Posted in Whathaveyou on May 25th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
At first, it seemed this was the first announcement to come from Desertfest Athens 2016 that didn’t feature a band from Greece, but when We Own the Sky came aboard, that took care of that. One suspects it’s more happenstance than anything else either way — and there have only been three rounds of lineup adds so far; October’s still a ways off — but it makes sense that the inaugural edition of the Athens brand extension would look to pursue an international reach the same as its compatriots in Antwerp, Berlin and London. This time around, in addition to We Own the Sky, we get My Sleeping Karma from Germany, Torche from the US and Steak from the UK added to the bill alongside Colour Haze, Pentagram and others, and though the announcements were brief from the fest, what each band brings to the event as a whole speaks volumes to the kind of range it will have by the time it’s ready to roll out.
I’ve been seeing word The Atomic Bitchwax will open for Pentagram on their European tour (at least confirmed in Ireland so far). Have to wonder if an announcement for them is in the cards soon. In the meantime, exclamations:
Torche join Desertfest Athens!!!
MY SLEEPING KARMA – OFFICIAL will blow your mind at Desertfest Athens!!!
Straight from Uk to Athens, Steak live at Desertfest Athens!!!
we.own.the.sky join Desertfest Athens 2016!!!
Get your tickets now!!!
Desertfest’s early bird tickets are sold out!!!
After London, Berlin and Antwerp, the Desertfest franchise is keeping up its conquest of Europe by launching the very first Greek edition of the famous stoner, doom and psych festival. DESERTFEST ATHENS will take place over the second weekend of October, as a sister event of the autumnal Belgium edition.
Over the years, DESERTFEST has become one of the most popular events in Europe for everything heavy, stoner, doom and psyche. “Made by fans for the fans”, the festival gathers thousands of people from across the globe each year by hosting the finest headliners, while also constantly stretching the limits of its own niche with dozens of quality live acts throughout a weekend. Nurturing a friendly atmosphere since the very beginning, DESERTFEST is a urban festival that has won the loyalty of heavy music lovers, so expect your Greek holiday to be a unique and memorable music and human experience!
Posted in Whathaveyou on May 25th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
From the Finnish heavy hotbed of Turku, four-piece rockers Craneium issued their debut full-length, Explore the Void, last fall. The band has been picked up to do a pressing of the album via Ripple Music, and it’s received a “winter” release date, no doubt because the label’s schedule is so packed. Fair enough. It may be 2017 before the CD and/or LP shows up, but Explore the Void can be streamed in full now from Craneium‘s Bandcamp (also below), and boasts a fuzzy sound as true to its intent as it is the fiery skies in Alexander von Wieding‘s cover art.
You’ll find that below, followed by the release announcement from the PR wire.
Goes like this:
Ripple Music Signs Finnish Psych Rockers Craneium to World-wide Deal and New Album
Prepare for a huge slab of protometal leads, psychedelic riffs, rolling bass lines, with killer melodies and grooves, as Ripple Music unleashes the debut album from Finnish rockers Craneium “Explore the Void”.
Craneium was formed 2011 in Turku, Finland, but the roots of the members grow deep in rural Ostrobothnia, the bible-belt of Finland, further north where the are more Holy Books than Sabbath records on the shelves. Craneium formed around one goal – to write some seriously intense and fuzzy riff rock. Eager to play they immediately headed out for live shows as soon as they had penned together some tunes. Live the energetic nature of the band really comes alive and shines. When they perform they are one force with the music, which they projectile right into to the crowd at full volume. Needless to say, they always end a concert dripping in sweat with the audience mangled against a wall of fuzz.
The band released The Slowerdrive Tapes on cassette in 2013 and a 12″ split in 2014 with fellow ‘nauts 3rd Trip. 2014-15 they spent long hours recording the essence of these four years: “Explore The Void”, a 50 minute journey through fuzz rock mayhem. The bands sound is a constant ebb and flow of different influences. They go from atmospheric clean vibes that build up and build up, only to clash into fuzzy grooves. While they’re not trying to reinvent the wheel they’re giving it a hard spin with their own brand of fuzz rock!
