Ephedra Premiere Video for “Coco Mango Soup”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 23rd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

ephedra

Swiss instrumentalists Ephedra released their second album, the quizzically-titled Can’-Ka No Rey — it’s from The Dark Tower — earlier this year via Argonauta Records, and as their new video premiering today shows, one of their aims with the record is to evoke an emotionally resonant form of heavy post-rock. They never quite go for Isis-style push in “Coco Mango Soup,” the track in question, but they’re not ultimately far off from some of the varied ground covered by the likes of Russian Circles, including the metallic undertone one finds in the late use of double-kick in this track.

The Zofingen four-piece, comprised of guitarists Andy Brunner and Roman Hüsler, bassist Kilian Tellenbach and drummer Tomi Roth, made their self-titled debut in 2013. Elsewhere on Can’-Ka No Rey, they build on the first record’s heavy rocking sonic ideology in cuts like “Mother Stone” and the shuffling-‘n’-strumming “Moonshiner,” which comes paired with closer “Southern Love.” These songs are pretty far removed in personality from “Coco Mango Soup” or a song like “Metamorphosis Calypso,” which precedes it, but I have a hard time holding the fact that they show multiple faces sound-wise against a band, particularly when they seem to shift fluidly from one side to another as Can’-Ka No Rey plays out. Still, it makes for a striking front-to-back.

We see the band in the video below playing as silhouettes — dimly lit in the heavy post-rock tradition — as a coinciding sad-lady narrative plays out wordlessly as penned apparently by Brunner, who also directed and produced. You should probably note that I’ve watched the clip a couple times through now and at no point have I seen anyone prepare or consume any soup, of the coco-mango or any other variety. Might call that a missed opportunity, but otherwise it pretty much rocks.

Hope you enjoy:

Ephedra, “Coco Mango Soup” official video

Official music video for ‘COCO MANGO SOUP’ by Ephedra off the new album Can’-Ka No Rey.

Director: Andy Brunner
Script: Andy Brunner
Production Company: www.mrandy.ch
Producer: Andy Brunner
Camera: Jonas Schneider
Light: Michael Hugi
Actresses: Samantha Brunner / Amélie Tellenbach

Ephedra is a stoner rock band from zofingen (switzerland). The sound they describe as “river rock”. Low tuned guitars, a generally bassy setup, driving beats on the drums with a very small pinch of metal. The band has no singer.

Ephedra are:
Roman Hüsler (Guitar)
Andy Brunner (Guitar)
Kilian Tellenbach (Bass)
Tomi Roth (Drums)

Ephedra on Thee Facebooks

Ephedra on Instagram

Ephedra on Bandcamp

Argonauta Records website

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Ufomammut Post “Warsheep” Video; Announce More European Touring

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 22nd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

ufomammut

I was just the other day thinking it had been quiet on the Ufomammut front since the Italian cosmic doomers announced back in March they would release their new album, 8, this September via Neurot Recordings. And here we are. The new song they’ve unveiled in the video below, titled “Warsheep,” is anything but quiet. Rather, it rumbles in classic Ufomammut fashion but also carries something rawer in its punch. Listen to the bassline. Listen to the way the sharp-edged keys cut through. Listen to the way the guitar line cuts through. Listen to how forward the drums are. Something nasty is going on here.

And yet, listen to the vocals, and “Warsheep” might be the cleanest-sounding track Ufomammut have ever put out. Higher- and lower-register layers chant out a verse before full-density tonality unapologetically slams the listener into a bridge and as they continue their march, the space-dominant trio offer gallop, drone, blown-out repetition, and if you actually watch the video, a dude with a box on his head before they degrade into birdsong. Hell, the track is only five minutes. How much more could they have possibly jammed in there? Actually, the real question is how much does “Warsheep” represent the rest of 8 that will invariably surround it? Is it an opener? A centerpiece? These things matter, you know.

Or maybe I’m just a nerd and I can’t wait to hear the album.

Either way, Ufomammut will issue “Warsheep” as a lead-in single to the record and you can find more info and preorder whatnots in the PR wire info that follows the video itself below. As expected, Ufomammut also have a slew of new European tour dates for this Fall. They’re down there too.

