Friday Full-Length: Acid King, Busse Woods

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 17th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Acid King, Busse Woods (1999)

In terms of the sheer “fuck yeah!” factor, Acid King‘s Busse Woods is one of the best stoner rock records ever made. A monster of classic riffage, it was the San Francisco trio’s 1999 sophomore outing after 1995′ Zoroaster debut, recorded by Billy Anderson and released by Man’s Ruin Records. Small Stone rightly stepped in and did a reissue in 2004 prior to releasing the band’s third album, III, in 2005, and with cuts like “Carve the Five,” “Electric Machine,” “Silent Circle,” “Drive Fast, Take Chances” and their eerie take on “39 Lashes” from Jesus Chris Superstar, it remains a paragon of all that is riff-led and virtuous and heavy, rife with timeless nod, warm tone and a dropped-out-of-life atmosphere. My biggest surprise in closing out the week with it is that I haven’t already done so.

To mark the 10th anniversary of the album — now over five years ago — I did an interview with guitarist/vocalist Lori S. in which she talked about the Cook County, Illinois, preserve from which the full-length takes its name and its relation to her own growing up:

Thinking back at Busse Woods or Ned Brown Forest Preserve, it’s hard to believe we weren’t all in prison or dead. This place was where bored suburban teenagers hung out ’cause that’s what we did! Most of my memories are hanging out with my high school pal John Cesak. He was the big drug dealer back in the day and we would go there pull in open the trunk, crank Black Sabbath and sell nickel bags! It was like a flea market for drugs, lids, purple microdot, black beauties HELL YEAH! Hanging out, smoking and playin’ Frisbee. Total Dazed and Confused

Acid King are set to release a new LP in 2015 through Svart. Also recorded by Billy Anderson, it’ll be their first since III and to say it’s one of my most anticipated releases for next year would probably be short-selling the nerditude with which I’m looking forward to hearing their new songs, some of which they’ve been playing live now for a while. Still, whatever they may have in store, Busse Woods remains an unfuckwithable monument to Sabbath-worship that only gets richer with age.

I hope you enjoy.

No lie, part of my motivation in picking Acid King to end the week was because of the righteous manner in which the San Francisco Giants dispatched the Cardinals to advance to the World Series, but Busse Woods is an album I go back to pretty regularly. Plus, I’m cutting out a little early this afternoon, and as Lori explains above, it’s a great one for slacking off. The Patient Mrs. and I have some friends coming from out of town tonight, and tomorrow is ClamfightWizard EyeFaces of Bayon and Wizard Eye in Worcester, so it should be a pretty full weekend. One which, it would seem, I’m eager to get started.

On Monday, I’ll have a review of that show, and Tuesday a writeup for the new John Wilkes Booth record — and if the timing works out, I’ll have that Lowrider interview up sometime in there too — but Tuesday night, I’m headed out to meet up with the Kings Destroy guys. Their tour with Radio MoscowBang and Pentagram begins on Thursday in Chicago, and I’ll be along for the entirety of the trip once again. Very much looking forward to getting back out with those guys and seeing places I’ve never seen before, starting with Chicago, as it happens, which to date I’ve only driven through en route elsewhere.

Like this past Spring, I’ll have my camera and my laptop along for the trip, and writeups on the shows and the travel over the next week-plus as we make our way through the 10 shows in the Midwest and the East Coast. More to come.

I hope you have a great and safe weekend and that if you checked out the podcast that just went up, you enjoy that as well. Please check out the forum and radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

Tags: , , , , ,

Wino Wednesday: Saint Vitus, “Blessed Night” Live in Colmar, France, Oct. 9, 2014

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 15th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

wino wednesday

It didn’t take long for video to surface of Saint Vitus‘ 35th anniversary European tour. The run, which includes Orange Goblin as the support act, kicked off Oct. 9 at Le Grillen in Colmar, France, and a day later, there were clips out of the band’s show. I’d say it has something to do with the special nature of the occasion, Vitus having begun one of doom’s most influential legacies when they formed as Tyrant in 1979 (and where, I ask you, is the band who will take up that moniker?), but really, even if it was just another show and just another tour for them, the situation would probably be the same. People want to see Saint Vitus. That’s a big part of the reason I’ve been able to go three-plus years with Wino Wednesdays.

The track “Blessed Night” comes off Saint Vitus‘ 2012 comebacker, Lillie: F-65 (review here). It was the first single from the album; a quick, three-minute shot of a song that was the first one they wrote since getting back together. Distinguished from the rest of Lillie: F-65 for having lyrics by Wino and not guitarist Dave Chandler — lines like “Her beauty is as timeless as dark forlorn galaxies” were a dead giveaway — it was also faster than a lot of what that record had to offer, songs like “Let Them Fall” and “The Bleeding Ground” more in league with the grueling doom one expects from Chandler‘s songwriting. But it’s a quality track nonetheless, and I recall the first time I saw them play it just being so happy there was new Vitus at all, let alone what it sounded like.

