Von Detta Premiere “Thanks for Your Time”; Burn it Clean EP out Sept. 13

Posted in audiObelisk on August 20th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

von detta

The idea of ‘burning clean’ could hardly be more appropriate for the second Von Detta EP, which is out Sept. 13 through Polderrecords, since that’s essentially what they do for the 32-minute runtime of the six-song release. At that length, one might question whether or not Burn it Clean is actually an album, but it’s not an argument I feel like having with myself right now, so I won’t. Either way, it’s with the crisp, indeed clean, production of the outing through which the Ghent, Belgium, outfit’s tracks seem to land their blows. Beginning with a brief piano intro — a possible reference to 2016’s Exit Grand Piano debut EP — there’s no lack of flow throughout, and their tones are rich, but there’s no hiding behind distortion here. The vocals are forward on opener “Reach Out” and the subsequent “Thanks for Your Time,” and with an undercurrent of metal resting beneath, Von Detta execute their material with precision and purpose, layering elements over each other in a way that feels delicately or at least intentionally arranged, sometimes reminding my US East Coast ears of The Giraffes for the amount of tension they build in their verses and choruses and the volatility that seems to be at root beneath their sharp-edged exterior.

That might come through most on “Devil’s Child” when the screams let loose, but it’s there in the guitar of “Thanks for Your Time” and the swaggering “Reach Out,” as well as the confrontational “Little Man Big World,” which unfurls a bruiser riff met with one von detta burn it cleanof Burn it Clean‘s most resonant hooks. “The Vault” brings in either some guest or some falsetto vocals in the midsection before a bluesy solo, and again, true to title, it all seems to be leading to the nine-minute finale “Masterplan,” which sees the band embrace a more patient but still linear execution, working from a quiet opening toward first a driving apex and then a residual comedown that cuts out to a return of the piano from the EP’s intro, bookending and adding a sense of completion that expands on the initial movement. Even the finish, then, is clean, classy, clear. It’s not to say Von Detta are somehow lacking impact. If anything, the fact that their sound pulls so few punches in terms of production only makes them seem all the more confrontational, particularly amid the periodic screams — Von Detta have a new frontman; he fits well — and other harder-hitting elements. Again, the sense is very much that they’re not trying to hide anything, not trying to obscure anything in a wash of effects.

Naturally, I wouldn’t argue that everyone who uses effects is or that doing so has no aesthetic value, but for Von Detta‘s songwriting method on Burn it Clean, burning it clean makes sense. You can hear it for yourself with the premiere of “Thanks for Your Time” on the player below, which is followed by some more background from the PR wire, because one likes to be thorough.

Please enjoy:

Hailing from Ghent, Belgium, VON DETTA started out in 2013, as a riff based groove quintet. While celebrating their love for old school rock ‘n roll, the 2016 EP ‘Exit Grand Piano’ release came soon after, as the band’s first piece of recorded work.

To make things clean, one must burn away the filth… with ‘Burn It Clean’, VON DETTA are set to release an EP to captivate your musical senses and stir up the groove. Being both raw and elegant, rough and sublime, ‘Burn It Clean’ comes with a soulful lasting echo. The six songs are one rip-roaring episode after another straight from each the band members’ lives. A soundtrack reminiscent of the battles of between your inner angels and demons.

‘Burn It Clean’ Tracklist:
01. Reach Out
02. Thanks For Your Time
03. Devil’s Child
04. Little Man Big World
05. The Vault
06. Masterplan

Von Detta is:
Jonas Verhelst
Ief de Deurwaerder
Jeroen Vandamme
Koen De Borle
Manuel Remmerie

Von Detta on Thee Facebooks

Von Detta on Bandcamp

Polderrecords website

Polderrecords on Thee Facebooks

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Desertfest Belgium 2019: Ruff Majik, Black Moon Circle, Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell & Rrrags Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 24th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

desertfest belgium 2019 banner

I like the themed lineup additions. Last time around from Desertfest Belgium 2019, it was the Belgian bands being highlighted. This time, it’s stuff in more of a psychedelic vein, though how much that might apply to the hard-nosed boogie of Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell is debatable. Still, it shows Desertfest Belgium is beginning to think of itself in a different way — not just as a meeting of bands, but a meeting styles as well, and a place where different notions of heavy, whether aesthetic or geographical, can intermingle and hopefully all come out better for it at the end of the weekend. It’s re-framing of the conversation of, “Oh hey, here are some more bands playing, get your tickets,” in a way that makes it more than just that. As somebody who reads his fair share of lineup announcements for various events, I’m hard pressed to think of someone else doing this thing in this way, and as always, I’m curious to see what it leads to.