Please enjoy:

Ufomammut, “Warsheep” official video

UFOMAMMUT Debuts “Warsheep” Via New Video; Song To Appear On 7″ Single And Upcoming Album 8 Due Through Neurot Recordings In September; Tour Dates Announced

The Italian alchemic juggernaut, UFOMAMMUT, masters of melding uncompromisingly heavy magic with psychedelic swirls, recently announced news of a new studio recording, 8, which shall arrive on 22nd September via Neurot Recordings.

Prior to the release of the 8 LP, UFOMAMMUT delivers an early extract from the record in the form of a video for the song “Warsheep” which you can view [above]. The band describe their intentions of the video, “It is inspired by the lyrics of the song which in itself is a play on the word ‘worship.’ The protagonist takes a symbolic journey from the natural human condition to the trappings of the dogmas of society, religion etc. The principle idea being that thought is blind and is caged into the illusion of being free.” Adding to the video’s eerie atmosphere, the setting is in an abandoned villa in Italy, and the surrounding woodland.

In the spirit of record collecting rituals, and to offer something special to fans ahead of the full album release, UFOMAMMUT is offering “Warsheep” as a limited edition 7″. Available in a small run of 500 pieces, and with the cover handprinted with gold iridescent and red inks on pearlescent paper by Malleus, the record shall be released via Supernatural Cat on 15th June, and is available for preorder via the label’s website, and via Neurot stores too.

Preorders for the Warsheep 7″ are now available HERE.

8 is due for release on September 22nd on vinyl and CD formats via Neurot Recordings and on a limited and regular edition vinyl via Supernatural Cat. Preorder information and more will be revealed over the upcoming months.

UFOMAMMUT has also announced a long list of upcoming European live shows as well, including several major festival performances and an Autumn European tour with Usnea. Additional live shows will be announced in the weeks ahead.

UFOMAMMUT Tour Dates:
6/16/2017 Freak Valley Fest – Netphen, DE
6/18/2017 Hellfest – Clisson, FR
8/04/2017 Disintegrate Your Ignorance Fest – Giavera del Montello, IT
8/05/2017 Rohrbach – Oberösterreich, AU @ Lake On Fire Festival
9/06/2017 Volta – Moscow, RU
9/07/2017 MOD – St. Petersburg, RU
w/ Usnea:
9/30/2017 La Boule Noire – Paris, FR
10/01/2017 Le Ferrailleur – Nantes, FR
10/03/2017 Borderline – London, UK
10/04/2017 Magasin 4 – Brussels, BE
10/05/2017 Schlachthof – Wiesbaden, DE
10/06/2017 Up In Smoke Festival – Pratteln, CH
10/07/2017 Doornroosje – Nijmegen, NL @ Soulcrusher Festival
10/08/2017 Forum – Bielefeld, DE
10/10/2017 Blitz – Oslo, NO
10/11/2017 Klub Undergangen – Stockholm, SE
10/13/2017 Korjaamo – Helsinki, FI @ Blowup Vol. 3 Festival
10/14/2017 Olympia-Kortelli – Tampere, FI
10/16/2017 KB 18 – Copenhagen, DK
10/17/2017 Lido – Berlin, DE
10/18/2017 Markthalle – Hamburg, DE
10/19/2017 Werk 2 – Leipzig, DE
10/20/2017 Firley – Wroclaw, PL
10/21/2017 007 – Prague, CZ
10/22/2017 Keep It Low Festival – Munich, DE

Ufommammut website

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Ufomammut on Twitter

Ufomammut on Instagram

Neurot Recordings website

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Neurot Recordings on Twitter

Supernatural Cat website

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Desert Wizards Post “The Man Who Rode Time” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 22nd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

desert wizards

Italian four-piece Desert Wizards are gearing up to release their third full-length, Beyond the Gates of the Cosmic Kingdom, this July through long-running nuance-purveyors Black Widow Records, and while the band’s name and album title might both lead one to expect a heavy psychedelic or stoner rock vibe, the graceful keyboard work, slow progressive drift and purposeful clarity of production in “The Man Who Rode Time” would seem to argue otherwise. The song, for which the Ravenna outfit have a brand new video that you can watch below, is the first audio to come from Beyond the Gates of the Cosmic Kingdom, and particularly in light of the clip, it carries a surprisingly melancholic overtone.