Wrapped up in some stunning, artwork, this album creates a total sonic experience; the sort of thing that you can get utterly and beautifully lost in, as you travel beyond the valley and into the void.
Look for Craneium’s Ripple Music debut “Explore the Void” this winter on limited edition vinyl, world-wide vinyl, CD and digital.
Posted in Whathaveyou on May 24th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Newcomer collaborative duo Robb & Pott go to warp five on “Flesh ‘n’ Steel” from their debut album, Once upon the Wings — out in September through mega-respected purveyor Nasoni Records, now in their 20th year — and that’s still before they get around to covering Sam Gopal, so yeah, it’s pretty fair to say the record’s tripped out. The two-piece is made up of Robbi Robb of Californian desert jammers 3rd Ear Experience and Paul Pott of German space rockers The Space Invaders, and the record boasts five tracks from “Space Ear,” the title derived from the players’ main outfits, to the 16-minute blissery of “Prophecy #1,” each of which proves immersive and basks in chemistry that it would seem even continents couldn’t separate.
From the PR wire:
Robb & Pott – Once Upon the Wings
We are pleased to announce the release of Once Upon the Wings – a collaboration between Robbi Robb of 3rd Ear Experience and Paul_Pott of the German space rock band the Space Invaders.
Cds will be available in July 2016 and Vinyl will be released in September 2016 through Nasoni Records.
Most musicians after they have discovered their instrument of choice, enjoy playing with their friends, jamming in garages, at backyard parties and around campfires. Though some go professional eventually – there remains the attraction to return to those days of jamming and making music with good friends and like-minded musicians we meet on the way. It is this underlying sentiment that inspires this project simply called Robb&Pott. The last names of two friends.
When Robbi performed with Tribe after Tribe at the Burg Herzberg Festival he briefly met Paul who was part of the film crew Andi Weimann put together to capture Tribe live. Years later Paul would help Robbi to get his new album with 3rd Ear Experience to labels and promoters. At that time Robb did not know that Paul played bass in one of his favorite Space rock bands: the Space Invaders. This came as a great surprise. Slowly over the years their friendship developed until it was inevitable that the desire arose to do an album together – just for fun. Thus was born Robb & Pott.
Posted in Whathaveyou on May 24th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Look, I’m not even gonna wax critical on this one, just read everything about the new Helen Money record, Become Zero, below and then preorder it. Couldn’t be simpler. The album is out on Sept. 16 through Thrill Jockey and follows 2013’s Arriving Angels (review here) and a 2015 collaboration with Jarboe. This Spring, Alison Chesley, the sole inhabitant of the band Helen Money, toured alongside French progressive rock legends Magma, and like them, she speaks a language entirely her own. Damn. I said I wasn’t gonna wax critical.
Save me, PR wire!
LP version pressed on virgin vinyl and packaged with artworked inner sleeve and free download coupon. CD version in 4 panel mini-LP style gatefold package.
Limited quantity pressed on opaque yellow gold color vinyl
Helen Money’s Become Zero continues cellist Alison Chesley’s exploration of emotive and intense music. Written after the death of both of her parents, Become Zero amplifies Chesley’s musical ferocity with palpable sadness and striking beauty. Using her extensively manipulated cello, Chesley joins forces once more with drummer Jason Roeder (Sleep, Neurosis), Rachel Grimes (Rachel’s) and collaborator and co-producer Will Thomas (who provides sound effects and samples) on an album that is incredibly personal and visceral.
Through her music, Chesley takes us on a journey as she grapples with the concepts and the emotions of life’s end: loss, isolation, sorrow, peace and resolution. “Vanished Star” imagines a place where this life and what lies beyond it intersect in an eerie waltz between the piano and cello. “Facing the Sun,” takes its title from the loosely-translated name of the Tataviam Indians, who lived in the San Fernando Valley where Chesley grew up. “It also refers to my father who loved the Valley and loved sitting outside and feeling the sun on his skin,” Chesley says. “Radiate” begins in a place of struggle and hardship which is eventually transcended. The song starts with a dissonant, distorted chord on the cello and builds to a place where it fights with itself before finally falling apart. “To end the piece I wanted it to sound like it was dissolving into space – another reference to my father, who worked on the Apollo and Space Shuttle programs,” says Chesley. “Will and I even managed to replicate the sound of a satellite pinging at the end. The ending feels very peaceful to me. Resolved.”
