Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell Premiere “Mr. Freedom” from Very Uncertain Times

Posted in audiObelisk on October 14th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

admiral sir cloudesley shovell

Oh Admiral, my admiral. UK trio Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell will release their new album, Very Uncertain Times, through Rise Above Records on Oct. 25. It’s the answer to 2016’s Keep it Greasy (review here), and the introduction of new drummer/backing vocalist Serra Petale to the fold with guitarist/vocalist Johnny Gorilla and bassist Louis Comfort-Wiggett, and the core of the Hastings-based band’s approach remains firm in their commitment to raw, mean and dirty heavy garage rock and roll. Since their first 7″ showed up through Rise Above in 2010, followed by their debut LP, Don’t Hear It… Fear It! (review here), that’s been their way, and the intervening years have only made them grittier and greasier of sound. The spirit of Motörhead weighs heavily on the riffs in opener “Very Uncertain Times” and in the structure of hooks on early-goers “Ten Years Later,” “The Third Degree” and “Mr. Freedom,” but if you’re taking on Very Uncertain Times looking for some solution to the world’s larger sociopolitical problems — climate change, Brexit perhaps, the rise of nationalism and the arc of history’s bent toward injustice — that ain’t what Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell are about. I have no doubt that were the band collectively made prime minister they’d get some righteous shit done, but their fourth LP is hardly their way of announcing their candidacy.

Rather, it is a swaggering, show-up-to-the-party-trashed classic rocking bruiser. Gorilla‘s vocals are perhaps the most Kilmisterian aspect of the record, but a ’70s shove is fervent throughout one way or the other, and even when “Mr. Freedom” cuts the tempo inAdmiral sir cloudesley shovell very uncertain times its midsection to a sleeker boogie as a preface to the sleazy “Blackworth Quarry” later on, the change is momentary before the forward thrust resumes. Only three of the total eight tracks reach beyond the five-minute mark, and the longest is the opening title-track (immediate points) at 5:39, with the mid-paced “The Third Degree” (track three, of course) at 5:31 and closer “No Man’s Land” capping at 5:02 with a “War Pigs”-style apex in its bridge before closing on its central riff, but whatever Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell are doing in a given cut, their interest is not in wasting time. They start out at a sprint with “Very Uncertain Times” and hold to that ethic throughout, relying on a classic sound and sheer songwriting to carry them through. In that, they’re nearly as much proto-punk as they are proto-metal, but they’re lizard-brain heavy rock one way or the other, and the primitivism of the material is a crucial tie to their aesthetic that isn’t to be undervalued. It’s worth noting that while the songs are unmistakable in their intent and the production is natural, there’s little about it that feels like it’s playing toward vintage-ism nearly as much as toward a live presentation, and that energy carries through in scorching moments and nods alike, the chorus melody of “Iceberg” touching on psychedelia and the later shuffle of “Biscuits for Victor” as much loaded with biker-style swagger as it is, well, just plainly loaded.

You won’t find me arguing with the basic premise of Very Uncertain Times. If anything, the band seem aware of the understatement they’re making — hence “very” — but by the same token, their approach itself has never sounded more certain. Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell have flirted here and there with ethereal premises and still offer a touch of the otherworldly every now and again, but the great irony of Very Uncertain Times is how grounded it is and just how much the three-piece know what they want their songs to be doing at any given moment. With the addition of Petale‘s vocals alongside those of Gorilla, the dynamic has shifted some, but that only works in favor of the songs and the band as a whole. More than 10 years since their start, they’ve hit, and duly flattened, their stride.

PR wire info follows the premiere of “Mr. Freedom” below.

Please enjoy:

The more things change, the more they seem to plummet down the shitter. Fortunately, rock ’n’ roll is alive and well and guaranteed to make us all feel a little bit better about the state of things. Purveyors of nuts-out, ragged and riotous proto-metal since 2008, Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell have dedicated the last decade to kicking against the pricks and whipping up a thunderous storm of gritty, snotty and irresistible heavy rock. In 2019, Hastings’ finest three-man riff squad will save the day yet again with their fourth album, the shrewdly-titled Very Uncertain Times.

A reassuring presence for ferocious rock ‘n’ roll and medicated madness in a crazy, doomed world, Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell are back in the van and heading towards proto-metal nirvana at maximum speed and with no brakes. These may be uncertain times, but you can rely on the Admiral to keep the sonic accelerator floored.

“Our main hope, as always, is that we sell millions of copies enabling us to retire,” laughs Johnny. “Purely to spare the world from having to endure another greasy Shovell album! Oh, and we want to plague the world’s population with as many stupidly loud gigs as possible. Let’s face it, we sure don’t sound like anything else out there!”

Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell live:
Supporting Church of Misery (except the 17th)
Monday 14-10-2019 Berlin (GER), Zukunft
Tuesday 15-10-2019 Mannheim (GER), Jugendhaus
Wednesday 16-10-2019 Lille (FR), La Bulle Café
Thursday 17-10-2019 Landgraaf (NL), Oefenbunker (Shovell only show, no COM)
Friday 18-10-2019 Siegen (GER), Vortex
Saturday 19-10-2019 Antwerp (BE), Desertfest
Sunday 20-10-2019 Haarlem (NL), Patronaat
Monday 21-10-2019 Hamburg (GER), Hafenklang

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Rise Above Records website

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Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell Announce Very Uncertain Times LP out Oct. 25

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 9th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

admiral sir cloudesley shovell

Who doesn’t want some new Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell? Jerks? Stiffs? Squares? Certainly no one I know. Thus it is with no small amount of joy that I post word of the impending — like in a couple weeks — release of their new album, Very Uncertain Times, through Rise Above Records, from which you’ll find the title-track streaming at the bottom of this post. Very Uncertain Times follows behind 2016’s sleazebag rocker Keep it Greasy (review here) — spoiler alert: they did — and offers more than a bit of the Motörheaded vibe in the advance cut, while also delving into a sleek riff and airy solo in its second-half jam out, layers of guitar eventually solidifying around the center of a boogie and the proto-NWOBHM progression that started things off just a few minutes earlier in the verse. Cool as hell, but one would expect no less.

They’ve got a new drummer as well, as one might occasionally. Does not seem to have stymied their pursuit of dirty righteousness, however.

Preorders are up from Rise Above now. The PR wire has this:

Admiral sir cloudesley shovell very uncertain times

Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell To Release New Album Very Uncertain Times October 25th on Rise Above Records

The more things change, the more they seem to plummet down the shitter. Fortunately, rock ’n’ roll is alive and well and guaranteed to make us all feel a little bit better about the state of things. Purveyors of nuts-out, ragged and riotous proto-metal since 2008, Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell have dedicated the last decade to kicking against the pricks and whipping up a thunderous storm of gritty, snotty and irresistible heavy rock. In 2019, Hastings’ finest three-man riff squad will save the day yet again with their fourth album, the shrewdly-titled Very Uncertain Times.

As frontman Johnny Gorilla explains, this band began in the pursuit of simple pleasures, and nothing much has changed…

“Our original masterplan was that we had no plan… and even fewer clues!” he laughs. “It was just three mates getting together to play covers of the stuff we’d always liked, and play a few pub gigs. We just wanted to play music inspired by the stuff we loved, 70’s heavy rock, 60’s garage and psych. But It turned out that we enjoyed our pre rehearsal jams more than our inept covers! We wrote four half-decent songs for a cassette demo, and thought it’d be a blast to get one single out that would immediately disappear into obscurity. Luckily, Lee at Rise Above thought the same. But we never imagined we’d be four albums in!”

Three years on from the widely acclaimed Keep It Greasy!, Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell are audibly on blistering form on the new record. Very Uncertain Times is the first Admiral album to feature new drummer Serra Petale alongside Johnny and bassist Louis Comfort-Wiggett, and you will immediately hear the fizzing chemistry that has already been established by this reshuffled threesome on the record’s rambunctious opening title track. Recorded at Broadoak Studios in Sussex with long-time collaborator Harvey Summers manning the desk, Very Uncertain Times has the simple aim of rocking your face off.

A celebration of tweaked-out jamming and turbocharged psychedelic rock, every last moment on Very Uncertain Times speaks of a band with a full tank of sonic petrol. From the short-sharp Sabbath squall of Ten Years Later and the raging motör-he(a)donism of Mr Freedom to the loping grooves of The Third Degree and closer No Mans Land’s spiralling freak-out, it’s a powerful salute to the magic that happens when three mates get in a dark, sweaty room and crank everything up to 11. In uncertain times, Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell will never let you down.

A reassuring presence for ferocious rock ‘n’ roll and medicated madness in a crazy, doomed world, Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell are back in the van and heading towards proto-metal nirvana at maximum speed and with no brakes. These may be uncertain times, but you can rely on the Admiral to keep the sonic accelerator floored.

“Our main hope, as always, is that we sell millions of copies enabling us to retire,” laughs Johnny. “Purely to spare the world from having to endure another greasy Shovell album! Oh, and we want to plague the world’s population with as many stupidly loud gigs as possible. Let’s face it, we sure don’t sound like anything else out there!”