Taken in comparison to Desert Wizards‘ second outing, Ravens, which was issued in 2013, and they would seem to have moved away from some of the former psychedelic influence under which they were working, but to listen to a song like “Burn into the Sky,” with its subtly doomed riffing, and then put on “The Man Who Rode Time,” one would almost think it was two different bands. Whether that’s a conscious creative leap or a happenstance of progression, and just how much “The Man Who Rode Time” might represent the entirety of Beyond the Gates of the Cosmic Kingdom, I don’t know, but with the video’s cinematic, drama-fueled feel and clear narrative of depressive frustration, there’s clearly more at work from Desert Wizards than genre conventionalism and a lengthy album name.

Info, and especially info in English, about the forthcoming long-player is pretty sparse, but you can watch the video for “The Man Who Rode Time” below, and everything I’ve seen about Beyond the Gates of the Cosmic Kingdom points to a summer release, should you want to keep an eye out.

Either way, please enjoy:

Desert Wizards, “The Man Who Rode Time” official video

From the album ” Beyond The Gates Of The Cosmic Kingdom” out on Black Widow Records.

Desert Wizards are:
Marco Mambelli: Vox/Bass/Synth
Marco Goti: Guitars
Anna Fabbri: Organ/Vox
Silvio Dalla Valle: Drums

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Desert Wizards on Bandcamp

Black Widow Records website

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Friday Full-Length: Mad Season, Above

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 19th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Mad Season, Above (1995)

Sometimes you just have to wonder how an artist or a band got away with making the record they made. Mad Season‘s Above was released in 1995, in the post-Kurt Cobain wain of the Seattle grunge era, and I suppose the enticing tagline for Columbia Records was probably something along the lines of, “Features members of Pearl JamScreaming Trees and Alice in Chains,” but even given that, with its ultra-dark cover art by vocalist Layne Staley (the Alice in Chains component) and a collection of correspondingly melancholic, mostly quiet and depressive-if-soulful songs, Above was hardly a fit alongside Celine Dion or Mariah Carey, from both of whom the label also released studio outings that year. “Lifeless Dead?” Come on.

Still, I remember hearing “River of Deceit” on the radio when it came out, so to say the least, it was a different era. Mad Season was the product of Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready meeting blues bassist John Baker Saunders in rehab, starting a trio with Skin Yard/Screaming Trees drummer Barrett Martin and finally recruiting Staley on vocals partially with the hope of getting him clean from what was by then an already well documented history of abusing heroin. I guess it just kind of happened that the aesthetic they hit on was a grown-up incarnation of the style their main outfits played — an adult grunge — still heavy and edgy in its approach, but given a sense of class through Saunders‘ low end and the patient flow within the tracks that felt both immediately accessible and decidedly non-commercial.

Above is awash in hooks, from the minimalist opener and longest track (immediate points) “Wake Up” with its gorgeous showcase of the sadness that no one since Staley has been able to convey and none of his contemporaries could match, through the more rocking “I’m Above,” the almost folkish “River of Deceit,” and down through the rolling “I Don’t Know Anything” and percussive, sax-laden lounge-vibing “Long Gone Day,” which is one of two inclusions on the original version of the record alongside “I’m Above” to feature Screaming Trees singer Mark Lanegan, pre-Queens of the Stone Age but already by that point established as a solo artist, to brilliant affect in a layered duet. But as catchy as it gets — and even the six-minute ramble “Artificial Red” is catchy — Above never feels cloying or like it’s grasping for its audience’s attention in the way that some later grunge records do, having given up the urgency that fueled them as the players moved from being punk and noise acts and into what would ultimately break them through to a wider audience and define a generation of rock and roll. It’s not by any means a friendly record.

