As far as The Obsessed deep cuts go, “Touch of Everything” is probably about as deep as they get. The song appeared as track 11 of the total 13 on The Obsessed‘s final album, 1994′s The Church Within. By then, the band was comprised of guitarist/vocalist Scott “Wino” Weinrich, bassist Guy Pinhas and drummer Greg Rogers, and whatever else you can say about The Church Within, by the time it got down to its 11th track, it had pretty much played all its cards. I dig that record and all, but it’s a straightforward album across the board and there aren’t a lot of surprises as it moves into its second half. Accordingly, it’s easy for a song like “Touch of Everything” to get swallowed up by all the classic riffing and rolling grooves surrounding, which, duh, is all the more reason to single it out. Presumably the person who put together the fan video below for it had the same idea.
What “Touch of Everything” might have to do with the 1956 sci-fi film Forbidden Planet, I don’t know. That one’s a mystery. But that movie — which was the first appearance of Robby the Robot, which would later appear on tv’s Lost in Space and in numerous other films and shows and which also served as a major inspiration for the original Star Trek – is nonetheless the basis for the video, and it’s been edited so that the footage more or less lines up with the song. YouTube user “DaemonPazuzu” obviously put a lot of work into editing, so I’m not about to trash the effort just because I don’t see what one has to do with the other. Screw it, you get The Obsessed and old sci-fi. I’d hardly call that a loss.
When I was fortunate enough to be asked, I said yes immediately to hosting the premiere of the new Grifter video for the track “Princess Leia” from their upcoming album, The Return of the Bearded Brethren. My reasons were manifold. I’m excited about the release — it’s out Aug. 11 on Ripple Music as the follow-up to Grifter‘s 2011 self-titled debut (review here) — but the song itself also sums up a lot about what I think the UK trio do really well musically and lyrically.
It’s a straightforward song, and Grifter are a straightforward band. They write classic heavy rock hooks, but have a completely modern approach to their sound and perspective. Bassist Phil, drummer Foz and guitarist/vocalist Ollie Stygall have a crisp chemistry. Their material swings, as “Princess Leia” showcases, but it does so always with a forward direction in mind. The lyrics to “Princess Leia” also remind of Grifter‘s ability to couch some pretty personal issues in a humorous package. We’ve heard them do this before, on a song like “Young Blood, Old Veins” from the last album, but by using the frame of a boyhood crush on the Star Wars character, Stygall and company are able to look at getting older through an even cleverer lens.
And make no mistake, that is what they’re doing. The opening line of the song is “I’m a man of a certain age,” and the Orange Goblin-style rush of the chorus abandons all facade and pleads, “Take me back to better times, yeah/Strip the years away.” But rather than simply reflect on bygone days and regrets and the usual midlife blah blah blah, Grifter poke fun not only at themselves, but at the whole notion of mourning the passage of time, and “Princess Leia” — whatever it might be saying or speaking to emotionally — remains a fun, engaging song.
The video likewise. One thing I’ve always enjoyed about Grifter is how even at their most gleefully classless — see “Alabama Hotpocket” from the self-titled — they work clean. Princess Leia does indeed appear in the video, and she does indeed boogie down (hilariously by the end of it), but she doesn’t strip, and Grifter don’t give into the gold-bikini impulse. That would be easy, and thoughtless, and Grifter aren’t that band.
The Return of the Bearded Brethrenis out Aug. 11 on Ripple Music. Enjoy “Princess Leia” below, as directed by Russell Cleave:
Essential heavy. Also known as Goatsnake Vol. 1, Vol. 1, Goatsnake I and probably two or three other titles by now, the 1999 debut from Goatsnake, I, remains a classic within heavy rock and roll. The smooth, attitude-laden crooning of Pete Stahl, the Sunn-toned riffs of Greg Anderson, thick roll from Guy Pinhas and wide, huge-sounding cymbals from Greg Rogers all aligned just perfectly to make the album not only one of the best records Man’s Ruin ever put out, but one of the finest releases in the genre, period. From its nonsensical cover art — something Southern Lord‘s reissue would change when pairing Iwith the subsequent 2000 EP, Dog Days in ’04 — to the hooks of “Slippin’ the Stealth” and “What Love Remains,” it’s an album the influence of which continues to resonate and one that only grows in status with the passing of time.
Goatsnake have been on my mind, with the rumor of new material in the works — pictures posted of the band writing — and their confirmation for the 2015 Maryland Deathfest, the Southwest Terror Fest in October, etc., so paying Ia visit doesn’t seem out of line. At the very least, it’s a perfect hot weather album. The band haven’t posted any sort of schedule on a release or anything that I know of, and whatever they put out next will be their first offering since the 2004 EP, Trampled under Hoof,which followed 2000′s second album, Flower of Disease, but I know I’ll be interested to hear what they come up with and how on earth they might sound, given all the years that’ve passed between then and now, Anderson‘s progression with SunnO))), and so on. Time and riffs will tell.
