Brant Bjork Premieres “Jungle in the Sound” from Self-Titled Album out April 10

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 21st, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Desert rock ambassador to the universe and stylistic figurehead Brant Bjork will release his new, self-titled, album April 10 on Heavy Psych Sounds. Preorders start today, and at the bottom of this post you’ll find the premiere of the opening track, “Jungle in the Sound.” Before that is a bio I wrote for the outing. Truth be told, I’m trying to do less of that kind of thing on the whole, in order to better prioritize this site above pretty much everything in terms of how I spend my limited mental capacity on any given day, but when it’s Brant Bjork, you don’t say no. Especially if you get to hear the record, which I did.

You’ll note that it’s self-titled. That’s significant. Bjork plays everything and of course sings on the album and thereby captures the intimate but still-rocking vibe of some of his most landmark outings, and especially considering the full-band sound he’s honed over the past seven years, going so far as to collaborate with guitarist Bubba DuPree on 2018’s Mankind Woman (review here), it’s something of a departure even though he’s still ultimately on familiar terrain. A readjustment of properties perhaps. I hear there’s some of that going around.

The album will be out on Heavy Psych Sounds, who sent along the following, including the bio I wrote:

brant bjork brant bjork

Brant Bjork – Self-Titled Album

Preorder link: https://www.heavypsychsounds.com/shop.htm#HPS129

BIO:

Even before you know it’s self-titled, and even before you read the LP liner notes, you know it’s all Brant Bjork.

The man who has become the ambassador of Californian desert rock indeed plays every instrument across his 13th studio full-length, Brant Bjork. This in itself is something of a departure from recent offerings, as on 2018’s Mankind Woman, Bjork worked closely with guitarist Bubba DuPree (Void), and both 2016’s Tao of the Devil and 2014’s Black Power Flower were constructed around the Bjork-led Low Desert Punk Band.

Maybe revisiting his 1999 debut, Jalamanta, for a Heavy Psych Sounds 20th anniversary reissue last year had some effect on Bjork’s mindset in terms of working solo, but he’s come too far in the ensuing decades to repeat himself, and the songs on Brant Bjork – recorded and mixed by Yosef Sanborn in Joshua Tree and mastered by John McBain (ex-Monster Magnet) – show that, whether it’s the mellow roll of “Duke of Dynamite” or the signature take on classic heavy rock in “Jesus Was a Bluesman” and percussion-backed funk of opener “Jungle in the Sound.” There’s no mistaking Brant Bjork, and on Brant Bjork, he strips his songwriting style to its core and brings out the organic vibe that’s made him desert rock’s most crucial practitioner.

His legacy and pedigree are unmatched, with tenures in Kyuss/Vista Chino and Fu Manchu as well as the sadly-shortlived Ché, Ten East and others, but it is Brant Bjork’s solo work that has had his greatest impact and shown him to be of inimitable character in craft and style. His unrelenting creativity and one-of-a-kind voice are writ large over the Brant Bjork LP, which is precisely how it should be, and after more than two decades of exploring out in the sands, Bjork continues to find new ways to manifest not just the landscape of the desert, but the spirit of his relationship to it.

In short, he is a master, and this is the record that bears his name. You miss it at your own peril.

Tracklisting:
JUNGLE IN THE SOUND
MARY (YOU’RE SUCH A LADY)
JESUS WAS A BLUESMAN
CLEANING OUT THE ASHTRAY
DUKE OF DYNAMITE
SHITKICKIN’ NOW
STARDUST & DIAMOND EYES
BEEN SO LONG

Today we also start the presale of 2 remastered BRANT BJORK masterpieces, both with brand new artwork:

*** PUNK ROCK GUILT – release date April 17th***
and
*** GODS & GODDESSES – release date April 24th***

The new self-titled Brant Bjork album will be RELEASED IN:

– 40 ultra ltd test press vinyl
– DELUXE EDITION: 100 ULTRA LTD COLOUR IN COLOUR TRANSPARENT RED / BLACK 12″ VINYL + DIGIPAK + T-SHIRT + PATCH + BAG + POSTER + STICKER
– 250 LTD half – half / white red vinyl
– 700 LTD (500 for german market-200 from HPS stoner online) side a – side b / white background + mix red vinyl
– LTD splatter / transparent backgroud – red splatter vinyl
– black vinyl
– digipak
– digital

Sound of Liberation & Metal Hammer proudly present:
BRANT BJORK + special guest MAIDAVALE

23.04.20 Aschaffenburg, Colos-Saal Aschaffenburg(DE)
24.04.20 Munich, Feierwerk (DE)
25.04.20 Wien, ARENA WIEN (AT)
26.04.20 Graz, p.p.c. (AT)
27.04.20 Budapest, Akvárium Klub Official (HU)
28.04.20 Linz, Stwst Stadtwerkstatt (AT)
29.04.20 Stuttgart, Universum (DE)
30.04.20 Brussels, Magasin 4 (BE)
01.05.20 London, Desertfest London (UK)
02.05.20 Nijmegen, Sonic Whip (NL)
03.05.20 Berlin, DesertFest Berlin (DE)
04.05.20 Hamburg, Knust Hamburg (DE)
05.05.20 Dortmund, Musiktheater Piano (DE)
06.05.20 Paris, Petit Bain (FR)
07.05.20 Toulouse, Le Rex de Toulouse (FR)
08.05.20 Vitoria, Hell Dorado :: El Club Sónico :: (SP)
09.05.20 Madrid, Kristonfest (SP)

https://www.facebook.com/BrantBjorkOfficial
https://www.instagram.com/brant_bjork
http://www.brantbjork.com
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS
http://www.heavypsychsounds.com
https://heavypsychsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com