A big part of that is directly attributable to Staley‘s vocal performance, and it’s a spirit that almost immediately following Above‘s release he’d take back with him to Alice in Chains for the recording of their later-1995 self-titled on songs like “Shame in You.” Though Above nearly digs itself a hole with the seven-minute guitar-led jam “November Hotel” as the penultimate cut, that only seems to make Staley‘s voice feel like that much more of a treasure when it shows up again late in the atmospheric finale “All Alone,” a wash of its own, no less immersive than the spacious keys and guitar, subtle percussion and gentle bassline that back it. As distinct as he was in his approach, there was just about no way he wouldn’t become a defining presence in Mad Season, and though the band would only do this one studio release before his death from an overdose in 2002 — 15 years ago now — his contributions to Above provide some of the clearest evidence of just how special he was as an artist and a once-in-a-generation figure, and of course, it’s the work that lives on.

In 2013, Columbia reissued Above in a deluxe edition with bonus material from a never-released second album with Lanegan as frontman (they worked under the name Disinformation at the time, circa 1997), and a DVD of live footage and more. Saunders also died of an overdose, in 1999, so a full reunion was never possible, but in addition to that reissue, McCready and Martin joined forces with Guns ‘n’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan — the economist — and Soundgarden vocalist Chris Cornell to perform a set in Jan. 2015 with the Seattle Symphony that was quietly released as a live album released later that same year. There was once again discussion of new material at the time, but to-date nothing has come to fruition.

The bottom line is Above feels even more resonant today than it did 22 years ago, and as always, I hope you enjoy.

Thanks for listening.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t note the passing, first reported yesterday and apparently the result of suicide, of Chris Cornell. I had already chosen to finish the week with this record when I saw the news, but though he made it longer than either Cobain or Staley, I don’t think anyone who appreciated any of his work in Soundgarden or elsewhere who wouldn’t say he was taken too soon, and all the more tragically by his own hand. For someone who touched so many lives and influenced a generation of singers in his wake — let alone someone with three teenage kids — to feel so empty while having so much to live for boggles the mind, but until you’ve been there, you don’t know.

Cornell was arguably the best singer of his Seattle-based generational contemporaries — Staley was more emotive but didn’t have the range to soar Glenn Hughes-style like Cornell could, Cobain was a punker, Lanegan’s a bluesman and Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder might stand up as a comparison point in terms of charisma, but never had the force of delivery that seemed to come so naturally from Cornell. I’ve never been the biggest Soundgarden fan, but his is a significant, irreplaceable loss.

Maybe you saw, maybe you didn’t, but I announced on the social medias last weekend that The Patient Mrs. and I are expecting. It’s a boy, due somewhere around Oct. 15. He’s got a name, but mostly we’ve been calling him “The Pecan” because it sounds less threatening than “The Impending” — which was my alternative — and a few weeks ago, The Patient Mrs.’ you’re-going-to-have-a-baby app said the fetus was the size of “a Southern pecan,” which was hilarious to us both because how the hell big is that and what difference does it make if it’s Southern? If he’s born with a Molly Hatchet shirt on or some shit, I’m going to be really, genuinely surprised.

But anyway, that’s the big news I’ve been hinting toward around here. I mentioned the Pecan in my Roadburn coverage, briefly, and subsequently removed the reference, but a couple people caught it and I saw some speculation, so there you go. The Pecan. Due in October. Life changes.

Do I know how it will affect this site? Nope. My thing all along has been not knowing how whatever comes along will affect the site, and it’s worked out pretty well, so I’m gonna roll with that and go where it takes me.

Fatherhood. Oof.

Anyway, though conversations about said Pecan occupy just about my every day at this point, there’s still a while to go before the guy actually shows up and plenty to keep me busy in the meantime. For example! — my job is ending in less than a month. Unemployment. Again. I’ve learned a few valuable lessons in my year at Hasbro and I’m appreciative of that, but apart from the salary hit I can’t say I’m heartbroken to move on. Truth be told, I’ve never enjoyed working for anyone but myself. If I had any money to start a business, that’s what I’d do with it.

