Friday Full-Length: Earth, HEX; or Printing in the Infernal Method

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 22nd, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Earth, HEX; or Printing in the Infernal Method (2005)

I think it’s safe to call Earth‘s HEX; or Printing in the Infernal Method one of the most pivotal albums of its decade. Released 11 years ago now in 2005 by Southern Lord, it not only marked the Seattle outfit’s first studio full-length since 1996’s also-essential Pentastar: In the Style of Demons and their fourth album overall (not counting a slew of live releases), but it set in motion a new phase of the long-running instrumental band’s progression that continues to evolve over a decade later while also casting out a massive influence over underground heavy rock. At this point, there are atmospheric-minded groups the world over drawing from what Earth accomplished in tracks like “Raiford (The Felon Wind)” who don’t even know they’re doing it. Itself working heavily off of Neil Young‘s Dead Man soundtrack, it’s become part of the pastiche of darker post-rock, heavy Americana and, of course, drone, which is the tag with which Earth are most often saddled, rightly or not.

But HEX; or Printing in the Infernal Method has more to offer than a blueprint other bands have (understandably) followed. From the opening role of “Mirage” through the minimalist melancholia of “Tethered to the Polestar,” it is Earth proffering a style of immersion that is entirely their own, capturing something evocative and wistful without words or cliche, without losing themselves in indulgence or letting go of the ambience of the work as a whole. It’s not an easy record to keep up with by any means — sometimes it can feel so still it’s like you’re looking at tiny ripples on a lake, or, perhaps more fitting to the mood, a breeze blowing across the top of overgrown grass — but the subtlety with which Earth, which at the time was comprised solely of founding guitarist Dylan Carlson and drummer Adrienne Davies, enact the broad, sweeping scope of tracks like “The Dire and Ever Circling Wolves” and the downward sloping “An Inquest Concerning Teeth” only enhances the effect of those songs and the rest of those around them. It is a landmark both for the band and for a swath of genres.

As noted, Earth have hardly kept still since. In addition to touring heavily, sundry splits and live albums and revisits of older works, they would go on to issue The Bees Made Honey in the Lion’s Skull (discussed here), which brought rich color into a changing soundscape, and the 2011/2012 pair Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light I (review here) and Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II (review here), which would introduce some of the British folk elements to Earth‘s sound that they’d continue to explore on 2014’s lush Primitive and Deadly (review here) and which would become crucial as well to Carlson‘s solo work under the moniker Drcarlsonalbion, most recently the full-length Falling with a Thousand Stars and Other Wonders from the House of Albion, which he released last month following a successful crowdfunding campaign for the physical pressing.

I hope you enjoy.

Next week, look out for streams from Los Disidentes del Sucio MotelNathanael LarochetteSwamp Witch and probably more. Still also want to get High Fighter and Colour Haze reviews going as well, and I’ve got an interview with Laura Dolan from Electric Citizen to get posted as well as an Obelisk Questionnaire from David Rodgers of Godhunter and the Southwest Terror Fest in the can, so one way or another it’ll be a full week. Also news and videos and all the rest of that good stuff.

I said as much yesterday on Thee Facebooks, but thank you for your continued support of this site. It’s been a crazy month or so with starting the new job and everything surrounding that, but I cannot tell you how far this project goes toward keeping me sane and I deeply, deeply appreciate your ongoing interest, encouragement and involvement in it. Thank you. Thank you for reading. Thank you.

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

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Bison Machine Premiere “Cloak and Bones” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 20th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

bison machine-700

“Cloak and Bones” is the first song to be made public from Bison Machine‘s impending sophomore LP. The album doesn’t yet have a name, but apparently it’s at least partially recorded. Whenever it comes out, it will serve as the follow-up to 2015’s debut full-length, Hoarfrost (review here), initially self-released and subsequently picked up by Kozmik Artifactz for physical issue. They also had two tracks out earlier this year on a split with Wild Savages and SLO called Sweet Leaves! Volume One (review here), but the new record will be the first album put together since guitarist Casey O’Ryan (also Wild Savages) joined the band.

