Destroyer of Light Premiere Lyric Video for “Electric Shadows”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 16th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

destroyer of light

Tapping into grandiose classic doom and wah-drenched psychedelic heavy rock, Austin, Texas, four-piece Destroyer of Light are gearing up to release a new split 2LP with Godhunter that, as of today, is available to preorder through Battleground Records. Titled Endsville and limited to 300 copies available via Battleground and Destroyer of Light‘s Heavy Friends Records imprint, Endsville comprises four sides, two for one band, two for the other, each with original material and one cover track between them. No strangers to the road after having gone coast-to-coast last fall supporting their Bizarre Tales Vol. 2 EP, which was the follow-up to their 2012 self-titled debut (review here), Destroyer of Light will team up with Godhunter for a lengthy run of the East Coast this July/Aug. that includes a stop at the Death to False Metal festival in Connecticut on Aug. 15.

godhunter destroyer of light endsvilleA lot of information in that paragraph, so I’ll sum up — two good bands paired up for a split, preorders now, tour next month. Hopefully that sorts out the basics, which, if you’re going by “Electric Shadows,” which leads off their two-song side C of the Endsville vinyl, obviously aren’t a problem for Destroyer of Light. Guitarist/vocalist Steve Colca, guitarist Keegan Kjeldsen, bassist Jeff Klein and drummer Kelly Turner have their Sabbath worship down pat, but there’s more to the track for those who’d dig in, and over the course of its six minutes, they’re able to smoothly shift between wrenching doom and ’70s-style shuffle, a catchy boogie of a guitar lead taking hold in the second half to steer toward a surprisingly upbeat, if somewhat sudden, finish. The band prove just as ready to jam as doom out, and though they’re playing one side against the other, in the middle third of the track, they seem to find a riffy middle-ground that eases the transition, subtle effects swirls behind plodding riffs before Klein‘s bass announces the arrival at the next stage.

Endsville is out July 28, but “Electric Shadows” is available for those who’d check it out to hear in a new lyric video put together by Erik Bredthauer that I’m happy to be able to premiere today. You’ll find it on the player below, followed by the tracklisting for the split, the tour dates Destroyer of Light will undertake with Godhunter starting on July 29, and much more info, culled from the PR wire.

Hope you enjoy:

Destroyer of Light, “Electric Shadows” lyric video

GODHUNTER vs. DESTROYER OF LIGHT: Endsville Split Double-LP to see release in a gatefold setup on two different colors of vinyl through Battleground Records and Heavy Friends Records on July 28th, 2015.

Double album featuring brand new music from Godhunter and Destroyer of Light, plus a cover song from each band.

Godhunter (Sides A/B) pressed on 180 gram translucent green vinyl, Destroyer of Light (Sides C/D) pressed on 180 gram translucent red vinyl. Both records are housed together in a two pocket, deluxe gatefold package featuring art combining sculpture work by Bestia Dentro and photography by Andrew Weiss. Includes a digital download card for the album. Limited to 300 copies pressed worldwide.

Godhunter
Side A
1. End Time Blues
2. Divided States
3. Dull Knives, Weak Handshakes
Side B
4. Cassandra Complex
5. Anthropophobia
6. The Emptiness That Is Left

Destroyer of Light
Side C
1. Electric Shadows
2. Coffin Hunter
Side D
3. Forever My Queen
4. Valley Of The Dead

GODHUNTER vs. DESTROYER OF LIGHT: Endsville bears twenty minutes of new material and a cover track from each band. Tucson/Vancouver-situated sludge faction, GODHUNTER, captured the tunes for their platter at WaveLab Studios in Tucson by Dana Fehr (North, Juarez), the newest in a steady line of titles since their 2014-released debut LP, City Of Dust, including their GH/OST:S split LP with Secrets Of The Sky and The Outer Dark collaborative 7” with Amigo The Devil. The adjoining slab by Austin-based psychedelic doom outfit, DESTROYER OF LIGHT, follows the band’s 2012-released self-titled debut album and 2014’s Bizarre Tales Vol. II EP, recorded at Orb Recording Studios in Austin, engineered and mixed by Matt Meli. The entire album was then mastered by James Plotkin. The two 12” EPs will be united in a gatefold setup on two different colors of vinyl, in addition to a digital release, the cover artwork to feature custom sculpture art by Bestia Dentro and photography by Andrew Weiss.

