Frydee Wight — Live auf 603qm

Posted in audiObelisk on June 28th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

Wight, Live auf 603qm

German heavy psych trio Wight released a new live album yesterday called Live auf 603qm that captures a set of theirs from Oct. 15, 2011, in the club of the same name. Being as I dig these guys and had their 2012 full-length, Through the Woods into Deep Water, on my mind after revisiting the Top 20 of 2012 yesterday, it seems only fitting to close out the week with this earlier live show.

Best of all, it’s a free download. Here’s what they have to say about it:

So here we are, we release our first live album with 40min “Wight Weedy Wight” songs only, performed at 603qm club in Darmstadt 2011!

It’s free to download but we would be really glad about a donation for all the blood and sweat in the performance and production.


As always, I hope you dig the tunes.

It’s not every day you can end saying one of your heroes scolded you like a child, but it’s certainly often enough for my tastes. Hell of an interview this afternoon, if short. Needless to say, it won’t be posted, but wow, and awful. Portrait of my sails, windless.

So while I go back and regret every career decision I’ve ever made AGAIN and barrage my inner monologue with “I’m too old for this bullshit”-type admonishments, I think maybe I’ll go against my instinct to spend the night laying in bed watching Futurama in the dark and see if The Patient Mrs. wants to take a walk or something. At least take the little dog down the way.

Then, you know, bed, dark, Futurama. Moper’s delight.

Incidentally, The Patient Mrs.‘ response? “You need to stop interviewing people whose stuff you still like.”

I hope you have a great and safe weekend. I’ll be catching up on some emails, so if you’ve sent me something in the last week and a half or so and not heard back, I’m sorry and I’m working on it. Next week, reviews of Giobia, Carpet and maybe something else that’s summertime psychedelic.

At some point soon, Lo-Pan are going to be starting a tour diary as well, so keep an eye out for that. Until then:

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

Tags: , , ,

The Body Start West Coast Tour on Sunday

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 28th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

Portland-by-way-of-Rhode Island abrasion specialists The Body commence a run of West Coast ritualizing this weekend. Fresh off the release of their Master, We Perish EP on At a Loss and a round of East Coast and Midwestern dates in support of it, The Body‘s next album will be released on Thrill Jockey, who’ve apparently decided they like it extreme. Fair enough.

Here’s the news:

THE BODY: West Coast Live Excursion Begins This Weekend

Hot off of their recent tour through the Central and Northeast US regions following their recently-released Master, We Perish EP, nomadic duo THE BODY is set to embark on their newest auditory warfare excursion this weekend.

This Sunday, June 30th, THE BODY will join Los Crudos, Iron Lung, Talk Is Poison and more at This Is Not a Step Fest in Berkeley, California. Just a few days later, THE BODY will converge with Subservient Fuck for a counter-clockwise slice of touring, beginning in Arcata, California, crossing North to Portland and Seattle and then south through Western Cali with stops in Oakland, La Puente, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego and Sacramento confirmed.

6/30/2013 924 Gilman – Berkeley, CA @ This Is Not a Step Fest
7/01/2013 Mex n’ Wow – Arcata, CA w/ Subservient Fuck
7/02/203 The Laughing Horse Book And Film Collective – Portland, OR w/ Subservient Fuck
7/03/2013 Black Lodge – Seattle, WA w/ Subservient Fuck
7/04/2013 1234 Go Records – Oakland, CA w/ Subservient Fuck
7/05/2013 Bridgetown – La Puente, CA w/ Subservient Fuck
7/06/2013 East 7th – Los Angeles, CA w/ Subservient Fuck
7/07/2013 Blood Orange – Riverside, CA w/ Subservient Fuck
7/08/2013 Che Café – San Diego, CA w/ Subservient Fuck
7/09/2013 The Press Club – Sacramento, CA

Preaching three anti-life messages, Master We Perish takes the distinctive, matchless attack of earthmoving cult THE BODY to its most corrosive and ominous yet; blackened bursts of noise-drenched, doom fueled by hypnotic, tribal rhythms and penetrating vocal torture. Recorded at Providence, Rhode Island-based Machines With Magnets (Battles, Daughters, Lightning Bolt, Chinese Stars). THE BODY also recruited Leslie Weitz (Otesanek), Chrissy Wolpert (Assembly Of Light Choir) and Reba Mitchell (Whore Paint) for vocal contributions throughout the torrid endeavor adding an array of eerie dynamics to the songs.