I wouldn’t expect “Cloak and Bones” to represent the entirety of Bison Machine‘s second long-player, but there are a few things we can clean from listening to it, most of all that the band has continued to progress since Hoarfrost was released. “Cloak and Bones” feels less directly influenced by heavy ’70s-style rock, but still benefits from an undercurrent of boogie behind its quick pace. A shuffle in fast-forward — not quite Motörheadian, but not far off from The Atomic Bitchwax-style winding — the song moves through six minutes without losing its momentum, and O’Ryan, vocalist Tom Stec, bassist Anthony Franchina and drummer Breck Crandell sound duly locked into the rhythm while still offering a hook along their speedy way.

The video shows the band getting raucous in a variety of settings, including their own Burnin’ Turf fest/gathering in their native Michigan, held last month with a 2017 edition already brewing. And speaking of brewing — master of the segue! — there’s also a Bison Machine beer in the works from Oliver Brewing Co. for those of a drinkly persuasion, which will be available at their July 30 show with Castle and Brimstone Coven, and about which you can read more following the video below.

Please enjoy:

Bison Machine, “Cloak and Bones” official video

Bison Machine is proud to debut the video for their new single ‘Cloak & Bones’, This is the first track released off of their yet to be titled second album. Bison Machine has acquired a new guitarist since the release of ‘Hoarfrost’. Casey O’Ryan (Wild Savages, Blue Snaggletooth) has added a new dynamic to thebison machine july 30 show-700 band and they have hit the ground running with multiple Midwest tours and plans on heading out further in the near future.

While currently working on their second album, Bison Machine has also been busy promoting and organizing ‘Burnin Turf’, a Chopper/Vanner gathering in the northern tip of “the thumb” in Ruth MI. This first year brought bands from around Michigan and beyond. Bonehawk from Kalamazoo MI, Grand Mammoth from Dayton Ohio and Wild Savages from Ypsilanti MI joined the Bison dudes for what turned into a night of cycle savagery and heavy vannin’. Next year’s event looks to expand on an already perfect formula of Midwestern riffs and rust. Footage from this year’s event was included in the music video.

In addition to the video, Bison Machine is also pleased to announce thatbison machine beer they have teamed up with Stephen Jones at Oliver Brewing Company in Baltimore for the release of a Russian Imperial Stout that Oliver Brewing Co was gracious enough to name after our track, “Speed of Darkness” While this brew is limited to OBC’s distribution channels, the band will have a number of bottles available at their next hometown show with Castle (SF), Brimstone Coven (OH) and Detroit shredders, Anguish.

Expect a November tour announcement in the near future…

Bison Machine on Bandcamp

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Pentagram Post Video for “Curious Volume”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 18th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

pentagram

It’s more than a little amazing to think that Pentagram are 45 years into their career. 45 years! Of course, vocalist Bobby Liebling is the sole remaining original member and they’ve had a near-Hawkwindian amount of lineup changes at this point, but still, for even the name to last that long is impressive, let alone the fact that in 2016, they’re probably bigger than they’ve ever been. Recent controversies aside — and whether or not they should be put aside is a matter for internet thinkpieces to sort out — the band’s reach has only expanded over the last several years, and the release of Curious Volume (review here) in 2015 confirmed them as one of the most pivotal American doom acts on the circuit.

That they’ve never had a music video before this new one for the title-track is more trivia than landmark — as I recall it also took Saint Vitus a long time to get their first video out — but certainly noteworthy in any case. “Curious Volume” would seem to live up to the occasion by emphasizing Pentagram as they are today rather than who they were four-plus decades ago. Shot on their Spring European tour, which included a stop at Roadburn 2016, where they slayed, the video finds Pentagram compiles and manipulates performance footage, bringing the vibrancy of their stage show to bear in a well-edited four-minute package delivered in advance of their appearance next month at Psycho Las Vegas.

Check it out below, followed by some comment from Liebling via the PR wire:

Pentagram, “Curious Volume” official video

45 years into its career, Pentagram is ecstatic to announce its first ever promotional video for the title track from the acclaimed album Curious Volume.

