The Obelisk is proudly sponsored by All That is Heavy

Elder Post New Album Teaser; Reflections of a Floating World Due June 2

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 21st, 2017 by JJ Koczan


What, you thought I wasn’t going to post the first audio to be made public from Elder‘s new album? What’s been titled Reflections of a Floating World and given a June 2 release date through Armageddon Shop and Stickman Records gets its first peak in the teaser clip below, along with some of the art by Adrian Dexter that, from what I saw when I was fortunate enough to be in the studio with the band back in December, will be something of a highlight in and of itself among 2017 outings. And then we get to the music. Kind of.

It’s only a little over a minute long, and much of that is given to a showcase of texture — that is to say, the Massachusetts three-turned-four-piece aren’t giving away all the goods their first time out — but from what I got to hear of Reflections of a Floating World, texture is actually going to be a big part of the progressive step forward they’re taking from 2015’s Lore (review here). Seems fair to expect a good amount of ambience this time around, and late in the clip below there’s just a little slice of their more rocking side, which never felt particularly likely to go away, particularly after the shimmering display of balance they put on with the last record.

Elder, who celebrate 10 years as a band in 2017, were recently confirmed for the Days of Darkness Festival this October in Baltimore (info here), and you’ll have to forgive my assumption that many more tour dates will be announced in the months ahead. The big question in my mind at this point is what Elder will ultimately do with all that momentum they had coming off Lore, and how much will 2017 be their moment? Can they capture that kind of lightning in a bottle twice? If anyone could…

Ponder it while you watch the clip below, and enjoy.

More to come:

Elder, Reflections of a Floating World teaser

Our new album is entitled “Reflections of a Floating World”. It will be released on June 2nd, 2017 via Stickman Records and Armageddon Shop.

Here’s a short teaser featuring a preview of some music and artwork by Adrian Dexter. We are looking forward to sharing more details including the full album art, track listing, tour dates and a full song with you soon!

Elder on Thee Facebooks

Stickman Records website

Armageddon Shop website

Tags: , , , , ,

Friday Full-Length: The Human Instinct, Stoned Guitar

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 17th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

The Human Instinct, Stoned Guitar (1970)

I picked up one of the several reissues of The Human Instinct‘s Stoned Guitar years ago at a CD store in Manhattan that I’m sure by now is long gone. Can’t imagine I was the first person ever to make the purchase for this reason, but yes, it was absolutely the title that sold me on it. I mean, seriously. It’s Stoned Guitar and it’s from 1970. How on earth could you possibly go wrong?

When one encounters a record like this one, whether through a happenstance vinyl bin encounter, disc-searching, YouTube clickholing or rigorous online market search, the temptation is generally to ascribe to it some sense of prescience — as though The Human Instinct, who were founded in 1969 by drummer/vocalist Maurice Greer and made their debut that same year with Burning up Years, had some sense of the decades of THC-addled riffing that would follow, and because of that, to position their work as a lost classic and some kind of forgotten founding document of a musical movement still evolving today. That’s fun if you happen to be the person writing the marketing copy, but the truth, as usual, is more complex. Stoned Guitar, with its problematic-in-hindsight blues rocking opener single “Black Sally” (a cover of the Aussie band Mecca) the Mountain-esque cowbell and mega-riff that start “Midnight Sun,” the wonderfully psych-jammed “Jugg-a-Jug Song,” and the faked-live finale take on Rory Gallagher’s “Railway and Gun,” was released on the private press label Pye Records. It uncautiously straddled the line between blues and acid rock, and the looseness of its swing along with Greer‘s crisp vocals, Billy “TK” Te Kahika‘s scorch-prone guitar and the bass work of Larry Waide offered no shortage of charm. I don’t know if it’s the lost ark of stoner jamming, but it most definitely lived up to its name, and that in itself is a landmark achievement.

