Up in Smoke 2016 Lineup Complete; Black Cobra, Dÿse, Mother’s Cake and High Fighter Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 30th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

up in smoke header

With the additions of Black Cobra, Dÿse, Mother’s Cake and High Fighter, the lineup for Up in Smoke 2016 is complete. The Pratteln, Switzerland-based festival runs for two nights, Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, and will be headlined by Electric Wizard, John Garcia, Pentagram and Truckfighters, with YOB, Elder, Yawning Man, Fatso Jetson and more listed below on the bill.

Black Cobra and High Fighter are particularly interesting of this final batch of adds. I’m not an expert on Desert Mountain Tribe or Ephedra to say for sure, but it would seem the San Francisco heavy thrash duo and the German sludgecore rockers are the two most aggressive acts playing. I guess you could make an argument for Cough, but they’re more about drowning you in tone than getting a pit going, where it doesn’t seem unreasonable to think that in the right setting Black Cobra or High Fighter would do just that.

The PR wire has this:

up in smoke 2016 final poster

UP IN SMOKE 2016! Sept. 30th / Oct. 1st … Black Cobra, Dÿse, Mother’s Cake & High Fighter complete the line-up!

Summer is here, and before you all go on vacation trying to find the sun far, far away (…), we’d like to give you the last bands confirmed for our Up In Smoke Indoor Festival 2016! We are thrilled to welcome San Francisco’s Hardcore-fueled Sludge Metal duo Black Cobra, Berlin’s incredible Noiserock stage freaks Dÿse, Austrian Alternative Space Rock outfit Mother’s Cake (touring with John Garcia next fall) and Hamburg’s rising Heavy Stoner Bluescore band High Fighter (who just released their debut album ‘Scars & Crosses’ on Svart Records)!!

Taking place on September 30th and October 1st 2016, in our dear Z7 Konzertfabrik (Pratteln / near Basel / Dreiländereck) this year’s edition also features Electric Wizard, John Garcia, Pentagram, Truckfighters, Yob, Elder, Cough, Greenleaf, Monkey3, 1000Mods, Yawning Man, Fatso Jetson, Wucan, Giöbia, Desert Mountain Tribe and Ephedra.

Unfortunately, the Italian band Noon had to cancel their appearance for medical reason.

Also not to forget: No overlapping set times, sleep over/breakfast possibiity in the venue + some more specials to be announced soon to sweeten you the “TWO NOT TO BE MISSED DAYS OF VOLUME WORSHIP” !!! Grab your ticket (2-day passes) right now on our website, on www.z-7.ch and on our Facebook (tab ‘Buy Tickets’). If you prefer to buy an original, real hard-ticket, our partner Woolheads is selling them!


Black Cobra, “Imperium Simulacra”

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The Watchers Premiere “Today” Video; Sign to Ripple Music

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Whathaveyou on June 30th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

the watchers

Bay Area heavy rockers The Watchers have signed to Ripple Music for the Oct. 21 release of their Sabbath Highway debut EP. Today the band premieres a new video for the track, well, “Today,” that serves notice of the ass-kicking ethic to come on this release and hopefully going forward as well. Founded by members of SpiralArms and Orchid, they’re a four-piece who wear their love of fuzz on their sleeve à la Valley of the Sun if “Today” is anything to go by, and the hook they proffer in the track is made all the more classic-feeling by the Evel Knievel footage they’ve chosen to accompany it. If you feel like maybe you can get down, that would be advisable.

Sabbath Highway — presumably named for the stretch of road upon which The Watchers are burning asphalt in their four-seater riff-fueled fuzzcycle — is the absolute first release from the band, which is comprised of vocalist Tim Narducci and bassist Cornbread (both formerly of SpiralArms), guitarist Jeremy Epp and drummer Carter Kennedy (Orchid). No surprise that seasoned players would have an idea of what they want to do with their sound, but as they demonstrate with “Today,” their love of heavy rock spans about four decades’ worth of influence, from then to now, and they’re looking to make their mark as a unit starting with these five tracks.