Directly in conjunction with the release of Endsville, GODHUNTER and DESTROYER OF LIGHT will collaborate on a major widespread tour together, which will see them both raiding the East Coast US for the first time. While previously only the rough skeletal city itinerary of the trek has been announced, this week nearly every one of the twenty-five venues on the tour has been declared. The tour includes both bands’ participation in the first Death To False Metal Festival in Hamden, Connecticut on August 14th and 15th with Whiplash, Krieg, Secrets Of The Sky, Valkyrie, Imperial Triumphant, Nightbitch, Immortal Bird, Secret Cutter and more.

Godhunter and Destroyer of Light on tour:
7/29: Tucson, AZ – Club Congress
7/30: Tempe, AZ – Yucca Tap Room
7/31: El Paso, TX – The Sandbox
8/1: Albuquerque, NM – The Launchpad
8/2: Denver, CO – Seventh Circle
8/3: Omaha, NB – TBA
8/4: Minneapolis, MN – Triple Rock
8/5: Chicago, IL – Livewire
8/6: Kalamazoo, MI – Fat Guy Fest
8/7: Indianapolis, IN – Fifth Quarter
8/8: Louisville, KY – Magnolia Bar
8/9: Raleigh, NC – Pour House
8/10: Charleston, WV – The Empty Glass
8/11: Pittsburgh, PA – Gooski’s
8/12: Buffalo, NY – Mohawk Place
8/13: New York, NY – Saint Vitus
8/14: Salem, MA – KoTo
8/15: New Haven, CT – Death To False Metal Festival
8/16: Philadelphia, PA – Kung Fu Necktie
8/17: Baltimore, MD – The Depot
8/18: Greenville, SC – Thomas Creek Brewery
8/19: Atlanta, GA – The Basement
8/20: Little Rock, AR – Vino’s
8/21: New Orleans, LA – Saturn Bar
8/22: Austin, TX – Holy Mountain

Destroyer of Light on Thee Facebooks

Destroyer of Light on Bandcamp

Battleground Records preorder

Heavy Friends Records on Thee Facebooks

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Southwest Terror Fest Vol. 4 Lineup Revealed

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 10th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Great googly-moogly. The full lineup — and set times, because apparently that’s how on their shit these cats are — for this year’s Southwest Terror Fest have been posted, and it’s breathtaking. Sleep and Acid King and Bongripper among the headliners, with the likes of Dropdead and Thou and the Body and Brothers of the Sonic Cloth strewn about a four-day span for the fourth edition of the festival, which in accordance with doomly mandate and the Order of Things has been dubbed Southwest Terror Fest Vol. 4. I doubt I’ll get to Tucson to witness it, but it looks like a hell of a time.

As the PR wire puts it:

southwest terror fest vol 4

SOUTHWEST TERROR FEST Vol. 4: Entire Lineup Of Annual Arizona Underground Metal Festival Announced; Tickets Available

Sleep, Thou & The Body, Acid King, Dropdead, Bongripper, Xibalba, Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth And More Confirmed

The entire itinerary for the fourth edition of the annual SOUTHWEST TERROR FEST has been disclosed, as the 2015 installment is confirmed to consume Tucson, Arizona for four days once again this October.

SOUTHWEST TERROR FEST VOL. 4 will run from October 15th through 18th, with events scheduled at three Tucson venues — The Rialto Theatre, Club Congress and 191 Toole. The festivities will begin on Thursday, October 15th with a nighttime kickoff show, followed by both matinee and late club shows on Friday the 16th, and the main events on Saturday the 17th and Sunday the 18th, and the running orders for each show has now been posted. The confirmed acts include headliners Sleep, Thou & The Body, Acid King, Dropdead and Bongripper, as well as Xibalba, Landmine Marathon, Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth, Graves At Sea, Cult Leader, Call Of The Void, Demon Lung, Immortal Bird, In The Company Of Serpents, Abstracter, Gale, and more. Additionally, soloist Amigo The Devil will perform impromptu sets throughout the weekend once again.

Tickets for all SOUTHWEST TERROR FEST VOL. 4 events have been posted and are linked below alongside the running order for the entire weekend. Additionally, there are 100 VIP passes being sold this year, which are disappearing quickly; get them before they’re gone RIGHT HERE.