As with much of the heavy rock of the day, which now we’d probably fairly call “proto-something-or-other” though it was certainly breaking new ground at the time, one can hear the inflections of Jimi HendrixBlue Cheer and the like, but Billy TK‘s leads, layered and swirling on “Jugg-a-Jug Song” and occupying a noise-laden soundscape on the title-track, are a beast unto themselves. Whether he’s deep-diving into a funky rhythm on “Stoned Guitar” or strumming out acoustic on “Tomorrow” (another cover, of John Kongos), the guitar is a constant presence that proves worthy of the focus it gets. That’s not to take away from Waide, without whom the blues stomp of “Black Sally” would fall utterly flat, or from Greer himself, who played (and still plays, by all accounts) his drums in a standing position so as to better lead the band as its singer. They probably could’ve called the album Stoned Everything and gotten by, but they didn’t. It’s Stoned Guitar, and sure enough, the guitar is front and center for much of it. Even as Derek Neville adds baritone sax to “Midnight Sun,” Billy TK is just waiting in the wings to answer him back with yet another searing, soaring, “right on”-earning solo. And indeed, right on. I’m not sure there’s any other way to respond to the jam that ensues in that song, improvised-sounding as it is and peppered with falsetto late by Greer as he and Te Kahika and Waide and Neville seem to be having two ongoing musical conversations just as the track goes into its fade. It’s one of many moments of righteousness to be had throughout Stoned Guitar, which, again, isn’t necessarily a record that changed the world around it, but for sure still has something to offer its audience 47 years later. Maybe more now than it did when it was first released.

Billy TK stuck around for one more record, 1971’s Pins in It, and then left the band, which Greer refocused on a less heavy-minded aesthetic with a new lineup. A couple more albums followed, more lineup changes, and so on, and eventually they fizzled out as so many did and do. It wouldn’t be until 2001 that The Human Instinct would release Peg Leg, which was originally recorded in 1975, and which Greer supported through periodic live performances. A new The Human Instinct studio album, with Greer, bassist Tony Baird and guitarists Phil Pritchard and Joel Haines, followed in 2010 called Midnight Sun, and continues to be available on a somewhat limited basis. Among other guests? You guessed it: Billy TK. It was a collaboration well worthy of a revisit, which Stoned Guitar only continues to prove.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

If you’ll indulge a bit of scene-setting: As I write this, it’s a little before six in the morning. I took the day off from work and have been up since about 4:30AM. The alarm was set, as it has been this week, for 4:45. I rolled out of bed after laying there for a couple minutes with The Patient Mrs., who’s still asleep. Came downstairs, turned on the coffee pot with the Burundi Bourbon that I ground before going to bed last night ready to roll, went back up to the second floor, brushed teeth, showered, etc. Now I’m at the kitchen table, which I just cleaned off. In the basement, the first of several loads of laundry for the day is in progress. The dishes, I did last night. It’s still dark out, but when the sun comes up, I’ll take out the recycling.

I’ve got my second cup of coffee, my bluetooth speaker playing the new Alunah, and an iced tea on the table. The Little Dog Dio is asleep in her kitchen bed — as opposed to her living room pillow or her actual preferred spot, which is stage right on the couch — and past her, I can see out the sliding door it’s still dark out, the moon just more than halfway full. In a while the sun will come up. I’ve got a couple more posts that came in late for this morning that I need to put together still and a list of chores I want to do today, principal among them are grocery shopping and the aforementioned laundry. I hope to accomplish everything as early as possible, maybe start reading that new George Saunders novel, and spend as much time relaxing this afternoon with The Patient Mrs. as I can. Her schedule means she’s off on most Fridays apart from the odd work meeting. I don’t think she has one today, so all the better.

This — all of it — is essentially what I want my life to be. I’ll wrap the day’s writing shortly, which is two news posts as if there weren’t already enough, and get everything up throughout the early part of the day, then roast macadamia nuts and make myself a protein shake for lunch. Dinner is a ham sandwich on low-carb bread (an incredible 1 net g per two thin slices, and it’s pretty good) with provolone and pesto, some fake potato chips on the side. I’m already looking forward to it. It’s going to be a great day, and I can see by just the first hints of light on the small deck out back that it’s already getting underway. Couldn’t be more stoked.

It was a hard week. The last couple have been difficult, and I’ve found myself increasingly anxious along the way. Yesterday at the office I tried to abate this by making lists. I made the grocery list I’ll take shopping today, the to-do list cataloging what I wanted to do this morning/afternoon, a CVS list (forgot Band-Aids, and they didn’t have my preferred kind of mints), and basically planned out my meals through the end of the month. I don’t know if it helped, but at least it took a little time out of my day. I’d been counting the minutes until yesterday was over and today could start.

