ROADBURN 2017 Day One: Wound of the Warden

Posted in Features, Reviews on April 20th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

roadburn banner (Photo JJ Koczan)

04.21.17 – 00.14 — Thursday night — Hotel room

The process of getting up and going to finalize and print out the first issue of the Weirdo Canyon Dispatch (download it here) probably couldn’t have been much easier than it was. I credit this entirely to Lee Edwards (of The Sleeping Shaman) and the 013 staff, all of whom expose me for the sulky amateur-hour schlub I am with their sheer professionalism. I continue to be astounded at how lucky I am to work with these people.

coven soundcheck (JJ Koczan)Whilst schlubbing and prior to folding my portion of the 1,000 copies of WCD, I caught a couple seconds of Coven‘s soundcheck, and so knew that was going to be a good time later in the day — not that Roadburn 2017 Day One was light on anticipation. Today actually was my busiest day here. It started intense and ended intense, with a fair bit of back and forth between, and I feel like I’m only being honest when I say I dragged ass for a decent portion of it, despite my best efforts to hyper-caffeinate and pound vitamins, but Roadburn only comes once a year. You stick it out as much as you can.

As such, I was over to Het Patronaat early to catch the start of Wretch. I’d rode in from the airport with the Indianapolis trio just by happenstance, and I knew it would be a quick stop through just to check out part of their set ahead of hoisting myself over to the Main Stage for the start of Crippled Black Phoenix, but the doom called me to the church and it was not to be missed. Before they got going, guitarist/vocalist Karl Simon recalled on stage when The Gates of Slumber played (they had canceled in 2010 owing to that goddamn volcano, only to make the trip a couple years later in 2012), only reinforcing how linked the two bands are, but that’s Wretch (Photo by JJ Koczan)not to take anything away from the presence bassist Bryce Clarke and drummer Chris Gordon bring to the rhythm section or what the new three-piece accomplished on last year’s self-titled debut (review here). Even if it’s grown out of another, it’s a new band.

They made that clear in cuts like “Icebound,” “Running out of Days,” “R.I.P.” and “Drown” from the record, and even managed to sneak in the Judas Priest cover “Winter,” as well as their take on Motörhead‘s “Sweet Revenge.” The hook of “R.I.P.” made it a personal highlight, and The Gates of Slumber‘s “The Wretch” was certainly a fit. I hear tell Wretch are recording a new single while touring the UK with Iron Void on this trip, so hopefully it’s not too long before we hear from them again. In the meantime, I rushed over to catch Crippled Black Phoenix on the Main Stage.

Call it an early headlining set from the by-now-long-ish-running UK avant rock outfit, whose blend of heavy indie, goth, melancholic rock and generally progressive undertone makes them a standout not only on this bill but also generally this planet. Crippled Black Phoenix (Photo by JJ Koczan)They’re simply like no one else. Supporting their latest album, Bronze (review here), they brought in a considerable crowd for it being so light out and managed to cast a balance between life-affirming and crushingly-depressive throughout. To wit, “No Fun” and “Scared and Alone” from Bronze were high points, the latter teased as being their last song without actually being it. They’ve become such an astoundingly different band than they were when they released their debut album, A Love of Shared Disasters, a decade ago, but have manage to lose neither their edge nor their will to push themselves forward. After being a dork for their work for so long, I felt lucky to finally see them play live.

I also knew that I was cool to stay put for the duration of Crippled Black Phoenix, because while much of Roadburn 2017 and indeed every single Roadburn involves bouncing around between stages, Salt Lake City’s SubRosa were hitting the Main Stage next, so I wasn’t going fucking anywhere. The string-laden outfit played the Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn last month and they’ll play here again tomorrow at Het Patronaat for a special “SubDued” mostly-acoustic set, but today was a front-to-back performance of 2016’s For this We Fought the Battle of Ages (review here), and as that was my pick for Album of the Year last year when it came out on Profound Lore, they were my most anticipated band of the entire festival. I didn’t cry to miss them in New York because I knew I’d see them in Tilburg.

However, I kind of did cry when they played “Troubled Cells.” At least teared up at the end when they SubRosa (Photo by JJ Koczan)brought out the backing chorus which, if I’m not mistaken, counted Nathan Carson of Witch Mountain among its ranks. Could be wrong, but the Magma shirt was a dead giveaway. Earlier in the set, I’d gone up after taking pictures to the side of the stage to watch from there for a couple minutes, which is something I let myself do only once per Roadburn. Like Crippled Black Phoenix before them, SubRosa carried the air of being early headliners, and at least for me, they most definitely were. If you’d told me I had to go back to the hotel, pack up my gear and get on a plane home when they were done, I’d have been bummed to leave the rest of the fest behind, but I wouldn’t be able to say I didn’t get my fest’s worth out of Roadburn 2017 after watching SubRosa. Yes, they were that unbelievable. “Black Majesty.” Holy shit. I scurried to the merch area when they were done like the beaten fool I was. Gladly.