Brant Bjork, “Jungle in the Sound” official track premiere

Tags: , , , , ,

Dirt Woman Set March 13 Release for The Glass Cliff; Premiere “Lady of the Dunes”

Posted in audiObelisk, Whathaveyou on January 21st, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Dirt-Woman_Photo-by-Kira-Solomon

Ocean City, Maryland, four-piece Dirt Woman make their full-length debut through Grimoire Records on March 13 with the five-track collection The Glass Cliff. Riffs? Hell’s bells, it’s like they live in a riffy valley between two riff mountains cut by a river of riffs where they subsist on riffy agriculture and have enough left over to make a tidy living exporting them to other, less riffy regions. The nod runs strong throughout their massive, Noel Mueller-captured grooves, with guitarist/vocalist Zoe Koch and guitarist Gabe Solomon at the forefront of the surging tonal tide, pushed forward by the tectonic lumber of Kearny Mallon‘s bass and Avery Mallon‘s steady rolling drums. Shades of Acid King riding the electric machine and just a touch of Windhand-style foggy atmospherics make themselves felt throughout cuts like “Lady of the Dunes” and the joyously plodding “Creator” — one of the three cuts to top 13 minutes in length, along with the closing duo of “Demagogue” (13:30) and “Starhawk” (13:45) — which also finds Avery‘s drums in its later reaches looking to the rays of the red sun that was Chris Hakius‘ work in Sleep. In other words, it’s a all a big fuck yes in my book.

Amid Koch‘s cavernous vocals come tales of modern disparities and the disaffection one might also see portrayed on the cover art for The Glass Cliff by Hayden Hall, which turns wealth inequality into the stuff of science-fiction without really departing the truth of our age. Songs like “Fades to Greed,” the eight-minute centerpiece, find Dirt Woman exploring these ideas lyrically, but the power of their presentation is such that should one be seeking escape and/or hypnotic immersion, that’s certainly a route available. That is, there’s no sacrifice of modus to message, and the band is more than a vehicle for political editorializing — though, frankly, the heavy underground is pretty content to disengage a lot of the time and maybe some editorializing would do it some good — while still addressing the concerns of those inheriting a planet that’s pretty much screwed on multiple levels. But hey, at least… it’s… easy to buy stuff? Sorry y’all.

The Glass Cliff has the honor of being my first entry on what throughout the next 12 months will become my list of 2020’s best debut albums, and while those familiar with either Mueller‘s production work or the outlet for it that Grimoire Records is shouldn’t be the least bit surprised at the organic fuzz molasses that oozes from the bass in “Demagogue,” that does nothing to make it less glorious. For a record that runs 56 minutes long and borders on unmanageable, it holds the listener rapt as “Starhawk” rounds out in bounding fashion, its central riff touching on Witch-y bounce as Koch layers vocals effectively in such a way as to make one already look forward to what Dirt Woman do next two months before their first album actually comes out. Yeah, I’m gonna have to see this band live. Gonna have to get this CD. I might need to buy a t-shirt. They got me on this one. Count me in.

Along with the album announcement, which you’ll find below courtesy of the PR wire, you’ll find the premiere of “Lady of the Dunes” at the bottom of this post. Please consider it strongly suggested that you dig in.

And, of course, that you enjoy:

dirt woman the glass cliff

DIRT WOMAN: Maryland Psychedelic Doom Bringers To Release The Glass Cliff Via Grimoire Records; New Track Streaming + Preorders Available

Maryland psychedelic doom bringers DIRT WOMAN will release their The Glass Cliff debut full-length this March via Grimoire Records.

Recorded, mixed, and mastered in the fall of 2019 by Noel Mueller at the Tiny Castle in Baltimore, The Glass Cliff’s five tracks bulge with gargantuan riffs, thundering rhythms, and lyrics speaking directly to the cries of today’s youth; a fittingly titled record that’s equal parts enraged and dejected by a world whose once great promise has been decimated by the pursuit of power and material wealth.

DIRT WOMAN’s The Glass Cliff comes swathed in the trippy cover renderings of Hayden Hall and will be released on limited edition CD and digital formats March 13th. For preorders, go to THIS LOCATION.

Forged in Ocean City, Maryland in the summer of 2017 as a duo featuring vocalist/guitarist Zoe Koch and drummer Gabe Solomon, DIRT WOMAN is named in honor of the late Donnie Corker. Better known as Dirtwoman, Corker was a cross-dresser living in Richmond, Virginia known for involvement in Richmond politics, arts, music, and food banks as well as being the human floral arrangement of the annual Hamaganza holiday rock ‘n’ roll charity benefit show that, for twenty-years had paired Dirtwoman with a revolving cast of politicians, luminaries, and journalists.