The video for “Curious Volume” was produced by David Hall (Uneasysleeper.com), known for his work with The Melvins, Pig Destroyer, Phillip H. Anselmo and the Illegals, Venom, Brutal Truth, Ken Mode and more, with the live footage shot on tour March – April 2016 by Jerry Moore, Chris Navarro, Joe Shuerger and Dan Lively.

Pentagram frontman Bobby Liebling said of the video: “We wanted our first ever video to, in-a-way, be a connection to the past as well as the present. The song can be interpreted as a personal and collective journey that we’ve been on for close to half a decade. It’s a trip that’s both physical and mental and I feel that Dave’s end result illustrates that for us and everyone. The video stands as both an escape and an introduction to us as artists and people. You can feel the rigors and rewards of tour life through the visuals. We love the stardust and psychedelics as well as the raw rock-n-roll energy felt throughout the song and video alike. We hope you connect with it like we do.”

Pentagram is:
Bobby Liebling – vocals
Victor Griffin – guitar
Greg Turley – bass
Pete Campbell – drums

Pentagram website

Pentagram on Thee Facebooks

Pentagram at Peaceville Records

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Friday Full-Length: Chicken Shack, Accept Chicken Shack

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 15th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Chicken Shack, Accept Chicken Shack (1970)

This record was recommended to me years ago by a friend along with several others. She died a few years back and I’m somewhat ashamed to admit it, but the CD version has continued to languish on my Amazon wishlist as I’ve waited for the price to drop below about the $25 mark. I think if it was going to happen it would’ve happened by now, but hearing Chicken Shack‘s Accept — also known as Accept Chicken Shack — I can kind of understand why the cost is so high. The UK band’s fourth album, it was released in 1970 and seems to offer a prescient blend of nascent prog and heavy blues rock, where their prior outings skewed more decisively toward the latter. That it came out in 1970 and not 1971 is a big difference considering the changes in the rock scene that the next year would bring — if one had to pinpoint a moment when “rock got heavy,” even factoring in Blue Cheer‘s prior contributions, there are solid arguments to be made for ’71 — but though Chicken Shack weren’t the first to blend blues jams and more progressive and melodic flair, what with Jethro Tull around and all, Accept Chicken Shack does it with remarkable balance between the two sounds that, over the ensuing years, would only grow more and more incongruous.

Recorded with the lineup of founding guitarist/vocalist Stan Webb, bassist Andy Sylvester, keyboardist/vocalist Paul Raymond and drummer Dave Bidwell, it would be their final outing through Blue Horizon Records and after it came out, Webb would have to completely revamp the lineup after losing Sylvester, Raymond and Bidwell all to Savoy Brown. All the same, listening to the rolling start of “Diary of Your Life,” the gritty swing and harmonies of “Never Ever,” the complex structure and arrangement of “Some Other Time” — vaguely post-Beatles but grown outward — and the soft departure of “Andalucian Blues,” whatever friction there might’ve been in the band doesn’t show up in the compositions, which are more varied than some of what would follow in the UK (also a good deal of what preceded), but hit with no less impact when they choose to do so. At 35 minutes, Accept Chicken Shack leaves one wondering how anybody couldn’t with its niche blend of elements and confident execution, earning its place in that great dusty canon of heavy ’70s classics just waiting to be discovered by new generations of listeners in a vinyl shop or online. In this case, clearly the latter.

Webb has kept Chicken Shack going. Over the years he’s brought in nearly 50 players, but they still perform as Chicken Shack from time to time (seem like a good bet for the next installment of Psycho fest) and had releases out as recently as 2008. Accept Chicken Shack is more than a footnote in a larger career, however, and as you can hear in these songs, whatever came later, this lineup was able to come together to accomplish something special during their time.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

Well, it’s back down to Maryland this weekend. Yes, really. For a wedding. It’ll be the third trip in the last four weeks, and if you’re somewhere in the world other than the Eastern Seaboard and unsure just how far it is, it’s at least seven hours in the car — the first time down this round it was 10 — each way. Not an easy trip.

