Psycho Las Vegas Completes Lineup: Ace Frehley, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Corrosion of Conformity, Sasquatch, Mothership, Ruby the Hatchet, Heavy Temple & Many More Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 28th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

The Psycho Las Vegas lineup wasn’t exactly lacking in ‘holy shit’-factor before, but, uh… holy shit. The poster below is so god damned packed it’s got me wondering if they’re going to sneak in an extra day to fit it all. Well, I guess they are if you count the pre-party — a fest unto itself with the additions of Ruby the HatchetSasquatch, ConanYawning Man and Great Electric Quest — but to see acts like EarthlessCorrosion of ConformityDiamondheadLaura Pleasants of KylesaMothershipSaturndust, Heavy TempleToke and so many others added to the bill for the fest proper, it borders on the overwhelming. Sons of OtisYear of the CobraEternal Tapestry? I take back that part about “borders on.” Shit’s giving me the vapors.


Blah blah blah tickets, blah blah blah on sale, blah blah blah how much you don’t need me to tell you this is probably the best heavy lineup the US has ever seen. Also Ace Frehley will be there.

Full lineup follows:


Psycho Las Vegas 2017

KING DIAMOND (USA 2017 Exclusive)


Psycho Las Vegas 2017 is set for Aug. 18-20 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV. Tickets are available at

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Doomstress and Disenchanter Announce ‘How the West was Doomed’ Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 28th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Let’s face facts: There shouldn’t be a single date on this tour that’s TBA. Sorry, but that’s the way it is. I’m not saying it’s a vast conspiracy or anything, but for real, Denver, Boise, San Francisco, San Diego, Tucson, etc., where are you on this one? Disenchanter and Doomstress hitting the road together? Between bands in the TBA geography and club promoters with nights to fill, it should be an absolute no-brainer for heavy rock heads. The call makes itself. Get on it if you’re not already on it.

Shit, you guys need a show in Massachusetts? Come on up, we’ll figure something out. Worst case, you play my house and I’ll make everyone a delicious low-carb dinner and milkshakes afterward. Yeah, I know it’s not exactly on the routing for a West Coast run, but a gig’s a gig. Let me know. Offer’s on the table.

Take a look at the dates below, and if you can help out the bands, it’s as easy as the paragraph above makes it sound. You can probably even let them fend for themselves as regards dinner, if that’s how it absolutely has to be:


DOOMSTRESS & DISENCHANTER – How the West was Doomed

This April, DHU Records labelemates: DOOMSTRESS (Houston, TX) & DISENCHANTER (Portland, OR) join up to tour the western US on the “How the West was Doomed Tour”.

Tour begins April 4th w/Doomstress in Colorado Springs, CO before being joined by up Disenchanter.

Doomstress & Disenchanter – “How the West was Doomed Tour”
4/4 Colorado Springs, CO @ The Triple Nickel (Doomstress only)
4/5 tba
4/6 Seattle, WA @ Darrell’s
4/7 Portland, OR @ Kenton Club (Doomstress only)
4/8 Eugene, OR @ The Boreal
4/9 tba
4/10 Sacramento, CA @ Starlite
4/11 tba
4/12 Los Angeles, CA @ The Complex (w/Old Blood)
4/13 Las Vegas, NV @ Beauty Bar (w/Demon Lung)
4/14 Flagstagff, AZ @ Green Room
4/15 Albuquerque, NM @ Launchpad
4/16 tba

Doomstress is:
Doomstress Alexis (bass & vox)
Brandon Johnson (gtr/backing vox)
Tomasz Scull (drums)

Disenchanter is:
Sabine Stangenberg – Lead Guitar/Vocals
Joey DeMartini – Bass

Doomstress, Supernatural Kvlt Sounds (2016)

Disenchanter, Strange Creations (2015)

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Arbouretum, Song of the Rose: In Bloom

Posted in Reviews on February 28th, 2017 by JJ Koczan


Four years is a long time between Arbouretum records. Their debut was released in 2004, but between 2007 and 2013, the Baltimore-based purveyors of fuzzed-out heavy psych-folk issued a full-length album every other year and had other offerings besides — a prolific run that capped with Coming out of the Fog (review here), which was their fifth LP depending on what one actually counts. In 2015, guitarist/vocalist Dave Heumann offered the solo outing, Here in the Deep (review here), but as Song of the Rose arrives via Thrill Jockey, the meld of different styles that seems to come so naturally from Arbouretum — like something so obvious that somehow no one else is able to say — reminds the listener how much it and they have been missed.

