Soldati Post “El Fuego Quema” Video; Album Recording This Summer

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 9th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

soldati

I’ve never actually seen 1971’s Twins of Evil, from which the footage for the new Soldati video was culled, but I kind of feel like I get the point anyway. There’s Peter Cushing, there’s super-red blood, there’s evil, there’s ’70s boobage, the end. I’m sure if you actually watch the full feature film, there’s a plot that’s about Satan or vampires or whatnot, but you know, the gist of it kind of still works out to be the same. I guess I’ve never really been much for the Hammer Horror scene, but, you know, I’ve never really had the chance to sit down with those movies either and really get to know them one from the other. It’s all just a blur of Christopher Lee and the aforementioned Peter Cushing.

But it makes decent video fodder, if nothing else. Soldati posted the single “El Fuego Quema” last month, and at that point, I noted how it was a departure for the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Sergio Chotsourian, bassist Lucas Cassinelli and drummer Alfredo Felitte, in that the latter two don’t play on it. It’s just Chotsourian, and in that regard, “El Fuego Quema” is way more like the solo work he does under the moniker of Sergio Ch. than anything Soldati have yet made public. As it turns out, that may remain the case, as Chotsourian says the awaited Soldati full-length, which is set to record this summer, will be in a more doomed vein. We may have a bit to go until we get there, but we know from Chotsourian and Felitte‘s output together in Ararat that that can work out just fine. I’ll take it however it comes, I guess.

And in case I need to say it, the clip is NSFW, unless you work at a place that’s all about ’70s boobage, in which case you should probably get a new job.

Enjoy:

Soldati, “El Fuego Quema” official video

VIDEO OFICIAL DEL SINGLE DE SOLDATI – “EL FUEGO QUEMA”

VIDEO REALIZADO POR LUCAS MARTINEZ CON IMAGENES DE LA PELICULA “TWINS OF EVIL” [1971]

SERGIO CH. – GUITARRA & VOCALS

GRABADO, MEZCLADO Y MASTERIZADO POR SERGIO CH. EN DEATH STUDIOS
ARTWORK POR SERGIO CH.
PRODUCIDO POR SERGIO CH.

SOUTH AMERICAN SLUDGE RECORDS

Soldati is:
Sergio Ch. – Guitar & Vocals
Lucas Cassinelli – Bass
Alfredo Felitte – Drums

Soldati on Thee Facebooks

Soldati on Bandcamp

South American Sludge Records on Thee Facebooks

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Soldati Post New Single “El Fuego Quema”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 8th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

soldati

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but it’s time for Soldati to hunker down and make their debut full-length. The three-piece led by Sergio Chotsourian, formerly of Los Natas and also of Ararat, and featuring Ararat drummer Alfredo Felitte and bassist Lucas Cassinelli (also Hospital) have issued a handful of singles at this point (discussed here, here and here) as well as their self-titled EP (discussed here), and “El Fuego Quema” works in defiance of everything they’ve done up to this point. Where until now they’ve decidedly been a rock band, “El Fuego Quema” pulls back on the distorted thrust and instead offers a bluesy acoustic guitar line accompanied by some percussion and harmonica. It’s more in line with something one might expect from Sergio Ch.‘s solo incarnation than what Soldati have heretofore put on offer, but then, the problem with that isn’t anything the band are doing or not — the problem is the limit of expectation.

Last time I posted about the band, I said much the same about their getting to work on album number one. Well, I don’t know what the plan is or when that’s happening or whether or not “El Fuego Quema” or any of the prior-posted tracks — “Aurora,” “El Nudo en la Soga,” or “El Latigo y las Riendas” — will be included when the time comes. At this point, there’s probably enough for an LP assembled from the prior digital one-offs and maybe a song or two from the EP if the band wants, but it could also be that there’s an entirely different batch of material that will be put together whenever they get there. What’s important for the moment, though, is that “El Fuego Quema” makes Soldati as a whole a less predictable outfit and greatly increases the scope of what they might do on that album. For those of us anticipating the arrival of such a thing, it’s good to know how far they can push Soldati and still be within the sphere of the band. Chotsourian has never been shy about sharing material between his songwriting incarnations — “Aurora” was the title-track on his second solo album — so who knows how it will all shake out with “El Fuego Quema,” but it certainly captures an atmosphere as presented here.

Please enjoy:

Soldati, “El Fuego Quema”

SOLDATI “EL FUEGO QUEMA”

SERGIO CH. – GUITARRA & VOCALS

GRABADO, MEZCLADO Y MASTERIZADO POR SERGIO CH. EN DEATH STUDIOS
ARTWORK POR SERGIO CH.
PRODUCIDO POR SERGIO CH.