The good news is I’ll have an interview with Jack Townley from Elephant Tree on Monday and a track premiere from Cuzo on Tuesday. I’m hoping to review High Fighter before the end of the week, and I’ll have Pentagram‘s new video up on Monday and there’s a bunch of news to be put together as well. I expect I’ll be doing that on the highway this Sunday while The Patient Mrs. drives north. She’s wonderful. I’m lucky.

I have some stuff to take care of on Thursday and may or may not be out of commission for the rest of the week thereafter. I’ll post as much as I’m able. You know that. Gonna try to get a long-awaited (by me) podcast up to fill the space. I’m sure some huge announcement will come through — the first round of Roadburn 2017 adds or a new Electric Wizard video or something ridiculous like that — at just the most inopportune time to remind me the world doesn’t revolve around my silly little blog.

If you’re wondering, work continues to be good. I’m getting settled in, figuring out that balance. I’ve still been going to bed early and getting up to write reviews, so have gotten to be pretty burnt out by the time evenings come around, but The Patient Mrs. has been great and helpful and have I mentioned I’m lucky?

To wit, as I write this, she’s taking my camera in for repair. We’ll see how that goes.

Thanks for reading. Please come to The Obelisk All-Dayer (tickets here) Aug. 20 at Saint Vitus Bar, please have a great and safe weekend, and please check out the forum and radio stream. I know that’s a lot to ask, but it’s very much appreciated on this end.

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Monkey3 Premiere Lyric Video for “Dead Planet’s Eyes”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 14th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

monkey3

I haven’t yet done a full-on zen sitdown with Monkey3‘s fifth long-player, Astra Symmetry — though I absolutely plan to — so allow for the fact that my opinions might change pending that, but the record seems more consuming on the first couple runthroughs even than was 2013’s The 5th Sun. Tonally and in its stylistic scope, it plays off the traditions of heavy psychedelia in its warmth and range of effects, but it also finds the Lausanne, Switzerland-based outfit pushing their own boundaries, most notably incorporating vocals in the 70-minute behemoth’s first half. Not the first time they’ve dabbled in words, but I don’t think they’ve ever done so to such an extent across multiple tracks — someone please correct me if I’m wrong.

Mercifully, their doing so comes at no expense as regards the atmosphere of the album overall, which retains a meditative space rock feel even as it dips into elements of doomed riffing on “Moon” or drones out behind some spoken word and who knows what else. It’s a clear case of an already-adventurous band breaking through the limits of what they’ve done before, and as Astra Symmetry moves into the last five or so tracks, all almost entirely instrumental in the Monkey3 tradition (there’s some whispering on “The Guardian”), the flow created seems increasingly apparent for the distance they’ve already covered in sound. Looking at the album that way, with the last five tracks as the second of two LPs, “Dead Planet’s Eyes” plays all the more of a pivotal role in closing out the first platter.

At least that’s how I presume the vinyl breaks up or is intended to do so, and if you’re looking for a signal of some of what Monkey3 are doing differently this time around, “Dead Planet’s Eyes” will more than suffice. Bringing in guest vocalist Tony Jelencovich (Transport League), the song has a decidedly metallic finish, moving into growls late in what, relative to some of its surroundings, is a pretty concise 4:32 runtime. It might be a departure even from the departure — brain explodes — but I think it makes sense even as a general introduction to just how really open Astra Symmetry is as a whole.

You can watch a lyric video premiere for “Dead Planet’s Eyes” below. Monkey3‘s Astra Symmetry is out Sept. 2 on Napalm Records, and the band has newly announced a European tour alongside Greek outfit 1000mods (see? I told you they’d be touring) and Belgium’s Moaning Cities that includes stops at Up in Smoke, Desertfest Belgium and Keep it Low in Munich.

Dates follow the video here. Enjoy:

Monkey3, “Dead Planet’s Eyes” lyric video

Roadburn, Hellfest, Desertfest – it`s pretty much impossible that you missed out on MONKEY3! The fourpiece from Lausanne, Switzerland have been blowing the minds of stoner and psych rock fans alike for the past 15 years: trippiness and groove are the cornerstones of their elegant yet powerful sound, and Astra Symmetry is your magic carpet ride!

