Posted in Whathaveyou on November 16th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
Melbourne heavy rockers Seedy Jeezus, whose earlier-2015 European tour included a stop at the Freak Valley festival — for which guitarist Lex Waterreus has also contributed poster artwork — will release a new single this month. Already posted for streaming, the 16-minute offering is titled Echoes in the Sky and features a single song, long-form jam that’s being pressed to one-time-only vinyl as an A-side accompanied by an etched B-side. The band will celebrate its arrival on Nov. 20 in their hometown at Yah Yah’s with Wicked City, Hotel Wrecking City Traders and A Basket of Mammoths.
All the info is below, including the note that the single/EP was mastered by Tony Reed, who also worked with the band on their 2015 self-titled debut long-player. Dig it:
After a successful tour of Europe, unrestrained, fervid, blazing, psychedelic rockers, Seedy Jeezus finally return to their hometown of Melbourne to play the Australian launch of their 12″ etched vinyl, “Echoes In The Sky.” This 12″, with a beautiful etched design by Seedy guitarist Lex, is a must have for any avid vinyl collector! Only a limited supply, this rare piece of vinyl art will NEVER TO BE PRESSED AGAIN!!
Get your very own copy at Yah Yah’s Fitzroy, NOV 20! 99 Smith Street, Melbourne, Australia 3065
To make the night even better, joining Seedy Jeezus for the launch will be: Rock Punk Heavy Riff legends Wicked City, Experimental Psychedelic Rock masters Hotel Wrecking City Traders and Psychedelic Stoner freaks A Basket Of Mammoths. (anyone getting a theme here?)
Released through Blown Music BM11, Recorded at Studio OneB – Melbourne. Engineered and Mixed by Andrew Day. Edited by Lex Waterreus. Mastered by Tony Reed (Mos Generator, who also co-produced, mixed and mastered our debut album). Written by Seedy Jeezus.
Posted in Radio on November 2nd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
You already know, but it’s November as of yesterday. Last time I did a round of adds to The Obelisk Radio was June 5. Granted we’ve had two Quarterly Reviews since then, so not everything has fallen through the cracks in terms of being written up, but even some of that stuff has built up a backlog waiting to be added to the playlist.
That is a massive number for one shot, and some of it is new and some older stuff fills in gaps, mostly in the Black Sabbath catalog. but either way, after five months, it seems like a fair amount to come back with. I’m not sure I’ll be able to schedule a round of Radio Adds every week from here on out — I couldn’t before, if you’ll recall — but as ever, I’ll do my best. As you might expect, five months later, there are some really great records to talk about. We’ll start with the newest one.
The Obelisk Radio Adds for Nov. 2, 2015:
Sun Blood Stories, Samhain Variations
A special Halloween release, the complete title of the latest from Sun Blood Stories is Samhain Variations: In Flight Raid Wake up I Don’t Know, and sure enough at the beginning of “Samhain Variation 1” (15:30), lap steel guitarist/vocalist Amber Pollard gives a cabin announcement welcoming listeners aboard “Trip Airlines Flight 666 bound to your brain” as she and guitarist Ben Kirby set out an immediately experimental-sounding foundation of plucked notes, feedback, drones and other noises. What follows from there — mind you that’s about the first 10 seconds — across “Samhain Variation I” and it loop-drum-infused counterpart “Samhain Variation II” (26:50) is a twisted barrage of alternately hypnotic and assaulting sounds, feeling like an exponential expansion of some of the ambient back end of summer-2015’s Twilight Midnight Morning (review here) full-length, with which I remain enamored. The difference is that where those were smaller pieces that, at times, seemed to touch back down to solid footing reminding of the album’s more straightforward beginning movement, Samhain Variations is an ethereal wash that trades back and forth between melodic and amelodic, touching on the memorable “West the Sun” at the launch of “Samhain Variation II,” but ultimately shaping itself into an unrecognizable form. The second part is harsher than the first and substantially longer, but both reinforce the open creative process the band showed a couple months back on Live at the Banana Stand (posted here), and of course, on the album that preceded it. They remain a band to which more people need to get hip, and Samhain Variations is a flight worth taking. Sun Blood Stories on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.