SOUTH AMERICAN SLUDGE RECORDS

Soldati is:
Sergio Ch. – Guitar & Vocals
Lucas Cassinelli – Bass
Alfredo Felitte – Drums

Soldati on Thee Facebooks

Soldati on Bandcamp

South American Sludge Records on Thee Facebooks

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Los Natas to Reissue Ciudad de Brahman on Argonauta; Repress Delmar

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 25th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

los natas

I wholeheartedly feel like it is to the benefit of everyone everywhere that these two records stay in print for as long as possible. Especially if you haven’t heard them before, they’re absolutely essential, both for sheer listening and for educational value. Especially now that we’re a full decade removed from their last proper studio album — there have been a couple collections since then, but nothing new — it seems like their contributions to heavy rock are in danger of being forgotten in place of an easy “it all came from California” narrative that’s taken hold. Not only for their influence in South America, but across Europe and the US as well, and for the continuing quality of these records, they’re just gotta-have. Both of them.

So get both.

That’s my take.

Info and links follow, courtesy of the PR wire:

LOS NATAS announce album re-issues with Argonauta Records!

Argentinian psychedelic rock trio LOS NATAS has announced a batch of album reissues with powerhouse label Argonauta Records! The band’s first and critically acclaimed debut album, Delmar, originally released in 1998, has sold out every single copy to date. Argonauta Records is proud to reissue LOS NATAS’ pathbreaking album in a second repress, coming in exciting Vinyl editions and remastered from the original tapes, on the 28th of June 2019!

Following up to the successful release of their ’98-full length debut, a year later LOS NATAS released their second studio album, Ciudad De Braham. Still featuring the original master by Dale Crover, Argonauta Records will be as well re-releasing Ciudad De Braham in a first repress since 1999!

Says vocalist & guitarist Sergio: „Since I met Gero and all the Argonauta Records crew I instantly felt them as family, and being part of something bigger than you, in any music and artwork experience, feels great and like home. I think we share a common truth, we have never done this for the reward or the recognition of the crowd, we always did it as a necessary way to keep our demons out, and also to share our joys and personal wars with other people.

20 years later here we are, re-printing our two first albums ever, with this great crew delivering premium quality LP vinyl and CD to the world. Its a true fact and reality we could have never dreamed of when we were kids, just delivering heavy riffs and deep trips into soundscapes. Hope you all enjoy these great releases and being part of our family too, and keep on sharing it with you people as well. From Argentina I personally wish you the best. Just for today let your past behind, let your mind enjoy the little nice things, let you spirit shine with the ones you love and care.“

Delmar tracklist:
1. Samurai
2. 1980
3. Trilogia
4. I Love You
5. Soma
6. Mux Cortoi
7. Delmar
8. Windblows
9. El Negro
10. Alberto Migre

Ciudad De Braham tracklist:
1. Carl Sagan
2. Meteoro 2028
3. Tufi Meme
4. La Ciudad De Braham
5. Siluettle
6. Brisa Del Disierto
7. Paradise
8. Alohawaii
9. Adolescentes
10. 999
11. El Resplandor
12. Rutation
13. Polvaredo
14. Nadha

Formed during 1994 in Buenos Aires, LOS NATAS various musical influences draw from the base of the raw and psychedelic sounds of 70’s bands such as The Doors, Black Sabbath, The Who, Pink Floyd and Hawkwind among many others. LOS NATAS take us on a journey made of basic elements: vintage instruments and equipment to diverse, laid-back and groovy songwriting skills, while the band incorporates the use of the senses and perception of the listener to be part of a sonic trip.

LOS NATAS creates music that changes constantly, dedicated to long and intense jams that give their sound a different meaning and magic every time they execute them, with a sense of freedom in the way of interpreting their tunes, making this experience extremely related to the sensations that both the musicians and the audience receive every time a show begins. LOS NATAS is the pure essence of what should became and titled Stoner Rock.

Mark your calendars, when Argonauta Records will reissue both first albums by LOS NATAS in new and stunning LP + CD editions June 28th! The pre-order for both records, which belong in every well-sorted psych and heavy rock record collection, has just started at: www.argonautarecords.com/los-natas-announce-album-re-issues/

https://www.facebook.com/LOSNATAS/
https://twitter.com/LOSNATASTWITER
www.natasrock.com
www.argonautarecords.com
https://www.facebook.com/ArgonautaRecords/
https://twitter.com/argonautarex
https://www.instagram.com/argonautarecords/

Natas, Delmar (1998)

Natas, Ciudad de Brahman (1999)

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Soldati Premiere “Aurora” Video; Debut Album in Progress

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 6th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

soldati

At this point, all of the projects Sergio Chotsourian has undertaken since the dissolution of Los Natas have been in conversation one way or the other, so maybe it’s not such a surprise that the latest single from the trio Soldati — in which he plays guitar and sings — also served as the title-track for the last album put out under Chotsourian‘s solo incarnation and nom de guerre, Sergio Ch., Aurora (review here). Released in 2017, that full-length was in no small part defined by its two-part titular cut, which blended experimentalist drone and folk impulses in a way that is increasingly becoming Chotsourian‘s hallmark. As Soldati bring in drummer Alfredo Felitte from Chotsourian‘s other trio — the somewhat MIA Ararat, in which he plays bass and sings — to replace original drummer Ranz and move inextricably toward their first long-player, “Aurora” is a glimpse of things to come.