Comprised of eight songs and running just about 40 minutes flat, Song of the Rose offers ripeness in its melodicism, resonance in its emotionality and heft in its patient, organic rhythmic rollout. Songs like the title-track, opener and longest cut (immediate points) “Call upon the Fire” and the rambling, organ-laced “Dirt Trails” prove hypnotic and memorable in kind, and the arrangements between Heumann, bassist Corey Allender, drummer Brian Carey and keyboardist Matthew Pierce weave fluidly into and around Americana, indie, folk and heavy psychedelia with a grace just about unmatched in the US. That’s not a slag on anyone, but meant to emphasize how particular Arbouretum‘s sound is and how entirely it is their own. With Song of the Rose, they slide back into it with apparent ease after the relatively long absence and manage, as ever, to bring it forward to a new stage of itself.

While I believe their growth is natural in the sense of coming from an ongoing maturity of songwriting and human experience — as opposed to their sitting down and saying, “We need to make this album different from the last one” — it’s nonetheless a key aspect of what they do, and it’s easy to imagine that if the songs didn’t “feel right” on those terms to the band, Song of the Rose simply wouldn’t exist. Maybe that’s just a result of reading into the gradual way in which “Call upon the Fire” opens; its strumming foundation around which a torrent of consuming fuzz builds and recedes so that it ends after a crashing apex with quiet acoustic guitar and keys, chilling the listener out en route to the gentle beginning of “Comanche Moon,” much bolstered by the warmth in tone of Allender‘s bass as captured by producer Steve Wright at Wrightway Studio and mixed by Kyle Spence (Harvey Milk).


As he will again on closer “Woke up on the Move” and as he has many times before, Heumann takes on the role of storyteller in the lyrics of “Comanche Moon,” and he and the instruments trade back and forth giving each other the space to let that play out. The subsequent title-track, louder, more immediate in its roll but still unrushed in meter, is more descriptive for its 6:23, and reportedly intended as the third in a trilogy behind “Song of the Nile” from 2011’s The Gathering and “Song of the Pearl” from the 2009 outing of the same name. Together with “Call upon the Fire” (7:23) and “Comanche Moon” (5:59), it makes an opening salvo of the three longest pieces on Song of the Rose. It may or may not be where the vinyl side A ends, but the takeoff into jamming that ensues feels like a culmination of the record so far in its buzz-toned lead and refusal to return to the chorus as it otherwise might, its affect all the more filled out with the Pierce‘s keys, which are the last remaining element after the guitar fades out, clearing the ground for the start of the shorter and more straight-ahead “Absolution Song.”

Around cycles of starts and stops, “Absolution Song” seems to find the resolution it seeks in landscapes, tambourine and woodblock-infused push and twice-over dispersal into pure shimmer. It’s the only piece on Song of the Rose under four minutes long, and carries a spiritualistic feel, but is a standout in rhythm and melody alike, Heumann‘s lines backed by a deep-mixed, swirling echo. The subsequent “Dirt Trails,” as the title hints, is something of a momentary return to ground before the soaring “Fall from an Eyrie” takes flight and the 93-second interlude jam “Mind Awake, Body Asleep” leads into the finale of “Woke up on the Move” with a key-led, space-minded progression. With “Dirt Trails,” it’s Arbouretum‘s folkish side that comes more into focus. Nothing too flashy — some guitar effects for balance with the organ — but the intent in placement seems to be to reorient the audience ahead of “Fall from an Eyrie,” on which Carey‘s snare, Heumann‘s guitar and Pierce‘s keys all seem geared toward building as much tension as possible leading into each chorus while Allender holds it all together on bass.

