Friday Full-Length: King Crimson, In the Court of the Crimson King

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 28th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

King Crimson, In the Court of the Crimson King (1969)

An observation by King Crimson, and a brilliant one at that. The first time I heard King Crimson‘s 1969 debut, In the Court of the Crimson King was on the flight home from my honeymoon. I was 23, and while by some standards that was late to encounter the record, it’s a setting I wouldn’t have traded a decade for, returning from my first time out of the country, The Patient Mrs. sitting next to me as I loaded the disc into the bulky CD player I’d continue to use for years afterwards — 23-year-old me is a little disappointed every time 33-year-old me plays a song on my phone — the swells of the closing semi-title-track “Court of the Crimson King” matching the puffy whites and greys of clouds outside the aircraft window. It’s an association I’ll always have with the first King Crimson record, and that may well be part of why I consider it among the best albums I’ve ever heard, but sentiment aside, I think even the most objective observer would have to be taken aback by just how much ground the UK band — the lineup of Robert Fripp (guitar), Michael Giles (drums, backing vocals, percussion), Greg Lake (vocals, bass), and Ian McDonald (flute, clarinet, sax, keys, harisichord, piano, vibraphone, backing vocals, etc.) — were able to break on their debut release. Out through Island Records in the UK and Atlantic in the US for its original pressing, its 44 minutes continue to serve as a blueprint for the founding consciousness that typifies nearly every strain of progressive rock. It’s the higher consciousness that all those acid-heads were trying to attain.

King Crimson are probably more known for 1974’s Red, or their 1981 post-hiatus return, Discipline, which in many ways set the tone for everything that followed it, but In the Court of the Crimson King makes for an even more striking listen because it’s as much about its melodies as its experimentalism. From the jagged insistence of “21st Century Schizoid Man” — a landmark in itself and a defining moment for the band — through the closer’s spacious roll and minimalist interplay, King Crimson were beyond just freaking out. Every texture in the mellotron-infused “Moonchild,” and every pseudo-militaristic drum stop in “Epitaph” has its companion sense of melody, and the work as a whole is as gorgeous as it is complex. The dreamy wisps of “I Talk to the Wind” are much stronger for it, and while King Crimson would ultimately become more of a show of technicality and genre-defining progressive rhythms under various lineups incorporating the likes of guitarist/vocalist Adrian Belew, bassist Tony Levin and drummer Bill Bruford — nothing against that band, those players or anyone else who might have “I played ‘x’ in King Crimson” on their resumé — this earliest incarnation of the group was unafraid to complement all that distinguishing class with simple sweetness, and that was something that they’d never quite do in the same way again. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, listen to the early part of “Moonchild.”

Of course, that’s not to belittle the band’s subsequent accomplishments or what Greg Lake would go on to do with Emerson, Lake and Palmer, or what Fripp continues to do with the modern version of King Crimson — which if I recall correctly featured no fewer than three drummers on their most recent US tour; I was sorry I missed it — just to highlight the fact that In the Court of the Crimson King is something special and it was a shortlived moment in the band’s ultimate trajectory. I can’t imagine this post is anyone’s first time hearing it, but if it is or if you’re just revisiting, fair enough. I can’t imagine this version posted on YouTube will be there all that long before it gets taken down, so if nothing else, consider this a recommendation to take your copy off the shelf — CD, vinyl, whatever it might be — and give it another look, or if you don’t have a copy, to get one. It’s one of those records that goes a long way toward making a house into a home.

Either way, enjoy.

I’ve been thinking this week about the idea of curating. Announcing that I’m putting together that all-dayer for next August in Brooklyn has got me thinking about the various ways in which we curate our existence, the choices we make, the little things we do every day. My conclusion? I’m way fucking in favor. You know what the tradeoff is for all the privacy we’ve thrown out the window in the last two decades, all the data we’ve let be gathered and sold back to us, all the compromises we’ve made on our relationships to media and the relentlessly-cloying-yet-somehow-also-all-controlling corporatocracy in which we live? The tradeoff is the “I don’t want to see this” button.

It’s not quite my favorite thing in the world, but it’s definitely on the list. Imagine a real-life bullshit detector. I used to abhor willful ignorance, as though everyone should make an effort to expose themselves to everything, all the time — the least realistic of expectations. Our brains would explode. Fuck that shit. Life is short, and yeah, you should get out and see the world, but when you come across something you just know is garbage, “I don’t want to see this” comes in real, real handy.

