Green Yeti Sign to Cursed Tongue Records for Desert Show Vinyl

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 2nd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

As they get ready to head out on their first round of tour dates tomorrow, Athens-based heavy trio Green Yeti have secured a vinyl release for their new album, Desert Show. It’s their sophomore outing behind last year’s The Yeti has Landed, and the fact that it was recorded in February, was posted digitally on April 21, and has already been picked up for an LP pressing even before the band has gotten out to do shows to support it should tell you something about the vote of confidence behind these Greek riffbearers. Cursed Tongue Records (Devil’s Witches, Neon Warship) is expected to have preorders up shortly ahead of a summer release.

Madness ensues via the PR wire:

green yeti

GREEN YETI SIGNS TO CURSED TONGUE RECORDS

We are extremely happy and proud to let you all know that Greece, Athens premiere stoner psych doom desert rock band Green Yeti has joined ranks on the CTR roster for a release of their phenomenal second album ‘Desert Show’ on limited high quality vinyl this summer.

People familiar with the genres should already be more than acquainted with this green, Greek super nugget of a stoner monster and know what to expect from the Green Yeti band, namely deep fat bass lines, slow pounding cave-man drumming seasoned with intelligent spaced out guitar playing and memorable riffs and hooks.

We are already deep in the process with getting the album ready for vinyl production and soon we will reveal time and details for pre-orders. But for now we can assure you that this album will get the full red carpet treatment; 180 grams vinyl, multiple editions, posters, patches, stickers and all the usual stuff that hallmarks our vinyl releases.

Stay tuned for further info very soon as this vinyl release will be here before you know it.

Please welcome Green Yeti to the CTR-family and now let us have a good time! Kick back, grab a green (leaf or bottle), indulge in the Yeti’s second march and enjoy the desert show:

Green Yeti tour dates:
03/5 – Volos (GR) – @Manitou
04/5 – Thessaloniki (GR) – @Ypogeio
05/5 – Sofia (BG) – @Live n Loud
06/5 – Svishtov (BG) – @Club Disorder
07/5 – Bucharest (RO) – @Soundart Fest
19/5 – Athens (GR) – @Sonic Ritual Fest

Green Yeti is:
Bass: Danis Avramidis
Guitar & Vocals: Michael Andresakis
Drums: Giannis Koutroubis

https://www.facebook.com/greenyetiband/
https://twitter.com/GreenYetiBand
https://greenyeti.bandcamp.com/album/desert-show
https://www.facebook.com/CursedTongueRecords/
http://cursedtonguerecords.bigcartel.com/

Green Yeti, Desert Show (2017)

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Half Gramme of Soma to Release Groove is Black in May; Opening Track Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 11th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

half-gramme-of-soma

I promise you I’m not just posting this track because of its title. But the title certainly doesn’t hurt. Athenian heavy rockers Half Gramme of Soma will release their second album, Groove is Black, in May through Fuzz Ink Records, and ahead of making it available for preorder — presumably that’s coming soon, since “May” is going to hit any minute now — they’re streaming the opening cut… “Gloomy Eggplant.”

Yes, friends. “Gloomy Eggplant.”

If you’re the type to keep a list of the best song titles of the year, and if “Gloomy Eggplant” doesn’t make that list — shame on you.

But again, I’m not just posting the track — which you can hear at the bottom of this post courtesy of Half Gramme of Soma‘s Bandcamp — because of the title. It’s a righteous heavy build over the course of six minutes and the bodes well for the rest of the album to come. I haven’t heard the full release yet, but heavy grooves abound here and that’s never a bad place to start.

From the PR wire:

half-gramme-of-soma-groove-is-black

Half Gramme Of Soma – Groove Is Black ‘New Album’

Fuzz Ink Records proudly presents Half Gramme Of Soma’s – Groove Is Black second album release.

After the second sun abruptly forced its mass in, the now binary star thrust into a violent spiral orbit towards its imminent destruction. Captive to constant daylight and under the heat of 349PW, the gigantic entities were left stranded on the deserted planet that, due to gravitational distortions, awkwardly resembled familiar vegetables. Moments before reaching their kindling point, they swallowed their last drop; their bodies burst into flames and their psyche into the black.