Zaum & Shooting Guns, Himalaya to Mesopotamia
Moncton ritualizers Zaum will reportedly have a new full-length out in 2016 to follow their impressive 2014 debut, Oracles (review here). In the interim, they’ve partnered with freakout-prone Saskatoon heavy psych rockers Shooting Guns for a split titled Himilaya to Mesopotamia that is out on vinyl this week. With one track from Zaum, the extended “The Serpentshrine” (19:07), and three from Shooting Guns all over six minutes, it’s well substantial enough for a 12″ and gives its audience plenty to dig into from each act, the two-piece Zaum gracefully and gradually unfolding Eastern inflections and immersive drones on “The Serpentshrine” across a hilltop-shaped, parabolic build that swells to greater impact in the middle and recedes to chants and drones at the end from the psychedelic doom march that emerges. Their work remains fluid and progressive, and “The Serpentshrine” fits well alongside Shooting Guns‘ “Super Himalaya,” “Dirty Needle” and instrumental closer “Ultimate Nullifier,” which between them establish an album-style flow that goes from far to farther out, melding space rock, noise, and psych fuckall into the potent nod of “Dirty Needle,” casting a wide cosmic berth of echoing guitar and thrusting rhythm. Shooting Guns tip hat to “War Pigs” in “Ultimate Nullifier,” but by then the vibe is so lysergic that it’s really just one more ingredient in the cauldron. Might get under general-public radars, but a gem of substantial pulsation. Zaum on Thee Facebooks, Shooting Guns on Thee Facebooks, Zaum on Bandcamp, Shooting Guns on Bandcamp.
The awaited follow-up from Swedish stonerplodders Skraeckoedlan on Razzia Records, Sagor answers the big riffing of the band’s 2011 debut, Äppelträdet (review here), with a more progressive realization of some similar ideas, the tones still post-Truckfighters, the largesse still post-Mastodon, but the band impressively carving out their own dynamic within their not-quite-metal-but-still-viciously-weighted approach, songs like the post-intro “Gigantos” (7:27) and “El Monstro” pummeling out melodically conscious heft (the latter with guest vocals) while pieces like “Awen” (1:08), the structurally forward “Flod” (2:46) and even the longest cut here, “Squidman” (8:09) managing not to lose track of a consistent atmosphere amid all the unbridled feel. At 53 minutes, Sagor is not a minor undertaking, but somehow, for an album about giant monsters and built on top of likewise proportioned riffs and grooves, it makes a kind of conceptual sense, and I won’t fight against the sway of “Epos” (5:47) or the poise that “Odjuret” (6:39) seems to showcase in the vocals, switching between full-sounding shouts in the chorus and a Greenleaf-style verse, duly fuzzed and engagingly heavy. Originally titled Gigantos and recorded at various different studios, Sagor seems to have been an adventure in the making, but however daunting the process may have been, Skraeckoedlan have come out of it with a sophomore outing that answers the potential of their debut and finds them refining a sound that one hopes only continues to become more their own from here. Skraeckoedlan on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp, Razzia Records.