On “Blood and Bone,” Chesley brought in pianist Rachel Grimes. While “Blood and Bone” is acoustic, don’t assume that it’s a gentler piece. “One of the things I struggle with as a composer is writing for my cello without any effects, especially music that is as powerful as my amplified pieces,” Chesley says. She had been practicing the 5th cello suite by JS Bach, a “very dark piece,” as she wrote Become Zero. In this suite, Bach has the cellist tune the top string down a whole step, and the music itself is very dissonant and powerful. Chesley wanted to incorporate the piano which adds a nice depth and percussiveness to the texture. So she opened the piece with those very stark chords and brought the cello in, letting it gradually take over.
Much of Become Zero was recorded at Thomas’ Los Angeles studio. Additional recording was done at Grimes’ studio outside of Louisville, Kentucky, and at East/West Studios in Hollywood. While Chesley had previously exclusively recorded analog to tape with Steve Albini, she went in a new direction for her Thrill Jockey debut. “I wanted to explore the freedom provided by digital recording,” Alison explains. “there is simply more flexibility with regards to multi-tracking…such as interfacing with electronic sounds, supplementing tracks with MIDI sounds, and ease of movement between the analog and digital domain. Become Zero’s songs called for a much wider palate of sounds.” Roeder’s drums were recorded separately at East/West Studios on a vintage Neve console. Chesley’s expanded approach to recording results in a beautiful mix of acoustic and processed sounds, a perfect fit for an album that is at once highly visceral and delicately ethereal.
Helen Money is equally at home in the New Music realm as she is in the New Metal realm. Chesley has toured extensively with an incredible array of musicians, including Shellac, Neurosis, Sleep, Russian Circles, Magma, Agalloch, Earth, and Nina Nastasia. Both Portishead and Shellac selected her for their respective All Tomorrow’s Parties festivals. Helen Money toured with Bob Mould in 2015, including a performance on the Late Show with David Letterman. Her history of collaborations with Chicago improvisers is extensive.
Chesley currently resides in Los Angeles and will be participating in a monthlong residency at the venue Complex throughout August 2016. Helen Money is actively touring throughout Europe and the United States. She will be touring again extensively in the fall and throughout 2017.
Tracklisting: 1 Every Confidence 2 Become Zero 3 Radiate 4 Blood and Bone 5 Vanished Star 6 Machine 7 Leviathan 8 Facing the Sun
[Farflung release their new album, 5, via Heavy Psych Sounds this weekend at Freak Valley 2016. Click play above to stream it in full.]
They’ve hardly been inactive in the interim, but 5 marks the first studio LP from Los Angeles space rockers Farflung in eight years. Released by Heavy Psych Sounds, it follows 2008’s A Wound in Eternity (on MeteorCity) as well as splits with White Hills, Black Rainbows and Fatso Jetson (review here), among others, and finds the long-running outfit past the 20-year mark since their debut, 25,000 Feet Per Second, came out in 1995. Through the bulk of that two decades, Farflung have coursed through the cosmos thoroughly underappreciated for their efforts — similar to split-mates White Hills, who started later, they seem to have found more of a foothold in Europe than in the US.
But 5 brings renewed vitality in its nine miniaturized interstellar voyages/43 minutes, all songs but the opening three under five minutes long but with a significant breadth all the same, dripping in effects and spaced far enough out that the scale of “far out” only seems to begin to cover it. Some vibe can only be measured in parsecs, and with the band comprised of Tommy Grenas, Michael Esther, Paul Hischier, Abby Travis and Chris Nakata with guest appearances from Hawkwind‘s Nik Turner, David Catching and Gene Troutmann (both affiliated with Queens of the Stone Age and Eagles of Death Metal), Farflung‘s vibe pushes outward from the moment of its inception until it closes with the almost tribal krautrock thrust of “The Retreat,” as progressive as it is lysergic.
