Quarterly Review: BongCauldron, Black Helium, Earthbong, Sir Collapse, Alms, Haaze, The Sledge, Red Lama, Full Tone Generator, Mountain Dust

Posted in Reviews on December 12th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review

Not to get off topic here, but it’s December, and god damn, I hate the fucking holidays. Christmas, even if you believe in the religious significance of the day, is pure garbage. I like giving presents well enough, don’t particularly enjoy receiving them, but even if you put aside the whole “oh it’s so commercial ‘now'” thing, like there was a time anyone now living ever saw when it wasn’t, it isn’t fun. The meal sucks. It’s dark. It’s cold. The songs are fucking endless and terrible — yes, all of them — and the whole experience is just a bummer the whole way through. If there was actually a war on it, I wish they’d drop the bomb and incinerate the entire thing.

Take Thanksgiving, make it start in November and end in December. A month-long festival for the season. You can even give gifts at the end, if you want. It could be like Ramadan, or, probably more likely and much on the opposite end of the spectrum, Oktoberfest.

There. Problem solved. Have a great day, everyone. Let’s do some reviews.

Quarterly Review #71-80:

BongCauldron, Tyke

BongCauldron Tyke

Biscuit, Corky and Jay of BongCauldron return less than 12 months out from their Binge LP (review here) with Tyke (on APF), three more cuts of weed-eating, dirt-worshiping, weed-worshiping, dirt-eating sludge, fueled as ever by fuckall and booze and banger riffs — and yes, I mean “banger” as in “bangers and mash.” There’s a lead that shows up in closer “Jezus Throat Horns” and some vocal melody that follows behind the throaty barks, but for the bulk of the three-tracker, it’s down to the business of conveying dense-toned disaffection and rolling nod. “Pisshead on the Moon” opens with a sample about alcohol killing you and works from its lumber into a bit of a shuffle for its midsection before hitting a wall in the last minute or so in order to make room for the punker blast of “Back up Bog Roll,” which tears ass and is gone as soon as it’s there, dropping some gang vocals on the way, because really, when you think about it, screw everything. Right? “Jezus Throat Horns” might be offering a bit of creative progression in closing out, but the heart of BongCauldron remains stained of finger and stank of breath — just the way it should be.

BongCauldron on Thee Facebooks

APF Records webstore

 

Black Helium, Primitive Fuck

black helium primitive fuck

Oh yes. Most definitely. From the Sabbath swing behind the chugging “Love the Drugs” and the march of “Wicked Witch” through the what-would-happen-if-Danzig-was-interesting “Summer Spells” and fuzzed-out post-punk shouts of “Videodrone” en route to the nine-minute “Curtains at the Mausoleum,” London four-piece Black Helium make heavy psychedelic songcraft into something as malleable as it should be on their Riot Season debut, Primitive Fuck, holding to underlying structures when it suits them and touching on drone bliss without ever really completely letting go. Opener “Drowsy Shores” is hypnotic. The aforementioned “Curtains at the Mausoleum” is hypnotic. Even the chug-meets-effects-blowout closing title-track is hypnotic, but on the handclap-laced “Do You Wanna Come Out Tonight?” or “Videodrone,” or even “Summer Spells,” there are hooks for the listener to latch onto, life-rafts floating in the swirling tonal abyss. The truth? There isn’t a primitive thing about it. They’re not so much lizard-brained as astral-planed, and if you want a summation of their sound, look no further than their name. It’ll make even more sense when you listen. Which you should do.

Black Helium on Thee Facebooks

Riot Season Records website

 

Earthbong, Demo 2018

earthbong demo 2018

The immediate association in terms of riff is going to be Sleep. “Drop Dead,” the 10-minute first of two songs on Earthbong‘s debut Demo 2018, rolls out with pure Dopesmoker-ism and follows the model of gradual unfolding of its weedian sludge riffery. No complaints. The Kiel, Germany, trio are obviously just getting their start, and since it’s a demo and not the “debut EP” that so many otherwise demos try to position themselves as, I’ll take it. And to boot, “Drop Dead” ultimately departs its Sleepy environs for altogether more abrasive fare, with Bongzilla-style screams and an increasingly aggressive shove, the drums crashing like the cymbals did something wrong, and feedback capping into the start of “Wanderer,” which is shorter at seven minutes and opens its assault earlier, the vocals no less distorted than the guitar or bass. There’s some space in a solo in the second half, but Earthbong again twist into harsh, crusty doom before letting feedback carry them out to the demo’s finish. Growing to do, but already their violence seethes.

