Deep Space Destructors Stream Spring Break from Space EP in Full

Posted in audiObelisk on March 27th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

deep space destructors

Next week, Finnish spacedudes Deep Space Destructors launch a quick tour they’re calling “Spring Break from Space,” and they’ll be bringing a limited-edition cassette EP — 30 copies only — with them to mark the occasion. Also called Spring Break from Space, the EP contains two rehearsal-room jams recorded live and then fleshed out with synth, vocals and percussion to extra spacey effect. Both cuts, “Journey to the Space Mountain” and “Where Space Ends Time” — yes, they’re working on a theme, and yes, that theme is “space” — offer marked swirl as a result, bassist/vocalist Jani Pitkänen, guitarist/backing vocalist Petri Lassila and drummer Markus Pitkänen pushing classically Hawkwindian jams past the thermosphere and into zero-grav floatation.

I’d say that’s nothing new for the Oulu three-piece, whose three full-lengths to date —  2012’s I (review here), 2013’s II (review here) and 2014’s III (review here) — have likewise thrust beyond the limits of convention, but where a song like the 15-minute “An Ode to Indifferent Universe” from III was certainly jam-based, it was more structured than either “Journey to the Space Mountain” or “Where Space Ends Time,” clearer and less awash in effects. “Journey to the Space Mountain” makes a hook of its title line, but still blasts pretty far out, a foundational bassline and drum progression setting a bed for a guitar-led freakout deep space destructors tape coverthat persists over a long midsection jam before the track resumes its charted course with a stop and layered recitation of a couple lines about — wait for it — space.

It’s fun to kid around that a band with space in their name would release an EP with space both in its title and in the titles of each of its two tracks, but the jams hold up. “Where Space Ends Time” starts with a slower march, minimal in percussion but picking up speed as it approaches the end of its first minute. When the bass kicks in, Deep Space Destructors are underway. Various washes of effects make their way in and out of the jam’s early going, sampled, spoken vocals appear and disappear with a pervasive experimental feel that builds as the track progresses, hypnotic and saturated. There are vocals later, echoing in the second half over a sort of ambient melody given tension by that same bassline, and while it’s easy to forget, the band are actually leading the song somewhere. An apex of “Where Space Ends Time” is signaled by crashing drums, but it’s short, and the track cuts out soon, ending cold as though you’ve just been pushed out the airlock.

There are five shows on Deep Space Destructors‘ upcoming tour, and they’re only making 30 copies of the Spring Break from Space tape, so I’m not sure how available it will wind up being to the worldwide cosmos-faring public. All the more reason I’m glad to be able to stream it in full today. You’ll find the tracks on the player below, followed by tour info and some words about the making of the new release.

Please enjoy:

Psychedelic space rockers Deep Space Destructors made a limited cassette release of 30 copies for the upcoming Spring Break From Space 2015 tour.

With the new material DSD dives towards innerspace, shamanistic rhythms and to the mystic realms of consciousness. What is the space mountain and will you discover it?

The cassette includes two songs recorded live at Rehearsal Vortex, with vocals, percussions and analog synths added afterwards. The cassette contains:

Space (A-side): 01. Journey To The Space Mountain (8:16)
Void (B-side): 02: Where Space Ends Time Begins (11:33)

The tour starts on April 1st from Oulu which is also the release date for the cassette. The songs will also be available for pay what you want digital download through bandcamp:
http://deepspacedestructors.bandcamp.com/

Spring Break From Space 2015 tour with
Boar (https://boar.bandcamp.com/) and Tuliterä (https://soundcloud.com/tulitera):

April 1st Tukikohta, Oulu, Finland
April 2nd Varjobaari, Tampere, Finland
April 3rd Lepakkomies, Helsinki, Finland
April 4th Depo, Riga, Latvia
April 5th Rockstars, Tallinn, Estonia

Deep Space Destructors on Thee Facebooks

Deep Space Destructors on Bandcamp

Tags: , , , , ,

Roadburn 2014: Sets from Conan, Corrections House, Momentum, Papir, Promise and the Monster, Scorpion Child, Sourvein, and Tribulation Available to Stream