SOUTHWEST TERROR FEST VOL. 4 Lineup:

Thursday, October 15th // Kickoff show at 191 Toole (All Ages):
Main Stage:
10:15 – End — Thou & The Body
8:45 – 9:30 — In The Company Of Serpents
7:30 – 8:00 — Heat Dust
6:30 – 7:00 — Gale
Side Stage:
9:30 – 10:15 — Dead To A Dying World
8:00 – 8:45 — Abstracter
7:00 – 7:30 — Hanta
6:00 – 6:30 — Methra

Friday, October 16th // Matinee show at 191 Toole (All Ages):
Main Stage:
10:20 – End — Dropdead
9:10 – 9:50 — Landmine Marathon
8:00 – 8:40 — Xibalba
7:00 – 7:30 — Immmortal Bird
6:00 – 6:30 — Gatecreeper
Side Stage:
9:50 – 10:20 — Call Of The Void
8:40 – 9:10 — Bastard Feast
7:30 – 8:00 — 908
6:30 – 7:00 — Swamp Wolf
5:30 – 6:00 — Warmonger

Friday, October 16th // Late show at Club Congress (21+):
12:20 – End — Bongripper
11:10 – 12:00 — Graves At Sea
10:20 – 10:50 — Skycrawler
9:30 – 10:00 — Naught

Saturday, October 17th // Main show at The Rialto Theatre (All Ages):
10:30 – 12:30 — Sleep
9:10 – 10:10 — Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth
8:10 – 8:50 — Cult Leader
7:20 – 7:50 — Goya
6:30 – 7:00 — Languish

Sunday, October 18th // Closing show at Club Congress (All Ages):
10:30 – 12:00 — Acid King
9:20 – 10:10 — Demon Lung
8:20 – 9:00 — Night Demon
7:20 – 8:00 — Fuzz Evil
6:30 – 7:00 — Ice Sword

Now in its fourth consecutive year, SOUTHWEST TERROR FEST was founded in 2012 by members of Tucson-based underground acts Godhunter, Inoculara, Diseased Reason and Great American Tragedy, in conjunction with local venues, vendors and businesses, in order to bring a full-bore event to underground music fans. Each year the event expands into new directions and brings a massive variety of internationally-known headliners together with incredible acts from across the Southwest and beyond.

http://www.ticketfly.com/event/844951
http://southwestterrorfest.bigcartel.com
http://www.facebook.com/southwestterrorfest
http://www.earsplitcompound.com

The Body, Live at Southwest Terror Fest 2014

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Powered Wig Machine Stream Vinyl-Only Bonus Track “Highish Noon”

Posted in audiObelisk on March 13th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

powered wig machine

This week marks the vinyl release of Arizona outfit Powered Wig Machine‘s sophomore full-length, Supa-Collider. Initially self-released, the LP version of Supa-Collider (review here) arrives courtesy of AZ kingpins Battleground Records, and boasts the vinyl-only bonus track “Highish Noon.” Fitting the cover artwork by Rudy Flores and bassist Joseph Rudell, the 300-copy pressing comes in translucent green with black and orange splatter, 180g housed in a gatefold with a download. And as if overseeing the release of this beast weren’t enough, Joseph Rudell and his brother, guitarist/vocalist Wayne Rudell also organized and executed the powered wig machine supa-collider vinylrecent Borderlands Fuzz Fiesta with Wo Fat, Mos Generator, Fireball Ministry, etc., which by the accounts that I saw was a badass time.

Joined in the band by guitarist Dusty Hinkle, drummer Daniel Graves and keyboardist/guitarist Brian Gold, the Rudells stood at the helm of Supa-Collider‘s rolling grooves and bluesy feel, casting off desert-based expectation in favor of thicker tone and meatier vibing. The results were well met to say the least, and the fuzz and organ fluidity of “At the Helm of Hades” and big-stage-ready blues-jam starts and stops of “Mother Rocker” established a course for the album that was classic and accessible but also modern and based around a well-developed songwriting process. I’m not sure if “Highish Noon” was recorded at the same time as the rest of Supa-Collider or later, but it’s in line with the rest of the band’s material in being catchy as well, switching on a dime from winding heavy riffery to airy psych jamming and back again before kicking into wah-soaked layered-solo righteousness and arriving, finally, in powered wig machine supa-collider vinyl covera swaying groove that seems to be asking what would’ve happened if Clutch wrote “Dragonaut” instead of Sleep. It’s an issue worth exploring.

And it’s a lot of ground to cover in a little under five minutes, but Powered Wig Machine hold it together smoothly, which (like the rest of the album) bodes well for their third outing, for which word of intent has begun to surface. In the meantime, having just shared a stage with Uriah HeepPowered Wig Machine will hook up with the touring Ape Machine at JR’s Bar in Sierra Vista on March 17 for a St. Patrick’s Day special with Ghetto Blaster. Info on that one is here.

I have the pleasure today of hosting “Highish Noon” for streaming in honor of the Supa-Collider vinyl release on Battleground. Please find it on the player below, followed by more info on the LP from the PR wire:

Battleground Records has confirmed the label’s impending ninth release, announcing the deluxe vinyl version of the gnarly Supa-Collider, the second full-length from fuzz/stoner rock champs, POWERED WIG MACHINE.

