I’ve got 300 of these bad boys on their way from Skillit, and whatever else I do with them, I know they’ll be included with pre-orders of the Clamfight CD. More info about that next week, but until then, check out the sticker design, once again courtesy of Skillit — who if I haven’t said it enough times by now — is the fucking man:
This poster was sent my way and it was too badass not to post. Not to mention the show is awesome. If you’re in Seattle, I don’t know what else might be going on Saturday, Nov. 24, but I do know that if anything’s going to knock you out of post-Thanksgiving MSG blues, it’s a gig with Mos Generator, VALIS and Seattle’s own Ancient Warlocks. Start making the excuses to your family now.
It’s the release show for VALIS‘ new album, Minds through Space and Time, and Mos Generator will have their new one, Nomads, on hand as well. Ancient Warlocks play third and so appear at the top of this killer poster, put together by Adam Burke of the band Fellwoods:
The self-titled full-length debut from Virginian experimentalists Human Services is dense with Neurosis-style atmosphere and tonal crush, moments of effects-driven spoken word leading to grinding, bleak freakouts — bleakouts! — as the four-piece run a malevolent course through the July release. Later, with “Messmas” and the two-part “Demixmas,” the avant garde will take hold, semi-tribal rhythms and Book of Knots-style bang and clang serving as precursor to the garage violence of closer “A Lust Song,” but that’s hardly the beginning of how Human Services‘ Human Services catches the listener off guard.
You can see above the outside of the envelope that houses the CD version of the album, which is available in a limited edition through the Human Services Bandcamp page. It is a handmade, numbered edition — I got #3 — put together by guitarist Jeff Liscombe (ex-Igon), and it adds greatly to the bizarre ambience of “Failsafe” or the darkened quirk of “Squirrel Cage,” giving a sense of premeditation to the record’s unhinged sprawl and nasty underlying weirdness.
On back, a QR code takes you to a page on their website with a stream of the album, video and a list of potential side-effects, but even keeping to the record itself, the look of it feeds remarkably well into what the band is doing musically. Open it up and you’ll see the following:
The disc is held in a plain white sleeve — not out of context with the rest of the package — and on the right is a foldout liner that opens to what looks like a scene of czarist oppression — or maybe its the czars being oppressed, kind of hard to tell.
It’s not until you flip that over that you see the tracklisting for the album itself, which is set over a nature scene of waterfalls and mountains behind.
If the idea is to juxtapose the cruelties of man with the power of nature, that would certainly complement some of the ideas present in Human Services‘ music as well — the band being comprised of Liscombe alongside Sean Sanford, Donnie Ballgame and Billy Kurilko — but they don’t go so far as to say explicitly whether or not that’s the intent, instead reveling in the obscurity and holding mystique in high regard as part of their process.
Human Services have already followed Human Services with a swamp-bluesy digital single called “Down to Your Last Goat,” but the album is still available to pick up, the limited package also including a t-shirt and stickers. More details can be found at their Bandcamp, from which the following stream also comes:
The mixing board don’t lie (unless, of course, it does): Dave Grohl is back alongside Josh Homme in Queens of the Stone Age. Only took a decade. New album in 2013. Now just tell me who’s playing bass.
I shared this on Thee Facebooks as well, but figured I should probably actually mark the occasion:
Visual Evidence: Black Pyramid, Kings Destroy & Clamfight “Annihilate All Weekend Long” Poster by SkillitPosted in Visual Evidence on October 25th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster
Once again, I doff my hat to the work of Sean “Skillit” McEleny, who just sent over this poster for the Black Pyramid, Kings Destroy and Clamfight “Annihilate All Weekend Long” weekender tour next month. You may know Skillit‘s stuff from, uh, scroll up, he did the header for this site, as well as from kickass shows and artists too numerous to mention in a post that’s just supposed to be about artwork. His site is here.
I wanna be friends with it:
Friday, 11/9 – Union Pool, Brooklyn, NY **FREE SHOW**
Saturday, 11/10 – Monty’s Krown, Rochester, NY
Sunday, 11/11 – O’Brien’s Pub, Somerville, MA
By way of band updates:
Kings Destroy will also be playing Nov. 2 at the St. Vitus bar in Brooklyn with Witch Mountain. Their new album is being mastered next week by Joe Lambert in Brooklyn, and will be out early 2013.
Clamfight are in Delaware this weekend with Wizard Eye and others. The latest on their new album is here. I can’t fucking wait for it to be released.
Black Pyramid kick ass. That’s not really news, but it’s true all the same.