Mount Desert, Mount Desert
Based now in San Francisco with roots in Maine, two-piece newcomers Mount Desert impress on their debut two-song demo with the spaciousness they bring to their tracks. What feels like a 7″ in the making, the pair of “Blue Madonna” (4:45) and “Fear the Heart” (6:36) showcase stylistic cohesion on the part of guitarist/vocalist Scott and drummer Jordan, an overarching reverb seeming to take hold on the first song and continue into the second. These are initial explorations — demos by any other name — but Mount Desert tap into psychedelia with a corresponding earthiness that reminds of the first Sigiriya record in its blend, and feels neither nostalgic nor like it’s trying overly hard to position itself within the West Coast heavy psych sphere’s jammy infatuations. It will not feel out of place genre-wise to first time listeners who take it on, but neither are Mount Desert completely familiar. “Blue Madonna” and “Fear the Heart” work quick and efficient, but retain atmospheric resonance as well, and while their real tests are ahead of them, the molten beginnings of “Blue Madonna” and the crunching finish of “Fear the Heart” give an encouraging sense of range, and while exciting for how Mount Desert might build on them, that excitement comes from what the duo have already accomplished here. Mount Desert on Thee Facebooks, Mount Desert on Soundcloud.
Together for just about a year at the time of its release in May, Aussie sludge-plus four-piece Merchant make their presence felt with “Seismic” (9:36), an initial single released as a name-your-price download that seems geared toward announcing their arrival on the fertile ground of Melbourne’s heavy scene. They’re not without their psychedelic flourish, but vocalist Mirgy offers throaty growling — here reminding of New Zealand’s Beastwars, there delving even further into gutturalisms — to top the rolling undulations of guitarist Ben, gotta-hear-this-tone bassist Wilson and drummer Nick and that ensures Merchant never stray too far from the muck toward the cosmos. Ben takes a fuzzy solo in the back half, but Merchant bring their first sally to a crashing finish, lumbering out a few final hits before the amp noise squeezes the last air out of the room. Melbourne heavy is about as multi-faceted as a scene gets — see also Portland, Oregon — but Merchant show also that it’s still growing and that there are those within the city limits looking to push the boundaries of extremity beyond their breaking point. For being just under 10 minutes, “Seismic” tells us an awful lot about Merchant and their intentions over the longer term, and it seems like a warning listeners will want to heed. Merchant on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.
Posted in Whathaveyou on October 30th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
Sydney heavy post-rockers We Lost the Sea initially released their latest album, Departure Songs (review here), this summer, but it’s been picked up for a label-backed issue via Translation Loss next month, and if you heard it, there’s really no mystery as to why. Lush in its textures but still human-sounding in a this-might-be-able-to-be-replicated-on-stage kind of way, its atmospheric crux was as much emotional as sonic, and particularly for an instrumental band, its songs seemed to evoke precisely the kind of wistfulness that the band intended.
More about their intentions — including some of the direct themes they’re drawing from throughout — follows in the news about the Departure Songs release on Translation Loss. If you haven’t yet had the chance to take a listen to the tracks, they’re below courtesy of We Lost the Sea‘s Bandcamp. Well worth your time:
WE LOST THE SEA to Release New Album ‘Departure Songs’ November 27
Australian Post-Rock Pack Creates Cinematic Instrumental Atmospherics
Progressive instrumental heavy rock band WE LOST THE SEA will release its new LP, Departure Songs, on November 27 via Translation Loss Records. The Australian sextet, which calls its sound, “an unstoppable force meets an immovable object” and “crushing guitar noise with post-rock atmospherics”, recorded the album at Sydney’s 301 Studios (Coldplay, Chvrches, Muse) with producer Tim Carr. Departure Songs is the follow-up to WE LOST THE SEA’s 2012 release, The Quietest Place On Earth, a recording that was hailed as “a ride of despair, aggression and melancholy filled to the brim with emotion.”