“His story was truly inspiring to us,” notes Koch. “His charitable work and activism make him forever an icon in our eyes.” Koch and Solomon wrote casually and played sporadic shows. By the spring of 2018, they expanded their lineup to include bassist Kearny Mallon and his twin brother, drummer Avery Mallon, shifting Solomon to guitar. With the twin rhythm section and a dual guitar attack, their thick, quaking sound had truly begun to shape itself into what would become The Glass Cliff.

“The Glass Cliff” was recorded between October and December of 2019 by Noel Mueller in the Tiny Castle. Mixed and mastered by Noel Mueller. Cover art by Hayden Hall. © 2020 Grimoire Records.

“The Glass Cliff” is released via limited edition CD and digital download through Grimoire Records on 3/13/20.

1. Lady of the Dunes – 07:23
2. Creator – 13:08
3. Fades to Greed – 08:25
4. Demagogue – 13:30
5. Starhawk – 13:45

DIRT WOMAN:
Avery Mallon – drums
Kearny Mallon – the big guitar
Zoe Koch – guitar, vocals
Gabe Solomon- guitar

https://www.facebook.com/dirtwoman.band/
https://www.instagram.com/dirt_woman.band/
https://dirtwoman.bandcamp.com/
http://www.grimoirerecords.com
http://grimoirerecords.bandcamp.com
http://www.facebook.com/GrimoireRecords
https://www.instagram.com/grimoirerecords/

Dirt Woman, “Lady of the Dunes” official premiere

Tags: , , , , ,

Weedeater Announce Tour Dates with The Atomic Bitchwax, Worshipper & More

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 20th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

weedeater

Hey, look. I know Weedeater going on tour isn’t exactly bizarre news at this point. It happens more or less all the time. But they’re hitting the road this time out with The Goddamn Gallows who do a kind of metalabilly thing that seems pretty off the rails, and they’ll have support from The Atomic Bitchwax and Worshipper along the way, so that’s pretty cool too. Makes me want to road-trip to Philly, to be honest, since Worshipper are always great live and they don’t seem to be on the Brooklyn bill, but I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess that probably won’t happen because, you know, distance and life and March 6 is a Friday but still. They have a day off after their Brooklyn gig. Wonder if that means they’re waiting to add a second show or what.

Maybe I’ll get lucky and they’ll do that spot in Teaneck where Brant Bjork played. That’d pretty much be the universe doing me a favor though, and neither Brant‘s gig nor the Crowbar show I saw there before that was particularly well attended, so maybe it’d be better for the band if they didn’t. There’s always Dingbatz in Clifton. Or shit, they could just play my house. Come on by. Just a heads up though, if I’m not in bed by like 8:30PM I become a total prick, and The Pecan’s bedtime is 6:30, so we’ll have to make it a matinee. I’ll even feed the bands, provided I get notified early of any allergies or dietary restrictions, etc.

What the hell were we talking about?

Oh yeah, Weedeater are touring.

Hey, that’s great. Here are the dates:

weedeater tour dates

WEEDEATER Announce Headlining U.S. Tour Dates!

Cape Fear metal legends WEEDEATER have announced a headlining U.S. tour, in which they will be supported by THE GODDAMN GALLOWS on all dates, with rotating support on select dates from ATOMIC BITCHWAX, WORSHIPPER, and LEFT LANE CRUISER. The trek will kick off on February 29 in Asheville, NC and will conclude on March 21 in Hampton, VA at the Hampton Tattoo Roads Fest. Tickets will go on sale Friday at 12:00 P.M. local time. The full itinerary is as follows:

WEEDEATER (w/ The Goddamn Gallows):
02/29: Asheville, NC @ Asheville Music Hall
03/01: Richmond, VA @ The Camel
03/03: Baltimore, MD @ Metro Gallery^
03/04: Brooklyn, NY @ Elsewhere^
03/06: Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts^*
03/07: Boston, MA @ Sonia^*
03/09: Youngstown, OH @ Westside Ball^*
03/10: Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop^*
03/11: Detroit, MI @ The Sanctuary^*
03/12: Iowa City, IA @ Wildwood^*
03/13: Chicago, IL @ Reggie’s^*
03/14: Kansas City, MO @ The Riot Room*
03/15: Memphis, TN @ Growlers*
03/17: Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey
03/18: Austin, TX @ Come and Take It Live #
03/19: New Orleans, LA @ Santos Bar
03/20: Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
03/21: Hampton, VA @ Hampton Roads Tattoo Fest +
^ Atomic Bitchwax
* Worshipper
# Left Lane Cruiser
+ No support

https://www.facebook.com/weedmetal/
https://weedeater.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/seasonofmistofficial
http://www.season-of-mist.com/

Weedeater, Goliathan (2015)

Tags: , , ,

Sonic Whip 2020 Completes Lineup; 1000mods, Causa Sui, Spaceslug, Samavayo & More Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 20th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

sonic whip 2020 banner

This looks like fun, simple as that. Well, maybe not three two-headed, four-armed, knife-and-pill-wielding snake beast on the poster. Though obviously cool looking too, that just kind of looks like it would kill you after opening your third eye. But the event itself, Sonic Whip 2020. That looks like a good time. It’s important to be specific about these things.