There’s a lot to do, but I’m much happier in my current state. It’s warm, music’s on, I’m not pounding my coffee to get out the door, and in a little while, The Patient Mrs. will get up and sit across this table from me with her wonderful, radiant face and we’ll have breakfast together — her, yogurt or eggs or some such; me, coffee with protein powder in it. Then I’ll switch over the laundry, handle that recycling and get back to writing. Yes. That’s what feels best. I’m fortunate to be able to take the day when I need it. Today, I need it.

Here’s what’s doing for next week. People are starting to come out of the woodwork with new albums for March, April, May, and tours as well, so a lot of it is news again, as was the case this week and certainly today, which turned into an eight-post day kind of out of nowhere. All subject to change, of course:

Mon.: Radio adds, hopefully a quick Q&A with Dave Sherman about the new Earthride lineup.
Tue.: Review and track premiere for the new Atavismo, which rules. News on Brown Acid, the new Isis live record, etc.
Wed.: Review and track premiere for the new Kingnomad, which rules.
Thu.: Full album stream of the new Void Cruiser, which I’m still getting a handle on. Psych grunge makes for a fascinating blend.
Fri.: Overdue review of the Kandodo McBain record from last year. There’s a story behind the delay, but I’ll tell it maybe in the photo caption.

I hope you have a great and safe weekend. Mine’s just getting rolling right now and I hope to relish every second of it.

Please check out the forum and the radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

Tags: , , , ,

Rhino Post “Grey” Video; New Album The Law of Purity out Now

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 14th, 2017 by JJ Koczan


Yesterday marked the official release date of the first Rhino album, The Law of Purity. Issued via Argonauta Records, it finds the Italian five-piece — who are not to be confused with the Spanish sludge-crushers who operated for a time under the same name before switching to Horn of the Rhino and ultimately disbanding — marching head-on into the sandy sounds of desert rock accompanied by just a bit of grunge’s thicker dirt-cake.

Listening to “Grey,” for which the band took to their rehearsal space to craft the video you can see below, one hears the still-laid-back push of Kyuss and/or Unida and undertones of more aggressive fare. Following up their 2013 self-titled EP, it’s from this foundation that Rhino seem to be staking their sonic claim.

Fair enough. They had some lineup shifts after the EP came out, as noted below, so The Law of Purity — let’s just assume they’re talking about beer — is a debut in more than one respect, but there’s nothing in what I’ve heard of it might be called flailing. With a fervent rhythmic drive and straightforward port of their influences, they set themselves on a path toward future growth and belt out a couple kickass chorus in the meantime. Nothing wrong with that from where I sit.

And true to the abiding lack of frills, the video for “Grey” is pretty straightforward as well. It’s the band in what seems to be their jam room playing through the song. There’s some other footage spliced in, and various parts are run through effects one way or another — watery here, made to look like a security camera there — but the star of the thing is the song itself, which is probably how it should be for something like this, where, you know, the song stands up.

More background follows the clip below, courtesy of Argonauta.

Please enjoy:

Rhino, “Grey” official video

The official music video for RHINO’s song “Grey”, taken from the studio album “The Law Of Purity” out on February 13th 2017 via Argonauta Records.

Rhino is a combo from Catania, that mixes elements of 70s and 80s hard rock, filtered by a common fascination for 90s desert stoner rock and the sulfurous influence of the Etna volcano.

The band was formed in 2012 by bassist Frank ‘The Door’ and Guitarist ‘Red Frank’. They were immediately joined by the drummer ‘Lord J. Frank’. After a couple of lineup changes, and the departure of guitarist ‘Frank Sinutre’ at the beginning of 2015, the band found its balance with the inclusion of two new members: singer Frank ‘The Doc’ and guitarist Frank ‘Real Tube’.

Rhino on Thee Facebooks

Rhino on Bandcamp

Argonauta Records website

Argonauta Records on Thee Facebooks

Tags: , , , , ,

Dot Legacy Premiere “Horizon” Interactive Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 13th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

dot legacy horizon video

“Horizon” is the opening track from Dot Legacy‘s late-2016 second album, To the Others (review here), and it finds the Parisian heavy fuzz enthusiasts embarking on the first of several risks they’ll take across the record’s genre-hopping course. No way around it, there’s a bit of rapping going on here.