I don’t know if it’s fair to call “Fall from an Eyrie” the apex of Song of the Rose, but as the suitably-airy guitar solo arrives just before three and a half minutes in amid the wash of keys and the forward rhythmic drive, it sure feels like it. To their credit, while they could probably ride that part another four or five minutes into an overblown payoff, they don’t, and “Mind Awake, Body Asleep” fades in with its synth and basslines working over the drums to quickly transition between “Fall from an Eyrie” and “Woke up on the Move,” which again sees the return of Heumann-as-narrator and ends the collection with a sense of flow that, though it doesn’t really need to, summarizes much of what’s come before it in its soft approach and emergent rumble, which leads to a surprisingly noisy finish of crashes and feedback.

They don’t go fully into abrasion or anything like that, but they make it plain they’ve hit the endpoint for the album when they do, and the howling guitar noise at the close is definitely a part of that. Still, “Woke up on the Move” is drawn together with the rest of Song of the Rose through the distinctive clarity that is a hallmark of Arbouretum‘s work. After four years, to find that intact is a relief, but to have the band offer not only an execution of form in their return but a genuine developmental step feels like more than one might reasonably ask in its delivery. As ever, Arbouretum invite the listener to get lost and to find, and the joy in so doing on Song of the Rose is unmistakable.

Arbouretum, Song of the Rose (2017)

Arbouretum on Thee Facebooks

Arbouretum on Bandcamp

Song of the Rose at Thrill Jockey

Thrill Jockey on Thee Facebooks

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Red Beard Wall to Release Self-Titled Debut on Argonauta Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 28th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

One-or-two-man Texan noise/sludge outfit Red Beard Wall released its first three-song demo just about a year ago, on Leap Day 2016. It’s still up as a name-your-price download on the band’s Bandcamp page — you can also hear it at the bottom of this post — and it has a tense, tight sound that’s informed by sludge groove without necessarily letting go of its abrasive aspects long enough to permit the genre’s fuckall to really take hold. That is, Red Beard Wall sound too pissed off on a song like “Top of the Mountain” to nod out. Still, there’s an air of the experimental underlying the whole thing, so who the hell knows where the album will end up.

Well, I guess Argonauta Records — which will issue Red Beard Wall‘s self-titled debut album this Spring — probably has a pretty good idea. I don’t, is the point I was making. The Italian label’s roster continues to grow wider and weirder, both of which are good things, and an act like Red Beard Wall would seem to bring something immediately all its own as well.

Here’s the announcement:

red beard wall

Red Beard Wall – Argonauta Records

We’re excited to announce a new great band is now part of Argonauta Records family: RED BEARD WALL from United States.

Red Beard Wall was born on the dry, windswept plains of West Texas, at the culmination of 2016. Formed out of a desire to channel his angst, and frustration with the insane reality that surrounds us. With a hyper focus on heavy, hooky, and to the point songs.

Riffs with devastatingly heavy tones, vocals melodies that soar, alongside blistering screams of disillusionment. Influenced by amazing bands such as, Floor, Helmet, Conan, Yob, Pallbearer, Baroness, and countless others.

The band says: “As a band we are extremely honored, privileged, and humbled by our partnership with the mighty Argonauta Records. We are motivated towards, and look forward to a bright future with, in our opinion the best up and coming label in the world”.

Red Beard Wall’s highly anticipated self titled debut record will be out in Spring 2017 on Argonauta Records.

Red Beard Wall, Demo (2016)

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The Sonic Dawn Announce April 21 Release for Into the Long Night

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 28th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Danish heavy psych composers The Sonic Dawn have set an April 21 release date for their second full-length, Into the Long Night and revealed the cover art for the album. You can see below it’s tripped-out in classic form, and not that I’ve heard it yet or anything, but the album works in like-minded fashion, though one thing striking is the depth of arrangement The Sonic Dawn bring to their fluid jams, whether it’s keyboard or flourish of sitar sounds, percussion or whatever else. There’s little that seems to be out of their reach, but they maintain a core natural dynamic underneath, giving the whole affair a blended feel of organic performance and conceptual intent to go with a subtly clean production. Or so I might think, if I’d heard it.

Anyone who heard the 2015 Nasoni-issued debut, Perception (review here), already knows to look forward to this one, and rightly so.