Vitus are performing all of 1986’s classic Born too Late album on this tour — they seem to be spacing it out in the set, rather than performing it front-to-back, so they can still close with the title-track — and I hope at some point to have a full-show, but until then, enjoy “Blessed Night” and have a killer Wino Wednesday:

Saint Vitus, “Blessed Night” Live in Colmar, France, Oct. 9, 2014

Tags: , ,

Romero Go 8-Bit in “Take the Potion” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 13th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

romero take the potion video

This one hit me like a punch directly in the demographic. I remember well playing Zelda II: The Adventure of Link for NES, and having no idea of what was actually happening in the game. Back in the day, an RPG would just basically tell you “go here and get this thing and try not to die on the way” and that was the game. Turn-based battle was the shit, and Final Fantasy always had that over Zelda in my book, but no question the Zelda series has some of the best games ever made in it, between A Link to the Past for SNES and The Ocarina of Time for N64. Classic stuff.

Much to the credit of Wisconsin heavy rockers Romero, who released their debut LP, Take the Potion (review here), last year, the plotline of their 8-bit-style video for the title-track actually makes more sense than did the actual plotline of Zelda II. Drummer/vocalist Ben Brooks goes on an adventure with zombies and a stash of reefer and gradually builds an army of the undead — whose sole purpose, by the look of it, is to party — and eventually saves the Princess with a magic potion made of the last of his stash and whatever else, thus becoming “a real hero.” All the while we cut periodically back to the band — Brooks, guitarist/vocalist Jeffrey Mundt, bassist Patrick Hotlen and guitarist/organist Tim Consequence — who are rocking out “Take the Potion” in, what else?, a dungeon.

As videos go, “Take the Potion” is a lot more fun and a lot more creative than four dudes rocking out in a room, and it goes a long way in conveying Romero‘s unpretentious vibe, the band not taking themselves too seriously as they bust out what’s still a killer track from the album that shares its name. The clip comes with a promise of new music soon, so that’ll definitely be one to watch for. In the meantime, enjoy:

Romero, “Take the Potion” video

Romero on Thee Facebooks

Romero on Bandcamp

Tags: , , , , ,

Friday Full-Length: Sólstafir, Ótta

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 11th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Sólstafir, Ótta (2014)

Please note: For visual continuity with other Friday Full-Length posts, I’m using the YouTube post of the record, but the band also has it up on Bandcamp here, where it is available for stream and purchase.

I don’t usually like to close out a given week with something so recent, but after just really giving Sólstafir‘s Ótta album a shot the other day for the first time, I couldn’t really not. The Icelandic post-black metallers’ fifth full-length, it came out at the end of August on Season of Mist, and for somebody like me who’s always been a fan of Alternative 4-era Anathema, it plays off some of the same kind of melancholy well. It’s an undertaking at nearly 80 minutes — this version seems to have a couple bonus tracks — but worth the effort and though I’m late to the party, it’s one I’m glad I didn’t miss entirely before the year ended. I’ll probably have more in the next couple weeks, maybe a writeup with a radio add or something, just to basically get something in about it before too long as passed. But yeah, oof that’s good.

It’s Fall now, leaves changing and the dark getting earlier and the air getting colder, so something like this sits well with the season. And Sólstafir play to that cohesively, from the windswept cover art to the chill in the songs themselves. I’m only just really getting to know it, but I look forward to digging deeper into the songs. It made sense to me to close the week with it, both because it made such a strong impression when I posted that Roadburn update yesterday and in case maybe you hadn’t had the chance yet to check it out. Either way, of course I hope you enjoy listening.

In Jersey this weekend with The Patient Mrs. to see family. The lack of posts today is owed to the fact that what part of the day we didn’t spend on the road, we were sitting with my 99-year-old grandmother. That basically took priority on the day. It’s been a minute at this point since the last time I was down here — I popped into NYC from Connecticut to catch Uncle Acid a couple weeks ago, true, but drove back to CT that night, didn’t get into Jersey at all — and it’s good to see everybody. I’ve had a cold the last couple days, but I took some DayQuil and toughed it out because I have neither the energy nor the money to make this trip as often as I’d like, and I need to get it in while I can.

That could mean I’m starting next week at a deficit, but aside from being way, way behind on emails, I don’t think it matters. Tomorrow night is a big family dinner with my family and The Patient Mrs.‘ mother, who’s her only family around here at this point, so that will be good and maybe Sunday I’ll catch up a bit on email if I have the brainpower for it. Sometimes I even manage to put the computer down and not do stuff. It happens rarely, but on occasion.

Streams next week for Weed is Weed and Vodun. Reviews of The Asound and Alunah and probably one or two other bands who may or may not start with the letter ‘a.’ Maybe Monster Magnet. That’d be fun. Need to do a tape too. They’re starting to stack up.

For now though, sleep. Wherever you are and however good the pizza is there, I hope you have a great and safe weekend. Be well, enjoy, and we’ll see you back here Monday.