In March of 2014, POWERED WIG MACHINE took it to the next level with the monstrous follow-up to Bearded Goddess, delivering the fantastic jams of their sophomore album, Supa-Collider. The band’s dexterous diversity and empowering tactics shine brighter than the blazing sun which ignites their desert surroundings on the album, putting the listener on cruise control into the furthest reaches of the planet and beyond, the tunes infiltrated with a slight flux of sci-fi otherworldliness. Self-recorded by the band and mixed by Brian Gold at Primrose Studio in Sierra Vista, mastered by Chris Goosman at Baseline Audio, and bearing artwork by Joseph Rudell and Rudy Flores, PWM independently released Supa-Collider digitally and on CD last year, yet the beast has yet to be unleashed in its primal vinyl form… until now.

One year after its initial release, Battleground Records will issue Supa-Collider on high-quality wax, the record pressed on 180-gram translucent green vinyl with orange and black splatters, limited to 300 copies and housed in a deluxe gatefold package. In addition to the original seven tracks, this new edition will also include a new LP-only bonus track, “Highish Noon”, with all eight tunes available for free high-quality digital download included in the parcel.

Supa-Collider at Battleground Records

Powered Wig Machine on Thee Facebooks

Powered Wig Machine on Bandcamp

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Wino Wednesday: The Obsessed, “The Way She Fly” Live in Tucson, AZ, July 1992

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 18th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

WINO WEDNESDAY

No lie, part of the reason I picked this clip of The Obsessed playing “The Way She Fly” at the Downtown Performance Center in Tucson, Arizona, on July 31, 1992, was for the comedic value. I watched the whole thing front to back — it’s two minutes long, so not a major commitment time-wise, but still — and there’s no shot of the bass player. None. Most of the thing is Wino cam. It’s hilarious, and almost a little creepy, but you never see the bassist in the video, and even the shots of drummer Greg Rogers seem sort of happenstance, like from where the camera is positioned, you have to catch him on a wider shot to see Wino playing guitar and singing. I had to laugh.

Seeing nothing but the bassist’s headstock — and that only intermittently — is of particular interest since I’m not sure who was in the band at that time. Scott Reeder played on 1991’s Lunar Womb alongside Wino and Rogers, but either before or after this was filmed in 1992, he left the band and joined up with Kyuss, replacing Nick Oliveri (who now may or may not have his own project going with Wino, called Royale Daemons), only to have his spot on The Obsessed filled by Guy Pinhas. But I don’t know the exact date on when Reeder departed The Obsessed or if it’s him or Pinhas or someone else playing this show, so yeah, nearly 23 full years later, it might’ve been helpful if whoever shot this clip had at any point seen fit to pan a little bit to the left. No dice.

Sometimes you just gotta toss your hands up and shrug, and if you need me, that’s what I’ll be doing. “The Way She Fly,” which is almost complete here, comes off The Obsessed‘s 1990 self-titled full-length debut. Mark Laue played bass on it, if you’re wondering. Enjoy and have a great Wino Wednesday:

The Obsessed, “The Way She Fly” Live in Tucson, Arizona, July 31, 1992

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Fuzz Evil Announce Headlining Run through Arizona and Texas in April

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 18th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

fuzz evil

Arizona riff rockers Fuzz Evil will head out across their home state and into Texas this April on a relatively brief but quality-over-quantity run of tour dates that includes gigs with the likes of MothershipSwitchblade Jesus and Dallas fuzz titans Wo Fat. By the time they go, the plan is to have their Battleground Records debut — also the follow-up to late-2014’s split 7″ with Chiefs (streamed here) — in the can and ready for release sometime presumably in summer. Does that mean new material on the road? Considering they’ve released one song to date and it’s not 40 minutes long, yeah, probably they’ll be playing some stuff off the new record. Seems reasonable to expect.

If you didn’t hear that split when I streamed it (and why not?), the Bandcamp player for it follows the PR wire announcement of Fuzz Evil‘s recording intentions and the routing for their AZ/TX tour.

Behold:

fuzz evil tour poster

FUZZ EVIL Confirms April Headlining Southwestern US Tour; Debut Album To See 2015 Release Via Battleground Records

Southern Arizona stoner rock outfit, FUZZ EVIL, will record their debut full-length album in the coming weeks for release via their cohorts at Battleground Records, and have already begun booking their tour schedule for the year with a headlining run of dates through their Southwestern stomping grounds in April.

The action begins April 21st, in FUZZ EVIL’s gritty Tombstone-neighboring hometown of Sierra Vista, followed by Texas shows in El Paso, San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas through April 25th. The band will be provided by support in El Paso by Oryx and Skulldron, with special opening support from Mothership and Switchblade Jesus on the other three Texas gigs, the final show also including Wofat in the lineup.