A conceptual album with song titles and themes inspired by actual events, Departure Songs pairs heavy subject matter with the group’s depth-filled, melancholic, yet emotionally charged music. “A Gallant Gentleman” is a sound story about Laurence Oats, an English cavalry officer and explorer who, during an expedition to the Antarctic, willingly committed an act of self-sacrifice when aware that his ill health was compromising his companions’ chances of survival. “Challenger” pays homage to the Space Shuttle Challenger and its brave crew who perished on January 28, 1986. “Bogatyri” is a tribute to Valeri Bezpalov, Alexie Ananenko and Boris Baranov — aka “the suicide squad” — who gave their lives diving to the depths of the Ukraine’s Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in order to open its floodgates, saving much of Europe from deadly nuclear fallout. Finally, “The Last Dive of David Shaw” honors the Australian scuba diver, technical diver — one of only 11 people who have dived below a depth of 240 metres (800 ft) on self-contained underwater breathing apparatus — who gave his life in “Bushman’s Hole” (believed to be the sixth-deepest submerged freshwater cave (or sinkhole) in the world) while attempting to recover the body of Deon Dreyer, a South African diver who had died in the same spot ten years previously.
“‘Departure Songs’ is about failed journeys and it tells the stories of those who have gone above and beyond their duty as humans and sacrificed themselves for others for honorable reasons,” says the band. “It is also a tribute to our late friend and front man, Chris Torpy. It is about those that have left us and moved on. Each song on this album has a themed attached to it; almost like the song’s lyrics, telling a story. All of the stories are from history and about real people. Part of the band’s creative process was and is to find themes that fit the music and tell stories like that. Epic stories for epic songs. It helps give context, narrative and character.”
WE LOST THE SEA creates music that incorporates expression, pensive atmospherics melody, dynamics and crushing heaviness that, while seeming and sounding to be downbeat and somber, is also at once appreciative, commemorative, remembering and celebratory. A cathartic experience of sadness and perseverance encapsulated in five amazing instrumental passages, Departure Songs will come housed in a four panel heavyweight wallet with a 12 page booklet CD. The album will also be released on LP (packaged as a 2xLP gatefold), available in both black and limited colored vinyl, with accompanying 12 page / 12″ booklet.
Track listing: 1.) A Gallant Gentleman 2.) Bogatyri 3.) The Last Dive of David Shaw 4.) Challenger part 1: Flight 5.) Challenger part 2: A Swan Song
Posted in Reviews on October 1st, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
We’re in the thick of it now. It’s hard sometimes putting these things together to remember that each band has worked incredibly hard to put out an album. I’ve been through that process (once), and so I know it can be harrowing at times between acts going back and forth about recording, what’s included, how to release, when, and so on. There’s a lot to cover this week — and we’re not out of the woods yet — but I hope that, just because each review is short, you don’t take that as a sign I don’t have the utmost respect for the effort that has gone into making each of these releases. It can be a tremendous pain in the ass, but of course it’s worth it when you get to the end product. We continue.
Fall 2015 Quarterly Review #31-40:
We Lost the Sea, Departure Songs
To be blunt, We Lost the Sea’s Departure Songs is the kind of album that immediately makes me want to own everything the band has done, in hard copy, for posterity. The Sydney outfit’s third full-length finds its crux in its two-part closing duo of “Challenger Part 1 – Flight” and “Challenger Part 2 – A Swan Song,” enacting a lush instrumental interpretation of the Space Shuttle Challenger flight and disaster that took place nearly 30 years ago in Jan. 1986. In its progression, patience, flow and discernable narrative thread it is nothing short of brilliant, a lush and sad beauty that serves as a genuinely affecting reminder of the hope for a better future that died with that shuttle’s civilian crew and the era of aspiration that tragedy brought to a close. I think the closing sample is the only time I’ve ever heard Ronald Reagan speak in my adult life and felt something other than anger, and that’s a testament to the ground Departure Songs covers – on the preceding three cuts as well as the final two – and the masterful execution on the part of We Lost the Sea.