Half Gramme of Soma is a 5-piece Rock band formed in early 2011, based in Athens, Greece. Blending heavy rock sounds with a wide range of influences, HGoS were introduced to the Greek music scenery by their strong live appearances. In early 2013 they put out their s/t debut album which was followed by the “Marche au Noir” Ep in late 2014. Since the start of 2015 Half Gramme of Soma consist of new members from the wider Smoking Community, housed in the 13th floor of an infamous Piraeus’ appartment block. In May 2017, the second full-length studio album, and first with the current lineup, Groove is Black?, is going to land on earth and rock our rocky home with some otherworldly vibes.

Release date May 2017 on cd and vinyl via fuzz ink records!!! pre-orders soon!

01. Gloomy Eggplant
02. Mega Rollo Booster
03. Red Kiss
04. Groove is Black
05. Jerk
06. Doofie
07. No Man’s God
08. Drowned

Half Gramme of Soma are (from left to right):
Motor – Vox
Choco – Guitars
Mak – Bass
Psilos – Guitars
ToPill – Drums

https://halfgrammeofsoma.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/hgosband/
https://www.facebook.com/telaradiko/
http://shop.fuzzink.com/

Half Gramme of Soma, “Gloomy Eggplant”

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Green Yeti Announce May Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 23rd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

green yeti

We all know it’s a special moment in the life of a band when they hit the road for the first time. Often it’s not more than a tentative weekender, maybe hitting a couple different towns over subsequent nights before going back to work on Monday, the 48-hour rock star in a packed van. Inside jokes, lousy food, plenty of volume — those are good times. Cheers to Athens trio Green Yeti on getting out for a few nights and making it happen. They’re hooked up with Total Volume Agency supporting their 2016 debut, The Yeti has Landed — streaming below — so I get the feeling that the five-night run they’ve got booked for early May won’t be their last, but only one tour can be your first tour, and I hope theirs is awesome.

Dates and the David Paul Seymour poster came in from the PR wire:

green yeti tour

Green Yeti – Mini Tour 2017

Brace yourselves! The Yeti is about to leave its cave and make a short trip to explore new, unforeseen lands!

Hailing from the feral wilderness of the Athenian underground, Green Yeti descended to the world of man three years ago, in order to spew out their savage psychedelic riffage. Featuring members of Brotherhood of Sleep, Reversed Nature, Stonenrow and Spacement, they have shared the stage with the likes of Stoned Jesus, Egypt, Dopelord and The Re-Stoned. Yeti’s full-length debut: “The Yeti Has Landed” launched last year; making its way fast to many 2016 best-of lists!

The heavy psych three-piece, is about to embark on its first Eastern European outing this May, on a mini tour organized by Total Volume, home of bands like Nightstalker, Egypt, Valley of the Sun and more. If monster riffs, bleak atmospheres, spaced out vocals and foggy psychedelia is your thing; then you’ve hit bullseye!

Come and celebrate with us, our 2017 Spring Tour!

Original artwork by David Paul Seymour.

Dates:
03/5 – Volos (GR) – @Manitou
04/5 – Thessaloniki (GR) – @Ypogeio
05/5 – Sofia (BG) – @Live n Loud
06/5 – Svishtov (BG) – @Club Disorder
07/5 – Bucharest (RO) – @Soundart Fest
19/5 – Athens (GR) – @Sonic Ritual Fest

Green Yeti is:
Bass: Danis Avramidis
Guitar & Vocals: Michael Andresakis
Drums: Giannis Koutroubis

https://www.facebook.com/greenyetiband/
https://twitter.com/GreenYetiBand
https://greenyeti.bandcamp.com/
https://www.totalvolumeagency.com
https://www.facebook.com/totalvolumebackline

Green Yeti, The Yeti Has Landed (2016)

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Nightstalker European Tour Dates Announced

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 17th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

nightstalker

It was half a decade between releases before Greek heavy rockers Nightstalker unveiled their seventh album, As Above, So Below (review here), late last year. They’re wasting precious little time in getting out to support it. This Spring, the Athens-based outfit will head out for slots at Riffolution, Hell Over Esslingen and Soundart festivals over the course of March, April and May, and around those appearances, they’ll spend a good amount of their days touring. I don’t know when the last time the veteran four-piece hit the road was, but they’re covering a good amount of ground across Europe this time, and it seems likely more dates will follow for later in 2017.