Naturally, they are right at home in this expanding sphere. “Hive” opens 5 — which by the way is upwards of Farflung‘s eighth album — and is the longest cut on it at 6:53 (immediate points), acting as intro for itself and the record as a whole with its emergent swirl in the first minute that soon launches into kosmiche boogie instrumental save for some buried vocalizations. The push is everything. They’re not quite aping Hawkwind at the outset, but the thrust of the first half is clearly-enough working to break through the atmosphere, which “Hive” seems to do and float for a while in its second half before resuming its outward crunch. Effects start “Proterozoic” as well, but a more forward structure takes hold, with lyrics delivered in echoing deadpan over double snare taps for a garage rock feel that takes off its in chorus.
That hook turns out to be one of the strongest on 5 and is followed by a long stretch of hypnotic, resonantly psychedelic drone and effects near the finish, which sets up the more earthbound riff opening “044MPZ,” with a kind of New Wave synth line underscoring its verse and a sense of space in the chorus behind interweaving echoes. Synth and Echoplex add fluidity to a languid solo, and though it seems like Farflung have hit the point of no return from whence the only thing to do is continue to jam, they turn back to the chorus before shifting into less-plugged acid fervor. “044MPZ” is the crucial third in the aforementioned longer-tracks opening trio, and what follows from there on “27th Sun” and side B read like reports checking in from the various worlds Farflung have visited along their way to wherever it is they might end up by the album’s end.
“Lupine,” the centerpiece, calls back to “044MPZ” in its tone, but with a change in vocals (is that Turner?) that marks it out immediately ahead of the shorter “Being Boiled,” which has a more brooding take. Waves of guitar and repetitive robotic chants position “We Are” as something of a landmark, but at that point it’s really more about the wash in its entirety than any single element — all these layers drawing together to create something immersive and entrancing. Slower and more centered around low end, “Dismal Jimmy” is nonetheless among the trippier offerings on 5, and almost enough to make one wish Farflung hit the brakes more often, but while the penultimate inclusion, it also stands as reinforcement of the fact that as far as the band has to that point journeyed, they’ve still got the warp drive geared toward who the hell knows.
And if you’re looking for that answer in “The Retreat,” good luck. Resolution comes in cinematic percussive drama backed by the ever-present swirl, and is less about making the album preceding more accessible than showing that Farflung could probably keep it as well as all of the ideas presented before it going into perpetuity. In that way, 5 feels somewhat pared down, like these tracks were carved from longer jams during the songwriting and shaped into what they are with effects and layers of keys and synth and so on, but that shouldn’t be taken as an indication that there’s anything happening here other than exploration, since that very much remains at the heart of what Farflung have accomplished on this welcome return.
Unless you plan to spend the rest of your morning/afternoon going through the animated works of Romanian artist Costin Chioreanu — beats working — I can almost completely guarantee that nothing else you watch will be of the particular weirdo ilk that Virus‘ “Rogue Fossil” video inhabits. The song comes from Memento Collider, which is the Norwegian trio’s fourth album and first in a half-decade, out June 3 via Karisma Records, and like Chioreanu‘s artwork accompanying it, “Rogue Fossil” isn’t quite like anything else out there, with its darkened swirl, vigilant sonic individuality and an angularity and catchiness to its hook that in most hands would be completely at odds and yet, for Virus, feels like home.
I was fortunate enough to see the band play last year and they closed with “Rogue Fossil.” The aforementioned hook was immediately recognizable on hearing it in the studio version with the new video, and while Virus aren’t necessarily beholden to one structure or anything else in their experimentalist metal, they are one of those bands you always know when you’re hearing. Doesn’t sound like anything else, must be Virus. I haven’t heard the entirety of Memento Collider yet, but if you’re unfamiliar with them, they’ve honed a kind of heavy progressive rock out of post-blackened atmospheres and they play it with jazzy fluidity. If that sounds all over the map, it should. That’s pretty clearly the whole idea when it comes to these guys.
Album info and preorder links follow the video below.