More to come on The Watchers, but you can find the clip for “Today” below.

Please enjoy:

Ripple Music is thrilled to announce the addition of Bay Area, Stoner/Doom Heavyweights, The Watchers, to their growing family! Hailing from the great San Francisco Bay Area. The Watchers are a gathering of international seasoned players, from some of the most massive heavy bands of the last decade. Tim Narducci: Vocals (SpiralArms, White Witch Canyon), Carter Kennedy:Drums (Orchid), Jeremy Epp: Guitar (Black Gates, Venting Machine), and Cornbread: Bass (SpiralArms, White Witch Canyon). The guys have come together to preach and worship all things heavy riff rock n roll with there music.

The Watchers have just joined forces with Ripple Music to release there very first offering the “Sabbath Highway” EP due out worldwide on October 21st 2016. With song titles, “Sabbath Highway”,”Today”,”Requiem”,”Call The Priest” and”Just A Needle.”

“We’re very ecstatic to be a part of the Ripple family!” says Tim Narducci. “We love their approach and the fact that they have true footing in the underground heavy rock, doom, metal scene. Todd and Pope’s passion for their bands and roster is contagious and beautiful. We see a great relationship ahead!”

The first video “Today” was put together by the band paying homage to the late great 70’s daredevil Evel Knievel. All hand picked footage by the band to guide the song along with its statement: No regrets, never look back, and live in the moment. This guitar line driven tune sprinkled with some Travers and Thin Lizzy influence, will draw you in and make you a believer….rock and roll ain’t going away…it’s alive and here to kick your ass.

The Watchers on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music website

Tags: , , , , ,

THE OBELISK ALL-DAYER: Official Poster & Runtimes Revealed

Posted in The Obelisk Presents, Visual Evidence on June 30th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk all-dayer poster skillit

Buy Tickets Here

Gaze upon its countenance and realize just how fucking awesome this show is going to be.

Aug. 20 at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn marks the first-ever The Obelisk All-Dayer, a one-of-a-kind celebration of things heavy, noisy, psychedelic, progressive, and weird. In addition to being the first New York appearances for French heavy psych mavens Mars Red Sky, Amsterdam-based motor-rockers Death Alley, West Coast riff-rollers Snail and bizarro Texas punks Funeral Horse, The Obelisk All-Dayer will feature food on-hand, full and recorded sets, limited-edition posters and other merch, and an afterparty with DJ Adzo (aka Adam Kriney of Brooklyn’s The Golden Grass) and Walter Roadburn (the man behind the internationally renowned Roadburn festival).

Today the official poster, which will be available at the Vitus Bar in a limited and one-time run of 50, has been revealed. Art is by Los Angeles-based designer Sean “Skillit” McEleny, who has worked with numerous acts across both coasts as well as the header for this site and perfectly captures the strange awe and wonder that the show is certain to elicit front-to-back.

Following the revelation earlier this month of the complete lineup, the set runtimes are now also available:

the obelisk all-dayer logo skillit-700

Mars Red Sky* 10:10-11:40
Death Alley* 8:50-9:50
Snail* 7:30-8:30
Kings Destroy 6:30-7:10
EYE 5:30-6:10
Funeral Horse* 4:30-5:10
King Buffalo 3:30-4:10
Heavy Temple 2:30-3:10
(Afterparty with DJ Adzo & Walter Roadburn* 12-2AM)
* Debut appearance in NYC

Set times are firm. The Obelisk All-Dayer is proud to be giving these bands enough time to flesh out their performances, as opposed to rushing one into the next in a festival. The intent is that the day will be a laid-back party more than a festival, from the start of Heavy Temple‘s cult-worthy riffing through the psych-blues bliss of King Buffalo, the possibly-cape-inclusive doings of Funeral HorseEYE‘s lush progressive rock, locals Kings Destroy‘s aggro noise push and the one-two-three punch of SnailDeath Alley and Mars Red Sky, none of whom has ever played New York before.

