Greenbeard Sign to Sailor Records; Stoned at the Throne Vinyl Announced

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 2nd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster


I’m not sure if Greenbeard‘s Stoned at the Throne vinyl is out now or impending. Below, Sailor Records — the Colorado-based label that just picked up the Texas-based band — says that Oct. 30 marked the preorder date. The band says they’ll play a release show in January, and if you order it on Bandcamp, it says it ships in two weeks, so your guess is as good as mine. Either way, cool for the band getting picked up for an LP pressing. Initially released over the summer, that record was catchy as hell and they seem to be willing to get out and support it, so all the better.

The PR wire had this to say on the subject:

greenbeard stoned at the throne

Austin desert rockers Greenbeard sign with Denver’s Sailor Records and release “Stoned at the Throne” on vinyl!

Denver based record label, Sailor Records has added Greenbeard to their quickly expanding roster.

Greenbeard is a desert rock trio from Austin, TX created in the spring of 2014. Greenbeard’s sound is a sonic conjuring of early British heavy metal, psychedelia, desert guitar riffs, & stoner rock. In one year, the band has seen major tours, supported big bands like Dead Meadow,Pentagram, Red Fang, The Shrine, and Spirit Caravan. Greenbeard has also been official artists at Austin’s 2015 SXSW, Denver’s 2015 UMS, and played in 2015 Denver Psychfest; Synesthesia.

Sailor Records is a fresh up and coming label operating out of Denver, Colorado. Label owner, Oscar Ross, has spent decades working in Denver’s premier studios, with top notch talent. With catalogs upon catalogs of excellent studio sessions helmed by Ross himself, the birth of Sailor Records only seemed like the next logical move. Sailor Records is also homebase for bands like Plastic Daggers, Chingaso, Lords of Fuzz, Dreadnought, Native Daughters, and many more!

“Stoned at the Throne” is Greenbeard’s debut full length release. This 8 track record is packed full of blistering drum grooves, blasting riffs, heavy bass lines, and sexy vocals. This record was recorded in Austin, TX at OHM Recording Facility and engineered by the talented Chico Jones. Chico Jones’ vanguard of records includes “Samsara’ by The Well, Tia Carrera, White Denim, and many more. Adam Hamilton (Brian Jonestown Massacre/Counting Crows) mixed the record, and Paul Tavenner(Cleopatra Records/Big City Recording Studios) laid the finishing touches down with his mastering. Artwork for SATT was conceptualized by Greenbeard, and illustrated by French rock & roll poster and album cover artist, Headbang Design. Headbang Design’s portfolio includes artwork for Orange Goblin, Freak Valley Festival, and much more. Stoned at the Throne is produced by Alfonso Gonzalez.

Sailor Records will be opening presale for “Stoned at the Throne” on Friday, October 30. This release will include 150 copies on black 180g vinyl, and 100 special edition 180g blood red colored vinyl. Copies will be available for sale on Greenbeard’s bandcamp site. Greenbeard plans on having a vinyl release party in Austin, TX in early January, followed by a spring tour.

Greenbeard, Stoned at the Throne (2015)

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Duel to Release Fears of the Dead in Feb. on Heavy Psych Sounds

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 27th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Austin trad heavy four-piece Duel began a Halloween tour with Fogg last night that would have taken them all the way up to Day of the Shred were that festival not canceled, but instead will take bring them to a double-dose of Oct. 31 gigs and a killer party the next day in Southern California that’s one of several to surface in the wake of the fest being called off. Should be a cool run either way, and it comes coupled with the news that Duel have signed a deal with ever-expanding Italian label Heavy Psych Sounds to release their debut long-player, Fear of the Dead.

The label says a European run is in the works for early next year as well around the Feb. release of the album, so will be interested to see how that shakes (boogies) out. The PR wire had this to say on the topic:


HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS Records&Booking is stoked to announce the signing of a new killer band!

***DUEL*** (Stoner Metal-Heavy Southern Rock)

Feat 2 ex-members of Scorpion Child.

