Front Biz Premiere “Little Mutants” Video; Lunch Money out June 14

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 4th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

front biz (photo by Kiki Vassilakis)

I’ll admit that other than the relative age of the parties involved, I have no idea what makes something neo-psych versus regular-psych. But whatever, I like a good story, and Albany four-piece Front Biz have that as they present their debut full-length, Lunch Money, through Five Kill Records. You can read it below. It’s got intergalactic money laundering and everything, and in that, it sets a decent mood for how Lunch Money plays out across its seven component tracks, whether it’s the frenetic funk of opener “Little Mutants” or the subsequent let-me-slip-into-a-tempo-more-comfortable groove in the second half of “Winter’s Dream,” which follows. Front Biz — the core four of vocalist/guitarist Raurri Jennings, guitarist Peter Lavery, bassist Josh Potter and drummer Erik Pravel, with sundry others partaking throughout — change it up as those with a will toward artistic progression should their first time out, tripping out impulses from Mr. Bungle‘s let’s-do-it-lounge-style jazz surf of “WYCH” and the penultimate “Interlude” to the Funkadelic-via-TalkingHeads-or-whoever hookery of “Dead Ass.”

There’s a mellow stretch every now and then to catch your breath — looking at you, “Lunch,” right there in the middle of the album — but Front Biz are front biz lunch moneymore about keeping their audience off balance, as they do pitting “Interlude” before the buzz-happy “Wolf Mistress,” with the two guitars intertwining in fuzz and sunny shimmer before opening to an uptempo verse that would be dancey if we were all dancey monsters of various colors: greens, purples and the like. Once again, the funk gets strange and the strange gets funky. If you feel like you can dig it, I don’t know, maybe you can. Much to its credit, Lunch Money is less beholden to genre than most of anything that might be psychedelic by even the loosest of definitions, and the sense of personality brought to the material is palpable from “Little Mutants” all the way through “Wolf Mistress,” which peaks with a trippy solo before some puller riffing cuts short after a few measures, ending cold to snap the experience back to reality really the only way it could — cruelly and suddenly.

Standard fare it ain’t, even around here, but the video for “Little Mutants” came my way, and for its Beetlejuice nods and clever animation, let alone the song itself, I couldn’t resist. Sometimes it’s fun to get weird, so let’s do that.

That PR wire info follows the video below.

Please enjoy:

Front Biz, “Little Mutants” official video premiere

Front Biz, LLC, is a shell company for an intergalactic real estate firm, primarily focused on laundering money through an Earth-based rock band. Don’t worry; they’re the good guys in this story. With analog syncopations and guitar riffs algorithmically programmed to stream alongside the Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Chicano Batman, Kenny Rogers, and other psychedelic avatars, the quartet fights fearlessly against the Russian bot-driven influx of sad bands in the simulation. Lunch Money is their debut album, released exclusively on immaterial digital platforms by Fivekill Records.

Endlessly cycling through a quantum time loop, Front Biz first formed around Erik Pravel’s electronic drum kit in 2016 to play glitched mashups of Charles Mingus and Black Sabbath in the basement of a Presbyterian church. The project soon evolved into a double-barrel guitar workout fronted by Raurri Jennings, the holographic result of Rick Moranis singing Prince karaoke, and Peter Lavery, the world’s fattest man. Josh Potter plays himself, also the bass. In their first year, Front Biz shared the stage with White Denim, Naked Giants, Rubblebucket, K. Flay, and won a battle of the bands held at a bowling alley in the mall.

Lunch Money was recorded over three days in an upstate cabin during March 2018. Produced by Ryan Slowey (Maggot Brain) with engineering by Craig Dutra (Aficionado, Hospital Corners), the album was tracked live with virtually everything piped through a vintage Roland Space Echo for that timeless UFO hover. Victoria Rutledge and Anna Lazarou were abducted for vocal support. Deep in the delay chain, the band made first contact with a disincarnate intelligence, entrapping them in a cosmic Ponzi scheme. Lunch Money is the group’s attempt to pay off their debt, and maybe get a bite to eat. Either way, the portal is open.