For now, it’s leading to an increasingly badass lineup. From the PR wire:

desertfest belgium 2019 poster

PSYCH GALORE AT DFBE’19! RUFF MAJIK, BLACK MOON CIRCLE & MORE

This round of names is for all the fuzzheads out there! We have gathered a great selection of crunchy grooves for you, grounded as well as spaced-out – let’s get to it…

First off, we are so glad to have Ruff Majik on board. Hailing from Pretoria, they’re best proof that South-African stoner didn’t end with ‘The Big Heavies’, carrying the torch of bands like Suck and Freedom’s Children. Their recent outing ‘Tårn’ shows the band heavy as ever, and we’re excited to see them blast Desertfest!

We are also happy to see Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell return to our stage. New things are afoot, or so it seems… but whatever they’ve got in store for us you can rest assured it’s gonna be groovy to the max. It’s just how they roll.

Trip into hyperspace and take a hard left – that’s where you’ll find Black Moon Circle. A super freaked-out jam band with ties to the mighty Øresund Space Collective, BMC offers the finest in Nordish psychedelia through an ever expanding catalogue of records and exhilarating live shows.

Finally, get psyched for the appearance of Rrrags at DFBE’19! The unholy alliance of Ron Van Herpen (ex-The Devil’s Blood), Rob Zim (Lords of Altamont) and Rob Martin (former Bliksem) completely channels the spirit of all the mighty Power Trios that came before them. Classic rock and roll done right that has earned them accolades galore.

We’re nearing the finish line, but we’re not quite there yet! Stay tuned for a new update soon, and in the meantime… we already let you know the amount of combi tickets is dwindling fast so be safe not sorry, check the link below!

http://www.desertfest.be/tickets
https://www.facebook.com/desertfestbelgium/
https://www.facebook.com/events/2260579413999993/

Ruff Majik, Tårn (2019)

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Desertfest Belgium 2019 Highlights Belgian Acts; Fire Down Below, The Progerians, Vonnis & More Playing

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 15th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

desertfest belgium 2019 banner

Desertfest Belgium 2019, as noted just the other day, is getting pretty close to its final lineup, and as they do, they’re making sure they support the native Belgian scene with a number of acts being highlighted for the broader audience they’ll draw. Both Fire Down Below and The Progerians might be familiar to some who’ll hit up Antwerp this October, and 30,000 Monkies have been making the rounds of festivals, but VonnisGrotto and Crayon Sun are probably going to be new to most people who show up, and so all the better they’re getting a showcase at an event like Desertfest. Of course, the broader lineup isn’t short on big names, with Sleep and PelicanBongripper and Zeal & Ardor, etc., so there should be plenty of draw to get heads in front of the stage for these bands, and it’s among the most admirable things an international fest can do to shine a light on the local types. You know this already, but it’s worth saying.

The PR wire has it like this:

desertfest belgium 2019 belgians

BELGIAN BANDS AT DESERTFEST BELGIUM 2019!

Each year at DF Antwerp, we present you with a number of upcoming local acts that deserve to shine in front of our esteemed international crowd. Absolute bosses, each and every one of them!

Fire Down Below have been making waves in the worldwide stoner community from day one, drawing comparisons to anything from Kyuss to Red Fang to Soundgarden. Likewise, The Progerians from Brussels have built a steady reputation for their uncompromising yet fiercely exciting mix of punk anthems and sludge stomp.

Some leftfield choices that are bound to raise heads: VONNIS – sheer brutality poured into a Molotov cocktail of hardcore, grind and noise. On the flipside we have Crayon Sun, the new project of Aldo Struyf (Millionnaire, Mark Lanegan Band) and the Antwerp blues singer Big Dave.

We already announced the merry noise pranksters of 30,000 Monkies earlier this year, and we close off this chauvinist list with a fine slab of supreme instrumental spacerock, courtesy of Grotto.