Master, We Perish is out now on 12” EP, CD, cassette and digital download via At A Loss Recordings.

Tags: , , , , ,

Live Review: The Atomic Bitchwax, Mirror Queen and Polygamyst, on a Boat, NYC, 06.27.13

Posted in Reviews on June 28th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

The forecast called for stormy seas, and for a little bit, the East River set to humbling those of us aboard the Half Moon for a Rocks off Concert Cruise with The Atomic Bitchwax, Mirror Queen and Polygamyst, but for the vast majority of the night, it was smooth waters, cool vibes, and heavy rock. I’d never been to a boat show before — not out of any disdain for the idea, it just never happened — so it was something new to me entirely. I still kind of feel the water moving.

It had been a punishingly hot week, and humid in that cruel way the East Coast gets in the summertime, but even with the haze and forecasted thunderstorms, a good crowd filed onto the dock. There were three boats lined up — Keller Williams was playing on another, which, upon Googling it, The Patient Mrs. decided was a real estate presentation — and the Half Moon was the smallest of the bunch. Standing in line to get on, it was pretty easy to see who was headed where. Easy to imagine that of the evening’s vessels, ours was the drunkest.

As regards Brooklyn-based openers Polygamyst, I was flying blind. I knew the band had opened for Pentagram and for Weedeater, both at the St. Vitus bar, but nothing else. I recognized singer George Souleidis from that venue as well, and though from the fact that they were on those bills and this one, I expected something heavy, I was pleased to find that heaviness tinged with elements of classic metal, in both the vocals and the guitar. It was dark on that boat and only getting darker as the sun went down around 9PM, but Polygamyst offered metallic riffing with little to none of the posturing that so often accompanies a modern take on early, NWOBHM or even thrash metals.

They’re a relatively recent advent and they seemed it, but their songs were dynamic and a blend of Orange and Marshall tones gave their duel-guitar attack a sensibility fitting its rock and metal balance. I suppose that balance made Polygamyst the odd men out on the bill, whereas Mirror Queen and The Atomic Bitchwax — shortly to embark on a European tour together supporting Earthless — are more rock-minded, but they didn’t made for an odd fit, and the mood was so good on the boat anyway that the crowd was ready to get down with whatever was coming. At least that’s how I felt. It had been a cool couple of days despite the heat and spirits were high.

Fortunately, they stayed that way for the duration. Early into Mirror Queen‘s set, the rain started and was soon coming down pretty hard. There had been little jerks this way and that — swaying mostly but a couple bumps here and there — during Polygamyst, but for Mirror Queen, nature upped the proverbial ante and at one point, literally toppled the band. As the boat dipped heavily toward the starboard side, drummer Jeremy O’Brien‘s kit came about half apart, his tom and crash cymbal falling to the floor even as guitarists Phi Moon and Kenny Sehgal and bassist James Corallo took a tumble. Audience members scrambled to help get O’Brien‘s drums aright — some jerks just kept trying to take pictures; whoops — and to Mirror Queen‘s credit, they hardly missed a beat.

There were a few more tosses as lightning struck outside on and around the East River and the rain came down, now in drops, now in buckets,  now not at all, but Mirror Queen continued, undeterred, to deliver an engaging set of classic NY-style heavy rock. They have some subtle touches of psychedelia, but the core of the band is Phi Moon and Sehgal‘s guitar work (last I saw the band, it was Thomas Bellier of Blaak Heat Shujaa accompanying Sehgal), and the two went well together, Phi Moon, who also played in Polygamyst and is in Zoned Out, having some flash to his solos that stood out amid Cream-style jangle and laid back feel of the riffs and Sehgal‘s vocals.

