Quarterly Review: Kungens Män, PFUND, Crystal Spiders, The Misery Men, Hubris, Woorms, Melody Fields, Oreyeon, Mammoth Grove, Crimson Devils

Posted in Reviews on March 19th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-spring-2019

I used to be pretty artsy and write poetry. Let’s give it a shot:

There was an old man who wore no-toe shoes.
He said, I’mma go do 60 reviews.
He was out of his head,
Should’ve gone back to bed,
But he loves him some dirty psych blues.

Years from now, when I link back to this post for a “(review here)”-type scenario, I’m going to see that and I’ll still think it’s funny. The planet’s dying. I’d say a bit of silly is more than called for.

Quarterly Review #11-20:

Kungens Män, Chef

kungens man chef

Krautrockers, assemble! Or, you know, whatever krautrockers do — I assume it involves homemade spacecraft that, yes, absolutely fly. Perhaps one of these days I’ll ask Stockholm’s Kungens Män, whose latest outing for Riot Season, simply titled Chef, is an outbound delight of psych-infused progressivism. Beginning with the opening throb of “Fyrkantig Böjelse” and moving into the volume swells, steady drum line and wandering guitar that starts “Öppen För Stängda Dörrar” on side A, its four extended tracks craft otherworldly textures through a meld of organic instrumental flow and waves of synth, the second cut building to a tense wash of distortion all the while keeping that hypnotic march. The two corresponding 10-minute-plus cuts on side B waste no time in offering cosmic boogie in “Män Med Medel” with a more active rhythmic flow, and closer “Eftertankens Blanka Krankhet” — longer than the opener by one second at 11:24 — fades in on meditative guitar and explores a serene minimalism that only underscores the all around joy of the album.

Kungens Man on Thee Facebooks

Riot Season Records webstore

 

PFUND, PFUND

pfund pfund

The self-titled, self-released debut full-length from Kiel, Germany’s PFUND arrives and departs with a guesting horn section, and while that inevitably adds a bit of grandeur to the proceedings, the bulk of the outing is dedicated to straightforward, semi-metallic heavy rock, held to ground even in the seven-minute “Spaceman” by a considered sense of structure and an earthy drum sound that draws the songs together, whether it’s the classic riff rock in “Sea of Life” or the moodier sway in the earlier “Lost in Rome.” Dual guitars effectively multiply the impact, and the vocals showcase a nascent sense of melody that one imagines will only continue to grow as the band moves forward. At nine songs and 44 minutes, it shows some breadth and nuance in “Exhaustion” and “Paranoia,” the former tapping into an edge of progressive metal, but the primary impact comes from PFUND‘s heft of groove and how it blends with a rawer edge to their production. The Kyuss-referencing centerpiece here might be called “Imbalance,” but that’s hardly representative of what surrounds, horns and all.

PFUND on Thee Facebooks

PFUND on Bandcamp

 

Crystal Spiders, Demo

crystal spiders demo

Three songs, 11 minutes and three distinct vibes from the aptly-titled Demo demo of North Carolinian three-piece Crystal Spiders. On “Tigerlily,” “Flamethrower” and “Devil’s Resolve,” the trio of bassist/vocalist Brenna Leath (also Lightning Born), guitarist/vocalist Mike Deloatch and drummer/backing vocalist Tradd Yancey careen from bluesy spaciousness to hard-driving catchiness and end up — because why not? — in repeating cult-sludge chants, “Come to the devil’s resolve!” like Black Widow trying to lure people to the sabbat, except shouting. If the purpose of a demo is for a new band to try different methods of working and thereby take a first step in discovering their sound, Crystal Spiders are well on their way, and for what it’s worth, there isn’t anything within their scope as they present it that doesn’t work for them. There are edges to smooth out, of course, but that too is a part of the process starting here.

Crystal Spiders on Thee Facebooks

Crystal Spiders on Bandcamp

 

The Misery Men, Deathspiration

The Misery Men Deathspiration

If you’d asked, depending on which part of Deathspiration was on, I’d probably have called The Misery Men a bass/drum duo, but nope, that’s guitar. Tonally one is reminded of At Devil Dirt from Chile, but the Portland, Oregon, two-piece of vocalist/guitarist Corey G. Lewis and drummer Steve Jones are entirely more barebones in their craft, eschewing digital involvement of any sort in the recording or mixing process and sounding duly raw as a result throughout the subtle earworm of “C.W. Sughrue” and the lumbering “Harness the Darkness.” The subsequent “Night Creeps In” brings a Northwestern noise payoff to quiet/loud trades and the near-10-minute closer “Stoned to Death,” well, it seems to meet an end befitting its title, to say the least. As their stated intent was to capture the most organic version of their sound possible, and made a point of working toward that ideal in their recording, one could hardly fault them for the results of that process. They wanted something human-sounding. They got it.

The Misery Men on Thee Facebooks

The Misery Men on Bandcamp

 

Hubris, EP #II Live

hubris ep ii live

Some — not all — of what one needs to know about HubrisEP #II Live is right there in the title. Indeed, it’s their second EP. Indeed, it was recorded live. And indeed, like using a ‘#’ sign with a Roman numeral, there’s something about the way the three included songs from the Toulouse, France-based outfit sound that’s just a little bit off-kilter from what you might expect. “Zugzwang” (7:19), “Tergo” (19:58) and “Biotilus” (27:04) are arranged shortest to longest, and while the opener starts off like Queens of the Stone Age on an Eastern-tinged psychedelic bender, the lengthy jams that follow — the first of them with a fervent drum punctuation, the second a gradual intertwining of synth and guitar with hardly any percussion at all until after its 22nd minute. The instrumental flow that ensues from there is almost like a hidden bonus track, at least until they Hubris get to minute 26 and the whole thing explodes in crash and plod. The underlying message, of course, is that if you think you’re safe at any point, you’re not.