Heavy Psych Sounds, which picked the band up at the end of last month, sent this down the PR wire:


The Sonic Dawn – Into the Long Night

Heavy Psych Sounds Records is proud to present: ***THE SONIC DAWN*** the new album: “Into The Long Night”

Into the Long Night is the second album by The Sonic Dawn, one of the most remarkable bands to come out of the new psychedelic wave in Denmark. Just a few seconds into this album, you will realize that you are in for a mind altering experience.

“It’s a trip! By taking the listeners to places they didn’t expect to go, we hope to make them aware – that they’ll stop up and think about life for a minute. Awareness is the first step to change in the world,” says Emil Bureau (guitar/vocals).

To achieve the dramatic changes of mood and feeling that The Sonic Dawn excel at, they mix a wide range of styles, from jazzy sitar pop to heavy acid rock. A pleasant-sounding analog production makes the album easy to approach, not to water it down, but rather to pull the unsuspecting listener into the deep.

The songs were written by day and recorded at night, during a month of complete isolation in a remote house by The North Sea. The tracklist can be interpreted as a trip through the night, into a new dawn. Close your eyes and see it:

Go through the hill country with its long yellow grass, to the beach where the setting sun dances on the cold waves. Slide into the darkest hours, alone with your thoughts and doubts. Suddenly come the first blue rays, separating past from present, before a golden dawn is born and everything takes its right shape, perhaps for the very first time.

Into the Long Night was made in collaboration with some of Scandinavia’s most regarded personnel. It features Swedish Hammond legend Erik ‘Errka’ Petersson on keys and Morten Grønvad on vibraphone/perc., which adds to its soundtrack-like qualities. Mixed in The Village Recording with jazz producer Thomas Vang (Oscar Peterson, Randy Brecker etc.). Mastered in Svenska Grammofonstudion with Hans Olsson Brookes (Graveyard, Blues Pills, José González etc.).

Fans of psychedelic rock, neo-psych, freak beat and classic rock will surely enjoy this record.

Nine tracks, 36 minutes and 22 seconds. Released by Heavy Psych Sounds (Italy) on April 21st, 2017.

The Sonic Dawn European concert dates:
15/04/2017 DK Christiania, Operaen (release party).
21/04/2017 DK Svendborg, Maskinen.
18/05/2017 DE Hamburg, MS Stubnitz.
19/05/2017 DE Berlin, Bassy Club.
23/05/2017 DE Dresden, Ostpol.
24/05/2017 DE Nierstein, E-Werk.
25/05/2017 DE Karlsruhe, PsyKa Underground Experience.
26/05/2017 DE Essen, Soulhell Café.
27/05/2017 DE Hofheim/Taunus, Jazzkeller.
31/05/2017 DE Miltenberg, Beavers.
01/06/2017 DE Mannheim, Kurzbar.
03/06/2017 BE Mechelen, Kafee Zapoi.
04/06/2017 BE Assenede, Flanders Chopper Bash.
06/06/2017 DE Mainz, Schon Schön.
19/08/2017 DE Waffenrod, Woodstock Forever Festival.
15-17/09/2017 UK Bedford, The Trip Out.
22-24/09/2017 UK Liverpool, Liverpool Psych Fest.

The Sonic Dawn is:
Emil Bureau (guitar, lead vocals)
Jonas Waaben (drums)
Neil Bird (bass guitar)

The Sonic Dawn, Perception (2015)

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Svuco Post Video for “Directo Kikazaru” Redux

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 28th, 2017 by JJ Koczan


The situation seems to be that Granada-based four-piece instrumental outfit Svuco have undergone something of an aesthetic shift since they put together their early-2016 second EP, Kikazaru. Fair enough. Those things can happen, especially earlier in a group’s run — somewhat rarer, say, after four albums, but still not unheard of — and Svuco are just a couple years on from first getting together and releasing their Mizaru debut EP in 2015. It’s a move essentially from heavy rock to heavier rock, and one can hear it in the tones of “Kikazaru Directo,” a redux version of the title-track from their second short outing, for which their new video can be seen below.