Decidedly cosmic instrumental music that loves melding heavy riffing with proggy keyboard landscapes – so buckle up and enjoy the ride!

Monkey3 on tour with 1000mods and Moaning Cities:
29.09.16 STUTTGART | KELLERCLUB
30.09.16 PRATTELN | UP IN SMOKE FESTIVAL
02.10.16 FULDA | KULTURKELLER
03.10.16 COLOGNE | UNDERGROUND
04.10.16 NIJMEGEN | DOORNROOSJE
05.10.16 BREMEN | SCHLACHTHOF (Magazinkeller)
06.10.16 BIELEFELD | FORUM
07.10.16 HANNOVER | FAUST *without 1000MODS
08.10.16 BERLIN | BI NUU
09.10.16 LEIPZIG | WERK 2
10.10.16 WIESBADEN | SCHLACHTHOF
11.10.16 MANNHEIM | 7er CLUB
12.10.16 JENA | KULTURBAHNHOF
13.10.16 HAMBURG | HAFENKLANG
14.10.16 KIEL | SCHAUBUDE
15.10.16 ANTWERP | DESERTFEST
16.10.16 DRACHTEN | IDUNA *without MOANING CITIES
18.10.16 WÜRZBURG | IMMERHIN
19.10.16 WIEN | ARENA
20.10.16 LINZ | STADTWERSTATT
21.10.16 EBENSEE | KINO EBENSEE
22.10.16 MUNICH | KEEP IT LOW FESTIVAL

Monkey3 on Thee Facebooks

Monkey3 at Napalm Records

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Hey Zeus Post “Richard the Elder” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 12th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

hey zeus

“Richard the Elder” is the second single that Boston heavy rockers Hey Zeus have issued this year behind “Caveman” (premiered here), which came out in May. The hard-driving New England traditionalists have yet to disappoint in either their hooks or the force with which they’re delivered, and “Richard the Elder” is no exception. It’s a right-on rush, in and out in just over three minutes of sans-frills heavy rock and roll, recorded live and engineered by vocalist Bice Nathan at New Alliance Audio in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Nathan is joined in the band by bassist Ken Cmar (also of Wonderdrug Records), guitarist Pete Knipfing and drummer Todd Bowman (both ex-Lamont), and recording live suits them remarkably well. For a style so lacking in pretense and so heated in its intensity, the setting could hardly be more perfect, and though Hey Zeus don’t have a record out or even an EP — they did release a split 7″ with White Dynomite in 2014 (review here) and seem to be working their way toward one sort of larger offering or another with this ongoing series of single tracks — they’ve clearly found a method that works for them, and that’s obviously a significant start.

The video is somewhat manic — GoPros hooked up to instruments in motion and so on — but that only suits the song itself, which you’ll almost have to hear twice before you can really feel like it’s begun to sink in even vaguely. Clip was directed by Michael Cimpher and follows here along with a couple live dates Hey Zeus have this month.

Enjoy:

Hey Zeus, “Richard the Elder” official video

Richard the Elder by Hey Zeus
Recorded live in studio.
Tracked and Mixed by Bice at New Alliance Audio-Cambridge, MA
Mastered by Dean Baltulonis at Wild Arctic-Portsmouth, NH
Directed by Michael Cimpher
Edited by Michael Cimpher and Bice

Hey Zeus live:
7/15 O’Brien’s Allston MA w/ Black Helicopters and Wolfsmyth
7/22 Higher Ground Burlington VT w/ Scissorfight, Murcielago and The Road Trash Band

Hey Zeus on Bandcamp

Hey Zeus on Thee Facebooks

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Sea Debut “Return” Video; Euro Tour Announced

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 11th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

sea (Photo by Erin Gennett)

“Return” is the first audio to come from Boston post-metallers Sea since their initial demo (review here) arrived early last year, and it brings with it the news that the four-piece will tour Europe next month alongside German trio Weedwolf, with whom Sea will also release a new split LP. It’s Sea‘s first tour, and it runs two and a half weeks through Northern Europe — Germany, Scandinavia, Finland, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania — and like their demo was, it’s an ambitious run for a still relatively-new band, but particularly with the split due, it seems like it’ll be a fitting introduction to the band for the continent. While I don’t know what their plans are for the longer term, it doesn’t seem like this will be their last incursion abroad.