From the sun baked wastelands of Austin, Texas comes the super heavy, tripped out, old school stoner metal sounds of DUEL. Hugely influenced by the darker breed of late 60’s and early 70’s Proto-metal and heavy groove, DUEL casts hard rocking spells of doom, angst, and horror from behind a thick psychedelic haze of pot smoke. Laying it out thick and heavy these purists have become well known for their knock down drag out, beer everywhere, high energy live shows. Balls to the wall with all the cockiness and on your knees train wreck swagger of the MC5 or an evil James Brown. Like the B.O.C. On PCP! Their debut LP “Fears Of The Dead” recorded at the famed Machine Shop Studio (Clutch, Lamb of God, King Crimson etc) captures this perfectly. Listen responsibly.

DEBUT ALBUM “Fears of the Dead” To Be Released in Feb. 2016

European Tour to follow in March

Tom Frank Guitars / Vocals
Shaun Avants Bass / Vocals
JD Shadowz Drums
Derek Halfmann Guitars

Mon 10/26 Rock Candy at The Grand / Austin w/ Bridge Farmers
Wed 10/28 Blue Max / Midland TX w/ Fogg
Thurs 10/29 Mesa Music Hall / El Paso TX w/ Fogg
Fri 10/30 Tempe Tavern / Tempe AZ w/ Fogg, Abrams (CO)
Sat 10/31 Permanent Records / Los Angeles CA w/ Fogg
Sun 11/01 Time Warp Records / Mar Vista CA w/ Slow Season, Fogg, Loom, The Snags

Duel, “This Old Crow”

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Bellringer Post New Video for “Click Bait”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 5th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

bellringer click bait

“You see the cat, frown/You click the mouse, down/And now the data has been sent/You sit alone, sad and spent.” I don’t know if Mark Deutrom of Bellringer was setting out to distill the chronicle of our age when he came up with “Click Bait,” but in four and a half minutes, he certainly managed to share some truth about where we’re at on a cultural level, and by extension, where we aren’t. The ex-Melvins bassist — here handling guitar and vocals alongside bassist Corey Cottrell and drummer Craig Nichols — released “Click Bait” as a pay-what-you-want digital single on Sept. 28, and the video go coincide follows the clip for “Von Fledermaus” (posted here) that surfaced in August.

A single concept — culture as meaningless collage of distractions — is executed through some complex editing in the new video, but the song itself is comparatively simple. Deutrom‘s vocals are smooth over a consistent bassline that spreads wider as the guitars open in the chorus, and as one might expect, or at least hope, the chorus itself is meta-catchy, commenting on what the titular marketing phenomenon that seems some days to define the times in which we live while also being rife with an infectious, almost saccharine pity. To put it in internet speak, it’s the snark we, as a people, deserve.

And it comes from an increasingly reliable source. Bellringer may have disappeared their self-titled EP (review here), but I can’t help but think that redistributing some of that material while at the same time moving forward with a newer cut like this one is a part of some larger master plan. What that might be or when it might manifest, we’ll just have to wait to find out.

If you happen to be in that neck of the woods, Bellringer support Funeral Horse at their record release show on Oct. 30 at Rudyard’s in Houston.

Click play to watch:

Bellringer, “Click Bait” official video

Click the mouse down!

Chopped by MD using junk from the interweb.
Improved by Jennifer Deutrom.

Mark Deutrom : Guitar, Vocal
C. Cottrell : Bass
C. Nichols : Drums

Produced and Mixed by Mark Deutrom
Recorded By Chico Jones at Ohm Recording Facility, ATX

Bellringer on Bandcamp

Bellringer on Thee Facebooks

Bellringer website

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Quarterly Review: Holy Sons, WEEED, Mala Suerte, Eternal Black, Were-Jaguars, Vinnum Sabbathi & Bar de Monjas, Black Tremor, Aave, Derelics, Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor

Posted in Reviews on September 29th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster


Day one down, four more days to go. I forget each time how different it is writing shorter reviews as opposed to the usual longer ones, but kind of refreshing to bust through something, force myself to say what needs to be said as efficiently as possible and move on. Reminds me of working in print, with word counts and such. Only so much room on the page. Not something that usually comes up around these parts, but I guess it’s good to keep that muscle from complete atrophy. Though taking that line of thought to its natural conclusion, I have no idea why. Anyway, feeling good, ready to take on another 10 records, so let’s roll.