Go forth and check out these great bands!

http://www.desertfest.be/tickets
https://www.facebook.com/desertfestbelgium/
https://www.facebook.com/events/2260579413999993/

Vonnis, Bikini Season (2019)

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Desertfest Belgium 2019: Zeal & Ardor to Headline; Dopelord and Lo-Pan Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 10th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

desertfest belgium 2019 banner

Desertfest Belgium 2019 isn’t quite done with its 2019 lineup yet, but as you can see below, that poster is getting awfully packed, so we must be getting close. With the announcement of Zeal and Ardor signing on to play, they’ve now unveiled the last of their headliners, and thereby signaled a reach that not only includes the very kingpins of stoner metal in Sleep, but also a broader range no less able to wrangle indie-cred via Ty Segall and full-spectrum forward-thinking metal from Zeal and Ardor. Backed by no shortage of righteousness in the realms of doom, psych and heavy — Lo-Pan and Dopelord also included here — it’s already a “well duh it’s gonna sell out” kind of lineup. One has to wonder what other tricks the Antwerp-based event might have left up its sleeve.

Guess we’ll find out:

desertfest belgium 2019 latest poster

Zeal & Ardor headlines Desertfest Belgium!

Were you all waiting for that final headliner to push you over the brink? Because that is what you are getting! Zeal & Ardor must count as one of the most exciting and original rock bands to emerge in the past few years, blending gospel with ear-deafening metal to devastating effect. What started out as a one-man project has now grown into a monstrous live band, and it will be the perfect crown on your first day of Desertfest Antwerp 2019.

Hailing from Poland, Dopelord is a mighty strong proponent of traditional doom with all boxes ticked. Some dark and heavy grooves to get your blaze on – every festival needs ’em, right!

Finally, we present you with two bands that come packed with some fresh sounds. Lo-Pan just released ‘Subtle’ which is already hailed as one of the most exciting stoner releases of this year. A band that knows how to push the envelope with each step they take. The same can be said of Elephant Tree, who are working on new material as we speak. We’re pretty sure you’re all anxious to hear what they come up with next!

That’s NOT all folks, we still have some stuff coming before summer’s in full swing! But seriously – what more do you need? Hit that button below!

IMPORTANT NOTE REGARDING TICKETS: the Reduced Combi Tickets are now sold out, and we’ve switched to Regular Combitickets. They can be yours for €115, all costs included! Day tickets remain at the fixed price.

http://www.desertfest.be/tickets
https://www.facebook.com/desertfestbelgium/
https://www.facebook.com/events/2260579413999993/

Zeal and Ardor, Live in London

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Grotto Sign to Stickman Records; New Album Finished

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 4th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

According to Grotto‘s Thee Facebooks page, the new album that Stickman Records hints toward in its announcement of having signed the band is done and awaiting release. They said, “We are happy to let you guys know we have a full LP finished and waiting to be released! More info/dates soon…” Well, that’s neat. And if you’re going to put an album out, putting it out on Stickman is all the better.

Particularly for a band like Grotto, whose sound fits easily as labelmate/kin to the likes of Weedpecker and latter-day Elder for its heavy and progressive style and attention to melody. There isn’t a release date for their new album yet, or I’d probably have led with that, but Grotto‘s second full-length, Circle of Magi, was issued in late 2017 and is comprised of three 11-minute-long tracks, so there’s certainly plenty to dive into until the new one shows up. If you haven’t heard that, it charts a winding course into and out of psychedelic territory but is marked by the smoothness of its shifts between nodding groove and more atmospheric meanderings. Each song has a spacious feel that lets the listener live in it for a while before passing the baton to the next part or the next piece. It’s enough to pique my interest about their new one, easy.

Stream it at the bottom of this post. Here’s word of the signing from Stickman:

grotto

Stickman Records new signing: Grotto

We are pleased to announce our latest signing: GROTTO!

This young Belgian three-piece instrumental band has been on our radar for a while now, having two killer albums already under their belt. Their mix of psychedelic rock, stoner riffs and a great sense for melody alongside progressive song structures makes them a natural fit in our roster and we’re happy to welcome them to the fold.

We’ll be revealing some details about their new album soon, so stay tuned!