Very Uncertain Times Tracklisting:
1. Very Uncertain Times
2. Ten Years Later
3. The Third Degree
4. Mr. Freedom
5. Iceberg
6. Blackworth Quarry
7. Biscuits for Victor
8. No Man’s Land

https://www.facebook.com/theshovell/
https://www.facebook.com/riseaboverecords/
http://www.riseaboverecords.com/

Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell, “Very Uncertain Times”

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Desertfest Belgium 2019: Ruff Majik, Black Moon Circle, Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell & Rrrags Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 24th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

desertfest belgium 2019 banner

I like the themed lineup additions. Last time around from Desertfest Belgium 2019, it was the Belgian bands being highlighted. This time, it’s stuff in more of a psychedelic vein, though how much that might apply to the hard-nosed boogie of Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell is debatable. Still, it shows Desertfest Belgium is beginning to think of itself in a different way — not just as a meeting of bands, but a meeting styles as well, and a place where different notions of heavy, whether aesthetic or geographical, can intermingle and hopefully all come out better for it at the end of the weekend. It’s re-framing of the conversation of, “Oh hey, here are some more bands playing, get your tickets,” in a way that makes it more than just that. As somebody who reads his fair share of lineup announcements for various events, I’m hard pressed to think of someone else doing this thing in this way, and as always, I’m curious to see what it leads to.

For now, it’s leading to an increasingly badass lineup. From the PR wire:

desertfest belgium 2019 poster

PSYCH GALORE AT DFBE’19! RUFF MAJIK, BLACK MOON CIRCLE & MORE

This round of names is for all the fuzzheads out there! We have gathered a great selection of crunchy grooves for you, grounded as well as spaced-out – let’s get to it…

First off, we are so glad to have Ruff Majik on board. Hailing from Pretoria, they’re best proof that South-African stoner didn’t end with ‘The Big Heavies’, carrying the torch of bands like Suck and Freedom’s Children. Their recent outing ‘Tårn’ shows the band heavy as ever, and we’re excited to see them blast Desertfest!

We are also happy to see Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell return to our stage. New things are afoot, or so it seems… but whatever they’ve got in store for us you can rest assured it’s gonna be groovy to the max. It’s just how they roll.

Trip into hyperspace and take a hard left – that’s where you’ll find Black Moon Circle. A super freaked-out jam band with ties to the mighty Øresund Space Collective, BMC offers the finest in Nordish psychedelia through an ever expanding catalogue of records and exhilarating live shows.

Finally, get psyched for the appearance of Rrrags at DFBE’19! The unholy alliance of Ron Van Herpen (ex-The Devil’s Blood), Rob Zim (Lords of Altamont) and Rob Martin (former Bliksem) completely channels the spirit of all the mighty Power Trios that came before them. Classic rock and roll done right that has earned them accolades galore.

We’re nearing the finish line, but we’re not quite there yet! Stay tuned for a new update soon, and in the meantime… we already let you know the amount of combi tickets is dwindling fast so be safe not sorry, check the link below!

http://www.desertfest.be/tickets
https://www.facebook.com/desertfestbelgium/
https://www.facebook.com/events/2260579413999993/

Ruff Majik, Tårn (2019)

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Desertfest Belgium 2018: High on Fire Headlining, The Devil and the Almighty Blues, The Well, Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell, The Oscillation, Dead Quiet and Frayle Join Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 14th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

The story here is pretty short: ‘Really good lineup gets better.’ The end.

I’m not sure what more one could reasonably as of Desertfest Belgium 2018 that it isn’t already delivering. I mean, seriously. Just look at the names. Festivals happen all the time in Europe — hell, for the last couple years there’s been one through just about each successive week in October, somewhere, in some country, usually with a lot of the same bands. But even with that factored in, how could you look at the names below and not know it’ll be something special?

Even just the circumstances of timing. So many of these bands will have or already have new records out, from High on Fire themselves to YOB, AncestorsThe SkullEagle Twin, CastleSonic WolvesDopethrone, on and on. To have all these groups come together at the same time can only be a win. You know they’ll be fired up, and even those who aren’t directly plying their wares on new records still have stuff recent enough or coming — or, like Acid King, a new lineup — so yeah. It looks absolutely unreal. If you get to go, I’m jealous.

Here’s the latest announcement:

desertfest belgium 2018 poster

HIGH ON FIRE HEADLINES DESERTFEST 2018

The Devil & The Almighty Blues, Oscillation & 4 more

And so the cat’s out of the bag, so to speak… High On Fire is headlining Desertfest 2018 and we couldn’t be more thrilled. In fact, you might call it a fever dream come true! Especially since the band recently announced their new album cum Lemmy tribute ‘Electric Messiah’ to be released just 1 week before the Fest, so we can expect a freshly hot live set.

But of course, the good news doesn’t stop there. We still have a hefty load of names to drop unto you, and we start with The Devil And The Almighty Blues. The Norsemen have made it their mission to follow all the strains of blues that run through the history of rock’n’roll, and we’re totally on board for their killer blues trip.

Replace the blues by the psych, and you could end up with The Oscillation. For ten years Demian Castellanos and his cohorts have made their mark with their unique brand of psychedelic rock that points to everything from krautrock to new wave disco, all drenched in that sweet sweet echo chamber feedback that you love.

Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell are on board once more with their time machine into a mythical past when hardrock was only just turning to doom, and denim bell-bottoms were not frowned upon in society. From that time they bring along The Well, another keeper of the flame that sparked many a toke in the bonehead freak era.

If you can take a slightly more epic take on the genre, Dead Quiet will fit the bill. Their ‘Grand Rites’ album from end of last year was certainly a trip in many exciting directions. And finally, make sure you don’t miss the unique sounds of Frayle, occult blues with a female lead that draws comparison to anything from Sleep to Portishead.

We’re nearing the finishing line, so all you casual Festers screaming for day tickets will soon get their fill. But of course, there’s nothing like getting the full 3-day fix! So if you can make it, there’s still some combi tickets left at a reduced price – although how long they’ll last, we can’t tell for sure!

http://www.desertfest.be/tickets
https://www.facebook.com/desertfestbelgium/
https://www.facebook.com/events/364607267372737/
https://twitter.com/DesertfestBE

High on Fire, “Electric Messiah” lyric video

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Quarterly Review: Russian Circles, Salem’s Pot, Bridesmaid, Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell, Landing, Reign of Zaius, Transcendent Sea, Red Teeth, Sea of Bones & Ramlord, Holy Smoke

Posted in Reviews on October 6th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

the-obelisk-fall-2016-quarterly-review

I’ll admit I’m a little surprised at the shape this Quarterly Review has taken. As I begin to look back on the year in terms of what records have been talked about over the span, I find it’s been particularly geared toward debut albums, both in and out of wrap-ups like this one. There’s less of that this time around, but what’s happened is some stuff that doesn’t fall into that category — releases like the first two here, for example — are getting covered here to allow space for the others. Let’s face it, nobody gives a shit what I have to say about Russian Circles anyhow, so whatever, but I’m happy to have this as a vehicle for discussing records I still think are worth discussing — the first two releases here, again for example — rather than letting them fall through the cracks with the glut of new bands coming along. Of course things evolve as you go on, but I wish I’d figured it out sooner. Let’s dive in.

Quarterly Review #31-40:

Russian Circles, Guidance

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From the warm wash of guitar that begins “Asa” onward, and no matter how weighted, percussive and/or chug-fueled Russian Circles get from there, the Chicago trio seem to be offering solace on their latest outing, Guidance. Recorded by Kurt Ballou and released through Sargent House, the seven-track offering crosses heavy post-rock soundscapes given marked thickness and distinct intensity on “Vorel,” but the record as a whole never quite loses the serenity in “Asa” or the later “Overboard,” crushing as the subsequent “Calla” gets, and though the spaces they cast in closer “Lisboa” are wide and intimidating, their control of them is utterly complete. Six albums in, Russian Circles are simply masters of what they do. There’s really no other way to put it. They remain forward thinking in terms of investigating new ideas in their sound, but their core approach is set in the fluidity of these songs and they revise their aesthetic with a similar, natural patience to that with which they execute their material.

Russian Circles on Thee Facebooks

Sargent House website

 

Salem’s Pot, Pronounce This!

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Following their 2014 RidingEasy Records debut, …Lurar ut dig på prärien (discussed here) – which, presumably met with some pronunciation trouble outside the band’s native Sweden – Salem’s Pot return with Pronounce This!, further refining their blend of psychedelic swirl, odd vibes and garage doom riffing. They remain heavily indoctrinated into the post-Uncle Acid school of buzz and groove, and aren’t afraid to scum it up on “Tranny Takes a Trip” or the slower-shifting first half of “Coal Mind,” but the second portion of that song and “So Gone, so Dead” take a more classically progressive bent that is both refreshing and a significant expansion on what Salem’s Pot have accomplished thus far into their tenure. Still weird, and one doubts that’ll change anytime soon – nor does it need to – but as Pronounce This! plays out, Salem’s Pot demonstrate an open-mindedness that seems to have been underlying their work all along and bring it forward in engaging fashion.

Salem’s Pot BigCartel store

RidingEasy Records website

 

Bridesmaid, International House of Mancakes

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International House of Mancakes – yup – is the follow-up to Bridesmaid’s 2013 long-player, Breakfast at Riffany’s, and like that album, it finds the Columbus, Ohio, instrumentalists with a penchant for inserting dudes’ names into well-known titles – see “Hungry Like Nick Wolf” and “Ronnin’ with the Devil” – but it also expands the lineup to the two-bass/two-drum four-piece of Scott Hyatt and Bob Brinkman (both bass) and Cory Barnt and Boehm (both drums). Topped off with KISS-meets-Village People art from W. Ralph Walters, there are shortages neither of snark nor low end, but buried underneath is a progressive songwriting sensibility that doesn’t come across as overly metal on cuts like “Ricky Thump” and doesn’t sacrifice impact or heft for the sake of self-indulgence. Opening with its longest track (immediate points) in “It’s Alectric (Boogie Woogie Woogie),” International House of Mancakes unfolds a heavy rock push that, while obviously driven in part by its sense of humor, earns serious consideration in these tracks for those willing to actually listen.