Posted in audiObelisk on March 24th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Conan at Roadburn 2014 (Photo by JJ Koczan)

It is always a pleasure to play host to the live sets from Roadburn. This batch — the sixth to come from last year’s fest at the 013, Cul de Sac and Het Patronaat venues in Tilburg, the Netherlands — includes a couple particularly choice acts from the fest. I caught some of Papir through the door and they were awesome even being outside the room, and Sourvein kicked off the festival with a sludgy immediacy that let the Main Stage crowd know they were in for a hell of a weekend to come. That’s not to take anything away from Tribulation, Momentum, Promise and the Monster or Scorpion Child, but I can only go by what I saw.

And in that regard, I’m not sure any band who played Roadburn last year killed it quite as hard as did Conan at Het Patronaat. Having previously witnessed their Roadburn debut in 2012 (review here), it was something particularly special to see them come back and destroy in Roadburn‘s church, the stained glass windows rattling from the density of their low end, one tectonic riff feeding into another with explosive energy and ferocity unmatched in doom. They could’ve easily been on the Main Stage, but somehow it was even more appropriate in that venue. Fit for worship and then some.

They played the same day as Sourvein and Corrections House, and several of these others if I’m not mistaken. Oh, and if that pic of Sanford Parker looks familiar (it won’t, but I’m mentioning it anyway), it came from the review of their first show at the Saint Vitus Bar back in 2013. Good times.

As always, thanks to Walter for allowing me to host the streams and to Marcel Van De Vondervoort of Torture Garden Studio for busting his ass to record it all.

Enjoy:

Conan – Live at Roadburn 2014

Corrections House – Live at Roadburn 2014

Momentum – Live at Roadburn 2014

Papir – Live at Roadburn 2014 (Saturday)

Promise and the Monster – Live at Roadburn 2014

Scorpion Child – Live at Roadburn 2014

Sourvein – Live at Roadburn 2014

Tribulation – Live at Roadburn 2014

For the other batches of audio from Roadburn 2014 — there’s some stuff worth digging for — click herehere, here, here, and here, and to read the coverage from last year’s fest, click here. For all Roadburn 2015 updates, click here.

Roadburn’s website

Marcel Van De Vondervoort on Thee Facebooks

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Wake Up Lucid Stream Gone with the Night EP in Full

Posted in audiObelisk on March 24th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

wake up lucid

Last time we heard from Los Angeles trio Wake Up Lucid, they were issuing a heartfelt invitation to “Get Fucked.” That song (streamed here) is the nine-minute penultimate jammer on the half-hour Gone with the Night EP, which is set to release on March 31 through the band’s own WUL Records. And as one of the six tracks on the offering, it’s no less a standout than it was on its own, but as fate has it, “Get Fucked” is only one slice of the stylistic whole of Gone with the Night, and Wake Up Lucid – cousins RyanIan and Jamie Baca – range even further outside genre bounds on songs like “Don’t Fear” and “White Collar Love,” incorporating elements out of Americana, grunge, fuzz punk and shoegaze for an enticing and varied approach that offers full-length flow across what’s still billed as a shorter release.

Easily-enough split into two vinyl-ready sides, Gone with the Night opens with the immediate rush of the aforementioned “White Collar Love,” with its tense chugging and buzzsaw leads, punker snarl and underlying moodiness. Some sonic similarity to the post-Queens of the Stone Age garage-isms of Elvis Deluxe‘s 2011 outing, Favourite State of Mind (review here), but wake-up-lucid-gone-with-the-nightit’s a passing thing, and by the time they’re into “Let it Roll,” Wake Up Lucid are on a more languid trip, a rolling groove persisting for the 4:50 span that transitions smoothly into the subtly organ-laced ramble of “Don’t Fear,” as pretty as it is threatening. “I Want” follows, reigniting the sexualized energy of the opener, and serves more or less as a manifesto for the mindset from which the entire EP emanates, drenched in attitude and wah guitar, thrusting into a crash-wash apex that closes out the first half of the release with a fade of feedback.