Grotto is:
Marvin Dinneweth – Guitar
Jeroen Moerman – Bass
Arno Tucker Cottyn – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/GrottoRiffs
https://grottoriffs.bandcamp.com/
https://www.stickman-records.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Stickman-Records-1522369868033940

Grotto, Circle of Magi (2017)

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Jonas Munk & Nicklas Sørensen to Release Always Already Here in August

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 4th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Alright, now you listen to me because I’m probably only going to say this seven or eight more times. You set some silly little alert on your phone or you sign up for an email list from El Paraiso Records or you do whatever you have to do, and when Jonas Munk & Nicklas Sørensen‘ debut collaborative album, Always Already Here, is back in for preorder, you get that order in and you make that happen, because it’s the only way they’re going to keep doing records together and FOR THE SAKE OF ALL HUMANITY, that is a thing we very much want. Munk, of course of Danish heavy prog-psych instrumentalists Causa Sui, and Sørensen, of countrymen expansive jammers Papir, have both done solo outings through El Paraiso in the past, and that’s super, but if you’re curious why I might be approaching this topic with such a measure of urgency, listen to the track “Shift” below. True, it’s only one song, and I’m sure it doesn’t necessarily speak to the character of the entire album, but god damn it, this is the kind of shit that when the aliens come to destroy our species because we wasted the planet, we’ll be able to point to and say, “Yeah, but some of us made this stuff,” and maybe, just maybe, get away unvaporized.

Release date is Aug. 16.

Make it so:

jonas munk nicklas sorensen always already here

Jonas Munk & Nicklas Sørensen: Always Already Here

We’re proud to announce this collaborative effort from Jonas Munk (Causa Sui) and Nicklas Sørensen (Papir), out August 16th! Read more and swim away in the 10 minute opening track here.

Jonas Munk and Nicklas Sørensen team up for a genre-defying record that explores American minimalism, psychedelia, and electronic music – both vintage and contemporary. On a foundation of interlocking guitar and synthesizer patterns, the duo constructs lengthy pieces that are experimental yet welcoming in nature, precisely executed yet with room for soaring improvisation.

Always Already Here pays homage to the masters of classical minimalism (Steve Reich, Terry Riley) and the pioneers of electronic music and kosmische (Brian Eno, Manuel Göttsching), still it doesn’t sound derivative or retrospective. The type of hypnotic bliss Munk and Sørensen strive for is distinctly timeless.

https://www.facebook.com/elparaisorecords
https://www.instagram.com/elparaisorecords/
https://elparaisorecords.com/

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Quarterly Review: Torche, Spillage, Pharlee, Dali’s Llama, Speedealer, Mt. Echo, Monocluster, Picaporters, Beaten by Hippies, Luna Sol

Posted in Reviews on July 3rd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review

We meet again. The Summer 2019 Quarterly Review. It’s four in the morning and I’m getting ready to start the day. I haven’t even managed to pour myself coffee yet, which even as I type it out feels like a crime against humanity, such as it is. I’ll get there though.

Wednesday in the Quarterly Review marks the halfway point of the week, and as we’ll hit 30 reviews at the end, it’s half of the total 60 as well, so yeah. Feeling alright so far. As always, good music helps. I’ve added a couple things for consideration to my ongoing best-of-the-year list for December, so that’s something. And I think I’ll probably be doing so again today, so let’s get to it.

Quarterly Review #21-30:

Torche, Admission

torche admission

15 years later and Torche‘s sound is still expanding. To that point, it’s never sounded quite as expansive as it does on Admission, their fifth album and second for Relapse behind 2015’s Restarter (review here). There are still plenty of straight-ahead heavy riffs on cuts like “Reminder” or “Slide” or the bomb-tone-laden “Infierno,” but in the title-track, in “Times Missing,” the closer “Changes Come,” “Slide” and even the 1:30-long “What Was,” there’s a sense of spaciousness and float to the guitars to contrast all that crunch, and it effectively takes the place of some of the manic feel of their earlier work. It’s consistent with the brightness of their melodies in songs like “Extremes of Consciousness” and the early pusher “Submission,” and it adds to their style rather than takes away, building on the mid-paced feel of the last album in such a way as to demonstrate the band’s continued growth long after they’d be well within their rights to rest on their laurels. Sharp, consistent in its level of songwriting, mature and engaging across its 36-minute entirety, Admission is everything one might ask of Torche‘s fifth album.