Please check out the forum and the radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Wino Wednesday: The Obsessed, “Back to Zero” from Lunar Womb

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 8th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

wino wednesday

An awful lot about Maryland doom can be explained by listening to The Obsessed‘s Lunar Womb. Not everything, obviously, but many of the early-to-mid ’90s groups began putting out albums in the wake of The Obsessed‘s reformation and subsequent to the release of their self-titled debut in 1990, whether it’s Unorthodox (first album ’92), Wretched (first album ’93), Revelation (together since the mid-’80s, first album in ’91), Iron Man (first demo ’88, album ’93) or Internal Void (same). It’s important to remember Pentagram were going at that time with the Bobby Liebling, Victor Griffin, Martin Swaney and Joe Hasselvander lineup and to note the impact that band had on the entire Doom Capitol region, but particularly for coming back after Wino‘s stint in Saint Vitus ended, The Obsessed would have some measure of influence as well, and one that continues to resonate in trad doom today.

Released in 1991, Lunar Womb moved beyond The Obsessed‘s self-titled with a sound that was darker, heavier and more forceful on the whole. Listening to it now, the production is dated — one can hear the ’90s about to happen in the drums — but the material holds up anyway, and “Back to Zero,” which begins side B of the vinyl, is one of the album’s best realized tracks. Bassist Scott Reeder takes a turn at vocals over a driving groove and for a band whose overarching vibe is so straightforward, consistent largely in mood and pace, it’s kind of an unexpected turn. That said, even the first chugs of the intro/verse riff telegraph the fact that, indeed, you’re listening to The Obsessed. The lineup of the band at this point was Wino on guitar/vocals, Reeder on bass and Greg Rogers on drums. Both Reeder and Rogers would later play in Goatsnake as well.

So far as I know, the reunited version of The Obsessed never included “Back to Zero” in a set. Or if they did, there isn’t footage of it out there. Either way, it’s something a little different from them and worth singling out on this Wino Wednesday. Hope you enjoy:

The Obsessed, “Back to Zero” from Lunar Womb (1991)

Tags: , , , ,

Libido Fuzz Post New Video for “Redemption of the Bison”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 7th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

libido fuzz (Photo by Rui Manuel Fonseca)

Sometimes a laid-back fuzz jam feels just right, and that’s where Libido Fuzz‘s “Redemption of the Bison” finds me this afternoon. The Bordeaux trio are on the road now having just played the Blizzard Mountain fest alongside Mars Red Sky and Naam, among others, and they’re gearing up for the release of their debut full-length, Kaleido Lumo Age, for which they’ll celebrate the release in their hometown with Doctor Cyclops on Oct. 21 as part of the Mars Red Sky-associated “Make it Sabbathy” series of shows.

There seems to be some measure of debate as to when the record is actually out, the band saying this month and the info for the video — which is by MrStonebeliever and compiled from manipulated and psyched-out stock footage of, among other things, bisons — says 2015, but whenever it shows up, Kaleido Lumo Age will be released by Pink Tank Records and no doubt “Redemption of the Bison” only tells part of the story in terms of its warmly-fuzzed boogie. Still, at just about nine minutes long, it’s nothing to scoff at as far as samples go.

Cool stuff, and it manages a ’70s vibe without coming across like flat-out Graveyard worship, so all the better. Clip is below, followed by some background on the band, if you’d like to familiarize:

Libido Fuzz, “Redemption of the Bison” official video

Libido Fuzz is a heavy tuned hard rocking psychedelic boogie band.The three piece out of Bordeaux/France, Nick Blazy (Bass), Thibault Guezennec (Drums) and Pierre-Alexis Mengual (Vocals/Guitar), started up in 2012 with their mind blowing and unique sound. Libido Fuzz combines classic elements of finest 70’s psychedelic music and mixes it up with tasty hard driven Blues stuff. In 2013 Libido Fuzz was on tour, sharing the stages in southern Europe with acts like Kadavar, The Machine, Sungrazer and Mars Red Sky and built up a huge fan base, that shows how energetic and intensive the bands’ style is. European tour is in the pipeline for October this year, also the first longplayer will be released via Pink Tank Records

Libido Fuzz on Thee Facebooks

Libido Fuzz on Bandcamp

Pink Tank Records

Tags: , , , , ,

Friday Full-Length: Captain Beyond, Captain Beyond

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 3rd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Captain Beyond, Captain Beyond (1972)

Sometimes in listening to Captain Beyond‘s classic 1972 self-titled debut, it’s easy to forget that there were just four members in the band. At times they’re almost orchestral, layers of guitar and vocals making their way in and around winding, still-heavy riffs and grooves. The lineup was considerable even then — vocalist Rod Evans (ex-Deep Purple), guitarist Larry “Rhino” Reinhardt (ex-Iron Butterfly), bassist Lee Dorman (ex-Iron Butterfly) and drummer Bobby Caldwell (who played with Johnny Winter and would go on to form Armageddon) — but no question that Captain Beyond‘s Captain Beyond was more than the sum of its parts. Few records of the era so successfully bridged the then-widening gap between heavy rock and prog, and frankly few have come along since that could excite fans of both. Its bizarre structure, with each side almost a record unto itself with its own themes and progression, makes it all the more complex, but it’s also a remarkably smooth listen, with cuts like “Mesmerization Eclipse,” “Dancing Madly Backwards (On a Sea of Air),” “Raging River of Fear” and “As the Moon Speaks (To the Waves of the Sea)” creating memorable, lasting impressions.