By the time they were done closing out with a Captain Beyond cover, it was calm seas. We passed by Liberty Island and I got as close to the Statue of Liberty as I’ve ever been, and The Atomic Bitchwax loaded onto the stage area quickly. Time was a factor since the boat was set to dock at 11PM — a three-hour tour! (I’m sure I’m the first person ever to say that) — but the Bitchwax still had plenty of time to work out their riffs. “Hope You Die” sounded particularly vicious, with bassist/vocalist/founder Chris Kosnik clearly reveling in the bluesy, shouted lines he was trading off with guitarist/vocalist Finn Ryan. Drummer Bob Pantella even got in on the action, though he wasn’t mic’ed, tilting back his head to join each time the NJ trio hit on the line, “I hope you’re asking why/You gotta die.” Kind of a grim theme, but a fun song and a highlight of the set for sure.

The Bitchwax pull a lot of faces that at this point are pretty familiar to each other, and especially on the boat, there was even more of a party atmosphere than there may have been in a standard venue. “So Come On” I can’t hear without picturing the desert-y video they made for it, but the song worked just as well on the river, and their cover of Pink Floyd‘s “Pigs” was a slower-grooving changeup from their usual head-spinning turns. They’ve never been huge, and they’ve never locked in their step with what’s trendy at any given point, and seriously, what a killer band. I don’t know if they’re destined for permanent underappreciation, but they look like they’re having so much fun playing their songs, and whatever era the material is from, it feels like it’s just made to be delivered just like that. The Half Moon wound up being the perfect setting.

Our boat bumped the Keller Williams boat as we pulled into the dock, but I’m pretty sure no hippies were dumped overboard as a result. At least I didn’t hear a splash. We were shuffled onto the dock quickly and sent off to dry land unceremoniously, and though I know it probably wasn’t the first boat show for a lot of people there — Clutch and Eyehategod have had them in the last few years, neither of which I was able to make — it was for me, and I couldn’t have asked for anything more than I got.

More pics after the jump. Thanks for reading.

Read more »

Tags: , , ,

Revisiting the Top 20 of 2012

Posted in Features on June 27th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

They always say you there’s no going back. I don’t know who they are, but they’re right. As I searched back through posts to find the Top 20 of 2012, I realized it had been way too long since I heard some of these records. It’s so easy to get caught up with what’s current and what’s coming next that sometimes I forget to actually listen to albums I already enjoyed. That happened a couple times along the way.

When a year ends and the lists start coming out, it’s like records as numbered, stocked and then forgotten. I guess I’m guilty of it too. With that in mind, here’s a quick revisit to what I had as my favorites of 2012:

The Top 20 of 2012 Revisited

20. Mos Generator, Nomads
I can’t even look at this album cover without hearing the chorus to “Lonely One Kenobi” play in my head. Still a sentimental favorite.

19. Golden Void, Golden Void
Haven’t put it on in a while, but probably should.

18. Wight, Through the Woods into Deep Water
Ditto. This record was great and if I made the list today, it would probably be higher than it is here.

17. Lord Fowl, Moon Queen
Didn’t I start this week off with Moon Queen? Well, I guess it’s pretty fresh on my mind.

16. Pallbearer, Sorrow and Extinction
I’ve seen them three times so far this year and they’ve delivered each time, but haven’t put on the album itself in a while. Still looking forward to new stuff though.

15. Kadavar, Kadavar
I think I’ve had more fascinating conversations about Kadavar than any other band in the last year. So many opinions, so widely varied. I dig the self-titled, will probably have the follow-up on my list at the end of 2013. Nuclear Blast needs to bring them over to tour, maybe opening for Witchcraft?

14. Stubb, Stubb
Yay fuzz! Catchy songs, easy formula, well structured and impeccably performed.My favorite straight-up heavy rock record of 2012.

13. Orange Goblin, A Eulogy for the Damned
Hard to fuck with these dudes. The production here was a presence, but the songs still hold up.

12. Ararat, II
No shit, I live in terror of having Ararat release their third album and missing it. Like all of a sudden the album will have been out for three months and I’d have no idea.

11. Ufomammut, Oro
Haven’t listened to Opus Primum or Opus Alter since. Can’t help but think if Oro was released as one record, I’d put it on from time to time.

10. Conan, Monnos
I put this in the top 10 for a reason. Because it’s fucking ridiculously heavy. I stand by my reasoning. Looking forward to their new one.