Though they’ve played at this point a handful of shows since first getting semi-reunited in 2010, I’ve yet to see Goatsnake live (I did interview Greg Andersonabout the reunion at the time). When it finally happens, they’ll be a big name to cross off the list, and an enduring affection for I is a huge part of why. Hope you enjoy it.
When I finish this, I’m going to go back upstairs, grab my pillow and a couple packs of gum which I forgot to bring down, and head south to New Jersey for the weekend to see family. I was looking around for a show to hit tomorrow night in New York and didn’t see anything. Would be good to get out. I think I’ve just had residual exhaustion from the move, and really before that, but it’s been a long time. I broke my rule about staying in the house for two days straight this week, which was a bummer, but I figured four hours’ highway time this evening would balance things out — especially if by “balance things out” I mean continue to drain my energy and prevent me from feeling like I’m getting settled into the area that I’ve called home for a year and still have no idea to get around in. Feeling groovy.
Whatever, at least baseball’s back on.
So yeah, Jersey this weekend, then back on Sunday. I thought about hanging out a little longer while I basically kill time waiting for The Patient Mrs. to return from her month-long trip to Greece — she gets back next Saturday — but better to come home. I spend less money here than I do in New Jersey. Or at least it feels that way. If you count buying this townhouse, those statistics probably go right out the window. Would take a hell of a lot of alfredo dinners to catch up to a 30-year mortgage, though I’m sure I’ll try.
Thanks to everybody who shared the Sleep single this afternoon or took the time to read the post with it. I’m not sure I would’ve, so if you didn’t, no worries, but yeah. That was some cool news to get out of the blue, though it effectively ended my day. I was all set to post another review and then it was like, “Why on earth would I ever attempt to follow a new Sleep song with anything and expect anyone to read it?” I had no answer, so I made lunch instead. Win win, really.
On Monday, I’ve got a video premiere from Grifter coming, so look out for that. They picked what I think is one of the most interesting songs on their new album, The Return of the Bearded Brethren(review forthcoming), and made a clip for it that sort of inadvertently emphasizes a lot of what I like about the band. There’s a bit to talk about with it, which will be cool. I’ll also have reviews of Rodeo Drive and Methra, whose tape got the shaft this afternoon when that Sleep track hit, and since it felt so good to hook up my stereo this week, probably some more vinyl as well. I’ve got a few records stacked up waiting for words. It just wouldn’t feel like a week if I wasn’t lagging behind on basically everything.
I hope you have an excellent weekend and that all is well and full of joy and loud, heavy riffs where you are. If you see some longhair jerk in a Volvo on I-95 bobbing his head like a fool and singing along to Parliament records this weekend, yeah, that’s probably me. Feel free to pass on the right or run me off the road or whatever.
I have more questions than I have answers about Humo del Cairo‘s next outing. The Buenos Aires trio’s first release since 2012′s excellent Vol. II full-length (review here) will be an EP called Preludio. Near as I can tell and going by what I was told, it’s the beginning point for a trilogy of shorter releases they’re putting out, presumably instead of a third full-length. I know Preludiois out Aug. 9 and that they’ll play a show that night in Buenos Aires with Bandera de Niebla and Bhutan. I don’t know if all three EPs are written and/or recorded, or if there’s a unifying theme running through them that’s furthered through this method of releasing, or a story being told. I don’t know if the art I have for it is the final cover. I don’t know how soon the next installment of the trilogy will be out, if there’s a regular schedule for them or not. I don’t know what Preludiomight be the prelude to.
Basically, what I’ve got to go on is that they’re putting the EPs out themselves through a new imprint called Errantes and a minute of music included in the teaser video for Preludiobelow. For anyone who remembers Vol. IIor their preceding 2009 self-titled, which MeteorCity picked up for reissue in 2010 (review here), that’s probably enough to go on, the band’s desert rock style beefed up through heavier tones and enough of a languid psychedelia to add character to the groove. The clip — no, I don’t know what song it features — seems to showcase even weightier riffing, but of course it’s just one snippet of what’s no doubt a diverse short release. And the first of three.
No substitute for keeping people guessing. I’ll look forward to finding out more about Preludioand its two follow-ups, and of course will keep you in the loop with what I know when I know it. Till then, enjoy the teaser below:
Yeah, I know this isn’t the first Wino Wednesday clip culled from the video evidence snagged at this year’s Desertfest in London. Not even close, actually. But unlike Wino‘s sit-in with Weedeater (seen here) and his acoustic set with Spirit Caravan bandmate Dave Sherman (seen here), this week’s video is actually of Spirit Caravan performing. If that’s too minor a distinction, I apologize. Stick around and it’ll be something else next week.
