Wino Wednesday: Wino, “Shot in the Head” from Adrift

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 17th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

Not exactly the most uplifting message ever put into a song, but Wino‘s take on Savoy Brown‘s “Shot in the Head” was nonetheless a highlight of the 2010 acoustic debut, Adrift. That record (review here) came out four years ago this month, and had its fair share of melancholy, with songs like “Whatever” and “Old and Alone,” but despite its foreboding title, “Shot in the Head” was actually more upbeat — frustration rather than depression — and its road-weary lyric fit Adrift‘s personality well, Wino taking the lines, “I’ve had enough of getting shot in the head/I’ve had enough and I wish I was dead,” and presenting them not with a downer woefulness, but something closer to the bluesy humor of the original.

The track opened Savoy Brown‘s 1972 full-length, Lion’s Share, which was the British outfit’s ninth album in six years. Understandable at that point why they might’ve “had enough,” but it’s worth noting that guitarist/vocalist/founder Kim Simmonds has toured and released music ever since, working with well over 60 musicians in various Savoy Brown lineups since starting out in 1967 — up to and including this year’s Goin’ to the Delta — so apparently he was still a ways off from his fill. Wino isn’t quite there in the number of people he’s worked with, though if you count both bands he’s been in and bands with whom he’s guested, he’s got to be over 40, but it’s plain enough to see a correlation there, and he seems to have a good time with the song, doubling his vocals to create a kind of one-man blues chorus and sneaking a plugged-in solo into the second half.

I looked for a live version of “Shot in the Head,” but came up empty. Could’ve sworn I saw him do this song at some point, but there doesn’t seem to be video to back that up. The album version’s plenty raucous, and I hope you enjoy it and have a happy Wino Wednesday:

Wino, “Shot in the Head” (Savoy Brown cover)

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Wino Wednesday: Acoustic “Manifesto” in Vienna, Austria, 2010

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 24th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

Hard to determine what’s my favorite thing about this clip of Wino performing the song “Manifesto” live at Substance Record Store in Vienna on his 2010 European tour. He laughs as he breaks a string about two minutes in, and that’s pretty enjoyable — probably less for him at the time — and he takes his guitar and walks out into the crowd, troubadour-style, toward the end. Plus the song itself, which lives up to its name in continuing Wino‘s penchant for socially conscious lyric-writing — something that arguably was most present in the word of The Hidden Hand but has been a factor all along — while the quick acoustic strumming provides a kind of tension that usually comes coated in fuzz where his songwriting is concerned.

Either way, it’s a winner, and for me, even more interesting in context. Toward the end of last year, I posted a video shot on the same tour of the same song, and he did basically the same thing — out into the crowd and all that. That video was shot in Belgium on Oct. 10. This one was Vienna just 10 days earlier, and what’s really great about it is Wino, fresh off a tour with Premonition 13, had been on the road for about two weeks at the time, so basically you get to see him become more comfortable with the idea as you go from the earlier video (this one) to the later one. Maybe that’s me putting a narrative to it, or just a bit of super-nerdery, but it’s pretty cool to see, either way, since by the time October rolled around, it was a spirited protest-song bit of populism and here it’s getting there, but not quite as triumphant yet.

Keep your eyes open for that and the broken string, and have a great Wino Wednesday:

Wino, “Manifesto” live at Substance Record Store, Vienna, Sept. 30, 2010

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Wino Wednesday: “Green Speed” from Adrift

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 19th, 2012 by JJ Koczan

Yesterday the announcement came down the wire that Wino would be opening for Clutch‘s holiday tour this coming December. It’s the kind of news I like to get. If you missed the dates, here they are:

WINO w/ Clutch, Mondo Generator, Saviours:
12/26/2012 9:30 Club – Washington DC
12/27/2012 The Orange Peel – Asheville, NC
12/28/2012 Buster’s Billiards & Backroom – Lexington, KY
12/29/2012 Newport Music Hall – Columbus, OH
12/30/2012 Starland Ballroom – Sayreville, NJ
12/31/2012 The Palladium – Worcester, MA

It’s a pretty killer bill, and Wino will be performing solo acoustic to open the shows, as the PR wire confirms:

Following the ongoing Saint Vitus North American tour, his thriving recent tours of Europe and North America alongside his comrade Conny Ochs in support of their collaborative album Heavy Kingdom, preceded by several tours with close friend and Shrinebuilder bandmate Scott Kelly in support of their split 7” release last year, today the legendary SCOTT “WINO” WEINRICH confirms his latest round of live performances, as the man will bring his solo acoustic set to the road once again, this time in support of the almighty American rock machine Clutch.

WINO has supported Clutch on tour in recent years, with both his backing band as heard on his 2009-released Punctuated Equilibrium album as well as solo as his 2010-released debut acoustic album Adrift. On this special run of year-end dates WINO will join Mondo Generator and Saviours supply opening support for Clutch, with a six-show run from Washington DC up the East Coast and ending in Worcester, Massachusetts on New Year’s Eve. Tickets for this short but incredible tour will go on sale this Friday, September 21st.