Lasting enough that Captain Beyond has had four decades of cult influence. After hearing Evans sing “Frozen Over,” I don’t think one can put on early Pentagram without hearing a similarity in Bobby Liebling‘s approach — Pentagram also had the lead track on Record Heaven‘s Thousand Days of Yesterdays tribute — and from The Atomic Bitchwax to Mastodon, scores of bands have taken lessons from Reinhardt‘s style of riffing and spaced-out leads, his layering acoustic and electric rhythms and the jazzy punch of the movement in this Caldwell‘s compositions. And Captain Beyond‘s Captain Beyond was truly a moment that wouldn’t come again. By the time a year has passed, Caldwell was out of the band, and replaced on 1973’s Sufficiently Breathless by Marty Rodriguez, with Dorman at the fore as principal songwriter. Sufficiently Breathless was a more than solid follow-up to Captain Beyond, but the group’s legacy continues to be based largely on their accomplishments here and the rare character and breadth that this album brought to bear. It is rightly considered among the most pivotal works of early heavy rock.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

So. Last Saturday, my mother-in-law’s old, sick pekingese got dropped off so The Patient Mrs. and I could take care of it while her mom was on vacation. You can see where this is going. The week started off — first thing Monday morning — with The Patient Mrs. asking me to get up and confirm her suspicion that the dog had died. Sure enough. I checked for a pulse, as if such a thing were possible on so fluffernutter a dog as a pekingese, and declared her suspicion correct. Added surreality came when a structural engineer and a lawyer showed up to look at something with the house (long, irrelevant story) and I had to hurry to pick up the dog and clean up the various leaked-out fluids so they could enter without having to step over the body. I had not yet brushed my teeth.

The Patient Mrs. found a local kennel that also doubled as a crematorium — take a second and let that sink in — so what else to do? I put the dog in a box and we drove over, about 15 minutes in the car. Our own dog, the little dog Dio, we left home to deal with her confusion. There was a form The Patient Mrs. filled out and then the lady behind the counter at the crematorium was like, “Okay, come on,” and directed us to follow her to the furnace, telling us along the way about the state contracts they have with the Mystic Aquarium, the roadkill, etc. All the while we’re on this piece of property back in the woods, walking past the pet cemetery, canopy of trees overhead with grey skies. I was fairly certain that The Patient Mrs. and I were both going to be killed and shoved in the furnace with only the texts I’d sent my family about the ordeal left for detectives to trace the whereabouts of our murderers.

We weren’t, thankfully. We got into an open barn with what was quite clearly the furnace in the middle of the room, ashes and metal trays on the floor, the vague smell of burning in the air, and I began to wonder if it was a do-it-yourself kind of deal. This worry also proved unfounded. The woman directed me to put the box down on a table nearby and we left, chatting pleasantly and awkwardly as we traipsed through the woods back to my car. I knew this dog well, and there wasn’t really much to say anyhow, so that was it. And everything was fine until I started to have these thoughts that what if I was wrong? What if the dog wasn’t really dead, if it had just peed itself and been asleep and breathing too shallow for me to tell? Of course it was dead — the body was limp when I picked it up — but still, I couldn’t shake the image of the dog waking up in that cardboard box on that table, and it stayed with me the last five days. Even now, and we’ve already gotten the call to go pick up the cremains.

That was how the week started. It’ll end in a little while when I head out to see Kind and The Golden Grass in New Bedford at a taco joint. So yeah, a little strange.

Next week, stick around for a review of that show, plus on Monday a stream of the new split between Krautzone and Lamp of the Universe, an Apostle of Solitude giveaway, review of the new Lo-Pan and Electric Wizard and as many other records as I can manage to fit. If you didn’t notice, I tried to cut back on the word counts for reviews because they were getting out of hand again. We’ll see how long it lasts, but at least I’m trying to keep it under control. Sometimes the sentences just keep going.

Go Giants for Acid King, go Orioles for all of Maryland doom. Hope you have a great and safe weekend. Please check out the forum and radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

Tags: , , , , , ,

My Brother the Wind Premiere Video for “Song of Innocence”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 3rd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

my brother the wind

On their third album, Once There was a Time When Time and Space were One, Swedish improv jammers My Brother the Wind present “Song of Innocence” as divided into two parts with a track break in between, the second piece emerging at a fairly upbeat clip — relative to some of the record’s more languid stretches, anyhow — from the first, no less a wash of echoes and tones, but moving more with a forward drum beat from Daniel Fridlund Brandt to propel the airy guitars of Nicklas Barker and Mathias Danielsson and match lockstep with Ronny Eriksson‘s bass. The transition is fluid — the whole album (review here) is like a river that carries you along its currents, some rough, some smooth — but there’s a clear break, and that’s true in the video as well.