Get your tickets immediately.

The Obelisk All-Dayer tickets

The Obelisk All-Dayer event page

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

Conclave, Sins of the Elders: Cold Comforts

Posted in Reviews on June 30th, 2016 by JJ Koczan


On no level is Sins of the Elders a minor undertaking. The debut full-length from Conclave arrives via PATAC Records and Lost Apparitions Records as a 63-minute-long slab of doomed punishment, telling much of the story of its sound with its cover: harsh, draconian, violent. Stoned to death. And so they are. Marked out by their lineup featuring members of unsung heroes Warhorse in bassist/vocalist Jerry Orne and Noreaster sludge bastards Grief in guitarist Terry Savastano, along with guitarist Jeremy Kibort and drummer Dan Blomquist, Conclave bring a pedigree of extremity into their debut that builds on the downward vibes of their 2014 debut EP, Breaking Ground (review here), while seeming to build an impenetrable wall with its heft of both tone and atmosphere. Easy listening it is not.

Recorded by Eric Braunschweiger at Raven’s Head Studio in MA, the majority of the nine tracks on Sins of the Elders — which I actually suspect is something of a gag title; the band being the elders, the songs being the sins — rests comfortably in the eight-to-nine-minute range, with the exception of the intro “Descend,” the quiet outro “Kaltas” and the more raging “Cold Comfort,” positioned before the pre-outro title-track, and its feel becomes as much about the entire forward slog than any individual piece’s bludgeonry. Standout moments like the second half of centerpiece “Mammut,” with its German samples and war sounds and landmark riff, and the chorus of “Cut it Off” prior, do much to anchor the proceedings, but taken as a whole, the cruel design of Sins of the Elders is encompassing in its darkness and unremittingly extreme.

That’s not to say it doesn’t groove, because it absolutely does, just that it has the absolute potential to overwhelm some listeners and that’s according to what sounds like the band’s obvious intent. Those averse to growling vocals will bristle at Orne‘s gruff, sometimes grunted, delivery, timed rhythmically to the riffs and almost universally miserable-sounding, but it’s an essential component in the atmosphere Conclave conjure. Credit to Blomquist for making a track like “Funeral Fyre” — which follows the quiet, spacious, raining, spoken-word-over-guitar intro “Descend” — have such a sense of march. While KibortSavastano and Orne are chugging away at the second verse, the drummer is subtly injecting a bit of swing and getting away with it admirably, double-kicking through a quick standout lead section and a late chorus before crashes complement the rumbling and sparse, mournful guitar ending, which leads right into “Black Lines.”


Slower at its start, “Black Lines” is among the album’s most aggressive cuts by the time it gets to the midpoint, and damn near uptempo in its last minute-plus, picking up a faster riff and riding it toward the eight-minute finish line. The aforementioned “Cut it Off” follows, finding some balance in terms of pacing but letting go of none of the severity for its relatively straightforward verse/chorus structure, breaking in the second half after its first guitar solo to bridge to a second, longer one before another faster ending takes complete hold, almost blindsiding the listener even though they did basically the same thing one song before. Easier to pull that kind of thing off when you have a varied songwriting process, it would seem.

Air raid sirens blare at the start of “Mammut” and the intro riff to the song itself serves as the bomb being dropped. Fair enough. Apart from the already-noted samples, “Mammut” is the only instrumental on Sins of the Elders apart from the opener and closer, and all the more interesting that they should make it the centerpiece, but it leads into the grueling and massive “Aethereum,” which echoes out its central guitar figure over a rolling beat that somewhat revives the march of “Funeral Fyre” but turns toward a guitar solo in its midsection and then back for another round through the verse and chorus before its fade. One might expect “Cold Comfort” as the only non-segue track under seven minutes long to be faster or more geared toward the death metal side of Conclave‘s sound, but it isn’t, really.