There does not yet exist a name for what Finland’s Dark Buddha Rising bring to bear on the two side-consuming tracks of their Neurot Recordings debut and sixth album overall, Inversum. Self-recorded and presented following some shifts in lineup, the album swells to a massive head of bleak, noise-infused psychedelia, fully ritualized and self-aware but still vibrant as it makes its way further and further down into itself. It is bright black, based so much around contrasting ideas of form and tonality that to listen to it, one almost doesn’t believe that the band are accomplishing what they are on an aesthetic level, but the weight, chants, screams, cavernous feel and nod that “Eso” (24:05) and “Exo” (23:52) enact is ultimately real no matter how nightmarish and otherworldly the impression might be. A work that sounds as likely to digest as be digested, it constructs a temple of its own sound and then burns that temple and everything around it in a glorious final push into charred chaos.
Few endorsements carry as much weight for me as that of Germany’s Nasoni Records, so when I see that venerable imprint is on board for the release of Red Mountains’ first album, Down with the Sun, expectations immediately rise. The Norwegian four-piece don’t disappoint, calling forth a heavy psychedelia weighted enough to be immersive without really falling into the trap of sounding too post-Colour Haze or Causa Sui, finding a balance right away on opener “Six Hands” between open-vibe and structured songcraft. They toy with one side or the other, getting crunchy on “Rodents” and tripping out into ambient echoing on the penultimate “Silver Grey Sky,” but that only makes the debut seem all the more promising. Particularly satisfying is the scope between “Sun” and “Sleepy Desert Blues,” which is enough to make the listener think that grunge and desert rock happened in the same place. An engaging and already-on-the-right-track start from a band who sound like they’re only going to continue to grow.
It’s improper to think of Germany’s Black Space Riders as entirely psychedelic if only because that somehow implies a lack of clearheaded consciousness in their work, which as their fourth album, Refugeeum, demonstrates, is the very core tying all the expanses they cover together. As Europe comes to grip with its most dire refugee crisis since World War II, Black Space Riders take their thematic movement from such terrestrial issues (a first for them) and it makes a song like 11-minute centerpiece “Run to the Plains” all the more resonant. Of course, the big-chug groove of “Born a Lion (Homeless)” and the cosmic thrust of the penultimate “Walking Shades” still have a psychedelic resonance, but the balance between the earthly and the otherworldly do well to highlight the progressivism that’s been at work in the band’s sound all along. A considerable undertaking at 61 minutes, Refugeeum is an important step in an ongoing development that has just made another unexpected and welcome turn.
And so, with their third and final outing, III, Portland, Oregon, trio Lamprey reserve their strongest point for their closing argument. The two-bass trio of bassist/vocalist Blaine Burnham (now drumming in Mane of the Cur), bassist Justin Brown (now bass-ing in Witch Mountain) and drummer Spencer Norman recorded the conclusive six-tracker with Adam Pike at Toadhouse (Red Fang, Mammoth Salmon, etc.) and even the slower shifts of “Harpies” and the decidedly Conan-esque “Lament of the Deathworm” breeze right by. Like their two prior releases, 2012’S The Burden of Beasts (review here) and 2011’s Ancient Secrets (review here), III is a showcase of songcraft as much as tone, and it seems to presage its own vinyl reissue, each of the two halves starting with a shorter piece, the opener “Iron Awake” a notably vicious stomp that sets a destructive vibe that the rumble and weirdo keys and leads that finish out “Gaea” seem to be answering, a quick fade bringing an end to an underrated act. They’ll be missed.
If newcomer bruisers Godsleep seem to share some commonality of method with fellow Athenians 1000mods, it’s worth noting that on their debut, Thousand Sons of Sleep, they also share a recording engineer in George Leodis. Fair enough. The big-toned riffing and shouty burl on which Godsleep cast their foundation makes its identity felt in the post-Kyussism of “Thirteen” and stonerly grit of centerpiece “This is Mine,” which follows the extended opening salvo of “The Call,” “Thirteen” and “Wrong Turn,” the latter of which is the longest cut at 9:09 and among its most satisfyingly fuzzed nods. They’re playing to style perhaps, but doing so well, and if you’ve gotta start somewhere, recording live and coming out with a heavy-as-hell groove like what emerges in the second half of “Home” is a good place to start. Godsleep are already a year past from when they recorded Thousand Sons of Sleep in Summer 2014, so I wouldn’t be surprised if a follow-up happened sooner than later.