Torche on Thee Facebooks

Relapse Records website

 

Spillage, Blood of Angels

spillage blood of angels

If you, like me, believe doom to be the guardian style of classic heavy metal — you could also argue power metal there, but that’s why it’s an argument — Chicago’s Spillage might be the band to help make your case. With their own Ronnie James Dio in Elvin Rodriguez (not a comparison I make lightly) and a connection to the Trouble family tree via founding guitarist Tony Spillman, who also played in Earthen Grave, the band unfurl trad-metal poise throughout their 53-minute second album, Blood of Angels, hitting touchstones like Sabbath, Priest, and indeed Trouble on a chugger like “Free Man,” a liberal dose of organ on “Rough Grooved Surface” adding to the classic feel — Rainbow, maybe? — and even the grandiose ballad “Voice of Reason” that appears before the closing Sabbath cover “Dirty Women” staying loyal to the cause. I can’t and won’t fault them for that, as in both their originals and in the cover, their hearts are obviously in it all the way and the sound is right on, the sleek swing in the second half of “Evil Doers” punctuated by squealing guitar just as it should be. Mark it a win for the forces of metal, maybe less so for the angels.

Spillage on Thee Facebooks

Qumran Records on Thee Facebooks

 

Pharlee, Pharlee

pharlee pharlee

San Diego strikes again with Pharlee‘s self-titled debut on Tee Pee Records, a 29-minute boogie rock shove that’s marked out by the significant pipes of Macarena Rivera up front, the shuffling snare work of Zach Oakley (also guitar in JOY and Volcano) and the organ work of Garret Lekas throughout, winding around and accentuating the riffs of Justin “Figgy” Figueroa and the air-push bass of Dylan Donovan. It’s a proven formula by now, but Pharlee‘s Pharlee is like the band who comes on stage in the middle of the festival and surprises everyone and reminds them why they’re there in the first place. The energy of “Darkest Hour” is infectious, and the bluesier take on Freddie King‘s “Going Down” highlights a stoner shred in Figueroa‘s guitar that fits superbly ahead of the fuzz freakout, all-go closer “Sunward,” and whatever stylistic elements (and personnel, for that matter) might be consistent with their hometown’s well-populated underground, Pharlee take that radness and make it their own.

Pharlee on Thee Facebooks

Tee Pee Records website

 

Dali’s Llama, Mercury Sea

dalis llama mercury sea

Long-running desert rockers Dali’s Llama return with Mercury Sea, their first release since 2017’s The Blossom EP (review here) and their first full-length since 2016’s Dying in the Sun (review here), sounding reinvigorated in rockers like opener “Weary” and the subsequent grunge-vibing “Choking on the Same,” “When Ember Laughs” and the garage-style “She’s Not Here.” Persistently underappreciated, their albums always have a distinct feel, and Mercury Sea is no different, finding a place for itself between the laid-back desert blues and punkier fare on a cut like “Someday, Someday,” even delving into psychedelic folk for a while in the 6:54 longest track “Goblin Fruit,” and a bit of lead guitar scorch bringing it all together on closer “All My Fault,” highlighting the theme of love that’s been playing out all the while. The sincerity behind that and everything Dali’s Llama does is palpable as ever in these 11 tracks, an more than 25 years on from their inception, they continue to deliver memorable songs in wholly unpretentious fashion. That’s just what they do.

Dali’s Llama on Thee Facebooks

Dali’s Llama on Bandcamp

 

Speedealer, Blue Days Black Nights

speedealer blue days black nights

Speedealer ride again! And just about at top speed, too. The Dallas, Texas, outfit were last heard from circa 2003, and their turnabout is marked with the self-release of Blue Days Black Nights, a fury-driven 10-tracker that takes the best of their heavy-rock-via-punk delivery and beefs up tones to suit another decade and a half’s worth of hard living and accumulated disaffection. The Dallas four-piece blaze through songs like “Never Knew,” the hardcore-punk “Losing My Shit,” the more metallic “Nothing Left to Say,” and the careening aggro-swagger of “Rheumatism,” but there’s still some variety to be had throughout, as highlight “Sold Out,” “War Nicht Genung” and “Shut Up” find the band no less effective working at a somewhat scaled-back pace. However fast they’re going, though the attitude remains much the same, and it’s “fuck you fuck this” fuckall all the way. Those familiar with their past work would expect no less, and time has clearly not repaired the chip on Speedealer‘s shoulder. Their anger is our gain.