FUZZ EVIL Tour Dates:
4/21/2015 JR’s Bar – Sierra Vista, AZ
4/22/2015 Low Brow Palace – El Paso, TX w/ Oryx, Skulldron
4/23/2015 The Mix – San Antonio, TX w/ Mothership, Switchblade Jesus
4/24/2015 Lost Well – Austin, TX w/ Mothership, Switchblade Jesus
4/25/2015 Club Dada – Dallas, TX w/ Wofat, Mothership, Switchblade Jesus

Prior to the tour, FUZZ EVIL will begin to record their debut full-length album, the follow-up their debut split 7″ with Chiefs which was released through Battleground Records in late 2014. The album will see release on multiple formats sometime mid-year, with additional details to be released as they’re confirmed.

Comprised of brothers Wayne and Joey Rudell on vocals/guitar and vocals/bass, respectively, and drummer Marlin Tuttle, FUZZ EVIL delivers solid, groove-laden, heavy psych rock, with big-ass rock jams fans of Grand Funk Railroad, Jimi Hendrix and Steppenwolf will dig, as well as the prime riff/stoner rock contingent devout to the works of Goatsnake, Queens of The Stone Age, Clutch, and the Rudell brothers’ other outfit, Powered Wig Machine.

Limited to three hundred copies, the heavy, white-splattered grey vinyl of FUZZ EVIL’s split 7″ with Chiefs is cut at 45 RPM and includes a digital download. Stream the record and order it while the final copies are available RIGHT HERE.

http://www.facebook.com/FuzzEvil
http://fuzzevil.bandcamp.com/releases
http://www.facebook.com/battlegroundrecords
http://battlegroundrecords.bigcartel.com

Fuzz Evil/Chiefs, Split 7″ (2014)

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Chiefs Premiere “Vovi” from Tomorrow’s Over; New Album out Feb. 24

Posted in audiObelisk on February 17th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Chiefs

Southwestern trio Chiefs will officially release their debut album, Tomorrow’s Over, next Tuesday on Roosevelt Row Records CD/DL (vinyl in May on Battleground). A current of straightforwardness runs through the record’s 11 tracks, four of which are inherited from Chiefs‘ 2013 demo, Buffalo Roam, and those songs — “Buffalo Roam,” “Palms,” “1999” and “Tomorrow’s Over” — feature in prominent spots. “Buffalo Roam” opens, “Tomorrow’s Over” closes, and “Palms” and “1999” are spaced between newer cuts like “Like a Match,” “Tesla” and “Sharpshooter,” which affirm among other things that Chiefs knew what they were going for their first time out. That demo, recorded as a two-piece with guitarist/vocalist Paul Valle and drummer Stephen Varns — the band is now Valle, bassist Jeff Podeszwik and drummer Kevin Michel — is still available to download, and while of course the sound is fuller as a three-piece and more developed, the basic structures are pretty much intact. And structure is a big part of what Chiefs do.

As noted, Tomorrow’s Over is a straightforward affair. There’s little trickery involved, and the album’s 45 minutes work more as a showcase of heavy rock songwriting prowess than of stylistic experimentation. That is to say, Chiefs have their paperwork in order; they sound assured in their presentation and are ready to continue progressing from here. One rarely thinks of a debut album as a stopgap — and I wouldn’t call Tomorrow’s Over one either, as it would take away from the substance and vibe VallePodeszwik and Michel have working in their favor throughout — but the thrustchiefs tomorrow's over in a song like “Lows and Highs” and the Truckfighters-style percussive tension in “Peel” speak to an eagerness on the part of the three-piece to get on with it. I’ve received no word that one is, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all to learn a follow-up to Tomorrow’s Over was already underway in some fashion. Again, that doesn’t mean Chiefs‘ debut can’t stand on its own. In tone and catchiness, they envision a post-Kyuss incarnation of Helmet, more heavy rock than noise, but with a few-frills undertone that comes through in their verse/chorus tradeoffs, in the turns of mood between “Like a Match”and “Ride” near the start of the record and in Valle‘s vocal approach, which recalls Page Hamilton circa “Unsung.”