Visual Evidence: Why Didn’t Someone Tell Me I was Quoted on the Saint Vitus Lillie: F-65 Jewel Case?Posted in Visual Evidence on October 2nd, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster
Not to toot my own horn, but holy shit:
I don’t even know who to thank for this. Saint Vitus? Season of Mist? Tony Reed? Cthulhu? Everyone? Whoever it is, after a full night of self-abusive drinking (ongoing!) and despairing about my life situation and the wide array of terrible choices I’ve made in career, career and, well, career, to see something like this totally out of the blue doesn’t exactly make up for the tens of thousands of dollars I’ve lost by never getting a real job, but at least the name of this site is on the same jewel case as a Saint Fucking Vitus logo. I don’t know what size cookie I get for that, but I’m banking on it having both chocolate and peanut butter chips.
Special thanks to Pope John the Enforcer of The Ripple Effect and Ripple Music for pointing this one out.
Apart from the reality of the thing itself, I think what I find most admirable about the total package for the Monster Book split between Michigan’s BerT and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s Triangle and Rhino is the fact that it’s basically self-released. Sure, it’s two bands contributing, but it’s put out through BerT‘s Madlantis Records imprint, self-financed and self-realized. Pretty fucking impressive.
Monster Book (review here) was released in August. Limited to 300 copies in a green swirl 12″ vinyl (seen above), it also includes a CD compilation of this and past BerT/Triangle and Rhino joint releases, a full-size poster, and the titular book itself, a 40-page mini-’zine with interviews, bizarre art, tiny, tiny text and much more.
Let’s take a closer look (click any image to enlarge):
The Vinyl Covers
From the start, it’s obviously a homemade job. The cover for BerT’s side (top) has the name of their side’s EP — Wall of Bees — and the Monster Book title itself, and the back has Triangle and Rhino‘s cover for In the Company of Creeps the hand-numbering for the vinyl. Mine’s either #154 or #159. Hard to tell. Both covers are dark, but textured as well, so right away, the physical presence of the release is important as well as the music.
Monster Book marks BerT‘s debut on vinyl. The picture there doesn’t really capture it, but the record itself is gorgeous with a deep green splatter running through it. They say your first time should be special, so there you go.
Poster artist Craig Horky managed to capture all the charm of stoner rock in one poster. I mean think about it: farting unicorns, crappy movie references, skull mountains, band names, a wizard (who in himself kind of looks like John Cleese in Monty Python and the Holy Grail; bonus points) and a nudie lady with junk in the trunk. If you could actually draw the riff to “Sweet Leaf,” this is what you’d come out with.
From what I can gather from my copy and the image at the top of this post, the images airbrushed onto the CD sleeves vary, but mine is a bird in relief and I dig it a lot. It stands out from the rest of the release, but since I seem to be the last person on the planet who gives a hairy fuck about the CD format, it’s cool to see them extend the effort and attention to detail.
None of these pictures are to scale with each other, but I still wanted to give some sense of the size of the ‘zine included with Monster Book, so taking my best middle school science class reasoning, I put a quarter next to it. Above is the front cover. Here’s a look inside:
BerT, who hail from Bath, in Michigan, interviewed a bunch of bands from the local scene in around Lansing — Cavalcade, Hordes, Liquified Guts, Elk Nebula, Icicles and many more — and included their Q&As in the 40 pages of this ‘zine, interspersing hijacked images with original art:
The whole affect is bizarre and more than a little deranged, but also thoroughly awesome. While listening to the array of fucked sonics on the split itself, thumbing through the ‘zine (thumb carefully, papercuts are a looming threat no less sinister than Triangle and Rhino‘s noise), it makes the experience even more complete. Who doesn’t like to read with a record on?
Here’s the back cover:
One last bit of charm before they leave off. I guess the back cover sums up a good portion of what Monster Book is all about — despite the massive amount of effort that went into making it, nobody here is taking themselves too seriously — but really, it’s the whole thing that’s worth celebrating, not just one aspect or another.
If you want to check out more on the Monster Book split between BerT and Triangle and Rhino, hit up the Madlantis Records website.
And in case you need more visual evidence, here’s BerT‘s video for “Heart Shaped McBubba”:
Neither band is British, and I tend to think tour posters are their own excuse for being, but if you need a connection to the UK special going on this week, French heavy psych rockers Abrahma and Swedish grunge enthusiasts Mother of God will begin their European tour Oct. 25 in London. From there, they’ll hit France, Germany, Austria and Italy in a round of dates you can find below.