For now, shot from the side of the stage in a rather nostalgic black and white, we see Sherman, drummer Henry Vasquez and, deep in the shot, Wino himself performing “Dead Love/Jug Fulla Sun” from Spirit Caravan‘s classic 1999 debut, Jug Fulla Sun. In a big way, the album would define the band going forward, and while their 2001 follow-up/swansong, Elusive Truth, brought new edges to the sound and they continued to progress right up to the new studio tracks they included with their final offering, the 2003 The Last Embracecompilation, Jug Fulla Sunremains a standout 15 years later in capturing the trio as they were in a natural, heavy rolling state. It’s hard to imagine the smooth instrumental “Dead Love” section and “Jug Fulla Sun” without each other, and as Sherman stomps out the groove in the early going of the latter, I can’t help but agree. Simply one of heavy rock’s best nods.
Spirit Caravan just reissued Jug Fulla Sunon a limited, hand-screened LP – Exile on Mainstream had them for sale — and they looked absolutely gorgeous. It’s a worthy investment as the band’s reunion continues and they promise work on a new album, which would be their first studio outing since Elusive Truth. More on that to come, I’m sure, but until then, hope you enjoy “Dead Love/Jug Fulla Sun” and get a sense of just how much vitality there is at the heart of this band.
Happy Wino Wednesday:
Spirit Caravan, “Dead Love/Jug Fulla Sun” Live at Desertfest London 2014
In January, bassist/vocalist Aaron Beam and drummer John Sherman of Portland, Oregon, heavy rock forerunners Red Fang flew to Switzerland after appearing on The Late Show with David Letterman. There, they met up with drummer Luc Hess and bassist/baritone guitarist/vocalist Louis Jucker, also known as the duo Kunz and also the rhythm section of The Ocean, to record an album together. Thus emerged Red Kunz.
You can read below the day-by-day breakdown of how it happened over the course of the week, but what’s staggering about the results on their Division Records/Hummus Records debut LP, Teeth, Hair and Skin, is both how fresh the material sound and also how solid and tight Red Kunz are as a band. You’d figure Jucker and Hess would work well together, and Beam and Sherman likewise, but on Teeth, Hair and Skinit’s all four of them. It doesn’t sound like two bass/drum duos jamming out at the same time. It sounds like a four-piece band who’ve been playing together for years.
I think even they must’ve been surprised, since the instrumental tracks they recorded live that you can see in the video below wound up as the final takes for the album, with Beam and Jucker putting their vocals on afterwards. No argument though. With the performances they give here — you’ll note Beam is set up in front of Hess and Jucker in front of Sherman – Red Kunz managed to capture a spontaneity that works exceedingly well with the upbeat bounce of the five songs, “Transatlantic,” “The Beggar,” “Four Good Reasons,” “Prisms” and “Teeth, Hair and Skin,” while still getting a full and clear sound.
Teeth, Hair and Skinis out Aug. 15 through Hummus Records and Division Records. Much more info follows the clip below, including pre-order links, but for now, enjoy the making of Red Kunz‘s debut as it happened:
TEETH, HAIR & SKIN will be released on August 15th.
Red Kunz is a project that gathers RED FANG (Aaron Beam and John Sherman) and KUNZ (Louis Jucker and Luc Hess – ex-THE OCEAN, COILGUNS).
This was shot on wednesday january 15th. Although it was not meant to be, these are the final versions you can find on the record. Vocals were recorded the day after so this is completely instrumental.
Filmed and edited by Camille De Pietro & Nathan Jucker (Le Manoir)
Not sure whether RED KUNZ will be performing, but RED FANG and KUNZ will play the following shows together:
2014 Aug 1st — Le Ferrailleur, Nantes, France Aug 3rd — Le Grillen, Colmar, France Aug 12th — Les Caves du Manoir, Martigny, Suisse Aug 13th — Les Caves du Manoir, Martigny, Suisse Aug 15th — Rock Altitude Festival, Le Locle, Suisse
Good records sometimes need to go that easy:
Saturday, January 11th 2014 : Aaron Beam and John Sherman “RED FANG” fly to Switzerland straight after the band’s performance at the famous Letterman Show in New York to meet Louis Jucker and Luc Hess “KUNZ” at the airport. The 4 guys drive to Lausanne, straight to the venue LE ROMANDIE, put their two bass amps and drums on stage, then go out for a beer in a funny local cover bands festival.
Sunday 12th, They write 4 songs in the deserted venue and go to sleep.
Monday 13th, a whole crew of video makers, graphic designers and other creative minds set up its camp in the club’s backstage. Mission is to get the most work done within a week.
Tuesday 14th, Everyone is super pumped and party a little too hard.