9. My Sleeping Karma, Soma
An album I couldn’t manage to put down even when I wanted to, and one I still pick up from time to time. Glad I finally gave in an bought a copy to get away from the shitty digital promo version.

8. Graveyard, Lights Out
Maybe I burnt myself out on this? I went on a binge after their show in January for a bit and then put Lights Out away and that was that.

7. Saint Vitus, Lillie: F-65
Every time I’m in a record store, flip through the Vitus selection and see my quote on the sticker on the front of the jewel case of Lillie: F-65, I feel like an entire decade of shitty career decisions is justified. No bullshit.

6. Ancestors, In Dreams and Time
Brilliant. Mostly brilliant for closer “First Light,” but that song was brilliant enough to get this spot on the list anyway.

5. High on Fire, De Vermis Mysteriis
Hard to argue with its intensity. Not much staying power as I would’ve thought, but god damn that’s a heavy record.

4. Neurosis, Honor Found in Decay
An overwhelming listen. I have to prepare my head for putting it on, but I continue to find it worth the effort.

3. Greenleaf, Nest of Vipers
It was the highlight of my year last year to see this material live. Greenleaf have a new lineup now and another album in the works, but if Nest of Vipersis how the last one was going out, they killed it.

2. Om, Advaitic Songs
Sometimes I fantasize about living in a temple where I wake up and Advaitic Songs is playing every day. That is 100 percent true.

1. Colour Haze, She Said
I’d probably listen to it even more if it was on one CD, but god damn, this record is amazing. Another one that’s kind of overwhelming, but it gets regular play as I expect it will continue to do into perpetuity.

All in all, pretty great year. Some stuff that’s fallen by the wayside, but a few landmarks as well that have carried over, and more importantly, some that seem like they’ll continue to carry over and grow in appeal as more time passes. Wight should’ve been higher on the list, but other than that, I’ll take it.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

BongCauldron Sign to Superhot Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 27th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

The song “Pissed Up” marks the first occasion I’ve had to hear UK trio BongCauldron, but it seems like the band have their sludge together. To wit, the opening lines, “Pissed up/Going nowhere” arrive drenched in feedback in bigger, early Crowbar-style shouts, and the band’s sound only gets more assaulting from there.

Today the announcement came through that BongCauldron have signed with Superhot Records for the release of their debut EP, and that the three-piece recently filmed a Superhot Session for “Pissed Up,” the video for which you can find below, along with the audio of the track, which is available as a free download. Enjoy:

Superhot Records Sign BongCauldon + Superhot Sessions 002

Massively oppressive riffs, booze, feedback and nightmare drug trips. BongCauldron has it all with plenty to spare.

Leeds 3 piece BongCauldron have signed with Superhot Records to release their sludge soaked debut EP. To celebrate this occasion Superhot Records invited Corky (bass, vocals), Biscuit (guitar, vocals) and Jay (drums) to record a live studio session late in April 2013.

Despite making the long drive to Superhot HQ in the small hours of a Monday morning, having just played and partied at ‘kin Hell Fest all weekend and one of the lads not having even made it to bed the night before they had no problem blasting out 5 minutes of oppressive sludge.

Watch the live session here:

BongCauldron, “Pissed Up” Superhot Sessions video

The album version of the song is also available for free download from Bandcamp here:

Superhot Records will release the EP later in 2013. BongCauldron continue writing music and have the following shows lined up for this year so far:

26th July – Fivers for Trannys at Xscape, Yorkshire, UK
28th September – Dragonfest at the Gasworks, Bradford, UK

BongCauldron, “Pissed Up” Superhot Session

Tags: , , , ,

Goatess, Goatess: Copulation on a Cosmic Scale

Posted in Reviews on June 27th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