Fall 2015 Quarterly Review #11-20:

Holy Sons, Fall of Man

holy sons fall of man

It would be hard to overstate the smoothness with which Emil Amos, who serves integral creative and percussive roles in both Grails and Om, brings different styles together on Fall of Man, his second album for Thrill Jockey under the Holy Sons solo moniker and upwards of his 11th overall. An overriding melancholy vibe suits dark, progressive pop elements on the opener “Mercenary World,” Amos at the fore playing all instruments and still vocalizing like a singer-songwriter, while the later wash of “Being Possessed is Easy” takes on ‘90s indie fragility and turns what was purposeful minimalism into an expanse of melody and “Discipline” creeps out lyrically while forming experimentalist soundscapes around a steady line of acoustic guitar. Joined by bassist Brian Markham and drummer Adam Bulgasem on “Aged Wine” – the only other players to appear anywhere on Fall of ManAmos leads the trio through soaring leads and heavier crashing to give the album a crescendo worthy of its scope, which while astounding on deeper inspection presents itself with simple, classic humility.

Holy Sons on Thee Facebooks

Holy Sons at Thrill Jockey

WEEED, Our Guru Leads us to the Black Master Sabbath


From the opening drone-groan throat-singing of the 14-minute “Dogma Dissolver,” it seems like not-quite-Seattle trio Weeed are making a run for the title “Most Stoned of the Stoner” with their second full-length, Our Guru Leads us to the Black Master Sabbath. They earn that extra ‘e.’ A double-LP on Illuminasty Records, the album is a 54-minute trip into low tone and deep-running vibe, spaced way out, and well at home whether jamming heavy and hypnotized on “Rainbow Amplifier Worship” – a highlight bassline – or nestling into an ambient stretch like “Bullfrog” preceding. Mostly instrumental, Weeed hit their most active in “Enuma Elish” and then chill and strip back to acoustics and sax (yup) for the Eastern-flavored “Caravan Spliff,” bringing back the throat-singing in the process. How else to finish such a work than with the 15-minute “Nature’s Green Magic,” a 15-minute push along a single build that goes from minimal, pastoral acoustics to nod-on-this megastoner riffing? Weeed might be going for the gold, but they end up in the green, and somehow one imagines they’ll be alright with that. They get super-ultra-bonus points for sounding like Kyuss not even a little.

WEEED on Thee Facebooks

WEEED on Bandcamp

Mala Suerte, Rituals of Self Destruction

mala suerte rituals of self destruction

Formed in 1999 and having made their full-length debut a decade later with The Shadow Tradition (review here), last heard from in a 2012 split with Boise’s Uzala (review here), Austin, Texas, doomly five-piece Mala Suerte return with the 10-track Rituals of Self Destruction, which moves past its four-minute intro into chugging The Obsessed-style trad doom with a touch of Southern heavy à la Crowbar and a generally metallic spirit in cuts like “Utopic Delusions” that gets expanded on later cuts like the swirling, crawling almost Cathedral-ish “Labyrinth of Solitude.” Comprised of forward-mixed vocalist Gary Rosas, guitarists David Guerrero and Vincent Pina, bassist Mike Reed and drummer Chris Chapa (now John Petri), Mala Suerte sound as rueful as ever across the album’s span, rounding out with the hardcore sludge of “Successful Failure” and “The Recluse,” which builds from slow, brooding chug to a more riotous finish. It’s been a while, but it’s good to have them back.