Now, as somebody who lived through the ’90s, that’s what we call a big red flag. Hard not to have post-trauma flashbacks of Limp Bizkit covering George Michael in a protest-too-much display of knuckle-dragging tough-guy heteronormativity, but on any level you want to approach it, that’s not what’s happening here, and certainly in the context of To the Others, it’s not where Dot Legacy‘s intentions lie on the Setalight Records release. “Horizon” sets the tone of energy to which the rest of the album soon responds in deeply varied forms, and if anything the rapping in the opener is an immediate communication to listeners that there’s nothing off the table in terms of where they might go.

That’s very much how the record plays out in its wake, and while I’m willing to admit it’s kind of scary to imagine that rap-rocking impulses might one day rear their heads again, I genuinely think we’re safe. It’s gonna be okay.

Dot Legacy — the four-piece of vocalist/bassist Damien Quintard, guitarist/keyboardist/backing vocalist Arnaud Merckling, guitarist/backing vocalist John Defontaine and drummer/backing vocalist Arthur Menard — worked with WIPS (Web Interactive Promotion Site) to put together an interactive video for “Horizon.” If you go to the special site they’ve set up, you can see a version of the clip in which arrows pop up that let you basically choose your own adventure and create the narrative of the video itself.

It’s timed, so you have to pay attention as you make your way through, but it’s actually a pretty cool idea and it’s something special from the band, who’ve already put out clips for “Pioneer” (posted here), “Story of Fame” (posted here) and “211” (posted here) to represent the various sides of To the Others. Something special for a song that has a few surprises of its own up its sleeve.

You can see the regular version of the video premiering below, followed by more info about the interactive project, which also includes a bunch of behind-the-scenes bonus footage and other goodies.

Be brave, and enjoy:

Dot Legacy, “Horizon” official video


Experience DOT LEGACY’s highly acclaimed single “HORIZON” like never before. On this website you will be constantly creating your own version of the video clip, each time changing the story line, and launching you deeper into the musical space Dot Legacy created for you.

The website also contains amazing access to Bonus material!

– LIVE 360° video of Dot Legacy’s show in Brussels, along with Multi Cam footage
– Two fun and crazy interviews of the Band including on 360° candy eating frenzy madness!
– An interactive map to follow with personal videos of Dot Legacy in all the cites they played in on their tour with TRUCKFIGTHERS (rated PG 18)
– A mixing console to do your OWN MIX of HORIZON! Discover all the seperated track that made this song possible and fuzzy as hell!
– The Making of: go behind the curtain and discover how the video clip was shot. Meet the talented team of WIPS!

Dot Legacy interactive “Horizon” video site

Dot Legacy on Thee Facebooks

Dot Legacy on Bandcamp

Setalight Records website

Tags: , , , , ,

Friday Full-Length: Pearls and Brass, The Indian Tower

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 10th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Pearls and Brass, The Indian Tower (2006)

Through what seems in hindsight like some miracle of interwebular happenstance — and by that I mean it likely happened through or the All That is Heavy store — I managed to catch wind of the self-titled debut from Nazareth, Pennsylvania, trio Pearls and Brass around the time of its release through Doppelganger Records in 2003. That record was killer, and I’ll admit that if anyone had put it up on YouTube in its front-to-back entirety, I’d probably be closing out the week with it instead of its 2006 follow-up, The Indian Tower, which came out on Drag City, but the second outing was more fully developed in its approach, bringing together the bounce and desert-perfection thrust of Queens of the Stone Age‘s Songs for the Deaf with rolling Pennsylvania hillsides on cuts like opener “The Tower” and the subsequent “No Stone” while saving room for acoustic blues on “I Learn the Hard Way” and closer “Away the Mirrors,” and ’70s-style boogie that seems absolutely prescient in hindsight on “Pray for Sound” and only gets more manic with the kick into next gear on “The Boy of the Willow Tree.” First record or second, you don’t really lose either way, is my point. While keeping to organic undertones and the occasional flourish of pastoralia, Pearls and Brass could absolutely scorch the earth when they chose to do so — see “The Mirror” here — but they’d ultimately be no less defined by that than the heavy blues vibe of “Wake in the Morning.” Dudes were just awesome.