Earthbong on Thee Facebooks

Earthbong on Bandcamp

 

Sir Collapse, Walk to the Moon

sir collapse walk to the moon

Grunge, noise rock and Queens of the Stone Age-style melody-making collide on Walk to the Moon, the debut full-length from German four-piece Sir Collapse, sometimes on disparate cuts, like the noisy intro given to the album by “Lower Principles,” and sometimes within the same song, as in the later “Like Me.” A jangly swing in “Mono Mantra” and the Nirvana-esque hook there soon gives way to the desert-hued thrust of “One Man Show” and the early ’90s fuzz of “Happy Planet Celebration,” while “The Great Escape” leads the way into some measure of evening out the approach in “Like Me,” “Too Late,” “Hey Ben” and “The Family,” unless that’s just the band acclimating the listener to their style. Fair enough either way. Sir Collapse round out with a return to the uptempo push shown earlier, giving their first LP an impressive sense of symmetry and whole-work presentation as layers of vocals intertwine with melody alternately lush and raw, sounding very much like a band who know the parameters in which they want to work going forward. So be it.

Sir Collapse on Thee Facebooks

Sir Collapse on Bandcamp

 

Alms, Act One

alms act one

Organ-soaked Baltimorean garage doomers Alms enter the conversation of 2018’s best debut albums with Act One on Shadow Kingdom, a collection rife with choice riffing, dynamic vocals and a nuanced blend of heft and drama. That a song like “The Toll” could be both as traditional sounding as it is and still modern enough to be called forward-thinking is nothing short of a triumph, and in the stomping “The Offering,” Alms cast forth a signature chorus that stands out from the tracks surrounding without departing the atmosphere so prevalent in their work. “Dead Water” at the outset and “For Shame” build a momentum through side A that the five-piece of keyboardist/vocalist Jess Kamen guitarists Bob Sweeney (also vocals) and Derrick Hans, bassist Andrew Harris and drummer Derrick Hans expand in the second half of the record, winding up in the early gruel of “Hollowed” only to resolve the album with speedier swing and as sure a hand as they’ve guided it all along. At six songs and 33 minutes, Act One unmistakably leaves the audience wanting more, and indeed, the plot may just be starting to unfold.

Alms on Thee Facebooks

Shadow Kingdom Records on Bandcamp

 

Haaze, Swamp Mama

Haaze Swamp Mama

It is a sharp, biting 27-minute run, but Swamp Mama isn’t just thrown together haphazardly. Alberta-based sludge metallers Haaze build a song like “35 Indians” to a head over the course of a deceptively efficient 4:44, following opening track “Beast of the Bog” with a developed sense of craft underlying the outward negativity of their sound. I’ll give the band bonus points for finishing side A with a song called “Stereotypically Doomed,” but more for the crash cymbal that seems to devour the mix. There’s a trashy undercurrent to the subsequent title-track, and as it finishes its pummel, it relinquishes ground to the acoustic interlude, “The Mechanic,” which I’m just going to assume is named for the Charles Bronson movie. That of course sets up the most extreme cut included in closer “AL,” which layers fierce growls and screams atop a rhythm clearly designed for maximum assault factor. A little more metal than sludge, it nonetheless remains tonally consistent with what comes before it, giving Swamp Mama a vicious ending and a feel that’s all the more lethal for it.

Haaze on Thee Facebooks

Haaze on Bandcamp

 

The Sledge, On the Verge of Nothing

the sledge on the verge of nothing

Copenhagen four-piece The Sledge boasts the three former members of heavy rockers Hjortene in guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist Palle, drummer/vocalist Kim and bassist Claus, so while they’ve revamped their identity and gone on to add vocalist Magnus Risby — who appears here on “179 Liars” and “Yet Untitled” — perhaps its somewhat disingenuous to consider their first album under the new moniker, On the Verge of Nothing, a debut. Issued through Kozmik Artifactz, the record collects eight tracks produced by Anders Hansen (who also worked with Hjortene) and mixed by Matt Bayles, and in listening to the cuts with Risby in the lead spot, the vibe taps into a thicker take on late-era Dozer with no less righteous melodicism. That, however, is just a fraction of the total story of On the Verge of Nothing, which taps earlier desert idolatry on “Death Drome Doline” and brings in none other than Lorenzo Woodrose himself for guest spots elsewhere. People in and out of the lineup through different tracks should make the LP disjointed, but as ever, it’s the songwriting that holds it together, and one can’t discount the core band’s experience playing together as a part of that either. Debut or not, it’s an impressive offering.