Mala Suerte on Thee Facebooks

Mala Suerte on Bandcamp

Eternal Black, Eternal Black

eternal black eternal black

Guitarist/vocalist Ken Wohlrob leads Brooklyn’s Eternal Black through the riffy doom of their debut self-titled three-track EP. Unpretentious in the style’s tradition, the trio is anchored by Hal Miller’s bass and pushed forward by the drums of Joe “The Prince of Long Island” Wood (also of Borgo Pass), the rolling groove of Sabbathian opener “Obsidian Sky” setting the tone for straightforward, few-frills darkness, and Eternal Black follow it up with the workingman’s doom of “The Dead Die Hard” and “Armageddon’s Embrace,” the former started out with an extra lead layer before it unfurls the EP/demo’s most satisfying crawl, and the latter a little more swinging, but still Iommic metal at its core, Wohlrob’s gruff vocal and Wino-style riff backed by Miller’s deep-mixed rumble as Wood goes to the cowbell/woodblock (it’s one or the other) during the guitar solo. Even if Joe Wood wasn’t one of the best human beings I’d ever met, it would still be pretty easy to dig what these cats are doing, and it’ll be worth keeping an eye for how they follow this first installment.

Eternal Black on Thee Facebooks

Eternal Black on Bandcamp

Were-Jaguars, II

were-jaguars ii

Austin, Texas-based trio Were-Jaguars have already issued a follow-up EP to their earlier-2015 second album, II, but from its opening and longest track “Between the Armies” (immediate points), the three-piece dig into weirdo psych vibes and dense tones across their latest full-length, released through respected Russian purveyor R.A.I.G. Not at all a minor undertaking at 13 tracks, 68 minutes, it gets into garage ritualism in “Let My Breath be the Air” and unfolds immediate doomadelia on “Bishop Kills Enchanter,” but if you need confirmation that Were-Jaguars – the three-piece of Chad Rauschenberg, James Adkisson and Rick McConnell – aren’t just screwing around in these songs and lucking into a righteous result, let it come on the later “Lost Soul,” which melds a flowing instrumental roll to a host of spiritual and pseudo-spiritual samples, loses itself completely, and then returns at the end to finish cohesive, engagingly complex and sure in the knowledge that all has gone to plan. Figuring out what that plan is can be a challenge at times, but it’s there.

Were-Jaguars on Thee Facebooks


Vinnum Sabbathi & Bar de Monjas, Fuzzonaut Split


The Fuzzonaut split between Mexico’s Vinnum Sabbathi and Bar de Monjas takes its name from the closing track, provided by the latter act, but it serves as a fitting title for the work as a whole as well. Vinnum Sabbathi launch the six-track offering with “HEX I: The Mastery of Space,” a slow-rolling instrumental topped by samples pulled from rocket launches, and after the 1:45 droning interlude “Intermission (Fluctuations),” they melt their way into the companion “HEX II: Foundation Pioneers,” doomier in its chug, but similarly-minded overall in intent, with the warm bass, copious samples, and planet-sized riffing. Though their portion is shorter overall, Bar de Monjas answer back with relatively upbeat push in “Hot Rail,” winding up in stoner rock janga-janga before stomping their way into “The Ripper,” cowbelling there as part of an impressively percussed spin and capping with “Fuzzonaut” itself, a shroomy 7:45 creeper with big-riff bursts that rises and recedes effectively, ending with a long residual hum.

Vinnum Sabbathi on Thee Facebooks

Bar de Monjas on Thee Facebooks

Fuzzonaut on Bandcamp

Black Tremor, Impending

black tremor impending

An immediate touchstone for the droning pastoral drear that Saskatoon three-piece Black Tremor elicit on their four-song debut EP, Impending, is Earth’s HEX: Or Printing in the Infernal Method, but the newcomer trio distinguish themselves immediately with an approach that replaces guitar with violin, so that not only can Black Tremor tie into these atmospheres, they can do so in a way that speak to country roots in a way their forebears didn’t at the time date. Bassist Alex Deighton, violinist Amanda Bestvater and drummer Brennan Rutherford have only just begun the work of developing their sound, but already nine-minute opener “The Church” and its buzzing follow-up “Rise” prove evocative and come across as more than exercises in ambience. “Markhor” hits with an even heavier roll and an almost Melvinsy undertone, while the title-track makes its way through horse-trod mud to emerge at the end not only clean but positively bouncing. It’s still pretty dark, but they’ve given themselves a vast Canadian Midwestern expanse to explore.