There was something of a break for me when they were done. My next stop was Cul de Sac around the corner for Harsh Toke. I’d been fortunate enough to catch the San Diego jammers when they played Roadburn in 2014 (review here), and I’d taken due advantage of the lesson of watching them then, which was “Don’t Harsh Toke (sort of) (Photo by JJ Koczan)miss Harsh Toke,” and so I didn’t want to. Apparently I wasn’t the only one, however. I’d made a quick stop at the hotel to drop off my newly-acquired SubRosa merch, my laptop, coffee thermos, Weirdo Canyon Dispatch issues and other detritus from the early part of the day, and though I got to the smaller venue with 20 minutes to spare, it was still too late to get up front and get a spot where I could see. I bought a patch for five euros, took what wound up being the last open spot at the bar — a seat, no less! — and tried to let my head get into the flow. Given their propensity for groove, it wasn’t much of a challenge to catch my breath and chill out for a few minutes at least until the why-haven’t-you-ordered-a-beer stares of the staff got the better of me. I tried and failed to snap a decent picture of the band on my phone and once more sent myself packing back over to the 013, where Wolves in the Throne Room were on the Main Stage.

Didn’t take long to remember what was so easy to appreciate about them, what with their textured blackened approach, which sounded almost orchestral in that huge space. I hadn’t been in the Green Room yet, so I poked my head in to catch a couple seconds of Esben and the Witch — was bummed to see the miniature photo pit from last year was gone; that thing had been a godsend — ahead of Coven starting on the Main Stage. I didn’t know it until about 10 minutes before they went on, but apparently one needed a special photo pass to shoot Coven‘s set. Whoops. Just about everyone else and their cousin Coven (Photo by JJ Koczan)had one, but I guess I missed that memo. I went backstage to try my luck at getting one and was told in no uncertain terms in which direction to fuck (spoiler alert: “off”), so I went out to the front of the house and waited for Jinx Dawson to emerge in her sparkly mask from the coffin that had been placed in the middle of the stage. Not a hardship, but I felt like a dope. Not like I’m shooting pictures for a magazine or anything. It’s just me on here.

Once Coven got going, they dug wholesale into the classic heavy Satanic-ritual pop rock that’s made them the generational influence that they have been, and came across like the blueprint Ghost wish they could follow. Dawson was in complete command of the crowd and the sense of dark worship and drama was palpable. The biggest crowd of the day so far? I wasn’t counting heads in the Main Stage area, but it might’ve been, just by eyeballing it. i thought maybe I’d pop back over to the Green Room to watch Suma get going, but once again my timing was off and the place was packed out before I could get through the door. Would seem to have helped nothing in terms of timing that I left my watch at home this year. Speaking of amateur hour. Woof. One day I’ll have my shit together. Clearly that was not today.

Having thusly flubbed my shot at watching Suma, I lumbered over to Extase in plenty of time to await the start of The Devil and the Almighty Blues, whose second album, II (review here), was still pretty fresh in my mind. That helped — that always helps — but the truth of the matter is that in the energy of their delivery and their instrumental chemistry on-stage, the Norwegian outfit blew the record right out of the water. I looked around from in front of the stage and saw a lot of familiar faces from Roadburns past. Different genres here tend to attract niche portions of the overall crowd, and judging from how the temperature The Devil and the Almighty Blues (Photo by JJ Koczan)jumped in Extase shortly after The Devil and the Almighty Blues went on, the secret’s out. They came out to “O Death” and the mesh of blues and heavy rock they unleashed seemed in direct response to that fact. They were flat-out awesome, and the kind of act that, as an American, I simply don’t get to see anywhere but here. It wasn’t the first time in the day I felt lucky and it wasn’t the last, but the chance even to catch part of their set gave me a new appreciation for what they’re doing sound-wise, and for a band I already dug, the way they brought their material to life only added to their appeal.

My plan for ending the night would require better timing than I’d had all day, but I was relatively certain I’d be able to pull it off if I played my cards right. It meant skipping out earlier than I wanted to on The Devil and the Almighty Blues, but the basic fact of the matter is that particularly as someone who lives in New England, I’m way, way overdue for catching the reformed Scissorfight live on stage. In the back of my head, I’ve been able to justify not going to their local gigs in Massachusetts or their native New Hampshire by saying, “It’s okay; I’ll catch them at Roadburn,” so there was no way I was going to let myself not do that. Plus, it’s fucking Scissorfight. The band wrote “Granite State Destroyer.” “Blizzard Buzzards Bastards.” “New Hampshire’s Alright if You Like Fighting.” Not exactly like one needs to make excuses to show up.

To get to the bottom line of it, my ultimate opinion of the four-piece live wasScissorfight (Photo by JJ Koczan) pretty much the same as of their 2016 Salt of the Earth Records EP, Chaos County (review here), which is that if you miss this band, you’re only denying yourself an outlet of pure, crushingly heavy joy. I’m not saying that as someone who never saw Scissorfight in their original incarnation. In fact, I caught them multiple times with their original lineup, and whether they’re playing old material or new, Scissorfight in 2017 is no less a beast than they ever were. Guitarist Jay Fortin — of whom I remain embarrassed to take pictures, knowing him as an amazingly talented photographer — still has one of the finest tones in New England. Frontman Doug Aubin is absolutely insane on stage as well as off, as he showed by jumping into the crowd several times and starting a rare Roadburn mosh. Paul Jarvis‘ bass is still the source of heft behind their maddening impact, and newcomer drummer Rick Orcutt fits into those grooves with an ease and swing that makes the songs his own even as he does justice to their original incarnations. Shit was so right on. New songs or old, Scissorfight were a steamroller of riffs and growls that flattened the Green Room, and though the lesson that those who whine about this or that person not being in the band anymore are missing out was one I already knew, such fervent reinforcement of same was a pleasure to behold.