The Netherlands-based Spring festival to be held May 1 and 2 has completed its lineup, adding seven more names to an already impressive initial batch. Newcomers include Spaceslug, Big Business, and Greek heavy rock forerunners 1000mods, the latter whose addition to the bill makes me wonder if they’ll be on tour at the time, and if so, if their new album might be out to coincide. If that’s so, an announcement would be coming shortly, I’d think. An exciting prospect, whether it pans out that way or not.

You can see the full list of new adds and the complete final lineup below. Dig:

sonic whip 2020 finished poster

SONIC WHIP 2020 – NEW NAMES – LINE-UP COMPLETE

1000MODS (gr), Causa Sui (dk), Big Business (usa), Somali Yacht Club (ukr), Samavayo (ger), Netherlands (usa) and Spaceslug (pol) have been added to the line-up of Sonic Whip 2020.

With these last seven names the line-up is complete. We are proud to have been able to book these twenty artists for the upcoming edition. In our opinion a nice cross section of what the sonic and psychedelic -heavy rock- genre has to offer at the moment. From old heroes and established names to new artists who know how to push the boundaries again. Next to that also a number of special acts that can rarely be admired live in the Netherlands like Masters of Reality, Pissed Jeans, Causa Sui and Rotor. Look for the daily schedule on the website or event of Sonic Whip.

Day tickets: http://bit.ly/SonicWhip2020
Combi-tickets: http://bit.ly/SonicWhip2020Combi

Sonic Whip, the multi-headed rock monster that combines roaring guitars riffs with steaming bass lines, pounding drums and other sonic, psychedelic excesses, is preparing for the third edition. We kick off on May 1 with a pre-party deluxe in Doornroosje to completely unleash sonically on May 2 at the same location.

LINE-UP
MASTERS OF REALITY
KADAVAR
1000MODS
BRANT BJORK
CAUSA SUI
PISSED JEANS
BIG BUSINESS
ROTOR
SOMALI YACHT CLUB
MAIDAVALE
THE COSMIC DEAD
SAMAVAYO
SACRI MONTI
FORMING THE VOID
ACID ROOSTER
SPACESLUG
GUM TAKES TOOTH
NETHERLANDS
BONNACONS OF DOOM
DHIDALAH

https://www.facebook.com/events/427908701471605/
https://www.facebook.com/Sonicwhipfestival/
https://www.instagram.com/doornroosjenl/
https://www.doornroosje.nl/event/sonic-whip-2020/

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Desertfest London 2020: I Mean, Seriously. God Damn.

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 20th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

desertfest london 2020 header

Even apart from how it relates to the other festivals under the Desertfest banner — Berlin, Belgium, New York — Desertfest London set an extremely high standard for itself last year, and it was obvious coming into Desertfest London 2020 that they’d have their work cut out for them in reaching those same heights. Their lineup isn’t finished yet, and of course we’ll see how it all looks when the day-schedule is fully unveiled, but bringing Lowrider on board to support their first release in 20 years, Refractions, is nothing if not significant — they played there in 2013 and were fantastic — but they’ll also be the the UK debut for Khemmis from the US and at least the first time at Desertfest for MaidaVale from Sweden. They’ve pretty much lost their minds and added 20 bands in a single shot here, so there’s plenty to dig into, but you’ll note King Witch, who are frickin’ awesome, as well as The Hazytones, Alunah and the slew of others taking part. They’re building a desert empire in Camden Town.

Has it been nine years already? I may have to start planning my return for year 10 if they’ll have me.

From thee social medias:

desertfest london 2020 poster

DESERTFEST ADDS 20 NAMES TO LONDON LINE-UP, INCLUDING GRAVEYARD AS NEXT HEADLINER

Tickets – https://dice.fm/festival/desertfest20

Desertfest is thrilled to be kicking off the new year in style with the apt number of 20 names added for our 9th edition this May. Sweden’s most beloved export of hard rock, the impeccable Graveyard will bring their unique bluesy tones to London as headliners of Desertfest London 2020. The Swedish family reunion continues as we welcome back one of the most synonymous desert rock (and Desertfest) bands, the iconic Lowrider return with not only a rare live performance, but their first record in almost two decades. A masterclass in the melting pot of genre fluidity comes from two-man powerhouse Big Business, whilst psychedelic stoner rock trio Somali Yacht Club will make the trip from Ukraine to play Desertfest for the first time.

Speaking of debuts we’ll play host to the first UK show for Denver melancholic doom outfit Khemmis and Sweden delivers once again with rock’n’roll four-piece MaidaVale. Elsewhere on the bill we are thrilled to welcome Your Highness, Hexis, FIREBREATHER, The Hazytones, Opium Lord, King Witch, GURT, Alunah, 1782, Tides Of Sulfur, Doomicidal, Under, A Gazillion Angry Mexicans and Dunes.

As you may have noticed, The Picturebooks have unfortunately had to cancel their performance at Desertfest due to a schedule conflict out of our control. However with more acts still to be unveiled, plus day tickets on sale soon there’s much more to come for our 9th edition.