Black Tremor on Thee Facebooks

Black Tremor on Bandcamp

Aave, There’s Nothing

aave there's nothing

A bright tonal bliss pervades There’s Nothing, the Rock Ridge Music debut long-player from Nashville all-lowercase psychedelic post-rockers aave. The band court indie progressivism across the album’s eight component tracks, but with just one song over four minutes long – closer “Turn Me Off” (4:30) – there’s little about it that feels overly indulgent or beyond the pale stylistically. That is to say that while aave set a sonic course for great distances, they get to where they’re going efficiently and don’t hang around too long in one place. That has its ups and downs in terms of vibe, but the resonant vocal melodies of “Nothing Here” – hard not to be reminded of Mars Red Sky’s sweet emotionality, but there are other comparisons one might make – the focus remains grounded in an accessibility that goes beyond getting lost in dreamy guitars. Aesthetically satisfying, they find an intense moment in the later thrust of “Blender,” but even that retains the overarching wistful sensibility of what’s come before and that unites the material throughout.

aave on Thee Facebooks

Rock Ridge Music

Derelics, Introducing

derelics introducing

Spacious, melodic and entrancingly heavy, Derelics’ debut EP, Introducing, indeed makes a formidable opening statement, and in a crowded London scene of post-Orange Goblin burl and Downy sludge, the trio set more progressive ambitions across “To Brunehilde,” “California” and “Ride the Fuckin’ Snake to Valhalla,” psych-funking up the centerpiece after the grooving largesse of the opener en route to the wider-spreading tones of the closer, guitarist/vocalist Reno cutting through his and bassist Nacim’s tones easily with higher-register vocals that push the limits of his range as he encourages one to “ride that fuckin’ snake,” before cutting out to let drummer Rich lead the charge with toms through a build-up bridge that returns to the echoing fullness conjured earlier, ending on a long-fading organ note. An encouraging first offering from the three-piece, and hopefully they continue develop along an original-sounding path as they move ahead. Already they seem to show a knack for melding atmospherics and songwriting toward the same ends.

Derelics on Thee Facebooks

Derelics on Bandcamp

Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor, Desert Brain

sisters of your sunshine vapor desert brain

True to its krautrock-style cover art, Desert Brain, the third outing from Detroit’s Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor, has an element of prog at work within its psychedelic unfolding. But that’s reasonable. With four years since their second release, Spectra Spirit (review here), and the inclusion of bassist/keyboardist Eric Oppitz and drummer Rick Sawoscinski with guitarist/vocalist Sean Morrow, the dynamic in the band has legitimately shifted, even though Oppitz (who also did the aforementioned cover art) has recorded all three of their records. Still, they keep the proceedings fluid across the two vinyl sides, finding their inner garage on “Major Medicine” and tripping out easy on “What’s Your Cloud Nine, 37?” on side A before digging in with fuzz and push on side B’s “The Prettiest Sounds of Purgatory” and stretching into ritual stomp on the title cut. All the while, they’re drenched in vibe and a flow that’s languid even as it’s running you over, and while some songs barely have a chorus, they implant themselves in the mind anyway, almost subliminally.

Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor on Thee Facebooks

Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor on Bandcamp

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Bellringer Post New Video for “Von Fledermaus”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 21st, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster


One could probably sit around all day and wait for Bellringer‘s new video for “Von Fledermaus” to start making sense. One could probably ask it nicely. The result would be the same: A presumably mid-coitus stare from a lady bouncing up and down — I wouldn’t quite call it NSFW, but if you’re in an office they might find you out for the weirdo you really are if you’ve got it playing — spliced in with old racing footage and some blasting lights, destruction, etc. The problem isn’t that the video doesn’t make any sense. The problem is that you want it to.