The clip for “Song of Innocence” actually goes a long way toward explaining why the two pieces are broken up but given the same name. Footage for “Song of Innocence” was shot exactly as the material was being recorded, the version of “Song of Innoence” we hear My Brother the Wind tracking is the one that went to tape to wind up on Once There was a Time When Time and Space were One, and though one jam comes to an end after about seven minutes in (we get a piece of what became “Prologue” as well at the start), the other picks right up without any real break in between. They’re two parts of the same moment captured on the recording, and thus, they’re presented together. It’s more honest to how the session actually took place, rather than name one part “Song of Innocence” and the other something else.

We get to see the room where My Brother the Wind – who also released a Live at Roadburn 2013 live record this year — made the album, their configuration all facing each other while they played, and get a sense of how they follow each other through the jams. And of course, there’s “Song of Innocence” itself, which with its lush and instrumental feel gives an excellent sense of what to expect from Once There was a Time When Time and Space were One, driven by the chemistry between these players and the carefully woven interplay of the work they do.

“Song of Innocence” was Filmed by Eleni Liverakou Eriksson and Per Karlsson and edited by Patrik Roos. Please find the clip on the player below and enjoy:

My Brother the Wind, “Song of Innocence” official video

My Brother the Wind‘s Once There was a Time When Time and Space were One is out Oct. 14 on Free Electric Sound. Below, guitarists Nicklas Barker and Mathias Danielsson comment on the video:

Says Nicklas Barker:

“The video was recorded at the actual take of ‘Song of Innocence.’ We were happy that Eleni and Per were there during the recording and captured this for us very special song. As always, we record live onto an analog tape machine from 1969 with no overdubs and everything is improvised from scratch. The mixing was done the day after by us with some help from the great Love Tholin who is a big part of creating the sound of My Brother the Wind. I think it turned out great. Especially Mathias wonderful guitar solos and Daniel’s very unique drum playing. We are very happy with how the sound turned out on this one. The studio we record in is tricky since the sound in it differs from day to day. Probably because of all the vintage analog gear. The afternoon we recorded ‘Song of Innocence’ the tape machine, mixing console, tape echoes and plate reverbs were in perfect harmony.”

Says Mathias Danielsson:

“I wish that all of you could see what I experienced when recording this piece. Since the music is totally improvised we connect to each other on another plane. It’s hard to describe but I guess it’s almost astral. I have my eyes open but the sight isn’t the main sense I’m using while we’re playing, it’s the ears. But when concentrating so hard on what we create together I see wonderful colors and waves before my eyes. It’s almost like meditation. We connect to the core of the music and form it together with mindcraft. I’ve never before experienced it on this level with any band. Being unable to show you that, this video is the perfect visual to go with the music. This is the way it happened!”

My Brother the Wind on Thee Facebooks

Free Electric Sound

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Here are Full Sets from All Them Witches and King Buffalo from Their Tour Last Month

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 2nd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

all them witches

I drove five hours to go to this show. That’s not something I mention because I’m Johnny Lovesriffs or something like that, like I’m all hard core, it just means I really wanted to see these bands play together. Nashville’s All Them Witches and Rochester’s King Buffalo were on the road and East Stroudsberg was about as close as they were coming to me. I could’ve waited a month and caught All Them Witches with Windhand – that tour came right through Boston — but this was the one I wanted to catch. These bands, playing together, right now. So I did.

And from the curious layout of the Living Room to All Them Witches drummer Robby Staebler climbing a tree when I showed up, it was one of the best gigs I’ve seen this year, easily (review here). Local post-metallers King Dead opened, and their drummer, Steve Truglio, also happened to tape both King Buffalo and All Them Witches‘ sets for a A/V series he calls My Show – back in 2012 I went to a taping he did with The Atomic Bitchwax (review here) — and the footage of both acts has been posted as part of that series. Needless to say, I’ve been digging in to remember the good times.

Everything All Them Witches played came off their sophomore full-length, Lightning at the Door (review here), and King Buffalo played all three tracks from their 2013 demo (review here) and then some, giving a taste of what their debut long-player will have to offer when it arrives, hopefully sometime in the New Year. Most importantly, both bands were in complete command of their sound — King Dead weren’t half bad either, for that matter — and revisiting the footage only affirms for me host lucky I was to be at the Living Room to see this one in the first place.

Hope you enjoy:

King Buffalo, Live at the Living Room, East Stroudsberg, PA, Aug. 23, 2014

All Them Witches, Live at the Living Room, East Stroudsberg, PA, Aug. 23, 2014

All Them Witches on Thee Facebooks

King Buffalo on Thee Facebooks

Steve Truglio’s My Show

Tags: , , , , ,

Wino Wednesday: Place of Skulls, “Long Lost Grave”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 1st, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Happy Wino Wednesday.