Weekend tickets are on sale now via this link – https://link.dice.fm/desertfest20

Artwork by Piotr w. Osburne

https://www.facebook.com/events/464163361105416/
http://www.desertfest.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/DesertfestLondon
https://www.instagram.com/desertfest_london/

Lowrider, Ode to Io Deluxe Edition (2017)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sigiriya Announce New Album Maiden Mother Crone; Premiere “Cwn Annwn”

Posted in audiObelisk on January 20th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

SIGIRIYA

Welsh rockers of time and space Sigiriya will release their third full-length, Maiden Mother Crone, this Spring through Burning World Records. By the time it arrives, it will be their first offering of any sort in six years, and in addition to introducing drummer Rhys Miles to the fold, the album collects eight tracks for a 45-minute run of of-the-earth-but-nonetheless-ethereal rolling grooves that seem to draw as much from the mythological as from the world around them in presence and theme alike. Early cuts like “Cwn Annwn,” “Tau Ceti” and “Peace of My Mind” establish Sigiriya circa 2020 as a band afraid neither to touch ground nor sky, and the spaciousness in the echoing vocals of Matt “Pipes” Williams (also Suns of Thunder) only adds breadth to the fluid distortion and heft of Stu O’Hara‘s guitar and Paul Bidmead‘s bass.

The latter two, of course, are alumni of Swansea-based troupe Acrimony — the bulk of whose studio work Burning World recently remastered and issued as the boxed set Chronicles of Wode (review here) — and though when Sigiriya started out with their 2011 debut, Return to Earth (review here), their mission seemed to further that band’s rather significant legacy, subsequent years have found them pulling in a new direction, and Maiden Mother Crone continues that thread. Part of it is sheer lineup. Matt Williams — who also did some recording on the new album, while Richard Whittaker mixed and mastered — took the frontman spot from Dorian Walters, who also had been in Acrimony, and sure enough, Rhys Miles comes to Sigiriya in place of Darren Ivey, who’d also been in the prior outfit. Some change of dynamic, then, seems inevitable as half the makeup of the band has changed from the first album to the third, but O’Hara‘s guitar tone is a signature element and recognizable throughout Maiden Mother Crone, whether it’s the crunching riff in opener “Mantis” or the shorter “Dark Call” later on, which seems to get swallowed up by the sheer overload of dense, hairy fuzz.

Whatever familiar elements persist, and however welcome they may be — because, frankly, I’ll take that guitar sound anytime it wants to show up — Sigiriya‘s sonic identity has never sounded more their own and more distinct than it does Sigiriya Maiden Mother Cronethroughout Maiden Mother Crone. After the resonant cast and grit of “Seeking Eden” and “Dark Call”‘s push, the record’s two longest tracks take hold in succession, with “Arise (Darkness Died Today)” referencing the band’s second album, 2014’s Darkness Died Today (review here, also discussed here) as it digs into suitably moodier vibes and touches on some vocal harmonies from Williams along with a fullness of sound that extends even to Miles‘ crash cymbals, the song still relatively straightforward in structure and, at 6:21, not much longer than “Cwn Annwn” or “Peace of My Mind” back on side A, but just an extra touch more atmospheric as to justify its position as the penultimate cut ahead of 8:21 closer “Crushed by the Weight of the Sky.”

It is a particular credit to Miles and Bidmead as the rhythm section that Maiden Mother Crone rolls with such a nodding flow across its span the drums and bass allow for the psychedelic, airier flourish in the guitar as well as the dead-ahead shove when that comes up, but they show a steadiness of pace that isn’t to be overlooked when it comes to how immersive the record ends up being. That’s true even in the up-front rockers “Mantis,” “Cwn Annwn” and “Tau Ceti” — the latter of which should be enough to sate anyone’s Acrimony fix if the box set didn’t do it — but comes to the forefront starkly at the halfway point of “Crushed by the Weight of the Sky” as well as Miles switches to timekeeping with his crash cymbal. It seems like such a simple moment, such an easy thing for a drummer to do, but it is just right in serving the purpose of the song’s overarching groove, and though Williams soon enough begins the next verse/hook and O’Hara‘s guitar will after six minutes in take the reins and lead the band through a tempo kick as they build to the organ-or-at-least-organ-sound-laced last crescendo, of which the band take full advantage, not letting the opportunity pass to pay off both the track in question and the album as a whole.

Six years between records is a long time. That’s double the stretch between their first and second albums. And it’s not in their nature stylistically to sound “refreshed,” but Sigiriya do come across as vital throughout Maiden Mother Crone, and as they craft their folkloric place within the greater sphere of the UK heavy underground, they do so by stepping further out of the rather significant shadow of O’Hara and Bidmead‘s former outfit and into their own light. Will it be six years before another Sigiriya album surfaces? Maybe. Hell if I know. But if it is, Maiden Mother Crone shows clearly that Sigiriya are able to translate all that time into sonic growth on the part of the band. Like the songs themselves, that is not to be taken lightly.

You can stream the premiere of “Cwn Annwn” on the player below. More PR wire details from Burning World Records follow. Preorders and all that coming soon.

Please enjoy:

Shine on…

Welsh mountain men and valley crawlers Sigiriya are the first to admit to their faults – and yes, they got it wrong. The darkness hadn’t died. The eternal turn is undeniable. After the light of every day comes a veil of night, throwing real-world shadows into the soul of the Light Seeker.

Personal trauma, mental and physical health issues, and even new drummer Rhys Miles (who replaced Darren “TDB” Ivey before the writing of ‘Maiden…’) staring down the grim Reaper directly, have taken their toll on Sigiriya – ‘Maiden Mother Crone’ has been a tough album to harness.