Hubris on Thee Facebooks

Hubris on Bandcamp

 

Woorms, Slake

woorms slake

Lumbering fuckall pervades the debut full-length, Slake, from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, sludgers Woorms — also stylized all-caps — which incorporates past singles “Find a Meal Find a Bed Find a God” and “Mouth is a Wound” amid the sample/noise barrage of “Our Lady of Perpetually Shitfaced” and the willfully brash “Racist Kevin” that follows. There’s an edge of Melvinsian chug to the proceedings, but Woorms‘ take, though presented in finished compositions, comes across as almost nihilistic rather than making a show of its experimentalism. That is, they’re trying to say they don’t give a fuck, and in listening, they make it kind of easy to believe, but there’s still something about the cohesiveness of “Veni Vidi Fucki” and “Rice Crispy” and the saved-the-best-nod-for-last finale “Sore Afraid” that undercuts the notion even while making the listening experience all the more pummeling, and from the intro “Corpse Corps” through “Urine Trouble Now”‘s echoing shouts and the closer’s unmitigated stomp, there’s still plenty of exploration being done.

WOORMS on Thee Facebooks

WOORMS on Bandcamp

 

Oreyeon, Ode to Oblivion

Oreyeon Ode to Oblivion

Rebranded since their 2016 debut, Builders of Cosmos (discussed here), from their more phonetically intuitive original moniker, Orion, Italy’s Oreyeon issue a cosmically expansive spacescape follow-up in their six-song/40-minute sophomore outing, Ode to Oblivion, also their first release through Heavy Psych Sounds. Echoing vocals pervade “Big Surprise” after the introductory “T.I.O.” and “Trudging to Vacuity” establish the wide-cast mix and anti-grav rhythmic density, and the nine-minute side A finale title-track runs mostly-instrumental circles around most of what I’d usually call “prog” only after it lays down a sleek hook in the first couple minutes. After “Big Surprise,” the 8:45 “The Ones” trades volume back and forth but finds its breadth at about the sixth minute as the dramatic lead turns on a dime to desert rock thrust en route to wherever the hell it goes next. Honestly, after that moment, everything’s gravy, but Oreyeon lay it on thick with closer “Starship Pusher” and never neglect melody in the face of nod. Worth a deeper dig if you get the chance.

Oreyeon on Thee Facebooks

Heavy Psych Sounds website

 

Melody Fields, Melody Fields

melody fields melody fields

Sometimes you hear a record and it’s like the band is doing you a favor by existing. To that, thanks Melody Fields. The Gothenburg psych troupe lace their lysergic flow with folkish harmonies and an open sensibility on their self-titled debut that comes coupled with enough tonal presence to still consider them heavy not that it matters. They break out the sax on “Morning Sun” to welcome effect, and the sun continues to shine through “Liberty” and the garage-buzzing “Run” before “Rain Man” turns water droplets into keyboard notes and Beatlesian — think “Rain” — voice arrangements atop soothing instrumental drift, every bit the centerpiece and an excellent precursor to the acoustic-based “Fire” and the 10-minute “Trädgränsen,” which is the crowning achievement of this self-titled debut, which, if I’d been hip to it in time, would’ve made both the 2018 best albums and best debuts list. They cap with a reprise of “Morning Sun” and underscore the solid foundation beneath the molten beauty of their work throughout. To ask for another album seems greedy, but I will anyway. More, please.

Melody Fields on Thee Facebooks

Sound Effect Records website

 

Mammoth Grove, Slow Burn

mammoth grove slow burn

Okay, look, enough screwing around. It’s time for someone to sign Mammoth Grove. The Calgary natives have been putting out quality heavy psych rock since their 2011 self-titled debut (review here), and their latest long-player, the four-song Slow Burn is a righteous amalgam of peace-thru-rock that lives up to its freewheeling vibes in “Seasons” after the methodical opener “Valleys” and rolls out a bit of melodic ’70s biker rock bliss in “Black Meadow” before the side-B-consuming “Gloria” (18:42) asks early if you’re ready to go and then goes like gone, gone, gone, and gone further. Given the analog mindset involved and the heart on display throughout, there’s something fitting about it being pressed up in an edition of 100 hand-screenprinted LPs and 100 CDs likewise, but the more people who could hear it, the merrier, so yeah, some label or other needs to step up and make that happen, and I dare you to listen to the solo that hits past the 14-minute mark in “Gloria” and tell me otherwise. Dare you.

Mammoth Grove on Thee Facebooks

Mammoth Grove on Bandcamp

 

Crimson Devils, A Taste for Blood

crimson devils a taste for blood

Since pared down to a trio from the four-piece incarnation they present here, Austin’s Crimson Devils first released their debut, A Taste for Blood, in 2017, but gave it a vinyl revisit last year and it’s little mystery why. The record comprises 11 sharply-composed tracks of Small Stone-style heavy rock, taking cues from Sasquatch in modern-via-classic modus, picking and choosing elements of ’70s and ’90s rock to conjure formidable groove and engaging hooks. There’s considerable swagger and weight in “They Get It,” and while opener “Dead and Gone” seems to show an influence in its vocal patterning from Elder, as the album unfolds, it’s more about the blast of “Captain Walker” or the penultimate “Nothing to Claim” and the straight-ahead vibes of “Bad News Blues” and “No Action” than anything so outwardly prog. There’s plenty to dig in the rock-for-rockers mindset, and it’s the kind of offering that should probably come with an octane rating. However such things are measured, safe to say it would not be low.