Right off the bat, “Kikazaru Directo” is about two minutes longer than the original “Kikazaru,” which is still streaming on their Bandcamp. Not an inconsiderable difference, and general tempo is a part of that. Svuco seem to be pulling away from some of their progressive metal influences in favor of greater tonal depth, however, and that comes through as well in “Kikazaru Directo,” as well as the live feel in their execution — something only emphasized by the video itself, which basically captures the band in the studio performing the track, sans frills. Nothing wrong there if they’re looking to make a statement of their direction, as clearly Svuco are. They did call it “Directo” after all. Only fair they should be as direct as possible.

As to where the stylistic turn will lead them — they seem also to have committed outright to an instrumental approach following a split with their prior vocalist — or if it’s done, I wouldn’t guess, but giving those who might check them out an immediate comparison point between where they were and where they are now is an interesting step that not everyone would take, and that alone is worth appreciating, let alone the groove that emerges from “Kikazaru Directo” itself. Though that’s worth appreciating too, as you can see and hear in the clip.

More info from Svuco‘s label, Pelazoh Producciones, follows, as run through a translation matrix.


Svuco, “Directo Kikazaru” official video

Our band Svuco has gotten back into the recording studio but not with the idea of ??recording a new batch of songs. The band has re-recorded Kikazaru, (or their extended version of the direct) track that gives name to their second EP and that is one of the most representative subjects of the sound that Svuco is getting on the stages.

With two EPs on the market in just one year [Mizaru (2015) and Kikazaru (2016), both recorded under the creative collective Pelazoh], Granada’s formation continues to follow the path that has yielded such good results so far, characterized For creative freedom and the assumption of important challenges. The good number of concerts given during 2016 have revealed the power of the live sound of Svuco, being on the scenes where the best experimental stoner rock that the band proposes is shown. Knowing this, they have returned to the studio with the most representative theme of their current sound and with an unusual idea and hence the merit: to record Kikazaru live in the recording studio, with the equipment they carry in the concerts and with the Intention to avoid later production once the subject has been recorded.

Guitar: Saúl Gonzálvez
Drums: Roberto Cano
Bass: Nino Sánchez
Keyboard: S.Oliver
Production: Saúl Gonzálvez
Directors: Enrique Pérez / Jose A. Malagón
Camera operators: Enrique Pérez / Jose A. Malagón / Zohair / Alejandro García
Sound: Enrique Bjeta in Fjr Studios
Postproduction: Enrique Pérez / Saúl Gonzálvez

Svuco on Thee Facebooks

Svuco on Twitter

Svuco on Bandcamp

Pelazoh Producciones on Thee Facebooks

Pelazoh Producciones on Twitter

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Phlefonyaar to Release Septic, Bitter and Hardbitten April 14

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 28th, 2017 by JJ Koczan


One finds the new single from UK two-piece Phlefonyaar to be just as expressive as it is misanthropic. The track comes from what seems to be the duo’s debut album, Septic, Bitter and Hardbitten — due out April 14 on Cavernous Records — and if you’re up for bringing yourself down a peg, the drum-machine-infused pulse of “Temple Bells After Midnight” and lyrics like, “Raise knives to the heavens and burn in your homes” and “There’s a fire in the church on Hawthorn Street/And if we’re lucky it will consume us all,” should probably get the job done. So much for your otherwise pleasant afternoon, mate.

The PR wire brings album art, the tracklisting and more perspective on the record itself, complete with lines about drinking cough syrup and whatnot. As one would expect.



British Doom Duo PHLEFONYAAR Announce Details of New Album

Septic, Bitter and Hardbitten will be released 14 April 2017

British doom duo PHLEFONYAAR will release their new album Septic, Bitter and Hardbitten on 14 April 2017 via Cavernous Records.

The band have released album track Temple Bells After Midnight as a taster of what’s to come.

Whether it’s sitting in their underpants in a car park, drinking tea and being serenaded by drunken truck drivers or being so annihilated on cheap lager whilst trying to sell the police wooden pegs, PHLEFONYAAR’s antics offstage are as bizarre and bleakly intoxicating as the music they produce.