Recorded with Adam Howell at UWTSD Studios in Swansea (with additional work by Matt Williams at Sunnyvale Studios), and mixed and mastered at The Bridge Studios & FX London by the lord of heaviness Richard Whittaker, it’s a monolith of light at the end of the tunnel, a rage against the system, a modern myth and a call to atavism.

‘Maiden Mother Crone’ is undeniably heavier, slower and darker in places, yet in others it soars and roars higher and brighter than ever. More mature in its focus, sound and integration of lyrics and influences than previous releases, with ‘Maiden Mother Crone’, Sigiriya shine onwards through this eternally turning cosmos.

Tracklisting:
1. Mantis
2. Cwn Annwn
3. Tau Ceti
4. Peace of My Mind
5. Seeking Eden
6. Dark Call
7. Arise (Darkness Died Today)
8. Crushed by the Weight of the Sky

Sigiriya are:
Matt ‘Pipes’ Williams (vocals)
Rhys Miles (drums)
Stu O’Hara (guitar)
Paul ‘Mead’ Bidmead (bass)

Sigiriya on Thee Facebooks

Burning World Records website

Burning World Records on Thee Facebooks

Burning World Records on Instagram

Tags: , , , , , ,

Desertfest Berlin 2020: Lowrider, Puta Volcano, Big Business & Temple Fang Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 20th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

desertfest berlin 2020 banner

Five new names out of the Desertfest Berlin 2020 camp, and they’re good ‘uns at that. Seeing Lowrider get tapped for a return to the Desertfest stage makes sense, since it’s kind of where the reunion really kicked off, and Big Business always seem to make themselves welcome wherever they end up, so right on there too.

Those two and MaidaVale will be shared with Berlin’s sister festival in London, which nine years later remains an amazing cooperation between the two events, but I’m also stoked to see Greek rockers Puta Volcano getting the nod here, as their new album most definitely earns it. And likewise, having been fortunate enough to catch Temple Fang live in addition to appreciating their lineage through Mühr and Death Alley, it’s only good news as far as I’m concerned they’re starting to get out of their home turf. I’m dying for that band to put out a record.

So not that you or anyone asked, but it’s a thumbs up from me on this one, I guess. Again, no one asked. I know this.

From the PR wire:

desertfest berlin 2020 poster

DESERTFEST BERLIN CONFIRMS BIG BUSINESS, LOWRIDER, MAIDAVALE, TEMPLE FANG & PUTA VOLCANO FOR 2020!

Kicking off into the new year in glorious style, DESERTFEST BERLIN has announced 5 new names for their 2020- edition, taking place between May 1st – 3rd at the Arena Berlin. The leading cult, fuzz and all that is heavy sounds festival will be celebrating their 9th year with high class acts such as the already announced WITCHCRAFT, MASTERS OF REALITY, BRANT BJORK, AMENRA, 1000MODS, ORANGE GOBLIN, CORROSION OF CONFORMITY, THE VINTAGE CARAVAN aside many more, and has just confirmed to welcome BIG BUSINESS, LOWRIDER, MAIDAVALE, TEMPLE FANG as well as PUTA VOLCANO to their eclectic line-up in May 2020.

There’s plenty of volume and feelings for party screaming, solo screaming, or just getting through what you’re going through. Desertfest means business, so they will bring you Big Business! The two-piece rock band from Los Angeles, CA, is known for their bombastic and frantic low end attack, marked by a signature vocal delivery. The creative duo, longtime friends and touring mates of The Melvins, began in Seattle, WA in 2003, and released 6 full length albums to date. Their latest output, The Beast You Are, was released in the Spring of 2019, and what a beast of a record it is! Big Business are currently writing new music, touring the world, and will be coming for YOU at Desertfest Berlin 2020!

This year will also see the long awaited return of Sweden’s Lowrider! Blues Funeral Recordings releases the searing new album “Refractions” in February 2020 – the band’s first in 20 years!

Lowrider’s debut EP and seminal album “Ode to Io” were foundational slabs at the dawn of stoner rock, which grew into a worldwide phenomenon with Lowrider clearly established as one of its trailblazers. Their new record will explode with all the churning fuzz and expansive riff-heaviness for which the band is known and loved for, shot through with a re-energized purpose and maturity. The grooves swing, the bottom end rumbles, and the melodies growl and soar, delivering at long last on Lowrider’s longing-to-be-fulfilled promise. Finally, the undisputed kings of the Swedish fuzz rock scene are back to deliver on their undeniably deserve mythic status, live at Desertfest Berlin 2020!

As one of the most prominent acts in the new generation of psych music, Swedish four piece MaidaVale create a reckless and experimental rock that keeps diverging from what’s expected. After first emerging on the live rock scene in 2014, followed by two highly acclaimed albums, MaidaVale currently belong to one of the most promising new bands of the scene. The band is exstensively touring Europe, and known for their musicality and the electric connection between both musicians and audience, their reputation has grown with each show. MaidaVale are showcasing their experimental and dynamic sound in a very special way, that confirmed their place in the psych rock scene. Aside mesmerizing festival appearances at such as Freak Valley or Duna Jam, Desertfest Berlin is psyched to welcome them again!