But I don’t. So maybe stay-at-home-dad for as long as I can and then see what comes along. If I can pick up something part-time and/or remote, all the better. Somebody has to need an editor, right?

On that note, here’s what’s up for next week, subject to change as always. Straight from the notes:

Mon.: Radio Adds, Desert Wizards video, and some cool Naxatras news.
Tue.: Elder review, Ephedra video premiere, update from Keep it Low and more.
Wed.: WhiteNails review/album stream, Year of the Cobra Six Dumb Questions.
Thu.: Trippy Wicked video premiere, maybe another track premiere (waiting to see what shakes out), otherwise a Demon Head review.
Fri.: Vokonis video premiere/album review.

That’s where we’re at now, though, yeah, some stuff is still up in the air.

Staying home this weekend, as opposed to driving to Connecticut, and hoping for a laid back couple days in the air conditioning watching baseball as one does during the summer. The Patient Mrs. and I were talking about going to see Alien Covenant tomorrow morning — 10:40AM IMAX showing, baby; we roll in style — but that’s tentative. Whatever you’re up to, I hope you have a great and safe time.

Thanks for reaching, and please check out the forum and radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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Review & Video Premiere: Siena Root, A Dream of Lasting Peace

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Reviews on May 19th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

siena-root-a-dream-of-lasting-peace

[Click play above to see the premiere of Siena Root’s video for ‘No Filter.’ Their new album, A Dream of Lasting Peace, is out May 26 in Europe and June 23 in the US on MIG Music/MVD.]

Among those playing classic-style heavy rock, there are few who do it with the conviction of purpose or the soul of Sweden’s Siena Root, and that has remained true in the 13 years since their 2003 Nasoni-delivered debut, A New Day Dawning, despite some significant shifts in personnel and sound. Their fifth studio full-length, A Dream of Lasting Peace, finds the Stockholm five-piece indisputable as masters reveling in the form, even as new frontman Samuel Björö makes his studio debut with the band following the departure of Jonas Åhlén after 2014’s Pioneers (discussed here).

Founding bassist/vocalist Sam Riffer and drummer/vocalist Love “Billy” Forsberg continue to resonate as the core of the group, and if their last outing captured them still in transition style-wise after splitting with guitarist/sitarist KG West, whose psychedelic ambience was a huge part of the craft of their early work on albums like the aforementioned debut, 2006’s Kaleidoscope (discussed here), 2008’s Far from the Sun and 2009’s Different Realities (discussed here), these 10 tracks/44 minutes show RifferForsbergBjörö, guitarist Matte Gustavsson and organist/keyboardist Erik “Errka” Petersson well in command both aesthetically and in terms of performance. Throughout the release, Björö shines as a singer and Petersson and Gustavsson play off each other — see the penultimate light-step boogie of “Imaginarium” — in a fashion that would and should make peak-era Deep Purple fans blush with delight.

A Dream of Lasting Peace offers touches of psychedelia in the drifting bluesy jam of “The Piper Won’t Let You Stay” and stage-ready vitality across the likes of “No Filters,” “Outlander” and the bouncing funk of “Tales of Independence,” but primarily, the album lands its impact with the strength of its hooks and the balance of its execution across this range of mostly positive-vibing moods. Siena Root are not a dark band, and they never have been, and A Dream of Lasting Peace sounds like the people who made it were having a good time in a way that proves as infectious as the chorus of opener “Secrets” and “Tales of Independence,” which follows in a righteous opening salvo that continues to build momentum as it shuffles into the more laid back “Sundown.” Harmonies pervade a more patient fluidity, but with Petersson‘s underlying organ line and toss-off lead flourish from Gustavsson, the melody is ever at hand, and an instrumental break at 1:48 into the song’s unassuming 4:19 gives the organ space for a solo complemented by guitar and propelled by the creative drumming of Forsberg, who adds chimes just before a tom roll signals the change back into the verse that reintroduces Björö on vocals.