One could pick any number of tracks to represent the whole of Tomorrow’s Over, since they feed into a central vibe that persists across the span, but “Vovi” is a particularly efficient encapsulation of what Chiefs are able to make work so well in dealing with familiar elements and crafting something concrete and engaging from them. The crunch of their tones is immediate, but “Vovi” smoothly shifts between open-sounding verse thud and the hooks of its instrumental bridge and subsequent chorus. While grooving, it asks little more of the listener than participation in that process, as Chiefs remain wholly unpretentious throughout Tomorrow’s Over, of which “Vovi” is the penultimate track before the title cut closes out. For anyone who heard Chiefs‘ 2014 split with Fuzz Evil (review here), it should make a suitable answer to the potential that they showed on that release while also setting up the creative growth that they seem so eager to get moving.

Please find “Vovi” on the player below, followed by some quick bio background from the PR wire, and enjoy:

CHIEFS originally began as a two-piece back in January of 2012 in Phoenix, AZ, but after years of releasing demos, touring and playing often around the Phoenix Valley, the duo made the decision to relocate to San Diego, CA. Shortly after, they released a four-song demo entitled Buffalo Roam, and did numerous short west-coast tours to support it. Eventually the group became a three-piece with the permanent addition of bassist Jeff Podeszwik, who filled out the low-end of the band and transformed their sound.

Hot off the heels of releasing a split 7″ with Fuzz Evil through Battleground Records, CHIEFS have returned with a debut full-length record in the bag, entitled Tomorrow’s Over. It was recorded at Arcane Digital Recording Studio in Chandler AZ and recorded, mixed and mastered by Ryan Butler (Landmine Marathon/Unruh). The record will be out on February 24th through Roosevelt Row Records on CD/DD, with a vinyl reissue through Battleground Records shortly thereafter.

Chiefs on Thee Facebooks

Chiefs on Bandcamp

Roosevelt Row Records’ BigCartel store

Roosevelt Row Records on Thee Facebooks

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The Obelisk Radio Adds: Mugstar & The Cosmic Dead, Goya, Gangrened, Attalla and TarLung

Posted in Radio on December 19th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

the obelisk radio

I’ve been listening to The Obelisk Radio a lot this week, particularly while starting to put together my top albums of 2014 list, so it seemed only appropriate to get a new round of adds up to the server. As we come to the end of the year, there’s always a slowdown in terms of releases, but if I had to put a number to it, I’d call it a 10, maybe 20 percent drop at most. If it was running water and you were looking at it, you’d notice no difference. A flood is still a flood.

As such, 14 records joined the server today. Some are recently reviewed, some aren’t out yet, some have been out for a little bit. It’s a solid batch of stuff, and if you haven’t yet had enough of lists — more to come, believe me — it’s worth a look at the Playlist and Updates Page. The amount of stuff on there is staggering. It’s a wonder the radio stream manages to fit in so much Clutch at all.

Let’s get to it.

The Obelisk Radio Adds for Dec. 19, 2014:

Mugstar & The Cosmic Dead, Split LP

Mugstar & Cosmic Dead Split LP

Two sides, one song from each band, each a massive slab of a jam. Glasgow’s The Cosmic Dead and Liverpool’s Mugstar make a solid pairing, and by solid I definitely mean liquid, and by liquid I mean that’s what your brains will be by the time Mugstar‘s “Breathing Mirror” (18:42) and The Cosmic Dead‘s “Fukahyoocastulah” (25:51) are done. Instrumental in their entirety and jammed out on a subspace frequency that I only imagine they can already hear in the Delta Quadrant — and no doubt they’re wondering what the title of The Cosmic Dead‘s contribution means exactly — both cuts share an affinity for progressive heavy psych exploration, kosmiche and krautrock alike, but with a fresh take on the classic idea of we’re-gonna-get-in-a-room-and-this-is-what-happens that runs through, whether it’s in the drone midsection of “Breathing Mirror” after the jam has died down and before its resurgence, or the later reaches of “Fukayoocastulah,” which rest on the nigh-eternal bassline that’s steady enough to hold the course despite the various effects freakouts, slow swirls and experiments happening around it. About 45 minutes solid of primo heavy jamming? Sign me up. Mugstar’s website, on Bandcamp, The Cosmic Dead on Thee Faceboks, on Bandcamp.