Virus, “Rogue Fossil” official video
In advance of the release of their fourth full-length, Memento Collider, Norwegian avant-garde rockers/recent Karisma Records signees, VIRUS, today issue the official new video accompaniment to the track “Rogue Fossil.”
The twisted, animated clip was created by renowned Romanian multi-media artist Costin Chioreanu, who says of his new creation for the pioneering experimental rockers, “I went beyond all my boundaries and I have a feeling I touched a bit of insanity. You know that it’s going to be something unique.” Having made his mark not only as a graphic artist, but also as a stage artist, musician, animator, and movie maker at a relatively young age, Chioreanu’s visual manifestation for VIRUS is the latest in a series of collaborations with artists from Karisma Records, and its sister label Dark Essence Records.
Set for release on Karisma Records on the 3rd of June, Memento Collider was recorded at the Amper Tone Studios in Oslo and includes a guest appearance from Voivod’s Dan Mongrain. It is, without a doubt, an album that demonstrates the true essence of progressive rock. To preorder Momento Collider on CD or vinyl go HERE. For digital orders, go HERE.
Posted in Whathaveyou on May 24th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Brash UK heavy rockers XII Boar will release their sophomore album, Beyond the Valley of the Triclops, this summer. The band, who seem to be taking part with many of their regional contemporaries — looking at you BongCauldron and Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard — in a contest to determine who can come up with the most ridiculous names and/or titles, offered their debut, Pitworthy (review here), early last year, and recorded the follow-up with the nigh-on-ubiquitous Chris Fielding of Conan at Skyhammer Studio. No exact date has been set as of now, but August seems to be the month, if the PR wire is anything to go by, which it is.
Album info and hey-look-it’s-a-butt cover art follow, because there’s nothing quite like keeping it classy:
UK metal’n’roll heavyweights XII BOAR return with new album “Beyond The Valley of The Triclops” this summer!
Prepare for a huge slab of ear-splitting leads, sonic riffs, filthy bass lines, whiskey drenched vocals and sweet southern grooves, as Hampshire wrecking ball XII BOAR (pronounce ‘Twelve Boar’) return this summer with their sophomore album “Beyond The Valley Of The Triclops”.
Recorded at Skyhammer Studio with renowned producer Chris Fielding (Conan, Electric Wizard, Winterfylleth) at the end of last year, Beyond The Valley of The Triclops sees XII BOAR hitting new heights with a stronger, focused, no limits approach to song writing. Having achieved huge critical acclaim with last year’s debut album Pitworthy, the band are already back and on point to be one of 2016’s strongest contenders.
Combining Motorhead’s swagger, Sabbath’s downtrodden doom and the swinging crunch of Corrosion of Conformity – these Hampshire louts lay down a colossal slab of rock’n’roll-infused groove metal, alongside a wild live show to fuel even the greatest parties. Now the band is on a path to do great things. With their debut album Pitworthy released in March 2015, XII BOAR are rapidly becoming unstoppable. Looking forward to their second performance at Bloodstock, a film licensing deal with Troma Films editor turned cult icon Dylan Greenberg, and of course, the release of their sophomore record, Beyond The Valley Of The Triclops the band is excited to see what the future holds.
Wrapped up in some stunning, booty-tastic artwork done by quasi-legendary artist James Hayball this album creates a total sonic experience, the sort of thing that you can get utterly and beautifully lost in, as you travel beyond the valley. After all… This is pure rock and roll for the heavier generation.
XII BOAR “Beyond The Valley Of The Triclops” Out this August – Presale infos coming soon…
XII BOAR IS Tommy Hardrocks – Guitar & Vocals Adam Thomas – Bass & Backing Vocals Dave Wilbraham – Drums
Rochester heavy psych-blues trio King Buffalo will issue their debut long-player, Orion, on Aug. 5, 2016. It’s an album rife with organic, flowing grooves, nighttime expanses and memorable progressions… which is something I expect at least some of you reading this already know, since the three-piece — who made their debut with 2013’s Demo (review here) and also released a split with the now-defunct Lé Betre (review here) on STB last year — snuck out a pre-release download-only edition of Orion a couple months ago in order to help finance the pressing of the LP and CD versions, which come with different artwork courtesy of bassist Dan Reynolds and are available now to preorder ahead of the aforementioned release date.
