of the title track and tripnotic freak out of “Wraith” or the vaguely Eastern vibe of highlight cut “Prometheus,” on which the vocals seem to be standing in triumph over both the music and our minds, Blood of the Earth is essential, elemental Hawkwind. It’s true their days of hard-line innovation are most likely behind them, but listening to the interplay between what’s commonly regarded as electronica and synth washes on “Inner Visions,” it’s clear the spirit to create and influence is still as prevalent in Hawkwind as it ever was.

Read more »

Tags: , , ,

The Main Street Gospel Preach Love and, Somehow, Vengeance, on Tee Pee Debut

Posted in Reviews on June 30th, 2010 by JJ Koczan

Calling the citywide hippie commune known to outsiders as Columbus, Ohio, home, retro-alterna-psych-folk rockers The Main Street Gospel make their Tee Pee Records debut with the casually ominous Love Will Have Her Revenge. The trio take notes from Neil Young (“Getting Through”) and The Black Keys (“I Won’t be Stayin’”), but occasionally let guitarist/vocalist Barry Dean (ex-Brian Jonestown Massacre) go off on a singer-songwriter tangent (“Truly (Hymn),” “Give Your Love Away”) that pulls back from the full-band aesthetic. This interrupts the flow of the album, but also gives some ground to the material, which after a song like the spacey, bass-led “Ready to Shine,” isn’t such a terrible idea.

Although “Ready to Shine,” on which bassist Ryan “Tito” Ida does just that, is among the highlights of Love Will Have Her Revenge, so perhaps The Main Street Gospel would be better off tipping over the edge of the acid folk abyss. It’s hard to say, and in fact, that statement could be extrapolated to apply more or less to the whole album. The first time I listened to it, I barely made it through, found myself skipping tracks later in the record and saying, “Okay, I got it, you like reverb. Next.” On subsequent hearings, though, Love Will Have Her Revenge, with its subtle shifts from quiet to “loud” and back, its subdued movements and airiness, had me hooked solid for the duration. As far as listening recommendations, I’ll say The Main Street Gospel are better suited to stillness than motion. Love Will Have Her Revenge is not the album you put on speeding down the highway, but perhaps the one you put on once you’ve reached your destination and require decompression from the frustrations of traffic, life, etc.

Read more »

Tags: , , ,

Live Review: A Few Words about Floor in Brooklyn, 06.26.10

Posted in Reviews on June 30th, 2010 by JJ Koczan

I got to Europa about 15 minutes after doors and 15 minutes before the first band. Annoyingly early, even for an early show with four acts on the bill, set to be over by about 10 so the Polish dance party, which is a regular feature at Europa, could start vaguely on time and the venue could make some real money. I wasn’t drinking (much) because I was driving in. I should have drank more.

The first band was Hot Graves from Florida, and though they rocked like a blackthrash Kill ’em All era Metallica and the vocalist/guitar player talked some righteous shit, I just couldn’t get into it. I sat in the back, sipped my beer and regretted the ride in and the $15 I paid at the door when I should have just left. Some nights going to shows is like not being able to get a boner.

I do enjoy me some Javelina though. The Philly outfit killed as usual, and though it was only about 7PM when they were done, I felt like I’d been through a full night already. Unearthly Trance was next, playing songs from their new album, guitarist/vocalist Ryan Lipynski trying out a more melodic vocal approach that worked fairly well. They’re a band I’ve always taken for granted because they’re local. I have the feeling if I was from Arkansas I’d think they were the best shit in the world. But they are good what they do and deserve the success they’ve had. I won’t begrudge them that. There were people who left when they were done.

Those people missed Floor. Jerks. The ones who stayed were treated to sing-alongs, guitar bombs from Steve Brooks, smiles, good times, good songs, and occasional stretched out heavy droning that broke up the set nicely. Floor only played for an hour and 15 minutes or so, but they pretty much killed, and I was glad to see recently interviewed bassist Anthony Vialon looking like he was enjoying himself. The room was packed and it was more genuine enjoyment than I’ve seen Brooklyn allow itself to have in a long time. Who the hell cares if these people heard Floor after the fact? They knew the words to the songs — one up on me in that category — so who am I to criticize? At least they didn’t just stand there like assholes.

When the show was over, I split out to a bar down the street to sober up (that’s right) and got funny looks from the locals. Perhaps it was my pre-imposed annoyance — unrelated to the show, but not helped by it either — but I didn’t come out of Europa feeling like I’d communed with gods. I’ve always liked Floor in a more than ambivalent kind of way, and though it looked like everyone was having a great time on stage and off, I felt like I was in a bubble surrounded by it rather than actually a part of it. My loss, I’m more than sure.