It would be a worthy single with Riffer‘s bass as the foundational element, but it does just as well here as a transition into the even more subdued blues of “The Piper Won’t Let You Stay,” the longest inclusion at 6:08 and a graceful instrumental swell that seems drawn forward by Björö, who delivers his most impressive performance of the record in what feels like a showcase track despite a midsection crescendo that offers crisp, thicker guitar and key work and dynamic changes in tempo and volume. As they sleek their way through the crashing end of that song and into the organ rumble that starts “Outlander,” the return to a more energetic chorus and classic structure marked by its starts and stops is a welcome finish to side A, and the manner in which Petersson and Gustavsson end the track first together, then just with Petersson‘s keys, couldn’t feel more appropriate as the fadeout begins.

siena root

Already through the first half of A Dream of Lasting Peace, there is no level on which Siena Root aren’t delivering. In performance, in the quality of their songwriting, in the balance of clarity and natural feel of the recording itself and in the spirit driving them, they come across as revitalized, and if Pioneers was their way of exploring the possibilities of where their classic influences might take them post-West, here they take the lessons they learned from that experience and use them to grab the reins of their approach and hone something truly special. Traditionally, one would find a band experimenting a bit more on side B, and the Purple-hued rush of “Growing Underground” teases that possibility a bit in a direct call and response from Gustavsson and Petersson that’s just flat-out fun, leading to “Empty Streets,” which seems at first to echo “The Piper Won’t Let You Stay” but finds Riffer delivering a highlight bassline in tandem with the organ late as part of a rousing apex built outward from a nigh-on hypnotic but still progressive meandering.

The shorter and more straightforward “No Filters” has a push to echo “Secrets” and “Tales of Independence” early on, and makes a suitable centerpiece for side B as it regrounds Siena Root heading into the jazzy instrumental “Imaginarium” and subsequent closer “The Echoes Unfold,” which offers a spacious ending with echo on Björö‘s voice to fill a void of stopped guitar and keys and temporarily paused drums and bass. The play of volume and push that ensues is no less poised than anything preceding, less bluesy than “The Piper Won’t Let You Stay,” but thoroughly satisfying in its winding chorus and in the key-led ending section, which takes hold at about the three-minute mark and carries through to the long fade just past five minutes in, casting a symmetry with “Outlander” and once again feeling wholly befitting the course Siena Root have set overall.

Given the obvious care put into their presentation and the level of realization Siena Root attain within these tracks and through the overarching flow they create between them, A Dream of Lasting Peace is a joy that feels sculpted specifically to cast a celebration among the heavy rock converted. The band have their niche, to be sure, but they’ve long excelled in their work and their latest only furthers that thread while also setting them on a sustainable path going forward. Their lineup has always been subject to change and it’s entirely possible it will be in the future as well, but these songs hit on a balance worthy of being considered a highlight in their discography and if they serve as a model for the band to follow, at least for a while, that can only be to the benefit of players and fans alike. A no-doubter to stand among 2017’s best in classic and progressive heavy rock and roll.

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Mose Giganticus Post Video for “Long as Time”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 18th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

mose giganticus

It was right about this time last year that heavy post-rocking Philadelphia two-piece Mose Giganticus released their first new track in six years. That cut, given the reassuring title “We are One” and presented in an accompanying video (posted here), was said to be the beginning point of a series of singles on which the band was embarking as they looked to follow-up their 2010 sophomore LP, Gift Horse, by taking something of a different approach. An ambitious project on the surface, it kind of made sense if you consider an independent band putting out tracks on their own terms as they’re written rather than following this or that other, arguably outdated model.

While I’m not sure if it’s still the intent of Mose GiganticusMatt Garfield and Joe Smiley to continue along the lines of doing a singles series, their new offering is a video for “Long as Time,” and with cinematic photography, creepy-as-hell makeup and lighting, a drama of synth and atmospheric weight, it offers much on both the aural and visual levels. Keys open and unfold to a subdued, tense roll as the two players harmonize through an airy verse en route to a thicker-toned threat of a hook, progressive undertones tying together any disparities of volume or approach. There’s continuity in what they’re doing here with what “We are One” had to offer — in terms of the video and the songwriting itself — but its melody stands “Long as Time” out from its predecessor, as does the patience of its execution; though they tease further heft, they never actually give into the cliché of a linear payoff.