Side B goes every bit as far, if not farther, aesthetically, but in the span of two tracks. The extended “Get Fucked” opens, and a 5:45 title-track closes, but between the two there’s a significant amount of ground covered. “Get Fucked” remains a serious, significant jam built on a foundation of gorgeous bass tone and wide-open drum swing. It has its upbeat moments, builds to a head early and shifts through verses, but the primary impression is a heavy hypnosis, thick on vibe and getting into a wash of noise in the second half before transitioning back to its central groove in the last minute and fading into the quieter strum of “Gone with the Night” itself. The closer teases an explosion but is ultimately restrained in the spirit of “Don’t Fear”‘s rural grunge, electric guitar layered in to fill out the atmosphere more than to serve as a focal point, as well as to make the final statement in a soulfully fuzzed last solo.

Their varied approach turns out to be one of Wake Up Lucid‘s best-used assets on Gone with the Night, but that shouldn’t necessarily discount the individual performances either. Whatever level you want to take it on, the EP moves with deceptive efficiency, and for something that’s only half an hour long, it’s awfully easy to be caught up in its changing currents.

Please find Gone with the Night in its entirety on the player below, followed by some more background on the band courtesy as ever of the PR wire, and enjoy:

On their upcoming fourth release Gone With The Night, Los Angeles gutter rock trio Wake Up Lucid puts it simply: “Give us something real, something we can feel. Or get fucked.” This statement resounds as both rejection of fakery and pursuit of honest music, which have remained Wake Up Lucid’s only guidelines for writing and performing throughout the half decade’s worth of their existence. The new album was produced by Icarus Line’s Joe Cardamone at his studio, Valley Recording Co. in Burbank and is being released March 31 on WUL Records.

Gone With The Night is a sampling of the fruits of the group’s determined efforts to develop further as song-writers, offering songs that are much more focused and realized, and diversely dynamic — a departure from the band’s usual m.o. of grit and groove hammered-out at high volumes — while still maintaining the inimitable Wake Up Lucid vibe that has crept around L.A. for the past few years.

Their authenticity and immediacy as writers and performers is rooted in their experience of growing up together in the same extended family—a musical one to boot. After pursuing their respective musical aspirations in other outfits, they formed their own some six years ago, distilling their now matured, ripened abilities into the woozy juggernaut that is Wake Up Lucid.

Wake up Lucid on Thee Facebooks

Wake up Lucid on Twitter

Wake up Lucid’s website

Tags: , , , , ,

Hot Lunch Premiere “China Banks” from Slappy Sunday Scion A/V EP

Posted in audiObelisk on March 24th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

hot lunch

If living the dream makes you want to scream, San Francisco four-piece Hot Lunch invite you to “live the nightmare” in one of the several infectious hooks on their new Scion A/V EP, Slappy Sunday. Out next week, March 31, the five-song release follows Hot Lunch‘s appearance on the Riley Hawk-curated (also for ScionNorthwest Blow Out compilation alongside KadavarThe Black Angels and Loom, as well as their Who Can You Trust? Records self-titled debut, released in 2013, an EP for Heavy Psych Sounds and other sundry appearances on splits the last couple years to go along with slots at Scion Rock Fest and the venerable daydream Duna Jam in Sardinia. If it seems like a lot of people are ready to get behind the band, they are, and it won’t take long into the Slappy Sunday EP before you figure out why.

Hot Lunch tap into a blend of proto-heavy rock and punk that’s so seamless it practically rewrites history. Slappy Sunday has five tracks — “Slappy Sunday,” “Expectations,” “China Banks,” “Pot of Gold” and the prior-alluded “Living the Nightmare” — and by the time its 17 minutes are through, the band has offered classic hot lunch slappy sunday eptwo-guitar soloing Thin Lizzy-style (as on “Pot of Gold”), introduced the Ramones to Jimi Hendrix (with “Expectations”), conjured simple, raw brashness (on the title-track) and even found room for some acoustic work (on “Living the Nightmare”). With “China Banks” as its centerpiece, Slappy Sunday shows off an impressive range, but even more, there’s little to no hiccup in terms of how the songs relate to each other. Classically styled and analog-sounding, Hot Lunch make difficult stylistic turns sound easy; a molten aesthetic that shifts according to the whims of deceptively complex songwriting.