Given all that newsly awesomeness, I thought it was a good time to take the opportunity to revisit Wino‘s 2010 acoustic debut, Adrift (review here). That record seems a long time ago now, but it’s only long in terms of all the stuff Wino has done since, with Saint Vitus, Premonition 13 and the Wino & Conny Ochs collaboration — not to mention touring for those projects and playing live with The Obsessed for the first time in more than a decade — and one track that has continued to stand out from it is the closer, “Green Speed.”

It helps that it’s a wailing heavy rock song — whatever kind of guitar it’s played on — with an uptempo chugging riff and buzzsaw-sharp electrified solo, but what really gets me in listening are the vocals, with have that seething underpinning of righteous anger that’s unmistakably his own. “Green Speed” was kind of buried at the end of Adrift, and sure enough, was different from a lot of the rest of the album, but it’s a cool track nonetheless, and seemed to me easily worth highlighting in honor of the upcoming tour.

Enjoy and have a happy Wino Wednesday:

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audiObelisk: Adrift’s “Wolves Searching Dams” from Black Heart Bleeds Black Now Available for Streaming

Posted in audiObelisk on April 26th, 2012 by JJ Koczan

After a couple starter splits, singles and EP releases, Spanish four-piece Adrift made their full-length debut in 2008 with Monolito, an album that wore its winding post-Mastodon neo-prog metal influence on its sleeve. The complexity of rhythm and overall extremity finds further push in the forthcoming Alone Records follow-up, Black Heart Bleeds Black, which is darker atmospherically and more conscious of but not modeled after mid-period Neurosis‘ apocalyptic churn. Doomed in mood and guitar-led sensibility, its songs follow progressive structures to vicious ends and offer little hope to those who’d take them on.

More importantly, the overall impression Black Heart Bleeds Black gives is more individualized than was the first record, and Adrift work within a variety of forms that maintain their pummel even as they change the direction from which that pummel comes. Tonally, it’s metal, and I hear a bit of Converge‘s bombast in the screams of “Mallet Man,” but there’s more happening in these songs than any one band comparison can really convey, the two guitars of Macon and Jorge (the latter also vocals) working into and out of tandem stretches with an ease that skillfully undercuts the difficulty of what they’re actually doing.

And where a lot of prog (neo- or otherwise) seems to forgo its sense of songwriting to convey musicianship, even on the trace-state instrumental “Erich Zann Movement,” Adrift don’t lose the human feel to what they do — they’re just reeling back for the next blast, which of course arrives in the form of the 9:48 “Fury Roof.” In terms of giving a concise impression of what Black Heart Bleeds Black does, though, the seven-minute “Wolves Searching Dams” is densely packed with aggression and ambience in kind, relentlessly driven forward by frantic guitars, Jaime‘s drums and Dani‘s bass, as you can hear for yourself on the player below:

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

For CD and/or vinyl preorders of Black Heart Bleeds Black, click here. Much thanks to Alone Records for granting permission to host the stream, and to find out more about Adrift, be sure to hit them up on Thee Facebooks or their Something Called MySpace page.

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Wino, Adrift: Liferafts for the Doomed

Posted in Reviews on October 8th, 2010 by JJ Koczan

Among the favorite four-letter words of doom and stoner heads out there, “Wino” has to be high on the list. For almost 30 years, Scott “Wino” Weinrich has built a legacy unequaled in underground rock and metal. Just because it’s fun to run down the list: The Obsessed, Saint Vitus, The Obsessed (again), Spirit Caravan, The Hidden Hand, and most recently his own Wino solo band with J.P. Gaster of Clutch and the now-departed Jon Blank, the doom dream-team supergroup, Shrinebuilder, and his new jam project Premonition. He’s nothing if not prolific, and on Adrift (Exile on Mainstream), which he issues under the Wino banner, he presents his fans with his first acoustic album ever. Needless to say, if you’re a fan of Wino in any incarnation of his playing, Adrift is required reading.

Drum-less, bass-less and featuring only sporadic electric guitar, this is the raw Wino, and Weinrich’s songwriting is at the fore. The opener “Adrift” sets the tone for the record with a deeply personal, intimate vibe and classic feel, fulfilling both the function of opener and title track in embodying the mission of the album and starting it off in a way that provides listeners with an instant context for what follows. A folk ballad, it’s just one of the several song structures Weinrich works within on Adrift, and he follows it with the 12-bar blues of “I Don’t Care.” His voice, long a trademark in the sundry bands he’s fronted, is tenser than a lot of the kind throwaway Appalachian or Delta blues players, but he handles it well and the album’s first electric guitar solo, which fades the track out at the end, covers a lot of ground.

“Hold on Love” was an advance track on MySpace and a good choice by whoever picked it, either Weinrich or Exile on Mainstream, because after only listening to it once online and putting on the album for the first time, I immediately recognized it and remembered the double-tracked vocals of the chorus. Another storytelling song, it’s one of the most complete tracks on Adrift, and where some of the ultra-bare arrangements on the album feel like they could have been fleshed out or at very least would have been were this not Weinrich’s first exploration of the medium, “Hold on Love” is complete in every sense, soulful and sincere. Another, more mournful electric solo keeps the energy established in “I Don’t Care” alive as “Mala Suerte” comes on with what are probably the “heaviest” sonics Adrift has to offer.

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