I don’t know what the future might hold for Mose Giganticus, and it’s entirely possible that the week of May 15, 2018, will find me posting another video from them and talking about how they sound like they’ve grown again. Could very well happen. Either way, if you missed “We are One” a year ago, “Long as Time” is well worth checking out and hopefully as you dig into it and the info that follows below, you enjoy.

Here goes:

Mose Giganticus, “Long as Time” official video

Mose Giganticus is Matt Garfield and Joe Smiley

Directed by Matt Garfield and Christopher Kayfield
Produced and Edited by Matt Garfield
Photography by Christopher Kayfield
Production Design by Matt Garfield and Christopher Kayfield
Hair & Makeup by Lauren Jaremko
Lighting Design by Matt Garfield
Audio Recorded at Red Planet by Joe Smiley
Audio Mastered by James Plotkin

Mose Giganticus is an evolving body of music, art, and technology led by Matt Garfield. Since 2007, Garfield has performed hundreds of live shows as Mose Giganticus across North America and Europe, backed by a revolving cast of touring musicians up to 30 members deep. Mose Giganticus achieved notoriety with the release of Gift Horse on Relapse Records in 2010, following an extensive U.S./Canadian tour fueled by recycled waste vegetable oil for Garfield’s custom-built tour bus.

Though the touring line-up has shuffled, Joe Smiley has been a consistent contributor to Mose Giganticus from the start- both in the studio and on the stage. Smiley’s talents have been featured on every recording as a guitarist, recording engineer, or both.

As a multi-instrumentalist duo, Garfield and Smiley layer their live performances with custom interactive electronics and lighting design to build a cohesive display that seems beyond their capacity.

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Beastmaker Post “Evil One” Video; Inside the Skull out this Week

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 16th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

beastmaker

This Friday, California’s Beastmaker release their second album, Inside the Skull, on Rise Above Records. By the time the end of the week gets here — it always seems so far away on Tuesdays, for some reason — the dark, metallically-tinged three-piece will have already had a couple nights on the road alongside Zakk Sabbath on a tour that will carry them from one end of the country to the other and well into June. I’d imagine it’s a pretty exciting week to be in Beastmaker. Maybe a little nerve-wracking, but exciting too. They’re about to step on some of the biggest stages they’ve yet played.

And they do so supporting a record of quality material enough to back them in their cause. “Evil One” is the second video to come from Inside the Skull behind one last month for presumed side B leadoff “Nature of the Damned” (posted here) — fair enough to double-up for an aesthetically inclined band like this — and it’s the opening cut of the album as a whole. As what’s essentially their final argument to their potential audience prior to the LP coming out, it’s utterly reasonable for them to have held the song back for this purpose as they have. Where they’re quick to show more progressive flair even on the subsequent thudder “Heaven to Hell” and the following “Now Howls the Beast,” “Evil One” is Inside the Skull‘s blown-out moment of first engagement with those who’d take it on.

Accordingly, it largely casts off frills in favor of a flawless execution of straightforward structure — a hook that sinks deep and is wielded with class — while also setting the atmospheric tone for much of what follows in a modernized proto-metal creep, part-doom but not beholden to genre to the sacrifice either of its craft or attitude. With it, Beastmaker make a convincing case to keep going through the next song and the next, and as we inch closer to the arrival of Inside the Skull, listeners will have the chance to do precisely that.

Good luck to Beastmaker as they head out this week on tour. You can see the video for “Evil One” below, followed by their live dates, courtesy of the PR wire.

Enjoy:

Beastmaker, “Evil One” official video

Beastmaker’s new album Inside The Skull is set for release next Friday May 19th via Rise Above Records. Inside The Skull is not just a muscular hymn to the glory days of heavy metal’s genesis and early prosperity: this is a vital, virile and venomous slab of wildly creative but spiritually pure doom devastation, designed to rescue us from the drab harshness of present day reality and transport us somewhere cooler, somewhere better and, in the best way possible, somewhere much heavier. Recorded and produced by the band themselves, in their own self-built studio, it’s an album with great depths and a macabre heart.