And a striking one at that. True to the sense of lumber from the Sergio Ch. version, it’s the most Ararat-sounding Soldati piece to-date, calling to mind some of that band’s extended low-end rumblers and general spaciousness. Again, it all bleeds into each other, but it’s a marked turn anyway, as Soldati‘s 2017 self-titled EP (discussed here) was comprised of more straightforward material, and even the subsequent singles that have made their way out, “El Nuda en la Soga” (discussed here) and last year’s “El Latigo y las Riendas” (discussed here), have come nowhere near the droning aspects of “Aurora”‘s 13-minute pulse.

So is it indicative of where Solati‘s currently-in-progress album might eventually end up? Probably. Also probably not. I think laying one expectation on any Chotsourian-involved offering is doing it wrong. If he feels like playing a certain song with a certain band, he’s going to. If he feels like focusing on two different records at once — recall he also has a new Sergio Ch. album in the making, as recently noted — he’s going to. And in the hands of Soldati, as recorded by the lineup of Chotsourian, Ranz and bassist Lukas Hospital, “Aurora” takes on a suitably vibrant and consuming life of its own.

You can see the video below as directed by Juan Cruz Tommasi. I’ll hope to have more to come on Soldati‘s debut LP as we get closer to the release.

Please enjoy:

Soldati, “Aurora” official video premiere

VIDEO OFICIAL DEL SINGLE DE SOLDATI – “AURORA”
PRODUCIDO POR PATRICIO CLAPYPOLE
VIDEO REALIZADO POR JUAN CRUZ TOMMASI

SOUTH AMERICAN SLUDGE RECORDS

SERGIO CH. – Guitar & Vocals
LUKAS HOSPITAL – Bass
ALFREDO FELITTE – Drums

Soldati on Thee Facebooks

Soldati on Bandcamp

South American Sludge Records on Thee Facebooks

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Sergio Ch. Premieres “La Heroina” Video; New Album Coming Soon

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 30th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

sergio ch

Since he has a new solo album currently being mastered — the title will reportedly by From Skulls Born Beyond — it’s tempting to think of Sergio Ch.‘s — né Chotsourian — new video for “La Heroina” perhaps as a way of saying goodbye to 2016’s Aurora (review here), but the truth is that even after that record came out, he was still putting together clips for 2015’s 1974 (review here), so it’s not exactly like he’s following an album cycle-style promotional model. More like he’s doing whatever the hell he wants, which is probably how it should be for the former Los Natas frontman who’s also at the helm of South American Sludge Records and who fronts Soldati and the somewhat-MIA Ararat. His whims have a pretty good track record, as far as that kind of thing goes.

And while From Skulls Born Beyond promises further refinement of his drone-laced folk approach, “La Heroina” serves as an example of how well that worked across Aurora as well. It’s at least the fourth video that the Buenos Aires-based Chotsourian has issued for the six-song offering, and with direction from Milagros Arrom, it’s a returning partnership that once again serves to highlight the track’s experimentalist and, in this case, particularly trance-inducing edge. Centered around echoing strums of acoustic guitar, there’s nonetheless a psychedelic feel gleaned from the effects on the vocals and the intermittent bursts of harmonica, and the naturalist swirl evokes acid folk atmospherics without any lysergic posturing. It’s not the most experimentalist piece on Aurora — that would be “Aurora II,” still awaiting its video last I checked — but it finds a balance between traditional songcraft and an out-there anti-structure that suits it well, throwing kind of a loop in the second half when all of a sudden it just kind of starts over. Pay attention and it’ll still catch you off guard.

Soldati were slated to have an album in progress as well, and they may indeed have one in the works or done, but it’s good news that a new Sergio Ch. offering will be out before 2019’s done as well, as his solo material has proven to be an exploration all its own, distinct from his work in full bands despite inherent ties in songwriting and performance.

Enjoy “La Heroina” below:

Sergio Ch., “La Heroina” official video premiere

VIDEO OFICIAL DEL DISCO DE SERGIO CH. – “AURORA”
PRODUCIDO POR SERGIO CH.
VIDEO REALIZADO POR MILAGROS ARROM

PIRAMIDE RECORDS
SOUTH AMERICAN SLUDGE RECORDS

Sergio Ch., Aurora (2016)

South American Sludge Records on Thee Facebooks

South American Sludge website

South American Sludge Records on Bandcamp

Pirámide Records on Bandcamp

Pirámide Records on Thee Facebooks

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Quarterly Review: Blood of the Sun, Evoken, IAH, Asylum, Merlin, The Hazytones, Daily Thompson, Old Man Lizard, Tuskar, Space Coke

Posted in Reviews on December 11th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review

I had to think long and hard just now about what day it is. It’s Tuesday. — See how confident I was in saying that? A mask for insecurity, as always.