Shows are presented by Total Volume Agency, who sent the following along the PR wire:

nightstalker euro tour

Nightstalker – European Tour 2017

It’s the original superfreaks Nightstalker – louder than ever!

There’s not much to say about Nightstalker. The three decades on heavy rock duty, the countless hours on stage, as well as the worldwide praise and respect speak for themselves. With last-year’s nifty “As Above, So Below” in their luggage, the legendary Greek four-piece will bring its smoked up ter-RIFF-ic grooves to no less that 12 countries across Europe, in a massive tour organised by Total Volume.

Check the dates, find a town near you, grab a beer and come say high!

Dates:
25/3 – Manchester (UK) @ Riffolution Festival
01/4 – Sofia (BG) @ Live N Loud
02/4 – Bucharest (RO) @ Quantic
05/4 – Cluj (RO) @ The Shelter
06/4 – Timisoara (RO) @ Daos Club
07/4 – Novi Sad (RS) @ The Quarter
08/4 – Graz (AT) @ Club Wakuum
10/4 – Vienna (AT) @ Das Bach
12/4 – Regensburg (DE) @ Alte Mazerei
13/4 – Berlin (DE) @ Wild At Heart
15/4 – Copenhagen (DK) @ Beta2300
19/4 – Cologne (DE) @ Limes
20/4 – Arnhem (NL) @ Willemeen
21/4 – Oldenburg (DE) @ Cadillac
22/4 – Munster (DE) @ Rare Guitar
25/4 – Paris (FR) @ Le Batofar
26/4 – Lucerne (CH) @ Bruch Brothers
28/4 – Linz (AT) @ Ann And Pat
29/4 – Frankfurt (DE) @ Yachtklub
30/4 – Esslingen (DE) @ Hell Over Esslingen Festival
01/5 – Erba (IT) @ Centrale Rock
03/5 – Zagreb (HR) @ Vintage Industrial Bar
06/5 – Bucharest (RO) @ Soundart Festival

Nightstalker is:
Argy (Vocals)
Andreas Lagios (Bass)
Tolis Motsios (Guitars)
Dinos Roulos (Drums)

https://www.facebook.com/nightstalkerband/
https://nightstalker.bandcamp.com/
http://www.nightstalkerband.com/
http://shop.bilocationrecords.com/index.php?k=1072&lang=eng
https://www.facebook.com/oakislandrecords/
https://www.facebook.com/totalvolumebackline/

Nightstalker, As Above, so Below (2016)

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Quarterly Review: Bus, Them Bulls, Stinkeye, Buzzard Canyon, Motherbrain, Elder Druid, The Crazy Left Experience, The Watchers, Of the Horizon, Raj

Posted in Reviews on December 28th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk winter quarterly review

Today is the day the Quarterly Review passes the halfway point. This will be 21-30 of the total 60 for the six days, so there’s still a ways to go — you might say 50 percent — but it’s a milestone nonetheless. Once again it’s another roundup of cool stuff, kind of all over the place a little more than the last two days were, but as we go further along with these things, it’s good to mix it up after a while. There’s only so many times you can throw the word “lysergic” around and talk about jamming. That said, you’re getting some of that today as well from Portugal, so when it pops up, don’t be surprised. Much to do, so no need to delay.