Wednesday 15th, The band spends the day tracking songs, goes out for a walk, buys a small acoustic guitar in a pawn shop, comes back to the club, plays the tunes again in front of the crew’s cameras and decides to keep these takes as the final ones.
Thursday 16th, Aaron and Louis write vocal lines and lyrics in Jucker’s attic studio. John and Luc drink beers and eat pizzas.
Friday 17th, The whole town is gathered in a packed venue to see the new born RED KUNZ playing their first record : TEETH, HAIR AND SKIN, 20 minutes of raw bass riffing and double drums battles that somehow manage to sound like proper catchy songs. Fact is that they were all conceived and taped within a single and cool week of friendship, beers, and jams.
I think I’ve made my nerddom for Swedish heavy rockers Dozer plain over the years, but if not, let me just reinforce: The band fucking rules. From their early albums on Man’s Ruin, 2000′s In the Tail of a Comet and 2001′s Madre de Dios right on through the harder edged 2002 Molten Universe third outing, Call it Conspiracy, and their Small Stone era, which brought about 2005′s Through the Eyes of Heathens and 2008′s Beyond Colossal. All the splits, EPs, singles, etc., along the way, Dozer simply don’t have a bum release. There was no point at which they didn’t kick ass.
When it comes to Call it Conspiracy, I’ve always thought of it as the transitional moment for the band. Based as ever around the powerhouse riffs and full-speed charge of guitarist Tommi Holappa and Fredrik Nordin (the latter also vocals), Johan Rockner‘s bass and the driving thud of then-drummer Erik Bäckwall, Dozer‘s songwriting always made them a mandatory band, head and shoulders above most acts proffering heavy rock and roll then or now. But Call it Conspiracystands out in their catalog as the bridge between the first two and the second two albums, moving away from the Kyuss loyalism of their beginnings and at the same time setting up the progression into bigger tones and a more generally bombastic sound on records four and five. It’s the center-point along that line — in output, not time; the first three Dozer albums were released in three years, the last two in twice that — and very much stands up to that stylistically. In that, it’s unlike anything else they’ve ever done. It was a leap from Madre de Diosfor sure for arriving the next year, and when Through the Eyes of Heathensshowed up three years later, Dozer had moved even further away from desert rock. Call it Conspiracywas a moment captured — like a snapshot of Dozer coming into their own as a band.
And while I already said it, I’ll reiterate that the songs themselves are unfuckwithable. The rush of “Rising,” the swagger of “Man Made Mountain,” the way “Crimson Highway” seems to invite a sing-along even when you’re hearing it for the first time. Dozer have been making periodic live appearances since last spring, and they released the VulturesEP (review here) last year, collecting unused tracks from the Through the Eyes of Heathenssessions, but as Holappa (Obelisk Questionnaire here) has been busy with Greenleaf – whose fifth album, Trails and Passes(review here), came out earlier this year — there’s been no word of a studio return from Dozer. Needless to say I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
Hope you enjoy.
Up until today, I was doing really well with the rules I’d posted last week that I was trying to live by while The Patient Mrs. is in Athens. It’s 9:30PM and I haven’t left the house in two days. I knew that was gonna be a tough one when I wrote it, but was hoping I’d be able to keep up. Today and yesterday, neither the time nor the desire nor the need to go anywhere has been present. I might get in the car and drive around for 10 minutes when I’m done here, so at least I can say I did something, but otherwise, yeah. Been a lot of the couch, not a lot of not the couch. The little dog likes it.
Next week, reviews of Dunst and Grifter. It’ll probably take me two days (at least) to transcribe it, but I’m going to try to get the Lowrider interview up as well. Look out for another batch of Radio adds, and one way or another, some vinyl’s getting written about. I still need to hook up my stereo. You’d think that would’ve been a day one activity moving into the new place, but all the CDs are still packed away as well.
Trying to find a new high-volume CD storage solution. I was looking at some radio station library racks online and I think something like that might be the way to go, but I have no idea where one acquires such a thing, let alone what it might cost. But yeah, I’m thinking it might just be time to buy a shelf that lets me store 18,000 CDs and then just fill it over the next however many years. In case you’re wondering, I’d probably take up a little more than a third of that now. I don’t know if you knew this, but in addition to the stuff I buy, I keep everything sent to me for this site. I don’t sell promos, or give them away, or anything like that. Every single CD that’s been sent to me, regardless of if it’s a CDR in a slimline or a sleeve or a full-art jewel case, gatefold digipak, whatever, it goes in the archive. I keep it all. Tapes and vinyl too. And not in some random pile either. It’s taken care of. Loved. I can’t nearly write about everything that comes in these days, but I hold onto everything. Even the press releases. Seriously. I’ve got files of them.
Got off on a tangent there. Anyway, I hope you dig the Dozer and that you’ll join me in my letter-writing campaign to Tommi Holappa to get the tracks from their first several singles released as an early works compilation à la Church of Misery. I was thinking about starting one of those White House petitions. Get Obama on the case.