Slow Joe Crow & the Berserker Blues Band, We are Blues People
Kentucky-based, cumbersomely-named Slow Joe Crow and the Berserker Blues Band may indeed live up to the We are Blues People title of their debut EP, but they’re definitely riff people as well. As such, the four-track sampling of their wares draws from both sides on a cut like opener “No One Else,” the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Austin P. Lunn, bassist Patrick Flanary and drummer Thom Hammerheart in the process of figuring out how much they want to lean to one or the other. They round out with a fuzzy take on the traditional “John the Revelator,” but the earlier “Muddy Water Rising” strikes a more effective and more authentic-feeling balance, leading to the slow jam of “Before I Go,” which adds a ‘70s rock vibe to push the bluesy feel even further and expand the palette in a manner one hopes they continue to pursue as they move forward.
Canadian trio Monobrow follow their 2014 LP, Big Sky, Black Horse (review here) with what’s essentially a new single that finds them continuing to step forward in their approach. Dubbed A Handwritten Letter from the Moon and taking its name from the 8:33 title-track, the Ottawa group’s latest offering finds the instrumental outfit smoothing out the tones a bit, still hitting into raucous grooves, but closer to Truckfighters than their prior brashness. I don’t know if it’s a method they’ll stick to going into their fourth LP next year, but the result is dynamic and suits them well. “A Handwritten Letter from the Moon” comes coupled with “Dyatlov Station 3,” a seven-minute rehearsal-space jam from 2011 that fascinatingly (and I’m sure by no coincidence) showcases some similar classic heavy rock influence. The only real shame of the release is that both these tracks are probably too long to fit on a 7”, since a small platter of vinyl would be a perfect way to hold over listeners until the next album arrives. As it stands, the digital version is hardly roughing it.
French heavy rocking four-piece Denizen issued their decidedly Clutchian debut, Whispering Wild Stories (review here), in 2011, and follow it through Argonauta Records with Troubled Waters, a more individualized 10-track outing that alternates between punkish rawness and classic upbeat grooves. Four years after their first album, their progression hasn’t come at the cost of songwriting, and while they still have work to do in distinguishing themselves in a crowded, varied European market, they deliver the material with an energy and vitality that makes even its familiar parts easy enough to get down with, be it the Southern heavy solo of “Jocelyne” or the meaner bite of “Enter Truckman.” I’ll take the pair of “King of Horses” and “Heavy Rider” as highlights, and remain interested to find out where Denizen head from here, as well as how long it might take them to get there. Four years between records gives Troubled Waters the feel of a second debut as much as a sophomore effort.
Releasing through Candlelight in their native UK, doom metal trio Witchsorrow mark a decade with their third album, No Light, Only Fire. Opener “There is No Light There is Only Fire” seems to nod immediately at Cathedral, with a speedier, chuggier take, and the record proceeds to alternate between shorter and longer tracks en route to the 14-minute closer “De Mysteriis Doom Sabbathas,” cuts like “Negative Utopia” and “Disaster Reality” sailing a black ship past the 10-minute mark on a rumbling sea of riffs and slow motion nod. They break for a minute with the acoustic interlude “Four Candles” before embarking on the finale, and the respite is appreciated once the agonizing undulations of “De Mysteriis Doom Sabbathas” are underway, using nearly every second of their 14:25 to affirm Witchsorrow’s trad doom mastery and bleak, darkened heft. No light? Maybe a little light, but it’s still pretty damn dark, and indeed, it smells like smoke.