Like its surroundings, it lacks nothing for force, but doesn’t seem to be willfully readjusting the scales when it comes to one aspect of their personality over the other as it makes its way toward the title-track, which is the longest cut on Sins of the Elders at 9:31 and from which no light seems to escape. Between Orne‘s shouts and the push of guitars, bass and drums accompanying, its second half particularly is like a revelry of the damned, moving toward and through a chorus and solo that serve as the album’s apex before finishing noisy and turning over to the quiet guitar, bass and cymbal wash of “Kaltas” that bring the madness to an end. That Conclave would have an idea of what they wanted to accomplish going into their first full-length isn’t really a surprise given their experience and what they were able to bring to the prior EP, but Sins of the Elders excels in its pummel and its blend of heavy riffing and harder sentiments. It is brutal in concept and execution.

Conclave on Thee Facebooks

Conclave on Bandcamp

Lost Apparitions Records

PATAC Records

Tags: , , , , ,

Buzzard Canyon Sign to Salt of the Earth Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 30th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

Connecticut heavy rockers Buzzard Canyon have been signed by Salt of the Earth Records for the September release of their debut album, Hellfire and Whiskey. I was fortunate enough to catch the band playing live last fall at Vultures of Volume II (review here) and from the demo-type release I got from them at the show, they run the line between Northern and Southern visions of riffy groove, the vocals of Amber Leigh and guitar of Aaron Lewis (also When the Deadbolt Breaks) leading the way through classic-feeling material of which you can get a sample now with the streaming track “Soma’Bitch.”

Lewis also recorded at his Room SevenZeroEight studio, which indeed, is in the back woods of CT. More info follows, courtesy of the PR wire:

buzzard canyon

SALT OF THE EARTH RECORDS proudly announces the signing of the big rock riff cult, BUZZARD CANYON!!!

The sixty cycle hum of a tube powered stack bellowing through the silence. The deafening roar of a 454 throwing power at some winding dirt road up riff mountain. This is full fledged Camaro rock.

BUZZARD CANYON have been amassing a loyal following, built upon the bands delivery of massive riffs and endless gigging. Gigs that have included performances on notable stoner and doom metal fests throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. As well as many direct support slots for national acts. And with the impending release of “Hellfire & Whiskey” this September 2016, Buzzard Canyon will be expanding their reach and broadening their audience via an even larger onslaught of road work: Bringing the loud to the stage. So be prepared. They are coming for you.

Recorded in the back woods of Connecticut at Room SevenZeroEight, Buzzard Canyon’s “Hellfire and Whiskey” holds heavy grooves, whiskey fueled lyrics, dual vocals and rippin’ Thin Lizzyesque twin guitar harmonies as it winds you through twisting dirt roads, stories of oceanic battles and dark internal struggle. This album will be an instant classic to old and new fans and will be offered on Vinyl, CD and digital formats.

Check out the new single Soma’ Bitch


Buzzard Canyon, “Soma’Bitch”

Tags: , , , ,

Melvins Post “Hideous Woman” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 29th, 2016 by JJ Koczan


I’ll admit I’ve become less of a Melvins fan over time. The Seattle mainstays-of-riff are well over the 30-year mark at this point, and you won’t in the least find me denying the massive impact Buzz Osbourne and Dale Crover — as well as a series of bassists; six on their new album, Basses Loaded (see what they did there?) — have had on underground rock and roll especially over the last two decades or the fact that they absolutely slay live, but they’re impossible to keep up with, Buzzo‘s a dick to press in the Jello Biafra/Henry Rollins tradition and frankly, no matter who’s playing on it or whatever, there’s a lot of what they do at this point that I think comes from the same place. Even the chug of “Hideous Woman” from the new record should be pretty familiar to anyone who’s listened to any given amount of their material over the last 10 or 15 years.