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Bridesmaid on Bandcamp

 

Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell, Keep it Greasy!

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Too thick in its tones to be a completely vintage-style work, the sleazy vibes of Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell’s Keep it Greasy! (on Rise Above) are otherwise loyal to circa-1971 boogie and attitude, and whether it’s the rewind moment on opener “U Got Wot I Need” or proto-metallic bass thrust of the “Hawkline Monster” or the brash post-Lemmy push of “Tired ‘n’ Wired,” the album is a celebration of a moment when rock isn’t about being any of those things or anything else, but about having a good time, letting off some steam from a shit job or whatever it is, and trying your damnedest to get laid. Radio samples throughout tie the songs together, but even that carries an analog feel – because radio – and the good Admiral are clearly well versed in the fine art of kicking ass. Familiar in all the right ways with more than enough personality to make that just another part of the charm.

The Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell on Thee Facebooks

Rise Above Records website

 

Landing, Third Sight

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The invitation to completely immerse comes quickly on the 13-minute “Delusion Sound,” which opens Landing’s Third Sight (on El Paraiso), and from there, the Connecticut four-piece sway along a beautiful and melodic drift, easing their way along a full-sounding progression filled out with airy guitar and backing drones, moved forward patiently by its drum march and topped with echoed half-whispers. It’s a flat-out gorgeous initial impression to make, and the instrumental “Third Site” and “Facing South” follow it with a tinge of the experimentalism for which Landing are more known, the former led by guitar and the latter led by cinematic keyboard. To bookend, the 14-minute “Morning Sun” builds as it progresses and draws the various sides together while creating a rising soundscape of its own, every bit earning its name as the vocals emerge in the second half, part of a created wash that is nothing short of beautiful. One could say the same of Third Sight as a whole.

Landing on Thee Facebooks

El Paraiso Records website

 

Reign of Zaius, Planet Of…

Disc_Templates

While they’ve spent the last few years kicking around the deeper recesses of Brooklyn’s heavy underground, Reign of Zaius mark their debut release with the 26-minute Planet Of… EP, bringing together seven tracks that show what their time and buildup of material has wrought. Opener “Hate Parade” reminds of earliest Kings Destroy, but on the whole, Reign of Zaius are rawer and more metal at their core, the five-piece delving into shuffle on “Out of Get Mine” and showing an affinity for classic horror in both “They Live” – which starts with a sample of Roddy Piper being all out of bubblegum – and “Farewell to Arms,” previously issued as a single in homage to Evil Dead. The charm of a “Dueling Banjos” reference at the start of “Deliver Me” leads to one of the catchier hooks on Planet Of…, and the shorter “Power Hitter” closes with a bass-heavy paean to smoking out that digs into punkish summation of where Reign of Zaius are coming from generally as they continue to be a band up for having a good time without taking themselves too seriously.

Reign of Zaius on Thee Facebooks

Reign of Zaius on Bandcamp

 

Transcendent Sea, Ballads of Drowning Men

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Kind of a mystery just where the time goes on Sydney rockers Transcendent Sea’s self-released 50-minute first album, Ballads of Drowning Men. Sure, straightforward cuts like “Over Easy” and “Mind Queen” are easily enough accounted for with their post-Orange Goblin burl and boozy, guttural delivery from vocalist Sean Bowden, but as the four-piece of Bowden, guitarist Mathew J. Allen, bassist Andrew Auglys and drummer Mark Mills get into the more extended “Throw Me a Line,” “Blood of a Lion” and closer “Way of the Wolf” – all over 10 minutes each – their moves become harder to track. They keep the hooks and the verses, but it’s not like they’re just tacking jams onto otherwise structured tracks, and even when “Way of the Wolf” goes wandering, Bowden keeps it grounded, and that effect is prevalent throughout in balancing Ballads of Drowning Men as a whole. It takes a few listens to get a handle on where Transcendent Sea are coming from in that regard, but their debut proves worth at least that minimal effort.

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Transcendent Sea on Bandcamp

 

Red Teeth, Light Bender

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Brothers Rael and Ryan Andrews, both formerly of Lansing, Michigan, art rockers BerT, revive their heavy punk duo Red Teeth with the four-song Light Bender 7” on GTG Records. Both contribute vocals, and Ryan handles guitar and bass, while Rael is on drums and synth through the quick run of “Light Bender, Sound Bender,” “Tas Pappas,” “134mps” and “Elephant Graveyard,” the longest of which is the opener (immediate points) at 4:49. By the time they get down to “Elephant Graveyard,” one can hear some of the Melvinsian twist and crunch that often surfaced in BerT, but whether it’s the ‘90s-alt-vibes-meet-drum-madness of “134mps” or the almost rockabilly riffing of “Tas Pappas,” Red Teeth – whose last release was eight years ago – have no trouble establishing personality in these songs. Approach with an open mind and the weirdness that persists will be more satisfying, as each track seems to have a context entirely of its own.