The Patient Mrs. asks me all the time if I’ve seen this or that floating around, the latest horrific thing some Republican candidate said or did. There was a time where the answer would be yes, but now? Not a chance. I barely even pay attention to mass shootings, suicide bombings, war, greed, corruption, etc., anymore. Not when there are show flyers to check out! Is my being interminably beaten down by the needless cruelties we perpetrate on each other going to fix them? Nope. Am I improving myself by being upset by these things? Nope. Okay then.

I’m not saying compassion has no value — unless we’re measuring in terms of pure real-world productivity, which in most cases it does indeed have no value — or that the news isn’t worth keeping up with, but I’m saying that, like the news organizations, we’re fortunate to live in an age in which we’re also able to engage in what media studies calls “agenda setting.” I don’t know what Donald Trump said about Mexican immigrants. I don’t know how many people were blown up today in Baghdad. I do know Baroness have a new album coming out, and I know that the new Graveyard record kicks ass. And I’m perfectly okay with that balance. My agenda has been set.

Perhaps complemented by the revelation of a somewhat troubling tendency to gravitate toward ’90s television (Star Trek spinoffs, MST3K, etc.) and videogames, being able to curate my own life has proven a massive win, and it’s made me more conscious (again, for better and worse) of my decisions and habits, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. The rest? Well, I don’t know about it, because I choose not to know. Other people can fret over the fact that nobody’s willing to do anything about climate change, that people on the internet say, write and do stupid, racist, sexist shit, and so on. Other people can protest wars like that’s ever going to stop them. It’s not like meaningful debate is a thing that exists or anyone’s interested in having. So yeah, beat your head against the wall of someone else’s dumbassery. Let me know how many years that adds to your life.

Next week, stay tuned for a Funeral Horse track stream, an initial announcement from Desertfest, reviews of Thera Roya and Uncle Acid and an interview with Monster Magnet‘s frontman, the inimitable Dave Wyndorf. There’s copious news already to go up on Monday about a new record from Saviours and the Melvins‘ next European tour, and I hear there’s an announcement coming from the Borderland Fuzz Fiesta as well, so stay tuned. Much goodness en route.

And if this site is one of the things to which you choose to expose yourself on a regular basis, please know you have my thanks and best wishes.

Great and safe weekend. Please check out the forum and radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats Post New Video for “Melody Lane”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 28th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

uncle acid melody lane video

If it’s Uncle Acid‘s particular brand of threat and inescapable hooks you’re looking for, you’re probably not going to find it anywhere on their upcoming fourth album, The Night Creeper — out Sept. 4 on Rise Above Records — so much as on “Melody Lane.” Arriving after the instrumental “Yellow Moon,” it’s a fitting opener to side B of The Night Creeper, and among the record’s catchiest single choruses. I won’t take anything away from “Waiting for Blood” or “Murder Nights,” but it’s a highlight of the record.

The video covers familiar-enough feeling visual ground to go with the audio. Certainly for anyone who has caught the band’s clips for last year’s “Runaway Girls” single or the prior “Mind Crawler” from 2013’s Mind Control (review here) will recognize the form. The band themselves make fuzzy cameo appearances, standing in line for what I think turned out to be their latest round of promo pics — we don’t actually see photographer Ester Segarra in the video, but the window they’re in front of at one point looks familiar — and there is some grainy interspersion of The Night Creeper‘s cover art as well, so if there are any promotional bases to cover for the video, they’re covered.

As for the rest? Well, sort of a standard runthrough of the ’60s and ’70s hotties spliced with bouts of sexualized violence, knives as implements of penetration, and so on. But there’s also a few clips out of old film noir features, and if you had the chance to read the interview posted here last week with Uncle Acid guitarist/vocalist Kevin Starrs, that’s the thematic basis for more or less the whole album, so it’s not just a mishmash of hijacked footage set to the song. There’s a purpose looming behind all that psychosis, which I suppose is also what’s made Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats so effective over their entire run so far.

Their upcoming US tour dates follow under the video — I feel like I haven’t gone more than two days in the last three weeks without plugging that tour one way or another — along with more on the album itself courtesy of the PR wire. Enjoy:

Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, “Melody Lane” official video

Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats Share Music Video for New Track “Melody Lane”

The Night Creeper Out September 4 via Rise Above Records, Pre-Order Now

Touring the US This Fall + in NYC 9/12

The United Kingdom’s greatest cult band Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats are to return with their fourth full-length studio album The Night Creeper on September 4 via Rise Above Records.