Alright. I’m gonna go get in the car and wander aimlessly for a bit so I can say I did. Hope you have a tremendous and safe weekend. Please check out the forum and the radio stream.
Of course, when I was putting together that list of albums I’m looking forward to for the rest of 2014 yesterday, I hadn’t heard anything since the start of the year about the sophomore outing from Swedish rockers Skraeckoedlan, Gigantos, but that’s only all the more reason to highlight their putting out this teaser video for the record, which is set to release digitally in the fall. At very least, it’s one for the “go figure” file.
Anyone who recalls the youngsters’ 2011 Transubstans Records debut, Äppelträdet (review here), will now immediately why I was anticipating the arrival of Gigantos, since the four-piece just about seamlessly pulled Mastodon and Truckfighters influences into a catchy and richly melodic concoction of their own. It’s been a while at this point since Gigantoswas announced — it was an anticipated album for 2014 back in January – and while my concern at that time was how Skraeckoedlan might fare outside the confines of Studio Bombshelter, where they recorded the first full-length, as the 90 seconds of fresh audio in the teaser below seem to indicate, there’s been no drawback either in fuzzy tonal heft or prowess of melody.
I won’t lie, it’s a bit of a relief. Äppelträdet was a sleeper, but it was also one of my favorites in 2011, and this teaser gives me one more to look forward to before the end of the year. Skraeckoedlan also have some shows coming up over the course of July and August — some fest appearances — in their native Sweden, and you’ll find those dates below the video, in case you happen to find yourself in that part of the world.
Skraeckoedlan, Gigantos album teaser
Skraeckoedlan Swedish live dates:
2014-07-09 Stockholm (SE), KGB 2014-07-11 Umeå (SE), Verket 2014-07-12 Skellefteå (SE), Trästockfestivalen 2014-07-25-26 Sala (SE), Salafestivalen 2014-08-14 Leksand (SE), Krökbacken festival
I’m not gonna say I’m posting Saint Vitus‘ “The Troll” only because I feel like I haven’t left the house in two weeks, but I will allow that was the original impetus behind my selecting the song, which originally appeared on 1988′s Mournful Cries. The blinds pulled down, the window air conditioner blasting, my ass firmly planted on the couch for untold hours to come, I’m nothing if not consistent. Oh sure, I’ll emerge to take a bag of trash out, or to pour water from a pot when, say, the pipes under my kitchen sink start leaking water all over the floor this morning for no apparent reason, but having been unemployed for over three solid months and having been sans The Patient Mrs. for two weeks, I’ve more or less reverted to shut-in status. I try not to put the tv too loud so the neighbors won’t hear which baseball team I like. Their front door is about six inches from mine and people judge you for that shit.
So yeah, if the theme I want to work with is self-removal from human society, then “The Troll,” albeit exaggerated, fits that. As a complementary motivation for this clip in particular, which was filmed June 26, 2010, in Portland, Oregon, drummer Henry Vasquez absolutely kills it here. This was earlier into his tenure behind the kit for Vitus, and I remember seeing them in Brooklyn later in 2009 when he’d first joined and thinking he was playing some of the parts fast. He’s more settled in this video, but still has a killer swing in giving his ride cymbal a workout. There was no way he wasn’t going to come across loud, but of course Dave Chandler‘s guitar and Mark Adams‘ bass hold their own, and Wino gives an excellent retelling of the lyrics, to which, if I haven’t made it clear, I’m having an easy time relating these days.
Adventurous Montreal rockers The Great Sabatini released their third full-length, Dog Years, last month on Solar Flare Records. Their sound, while rooted in heavy rock, freely takes on various genre elements from hardcore and grind bombast to unplugged intricacies, and their latest video, for the song “Akela” from the new record, proves no less individualized. It’s quite individual, as it happens.
As in, four individual screens. In “Akela,” we see the four members of The Great Sabatini – Joey, Steve, Rob and Sean, all who’ve donned the last name Sabatini – more or less going about their day. They play video games, shave their hair, check their email, and yes, play the song itself, each one moving into and out of a stationary shot. It’s a creative take on the traditional rock video, and if you’d like an immediate contrast, visually and aurally, look no further than their corresponding “Guest of Honor” clip, which surfaced back in may in advance of the Dog Yearsrelease.
The Great Sabatini, “Akela” official video
Dog Years is The Great Sabatini’s third full length album. It was recorded, mixed and mastered by Sean Pearson (Cursed, Shallow North Dakota), and uses a raw, un-polished approach to capture a band with years of accumulated experience touring, writing and recording together. The aim was to create a hi fi document with all of their lo fi sensibilities, grit and live energy intact.