The Sledge on Thee Facebooks

Kozmik Artifactz website

 

Red Lama, Dogma

red lama dogma

One tends to think of serenity and peaceful drift when it comes to Danish heavy psych rockers Red Lama, but as the seven-piece band quickly turn around follow-up to their 2018 sophomore LP, Motions (discussed here), cuts like opener “Time” and “RLP” unfold with a particular sense of urgency, the former seeming to showcase an acknowledgement of sociopolitical circumstances in Europe and beyond in a way that seems to readjust their focus. That’s a tidy narrative, but if it’s a case of priorities being rebalanced, it’s striking nonetheless. To coincide, “RLP” has a heavier roll in its second half, and while second cut “State of the Art” and closer “Tearing up the Snow” both make their way past the five-minute mark with post-rocking pastoralia and dreamy melodies, there remains a feeling of a tighter focus in the tracks that could portend a new stage of the band’s development or could simply be a circumstance of what’s included here. The next album will tell the tale.

Red Lama on Thee Facebooks

Red Lama on Bandcamp

 

Full Tone Generator, Valley of the Universe

full tone generator valley of the universe

Fronted by Andy Fernando of Don Fernando, Full Tone Generator‘s debut long-player, Valley of the Universe, nonetheless bears the unmistakable hallmark of the Californian desert — in no small part because that’s where it was recorded. Fernando and guitarist/bassist/backing vocalist Brad Young traveled to that famed landscape to record with Bubba DuPree and Brant Bjork at Zainaland Studios, only to have the latter end up playing drums and contributing backing vocals as well to the eight-tracker. Not a bad deal, frankly. The key reference sound-wise throughout Valley of the Universe is Kyuss, particularly because of Bjork‘s involvement and Fernando‘s vocal style, but the slow-rolling “I Only Love You When I’m Loaded,” 59-second blaster “No Future” and the ending jam duo of “Preacher Man” and “Never to Return” make the ground their own, the latter with some surprise screams before it bounces its way into oblivion as though nothing ever happened. They’ve got the vibe down pat, but Full Tone Generator do more as well than simply retread desert rock’s founding principles.

Full Tone Generator on Thee Facebooks

Hurricane Music on Bandcamp

 

Mountain Dust, Seven Storms

mountain dust seven storms

Keys give Montreal four-piece Mountain Dust a tie to classic heavy blues and they use that element well to cast their identity in the spirit of a post-retro modern feel, details like the backing vocals of “White Bluffs” and the waltzing rhythm held by the snare on “Witness Marks” doing much to add complexity to the persona of the band. “You Could” goes over the top in its boozy regrets, but the dramas of “Old Chills” are full in sound and satisfyingly wistful, while closer “Stop Screaming” offers a bit of twang and slide guitar to go along with its sense of threat and consuming seven-minute finish. Tight songwriting and clean production do a lot to give Seven Storms a professional presentation, but ultimately it’s the band itself that shines through in terms of performance and as Mountain Dust follow-up their well-received 2016 debut, Nine Years, they sound confident in their approach and ready to flesh out in multiple directions while maintaining a central character to their sound that will be familiar to the converted enough to be a work of genre while setting the stage to become all the more their own as well.

Mountain Dust on Thee Facebooks

Kozmik Artifactz website

 

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Chron Goblin to Enter Studio this Summer

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

Yeah, yeah, I know bands say all kinds of things in press releases — ‘we’re from Mars and only breathe hash oil!’ — but I wonder if Chron Goblin actually went to Nepal. I know they really played Desertfest, so that’s true. It’s the kind of thing I’d like to ask them. So I will:

Hey, Chron Goblin! Did you guys really go to Nepal? If so, what for? Did you play? Band field trip? What’s the deal?

Maybe they’ll be kind enough to answer in the comments, or maybe they’re too busy getting ready to head out for a string of shows this week alongside Cancer Bats, Black Mastiff and Iron Eyes ahead of entering the studio this summer to record the follow-up to 2015’s Backwater (review here). Either way, a trip to Nepal sounds pretty badass.

The Alberta natives also played the Calgary 420 Fest this past April with Anciients, Cowpuncher, the aforementioned Black Mastiff and a whole bunch of others, so they’ve been keeping busy.

They sent the latest news down the PR wire:

chron goblin

CHRON GOBLIN TO ENTER STUDIO SUMMER 2018

Chron Goblin booked to record fourth studio album at OCL Studios

Emerging from the dank swamplands of their last album, Backwater (2015 Ripple Music), the acidic blues rock foursome known as Chron Goblin is poised to enter the next chapter of their destiny.

Readily absorbing those warm solar rays and the truths it illuminates, the four friends have achieved some significant milestones over the past 12 months. From scaling the mountain ranges of Nepal to closing out Britain’s Desertfest with a bang, the enlightenment Chron Goblin’s members have received has not always been that which they were seeking, but that element of uncertainty is what makes life’s little twists all the more sweet.