Anyway, the QR continues today with 10 more records and a pretty solid mix of whatnot. Some of this I’ve written about before here, but basically want to have another shot at the records themselves, so as we wind down 2018, it seems like the time to do that is now. As always, I hope you find something you dig. Seems pretty likely, frankly. If you go the entire 100 records with nothing but a “meh” to show for it, the problem isn’t likely to be the records. Not trying to insinuate anything, I’m just saying. 100 records is a lot. 10 records is a lot. And that’s what we’re doing today, so let’s get going.

Quarterly Review #61-70:

Blood of the Sun, Blood’s Thicker than Love

blood of the sun bloods thicker than love

Drummer Henry Vasquez (also Saint Vitus) returns to his ultra-Texan heavy rock roots with Blood of the Sun‘s first album in six years, Blood’s Thicker than Love (on Listenable). Driven by his own fervent rhythmic push, the six-song collection is given further classic heavy vibe through the prominent organ/keyboard work of Dave Gryder. Oh, and also the riffs from newcomer guitarists Wyatt Burton and Alex Johnson. Oh, and also bassist Roger “Kip” Yma‘s quick turns on bass. Oh, and also Sean Vargas‘ vocals. So yeah, pretty much the whole damn thing is classic uptempo heavy boogie, produced modern but making no mistake about where its heart lies. Vargas‘ voice has a pre-metal swagger that helps define tracks like “Livin’ for the Night” and the capper “Blood of the Road,” and while the follow-up to 2012’s Burning on the Wings of Desire (review here) is enough to make one wistful for the days when their contemporaries in Dixie Witch once also roamed the land, Blood of the Sun make classic rock their own and give it a vibrancy that’s nothing if not a show of love, regardless of how thick that may be.

Blood of the Sun on Thee Facebooks

Listenable Records on Bandcamp

 

Evoken, Hypnagogia

evoken hypnogogia

Unremitting. Unrelenting. Unforgiving. Whatever else one might say about New Jersey death/doombringers Evoken, it better start with the prefix “un-.” The negativity runs through the 60 minutes of their latest work, Hypnagogia (on Profound Lore), and one would expect no less than the ultra-mournful crush of “To Feign Ebullience” or the buzzing, resonant disdain of “Valorous Consternation,” the string sounds playing such a large role in crafting both the melodies and the relentless nature of their lung-deflating atmosphere. They may only break into speedier sections on rare occasion, but there’s no way to listen to Hypnagogia and call it anything other than extreme metal. It’s so cast down and so grinding that it not only conveys mood but affects it. Evoken are masters of the form, of course, and while Hypnagogia is their first full-length since 2012’s Atra Mors (review here), their history spans more than a quarter-century and time seems only to have made their miseries plunge even deeper.

Evoken on Thee Facebooks

Profound Lore Records website

 

IAH, II

iah ii

In part, the gift that Argentinian trio IAH give with their aptly-titled second outing, II — following their 2017 self-titled debut EP (review here) — is to allow their parts to flesh out naturally across the six-song/38-minute span, so that even as second cut “HH” turns to more weighted chug, that in turn evolves into something no less spacious than the drift brought to bear in the second half of the later “La Niña del Rayo,” which makes its way ultimately through similar interplay. This back and forth is exceptionally smooth throughout II, as the instrumental outfit blend heavy psychedelia and progressive metal with an unflinching cohesion of their songwriting. The longest inclusion is the penultimate “Pri” at 7:35, which caps with massive start-stops en route to closer “Sheut,” which serves as one last showcase of the cosmic doom dynamic burgeoning in the band’s sound, as much ready to depart the earth as leave impact craters on it.

IAH on Thee Facebooks

IAH on Bandcamp

 

Asylum, 3-3-88

asylum 3-3-88

The band who a short time later would evolve into Unorthodox, Asylum have long stood as a testament to the enduring power of Maryland doom. 3-3-88 is the second official issue of their material Shadow Kingdom has stood behind, following 2008’s reissue of 1985’s The Earth is the Insane Asylum of the Universe (review here), and it’s no less a document of the classic metal that’s still very much the foundation of what Maryland doom is. From the Sabbathian opening of “World in Trouble” and the later “Psyche World” to the kind of feeling-out-the-riff happening in “Funk 69” and the concluding instrumental “Unorthodox,” there’s a rawness to the sound that suits it well in the spirit of Pentagram‘s First Daze Here, but even in barebones form, Asylum‘s doomly vibes brook no bullshit and weed out the feint of heart. Straightforward working-class doom grit stripped to its essentials. Hard to ask for anything more when you actually hear it.