But it is their first, and that’s something special. A new video comprised of public-domain psychedelic footage brings the premiere of “Return,” and with recording by Chris Johnson (one can hear the crisp fullness he brought to Summoner ringing true in this track as well), the new song brims with vitality and stylistic purpose, shifting from Isis-style churn into blackened push as propelled by drummer Andrew Muro as vocalist/bassist Stephen LoVerme (Olde Growth) adjusts his vocals to a scream to match the more furious riffing of guitarists Liz Walshak (ex-Rozamov) and Mike Blasi. Most importantly, they make it make sense, and by that I mean Sea don’t simply juxtapose different aesthetics. They create a flow across “Return”‘s eight-plus minutes that builds gracefully in intensity and speaks to an emerging patience within their sound.

And the aforementioned archive video does fit the vibe well. Please find the video for “Return” below, followed by the credits and Sea‘s tour dates with Weedwolf, which kick off on Aug. 17.

Enjoy:

Sea, “Return” official video

The lyrical content of the song is sort of about the cyclical natural of the universe, rebirth, intrinsic knowledge, etc. So it’s kind of appropriate that the source footage was culled from a 1969 psychedelic film about Zen Buddhism. On to the production credits…

Recorded and mixed by Chris Johnson (Summoner, Sand Reckoner)
Mastered by James Plotkin

From a forthcoming split LP with Weedwolf from Leipzig, Germany
Due out in August

Original source material: The Flow of Zen 1969
https://archive.org/details/theflowofzen

Footage re-purposed by Stephen LoVerme

Tour dates:

sea euro tourWed 8.17 – Halle, Germany
Thu 8.18 – Leipzig, Germany
Fri 8.19 – Potsdam, Germany
Sat 8.20 – Kopenhagen, Denmark
Sun 8.21 – Helsingborg, Sweden
Mon 8.22 – Oslo, Norway
Tue 8.23 – Trondheim, Norway
Wed 8.24 – Lulea, Sweden
Thu 8.25 – Oulu, Finland
Fri 8.26 – Tampere, Finland
Sat 8.27 – Turku, Finland
Sun 8.28 – Helsinki, Finland
Mon 8.29 – Riga, Latvia
Tue 8.30 – Kaunas, Lithaunia
Wed 8.31 – Vilnius, Lithaunia
Thu 9.1 – Gdynia, Poland
Fri 9.2 – Stettin, Poland
Sat 9.3 – Dresden, Germany

Full tour details here:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1301633346518022/

Sea on Thee Facebooks

Sea on Bandcamp

Sea on YouTube

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Friday Full-Length: Dust, Dust

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 8th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Dust, Dust (1971)

When Dust‘s 1971 self-titled debut was reissued on Sony Legacy in 2013 along with 1972’s Hard Attack, I was fortunate enough to interview original drummer Marc Bell, who of course later went on to become Marky Ramone of The Ramones, about the process of revisiting those two albums from early in his career. One of the things I asked him about the process of overseeing those remasters was whether it was strange to go back to hearing that material after so long and being so known for other work. Here’s what he had to say:

It wasn’t strange; it was more of a grateful opportunity to be able to do this because we were still in high school when we did these two albums. We were on a label called Buddha/Kama Sutra, which catered to bubblegum bands. So we really weren’t on the right label that could really push the genre of music, which was heavy metal. Looking back and knowing what we were facing and now, it was a little strange in a way. Because if we did a third album on a legitimate label that knew how to handle this kind of music, I think we would have went over the top with Dust. But in the studio we were remastering it a few months ago, we were thinking of the great memories we had.