Taking that sense of gratitude and humility first to heart and secondly into the studio, Chron Goblin has generated a fresh crop of potent material based on their greatest triumphs and misadventures. The two facets of existence go hand in hand, not unlike the hard-charging rhythms and cathartic vocals that have come to define the band, along with spot-on percussion, intoxicating swirls of psychedelic stringwork and earworm spawning lyrics that’ll keep you coming back for round after round. Vocalist and lyricist Josh Sandulak describes the album as “an amalgamation and reflection of all the experiences and growth we’ve had as a band and it’s a celebration of that journey.”

Stay tuned for more green-gold nuggets from the hardcore quartet with a penchant for creating arm-out-the-window rock anthems. Chron Goblin will be entering OCL Studios this summer to collaborate with Josh Rob Gwilliam, whose production and engineering skills has led to platinum records and Juno Awards. An incendiary new release is sure to follow.

Upcoming Tour Dates w/ Cancer Bats
May 16 Calgary Dickens
May 17 Red Deer Bo’s
May 18 Edmonton Starlite Room

https://www.facebook.com/ChronGoblin/
https://www.instagram.com/chrongoblin/
https://twitter.com/ChronGoblin
http://www.chrongoblin.com/
https://chrongoblin.bandcamp.com/

Chron Goblin, Backwater (2015)

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Woodhawk Announce ‘Magnetic North Tour’ Canadian Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 21st, 2018 by JJ Koczan

woodhawk (photo Mario Montes)

Canadian heavy rockers Woodhawk seem to have a thing for Star Wars-themed tour posters. I can’t really argue with either the aesthetic or the concept, it’s just always kind of fun to see what they come up with for their next stretch on the road. This time around it’s a Millennium Falcon with a trailer full of gear. Get it? Last time it was Darth Vader looming over the dates. I assume if we wait long enough, some of those adorable little porgs might show up. Or BB-8. Or Force-Hologram Luke. Cute as a button, the whole lot of ’em.

Since you asked, yes indeed, Woodhawk are still out supporting last year’s Beyond the Sun (review here), which had its own Star Wars connections. If you’ve got a daily quota for hooks to get stuck in your head, I suggest you stream the album on the player at the bottom of this post, and should you happen to be in the Great White North this March/April, here are those dates:

woodhawk magnetic north tour

WOODHAWK Announce Canadian “Magnetic North Tour” (AB/SK/MB/ON/QC)

Calgary, AB’s masters of straight ahead riff-rock wizardry WOODHAWK announce their 2018 Canadian “Magnetic North Tour” in support of their latest full length album “Beyond The Sun” released April last year. The tour will see the trio trek across Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba plus performing for the first time in Ontario and Quebec (dates listed below).

The band comments: “We’re excited to be hitting the road again and heading out East this time. We haven’t played past Winnipeg yet and we’re stoked to finally make it out there.”

WOODHAWK’s debut album “Beyond The Sun” was produced by the band with Jesse Gander (Bison, Japandroids) to follow their 2014 self-titled EP. Made of equal parts 1970’s Birmingham and a myriad of 21st century heavy who’s who, WOODHAWK are purveyors of riff-centric rock and roll. Capable and original, the band is able to craft anthemic fist-pumping songs while forgoing tired stoner rock clichés. With time travel tested themes of science fiction, swords and sorcery, the band’s lyrics are born from snowy winters, hot practice spaces and pages of dog-eared paperbacks. While the musicianship reinforces recollections of Black Sabbath, modern influences that have helped you smash air drums or highway speed limits are undeniably present.

‘Beyond The Sun’ album stream available on Bandcamp at https://woodhawk.bandcamp.com.

The album is available on digital, vinyl and CD.

WOODHAWK “Magnetic North Tour” (AB/SK/MB/ON/QC)

March 21 – Calgary, AB – Ship and Anchor
March 22 – Edmonton, AB – Brixx Bar
March 23 – Saskatoon, SK – Vangelis Tavern
March 24 – Winnipeg, MB – The Handsome Daughter
March 27 – London, ON – Call The Office
March 28 – Hamilton, ON – This Ain’t Hollywood
March 29 – Ottawa, ON – House of TARG
March 30 – Toronto, ON – The Bovine
March 31 – Montreal, QC – Quai des Brumes
April 2 – Oshawa, ON – TBA
April 5 – Thunder Bay, ON – Black Pirates Pub
April 6 – Brandon, MB – North Hill Inn
April 7 – Regina, SK – The German Club

Woodhawk is:
Turner Midzain – Vocals/Guitar
Mike Badmington – Bass/Vocals
Kevin Nelson – Drums

http://www.woodhawkriffs.com
http://facebook.com/woodhawkriffs
http://twitter.com/woodhawkriffs
http://instagram.com/woodhawkriffs
https://woodhawk.bandcamp.com