Red Teeth on Bandcamp

GTG Records website

 

Sea of Bones & Ramlord, Split

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One can hear the kind of spacious darkness and through-the-skin cold of New England winters in this new split EP from Connecticut crushers Sea of Bones and grinding New Hampshire compatriots Ramlord from Broken Limbs Recordings. What the two share most of all is an atmosphere of existential destitution, but there’s an underlying sense of the extreme that also ties together Sea of Bones’ “Hopelessness and Decay” (10:36) and Ramlord’s “Incarceration of Clairvoyance (Part III)” (10:10), the latter of which continues a series Ramlord started back in 2012 on a split with Cara Neir. Both acts are very much in their element in their brutality. For Sea of Bones, this is the second release they’ve had out this year behind the improvised and digital-only “Silent Transmissions” 27-minute single, which of course was anything but, and for Ramlord, it’s their first split in two years, but finds their gritty, filthy sound well intact from where they last left it. Nothing to complain about here, unless peace of mind is your thing, because you certainly won’t find any of that.

Broken Limbs Recordings on Bandcamp

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Ramlord on Thee Facebooks

 

Holy Smoke, Holy Smoke! It’s a Demo!

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Philadelphia-based five-piece Holy Smoke formed in the early hours of 2015, and the exclamatory Holy Smoke! It’s a Demo! three-track EP is their debut release. Opening with its longest cut (immediate points) in “Rinse and Repeat,” it finds them blending psychedelic and heavy rock elements and conjuring marked fluidity between them. As the title indicates, it’s a demo, and what one hears throughout is the first material Holy Smoke thought enough of to put to tape, but on “Rinse and Repeat” and the subsequent “Blue Dreams” and “The Firm,” they bring the two sides together well in a way it’s easy to hope they continue to do as they move onto whatever comes next, pulling off “The Firm” particularly with marked swing and a sense of confidence that undercuts the notion of their being their first time out. They have growing to do, and by no means would I consider them established in style, but there’s a spark in the songs that could absolutely catch fire.

Holy Smoke on Thee Facebooks

Holy Smoke on Bandcamp

 

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Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell to Release Keep it Greasy Oct. 14

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 22nd, 2016 by JJ Koczan

admiral-sir-cloudesley-shovell

As if the Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell would keep it any other way. The brash-n-boozy UK trio will issue their new album, Keep it Greasy, through Rise Above Records, and I don’t usually pull-quote press releases, but “Their songs haven’t washed in weeks” is just about the best description I’ve ever heard of what these guys do. Their latest full-length, Check ‘Em Before You Wreck ‘Em, came out in 2014, and one sincerely doubts their capacity for shenanigans has diminished in the interim. Keep it Greasy will be out Oct. 14, and not a moment too soon for a universe that continues to take itself way too fucking seriously.

Have at you from the PR wire:

admiral-sir-cloudesley-shovell-keep-it-greasy

ADMIRAL SIR CLOUDESLEY SHOVELL To Release Keep it Greasy! October 14th via Rise Above Records

There seems to be an endless horde of fresh-faced bands that proclaim to be resurrecting the spirit of rock n’ roll these days. They see themselves to grabbing the genre by the scruff of its neck and dragging it back to its supposed glory years. Yet, few bands can say they’ve lived the lifestyle quite like ADMIRAL SIR CLOUDESLEY SHOVELL. These working class grease rock bastards, fuelled by speed, cheap lager and roadside fry-ups, have the scars to prove their worth.

The thing is, The Shovell has never claimed to be the biggest or the best around and frankly they don’t care who is. There is no brash egotism at play here, just a rough-and-ready honesty which permeates in what these three guys do. Their songs haven’t washed in weeks, far too busy spinning crackling Budgie vinyls, knackered Motörhead live albums played at a sluggish RPM and snorting self-inflammatories to do anything hygienic. If you want your music dressed up to the nines like an American prom queen, look elsewhere.

Here’s a band proud to be the soundtrack to your weed smokin’, beer swiggin’ escapes from 2016’s dystopian shitstorm reality; one feverishly decorated with unrelenting commercialism, villainous politicians and godforsaken auto-tune. There may be thousands of musicians who can play their instruments better, write more intelligent and thought provoking music, but when you listen to rugged and guttural ‘tune in, drop out’ vibes of Keep It Greasy, none of that seems to matter.