Quarterly Review #21-30:

Bus, The Unknown Secretary

bus-the-unknown-secretary

Athenian double-guitar four-piece Bus execute a stylistically cohesive, crisp debut with The Unknown Secretary (on Twin Earth Records), presenting classic heavy rock elements without going full-retro in their sound itself and marking songs like “Masteroid” as immediately distinct through the harmonized vocals of guitarist Bill City, joined in the band by guitarist Johnnie Chez, bassist Chob D’oh and drummer Aris. Together they run through a clean two sides that play back and forth between proto-metallic and doom shading – “Don’t Fear Your Demon” touches on slower Pentagram – while sounding perhaps most comfortable in rockers like “Withered Thorn” or the earlier stomper “New Black Volume,” which puts its two guitars to excellent use ahead of and between unabashedly poppy (not sure a full Ghost comparison is warranted) verse, and craft a highlight in the 7:38 arena-ready thrust of “Rockerbus” prior to the surprisingly nodding finale of “Jimi.” A strikingly efficient and clear-headed first full-length that would seem to hold much promise of things to come from yet another player in Greece’s emergent heavy scene.

Bus on Thee Facebooks

Twin Earth Records on Bandcamp

 

Them Bulls, Them Bulls

them-bulls-them-bulls.jpg

With the start-stop riff of opener “As Fangs in Stone,” a mastering job by Mathias Schneeberger and the breadth of pop melodicism in cuts that one, the swinging “Made of Ghosts,” and the more percussive “Through the Sun,” Italian four-piece Them Bulls make a pretty strong beeline for early-Queens of the Stone Age-style heavy desert rock. Their self-titled Small Stone debut isn’t without individualized flourish, but the 10-track/41-minute offering makes it clear from the start what its intentions are and then sets about living up to them, whether on the careening Songs for the Deaf-ery of “Pot Gun” or the penultimate “We Must Live Up” itself. Vocal interplay from guitarists Daniele Pollio and Franscesco Pasi – joined by the rhythm section of bassist Paolo Baldini and drummer Giampaolo Farnedi – provides an opportunity for future growth, but it’s worth noting that for a band to take on such a specific stylization, their songwriting needs to be in check, and Them Bulls’ is.

Them Bulls on Thee Facebooks

Them Bulls at Small Stone Records

 

Stinkeye, Llantera Demos

stinkeye-llantera-demos

What seems to be Stinkeye’s debut recording, Llantera Demos, arrives as a free download of four tracks and 16 minutes rife with thickened boogie and dense mecha-stoner fuzz, reminding of Dead Meadow immediately in the echoing vocals and rhythmic bounce of “Orange Man” but moving into some shuffle on the subsequent “Fink Ployd” and “Llantera,” the latter a well-earned showcase of bass tone. While out on the coast, ‘70s vibes reign supreme, the Phoenix, Arizona, trio are on a different tip, looser in their swing and apparently more prone to drift. For what it’s worth, they call it “hash rock,” and fair enough as “Pink Clam,” which closes Llantera Demos, rides more of a grunge-laden nod to an immersive but still relatively quick five-minute finish, building after three minutes in to a satisfying final instrumental push. Loaded with potential in tone, execution, vibe and dynamic between the three-piece, Llantera Demos immediately marks Stinkeye out as a band to watch and is just begging for the right person to come along and press it to tape.

Stinkeye on Thee Facebooks

Stinkeye on Bandcamp

 

Buzzard Canyon, Hellfire and Whiskey

buzzard-canyon-hellfire-and-whiskey.jpg

Want to grab attention with your debut long-player? Calling a song “Louder than God” might be a good way to go. That track, at seven minutes, is the longest on Connecticut five-piece Buzzard Canyon’s Hellfire and Whiskey (on Salt of the Earth), and following a quiet initial stretch, it launches into Down-style Southern chug, the dual vocals of Amber Leigh and guitarist Aaron Lewis (the latter also of When the Deadbolt Breaks) veering into and out of more metallic impulses to build on the initial momentum established on the earlier “Highway Run” and “SomaBitch.” The two-minute “For the End” basks in some nightmarish vision of rockabilly, while “Red Beards Massacre” and “Wyoming” dig into more straightforward stylistic patterning, but if Buzzard Canyon want to get a little weird either here or going forward, that’s clearly not about to hurt them. Closer “Not My Cross” hints at some darker visions to come in how it moves into and out of a droning interlude, adding yet more intrigue to their deceptively multifaceted foundation.