Last time I saw Pearls and Brass was in 2011 (review here). It was my first experience ever going to Saint Vitus Bar — I appreciated the fact that it wasn’t in Williamsburg but had little forethought as to the institution it would and has become — and the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Randy Huth, bassist/backing vocalist Joel Winter, and drummer Josh Martin still brought it. By then, they were already overdue for a third full-length, but watching them live gave some measure of hope they’d be able to get something going again. Four years earlier, in 2007 Huth had also released a solo album of unplugged Americana folk blues, also via Drag City, under the moniker of Randall of Nazareth. Copies still exist for purchase on the interwebs if you’re interested in hunting it down, which if either “I Learn the Hard Way” or “Away the Mirrors” pique your interest as a complement to the rush of “The Face of God” here build on that nicely. Intimate vibe, like a bluesier take on some of Ben Chasny‘s stuff, but unpretentious to the point of recorded-in-the-living-room humility. Some five years after that record came out, I was fortunate enough to catch Huth — who had been playing for years with aggro punkers Pissed Jeans already — do a Randall of Nazareth set in Philly opening a show for EYE and Serpent Throne at Johnny Brenda’s (review here). I felt like I was getting away with something, and given how much he and/or Pearls and Brass have done since — not much — I probably was.

I don’t know what Winter or Martin have been up to, but Pissed Jeans have kept Huth busy. They have a new album, titled Why Love Now, out in two weeks on Sub Pop, for example, and they’ll tour to support it, so while Pearls and Brass are very likely tabled for good — as much as anything is ever permanent in rock and roll; never say never, never say die, always say “hiatus” — at least Huth has managed to find success elsewhere. It’s not really my thing compared to the pull and shove of “Black Rock Man” on The Indian Tower, but good on him anyhow. The self-titled Pearls and Brass, its follow-up and the Randall of Nazareth outing can remain as ripe-for-reissue fodder for the time being, like so many righteous offerings of the pre-Facebook oughts era.

As always, I very much hope you enjoy. Thanks for reading.

Sort of a procedural note here — some bookkeeping, if you will — but at the end of last week I changed the name I post under from from H.P. Taskmaster to JJ Koczan, which if you didn’t know is my real name. It wasn’t a secret or anything. It’s what I post as on Thee Facebooks and I think Twitter and Instagram as well, but I’d been using H.P. Taskmaster for years here basically because it felt self-serving to see “published by JJ Koczan” on every post. Still kind of does.

It’s a weird name, not particularly attractive to the eye, so I avoided looking at it for a long time. I guess I finally decided I didn’t give a shit anymore. It’s not anything that has a bearing on what I’ll cover or how I’ll cover it — like I said, just bookkeeping — but it was a change I made and I thought I’d mention it, if only so I could go back later, search for “when I started posting under my real name” and find the date. I had decided not to mention it on social media and see if anyone even noticed. If they did, nobody mentioned it. Fair enough.

We got a decent-sized snowstorm yesterday on the Eastern Seaboard, and I was given the day off work as a result. Back at work today, but the bonus day was a welcome gimme and I was glad to take it. My commute is an hour each way — not nearly as bad as the last one, and neither is the job itself, but still, it’s not nothing — and it’s started to wear on me a bit, particularly in the winter evenings. I leave in the morning, it’s dark. I come home at night, it’s dark. I don’t think I saw the sun at all in January. Hello, Norway. It’s started to get lighter earlier and stay lighter later, but I find myself looking forward to summer in a way that can only mean I’ve forgotten how unpleasant life is when it’s 100 degrees out. Humans are simple creatures. Whatever I qualify as, it’s even simpler.

Next week (and actually the week after, too) is already packed. Here’s what’s in my notes:

Mon.: Six Organs of Admittance review (doing myself a favor there) and Dot Legacy video premiere.
Tue.: Full album stream/review of the new Thera Roya, video from Deep Space Destructors.
Wed.: Track premiere from the new Sweat Lodge EP, video from Lung Flower.
Thu.: Track premiere from the new Libido Fuzz album.
Fri.: Full album stream/review from Deep Space Destructors.

Yeah, it’s gonna get pretty far out by the time we hit Friday next week, and that’s definitely okay by me.