Austin three-piece (maybe four-piece? I saw something about a second bassist) Bellringer released a self-titled four-song EP (review here) earlier this year. Where is it now? Gone. “Von Fledermaus,” with its lurching riff and the subdued vocal from Mark Deutrom (formerly of the Melvins and Clown Alley) — who’s almost Mario Lalli-esque in finding the calm spot in the song’s storm — was on that EP, and whether or not that was removed because someone’s doing a physical pressing or what, I don’t know, but again, I think the problem here is really that not knowing is the whole idea. Wait and find out. It’s what the world does.

Like that offering as a whole, “Von Fledermaus” boasts a sense of balance between its chugging riff and stranger impulses. Seems fair to say the collage-style video by Jennifer Deutrom hones in on the latter, and rightfully so.

If you’re sensitive to bright flashing lights or anything like that, you might want to watch out for some of the middle and second half stuff here, as it gets pretty active. Otherwise, enjoy:

Bellringer, “Von Fledermaus” official video

Earth and Space Chick rocks the Universe, dirt track racing, cowboy ambush and general sensory overload in Bellringer’s first video.
Purchase tequila and project this onto your favorite wall !

“Ham spanky in the back of the train”

Directed and Edited By Jennifer Deutrom
using public domain imagery, and also
“”Weg Zum Nachbarn” by Lutz Mommartz.

Mark Deutrom : Guitar, Vocal
Corey Cottrell : Bass
Craig Nichols : Drums

Produced and Mixed by Mark Deutrom
Recorded By Chico Jones at Ohm Recording Facility

Bellringer’s website

Bellringer on Bandcamp

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Friday Full-Length: The 13th Floor Elevators, The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 14th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

The 13th Floor Elevators, The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators (1966)

I had a whole post written out talking about The 13th Floor Elevators‘ landmark 1966 debut, The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators, and its cross-generational impact on psychedelic rock, counterculture and so on. Wasn’t the best thing I ever wrote, but I was reasonably pleased with it, and it got the point across that it was an album that had considerable influence that continues to be felt today and that the work of vocalist/guitarist Roky Erickson, guitarist Stacy Sutherland, bassist Ronnie Leatherman (Benny Thurman also plays on the record), drummer John Ike Walton and jug-blower Tommy Hall is worth considering as a watershed moment in underground rock, along with being widely regarded as a nexus point for American psychedelia and garage. I had that all ready to go. Then underneath that, I was bitching about other stuff and the whole thing got deleted. No going back to a past draft or anything, apparently, as WordPress moves forward with its continuous improvement program to fix what wasn’t broken the first time around, so it’s gone. Poof. Bye.

Should I have saved the draft earlier? I should’ve done a lot of things.

Not a bummer to put on the album again and re-revisit “You’re Gonna Miss Me” — I’m missing that text right about now — and the bizarre strains of “Monkey Island,” but I’d call it on the whole a pretty fair summary of how the week has gone. I’d be more upset, but not only am I too tired to approximate the sentences I had before and try and make the most of it, but I’m too tired to even be actively bummed out. Shit happens. It is what it is. And whether or not I wax poetic about its legacy, The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators remains a great fucking album. The first of their three, and it’s more or less a blessing from the gods of acid. You can get that from listening whether or not I say so. No one reads this shit anyway.

Not even sure why I’m gonna put in a divider, since it’s not like I’m going from talking about the record to talking about something else, but whatever. One falls into these habits. Hope you enjoy the album.

Quiet week. Unless you count that north-of-13 hours I spent sitting in traffic getting to and from work over the last five days. That was loud, at least in terms of the pounding in my head.