Their newest single from the album is “Melody Lane” which has now been paired with a music video comprised of clips from classic B and exploitation films. It is an unprecedented peek into the brain of Uncle Acid himself and the inspirations that led to The Night Creeper. The album is available for pre-order now with an instant download of “Waiting for Blood” and “Melody Lane” on iTunes and Amazon.

Recorded at Toe Rag Studios in early 2015 with engineer Liam Watson (White Stripes, Tame Impala, Electric Wizard), The Night Creeper oozes louche evil. Hear flesh-melting riffs that creep like hot magma bubbling up through the earth’s crust combine with an ear for melody born out of the bands love for girl groups like The Ronettes and The Shangri-La’s. This is Sabbath-meets-Spector and it’s a heady combination. In support of the release they will also be embarking on their largest and longest tour to date, with a variety of US shows which can be viewed below.

Uncle Acid Tour Dates with Ruby the Hatchet and Ecstatic Vision
9/9 at Center Stage in Atlanta, GA
9/11 at Baltimore Sound Stage in Baltimore, MD
9/12 at Webster Hall in New York, NY
9/13 at Union Transfer in Philadelphia, PA
9/14 at Royale in Boston, MA
9/16 at Corona Theater in Montreal, QC
9/17 at Phoenix Theater in Toronto, ON
9/18 at Mr. Smalls in Pittsburgh, PA
9/19 at Metro in Chicago, IL
9/20 at Mill city Nights in Minneapolis, MN
9/22 at Summit Theater in Denver, CO
9/23 at Urban Lounge in Salt Lake City, UT
9/25 at Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, BC
9/26 at El Corazon in Seattle, WA
9/27 at Wonder Ballroom in Portland, OR
9/29 at Slims in San Francisco, CA
9/30 at Slims in San Francisco, CA
10/1 at The Fonda Theater in Los Angeles, CA
10/2 at The Observatory in Santa Ana, CA

Uncle Acid on Thee Facebooks

Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats website

Rise Above Records

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Wino Wednesday: Wino & Conny Ochs, “Hotel Vast Horizon” Live in L.A., 2012

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 26th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Happy Wino Wednesday.

Seems a fair guess that between Wino and Conny Ochs, it’s the latter who brought the idea of covering Chris Whitley to the table. The relatively underappreciated singer-songwriter, who passed away in 2005 from lung cancer, had a discography of more than a 10 full-lengths to his credit by the time he died at the age of 45, and of course more have surfaced since. “Hotel Vast Horizon” is the title-track from the Texan’s ninth LP, released in 2003, and in performing it on their US tour, it’s Ochs who takes the initial lead vocally in the video below, backed by Wino as the song progresses.

Wino & Conny Ochs were on tour at the time supporting their debut, Heavy Kingdom (review here), after beginning with a European tour to herald the Exile on Mainstream release. Their second album, the more crisply produced Freedom Conspiracy (review here), came out earlier this year, and while most of the time when I post about the two-piece, it gets a response I’ll generously call “minimal,” as the Wino Wednesday series pushes toward its conclusion with #200, I’d be remiss if I didn’t include a Wino & Conny Ochs track, because screw it, I like that stuff a lot. Can’t be Spirit Caravan all the time.

Along with “Hotel Vast Horizon,” the video includes the next cut in their set at The Satellite in Los Angeles on Aug. 8, 2012, which was “Green Speed.” Taken from Wino‘s 2010 solo acoustic debut, Adrift (review here), its careening central progression and faster pace manage to show heavy roots no matter how they’re played, plugged or not, and it makes a fitting companion for “Hotel Vast Horizon” here, demonstrating what each player brings to the Wino & Conny Ochs collaboration.

Two more Wino Wednesdays after this one, which is getting increasingly hard to believe. Hope you enjoy:

Wino & Conny Ochs, “Hotel Vast Horizon” & “Green Speed” Live in L.A., Aug. 8, 2012

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Strauss Post New Video for “2015”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 24th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

strauss

Despite its funky initial bassline, Strauss‘ “2015” paints a rather grim portrait of the bleak future in which we live. Lines like “No gravity or sense to life” pretty much say it all. Still, that doesn’t mean that the video can’t tell the tale of a fish-obsessed scientist — Blood Waters of Dr. Z, anyone? — losing his mind while the London five-piece pound out riff-led noise rock in a moist-looking concrete-walled space presumably somewhere in the vicinity. It doesn’t need to make sense. It’s science.