This poster was just too cool not to put up:
Abrahma & Mother of God European Tour 2012
25.10.2012 – LONDON (UK) – WINDMILL
26.10.2012 – T.B.A (UK) – T.B.A
27.10.2012 – KOBLENZ (GER) – SK2
28.10.2012 – FREIBURG (GER) – T.B.A
29.10.2012 – BERLIN (GER) – JÄGERKLAUSE
30.10.2012 – WIEN/GÜRTEL (AUT) – ESCAPE (METAL CORNER)
31.10.2012 – STUTTGART (GER) – BEAT BARACKE
01.11.2012 – PARIS (FR) – LES COMBUSTIBLES
02.11.2012 – NANCY (FR) – T.B.A
03.11.2012 – T.B.A – T.B.A
04.11.2012 – DARMSTADT (GER) – OETINGER VILLA
05.11.2012 – T.B.A – T.B.A
06.11.2012 – TOULON – LA VALETTE s/ VAR (FR) – LE VOX
07.11.2012 – TORINO (IT) – UNITED CLUB
08.11.2012 – SAVIGNANO (IT) – SIDRO CLUB
09.11.2012 – ROSA VICENZA (IT) – VINILE CLUB (w/ OJM)
10.11.2012 – MILANO (IT) – COX 18
11.11.2012 – T.B.A (FR) – T.B.A
You can kind of see it, but the image above is of the envelope in which the CD pressing of recently On the Radar-ized Tuscon, Arizona, harvest doom outfit Young Hunter‘s full-length debut, Stone Tools, arrived. Click the picture (or any in the post, or any in any post) to enlarge. Stamped in black ink on the back in a sort of Native American geometric is a ram’s skull. Oh, what the postman must think of me.
Young Hunter was kind enough to send me one of the 300 physical copies of Stone Hunter, and one look at the packaging of the album and the obvious work that went into making it and it’s hard not to appreciate the effort, attention to detail (like the envelope above) and the effect that a physical presentation can have on what’s more often than not thought of these days as non-physical media. Take a look.
The CD itself comes in a black paper sleeve. Nothing really special about it, but on the front is the band’s logo stamped in silver ink. Obviously this isn’t to scale with the envelope above, but here it is:
Also included in the package, as well as some stickers, is a newsprint poster. Now, I’ll grant that I have and will probably always have a soft spot in my heart for newsprint owing to my time working for publications who utilized it, but as the Stone Tools poster unfolds to a whopping 34″ x 21″, it’s impressive even if you don’t have emotional baggage related to the media.
Inspired to do so by a shot on the band’s Bandcamp page, I left the CD (and the stickers) there for scale, but that’s the darker side. On the right there are words in a vertical all the way down, and on the left a wolf design in shades of gray. Some of the ink bled on the poster — hazards of the trade with newsprint; also something that makes each one unique — but it still looks great. The other side is a horizontal design:
Arranged into a pyramid are the lyrics to Stone Tools‘ nine tracks, and they rest atop a barren desert mountainscape appropriate for the atmosphere of the music. On each side, lines come together in a fade toward the middle and there’s a steer skull at the top. Here’s a closer look at the pyramid:
All told it’s a pretty gorgeous design and a great package that, from envelope to unfolding, really fits what Young Hunter are doing musically. If you want more info on this version of Stone Tools or to get it as a pay-what-you-will download, hit up Young Hunter‘s Bandcamp page. Thanks to the band for sending the album over.
I guess the title says it all — at least most of it — but the fact is that it’s been two weeks since Stoner Hands of Doom XII got underway at the El ‘n’ Gee in New London, Connecticut, and I can’t get over how killer Iron Man was closing out the fest on Sunday night. Not only were they awesome, because a lot of bands were awesome over the course of the weekend (trust me, I saw them all), but they were statesmen about it.
They asked nothing more than the attention of the crowd as they doomed out, and in return, they delivered a righteous set of classic, under-appreciated underground metal. They’ll probably never get their due, but dammit, they destroyed at that show, and did it as humbly as you might pump a tank of gas.
Just because I was reliving the moment, here are four shots of guitarist “Iron” Alfred Morris III kicking ass and taking names.
For me, it’s all about that last one. That’s what doom looks like. Here’s a guy who’s been in this band for nearly 25 years, and what’s he doing? He’s got his head down and he’s plowing into a riff. He’s doing it because he loves it, and it doesn’t matter what the trend is or who’s there to see him. He’d be doing the same anyway. Zero bullshit.
Fucking right doom on.
I gotta say, I felt like the coolest motherfucker on the planet when I opened the email attachment from Sean “Skillit” McEleny (website here) about an hour ago and saw the new banner for The Obelisk in all its glory. Feeling that way while checking my email is in itself is probably proof that I’m not, in fact, the coolest motherfucker on the planet, but the work still rules and I couldn’t be more stoked on it.
It’s up there now — click ‘refresh’ if you don’t see it — but I wanted to give a more detailed look at Skillit‘s design, because as you can see from the doomly purple octopus wrapped engulfing the obelisk in the red sky desert above, it’s fucking excellent.