With the songs, the band strives to bring more focus and muscularity to their ideas… to reign in their use of musical devices and create a series of pieces that each expressed some facet of their sonic personality as a band, without wasting too much time, or bogging down the compositions with too many needless bells and whistles.
Each song has a different story to tell, musically and lyrically, so the band hopes to leave listeners with a diverse set of tunes that reveal nuances inside the noise and grime with each listen.
Having said that, the weight of every riff, the conviction behind every note, is the thread used to sew it all together. Every tune should represent the balance of precision playing and sonic pummel which they strive for. They want to move people. Not just the heshers who worship the almighty riff, but the folks out there with ears tuned to different marriages of sound.
I’m not one for mindless patriotism. I have reasons I’m glad I was born an American and reasons I’m not. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge today is July 4, the day my country celebrates Independence Day. It’s a day off work for the three or four of us left who still have jobs. As that’s not me, it seemed the least I could do to spend the afternoon typing. Not that I’d know what else to do with my time anyway. It’s raining here as an alleged hurricane makes its way somewhere along the Eastern Seaboard, so the traditional barbecue is out, and if I’m wasting electricity by running the air conditioning for the better part of the afternoon, well, that feels pretty American.
Still, I wanted to find something that represents something I can be proud for my country having produced, and Yawning Man came to mind pretty quickly. Their only real competition was Funkadelic, and I did the self-titled last year, so Vista Point it is. Classic desert rock sound, made in America. It’s everywhere now, of course, but when Yawning Man started in the ’80s, with Gary Arce, Mario Lalli, Larry Lalli and Alfredo Hernandez, that wasn’t the case, and their surf-rock-without-the-water would become the foundation for an international movement the influence of which is still only expanding. Released in 2007, Vista Point– which it bothers me more than a little that I don’t own on CD — culled together Yawning Man‘s two official studio outings up to that point, 2005′s Rock Formationslong-player and the Pot HeadEP (have those), into one hour-plus of reverbed trippery, the dynamic between Arce, Mario Lalli (Larry had long since left, though he remains in Fatso Jetson to this day with Mario) and Hernandez dripping across every dreamy movement in the songs. In true desert rock fashion, Yawning Man were about two decades late in getting recognized for the influence they had and the excellence they proffered — as much as they have to this point, anyhow — but they continue to bring something distinct to what they do that no one else has been able to capture. Oh yeah, and Kyuss covered them one time.
Enjoy Vista Point, in the spirit of the holiday and with the hopes of YawningMan‘s nextrecord turning up sooner rather than later.
Well, thus ends the first of my four weeks without The Patient Mrs. while she’s in Greece. It went pretty quickly, to be honest. After the move last weekend, there was a ton of cleaning to do at the new condo — home ownership! mortgage debt! the American dream! — and lots to unpack, scrub down, set up, etc., and that consumed a large portion of my week, the first couple days in an A/C-less swelter and the last couple in relaxed comfort. We’ve spoken just about every day, including today, but I’ve nonetheless developed five rules for myself to live by while she’s not around. Even wrote them on the markerboard:
If you can’t read my handwriting, which isn’t great, they are as follows:
1. No more than one (1) full day can be spent in bed, and not in the first ten (10) days.
2. No Anathema or Alice in Chains, Sap.
3. Eat a vegetable at least four days a week. Potatoes don’t count.
4. No more than one full day can be spent in the house. Opening the door for the dog is not “going out.”
5. No “Ain’t No Sunshine” either.
I’m happy to say I’ve lived up to each of these at least so far — though I saw a link to Alternative 4on Thee Facebooks last night and had to stop myself. We’ll see what the next couple of weeks bring. It’s pretty funny to be reminded every now and then of my own complete lack of independence, though. Hilarious to be so utterly inept at what to most people are daily tasks and to go entire days (though not two in a row!) where most of my conversation happens between myself and the dog. Indeed. Quite a week it’s been. Did I mention I’ve started watching Star Trek again from the beginning of the series?
Next week, the Conan interview goes up. This will happen come hell or high water. It’s been a while at this point since we spoke (it was the week of Hellfest), so yeah, it’s time. Also reviews of Wasted Theory and John Garcia‘s solo record.
I hope you have a great and safe weekend, and I hope it already began and involves friends and good food and all that wonderful stuff. Please check out the forum and radio stream.
Young Brazilian classic heavy rockers Necro – shortened from their original name, Necronomicon – are gearing up to release their second LP on Hydro-Phonic Records. The Maceio-based trio of guitarist/vocalist Lillian Lessa, bassist/vocalist Pedro Ivo Araujo and drummer Thiago Alef have released two singles to-date ahead of the forthcoming and as-yet-untitled full-length, and “Dark Redemption” was the first of them — the second, “Grito,” is streaming on their Bandcamp — and it continues the adherence to catchy, natural heavy ’70s vibes and classic Sabbathian doom riffing that Necronomicon showed on their first two releases, 2011′s self-titled debut EP and 2012′s conceptual follow-up The Queen of Death, though where it’s ultimately headed thematically remains as yet a mystery.