Unorthodox on Thee Facebooks

Shadow Kingdom Records website

 

Merlin, Dank Souls and Dark Weed: A Live Experience

merlin dank souls and dark weed

Kansas City doom rockers Merlin expanded to a six-piece early in 2018, and Dank Souls and Dark Weed: A Live Experience, as the title hints, captures this form of the band on stage. They’re playing a hometown gig at the Riot Room, and from the nodding groove that opens with “Abyss” from this year’s The Wizard (review here) to the extended reaches of a 19-minute take on “Tales of the Wasteland” that’s actually shorter than the studio version from 2016’s Electric Children (review here), the band explore reaches that are vast with a patience befitting their quickly-earned veteran status. The recording is remarkably clear and allows for the wash of “The Wizard Suite” to be discernible in its progressive rollout, and as they close with “Night Creep” from the 2016 LP, their energy comes through no less prevalent than the distortion driving it forward. The crowd are right to holler.

Merlin on Thee Facebooks

Merlin on Bandcamp

 

The Hazytones, II: Monarchs of Oblivion

the hazytones ii monarchs of oblivion

Touching on garage-doom influences, Montreal three-piece The Hazytones effectively sleek into the groove of “The Great Illusion” on their second Ripple LP, II: Monarchs of Oblivion, finding a balance between swing, melody and heft that pushes beyond the seemingly-requisite Uncle Acid influence to a place that isn’t shy about working in crisp tones or unabashed vocal harmonies. The title-track is a two-parter, and touches on theatrics-sans-pretense in the first piece while dedicating the second to following a central riff well worthy of the attention they give it toward a galloping solo finish. Opener “Empty Space” sets a creper vibe, and by the time they’re down to finishing out with the “Hole in the Sky”-style riff of “The Hand that Feeds,” that sensibility is reaffirmed as an essential component of The Hazytones‘ aesthetic. Whether it’s the chugging “Hell” or the way-blown-out “The Beast,” they hold firm to that central purpose and work with it to effect a sound that one can hear becoming their own all the more.

The Hazytones on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

 

Daily Thompson, Thirsty

daily thompson thirsty

Three albums in, Dortmund’s Daily Thompson indeed sound Thirsty — or maybe it’s hungry, but either way, the Dortmund trio’s MIG Music offering captures a tight presentation based around nonetheless natural energy born of their time on tour, as the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Danny Zaremba, bassist Mercedes, and drummer Stefan Mengel touch on Spidergawd-style classic heavy rock strut with “Brown Mountain Lights” and make their way through the semi-acoustic drift of “Stone Rose” and toward the later roll of “River Haze” with a trail of hooks behind them. Songwriting is central to what they do, but while Thirsty isn’t a minor undertaking at a CD-era reminiscent 10 songs/53 minutes, the band offer a chemistry between them and a fullness of sound that allows them to play to different sides of their approach, be it the fuzz-blues of “Gone Child” or the final summation “Spit out the Crap” that seems to shove all the more to its cymbal-wash finish. The title Thirsty brings to mind connotations of need, but Daily Thompson sound like they’ve got it all taken care of.

Daily Thompson on Thee Facebooks

MIG Music website

 

Old Man Lizard, True Misery

old man lizard true misery

A strong enough current of noise rock runs beneath Old Man Lizard‘s True Misery (on Wasted State) that leadoff track “Shark Attack” is enough to remind of Akimbo‘s Jersey Shores, and in under two minutes, the subsequent “Snakes” ties that into crawling-paced doom riffery such that the lumbering “Tree of Te?ne?re?” opens like the gaping jaws of some deep-sea trench. From there it unfolds a bit more uptempo than one might initially think, but it shows how fluidly Old Man Lizard shift from one impulse to the other. Accordingly, True Misery plays out with familiar-enough tones put to deceptively subtle and unpredictable purposes, making one-two highlights of the eight-minute back-to-backers “Cursed Ocean, Relentless Sea” and “Misery is Miserable” — which says it all, really — ahead of the finale, well titled “Return to Earth.” A better band than people know, Old Man Lizard bring a progressive touch to what from many others would just be sludge riffing — a bit of Elder on that closer — and manage to do so without losing touch with the righteousness of their groove. True Misery takes a couple listens to sink in, but well earns those and more besides.

Old Man Lizard on Thee Facebooks

Wasted State Records website

 

Tuskar, The Tide, Beneath, The Wall

tuskar the tide beneath the wall

Tuskar‘s second offering through Riff Rock Records arrives titled for its three songs, “The Tide,” “Beneath” and “The Wall,” and comprises three tracks of largesse-minded sludge, burying its shouted vocals beneath mountainous low end. The Tide, Beneath, The Wall sets itself up through noisy churn and a roll that’s somehow misanthropic at the same time it seems well geared to have an entire bar headbanging. Either way, the feedback-worship in “The Wall” — sure enough a massive thing to slam into — makes a fitting end to the 20-minute release that seems to run so much longer, as “The Tide” and “Beneath” each set forth a grueling sprawl of malevolence that touches on the chaos to come without ever fully giving away what’s in store for the finale. At the same time this assault is cast, there’s an atmosphere to the proceedings as well such that Tuskar aren’t simply bludgeoning for the sake of bludgeonry, but finding a place for themselves within that in order to develop their attack. They do that successfully here and sound well up to the inevitable task before them of a debut full-length.