The Patient Mrs.‘ birthday is this weekend, and while the snowstorm curtailed my prior present-picking-up intentions yesterday, we’ll nonetheless be celebrating with family on Saturday and likely eating homemade jalapeno poppers on Sunday, which is the day itself, so I expect that will be good. Whatever you’re up to, I wish you a joyous time, relaxing if that’s what you’re looking for, or otherwise action-packed and suspenseful, if that’s more your speed.

Have fun, be safe, thanks again for reading, and please check out the forum and radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

Tags: , , , ,

Devil to Pay Premiere “Kobold in the Breadbasket” Video; Tour Dates Forthcoming

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 9th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

devil to pay

By my admittedly fallible count, this is the third premiere I’ve done for a video from Indianapolis heavy rockers Devil to Pay‘s latest album. And if the band’s plans for the next couple months pan out as intended, it might not be the last. No regrets. The four-piece issued their fifth full-length, A Bend Through Space and Time (review here), last year via Ripple Music, and in following up clips for “Your Inner Lemmy” (premiered here) and “On and On (In Your Mind)” (premiered here), they take to the woods for the moody “Kobold in the Breadbasket,” a somewhat slower, more languid and ultimately darker track that was nonetheless a standout from the record.

Guitarist/vocalist Steve Janiak — joined in the band by guitarist Rob Hough, bassist/backing vocalist Matt Stokes and drummer Chad Profigle — calls it Sabbath-esque, and I’m not inclined to argue, but it is distinctly Devil to Pay‘s own as well, as one can hear in the brooding sensibility of his own singing and in the impression left by its chorus. The overarching groove is a nodder — as opposed to the all-out thrust of “Your Inner Lemmy,” say — but as ever, the songwriting chops ring through Devil to Pay‘s work as the defining element. It’s the nodder you’ll have stuck in your head for the rest of the day, in other words. And that’s only going to make your day better.

Devil to Pay are currently solidifying a tour set to start April 20 which Janiak notes in a quote under the video itself below. I’ll hope to have follow-up info on that — and more videos — as it and they come together, but in the meantime, if you haven’t yet checked out A Bend Through Space and Time, “Kobold in the Breadbasket” makes a considerable argument in the album’s favor and the band’s more generally, their approach to heavy rock/doom remaining underappreciated for its unwavering quality as well as its longevity — they mark their 15th anniversary as a group this month.

Bottom line? More to come from Devil to Pay in 2017, so stay tuned.

And please, enjoy:

Devil to Pay, “Kobold in the Breadbasket” official video

Steve Janiak on “Kobold in the Breadbasket”:

‘Kobold in the Breadbasket’ is our little mythological lament, a fairy tale where a farmer in another time and place inadvertently curses himself and his family. It was intended as a metaphor for mankind’s disregard for nature and penchant for ecological disaster. In keeping with the nature theme, we filmed the video in Brown County, Indiana, at the edge of a man-made lake with our good friend Jay Rich.

Our upcoming West Coast tour is currently in the works. It starts 4/20 and will be our first trip back to the coast since 2006.

Devil to Pay on Thee Facebooks

Devil to Pay BigCartel store

Devil to Pay website

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

Ripple Music on Thee Facebooks

Tags: , , , , ,

Against the Grain Post “Here to Stay” Video; Tour with Speedealer and Mothership Starts Tomorrow

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 8th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

against the grain

Tomorrow night, Detroit bruisers Against the Grain head out on a tour alongside Mothership and the resurgent Speedealer. The heavy rockers continue to live up to the ethic set forth with 2015’s Road Warriors (review here), by doing more than simply putting in time on the road, instead seeming to take a step forward with each subsequent tour. Over the last two-plus years, they’ve been out with Lo-Pan, The Atomic Bitchwax, Bongzilla, Black Cobra and others. I’ve yet to hear a complaint from anyone who’s been fortunate enough to see them play.

Given the significant amount of touring, maybe it’s not such a surprise that Against the Grain‘s new video for “Here to Stay” — a funny claim for a band with so much “go” in their approach to be making — is made up of a lot of live footage. There are some other clips and stuff spliced in, but the bulk of the thing finds the four-piece kicking ass on stage, which by now is probably where they’re most at home in so doing. I’ve heard they’ve got new material on the way at some point this year — they were included last month in the most anticipated for 2017 list, if you missed it — and there can be little doubt that when it arrives, in whatever form it takes, the follow-up to Road Warriors will be yet another occasion for the band to get out on tour. Much to their credit, it doesn’t seem to take much to convince them.