Gonna go see Godhunter and Destroyer of Light in Salem. Show is at a sushi bar. A sushi bar. Because even in Salem — a town quite literally most known for burning witches alive — no one has seen fit to open a metal venue. Massachusetts! Northeastern America’s capitol for living wrong. Anyone wanna not recycle and talk about Tom fucking Brady some more?



Whatever. Look for a review of that show Monday, and maybe one on Tuesday if I can get my ass out tomorrow night to see The Atomic Bitchwax vs. waiting to catch them next month in Providence. Not a huge fan of The Middle East, where they play tomorrow — what’s the matter, don’t like dark red lighting and nowhere to park? — but they’re the Bitchwax, so it’s at least a consideration. We’re actually staying in Mass. this weekend instead going to Connecticut, though to be honest I might strongly advocate to The Patient Mrs. tossing that plan out the window tomorrow morning and heading to the coast as quickly as possible. We’ll see. Vacuuming or the beach? Hmm…

But I figure fuck-everything mode is perfect for Godhunter, and I’ve yet to experience the affliction that sushi didn’t help, so it should be a decent night either way. And I just confirmed a Weedeater giveaway for next week, so right on for that as well. I’ll have a stream of the Shiggajon record too, and that’s pretty sweet.

See? It’s not all bad.

But losing drafts is. Save your work, kids.

Great and safe. Forum and radio.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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Sweat Lodge Premiere “Heavy Head” from Talismana

Posted in audiObelisk on July 29th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

sweat lodge

Austin four-, maybe five-piece Sweat Lodge will release their debut album, Talismana, via Ripple Music on Aug. 7. A vinyl-ready nine-track/35-minute offering, its unpretentious oldschool-is-the-new-newschool rollout owes some of its modus to West Coast boogie, but true to their Texan roots, the sound across songs like opening hook-megaphone “Tramplifier,” “Bed of Ashes” and “Phoenix Ascent” is somewhat earthier, touching on classic heavy rock and psychedelic influences but refusing to play entirely to one or the other. There are times when the lineup — vocalist Cody Lee Johnston, guitarists Javier Gardea and Dustin Anderson, bassist Austin Shockley and drummer Caleb Dawson — call to mind what might’ve happened had Freedom Hawk and Graveyard ever decided to collaborate, most especially on cuts like “Slow Burn” and “Black Horizon,” but though their ultimate path is straight ahead, the well-vested Sweat Lodge work enough swing and swagger into their approach across the board that the only real choice is to get down and go along for the ride.

They make it a worthy endeavor across the board, and while perhaps in part because of the title one might wait for Sweat Lodge to veer into some vague cultish theatrics, Talismana keeps its all-seeing eye on the prize of ’70s-ish biker motor-riffing and rhythmic sweat lodge talismanasway, the title-track maybe touching lyrically on some of that finding itself fluidly enacting tempo shifts via either-call-it-stoner-or-don’t riffs and swirling leads and echoes. Like a lot of the record, it is not as simple as it first appears — a dreamout taking hold and liquefying the proceedings only to resolidify prior to the finish — but Sweat Lodge make short work of finding a cohesive vibe through such turns, nodding at Deep Purple with “Black Horizon” before the especially ’70s “Boogie Bride” takes hold as the longest cut on Talismana at a manageable 5:51, a summertime fuzz holding firm for the course even as the verses seem to be impatient in their move toward the inevitable leads, the two sides coming together ultimately as Johnston‘s vocals top the semi-psych apex and then let the rocker blues carry out to the whistling start of the penultimate “Heavy Head,” a somewhat more laid back mood but an irresistible roll all the same and one of the record’s catchiest moments.

This careening, deceptively efficient, swinging but not reckless and aesthetically coherent course ends out with “Banshee Call,” somewhat more atmospheric at its start and maybe a bit moodier but still nowhere near overblown. If anything, it underlines the control that Sweat Lodge exercise over the span of Talismana as a whole, which — especially considering it’s the band’s first full-length — is doubly impressive given how poised they manage to remain while letting loose.