Doing shows with Alice Cooper, John Mayall, Uriah Heep then coming back to the high school — Erasmus, where I went. Seeing the album in the windows in the record store. It was really amazing for an 18-year-old teenager to see this. Then everyone wanted to be my friend in high school. Even the people that hated me. It was strange but it brings back funny and youthful memories of how well we played as a unit, three people at that time. — Marky Ramone

He was pretty on-message the entire interview, by which I mean he had the story of the band and albums down and stuck to it for the duration of our talk — something with which, I should mention, I have no problem; as long as it’s cordial, I consider it a sign of professionalism for someone to know what they want to say going into a phoner — and he was vigilant in calling Dust a heavy metal band, and one of the first in America. Ever since, that’s kind of stuck in my head as the standout point. I don’t usually think of proto-metal as metal, or heavy rock as metal, and with its liberal use of slide guitar on opener “Stone Woman” and the classically swinging rhythm of “From a Dry Camel,” I’m still not sure I’d call the self-titled debut or its follow-up metal proper. For sure it was pushing in that direction, but it would still be five years before Judas Priest offered up the visionary Sad Wings of Destiny, and to call Dust‘s Dust metal diminishes the scope of the boom of heavy rock in which it arrived. Consider, for example, that Dust formed in 1969, the same year as fellow New Yorkers Cactus, though that band’s first record landed a year earlier in 1970. Dust were a standout for sure, but they didn’t exist in a vacuum, and to call them metal takes away from the progressive elements of “Often Shadows Felt” or “Goin’ Easy,” however much Bell, guitarist/vocalist Richie Wise and bassist Kenny Aaronson might push Mountain further on “Love Me Hard” or scorch in Motörheady fashion on closer “Loose Goose.”

In whatever genre you want to tag it, Dust‘s self-titled debut remains a classic of the original heavy rock era. The band would make arguably their greatest achievement on “Suicide” from Hard Attack, but their first outing is one not to be missed — frankly, I was surprised to find I hadn’t closed out a week with it before — and I hope as always that you enjoy.

Did you read that Buried Treasure post earlier this week? The one all about driving to Maryland and back? I still feel like I’m recovering from that trip, and as such, no Connecticut this weekend. Staying home. I’ll be back down that way in a couple weeks — both CT and MD, actually — so I honestly think the quiet time will do me some good. Plus I just finished my second week at the new job at Hasbro, and that’s been a pretty big change. Lots to get used to there, many different processes to figure out still. Everyone I talk to there says it takes time, and nothing I’ve seen leads me to think they’re wrong. It’s been good so far though. They dig their board games, and it’s awesome to be in surroundings where people is into what they’re doing.

I’ve been getting up at 5AM — yesterday was earlier, actually, but the alarm was set for five — in order to write reviews and then filling in news posts and such during the day, things like the Brant Bjork announcement yesterday going up as quickly as possible, and doing some writing at night as well, so the balance still needs to be worked out, but I’ll get there. That takes time too. For now, getting up early hasn’t been so bad, even if it’s meant I’m in bed by like 10PM each night. Worth it to get stuff done.

Speaking of, there’s a lot on the docket next week. Monday and Tuesday a couple new album announcements booked for stuff on Small Stone, and also look for reviews and streams from HyponicMos Generator16Naevus and The Company Corvette — that’s one a day for the whole week — as well as new videos from SeaMonkey3 and Hey Zeus, as well as all the news that’s fit to cut and paste and whatever else I can come across. Should be plenty to keep me busy on those mornings.

It’s not really applicable here — though I could make arguments either way — but if you think it’s something you might also be into, I’ve been very much enjoying Monolith of Phobos by The Claypool Lennon Delirium, which I picked up this week. It’s Les Claypool of Primus and Sean Lennon, and the two play all the instruments and share vocal and keyboard duties and some of it has a really dead-on psychedelic vibe. I don’t think I’ll review it, but it’s worth checking out if you have a spare couple minutes to track it down on YouTube or something.

Alright, gotta run, but I hope you have a great and safe weekend, whatever you might be up to. Please check out the forum and radio stream.

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