Crimson Devils on Thee Facebooks

Crimson Devils on Bandcamp

 

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Quarterly Review: Stuck in Motion, AVER, Massa, Alastor, Seid, Moab, Primitive Man & Unearthly Trance, Into Orbit, Super Thief, Absent

Posted in Reviews on March 18th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-spring-2019

Let the games begin! The rules are the same: 10 albums per day, this time for a total of 60 between today and next Monday. It’s the Quarterly Review. Think of it like a breakfast buffet with an unending supply of pancakes except the pancakes are riffs and there’s only one dude cooking them and he’s really tired all the time and complains, complains, complains. Maybe not the best analogy. Still, it’s gonna be a ton of stuff, but there are some very, very cool records included, so please keep your eyes and your mind open for what’s coming, because you might find something here you really dig. If not, there’s always tomorrow. Let’s go.

Quarterly Review #1-10:

Stuck in Motion, Stuck in Motion

stuck in motion self-titled

The classic style cover art of Swedish trio Stuck in Motion‘s self-titled debut tells much of the story. It’s sweet-toned vintage-style soul rock, informed by Graveyard to some degree, but more aligned to retroism. The songs are bluesy and natural and not especially long, but have vibe for weeks, as demonstrated on the six-minute longest-track “Dreams of Flying,” or the flute-laden closer “Eken.” What the picture doesn’t tell you is the heavy use of clavinet in the band’s sound and just how much the vintage electric piano adds to what songs like “Slingrar” with its ultra-fluid shifts in tempo, or the sax-drenched penultimate cut “Orientalisk.” Comprised of guitarist/vocalist Max Kinnbo, drummer Gustaf Björkman and bassist/vocalist/clavinetist Adrian Norén, Stuck in Motion‘s debut successfully basks in a mellow psychedelic blues atmosphere and shows a patience for songwriting that bodes remarkably well. It should not be overlooked because you think you’re tired of vintage-style rock.

Stuck in Motion on Thee Facebooks

Stuck in Motion on Bandcamp

 

AVER, Orbis Majora

aver orbis majora

Following up their 2015 sophomore outing, Nadir (review here), which led to them getting picked up by Ripple Music, Australia’s AVER return with the progressive shove of Orbis Majora, five songs in 50 minutes of thoughtfully composed heavy progadelica, and while it’s not all so serious — closer “Hemp Fandango” well earns its title via a shuffling stonerly groove — opener “Feeding the Sun” and the subsequent “Disorder” set a mood of careful craftsmanship in longform pieces. The album’s peak might be in the 13-minute “Unanswered Prayers,” which culls together an extended linear build that’s equal parts immersive and gorgeous, but the rest of the album hardly lacks for depth or clarity of purpose. An underlying message from the Sydney four-piece would seem to be that they’re going to continue growing, even after more than a decade, because it’s not so much that they’re feeling their way toward their sound, but willfully pushing themselves to refine those parameters.

AVER on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

 

Massa, Walls

massa walls

Flourish of keys adds nuance to Massa‘s moody, heavy post-rock style, the Rotterdam-based trio bringing an atmosphere to their second EP, Walls, across five tracks and 26 minutes marked by periodic samples from cinema and a sense of scope that seems to be born of an experimental impulse but not presented as the experiment itself. That is, they take the “let’s try this!” impulse and make a song out of it, as the chunky rhythm of instrumental centerpiece “Expedition” or the melodies in the prior “#8” show. Before finishing with the crash-into-push of the relatively brief “Intermassa,” the eight-minute “The Federal” complements winding guitar with organ to affect an engaging spirit somewhere between classic and futurist heavy, with the drums holding together proceedings that would seem to convey all the chaos of that temporal paradox. Perhaps it was opener “Shiva” that set this creator/destroyer tone, but either way, Massa bask in it and find a grim sense of identity thereby.

Massa on Thee Facebooks

Massa on Bandcamp

 

Alastor, Slave to the Grave

alastor slave to the grave

The first full-length from Swedish doomplodders Alastor and their debut on RidingEasy Records, late 2018’s Slave to the Grave is the four-piece’s most expansive offering yet in sonic scope as well as runtime. Following the 2017 EPs Blood on Satan’s Claw (review here) and Black Magic (review here), the seven-song/56-minute offering holds true to the murk-toned cultism and dense low-end rumble of the prior offerings, but the melodic resonance and sense of updating the aesthetic of traditional doom is palpable throughout the roller “Your Lives are Worthless,” while the later acoustic-led “Gone” speaks to a folkish influence that suits them surprisingly well given the heft that surrounds. They make an obvious focal point of 17-minute closer “Spider of My Love,” which though they’ve worked in longer forms before, is easily the grandest accomplishment they’ve yet unfurled. One might easily say the same applies to Slave to the Grave as a whole. Those who miss The Wounded Kings should take particular note of their trajectory.