I’m thrilled today to host a track premiere for “Heavy Head,” which you’ll find on the player below, followed by some more info off the PR wire.

Please enjoy:

The Austin, TX outfit have made good on their promise with a record that delivers more than you could possibly ever ask from it. Pillaging and plundering some of the most explosive eras of hard rock, heavy psychedelia and proto-metal with a conviction and execution rarely found this side of the millennium, in short, Sweat Lodge’s potential is one that knows no bounds.

Seizing on the southern grooves of Fu Manchu, Saint Vitus and the blues-driven majesty of 70s legends Mountain and fellow Texans ZZ Top, across Talismana – riff after punishing riff, howl after soulful howl – the vintage sound of rock ‘n’ roll reigns supreme, sparked through an engine of uncompromising youth. As anyone who witnessed the band’s debut TV appearance on Last Call With Carson Daly in March will testify, charismatic front man and vocalist Cody Lee Johnston’s ability to bring it on home is hypnotic. Backed by the gnarled bass fuzz of Austin Shockley, the Bonham-esque drum play of Caleb Dawson and guitar interplay of Javier Gardea and Dustin Anderson, the band will be unstoppable in 2015 and Talismana an essential record for fans of the genre.

Talismana by Sweat Lodge will be released on 7th August on Ripple Music.

Sweat Lodge on Thee Facebooks

Sweat Lodge on Bandcamp

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Greenbeard Release Debut Album Stoned at the Throne

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 9th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster


And now, a play:

Officer McWhitey: Uh, do you know why I pulled you over?

Me: Nope.

Officer McWhitey: You were driving erratically. Swerving all over the place. What’s that you’ve got there?

Me: Oh, it’s a CD by this band from Austin called Greenbeard.

(Officer McWhitey, as portrayed by the douchiest buzzcut-looking motherfucker you can find, takes the CD, examines it.)

Officer McWhitey: Stoned at the Throne, huh?

Me (Looking at Officer McWhitey and realizing he’s at least eight years my junior): Yup.

Officer McWhitey: Step out of the car, sir.


I hope you enjoyed this original play. I bet you didn’t know I wrote plays. I don’t. Greenbeard, however, write riffs, and that’s even better. The Austin, Texas, four-piece list July 10 as the release date for their full-length debut, Stoned at the Throne, but you can stream the thing now and since you can, you probably should.

Background follows, culled from the internets:

greenbeard stoned at the throne

We present to you, “Stoned at the Throne”! Our first full length album. This collection of music represents everything we stand for. 8 tracks of blistering riffs, heavy grooves, hard hitting beats, and tastefully meticulated song writing. We urge you to sit back, clear your mind, turn up the volume, ready the rig, and get stoned at the throne with us. Enjoy!

Greenbeard assembled to honor and celebrate all things heavy, riff driven, stoner, desert, and above all else, rock and roll. “Greenbeard” was recorded in the spring of 2014. Chance Parker, Alex Smith, and Buddy Hachar collided visions to manifest a sonic liquification of heavy riffs, dark grooves, and hypnotic beats.

“Greenbeard” dove deep into the blueprints of heavy rock. Tracks like “Sludgito” will melt your mind with their never ending slow roasting bass groove. “Eris” shuffles through the Texas desert soil with driving riffs and hard hitting drums.

Desert rock from the sun stricken soil of Austin, TX. Greenbeard brings prolific vibrations to the universe via drums, bass, and guitar.

Stoned at the Throne comes in a CD jacket with custom artwork by Headbang Design of France. Stoned at the Throne was mixed by Adam Hamilton (Brian Jonestown Massacre/Counting Crows/LA Guns), and mastered by Paul Tavenner (Cleopatra Records). Recorded at Ohm Recording Facility and engineered by Chico Jones. Produced by Alfonso Gonzalez.

Chance Parker: Vocals/Guitar
Ethan Thayer: BG Vocals
Buddy Hachar: Drums
Marc Maddox: Bass

Greenbeard, Stoned at the Throne (2015)

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