Comments purveyor of vocal chaos, Paul March: “We’re back to generally bring you our feel good, happy day-glow, end time message with our latest release, Septic, Bitter and Hardbitten. It’s a full on rollercoaster of sparkling hardcore unicorn porn fun, I kid you not. So what’s new I hear you cry, why should I care about two scallywags playing the filthiest sludge doom rock this side of equator? Well if you said that then you’ve already answered your own question and maybe this isn’t for you, the doors over there. For the rest of us, I’m not gonna yap on about production or hand you a line like some slick snake oil salesman peddling his wares in a backwater town in the ass end of nowhere about this or that or how sincere I am about stuff. No no no. That’s not how this is gonna get done.

“To be honest the main pressing reason this should be listened to is just so you can laugh derisively and prove me wrong. So go listen, turn it up loud, maybe have a little dance, drink some screech or high end cough syrup (the good stuff) and if it doesn’t end up making you feel like a coyote chewing on a cigarette, you can come back and tell us how we ruined your evening. Either way you won’t regret it.”

A true monument in primal sound, Septic, Bitter and Hardbitten creeps, disorientates and lunges throughout 7 crucifyingly heavy tracks and is the product of a mere duo. Full of pummeling hooks and dark visions, the end result is a maelstrom of focused noise that is starkly terrifying. PHLEFONYAAR’s gloomy expressionism unravels in slow motion throughout the album to leave you with something which won’t tuck you up in bed at night and kiss you sweet dreams.

Having thrown their sound at stages across Europe, touring with bands such as Nachtmystium and Dark Fortress and providing support to Baroness on the night before their bus crash, the band are set to spend the rest of 2017 gigging and touring.

Septic, Bitter and Hardbitten will be released on 14 April 2017 via Cavernous Records.

Septic, Bitter and Hardbitten track listing:
1) The Lingering Molly
2) Temple Bells After Midnight
3) And If My Conscience Be In Fits?
4) Slow Death and Procrastination
5) Nuthin But Whimsy
6) You Can Never Have… (Too Many Knives)
7) All Things That On Earth Do Dwell

Phlefonyaar is:
Paul March: Iron lung, worrisome ramblings and Thunder board
Jim Males: live interpretative dance, bird calls and cable beam contortion

Phlefonyaar, “Temple Bells After Midnight”

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Chron Goblin Announce UK and European Live Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 27th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

chron goblin

Moments ago, and probably it went on longer than it should have, I started this post talking about how the impending horrors of global climate change would eventually make Canadians of us all, and how particularly Americans would swarm to the north to escape the just-went-outside radiation burns and dried-up landscapes and turn the newly-thawed tundra into strip malls because we’d learned nothing. Shit was grim, I don’t mind saying.

Ultimately, I opted to scrap the screed, because there’s little one might talk about that’s further away from the good-times-had-by-all party vibing of Calgary’s Chron Goblin. The four-piece, who released their third album, Backwater (review here), late in 2015 on Ripple Music, are headed over to the UK and Europe for a quick run that centers around an appearance at Desertfest London 2017. You might recall Total Volume, which is involved in this run as well along with Snuff LaneRipple and Buried in Smoke, brought the band over early last summer. As I understand it, the only thing better than going is making a return trip, so safe travels and rock and roll all around.

Chron Goblin have also been demoing new material, so you know, if you’re not feeling particularly hopeful about the future, there’s a bit of reason to.

Dance, dance, dance:


Chron Goblin – UK & Euro Tour 2017

Chrome up your pipes and break out the botanicals. Chron Goblin is poised to descend upon fortress UK/Europe. Hailing from the backwaters of The Great White North, this potent four-piece invokes the smell of diesel and pot-distilled gin with their rugged, yet refined, approach. The hangover cure you have been praying for, Chron Goblin’s airtight performance will screw your head on right and prime you for yet another night — of rock ‘n’ roll revelry!

We’re stoked to return to UK/Europe this spring! Big thanks to everyone who helped to make this tour happen!

Chron Goblin UK & Europe Tour 2017:
04.28 Birmingham UK
04.29 London UK
04.30 Oxford UK
05.01 Bristol UK
05.02 Bournemouth UK
05.04 Coventry UK
05.05 Westmalle BE
05.06 Siegen DE

Chron Goblin, Backwater (2015)

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