Alastor on Thee Facebooks

RidingEasy Records website

 

Seid, Weltschmerz, Baby!

seid-weltschmerz_baby-web

If Norwegian space-psych outfit Seid are feeling weary of the world, the way they show it in Weltschmerz, Baby! is by simply leaving it behind, substituting for reality a cosmic starscape of effects and synth, the odd sample and vaguely Hawkwindian etherealism. The centerpiece title-track is a banger along those lines, a swell of rhythmic intensity born out of the finale of the prior “Satan i Blodet” and the mellow, flowing “Trollmannens Hytte” before that, but the highlight might be the subsequent “Coyoteman,” which drifts into dream-prog led by echoing layers of guitar and eventually given over to a fading strain of noise that “Moloch vs. Gud” picks up with percussive purpose and flows directly into the closer “Mir (Drogarna Börjar Värka),” rife with ’70s astro-bounce and a long fadeout that’s less about the record ending and more about leaving the galaxy behind. Starting out at a decent clip with “Haukøye,” Weltschmerz, Baby! is all about the journey and a trip well worth taking.

Seid on Thee Facebooks

Sulatron Records website

 

Moab, Trough

moab trough

A good record tinged by the tragic loss of drummer Erik Herzog during the recording and finished by guitarist/vocalist Andrew Giacumakis and bassist Joe Fuentes, the 10-track/39-minute Trough demonstrates completely just how much Moab have been underrated since their 2011 debut, Ab Ovo (discussed here), and across the 2014 follow-up, Billow (review here), as they bring a West Coast noise-infused pulse to heavy rock drive on “All Automatons” and meet an enduring punker spirit face first with “Medieval Moan,” all the while presenting a clear head for songcraft amid deep-running tones and melodies. “The Will is Weak” makes perhaps the greatest impact in terms of heft, but heft is by no means all Moab have to offer. With the very real possibility this will be their final record, it is a worthy homage to their fallen comrade and a showcase of their strengths that’s bound someday to get the attention it deserves whenever some clever label decides to reissue it as a lost classic.

Moab on Thee Facebooks

Moab on Bandcamp

 

Primitive Man & Unearthly Trance, Split

primitive man unearthly trance split

Well of course it’s a massive wash of doomed and hate-filled noise! What were you expecting, sunshine and puppies? Colorado’s Primitive Man and Brooklyn’s Unearthly Trance team up to compare misanthropic bona fides across seven tracks of blistering extremity that do Relapse Records proud. Starting with the collaborative intro “Merging,” the onslaught truly commences with Primitive Man’s 10-minute “Naked” and sinks into an abyss with the instrumental noisefest “Love Under Will,” which gradually makes its way into a swell of abrasive drone. Unearthly Trance, meanwhile, proffer immediate destructiveness with the churning “Mechanism Error” and make “Triumph” dark enough to live up to its most malevolent interpretations, while “Reverse the Day” makes me wonder what people who heard Godflesh in the ’80s must’ve thought of it and the six-minute finishing move “418” answers back to Primitive Man‘s droned-out anti-structure with a consuming void of fuckall depth. It’s like the two bands cut open their veins and recorded the disaffection that spilled out.

Primitive Man on Thee Facebooks

Unearthly Trance on Thee Facebooks

Relapse Records website

 

Into Orbit, Shifter

Into Orbit Shifter

Progressive New Zealander two-piece Into OrbitPaul Stewart on guitar and Ian Moir on drums — offer up the single Shifter as the answer to their 2017 sophomore long-player, Unearthing. The Wellington instrumentalists did likewise leading into that album with a single that later showed up as part of a broader tracklist, so it may be that they’ve got another release already in the works, but either way, the 5:50 standalone track finds them dug into a full band sound with layered or looped guitar standing tall over the mid-paced drumming, affecting an emotion-driven atmosphere as much as the cerebral nature of its craft. Beginning with a thick chug, it works into more melodic spaciousness as it heads toward and through its midsection, lead guitar kicking in with harmony lines joining soon after as the two-piece build back up to a bigger finish. Whatever their plans, Into Orbit make it clear that just because something is prog doesn’t mean it needs to be staid or lack expressiveness.

Into Orbit on Thee Facebooks

Into Orbit on Bandcamp

 

Super Thief, Eating Alone in My Car

super thief eating alone in my car

Noise-punk intensity pervades Eating Alone in My Car, the not-quite-not-an-LP from Austin four-piece Super Thief. They call it an album, and that’s good enough for me, especially since at about 20 minutes there isn’t much more I’d ask of the thing that it doesn’t deliver, whether it’s the furious out-of-mindness of minute-long highlight “Woodchipper” or the poli-sci critique of that sandwiches the offering with opener “Gone Country” immediately taking a nihilist anti-stance while closer “You Play it Like a Joke but I Know You Really Mean It” — which consumes nearly half the total runtime at 9:32 — seems to run up the walls unable to stick to the “smoke ’em if you got ’em” point of view of the earlier cut. That’s how the bastards keep you running in circles, but at least Super Thief know where to direct the frustration. “Six Months Blind” and the title-track have a more personal take, but are still worth a read lyrically as much as a listen, as the rhythm of the words only adds to the striking personality of the material.