Speedealer on Thee Facebooks

Speedealer webstore

 

Mt. Echo, Cirrus

mt echo cirrus

Based in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, the instrumentalist four-piece Mt. Echo present a somewhat noisier take on Russian Circles-style heavy post-rock with their nine-song/46-minute debut, Cirrus. Not at all shy about incorporating a noise rock riff or a more weighted groove, the dual-guitar outfit nonetheless spend significant time patiently engaged in the work of atmosphere-building, so that their material develops a genuine ebb and flow as songs tie one into the next to give the entire affair a whole-album feel. It is their first outing, but all the more striking for that in terms of how much of a grip they seem to have on their approach and what they want to be doing in a song like “Lighthouse at the End of Time” with airy lead and chugging rhythm guitars intertwining and meeting head-on for post-YOB crashes and an eventual turn into a harder-pushing progression. Ambience comes (mostly) to the fore in the seven-minute “Monsters and the Men Who Made Them,” but wherever they go on Cirrus, Mt. Echo bring that atmospheric density along with them. The proverbial ‘band to watch.’

Mt. Echo on Thee Facebooks

Mt. Echo on Bandcamp

 

Monocluster, Ocean

Monocluster Ocean

Over the course of five longform tracks on Ocean, Germany’s Monocluster build fluidly on the accomplishments of their 2015 self-titled debut (review here), greatly expanding on the heft and general reach of their sound while, as opener “Ocean in Our Bones” demonstrates, still holding onto the ability to affect a killer hook when they need one. Ocean is not a minor undertaking at 56 minutes, but it dedicates its time to constructing a world in cuts like “Leviathan” and “A Place Beyond,” the giant wall of fuzzed low end becoming the backdrop for the three-part story being told that ends with the 11:43 “Home” standing alone, as graceful and progressive as it is brash and noisy — a mirror in that regard to the nine-minute centerpiece “Guns and Greed” and a fitting summation of Ocean‘s course. They keep this up for very long and people are going to start to notice. The album is a marked step forward from where Monocluster were a few years ago, and sets up the expectation of continued growth their next time out while keeping a focus on the essential elements of songwriting as well. If we’re looking for highlights, I’d pick “Leviathan,” but honestly, it’s anyone’s game.

Monocluster on Thee Facebooks

Monocluster on Bandcamp

 

Picaporters, XXIII

picaporters xxiii

The third full-length from Argentine trio Picaporters marks another level of achievement for them as a band. XXIII arrives three years after El Horror Oculto (review here) and is unquestionably their broadest-cast spectrum to-date. The album comes bookended by eight-minute opener “La Soga de los Muertos” and “M.I.,” an 18-minute finale jam that would give a Deep Purple live record reason to blush. Soulful guitar stretches out over a vast rhythmic landscape, and all this after “Jinetes del Universo” motorpunks out and “Vencida” pulls together Floydian melo-prog, “Numero 5” precedes the closer with acoustic interplay and the early “Despertar” offers a little bit of everything and a lot of what-the-hell-just-happened. These guys started out on solid footing with their 2013 debut, Elefantes (review here), but neither that nor El Horror Oculto really hinted at the scope they’d make sound so natural throughout XXIII, which is the kind of record that leaves you no choice but to call it progressive.

Picaporters on Thee Facebooks

Picaporters on Bandcamp

 

Beaten by Hippies, Beaten by Hippies

beaten by hippies beaten by hippies

As their moniker hints, there’s some edge of danger to Belgium’s Beaten by Hippies‘ self-titled debut (on Polderrecords), but the album ultimately resolves itself more toward songwriting and hooks in the spirit of a meaner-sounding Queens of the Stone Age in songs like “Space Tail” and “More is More,” finding common ground with the energy of Truckfighters though never quite delving so far into fuzzy tones. That’s not at all to the band’s detriment — rather, it helps the four-piece begin to cast their identity as they do in this material, whether that’s happening in the volatile sudden volume trades in “Dust” or the mission statement “Rock ‘n’ Roll,” which feels geared a bit to the anthemic but would probably work just as well in whatever pub they happen to be terrorizing on a given evening. Their delivery skirts the line between heavy and hard rock as only that vaguely commercially viable European-style can, but the songs are right there waiting to take the stage at whatever festival is this weekend and blow the roof — or the sky, I guess, if it’s outdoors — off the place.