Scissorfight are touring with Backwoods Payback, and the latter Pennsylvania-based trio would be my final stop of the night, over in Extase once again. I got there early enough to get a spot up front and watched as Jeff and Kyle from Atala — labelmates all on Salt of the Earth — bonded over mutual desert connections, and kind of parked myself and made ready to round out the night, taking the last of my notes on Scissorfight — they read like, “Duh, they’re killer” — and asking and being shot done to take a photo with Jamie Cavanagh from Anathema, who was working sound at the venue. I’d already told him earlier that I thought their new record is great, which I do, so whatever. There you go. My nerd-out moment for Roadburn 2017 Day One.

Guitarist/vocalist Mike Cummings, bassist Jessica Baker and drummer Erik Larson compriseBackwoods Payback (Photo by JJ Koczan) Backwoods Payback at this point, and goodness gracious, what a band. What a band. Late last year, they snuck out the full-length Fire Not Reason (review here), but they were a different level of righteous on stage, and the balance of fury and melody in what they do remains underrated in US heavy rock. I get that they haven’t been the most active group in the States over the last, say, five years, but especially with Larson on drums, they were every bit as tight as that thrash band I saw last night at the Hard Rock Hideout and had a depth of character to offer in their songwriting that most acts just can’t compete with. Heavy, but emotionally resonant, punkish in their execution but with a touch of metallic aggression as well, they not only write a solid hook like that of “You Don’t Move,” but they give that hook a purpose and an underlying sense of humanity. I’ve missed seeing them play live, and though the last time I caught them — I don’t even know what year it was — was a while back and with a different lineup, what’s always worked at their core was exactly what made me so happy I was able to finish the first night of Roadburn 2017 by watching them play. Once again, the Extase was full. That little club has been a fantastic addition to this festival, and it’s where I plan to start my afternoon tomorrow, as it happens.

Plenty to do before then, however. Including sleep, which as we press on past 3AM local time seems like an increasingly good idea.

Thanks for reading. More pics after the jump.

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Desertfest London 2017: Individual Day Schedules Announced

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 30th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

I have no problem admitting to feeling overwhelmed looking at the full lineup and individual day splits for Desertfest London 2017. I mean, seriously. Look at that poster. What a way to spend a weekend.

Likewise, I have few grand reflections to offer in light of that overwhelming feeling, except perhaps to take a step back and be massively impressed at how much this event has grown in just six incarnations. Along with Desertfest Berlin, the London edition has become an anchor not only for the UK heavy rock underground — which is well represented here as ever in Elephant TreeBlack SpidersStubbVodunPigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs PigsTerminal CheesecakeChubby Thunderous Bad Kush MastersMammoth Weed Wizard Bastard, and so on — but for bands from abroad as well. You’ll note the three headliners: two American, one Norwegian, and the next line down on the poster is two Swedish, one American. Desertfest London 2017’s reach feels wider than ever. Staring at the final lineup, it’s clear just how much of a big fucking deal this festival has become.

Wish I could be there to see it.

Here’s the announcement of the individual day lineups from their website:

desertfest london 2017

DESERTFEST 2017 DAY SPLITS AND DAY TICKETS ARE HERE!

Finally, the Desertfest 2017 day and stage splits are here, along with individual day tickets. It’s the point of the year where you can start planning the weekend, you can imagine the sets in your head and you can curse those god damned clashes.

Last things first, let’s get straight to that insane Sunday main-stage. To celebrate The Roundhouse joining the Desertfest family, we made their debut appearance something special. Not only will stoner doom icons Sleep be topping the bill, but the Roundhouse hosts a full bill of huge acts. Candlemass, with over three decades of underground acclaim to their name, bring the epic doom metal. USA’s Wolves in the Throne Room bring the atmospheric black metal. Traditional doom metal stalwarts Saint Vitus bring the classic riffs. And how about this for a ‘curtain jerker’? Bongzilla bring the raw weed metal for their second show of the weekend; more on the first later.

It’s not just about the Sunday though. Friday’s stage at the Electric Ballroom is headlined by returning heroes Slo Burn whose short run in the mid 90s furthered the then fledgling stoner rock scene. One band they surely had an impact on is Lowrider, who play Europe’s finest stoner rock alongside them. Ukraine’s Stoned Jesus celebrate their resonant album Seven Thunders Roar, and 1000Mods and Pontiak round up the main stage on the Friday.