So why am I posting about the Melvins? Because I respect the shit out of them. Look at that list of tour dates below and ask yourself how many groups have been around for that long and still have that kind of drive to do what they’re doing. True, they’re making a living off it and at this point it’s easy to imagine they don’t know how to live any other way, but even so, the sheer factor of the Melvins having trudged back and forth across the planet, again and again, while putting out albums at a continually impossible rate, means that yes, I still think they’re worth posting about even if I’ll just about never actually put on one of those albums.

There you go. An honest post about the MelvinsBasses Loaded CD is out now on Ipecac. Vinyl on Friday.

Video is below for “Hideous Woman.” Whatever, go to a show. Then watch Bob Hannam‘s documentary. Or watch the documentary first. Either way.


Melvins, “Hideous Woman” official video

The Melvins, who recently wrapped up their latest European tour, debut a video for “Hideous Woman” from their recently released album, Basses Loaded (Ipecac Recordings).


The 12-song album features six bass players: Nirvana’s Krist Novoselic, Redd Kross’ Steve McDonald, Butthole Surfers’ J.D. Pinkus, Big Business’ Jared Warren, Mr. Bungle/Fantomas’ Trevor Dunn (aka Melvins Lite) and Melvins’ drummer Dale Crover swapping the drum kit for bass in the Melvins 1983 iteration.

The Melvins return to U.S. highways this summer, launching a seven-week tour on Aug. 3 in Las Vegas. The touring line-up features Buzz Osborne, Dale Crover and Steve McDonald.

U.S. tour dates:
August 3 Las Vegas, NV Backstage Bar & Billiards
August 4 Flagstaff, AZ The Green Room
August 6 Boulder, CO Fox Theatre
August 7 Ft. Collins, CO Aggie Theatre
August 9 Sioux Falls, SD The District
August 10 Fargo, ND The Aquariaum (Dempsey’s Upstairs)
August 13 Eau Claire, WI Eaux Claires Music Festival
August 14 Rock Island, IL Rock Island Brewing Company
August 15 Des Moines, IA Wooly’s
August 16 Lawrence, KS The Bottleneck
August 17 St. Louis, MO The Firebird
August 18 Louisville, KY Headliners Music Hall
August 19 Indianapolis, IN The Vogue Theatre
August 20 Grand Rapids, MI The Pyramid Scheme
August 22 Columbus, OH A&R Music Bar
August 23 Pittsburgh, PA Rex Theater
August 24 Buffalo, NY Iron Works
August 26 Syracuse, NY The Westcott Theater
August 27 Northampton, MA Pearl Street
August 28 Hamden, CT The Ballroom at the Outer Space
August 29 Providence, RI Fete Ballroom
August 31 Baltimore, MD Ottobar
September 1 Carrboro, NC Cat’s Cradle
September 3 Cookeville, TN Muddy Roots Music Festival
September 5 Athens, GA 40 Watt Club
September 6 Charlotte, NC Amos’ Southend
September 7 Charleston, SC Music Farm
September 8 Jacksonville, FL Jack Rabbits
September 10 Baton Rouge, LA Spanish Moon
September 11 Jackson, MS Duling Hall
September 12 Memphis, TN Hi-Tone
September 13 Little Rock, AR Metroplex
September 14 Tulsa, OK Cain’s Ballroom
September 15 Oklahoma City, OK The ACM @ UCO Performance Lab
September 16 Norman, OK Opolis
September 17 Austin, TX The Sidewinder
September 18 San Antonio, TX Paper Tiger
September 20 El Paso, TX Lowbrow Palace
September 21 Tucson, AZ Club Congress
September 24 Long Beach, CA Music Tastes Good Festival

Basses Loaded is available now via the Ipecac webstore, Bandcamp, Amazon and iTunes. The vinyl release arrives on July 1.