Goya, Satan’s Fire

Goya Satan's Fire

Eleven-minute opener “Malediction and Death” makes its primary impression in its consuming tonality — a harsh but encompassing low end that emerges out of the initial cavalcade of feedback starting the song. The first three minutes of “Malediction and Death” are noise before Phoenix’s Goya kick in their riff, drums and vocals, sounding as huge on the Satan’s Fire EP as on their preceding split with Wounded Giant (review here) but perhaps even more malevolent as they continue to find their place within wizard doom, marked out by the two-at-once solo shredding of guitarist/vocalist Jeff Owens, the lurching rhythm behind him and the swing of drummer Nick Lose, whose snare punctuates “Malediction and Death” like a life-preserver tossed into the abyss. Unsurprisingly, they end noisy. “Symbols” picks up with two minutes of sparse, atmospheric drumming, and the title-track (5:58) finishes with a tale of antichristianity, dropping out of life, and watching the world fall apart. Doom? Yes. Perhaps not as patient as “Malediction and Death,” “Satan’s Fire” itself offers suitable heat, and delivered through amps that likewise sound about ready to melt, provides a memorable impression even beyond its Oborn-style hook. Goya on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

Attalla, Attalla

Attalla Attalla

Somewhere between classic doom and more aggressive, hardcore punk-derived noise, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, four-piece Attalla are the kind of band who could probably release nothing but 7″ singles for the next five years and still make a go of it. As it stands, their self-titled debut offers a stirring rawness in the dual guitars that reminds there’s more ways to make an impact tonally than just with volume or fuzz. Their roots are in punk, and that’s plain enough to hear in lead guitarist Cody Stieg‘s vocals on songs like “Light” and “Lust,” but “Haze” nestles into a stoner groove late that suits Attalla well, and the later “Veil” offers charged propulsion in the drums of Aaron Kunde, whose snare sound is tinny but fitting with the sans-frills stylings of Stieg, rhythm guitarist Brian Hinckley and bassist Bryan Kunde. Some variation in tempo throughout changes things up, but a particularly triumphant moment comes with the raw Slayer-esque foreboding (think slow Slayer) that begins “Doom,” a fitting closer to Attalla‘s Attalla with its subtly complex stylistic blend and relatively barebones presentation. I’m not sure where Attalla go from here in terms of developing their sound, but the debut offers reason enough to want to find out. Attalla on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

TarLung, TarLung

TarLung TarLung

If you played me TarLung‘s TarLung debut full-length and told me the trio were from North Carolina, I’d undoubtedly believe you. In fact, they hail from Vienna, Austria, but just so happen to have the Southern sludge ideology nailed down on their first offering. Roots in Crowbar and Eyehategod and Sourvein can be heard throughout, big nod, harsh vocals, weighted plod. The guitars of Rotten and Phillipp “Five“ Seiler (the latter also vocals) brings in some of that Pepper Keenan-style Southern riffing, on “Last Breath” particularly, but the bulk of what they and drummer Marian Waibl get up to on these seven tracks is rawer and nastier, the album’s last three cuts — “Apeplanet,” “Black Forest” and “Space Caravan” — providing the best glimpse at TarLung‘s effective aesthetic interpretation. Tonally and methodologically sound, what remains for them to do is hone a more individualized approach, but particularly for a self-released first album, the crisp harshness they convey on the centerpiece “C2″ — a kind of maddening high pitch running throughout — satisfies when taken on its own level, and among the three-piece’s assets, their lack of pretense will no doubt serve them well moving forward. TarLung on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

Gangrened, We are Nothing

Gangrened We are Nothing

Proffering lurching, aggressive sludge over three tracks arranged longest to shortest, Finnish trio Gangrened conjure sweeping chaos on We are Nothing, blatantly contradicting the title of the release despite whatever riff-laden nihilism might be at work philosophically. Among the most telling moments on the release — which follows a split tape from the four piece of  vocalist Ollijuhani Kujansivu, guitarist/bassist Andreas Österlund, guitarist Jon Imbernon and drummer Owe Inborr, who’ve since traded out their rhythm section — is the opening sample of “Them” in which a man in a Southern US accent rants in paranoid rage about helicopters flying over his property, indicative of some conspiracy or other. In both their influence and their execution, that fits Gangrened‘s overall portrayal well, but both the 12-minute opener “Lung Remover” and closing semi-Black Flag cover “Kontti” (translated “24 Pack” and a feedback-soaked, sludged-up play on “Six Pack”) are pissed off enough to warrant the attention they seem to be demanding in their noisy charge, snail-paced and malevolent as it is. Gangrened on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

As always, this is just a fraction of what was added to The Obelisk Radio today. If you get the chance to check any of this stuff out, I hope you dig it, and if you decide to launch the player, I hope whatever’s playing is awesome.

Thanks for reading and listening.