Woodhawk, Beyond the Sun (2017)

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420 Music & Arts Festival 2018: Sasquatch, Brant Bjork, Great Electric Quest, La Chinga, Dopethrone and More to Play

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 20th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

My understanding there’s a whole lot more that goes on at Calgary’s 420 Music and Arts Festival than just bands playing, but golly, there sure are a lot of bands playing. I just hope someone keeps a running tally of what’s on the playlist for Brant Bjork‘s DJ set, because you know that dude is going to both out-funk and out-punk the entire room and I’d pretty much take each track as a recommendation for an album I needed to check out. Oh yeah, DopethroneSasquatchLa ChingaMendozza, and about 20-odd other bands playing are pretty cool too. Not taking anything away from that. Just saying someone needs to write that shit down for me.

The PR wire has all the info:

420 music and arts festival

CALGARY’S 420 MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES 2018 LINE-UP W/ DOPETHRONE, BRANT BJORK, SASQUATCH, LA CHINGA – TICKETS ON SALE NOW!

Official Festival Poster Artwork by Mike Calhoun / Sketchy Intuitions, Austin, TX

Calgary, AB’s 420 Music & Arts Festival presented by METALHEADS UNITED announces their 2018 line-up for April 19th, 20th, and 21st featuring headliners Dopethrone, Brant Bjork (Kyuss, Vista Chino) (special guest DJ set on 420), Sasquatch and La Chinga along with over 20 other acts ranging from stoner rock/stoner metal, doom, psychedelic and heavy blues.

420 Music & Arts Festival 2018 Line-Up

Thursday April 19

Sasquatch (Los Angeles, CA)
Great Electric Quest (San Diego, CA)
Electric Owl (Calgary, AB)
Gin Lahey (members of Chron Goblin and Witchstone) (Calgary, AB)
RAW (Calgary, AB)
Set and Stoned (Calgary, AB)
Solid Brown (Calgary, AB)

Friday April 20

Brant Bjork (Palm Desert, CA) (DJ sets between bands, spinning rare vinyl and closing the festival night)
La Chinga (Vancouver, BC)
Buffalo Bud Buster (Calgary, AB)
Mendozza (Vancouver, BC)
Bazaraba (Calgary, AB)
Chronobot (Sask)
Black Hell Oil (Saskatoon, SK)
The Mothercraft (Edmonton, AB)

Saturday April 21

Dopethrone (Montreal, QC)
Buzzard (Victoria, BC)
Orbital Express (Regina. SK)
The Electric Revival (Calgary, AB)
Chunkasaurus (Nanaimo, BC)
Heron (Vancouver, BC)
Ogimaa (Winnipeg, MB)
Haaze (Calgary, AB)
Pelican Death Squad (Calgary, AB)

Ticket Info:

Advance festival 3 day passes are now available for $69 CAD (plus applicable service charges) until April 1st then will increase to regular price of $89 (plus applicable service charges).

Limited quantities of individual day tickets will be available beginning March 1st.

Festival passes available online only at the festival store at the following link: http://www.420musicandartsfestival.ca/store-2/

Festival passes give fans entry to Distortion on April 19, 20 and 21 and additional 420 Music and Arts Festival Events to be announced at a later date.

Passes are not transferable between attendees during the event. Passes will be exchanged for wrist bands, which must be worn for entrance to the events.

All passes purchased online will be available for pick up at venue or shipped to choice of mailing address. Physical passes will be mailed out in early February. Any passes purchased for shipping by February 15th, are scheduled to arrive by March 1st. If you do not receive your passes by the listed date, please contact the festival at http://www.420musicandartsfestival.ca/contact/. A shipping confirmation will be sent when passes are mailed.

All ticket sales are final. No refunds will be issued unless full festival cancellation. 420 Music & Arts Festival reserve the right to change the line up as required due to band scheduling and / or other circumstances beyond their control.

http://www.420musicandartsfestival.ca
http://www.facebook.com/420MusicAndArtsFestival
http://twitter.com/420FestivalYYC

Dopethrone, 1312 (2016)

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Woodhawk Canadian Tour Starts Sept. 3; New Video Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 31st, 2017 by JJ Koczan

woodhawk-photo-mario-a-montes

Hooks, hooks, hooks, riffs, riffs, riffs, fuzz, fuzz, fuzz, groove, groove, groove. These are the things that Calgary trio Woodhawk will bring with them this Fall when they hit the road in their native Canada for what they’re calling the ‘Woodhawk Strikes Back’ tour. If you’re wondering what the Star Wars connection might be, aside from being stoked for Episode VIII and the forthcoming Han Solo movie that has Hobie Doyle from Hail Caesar! in the titular role, if I’m not mistaken it’s also the second run of Canadian dates Woodhawk are undertaking to support their earlier-2017 full-length, Beyond the Sun (review here), which also had a song on it titled “A New Hope.” So there you go. All has been made clear.