The Electric Ballroom on Saturday will be swarming with Turbojugends as death-punk grandmasters Turbonegro turn Camden into party central. John Garcia sticks around for a solo show, sure to feature classics from his years of nonstop mastery in the stoner rock scene. Sheffield’s rock and roll five piece Black Spiders visit London for one last time on their farewell tour, with Satan’s Satyrs and Avon rounding up the main stage.

As ever though, it doesn’t stop at the main stages. Our regular partners have delivered three stages with diverse lineups. Human_Disease_Promo and When Planets Collide take over The Underworld on Saturday in a bill headlined by Bongzilla with a special set celebrating the band’s early work. The Quietus stage is led by synth wavers Zombi, and Nightshift Promotions bring an eclectic mix led by Hungary’s Apey & the Pea. To be honest, just stick a pin in the lineup poster and you’re guaranteed a good time.

For those who can’t make the full weekend, we have a limited number of individual day tickets. Priced at £40 for Friday tickets, £40 for Saturday tickets and £45 for Sunday tickets, links are below.

So there we have it. Our final lineup for Desertfest 2017. We hope you’re as excited as we are to get back to Camden this April and riff London to the ground.

DESERTFEST LONDON 2017 Final Lineup:
SLEEP
SLO BURN
TURBONEGRO
CANDLEMASS
WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM
SAINT VITUS
JOHN GARCIA BAND
BONGZILLA
LOWRIDER
SCISSORFIGHT
BLACK SPIDERS
SAMSARA BLUES EXPERIMENT
THE PICTUREBOOKS
STONED JESUS
SATAN’S SATYRS
INTER ARMA
WEAR YOUR WOUNDS
1000MODS
STEAK
AVON
DEATH ALLEY
DEAD LORD
BOSS KELOID
PONTIAK
YURI GAGARIN
HARK
VODUN
CHRON GOBLIN
PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS
THE WELL
MAMMOTH STORM
CELESTE
STUBB
MONOLITHIAN
WUCAN
VENOMOUS MAXIMUS
BRUME
APEY & THE PEA
ELEPHANT TREE
GRAVE LINES
IRON WITCH
EARTH SHIP
BACKWOODS PAYBACK
WIZARD FIGHT
BRULE
CLOSET DISCO QUEEN
GRAND MAMMOTH
CHUBBY THUNDEROUS BAD KUSH MASTERS
MAMMOTH WEED WIZARD BASTARD
SAMAVAYO
WELCOME BACK DELTA
DEAD LETTUCE
MONSTERTONE
LEDFOOT
ZOMBI
TERMINAL CHEESECAKE
KHÜNNT
BASK
BRUXA MARIA

http://www.desertfest.co.uk/#tickets-section
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/desertfest-2017-tickets-27305267791
http://www.desertfest.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/DesertfestLondon
https://twitter.com/DesertFest
https://www.instagram.com/desertfest_london/

Dead Lettuce, Booze and Blues EP (2015)

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Backwoods Payback, Fire Not Reason: Evening Odds (Plus Video Premiere)

Posted in Reviews on December 1st, 2016 by JJ Koczan

backwoods-payback-fire-not-reason

[Click play above to check out the premiere of Backwoods Payback’s video for ‘You Don’t Move,’ directed by 51 Deep. The band’s new album, Fire Not Reason, is out tomorrow, Dec. 2.]

From the opening strains of its leadoff track, it’s clear Pennsylvania’s Backwoods Payback have made the choice the title of their third album presents: Fire Not Reason. With a screaming beginning, post-hardcore lead work in the guitar and an underpinning of heavy riffing that somehow ties it together, “Elephants” stomps out more of a genre span in its quickly executed three minutes than some bands do in their career, yet like much of what follows on the self-released outing, it wastes nothing.

It’s been five years since Backwoods Payback released their second album, Momantha (review here), and while they’ve released a 2012 live outing (discussed here) and the 2014 In the Ditch EP (review here) in the interim, the nine-song/30-minute Fire Not Reason hits with all the intensity of the passing half-decade, forming its crux around a brutal honesty of emotion and songcraft that’s neither apologetic nor ironic in the slightest. For founding guitarist/vocalist Mike Cummings and bassist Jessica Baker, it is a realization of the human core that has always gone unnamed as the central appeal of the band: here metal, here punk, here grunge, here heavy rock, but most of all itself in a way that strikes as wholly without pretense. Intimidatingly without pretense.

Not that it’s in-your-face in some cliché metal dudeliness or aggro fashion. Certainly there are aggressive moments, as on “Elephants” or the black ‘n’ roll midsection of “Dirge” (video premiere here), which elsewhere provides one of the album’s landmark hooks — and if you told me second cut “You Don’t Move” was written with the intent of being a pro wrestling theme, I’d believe it — but throughout, Backwoods Payback keep emotional rawness so central to their mission that it comes to be the defining facet of their approach. Fire Not Reason finds further distinction in Cummings and Baker having added drummer Erik Larson to the fold. Known for handling guitar and/or vocals to one degree or another in outfits like Alabama ThunderpussyThe Might CouldHail!HornetBirds of Prey and so on, in addition to his solo work, Larson also drummed in Richmond, Virginia-based punkers Avail, and so is no stranger to the stylistic turns that Backwoods Payback make within these songs.