Super Thief on Thee Facebooks

Learning Curve Records website

 

Absent, Towards the Void

absent towards the void

Recorded in 2016, released on CD in 2018 and snagged by Cursed Tongue Records for a vinyl pressing, Absent‘s Towards the Void casts a shimmering plunge of cavernous doom, with swirling post-Electric Wizard guitar and echoing vocals adding to the spaciousness of its four component tracks as the Brasilia-based trio conjure atmospheric breadth to go along with their weighted lurch in opener “Ophidian Womb.” With tracks arranged shortest to longest between eight and a half and 11 minutes, “Semen Prayer,” “Funeral Sun” and “Urine” follow suit from the opener in terms of overall approach, but “Funeral Sun” speeds things up for a stretch while “Urine” lures the listener downward with a subdued opening leading to more filth-caked distortion and degenerate noise, capping with feedback because at that point what the hell matters anyway? Little question in listening why this one’s been making the rounds for over a year now. It will likely continue to do so for some time to come.

Absent on Thee Facebooks

Cursed Tongue Records webstore

 

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Duel Announce European Tour Supporting Valley of Shadows

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 7th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

duel

Pretty easy argument to make that Duel‘s Valley of Shadows is among the most anticipated heavy rock albums of the Spring. It’ll be the third full-length on Heavy Psych Sounds for the Austin, Texas, four-piece, and though a European tour was long suspected for their having been announced as taking part at Freak Valley 2019, the extensive nature of that tour, now unveiled in its entirety, is nonetheless significant. They’ll spend a month-solid on the road overseas, and in addition to Freak Valley, they’re set for Black Deer Fest in London and Freaking Out Fest in Munich, which is a new one to me. Curious, that is, but the point is that Duel will cover a good amount of ground throughout June and into July as they go and hit some fests along the way. There are still a couple dates TBA, but even so, it looks like a packed tour. Good thing Duel kick ass live.

Shows came down the PR wire:

duel tour poster

*** DUEL – VALLEY OF SHADOWS EUROPEAN TOUR 2019 ***

Dealing their own brand of dark boogie, the band has earned a reputation with their beer soaked high energy live performances, relentless touring, writing and recording schedule. Since 2016 DUEL has released 3 albums with their 4th LP Valley of Shadows set to be released via Heavy Psych Sounds Records on May 17th of 2019.

DUEL is about to embark on their sixth extensive European tour once again hitting many of the major festivals that they have in the past, Desert Fest, Freak Valley, Stick and Stone, Black Deer Fest in the UK and many more. The band has also stayed extremely busy at home in the United States will 2 full tours last year hitting many of the Stoner Doom festivals with many more to come in 2019.

DUEL – VALLEY OF SHADOWS EUROPEAN TOUR 2019
06.06.2019 IT Roma-Traffic
07.06.2019 IT Parma-Splinter
08.06.2019 IT Alessandria-Cascina Bellaria
09.06.2019 FR Lyon-Le Farmer
10.06.2019 FR Chambery-Le Brin De Zinc
11.06.2019 DE Basel-Loch or Freisitz
12.06.2019 DE Tubingen-Hausbar neben der Sitiftskirche
13.06.2019 DE Augsburg-City Club
14.06.2019 CH Winterthur-Gaswerk
15.06.2019 CH Oberentfelden-Borom Pom Pom
16.06.2019 BE Zottegem-Kaffee Maboel
17.06.2019 UK Bristol-The Old England
18.06.2019 UK TBA
19.06.2019 UK TBA
20.06.2019 DE Siegen-Freak Valley Festival
21.06.2019 UK London-Black Deer Fest
22.06.2019 DE Munich-Freaking Out Fest
23.06.2019 DE TBA
24.06.2019 DE Dresden-Ostpol
25.06.2019 DE Berlin-Toast Hawaii
26.06.2019 DE Leipzig-Black Label
27.06.2019 DE Mannheim-7er
28.06.2019 FR Bourlon-Rock Im Bourlon
29.06.2019 FR TBA
01.07.2019 FR Tuluse-Usine a Musique
02.07.2019 FR Nantes-La Scene Michelet
04.07.2019 IT Torino-Blah Blah
05.07.2019 AT Nikolsdorf-Stick&Stone
06.07.2019 AT Salzburg-Rockhouse
07.07.2019 IT Castel D’Ario-Hostaria

DUEL is:
Tom Frank – Vocals / Guitar
Jeff Henson – Lead Guitar / Backing Vocals
Shaun Avants – Bass / Backing Vocals
Justin Collins – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/DUELTEXAS/
https://duel3.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS/
http://www.heavypsychsounds.com/

Duel, Witchbanger (2017)

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Destroyer of Light Announce First-Ever European Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 21st, 2019 by JJ Koczan

destroyer of light

As per the social medias, the artwork for Destroyer of Light‘s next full-length, which will also serve as their first for Argonauta Records, is currently in progress. I don’t know if that means the album itself is done or not, but there’s work being done. That’s good news. Also on that theme comes word that after doing a few shows in their hometown of Austin, Texas, next month for SXSW, the band will head to Europe in May for the first time. You might recall they did a hefty amount of touring last Fall to support their Hopeless EP (review here) and to continue to spread the gospel of 2017’s Chamber of Horrors (review here), but even if not, suffice it to say that was by no means their first lengthy stretch either.

In comparison, the upcoming swath of Euro dates is much more an initial incursion at 14 shows/15 nights, but a band who tours like they do, it’s highly likely this’ll be the last time they get their passports stamped. Happy travels.

Dates follow:

destroyer of light tour

Here it is ladies and gentlemen. Europe is finally taking us in. We will be out with our label-mates, Hell Obelisco for most of the dates, and another support for the remainder of the dates. Thank you to Argonauta Records and Leynir Booking for setting up this adventure for us. Stay tuned for more news!