Tuskar on Thee Facebooks

Riff Rock Records website

 

Space Coke, L’Appel du Vide

space coke lappel du vide

I just about never do this, but I’m gonna go ahead and make the call: Space Coke‘s L’Appel du Vide is going to get picked up for a vinyl release in 2019. I don’t know who, how or when, but it’s basically a lock. The Columbia, South Carolina, organ-laced four-piece play classic-as-now heavy rock with right-on songcraft and a hard-hitting presentation that’s begging for some label with ears to hear it and press it to the platter it deserves. Be it the molten unfolding of the title-track or the fuzz-swirl of “Thelemic Ritual” or the cosmic stretch of “Kali Ma,” they’re locked in to a degree that utterly defies the notion that this is their first record, and from the vocal-effects smash in “Lucid Dream” and the samples laid over-top of “Interlude,” there’s never really a sense of where Space Coke — extra kudos for the Cheech & Chong reference — might go next, and yet their sound is cohesive, directed, and well aware of exactly what it’s doing and what it wants to do. Never a guarantee of anything in this world, but with Space Coke‘s take on modern stoner sprawl, I’d be amazed if someone didn’t grab this in the New Year, if not before. Eyes peeled on the PR wire for the announcement.

Space Coke on Thee Facebooks

Space Coke on Bandcamp

 

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Quarterly Review: Sandrider, Witchkiss, Satta Caveira, Apollo80, The Great Unwilling, Grusom, Träden, Orthodox, Disrule, Ozymandias

Posted in Reviews on December 5th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review

Good morning from the kitchen table. It’s a couple minutes before 4AM as I get this post started. I’ve got my coffee, my iced tea in the same cup I’ve been using for the last three days, and I’m ready to roll through the next 10 records in this massive, frankly silly, Quarterly Review. Yesterday went well enough and I’m three days into the total 10 and I don’t feel like my head is going to explode, so I’ll just say so far so good.

As ever, there’s a lot to get through, so I won’t delay. I hope you find something here you dig. I certainly have.

Quarterly Review #21-30:

Sandrider, Armada

sandrider armada

Armada is the third full-length from Seattle noiseblasters Sandrider, and at this point I’m starting to wonder what it’s going to take for this band to get their due. Produced by Matt Bayles and released through Good to Die Records, the album is an absolute monster front to back. Scathing. Beastly. And yet the songs have character. It’s the trio’s first outing since 2015’s split with Kinski (review here) and follows 2013’s Godhead (review here) and 2011’s self-titled debut (review here) in melding the band’s West Coast noise superiority with a sense of melody and depth as the trio of guitarist/vocalist Jon Weisnewski, bassist/vocalist Jesse Roberts, and omegadrummer Nat Damm course and wind their way through intense but varied material. “Banger” has been tapped for its grunge influence. Eh. Maybe in the riff, but who cares when there’s so much more going on with it? “Brambles” is out and out brutal but still has a hook, and cuts like “Industry” and the closing “Dogwater” remind of just how skilled Sandrider are at making that brutality fun. If the record was six minutes long and just had “Hollowed” on it, you’d still call it a win.

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Good to Die Records website

 

Witchkiss, The Austere Curtains of Our Eyes

witchkiss the austere curtains of our eyes

Goodness gracious. Cavernous echo accompanies the roars of guitarist Scott Prater that are offset by the more subdued melodies of drummer Amber Burns, but even in the most spacious reaches of 11-minute second cut “Blind Faith,” Witchkiss are fucking massive-sounding. Their debut album, The Austere Curtains of Our Eyes, presents an especially crushing take on ritualistic volume, sounding its catharsis in a song like “Spirits of the Dirt” and sounding natural as it trades between a rolling assault and the atmospheres of its quieter moments. With the departure since the recording of bassist Anthony DiBlasi, the New York-based outfit will invariably shift in dynamic somewhat coming out of this record, but with such an obvious clarity of mission, I honestly doubt their core approach will change all that much. A band doesn’t make a record like this without direct intention. They may evolve, and one hopes they do just because one always hopes for that, but this isn’t a band feeling their way through their first record. This is a band who know exactly the kind of ferocity they want to conjure, and who conjure it without regret.

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Witchkiss on Bandcamp

 

Satta Caveira, MMI

Satta Caveira MMI

Argentinian instrumentalist trio Satta Caveira make a point of saying they recorded MMI, their second or third album depending on what you count, live in their home studio without edits or overdubs, click tracks or anything else. Clearly the intention then is to capture the raw spirit of the material as it’s happening. The eight songs that make up the unmanageable 62-minute listen of MMI — to be fair, 14 of those minutes are opener “Kundalini” and 23 are the sludge-into-jam-into-sludge riffer “T.H.C.” — are accordingly raw, but that in itself becomes a component of their aesthetic. Whether it’s the volume swell that seems to consume “Don Santos” in its second half, the funk of closer “Afrovoid” or the drift in “Kalifornia,” Satta Caveira manage to hone a sense of range amid all the naturalism, and with the gritty and more aggressive riffing of the title-track and the rush of the penultimate “Router,” their sound might actually work with a more elaborate production, but they’ve got a thing, it works well, and I’m not inclined to argue.