I know we’ve discussed it before — we’re more than three years deep now on Wino Wednesday, there’s not a lot that hasn’t been covered at one point or another — but I really do think that Place of Skulls‘ 2003 sophomore outing, With Vision, is one of the best American doom records of the last decade. Even putting aside the novelty of the collaboration between Scott “Wino” Weinrich and Victor Griffin, whose band it was, it was the songs themselves, the nuances and differences and similarities of craft between the two legendary guitarists, that made it such a special release. Of course, the collaboration didn’t last, but even as a one-time thing with Wino in and out of the band, With Vision was an integral meeting of masters of the form and the results were every bit as stunning as their pedigrees would suggest.

They trade off lead vocals throughout the album, and it’s easy enough to read the shifts in approach to riffing as indicative of who wrote which song. “Long Lost Grave,” for example, has Wino on vocals, and it sounds pretty much like a Wino song, at least until the soloing at the end. Much of With Vision plays out like this, with one or the other at the fore, but the tradeoffs give the record a vibrancy that Place of Skulls‘ subsequent two albums, 2006’s The Black is Never Far and 2010’s As a Dog Returns (review here), couldn’t match with Griffin as the lone songwriter. That’s not to knock him as a songwriter — through Death RowPentagramPlace of Skulls and most recently In~Graved, he’s proved a landmark craftsman of traditional doom — but he can’t be two people. It’s just all the more reason With Vision is essential listening.

Of course, the Griffin and Wino collaboration was short-lived, and to date there hasn’t been any hint that they might at some point work together again. It’s probably more likely than a second Shrinebuilder record, less likely than cities on Mars. So be it. With Vision still stands up 11 years after its release, so dig into “Long Lost Grave” and have an excellent Wino Wednesday:

Place of Skulls, “Long Lost Grave”

Tags: , , , , ,

Caronte Release New Video for “Temple of Eagles”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 30th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

caronte

Italian cult doomers Caronte will release their second album, Church of Shamanic Goetia, on Oct. 31 via German imprint Ván Records. Details have yet to surface about the record, which follows a 2013 split with Doomraiser and Caronte‘s 2012 debut LP, Ascension, as well as their 2011 first EP, Ghost Owl, but the four-piece have cut out the middle man and gotten right to the heart of what really matters — i.e., the music — in releasing the new song, “Temple of Eagles,” along with its mystically-themed lyrics. A sample verse:

Along the left hand’s path
I climb through the wormhole
every man has the cosmos within
I’ll keep on expanding to reconnect with it

Yeah, it’s like that. Nothing on Caronte‘s Ascension topped 10 minutes long, so however indicative it might be of the rest of Church of Shamanic Goetia, “Temple of Eagles” is the longest album cut the Parma unit have put out to date. I guess we’ll see how the rest of the record plays out when the time comes. Until then, “Temple of Eagles” feels less Electric Wizard-y than some of what Caronte have proffered before, which bodes well for their coming more into their own sound, all the more since it’s the first audio from the album to be released. More to come, I’m sure.

Enjoy:

Caronte, “Temple of Eagles”

NEW SONG, NEW VIDEO

We are proud to announce the release date of our new album, “CHURCH OF SHAMANIC GOETIA” which will be released by Van Records. The release date is 31/10/2014 for all Europe.

This is the first extract from the album. Thank you all for the support you have always given. Now take a few minutes, get something to smoke and listen.

Soon more news about the release and the dates of our upcoming live performances.

Caronte on Thee Facebooks

Ván Records

Tags: , , , , , ,

Righteous Bloom Post First Demo “Of Sanctum and Solace”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 29th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

righteous bloom logo

It’s a quick two minutes and “Of Sanctum and Solace” is over. The song barely feels like it has a second verse (it does), but what it signals is the beginning for Righteous Bloom. The new band, announced earlier this month as a new vehicle for former Beelzefuzz members Dana Ortt (guitar/vocals), Greg Diener (lead guitar) and Darin McCloskey (drums), the latter two also of Pale Divine, are reportedly set to enter the studio to record a full-length debut for 2015. For “Of Sanctum and Solace,” that trio teamed up with Bert Hall of Revelation/Against Nature for the bassist role, and while there’s no word as to whether or not that partnership was a one-time thing or a permanent situation, it says a lot for what Beelzefuzz accomplished that Righteous Bloom would start out with the likes of Hall contributing, his own legacy in the sphere of Maryland doom not inconsiderable.

“Of Sanctum and Solace” also gives a taste — again, a brief one — of the interplay between Ortt and Diener‘s guitars. Those who caught Beelzefuzz at their final shows over the last two or three months probably had a leg-up in this regard, but Righteous Bloom will mark the first time they appear on a studio recording together, and while they’re distinct in tone — Ortt‘s guitar-as-organ experimentations having been so core to the approach of the prior outfit — you can also get a feel for how they complement each other now and might continue to do so moving forward. That’s more toward the end of the song, which seems to come to an early close in a way that makes me wonder if there isn’t more to come in a longer version of the track that will perhaps show up when Righteous Bloom‘s debut LP surfaces in the New Year via The Church Within Records.