Today I have the pleasure of hosting “China Banks” for stream and download ahead of the Slappy Sunday release next week. The last of an initial three songs all under three minutes before the final two cuts reach past the four-minute mark, it’s a bombastic hook that melds shuffle and thrust smoothly as it works its way to a quick, somewhat understated conclusion. Hot Lunch – the lineup of Eric SheaAaron NudelmanRob Alper and Charlie Karr — have places to be, and even in the longer tracks, they don’t linger, but “China Banks” should still provide a solid look at what’s on offer with their new Scion EP, and one doubts it will be the last we’ll hear from them this year.

Please enjoy “China Banks” on the player below, followed by the link to the EP at Scion A/V and some comment from the band, courtesy of the PR wire:

Hot Lunch, the San Francisco-based band, releases the Slappy Sunday EP on March 31 via Scion Audio Visual.

The EP’s title track, “Slappy Sunday,” is available now for free download via Scion Audio Visual’s Soundcloud page (http://www.scionav.com/2015/03/16/download-hot-lunch-slappy-sunday-brand-new-track-release).

“We’re beyond stoked about this latest batch of tunes,” said Hot Lunch drummer Rob Alper. “Both structurally and sonically they’re true to Hot Lunch form, but we can’t help feel that this five-headed beast is of a new breed. Born of an all night rock ‘n’ roll house party? Or following a ferocious Sunday curb-skating session? We know not from whence it came. We’re honored to continue working with Scion A/V to bring high-energy punk ‘n’ roll music to the people! The Slappy Sunday EP is up-to-the-very-minute Hot Lunch in all its fuzzy, monstrous glory!”

Hot Lunch on Thee Facebooks

Slappy Sunday at Scion A/V

Tags: , , , , ,

Acid King Premiere “Coming Down from Outer Space” from Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere

Posted in audiObelisk on March 23rd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

acid king (Photo by Raymond Ahner)

San Francisco trio Acid King will release their fourth album, Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere (review here), on April 14 through an alliance with Svart Records. The three-piece’s first record in a decade reunites them with producer/engineer Billy Anderson and finds them both doing what they do best — riffing classic nod with nigh-unmatched fuzz — and expanding the sound, delivering a more psychedelic groove than their last offering, 2005’s III, had on hand. Nothing against III at all, but Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere has a freshness to its sound that makes it an immediate standout in Acid King‘s catalog, and for the generation who have discovered them in the last 10 years, it marks a new beginning. After years of replays for III, their 2001 split with The Mystick Krewe of Clearlight, 1999’s classic second album, Busse Woods, and their 1995 debut, Zoroaster, and years of discussion about the prospect, there’s finally some new Acid King to put on and bliss out.

But the highlight of the record isn’t its release date. The highlight of the record is the record. The sound of the thing and the molten, fluid vibe theAcid-King-Middle-of-Nowhere-Center-of-Everywhere band conjures throughout. I’ve reviewed it, so I’ll spare you running through track by track, but at 55 minutes it never loses track of where it’s headed or what an individual song needs to accomplish to feed into the whole, but at the same time, it offers a listening experience so completely immersive that by the time you hit the swing-buzz epilogue of “Outro,” guitarist/vocalist Lori S., bassist Mark Lamb and drummer Joey Osbourne have practically created an entire world in which the record has taken place. It is a journey in metaphysics, and frankly, I look forward to continuing to shower it in the hyperbole that I feel it richly deserves for however long to come. More than a simple resurgence, it is a thrust forward into a galaxial unknown, transcendent and, like space itself, able to pull the air out from your lungs without a second thought.

Today I have the extreme pleasure of hosting the premiere for “Coming Down from Outer Space.” It’s the shortest track on Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere that’s not the intro or outro, but, counter to my usual modus, I specifically asked for it because of how brilliantly it encapsulates the album’s righteousness into one ultra-lysergic hook, “Hey, you found your way/You’re coming down from outer space.” One of Acid King circa 2015’s most resonant choruses and a choice groove besides, it hits immediately and doesn’t let up throughout its 5:47 run, which you can hear in its entirety — followed by some comment from Lori S. about the song — on the player below.