Beaten by Hippies on Thee Facebooks

Polderrecords website

 

Luna Sol, Below the Deep

luna sol below the deep

Guitarist/vocalist Dave Angstrom may be best known in heavy rock circles for his work alongside John Garcia in Hermano, but in leading the four-piece Luna Sol through their 12-song/50-minute sophomore outing, Below the Deep (on Slush Fund Recordings), he proves a capable frontman as well as songwriter. Sharing vocal duties with bassist Shannon Fahnestock while David Burke handles guitar and Justin Baier drums, Angstrom is a steady presence at the fore through the well-constructed ’90s-flavored heavy rock of “Below the Deep” and “Along the Road” early, the later “Garden of the Gods” playing toward a more complex arrangement after the strutting “The Dying Conglomerate” paints a suitably grim State of the Union and ahead of the fuzz-rich ending in “Home,” which keeps its melodic purpose even as it crashes out to its languid finish. Whether it’s the charged “Man’s Worth Killin'” or the winding fuzz of “Mammoth Cave,” one can definitely hear some Hermano at work, but Luna Sol distinguish themselves just the same.

Luna Sol on Thee Facebooks

Slush Fund Recordings webstore

 

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Desertfest Belgium 2019: Church of Misery, Monkey3, Inter Arma, Lord Dying and Lucy in Blue Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 12th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

desertfest belgium 2019 banner

I saw Church of Misery last year and in case you’re wondering, yes, they’re still a damn good time. They’ll join the sub-headliner ranks of Desertfest Belgium 2019 this Fall in the company of Monkey3Inter ArmaLord Dying and Lucy in Blue, each band representing a different side of what it means to be heavy, from Lord Dying‘s born-again-melodic metal to Inter Arma‘s crush-of-death and Lucy in Blue‘s formative meandering prog rock. Desertfest Belgium wasn’t short on variety before — you got Ty Segall and Bongripper on the same bill, that’s fair enough — but this batch of five only adds to it, and you know, there’s still Sleep headlining. If you need a sure bet, that’s a good way to make one.

Still more announcements to come from the Antwerp-based Desertfest franchise, so keep an eye out. They always seem to manage a few surprises before they’re done.

To the PR wire:

desertfest belgium 2019 new poster

CHURCH OF MISERY at Desertfest Antwerp ’19! Lord Dying, Inter Arma & More

And so again it’s time to reveal another batch of deep cuts for the Desertfest Antwerp festival. First up: Church Of Misery! After their blistering set at our festival two years ago, we knew they would be back sooner or later. Their legacy in doom history is unmatched, and after several turnovers it seems this is the Church’s strongest line-up yet.

Lord Dying and Inter Arma are two of the most adventurous metal bands in the field right now, and we’re delighted you to present them at DFBE’19. Both have just released a new album, and each one boldly defies categorisation. Lord Dying finds new pathways in metal through progrock. Inter Arma has always been fiercely experimental going from strength to strength, always finding new ingredients to add to their melting pot of psych drone and sludge doom. Both come heavily recommended, and both are going to slay you all.

Monkey3 may follow a different path to musical enlightenment, but there are many ways to blow your mind. A psychedelic rock band at the absolute top of their game, just ask anyone who witnessed the headfuck that was their show at this year’s Desertfest Berlin. And finally, for those who want a trip back to the time when Crimson was King, the delicious quirky grooves of Icelandic prog jesters Lucy In Blue will do just that!

This should tide you over until our next batch, and maybe some news in between… stay tuned!

http://www.desertfest.be/tickets
https://www.facebook.com/desertfestbelgium/
https://www.facebook.com/events/2260579413999993/

Church of Misery, Live at the Echoplex, Los Angeles, June 3, 2019

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