Buzzard Canyon on Thee Facebooks

Salt of the Earth Records website

 

Motherbrain, Voodoo Nasty

motherbrain voodoo nasty

Though “Atomic Rodeo” dips into some Queens of the Stone Age-style groove, Motherbrain’s third album, Voodoo Nasty (on Setalight Records), comes across as more defined by its nasty than its voodoo as the Berlin four-piece demonstrate a penchant for incorporating harsher sludge tendencies, especially in vocal shouts peppered in amid the otherwise not-unfriendly proceedings. That gives the nine-song/48-minute offering a meaner edge but does little ultimately to take away from the groove on offer in the opening title-track or “Ghoul of Kolkata,” and though it retains its raw spirit, Voodoo Nasty digs into some more complex fare later in longer cuts like “Baptism of Fire” and “Half Past Human,” having found a place in centerpiece “Dismantling God” where blown-out noise aggression and semi-psychedelic swirl can coexist, if not peacefully then at least for a while until Motherbrain decide it’s time to give Kyuss-style desert rock another kick in its ass, as on “Sons of Kong,” which, yes, does proclaim a lineage.

Motherbrain on Thee Facebooks

Setalight Records website

 

Elder Druid, Magicka

elder druid magicka

Sludge-rolling five-piece Elder Druid riff forth with their debut studio offering, the five-song/33-minute Magicka EP, which one might be tempted to tag as a demo were it not for a few prior live-tracked short releases that appear to have served that purpose, the latest of which, The Attic Sessions (discussed here), came out in Jan. 2016. The experience of putting that together as well as their prior singles clearly benefited the Northern Irish outfit on Magicka, and while they retain a shouty spirit on opener “Rogue Mystic,” middle cut “The Warlock” offers nod that reminds of The Kings of Frog Island’s “Welcome to the Void,” and that’s about all I ever need. Ever. Served up with bloated tones and geared toward establishing a blend of gruff vocals and consuming fuzz, Elder Druid’s first studio recording has a solid footing in what it wants to accomplish sound-wise and plainly showcases that, and while they have some growing to do and patience to learn in their songcraft, nothing I hear on Magicka argues against their getting there in time.

Elder Druid on Thee Facebooks

Elder Druid on Bandcamp

 

The Crazy Left Experience, Bill’s 108th Space Odyssey

the-crazy-left-experience-bills-108th-space-odyssey

The Crazy Left Experience – the moniker seeming to refer to the side of the brain at work in their processes – present Bill’s 108th Space Odyssey almost as an album within an album. The framework from the at-least-party-improvised Portuguese cosmic jammers on the seven-track/56-minute outing centers around William Millarc, who in 1955 was documented while taking part in LSD experiments. Samples of Millarc are peppered into opener “Subject Bill,” the later “Funky Meteor Drop” and the closing duo “Bill Sided Flashback” and “God of the Outer Rings,” but between the opener and the latter trio of cuts comes “Unarius,” a three-part excursion listed as “Part V” through “Part VII” that presumably is the representation of when our friend Bill has left his body behind. So be it. One can hardly call that departure incongruous either sonically or in terms of The Crazy Left Experience’s chosen theme – though there are some unrelated samples spliced into “Unarius – Part VII (Space Brothers)” that are somewhat jarring – and the entire flow of the record is so hypnotic that the band can basically go wherever they want, which of course they do.

The Crazy Left Experience on Thee Facebooks

The Crazy Left Experience on Bandcamp

 

The Watchers, Sabbath Highway

the watchers sabbath highway

Were it not for the context of knowing that vocalist Tim Narducci and bassist Cornbread hail from SpiralArms and White Witch Canyon, drummer Carter Kennedy from Orchid and guitarist Jeremy Von Eppic from Black Gates, the Sabbath Highway debut EP (on Ripple Music) from California’s The Watchers would be almost impossibly coherent for a first outing. Classic in form but modern in its presentation, the five-tracker – four plus the church-organ interlude “Requiem” between the opening title-cut (video here) and “Call the Priest” – makes the most of Narducci’s ‘70s-style vocal push, reminding of one-time Ripple troupe Stone Axe in his oldschool feel, but as “Today” (premiered here) makes plain, The Watchers are much more focused on learning from the past than repeating it. The straightforward songwriting and all-we’re-here-to-do-is-kick-ass sentiment behind Sabbath Highway might well prove formative compared to what The Watchers do next – presumably that’s a full-length, but one never knows; they sound ready to get down to business  – but it makes its ambitions plain in its hooks and swiftly delivers on its promises.