No doubt some preconceived notions about what Goatess do will stem from their being fronted by vocalist Christian “Chritus” Linderson, whose work in bands like Count Raven, Saint Vitus and Lord Vicar precedes him in the form of a reputation for straight-up traditional doom. And in part, that’s what Goatess, which is the debut album by Goatess on Svart Records, has on offer, but the four-piece is by no means limited to that sphere. Begun as a project called Weekend Beast for Chritus and guitarist Niklas, the eight-track, 67-minute long-player has plenty of plodding Sabbath-ery, but there are also some light touches of psychedelia in the guitar and an undercurrent of stonerly grooving that comes through in bits and pieces along the way. Linderson proved himself able to handle more rocking material over the course of Terra Firma‘s two full-lengths, and though Goatess never quite hit that same level of straightforward heavy rock, the experience shows itself in the variety of the singer’s approach to the cuts here. The cuts themselves vary in kind, with Niklas, bassist Findus and drummer Kenta keeping a consistent vibe while making subtle changes in their sphere of influence that reveal themselves more with repeat listens. Strong leadoff tracks “Know Your Animal” and “Alpha Omega” are no more pretentious than they should be, and Goatess closes out with an effective complementing pair of songs that expands both the runtime — “King One” and “Tentacles of Zen” topping 10 and 11 minutes in succession — and the creative scope of Goatess in general, resulting in an album that makes for a richer experience than it or its Born Again-esque cover art would seem to indicate.

That Black Sabbath reference is the first of several. Long before “Tantacles of Zen” splits at its halfway point to a well-percussed, Eastern-flavored psychedelic jam complete with bleating goat sample, Linderson peppers the changes in “Alpha Omega” with Ozzy-style “alright now!”s and moves between a semi-spoken delivery and bluesier shouts that remind of a more organic version of the moody sensibility that shows up on the doom progenitors’ 2013 outing, 13. As these songs came together over the course of the last several years and as Goatess is released concurrent to 13, it would be inappropriate to assume new Sabbath is an influence, but old Sabbath certainly is, and it shows up in a modern context, so as much as Sabbath were trying to sound like themselves on that album, Goatess are trying to sound like them too, and they’re succeeding. Niklas proves a more than able riffer by the time the 7:45 opener “Know Your Animal” is over, starting out with a single riff that reminds of something from Ghost‘s Opus Eponymous before moving into open-sounding drums and a fuller-toned payoff chorus. True to the style, Findus‘ basslines are the subtle foundation on which the songs rest, and that’s as try of “Know Your Animal” and “Alpha Omega” as it is the rest of the album. The opener has the strongest hook, Linderson namechecking the title Never Say Die as the band moves through the chorus, and Goatess are underway with a strong groove that’s upheld and expanded over the course of subsequent tracks, which — if you were going to divide the album up for a double-LP release, would come in pairs on each side; “Know Your Animal” and “Alpha Omega” on side A, “Ripe” and “Full Moon at Noon” on side B, the shorter “Oracle Pt. 1: The Mist” (a paltry 4:40) and “Oracle Pt. 2” on side C and “King One” and “Tentacles of Zen” on side D.

Read more »

Tags: , , , , ,

Alcest and Anathema to Co-Headline US Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 26th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

I know that given the atmospheric nature of both these bands, an Anathema and Alcest co-headlining tour isn’t the kind of thing one would usually go “Fuck yes!” about, but still: Fuck yes! No word on whose brilliant idea it was to team up the French and British outfits for a run of US and Canadian shows, but to whoever, well played. Alcest were killer at Roadburn this year and even in the we’re-a-happy-prog-band mode Anathema showed off on last year’s Weather Systems LP (review here), they’ll make a good fit, and with Aaron Turner‘s Mamiffer opening, it’s going to be a gloriously gloomy night.

Dig it:

This September and October, PROPHECY PRODUCTIONS artists ALCEST will take a break from work on their upcoming fourth album to embark on a co-headlining tour across the United States and Canada with masters of atmospheric rock Anathema. Founding ALCEST visionary Neige had the following to say about the upcoming tour: “We feel honored to tour with Anathema and [openers] Mamiffer. For years, Anathema have been making this unique mix of prog and emotional rock. Mamiffer is the post-rock/experimental band of Faith Coloccia and Aaron Turner, talented Isis founding member and founder of Hydra Head Records. Sounds like a diverse and attractive billing! And this will also be the opportunity for us to play a few songs from our next album. See you in a few months!”