Rising from the ashes of Death Alley, bassist Dennis Duijnhouwer and guitarist Jevin de Groot put together their new band, Temple Fang, with guitarist Ivy van der Veer and drummer Jasper van den Broeke, combining the wild rock-abandon of their former outfit but with deeper, more cosmic leanings. Rock n’ Roll as a means to attaining spiritual freedom, but one is sure, this will be a wild ride!

Amidst the continuous and enjoyable struggle the survivor of an indie rock n’ roll band has become, Puta Volcano are building up their legacy and fanbase, one gig, one album, one song at the time. Being a significant cog in the acknowledged machine that Greek heavy rock is, they keep pushing forward what was set in motion back in 2012, when their debut EP was released.

2017 was the year that Puta Volcano planted their feet firmly to the ground and today, the band has a new album titled ‘Amma’ ready, a ton of confident excitement for it and a series of plans to back it up among which a 25-dates European tour mapped out, which will include Desertfest Berlin in May 2020!

DESERTFEST BERLIN is known for the best band line- ups of the entire heavy psych underground as well as its unique atmosphere and surroundings visited by desert rock fans from all over the globe, directly located at the riverside in the heart of Berlin, the Arena. After last year’s changes of a new sound system, the ‘Black Box’, that got high praise from both guests and critics alike finding themselves back at an intimate, high-energy underground club show, the festival will provide many more specials, space, and again a chill- party – AND live zone on the popular Hoppetosse boat! Don’t miss the fuzz and haze rock party of the year, at the capitol of the almighty riffs: The 9th edition of DESERTFEST BERLIN 2020, presented by Greyzone Concerts and cult live institution Sound of Liberation, who will be celebrating their 15th anniversary at the same year, is ready to take over Berlin this May!

https://www.facebook.com/events/520164272080736/
www.desertfest.de
www.facebook.com/DesertfestBerlin
www.instagram.com/desertfest_berlin

Puta Volcano, “Primitive Data”

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Friday Full-Length: Minsk, Out of a Center Which is Neither Dead Nor Alive

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 17th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

With its 15th anniversary impending later this year, Minsk‘s debut album, Out of a Center Which is Neither Dead Nor Alive, still sounds like the end of the fucking world. Issued through At a Loss Recordings, the full-length built directly on a prior 2004 demo that made the band’s signing mandatory — had to happen — with two of the tracks from that independent offering re-recorded and positioned as part of the monstrous opening salvo of the LP proper. Those songs are “Waging War on the Forevers” (10:40) and “Narcotics and Dissecting Knives” (10:57), and together with the universe-consuming 14 minutes of “Holy Flower of the North Star,” they assured Out of a Center Which is Neither Dead Nor Alive‘s place in the then-burgeoning pantheon of post-metal’s most glorious moments.

As the mid-aughts found Neurosis and Isis exploring some of their most ambient material and bands like Mouth of the ArchitectRwakeBurst, Amenra and Rosetta started to establish the aesthetic tenets of the style, Minsk were almost singularly chaotic. Like no one before them, the Chicago-based outfit were able to harness the tempestuous rhythms of Neurosis‘ Through Silver in Blood and bring that kind of intensity to their own approach, pairing it with standout riffs and vocal lines as well as effective linear builds like that with subtly leads into “Holy Flower of the North Star” before letting go of the listener’s hand and tossing them over the edge into the churning fray. Though the record’s impact was not immediate, with the quiet opening sample at the start of “Waging War on the Forevers” before the thrust kicks in at 1:29, once Minsk unveiled their full tonal weight, there was no way to stop the ensuing crush, and who the hell would want to anyway?

Though the fact that he’d helmed Pelican‘s Australasia certainly didn’t hurt his cause, and also the fact that Buried at Sea‘s Migration remains one of the heaviest records ever released, period, Out of a Center Which is Neither Dead Nor Alive seemed to serve particular notice of Sanford Parker‘s accomplishment as a producer. His ability to harness low frequency resonance is writ large throughout the 65 minutes of Minsk‘s debut, and of course that he wound up playing bass in the band, taking over for Drew McDowell in the lineup alongside vocalist/percussionist/keyboardist Tim Mead, guitarist/vocalist Chris Bennett, guitarist Dustin Addis and drummer Tony Wyioming (aka Anthony Couri), was a bonus that only added to their sonic impact. The use of percussion and keys whether in stretches of maximum churn or atmospheric reach, was also a distinguishing factor for Minsk, and made their sound all the more inventive and distinct from their peers amid what was at the time a stylistic boom, and as much of their impression would Minsk Out of a Center Which Is Neither Dead nor Alivebe made across those first three tracks — the original At a Loss vinyl edition reordered the songs to fit neatly as a 2LP — the subsequent “Three Hours” (11:11), “Bloodletting and Forgetting” (8:26) and “Wisp of Tow” (9:28) pushed ever deeper into hypnotic sway and contrasting pummel.