The Watchers on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music website

 

Of the Horizon, Of the Horizon

of the horizon self-titled

I can’t speak to the present status of California’s Of the Horizon, since last I heard bassist Kayt Vigil was in Italy working with Sonic Wolves, but their self-titled five-track debut full-length arrives via Kozmik Artifactz no less switched on for the half-decade that has passed since it was recorded. Guitarist Mike Hanne howls out throaty incantations to suit the post-Sleep riffing of opener “3 Feet” and drummer Shig pushes the roll of “Caravan” forward into its final crashing slowdown effectively as Vigil ensures the subsequent centerpiece “Unknown” is duly thick beneath its spacious, jammy strum. The two longest slabs hit at the end in “Gladhander” (8:55) and the righteously lumbering “Hall of the Drunken King” (10:31) and feel somewhat like an album unto themselves, but when/if Of the Horizon make a return, they’ve established a working modus on this first full-length that should well satisfy the nod-converted and that demonstrates the timelessness of well-executed tonal onslaught.

Of the Horizon on Thee Facebooks

Of the Horizon at Kozmik Artifactz

 

Raj, Raj

raj self titled

Though it’s fair enough in terms of runtime, it almost seems like Milano sludge-rollers Raj (also written stylized in all-caps: RAJ) do the six tracks of their 20-minute self-titled debut EP a disservice by cramming them onto a single LP side. Not that one gets lost or the band fails to make an impression – far from it – but just that sounds so geared toward largesse and spaciousness beg for more room to flesh out. That, perhaps, is the interesting duality in Raj’s Raj, since even the massive plod of closer “Iron Matrix” lumbers through its course in a relatively short 4:45, never mind the speedier “Magic Wand” (2:47) or drone interlude “Black Mumbai” (1:51) – gone in a flash. The release moves through these, the earlier “Omegagame” and “Eurasia” and the penultimate “Kaluza” with marked fluidity and efficiency, giving Raj a mini-album feel, and with the atmosphere in “Black Mumbai” and in the surrounding material, their rumble sets up a dynamic that seems primed for further exploration.

Raj on Thee Facebooks

Raj on Bandcamp

 

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Kooba Tercu Post “Batman” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on December 7th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

kooba-tercu-700

Sometimes life is weird. Like the parts of it when you listen to the noise-jazz psychedelic wash of Athenian outfit Kooba Tercu. Those are definitely some strange times. The band, who may or may not represent themselves in the entirety of a single character — referenced below as the disaffected Johnny Tercu — released their self-titled debut album last year in a vinyl edition of 250 LPs, and operated immediately in a wide swath of sonic influences, from jagged indie to worldly percussive tendencies and well beyond into a number of approaches to psychedelia. I’m not sure all of it was completely under control, but neither am I sure it was supposed to be.

What Kooba Tercu made most plain in their debut — a track from which was featured in a podcast here — was that there’s very little that’s off the table, rhythmically, melodically or otherwise in their arrangements. Yet to listen to the skronk bounce of opener “Ukunta” or the later punker blast of “Spit Bucket,” the album doesn’t sound overbaked or overthought. Part of that might stem from the band recording (mostly) live, but as one watches the vague imagery take cohesive form much like the song itself in their new video for “Batman,” I think it makes an eerie kind of sense within the context they establish. And by that I basically mean it makes no sense but the problem is expecting that it would. Free your mind. Then hit play.

Then, if you’re so inclined, you can hit up Kooba Tercu‘s Bandcamp (linked below), where the album is currently a name-your-price download. Don’t expect “Batman,” which is mostly instrumental, to speak for the entirety of the record, because it won’t, but it does encapsulate some of the anti-genre mentality, and the blown-out fuzz that comes to dominate later in the track is worth the price of admission on its own. What, if anything, it has to do with the DC Comics character, I haven’t a clue, but if you’ve heard them before or if you haven’t, I hope you dig it.