Please enjoy:

Lori S. on “Coming Down from Outer Space”:

It’s less than six minutes, which is short for us. I’ve always been into space-related music like the score from 2001: A Space Odyssey. There’s a feeling of loneliness out there. This basically captures what it’s like to be up there lost alone. It’s a metaphor for finding your way back in life.

Acid King on Thee Facebooks

Svart Records

Tags: , , , , ,

The Obelisk Radio Adds: XII Boar, Deadpeach, Suzukiton, Torpor and Monsternaut

Posted in Radio on March 20th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

the obelisk radio

Once again it’s been a couple weeks since I was last able to do a round of radio adds. But I have a good excuse! I was… uh… reviewing stuff? Well, that’s what I was doing, anyway. Anyhow, I’m way backed up on stuff to join the server, so for at least the next couple weeks it seems reasonable to expect regular adds while I get caught up. By then I’m sure I’ll be behind again, because somehow that’s how it works. Anyway, point is that as usual, a lot more was added to the server this afternoon than appears here, so make sure you check the Playlist and Updates page for the full list. Most of it is pretty new as well, so you might stumble on something you didn’t know was out. Could happen. Alright, let’s do this.

The Obelisk Radio adds for March 20, 2015:

XII Boar, Pitworthy

xii boar pitworthy

Before “Sharpshooter,” the opening track of their debut full-length, Pitworthy, actually starts, Hampshire, UK, trio XII Boar are introduced by a ring announcer in full arena-echo style. Somebody is about to get their ass kicked. That mentality tells you a lot about where the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Tommy Hardrocks, bassist/vocalist Adam “Baddog” Thomas and drummer David Wilbraham are coming from on the 10-track outing, rife with heavy, Southern-style boogie presented with weighted burl whether it’s a slower groove like “Crushing the P” or a thrasher like “Chicken Hawk.” Side A caps with the title-track, a seven-minute Southern metal highlight, but the real party is at the end of the record’s second half, when the 11-minute “Quint” takes hold in a raucous fury of rhythmic thrust, seafaring tales and off-the-wall soloing. It is a riotous debut after a few promising EPs, and if nothing else, XII Boar make it clear that if anyone’s going to get their ass kicked, it won’t be the band. Their dudely growls and whisky this-or-that might be too much for some, but there’s no denying these guys sound like they’re having a blast, and that energy proves infectious throughout their first album. XII Boar on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

Deadpeach, Old Fuzz Generation

deadpeach old fuzz generation

Underrated Italian fuzz rockers Deadpeach initially released the debut EP, Old Fuzz Generation, in 2004 on what was apparently severely limited vinyl. Then a three-song 7″, Old Fuzz Generation now sees a digital reissue as a four-track release with the three-minute “Spain ’87” added on to the end. All told, it’s still under 10 minutes long with all four cuts taken together, but while brief, there’s enough fuzzy rush to hearken back to a time when European heavy rock was less concerned with either psychedelic freeform jamming or sounding like it’s 1972, and that the thickened-out, sped-up punk of “Americano” (1:50) needed no frills to get its point across, tapping influences from NebulaFu Manchu and Kyuss even while quoting Bob Marley in the lyrics and expressing what was a pervasive anti-American sentiment throughout Europe following the US invasion of Iraq. Good times. Not really, but good fuzz, and twice as interesting when one considers how European heavy was on the verge of a multi-faceted explosion 11 years ago and Deadpeach were tapping into a similar classic heavy ethic as the likes of Demon Cleaner, earlier Dozer and their countrymen in OJM. A quick but satisfying stoner burst. Deadpeach on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