backwoods-payback-photos-by-james-jay-fortin

Rather, he’s right at home in this trio incarnation of the band, and does much to bolster both the start-stop chugging of “You Don’t Move” and the more languid rollout of the later “That Dream Again.” While “Elephants” launches Fire Not Reason at an all-go, all-in melding of styles and drive, songs like “Don’t Try” and the somewhat faster centerpiece “Tuxedo” seem more like signature Backwoods Payback, as much as their sound permits anything to be. Informed by grunge and heavy and Southern rock, they make something that acknowledges all of them and isn’t necessarily shooting to emulate — perhaps less here than ever — but even when “Tuxedo” breaks at its halfway point to build back up to its full-thrust finish, they’re very much in their element if not necessarily their “comfort zone” in the sense of coming across lazy or haphazard in their approach.

Cummings, who has a couple solo acoustic releases to his credit at this point, takes center position for “Even Odds,” which transitions directly from “Tuxedo” before it and provides a sub-three-minute breather that also gives a side-B-style expansion to the sonic palette with which the album as a whole works. It is a long way from “Elephants” or even the slick groove of “Dirge” earlier, and it changes the context of the opening strums of the subsequent “That Dream Again,” which soon enough opens a heavy blues roll with a spaciousness that calls to mind a more on-the-beat All Them Witches in its first half before solidifying around a more forward motion and, as it nears its finish, a lumbering stomp made all the more palpable by Larson‘s crash. The penultimate “Snakes” is more immediately about swing, but its thickened fuzz moves smoothly into and through an upbeat hook before dropping out to give the drums a short standalone section where they’re soon joined by lead guitar and Baker‘s bass, which feels more tonally present in the last stretch perhaps because of the distinction of its kicking in on its own as the final piece to make Backwoods Payback‘s push complete.

It does that, and like much before it, “Snakes” ends efficiently and cleanly, with no frills or veering from its central intent, stopping short to let the nodding “California Lean” close out with one more three-minute affirmation of the truth in songwriting that’s been at the root of Fire Not Reason all along. It might fit in that same category as “Don’t Try” and “Tuxedo” in terms of how its nestles into Backwoods Payback‘s bottom-line aesthetic, as opposed to the branching out in cuts like “Elephants,” “Dirge,” “Even Odds” or even “You Don’t Move,” but “California Lean” also underscores the urgency with which the trio have brought this material to life, and as much as Cummings‘ vocals — willfully strained at times — or his or Baker‘s tones, or Larson‘s drums, or the general rawness of it, it’s that urgency tying Fire Not Reason together. Half a decade later, this is clearly a story the band needed to tell.

Backwoods Payback on Thee Facebooks

Backwoods Payback on Bandcamp

51 Deep website

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Roadburn 2017: My Dying Bride, Scissorfight, Backwoods Payback, Come to Grief and More Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 15th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

Roadburn 2017 banner

Roadburn 2017 adds 26 new bands to its lineup. Let me spell that out: TWENTY-SIX. And from My Dying Bride to Sumac to Scissorfight to Memoriam to Valborg, it’s precisely the kind of all-things-to-all-people mix that one has come to expect from the annual April festival, promising an experience like no other in John Dyer Baizley‘s curated event, as well as sets from the likes of Gong and Backwoods Payback and Suma and Unearthly Trance, the latter two who were former US tourmates once upon a time and will reunite in Tilburg this coming Spring. Blown away by how huge this event has become, and how every year it just seems to keep growing and moving forward. Sit back and look at the poster below for today’s adds. It’s astounding.

Tickets on sale now. From the PR wire:

roadburn-2017-new-adds-my-dying-bride

Twenty six new bands added to the Roadburn 2017 line up

My Dying Bride will take to the Roadburn stage for the first time
David Tibet and Youth will perform as Hypnopaz?zu
Wolves In The Throne Room return from hibernation
Memoriam breathe new life into death metal
Wear Your Wounds show a different side to Jacob Bannon as part of John Dyer Baizley’s curation
Carpenter Brut take synthwave to new and exciting places
Those Poor Bastards conjure up the image of two undead holy preachers
….and more

MY DYING BRIDE:
My Dying Bride have been confirmed to make their Roadburn Festival debut at the 2017 edition of the festival. As one of the leading lights of metal during the 90s, where they helped to further define what doom metal really was and where it could still go, this West Yorkshire bunch earned a place in metal history. They’ve done it all and somehow have managed to remain fresh and inventive.

The influential British doom band will perform a suitably mournful doom-filled set on Saturday, 22 April, 2017 at the 013 venue.
Read more about My Dying Bride here.

HYPNOPAZ?ZU:
It’s PixieTime

Girls and Boys—

For our HypnoPickNick

Bring Moons and Toys!

We are thrilled to announce that Hypnopaz?zu (David Tibet of Current 93 and Youth of Killing Joke) will perform at Roadburn Festival 2017, alongside Ulver, on Sunday, April 23 at the 013 venue, Tilburg, The Netherlands. Their album, Create Christ, Sailor Boy, ranks among our albums of the year at Roadburn HQ, and we cannot wait to witness it brought to life on stage at Roadburn 2017.

WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM:

Wolves In The Throne Room will be returning to Europe for the first time since 2012, and since they announced their subsequent hiatus. The band will steer away from the ambient and ethereal landscapes they created on their 2014 album Celestite, instead setting their sights on the more raw and earthy sounds from earlier in their back catalogue. Whatever choice cuts they select to serve up, the set is sure to be a masterclass in atmospheric black metal from one of the most important bands to leave their mark on the genre in recent years.

Wolves In The Throne Room will play at Roadburn Festival 2017 on Thursday, April 20, at the 013 venue, Tilburg, The Netherlands.

MEMORIAM:

Bolt Thrower’s Karl Willetts started Memoriam as “a celebration of life through death metal”, and the results are exactly as one might expect. Having recruited Benediction bassist, Frank Healy, former Bolt Thrower drummer, Andy Whale, plus guitarist Scott Fairfax, Memoriam are clearly on an old school, death metal mission.

Willetts commented: “Memoriam are pleased to announce that they will be playing at the acclaimed Roadburn festival in 2017.

“We have seen this festival grow over the years and for us to be among the illustrious selection of bands playing this year is an honour!!! With our debut album to be released sometime early 2017 Roadburn will give us the opportunity to showcase our new material. Memoriam will unleash its devastating weaponry upon Roadburn 2017 and provide a true celebration of life through old school death metal.”

Follow Memoriam onward into battle on Saturday, 22 April when they play at the 013 venue, Tilburg, The Netherlands.

WEAR YOUR WOUNDS:

Wear Your Wounds – Converge vocalist Jacob Bannon’s intensely personal project – is an outlet he has been quietly feeding over the years, a repository for his lo-fi solo recordings that will now finally see the light. Scheduled for April 7th, just a couple of weeks before Roadburn, Wear Your Wounds’ first self-titled full length has us sitting on our hands with excitement.

John Dyer Baizley comments:
“I’ve never seen them perform (who has, really?) so it goes without saying that I will be front and center for this moment. The lineup for Wear Your Wounds will include the following, in addition to Jake Bannon himself: Chris Maggio (Sleigh Bells, Trap Them, Coliseum), Mike Mckenzie (The Red Chord, Stomach Earth, Unraveller) Adam McGrath (Cave In, Zozobra, Nomad Stones), and Sean Martin (Hatebreed, Twitching Tongues, Kid Cudi, Cage). Don’t let that list fool you, THIS IS NOT A SUPERGROUP, but its hard to deny the talent and power within those musicians and collaborators. Please don’t miss the opportunity to witness their first-ever performance.”

CARPENTER BRUT:

Carpenter Brut take the essence of metal that you like, the parts of techno that you used to like and the atmospheric film music of Carpenter/Argento/Goblin that you love, to create a heady, melodic and intense genre. This French outfit is taking the synthwave to new and exciting places.

Carpenter Brut play on Saturday, 22 April at the 013 venue, Tilburg.

THOSE POOR BASTARDS:

Sounding like two undead holiness preachers, crawling out of an abandoned Mississippi graveyard consumed by the foul bog and delivering their message of the endtimes, Those Poor Bastards will hover around the next edition of Roadburn determined to convince you that your eternal soul is already damned beyond redemption.

With the devil on their trail and the graveyard constantly looming ahead, Those Poor Bastards will ruin Het Patronaat when they play their ghoulish songs on Thursday, 20 April at Roadburn 2017 in Tilburg, The Netherlands.

ALSO CONFIRMED:

(DOLCH) lined up to shapeshift and mystify
ASH BORER deliver innovative Cascadian black metal to the Roadburn masses
BACKWOODS PAYBACK deliver honest expressions of heartfelt, heavy rock and roll
CASUAL NUN to deliver downright heavy psych
COME TO GRIEF will pay homage to Grief’s legacy
EMMA RUTH RUNDLE will perform a set thick with emotion and densely packed with honesty
ESBEN AND THE WITCH promise to delight with atmospheric, apocalyptic rock
FANGE make their debut with heaps of D-Beat and amplifier worship
GONG will lead us into psych rock sonic anarchy
NO SPILL BLOOD to demonstrate a fusion of muscular, sludgy punk energy and swirling synthesiser noise as part of John Dyer Baizley’s curated event.
OXBOW will release their next album, Thin Black Duke, shortly ahead of their Roadburn performance
SCISSORFIGHT promise to “unleash some New Hampshire backwoods debauchery”
SUMA bring their abrasive doom from Sweden
SUMAC sees the return of Aaron Turner to Roadburn with his denser-than-a-black-hole outfit
UNEARTHLY TRANCE set to combine the nihilism and confrontational approach of real sludge, both in lyrics and in actual musical delivery
VALBORG return to deliver another dose of their bleakly elegant presence.
VANUM will set Roadburn ablaze with a blend of icy melody and blackened atmospheric majesty
WOLVENNEST will churn up some utterly hypnotic, sonik soundscapery
YOUTH CODE show off their aggressive and expansive modern take on the EBM sounds of the 80s as part of John Dyer Baizley’s curated event.