We’ve got a while to go before we find out, I guess. Till then, here’s “Of Sanctum and Solace” for your enjoyment:

Righteous Bloom, “Of Sanctum and Solace”

Tags: , , , , ,

Friday Full-Length: Monster Magnet, Spine of God

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 27th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Monster Magnet, Spine of God (1991)

Nothing against SPV Records — their reissue of Spine of God and other earlier Monster Magnet albums was fair game as they were out of print and unavailable to a bunch of fans who came aboard during the band’s more commercial hard rock era — but if you want to listen to Spine of God, you really need to go for the original. Caroline Records, in a jewel case, some of the finest heavy psych rock ever crafted. Still ahead of its time. We’re still playing catchup to where Spine of God is at. We’ll get there one of these days, then we’ll all crack our skulls doing airplanes and get our heads just right and so on. Cover me with skin and hair. Fucking a.

Spine of God is more than a great Monster Magnet record — they’ve got a few by now — but an absolute landmark. In New Jersey, the state in which I was born and raised, an entire generation of bands came up in the wake of Monster Magnet‘s branching out, and that scene is still going, moving forward. So are Monster Magnet, albeit with a much different lineup than they had 23 years ago, but to go back and look at the development of Red Bank, NJ, as a center in which heavy rock flourished on the East Coast in bands like GodspeedCoreThe Atomic BitchwaxSolarized, later Halfway to GoneSolace, The Ribeye Bros., and on and on, Monster Magnet are a big branch on that bizarre family tree, and Spine of God, which was their debut — to mix metaphors — was the root for a lot of what came after. Add to all that it’s an absolute masterpiece, and yeah, I’m gonna close out the week with it.

I’ll further admit that while it was ultimately the classicitude of Spine of God which made me break it out on this late night/early morning, a close second in motivation was the band’s upcoming Milking the Stars, the November release of which was announced earlier this month. I’ve been spending a lot of time with that record, which is comprised of reworked tracks from Monster Magnet‘s 2013 opus, Last Patrol (review here), as well as the previously unreleased title-cut and some other odds and ends, and almost as much as I dig what frontman/songwriter/founder Dave Wyndorf did in remaking the songs, I think the adventurous spirit of the album and the willingness to screw with work that by most definitions would be “finished” already emphasizes a lot of what’s made Monster Magnet so great all these years, and bodes ridiculously well for their proper follow-up to Last Patrol, since basically they can go anywhere at this point. I’ll have a review up of Milking the Stars sometime in the next month or so, but it’s on my mind already.

Enjoy Spine of God. It’s one of my favorite records.

Is is really three in the morning? Ah jeez. I rolled in not at all long ago from seeing Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats and Danava in New York. Quite a night. I was going to go to Boston last night, but as I mentioned on Thee Facebooks, it was my 10th wedding anniversary — the only holiday about which I give even the remotest of fucks — and, well, 10 years isn’t nothing. Kind of a big deal. If it was seven years, or some other in-between number, I might be able to get away with that. But 10? Nah. As of Sunday, The Patient Mrs. and I will have been together for a total of 17 years, which is more than half of both of our lives. Wild to think about. How stupid lucky I am.

Next week though I’ll review the Uncle Acid gig, and I’ve also got a new track from Eternal Tapestry going up on Monday. If I’m up to it Sunday, I might put up the first recorded demo from Righteous Bloom, which is the new spinoff band from Beelzefuzz. And of course there’s the podcast. Thanks if you got to check that out. Apparently I’m up to 40 of them. Got a thing for round numbers lately, I suppose.

Obviously there’s a lot more than that to come, but I have no idea what it might be. The Patient Mrs. and I are in Connecticut for the weekend, celebrando, so at least I didn’t have to go all the way back to Massachusetts tonight. Felt good to be back in New York. Even Manhattan on a Friday night, which is nightmare of inflated ego, inflated bank accounts and terrifying hawtness. Good to go a show there, I guess. City still smells like pee. I had some point about being in Connecticut. It’s long gone. God damn this Monster Magnet record is awesome.

Have a great and safe weekend. PLEASE check out the forum and radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

Tags: , , , , ,

Wino Wednesday: Saint Vitus, “Look Behind You” Live in Portland, OR, 2010

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 24th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

This week marks three full years of Wino Wednesday. It is Wino Wednesday #156. In that time, I feel like we’ve just about covered the man’s entire career, from his days playing with Warhorse in high school on down through Spirit Caravan‘s 2014 reunion. In and out of bands like The ObsessedSaint VitusSpirit CaravanThe Hidden Hand, Place of SkullsPremonition 13, his own Wino band and on and on with more guest appearances live and recorded than I think anyone can count, it’s been a three-year investigation into one of doom’s most storied and most accomplished figures. I don’t think when I started out that I imagined this feature would go on for so long, but I’ve yet to run out of things to post, so I guess until that happens, onward we go.