Suzukiton, Suzukiton II

suzukiton suzukiton ii

Making their home in the fertile heavy ground of Richmond, Virginia, the instrumental four-piece Suzukiton made their debut a decade ago on Crucial Blast with Service Repair Handbook, a collection of distinctly Southern but still varied rockers that found a cult following at the time. Kind of a surprise to find that 10 years later, the four-piece of guitarists Todd Naumann and David Boyd (Twisted Tower Dire), bassist William Rose and drummer Bryan Cox (ex-Axehandle and Alabama Thunderpussy) would return with the self-released Suzukiton II, but the intervening time has done little to dull their potency, shredding leads cutting through tight rhythms in tones bordering between heavy rock and metal, a chugger like “Death of a Mule” no more out of place than a prog-metal stomper like “Ronin.” Closer “Todd II” would seem a direct sequel to “Todd Song” from the first album, but its eight-minute course feels more than duly expanded from the prior release. Thoughtful in its progressions and well-plotted within its individual pieces, Suzukiton II is nothing if not a welcome return, and if it’s the band’s position to blindside new listeners, that suits the material well. Suzukiton on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

Torpor, From Nothing Comes Everything

torpor from nothing comes everything

Immediate points to UK atmospheric sludgers Torpor (also stylized in all-caps) for opening their Head of Crom and Black Bow Records debut LP, From Nothing Comes Everything, with “From this Time,” the longest song on the album. Follow-up points for the actual weight of the damn thing. Dense, post-metallic claustrophobia is undercut by trades between spoken or otherwise clearheaded shouts and vicious screams, the foursome of standalone vocalist Nats Spada, guitarist/vocalist Jon Taylor, bassist Lauren Mason and drummer Simon Mason successfully avoiding stylistic cliche throughout the six-track release while executing lethal builds and thunder-toned push. “Surrender to the Light” is as effective for its melody as its chug, the obscure interlude “The Wake” rumbles and growls ferociously, and “As Waves Crash” demonstrates a powerful blend of post-hardcore and doom, from which “Abandon” departs only momentarily, delving into a minimalist midsection before rounding out with a maddening payoff. Nine-minute closer “Everything We Left Behind” might as well be made of skull fragments and burst eardrums, its heft giving way gradually to deconstructed ambience and a finale of abrasive noise. Torpor‘s first is brutal, fierce and terrifying most of all for how solidified and assured the band sounds in their aesthetic — how at home they are in the churning chaos they’ve made. Torpor on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp, at Head of Crom, Black Bow Records.

Monsternaut, Monsternaut

monsternut monsternaut

If the art wasn’t clue enough, Monsternaut‘s Monsternaut EP is a stoner rock record. Its motor revs in opener “Dog Town” and doesn’t let up until it hits the slowdown in closer “Black Horizon,” which wraps the Kerava, Finland, trio’s 18-minute debut outing with a fitting show of swing, choice basslines and nod-worthy fuckall. There’s plenty about the five tracks that will prove familiar to listeners who may have seen a record with an El Camino (admittedly, a gorgeous one) on the cover before, but there’s a next-generation freshness in Monsternaut‘s barebones, unabashed heavy rock approach, and cuts like “Back for More” and “Mountain Doom” prove deceptively catchy while also tapping tonal satisfaction in the guitar, bass and drums — Jani Kuusela‘s snare and kick landing no less heavy than Tuomas Heiskanen‘s riffs or Perttu Härkönen‘s low end — and the thud of “Caravan” and the straightforward, unpretentious vibe of all the tracks suits a presentation of genre that offers an edge of individuality while immediately doing more than just aping the band’s stylistic forebear(d)s. In heft, mood and songwriting, it’s a more than solid showcase of a progression underway. Monsternaut on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

As previously noted, this is just a fraction of the stuff that joined the server today — one-third, if you want to be more specific about that fraction. To check out everything else or to see what’s been played today and for probably way further back than you’re interested in knowing, check out the Obelisk Radio Playlist and Updates page. Hope you find something good from it.

Thanks for reading and listening.

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

Groan Premiere “Witchfinder General Finder” from Highrospliffics EP

Posted in audiObelisk on March 19th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

groan

London heavy rock troublemakers Groan have always asked the hard questions. How black was our Sabbath? What happens when wizards sleep? Now they return with the answer to another query that has plagued doom since Vincent Price donned the mantle of Matthew Hopkins: Who do you call when you can’t find the Witchfinder General?

The answer was right there the whole time.