The three-piece also have a new video posted for “The High Priest” from that album that you can watch below, and whether you heard the record when it came out or not, the already-stuck-in-your-head chorus makes a considerable argument in favor of another visit. Some bands just know how to write a song.

Info follows from the PR wire:

woodhawk tour poster

WOODHAWK “Strikes Back Tour” (AB/SK/BC) + Riff-tastic Debut “Beyond The Sun” Out Now!

Calgary’ AB’s masters of straight ahead riff-rock wizardry WOODHAWK will be hitting the road this September for their second Western Canadian tour (AB/SK/BC) (dates listed below) in support of their full length album ‘Beyond The Sun’ released this past April. The album was produced by the band with Jesse Gander (Bison, Japandroids) to follow their 2014 debut EP. Made of equal parts 1970’s Birmingham and a myriad of 21st century heavy who’s who, WOODHAWK are purveyors of riff-centric rock and roll. Capable and original, the band is able to craft anthemic fist-pumping songs while forgoing tired stoner rock clichés. With time travel tested themes of science fiction, swords and sorcery, the band’s lyrics are born from snowy winters, hot practice spaces and pages of dog-eared paperbacks. While the musicianship reinforces recollections of Black Sabbath, modern influences that have helped you smash air drums or highway speed limits are undeniably present.

The band comments:

“This tour sees us wrapping up our western Canada touring in support of Beyond The Sun. Western Canada is so good to us. A New Hope seeme d to be a lot of people’s favourite song off the album, so we thought it would be funny to pull another Star Wars reference out, with naming the tour Woodhawk Strikes Back.”

‘Beyond The Sun’ album stream available on Bandcamp at https://woodhawk.bandcamp.com.

The album is available on digital, vinyl and CD.

WOODHAWK Strikes Back Tour (AB/SK/BC)
Sept 3 – Calgary, AB – Atlantic Trap and Gil
Sept 8 – Lethbridge, AB – The Slice
Sept 9 – Regina, SK – The German Club
Sept 15 – Golden, BC – The Rockwater
Sept 16 – Vancouver, BC – The Astoria
Sept 23 – Kelowna, BC – Doc Willoughby’s
Oct 7 – Edmonton, AB – UP+DT Festival – Downtown Edmonton Community League

Woodhawk is:
Turner Midzain – Vocals/Guitar
Mike Badmington – Bass/Vocals
Kevin Nelson – Drums

http://www.woodhawkriffs.com
http://facebook.com/woodhawkriffs
http://twitter.com/woodhawkriffs
http://instagram.com/woodhawkriffs
https://woodhawk.bandcamp.com

Woodhawk, “The High Priest” official video

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audiObelisk Transmission 061

Posted in Podcasts on May 15th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk podcast 61

Click Here to Download

 

Yes! A new podcast! Are you stoked? I’m stoked. If you’re not, you will be when you look at the list of bands included. In any case, let’s be stoked together, because rock and roll, and heavy psych and good music and, well, yeah. That’s pretty much stuff to be stoked about. It’s been absurdly long since the last time we did one of these. Too long. I don’t really have an excuse other than… gainful employment? Don’t worry, though. That’ll be over soon enough. Then it’ll be podcasts out the ass.

There’s some killer goods here though. Yeah, I decided to do a “Yeti” double-shot with Green Yeti into Telekinetic Yeti. That’s my version of me being clever. But both bands are righteous, and if you haven’t heard the Savanah record, or that new Tia Carrera jam, or the Cachemira or Big Kizz or Yagow or Vokonis or the Elder — oh hell, frickin’ all of it — it’s worth your time. That Emil Amos track just premiered the other day and I think will surprise a lot of people, and I liked the way it paired with the dark neofolk of Hermitess. And of course we get trippy in the second hour, as is the custom around here. But first a moment of prog clarity from the aforementioned Elder. That’s a good time as well.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

Track details follow:

First Hour:

0:00:00 Vokonis, “The Sunken Djinn” from The Sunken Djinn
0:06:47 Tia Carrera, “Laid Back (Frontside Rock ‘n’ Roll)” from Laid Back (Frontside Rock ‘n’ Roll)
0:16:33 Supersonic Blues, “Supersonic Blues Theme” from Supersonic Blues Theme / Curses on My Soul
0:19:28 Emil Amos, “Elements Cycling” from Filmmusik
0:22:28 Hermitess, “Blood Moon” from Hermitess
0:26:24 Savanah, “Mind” from The Healer
0:34:22 Yagow, “Non-Contractual” from Yagow
0:42:35 Big Kizz, “Eye on You” from Eye on You
0:45:53 Cachemira, “Jungla” from Jungla
0:52:05 Green Yeti, “Black Planets (Part 2)” from Desert Show
0:58:02 Telekinetic Yeti, “Stoned and Feathered” from Abominable

Second Hour:

1:02:10 Elder, “The Falling Veil” from Reflections of a Floating World
1:13:20 Riff Fist, “King Tide” from King Tide
1:24:15 Cavra, “Montaña” from Cavra
1:39:18 Causa Sui, “A Love Supreme” from Live in Copenhagen

Total running time: 1:55:53

 

Thank you for listening.

Download audiObelisk Transmission 061

 

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Hermitess Post “Blood Moon” Video; Debut Album out May 12

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 8th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

hermitess-photo-Blair-Russell

Despite, or maybe because of, a steady dose of harp as a central element of the arrangements on Hermitess‘ forthcoming self-titled debut — out May 12, which is apparently this week; whither thou, 2017? — I hear a bit of Hexvessel‘s earth-worship in the deceptively not-minimalist aesthetic of the Calgary outfit. Begun as the solo-project of Jennifer Crighton (ex-Devonian Gardens) and fleshed out from there with a range of guest players and harmony-providers, Hermitess does indeed offer the sense of loneliness one might expect from the moniker, but as those who’ve separated themselves from society are often considered to be imbued with a special kind of ascetic wisdom, so too does Crighton‘s “isolation” come with a particular depth of melody.

I suppose an even easier comparison point — if we’re being lazy — would be the dark goth-folk atmospheres of Chelsea Wolfe, but again, Crighton brings a nuance to the nine-trackhermitess self titled album such that songs like “Obsidian Stairs,” “Black Lake” and “The Guest,” while grim in mood, lean more toward Angels of Light-style Americana in their foreboding than the kind of dystopian emotionalism one might expect. Still, when Hermitess shifts from acoustic fare into the hey-there’s-drums-and-distortion-here of “Hush,” the droning wash is clear in its impression. One would hardly hold sonic diversity against Crighton, though, as it makes Hermitess a stronger record on the whole, and as she closes out by pairing the string-laden “Tender” with the underlying growl of “Vampires,” the ambient scope is given further reinforcement in kind with the songwriting so essential to a release like this in the first place.

The video below for the track “Blood Moon” is fairly minimal in its own right, featuring a lone figure that’s presumably Crighton herself walking toward the camera, mask held up to her face, carrying a lantern, in the gray woods. It’s kind of a creeper, but so is the song, so I’ll take it, and if it’s your introduction to the album as it was mine, you should know that while it doesn’t necessarily represent the whole of Hermitess‘ Hermitess in terms of the surrounding instrumentation, the patience in its unfolding and lushness of its melody are very much themes around which the work is built.

PR wire info follows the clip. I hope you enjoy:

Hermitess, “Blood Moon” official video

Lead track from the forthcoming album by Hermitess

Concept & Performance: Jennifer Crighton
Camera & Direction: Tatiana Losev

The Hermitess is the solo project of songwriter and harpist Jennifer Crighton, who comes by way of various other musical incarnations, including The Consonant C and Devonian Gardens. Stripping back the performance to a harp and a circle of women’s voices, the Hermitess is an inquisitive, contrary, wounded, wise and ever dreaming incantation

As the name implies, this album came about at a remove from modern life. While isolated in a cabin in northern Michigan, Jennifer Crighton began to conceive of this character (Hermitess) and a set of songs that would feel at home in the wintry knee-deep snow drifts and creaking trees. Crighton’s electric harp stands at the centre of the project. It’s an instrument that’s often associated with both the traditional and the ethereal, and Crighton makes the most of that contrast. Delicate lines loop and tangle into an intricate latticework of rhythm and melody, while unfamiliar sounds and unplaceable textures enrich the arrangements, courtesy of the Audities Foundation’s incomparable collection of instruments and equipment.

Over this sonic foundation, Crighton sings in the voice of her adopted character, the words part story and part incantation. The lyrics question and caution the listener, walking the line between sweet dreams and nightmares—a feeling that’s only enhanced by the chorus of women’s voices drifting through the album like a soft wind cutting across a frozen landscape. It’s the a sound at once eerie and inviting, traced in magic and grounded in nature. It’s the voice of the Hermitess.