“Look Behind You” appeared on 1987’s three-song Thirsty and Miserable EP, sharing the B-side with the titular Black Flag cover. Tough bill, since when one thinks of that release, it’s the radical slowdown of the Black Flag song that invariably comes to mind first, but “Look Behind You” has been a live staple for Saint Vitus more or less since. It showed up on their 1990 Live album, and it has been a regular feature of sets since their reunion in 2009, its Motörhead-style rush made to turn on its head by Dave Chandler‘s transitions and thickened by his inimitable tone. The song goes back further than Thirsty and Miserable, though. In 1979, Tyrant (the original Vitus lineup under its first name) included it on their demo, so it’s clearly been around even longer than Thirsty and Miserable, and as you can see in the version below, which was taped live in Portland, Oregon, at the Satyricon in June 2010, it wears its age well.

Here’s to three years of Wino Wednesday and more to come. Enjoy:

Saint Vitus, “Look Behind You” Live in Portland, OR, June 26, 2010

Tags: , , , , ,

Friday Full-Length: Acrimony, Tumuli Shroomaroom

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 20th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Acrimony, Tumuli Shroomaroom (1997)

Who doesn’t want to get down with a little Acrimony? In the thrilling world of demographic research, there is a class of people known as “early adopters.” As a group, they want to be the first with a new piece of technology, new gadget, etc. They embrace new ideas and ways of thinking. I can’t come up with a better phrase than that to position UK outfit Acrimony when it comes to stoner rock’s ’90s heyday. While Electric Wizard wouldn’t release their self-titled debut until 1995 and Orange Goblin‘s Frequencies from Planet Ten didn’t surface until 1997, Acrimony issued their Hymns to the Stone debut in 1994. Yeah, it’s produced like a metal album — that was very much Acrimony‘s background; not a coincidence they wound up on Peaceville Records — but by the time they got around to 1997’s sophomore outing, Tumuli Shroomaroom, that metallic bite had smoothed out to a killer heavy rock and roll vibe, and Acrimony‘s groove help set the high standard to which the UK underground continues to aspire, songs like “Million Year Summer,” “Find the Path” with its “give me some Valium” urgings and the all-over-10-minutes closing trio of “Motherslug (The Mother of all Slugs),” “Heavy Feather” and “Firedance” consuming listeners with brilliantly executed nod that, if it showed up in my mailbox this week, I’d still be stoked on it.

Acrimony were also way more unabashedly stoner rock than many of their contemporaries. Their final release, a compilation titled Bong on – Live Long! came out in 2007, preceded by a 2003 split with Church of Misery, and while Acrimony may have been ahead of their time, Tumuli Shroomaroom is a record whose legend has continued to grow in spite of the band’s dissolution. Most of Acrimony – guitarist Stuart O’Hara, bassist Paul Bidmead and drummer Darren Ivey — can be found these days in Sigiriya, whose second offering, Darkness Died Today, was released earlier this year as their Candlelight Records debut following 2011’s re-debut, Return to Earth. Still, Acrimony‘s work stands out for what they did, how well they did it, and when they did it. They didn’t invent stoner rock, but they sure as hell got the gist of it quickly. I know these guys are at the top of a lot of reunion wishlists, and I wouldn’t complain about seeing them live at some point, but particularly with Sigiriya kicking around, I’m content to leave Acrimony‘s legacy untouched if that’s what the band would rather do. This record’s gonna kick ass forever one way or another.

Hope you enjoy.

Late night, right? I got back a bit ago from seeing Elder‘s return show in Cambridge. It was ElderRozamovSummoner and Set, which is quite possibly the best all-local lineup I’ve seen since I moved here. I’ll have to go back and check the archive on that one to be sure, but it certainly felt like it when I was at the show. I’ll have a review on Monday with some pictures from the so-dark-it-made-everyone-look-grim-and-black-metal Middle East Upstairs, but the quick version is it was an excellent time.

Also Monday, look out for a track premiere from Latitude Egress as they cross the line between blackened doom and doomed black metal, and later on in the week, new tracks from Larman Clamor and Angels of Meth, whose demo is being reissued — the band became Phantom Glue – on tape. Also hoping to get to see Earth on Tuesday and Uncle Acid on Thursday, so it’s going to be quite a week. Somewhere in there, I’d also finally like to give All Them Witches‘ Lightning at the Door a proper review, since they’ve now given it a proper release, but we’ll see how it is with hours in the day, there being only so many of them and whatnot.

Thanks to everyone who checked in for Vinyl Week this week, took a look at the records, entered a contest (or two), etc. It was a lot more work than I thought it was going to be, but a good time on the whole, so I appreciate you indulging me. I still have a bunch more vinyl to write about, so the week may be over, but the pile remains. More to come.

But not tonight. It’s well after 2AM here — early Saturday morning in the UK; I’ll confess I had GMT in mind when I picked Acrimony to end the week — and that’s time to put on some Mystery Science Theater 3000 and call it a night. If you’re in New York and attending the Uninvited festival this weekend, you have my jealousy, but wherever you might be and whatever you might be up to, I hope it’s fantastic. Be safe, have a blast, and we’ll see you back here on Monday.

Please don’t forget to check out the forum and the radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

 

 

Tags: , , ,