Still, the coming months will tell on that, and in the meantime, the video for “Dark Redemption” finds Necro slow-boogieing hooks in defiance of their years, the vocals of Lessa and Araujo underscored by organic, analog tones and a welcome retro groove. I heard their first EP a couple years back and dug the living hell out of it, but missed The Queen of Death, and so will look forward to checking out what the new one has to offer upon its arrival, whenever that might be, and while Necro unfortunately share their moniker with that death metal rapper who had Dan Lilker and the Tardy brothers from Obituary playing with him — as well as 30 or 40 other metal outfits — they still manage to carry their material across in such a way as to stand out from the pack. They don’t suck, and that always helps.
More to come on their new album as soon as I hear it, I hope, and in the meantime, “Dark Redemption” is a good way for anyone who maybe hasn’t heard them before to get introduced.
I usually like to think of myself as being pretty up to date on this kind of thing, but Troubled Horse‘s new video for “Bring My Horses Home” slipped through the cracks, I guess. Not sure why. Not like I’ve had a lot going on lately or anything like that.
Anyway, better late than never. You could probably say the same thing for the video itself, as it’s been two years since Troubled Horse‘s full-length debut, Step Inside (review here), was released on Rise Above Records. If I’m working behind the times (which I am, always), at least I’m not the only one, but actually, making a video — it was directed by Jonas Wahlstrand — so long after the album came out basically has the effect of reminding listeners of how badass that record was in the first place. Two years later, one might not reach for Step Insidewith the same regularity as when it first hit, so along comes “Bring My Horses Home,” and wham, the “Whoa-oh-oh” chorus gets stuck in the head again like it never left.
Because god damn, this song is catchy. The Örebro band’s ties to Witchcraft‘s retro-rocking glory days notwithstanding, frontman Martin Heppich carries the chorus with perfect drunkard’s swagger, and as Troubled Horse are reportedly getting ready to unveil details of their second long-player, a reissue of their original 2010 single — which just happened to have “Bring My Horses Home” as its A-side — provides further occasion to revisit the track ahead of their next outing.
So it’s off to the woods, then. Filmed as a four-piece, though they’re are apparently five of them now if the photo above is anything to go by, “Bring My Horses Home” is dark and engaging and only leaves the question about where that organ sound is coming from so deep in the forest.
Troubled Horse, “Bring My Horses Home” official video
In the second video teaser to herald the album’s September release below, YOB guitarist/vocalist Mike Scheidt discusses the motivations at work in the songwriting for the forthcoming Neurot Recordings debut, Clearing the Path to Ascend, citing an emotional basis in the material that’s brought out more than ever before, and talking about the band as part of a general quest for the defining of self and the making of who they are. There’s a music clip in it too, but hearing Scheidt speak candidly about what hedoes is always fascinating (I’ve been fortunate more than once; see here and here and also here) for the thoughtfulness of his perspective, and that manages to come through in the clip, brief though it is.
Clearing the Path to Ascendis out in September on Neurot, and in addition to their European tour with Pallbearer, a handful of YOB dates for the West Coast have been announced, including the previously noted Hoverfest on Aug. 23. The PR wire has details under the video.
YOB, Clearing the Path to Ascend Teaser 2
YOB: Oregon Doomsmiths Post Second Clearing The Path To Ascend Video Teaser; US Tour Dates Announced
Oregon doomsmiths, YOB, will released their long-awaited full-length, the aptly titled Clearing The Path To Ascend, via Neurot Recordings this Fall. Recorded at Gung Ho Studio in Eugene, notorious for its reserve of vintage equipment, alongside longtime collaborator/iconic sound-sage Billy Barnett, and mastered by Brad Boatright (Sleep, Beastmilk, Nails) at Audiosiege Engineering, Clearing The Path To Ascend is undoubtedly the crowning achievement for a band whose journey now nears two decades of creating music as commanding as it is cathartic. As is the YOB way, the tracks here don’t simply offer a vacuous glimpse into the already riff-soaked doom genre. These songs demand the tandem attention of mind, body, and soul – etching a mark across a sound that finds YOB as formidable and unequaled as they’ve ever been. The path to ascend is clearly an arduous one, fraught with the peril of mediocrity. Thankfully, YOB pummels that path, climbing upward into a realm that sets the band in a heavy metal place that has been and will always remain wholly their own.
As a precursor to the release, YOB is offering up a second Clearing The Path To Ascend video teaser. Produced by William F. Haldane of Solder House, the near four-minute video details the writing process, concept and emotional journey that embodies the record as a whole.