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Satta Caveira on Bandcamp

 

Apollo80, Lizard! Lizard! Lizard!

apollo 80 lizard lizard lizard

Vocalized only by spoken samples of astronauts, the thrice-exclamatory Lizard! Lizard! Lizard! is the debut EP from Perth, Australia, three-piece Apollo80, who are given mostly to exploring an outpouring of heavy molten vibes but still able to hone a bit of cacophony following the “godspeed, John Glenn” sample in second cut “FFH.” There are four songs on the 26-minute offering, and its spaciousness is brought to earth somewhat by the dirt in which the guitar and bass tones are caked, but it’s more the red dust of Mars than anything one might find kicking around a Terran desert. Unsurprisingly, the high point of the outing is the 10:46 title-track, where guitarist Luke, bassist Brano and drummer Shane push farthest into the cosmos — though that’s debatable with the interstellar drone of closer “Good Night” — but even in the impact of “Apollo” at the outset, there’s a feeling of low-oxygen in the atmosphere, and if you get lightheaded, that’s exactly how it’s supposed to be.

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Apollo80 on Bandcamp

 

The Great Unwilling, EP

the great unwilling ep

The prevailing influence throughout the untitled debut EP from Minnesota’s The Great Unwilling is Queens of the Stone Age, but listening to the layer of wah intertwine with the solo on “Sanguine,” there’s more to their approach than just that, however dreamy the vocal melodies from guitarist Jesse Hoheisel might be. Hoheisel, bassist Joe Ulvi and Mark Messina present a clean four tracks and 20 minutes on their first outing, and for having been together for about 18 months, their songwriting seems to have a firm grasp on what they want to do. “If 3 was 7” rolls along at a heavy clip into an effectively drifting midsection and second half jam before returning to the initial riff, while “Current” leads off with a particularly Hommeian construction, and soon gives way to the flowing pace and apparent lyrical references of the aforementioned “Sanguine.” They finish with the dirtier tonality of “Apostasy” and cap with no more pretense than they started, bringing the short release to a close with a chorus that seems to finish with more to say. No doubt they’ll get there.

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The Great Unwilling on Bandcamp

 

Grusom, II

grusom ii

A prominent current of organ alongside the guitars gives Grusom‘s aptly-titled second album on Kozmik Artifactz, II, a willfully classic feel, and even the lyrics of “Peace of Mind” play into that with the opening lines, “I always said I was born too late/This future is not for me,” but the presentation from the Svendborg six-piece isn’t actually all that retro-fied. Rather, the two guitars and organ work in tandem to showcase a modern take on those classic ideas, as the back and forth conversation between them in the extended jam of “Skeletons” demonstrates, and with a steady rhythmic foundation and soulful vocals overtop, Grusom‘s craft doesn’t need the superficial trappings of a ’70s influence to convey those roots in their sound. Songs like “Dead End Valley” and “Embers” have a bloozy swing as they head toward the melancholy closer “Cursed from Birth,” but even there, the proceedings are light on pretense and the atmosphere is more concerned with a natural vibe rather than pretending it’s half a century ago.

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Kozmik Artifactz website

 

Träden, Träden

traden traden

Having originated as Träd Gräs och Stenar, the group now known as Träden is the product of a psychedelic legacy spanning generations. Founder Jakob Sjöholm has joined forces with Hanna Östergren of Hills, Reine Fiske of Dungen and Sigge Krantz of Archimedes Badkar to create a kind of supergroup of serenity, and their self-titled is blissful enough not only to life up to Träd Gräs och Stenar‘s cult status, but to capture one of its own. It’s gorgeous. Presumably the painting used on the cover is the cabin where it was recorded, and its eight tracks — sometimes mellow, sometimes more weighted, always hypnotic — are a naturalist blueprint that only make the world a better place. That sounds ridiculous, I know. But the truth is that for all the terrible, horrifying shit humanity does on a daily basis, to know that there are people on the planet making music like this with such a genuine spirit behind it is enough to instill a bit of hope for the species. This is what it’s all about. I couldn’t even make it through the Bandcamp stream without buying the CD. That never happens.

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Träden on Bandcamp

 

Orthodox, Krèas

orthodox kreas

Last year, Spanish experimentalists Orthodox released Supreme and turned their free-jazz meets low-doom into a 36-minute fracas of happening-right-now creativity. Krèas, a lone, 27-minute track with the core duo of bassist Marco Serrato and drummer Borja Díaz joined by saxophonist Achilleas Polychronidis, was recorded in the same session but somehow seems even more freaked-out. I mean, it’s gone. Gone to a degree that even the hepcats who claim to appreciate free-jazz on anything more than a theoretical level (that is, those who actually listen to it) will have their hair blown back. The rest of the universe? Well, they’ll probably continue on, blissfully unaware that Orthodox are out there smashing comets together like they are, but wow. Challenging the listener is one thing. Krèas is the stuff of dissertations. One only hopes Orthodox aren’t holding their breath waiting for humanity to catch up to what they’re doing, because, yeah, it’s gonna be a while.