You’ll find the live dates under the video player below for the Speedealer and Mothership tour. Note also that Against the Grain will be at Berserker Fest in Pontiac, Michigan, in April. One assumes there are more dates to follow as we head deeper into the year.


Against the Grain, “Here to Stay” official video

Here’s our new music video for “Here To Stay”. Official video for “Here to Stay” off of 2015’s release “Road Warriors” available on Self Destructo/Failure Records.

See you on the road with Speedealer and Mothership!

Against the Grain live:

Southern Disruption tour w/ Speedealer and Mothership:
2/9 – Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade
2/10 – New Orleans, LA – Siberia
2/11- Birmingham, AL – The Nick
2/12 – Nashville, TN – The End
2/13 – Memphis, TN – Hi Tone Cafe
2/14 – Little Rock, AR – White Water Tavern
2/15 – Oklahoma City, OK – The Blue Note
2/16 – Austin, TX – The Sidewinder
2/17 – San Antonio, TX – Hi-tones
2/18 – Dallas, TX – Three Links
2/19 – Houston, TX – Fitzgeralds ( all ages, early show)

4/15 and 4/16 – Pontiac, MI – Crofoot – Berserker Fest

Against the Grain on Thee Facebooks

Against the Grain on YouTube

Against the Grain on Bandcamp

Tags: , , , ,

Naxatras Post “Pulsar 4000” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 7th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

We — you and I — have seen over the last couple years the rising of the Greek heavy underground. From the fuzz-fueled riffs of 1000mods to Bus‘ heavy blues to the there’s-something-special-happening-here jams proffered by Thessaloniki trio Naxatras, not only is it a boom of bands coming out, but one distinguished in quality and variety. Some are new, some have been around a while, but as Greece becomes more of a hotbed for heavy rock — it has its own Desertfest, which just by way of an example the US does not — it has thus far been able to sustain a multi-faceted thrust to sate different kinds of listeners; essential for any scene, large or small, to survive.

As regards Naxatras, whose first official video, “Pulsar 4000,” you can see below — it might as well come with a hand-written invitation to space the hell out for its seven minutes — the psychedelic explorers, as noted, have set themselves on a path of capturing something special. Europe has a long tradition of progressive jamming, and indeed, the three-piece of bassist/vocalist John Vagenas, guitarist John Delias and drummer Kostas Harizanis would seem to have learned some crucial lessons from their northern stylistic forebears in outfits like Causa SuiElectric Moon and Colour Haze, but their live-recorded, analog-tracked material has managed to resonate with listeners in and out of their home country precisely because of the individuality of its tones and the personal aspects of its presentation — the natural chemistry between the three players, the easy flow they conjure up in their songs, etc.

“Pulsar 4000” comes from their 2016 EP (discussed here), which followed their 2015 self-titled debut full-length and was a precursor to last year’s II (review here). Quick as their ascent to the fore of Greece’s representative exports has seemed, I think this track sums up a lot of what has allowed them to take such firm hold of their audience’s imagination — a process they seem to acknowledge directly in the video, as it happens — and even with the drastic sonic turn it takes circa the five-minute mark, Naxatras have conjured such an open vibe that they’ve basically given themselves permission to wander where they please. We — you and I — can only hope they continue to do so.

Video credits and a couple tour dates follow the clip below.

Please enjoy:

Naxatras, “Pulsar 4000” official video

Taken from our 2016 “EP”, recorded at Magnetic Fidelity.
Directed by Elena Kontela
Director Of Photograpy: Anastasis Kontostergios
Camera Operation: Alex Vilaras
Animated by Haris Kountouris
Edited by Nikolas Kanellopoulos
Producer: Aris Antivachis
Starring Fay Vevi
Artwork design by Skitsos and Chris RW.

Naxatras Spring Break!!
30.3 – Cafe Santan , Volos
31.3 – Stage Club , Larissa
1.4 – Eightball Club , Thessaloniki

More to be announced soon….

Naxatras is:
John Delias – Guitar
Kostas Harizanis – Drums
John Vagenas – Bass & Vocals

Naxatras on Thee Facebooks

Naxatras on Bandcamp

Tags: , , , , ,