Hermitess on Thee Facebooks

Hermitess on Twitter

Hermitess on Bandcamp

Hermitess website

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Calgary 420 Fest Lineup: Wo Fat, Black Mastiff, Anciients, Chron Goblin, Mammoth Grove and More to Play

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 6th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

wo fat necro blanca photography

Appropriately enough, the Calgary 420 Fest starts on April 20 and will feature a host of stoner and other heavy types of acts across its three-day stretch. Among the notables is Wo Fat (above), who’ll be making their debut appearance in Canada as headliners for the final evening, along with Black Mastiff and Anciients on the nights preceding, and a slew of native Canadian bands to go along with, from Mammoth Grove and Chron Goblin to the sludgy likes of Lavagoat and the classic heavy rock of La Chinga. There’s also a bunch of weedian whathaveyou going on as a part of it, as the PR wire details below, food trucks and a beard contest, so seems like a good time on any number of levels.

Details follow:

calgary 420 fest lineup

Calgary’s 420 Music & Arts Festival Announce Concert Line Up w/ Wo Fat, Anciients, Black Mastiff and more!

April 20, 21, 22 @ Distortion
3828 MacLeod Trail S., Calgary, Alberta T2G 2R2

Big Rock Brewery & METALHEADS UNITED Presents the 420 Music & Arts Festival at Distortion – Live Music Venue in Calgary, AB, Canada, April 20, 21 and 22, 2017.

The 420 Music & Arts Festival is a three day celebration featuring 22 Stoner Rock, Desert Rock, Doom & Sludge Metal and Fuzzy, Kick Ass Rock n Roll bands surrounding the culture that is 420. Headlining this inaugural year all the way from Dallas, TX for their first Canadian performance, stoner legends WO FAT, Vancouver’s ANCIIENTS and Edmonton/ Vancouver based BLACK MASTIFF.

In addition to all the rad music, festival attendees will have the opportunity to view and purchase the work of select local artists, artisans and craftsman at the 420 Expo, Saturday, April 22 at Distortion from 10am-4pm. Interspersed with vendors of interesting and eclectic wares will be information on medical marijuana and hemp products and even more 420 enthusiasts. Select vendors, artists and marijuana related companies will be available in the evenings at the festival as well. NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) will be in attendance to answer questions.

You will be able to indulge your desire for munchies with a variety delectable culinary creations from some of Southern Alberta’s best food trucks. If that isn’t enough, each night of the festival there will be an opportunity to show off your glorious facial hair in our beard contest. Celebrity judges will decide who moves onto the final round on the last night of the festival where one beard will rule them all!

* Big Rock Beer is exclusive beer for the 420 Music & Arts Festival

* 420 Music & Arts Festival will be the very first Canadian performance by Dallas, TX stoner rock legends Wo Fat

Festival Lineup:

Overall Festival Event Link (Main Link) www.facebook.com/events/226953177757584/

Wednesday, April 19 – Pre-Fest – FREE SHOW + Advance Pass Pick Up

Ten Dead Crow
Terminal Human Condition

Thursday, April 20
FB Event www.facebook.com/events/240616399708945/

Black Mastiff (Edmonton, AB/Vancouver, BC)
HighKicks (Calgary, AB)
La Chinga (Vancouver, BC)
The Electric Revival (Calgary, AB)
Buffalo Bud Buster (Calgary, AB)
Hypnopilot (Calgary, AB)
Set & Stoned (Crossfield, AB)

Friday, April 21
FB event www.facebook.com/events/1702426476734012/

Anciients (Vancouver, BC)
Dead Quiet (Vancouver, BC)
Lavagoat (Saskatoon, SK)
Orbital Express (Regina, SK)
ChronoBot (Prince Albert, SK)
Lordosis (Calgary, AB)
Hunted By Ravens (Red Deer, AB)

Saturday, April 22
FB event www.facebook.com/events/795080193963870/

Wo Fat (Dallas, Texas, USA) First ever appearance in Canada
Chron Goblin (Calgary, AB)
Cowpuncher (Calgary, AB)
Mammoth Grove (Calgary, AB)
NVGR (Nikki Valentine & Gypsy Riders) (Calgary, AB)
Black Thunder (Regina, SK)
Brown Dwarf (Red Deer, AB)
Bazaraba (Calgary, AB)

Ticket links:

Available at http://www.420musicandartsfestival.ca/store-2/ and on FB page on the festival store https://store10885031.ecwid.com/.

https://www.facebook.com/events/226953177757584
http://www.420musicandartsfestival.ca/
http://www.twitter.com/420FestivalYYC
http://www.facebook.com/420MusicAndArtsFestival
http://www.instagram.com/420MusicandArtsFestival

Wo Fat, Midnight Cometh (2016)

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