Destroyer of Light March Madness:
March 2nd – Shreveport, LA @ Bear’s
March 9th – Austin, TX @ Lost Well*
March 14th – Austin, TX @ Lost Well*
March 15th – Austin, TX @ Lost Well*
*all different sets of songs from old to new

Destroyer of Light Euro tour:
10.05 Italy Bologna*
11.05 Italy Vercelli*
12.05 France Lyon*
14.05 France Strasbourg*
15.05 Germany Dresden*
16.05 Germany Berlin*
17.05 Denmark Aalborg*
18.05 Sweden Stockholm*
19.05 Sweden Gothenburg*
20.05 Sweden Malmoe
22.05 France Metz
23.05 Germany TBC
24.05 Italy Milan
25.05 Italy Treviso
* Hell Oblisco support

Destroyer of Light is:
Steve Colca – Guitar, Vocals
Nick Coffman – Bass
Keegan Kjeldsen – Guitar, Synth
Penny Turner – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/destroyeroflight/
http://www.instagram.com/destroyeroflightofficial/
http://www.twitter.com/DoLAustinDoom
http://destroyeroflight.bandcamp.com/
www.argonautarecords.com
https://www.facebook.com/ArgonautaRecords/
https://twitter.com/argonautarex
https://www.instagram.com/argonautarecords/

Destroyer of Light, Hopeless EP (2018)

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Duel Announce New Album Valley of Shadows Due May 17

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 19th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

I give Duel immediate points here for not calling their new album Witchbanger 2. Really, there was no way the Austin-based heavy rockers weren’t putting out an album this year. They just have too much going on, having already been confirmed for such geographically diverse events as Monolith of the Mesa in New Mexico, Freak Valley in Germany, Black Deer Fest in London, Desertfest New York and SXSW in their hometown. That’s an awfully busy Spring to not coincide with a new release, and sure enough, the forthcoming Valley of Shadows will see issue on May 17 — preorders Feb. 27 — as the follow-up to 2016’s Fears of the Dead (review here) and 2017’s Witchbanger (review here), as well as last year’s live outing, Live at the Electric Church (review here), that only seemed to cement the reputation as a stage act that is beginning to precede them. Happy to report that, having been fortunate enough to catch them at last year’s Maryland Doom Fest (review here), indeed, that reputation is being well earned.

Expect to hear a lot about these guys this year. They’ve got excellent momentum coming into this release, and especially as they’re recording themselves, they seem all the more primed to really let loose with something special. I’m stoked to find out.

From the PR wire:

duel valley of shadows

DUEL – VALLEY OF SHADOWS – cover & details

Heavy Psych Sounds Records is proud to reveal the first and hotly anticipated details of DUEL’s forthcoming album VALLEY OF SHADOWS !!!

RELEASE DATE:
MAY 17th

PRESALE STARTS:
FEBRUARY 27th

The Texas occult rockers conjure up another heavy dose of tripped out old school doom metal with their third full length, Valley of Shadows, set to be released May 17th. More blood splattered tales of black magic, sex, ancient curses and devils on the streets, with eight epic and infectious rippers showing a wider range of the bands song writing abilities from psychedelic heavy metal anthems to Thin Lizzy esque dueling guitars to full blast Motorhead shredding! Their deepest cuts yet recorded over a period of winter months by DUEL guitarist Jeff Henson at the infamous Red Nova Ranch studio, located in the desert wastelands of Texas just outside of Austin. Mastered by Alberto de Icaza, Valley of Shadows leads us into an all night smoked out, mushroom fueled sessions with each tune. What could be the bands best collaboration to date, a rock solid album from start to finish!

GATEFOLD SLEEVE VINYLS AVAILABLE IN:
40 ULTRA LTD TEST PRESS VINYL
250 ULTRA LTD BABY BLUE VINYL
500 LTD RED TRANSPARENT – SPLATTER BLACK/BLUE/WHITE/YELLOW
BLACK VINYL
DIGIPAK
DIGITAL

TRACKLIST
1. Black magic summer
2. Red moon forming
3. Drifting alone
4. Strike and Disappear
5. Broken Mirror
6. Tyrant on the throne
7. I feel no pain
8. The bleeding heart

DUEL is:
Tom Frank – Vocals / Guitar
Jeff Henson – Lead Guitar / Backing Vocals
Shaun Avants – Bass / Backing Vocals
Justin Collins – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/DUELTEXAS/
https://duel3.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS/
http://www.heavypsychsounds.com/

Duel, Witchbanger (2017)

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The Well to Release Death and Consolation April 26; Playing Monolith on the Mesa and More

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 7th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

the well

Busy Spring coming up for The Well. The Austin-based trio are slated to take part in Monolith on the Mesa alongside the likes of Om and Wovenhand. They’ll tour for a few dates with Monolord on a longer stint of their own that will take them into Canada. And because that’s clearly not enough, they’ll have a new album, Death and Consolation out on RidingEasy to follow-up on 2016’s Pagan Science (review here). If it’s a question of scale though, it’s probably worth noting that they went to Europe twice last year — in August and October — so at this point they’re used to a good amount of here and there. And speaking of, check out the routing that has them going from Winnipeg, Manitoba, to Taos, New Mexico, for the aforementioned Monolith on the Mesa. That’s a solid 21 hours by car. Or van, as it were.

They’ve got a few days to make that trip, but even so. Substantial.