Posted in Whathaveyou on September 28th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
Okay, so near as I can tell, Spider Goat Canyon‘s admirably titled Always the Heavy (tattoo it on my fucking forehead) is a 20-page art book that includes four seven-inch platters of the album’s 13 tracks, released through Bro Fidelity Records. How that accounts for a 19-minute piece like “Secret Valley (The Ancestors Mix)” from the digital version of the record, I have no idea. None. If I’m right about the format, I have no idea. What do I know? I know the record sounds pretty cool, and I know it was six years in the making, and the sheer fact that they’ve made it happen after more than half a decade is impressive.
Not the more informative of posts, I know, but I’m working under the theory that nobody reads this shit anyway and everybody skips to the links and the audio. So have at it:
Spider Goat Canyon ‘Always the Heavy’ [BroFi013]
‘Always the Heavy’ is a record 6 years in the making. The bands last record as a 3 piece, since the departure of guitarist Steve Brick. The record is a fitting end to that era of the band. The basis for what forms this mammoth release was initially tracked 6 years ago, with new additions to the recording and post production from Steve Brick makes for one heavy and exploratory record. The record is comprised of tracks such as ‘The Drudge, ‘Choking the Masses’ and ‘Secret Valley’ which features a frenzied and powerful vocal track from Ryokuchi (Japan) bass player/singer Harada Hidekazu.
This is by far the most wide-spanning SGC record and fans of ethereal space rock in the vein of Farflung and Hawkwind will dig it as much as the more ferocious sounds on offer which will appeal to those who like their metal black and their riffs gargantuan. Echoes of Amphetamine Reptile pedigree and challenging riffs that bend time signatures create a cavalcade of engulfing sounds and sonic texture that one listen does not suffice.
Guitarist Steve describes the theme of the record: ‘The theme is largely modern life in an industrialized society. The album finishes on what I would call a very uplifting track that takes an optimistic long-term view, despite the “heaviness” of the present.’ ‘Always the Heavy’ is a triumphant end to a chapter of a band 10 years into their tenure, spanning all the creativity and execution you could hope for from three guys, who for the last decade have created their own space in a world of heaviness which is captured beautifully on this record.
Posted in Whathaveyou on September 18th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
Perth, Australia, trio Skullcave will mark the release of their second EP, Climbing, on Oct. 16 with a show at Jimmy’s Den in their hometown. They bill themselves as “doomgaze,” which is fair enough, and issued their debut EP late last year as their first official release. Newcomers, but well received newcomers in and around Australia after a national tour to support the first offering and a slew of radio support, which if you were wondering how other-side-of-the-planet Australia really is, “radio support” is a thing that exists there. Must be nice.
Some background and audio off the PR wire:
In a mere 12 months, Skullcave and their unique brand of ‘doomgaze’ have been firmly established in the Perth music scene with a critically acclaimed debut EP, a national tour, national radio play and a slew of prestigious support slots.
In mid 2014, drummer and lead singer Liam Young, guitarist Jay Marriott and bassist Steven Turnock formed Skullcave, a three-piece ensemble blending elements of doom, shoegaze and post-metal. Having written and played together in various bands for many years before, they released the first single in September 2014, followed by their debut EP in January 2015.
The self-titled EP received widespread acclaim from peers and media alike and national radio play across stations from Triple RRR, FBi Radio, RTRfm, 4ZZZ, Edge Radio, and one station based in Paris. Their EP launch was also listed by national publication ‘Tone Deaf’ as one of the top 9 live shows in Australia to see.
Capitalising on the enthusiastic industry and public response, Skullcave embarked on a national tour with The Love Junkies in April 2015. Their set in Brisbane was so well received that one of the city’s most notable radio stations, 4ZZZ, recorded their performance and played it live on air on their regular Friday night segment ‘Live Delay.’
The tour was quickly followed up by recording a second EP titled ‘Climbing,’ alongside a slew of prestigious support slots such as Tangled Thoughts of Leaving’s album launch.