Artists already announced for Roadburn 2017 include Coven, Warning (playing Watching from a Distance in full), Artists in Residence – GNOD, Mysticum, Oranssi Pazuzu, Deafheaven, Chelsea Wolfe, and our 2017 curator, John Baizley who will perform with Baroness, plus many more. Roadburn Festival will take place 20-23 April, 2017 at the 013 venue, Tilburg, The Netherlands.

Tickets are on sale for Roadburn 2017 and can be purchased from this link.
4 day – 195 Euro
3 day (Thu, Fri, Sat) – 172 Euro
Single day ticket, Sunday only – 54 Euro

Thursday, Friday and Saturday single day tickets will be on sale at a later date.

http://www.roadburn.com/
https://www.facebook.com/roadburnfestival
https://twitter.com/roadburnfest

Scissorfight, Chaos County (2016)

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Backwoods Payback Announce Dec. 2 Release for Fire Not Reason

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 21st, 2016 by JJ Koczan

I have a hard time reading the title of Backwoods Payback‘s new album, Fire Not Reason, at this point and not hearing it in my head in the voice of guitarist/vocalist Mike Cummings. He delivers the title-line in the song “Dirge,” for which the West Chester, Pennsylvania-based dirt rockers premiered a video here back in July — which you can also see below if you don’t feel like going to all the effort of clicking a link — which is one of the most striking inclusions on the nine-track offering, in part for the screams that show up later on, but even more for the breadth that Backwoods Payback cover in its sub-four-minute runtime while still keeping to a straightforward structure. I called it “dirt rock” basically because that’s what I’ve always called them, but the truth is way more complex, particularly as regards this outing.

They’ve set a Dec. 2 release date for Fire Not Reason, getting it in just before the music universe shuts down for the holiday season and everyone goes home to record who isn’t out playing a holiday tour. Half shuts down, maybe. Either way, it’ll go down as a 2016 release, and to mark its arrival, the trio — Cummings, bassist Jessica Baker and drummer Erik Larson (ex-Alabama Thunderpussy, many others) — will head north for weekender shows in Vermont and New Hampshire. Preorders are reportedly imminent as well, though through what outlet those will be has yet to be announced. Keep an eye out, I guess.

The band offered few words on the subject, but showed off the presumed cover art for the album, which shows the strip-it-to-the-core mentality from which they’re working at this point:

backwoods-payback-fire-not-reason

Dec 2nd 2016.
fire not reason
digital / cd / cassette

preorder info to follow

BACKWOODS PAYBACK:
Jessica Baker – Bass
Mike Cummings – Guitar/vocals
Erik Larson – Drums

3 human beings rocking harder than you.

Backwoods Payback live:
Dec 02 Showcase Lounge, Higher Ground South Burlington, VT
Dec 03 Dover Brickhouse Dover, NH

https://www.facebook.com/backwoodspayback/
https://backwoodspayback.bandcamp.com/

Backwoods Payback, “Dirge” official video

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Backwoods Payback Premiere “Dirge” Video; Shows this Weekend with Scissorfight and Gozu

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 28th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

backwoods payback-700

“Dirge” is the first audio to be made public from Backwoods Payback‘s upcoming third album, Fire Not Reason. I’m not sure when the record is being released, but the timing coincides with what’s sure to be a landmark weekender the Pennsylvania/Virginia trio have coming up with Scissorfight and Gozu over the next couple nights, playing Brooklyn and Philly together after Backwoods also journey through the wilds of Wallingford, CT, to meet up with Buzzard Canyon and others at Cherry St. Station tonight. Either way, I’ll take what I can get when it comes to this band, and I think “Dirge” does a good job of showing why.

Like a lot of Fire Not Reason, which whenever it arrives will be half a decade removed from Backwoods Payback‘s last outing, 2011’s Momantha (review here), it offers an unexpected twist in method that, along with its kind of unassuming central melody, brings an air of the extreme to the proceedings. Some parts are more fire than reason, you might say. They’re not always tossing in screams throughout the record, but there are pieces that feel so honest and true to who and what the band is that every whim they follow seems to have a purpose in reinforcing that.

I hope to have more on Fire Not Reason and Backwoods Payback — now comprised of guitarist/vocalist Mike Cummings, bassist Jessica Baker and drummer Erik Larson (ex-Alabama Thunderpussy) — as we get closer to the release date. Stay tuned.

And enjoy:

Backwoods Payback, “Dirge” official video

From the 2016 Album, Fire Not Reason

Starting Line-Up: Jessica Baker, Mike Cummings, Erik Larson

Shot & Directed by John Keefer & Chris Johnson, Edited by Chris Johnson. A 51 DEEP production.