In related news, YOB will bring their otherworldly riff rituals to the stage later this month on a handful of West Coast live excursions that will include performances in Sacramento, Oakland and Seattle as well as a headlining performance at Portland’s Hoverfest alongside Witch Mountain, Lord Dying, Eight Bells and more!
The tour comes in advance of the band’s previously announced overseas trek this Fall. Slated to commence on September 3rd, 2014 in Utrecht, the Netherlands, the band will level twenty-eight cities, the tour coming to a close on October 11th, 2014 at Desertfest in Antwerp, Belgium. YOB will be joined by Little Rock doom bringers, Pallbearer.
YOB: 7/25/2014 Starlite Lounge – Sacramento, CA w/ Giant Squid, Will Haven 7/26/2014 Oakland Metro – Oakland, CA w/ Black Cobra, Augurs 8/01/2014 Space Eugene – Eugene, OR w/ Hell, Diseased Reason, Broken Dead 8/09/2014 El Corazon – Seattle, WA w/ Wounded Giant, Transient 8/23/2014 Hoverfest – Portland, OR w/ Witch Mountain, Lord Dying, many more…
UK/EU Tour 2014 w/ Pallbearer: 9/03/2014 Tivoli de helling – Utrecht, NL 9/04/2014 The Fleece – Bristol, UK 9/05/2014 Roadhouse – Manchester, UK 9/06/2014 Audio- Glasgow, UK 9/07/2014 Brudenell Social Club – Leeds, UK 9/08/2014 The Underworld – London, UK 9/10/2014 FZW – Dortmund, DE 9/11/2014 Vera – Groningen, NL 9/12/2014 Atlas – Aarhus, DK 9/13/2014 Truckstop Alaska – Gothenburg, SE 9/14/2014 Hostsabbat @ Betong – Oslo, NO 9/16/2014 Tavastia – Helsinki, FI 9/17/2014 Slakthuset – Stockholm, SE 9/18/2014 Loppen – Copenhagen, DK 9/19/2014 Connewitz – Leipzig, DE 9/20/2014 Firlej – Wroclaw, PL 9/21/2014 Bi Nuu – Berlin, DE 9/23/2014 Klub 007 – Prague, CZ 9/24/2014 Arena – Vienna, AT 9/25/2014 PMK – Unnsbruck, AT 9/26/2014 Gaswerk – Winterthur, CH 9/29/2014 Le Romandie – Lausanne, CH 10/02/2014 Razzmatazz3 – Barcelona, ES 10/03/2014 Villamanuela – Madrid, ES 10/04/2014 Amplifest – Porto, PT 10/05/2014 ES ESonora – Erandio, ES 10/10/2014 Kyttaro Club – Athens, GR 10/11/2014 Desertfest – Antwerp, BE
Clearing The Path To Ascend will be released on September 1st, 2014 in the UK and Europe and in the US on September 2nd, 2014 via Neurot Recordings.
I know I’ve gone on at length about the underrated nature of The Hidden Hand among the pantheon of so-called “Wino bands,” and it’s true, the project that I think introduced a lot of people to the style and frontmanship of Scott “Wino” Weinrich — their being active when Dave Grohl‘s Probot record was released likely had something to do with that — often gets downplayed. They weren’t as influential as The Obsessed or Spirit Caravan, and Saint Vitus is a different animal entirely. But The Hidden Hand was more than just some band Wino was in for a few years before getting back with Vitus. True, they had a half-decade run from about 2002 until 2007, but in that time they produced three vibrant, distinct albums that showed a commitment to stylistic progression and offered top notch riffing and a vocal collaboration between Wino and bassist Bruce Falkinburg that I think stands out as the best of Wino‘s career.
Maybe that’s not saying much since Wino hasn’t often shared vocal duties, but in my head, that only makes The Hidden Hand a more special band. Falkinburg, also a producer who’s worked with J. Robbins, Wooly Mammoth and many others, brought something to The Hidden Hand completely distinct from any other group in which Wino had taken part up to that point. Their songwriting showcased a rich partnership beginning with the De-Sensitized7″ and subsequent full-length debut, Divine Propaganda, released by MeteorCity in 2003. While my impression of that album has always been rooted in its rawness compared to its 2004 follow-up, Mother Teacher Destroyer, a revisit to the band’s eponymous song — or their theme, as the parenthetical has it — finds it a celebration of various elements. The heavy riffing and anti-authoritarian drive are both there that would become staples of The Hidden Hand‘s sound, the album’s title mirrored in the mysticism counteracted by worldly manipulations transforming into dogma amid the political turmoil of the early part of the last decade.
And with “The Hidden Hand (Theme),” it’s Falkinburg up front. Wino joins in on the chorus, but it’s worth noting that on the song The Hidden Hand chose to represent who they were and what they were about, it was the bassist in the frontman role.