It won’t take more than one listen for the chorus of Groan‘s “Witchfinder General Finder” to get stuck in your head — if it even takes that — but don’t be surprised if you come back for another round anyway. The Superhot Records-affiliated unit, whose last release was 2013’s Ride the Snake EP (review here), will issue their new four-songer, Highrospliffics, next Monday, March 23, making it available as a free download via their Bandcamp. As a sampler of their chicanery-laced wares, “Witchfinder General Finder” underscores the point that’s been true of Groan since their 2010 debut, The Sleeping Wizard (review here), namely that it’s about the songwriting as much as the goofball ethic. The four cuts on Highrospliffics manage to be ridiculous and ridiculously catchy at the same time, the band’s remaining founders, bassist Leigh Jones and vocalist Andreas “Mazzereth” Maslen, joined as ever by a lineup changed since their last outing, with drummer Zel Kaute returning and newcomer guitarist Lindsay Hamilton making a first appearance here.

And while Groan are probably due for a follow-up full-length to their second album, 2012’s metallized The Divine Right of Kings (review here) — to which the closer groan highrosplifficsof Highrospliffics, “Buried in Leather,” seems to hearken sonically and thematically — it’s hard to complain about any new installment offered. On Highrospliffics, “Witchfinder General Finder” is preceded by “Run out of Fucks,” a suitable starting point, six-minute, solo-ized doom groover with fervent stomp and, yes, a resonant hook, very much in the style that has become Groan‘s own over the last half-decade, making the over-the-top seem perfectly reasonable in some alternate universe of grandiose proclamations and accompanying soar-ready leads. “Witchfinder General Finder” itself is the most infectious of the included tracks, with an effective call and response in the chorus and an irresistible nod leading to its shredding solo, Hamilton making an immediately distinguished impression.

“March of the Druids” follows suit with its hook, but works in more of a build structure, pushing toward its final apex, raucous but not necessarily out of control. Both it and “Buried in Leather” are under four minutes long, working in a classic verse/chorus mode light on pretense and irony-free, but well aware of the laugh they’re having. Gang shouts back Mazzereth in “March of the Druids,” which is no less satisfying than “Witchfinder General Finder” tonally, and “Buried in Leather” kicks in with a rougher, sharper edge, its intro giving way to a motoring rush of a verse after about a minute as they thrust forward to the repeated final chorus, “When I die and they lay me to rest/Bury me in leather and a cut-off denim vest,” unabashed in its fist-pump righteousness and as inviting a heavy metal refrain for crowd participation as I’ve heard from Groan since “Gods of Fire” from The Divine Right of Kings. As ever, Groan are having a party. You can’t hope to stop it, you can’t hope to contain it. You might as well get on board.

The Highrospliffics EP was recorded by Slabdragger‘s Sam Thredder and is out on Monday. Check out “Witchfinder General Finder” on the player below, followed by the complex lineup history in all its twists and turns, and enjoy:

If you’re a stranger to the Spinal Tap-esque history of Groan, here it is: Groan were formed in 2010 and put a few demos online that rapidly caught the stoner/doom scene’s attention. They released their first album, The Sleeping Wizard, on Doomanoid Records that year. The band soon earned a reputation as an exciting, entertaining and completely ridiculous force live, with charismatic (and generally barefoot) lead singer Mazzereth acting as ringmaster general at gigs. Confused and amused fans soon grew to know this group as a party-doom band that is high and giggling, not a stoner rock band that is tuned-out and derivative.

In the nine months after the album was released, the band played live all over the country, smoked the GDP of a small African nation, wrote off a brand new Ferrari California, decorated their rehearsal room with gifts from hookers, and even split up and re-formed in a day. After a split EP with Finnish doomers Vinum Sabbatum in 2011, Groan‘s second album was released in 2012 by Dutch label Soulseller Records, The Divine Right of Kings, to great critical acclaim.