Strauss released their second EP, Luia (review here), in May. The follow-up to their more decisively desertized 2013 self-titled (review here), the five-songer impressed with its jump in aggressive style and individual presence on the part of the band. It’s good to know they’ve been keeping busy since putting it out, and if Luia might be their last short offering before they take on the task of their full-length debut, I don’t think anyone who bothers to make their way through “2015” could argue they’re not ready.

Video, including a somewhat quizzical leadoff sample of George W. Bush (who, if you were paying attention at the time, you know said plenty of quizzical shit), follows. Enjoy:

Strauss, “2015” official video

Strauss – 2015, taken from their recently released 2nd EP, Luia.

The video tells the classic heart-warming tale of an aquatically obsessed scientist driven to madness. Possibly by the filthy stoner metal grooves playing out in his deranged mind. No fish were harmed during the making of this video but some harsh words were exchanged.

Lyrics:
News go by on TV
Nothing’s left on my wall
I’ll carry on as they say
Whilst degrade is taking over
How could I ever see a light past the wicked eye?
A dream of truthfulness detached from reality
I came across it once but can’t recall the look
Just a feeling of calm and beauty
No gravity or sense to life
If only I could trust
That better days will come
I’d never lose my hope
To find the hidden sunlit world
Beyond our mind

Luia can be bought here: http://straussband.bandcamp.com/

Directed by – Peter Jones
Produced by – Luke O’Dwyer
DOP – Robin Kay
Edited by – Peter Jones
Additonal Footage – Matt Haworth
Gaffer – Jack Downes
Focus Puller – Martin Dobinson

Camera Assistants – Emma Langley, Michael Tselepis, Greg Childs

Special Thanks to Shift 4

Strauss on Thee Facebooks

Strauss on Bandcamp

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Friday Full-Length: Causa Sui, Summer Sessions Vol. 1-3

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 21st, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Causa Sui, Summer Sessions Vol. 1-3 (2009)

I’m perfectly willing to go on-record and tell you that summer is far from my favorite season of the year, and as the news comes out that July 2015 was the hottest month the planet has experienced since they started keeping track, and as it’s humid enough out today for me to feel like I could swim to my busted-ass-AC-having car, I believe it. Here on the East Coast of the US, the perma-haze has settled in, and it we’re at that stage of summer where it feels like it’s never going to end and the world is just trying to cook us off its surface. You want pleasant? Wait until spring or fall. The only thing that awaits you outside today is sun-baked death. I mean that.

Still, just because that happens to be my experience and my opinion does not at all make it universal. In listening to Causa Sui‘s Summer Sessions series, I can only marvel at what must have been a very, very good season in their eyes. Released in three volumes on Elektrohasch Schallplatten as separate limited LPs between 2008 and 2009 and subsequently collected as Summer Sessions Vol. 1-3 on CD and vinyl, Summer Sessions remains a consuming meisterwerk precisely because it manages to capture the warmth and dreamy sensibility so often associated with the hot months of the year, the Danish four-piece of Jakob Skøtt, Jonas Munk, Rasmus Rasmussen and Jess Kahr finding a balance between classic progressive and heavy psychedelic rocks that not only showcased the live chemistry they were (and still are) able to bring to the studio, but pushed far beyond what they’d been able to accomplish on their self-titled 2005 debut (on Nasoni) or its 2007 follow-up, Free Ride. I won’t take anything away from either of those — except perhaps to say the first album has proven a pain in the ass to find on CD; when something on Nasoni is gone, it’s really gone — but clearly the scope on Summer Sessions Vol. 1-3 is in a different league entirely. Two hours of rich, explorational jamming, lush and vibrant. It’s a pretty high standard to meet.

And I think Causa Sui took some pretty significant lessons from Summer Sessions in their recording process for their 2013 full-length, Euporie Tide, upon which much due praise has been heaped. They’re currently working on their next outing that will probably be out early next year, and as they get farther away from Summer Sessions, it should be interesting to hear what they come up with and how they move forward past Euporie Tide, but whatever that album holds, the ultra-immersive sun-shining brilliance of Summer Sessions continues to stand on its own. It’s almost enough to make one tolerate the heat.

A triple album. I guess between posting that Shiggajon stream — that album being released on Causa Sui‘s label, El Paraiso Records — and posting about Swallow the Sun‘s triple album to be released in November today, it’s easy enough to see how I might have arrived at closing out the week with Summer Sessions Vol. 1-3. No regrets, in any case.