Their approach to sound and texture makes this record feel like an undiscovered gem from 1971, time worn, warts n’ all. Its beauty is defined, rather than hindered by, its unkempt primalism. As a record too, it displays an improved sense of how to get your heart battering your rib cage – think rattling Geezer Butler bass, gravel-toned vocals and the freewheeling madness of Keith Moon. These new songs are using the tried and tested Shovell formula to find new ways of getting under your skin.

From the jolting opening sex-pest boogie of U Got Wot I Need to the sandpaper smooth, Zeppelin stomp of Tired N’ Wired – its lyrics straight from Lemmy’s freight train of thought – they make the last three decades crumble away. Longer tracks like Hairy Brain Part 2, Paid In Full and album closer Wrong are peppered with many of rock’s cornerstones – twisting harmonies, driving shuffle rhythms and whirling feedback – but never sound impressionistic. They simply absorb you, swallow you whole.
But this is no mere pastiche that cashes in on society’s occasional backwards-glancing, nostalgic tendencies. This is down-to-earth and real. Keep It Greasy documents the trials and tribulations these sleezeballs have been through while on the road and beyond.

It doesn’t parade itself as anything immaculate or ground-breaking – and we all know how tiresome such hyperbole infested press releases can be – but it is hellish fun. Stick it on at a neighbour-unfriendly volume and enjoy it for the sordid, fucked up time warp that it is and see for yourself.

Keep It Greasy! Track List:
1. U Got Wot I Need
2. Hairy Brain Part 2
3. Hawkline Monkster
4. Paid In Full
5. I’m Movin’
6. Potato Boy
7. Tired’N’Wired
8. Wrong

https://www.facebook.com/theshovell/
https://www.facebook.com/riseaboverecords
http://www.riseaboverecords.com/

Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell, Live at the Black Heart

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Roadburn 2016 Goes Apeshit and Adds Like 30 More Bands to Complete its Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 18th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

Every year, without fail, there comes a point at which one is forced to wonder if Roadburn has lost its damn mind. So it is today as the news hits the inbox of Roadburn 2016 “rounding out its lineup” with more bands than most festivals manage to host in a weekend. Unbefuckinglievable.

Over 30 acts have joined the bill for Roadburn 2016, which I’m thrilled and proud to say I’ll be attending and covering while also editing the Weirdo Canyon Dispatch daily ‘zine once again, including Scott Kelly and Sanford Parker‘s Mirrors for Psychic Warfare, Buried at Sea (also featuring Parker), New Keepers of the Water Towers, Usnea, Death Alley, Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell, Beastmaker, Gomer Pyle, Carousel, Zone Six, The Progerians (who have a new video out that’s getting posted in just a bit, Menhir and of course many others.

Oh yeah, and Jucifer are playing the pre-show. Pure madness.

I can’t wait:

Final additions to the Roadburn bill, including full Cul de Sac line up

New additions to the bill include BURIED AT SEA, MIRRORS FOR PSYCHIC WARFARE, INVERLOCH, CULT OF OCCULT, CHVE, and USNEA.
Full line up for Cul de Sac venue announced, including ‘Roadburn Introduces…’
JUCIFER announced for the Hard Rock Hide Out pre-Roadburn part

BURIED AT SEA

From the beginning surge of feedback through the last filth-caked rumble, BURIED AT SEA’s sound is a monument to the notion of tone as weight. Abrasive in the extreme and matched in aural largesse only by the sway of its rhythm, it surrounds completely and oppresses mercilessly. Here at Roadburn Festival HQ, we are beyond excited to announce BURIED AT SEA will bring their one-of-a-kind dirges to Roadburn 2016 on Sunday, April 17 at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands.

MIRRORS FOR PSYCHIC WARFARE

We always knew they were unusually talented musicians, but in the last few years Scott Kelly and Sanford Parker have also become remarkably prolific, showing a wonderfully multi-faceted aspect to their artistic expression throughout a multitude of projects. They now appear as the sole members of this latest endeavour, MIRRORS FOR PSYCHIC WARFARE. A sort of reverse side of the coin to the unfettered, confrontational aggression of Corrections House, the five songs on their self-titled debut, are more insidious. MIRRORS FOR PSYCHIC WARFARE perform on Sunday, April 17 in the Green Room.

For more information about the above bands click here.

FURTHER ADDITIONS TO THE BILL

In addition to the above, the following bands have also been added to the Roadburn 2016 line up.