Melvins on Thee Facebooks

Melvins on Twitter

Melvins Instagram

Melvins at Ipecac Recordings

Tags: , , , , ,

The Well Announce New LP Pagan Science out Oct. 14

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 29th, 2016 by JJ Koczan


There hasn’t been any kind of official announcement from the PR wire about it, but savvy social media types that they are, both The Well and RidingEasy Records have been dropping hints about the former’s follow-up to 2014’s most excellent debut, Samsara (review here). The most solid word from the label has come down to confirm the title of the Austin, Texas, trio’s second outing as Pagan Science and an Oct. 14 release date. Preorder info, reportedly, is coming soon.

The Well — bassist/vocalist Lisa Alley, guitarist/vocalist Ian Graham and drummer Jason Sullivan — toured hard behind Samsara, so it seems reasonable to expect that Pagan Science will benefit from that. Like its predecessor, Pagan Science seems to have been tracked at Ohm Recording Studio in Austin, though if it was Mark Deutrom (also of Bellringer) once again at the helm as producer and Chico Jones engineering — the team that handled Samsara — I don’t know for sure. Doesn’t seem unlikely, considering how well that album captured the band’s live sound.

Doesn’t seem at all unlikely either that they’ll hit the road hard once again either before, after or during the release of Pagan Science, but The Well also recently had a song feature as the opening theme of Ride with Norman Reedus, starring the titular actor best known at this point for his role as Dale on The Walking Dead. That’s not likely to hurt exposure-wise either, especially leading into a new record.

RidingEasy‘s announcement was short and to the point. Will keep you posted when I hear more about a firm release date, tour in the US or abroad, or any of that other good stuff.

For now, here’s what the label had to say and the Samsara stream if you’d like a refresher:

[UPDATE 6/30: The PR wire sent the album art as well. It follows here.]


Stay tuned for @thewellband pre-sale info on the new album “Pagan Science” out worldwide October 14th. Are you ready for some new Jams?


The Well, Samsara (2014)

Tags: , , , , ,

Oak Release New EP Oak II

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 29th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

London heavy rockers Oak have issued Oak II, their aptly-titled follow-up to their self-titled debut EP (review here), which came out late last year. Like that release, the new four-tracker is available now as a name-your-price download via the band’s Bandcamp page. I haven’t seen anything about a physical release for either EP, or both together for that matter, or anything else, but Oak seem to be making their way toward these things one step at a time, and I look forward to digging into these new tracks to hear what they’ve been up to for the last seven months.

Art and release info follow, courtesy of the PR wire, Bandcamp, and the social medias:

oak ii

We’re proud to announce that we’ve just released another batch of 4 tunes for you to enjoy. Several sets of strings, a few drumsticks and a studio loudspeaker have given their lives during the making process of this EP. So we’re hoping you’ll have as much of a blast listening to it, as us making it.

Recorded over a weekend in London’s Kore Studios back in May, Oak II sees the band take on a heavier, more focused sound with the new addition of Clinton Richie on drums.

Formed in the summer of 2015, London stoner rockers Oak have just released Oak II, the follow up to November 2015’s debut EP Oak.

The band combine desert rock grooves with fuzzed out 70s inspired hard rock and have spent 2016 gigging – sharing the stage with bands such as Elephant Tree, Welsh uber-dudes Sigiriya and Black Lung from the USA.

Oak II tracklisting:
1. Mirage 05:36
2. Against The Rain 05:41
3. A Bridge Too Far 06:30
4. Smoke 05:48

Andy Valiant: Lead Vocals
Kevin Germain: Guitars, Backing Vocals (tr. 1 & 2), Talk Box Voice
Scott Masson: Bass, Backing Vocals (tr.3), Talk Box Guitar
Clinton Ritchie: Drums

All songs by Oak
Engineered, mixed and mastered by Kevin Germain
Artwork by Unexpected Specter


Oak, Oak II (2016)

Tags: , , , , ,