Front Biz is:
Raurri Jennings – Vocals / Guitar
Peter Lavery – Guitar
Josh Potter – Bass
Erik Pravel – Drums

Front Biz on Thee Facebooks

Front Biz on Instagram

Front Biz on Bandcamp

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Linear North Premiere “Spectrum Eyes” from Mine is Yesterday, I Know Tomorrow

Posted in audiObelisk on October 8th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

linear north

This weekend, Upstate New York psych rockers Linear North will mark the release of their debut album, Mine is Yesterday, I Know Tomorrow, which is out on cassette via King Pizza Records. The trio are set to play two shows — in Brooklyn, where the label is based, and Albany, where they’re based — as a celebration with like-minded labelmates Sun Voyager, and the tape is indeed something worth celebrating, following a 2012 demo and 2013 digital EP, called Singles, both of which have tracks resurfaced into the 32-minute/six-track full-length. An immediately spacious vibe on the seven-minute longest and opening cut (immediate points) “13 Year Sugar Maple” casts an echoing, sunshiny vibe, and as the record plays out, shifting into the shorter, more garage-minded “Into the Light” and through its remaining cuts, the groovy post-this-and-that vibes only grow more expansive.

Comprised of guitarist/vocalist Bob Forget, bassist Shane Williams and drummer Ryan Render, Linear North offer some of their most languid dreaminess on “Mountains,” which opened the EP, ends side one of the tape and successfully executes a subtle build in the guitar and bass while maintaining a liquid wash, patient groove, and in the drums, a linear north mine is yesterday i know tomorrowsteady roll that eases smoothly into the peak, recedes, and rises again to finish out. “Spectrum Eyes,” which starts out side two, is more straight-ahead weighted in its initial push, but has its shoegazing feel as well, Williams‘ bass pushing it into highlight territory beneath Forget‘s reverb-soaked croon. Though “Spectrum Eyes” is riffier, I think “Rapture” might have it beat for the sheer buzz factor, a spaced-out grunge taking hold and making a primarily melodic impact nonetheless by the end of it, swirling all the while.

That leaves just “Weigh,” with its low-end foundation and swinging, tambourine-inclusive rhythm, to finish out. Three years have passed since it was included on their first demo, but it makes a fitting closer for Mine is Yesterday, I Know Tomorrow, teasing an explosion in its pulsating verses while winding up on an entirely more fluid trip. Yeah, it picks up and goes nuts at the end, but that’s only half the point, and even that’s more of a morphing shift than sudden leap from quiet to loud. Pacing of transition would seem to be a specialty in what I guess one would still rightly call Linear North‘s early days.

I think you can get a sense of that even from the heavier thrust of “Spectrum Eyes,” which you can hear on the player below. I think Linear North might have the whole record on Bandcamp as well, so check there if you haven’t, but either way, I’m glad to be able to feature the track as a sampler for anyone who feels like getting lost in it.

Show info under the player. Enjoy:

October 9th “Mine is Yesterday, I Know Tomorrow” will be available on Cassette and Download courtesy of King Pizza Records. We’ll be celebrating all weekend long in Brooklyn and Albany. In the meantime check out our bandcamp and all the other awesomeness that comes from King Pizza Records!

October 9th and 10th are just around the corner. We’re looking forward to playing in Brooklyn and Albany again. The Albany show at the Fuze Box will be our 100th gig!

We also have our first show of November on Friday the 6th at The Anchor in Kingston with Geezer, Shadow Witch and King Buffalo. More dates to come!

Friday October 9th – Brooklyn, NY – Don Pedro’s w/ Sun Voyager and Wet Socks
Saturday October 10th – Albany, NY – Fuze Box w/ Sun Voyager & Mod fiction

Linear North website

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Linear North on Bandcamp

King Pizza Records

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Ironweed Have a New Video for “Enduring Snakes”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 18th, 2011 by JJ Koczan

They picked the right song, for sure. This thing’s catchy as hell. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend watching this new Ironweed clip if you’re prone to seizures or grossed out by surgical footage, but the Albany rockers put the warehouse and the B-roll to good use on this thing and it’s worth checking out.

Video was shot and produced by Tigress Eye, Cranman and Ironweed.

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The Ironweed of Tomorrow, Today!

Posted in Reviews on April 7th, 2011 by JJ Koczan

They’ve undergone a few lineup changes since the release of their 2009 Small Stone debut, Indian Ladder, but Albany, New York’s Ironweed have managed to maintain the tightness and the heaviness of that first album and even develop it some on the follow-up, Your World of Tomorrow. A rallying cry against the post-modern dystopia in which we live, the nine-cut, 40-minute full-length is rife with crisp songwriting, clear presentation and an overall straightforward style that the four-piece is well suited to. As per the Small Stone norm, tracking and mixing was handled by Benny Grotto at Mad Oak Studios in Massachusetts, and as per his norm, there’s no sacrifice of the band’s formidable live energy in the name of getting a professional sound. Your World of Tomorrow is heavy rock for heavy rockers, and I know there are plenty out there who will find satisfaction in the aggression and payoff these songs have to offer.