The confirmed dates + venues are as follows:
9/12 – Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts
9/13 – Springfield, VA @ Empire
9/14 – New York, NY @ Gramercy Theater
9/15 – Boston, MA @ Middle East
9/16 – Montreal, QC @ Foufounes Electriques
9/18 – Toronto, ON @ Opera House
9/19 – Flint, MI @ The Machine Shop
9/20 – Cleveland, OH @ Peabody’s
9/21 – Chicago, IL @ Reggie’s
9/22 – Minneapolis, MN @ Mill City Nights
9/24 – Denver, CO @ Summit City Music Hall
9/25 – Salt Lake City, UT @ In The Venue
9/26 – Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory
9/27 – Seattle, WA @ Studio Seven
9/28 – Vancouver, BC @ Rickshaw Theater
9/29 – Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theater
10/1 – Oakland, CA @ Oakland Opera House
10/3 – Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey Theater
10/4 – San Diego, CA @ The Casbah
10/5 – Tempe, AZ @ The Marquee Theater

Alcest, Les Voyages de L’Âme (2012)

Tags: , , ,

The Obelisk Radio Add of the Week: Fuck the Facts, Amer EP

Posted in Radio on June 26th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

It’s only been two years since the last Fuck the Facts release, but in grindcore that’s an eternity. The Canadian outfit issued the Die Miserable full-length in 2011 on Relapse, and after a subsequent EP and compilation marking, as they put it, Ten Fucking Years (2001-2011), the Ottawa five-piece follow-up Die Miserable this week with the new Amer EP, a suitably blasting collection of seven aggressive pummelers that tops out at a bit over 13 minutes. Seven tracks in 13 minutes. Welcome to grind.

To point out the obvious, it’s not really the kind of thing this site usually covers, and as far as I’m concerned, that’s precisely the appeal. There are elements of heavy tonality in cuts like “Jour de Souffrance,” and closer “Amère” toys with slower, tense pacing en route to a bash-you-over-the-head finale, but my idea in adding Fuck the Facts to The Obelisk Radio is to change things up a bit so that it’s not the same kind of riffs all the time played at the same speed and working under (vaguely) the same influences. Amer is a nuanced collection from the Napalm Death runs of “Vent du Nord” to the ambient ending of “L’Enclume et le Marteau,” and as varied as it is on a song-by-song basis, I figured it would be a good fit precisely because it didn’t really fit at all.

So yeah, at just 1:44, “A Void” might be a quick blip on the ongoing radio stream, but I think there’s enough substance to what Fuck the Facts does that their material stands up to the bevvy of amp-crushers they’re joining in the playlist. With the double-guitars of Topon Das and Johnny Ibay, bass of Marc Bourgon (also vocals), drums of Mathieu Vailandré (also vocals) and Mel Mongeon‘s vocals, the self-recorded Amer is varied, extreme and something you might not see coming when it arrives — all of which argue convincingly enough in its favor that here we are.

Fuck the Facts will begin a European tour next week. Dates are below the Amer player from the band’s Bandcamp page, where the EP is available on 10″ vinyl and cassette:

Fuck the Facts, Amer EP (2013)

07/01 ITA Milano Blue Rose Saloon
07/02 GER Leipzig
07/03 GER Berlin Koma F
07/04 CZE Trutnov Obscene Extreme Festival
07/05 HOL Rotterdam Baroeg
07/06 HOL Nijmegen Nothing Changed Fest
07/07 UK Brighton Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar
07/08 UK Leeds The Fox & Newt
07/09 UK Manchester Kraak Gallery
07/10 UK Bristol The Stag and Hounds
07/11 UK London The Unicorn Camden Live
07/12 BEL Brussels DNA
07/13 FRA Lille Le Bistrot de St So
07/14 FRA Toulouse Pavillons Sauvages
07/15 SPA Bilbao Sentinel Club
07/16 SPA Logroño Villatruño Squat
07/17 SPA Zaragoza Arrebato
07/18 SPA Torellò Eclectic Club
07/19 SPA Barcelona TBA
07/20 FRA Luynes Le Korigan
07/21 ITA Bologna Freakout Club

Fuck the Facts on Thee Facebooks

Fuck the Facts on Bandcamp

Tags: , , , , ,