With new members Zel Kaute (Vodun, ex-Pettybone) and Mike Pilat (ex-Ocean Collective) joining on drums and guitar respectively, the band took a heavy metal sidestep with their five track EP, Ride the Snake, in late 2013. With yet another new lineup in 2014, Groan went back into the studio with founder members Mazzereth (vocals) and Leigh Jones (bass) joined by long-time drummer Zel Kaute and new guitarist Lindsay Hamilton. Across their five releases, Groan have proven their ability to write songs that marry catchy hooks with heavy riffs and plan to dominate 2015 with the release of Highrospliffics and the destruction of many live music venues.

GROAN IS:
Mazzereth – Vocals
Leigh Jones – Bass
Lindsay Hamilton – Guitar
Zel Kaute – Drums

Groan on Thee Facebooks

Groan on Twitter

Groan’s Bandcamp

Superhot Records on Bandcamp

Tags: , , , , ,

Bright Curse Debut “Shaman” from New Single

Posted in audiObelisk on March 18th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

bright curse (Photo by Oran Tarjan)

London heavy psych rockers Bright Curse will release their new single, Shaman, on March 20. The two-songer arrives two years and two bassists on from Bright Curse‘s 2013 self-titled debut (review here), and while there was discussion of a new EP before their next album as a showcase for where the new lineup are headed sonically, I’m pretty sure the single will be serving that purpose instead. For what it’s worth, it does so readily, finding guitarist/vocalist Romain Daut, drummer Zacharie Mizzi and new bassist Max Ternebring melding raw psychedelia and fuzz with heavier push and grunge elements. Of course, in terms of getting to know the band again, the fact that “Shaman” and “Fear the Lord” top 15 minutes when played back to back helps, but even more telling is the atmospheric focus the band displays in that time.

“Fear the Lord” is the shorter of the two cuts at 6:30 and has some satisfying chug to it, but “Shaman” nears nine minutes in length and is more open sonically, early punch and angularity moving into smoothed-out nod and not taking long before shifting into abright curse shaman consuming exploratory jam, Ternebring leading the way, his bass soon joined by ebow-ish guitar and a pervasive classic-prog feel that only increases as the build mounts, giving way eventually to another verse and the apex of the song. Where “Fear the Lord” is more about its hook, “Shaman” itself indicates at a breadth of songwriting expanding since the debut’s release and brought to life with clarity and passion by this latest incarnation of Bright Curse. The differences in structure alone make it harder to guess where Bright Curse might be headed following Shaman, but both tracks portray the band as coming into their own, and that’s always an excellent place to start.

Bright Curse will embark on a round of Ephel Duath-presented tour dates next month with Elephant Tree to herald the single’s arrival, and you’ll find the shows along with some PR wire info under the player below, on which you can hear the streaming premiere of “Shaman,” which it is my pleasure to host. Hope you enjoy:

New single “Shaman” comes along another song entitled “Fear The Lord”, both being available on the band’s Bandcamp as well as all digital platforms on March 20th. The tracks were recorded in London, and mastered by Tony Reed (Mos Generator, Stone Axe) at HeavyHead Recording studios.

BRIGHT CURSE’s frontman Romain Daut comments on this new material: “We wanted to record a single with our new bass mästare Max to show the evolution in our sound, so we wrote “Shaman” in January and recorded it in February. With this song, we tried to find a way between old school riffs and lumberjack heaviness. Max brings more energy and feeling to the band, and I think it’s all over those two songs. It’s a brand new alchemy for Bright Curse.”

BRIGHT CURSE will head back to the studio later in 2015 to record their second album to date. The trio will hit the road on March 16th for a short Euro tour.

“Shaman” will be available March 20th on all digital platforms. Artwork by Elvisdead.

UPCOMING SHOWS:
16.04 (FR) HÉNIN-BEAUMONT – Végas Café
17.04 (FR) ROUEN – Le 3 Pièces
18.04 (BE) LIÈGE – Péniche InsideOut
19.04 (CH) BASEL – Secret Place
20.04 (FR) TBA
21.04 (FR) TBA
22.04 (FR) TBA
23.04 (DE) GÖTTINGEN – Vinyl Reservat
24.04 (DE) HAMBURG – Bambi Galore

Bright Curse on Thee Facebooks

Bright Curse on Twitter

Bright Curse on Bandcamp

Bright Curse website

Tags: , , , , ,