Have at you:

Kooba Tercu, “Batman” official video

Johnny Tercu and his crew spend time in a moist, rat & cockroach infested basement playing something loud and heavy. He ventures pointlessly into nothingness with the same sense of no future as most people in Athens these days.

After endless hours of jamming, Kooba Tercu has distilled the ideas developed over a couple of years in ten songs resulting in something that sounds incredibly familiar but maybe not quite like anything you’ve heard before.

Recorded live. And then overdubs.

Kooba Tercu on Thee Facebooks

Kooba Tercu on Bandcamp

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Chickn Self-Titled Debut Due Oct. 10; New Song Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 5th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

chickn

Well, certain among those running for president in the US may not have heard of Aleppo, but Athens-based heavy prog rockers Chickn definitely have. The three-piece will issue their self-titled debut next week on Inner Ear Records, and as a precursor, they’ve got the seven-minute “Aleppo/Jam” streaming now, showcasing a lush sense of arrangement and clearly being fleshed out over the period of months last year during which it was recorded. Though plenty rich, given the list below of instruments contributed directly by the trio and the myriad guests with which they apparently worked, I somehow doubt that “Aleppo/Jam” tells the whole story of Chickn‘s Chickn, but if you’re just getting your feet wet with the band — as I am — it’s an intriguing place to start.

From the PR wire:

chickn-chickn

Athens psych-trio Chickn shares the first track from their upcoming debut album

Chickn’s self-titled debut album is finally out! This is a radio zapping on a 68-minute car drive. This is a field unfolding in front of your very eyes and at the same time a call of wandering. This is an attempt of some people to invent themselves through playing. This is Jetztzeit rock. A sound conceived as jump in the free sky of history.

The album was composed by the Athens-based trio in Athens and Valencia from fragments of many years during the period 2014-2015. It was recorded from July to October 2015 in Sonic Playground Studio and in Iraklis Vlachakis’ home in Athens. The album was produced by Chickn and Nikos Triantafyllou and it was mastered by Alan Douches in West West Side Studios in New York.

Chickn are:
Angelos Krallis (vocals, electric, resonator & acoustic guitars, electric sitar, lute, synthesizers, tsambouna, udu, drum machine, steel drum)
Evangelos Aslanides (drums, percussion, djembe, darbuka, bendir)
Pantelis Karasevdas (drums, percussion, congas, djembe)

Personnel appearing on this album:
Sir Kosmiche (bass), Konstantinos Protopappas (electric guitar), Haris Neilas (darbuka, congas, cowbell), Andreas Kiltsiksis (oud, amanes), Prins Obi (additional synths, additional vocals), King Elephant (saxophone), Nikos Triantafyllou & Iraklis Vlachakis (engineering)

Chickn
Chickn
[Inner Ear Records]
Format: Vinyl, Digital
Release Date: October 10
Pre-order: Inner Ear / Bandcamp

Tracklist:
1. Chickn Tribe
2. Omens
3. Aleppo – Jam
4. Modular Prayer
5. Taqsim – Rhy – Tavk Hava
6. Forget – Small Things
7. Articulation
8. Modular Prayer (Reprise)
9. Prelude On Mary
10. Shifting Time Blues – Akhedia

https://www.facebook.com/chickntribe/
http://chicknism.tumblr.com/
https://innerear-chickn.bandcamp.com/album/chickn
http://inner-ear.gr/artists/chickn/

Chickn, “Aleppo/Jam”

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Nightstalker Premiere “Space Matter” from As Above so Below

Posted in audiObelisk on September 29th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

nightstalker

Long-running Greek heavy rockers Nightstalker will release their seventh album, As Above so Below, next month on Oak Island Records. Now at the 25-year mark since their 1991 demo and with origins that reach further back than that, the Athens-based outfit led by vocalist Argy and bassist Andreas Lagios also return to European shores in terms of their label; their last offering was 2012’s Dead Rock Commandos (streamed here) on Small Stone, and before that was 2009’s Superfreak (review here) on Meteorcity. As Above so Below finds the four-piece digging into unpretentious heavy rock vibes, their nine tracks/42 minutes straightforward to a point one would almost be tempted to call unassuming were it not for the quality of their craft and hooks, which is apparent from opener “Naked Fire” onward in the focus on catchy choruses, grade-A riffing and placing Argy‘s vocals forward in the mix ahead of Tolis Motsios‘ guitar, Lagios‘ bass and Dinos Roulos‘ drums.