Backwoods Payback live:
-Thurs 7/28 w/ Buzzard Canyon, Dirt Wizard, & Pussywolf @ Cherry Street Station Wallingford, CT
-Fri 7/29 w/ Scissorfight, Gozu & Black Black Black @ Lucky 13 Brooklyn, NY (tickets)
-Sat 7/30 w/ Scissorfight, Gozu & Worth @ Kung Fu Necktie Philadelphia, PA (tickets)

Backwoods Payback on Thee Facebooks

Backwoods Payback on Bandcamp

51 Deep website

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Backwoods Payback Finish Recording New Album; Add Erik Larson on Drums

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 2nd, 2016 by JJ Koczan

The reunited Scissorfight, Boston’s Gozu and West Chester, Pennsylvania’s Backwoods Payback have announced a weekender for July with shows in Brooklyn and Philadelphia. Backwoods Payback have also announced a new lineup with founding guitarist Mike Cummings and founding bassist Jessica Baker joined by drummer Erik Larson, the former Alabama Thunderpussy guitarist whose pedigree goes back to drumming in Avail and playing guitar and/or singing in acts like Birds of PreyAxehandleHail!Hornet, The Mighty Nimbus and The Might Could, as well as his own solo work. A considerable addition to any lineup, and as you can see, he’s been in many.

We approach half a decade since Backwoods Payback released their sophomore long-player and debut on Small Stone RecordsMomantha (review here), which definitely feels like long enough. Hell, it felt like long enough three years ago, but having a record in the can is usually connected to one actually coming out, so I’m going to hope for the best and be excited to hear what Larson brings to working with Cummings and Baker in the band.

Knowing that he and Larson went back a long time, I asked Cummings about bringing his new drummer aboard. His answer follows the dates for that weekender (as well as an Ohio gig in June) and confirmation of the new album’s completion:

backwoods payback

Our Richmond VA famliy Erik Larson joined up officially and we just wrapped tracking on our next record. We have some summer show announcements as well.

June 20th Agora Ballroom Cleveland OH w/mushroomhead, cky
July 29th Lucky Thirteen Brooklyn NY w/Scissorfight, Gozu
July 30th Kung Fu Necktie Philadelphia PA w/Scissorfight, Gozu

Mike Cummings on bringing Erik Larson into Backwoods Payback:

We do back a ways at this point. We had not talked in a little bit when He wrote me a letter and sent it out. I responded and we became penpals in the truest sense of the term. After another drummer change I was commiserating to him when he said “you do realize I AM a drummer.”

We talked about the reality of making it happen, our plans and ideas and decided to go for it.

https://www.facebook.com/backwoodspayback/
http://backwoodspayback.bandcamp.com/
https://twitter.com/bckwoodspayback
http://instagram.com/backwoodspayback
http://smallstone.com/

Backwoods Payback, In the Ditch (2014)

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Michael Rudolph Cummings Announces Fall Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 25th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

michael-rudolph-cummings

Incidentally, my favorite memory to-date of going to a local show since I moved to the Boston area was when Mike Cummings of Backwoods Payback — who operates these days under the somewhat more formal Michael Rudolph Cummings banner, sometimes with the backing band The Souvenirs — played with Jim Healey at Radio in Somerville (review here). The show itself was really cool, downstairs at the venue which like so many others is defunct at this point, but afterwards a few people stayed and sat around a table and all just kind of chatted and hung out and while that kind of thing is usually terrifying to me, I actually really, really enjoyed it.

While we’re free-associating, I tried very hard to buy Radio when I first moved north from New Jersey. Was back and forth with the woman who owned it and everything. Things were moving forward and next I knew, she sold it out to someone else and skipped town, never to be heard from again. Since then, living here has more or less been a succession of, “Hey this place is for sale” and nothing coming of it. I’ve been dying to get in somewhere but unable to make it happen. Mostly because I don’t have money, I suppose. If I could roll up with a wad of cash, I expect the reception would be different. In the meantime, venues close, those that don’t just suck and put no effort into running shows, and I’ve gotten a job, cut my hair, struggled to find time for things that matter to me, like music, my relationship with my wife, my family, and so on. Normal existence, near as I can tell.

Sorry. I got off track. Cummings, with his band, released the More Barn EP earlier this year and will tour — solo, I believe — in Nov. headed south from his homebase in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Dates, links and the EP stream from Bandcamp follow here:

michael rudolph cummings fall tour

michael Rudolph cummings Fall Tour 2015

hitting the road this fall

traveling with some friends and meeting up with some from across the way…

NOVEMBER
3 – Kung Fu Necktie, Philadelphia PA wAmigo The Devil, Kermit Lÿman III, Patrick Shannon (hold down the ocean)
4 – The Hook Up, Virginia Beach VA w/Amigo The Devil
5 – A Tasting Room, Wilmington NC w/Amigo The Devil
6 – Bone Lick BBQ, Atlanta GA w/Amigo The Devil
7 – TBA, Nashville TN w/ Rob Snyder
8 – The Cave, Chapel Hill NC w/Brian McGee (Plow United)
27 – Ortliebs, Philadelphia PA w/Thee Nosebleeds

 

https://www.facebook.com/events/731131717031097/
https://www.facebook.com/backwoodspayback
http://michaelrudolphcummings.bandcamp.com/

Michael Rudolph Cummings and the Souvenirs, More Barn EP (2015)

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