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Goya & Wounded Giant, Split: No Place in the Sky

Posted in Reviews on December 10th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

goya wounded giant split

Phoenix duo Goya and Seattle’s Wounded Giant make fitting partners. Their new split 12″ on STB Records finds them distinct enough to be immediately distinguished one from the other, but still with enough in common in their proliferation of plus-sized riffery not to be mismatched. In the case of Goya, the split follows their late-2013 full-length debut, 777, and the preceding 2012 demo (review here), and the (now) duo of guitarist/bassist/vocalist Jeff Owens and drummer Nick Lose have already seen fit to issue a follow-up EP, released Dec. 9, called Satan’s Fire. Their inclusion is the 14-minute plodder “No Place in the Sky,” where Wounded Giant deliver two tracks, “The Room of the Torch” and “Dystheist,” totaling a minute less. The Seattle three-piece of bassist Dylan A. Rogers, guitarist/vocalist Bobby James and drummer Alex Bytnar put out their debut full-length, Lightning Medicine, last year and supported it with an appearance at this year’s Hoverfest in Portland, Oregon. All told, the split is a 27-minute showcase for two up-and-coming acts who by all accounts have their sounds together and who’ve been met with no shortage of “whoa no shit heavy riffs bro!”-type hyperbole. Fair enough.

STB‘s endorsement is noteworthy in itself. The label has rightfully earned a reputation over the last two years for both its ear and the quality of its vinyl product. I don’t think they’ve put anything out that hasn’t been gone shortly thereafter, and releases from Ancient WarlocksGeezerCurse the Son and Druglord have put them on the map as a considerable presence in American underground heavy proffering a new wave of stoner rock in which it seems only right to count Goya and Wounded Giant as participants. The former are granted side A of the split, and they use their time wisely, “No Place in the Sky” building from a fade-in of feedback fuzz to a languid march that takes hold in full tone at 1:40. Their album and new EP are less so, but Goya‘s demo was almost singly indebted sonically to Electric Wizard, bringing a rawer feel to the Witchcult Today style, and “No Place in the Sky” works in a similar vein, its rhythmic swing and Owens‘ buried-under-a-wall-of-distortion echoing vocals both seem to be culled from Jus Oborn‘s book of spells. They’re hardly the only band out there at this point working under that influence, and they bring more to the presentation than many on “No Place in the Sky,” which lumbers through verse and chorus hooks en route to a bridge of Iommic layered soloing that very subtly hints at the level of construction at work in their sound. Their songwriting, likewise, finds a sense of accomplishment in returning after that jam to the verse and chorus — the lines “It doesn’t really matter/Nothing fucking matters” standing out — before jamming its way into oblivion and a finish of over a minute solid of sustained amp hum and feedback. Take that, ears.

goya wounded giant (Photo by Zack Bishop)

Classic metal is the first vibe Wounded Giant give off on “The Room of the Torch” (7:07), James‘ guitar riffing out a declaration reminiscent of Iron Maiden, but that’s really only part of the story. Half-time drums give the beginnings of Wounded Giant‘s first inclusion a nod of its own with a punchy bassline and an emergent, airy lead that adds to the languid feel. A slowdown before two minutes in marks the transition into a doomier verse — not quite as Wizardly as Goya, but that’s still a factor — with shouts echoing over downer riffs that pick up to a more upbeat thrust of a chorus. The back and forth plays out until shortly before five minutes in, Bytnar‘s kick, double-kick only seconds before, provides the shift to the faster progression serving as the apex of the track. Like Goya, they rein it back in to finish out, albeit more subtly with just a slowdown instrumental reference to the verse riff that gives way to fading feedback and start of “Dystheist” (6:08), which sounds like a crowd shout but is gone soon enough into neo-burly chugging and more restrained vocals, compressed and following the riff. A more open chorus arrives underscored by more double-kick and a metallic feel met head-on with heavy rock tonality, the flourish of the preceding cut stripped away in favor of a more forward attack, which Wounded Giant handle well. A rawer shout, almost a scream, finishes the chorus and that will be the endpoint of “Dystheist” as well on the second cycle through — the structure no less frill-less than the sound, capping the split in strong, commanding form.

As the goal of the release, already noted, is to highlight what Goya and Wounded Giant have going sonically and to keep their momentum in motion, I see no way in which the split doesn’t meet that target. Both Goya‘s track and Wounded Giant‘s tracks deliver heavy-hitting, solid genre-minded executions and, paired up, they offer each band’s quickly-massing audience to encounter the other, which, you know, is the whole idea. The temptation with splits is always to pit one act against the other, to determine a “winner” like they’re in competition. Fine. That’s a lot of fun, but truth be told, nobody here loses, and it doesn’t seem like Goya or Wounded Giant have any interest in duking it out so much as allying themselves to further their individual causes. Score one for riff diplomacy.

Goya & Wounded Giant, Split (2015)

Goya on Thee Facebooks

Goya on Bandcamp

Wounded Giant on Thee Facebooks

Wounded Giant on Bandcamp

STB Records on Bandcamp

STB Records store

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