Establishing an early shuffle in the leadoff, As Above so Below builds outward as it continues on from those organ-inclusive classic heavy rock vibes in a variety of moods across songs like second cut “Space Matter,” which seems to be in direct conversation with the underlying rumble of early Kyuss but ultimately becomes something more psychedelically daring in the guitar, and “Zombie Hour,” with a darker atmosphere, some howling from Argy in the chorus and harder-hitting finish. By then the course is set. Nightstalker make no attempts to hide where their heart lies stylistically or to coat their impulses in irony — this is heavy rock for heavy rockers, and the rest be damned.

“The Dog that No-One Wanted” is a standout for its background vocals and repetitions of the hook, “My girl’s so/My girl’s so beautiful/My girl’s so beautiful to me,” which in the nightstalker-as-above-so-belowcontext of the song makes me think it’s actually about the titular dog, so points there for charm, and while centerpiece “Deeper” is shorter, it also ranges a little further melodically, earning its place. Because Nightstalker are so solidified in their processes, because their songwriting is so apparent, their work can be deceptive and come across as flat on the first listen, but it’s not. It’s just professional. “Deeper” is a good example, with its interweaving lead and rhythm guitar layers, Argy‘s vocals in a call and response echo, and a push toward the finish that surprises with the amount of energy behind it.

One almost turns around and says, “Hey wait a minute, this kicks ass.” That’s been my experience all along with Nightstalker, and it holds firm on As Above so Below, but it’s really just a result of the band knowing what they want to do and then executing that flawlessly. To wit, “Forever Stoned” is pulled off with such a smooth groove and its hook is so well delivered that one might almost miss the nuance in Lagios‘ bass performance, or the little flourish of effects that are added to the vocals. Things like this add appeal to multiple listens, and as the subsequent “We Belong to the Dead” starts off its more brooding first half with just Argy and the Motsios, the full rush kicking in around the halfway mark, the momentum that Nightstalker have built for themselves is all the more palpable as they head into the rolling riff that ends out and leads to closing duo “My Electric Head” and “Blue Turns to Black,” both the only tracks on As Above so Below over six minutes.

But for the fact that Nightstalker have such a clear penchant for structure, I wouldn’t necessarily make much of pairing the two longest cuts on the album at the end, but it seems plain that they’re going for immersion at the finish line with “My Electric Head” and “Blue Turns to Black,” the former working its way into one of the record’s most vital stomps and the latter bookending the organ arrangement of the opener with one of its own for an overall grander feel. For what it’s worth, immersion is what they get. It’s not hypnotic jammy psychedelia by any means, but what Nightstalker bring to their material at the finale of this seventh offering resonates as an expansion of the earlier forms of “Zombie Hour” or “Deeper,” in addition of course to “Naked Fire.” By the time the organ rings out to cap “Blue Turns to Black,” they’ve come a deceptively long way from that boogie-down opener, but more than a quarter-century on from getting together, Nightstalker know exactly just what the hell they’re doing, exactly just how the hell to do it and exactly why. As Above so Below is a direct affirmation of that and its arrival is welcome.

Below, you can stream a track premiere of “Space Matter” from the album and see some brief comment from Argy on what the song is about. Nightstalker will tour Europe in Spring 2017.

Please enjoy:

Nightstalker, “Space Matter”

Argy on “Space Matter”:

“I always thought that everything is made from the same materials. We are stardust and water. We are all living on a closed spherical blue planet, spinning around in deep space!

This album is all about the ups and downs, the ins and outs, the good things and bad things that we experience in our life.”

Nightstalker is:
Argy (Vocals)
Andreas Lagios (Bass)
Tolis Motsios (Guitars)
Dinos Roulos (Drums)

Nightstalker on Thee Facebooks

Nightstalker on Bandcamp

Nightstalker website

Oak Island Records at Kozmik Artifactz

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