I put word out yesterday on Thee Facebooks and didn’t post anything here mostly because I wanted to sort of make it a soft announcement rather than a big thing, but I’ll be hosting an all-dayer next August at the Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn. The date is Aug. 20, 2016. It’s a Saturday. My plan is to have bands start around 2 or 3PM, go until a bit before midnight and then basically just make it a party. I have a headliner confirmed about whom I’m very stoked and several others locked in and am looking into other acts. Seven bands total. Several people have reached out from around the world to say they’re interested in coming, and that support means very, very much to me. Would be awesome to sell the place out.

Anyway, actual, official-type announcements will start after the New Year, so keep an eye out. I’m stoked though.

My brain must be absolutely fried, because I don’t even know how fried my brain is. I took the day off from work — which is, apparently, a thing one can do? — to take The Patient Mrs. for an endoscopy as her bizarre food-allergy saga continues, and I had some stuff going on this morning as well, including an interview with Dave Wyndorf of Monster Magnet about their new release. Look at me, doing interviews. It’s been a while.

That’ll be posted sometime in the next week or two, and next week I’ve also got reviews of the new Pentagram and Thera Roya releases slated, a full-album stream for Carousel‘s new one on Wednesday, a track stream on Tuesday for a band called Mountain Movers from Connecticut and another one maybe Thursday that I shouldn’t really talk about yet. Might do a podcast for Monday as well, since we’re about due. Depends on time, which as always, is short. I’m back and forth between Connecticut and New Hampshire for the next two days — because, you know, self-cruelty — and so by the time Monday gets around that 90 minutes to work in the morning should seem like a break.

Please have a great and safe weekend, and please check out the forum and the radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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Bellringer Post New Video for “Von Fledermaus”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 21st, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

bellringer

One could probably sit around all day and wait for Bellringer‘s new video for “Von Fledermaus” to start making sense. One could probably ask it nicely. The result would be the same: A presumably mid-coitus stare from a lady bouncing up and down — I wouldn’t quite call it NSFW, but if you’re in an office they might find you out for the weirdo you really are if you’ve got it playing — spliced in with old racing footage and some blasting lights, destruction, etc. The problem isn’t that the video doesn’t make any sense. The problem is that you want it to.

Austin three-piece (maybe four-piece? I saw something about a second bassist) Bellringer released a self-titled four-song EP (review here) earlier this year. Where is it now? Gone. “Von Fledermaus,” with its lurching riff and the subdued vocal from Mark Deutrom (formerly of the Melvins and Clown Alley) — who’s almost Mario Lalli-esque in finding the calm spot in the song’s storm — was on that EP, and whether or not that was removed because someone’s doing a physical pressing or what, I don’t know, but again, I think the problem here is really that not knowing is the whole idea. Wait and find out. It’s what the world does.

Like that offering as a whole, “Von Fledermaus” boasts a sense of balance between its chugging riff and stranger impulses. Seems fair to say the collage-style video by Jennifer Deutrom hones in on the latter, and rightfully so.

If you’re sensitive to bright flashing lights or anything like that, you might want to watch out for some of the middle and second half stuff here, as it gets pretty active. Otherwise, enjoy:

Bellringer, “Von Fledermaus” official video

Earth and Space Chick rocks the Universe, dirt track racing, cowboy ambush and general sensory overload in Bellringer’s first video.
Purchase tequila and project this onto your favorite wall !

“Ham spanky in the back of the train”

Directed and Edited By Jennifer Deutrom
using public domain imagery, and also
“”Weg Zum Nachbarn” by Lutz Mommartz.

Mark Deutrom : Guitar, Vocal
Corey Cottrell : Bass
Craig Nichols : Drums

Produced and Mixed by Mark Deutrom
Recorded By Chico Jones at Ohm Recording Facility

Bellringer’s website

Bellringer on Bandcamp

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Graveyard Post New Video for “The Apple and the Tree”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 20th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

graveyard

Just in case your anticipation for Graveyard‘s forthcoming LP, Innocence and Decadence, had yet to hit fever-pitch, the Swedish foursome have unveiled a new video for the track “The Apple and the Tree” that boasts, among other things, choice groove and shoveling shit. Want some context on that one? Yeah, you’re just gonna have to watch the clip.

The song itself answers a few key questions about where the band would go following their third album, 2012’s Lights Out (review here), most notably about where they’d wind up production-wise. There’s a lot of their core ’70s methodology maintained in “The Apple and the Tree” — which like “Cause and Defect” and the album’s title itself, hints at a theme of duality — but like Lights Out, you wouldn’t necessarily call the vibe here retro or vintage in terms of its overall sound, classic as that groove is.