Check out the dunes, ready for piloting:
And dig the sway of the cacti and the red sun, for which the logo (adapted and swaggered up from the original) has much blues:
In 760 pixels, Skillit managed to sum up so much of what this site is all about, the psychedelia, the heaviness, the doom, the stoner rock, and I can’t thank him enough for the time and effort he put into every little detail. Look at the shadows on the cacti! Or the waves in the red sky behind the octopus above. Or even the shading of the rocks. It’s all so killer, it makes me want to write copy that lives up to it.
So thanks once again to Skillit for making this possible. Make sure you check out the Skillit-Art website to see more of his work for SHoD, Days of the Doomed, Dali’s Llama, Fatso Jetson, Blaak Heat Shujaa, Admiral Browning and many, many more. His Thee Facebooks gallery is also home to much badassery, and a great way to get in touch with him to hire him for design work or just to tell him how awesome he is for coming up with stuff like this. Whatever else you do, I’d obviously recommend that.
Brian Mercer (interview here) killed it this time. He really, really did. Check it out. Small Stone‘s Boston showcase is Nov. 3 at Radio, with Gozu, Lo-Pan, The Brought Low, Roadsaw, Freedom Hawk, Lord Fowl, Infernal Overdrive, Supermachine and Blackwolfgoat.
You might also note whose logo is on the bottom left. Bad ass. Can’t wait to get me one framed and then not have a house to put it up in (zing! Oh wait, I just zinged myself, damnit).
Showcase is Nov. 3 at Radio in Somerville. For more info on it and on the upcoming Detroit showcase, which I’m just waiting to get up the courage to ask Halfway to Gone for a ride out to, hit up Small Stone on Thee Facebooks.
How desperate are we for new Sleep? Desperate enough that even a new promo shot earns its own post, thank you very much. Hell, it’s already the best-reviewed stoner metal band pic of 2012!
In the shot below, we see Sleep — drummer Jason Roeder (left), guitarist Matt Pike (right), bassist/vocalist Al Cisneros (bottom) — paying homage to Carl Sagan’s Cosmos with, among other things, righteous turtleneckage.
I ask you, what’s not to love?
This one was too cool not to post. Topeka, Kansas, heavy as hell trio The Midnight Ghost Train are once again hitting the road in support of their new album, Buffalo (review here). To promote their Aug. 9 Brooklyn gig with Reign of Zaius and Eidetic Seeing, the band has silkscreened posters onto the backs of PBR boxes. Even as someone who doesn’t drink the beer, I think that’s pretty clever. Click to enlarge:
Check out the full list of The Midnight Ghost Train tour dates (including European shows this fall) at their website.
Set the controls for the heart of Iommi. Acclaimed artists David V. D’Andrea (interview here) and Arik Roper (interview here) recently collaborated on a special edition poster for Sleep‘s gig June 5 at the Fox Theater in the band’s native Oakland, California. The Fox, heralded as a centerpiece of Oakland’s purported renaissance (or so I’m told), seems the perfect spot for Sleep to mark a homecoming, and though it would be just days after that guitarist Matt Pike entered rehab (and of course all best wishes to him for his recovery), having seen Sleep in April, I can honestly say it was a revelation.
It also works on the level of D’Andrea being intimately involved over the last several years with the visual side of bassist/vocalist Al Cisneros‘ Om, and Roper having provided High on Fire‘s most epic album covers. As Cisneros and Pike (as well as Neurosis drummer Jason Roeder) have stepped back into their roles in one of the most pivotal stoner metal bands since Black Sabbath, it’s only fitting that D’Andrea and Roper should join forces to mark the occasion as well.
The poster went on sale this afternoon. Below, you’ll find the specs, availability info and where you can buy it, as well as images of its weedian splendor, any of which you can click to enlarge.
Arik Roper, David D?Andrea and Monolith Press have teamed up to commemorate earth re-entry and final destination of Sleep flight mission II (surface harvest of domiciliary biodomes), June 5, 2012.
Fox Theater, Oakland California (37.8044° N, 122.2697° W), vector resolution and common holy ground, welcomed Cisneros, Pike, and Roeder upon surface re-entry.
Setlist: Dopesmoker/Holy Mountain/Dragonaut/Sonic Titan/…and Sagan/Antarctican?s Thawed/Aquarian/The Druid/From Beyond/Cultivator/Morris II
The visual depiction of Marijuanaut lore is a collaboration between scribes Roper and D?Andrea. As told in Sleep scripture, the Marijuanaut race escaped earth to cultivate long ago. Now that the Iommic era is upon us, intergalactic biodome harvest has begun.
Artist edition release date will be Saturday July 7, 1PM Pacific time (4PM Eastern)
First come – first serve. The edition will remain online until sold out. Orders will ship from the River, Portland Oregon via USPS Priority mail. Limit one per customer please. Over sales will be refunded.
Please visit http://www.dvdandrea.com for more details.
24 x 35.5”
Cougar White stock
Signed (both artists) and numbered edition of 100
+ 8.50 shipping US and Canada