Tags: , , , ,

Knut Bask in the Wonder of it All; Release New Album Today

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 29th, 2010 by JJ Koczan

Here’s a fun fact that may or may not have been forgotten: Swiss sludgers Knut were around a long time before that baby polar bear of the same name got all famous at the Berlin Zoo. Today, their first album in four years, Wonder, is out on Hydra Head, who extols the band’s underground cred thusly by means of an unsuspecting PR wire:

There is simply too much music in the world these days, and little of it seems to embody what could be described as passion or even soul. Rarer still are the bands who have stuck around long enough to be considered consistent institutions of musical integrity and ingenuity. All but extinct are the bands that embody/possess the qualities above, and who have continued to produce, evolve and thrive despite deficient attention from the music buying public. While artists like The Melvins, Neurosis, Converge and Enslaved have managed to plumb the depths of the various caverns of heavy metal/hardcore/loud rock and emerged atop mountains of accolades (while simultaneously making careers of their craft), Knut have long labored in relative obscurity, churning out some of the finest all-enveloping-mathsludge-metal-pummelry known this (or that) side of the Atlantic.

16 years and 12-plus releases into their existence Knut have managed once again to top themselves and shame their peers with the creation of Wonder. A commentary on the human capacity for creative thought and numinous experience in the face of a violent and oppressive global-market ethos, Wonder stands as a testament to our will for survival and defiance in times of adversity and crippling doubt… and, yeah, it’s proof-positive that Celtic Frost and Swatch ain’t the only Swiss exports from which we may all reap unending benefits.

Knut live:
8/13 Ieper/Ypres, Belgium @ Ieper Fest w/ Converge, Kylesa, Gaza, Despised Icon, AmenRa
8/27 Gigors, Drôme, France @ Gigors, Drôme w/ Melt Banana, Human Toys, DK
8/28 Geneva, GE @ Usine, Geneva w/ Melt Banana
10/2 Bulle, Fribourg, Switzerland @ Ebullition, Bulle

Tags: , , ,

Ramesses Interview with Adam Richardson: A Look Inside the Curse of the Ram Family

Posted in Features on June 29th, 2010 by JJ Koczan

The grimmest doom I’ve heard yet this year has come from Ramesses. The UK trio boasting ex-members of Electric Wizard have tapped the mainline of cult horror and turned it into Take the Curse (review here), a startlingly heavy crusher of an album that feels pulled straight from the nightmares of Yvonne Monlaur. Even in its quiet moments, it is furious and foreboding in equal measure.

Ramesses is comprised of bassist/vocalist Adam Richardson, guitarist Tim Bagshaw and drummer Mark Greening. Take the Curse is their second album (first through their management’s label, Ritual Productions), and the band has previously done splits with the likes of Negative Reaction and Unearthly Trance. Their last full-length, 2007’s Misanthropic Alchemy, was also a monster, and it’s no surprise they call themselves The Ram Family — which I imagine is like The Manson Family, except instead of peace, love and murder, it’s Hammer horror, the occult and weed — when you take into account how much this music feels like it’s brainwashing you to obey it.

Since Ramesses recently played the album release show for Take the Curse at Rough Trade East in London, that seemed an appropriate-as-any place to start my email exchange with Adam Richardson, who was kind enough to enlighten me on how Take the Curse came together, how the band captured such aural sickness, their tour plans, relationship with Electric Wizard and more.

You’ll find the Q&A after the jump. Please enjoy.

Read more »

Tags: , , ,

Apostle of Solitude Announce July Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 29th, 2010 by JJ Koczan

Well, it’s a new announcement in the sense of the specifics, but as savvy Obelisk attendees know, Apostle of Solitude frontman Chuck Brown was talking about heading east this July for shows all the way back in February during our interview about his band’s second album, Last Sunrise. Glad to see it’s all come to fruition.

The dates came in via the PR wire from Profound Lore, and since there aren’t that many of them and it’s not like Apostle of Solitude is on tour eight months out of the year, I strongly urge you check the band out should they be in your area. Doom:

Indianapolis doom metal heroes Apostle of Solitude will be embarking on a mini US tour this July which will take them on the road in support of Last Sunrise. The dates and bands listed to play with AoS for the tour are listed below, with some venues TBA (which will be updated of course upon confirmation). We can only imagine how monumental the tracks from Last Sunrise will sound live. Dates are as follows:

07/17 The Loud House, Cincinnatti, OH (w/ Beneath Oblivion and Highgate)
07/18 TBA, Pittsburgh, PA
07/19 The M-Room in Philadelphia, PA

07/20 Court Tavern, New Brunswick, NJ (w/ Maegashira)
07/21 Ace of Clubs, Manhattan, NY (w/ Archon, Kings Destroy)
07/22 Bug Jar, Rochester, NY (w/ Orodruin)
07/23 Annabell’s, Akron, OH (w/ Mach II, Mocking Bird)
07/24 Metal Shaker, Chicago, IL (w/ Iron Tongue)
07/30 Melody Inn, Indianapolis, IN (w/ Earthride, Valkyrie, and Bible of the Devil)

Tags: , , , ,