CHVE – click here for more info

SIR ADMIRAL CLOUDSESLEY SHOVEL (part of Lee Dorrian’s curated event)
BEASTMAKER (part of Lee Dorrian’s curated event)
CAROUSEL
click here for more info on these bands

CULT OF OCCULT
DANIEL PAYNE
HELL
INVERLOCH
USNEA
click here for more info on these bands

CUL DE SAC LINE UP

Once again, Roadburn Festival is very happy to be hosting our fifth at the Cul de Sac in collaboration with Never Mind The Hype, an independent Dutch music platform (think: rock meets alternative, or stoner rock meets psych). At Cul de Sac, we will focus on showcasing promising Dutch and Belgian bands, plus some acts from further afield. Positioned just around the corner from the 013 venue, the intimate surroundings of the Cul de Sac mean you can get up close and personal with some of the best up and coming bands we could get our hands on.

Once again we have picked one band to showcase under the Roadburn Introduces… banner, and in association with Nevermind The Hype, we’re pleased to announce that the showcase band for 2016 is DOOL. Hailing from Rotterdam, DOOL will lure us into their spiraling netherworld, and connect with the international Roadburn community during an intimate show at the Cul de Sac on Saturday April 16 in Tilburg,The Netherlands. DOOL starts at 2 pm. Click here to read more about DOOL.

Thursday April 14
MOLOKEN
NEW KEEPERS OF THE WATER TOWERS
ZONE SIX
DEAD NEANDERTHALS
GOMER PYLE
MANTRA MACHINE
Click here for more info

Friday April 15
HERDER
ALKERDEEL FEATURING GNAW THEIR TONGUES
COCAINE PISS
NOCTUM
OBESE
CONCATENATUS
Click here for more info

Just as we did last year, Roadburn will focus on Belgium, and in collaboration with one of the country’s foremost bookings agencies, RuffStuff Music, we welcome some fantastic bands hailing from just next door in Belgium – bands that embodied the spirit of Roadburn. Together we will host some exciting, cutting edge bands, alongside Roadburn’s established acts, for the second year in a row.

Saturday April 16
HEMELBESTORMER (click here for more info)
GRIMMSONS
PARTISAN
THE PROGERIANS
WE’REWOLVES
VVOVNDS
Click here for more info

Sunday April 17
SYNDROME
CHAOS ECHOES
MENHIR
WITCH TRAIL
And finish your Roadburn experience with DEATH ALLEY
Click here for more info

HARD ROCK HIDE OUT

In keeping with what has become Roadburn tradition, we’ll be welcoming keen Roadburners to Tilburg on Wednesday, April 13 with a party at Cul de Sac. Whilst newcomers get their bearings, return visitors will slip straight back into old habits. Welcoming Roadburners to Tilburg this year will be none other than our our favourite pair of highly-amplified nomads – JUCIFER. They will park up at the Cul de Sac for the evening and rip through their harsh, thrashy, sludgy, doomy, downright massive tunes.

TICKETS

Day tickets for Thursday and Friday remain on sale, but all other ticketing options are now SOLD OUT. For a full rundown of the line up and to view the line up posters, please click HERE.

Buried at Sea, Ghost (2007)

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Roadburn 2015: Sets from Bongripper, SubRosa, Thou, Acid Witch, Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell, Der Weg Einer Freiheit, KEN mode, Death Hawks and Mugstar

Posted in audiObelisk on June 30th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

bongripper at roadburn 2015 (Photo by JJ Koczan)

I was especially eager to see Bongripper at the Afterburner at this year’s Roadburn. They had played a couple nights before as well (that set is streaming here), performing their 2014 album, Miserable (review here), in its entirety, but I’d had to miss that set and knew going into the fest that I wanted to see them one way or another follow-up on the performance they gave in 2012, which had been chest-shakingly heavy.

No regrets, of course. They proved to be devastating and I’m anxious to revisit the set today via the newly released live stream. Also included in this latest of the four-so-far batches is a bunch of stuff I missed, including two of the most-talked-about bands of the entirety of Roadburn 2015: SubRosa and Thou. The former outfit played the first day and I continued to hear about them through to Sunday, while Thou‘s atmosludge devastated the crowd at Het Patronaat and were bandied about as one of the highlights of the whole fest.

Along with performances by Acid WitchDeath HawksMugstar (another one whose name I kept hearing), Admiral Sir Cloudesley ShovellDer Weg Einer Freiheit, and KEN mode, this makes for a pretty diverse round of streams. If you get to dig into any or all of them, I hope you enjoy:

Acid Witch – Live at Roadburn 2015

Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell – Live at Roadburn 2015

Bongripper – Live at Roadburn 2015 (Afterburner)

Death Hawks – Live at Roadburn 2015

Der Weg Einer Freiheit – Live at Roadburn 2015

Kenmode – Live at Roadburn 2015

Mugstar- Live at Roadburn 2015

Subrosa – Live at Roadburn 2015

Thou – Live at Roadburn 2015

Special thanks to Walter as always for letting me host the streams. To read all of this year’s Roadburn coverage, click here. For the first, second and third batches of streams, click here and then click here and then click here.

Roadburn’s website

Marcel Van De Vondervoort on Thee Facebooks

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