By then, the April 26 release date for Death and Consolation will have come and gone, but we’re not there yet. The first-unveiled single, “Raven,” is streaming at the bottom of this post though, so have at it.

The PR wire brings details:

the well death and consolation

The Well – Death and Consolation

Austin trio The Well announce their forthcoming third album Death and Consolation today, sharing the first single.

Death and Consolation is without a doubt a weighty album title. And, The Well is among the heaviest heavy psych bands in existence. So when we say that there’s even more darkness and intensity to the band’s third album than previous efforts, take heed. It’s a deep sea diving bell of enveloping heaviness and longing.

“This one is a little more personal,” says guitarist/vocalist Ian Graham. “2018 was a strange, dark year. A lot of change going on in my life, there was a lot of depression and coming out of it over the last year. I wanted to call this Death and Consolation, because in life that’s a constant.”

While The Well continue to walk an intriguing line between authentic early 70s doom/heavy psych and frayed weirdness of dark folk – especially with their haunting unison male/female vocals – the new album also adds the stark vibe of post-punk acts like Joy Division and early The Cure. “I feel like this album is almost more gothic. We’re big fans of post-punk,” Graham says. There’s also much less jamming, the songs are tight and concise. And, did we mention, heavy? The band tuned down a full step to C-standard tuning for this album, which gives the proceedings its monstrous sound.

Sonically, Death and Consolation picks up where The Well — Graham, bassist/vocalist Lisa Alley and drummer Jason Sullivan — left off with their widely heralded 2016 RidingEasy album Pagan Science. The band once again recorded with longtime producer/engineer Chico Jones at Estuary Studio in 2018, who has turned the knobs for all three of their albums (Jones engineered the band’s debut album Samsara with producer Mark Deutrom [Melvins, Sunn0)))] in 2013.) Samsara, released late September 2014 was ranked the #1 debut album of 2014 by The Obelisk and Pagan Science among the Best of 2016 from the Doom Charts collective. Likewise, the band’s intense — some even say “possessed” — live performances have earned them featured slots at Austin’s Levitation Fest, as well as tours with Kadavar, All Them Witches, Black Tusk and more.

“This album might be a little less produced, because I didn’t want to push technical stuff as much,” Graham says. “I’m so scared of getting too complicated when getting better at guitar. This is still kind of punk rock.”

Death and Consolation will be available on LP, CD and download on April 26th, 2019 via RidingEasy Records. Pre-orders are available HERE.

THE WELL TOUR 2019:
03/01 – Austin, TX @ Hotel Vegas
04/12 – Lafayette, LA @ Freetown Boom Boom Room
04/13 – Cypress Creek, LA @ Fête du Void Festival
04/24 – Dallas, TX @ Club Dada*
04/25 – Austin, TX @ Barracuda*
05/01 – Omaha, NE @ Slowdown*
05/02 – Denver, CO @ Hi-Dive*
05/03 – Phoenix, AZ @ Yucca Tap Room
05/04 – Sacramento, CA @ Blue Lamp
05/09 – Portland, OR @ High Water Mark
05/10 – Seattle, WA @ Substation
05/12 – Calgary, AB @ Palomino
05/13 – Edmonton, AB @ Temple
05/14 – Winnipeg, MB @ The Windsor
05/18 – Taos, NM @ Monolith on the Mesa Fest
05/19 – El Paso, TX @ Monarch
* w/ Monolord

Artist: The Well
Album: Death and Consolation
Label: RidingEasy Records
Release date: April 26th, 2019
01. Sabbah
02. Raven
03. Death Song
04. Cup of Peace
05. Eyes of A God
06. Act II
07. Freedom Above
08. This Is How
09. Endless Night

http://www.facebook.com/thewellband
http://thewellaustin.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/ridingeasyrecords/
http://www.ridingeasyrecs.com/
https://www.heavypsychsounds.com/

The Well, “Raven”

The Well, Pagan Science (2016)

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Tia Carrera to Release Visitors / Early Purple March 22; Playing SXSW

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 23rd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

tia carrera

On March 13 at Lambert’s Downtown Barbecue, Austin’s own Tia Carrera will jam into oblivion as headliners of Small Stone Records‘ return SXSW showcase, topping a bill that includes The Cold StaresDwellersSundrifterLa Chinga and Irata. It’s been a while, but Small Stone showcases at SXSW are like a battle royale: Band vs. band. Volume vs. ears. Booze vs. liver. Those nights are the stuff of legend, and as the label girds its loins to revive the tradition, the hometown natives likewise make a return, this time with their first album since 2011’s Cosmic Priestess (review here). The off-the-cuff three-piece have brought in Dixie Witch bassist Curt Christenson, and Visitors / Early Purple will be out March 22, though preorders are up and you can stream the 16-minute side B cut — that’s “Early Purple” — right now. Of particular note is the fact that there isn’t a CD version being done; it’s vinyl and digital-only. Fascinating.

Info for the Small Stone showcase is here on Thee Facebooks, and info on the album follows:

tia carrera visitors early purple

Visitors / Early Purple by Tia Carrera

What can you say about Tia Carrera? Longevity, stamina, power, grace, sensuality, and telepathy? Don’t forget bone shakingly loud, always impressive and truly psychedelic.

Jason Morales (guitar) and Erik Conn (drums), each with a reputation in ATX for their shredness, are now pushing 20 years together as Tia Carrera with zero signs of slowing down. They’ve recruited longtime friend and legendary bass wizard, Curt Christenson (Dixie Witch/Crimson Devils) as a permanent member, in a move made a few years ago that has emboldened the band’s sound and dynamic, telepathic talent, and steadfast trajectory of heavy-psych-blues-bliss exploration.