Also notable is the dynamic of the song itself, which saves its real push toward the end of a satisfying three-minute run, guitarist/vocalist Joakim Nilsson — joined in the band by guitarist Jonathan Ramm bassist Truls Mörck and drummer Axel Sjöberg — shifting into his bluesy higher register at just the right moment to drive the point home. As to whether or not that’s emblematic of a songwriting progression across the board on Innocence and Decadence, I don’t know — haven’t heard the album yet — but I’m sure as hell interested to find out.

Video below, followed by recently-announced tour dates and more info from the PR wire. Enjoy:

Graveyard, “The Apple and the Tree” official video

Award-winning Swedish rock band GRAVEYARD will release its new album Innocence & Decadence, on September 25 via Nuclear Blast Records. The acclaimed group’s fourth album was recorded live in the studio, directly to analog tape, with producer Johan Lindström and is the follow-up to GRAVEYARD’s 2012 release, Lights Out. Innocence & Decadence builds on the solid foundation and formidable reputation that GRAVEYARD has cultivated since its formation in 2006, providing the most shining example to date of a sound the band calls “classic rock with a modern roll”. The quartet describes the record as a blend of “everything from old 20’s Blues to Krautrock with synthesizers, Irma Thomas, blast beats and Psych Rock.”

Today, GRAVEYARD premieres the first music video from Innocence & Decadence, for the album’s lead single, “The Apple and the Tree.” Directed by Jonas Petersson and shot outside Fagersta, Sweden (hometown of The Hives), the video depicts the band working and enjoying life on a countryside farm.

“Just like life in general, it depends on what you choose to see and hear,” said the band. “Innocence & Decadence is built on thousands of layers of love, fury and being alive in the year 2015.” Check out a trailer for the record, featuring interactive album art, at this location.

GRAVEYARD will embark on fall U.S. tour dates in support of Innocence & Decadence beginning December 4 in Columbus, OH. The just-released live dates are as follows:

GRAVEYARD tour dates:

December 4 Columbus, OH Ace of Cups
December 5 Chicago, IL Lincoln Hall
December 6 Minneapolis, MN Fine Line Music Cafe
December 8 Denver, CO Summit Music Hall
December 9 Salt Lake City, UT In the Venue
December 10 Missoula, MT Stage 112
December 11 Seattle, WA Chop Suey
December 14 Portland, OR Wonder Ballroom
December 15 San Francisco, CA The Fillmore
December 17 Phoenix, AZ Crescent Ballroom
December 19 Austin, TX Mohawk

Graveyard on Thee Facebooks

Innocence and Decadence preorder

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Wino Wednesday: The Obsessed, “Neatz Brigade” from 1985 Promo Demo

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 19th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Happy Wino Wednesday.

Can’t imagine I’m the only person around who counts “Neatz Brigade” as their favorite The Obsessed track. Hell, the dudes in Germany’s Rotor liked it enough to cover it for their Festsaal Kreuzberg live record (review here), so figure they dug it well enough. It’s been featured for Wino Wednesday a couple times — once Wino sat in with the aforementioned Rotor to do it live in 2010, and once from the reunited version of The Obsessed playing it at Roadburn 2012 — and while The Obsessed‘s 1985 Promo Demo has also been presented in full, it’s worth highlighting the song individually as well as it appears there, if only because the raw, early version kicks ass. Not sure what more of an excuse I’d need at this point.

By the time it showed up on a proper studio offering, nine years would have passed, and it’s now been 21 since The Obsessed‘s final studio offering, The Church Within, was released in 1994. Still, it passes the age-old test of, “If it came in today, what would I think?” First, I’d think, “wow, this sounds just like that Obsessed song with the line about making love in a mausoleum,” and then I’d think it’s pretty kickass. If you’ve never heard it, the production on the 1985 demo version is as raw as one might expect, but 30 years after the fact, that sound has aesthetic appeal beyond heavy metal nostalgia, and “Neatz Brigade”‘s rolling riff comes through clearly as a signature piece. One can understand why, a nearly a decade later, it would still have enough life in it to show up on an actual record.

This is Wino Wednesday #197 as we march toward what I’ve decided will be the conclusion of the feature at #200. If you’re wondering if I’ve had second thoughts about ending the series at 200, absolutely, yes, I have.

Enjoy “Neatz Brigade” in all its scratchy glory and have a great Wino Wednesday:

The Obsessed, “Neatz Brigade” from 1985 Promo Demo

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