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Alone Records webstore

 

Disrule, Sleep in Your Honour

Disrule Sleep in Your Honour

Danish bruisers Disrule run a brash gamut with their second album, Sleep in Your Honour (on Seeing Red). Leading off with the earworm hook of the title-track (premiered here), the album puts a charge into C.O.C.-style riffing and classic heavy rock, but shades of Clutch-y funk in “Going Wrong” and a lumbering bottom end in “Occult Razor” assure there’s no single angle from which they strike. “(Gotta Get Me Some) Control” elicits a blues-via-Sabbath vibe, but the drums seem to make sure Disrule are never really at rest, and so there’s a strong sense of momentum throughout the eight-song/29-minute EP, perhaps best emphasized by two-minute second cut “Death on My Mind,” which seems to throw elbows as it sprints past, though even shouted-chorus closer “Enter the Void” has an infectious energy about it. If you think something can’t be heavy and move, Disrule have a shove with your name on it.

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Seeing Red Records on Bandcamp

 

Ozymandias, Cake!

ozymandias cake

First clue that all is not what it seems? The artwork. Definitely not a picture of cake on the cover of Ozymandias‘ debut album, Cake!, and accordingly, things don’t take long before they get too weird. “Jelly Beans” hits on harshest Nirvana — before it goes into blastbeats. “Mason Jar” scathes out organ-laced doom and vicious screaming, before “Hangman” gets all danceable like “All Pigs Must Die” earlier in the record. The wacky quotient is high, and the keyboards do a lot to add to that, but one can’t really call “Doom I – The Daisies” or the later “Doom II – The Lilies” anything but progressive in the Devin Townsend-shenanigans-metal sense of the word, and as wild as some stretches of Cake! are, the trio from Linz, Austria, are never out of control, and they never give a sense that what they’re doing is an accident. They’re just working on their own stylistic level, and to a degree that’s almost scary considering it’s their first record. I won’t claim to know where they might be headed, but it seems likely they have a plan.

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StoneFree Records website

 

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Viaje a Ixtlán Post New Single “El Aliado” Ahead of 2LP Release

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

Argentina-based progressive heavy psychedelic rockers Viaje a Ixtlán have a new single out now as a name-your-price download. The four-piece band who formed in 2011/2012 depending on where you look had the prior single “Sueño de Agua” out in August, and “El Aliado” follows as a fellow precursor to a 2LP release that’s due out sometime soon. I’d guess that means next year, but you never know. Either way, the track has an experimentalist edge in its weirdo vocal effects, and as the band embark on this ambitious project, they do so with two albums behind them of adventurous prog that have built up to it. I’m not sure when the album will be out, but a name-your-price single, let alone two, is a good way to lead into it, and if “El Aliado” is giving a feel for the kind of open-minded sonic palette they’re working with, that should be a pretty wide swath they cover throughout the record.

An interesting song that seemed well worth sharing. Hope you dig it.

Info from the PR wire:

viaje a ixtlan el aliado

El Aliado is part of the upcoming double release by Viaje a Ixtlán. Each album is a side from the same coin, two faces of the same band during a process of reorganization. The songs from the first album, such as “El Aliado”, are centered around instrumental passages inspired by the krautrock from the late 60’s, where the melodic motifs are carried by layers of synthesizers, riding over bases of traditional rock using the repetition as a way of generating the sensation of a mantra, the stillness, the calm, leaving the listener alone with the flow of the music.

Music by Viaje a Ixtlán
Arrangements by Viaje a Ixtlán.
Recorded on Estudios Zar and Black House by Damian Colaprette between December 2016 and February 2017.
Mixing and Mastering on Estudio Black House by Damian Colaprette.
Produced by Mariano Bertolazzi and Andrés Raffo.
Artwork by Matías Ridolfi.

Viaje a Ixtlán lives in constant movement, in constant change, stepping out of our comfort zone in each step, experimenting and chewing out each sound that influenced us so much. Taking as a starting point instrumental and dark passages, the band has developed a personal aesthetic wheres the songs get fused with the sound experimentation and the electric volatility.

Viaje a Ixtlán is:
Mariano Bertolazzi – Bass
Andrés “el Jeque” Raffo – Synth
Fernando Figueiras – Guitar
Leonardo Aldegani – Drums

https://www.instagram.com/viaje_a_ixtlan/
https://www.facebook.com/ViajeAIxtlan/
https://viajeaixtlan.bandcamp.com/

Viaje a Ixtlán, “El Aliado”

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