The band is mysteriously and famously selective about what they officially release to the public. With every performance unique by the improvisation of their music, they’ve amassed quite a collection of recorded material, both live performances and private studio recordings.

Culled from the latter are the blistering plight of “Visitors” and muscle-car groove of “Early Purple,” both of which can be heard on Tia Carrera’s forthcoming release on Small Stone Records in Spring 2019.

Tia Carrera continue to gain new fans, influence their peers, ignite the legend worldwide, and are more respected and relevant than ever as veterans known to take their listeners on a journey of tripped-out and high energy proportions. It’s clear to anyone in earshot the band still loves what they do. And when they play, they’re loud enough that just about everyone is in earshot.

Releases March 22, 2019.

Tia Carrera is:
Jason Morales: guitar
Curt Christenson: bass

Recorded at the BBQ Shack, Austin, TX.
Mastered by Jerry Tubb at Terra Nova.
Artwork by Tim Kerr.
Layout by Alexander von Wieding.

http://www.smallstone.com
http://www.facebook.com/smallstonerecords
https://smallstone.bandcamp.com

Tia Carrera, Visitors / Early Purple (2019)

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Greenbeard Release Onward, Pillager EP; Touring to Maryland Doom Fest 2019

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 28th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

greenbeard

As-yet-underrated Austin heavy rockers Greenbeard have released a new EP called Onward, Pillager. It’s three tracks and it’s cool. That’s about as simple as I can make it. Each song has its own kind of vibe, there is some guest synth, some guest vocals, and it all works pretty well to give an enticing showcase of where the three-piece are at. Worth your time? Worth your time. Stream it at the bottom of this post, via Bandcamp.

Greenbeard will tour their way out to Maryland Doom Fest 2019 next June. Right on for a few reasons. One, it means I’ll see them at MDDF. That’ll be fun. Two, it means they’re getting out on the road and a bunch of other people will see them at the other shows. Three, that itself means that the fest is having an effect even outside of itself on the heavy underground. Someone shows up to see Greenbeard on tour while Greenbeard are on tour to get to the fest? That’s awesome. That’s making things happen. Nothing but positive all around. And all the more so because the band is killer.

That’s my spiel. Not much critique, I guess, but I call’s ’em like I sees ’em, and to me this only seems like good news:

greenbeard onward pillager

OUT NOW! GREENBEARD’s new ‘ONWARD, PILLAGER’ EP available via Sailor Records; Confirming 2019 Tour Dates

Austin’s stoner/desert rock trio GREENBEARD launched their new EP ‘Onward, Pillager’ via the Denver, Colorado label Sailor Records on December 22nd. ‘Onward, Pillager’ serves as a teaser for an upcoming, full-length release on Sailor Records in 2019.

Both releases are produced, recorded, and mixed with Jeff Henson at Red Nova Ranch, in Austin, Texas. The EP is mastered by Alberto De Icaza. The band once again teamed up with long time collaborator Antoine Defarges of Headbang Design, to continue the Greenbeard tradition of elaborate, striking artwork for all their releases.

Greenbeard had this to say about their upcoming EP:

“It’s been great working with Jeff Henson on this EP! Aside from great recording quality, one of Jeff’s strengths that really works for us is his songwriting vision. We are all on the same page as far as rock and roll goes, and Jeff has been able to see our songs and give them a little extra shape to really make them stand out as some banging tunes. Because of this, we are very excited to release ‘Onward, Pillager’ and continue working more with Henson as we start getting things together for our next full length.”

‘Onward, Pillager’ is available on CD and Digital Download via Bandcamp and is now streaming on most digital outlets.

Order now at: https://greenbeard.bandcamp.com/

Track List:
1. Contact High II (synth by Conrad Keely)
2. WCCQ (background vocals by Felicia Andrews)
3. Kill To Love Yourself

UPCOMING DATES:

Greenbeard’s first confirmed tour dates for 2019 whirlwind around their appearance at the Maryland Doom Fest. More dates, details, and event links will be announced soon.

June 11 – Dallas, Texas
June 12 – Tulsa, Oklahoma
June 13 – Kansas City, Missouri
June 14 – Denver, Colorado
June 15 – Omaha, Nebraska
June 16 – Chicago, Illinois
June 17 – Fort Wayne, Indiana
June 18 – Lexington, Kentucky
June 19 – Cleveland, Ohio
June 20 – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
June 21 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
June 22 – Frederick, Maryland – MARYLAND DOOM FEST
June 23 – Richmond, Virginia
June 24 – Raleigh, North Carolina
June 25 – Savannah, Georgia
June 26 – Jacksonville, Florida
June 27 – Atlanta, Georgia
June 28 – Nashville, Tennessee
June 29 – Knoxville, Tennessee
July 01 – Sheveport, Louisiana

GREENBEARD:
Chance Allan – Guitar/Vocals
Jeff Klein – Bass/Guitar
Buddy Hachar – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/greenbeardtheband/
https://www.instagram.com/greenbeardtheband/
https://greenbeard.bandcamp.com/
http://www.greenbeardtheband.com
https://www.facebook.com/Sailor-Records-359148970778780/
https://www.instagram.com/sailorrecords/
https://www.sailorrecords.com/

Greenbeard, Onward, Pillager (2018)

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