While they may be reveling in Hitchcockian disquiet, Beastmaker will not be lurking anonymously in the shadows for long. Once Inside The Skull is released, the band will be hitting the road in the US with Zakk Wylde’s Black Sabbath tribute act, Zakk Sabbath, before the band’s campaign to draw the world into this unique maelstrom of pitch-black riffs and morbid tales begins in earnest. Erupting from the underground, this beast is alive and ready to howl.

BEASTMAKER W/ Zakk Sabbath:
5/17: Morgantown, WV @ 123 Pleasant St*
5/18: New York, NY @ Gramercy Theatre
5/19: New York, NY @ Gramercy Theatre
5/20: Philadelphia, PA @ Voltage Theatre*
5/21: Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter*
5/22: Durham, NC @ Motorco Music Hall*
5/23: Asheville, NC @ The Orange Peel
5/24: New Orleans, LA @ Siberia Nola*
5/25: Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live Studio
5/26: Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey Bar N’ Grill
5/28: St. Louis, MO @ Fubar
5/30: Nashville, TN @ Exit/In
5/31: Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade
6/2: Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge
6/3: Indianapolis, IN @ Black Circle Brewing*
6/4: Denver, CO @ Marquis Theater
6/6: Spokane, WA @ The Pin
6/7: Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile
6/8: Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre
6/10: San Francisco, CA @ Slim’s
6/17: Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey Theater
*Denotes Headline Show

Beastmaker on Thee Facebooks

Beastmaker on Bandcamp

Rise Above Records website

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Cosmic Fall Premiere “Haumea” in New Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 15th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

cosmic-fall-photo-sergej-kamenski

Berlin jammers Cosmic Fall — guitarist/vocalist Mathias, bassist Klaus and drummer Daniel — formed last year but already have two full-lengths to their catalog in First Fall (discussed here) and Kick out the Jams (review here), and they’re showing no signs of slowing down as they move forward from the second of them. And aside from its ultra-mellow flow, 12-minute psychedelic sprawl and hypnotic outward vibe, what’s particularly cool about the new cut “Haumea” is how it’s being unveiled.

Essentially, what you’re getting in the video below is a personal invite from the German trio to spy on their creative process. It seems likely that some of the parts of “Haumea” were thought out beforehand, like its kind of bouncing, almost Southern rock-style beginning, but what that unfolds to at least has its basis in improvisation if it’s not being off-the-cuff, improvised at that moment, and as they play it, what you’re hearing is the studio version of the song being laid down live. Cameras document and capture the proceedings and it’s about as straight a line to being there as one could possibly ask for.

This, as I’ve been saying for years, is one of the deepest appeals of jam-based heavy psychedelia and/or space rock. It dispenses with what’s more commonly thought of as a “finished product” in favor of shifting the point of conversation between artist and listener to the moment of creation itself. That’s not an absolute truth, of course, but to look at outfits like Electric MoonØresund Space Collective, indeed Cosmic Fall and others of their ilk, that very much seems to be what’s happening. Cosmic Fall take it one step further with “Haumea,” letting us see as well as hear as the piece takes shape.

Of course, in-studio documentaries are nothing new at this point, but this is something less filtered, less compiled, and true to the nature of the jam itself, it gives the most direct glimpse at Cosmic Fall‘s methodology at work in their new rehearsal space.

Think about that while you make your way through. Some updates on releases follow, courtesy of the band.

Enjoy:

Cosmic Fall, “Haumea”

It’s recorded in our new rehearsal room (we have it since January, but this is the first time you can hear/see something from it).

We recorded the audio as always (same as the 2 albums) and it was during a normal rehearsal.

Our next release will be kick out the jams on vinyl, which will be in summer (via clostridiumrecords and white dwarf) and then later this year we will release a split lp with the band Aphodyl via psyka records.

Cosmic Fall on Bandcamp

Cosmic Fall on Thee Facebooks

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