Skullcave entered the studio in the safe hands of sound engineers Adam Round and Jay Brandner, most noted for their live sound work for Tame Impala and the likes of Sleep and YOB, respectively. The six-track EP was mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege in Portland, Oregon, known for his work on legendary albumsfrom Sleep, YOB, Code Orange Kids and many more.
‘Climbing’ is scheduled to be released on Oct. 16, 2015.
As ever in life, it’s important to stop and take stock of the things you know and the things you don’t know. When it comes to the two-piece Fraudband, the answer would seem to be “not much.” An instrumental duo from Melbourne, Australia, they made their debut last year with a tape released on Kasumuen Records called, appropriately, First Songs, and followed it up earlier in 2015 with a 10″ called Some Things that came with a CD version of its five tracks and hand-painted covers. The track “Keyed In,” for which they have a brand new video, seems to come from an impending first LP.
I admit, that’s not nothing. I’ve certainly posted about bands in the last six-plus years with less to go on. But who Fraudband are, the lineup, or what the name of the album is, or when it might be out, where it was recorded, or if “Keyed In,” which is mentioned as a single, will be pressed physically at all separate from the album — all that stuff is a mystery. One can peruse their Thee Facebooks and see they’ve been playing around Melbourne for about two years now, and they had a video for “Special Time” from Some Things in which you could see their faces, but beyond that, they’re somewhat obscure. Fair enough. I guess with natural-tone guitar, post-punker rhythmic fluidity and no lyrics, they might not feel there’s much else to say at this point.
That’s fine, but listening to “Keyed In,” I wouldn’t mind at all knowing when the record is coming out. Sooner or later, I suppose. There are a couple live shows in the meantime, if you happen to be in Melbourne. Dates are plugged in the info under the video.
Fraudband, “Keyed In” official video
Video single for “Keyed In” by Paul Rodgers.
Track from Fraudband’s upcoming debut long player on Kasumuen Records.
August video single launch shows – Fri 7th – Flanagans, Shepparton w/ Makeshift – Sat 8th – Record Crate, Glebe w/ Burdett n Bell + Warm Feelings + Imperial Broads
Posted in Whathaveyou on July 22nd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
This one sounds like a winner. On Friday, Wild Animal Records and Bro Fidelity Records will release a split between UK outfit Hey Colossus and Melbourne’s Hotel Wrecking City Traders on 12″ vinyl that contains one extended track from each band. Apparently the two acts had been in touch for some time but finally got to play together when the Aussie duo hit Europe for a tour last year, including a slot at Desertfest in London.
I’ll admit I don’t know Hey Colossus nearly as well as Hotel Wrecking City Traders, but the six-piece band released a full-length titled In Black and Gold on Rocket Recordings, and if you know that label, that should be enough to pique your interest. In the meantime, Hotel Wrecking City Traders released their second full-length, Ikiryo (review here), last year just about the time they took off for Europe and followed it up with a single, “Loose Alcoholic,” at the end of 2014.
Split’s out at the end of the week, so here’s some PR wire info if you’d like to prepare:
HEY COLOSSUS / HOTEL WRECKING CITY TRADERS SPLIT 12 INCH
This split’s been in the pipeline since 2006, Melbourne’s HWCT + London/Somerset’s HC have been long time talkers, finally meeting when they did some shows together in 2014. The Australian duo tore it round Europe for 3 weeks, HC hooked up for 3 of the shows (including the London Desertfest).
One long tune each.
HWCT go JAM-HEAVY with ‘Droned and Disowned (Pt.2)’, ripping on some mid 80’s NY insistent guitar clang, building and building, being led by the drums, chased by the riffs, 22 smoke filled mins.
HC take it doooooown with ‘Heaven Blows’, a 3am ‘question where you’re going with your life’ come down tune, drones flying about, twinkly dream synths, vocals from outta nowhere.
Split 12 / Download is out July 24th on Wild Animals Records + Bro Fidelity Records, both labels out of Melbourne, 216 copies (Various colored vinyl).