I’ll tell you at the outset that I’ve been waiting for King Buffalo‘s debut, at times impatiently. As in, emailing the band to ask if it’s done yet. I knew before I heard it that I wanted them at the first-ever The Obelisk All-Dayer on Aug. 20 at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn (info here) and was only gladder to have asked them when I actually heard Orion itself. There’s a laid-back sensibility to even its heaviest moments, and some (myself included when I actually get to reviewing it) will compare parts of it to their Nashville-based aesthetic compatriots in All Them Witches, but ultimately King Buffalo are on a denser-toned trip with Orion‘s tracks, guitarist/vocalist Sean McVay (who also engineered and mixed) establishes his own personality and approach, and they come out of their first album having completely justified the anticipation that came before it.
If you haven’t, you can hear a sort-of-premiere for Orion‘s titular cut below, followed by some comment from drummer/backing vocalist Scott Donaldson about the song, the rather extensive list of tour dates the band has booked for the summer, and of course, the preorder link.
Hope you enjoy:
Scott Donaldson on “Orion”:
“Orion (title-track) came together rather easily. Sean started with the opening slow melodic riff, and it organically fell into place. The tempo change and tom build up naturally happened, and we all locked into the crescendo through the end. This was the very first song we recorded for the album. It was so exciting to listen back and hear those sounds for the first time. We knew immediately we wanted it to be the opening track.”
Available for the first time. King Buffalo’s long-awaited debut full length “Orion” on wax! Preorder your copy of what many are calling a “Contender for album of the year!”
The classic Black 12″ Vinyl comes in a Single pocket jacket, with a Polybag and download code. The 1st pressings are limited to 500 and hand numbered.
Albums will be shipped as soon as we receive them, which should be early August of 2016. Download Code will be sent immediately after purchase via email.
Written and recorded by King Buffalo in Rochester, NY at the Main Street Armory in 2015.
Produced and Engineered by Sean McVay. Mastered for vinyl by Bernard Matthews at BMAP INC. Mastered for digital by Matt Ramerman. Artwork by Dan Reynolds.
King Buffalo live: 5/26 Toronto, ON – Bovine Sex Club 6/4 Rochester, NY – Bug Jar (Tour Send Off) w/ Slow Season, Geezer and Bygone Few JUN 15 WED Carabar Columbus, OH w/ Eye JUN 16 THU FooBar Nashville, TN w/ Holy Mountain Top Removers JUN 17 FRI Murphys Memphis, TN JUN 18 SAT Freak Tulsa 2016 Tulsa, OK JUN 19 SUN The Mix San Antonio, TX w/ Slow Season JUN 20 MON The Grand Austin, TX JUN 21 TUE The Blind Mule Mobile, AL w/ Black Titan JUN 22 WED TBD Athens, GA JUN 23 THU Urban Artifact Cincinnati, OH JUN 24 FRI Brillobox Pittsburgh, PA w/ Year Of The Cobra JUN 25 SAT Guidos Speakeasy Frederick, MD w/ IRATA Akris Floodlore JUL 15 FRI The Dev Utica, NY JUL 16 SAT The Barn Volney, NY JUL 22 FRI The Grog Shop Cleveland, OH w/ All Them Witches JUL 23 SAT Tralf Music Hall Buffalo, NY w/ All Them Witches JUL 26 TUE Club Cafe Pittsburgh, PA w/ All Them Witches AUG 4 THU Monkey Bar Burlington, VT AUG 5 FRI The Low Beat Albany, NY AUG 6 SAT Otro Cinco Syracuse, NY AUG 10 WED The Happy Dog Cleveland, OH AUG 11 THU FooBar Nashville, TN AUG 12 FRI Caledonia Lounge Athens, GA AUG 13 SAT The Garage Winston-Salem, NC AUG 16 TUE Slims Raleigh, NC AUG 17 WED Strange Matter Richmond, VA AUG 20 SAT The Obelisk All-Dayer Brooklyn, NY w/ Mars Red Sky, Funeral Horse