“Three Hours” still feels especially raging once it builds the proper momentum, with intertwining lines of vocals reaching up from out of the grueling ether with a kind of desperation that seems as emotionally raw as the proceedings around it are sonically complex. By the time the track crosses its halfway point, with its swirling effects leading gradually to a chugging that is all the more vicious for the undercurrent of keys and the glorious opening that follows, Minsk are both nearly impossible to follow and impossible to turn away from. The sheer aural demand of Out of a Center Which is Neither Dead Nor Alive remains staggering. Not only is it the kind of record in which, almost 15 years later, one can still hear new aspects of the band’s approach — it’s the kind of record whose urgency time has done nothing to dull. Which is all the more impressive when one considers how much of it is given to quiet parts.

“Bloodletting and Forgetting,” which follows “Waging War on the Forevers” on the vinyl side A, is the penultimate cut on the CD, and positioned well behind “Three Hours” as something of a comedown with its extended quiet start working as the launch of a linear build that, sure enough, hits a raging crescendo, but still gives over to closer “Wisp of Tow” with a psychedelic fluidity that the guest saxophone spot from Bruce Lamont, then of Yakuza, only drives into the broader reaches of the “far out.” Of course, they finish with a payoff that borders on Out of a Center Which is Neither Dead Nor Alive‘s most extreme moments before returning to lucidity for a few final lines before cutting out, but by then the feeling of consumption is long since established, and Minsk‘s refusal to bask in their own accomplishment — leaving as they do largely without ceremony — highlights the prior intensity. Though it was the earlier demo that set the foundation on which the album would flourish, they left no question as to their forward-thinking intent or their strength of purpose.

I recall it wasn’t long before Relapse Records came knocking. The venerable Philly imprint snagged Minsk and issued 2007’s The Ritual Fires of Abandonment and 2009’s With Echoes in the Movement of Stone (review here), as well as a split with Unearthly Trance concurrent to the latter, before Minsk took part in Neurot Recordings‘ Hawkwind Triad (review here) with U.S. Christmas and Harvestman in 2010. Half a decade passed before they returned with The Crash and the Draw (review here), a fourth LP once again on Relapse, and a split with like-minded Swiss outfit Zatokrev, titled Bigod (review here), followed in 2018 to mark the occasion of a tour and the 15th anniversaries of both bands.

Their first demo, 2003’s Burning, was reissued on tape in 2018 by Three Moons Records — it seems to be sold out, which I know because I just went to the label’s webstore to try to buy it — and they’ve had a beer collaboration and periodic local shows since. What their plans might be going forward, I don’t know, but even if it’s another three years before they release another album, The Crash and the Draw certainly proved worth that wait, and whatever they do, they’ve never given a reason for their audience to anticipate anything but creative and structural progression. When and if there is a “next record,” I’d expect no less of it than to live up to that high standard.

Still, Out of a Center Which is Neither Dead Nor Alive was and is a landmark for them and for post-metal as a whole, and as always, I hope you enjoy. Thanks for reading.

I left the house this week. That was good. Took half a xanax to get me out the door, but we got there. And the show was good. And the people were good. I had fun and when I felt like a weirdo, I just took my little red laptop and started writing in the corner. Problem solved and it got the review done quicker. Can’t do that at every gig, but when I can it’s kind of nice to get the immediate impressions down rather than letting them filter through a night’s — or half a night’s, as it were — sleep.

I’m talking about this show, if you’re wondering. Sorry, should’ve made that clear.

So hey, Gimme Radio has come through the round of specials they were doing I guess to finish out 2019 and they’re bringing back The Obelisk Show to its every-other-week scheduling. I’m stoked. It was kind of a bummer just to do it once a month, but I like the alternating weeks. Next show is Jan. 31 at 1pm Eastern. I hope you can tune in: http://gimmeradio.com.

That was good news to get this week. I got kind of hosed on two of the “premieres” over the last few days, so makes up for a bit.

We’re coming up on the start of The Patient Mrs.’ next semester, which I know will be an adjustment to schedule that, where The Pecan and I are concerned, takes about three weeks to really get in a groove with. He’s also starting daycare part-time, four-hours, for two days a week, before the end of the month, so that’s a further tweaking of routine. It’ll be good to get him some time with other kids though. He needs it. Spends too much time with my cynical ass.

He’s up now, running around the living room as I type. And his approaching me to read Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus — which I’ll pause to do — is probably my cue to wrap it up.

Next week there’s a premiere on Monday that I don’t think I can talk about yet, plus announcements on Tuesday that I know I can’t and a premiere of Grimoire Records’ next release. Wednesday I’m going to try to review the new Ripple split — new series, might as well at least start to try to keep up with it. Thursday’s open at the moment but something will come along or I’ll do another review, then Friday is a Lowrider track premiere and review, which, yeah, I wrote the liner notes for the Postwax version of Refractions, but fuck it, Lowrider’s first album in 20 years, you’d have to hit me with a bus to stop me from writing about it. I’ll do a full disclosure note before the review starts and then proceed with the hyperbolic praise accordingly.

Should be fun.

Today’s off to Connecticut, then back this afternoon. Tomorrow I have a press release to write for another announcement that’s also happening sometime early in the week, and then before I know it I’m neck deep in the week. That and cheesy taco dip are my big plans for the next couple days. Maybe a few minutes of reading during nap if such a thing can be finagled.

May yours be great and safe as ever. Have fun and be kind.

FRM: Forum, Radio, Merch at MiBK.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

The Obelisk merch

Tags: , , , , ,