Ironweed trace their roots back to Albany outfit Greatdayforup, of which guitarist Mike Vitali and bassist Brendan Slater were members. I wasn’t a huge fan of either Greatdayforup or the first Ironweed record, and even Your World of Tomorrow has a couple moments on it that feel contrived: the commercial balladry in the opening section of “And the New Slaves” and the ‘80s metal chorus of centerpiece track “Awaken” come most immediately to mind. Yet, for every down, there’s an equal and opposite up: The swagger of “Messenger” is a heavy and unmistakable highlight of the album, and the earlier, faster-paced “The Lucky Ones” features Your World of Tomorrow’s best scorching guitar lead and chorus alike. “Heavy Crowns,” which pops up later, finds vocalist/guitarist Jeff Andrews playing up the considerable Solace influence in his singing to great effect, as does opener “Now Stronger,” but there’s something decidedly nü-metal in the chorus riff of that song (it can be a fine like sometimes), and it’s just one of the tradeoffs I find myself making while listening to Ironweed’s latest. The band – rounded out by the hefty drum work of newcomer Dan Dinsmore — is solid on a songwriting level, and it’s easy to appreciate what they’re going for on Your World of Tomorrow, but there are some misfires to go along with the hits as the album plays out.

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Buried Treasure: Upstate Marks the Spot

Posted in Buried Treasure on July 22nd, 2010 by JJ Koczan

It’s funny, but when CBS Radio does its traffic reports of Hudson River crossings, they never mention Route 7 in Albany. Maybe that’s because the station doesn’t come in up there (I know for trying to listen to the Yankees), or maybe they’re just lazy. Seems like an oversight to me, in any case.

On my way back for a few days to Jersey and my humid, humid valley yesterday, I made a brief pitstop at Albany‘s Last Vestige Music Shop on Quail St. It was my first time there, and I thought initially they were closed since the neon “Open” sign was off and it looked like there were no lights on. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case.

All hail the dying breed of independent music stores. They had vinyl galore, up front and in a back room, but since my buying proclivities lean me else-wise, I paid little attention to it, focusing instead on the vaguely alphabetized racks of used CDs. In the “Recent Arrivals” bin I found Lewis Black‘s latest, Stark Raving Black, which was alright, Blind Guardian‘s Live, which I apparently already own, and the Wino Daze compilation by Lost Breed on Helltown Records of Glenville, NY, a mere 40 minutes south from where I was.

It wasn’t an easy store to search through, as there was a lot in a relatively small amount of space and the organization wasn’t great, but Last Vestige seemed like a killer shop for classic rock mainstays. They had a small metal section from whence I grabbed the Lost Breed and Blind Guardian discs, but there was also most of the Judas Priest and Iron Maiden catalogs available used as well. If they’d had Rocka Rolla, I would have bought it, but no dice.

I was glad to have found Last Vestige, even if it wasn’t the most successful haul I’ve ever had. The Lost Breed disc is an interesting curio, and for that and the much-needed moment to regroup before getting on the terminally boring New York Thruway, it was easily worth the trip. I’d recommend stopping in to anyone passing through or by Albany, and as Last Vestige‘s Saratoga shop recently went out of business, and Albany‘s Music Shack also went under a few years ago, the store might just be living up to its name.

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Bone Parade’s Lake Effect Drone

Posted in Reviews on November 19th, 2009 by JJ Koczan

Yes, this is my scan, and yes, that is why it sucks.Originally released on cassette by Scotch Tapes and bearing a title which when translated from the German is revealed to be Full Moon Songs, Albany, NY, husband and wife duo Bone Parade?s Vollmondlieder (issued on CD through their own Wind and Fog Records) is the kind of ambient darkness that makes your flesh feel like chewed meat. Somehow it?s fitting; I hear a song like opener ?Mandragora,? am enveloped in the esoteric drone and operatic vocals, and finally the unbridled noise, and can?t get the words ?lake effect snow? out of my mind. It must be freezing up there by now.

There are four tracks on the CD version I received, though five listed on the back of the hand-made, hand-sewn sleeve (and you?d be amazed at the effect a few dangling threads can really have on making what?s otherwise a common form really stick out), and the obvious reference point is SunnO))), but with the already mentioned operatic tendencies of Erica Sparrow, an entirely different atmosphere is brought to the fore. On ?Death and the Maiden,? as Kevin Johnston provides washes of noise behind, Sparrow recites a spoken word that culminates with the repeated line, ?The moon is hungry,? and listening to Vollmondlieder, I?m afraid it just might come and eat me. Jarboe at her best can evoke a similar discomfort, and Diamanda Galas presents a likewise feeling of drama and musical consequence.

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